Last year around this time we did a “What Were They Thinking” on consoles... And by the comments you can see that a lot of people did not agree with me. In fact I got emails telling me to die and telling me I was getting paid by Microsoft to “troll” on Sony…even though I mentioned all three consoles. Thank you! This year I figure we take a look at some games and game feature that made you stop and think “what were they thinking?” and give the consoles a break. These are games that just made either absolutely no sense or was there for obvious money-grabbing reasons. Either they took a game with a good idea and ruined it, they took something and completely ruined it or they kept going too long with it. This is the Top Ten What Were They Thinking? Game Edition.
10.Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
This is a hard one but Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe was a weird concept from the beginning. Not to say Marvel vs. Capcom wasn’t a weird concept too but Capcom did an amazing job on it where as Midway did a…um…it wasn’t that good. Like mentioned in our what happened series, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe was just so blah. The gameplay was boring the fatalities were crap and the blood was barely there. That and the character roster was poor. If you had the opportunity to take both universes and collide them, then do so with more characters and take full advantage of the situation. Now keep in mind I don’t think this game was terrible it just wasn’t what it could have been. We were excited to see Bat-Man’s head get ripped off but that didn’t happen. I know it’s because of the licensing and whatnot but that’s what we wanted. Not just seeing Bat-Man and Scorpion fighting…I could Photoshop that. The game didn’t add anything new or innovated and just ruined the downhill spiral of the then Mortal Kombat series, the story was interesting but the rest was just…ew.
9. Metal Gear Solid: Touch
We’ve mentioned before how we felt that the iOS is becoming as strong and as popular as regular handheld systems. It’s home to a lot of great ports and extended stories to games we all know and love. Dead Space was fantastic on the iPhone; it was the same style and the graphics looked great, never mind the fact it was also its own story. Metal Gear Solid: Touch on the other hand costs about the same and it’s just a crappy shooting game. We here at ParaNerds love us some Metal Gear anything, but this iOS game is just an insult. It’s supposed to be the story line of Metal Gear Solid 4 told in storybook form. Seriously there are pages among pages of story. Then you take control of Snake as he cowers in the back and shoots at people and machines. The controls are stiff the graphics are OK but the price is ridiculous; $7.99 for this? We know that the iOS is capable of so much more and having an actual Metal Gear game would have been better then this expensive, boring game. Just look at Grand Theft Auto :ChinaTown Wars on the iOS…brilliant!
8. Wii Motion Games
The Nintendo Wii is one of the most successful consoles ever created; mostly due to the motion controller. Sure Mario and a bunch of Nintendo licensed games would do well and we knew that (When handled by Nintendo see…#7) but we were all surprised to see the amount of crap filling the shelves with time. Anything from Deer Hunting games to compilation games were just brutal. Not only were they bad it was bad for the people who bought them. I mean we all know that WWII Aces was going to be a terrible game but the mother of an 8-year-old wouldn’t know and most likely put in $60 for this gem… Nice. It brings me back to why make it? Unlike the Games Based on Products however a lot of people just wanted games that had motion, which is understandable at the beginning of the Nintendo Wii’s success…but now. Now we want real games, if a Wii game has motion involved chances are I won’t want to play it.
7.Nintendo Games on the Philips CDi
When Sony and Nintendo had their ill-fated argument that resulted in the Sony PlayStation; Nintendo went to Phillips for another go at this space technology known as “CD’s”. So for whatever reason they allowed Philips and their new console, the Philips CDi, to give a go with some Nintendo licensed games. We’re not talking about Kirby or Metroid we mean the mascot of Nintendo…MARIO (and Link). Hotel Mario was supposed to be Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds, an unreleased unofficial “Super Mario World 2″ but instead it was a crappy uninspired gam. The Legend of Zelda games on the other hand not only had terrible controls but it also was one of the ugliest animations ever seen on any system. The only noticeable thing is that it featured the first time Zelda was a playable character.
