The word “good” is extremely subjective. What makes a game good? Is it the quality of the game? Is a game good if the story is well written? There are many different ways to look at a video game as “good”, but I feel what makes a game truly good is the feeling you get while playing it. If you are having fun while playing it, then it must be good. Sometimes the fun can be had from the sheer entertainment of how bad the game is. This happens with movies all of the time, think of “The Room” or “Sleepaway Camp”, movies so bad they have found a special place in the heart of thousands around the world. We have pulled 7 video games we feel are so bad, they are actually good.
Imagine being so influential that you can go to a video game company, tell them how much you love Mortal Kombat, and them making a game surrounded around you…that’s exactly how we got Shaq-Fu for the back in 1994. What started out as a basketball game, Shaq-Fu became something so strange and wonderful we had to kick our list off with it at the top. What we ended up with is a 2D fighting game that follows the story of Shaquille O’Neal who after walking into a dojo on his way to a charity basketball game in Japan, gets sucked into another dimension and must save a young man from an evil mummy. The game play itself is pretty rough. The controls seem strange, especially for someone who is used to playing Mortal Kombat, and the characters on the screen are much smaller than desired. However, having the ability as a young Shaq fan to fight your way through strange characters as the legend himself, that makes this bad game pretty awesome. The game recently even got a reboot on current generation consoles, so there’s still some love for Shaq-Fu.
Golden Axe is one of those games that pulled you in from the cover art. Picture yourself as a child wondering the isles of your local rental store and suddenly you come across a beautiful man, tan with long blonde hair, and he is wielding a large axe…a Golden Axe! What kid wouldn’t pick that game up and take it home? Once home, you pop the game in hoping to take control of this barbarian and work your way through a fantasy landscape with your axe as your only sidekick, and well that’s sort of how this game plays out. This is at its core a Conan the Barbarian style hack and slash side scrolling game. The gameplay really leaves a lot to be desired and after a short time of playing the game it becomes somewhat repetitive. However, the story and heavy fantasy art fuels the love of this game and spawned many sequals as well.
Day Dreamin’ Davey
Sometimes the simplest of ideas can lead to the greatest of achievements. I imagine the thought process behind Day dreamin’ Davey went something like this “You ever day dream in school? You know, like you get really board and just drift off to some far away place. Let’s make that a game!” This game had a fantastic marketing team because I remember seeing adds for it in every comic book out in 1992 when the game was released. In the game you play Davey, a kid who can’t seem to keep his eyes open during class. When Davey starts daydreaming, that’s when the fin starts. It plays as a top-down role playing action adventure game with a few small puzzles added in. The reason this game was bad was mostly because of the glitches in the graphics and how hard it was to get through. It took me years (yes, I mean years) to get past the third level in this game, but I kept going back for more.
How on earth can you make a bad game from one of the most beloved games of all time? Well, it’s easy if you are Atari and just looking to cash in on Pac-Man Fever in 1982. One of the key things about Pac-Man is the landscape, and that was the main difference from the original in 1980 and the adaptation on the Atari 2600. The color was changed, and the warp tunnels switched from the sides of the screen to the top and bottom of the screen. Having said all of this, when you get down to it any Pac-Man game is going to be a fun game. The controls and objective of the game stays the same and that is why this is still a fun game to play.
Duke Nukem Forever
Talk about not living up to the hype! Duke Nukem Forever is a direct sequel to Duke Nukem 3D that was released in 1996. Forever was announced in 1997 and players everywhere where extremely excited to jump back into this first-person shooter and play as their favorite hero. The years go by and development switched hands before the game was finally released in 2011, that’s correct 14 years later! If a game takes 14 years to make, it has to come out and be amazing correct? Unfortunate when the game was released it felt outdated, clunky and had WAY too long loading times. Having said that, it was still a new Duke Nukem Game and had it come out a few years earlier, it could have had a better reception.
Enter The Matrix (Gamecube)
Released alongside The Matrix Reloaded in 2003, this game promised to give us the ability to be “The One” but when playing it looked more like a number two. The game overall is clunky and has an overall “blocky” environment. Running is one of the most awkward looking things I have ever seen in a video game and the level designs are very basic and leaves much to be desired. However, the fact that we were able to “unplug” and “jack in” to the Matrix, made this game super fun and resulted in over 4 million units sold even with the average to bad scores critics gave it.
South Park (N64)
South Park is known for its simple 2D designs and lovable voice acting, so a video game should be super simple to make. For whatever reason in 1998 Iguana Entertainment thought it would be more fun to make the game 3D (because everyone else is doing it) and not only 3D but also a first-person shooter. The voice acting is minimal in the game so what we end up with is a lot of repeat monologue in the game. The AI (turkeys) are not smart and cheaply made however the pee infused snowballs and the ability to roam around South Park and chuck these snowballs is kind of addicting and easy to get into. The game may have been a bad game, but there were hours and hours of fun had by millions in 1998 thanks to this train wreck.
Written exclusively for our company by Jacob Ruble
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