Games That Make You Go ARGHHH!! Volume 1

Games-That-make-You-Go-Arghhh-Part-1Remember the golden days of buying something you thought was a golden goose, but ends up being an ugly duckling? In this series - Games That Make You Go ARGHHH!! - we tackle the worst of the worst video games ever.

Before the internet provided us with reviews for video games, gamers relied on two things: box art, and magazine reviews. While many magazines sugar-coated or ignored bad games, it was up to the player to roll the dice and hope for the best. These are some of the games that left us bankrupt in more ways than just money: These are the games that make you go “Argh!”

Aircars (Atari Jaguar)

Staring blankly at the box for Aircars, it already reeks of awful. The Atari Jaguar exclusive title shipped in 1997 with a blank box, shrink-wrapped, showcasing the cartridge on one side, and the manual on the other. The packaging was see through, no box art other than the cartridge cover, leading one to speculate the developers being so embarrassed with their work they wanted to keep as little to the public eye as possible.

Midnight Entertainment Group created Aircars, and there’s a reason why the company doesn’t sound familiar: other than a late 1980s Atari ST/Commodore Amiga port of Willow, the company had not developed anything. The point of the game is to use your aircar to destroy enemy bases. A simple concept that was crippled by slow turning speeds, lack of brakes, and difficult attack methods. Most of your time will be spent careening into walls, unable to turn or adjust, and throwing the controller at the television. Playing Aircars is like playing air hockey with the puck being a piece of cheese and your paddle being a model airplane. On top of poor controls, the game was ugly, showcasing some of the worst polygon-based graphics ever created.

Aircars is a multiplayer game, so if you feel the need to lose some friends in the process, ring up a few buddies, track down some Catboxes, or Jaglinks and get to the gaming. Good luck finding a copy of the game; ICD released an incredibly limited run, making this crap a collectible, or as I like to call it, a craplectible.

Revolution X (Featuring Aerosmith) (Various Systems/Arcade)

This is the video game that you will play if you go to hell. I don’t know what’s worse: destroying yellow jumpsuit wearing antagonists for over five minutes straight before the game moves to a different location only to rinse, lather and repeat, or the fact that the same four seconds of a poorly digitized Aerosmith song plays in the background. That’s a tough call.

While the arcade version had much success thanks to Midway emulating superior games in this genre such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the port was handled by Rage Software and published by Acclaim on the Mega Drive, Super Nintendo and later the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The Super NES version is particularly bad, bland and frustrating to play. While the game had unlimited continues, you’ll want to stop after the first level. Only masochists continue, so be warned.

The game’s audio quality for voice work is actually somewhat impressive, and the digitized versions of Aerosmith are fun to watch, but the game suffers from too much cut and paste style graphics. Amidst the toned down sexuality and lack of violence (your bullets look like foam Nerf bullets, and you can also shoots Compact Discs,) the game is hardly a revolution. It’s best to stick with my revelation, and pass this one up for Terminator 2: Judgement Day. At least in that game Steven Tyler isn’t tossing his keys through a television saying “Music is the weapon!”

Bubsy 3D: Furbitten Planet (PlayStation 1)

Holy Mother of Miyamoto, this game is awful. It’s so bad, it killed the Bubsy franchise permanently. In the 90s, there was a sea of copycat characters that all tried to be mascots like Mario and Sonic. While Earthworm Jim and Rocket Knight were the best of the bunch, other characters like Bubsy the Bobcat and Zero: the Kamikaze Squirrel lowered the mascot bar to wretched standards.

The thing about this game that is most disappointing is that everything is terrible. There isn’t one redeeming quality that this game can give any gamer. When you start the game, you’ll immediately want to go into the options and turn the voice features off, because Bubsy’s voice will make you want to hurt small cuddly things. He’s grating on the ears, and just five minutes can make you want to toss the game into the garbage. The levels look as if they are having a mid-life crisis; the graphics really don’t know what they want to be, leading some to compare it to a Dr. Seuss book. Levels feel unfinished and thrown together, and colour structure doesn’t have any theme other than a circus clown’s vomit.

