The Top Thirty-two Worst Horror Games, Ever, FINAL
Alright, folks, here it is. It all comes down to this: the final four.
That’s right. For those tuning in late, I’m Matt, he’s Mark, and this is the final entry in the list of the Top Thirty-two Worst Horror Games, Ever.
Exactly. We have a lot of ground to cover here, so let’s just skip the introduction, yeah?
Sounds good to me. The sooner we can get this over with, the better.
Oh, come on. It hasn’t been that bad.
I can feel my brain melting, man.
Ah. Well, alright, then. You’re up first, let’s get to it.
#4: Countdown Vampires:
At the time when everyone and your momma was doing Resident Evil rip-offs Bandai released their own RE rip off called Countdown Vampires.
What is it with you and people’s mothers? Hello, Oedipus Complex?
Okay then. Anyway, it was supposed to be Resident Evil, with Vampires! At the time I was excited for the game, for that very reason, since I loved both Resident Evil and vampire stuff. So I stupidly bought the game the first day it was released.
If the game had been just a RE clone with different skins, it would’ve been okayish. Unfortunately, it fails at even being a decent clone in almost every single way imaginable. It does everything a bad horror game can do:
-Camera angles? Always the worst angle.
-Voice acting? I’ve seen plants emote more.
-Plot? Makes Resident Evil look like Pride and Punishment.
-Engrish? A six year old with an Etch-a-sketch could’ve translated this game better.
-Graphics? Good CGI, but the in game graphics go for a dark gritty feel… and look dark and gritty. Like mud in fact.
-Innovation? You are in a casino, so you can gamble money you collect to purchase needed items, like health and ammo… or you can loose all your money the same way and end up screwed.
If you haven’t heard of Countdown Vampires, there’s a reason why. It’s the type of game that’s so bad that it brings the whole genre down a notch or two by existing. The best reason to buy the game is to bury it somewhere so no one else makes the mistake of playing it.
Almost as painful as: Getting your pubic hair waxed.
Everything Matt says is pretty much true, so rock. The only thing I can add to it is that the intro sequence made the game feel like it was trying to be “From Dusk to Dawn… IN SPAAAAAACEEEE!” or some sort of equivalent. Also, the whole “knock down every enemy twice, THEN pour some sort of holy water which you have in infinite supply on them to turn them, if you want” dynamic did nothing for me. If you wonder why Bandai has a rep for making bad games, CD:V is a prime example.
#3: Dino Crisis 3:
DINOSAURS IN SPAAAAAAAACE~
Two “In Space”Â games in a row. What are the odds?
Pretty good, apparently.
Okay, yeah, it’s a stupid idea. We can understand this, you and I, because we’ve been playing video games, and we’ve seen all sorts of stupid ideas in our lives. I mean, at first glance, does Super Mario Brothers seem like a good idea? You’re a plumber trying to save a princess from a dinosaur. So, yeah, fighting dinosaurs in space, while stupid fundamentally, is actually pretty high-concept compared to what we’re used to as gamers. And hey, I’d be more than willing to fight dinosaurs in space, if the game the concept occurred within were actually any good.
You will note, however, that it is not. I doubt you’re surprised.
The story is something you’ve seen plenty of times before; derelict space station Ozymandias pops up in orbit one day after going missing for three hundred years. The S.O.A.R (Special Operations and Reconnaissance) team is dispatched to look into the sudden appearance of said three hundred year old derelict space station, and to see if there are any survivors (hint: there are, just because this is that kind of game). During the initial contact attempt, the space station’s weapons array comes alive, destroys the main transport ship and the landing craft, and leaves two members of the team alive (well, at the moment): Patrick, the Casper Van Dien-esque male prettyboy lead who is your main character; and Sonya, the female assistant character who backs you up throughout your adventure.
Considering the first two Dino Crisis titles focused on Regina, an ass-kicking female lead, this is something of a step backwards to me, but it’s not like anyone cares at this point.
Dino Crisis 3 manages to not be a complete pile of shit, largely because A.) the graphics, despite being overly shiny at times, are pretty solid, B.) the voice acting isn’t Resident Evil bad, and C.) you can pretend that this is Carnosaur 4, if you’re so inclined (not like Corman wouldn’t bankroll a movie like this if given the chance). Sadly, these are the only nice things I can say about the game; everything else sucks.
