Bad Games Played Badly Report – The X-Files: Resist or Serve

First up on my tour of bad licensed games, I turned to a license that was dear to my heart: The X-Files. When I was a kid, X-Files was my favorite show on TV. I never missed an episode. Having been too young to appreciate Twin Peaks when it was first on the air, X-Files was my first exposure to a series with a continuing, long-running mystery with plots that (sometimes) carried over between episodes. For a sci-fi/horror show it had remarkable production value, two incredibly likable leads, and great (if a little schizophrenic towards the end) writing.

Going back to watch the early episodes of the X-Files reveals that they’re a little dated by today’s standards, but that’s hardly a significant knock against the show. The core mystery still holds up, and it’s one of the few shows of its type ever to hit more than miss with its monster-of-the-week episodes.

The X-Files: Resist or Serve for the Playstation 2 released in 2004, two years after the end of the show. That probably explains why I never played it, because the last couple seasons soured me enough that I wasn’t in a huge hurry to revisit the series. But for the start of my series, I thought I should take up a licensed game that I could really meet on its own terms. As a fan of the TV show, I’m presumptively the audience for Resist or Serve, which means I might enjoy it more, but also could be more critical of its missteps.

mulder

Those things didn’t matter, because The X-Files: Resist or Serve is not a good game.

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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.