Saturday, 3 April 2021

Neptune - New Top 20 Least Virtua Insanity

So, here we go again with another updated list of times past. To check out my original list, by all means, give it a looksy. You may notice that not a lot of them have changed, save for one. Beyond that, their positions have changed as time has gone on because they have aged like already expired milk. Remember, it's not always the developers' fault but it can be a collection of reasons that the games turned out like they did. Not all of these games are really bad, but the majority of them are either bland, misguided, or just plain terrible to play.

Talk all you want about how small the Sega Saturn library is, but it still has some amazing titles attached to it. However, like barnacles to the bottom of a ship, there are also a great deal of terrible ones. There was a taste of both sensational and sinister, amazing and abysmal, terrific and toxic. Today, we will be looking at the bottom of the barrel.

These are the worst Sega Saturn games I have experienced so far. If you notice a title missing that belongs on this list, feel free to comment down below and I will see if I can get my hands on it. If you like some of these games, please don’t start hollering. You are entitled to your opinions, but I am not obligated to agree with you. If you enjoy playing terrible games, then you are invited to try the titles on this list that interest you. Just keep in mind that you have been warned.

#20 Contra Legacy of War

Anyone who gamed in the Nintendo era will remember one of the Konami greats. Its side scrolling run and gun action was a marvel of its time. Legacy of War does not take after its ascendent. This game is bland, milk toast and tasteless. You run and gun, but the controls are a lot more awkward and the aiming is a lot more related to its own rendition of depth perception. It’s, by no means, a terrible game. That’s why it’s so low on this list. It’s just not really worth playing.

#19 Golden Axe: The Duel

It’s a fighting game and about as stock as it gets. You recognize the characters, but then you realize that’s because they’re that one dwarf you forgot the name of along with the amazon who looked pretty while killing big armored guys in the beat’em up games. That’s just it, this wasn’t a good game because of the characters, it was fun to play when you were adventuring. The Duel takes all of the adventure aspects out and puts them in a fighting stage. There is no identity anymore and three or four matches is more than enough to force your attention elsewhere.

#18 Sonic 3D Blast

After another playthrough of this game, it doesn’t age nearly as bad, especially after seeing what horrors the Sega Saturn is truly capable of. Sonic 3D Blast still takes the speed out of Sonic and replaces it with a machine that makes you spindash over to the next part of the level. Then there’s portals that put you at the next part of the level. Then you get more birds and put them in a ring to move on to yet another part of the level. The boring, repetative gameplay did not age well at all, but the harmlessness and redundancy are at least good for some mindless head numbing.

#17 Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal

What kills this Ironman title is as soon as you kill one of the enemies, you walk down a hall and then see his half brother who happens to be wearing the exact same suit of armor. You get to a corner of a level and after scratching your metal head for a few moments, you see that there is a hole in the ceiling and you need to fly through it. After killing the original enemy’s fifth cousin twice removed on his mother’s side, you come to a fence. You shoot the fence, nothing happens. You walk up to the fence and it damages you with electricity, then it has a hole in it. You shoot the next fence, which makes a hole in it. This Ironman title (which is so long, I will not type that full thing out aside from the title of this paragraph) is mind blowingly samey in every aspect and every level looks like a friend you already know. A friend you want to stay away from and bar from your home forever!

#16 Batman Forever Arcade

This film just can’t seem to get a break. Not one, but two terrible tie-in games. Acclaim really went for the one-two punch with this one. So, you’re Batman, and you’re fighty and scrappy all well enough. However, every single time you beat up groups of badguys, you’ll get power ups. These power ups help you whether you like it or not and they just keep going. One minute, you’re punching a thug’s daylights out. The next minute the screen starts flashing green and lightning strikes you like you’re the Highlander and you just took someone’s head. Next thing you know, your punches explode people and then it goes away until the next random power up makes you swing back and forth, kicking people like George of the Jungle. This game just couldn’t be a normal beat’em up. It had to try and add sprinkles and fireworks. Instead of pumping the player up, it tires the eyes out to the point where you have to try and bring yourself to be disappointed that you ran out of continues.

#15 Alien Trilogy

Doom clone was a rather generic title for FPS’s back in the 90’s, however, at least some of them had their own identity. Alien Trilogy has this one along with its franchise and it utilizes neither of them to any extent. The most interesting aspect of this game was the fact that Doom was originally going to be an Alien title! They didn't end up doing that, but the idea was there. Now, after their success, the actual Alien game turned out to be Doom on ambien. The aliens pop out of nowhere and you have to take a minute to decide whether you’re scared or not. There are two types of aliens: the face huggers and the xenomorphs. It’s a coin toss as to which one you encounter. You shoot, they die, move on to the next bland green room. It’s exciting. See? I’m excited.

#14 The Horde

This could be a much better game and its wasted potential is part of the reason why it is not going to escape this list. The worst part about this is the FMV’s. The acting is so supremely bad and the fact that you have to keep up with a money system just pains the thought process. Why would they tax your pay when you’re just going around and slicing orcs? If you got rid of the live action scenes and cut out all of the currency mechanics, this could be a passable action game. As it stands, though, when you have to force the player into going into the action sequences through threat of imprisonment, there is something very wrong.

