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There Are No Games So Bad They're Funny

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-so-much-funny-ha-ha dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 225

Clive Thompson examines an artifact unique to the medium of videogames: the hatred of 'B' games. Unlike in television, movies, or even books, there doesn't seem to be room in gaming for appreciation of offerings so bad they're good. "Gamers never sit around and fondly recall games that were so ludicrous they circled back and arrived at greatness. There is no game analog to, say, Sid and Marty Kroft children's show, or Plan Nine From Outer Space. When a game is bad, it's just ... bad. I think this tells us a lot about the nature of play. B games don't exist because a game isn't something you watch; it's something you do. It's impossible to distance yourself from the badness. It's not like chuckling while watching an actor screw things up; it's like being forced to screw up yourself. Or think of it this way: A bad game is like being stuck in traffic. You've got goals, you've got places you're trying to get to, but the system won't let you. So you just sit there grinding your teeth. Lousy art can sometimes cause joy; lousy games can only cause stress."

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Wrong... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903231)

I guess they never went to videlectrix [] before.
This "Company" Spoofs all the B-Games of the 80s and 90s. Games with horible (even at the time)
Graphics and Sound, Pointless Game Play. Poor direction or goals... But they are fun to play just
because they are so bad.

Re:Wrong... (5, Insightful)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903299)

But those games were all MEANT to be funny. Take a look at some of the games in the game gallery. How many times do you see Strong Bad? The games are fun because they were meant to be that way. Bad games are generally no fun at all because they're too hard to play, or the game mechanics are just plain broken. Just because something has no instructions doesn't mean it's a bad game.

Re:Wrong... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903471)

Well there are some that are not connected to Homestarrunner as well like the Hall Runner, and the Speed Walk Game. Wich are just booring the only fun part is the sarcastic comment if you won (a lot of those I just got in the Wiki, because playing the game was so dull). I guess it is somewhat different from games trying to be good that ends up Bad. But these spoof games adds the missing element that the other b games were missing, an other person(s) to make fun of it while playing.

Re:Wrong... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19903703)

or the game mechanics are just plain broken

The vast majority of fun from "so bad it's good" comes from the humor of the attempt.

Broken game mechanics can often be the most fun of all, as long as they (or other issues) don't completely block you from playing.

For instance, take the bouncing tanks in WW2 Online, which could only be described as horribly broken, but that didn't stop it from being hilarious when you actually got the game to work (crashes are not fun). Had they left the flying tank bugs in when they were patching the rest of the game, it would have been a terrible ww2 game, but it would have been worth more than a few laughs. Compare that to falling through the floor in early Elder Scrolls games, which basically ended your game, and was therefore not fun at all.

Re:Wrong... (2, Insightful)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904075)

thread over []

Re:Wrong... (3, Informative)

antime (739998) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905229)

It was only the translation that was bad in Zero Wing. The game itself was OK, though not great by any means. This [] is what you're after.

Re:Wrong... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903543)

I must say, I played that "Where's an Egg?" And yeah... that's just... wow... so bad it's funny...

Re:Wrong... (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903757)

Videlectrix brings back memories of Lazy Jones back on the C64. Now that would be fun to remake.

Re:Wrong... (4, Insightful)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903811)

Mocking games is not the same as a game gaining a cult following.

Mocking games = Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Cult following = The Rocky Horror Picture was so bad but has a huge following BECAUSE it was bad.

There aren't really any games that people play because they enjoy how bad they are. There are games that people mock because they were bad. There are memes started because of poorly written games (All your base....). But how many times do you go back any play them?

That was the point of the article. Not that there are games that are constantly mocked.


Re:Wrong... (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904213)

There aren't really any games that people play because they enjoy how bad they are.
I disagree. MMOs are a prime example. Why does anyone play Runescape when they've played MMOs with better graphics, better gameplay, and a better culture? Because they enjoy how bad it is.

No really, I'm serious.

How about people who prefer the early incarnations of a game franchise, even though the newer ones are better? Part of it is comfort, but part of it is enjoying the suckage.

I think what the article misses is that with 'camp' movies (like RHPS or Army of Darkness), everyone is in on the joke. It's not supposed to be good, and the audience enjoys that -- and a cult following is born.

One game that attempted this recently was Bards Tale III. It's telling that it did not succeed due to gameplay issues. I believe, though, that as the videogame industry continues maturing (and its market continues maturing) popular camp and cult icons-of-suckage will come into being.

Re:Wrong... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19905071)

Example: "Dance Dance Revolution"

It's such a horrible idea for a game -- "'dance' by stepping on a huge D-pad, while watching a cheesy 3D figure do the same thing you're doing, all set to bad pop music" -- and we actively laughed at how stupid it was (the graphics, the gameplay, the songs) while playing it.

