10 of the Crappiest and Most Expensive Video Games Ever Made

By Brian Hanson in Daily Lists, Gaming, Video Games
Friday, April 25, 2014 at 6:00 am

5) Spider-Man: Web of Fire


While we're on the Sega tip, here's a piece of licensed-gaming hell that was exclusive to Sega's infamously disastrous 32X add-on for the Genesis. Spider-Man: Web of Fire was the final game released for the 32X before Sega threw up their hands in desperation, wondering why nobody was eager to spend 150 bucks to make their Genesis look like a mutated monster that used up more power than a Hadron Collider.

Web of Fire is terrible in ways that all shitty licensed games are terrible. The controls are floaty and unresponsive, the graphics look like a 1995 SGI Workstation went through a garden mulcher, and it's buggy as hell. Except the developers took the extra step of shittiness, delivering to the moribund 32X a game that was obviously unfinished. Not only does Web of Fire suck, it's also incredibly short, and poking around in the games' code shows that there were more than a few levels and bosses that were scrapped in favor of shitting out one last cartridge for Sega's Failure Machine.

Because the game sucked and was the last game made for a system that sucked and nobody wanted, Web of Fire was rumored to have a very low print-run of about 1,500 units or so. Whenever a copy pops up on eBay, they sell for over 200 bucks. Have fun!

4) Plumbers Don't Wear Ties and Super Models Go Wild


This entry combines several defining elements of this article thus far - unlicensed pseudo-pornography, crappy FMV-type games, and absurdly expensive "multimedia" systems that were rendered almost instantly obsolete by the Sony Playstation!

These two hardly-interactive "adult" "games" were developed for the 3DO. You remember, that 700 dollar monstrosity whose ads promised such IMMENSE TECHNICAL INNOVATION that you'll never have sex or masturbate until your death.

In any case, the 3DO was the home to a number of inane FMV games in the vein of Night Trap and others, but Plumbers Don't Wear Ties and Super Models Go Wild really take the proverbial cake.

Ostensibly a way for 13-year olds to view nude woman-flesh on their expensive game systems donated by their grandparents' trust fund, these games are supposed to be "adult-oriented" "entertainment" but fail in ways that even Bubble Bath Babes couldn't accomplish. There's nothing, *nothing* sexy about severely .JPEG-ed artifacts in the form of MPEG-1 video with horrible mid-90's hair.

And speaking of masturbation, it would take the most devoted, boner-deprived man to derive any sort of sexual gratification from either of these games; Plumbers Don't Wear Ties promotes itself as an "FMV Adventure," but really, only the opening has any sort of FMV, while the rest of the game is nothing but still photographs of mid-'90s amateur models in various poses of unsexy fun. While Super Models Go Wild is about as titillating as a flickering light bulb.

Either way, these horrible non-game, non-sexy sex games will cost you over 100 bucks each.

3) Zelda's Adventure and Zelda: The Faces of Evil


And speaking of awful multimedia systems! Just in case you missed your video game history books, in the early '90s, Sony, who had devised the wonderful sound chip for the Super Nintendo, had made a deal with Nintendo to devise a CD-based add-on for the Super Nintendo called the "Play Station." it seemed like a wonderfully symbiotic relationship; Nintendo could extend the life of their Super NES, while Sony could make their first foray into the lucrative console market. But things quickly went sour; once stingy Nintendo head honcho Hiroshi Yamauchi looked over the details of the contract, which dictated that Sony would receive a small pittance of the profits from each of the "Play Station" games sold, Yamauchi threw a fit and ordered his company to quickly backtrack on the deal. In secret, Nintendo was also meeting with Sony's competitor Philips for the possibility of developing a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Nintendo. Neither of these machines made it to market, but Philips' contract with Nintendo stuck, which meant that the fallout of these negotiations - the Philips CD-i - meant that Philips could access Nintendo's library of Intellectual Property for some quick, dirty cash-ins.

Chief among them being the three awful Legend of Zelda games. Part of Nintendo's contract with Philips was allowing them to access some of Nintendo's deep library of Intellectual Property, so Philips outsourced three different (and yet equally terrible) Legend of Zelda games. The two rarest are Zelda's Adventure, wherein Zelda herself stops the evil forces of Ganon, and Zelda: The Faces of Evil, which features Link in an awful 2D adventure with awful animation created by poorly-paid Russian animators attempting to create something as emotionally resonant as DiC's Legend of Zelda TV series.

2) Ewok Adventures, the prototype


There are no shortage of abandoned prototypes for the Atari 2600, but one of them stands head-and-shoulders above the rest; Ewok Adventures.

By now everybody's heard of the story about the E.T. the Extra Terrestrial game being so bad that they buried it in a landfill, but think about this: if the E.T. game actually made it to market, how bad are the games that never even made it past the prototype phase?

The answer is: pretty awful. Especially a game based upon a TV special that in itself is based upon one of the most annoying aspect of the Star Wars universe. Ewok Adventures was one of those games that was tested before a bunch of confused kids behind a one-sided mirror, all of whom probably found the game "crappy," so Ewok Adventures was cancelled.

And yet, the game was leaked by one of the developers to the general public via eBay. A legit copy of the prototype is effectively priceless, since having access to such a rare piece of video game ephemera is difficult to quantify. And yet, I can say with utter certainty: this game sucks. Sucks about as much as the Ewok Adventures TV movies.

1) Speed Racer on Super Nintendo, With the Stupid Exercise Bike


Taking the cake out of all these crappy games is this, the Ark of the Covenant of shitty game collectors.This is the awful Speed Racer game for Super Nintendo that supported one of the most expensive and unnecessary peripherals ever devised for gaming: an exercise bike.

Yessir, this game made use of a fucking exercise bike to control the famous Mach 5 as it drove through throngs of badly-designed levels. This game will cost you almost over 3 thousand dollars.

Just something to think about the next time you consider a brand-new, 60-dollar game "too expensive."

More from Brian Hanson:
3 Cool Things From Otakon Vegas (Plus 6 Things I Hate About Vegas)
Seven Reasons Why Heroes of Cosplay is Terrible

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