Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback and KJ
It’s always great seeing a series come back after a long layover. Killer Instinct comes to mind. Crash Bandicoot, where you at? The latest round of Lara Croft titles are top flight. Batman video games are good now. Still blown away by that fact. Plenty of positive revivals have happened as of late. With all those pluses out there, not everyone was fortunate enough. Ms. Throwback and I have joined forces to bring you Ten Failed Comebacks in Gaming.
The original Alone In The Dark game was a breakout survival horror title released in 1992 for several different computer platforms. It has long been considered by some to be the forefather of games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil. In fact, its similarities are canny in that there are puzzles to solve while taking out the enemy in a mazed mansion setting. The 2008 reboot by the same name however? Not so much. Now I’m not against cussing in games but this game takes it to the next level. Whoever wrote this script had absolutely no sense of how a person generally speaks while in a stressful situation. Every time our main hero opens his mouth there is an &^%$ coming out. Every…single…time. Not only that but fire is your only weapon that is lethal to enemies in the game. Can you imagine if people were attacking you and all you had was a chair on fire? What would you do? Throw it? Not in this game. You would carry it around like a complete idiot walking up to enemies and simply touching them with the gentle strokes you’d use to give an infant a bath. Couple that with a combat system that barely works and an inventory system that’s hard to use and you’ve got yourself a big fat bowl of fail sauce.
Fight Night Ruled the boxing circuit, and still does quite frankly. Another series originally ran by Midway Games was Ready 2 Rumble. Michael Buffer was the announcer. Characters were standout. Michael Jackson, Afro Thunder, overall just a wide arrangement. The Dreamcast versions were eye-popping at the time. Well, an outside company took over after the original studio went under. Enter Ready to Rumble Revolution. Michael and The franchise name were really the only constant in this third outing. All-New Boxers would step into the ring, based on famous celebrities. Studios were trying so hard to nail Wii boxing controls at the time. Mission Failure. Controls were so bad, it made you rethink being a gamer. It made me sick to my stomach, seeing Midway’s hard work to diversify the genre squandered with this one game. Thank goodness Nintendo released a Punch-Out on the system, but the wounds would never heel.
Take only one character from Golden Axe’s famous history, while making the others NPC’s (No Ax Battler for you). Oh yeah, convert the game into a Single Player Action Adventure. Why did so many companies feel the need to do this with their franchises. There will be more on that as you scroll down. Beast Rider’s graphics were supposed to be PS3/X360 quality. That didn’t happen. The selling point was that you could ride beasts. It was hard to stay on one, as Tyris is easily knocked off. Spoiler alert, they were hard to control too. Progression was a bore, stages unlocked, yet remained bland throughout. When Sega’s game has “Beast Rider” in the title, you would figure that aspect would be playable. This isn’t the case. Stay away from this one, and enjoy the classics.
If you’ve been in the gaming industry for any period of time, you may have heard of the 1978 classic: Space Invaders. Originally an arcade game, and then re-released on every system you can possibly imagine, the game has seen vast success by allowing players a vertical shooting view of their space ship taking down incoming alien landers before they could reach your ship. Space Raiders for the Gamecube is not that game, in the slightest. Invaders was in space, Raiders is on earth. That’s already a problem, they are fighting us on our own planet. This was not the original idea. The voice acting is about as good as Typing of the Dead, and the worst part? They made a 3D game with 2D game play. No, I’m not talking about New Super Mario Brothers, I’m talking about a 3rd person shooter where you can only move right and left. Plus, thanks to unlimited continues there’s no need to even pay attention because you can’t die. There is no consequence or benefit of being good at this game. Welcome to the most boring game in the world, or maybe even, in space.