I would say it has a cult following, too. Not many people like it, but those who do, can't get enough of it.

Re:Wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19905075)

Passage of time is also a factor. If you just spent $50 on a game that's a complete dud, there's just nothing funny about that.

But if you look back at last generation's disappointments, then it can almost be endearing. Moreso if you're looking at the games of your youth.

Personally I think there's a whole genre of games that are so bad they're funny: all those horrible platform movie and TV tie-ins for the SNES such as Beethoven, Home Alone, and my favorite, Home Improvement (where you play a badly digitized Tim Allen running around dodging hammers...)

Deep Scan (1)

bi_boy (630968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903267)

The Deep Scan mini-game included in the Sega Saturn version of Die Hard Arcade was so bad it was good. And strangely addictive...

Re:Deep Scan (2, Interesting)

ACNiel (604673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904289)

I loved this idea: games inside games.

I used to play Skyfox all the time, just to play the space invaders game inside.

They need to do this more often. Little arcades in WoW to go to when you are bored there.

Re:Deep Scan (2, Interesting)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904693)

They need to do this more often. Little arcades in WoW to go to when you are bored there.

First, not long after release of the original WoW game, there was a lot of calling for 'mini-games' in the game. Stuff like chess and checkers. It came to a point they even made an April fool's joke of it saying they where going to allow you to play Warcraft 3 in WoW (1/2 the joke was people wanting to play a game, inside 'their game' while the other 1/2 of the joke was all the criticism by people saying the game is crap because it's just Warcraft 3 or looked too much like Warcraft 3 (a rip on the visual/graphical style of the game).

Second, I was one of those who wanted in-game games to pass the time. =P Though, if I remember right, City of Heroes had a card game or something? Anyway, I actually got a few friends together in WoW, sat at an Inn, and we played some 'dice' games using the /random function. Everyone actually said they had a good time and it was a bit of a nice change of pace.

Third, Paper Mario (Wii) has games within a game. PS3 will pretty much be a MMO for playing games within a game. hehe, So, I guess it's getting more popular.


Re:Deep Scan (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905147)

I loved the generic Ultima (Overland) that was in System Shock. Whenever I wanted to take a break from mutants and robots, I'd play the many sub-games that you'd collect as software additions.
It'd be neat if Fallout 3's Pipboy did the same thing (even if it's just Pong). Things like this add depth to the game universe. It shows the designers were thinking.

Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors (4, Informative)

Conception (212279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903283) tml []

"Years ago, I'd heard about a mythical unreleased videogame developed by Penn & Teller for the Sega CD and 3DO. The game was supposed to be an oddball adventure game, with some cruel magic tricks and minigames thrown in for good measure. This Absolute Entertainment press release from March 1995 sums it up nicely.

The most infamous part was "Desert Bus," a "VeriSimulator" in which you drive a bus across the straight Nevada desert for eight hours in real-time. Then you drive it home. Also, I'd read the bus veers to the right, so you can't just leave the joypad propped up. The rumor was that if you won the game, you got one point."

Re:Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors (3, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903395)

There was more, P&T were going to include a contest in the pamphlet. The person with the highest score after a year (verified by a screenshot of the score counter, which had 5 or 8 digits IIRC, even though it took a full 8 hours to get one point) would win an actual bus trip across the desert with a fully loaded bus with Playboy bunnies or whatever they could get.

IIRC at least some playable form of that game exists because there are strategy guides online for how to beat the adventure portion of it (it was pretty kooky even by adventure game standards, in some places you can have Teller get on his hands and knees behind a bad guy and have Penn push the bad guy back to knock him over for instance). I think there was a side or top scrolling shooter in there too. It's a shame Penn and Teller developed it for a doomed system like the SegaCD.

Re:Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903961)

Also, if you paused the game to go do whatever, when you'd return to unpause it you'd have to sit through a scene of P&T eating a pizza or something. Meaning you had to wait for them, after they were done waiting for you :-)

Zero Wing (5, Funny)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903305)

'nuff said

Re:Zero Wing (2)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903641)

I was thinking that myself. I would also like to add the original Resident Evil, with voice acting so bad it was hilarious.

"What IS this? I hope this is not Chris' blood"

Re:Zero Wing (1)

Artaxs (1002024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904015)

Yeah, the "B-movie acting" in an otherwise great game really stuck with me. Lines like "you, the master of lock picking" were laughable even when I was a teenager.

Re:Zero Wing (2, Funny)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904529)

Oh! That reminds me of another great one. I got a copy of "Touch Typing of the Dead" out of the bargin bin for a dollar. It was basicly House of the Dead but with the guns replaced with touch typing. My friend and I got a case and sat up getting wasted and playing that all night.

