As I've often mentioned before on this blog I am a fan of gathering groups of friends to watch spectacularly bad films and recently I've attempted to apply the same principle to games. This weekend I took Brothers Pete and Tim on a quest for bad games. We came home with X-Men 2: Wolverine's Revenge and Deadly Strike for the PS2, and Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon for Xbox. All three were really bad games, but as with films it's sometimes difficult to find ones that are so bad they're funny.
Wolverine's Revenge was the one we thought would be a fairly safe bet - the equivalent of getting one of the later Seagal films for a film night - entertaining with some unintentional laughs. You'd expect such a high profile film licence to be fun and playable if not particularly imaginative. It turned out to be painfully frustrating to play, full of glitches and for the most part incredibly dull. Not even the vocal talents of Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart made playing past the 3rd stage worthwhile. That was a definite fail.
Deadly Strike certainly fulfilled the comedy requirement. Essentially a two-player scrolling beat-em-up, you play one of six futuristic, gun-toting martial artists hoping to compete in the 'Cyberaction' tournament. You never get to fight in the tournament. Instead you fight across various countryside locations that have names like 'Field of Death' but actually look rather pleasant. The enemies are all samurais and monks which a) makes shooting them with rocket-launchers seem a little unfair and b) suggests you've travelled back in time, although there is no mention of this in the plot. At the end of the game you scale the rooftops of the 'Castle of Mystery' where you fight the shogun who apparently organises the tournament. He helpfully comes out onto the rooftops to fight you so you never have to go inside. Once you've defeated him you are told the outcome of the tournament with a little bit of added story that bears no relation to anything that has occurred up to that point. The whole thing feels like someone took an existing rubbish game and added their own characters. Luckily it's very short, so all of the above is still very funny. Plus the opening sequence is hilariously bad.
Quest for the Dragon was definitely the best of the three. The gameplay is terrible, but easy enough (you can beat any of the bosses by crouching and punching repeatedly). And it's worth playing through to the end for the amazing cutscenes. The voiceover work is fantastically bad and all accents, from Irish to Russian to British, are mauled without discrimination.
The British cutscenes are the best. On arrival in the UK Bruce gets a note from a contact telling him there is a drug lab hidden in a mansion at Trafalgar Square. So you fight your way through this huge stately home in the middle of the countryside then run out onto Trafalgar Square afterwards - the geography is perfect. At this point the police arrive in minis and I'm not sure when the game is supposed to be set but at one point the lead police character directs you to a submarine which he knows about because he fought in World War 2. So the depiction of the English is that we all drive minis, we were all in World War 2 and every other word is 'bloody hell' or 'whoa bollocks'.
But none of the other countries you visit come off any better. I really hoped there would be a clip of one of the better cutscenes somewhere online, but have had to make do with this one:
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