Nowadays comic book-based movies and cartoons are pretty good. Video games, based on superheroes are pretty average, however. But this is actually still a vast improvement, as any video game based on a comic book from 1982 through at least 2006 sucked powerfully, no matter the maker, no matter the console, no matter the hero.
So Topless Robot has compiled the 10 shittiest superhero video games of all time, not for any particular reason, other than that the disembodied head from Altered Beast visited us in our sleep last night, screamed, ?AWISE FLUM YOUR GWAVE!? and demanded that we do it. Hey?it’s better than playing a Superman video game. By a long shot.
10) Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (2005)
This Grilled Banana and Ass Sandwich (for the PS2 and Xbox) is the first game I ever reviewed for the Village Voice?s ?Game On? column. Then, I likened the generic brawler to ?hours of nut-pummeling by a relentless, sack-hating donkey.? I stand by that sentence. And if that doesn?t convince you, just remember that instead of Dr. Doom, you?ll be fighting a Cyborg Ballerina in this game.
9) Catwoman (2004)
A few weeks ago I was cleaning my cat?s litter box and a little piece of cat shit flipped through the air and got lodged in the back of my eye. That?s sort of what playing Catwoman is like. In her best ?Post-Op Tranny phone sex? voice, Halle Berry coos ?you wanna play MY game?? when you pop the disc in your PS2 or Xbox. This is supposed to sound like some lusty rhetorical question, when the correct answer is actually ?nope.? When renting Catwoman from Family Video, I actually got into an argument with the cashier. This Polo-wearing dolt insisted that, for one dollar, I could keep Catwoman for 5 whole nights. But he?s missing the point: no one wants this game for even one night.
8) Spider-man (1982)
Believe it or not, Spider-Man for the Atari 2600 was created by board game tycoons Parker Bros. Which makes sense, because it instantly reminds me of two of their other games?Sorry! and Probe. Boring and insanely difficult with an uninteresting plot, it?s definitely for fans of J. Michael Straczynski?s ?One More Day? Spidey arc. Zing!
7) Aquaman (2003)
Aquaman for the Xbox is a ?swept under the rug atrocity??like that Jerry Lewis movie about circus clowns in concentration camps. Long hearing about (but not actually believing) such a terrible game could exist, I took the bait, went to GameStop and fished it from the bargain bin for $4.99. The underwater ?adventure,? I discovered, actually removes your Achievement Points via Xbox Live if you play it. After completing Aquaman, I quietly walked into my kitchen, ingested a packet of sea monkeys and Clorox, and let the contents eat me from the inside out. FYI: if you buy, and then trade back, Aquaman at GameStop, it will net you 75 cents. How?s that for saltwater in the wound?
6) Silver Surfer (1990)
I?d rather stick the Ultimate Nullifier up my ass and ride that bitch into the deepest, darkest Black Hole than ever play the NES’ Silver Surfer again. People always whine about how hard the overhead shooter Ikuruga is. Well, try lasting more than 10 seconds in Silver Surfer, a game where the power fucking cosmic is no match for flying ghosties, Geico lizards and leaping pumpkins. If anything?ANYTHING?touches you even once, you immediately die. So, you?re like the Howie Mandel of Galactus heralds.
Take it from the Big Lebowski, Norrin Radd: ?you have failed to achieve even in the modest task that was your charge.?
5) X-Men (1989)
Video game company LJN made some passable (as in kidney stone) comic book games for the NES, like the Punisher and Wolverine. But they?ll always be remembered for the eye-socket raping they gave hopeful comic book fans when they released X-Men?an unplayable and godless perversion of 8-bit Cerebro technology. Why Stan Lee didn?t murder every last developer and their families in a shirtless, Tijuana knife-fight, I?ll never know.
X-men also proves my theory that the LJN video game company was actually an evil, elaborate experiment by aliens from the Twilight Zone. ?Look at them down there?playing X-Men and turning on each other. We?ll never even have to fire a shot?they?ll tear each other apart before they finish Level 1-1.?
In their short existence, LJN (aka, ?Let?s Justify Nihilism?) also created: Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Friday the 13th, Jaws, and the Karate Kid. Jesus on a pogo ball?these are games only Eva Braun could love.
4) Batman Forever (1995)
I know plenty of good ways to begin a Batman game, but there?s one way you don?t: unleashing the shrieking, digitized voice of Tommy Lee Jones on unsuspecting kids. This Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo game starts with Jones fucking screaming ?IF THE BAT WANTS TO PLAY, WE?LL PLAY!!!!!!? And, for me, that?s where the game ends?as I immediately pissed my pants, turned the game off and hid. If you?re not easily startled, though, you trudged through the first impossible level and turned it off anyway. Still, I never, ever forgot that ear-splitting howl. To get the full experience, click below turn your speakers ALLLL the way up, and wear a diaper. Download file
3) Spider-man: Revenge of the Sinister Six (1992)
You can jump, but you can?t kick and jump at the same time without selling your soul to Mephisto. You have one life to make it through the entire NES game. The story announces ?Dr. Octopus is plotting the crowning caper of his criminal career?to rule the world? (though chalking up world domination to ?a caper? is like calling first-degree murder ?antics?). Suddenly, Atari Spider-Man is looking pretty damn good.
2) Bibleman: A Fight for Faith (1995)
When the NES finally gave kids the joy of arcade violence in the convenience of a home console, concerned Christians got together and started cranking out games that would make the Pope weep. This War on Secular games tradition continues with the PC game Bibleman: A Fight for Faith, which steals all its gameplay cues from the Satan-time fun of Diablo II. The main villain is ?The Wacky Protestor,? an evil villain who hates free thinking and pesky skeptics. That?s funny, I always assumed The Wacky Protestor was one of Bibleman?s cronies?what with the nutty ?God hates Fags? practical jokes he?s always pulling.
This game further gyps Christian kids by featuring a new Bibleman actor, instead of original Bibleman Willie Aames (mega-star of Eight Is Enough, Zapped! and Celebrity Fat Club). So, when it comes to future Bibleman titles, I encourage Lil? Bible thumpers to follow my motto: ?If it?s got Willie Aames, bring on the games. If, instead, it stars a fake, bomb an abortion clinic.? It?s what Jesus would do, children. Also, don?t stare at Biblegirl?s tits in this game. Which are huge.
1) Superman (1988)
Most Superman games are to fun what Robert Vaughn is to acting, but only one of them opens with the Statue of Liberty actually talking to the Man of Steel.
?I?ll watch over you, now go, Superman!? she promises (unsolicited and fresh off an ego trip from her starring role in Ghostbusters II). This cut scene is a sure sign Supes should stop snorting red kryptonite off Margot Kidder?s ass.
The Bizarro World moments don?t stop there, because according to this NES game, bullets hurt the Big Blue Boy Scout (and turn him, incredibly, back into Clark Kent), your super abilities work on exactly jack shit, and the in-game puzzles are hard as Superman?s balls. And don?t expect any decent clues from the denizens of Metropolis.
?Is there a green fence by the computer center?? one clearly retarded sociopath repeats when approached. Jesus Christ, lady, why don?t I just fly backwards around the Earth and check that out for you?oh wait, I forgot?I?m not Ask Jeeves, I?m fucking Superman.
The same idiocy extends to known characters like Perry White, who barks ?I?m the Copy Chief! Go out and get me some news! We have a deadline!? Oh really? Now the Daily Planet has deadlines on yet-unknown news? Cram it, clowns.
I feel sorry for any kid who dropped $40 on this game only to discover ?Up? is the goddamned jump button.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.