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It's funny.  Laugh. Entertainment Games

There Are No Games So Bad They're Funny 225

Posted by Zonk
from the not-so-much-funny-ha-ha dept.
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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There Are No Games So Bad They're Funny

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  • 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... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Halifax Samuels (1124719) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:04PM (#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.
    • by snowgirl (978879)
      I must say, I played that "Where's an Egg?" And yeah... that's just... wow... so bad it's funny...
    • Re:Wrong... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SQLGuru (980662) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:38PM (#19903811) Journal
      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        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 tha

        • by shawb (16347)
          There is another thing that allows B movies to become cult classics while so far B games have not. The social aspect: watching B movies with friends is fun. Watching B movies alone generally runs from boring to painful. I'll give Army of Darkness an exception because I think it also works as a straight comedy... but it's still the kind of movie that's better with friends. Because of the lack of social aspect, cheesy video games will never succed. Oops... I gotta go. It's almost rollover. Gonna spend s
      • Re:Wrong... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by badasscat (563442) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <57tedacssab>> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @02:28PM (#19905487)
        Mocking games = Mystery Science Theater 3000.
        Cult following = The Rocky Horror Picture was so bad but has a huge following BECAUSE it was bad.

        Well this is actually a little more complex than that.

        I would argue that there is plenty of "mocking" in the popularity of RHPS. That doesn't make it any less fun to watch it, or have any less of a cult following. In fact, you could reasonably argue that a show like Mystery Science Theater 3000 grew directly out of the audience participation in RHPS.

        RHPS was also intended as a b-movie. It wasn't made with the thought that they were making a quality film. They wanted people to make fun of it, and hoped to generate a cult following through that. The producers were disappointed when it didn't happen originally - then the audience participation part kicked in a few years post-release, which reportedly took everybody involved by surprise.

        There are other movies like that, intended to generate a cult following by purposely copying traits found in unintentional b-movies. The Evil Dead series is another example. The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. Heathers. The list goes on. It's almost a genre unto itself, these purposeful b-movies. I think people end up enjoying these on several different levels (some people on more or fewer levels than others), whether they realize it or not.

        As for games, I think there are several that fit into that same category - games that don't really adhere to modern standards for what we consider a "quality" game, and that ape conventions from the past or from campy sources with the intent of generating a cult following. Enjoyment comes as much from the camp value of these games as the gameplay mechanic. I'm thinking of a game like Viewtiful Joe in this category. Or Katamari Damacy. I'm not saying these aren't good games (they are), but they are definitely intended to be laughed "at" rather than "with" to a certain degree. I mean nobody who watches the first cut-scene with the "King of All Cosmos" would ever take the game seriously. It's not just about humor, either; it's about ridiculousness.

        I also think there *are* some unintentional b-grade games that are popular and are taken at face value. The Resident Evil series is a perfect example of that. It's total camp horror, and a big gore-fest, but people love it.

        So I guess what I'm saying is that I disagree with the original article. There are b-grade games that are fun to play, both of the intentional and unintentional variety.
        • There are other movies like that, intended to generate a cult following by purposely copying traits found in unintentional b-movies.

          Two great, but ultimately underperforming films with that approach recently were Grindhouse and (seriously) Snakes on a Plane. I suspect the approach doesn't work with audiences who are susceptible to actually being scared by them?

      • by antime (739998)
        Every year the newsgroup comp.sys.sinclair [comp.sys.sinclair] holds a "Crap Games Competition" [] where people code purposefully bad games in honor of a collection of truly rubbish games that was released for the Spectrum in the early 80s. The concept has proven so popular that it has spread to other [] systems []. However the other competitions have been accused of missing the point as the submissions are too good.

        To summarize, while no-one may be playing bad games, the idea of bad games have certainly gained a cult following.

      • by Wdomburg (141264)
        Cult following = The Rocky Horror Picture was so bad but has a huge following BECAUSE it was bad.

        Eh? I wouldn't consider RHPS bad. Budget production, sure, but certainly not bad.
    • Their site is a joke -- literally a giant Flash page.

      (I'm assuming it's Flash -- on Konqueror, I just see "start plugin", so maybe it's Java...)
  • by Conception (212279) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:03PM (#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."
    • by jandrese (485) <> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:10PM (#19903395) Homepage Journal
      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.
  • Zero Wing (Score:5, Funny)

    by doombringerltx (1109389) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:05PM (#19903305)
    'nuff said
    • by Psmylie (169236) *
      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: (Score:2, Funny)

        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.
        • by HTH NE1 (675604)

          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.
    • 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.