The single worst thing I can say about the game is that it’s hard by accident. No, that’s not right: the single worst thing I can say about it is that the camera is outright offensive, but this ties into the previous comment. See, here’s the thing: DC3 has a lot of problems working against it: the controls don’t feel very responsive, the plot is lame, the characters are uninteresting, and the weapons generally lack punch and oomph. The game feels like Gunvalkyrie in most of its execution, which isn’t really a good thing; if you’re going to rip a game off, make sure it’s a good one first (something I’d personally never accuse GV of being). But all of these problems fall on their face before the hideous camera; if the camera were at least mildly functional, the game would be about a thousand times better as a result.
The problem with the camera, as I’ve not expressly stated what it is yet, is this: it’s a survival horror camera. “So what”, you’re saying, “it’s a survival horror game, right?” Well… no, actually, it’s an action game, just like Dino Crisis 2. Any and all survival horror elements in the game are lip service only; this is an action game with platformer elements. Now, the problem that comes from having a survival horror camera with action game elements is this: you can never tell what the holy hell is going on, ever. Monsters will constantly be attacking you from off-screen, jumps are blind fifty percent of the time, and the first time you fall to your death because the camera switched MID-JUMP will be the moment you learn just how much profanity you truly know. If the camera were something akin to functional (and I don’t mean GREAT, I mean WORKING AT ALL), this wouldn’t be half as bad of a game as it is.
It’d still be pretty bad, though. Even beyond the abysmal camera, as I said, the game is still pretty poor. The “dinosaurs” aren’t even really dinosaurs per say… they’re genetic constructs that LOOK like dinosaurs, only weirder. I’m mostly disagreeable with this for what I’d imagine would be obvious reasons: the idea that some asshole, somewhere, decided that dinosaurs just aren’t cool ENOUGH, they have to be MUTANT DINOSAURS, makes me ill. Pure B-movie thinking there, that is. The characters are bland and uninteresting, and the game never manages to connect on any sort of level; you won’t be worried about surviving to the next battle, or ready to kick ass, you’ll just spend your time wondering why you’re even bothering to play this mess.
I mean, come on. You’re killing dinosaur-like monsters in outer space with futuristic weaponry. Really, how hard is that to screw up? Apparently, Capcom felt the need to go the extra mile to give us something truly abysmal. So goes their legacy, as far as the XBOX goes anyway: a few ports, a $200 game no one ever really felt the need to own, and the few other exclusive titles made for the system almost exclusively sucked. By itself, DC3 is a terrible game; taken in context, it’s unsurprising and sad.
Oh, and I don’t think I need to say this again, but franchise, killed dead. Good job guys.
Almost as painful as: Being devoured by Compys. Well, Jurassic Park made it sound really painful, anyway.
The first was Resident Evil with dinosaurs, which was f*ckin’ awesome when Jurassic Park was the big summer movie, but after two pretty crappy games the third added more problems and shot the series into space.
Which is where they should shoot all remaining copies of this game.
#2: Evil Dead: Hail to the King
This is disputably one of the worst games ever made.
I don’t know about that. I’d dispute that it’s THE worst game ever made, but if anyone ever wanted to argue that the game is GOOD, I’d have to suggest that they are either mentally insane or a little bit TOO much of an Evil Dead fan.
It’s not just that this is a horrible game, though; it’s also based on a movie should’ve been easily adapted into a video game. The main character goes through the movie fighting deadites with a chainsaw and a shotgun. How can you mess that up?
HOW CAN YOU SCREW UP KILLING THINGS WITH A CHAINSAW AND A SHOTGUN?
Pretty easily, I guess, since they still haven’t gotten it completely right over three games.
Hail to the King was yet ANOTHER Resident Evil clone. You know, I like Resident Evil, but the first game isn’t without its share of glaring issues, and the games that tried to copy its formula, for the most part, suck ass by taking those issues and making them even worse. The major issue with Hail to the King is that it is nearly unplayable, due to the combat. Not that it’s very difficult… or that you don’t get enough health/ammo… but rather, because of the fact that the game is constantly spawning enemies at you. Hordes of them. It makes it hard to just walk through a small section of the game, because there are so many enemies. Add to that the usual assortment of bad camera angles, obscure puzzles with very little clues to figure out how to get to the next part, and plenty o’ backtracking to find the next piece of the puzzle, all while wading through a countless sea of repetitive combat with the same enemies over and over and over…
I should’ve known not to buy a game that advertised the fact that one whole button was dedicated to making Ash spit out quotes during the game. Yeah, it’s fun to make Ash say “ËœGroovy’ once or twice, but as soon as that gets old (like the third time you press the button), the rest of the game is complete garbage. THQ should be forced to pay for the emotional damage this game will surely cause to any Evil Dead fan, or anyone unfortunate enough to play the game.