Now this isn’t new but if you honestly had the license to make a Mario or Zelda game wouldn’t you—oh I don’t now—make an attempt at the games in which they are based? I know I would.
6. Games Based on Products
This has been around for a long time and it always boggles my mind to what they were thinking. It’s already hard enough to have a brand new game try to make it big but then we have games based of products it just make me wonder who in their right mind buys it? Sure there are exceptions of good games such as Cool Spot, 7-up’s logo (once upon a time) which wasn’t really that good but compared to the rest was the best one. The amount of work that goes into these titles could have been used to make better products. Buying Sneak King’s scary games didn’t make me want a Whopper it made me want my money back. We want to play as fantasy characters not product placements.
There are tons of games that are based off products but it’s one thing to be done as a joke. The scary thing is that these things are usually done with a straight-face, that’s what worries me. You’re telling me the people who made the Kool-Aid game for Atari were thinking “This is it….guys we made the next Pac-Man!”
5.Call of Duty/ Guitar Hero
Activison… What the hell happened? Now before I get people telling me I’m “flame baiting” here let me tell you I own all of the Call of Duty’s thus far and own DJ Hero. I’ve played Guitar Hero and enjoyed it too. Their games are always great and that’s not the problem here. The problem is taking a game that was great and squeezing the juice out of it within the first 2-3 years. Think about it…how much do you care about Guitar Hero now? After Guitar Hero 2 we knew what to expect it’s just the same game with a number at the end of it. Same for the Call of Duty series. You’re all honestly buying it for the multiplayer and could care less what the story is about. Modern Warfare 2 is one of the most successful in the franchise and the story is literally covered in plot holes, it’s not great storytelling. The reason I don’t really care about Modern Warfare 3 is because after Black Ops and after Modern Warfare 2 I’ve realized the story is only 8 hours long and isn’t that great.
But fine the story sucks but the multiplayer is more or less the same, add a perk or kill streak here and there, different arena’s but the same game nonetheless. The timing of releasing these games however is the issue at hand. Call of Duty came out in 2003 than in 2005 Call of Duty 2 came out then 2006, Call of Duty 3 then 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. You starting to see a pattern? It’s like the Saw series of video games. Same goes for Guitar Hero, it came out every single year and ran itself to the ground. Guitar Hero 3 turned into Guitar Hero Aerosmith and Call of Duty 6 turned into Modern Warfare 2. In total there are 22 Guitar Hero games (including multiple ports and versions) and 15 Call of Duty games (including multiple ports and versions) .In order for gamers to appreciate games you have to make us want it not expect it. If they came out with a Guitar Hero 6 how much would you care?
4. Unnecessary Expensive DLC
The difference between this generation’s games and last-generations games is DLC (and wireless controllers, online play, HD visuals–shut up I’m trying to make a point here). DLC is a great way to extend a games life. Fallout 3 came out with 4 new expansion packs that can easily be downloaded and added a lot more to the story and added a crap load of new weapons. Grand Theft Auto 4 gave us The Ballad of Gay Tony and Lost and Damned two new stories that could have easily been sold as a full retail game, instead they were downloadable. This is great, after all, Vice City and San Andreas were pretty much DLC for GTA 3 (shut up you know it’s true).
Then there are the ones that are just a waste of money and unfair for the person playing it. Capcom had alternative characters for Street Fighter 4–sorry not characters, alternative clothing. The Complete Alternate Costume Pack is 1000 Microsoft Points (you can get two XBLA games for that, about $10) and the Super Complete Alternative Costume Pack is 1440 Microsoft Points!! It’s just clothing for Ryu! You can buy yourself a real T-shirt for that money. Mortal Kombat just released characters for DLC including Rain and Kenshi and (Updated: Freddy Fu*%$^inh Krueger!!) they’re 400 Microsoft Points ($5 each). Even though all you had to do to get extra costumes (back in the day) was press SELECT while pressing “A”. Even some first person shooters are guilty of this where you buy map packs. And yes I’m talking about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (specifically). Black Ops at least included Zombies and more maps but Modern Warfare 2 charged you $15 for 3 new maps…twice. DLC can be a good thing but you have to go through all the money-grabbing things first.
