Playing the Lame: A Reintroduction.


As the guy who used to write “Playing the Lame”, you probably went through some atrocious titles. What is the absolute worst game you have ever played? – Guy Desmarais.

You say “used to” like I stopped. I prefer to think of it as, “a hiatus of indeterminate length”. – Me, in response.

I’m baaaaaack. Did you miss me?

Of course you didn’t. Most of you probably have no idea what the hell this is all about.

And before anyone asks, no, there are not technically thirteen “Playing the Lame” columns dealing exclusively with bad video games, but I am not going to read through all thirteen of those things and re-number everything appropriately, so sod off.

Anyway, so I suppose I should explain this. A while back, I started up a column discussing terrible games and why they are terrible. It was moderately unsuccessful, though I imagine someone laughed at it. Eventually I just kind of got bored with it and moved on with my life, choosing instead to focus on soapbox rants and game reviews, and the whole concept was kind of abandoned.

And then two magical things happened:

1.) Videogum started up a column series called “The Worst Movie of All Time”, which was initiated by the writer, Gabe, watching Death Sentence, a terrible movie, and deciding to chronicle ALL of the bad movies EVER, more or less. Since I had been writing columns about bad video games for years, I figured this concept was an interesting one, but lacked the appropriate inspiration to go back to writing about them until…

2.) I played Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, and HOLY SHIT, that there was some inspiration if ever I felt it. It was like the Muse herself was singing into mine ear, except that she was singing, “Ice Ice Baby” instead of, I don’t know, something meaningful.

So here’s the deal. *I* am going to play a bunch of terrible games. I will then write about how terrible they are, and we will all laugh about it. *YOU*, on the other hand, only have one job: you have to pick the games. Your task is to find me the worst games EVER, the most terrible piles of shit upon this Earth, and you must tell me to play them, so that I may have content for this column, which will probably update about once every other week.

Cool? Cool.

Now, of course, this isn’t a world of lawless anarchy, and as such, there are rules, which are as follows:

1.) When I say this will be done “probably” every two weeks, I mean “probably” in the sense that I, as does everyone else, have a life, and may not always be able to commit time to playing/writing about terrible games. So if an entry is delayed a week, don’t sweat it, it happens.

2.) I have a fairly large library of crap to choose from, thanks to having poor spending habits, but I do not own every horrible game on Earth. As such, some games will require me to drop some dosh to pick them up. The point of this is that if a game is either incredibly hard to acquire or prohibitively expensive, uh, it ain’t happening, give it up. You can suggest it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

3.) We have four sports gamers on staff (as far as I’m aware), and I’m not one of them, so I am not in an informed position to make a fair determination on whether or not a sports game is, in fact, shite. This is not to say that you can’t suggest them, but I will, in most cases, defer to the knowledge of our sports gaming staff on whether or not such a game sucks, as I would be about the worst person to judge such a thing.

4.) If the game is Japanese and requires me to spend more than thirty percent of my time reading, forget about it.

5.) No indy games. I’m not going to consider a shareware game two guys made in their garage on the same level I’d consider Countdown: Vampires, no matter how bad it is.

6.) Nothing from before the NES era. If I could program a more technologically sophisticated game in five hours, it’s time to let it go. Yes, that means no E.T., because really, that game’s older than some of the people READING this. Let it die already.

7.) Any PC games recommended for this list will be considered on a case-by-case basis, mostly because I’m not dual-booting my PC to play a game that won’t run native on Windows XP or DOSBox.

8.) My word is final. No offense, but if I don’t think a game is all that bad, it’s going to be hard to come up with a thousand words about how much it sucks.

If more rules need to be added, they will on a case-by-case basis.

It also bears noting that, for the purposes of this exercise, ALF, Dinotopia, WCW Thunder, Robinsin’s Requiem, Beyond the Beyond, Ephemeral Fantasia, Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord, and Universal Studios Theme Park Adventures are the only games that actually COUNT as having been discussed in the context of this series of articles, meaning that yes, the games in the Horror List are up for nomination, as is Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust in case you didn’t get enough of me shitting on that.

So, yeah. I’ve already got a game lined up for the first edition of the column: Slaughtersport. Should be fun like a sandpaper enema. In the meantime, find me some worse games, yeah? The crappier the better.

I’m counting on you or something.






9 responses to “Playing the Lame: A Reintroduction.”

  1. ML Kennedy Avatar
    ML Kennedy

    Evil Dead for the Dreamcast. Anything by DSI/Zoo.

  2. Aaron Glazer Avatar
    Aaron Glazer

    Dark Tower- NES.

  3. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    Kennedy – Done.
    Aaron – I can’t find any information on Dark Tower anywhere. Help me out?

  4. Double L Avatar
    Double L

    I’d recommend the new “Alone in the Dark”, preferably the Xbox 360 version as they apparently fixed the PS3 version a bit.

  5. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    Double L: You got it.

    Kennedy: Two things. First, we’ll make the assumption that this is the game in question unless Aaron otherwise corrects this assessment. Second, never make me watch a video from that fucking hack ever again.

  6. ML Kennedy Avatar
    ML Kennedy


  7. Thomas R Avatar
    Thomas R

    Here’s one who has missed this column, I’ve reread the old ones multiple times even. The only horrible game I can recommend is Monster Seed for the PS1, a Pokemon clone where your minions actually die off permanently after a short while.

  8. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    Thomas: I have a fan? That’s… flattering and foreign at the same time.

    Consider Monster Seed on the list.

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