      • by k_187 (61692)
        ha, my friends and I were on a quest to beat that(sorry) back in the day. I have a friend we still call "michael" in that high pitched way the children say it when you rescue them. Totally awesome.
    • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeffSh (71237) < minus distro> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:05PM (#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.
    • by pla (258480)
      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
      • by Dan D. (10998)
        You know I think you could consider adventure games in that original search and puzzle form the B-game cult following.

        Except its more like the gameplay is what gets it. Its not funny, but its cult. Longest Journey and Syberia were traditional adventures that people really dug and have a following, but its not like an A-game's following. Some of the hardcore strategy war games that are designed to be long and boring and detailed... its like their designed to be bad, except there's people that love it.

    • 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"]
    • ...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-mov
    • by *weasel (174362)
      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
      • 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.
        • by Sigma 7 (266129)

          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.

          From a technical aspect, Red Alert was simply an interface improvement over the original C&C. It would be considered clunky by modern standards (especially by the standards of the two following sequels).

          As an example, I'll create a concept for a new game - you control a small number of units rather than large armies (usually 9 or 10). You also have a few buildings which can either create these units, or upgrade modules for them. These modules will improve the weaponry and armor of the unit, although

    • Both tech and story can be bad without a game actually crashing or being unplayable.

      The tech was actually just a bit above Doom at the time, I suppose, and the engine was (is) rock solid. But the gameplay was oddly unbalanced -- just enough to be ludicrously funny. For example, the Pistol is laughably weak (surprise, surprise), the chaingun and such are actually reasonably balanced, but there are also just downright weird weapons (like the shrink ray -- shrink your enemies and then step on them), and ludicr
  • Not entirely true. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GiMP (10923) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:06PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joe 155 (937621)
      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"
      • To be honest, I don't seem to recall anything saying it was definitive rape.
        • You play Custer of the US Cavalry. You're goal is to screw a native American woman who is bound to a stake. Meanwhile other native Americans shoot arrows at you.
          Given the actual history of Custer it would certainly seem like such an event would be considered rape. Sure the box didn't use the word but even the imagery there is of a scared native American girl and a leering perverted looking Custer.
    • SF II? What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @01:57PM (#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.
      • by GiMP (10923)

        Certainly, at some point, if not from the beginning, it was so bad -- it became a joke

        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

        I agree that the game was influential in popularizing the genre, but my point was more towards your latter assessment. The many derivatives of the game were so tactless that I consider them to fall into the "B" camp. Surely, at some point

  • 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.
  • A great example of a b-game is Time Killers [].
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      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
  • Flawed premise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mathonwy (160184) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:10PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cheesey (70139)
      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.
  • by FraudulentTom (1010155) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:12PM (#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.
  • What!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by metroid composite (710698) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:18PM (#19903523) Homepage Journal
    "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.
    • Awesome! I'd forgotten that one.

      Except I believe the actual quote is: "Are you a bad enough dude to rescue Ronnie?"

      Another one with awesomely poor dialogue is House of the Dead 2:

      "No-one's gonna get away with this!!!"
  • by Sciros (986030) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @12:21PM (#19903569) Journal
    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.
    • Terrific post that completely invalidates the argument made in the article.

      Thanks for reminding me of the adventures of Bayou Billy. I actually beat the game in my elementary school days since my game library was small which gave me a lot of time to play it. A great example of an awesomely bad game, with dialogue as bad as any other example you could name.

      Actually, every movie The Angry Nintendo Nerd [] has ever featured could qualify (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR OLD SCHOOL NES FANS).
  • 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").
  • This guy obviously never heard of Wisdom Tree.
  • I can't believe nobody has brought this one up. It made me laugh so hard I could barely breathe. iew.html []
  • definitely not safe for work. but brilliant. l []
  • WarioWare? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by danbert8 (1024253)
    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? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Boigaz (789379)
    anyone else love this piece of crap? gets me in the same way as a b-movie anyway.
  • 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 re
  • 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 b
  • Marky Mark [], INXS [], and Kris Kross [].

    Terrible games, but funny in a "I remember what FMV looked like in 1992!" way.
  • 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.
  • by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @01:01PM (#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.


    • I may have heard this wrong (and things may have changed since I heard it), but I seem to recall that there are two pricepoints for games in Japan. Something like $20 for "minor" games (Katamari, for instance), and the usual $60 or so for, say, MGS, FFXII or Pro Evolution.

      Anybody know?
    • by euxneks (516538)

      The release of Katamari Damashii

      Only fellow japan-o-nerds would call it that instead of what's actually on the box [].
      Actually, scratch that, I still call it "Katamari Damacy"
    • by merreborn (853723)
      Now that you mention it, the cut-scenes in Katamari Damacy really are so bad, they're hilarious.