Re:Zero Wing (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905125)

That reminds me of another great one. I got a copy of "Touch Typing of the Dead" out of the bargin bin for a dollar.
Damn, I've been wanting to get that game. (I think it's just "Typing of the Dead" though.) Resellers on are asking $98.95 + $3.95 shipping for the Windows version, used. Looks like it would be cheaper to get a used Dreamcast with keyboard and, for $19.95, the Dreamcast version of the game.

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (2, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903853)

Maybe it's not as "bad" as Zero Wing in terms of insufficient development, but considering more recent events concerning the main character, the premise(rescuing little girls) is hilariously wrong! I figured that it deserves amention here.

Re:Zero Wing (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905087)

Actually, Zero Wing ain't a bad game. It's a run-of-the-mill shooter whose horrible translation propelled it to something parallel to greatness, so in that you are correct. But the article is specifically talking about bad gameplay, and "take off every zig" has nothing to do with that.

right and wrong (4, Insightful)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903311)

i think the premise of this story is wrong.

there aren't many "b" games, because "b" games are often buggy and unplayable. bugs are not fun or funny or tolerable. I don't crash out of a game and go "haha that was so bad it was fun". no.

even with the worst movies, they still "work" because all you are doing is watching them. there's no technological requirement. it's not like the movie film breaks while watching or anything.

it would require an unusual development house to create a game with no programming bugs and reasonable graphics engine to support a totally shoddy gameplay that allowed for humour and enjoyment.

Re:right and wrong (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903883)

it would require an unusual development house to create a game with no programming bugs and reasonable graphics engine to support a totally shoddy gameplay that allowed for humour and enjoyment.

I'd say you've hit the nail there...

The FP compares technical problems that prevent game-play, with technical problems documented in but not affecting movie-play.

As the best analogy to a B-movie I can think of, take something like Maniac Mansion... Completely absurd plot and bad "acting", yet it has a pretty strong cult following. But as you point out, that occurs deliberately rather than accidentally, making it more of a spoof than an actual "B"-game in itself.

Deus Ex II (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903929)

What about DX2:The Invisible War?

The programming is great and it doesn't crash, yet you never stop laughing, beginning with the loading screen ["The Future War on Terror"]

Re:right and wrong (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903949)

...which is pretty much exactly what the article says. Because the game involves 'doing' and not 'watching' you're pretty much forced to deal with the warts firsthand. While it might be funny to watch the actors knock over cardboard graves in 'Plan 9 From Outer Space,' it would annoy the hell out of me if I went to jump onto a platform in a game and fell through it. As a result of this forced interaction, bad tends to be bad, rather than being funny. Though I'd submit there are games that embrace the B-movie mindset. Take 'Earthworm Jim,' for example. It played well, but the concept was absurd and the game was packed with gags and inexplicable weirdness. Or 'Zombies Ate My Neighbors': great game, but with a story ripped straight for a direct to video monster flick. These would be like the 'Grindhouse' of games: executed with skill, but in the spirit of something much sillier and more low brow.

Re:right and wrong (1)

*weasel (174362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904585)

A B movie isn't analogous to an unplayable game.
Just as you can watch and follow a B movie, you should be able to play a B game.

What makes a movie a B movie is laughably bad story execution, acting, etc.
So a B game should be completely playable, but with a laughably bad story execution, voice acting, etc.

The problem is that describes every story-driven video game out there this side of the True Greats.
Example: Gears of War. In the space of video games, it tells a coherent story with fairly high production values. But in a film, without gameplay as camouflage, those characterizations and that dialogue would get nervous laughter while people tried to figure out whether it was intentional parody.

So the question really is: where are our 'A' games?

Re:right and wrong (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905251)

Taking the gameplay out of the equation, Command and Conquer is a "B" movie. Einstein going back in time, shooting hitler, and then stalin invading anyway; giant towers that shoot electricity with vicious guard dogs; even a hot, buxom woman with two pistols that likes to blow things up. All these things are a formula for a bad movie plot, and yet Red Alert is one of the great RTS games.

Not entirely true. (2, Insightful)

GiMP (10923) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903337)

The AI in some games really is funny. Scorched3d for instancs, when you play the "easy" mode, has bots so dumb, they often shoot themselves. However, this isn't really a "bad game" as the higher modes are more challenging.

How about the Street Fighter II series? Certainly, at some point, if not from the beginning, it was so bad -- it became a joke. I have recently started up a game of this, not because it was fun, but it was a great laugh -- its infamous.

Of course, no discussion of B games is complete without talk of Cluster's Revenge...