3. Dead or Alive: XTREME Beach Volleyball
We’re all attracted to a cartoon character…or I’m the only one. Whatever Jasmine is hot. But I know these are cartoons and I don’t really have any desire to see Jasmine flaunt her booty to Aladdin (although type that into Google…I dare you NSFW!!) Sure the Dead or Alive girls are made to be attractive and it’s expected. After all I’m pretty sure Tomb Raider wasn’t a success because of its brilliant gameplay but more because of her gameplay if you know what I mean (her boobs). Imagine a game where Lara Croft just plays volleyball, that would be stupid. How about a game in which the girls (only the girls ) from Dead or Alive all woke up one morning, giggled to each other and said “screw it let’s play volleyball in the most revealing outfits we can find” and then Ayane ate her own face. The strange thing (or not so strange) is that even I fell into it (being one of the first games I rented for the Xbox…yeah I know) but the strange thing was the Volleyball portion of the game was…actually pretty good. There was nothing XTREME!!! About it but it was that…volleyball…then they re-released it on the PSP with a “hands free” mode…wow…just wow.
2. Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties
Everyone’s heard of this pile of crap but for those who haven’t; Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is basically soft-core porn for video games. If you’ve never played it just watch a video of it on YouTube. And you know what? It’s still the same experience since it controls like a DVD menu rather than an actual game. The story is dumb, but it’s supposed to be. It’s a hilarious game; the story doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t have to make sense. It was pointless, un-funny and wasn’t a real a game.
The effects were terrible and the storyline is just…just awful. It’s about a guy named Plumber (who cares about his name…) who meets a girl named Jane…well not meet…stalks. You have to make them fall in love and…do you care? I don’t. It really does beg the question of what they were thinking when they made it? They must have known it was crap, no way were the developers sitting around the table thinking “success we made a game as bad (if not worse) than Custer’s Revenge” Rape is funny right? Having a boss telling you to take your clothes during an interview is funny right? The choice is yours but why include it?Every single character is unlikeable, that take’s a lot. Some people like Shadow the Hedgehog and he’s terrible. In this game EVERYONE IS UNLIKABLE. They distributed this game on “CD’S” which is why they’re able to have a Full Motion Video at the beginning. Let me remind you that CD’s were new at the time and kind of expensive…But then think about the amount of money spent on production and on developing and distribution…maybe they thought it was gold? We will never know.
1.Pac-Man Atari 2600
What the—Pac-Man? The little yellow guy? How can he be on this list? Easy just watch this footage of Pac-Man on the Atari 2600.
Pac-Man is a circle with a triangle in it. It’s not that hard. Anyone can draw this thing. I can even make it using pizza or a pie. So how the hell did this port look so fugly? This and E.T. on the Atari 2600 are some of the games as to why we had a video game crash. It controlled terrible, and even worse, it looked awful. It’s a circle! Now E.T. is a terrible game but at least it tried something new…how the hell do you make a game about E.T. (Answer: You don’t). They didn’t have much to work with. But Pac-Man was already a huge success in the arcades. It was simple literally anyone can play it. Use your feet, your tongue, elbows; you’re just moving him in a direction. To screw up in making Pac-Man takes a lot of effort. I realize that maybe the Atari wasn’t able to process that amount of power that the Pellets would give but why would you release it. It didn’t even look like Pac-Man! It flickered it was unplayable and it killed the Video Game Industry (for a while). Seriously when they made it and released to the public (who didn’t have the internet to see if the game was good at the time) and when the game most likely sold for $60 one has to wonder…what were they thinking?