From racist themes to sever unplayability, some other games should be discovered in 20 years under a thick slab of concrete...
The E.T videogame debacle was fully uncovered over the past few days as a film production team confirmed the ‘conspiracy theory’ that Atari had buried over 700,000 cartridges of the game out of pure shame. With just 5 weeks to complete E.T, the developer couldn’t faithfully translate the classic movie into a fitting videogame, and so the story goes.
But E.T isn’t the only videogame ‘deserved’ of the landfill treatment. For every ‘Super Metroid’, ‘Super Mario’, ‘Ocarina of Time’, ‘Final Fantasy VII’, ‘Chrono Trigger’, ‘Portal’ and ‘Last of Us’, there’s a stinker of a game; ill-conceived, packed with terrible gameplay dynamics, poorly planned storylines, lamentable characters and disgusting aesthetics. Here are five other games that could – and maybe should – have been buried under concrete, in no particular order.
Bubsy 3D: Furbitten Planet on the Playstation, developed by Eidetic
As Gamespot note in their own top 100 worst games of all time list, Busby’s creator knew his game was a load of hash when he saw Super Mario strut his stuff on the N64 at CES, way back when. “My partner and I both looked at Mario at the Nintendo booth and knew we had to double Bubsy 3D‘s complexity. But it was too late in the development cycle, and Accolade was (rightly) pushing for a finished product. If Mario hadn’t come out, I am sure we would have done a lot better,” explained Michael Berlyn.
Super Mario Busby wasn’t, mainly due to some cardinal sins made when moving the character from 2D to 3D. The normal stuff: shaky controls, awful graphics and a boring, uninvolving story made this game memorable only for its failings. But then there was this other, abdominal aspect, which was Busby’s new character. No one realised just how annoying his was until they saw – and heard him – in three, terrible dimensions.
‘Custer's Revenge’ on the Atari 2600, developed by Mistique
While gameplay, graphics and story are the trident of facets on which videogames are usually – and we stress the word usually – based, ‘Custer’s Revenge’ had a whole other thing wrong with it.
You play Custer, a man wearing nothing but a cavalry hat, boots and a bandana – oh and an erection. You, and that’s important, you have to get past a flurry of arrows to reach the other side of the screen. Your mission: To have sex with a naked Native American woman tied to a pole. Sorry. To rape a Native American woman. Despicably racist themes like these won’t wash, so please, can we just bury this? Keep one for evidence though.
‘Superman’ on the Nintendo 64, developed by Titus Software
Huge properties like Superman don’t spend long lurking on one medium. From comic books to the silver screen; from action toys to fancy dress costumes, it would take 41 years for Clark Kent’s alter-ego to be realised in videogames, but it was 21 years after that, in 1999, that the N64 was subject to one of the biggest abominations every created: ‘Superman’.
Famed by gamers for it’s awful controls, hideous mechanics and disastrous collision detection, ‘Superman’ would never match some of the console’s biggest stars, like Link, James Bond, Joanna Dark or Banjo-Kazooie. Instead, it was destined for a lifetime of ridicule and top billing on lists like this.
‘Star Trek’ on PC, PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, developed by Digital Extremes
Like E.T, ‘Star Trek’ the video game was charged with taking a well established, hugely popular, on-screen franchise and translating it into a fully immersive, interactive experience in a short amount of time. And by virtue of its presence on this list, you’ll know that Digital Extremes failed that particular mission.
It probably isn’t in the top five worst games of all time, but it’s certainly worthy of finding itself sub concrete. At least some of the other games in this list were made in the 80s/90s; making a game quite this bad in 2013 – when there are plenty of brilliant sci-fi games with perfectly borrowable ideas – is shameful. It was so bad, J. J. Abrams stated that he was "emotionally hurt" by the game's poor reception, and also stated that it "arguably hurt" his new film Star Trek Into Darkness by being released shortly before it.
Hotel Mario on CD-i, developed by Philips Fantasy Factory
Not only was Hotel Mario roundly panned by the critics, but the console upon which it was released – The Phillips CDi – is widely accepted to be one of the worst systems of all time. Nintendo will forever regret granting Phillips a licence to one of their most famous and iconic characters, as ‘Hotel Mario’ was truly the worst ever Mario game ever made.
The cut scenes were fully animated, creating both strange voices and odd dimensions for the Italian plumber duo. Mario had a New Jersey drawl, while Luigi affected a strong, if not slightly racist, Italian accent. That’s not to say Shigeru Miyamoto didn’t have that kind of thing in mind when he created Super Mario, but it certainly affected fans’ perceptions, a bit like a certain movie did back in 1993.