Monday, August 21, 2006

There is a game worse than E.T.

This is some super gaming geekdom here, so not everyone is going to want to read this. Just giving you some fair warning.

There are some games that you feel cheated having played at whatever price, and I am sure we all have one or two of those titles in our pasts... some of them more recent than others(I am looking at you five-dollar copy of Celebrity Deathmatch). Of course, there are a few titles that always make the lists for the worst games ever made, but I am here to make sure that another licensed game gets some unwanted credit on some of these lists.

You see, I owned E.T.(I probably still own a copy of it), and I have to tell you, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't the worst licenced game I had played for on the 2600. It was OK. Of course, I am not going to say it wasn't one of the reasons for the great video game crash, because then I would be lying.

No, there is another title which never gets mentioned whenever bad games are discussed. You see, I played another Spielberg-inspired game that left me scarred for life, and that game was called Raiders of the Lost Ark. Of course, both games were created by the same man, Howard Scott Warshaw, who also did the amazing Yar's Revenge, so I am puzzled by just how bad this particular title is. I mean, the thing had potential, real potential. After all, unlike E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark was a great action movie, so there were lots of ways to make that fun. But it wasn't... it was boring, repetitive and difficult, three of the cardinal sins of gaming. In terms of gameplay, it was one of the most opaque games I ever played... I did eventually beat it, but my god, there was no clear sense of how to do anything, and the instructions were little help. Let's take a look at the game, shall we?

ACK Raiders of the Lost Ark

And what is sad is that the same year the Raiders game came out, Pitfall was released by Activision, and because that company was formed by ex-Atari people, it makes me wonder if the split hadn't happened, what a Raiders game based on the Pitfall-model would have been like.

I really wanted to like this game, I really did, but alas, it was not to be. And the fact that after all these years I can still remember it for being so bad, I think that really says something, don't you? Though I think I miss the days where you could see an entire game played out in 4 minutes.


Jess said...

I've never played the Lost Ark game, but I still have nightmares about trying to levitate E.T. out of all those awful pits.

MC said...

Raiders- You fall down all the time, and you either die or get your stuff stolen.

Jen said...

blogmad hit

MC said...

Thank you ma'am, may I have another.

Schadenfreude said...

The cover art on the box is by far the most exciting part of that game -- today or way back when.

MC said...

Damn straight it is.

arthbard said...

I never did figure figure out how I was supposed to dig up the ark on those weird, yellow plateau thingies. The game is like some surreal, abstract puzzle where none of the pieces make any sense.

MC said...

Well, the graphics didn't help any in figuring it out... especially since the head of the staff and the grenade looked similar to each other, so you might end up throwing away the piece that you need to solve the whole puzzle.