It’s still amazing after all this time that THQ could take such a simple concept like killing things with a chainsaw and mess it up this bad.
Almost as painful as: Taking a syringe and injecting acid into your urethra. Yeah, that bad.
Normally I’d provide some sort of snarky comment about this hideous piece of crap, but we have a very special guest who asked to be involved in the discussion of the pile of shit that is Evil Dead: Hail to the King. Please welcome ML Kennedy!
Thanks. In order to prepare for my appearance here, I actually dusted off my Dreamcast copy of “Evil Dead: Hail to the King.” You know, after having just written one of my immensely popular columns here at Inside Pulse!
Okay, sure. I’ll buy that.
Now, I didn’t actually play the game after dusting it off; I’m not some sort of Mark-like video-gaming masochist.
But there’s joy to be had in bad gaming.
Whatever you say, porcupine. I instead chose to read the instruction manual. It was an interesting experience, for the manual made references to aspects of the game which I never encountered, like cinematics and multiple endings, and other locations. Weird.
Did you know that there was a level 2?
Sucker. Anyways, the game was a letdown of immense proportions, thanks in part to the glory of backstory. Mine, not the game’s.
Ooh. This should be good.
You see, after the Dreamcast was a dead system, I bought a used one off of Amazon.com, as well as a controller, ED:HttK, and some other zombie game.
No, Code Veronica. After two weeks, I received Evil Dead. After two months, I got Code Veronica. 5 years later no sign of that Dreamcast.
I never could get into Zombie’s Revenge either.
That’s okay. Code Veronica sucked anyway.
I figured as much. Eventually I gave up, bought a 25 dollar Dreamcast from Gamecrazy (before it was called Gamecrazy), and anxiously cranked up the old Evil Dead game.
I had previously thought, “wow, making this game fun should be a no-brainer.” Even if it were just a new skin on top of the original Doom, and limited weapons to the chainsaw and shotgun, I would enjoy it. And yet…
I don’t even know how to describe it.
Go 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 motherf*cker 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.
It’s as painful as being sodomized by an oddly shaped cactus, while being forced to watch re-runs of “Full House” and being laughed at by your naked mother.
(At this point we go off topic and discuss Lucard’s Lite-Brite shirts, Spider-man, and Mark Foley. You didn’t miss anything.)
So. Back on topic. Evil Dead sucks.
Any game that would make Bruce Campbell publicly apologize on his website has to be a stinker.
I did not know he did that. Although, he apologized to me for Terminal Invasion. He dubbed it an interminable TV movie.
Well, the whole Bubba Ho Tep opening day crowd.
Ah. Now, THAT was a good movie.
But it would make a lousy video game. A friend of mine actually bothered to play all the way through Evil Dead.
He’s dead now.
Okay, maybe not. But he does live in Berkely.
I played through half of it, but I live in Jersey, so it doesn’t get much worse.
Who thought this engine was a good idea?
Who thinks simultaneously wielding an ineffective chainsaw and axe is cool?
I do, sort of.
Yeah it kinda is. But not here. Did THQ develop the game or just distribute?
Distribute. Heavy Iron developed it.
It was their first game, I’m told.
It really f*cking shows
They also made the Incredibles game.
All the monsters look like big polygons, and it plays like shit. I hear the Incredibles is fun.
Right. Evil Dead might just be a fluke.
Okay, so if it was a Doom rip-off EDHttK would be better. Or even if it played like Captain America and the Avengers. Side-scrolling ED? I’d play that thing.
Oh yes. Multi-hit combos that end in exploding Deadites.
That would be Bearawesome. But this poor-man’s resident evil thing… did the one-liner button actually accomplish anything? The book says to try it when overwhelmed by deadites.
I don’t recall.
(NOTE: In the interest of being thorough, I chose to research this prior to putting the article online. So, according to Demon-Fighter Ash of Gamefaqs.com, “The one-liners are actually pretty important to fighting. When you weaken a deadite, they’ll stagger for a few moments and, much like Mortal Kombat, you’ll have a chance to finish them off by gutting them with the chainsaw. Once you’ve got them on the chainsaw, use the secondary weapon to finish them off and use the one-liner as you kill them. The better the one-liners and the more you use them during the battle, the more health and gas items the enemy will leave behind after dying.”Â Thanks Demon-Fighter Ash, you’ve saved me the trouble of playing this thing ever again.)
