It’s no secret that, with the exception of a few, super hero games generally suck. Or at least they are vastly inferior to their peers. With franchise titles going down the drain and only a few stepping up to knock it out of the park (thank you Warner Bros. and Netherrealm), it seems that the fate of these heroes is to continue on in shame as bad game after bad game is released with their name on it. Why more companies can’t follow in the footsteps of the Batman: Arkham series, or even Beenox’s newer Spidey games, is beyond me. Oh well, here’s the list of crap, starting at the bottom of the pile and working our way up to its steamy apex.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
I realize that this is reaching back a bit. But truthfully, this was a really cool comic series with a game that was released under its banner. Sadly, for all the awesome that C&D dished out, the game matched it pound for pound in hot garbage. Average people fall into a world where dinosaurs are still kickin’ and all they have are what they carried with them and an old Caddy they find and get working again. How can that not be fun? But the game was plagued with glitchy and often counter-intuitive gameplay and a lackluster story that would have left any fan wishing they had been eaten by a T-Rex.
This stinker was released to coincide with the stinky movie that was hitting theaters back in 2005. But even though this was a movie franchise title (which we all know never works out), this one was exceptionally bad. It had absolutely terrible graphics, even for the Playstation 2. The controls were clunky and the characters only mildly responded to your button mashing. All in all, they should have just let Dr. Doom nuke everything and be done with it…but then they went and made a sequel to the movie and the game that were even worse.
This was yet another crappy movie franchise co-release. Even though the Thomas Jane movie wasn’t really all that bad (except for John Travolta), this game was just awful. In fact, the only redeeming quality of this game was the interrogation stuff that you got to do to the enemies in the game. Even though the events were scripted and void of any real creativity, it was still pretty cool to do. I guess when you dump all your money into getting big-name actors to do your movie you start to skimp a little on the game port.
This third person turd was released on Playstation 2, PC and Xbox way back in 2006. It’s a video game based on a character that showed up in Judge Dredd comics all the time as well as other Dark Horse Comics titles that few remember. But despite the fact that the character they chose for the subject matter was already obscure, they went and made a game about the blue dude that was all tore up. The graphics were atrocious, the controls were equally as bad and the driving sequences left a lot to be desired. IGN gave it good reviews and it almost won some awards…except it didn’t.
Pick a Spawn game, any one of them. They all share one very similar trait: they all suck. For such a cool comic book (in the beginning), the games that were created as a vehicle to promote the hell-bent badass fell sorely short of their mark. Oh sure they sold off the shelves. It had Spawn on it. Much like anything with Call of Duty on it today, anything with Spawn on it in the late nineties was going to sell, even if it sucked. And these titles certainly did that. From lousy stories and terrible voice acting to horrific controls and busted up graphics–there wasn’t a single Spawn game released that lived up to the awesomeness of the character.
In yet another lame attempt to capitalize on a would-be box office smash, the folks at EA and Warner Brothers decided to release this little nugget of garbage to the masses for consumption. Honestly, if they had taken the model from the PS2/GC version of Spiderman 2 and slapped a new skin on it and a new method of traversal, this might have actually been an enjoyable game. But as it was, it was merely another throw away title that ended up in the bargain bin at your local retailer before a lot of people even realized that there was a game that went along with the movie.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
With the exception of their most righteous arcade release (and its subsequent port to consoles), the Ninja Turtles have had a really hard time finding anybody that will make a great game about them. Make no never mind that the newest attempt at revitalizing the franchise involved a totally maddening rewrite of the entire canon of the story for the fearsome foursome. All that aside, why hasn’t there been a game that has stood up to the gnarly awesomeness that the Turtles have brought us through the years? Why hasn’t anyone stepped up and said, “Hell yeah, I’m a fan. And I will build them a game that doesn’t suck!”
Ok. I am going to do my best here not to go on a tangent about the Thor movie. However, I am going on a tirade about this terrible game. Seriously, all it would have taken was a re-skinning of a God of War game. Any one of them would have been better than this steamy pile of dookie. For the movie to do as well as it did in the box office, you’d think that the publishers of this game might think that something was off when the sales for it tanked. I know that when this title came out, a friend of mine who worked at Gamestop said that this was the most returned and traded in game that came out that summer.
One question: how many mays can you play through a game the exact same way? The answer for X-Men Destiny is three, because that’s exactly how many characters you have to choose from in this game. Then you get to choose one of a few cookie-cutter mutant abilities and then you go on from there. It only took me about fifteen minutes of gameplay to realize that this game was created for one purpose only. It was created to see how many lame cameos you could throw into a game and still manage to crank out half a story. It was like every two minutes another random mutant just popped through your game to say something snarky or drop you some useless piece of something. This game was in serious violation of the “No crappy X-Men games ,” law. I know it’s not a real law, but it should be.
Last but not least, Turok . I am so pissed off about this that I am having a hard time gathering my thoughts. Turok was essentially one of the first Native-American super heroes in comic books. Oh sure, there was that one guy in X-force that no one remembers, but at least Turok could take out dinosaurs with a freakin’ bow and knife, or bare-handed, with no super powers. So naturally, you can see why someone could be upset at the lack of respect for the character in the games released with his name on them. Obviously there is a market for them, because fans keep buying these painfully lame games in the vain hope that just one will be good. Alas, our day has not yet come. The closest we will get is the XB360/PS3 version, and that’s only because Ron Perlman was in it.