Re:Not entirely true. (2, Informative)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903671)

I assume you meant Custer's Revenge ('s_Revenge [] , for those who haven't had the displeasure of seeing it)

It really is a classic bad game. But I wouldn't say that its "so bad it's funny", nor "so bad it's good"... Its just a bad, bad, game. Maybe if the premise wasn't rape it could have come closer - but it seems like without the rape it would be "shit", instead of "disgusting shit"

Re:Not entirely true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19904855)

It's not rape, it's BDSM!

Re:Not entirely true. (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905209)

To be honest, I don't seem to recall anything saying it was definitive rape.

SF II? What? (4, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904995)

How about the Street Fighter II series? Certainly, at some point, if not from the beginning, it was so bad -- it became a joke. I have recently started up a game of this, not because it was fun, but it was a great laugh -- its infamous.

You're kidding, right? The game that largely launched the 2D fighter genre in America? There were similar games before SF II, but it was the first of its kind to reach the kind of popularity it has when it was out.

You could make the argument that someone along the way its sequels became derivative and boring compared to games like the Tekken series, but the original SF II was a classic.

B-Games (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903345)

The reason for this is pretty simple. You still watch a bad movie in the exact same way you would watch a great movie. A bad game, however, has gameplay and controls so awkward or downright frustrating that you are immediately sick of the game.

Time Killers (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903397)

A great example of a b-game is Time Killers [] .

Re:Time Killers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19903595)

Another example IMO is Earth Defense Force 2017 []

Re:Time Killers (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904345)

I love that game! The last boss is freaking impossible, but there's always the odd chance that you can win by decapitating your enemy in the first minute.

Re:Time Killers (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905153)

True enough. Though Time Killers was a great game in spite of its flaws, not a game whose flaws became a part of why the game was enjoyable.

I have to give it a lot of props just for not being a Street Fighter clone at a time when such were ubiquitous and universally crappy. Not only was Time Killers better than your average SF clone, it was more original. I really enjoyed touches like the way wounds would appear on your character when they got hit, and who didn't love walking up to their stunned opponent and proceeding to literally carve them into pieces? The way blood would spurt out of your shoulder stump when you tried to attack with a missing limb? Or having both arms lopped off and trying to kick and head butt the opponent to death for a "limbless victory"?

Unfortunately despite a lot of promise, poor and unresponsive controls are what kept it from becoming famous. All the characters felt awkward and slow. And it's the smoothness and responsivness of SFII that really made it a great game. So sadly, Time Killers isn't so bad its good, it's so good that what's bad about it is unforgivably bad.

Flawed premise (4, Interesting)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903399)

Just because the author never sits around and laughs at really bad games, or plays them with friends in social settings, they shouldn't assume no one does.

Ironically enough, this story gets posted just days after I ordered the dreamcast "classic" Illbleed, for the express purpose of having some friends over and mocking it roundly as I force them to play the first level or so. (I have some very fond memories of when it was inflicted on me, so I figure it's time to pass it on.)

Another good example is "detective" from the interactive fiction scene, which was actually bad enough that someone made an MST3K version of it, where as you play, Tom Servo, Crow, etc, mock it along with you. (Ahh, the joys of a text based interface.)

There are definitely game equivalents to Manos: The Hands of Fate. I submit that the author just hasn't looked hard enough.

Re:Flawed premise (2, Informative)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903893)

Another good example is "detective" from the interactive fiction scene, which was actually bad enough that someone made an MST3K version of it, where as you play, Tom Servo, Crow, etc, mock it along with you. (Ahh, the joys of a text based interface.)

"detective" alone is a counterexample to this article. Link [] - plays in frotz and other Infocom game interpreters.

Re:Flawed premise (1)

Tiny Elvis (171954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904673)

'MST3000 presents "detective"' is really hilarious. Anyone who has played infocom back in the day should check it out.

It's not really an apples to apples comparison... (1)

vell0cet (1055494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903413)

Yet. The thing is... most of what you're talking about that makes a bad game is bugs. Things crashing, things not working the way they're supposed to. The thing about B movies (or at least the "cult" hits) are that they are functional as movies. The bad games that you are probably thinking of don't even function properly as games. As the games industry matures, I'm sure more and more games will be less "broken" and actually function as games. At which point I'm sure we'll see tons of playable, crappy, cult hits. In fact, IMO Myst is the first of those BAD cult hit games. The game sucked - sorry to everyone that likes it, it was an interactive photoCD that destroyed the point and click adventure genre. The only reason it was successful at all was because it was the CD-ROM killer app. But at least it worked. (Also, the original version was done in HyperCard - does anyone even know what that is? It came free with System 7 on Macintosh).

Re:It's not really an apples to apples comparison. (1)

vell0cet (1055494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903465)

OH! How could anyone forget Night Trap? That game is so awesomely bad, I could play it over and over. In fact, I'm going to see if I can fish my copy out of my collection... ugh... and a system to play it on.