I just imagined it made you get eaten faster.
That might have been the joke.
I tried to get up the will to play this thing to prepare. Honestly. I just ended up doing Monkey Target in SMB instead. Damn good games taking up my time!
You’re better off.
So, will this game swallow your soul? Or just your will to live?
And as far as I’m concerned, it swallowed my will to live.
Did I mention that the instruction manual has the movies labelled incorrectly? In an ad for the Anchor bay releases, it refers to the Evil Dead as the mother of all sequels, and Evil Dead II as the epic finale to the evil dead trilogy. How could Part 2 be the finale to a trilogy?
Hoopleheads, the lot of them.
That’s not the word I’d use.
I’d also like to note that the instruction manual is written partially in character. Ash is telling you to plug in the peripherals and don’t power down when saving and such.
Oh, good. Breaking the Fourth wall. How… wonderful. Sort of like Spider-Man the game.
(At this point, the conversation veers off-topic again. We started talking about other bad horror games, then what JPEG I was going to use to represent Kennedy. It was boring, you didn’t miss anything.)
To paraphrase Mike Nelson: Evil Dead Hail to the king is not the worst game ever, it is the worst thing ever. Any last words from you?
Evil Dead is an abomination, and I only hope whoever was responsible for it died, ideally under a truck. Let your pets f*ck as much as they want, good night.
And finally… the baddest of the bad…
The numero uno stinking piece of shit on this list of inequity…
THE WORST HORROR GAME, EVER…
#1: The Ring: Terror’s Realm:
Imagine you put this game into your Dreamcast for the first time. Maybe you got it on the cheap, maybe you bought it because you thought a game based on “The Ring” would be cool. Whatever the reason, The Ring: Terror’s Realm is your game of choice this eve. You boot it up, press Start at the title screen, and just then, the lights dim and the phone rings. You answer the phone, and instead of hearing a familiar voice or a telemarketer or what have you, you hear the icy voice of death itself seem to whisper “Seven Days” before hanging up. You shrug and laugh, figuring someone’s messing with you, but there’s that part of your brain, way in the back, that can’t help but hold onto the feeling that if you don’t beat this game in seven days time, you won’t live to see an eighth.
By day three you’ll be standing in the front yard, arms spread to the heavens, screaming “TAKE ME NOW!”
Make no mistake: this is pain on a disc. Even I was surprised at how completely and utterly bad it is.
The concept isn’t honestly that bad at first; people are playing a computer game, named “Ring”, and dying. No direct corollary has been made, but a member of the CDC (Center for Disease Control, FYI) is researching a possible connection when, you guessed it, he dies too. His girlfriend (and the game’s main character) goes to work for the CDC the very next day, only to find that after she arrives at work, the CDC is locked down. Apparently her boyfriend’s death set off the warning lights to the higher ups, or maybe it’s a plot contrivance, whichever. Regardless, it is believed an infections disease may be loose in the CDC, so to keep the outside save, the CDC is locked down tight, for obvious reasons. This is all perfectly fine.
That’s when everything goes to hell.
First off, the graphics are hideous. I know, I say this a lot, but there’s a reason for this here: NOTHING looks good. NONE OF IT. Even if we discount the sheer primitive technology involved, character designs are ugly, and monster designs are a combination of boring and stupid. In most survival horror games, you’re tasked to fight actual monsters, zombies, things of this nature. In The Ring, you’re fighting deformed gorillas and lizards. There’s no rhyme or reason behind this; it simply IS. The various character animations are ugly and stiff, and the game environments lack any sort of depth or substance. Best of all, though, is the fact that the device with which the character saves the game, called a radio (but really more of a projector, thanks for asking) is what one would call “unnoticeable”. My first time playing the game, I spent nearly half an hour trying to find the damn thing, largely because it looks less like something that says “SAVE HERE DIPSHIT” and more like a bland gray box.
