5. Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone
It's unbelievable how quickly the Double Dragon franchise fell from grace. Its first two iterations absolutely ruled the beat-'em-up genre, not to mention the arcades in general. But the third entry fizzled, with outdated graphics and clunky gameplay. Final Fight would take the spotlight until beat-'em-ups left the stage in the mid-1990s.
4. Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
This game just isn't very good, with five short stages and awkward implementation of its beat-'em-up mechanics. But the biggest reason it appears here is the story: The evil Mr. Big has kidnapped some children, and Michael Jackson sets out to save them. With the benefit of hindsight, all you can really say is: Yikes.
This game was plenty successful in its time, and nothing I can say will take that away. But it's kind of amazing what people actually found entertaining at one time. Having worked at a Burger King as a teenager, I know that there's nothing glamorous about fast food—but in the early 1980s, thousands of people were content to navigate a maze of hamburger ingredients. This is the type of thing that's so well satirized in No More Heroes 2, where players have to do "chores" that take the form of old-school video games.
2. Ghosts 'n Goblins
I'm going to catch hell for saying this—and I admit that the graphics were good and the level design was solid—but this game was terrible. It's one thing to make a game ridiculously hard on a home console, where people can learn from dying over and over. But all this thing does is eat quarters. It's hard to imagine how much money people have wasted on it.
Even more so than BurgerTime, Bubbles makes you wonder just how bored people were in the early 1980s. Here, you control a bubble and try to clean the kitchen sink. Wow.
Date: July 25, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*