(to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town)
Kyle: He's playin' some games
The worst he recalls
He's gonna find out which ones suck the most balls
The Angry Video Game Nerd is here
The Nerd: Another game that I've gotten requests up the ass for over the years is A Boy and His Blob. Here's the thing about it: I don't consider it a bad game, but I can understand why many would find it frustrating and boring.
The Nerd: You control a boy, and the blob character follows you around. You have a supply of jellybeans, that, if you feed to the blob, they all turn him into different kinds of tools. The whole fun of the game is figuring out what tool works best in the situation. I know it's annoying that the jellybeans don't even tell you what they do, but soon you catch on to the game's humor. For example, an apple jellybean turns the blob into a jack. Get it? Applejack?
The Nerd: It's a big guessing game, and there's lots of trials and errors. Like, if you need to go down, you never know where exactly to stand until after you've fallen to your doom a few times. The music is monotonous, there's not many enemies, there's lots of tedious running around, but it has a unique charm. I like the puzzle-solving, and that blob is a cool little guy. Obedient like a dog. The game may be flawed, but the creativity and originality shines through.
The Nerd: The Three Stooges, this has always been a huge request. I've dreaded this moment for a long time. (The Nerd inserts the NES cartridge. The title screen shows a "Ghostbusters II" logo and title, playing some spooky music.) What?! Ghostbusters II?! (The Three Stooges walk together to stand in front of the title, and a record scratching sound effect plays, stopping the music.)
Curly: Hey, fellas, we're in the wrong game!
Larry: Hey, this looks like a kids' game!
The Nerd: (smiling) Now that's funny.
Moe: You imbeciles! *SLAP!*
The Nerd: I've always been a big fan of The Three Stooges, but the game's charm ends right after the title screen. The plot involves an orphanage that's unable to pay its mortgage. So you're trying to raise money so that the kids have a place to live. That's sad. That's not a fun video game concept! It takes the idea of something that's... too real.
The Nerd: The game itself is nothing more than a bunch of mini-games. You have no control over which one you play. You can't cancel them. Whatever you land on, you're forced to play it, and you can get the same one over and over again. It always seems like I end up getting the one where you eat the live oysters. All you do is move the spoon and scoop up oysters. The spoon moves way too slow. It doesn't give you enough time before the oysters disappear and Curly makes an obnoxious sound.
The Nerd: I can't even describe how much this all irritates me. I'M SICK OF IT! I'M SICK OF PLAYING IT! I HATE STARING AT THOSE OYSTERS! THEY DON'T EVEN LOOK LIKE OYSTERS, THEY LOOK LIKE ASSHOLES! I'M NOT EVEN TRYIN' TO BE FUNNY, THEY REALLY LOOK LIKE DOGS' HAIRY ASSHOLES, RISING IN THE STEW! WHAT ELSE COULD IT LOOK LIKE?!
The Nerd: Then there's the part when you're in the hospital collecting red crosses. Mindless, but playable. There's the classic pie fight, and the slapping thing. Self-explanatory enough. I don't know what all that shit is at the top. If it wasn't there, I assure you, I wouldn't be confused. This is what you'd expect to see from The Three Stooges, but obviously the whole game couldn't just be the Three Stooges slapping each other in the alley the whole time, so they tried to give it some variety.
The Nerd: The best part is the trivia, but what happened with the controls? You have multiple choice answers. To choose A, you hold left on the D-pad while pressing either the A or B button at the same time. To choose B, you hold up or down and hit the button. To choose C, you hold right and hit the button. Why couldn't it just be a simple selection screen? What kind of knuckleheads programmed it like this?! Was this game actually MADE by the Three Stooges?!
The Nerd: The most annoying game of all is the one based on a specific Three Stooges short, called "Punch Drunks". In the short, Moe is a boxing manager who puts Curly in the ring to take advantage of his psychological complex that causes him to knock people out whenever he hears the song "Pop Goes the Weasel". Larry is hired by Moe to sit ringside with the violin and play the song so that Curly can win the fight. But the violin breaks, and now Larry has to go running to find an alternative.
The Nerd: It's a great short, but with all that explanation, how much does the game tell you? Nothing. All you get is a shot of Larry holding the broken violin, and then the game starts with Larry running around trying to find a radio. It's no wonder why nobody knew what the fuck to make of this! Even if kids in the 80's were familiar at all with The Three Stooges, what was the chance of them knowing a specific short from 1934?