Re:It's not really an apples to apples comparison. (1)

adamstew (909658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903795)

I remember HyperCard! I used to write bad games in it all the time! It was how I taught myself to code!

Hypercard is an excellent engine for doing a game like Myst. Myst was basically a 3D rendered slideshow presentation with a story. Hypercard is just was marketed as a presentation software, not a development environment. But it was presentation software that had an entire programming language to drive was a wildly popular cult software development program for Mac. I honestly wish that Apple would resurrect was simple enough that I (as a 10 year old child with no software development experience at all) could learn and write pretty complex stuff with nothing but the software, a 200 page manual that listed commands, and a couple of programs I downloaded from other people to see "how they did things".

Re:It's not really an apples to apples comparison. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905145)

Check the wikipedia entry [] , it lists several modern alternatives to Hypercard.

What you need to do is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19905155) out for bad apples masquerading as oranges. Damn that ING Direct guy....

"Stealth" for the NES (3, Funny)

FraudulentTom (1010155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903435)

I disagree with this assertion. As a counterexample, I offer the game simply titled "Stealth" for the NES. This is a game where your stealth fighter attacked a group of enemy fighters whose numbers increased by 2 per mission. It started at 4 and went, as far as I can tell, into infinity. The so-bad-it's-good-ness came from the mechanics of flight. Your fighter managed to fly just as effectively straight up into the air, straight down, upside down, etc as it did in any other position. But the best part was the combat; all you had to do to avoid enemy fire was turn around. Much like actual dogfighting, your enemies could only damage you if you could see them.

Sewer Shark (1)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903443)

Sewer Shark was NOT fun. I remember playing that game for so long, getting everything perfect, until I took ONE wrong turn and exploded on a wall because of it. Then I was treated to a full motion video (it was Sega CD after all...) of some guy telling me I'm a loser and a screw-up, then it's game over. No save game, no continue password, NOTHING.

Re:Sewer Shark (1)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903521)

i think i remember that, was it the one with 8-bit looking bats and junk in it which made no sense?

Re:Sewer Shark (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903581)

Funny, I didn't think it was that hard. They gave you plenty of time to pick a tunnel. Once I figured out that you can't just shoot the whole time (it cost you fuel) it was pretty easy. I got to the point where I could beat it nearly every time before I gave it up, about 2 or 3 weeks after getting it.

Re:Sewer Shark (1)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903713)

Well I didn't have that patience. Miss one turn, 30 minutes later you die taking the exact turns they told you to because you were slightly off track from that one you missed. I couldn't play it for 2-3 weeks, I couldn't play it for 2-3 days. I commend you on your godlike patience, sir. I'm just glad I got that game for free.

Re:Sewer Shark (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904209)

Sewer Shark was one of those awful decision-tree based games, like Dragon's Lair or Brain Dead 13, which probably killed it right there. Those things only offered an illusion of gameplay, as the point was basically to memorize the location of decision nodes, and the single controller move/button press that would take you down the correct path.

What!? (4, Informative)

metroid composite (710698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903523)

"Are you a bad enough dude to save the president?"
"This guy are sick!"
"All your base are belong to us."

Cases of B-Gameplay being funny are harder to think up (partially because we don't have a strong vocabulary to talk about gameplay) but I have fond memories of watching my friend play Super Mario Bros 2, float behind Wart's head, then proceed to throw vegetables at him from that location where Wart couldn't hit back. Or watching a big fearsome undead boss in a Final Fantasy get killed by a Phoenix Down.

Though yes: "bad in a good way" only happens with certain kinds of bad. When the controls are painfully bad, that sucks. Though similarly if the lighting is terrible on a TV show, that doesn't make it campy, that just makes it an eyesore.

Re:What!? (1)

Maniac-X (825402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904009)

I guess most of the funny "B" parts from video games are the voice acting. Like Castlevania: SOTN, for instance: "Die, monster. You don't belong in this world!" "Tribute!?! You steal men's souls! And make them your slaves!!!" "Perhaps the same could be said of alllll religions..."

All Your Base . . . (1)

krazo (220290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903529)

are belong to us?

Bad gameplay will never be fun but there are plenty of games which are renowned for having parts which are so terrible as to be amazingly great.

Completely off the mark! (4, Funny)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903569)

There are *numerous* games my brother and I have played over the years that are so bad they're hilarious. "Awesomely bad," I believe is the term.

Sure, games can't hope to achieve the level of greatness in this regard that films like Commando and Showdown in Little Tokyo or American Ninja 4: The Annihilation have reached, but there's definitely some gems that stood out over the years.