      Each one is some weird animation with a poorly-done child voice over saying something bizarre like "Wow. Space is like a giant bowl of chocolate soup that goes on forever..."
  • by andawyr (212118)
    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...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Are you insane?

      Loom was one of the all-time great games!
      • by Jack9 (11421)
        One of the first successful games made using SCUMM, I have to agree that Loom was excellent. Too bad they never made the planned sequels.
  • by obarel (670863)
    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).

  • Redneck rampage []
  • 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 [].
  • 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.

  • "All your base" isn't so bad it's funny?
  • Custer's Revenge

    You play a naked General Custer with a huge erection, running across the desert avoiding arrows so you can 'molest' an Indian woman tied to a pole.
  • dude.

    Night Trap []

    Kriss Kross: Make My Video []

    Custer's Revenge []

    Stroker []

    I could go on...
  • There was a game for Intellevision where you were Dracula and you had to walk down the street and knock on their doors. When they came out you chased them around the block trying to bite them. Hilarious.

  • Whenever I think of a game so bad that it's funny, I think of Life's Battle. Since I can't do justice in saying how horribly funny this game is, I'll just provide a link to SomethingAwful's stellar game review. []. Enjoy!
  • I think the problem here is that the author's definition of a B game is a little off. I think what the author refers to as B games are more like D games, in that they just plain don't work. The programming is buggy, the game play is quirky and frustrating and overall just not fun to play at all. When I think of a B movie, I think about awesomely bad or totally strang and bizarre story lines, bad acting, poor production quality (like grainy film quality, boom-mic or other objects/people in the frame). Th
  • In my head, I file Just Cause under this category. The absolutely anemic "content" of the game is outweighed by insane character personalities and a complete disregard for any and all laws of physics. The overuse of motion blur, and the hilarious nature of the glitches I've run into strike me as the video game equivalent of zippers and strings in monster movies.
  • There are popular b games. Such as clamdigger. See clamdigger's e2 page [] for more info.

    I sought out the infamous penn and teller game too. And I have driven a bus to Las Vegas, but crashed on the way home. I got one point for that.

  • The problem is that there are different metrics at play here. When we say a movie is "good", we usually refer to the quality of acting, directing, and so on. But when we refer a "good" videogaming, most people are referring to quality of gameplay. In a movie you can have a performance that's so terrible it become unintentionally entertaining (like Dan Hedaya playing an evil central american dictator with full-on brooklyn accent in Commando []). However, there's no point at which a game becomes so unplay
  • Daikatana (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thag (8436) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @04:23PM (#19906995) Homepage
    For "just so freakin' bad" I nominate Daikatana.

    OTOH, for "kind of cheap but it knows it's bad and has fun with it," I nominate Duke Nukem.
  • I've never played them, but I laugh my ass off watching videos of all those "nintendo" games for the cd-i. Maybe the player (and certainly the developers) had to suffer for it, but the result is very entertaining.
  • No BC3K? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El_Smack (267329) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @05:02PM (#19907417)
    I can't believe no one mentioned BattleCruiser 3000 yet. of course, the funny part came in reading the authors usenet posts and the flame wars they generated, but still. If you consider the whole experience part of the game, then it was so bad, it was great.

    I really hope Derek Smart replies to this. It would be just like the old days!

    Gotta go, some kids are on my lawn!
  • I picked it up, a Doom clone - awesome, on my 486-33, it was about 15fps - ugh, I couldn't play it.
    About 6 months later I got a DX4-100, effectively 3 times faster (and back then, 3D cards didn't exist) - guess what.
    About 15 fps, terrible terrible code - some of my pals still laugh about that game to this day.
  • 'nuff said. But: I'll add more:

    Exact same game as Mortal Combat and Primal Instinct, but with different character skins and level graphics.
  • You can't have a 'game so bad it's funny' really unless parts of the game are actually 'funny' (as in well made), and most likely cutscenes or certain animations.

    Games are more like rollercoaster or amusement themepark rides then movies, in my estimation, once you've experienced a game you don't usually want to go back to it unless there is a compelling reason (multiplayer, etc).
  • Jesus, that game was hilarious. It was a God awful first gen Sega Saturn Fighting game. One of the characters had a move where he tossed his opponent over his shoulder, and since one ring out won the match you could beat the entire game by stepping backwards until you're at the edge, and then doing a throw. Then there was the girl who's sliding low kick animation was just her jump animation turned 90 Degrees. Jesus that game was awful.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.