Written by Ryan Johnson Friday, 22 October 2010 09:00
Werewolves. Vampires. Mummies. Taxes. Some people find these things scary. As gamers, we're used to facing these down (at least the first three). But there are horrors that make cold shivers shoot down our spines, and at times can evoke a bloodcurdling scream. You see, our terrors...are REAL.
#5: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on a telephone
Those of you with iPhones or other smart phones may have been saved from this nightmare, but for me, this is the origin of this article. I own a Samsung Seek through Sprint. I have been pleasantly pleased with their game selection, and have even written a glowing review of Final Fantasy right here on GoozerNation. As I unwittingly surfed the store, little did I know the horrors that would await when I clicked "Download." I assume other games have met this same horrific fate: shoehorned touchscreen controls. Imagine being forced to play Sonic with a jump button programmed into the directional pad, THEN forcing you to cover the screen in order to control the game. I remember having deft skills on the Genesis as I jumped forward to slide my thumb the other direction to slow the direction of travel: IMPOSSIBLE here. When I slid the phone open to see if I could turn the screen and at least see more in front of me (as opposed to a huge screen above and below me), as well as try to use the buttons, the horrific "this game unplayable this way, please close your phone" screen arose. I sunk into the depths of horror...as I realized the timer was gone. The timer...that you race in Sonic...was removed! What good is Sonic if you can't jump straight, the timer's gone, the MUSIC is gone, and out of all the sound effects, the only one they got right is his jump! When the nefarious Dr. Eggman appeared on the screen, I got no satisfaction from his evil musical score or explosions as he escaped...and then the framerate dropped...I only hope I can sleep tonight.
#4: Dragon's Lair for the Nintendo
Imagine the game that (at the time) DEFINED arcades. Artistically, it is beautiful. Looks like an interactive Disney cartoon. Regardless of the quality of the game and the difficulty therein, the idea of having it at home sends joy coursing through one's veins (ignore the fact that you can buy this on DVD today). Then, you get this:
A side scroller! It's like the part of the horror movie when the guy comes up to his girlfriend from the back only to have her turn around and be possessed by demons! Dirk the Daring saunters casually through a two-dimensional plane to save his beloved. They got the timing aspect of the arcade down, which some say made this one of the most difficult Nintendo games of the time. While I personally never got to play this....thing....it loses ALL of the charm of the original, and falls into the realm of "How could they DO this?????????" Released seven years after the arcade game was invented, this nightmare of a port never deserved to be made. This nightmare has since been eliminated, as Dragon's Lair has been ported to more systems than you can imagine, and is currently slated for a Wii release soon, downloadable for DS and PSP and smart phones soon if not already.
#3: Mortal Kombat for the Super Nintendo
Let's face it: while MK may have a good fighting engine, when it came out it was all about the blood. Getting to see the gore in the arcade was visceral...it almost seemed REAL.
The Genesis version was saved by a secret code, but the Super Nintendo version suffered a worse fate. Forever doomed to be the version of the game missing 95% of why people played it (I distinctly remember wondering why Kano could touch someone's chest then kiss his hand to kill them), many people actually fled from the atrocity, defecting to the Genesis thanks to this single game. Nintendo may have been catering to the family crowd (and still does, for the most part), but this game left a sting in Nintendo not soon forgotten.
#2: E.T. for the Atari 2600
I hope you note the humor in this article, but I think I may have actually HAD nightmares about this one. All I remember was THE HOLE...
...people say you could get out of the hole...people even tried to convince me you STARTED out of the hole....but I could NEVER make it. This game caused TRUE horrors...a crash of an entire market of the entertainment industry! Jobs were lost! Families suffered! I may have suffered in playing it, but I cannot imagine the horrors that the people responsible for making, marketing, selling, and disposing of this rubbish had to face in their lifetimes.
#1: Super Mario Bros. THE MOVIE
GOOMBAAA!!! 'Nuff said. I'll leave it to the commenters....I just can't take it anymore!!! RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!