31 Days of Gaming Terror – Day 13: The Worst of the Worst

Alexander Lucard: Thirteen is often considered an unlucky number, and as such it is only fitting to use today as the soundboard for the games we feel WE were unlucky to have had to sit through. These games are our own piece of gaming terror because they flat out sucked in some way that they are forever scarred into our psyche, leaving us a gibbering mess whenever their titles are mentioned.

For me personally, it was Call of Cthluhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. Man did I hate that game. As a person who once did some freelance work for Chaosium, this game was the biggest disappointment I have ever encountered in regards to a survival horror game. Now, we’ve covered the awesome titles that are out there which have used H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos correctly, but here is a game actually using the official Chaosium Call of Cthulhu license and then proceeded to make a game that was like spitting in the face of Lovecraft’s writing.

We’re talking about a game that couldn’t get the most basic tenants of Lovecraftia correct. It chose to some copious amounts of gore rather than subtle nuance or leaving things to one’s imagination. It focused more on drug addiction and usage than trying to use sanity effects ala Eternal Darkness. In short the game takes a Lovecraft story about personal introspection, secrets of a small New England fishing town and a plot revolving around the monster that lies within one’s own soul, and turned it into yet another badly done first person shooter with awful controls where you blow the crap out of everything you see on the screen including Father f’n Dagon itself.

Dark Corners of the Earth was delayed for six years and it should have stayed buried. Critics seem to like it, mainly because they missed the whole point of the Cthulhu Mythos, but thankfully fans were smart enough to realize the game was complete and utter crap. Sales were lackluster and it put Head First out of business, hopefully ensuring its dev team members will never take a big steaming crap on Lovecraft’s grave again.

Looking back on my review from nearly three years ago, I find I was exceptionally kind to the game, mainly because I wanted to like it so badly. I’d probably down grade the game’s score to a 3.5 or so, rather than the 5.0 I gave it back then.

I’m not the only one that hated it either. Matt and Mark listed it as the fifth worst horror game ever made. Truly this game is an abomination and hopefully we will never mention it again here at Diehard GameFAN.

ML Kennedy: I’ve said it before, and will way it again:

Evil Dead: Hail the the King for the Dreamcast is the worst horror game ever. It is possibly, the worst game ever. But don’t take my word for it, take . . . my . . . word for it.

For starters, I spent my first 25 minutes playing the game wandering around the cabin, bumping into furniture. I finally decided to turn the brightness of my television all the way up. Cranked that motherfucker up to the top. That helped a little.

Eventually, I got out of the cabin, and wandered aimlessly around the woods, frequently getting lost. On top of that, every section of the world featured at least one enemy that would respawn as soon as it was killed. The enemies weren’t very interesting to look at, they weren’t particularly fun to kill, and they immediately came back to life as soon as they were beaten. What part of that thing doesn’t scream “Pointless!” at the top of its lungs? Or at least, “Tedious!!”

Or maybe it just makes me scream “Cocksucking hoople heads!” over and over.

This game is pretty lousy all around, but would be forgivably so IF it had a decent combat engine. That’s how much appeal Evil Dead brings to the table. BUT Hail to the King offers up a combat system so shallow, uninspired and boring that makes it make knife combat in Resident Evil look like Soul Calibur by comparison. It makes the Atari’s Combat look like Virtua Fighter.

Matt Yaeger: Alone in the Dark – Wii.

From my review: This is probably the worst game I’ve ever played. I’ve played a lot of bad games, a lot of bad survival horror games, and Alone in the Dark for the Wii is the worst of the bunch. The only redeeming feature it has is the fact that it’s short. If you decide to suffer through it, I beat it in about 6 hours and that was with retrying several sections and playing the last chapter twice to see both endings. This game is like a textbook of bad development: There are horrible motion controls, bad camera angles, too easy puzzles, non-existent enemy AI, graphics that looked dated 8 years ago, poorly translated dialogue, and a story that doesn’t make sense which all add up to a game that is better off in a landfill then in your game library.