Exhibit 1: Captain America and the Avengers for SNES
This game has some of the most horrible dialogue and "voices" I've ever had to endure, but it's so bad it's memorable. The combat, and some boss fights (Juggernaut for example), is an atrocity because of the poor collision detection and lazy animations. And, it's impossible to beat. But hey you get to play as Captain America and Iron Man!!!
But really this game crossed from "bad" to "awesome" when I showed it to a friend, touting it as "one of the worst games I own." That day, it glitched like never again -- all the normal enemies had 10x the hit points they usually do, and all the bosses had only 1 hit point. But just as the 3rd boss arrived, "chopping" a tree down with his arm-scythe even though it was just a sprite temporarily hovering over a tree stump and the trunk/stump were different colors, the game froze :-(

Exhibit 2: Rise of the Robots for SNES
AMAZING graphics, AMAZING music. And the sort of gameplay that you can make jokes about to this day. It's a fighting game, but Player 1 can only use 1 character! This lame cyborg who has awesome moves like "punch," "crouch and punch," "kick," and "jump kick." I swear the Turtles from TMNT III: The Manhattan Project (awesome game) had more moves. Player 2, on the other hand, could use any of the "evil" robots from the single-player mode. They also had like 5 moves, but at least they looked cool and.. there was more than one of them. Player 1 *could* use any of those robots, but only if one entered a cheat code. Yes you had to cheat to use more than 1 character in a fighting game!! That game was awesome... we'd have matches where we'd say "ok you can only use 2 moves this time to fight" and so we'd use jump-kicks and crouch-kicks only or something. Oh yes, and the final boss had a move that took off 1/2 your life, and a move that recovered 100% of .. "her" health.

Exhibit 3: Amagon for NES
Nobody has actually beaten this game except for a friend of mine and I on emulator. It is right up there with The Adventures of Bayou Billy when it comes to ATROCIOUS game design. There's a million cheap deaths, the lamest enemies (and main character) I have EVER seen in a game by a huge margin, and typos in level descriptions because nobody has gotten to most of those levels anyway. The music is pure arse, and the ending? You get a big black cock in your hand. Or is it the handle of a ship steering wheel... hard to tell with the way they cropped the image. Given the rest of the game, it's probably a cock.

So yes, those games are so bad they're funny, and when I think of them I don't think "omg worst experience ever" I think "hahahhahaha." And that somewhat redeems them.

Re:Completely off the mark! (1)

Bendy Chief (633679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904025)

Amen to Rise of the Robots, that game had me so pumped off its graphics and sound when I rented it and turned out to be the most unplayable fighter ever.

Some more contenders:

Action 52 (NES): 52 ATROCIOUS games, many of which are buggy to the point of crashing, packed onto 1 $199 cartridge

AD&D Heroes of the Lance (NES): without a doubt the worst RPG ever

Pit Fighter (SNES): challenger for the crap fighter crown currently adorning the head of "Rise"

There are many, many more, all of which are funny. I am a giant connoiseur of bad movies and games, and trust me, this story is just the tip of the iceberg.

What about Rag Doll Kung Fu? (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903577)

The single-player of that game may as well have been a "B" kung-fu movie. (It included one in the cutscreens, complete with beer, pot, and shrooms.) All in all, I think it's probably the most unique game I have ever played. The only real problem I (or anyone else I know) had with it was the complete lack of dedicated server support. You could host your own dojo, but it had to be a listen server, which is ubergay (even gayer than writing "uber").

Bible Buffet! (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903589)

This guy obviously never heard of Wisdom Tree.

Re:Bible Buffet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19905161)

Was that the one you play as moses, and shoot down evil vines? With the occasional simple bible question thrown in?

My very little brother played that (it was a gift from a religious aunt). I always meant to edit the text of the questions in the binary to questions a little more interesting.

Compairing apples to lawnmowers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19903597)

When you think about a bad movie thats so bad its good, usually its the plot or the acting thats bad. Now if you want to compare this to a game, don't compare it to the game play mechanics; instead you should compare it to the plot (and perhaps character animations).

Bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19903639)

What about Seanbaby's NES page? Old Man Murray? Something Awful? Not to mention countless other sites I'm forgetting or don't know about.

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (2, Informative)

Nedry57 (951108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903679)

I can't believe nobody has brought this one up. It made me laugh so hard I could barely breathe. iew.html []

Re:Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19904119)

Why is it ranked 92 out of 39,436?

Re:Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904825)

Hah I was going to link this too. Not so much playing the game, but just reading about it and watching videos was worth signing up to gamespot.

Re:Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (1)

KIFulgore (972701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905101)

Big Rigs is hysterical, the B-game to end all B-games. Mod parent up, everyone needs to see these vids.

WarioWare? (2, Interesting)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903711)

Have you ever played it... It's horrible. Disgustingly horrible. But when you start playing multiplayer, it's a riot to play because you get to watch other people humiliate themselves in order to not lose. A good example of a horrible game being fun. Watching other people submit themselves to misery.

carmageddon 64? (2, Interesting)

Boigaz (789379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903729)

anyone else love this piece of crap? gets me in the same way as a b-movie anyway.

