Ten games that even a mother couldn't love.
You no doubt saw some ghastly creatures roaming the streets on Halloween night, but at least you had the choice of opening your door to offer them some sweets. Video games are sneakier though, often creeping onto the cashier's desk at your local store as you hand over your money none-the-wiser that you're about to let a gaming abomination into your home. I'm talking about the real horrors of the video game world; the kind of games that make you shudder just for remembering them. This is Pro-G's Top 10: Most horrifically bad video games. Read on, let us know your personal gaming horrors in the comments section below and be very, very afraid.
Dennis - Amiga
This terror came bundled with my Amiga 1200 when my parents finally buckled to the pressure and bought the family a home computer. Of course I didn't care about using it for homework, or arranging financial documents. All I cared about was playing games. All I'll say about Dennis, a game based on the Hollywood-produced film, not our very own Dennis the Menace, is that it was such a terrible platformer, that I almost lost faith in gaming altogether. How different things might have worked out, eh?
The Simpsons: Bart VS the Space Mutants - NES
I was so excited by this early 90s platformer that I almost burst. How disappointing then that it was one of the worst games ever to grace my NES. In it, you took control of Bart Simpson and attempted to thwart the space mutants from taking over Springfield. You had to get rid of purple things and balloons, which often involved incredibly frustrating, pixel perfect methods. I remember almost bursting into tears after spending what seemed like half a day of infuriating puzzle solving. Some people get nostalgic over this stuff. I say leave it well alone.
Rise of the Robots - SNES
It looked so amazing didn't it? I remember thinking: 'this game has the best graphics I've ever seen!' Only problem was, playing Rise of the Robots was about as much fun as sticking hot pins in your eyes. Each character in the beat-em-up had about three moves, all implemented with the same button. The AI was broken - you could win by constantly sweeping, and there was no multiplayer. Officially the worst beat-em-up ever and one of gaming's most shocking horrors.
ClayFighter - SNES
Again, it looked so amazing didn't it? Another beat-em-up horror to grace the early 90s, ClayFighter had superb graphics with character models created by digitizing actual clay models. It was slow, boring and the collision detection was terrible. Remember Bad Mr. Frosty, Taffy, Blob and Ickybod Clay? No? Lucky you.
Superman 64 - Nintendo 64
A long time ago, when I worked as a sales assistant at retailer GAME, we got one copy of Superman 64 in. At the time I remember thinking: 'we'll need a few more, surely? How wrong I was. During the three years I spent at the shop, we didn't shift our only copy of the game. I never played it myself, so am perhaps not particularly well suited to criticise, but when I ask my gamer friends what the worst game of all time is, they almost always mention this horror. Be very afraid.
Lone Soldier - PS1
As with another game in this list, Lone Soldier represents everything that's wrong with games that prioritise visuals over gameplay, and the dangers of buying based on the front cover. As a kid the sight of a hard as nails soldier carrying a huge kick-ass weapon and plenty of explosions was more exciting than girls, so we forgive anyone who bought this disaster of a game. Lone Soldier is the kind of game that you assume will suddenly make you the most popular kid at school, but ends up turning you into a bit of a loner.
ATV Quad Frenzy/Monster Trucks DS
"Why are these two games grouped together?" we hear you cry. Well, despite the illusion that they are in fact two different games (the cover is different and they have different names) they are in fact the same game with different vehicle models. The in-game menus are the same, the controls are the same, the ugliness is the same - they're the same damn games. The fact that they both play like man's first attempt at making video games simply adds to the horror show.
Earache Extreme Metal Racing - PS2
To be honest, this game sounded dodgy from the off. Earache, a decidedly niche extreme metal music label, as a licence for a crazy, violent racing game. Did the marketing men not see the disaster coming the moment the idea was written on the white board? You race in themed vehicles driven by each of Earache's bands, battling with others in one of the ugliest, uninspired creations the PS2 ever saw. Add in the ear bleedingly bad licensed music and you've got a game that will give you an earache, headache and general apathy towards video games.
Rainbow Islands Evolution - PSP
It might be cute and cuddly and filled with wide-eyed characters that try and resonate charm, but this is the stuff of nightmares. Taken alone, it's just another ill-conceived platformer riddled with failings, presented with a grossly misguided sense of what makes great modern Japanese illustration so endearing. However, considering Evolutions is meant to be something of a sequel to Taito's legendary arcade game Rainbow Islands, which was overflowing with secrets, nuances, and irresistible magnetism, this insult to gamers is something far more horrendous. This Halloween I'd rather shove pumpkin soup and fake blood in my PSP than this atrocity.
Spider-man 3 - Wii
Yes, it was a movie licence and yes it was a multi-format release on every platform going, but for some reason we all thought Spider-man 3 on the Wii would be good. In our minds we thought we'd be web slinging all around the room, with the Wii's motion controllers bridging the gap between reality and the virtual world. We were hugely disappointed then when the controls turned out to be near useless, the city was empty, the visuals ugly and the gameplay rather dull. As movie licences go, this is up there with the worst, looking down on the game's un-textured skyscrapers.
Tell us your gaming horrors in the comments section below.