Guy Desmarais: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (NES). It was based off a horror movie, and it was about killer tomatoes, so I think it counts. Where do I start? All I can say about this game is that I have never seen the movie or the cartoon, and after playing this, there’s no way I’m watching something that has anything to do with this piece of crap. I heard some people call it a sleeper hit. I know that bad games can be fun sometimes, but only if they are overwhelmingly bad, or completely cheesy. This game is just awful, and it never ventures in the two previously mentioned territories.

I would have loved to give you an extensive review of how the level design was brilliant and each stage was better than the last, but because of the extremely weak control, I couldn’t even get past the first level before calling it quit. I tried several times to make it past the first few enemies, but the jumping is so awkward that I kept getting killed while trying to avoid the bad guys. Because I ran out of lives so often, I saw the title screen a lot of times. As far as I’m concerned, you can call it the high point of the whole game. Unlike the rest of the game, the logo is well-done and really detailed. It’s simply a shame that the rest of the game wasn’t designed in the same way as its title screen. I shouldn’t have to say that about any game at all.

Just think of the worst game you have ever played. This is probably worse than what you came up with. I’m pretty sure it’s worse than Alone in the Dark for the Wii. Sorry Yaeger.

Aaron Sirois: The worst horror game I’ve played was Rule of Rose. Granted, I don’t play too many so I’m not the best person to ask.

The game had horrible combat. You’d flail around a short pointy object like you were trying to swat away a wasp without getting stung. Without the ability to aim, enemies could have a field day with you.

Most of the time spent in the game was having the dog sniff something and then track it down. It was one endless fetch quest after another with bad combat in-between. It was as dull as it was horrible.

The game did have a great story though. I was hooked from the get go. I wanted to know just how Jennifer ended up trapped in the world of the Red Crayon Aristocrats. Too bad the journey was so wrought with crap.

Bryan Berg: Friday the 13th for NES. Holy shit. I played that game for hours and still had no idea what I was doing. I guess there’s only so much you can do with a slasher franchise in terms of making a game that’s true to the movie, yet still making it appealing to kids (as all games were forced to do in that era). Friday the 13th accomplished neither. It was just a horrendous game that probably killed the chance of us ever seeing a really cool game based on a slasher flick. Wonderful.

Chris Pankonin: Grabbed by the Ghoulies (Xbox) – When Microsoft and Rare announced their partnership, everyone – myself included – was really excited by the prospects of what they’d be releasing first on the Xbox. So when they announced Grabbed by the Ghoulies at E3 it seemed like a cruel joke. Yeah, neat you’re releasing a kiddie-type horror game, that’s nice, but where are the big dogs like a sequel to Perfect Dark?

As it eventually turned out, Ghoulies was legit, it was released, and it was met by a collective *yawn* from the gaming community. It wasn’t a horrible game, but Rare had set the bar pretty high in the past – and Ghoulies didn’t really have an audience to call home. Was it a “horror” game? Was it a “kids” game? The only thing scary about this game was that someone at Rare thought this was a good idea to welcome themselves to the Xbox audience.

Mark B.: Y’know, I seem to recall having written something about this topic a long time ago…

Oh, wait.

Yes, I went in and cleaned it up for you, because I love you all. You’re welcome.

Now, if you managed to get through Matt and me (and occasionally Kennedy) prattling on about whatever, you most likely noticed in the final section that The Ring: Terror’s Realm was Number One on this list. There’s a reason for this. It’s not because Alex said “GETITGETITGETIT” until I felt pressured into not only having it on the list, but putting it at number one. It’s not because I had to buy the damn thing on Amazon.com just to play it. It’s not even because I like the concept and thought the movie was okay.

It’s because snapping the disc in half and running the pieces between your toes is less painful than actually playing the game.

EVERYTHING about this game is atrocious. The graphics, which were poor by that time period’s standards, are abysmal now. The story is amongst the worst inflicted on the gaming public. The game isn’t PLAYED so much as it is FOUGHT AGAINST, as if the controls are an additional enemy one must face in order to play the game. The entire experience makes less sense than a David Lynch movie, and the entire experience, from start to finish, is neither scary nor fun. There is not a single horror game worse than this, and if you think otherwise, you haven’t played this. The end.

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