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (1)

stechdude33 (1101255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903809)

Clearly the person who wrote this has never played this gem...I suggest it strongly

It's not about the games anymore (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903819)

Because of the Internet and the ...questionable... use of advertising, it's not about the games per se but the stories of how those games came into being. Exhibit A: Daikatana, the story of which has been recounted in depth many times as the overreaching hubris of John Romero ("JR is going to make you his b**ch" is still probably the most extreme use of advertising *ever*). Exhibit B: Duke Nukem which is a story told in a million blog and Slashdot posts, the real story will probably be a very interesting read (and maybe Amazon will do a package deal of the book and the game).

If anything, companies should embrace this more, as GFPS (generic first person shooter) of the month comes and goes with maybe a weekend rental from Blockbuster, there's years of blood sweat and tears from the developers only to have their game disappear into the mist of time, not memory.

Though I would argue that Atari's E.T. probably walks away with everything; it was so bad it's funny (for about 1 second), and the story of its creation also makes a good story (6 weeks to write, millions of carts ordered, Arizona landfill, fall of Atari, etc.)

B Games (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19903821)

Definitive Contrary Arguement: "Sword of the Bezerk" Dreamcast...

The game shipped with a bug which made the models rotate randomly (Speed as well as direction) during cut sequences, horses, carts, people, arms, legs etc. Imagine a guy talking about the incoming monster hoard while windmilling his arms and having his head repeatedly fall INTO his chest.

We were all rolling on the floor dying with laughter during each cut sequence, the plot of the game was terrible the gameplay trite and boring. But that bug made it an amazingly fun (and funny) game...

I recommend the dreamcast just for that game... Admittedly I had a pirated version but the bug occured in the retail release as well.

Now THAT was a B game :P

Maybe they're looking at the wrong things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19903911)

I think they're looking at the wrong things when deciding what makes a "B-game". You can't consider the "mechanical" aspects of the game (e.g. gameplay). A B-movie still plays in a projector, what makes it a B movie is the content not how well it "runs". The same should apply to games, the mechanical aspects of the gameplay should not be considered; rather the game's content, the plot, the characters, the locations, the graphics, etc.

To that end I think the original Resident Evil fully qualifies as a B-Game. The play was innovative and well done for the period, but the voice acting was so bad it was laughable, as were some of the numerous horror movie clichés.

I'd consider Need for Speed: Most Wanted a B-game as well. Obviously the racing element of the game doesn't apply; but the cutscenes, with their silly faux-urban actors, are so bad you can't help but enjoy how preposterous they are.

Make My Video (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904031)

Marky Mark [] , INXS [] , and Kris Kross [] .

Terrible games, but funny in a "I remember what FMV looked like in 1992!" way.

Are you kidding me? (0, Redundant)

p4rri11iz3r (1084543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904035)

Here, on slashdot, nobody thought of "someone sent us up the bomb"?

Although I've never played it, from what I've read [] , this game was quite bad (especially the traslation). Yet it is very well known amongst gamers as being such.

For shame, slashdot, for shame. Clearly, all your base are belong to me!!

Superman 64? (1)

aafiske (243836) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904137)

Honestly, we were dying laughing as my friend piloted Superman through hoops, ran up to a villain and blew on him, then flew threw _yet more hoops_. Even today referring to flying through hoops cracks us up. It was probably funnier since he had only rented it, instead of blowing $50 on that pile of crap. The blockbuster employee even tried to talk him out of it.

There definitely *ARE* "B games"... (4, Interesting)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904199)

... it's just that they are not "B games" because they're "so bad that they're good", they are "B games" because they were some publisher's second-string lineup that no one *expected* to be any good.


Katamari Damashii was a low-budget, barely translated, non-marketed, import that Nameco dumped straight into the $20 bargain bin when they released it to the US. They probably figured that since there was so very little work to do to localize it for the US (No voice acting... just translate some text.), that if even a handful of copies sold to the extreme Japan-o-nerds for $20, they'd make a few extra free bucks. The release of Katamari Damashii very much followed the pattern of a B movie... in the olden days it would be the first movie shown on the drive-in before the frature attraction, and now it'd go direct to DVD without ever seeing a theatre screen.

Katamari was a "B game" in pretty much every sense except being bad... It turned out to be so uniquely, spectacularly, and unexpectedly great that people forget, now, that in the US it was intended only as a second-string and second-rate release.


Loom (1)

andawyr (212118) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904263)

From Lucasfilm.....worst game *ever*. Took about 70 minutes to finish, and it was a full price game. Bad story line, hokey graphics, and wayyyy to easy puzzles...

