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The Worst Games I've Rented on my Allowance

Summer breaks were always something for me to look forward to during my younger years. Of course going outside was the main activity that I had going for me, but doing chores for small earnings of cash was also something to motivate me during my time outside of school days. But not everything I saved up for met my expectations, so today I'll be looking back at a little something I like to call...





Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (1989)



Even though I was a tyke when the game first came out, my local Blockbuster video had even the oldest Sega Genesis titles sitting on their display throughout the entire run of the Genesis' span. This is easily one of those games that hasn't aged well because of its infuriating one hit deaths and strange use of attacking enemies while jumping.


Escape From Mars Starring Taz (1994)



During the early 1990s, Taz slowly gained popularity with his own show, Taz-Mania, and at the time I was a Taz fan myself. and to see both him and my other favorite Looney Tunes character, Marvin appear in a video game had me grinning from ear to ear in interest. Although it had promise, it didn't appeal to me very long. Much like how Sonic uses a spin dash to gain instant speed, Taz does the same with his spin. What also relates this to Sonic is having to watch out for enemies from time to time, but the enemy placement and hazards here are so frequent that you'll be looking for health pickups more than causing havoc as you'd expect to have the freedom to do (like Taz would).


The Ren & Stimpy Show: Buckaroo$ (1993)



I never gave much thought about regretting to rent or purchase a game based on
a show or movie that I watched at the time. The plot is that Stimpy invents a machine called the GamerTron-3000, a literal video game console that rewards the player with money, but from there it goes downhill quickly. Your main goal is pretty much to make it to the end of a level while mindlessly slapping enemies, but I couldn't even finish the first level! Bland level design abounds, but if hearing a constant 10 second loop of Happy Happy Joy Joy for a half hour hasn't made you lose interest, then the gameplay will.


Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls (1994)



Cartoons based on successful video games were always more of a miss than a hit when it came to the U.S., and the Saturday morning Double Dragon show was as cringeworthy as they come. But would you believe there was a game, based on the show, based on the game? What's worse is that the developers even gave it the title to be the fifth game in the series after Super Double Dragon. Game title aside, The Shadow Falls is based more on the show, and it's a fighting game with a bunch of uninspired villains. Yes you heard that right, a fighting game, not a brawler. I guess because Street Fighter made the genre so popular they wanted to try their hand at developing their own. The graphics and characters obviously don't match up though, and some of the characters have some of the most corny 90s villain names you can think of, "Trigger Happy", "Bones", and "Jawbreaker" are some examples. To make things even more campy, the characters have victory dialogue that'll make even the most hardcore fighting game fans groan with lines like "The code of the dragon is uhhh... I forgot."


Spawn: The Eternal (1997)



Just in time for the box office flick, Spawn: The Eternal brings you right in the game as you start off in lowly suburban streets, taking out thugs from point A to point B. There are other locales, like a medieval and prehistoric like area, but it feels like a platform game with the fun sucked out of it. From time to time you'll either be solving a puzzle that took barely any effort, to shifting to a 2.5D view where you fight an enemy until you drain their health with attacks. I guess a diehard Spawn fan would take a liking to it, but to me it just didn't have that comic book feel with what little it had to offer.


Gex: Enter the Gecko (1998)



I know what you're all thinking, "but Gex: Enter the Gecko was a great game!" Well, yes and no. By December of 1998, Crave Entertainment developed a portable version for the Game Boy Color and, let's just say it didn't fare as well. And as obvious as it is, it didn't. I will give props to the developers for at least trying to make the levels look as they did in the console versions, but it just doesn't transition well, including the enemy placement. They also did the same thing with the music, but it's like the equivalent of hearing nails on a chalkboard. The moment you hear the Cartoon TV music you'll want to mute the volume.


Monkey Hero (1999)



The Legend of Zelda has had a few imitations in the past, whether it be Crusader of Centy on the Sega Genesis, Illusion of Gaia on Super Nintendo or Alundra on PS1, it takes a lot to compete against such a popular franchise. Monkey Hero was a game that tried a little too hard on the concept. Add that with dimly lit areas and you have a poor excuse for an action game. I'm probably not going to sound 100% accurate on this, but the game looks more like a crappy U.S. developed game that would have been on the Sega Saturn.


Earthworm Jim 3D (1999)



Possibly the biggest example that I have of making me the gamer that I am today is playing the original Earthworm Jim on the Sega Genesis. From launching a cow at a great distance to gunning down a giant insect queen, it was great fun. But when you get a different game developer to try to brainstorm those similar wacky concepts using the same franchise character, it could be for better or for worse. See, at the time of this game I had no idea that Shiny Entertainment had given the rights to Jim completely to Interplay. I decided to give the game a whirl and came to expect the same kind of off the wall humor of the previous two games. My expectations fell flat as soon as I got to the first area of the game, a barn inside of Jim's memory.

Don't get me wrong, the plot of the game does sound interesting, Jim gets knocked out by a fallen cow and goes into these different worlds that's in his mind, but the fun stops when you get to the gameplay. You collect these golden udders by doing specific tasks (an obvious parody of Super Mario 64's Star objectives) but having Jim in a 3D environment just doesn't work. To make matters worse, the boss battles that you have are these hair pullingly difficult levels where you literally ride a pig across a muddy terrain and grab as many blue marbles as possible, while taking some from the boss. It sounds fun on paper, but there's one problem: When you attack the boss for marbles, they don't take damage, however when the boss attacks YOU for marbles, you  take damage yourself. One positive I will give the game is that it has the original voices from the 1996 tv show, including Dan Castellaneta back as Jim, but even that couldn't save this game.


I hope you enjoyed my listing, I'm aware that I could've added more to it, but I'd rather include more under the radar games than ones that everyone knows stinks. See you next time!
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massreality Posted on Feb 10, 2017 at 01:14 PM

I also rented games more than I bought them growing up. I can't even recall all the horrible titles I rented over the years because the cover art was great or it was a licensed property that I loved.

Benjanime Posted on Jan 31, 2017 at 04:12 PM

by the late 90s i actually rented games more than buying them, which probably wasn't the best choice since i was still missing out on a bunch of great games, but that's how my mind worked back then lol.

Rick Ace Rhodes Posted on Jan 31, 2017 at 06:45 AM

I would honestly say though you are a lot smarter for renting games, trying them out and determining you don't like them. Unlike me, who would buy the games as a kid and realize what a pile of crap I just bought.

Benjanime Posted on Jan 31, 2017 at 01:22 AM

that is indeed correct, as stated in a video by 'did you know gaming'. i know not many people disliked alex kidd for its difficulty, but a modern game would be nice to see.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Jan 30, 2017 at 09:22 PM

Just more evidence that licensed games usually disappoint. Am I remembering correctly that Alex Kidd was the original mascot for SEGA Genesis, before Sonic became their main man?

Benjanime Posted on Jan 29, 2017 at 05:18 AM

there was actually a cancelled earthworm jim game for the psp, it looked like it was a reboot of the original with some interesting features, but it was in development hell from what i'd heard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VsSBEXTinM

Vaporman87 Posted on Jan 29, 2017 at 05:00 AM

I thought Alex Kidd was decent, but these other titles I don't remember, and never played. There was a 3D Earthworm Jim? That's news to me. So weird to see Jim in 3D. I wish they'd bring him back for some fun using today's tech.

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