Level 5: Bad games (so many bad games)


These are some solid games, but we’re not here to talk about those games…NO! we’re going to talk about the huge number of bad games available…despite our juvenile minds blocking out the bad memories, it happened.

For every gem like Mario 3 that had great controls, solid physics and intuitive gameplay and difficulty there were at least 50 pieces of crap that were puked out by developers. Everyone remembers going to the local video store, you look at the box art and screenshots….”hmm, this looks cool…the guy on the cover seems badass”. You decide to drop your hard earned allowance and take it home for the weekend.

You get set up for a solid night of gaming fun, you slide the game into the system, hit the power button and BOOM! There’s that cool intro screen just like the box…you pick up the controller and hit start….

“What the hell is this?!?!”



It’s nothing like the box, and did I just die in the first few seconds? It’s unplayable, glitchy, full of cheap deaths, has taken “Nintendo hard” to a ridiculous level and you stare at the screen realizing you just got hosed for your rental money.

This happened to me more times than I care to recount as a kid, back in the days before the internet, the only reviews you could get were from other kids who had played the game. Sometimes you were the lucky guinea pig who got to step on the landmine first, hopefully it was only a rental and not a retail purchase or else you learned a harsh lesson at the cost of $99.99 (that’s right kids…now $60 for a new game isn’t so bad huh?).

Why were there so many bad games? Didn’t Nintendo have a seal of quality emblazoned on all these carts? Well there were a few factors: first that seal wasn’t so hard to get and second, with the new booming interest in video games again a lot of developers were tossing things at the wall to see what would stick. Some developers who are now triple A game production studios started out cranking out titles for the NES, and having that learning period helped them grow by being able to test new things out, fail, and try again.


Some are just trash churned out to try to capitalize on the popularity of this new system…and it shows…rushed material, copying or re-skinning other games (how many generic space shooters does one system need?). One cartridge that has risen to infamy due to it’s complete unplayability is of course Action 52, 52 of the crappiest games known to mankind all jammed into one cart for the low retail price at the time of only 199.99! Of course these days that infamy has put a high price tag on it. Fortunately most of the “best” worst games will only set you back about five bucks.

As a collector, I look at the games piled on my shelf and as I look over them for something to play I’m thinking “naw, thats shit…”. I do have a lot of fun games: the aforementioned Mario 3, Metroid, Tyson’s punchout, Lolo 3,  River city ransom, etc but I have a large chunk of awful games I’ve collected because their part of the system.


Master LJN has taught you well Daniel-san

Nostalgia has blinded us, protected us even from the memories of these bad games, but they exist and if you’re a collector you’re going to find them in your collection. Still fun for pulling out once and a while when you’re in a masochistic mood…but hey at least the box art was cool right?

Because we all need a smile:


                           Lest we forget.

Also tomorrow is remembrance day so thank a veteran for the freedom we have to be #8bitliving



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