Bad Games Played Badly (partial) Report – 24: The Game

I didn’t think I was going to quit on any of these games. I fully intended to slog through every one, all the way to the end, no matter how terrible or boring they might be. If needed, I would use cheat codes or change the difficulty setting (like I did for X-Files: Resist or Serve) but I was going to experience all the awfulness these games had to offer. There was just one thing I didn’t account for: motion sickness

There was no way to see this coming. I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember and this has literally never happened before. There have been a few times–when I was already sick or hungover–that I consciously avoided 3d games because I knew they would only make me feel worse. But this is the first time a game, by itself, made me feel like I needed to throw up.

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Bad Games Played Badly Report: Reservoir Dogs

Licensed games rarely take risks. Just look at all the titles I’ve played so far. X-Files: Resist or Serve was a PS1/Code Veronica era Resident Evil game re-skinned with Mulder and Scully, arranged around a few plot points lifted straight from the X-Files movie. Star Trek was a co-op third-person shooter that was somewhere on the spectrum between Gears of War and, hell, Resident Evil 5. Both were such unabashed ripoffs that they prominently featured zombies instead of anything resembling the usual villains of either series. And Sopranos: Road to Respect? While it (oddly) had a few loose elements that could be seen as precursors to systems in Sleeping Dogs and Alpha Protocol, there was nothing meaningful to the game other than a rote brawler. The environmental attacks and dialog system were thin veneers that ultimately amounted to nothing.

Reservoir Dogs is a different story.

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Bad Games Played Badly Report: Star Trek

I started watching Star Trek when I was seven years old. The year was 1992. I didn’t know it at the time–or if I did, I didn’t understand the significance–but Gene Roddenberry had died just a year before. Star Trek: The Next Generation was winding down its heyday, Deep Space Nine was months away. I was immediately hooked. I devoured new episodes, re-reruns, previous films, and VHS tapes that I could rent with a couple of episodes from the original series. Back then, it was all great. I even read the licensed books. God help me, I read the licensed books.

I know exactly when I stopped caring about Star Trek. I can put a year on it–1998–because that the year Star Trek Insurrection came out Voyager fully committed to its bizarre obsession with its new character, Seven of Nine. Those were my breaking points. I kept watching Deep Space Nine through its end in 1999, but after that I was done with the franchise.

My instinct is to say that I grew out of Star Trek, but I don’t think that’s fair. That instinct is based on a positively inexplicable embarrassment I still have about being a former trekkie. It’s hard for me to admit how much I liked Star Trek, and especially that I’d probably still like it if I went back and revisited the right parts.

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Explaining My New Venture, BAD GAMES PLAYED BADLY

Everyone knows the tale of E.T. for the Atari 2600. The film took the world by storm and Atari rushed to develop a licensed game to ride the coattails of its success. Atari spent millions acquiring the rights, churning out a game in under six months, and printing out as many copies as possible. It was supposed to be a smash hit but the game was bad and poorly tested, so instead it was an expensive failure that became the figurehead of an industry-wide crash.

Mulder, it's a bomb!

Mulder, it’s a bomb!

While E.T. was a disaster, video game companies kept coming back to the same idea: strap a successful license onto a bad game and the bad game will sell tons. They were probably right, at least up to a point, because the history of video games is littered with mediocre-to-awful licensed brawlers, shooters, adventure games, and action/platformers. There are games based on The Sopranos, CSI, Prison Break, Rocky, Jaws, The Godfather, Deadliest Catch, The History Channel, and Reservoir Fucking Dogs. Among others.

And X-Files.

And X-Files.

So I’m going to be streaming them. And writing about them.

I’m doing this for a lot of reasons: to promote my own upcoming game, to learn from the mistakes made by sloppy or bad games, to make gifs to post to twitter, to indulge in masochism, and because a lot of these games are dirt cheap these days. After all, like E.T. they were probably produced well in excess of demand.

I’ve already started up with X-Files: Resist or Serve as you might guess from the gifs I’ve interspersed throughout. And I already have a few more games lined up after that. It will be mostly a mixture of PS2/PS3 titles, but I have all sorts of systems available if I stumble upon the right game. If you’re interested in following me live, my efforts can be found at twitch.tv/RedbirdMenace but there will be gifs posted on twitter after each session, and write-ups here (probably with video) as I go along.

I do not remember this episode

I do not remember this episode

I don’t have a microphone yet, so for the moment the streams won’t have commentary. But I’m looking to maybe expand into doing commentary as well, and for now it’s all the easier to hear the bad voice acting. Generally, I will be playing blind but, in full disclosure, I will not stop myself from using in-game cheats to complete games with restrictive save points if they’re available. No one wants to watch me beat my head against a wall forever, and I’m more interested in seeing all the terrible content rather than the challenge. I’ll

Games up ahead will (probably) include The Sopranos: Road to Respect, Star Trek (starring Zachary Quinto), 24, and others! If you have any requests, feel free to let me know.

And God help me.