The Nerd: You control Larry on the bottom. There's no telling why Curly is at the top. The only reason any of this is up there is to show the time limit. But it's too elaborate and distracting; it only makes you wish you were playing the boxing part, instead of Larry running through an alley slamming into everything!
The Nerd: That's all you do, you hit everything in sight! It's the equivalent of the first stage of Back to the Future III on Sega Genesis! By the way, who's the naked guy lying on the sidewalk? (Yells two times) No matter what I do, I always hit the pole or the boxes in the background; and you can't run, or else you'll never see what's coming. Fuck this game!
(The Nerd sighs)
The Nerd: Moving into Super NES territory, let's take a look at Home Improvement. Yeah, that's right, based on the TV show. How do you take a family sitcom and turn it into a video game? Well, the plot starts out with Tim "The Toolman" Taylor on the set of his show, Tool Time. Remember the show-within-a-show? So his tools go missing, and he has to go onto the sets of other shows to find them.
The Nerd: Apparently, the sound stage right next to Tool Time is filming some kind of dinosaur show. So the first stage is just a generic dinosaur platformer. If it's a show, and the dinosaurs aren't real, then how are they attacking? I guess they're supposed to be animatronic or something? So, okay, it's a pretty ridiculous concept, we got that outta the way. At least we can hope the gameplay is decent... right?
The Nerd: Yeah... it isn't. The weapons all suck, and breaking through these boulders is always a chore. It's relentlessly difficult! Not many people have seen past this first stage, but it's said that they're all generic TV sets. Y'know, wouldn't it be cool if they were sets to real shows, like Family Matters, Full House, or Dinosaurs- No. No, no, no, no. No more dinosaurs. You know what would be awesome? If you went on the set of Home Improvement, whoaaa. Wonder if Tim Allen ever played this game? Do you think he could beat this stage? How far could Tim Allen get in the Home Improvement video game? That's a question that needs answering.
The Nerd: I'd give this game a better chance if I could read the instructions. The instructions might help, right? Yeah, guess what? There is none. Technically not, the manual opens up to a fake sticker printed over the pages that says "REAL MEN DON'T NEED INSTRUCTIONS"! Very funny.
The Nerd: Next up, Pit Fighter, commonly known as Shit Fighter, because it's the shittiest fighting game next to Karate Champ. When this game came out in the arcades, it looked awesome! It was one of the first games where the playable characters were real life actors who have been digitized. I mean, really, this was a big deal at the time, like: "Wow! They look like real people!" Well, when the arcade version was eaten up and shat out onto the home consoles, it ended up looking like this. It's like cut-out photographs fighting each other.
The Nerd: Why do they turn black and white when they lose? I guess color is life and black and white is death. As soon as Mortal Kombat came out, it made this game obsolete instantly. The big problem with it - the Super NES port, at least - is that it's WAY too difficult. After each match, it doesn't replenish your health; nor do you get any continues, nothing! One chance, one life meter, and that's it! So you have to fight everybody in one, long, lucky streak of button-mashing madness. As a kid, I never made it past the second guy. Even as a rental, it only made for about fifteen minutes of playability, if that, before you turn it off and take it back to the video store. And I know it has to give you your health back at some point, but I've just made it to the fourth opponent, and still, they don't give you any health back.
The Nerd: This is the worst Super NES game I've ever played! Worse than Super Noah's Ark 3D, worse than Shaq-Fu, worse than Wizard of Oz, worse than Lester the Unlikely! I am dead fucking serious! Even B-mode Double Dragon was better than this, and that was on NES. Sure, it gets monotonous and awkward at times, and you can only play as the same characters fighting themselves; but it has much more fluid control and is way more fun than Pit Fighter.
The Nerd: And next up, a game that is probably my biggest request. Aside from that other one about the fuckin' alien that falls in the pits. ["E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"] No, no. I'm talking about motherfucking Bubsy 3D! I don't even know who the Hell Bubsy is! He's just some generic cat that doesn't wear pants. Not that cats wear pants anyway, but he's got a shirt, so where's his pants?
The Nerd: Bubsy was clearly intended as a mascot character like Sonic or Mario, but failed miserably. Nevertheless, a whole series of games was made, and he crossed over to multiple consoles. Sega Genesis, Atari Jaguar, and Super NES, which even got a sequel, but the biggest cat-turd in the litter pan was the PlayStation version, the characters' first venture into 3D, because everybody else was doin' it!
