Friday Feeling: Worst Ever Launch Titles!

Friday Feeling

Friday Feeling is back! We’ve already looked at some of the best launch titles (look here and tremble with delight) so now it’s time to look at the games that make you regret buying a new console in the first place. To make it fair on the older consoles, we’re looking post-PlayStation only, skipping the Atari Jaguar and Philips CD-I as they had NO good games. Fear not! There are some right stinkers here…

Not the game, but this sums it up perfectly.

Not the game, but this sums it up perfectly.

Street Fighter: The Movie – Playstation, 1995

Scoring a completely unwanted combo, Street Fighter: The Movie holds the ‘title’ for worst videogame film and launch title EVER. We’re not here to talk about the film (we’ll save that for a future Friday Feeling!) but what were Capcom on when they decided to take their previously unblemished beat-em up jewel and associate it with this steaming pile of shit? Based on an almost unrecognisable Street Fighter II Turbo engine, the title was sluggish, unresponsive and lacking all the charm and personality of the franchise. To make matters worse, the iconic visuals were changed for Mortal Kombat styled digitized fighters. Looking like it had all of 3 months development time, it’s one of Capcom’s biggest mistakes and a terrible way to kick off a new generation. A welcome start to this feature though! Street Fighter: The Movie is, without doubt, a ‘Fuck You Out Of 10’.

Though it was initially an N64 exclusive, it was inflicted on PC gamers a year later.

Though it was initially an N64 exclusive, it was inflicted on PC gamers a year later.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire – N64, 1996

Released as part of a multi-media project to bridge the time gap between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (why?), Shadows of the Empire was, and still is, fucking terrible. There’s an underwater swimming level (which, lets face it, are never good) so lacking that I had nightmares about it for years. A 3rd person action-shooter, Shadows of the Empire has almost no redeeming qualities. Horrible graphics, platforming that didn’t work, shamblo animation and a camera that hated you and actively tried to stop you from seeing ANYTHING (maybe we should thank it?), Empire is a perfect example of mid-90s Star Wars shite. Nice music, s0-so story, terrible everything else. There is a special place in hell reserved for Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.

50 shades of brown.

50 shades of brown.

Orphen: Scion of Sorcery – PlayStation 2, 2000

Some people defend Orphen: Scion of Sorcery to this day. Those people are WRONG. Managing to stand out in a godawful PS2 line-up as THE worst is some feat though. Kudos. “Gameplay” consisted of dull platforming hampered by a broken camera and “puzzle” solving, where-in the puzzles were usually solved by picking up an object. Thrilling stuff. The rest of the game found you wondering around brown coloured areas, conversing with other characters, each one of the dull variety. These points would be bad enough but there are two other reasons that put Orphen firmly on our list. Save points were few and far between and, occasionally, you would have to battle an enemy in a quasi turn-based/real-time manner. If you lost, the game would return you to the title screen meaning HOURS of gameplay would have to be repeated. To make matters worse, you HAD to complete the game three times before you got the actual ending. While this isn’t too bad if the game was remotely fun and engaging, Orphen: Scion of Sorcery is neither. Orphen: Scion of Shit more like.

Worst box art of all time? Yes.

Worst box art of all time? Yes.

Universal Studios Theme Park Adventures – GameCube, 2001

Regular readers will know how much I love the Nintendo GameCube. The memory of this game makes me cry realistic tears. If you can call it a game. Trailblazing the Wii and Kinect shovelware shite years before it became popular to do so, USTPA is an abomination. Full of mini-games and puzzles that are barely playable, buying this was a hate-crime against yourself. To make matters worse, it features films you genuinely love like Back to the Future, ET and Jurassic Park and it takes a T-Rex sized dump all over them. Less Jaws, more Wild Wild West; USTPA is safely one of the worst game of all time.

We apologise.

We apologise.

Mad Dash Racing – Xbox, 2001

A game so bad that we couldn’t find any 1080p screenshots of it. A game so bad that, after its release on launch day of the original Xbox, every other planned version of it were cancelled. Yes, it was so bad even Eidos knew it. Mad Dash Racing is a racing game, where you control “madcap” characters across a variety of “weird and crazy” tracks, utilising special moves and combat as you go. Gameplay was as uninspiring as its premise, with the game quickly descending into a broken, hideous, anti-fun mess. Shockingly developed by Tomb Raider’s Crystal Dynamics, I suppose it proves that everyone has to start somewhere. Hopefully you started your Xbox gaming with Halo and not Mad Dash Racing.

Hard to believe this runs on the same console as The Last Of Us, right?

Hard to believe this runs on the same console as The Last Of Us, right?

Genji: Days of the Blade – PS3, 2006

The game that spawned an unstoppable barrage of internet memes (more info here) and looked more like a PS2 game than a launch title for your shiny, new console; Genji: Days of the Blade (Genji 2) was an embarrassment for Sony and killed the franchise. Developers Game Republic, struggling with the new, notoriously difficult-to-develop for, PS3 architecture managed to push out a game that was nowhere near their initial vision. Their initial vision was “A Good Game”. Severely hampered by a broken camera system, Genji 2 was a 3rd-person hack and slasher featuring, yes, “real-time… weapon change“, bosses where you had to “attack its weak point for massive damage” and historically accurate battles against a “Giant Enemy Crab“. Giant Enemy Shat more like.

It's a challenge to pick just one game for this console...

It’s a challenge to pick just one game for this console…

The Nintendo Wii line-up, 2006

With the honourable exceptions of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Wii Sports, the entire Nintendo Wii line-up was shockingly bad. Don’t believe me? Here’s a taste. Imagine rocking up to your local GAME and being greeted by this bevy of beauties: Barnyard, Cars, Happy Feet, Monster 4×4, Open Season, Pinball: Hall Of Fame, Red Steel, Spongebob SquarePants and Wii Play. To make matters worse, the line-up was completed by a bunch of multi-format releases like Far Cry Vengeance, Need For Speed: Carbon and Splinter Cell: Double Agent, all good games on 360 and PS3 but notoriously poorly ported for the Wii. As gaming line-ups go, the Nintendo Wii’s was like nothing we’d ever seen before and not in a good way. It’s a good job for Nintendo that everyone from your younger brother or sister to your nan and grandad loved Wii Sports, eh?

– Dave Green. Tell him some of your “favourites” on Twitter @davidpgreen83

Did we miss any? Do you think any of the PS4 or Xbox One titles will make our “Hall of Shame”? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter @lowfatgaming or on our Facebook community page.

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