Their had to have been a communication issue between Capcom and fans. Social media wasn’t nearly as popular back then. Maybe that was it. Final Fight is one of the more memorable beat em ups, with a lack of a true modern push. Years went by. Still, we would continue to play as Guy, Haggar, and Cody (Dean too) replaying the old stuff. After Three games, we felt like there should have been more. Well finally fans were given just that. Sadly we received something nobody wanted. Streetwise centered around newcomer Kyle. Cause playing as Cody’s brother is what we really wanted. The main mode already defeated the purpose of the series. It was single player only! A traditional 2 Player mode was thrown in as thoughtless bonus game. The series went all Golden Axe: Beast Rider/Fighting Force 2 on us. Bad camera angles, dull presentation, and a weak attempt to “Modernize” the franchise. The side scrolling brawler was the foundation my childhood was built on, so FF: Streetwise sucking, just felt wrong.
The original SimCity released in 1989 and became one of the most addictive titles of its time allowing players create urban maps and environments which were interactive and changed depending on what the and how the player built their particular map. It was a unique idea that worked like a dream and was wondrously fun, unlike the sad atrocity of the 2013 version with the same name. The first mistake of the game was the fact that players had to be online constantly, they have no choice, it is a requirement. This has been a single player game for nearly 24 years, and now it’s not. The big problem is that the servers the game functioned on, barely worked. People’s entire work would just vanish into thin air. Let me ask you Minecrafters out there, If you just woke up and everything you created was gone, how would that make you feel? Also, there is no saving or reloading which means everything you do, is that way forever. You can’t “try something out” without a complete and utter disaster on your city. Picking a plot of land is even a problem because they allow only a tiny space in vast landscapes. Let just call this game SimNeighborhood and call it a day.
While this new team tried to re-kindle the magic of old, this might have been their undoing. Outdated controls. No run option, and awkward Artificial Intelligence. Allies were nearly brain-dead. Enemies were far to easy. You could almost complete the entire game with Just a knife. Hello! Big Dinosaurs. Mercenaries with guns. It’s cool you have a knife. In all seriousness Turok owned the genre on Nintendo 64’s so this was a massive disappointment. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we see Joseph Turok. Perhaps Jurassic World will re-boost the demand for Dinos.
An Xbox 360 exclusive, Act Zero had a promising outlook when first announced. It showed the Bomberman we love, a strategic puzzled game, with an updated look and feel for the new generation. Bomberman can’t be that hard to execute right? It’s been around for multiple decades with vast success. So let me just say this…let’s take a game that has traditionally been multiplayer, put it on an Xbox system that has also been known for pushing play with other gamers, and spice it up with some Halo armor but make it…single player. Then add in death induced screaming every time an enemy or yourself gets blown up. Unlike Space Raiders, this game has no lives and absolutely no continues. There are 99 levels and if you get hit one single time, you go back to level one. There is no scoring system so there is no point. If you get to level 99, then you just start over with no score. Just stop.
Released in 1991 the original Sonic the Hedgehog created what was dubbed the “Mario killer”. He was a speed demon up to date hedgehog with a killer attitude and eventually a Saturday morning cartoon. 90’s kids everywhere rejoice! Then hide yourself in shame at the sickening failure of a new generation with the same title. 2006 saw what may have been the worst Sonic game in existence. The first weird vibe is that fact that the entire game you are trying to save a damsel in distress who is a human anime character. In a world full of colorful made up animal creatures, Sonic has some weird obsession with a realistically stylized princess that has no place in this world. The story is weird and the game is insanely glitchy, our hero will just disappear into the ground, if you miss a boost around a loop you just walk slowly around the entire thing which is often, and you can’t control him, he’s going so fast and bumping into invisible walls or just random rocks in the middle of no where. It’s so sad that Sega felt that this game was the one that deserved the original title of the 90’s.
It’s hard to think of a bigger letdown than Duke Nukem Forever. Maybe if it had released when it was supposed to, we may have been more lenient. Sadly the gaming landscape evolved in a big way since DNF was first announced. Gearbox wasn’t able to catch up. Such an insanely average game with out dated mechanics, graphics and laggy multiplayer. If this was a budget priced download, then maybe. Nope, the full $60 at launch. There really isnt anything the game gets right, other than acquiring the original Duke actor (Jon St. John). We love to see titles comeback and rise from the ashes, but im not so sure with this. Has Duke Nukem as a series run its course? Something to really think about.
Well thanks for reading, looks like we’re all out of Bubblegum. Stay Legit.