How does Dead Rising fit into this... (1)

doctorzizmore (999192) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904381)

discussion. I found it barely playable when I first got it, due to a horrible controller layout and mediocre graphics (for a 360 game), but the mindless slaughter of zombies has definitely grown on me. Nothing is dumber and funnier than smashing undead skull with a weight set. It's also interesting because this game is actually trying to be a B movie.

Re:How does Dead Rising fit into this... (1)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904979)

How about dropping one of the big lego heads onto a zombie and watching them bounce off of walls endlessly? That was funny for the whole 15 minutes I watched it lol!

Bobby Charlton's Fishing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19904441)

Sorry - I trump everything with the above (and I had the misfortune to be working for Alligata when they released it). Fishing for the C64 ... you sit...and wait...and wait...and wait...then the rod wiggles, you hit a key and catch a fish. Then wait... Truly truly awful - the best bit was the box cover, with the photo of the happy nuclear family sitting excitedly around the C64.

B Games - You Decide (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904453)

Dave 2 - by John Carmack (I think)
Scorched Earth

There was a $5 bin game called Think, great puzzle game for early gaming. Decent graphics, decent level of complexity in puzzles. I wouldn't call it a B-Game, but I've never met anyone else who's heard of it.

I'm very grey and old (2, Insightful)

obarel (670863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904595)

But the ZX Spectrum had many 'B' games, simply because it was so easy to write and publish at the time.

"Gulpman", anyone?
How about "Pedro"?

I once bought an adventure game only to find that it was text only and quite boring. I didn't laugh. I can't even remember the name (but side B wouldn't load... disgraceful).

Kingdom of Loathing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19904631)

I don't know whether you'd class Kingdom of Loathing [] as a "bad" game that's good, but it's basically a web-based MMORPG that is drawn with stick figures. It's pretty funny and addictive, but it's intentionally low-quality and funny, so does it count?

What about promotional games? (1)

ectal (949842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904637)

I mean... For just one example, this was so bad it was good: []

Custer's Revenge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19904911)

Fairly self-explanatory.

Two Words (2)

ghideon (720955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19904971)

Redneck rampage []

There is too such a game! It says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19905227)


How About God Hand? (1)

bym051d (980242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905169)

God Hand is a pretty badly made game that seems to have found some degree of a cult following since it found its way to the $20 bin.

Turbo Frequently Ruckus (1)

Volatile_Memory (140227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905187)

Sosumi Corp [] for YOU!

Not True (0)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905237)

Watching my wife play "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider".

It may or may not be a bad game -- but she never got ANYWHERE with it. Renamed it to "Kill Lara", and played it for laughs (how many ways can Lara die?)

A PC game called "Baby". Babies being thrown out of a burning building - catch them or they go "splot" on the ground. Disgusting, but strangely, fun. (vintage, CGA, early 80's). The silly banana game packaged with MS BASIC -- not funny.

Sims. This one I get a laugh over. You get to have a "life" in a computer. Modeling life outside the computer. Why? It may not be a bad game, or maybe it is. Who's to know? Anyway, I laugh whenever I see someone playing it. Of course, I have the urge to see someone playing Sims inside of Sims...

Same deal for "Second Life".

I guess if its "bad", its "good". So the problem is one of definition.

Last Battle (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905263)

I'm gonna go with Last Battle [] for the Genesis on this one. Beefy guys with huge bodies and puny, puny heads standing at the end of monotonous levels whining about "I want to be a hero" and other such comedy gems. It's almost worth playing just to see what stupid thing the characters will say next.

See also the review at Something Awful [] .

I've got one for you... (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905267)

Hakai Oh: King of Crusher.

It's an obscure Japan-only PS1 release. It is also HILARIOUSLY bad. From what I can tell, the story line revolves around your John Q Public character being bitten by some alien fly as a child. Then later in life, the fly returns. Said character then relapses, goes into a rage, and starts breaking everything, while his wife and child flee the house. And then, you break stuff. Seriously, that's it. But it gets worse (or better, depending on your point of view). Your character corners about as well as a city bus, desks and furniture explode into flat polygons as you "attack" them, trees tip over like cardboard stand-ups, and the "growl" that your character emits upon completing a stage is the icing on the cake.

Seriously, if you have the means to obtain and play Japanese PS1 games, you need to try this one to marvel at its awfulness.

in Soviet Russia... (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905317)

Bad game - Mocks your intelligence.

Crackdown (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19905331)

The XBox360 game Crackdown is a B-rated as they come.

Fun as hell sometimes, but so over the top and bad I felt like I was playing a white Midwestern teen boy's idea of the "Ultimate Justice" after he watched too many lone cop movies.

So the programming of the game, and the art may not be "B", but the content sure the hell was.

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