Bubsy: So you wanna be a video game star?
The Nerd: As the game begins, you're walking around collecting atoms. That's it. There's some enemies to kill, but not many, and they don't move. Basically, all you're doing is getting the atoms. Much like flying through the rings in Superman 64. The first thing you'll notice is how boring the graphics look. There's no style, no taste, no creative design, whatsoever. Just flat colors and bland scenery. If you stare at it for more than two minutes, you get immediate sensory deprivation. You'd rather stare at a blank wall. About these atoms, you'd think it would be easy. Couldn't you just go through them? Like Sonic or Mario going through coins or rings? No, no, no, you can't. To move, you're not allowed to simply hold the D-pad or joystick in that direction. No, no, no. You have to painstakingly turn yourself from a standstill, and then move in the direction you're facing. When trying to do something as simple as getting the items is a chore, then you really have a problem.
The Nerd: It gets even worse when you're trying to jump on enemies. Every time you leap, the camera goes into a downward angle. In fact, you can't control the camera at all. It usually locks into whatever direction you're facing, which may have seemed self-explanatory to the developers, but 3D games don't work that way. You need to control the camera. And whenever you get hit, the camera spins around to face you, which only causes you to get disoriented, and get hit again. It would be just as much fun to sit in a swivel chair while someone spins you around and keeps punching you in the face! That's what playing Bubsy 3D is like - like getting punched on a swivel chair.
The Nerd: This seems as if it were the first 3D game ever made, but Super Mario 64 came before this, and that played perfectly. What happened here? Even the blocks look like you can carve them out to make an N64 logo. Maybe it's just that I have Super Mario 64 on the brain, because that's what I'd RATHER BE PLAYING! And to be even more annoying, Bubsy keeps talking.
Bubsy: Oh, look! An arrow! Aren't these game designers wonderful?
The Nerd: Yeah, I bet they thought they were clever. Overall, this game just feels unfinished. And what I really mean is that it's like it was barely started at all. I thought this was a prototype of some sort, not an actual finished game that got released in stores. It's a pile of JUNK! Most of the games I own are junk. I'm hoarding junk! (Shouting) I SURROUNDED MYSELF WITH FUCKING GARBAGE!!!
The Nerd: (Sighs) All right, one more game, and then it's Happy Holidays and good fucking night. Let's end with Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage on Super Nintendo. Everyone says I should play this one, as if I haven't already played enough Spider-Man games! They're all terrible! But maybe this one's okay. After all, I'm not sure how I missed it, because it's one of the only Super NES games that's red. Anyway, let's give it a try.
The Nerd: Well, the comic book cut-scenes are quite nice. The game-play? Well, it's a beat-'em-up game. Monotonous, but fun. The controls are responsive, and the hit detection works fine. The sound effects are good, the punches and grunts you hear all lend themselves to the fun, stress-relieving nature of these kind of games. It just feels good when you hit things. You can climb up on buildings, which offers some variety and breaks up the monotony. It can be a little frustrating, but not too bad. And the music is upbeat and energizing.
The Nerd: And what do I hear? ("The Mob Rules" by Black Sabbath plays) It's The Mob Rules by Black Sabbath! I don't mean it just sounds similar, it's the same song! Just a 16-bit rendition. It even does the solo! (16-bit rendition of Black Sabbath's "The Mob Rules" solo plays) I think it was just a rip-off, and that they never got Black Sabbath's permission, but it's still welcome to hear and adds to this game's enjoy-ability.
The Nerd: That's right. I found a good Spider-Man game. Better late than never. It's no masterpiece or anything like that, but it would have definitely been worth a rental at the very least. Who made this game?
(The Nerd turns over the box, revealing that is was published by...LJN! The Nerd's eyes widen in shock, and he drops the box in happiness realizing that LJN pulled through and published a decent game for once!)
("White Storm Dam" plays)
The Nerd: (in shock and happiness) My God. Oh my God. THEY DID IT... THEY PULLED THROUGH! OH, MY GOD! THEY MADE A GAME... THAT'S NOT A STEAMING PILE OF FUCKING SHIT! OH, MY GOD! THEY DID IT! THEY MADE A GAME THAT'S NOT SHIT! (cries) I found gold at the end of the rainbow- Oh, maybe it's not gold, maybe it's bronze or something, but... THEY MADE A GAME THAT'S NOT SHIT! (yells) IT'S NOT SHIT!