The gameplay is also atrocious… actually, I think such a word is far too kind a word to use, but I can’t think of anything else at the moment that describes how bad this is. Collision detection is spotty at the best of times, and the actual gunplay is what can best be described as “poor”; guns are neither reliable nor accurate, and real targeting is not the same as what is done here, which is more accurately described as “aiming where the enemy was, not where it IS”. Your character is difficult to control, which is not something that is entirely commendable when fighting for one’s life. Compounding all of this is the camera… look, I don’t care what game you think has a bad camera, The Ring is easily in direct competition. Camera angles obscure obvious pathways, rooms become confusing because you cannot see what you’re supposed to be looking at (and because they’re all pretty bland and identical), and enemies will constantly sneak up on you because YOU CAN’T SEE THEM.
The music is absolutely inappropriate; the major theme you get through most of your adventures in the actual CDC building sounds like a sampler track on a ROLAND JBL keyboard. What little voice acting here is annoying, but not entirely bad… but there’s so LITTLE voice acting that one has to wonder why they even bothered with the little they have in the game in the first place.
And, of course, the story is absolute drek. Conceptually, a computer game that kills people in seven days is a bit over the top, but solid writing can carry such contrivances. No such writing exists here, sadly. Your main character finds her boyfriend’s laptop, on which is installed “RING”, a computer game she has been warned not to touch, even though it supposedly won’t boot up for anyone else anyway. So, of course, she boots it and it loads. This does not strike her as odd. She then BLACKS OUT and wakes up in a futuristic prison of sorts, where she must kill some monkey monster. This does not strike her as odd. After killing the monster, she blacks out in the virtual world, and wakes up in her office, whereupon she simply believes herself to have been “playing a video game”. Now, when I play video games, I don’t normally BLACK OUT, and I think if I did, I wouldn’t consider this normal behavior. After her first play, the phone rings, and upon answering it, the lights go out, and the laptop screen broadcasts the words we’ve been waiting for: SEVEN DAYS.
AND SHE STILL THINKS THIS IS PERFECTLY OKAY AND NOTHING IS WRONG.
Maybe she thought it was spyware.
No. Spyware invades your system and tries to steal your information and sell you shit. Spyware DOES NOT make your phone ring and your lights go out, I don’t care HOW far into your OS it wedges itself.
I don’t care how grounded in reality you are. I don’t care how rational and logical you are, especially as a scientist. You ran a computer program, BLACKED OUT, hallucinated, woke up, answered the ringing phone to a response of dead air and the power blinking in and out, and saw “SEVEN DAYS YOU’RE DEAD” on your laptop. This is, I’m sorry, ENTIRELY too much f*cked up shit happening in the span of not even an hour for a rational person to simply say, “Meh, no big deal” and move on. Her later descent into fear as a result of reading about Ring in the (locked) CDC records archive is tainted because, really, reading a scary book is not the same as HAVING A KNIFE PRESSED TO YOUR THROAT, and she reacts inappropriately to each. Say what you will about the movie, but when Naomi Campbell answered the phone and heard “Seven Days”, she was appropriately freaked out over it, which is more than I can say for this abomination.
But worst of all is that, taken individually, nothing here works. None of it. Graphics, gameplay, audio, story, nothing. When put together in one complete package, The Ring is a nightmare of epic proportions, and should not be handled except by trained professionals. THIS is a bad game’s bad game, period, and by its mere existence proves there is no such thing as a just and merciful God.
Since you’re here anyway, anything to add Mr. Kennedy?
I didn’t even like the movie.
I think that about sums that up.
Almost as painful as: Sliding naked down a 30-foot razor blade into a swimming pool full of lemon juice and broken glass. Seriously.
Play it for 7 days and you’ll wish you were dead.
Well that’s it for the list. With video games like Eternal Darkness, The Suffering, Resident Evil 4, there are still great horror themed games being released and the future of the genre looks better than ever. It, sadly, took games like some of the ones listed about in order to get to this point but hey, you can’t make an omelet without breaking almost all of the eggs, right?
More like they’ve broken my mind. Or yours, anyway; mine was broken a while ago.
Well, that wraps up the list. We’d like to thank the terrible games that appeared on the list for being so terrible; we couldn’t have done this without you.
I’d also like to thank ML Kennedy for stopping by to assist, and Alex Lucard and Jay Rose for assisting with names and physical supplies of terrible titles to play for the purposes of this list.
Our therapy bills are in the mail.
Right. We also would like to thank you, the three people reading this and enjoying it. Thank you for reading what we worked so hard to write.
And until more bad games need playing, we bid you good day.
God, that was f*cking awful. I never want to go through this ever again. Especially not for these ungrateful pricks.
I think they’re still here.