Platforming is frustrating and difficult due to Bubsy’s awkward movements. Not to mention a camera that consistently puts itself where you don’t want it to be. Combine this with an ancient frame rate, and the game just feels painful to play. Most levels range between below average and mediocre to just plain boring, with the water level being the least frustrating to play. The fact that Bubsy can only travel in a straight line and that turning is such a chore really slows down the pace of the game to a predictable halt.

The game’s designer, Michael Berlyn, was quoted as having development issues, as he didn’t have the necessary experience to create the three dimensional environments. This should’ve been something the studio recognized and focused on hiring someone who could help shape Bubsy’s world. Despite this debacle, things worked out for the best. Super Mario 64 came out and destroyed people’s perception of what a 3D platformer could do; it changed the way we see and play games today. Bubsy 3D did the same thing, just on the complete opposite perspective. I’m glad Bubsy is roadkill after playing this title.

Bebe’s Kids (Super Nintendo)

Based on the animated picture of the same name, Bebe’s Kids is a game that should be known for only one thing: “No bevis, No vibes.” In the background of the first level, there is a sign that has this completely cryptic phrase scribbled on a billboard. It’s oddly hilarious, and is the only worthwhile thing to mention in this game. Thank you Bebe’s Kids for Super Nintendo: You have made me chuckle.

In most beat-em-up games, you defeat the bad guys, then move to the next screen. Bebe’s Kids didn’t get this memo. You play as one of two troublemaking African-American children: LaShawn or Kahlil. Though the graphics are so bad that Kahlil looks like his bottom half matches his skin tone as he kicks and runs. Seriously, the kid looks like he’s got no pants on. It doesn’t matter which one you pick, the game is just as boring no matter which gender route you take.

Levels mostly look congested. There are so many billboards and ads and buildings, the game just feels bloated and fake. Attacking is a joke, as hit detection has to be spot on. In most of these games, there’s a reason why you’re beating up the bad guys, but in Bebe’s Kids, your “heroes” are dropped off in an amusement park and told not to cause trouble. You’re told to “Obey the rules of Funworld,” but the rules are “No bevis, no vibes.” It’s as if the game’s narration is taking the piss with itself.

With songs that typically consist of weak basslines and record scratching, Bebe’s Kids drops the ball as expected. While it’s based on a an animated movie that doesn’t really give a solid reason to create a beat-em-up in the first place, it’s at least refreshing that there will always be a place I can go to learn true lessons in life: “No bevis, No vibes.”

Well, that's it for the first volume of Games That Make You Go ARGH! Let us know in the comments below what you think of these games, or any other games you'd like to see in volume 2!

Last Updated ( 07 July 2013 )  

Michael "Miketendo" Levy

Raised on an NES, Saturday AM cartoons and sugary cereal, Michael Levy was your average 80's kid growing up. Despite having odd obsessions with bears, peanut butter, zombies and Tifa Lockhart, 'Miketendo' is also the creator of the YouTube review series: D.Y.H.P.T.G?! (Dude, You Haven't Played This Game?!)

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(Link to this comment) Shereebedee 2013-07-07 10:38
I used to watch my mum play Bubsy 3D. A lot of swear words were learned, lets put it that way...
(Link to this comment) ollie809 2013-07-07 14:33
adventure beetle racing on the n64 has a lot of current internet hype. bought it and it is tremendously dull. maybe its not a worst game ever but made me go aahhh when i bought it!
(Link to this comment) Mayhem 2013-07-08 10:21
"Bevis" is an anagram of "vibes", but I've never known what it's supposed to mean either! :P
(Link to this comment) adam763 2013-07-08 10:23
Great topic! Hope another Arghh! session won't be too long in coming.

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