#13 Dragon Ball Z: Densetsu

Before this game came to be, there had already been tried and true ways to create Dragon Ball Z fighters. Why on Earth would you change the fighting game formula to this? I know that a lot of people have strong feelings about this game and I gave it a very fair try. I've been a Dragon Ball fan for many, many years and this is definitely my niche. However, there are some very unforgivable mistakes being made here. It more or less forces you into doing split screen. This causes the enemies to be hard to find, especially when you need to change characters. After the fifth hour of trying to whittle down the villains’ life bar, you’ll notice that it’s already whittled down five hours of your life bar. It’s not the 90’s anymore, there are a plethora of other DBZ fighting games to whittle upon. 

#12 Incredible Hulk - Pantheon Saga

Get ready to break things. By things, I mean glass and windows. The walls? Oh, things come off them as you punch, but breaking through is a no-go. There is no escape until you skulk around these random facilities and fight minimal enemies. It’s a puzzle switch game that doesn’t so much stimulate your brain as it does strain your senses. These senses are telling you that you could be playing something better. You should really listen.

#11 Virtual Hydlide

Even after playing a every side of the Saturn spectrum, this game proves to be one of the milder evils of the system. It’s awful, yes, but at least there’s some sense of adventure. Yeah, it handles like you’re near-sighted and the graphics give you motion sickness even without the motion, but the castles are decent to look at. Don’t get me wrong, this game is still tripe garbage. It’s just harder to stay mad at it as you walk down the Saturn’s freakshow hallway.

#10 Battle Arena Toshinden URA

Your eyes are not ready to gaze upon these “polished” pixels. It’s pretty much the first game’s graphics given a sharper layer, just in all the wrong places. The control is somehow ten times worse and your walk is even slower than before. The new badguys have no real introduction and while there is a story, it wouldn’t be worth the effort to read unless someone paid you to. Invite your friend over to play you a few rounds with this game and you’re bound to lose a companion until you start forking over the recommended amount of bribery junk food for your next gathering.

#9 Casper

Making a ghost house puzzle solver is like making a Superman game where he has to climb buildings to get balloons. It takes two seconds to realize that you should be able to pass through these walls. This becomes especially noticeable when you have a metal barred door in front of you and you’re made of incorporeal sheets. Top that with extremely boring gameplay and a nonsensical portion of avoiding uncles who are suddenly trying to… uhhhh… “kill” you. It doesn’t mix well and becomes very apparent why this movie did not get anymore game titles for it.

#8 Dragonheart: Fire and Steel

With a series such as Panzer Dragoon, you wonder why they didn’t mix that in with a side scrolling adventure game to create Dragonheart. No, they just had the sidescrolling. Coupled with a very nasty stamina meter that runs out after just a few swings of your sword and a hit detection that rivals Virtual Hydlide and you’ve got bland stacked on horrid, stacked on sludge. The controls are trash and the obstacle damage is literally unavoidable. Sorry, Grandpa knight, please limp your way slowly off of my screen, I am done with you.

#7 Corpse Killer: Graveyard Edition

It’s bad enough that FMV games force us to watch their preschool plays but do we really need live action actors trying to jump scare us in their mother’s halloween makeup? The zombies in this game look like they were cut from a coloring book of horrendous pixelation and the main villain’s gaze is so disturbingly ugly, you feel like you have a right to press charges. This game is so blatantly easy up to its later levels. Then they shove all of the zombies out at you all at once and the difficulty spike is a breath of fresh air. After all, Game Over means that you can turn off the game!

#6 Double Switch

Imagine the crappiest movie you possibly can imagine. Then imagine that you could control some of the events in that movie. That’s when you realize that you’re essentially helping it be crappy and after that realization, the game goes from lackluster to dreadful in a very short amount of time. While some people love this game for its flaws, it must also be looked at objectively. It’s still the equivalent of watching a really terrible movie that lasts for hours. Even controlling Plan 9 from Outer Space sounds like a better idea than this. Game developers honestly need to get on that idea.

#5 Street Fighter The Movie

It’s not even admirable what they were trying to do with this title. It’s one of those ideas that sounds good on paper and could have possibly been pulled off in a good way. However, blatantly copying Mortal Kombat’s style when you already have a fighting game phenomenon seems like a tasteless gesture. Cap that with the fact that the actors’ sprites look like they turn into cheap action figures when they attempt anything more complicated than an uppercut. The story mode is worth a good laugh, but that’s about all you can really appreciate about it.

#4 Rise 2: Resurrection

When I first played this game, I had no idea that it had a gigantic campaign behind its franchise. It promised amazing fighting mechanics coupled with memorable characters. It also proves that Aliens: Colonial Marines wasn’t the biggest lie in gaming history. This game teeters the bland and terrible meter to the point of breaking and leaving a shattered mess on the floor. Every character has no outer layer textures, they are simply faceless, shapeless machines that perform monotonous “fatalities” on each other while also spamming their attacks to an endless degree. Push your fastest attack in every fight and you will win, guaranteed. That should have been the ad campaign; at least it’s true!

#3 Battle Monsters

What’s this? A fighting game worse than Street Fighter the Movie and Rise 2? Believe it, friends. This game is the absolute worst of the worst when it comes to a 1v1. The characters blend so terribly into the background, you can barely see either character on the screen. The hit detection, level design and the playtime Halloween theme are laughable at best. It doesn’t matter what character you choose, the game is so terrible to control that playing it becomes more of an excuse to stare at the characters shamelessly ripped from popular horror movies. Whatever terrible drinking game you make out of this title, make sure you don’t get alcohol poisoning.

#2 Death Crimson

A current playthrough of this game caused it to go much higher on this list. Not only is it the laziest attempt at a rail shooter I have ever seen, but the fact that it can easily give you the worst motion sickness of your life makes it intolerable. The enemies are some of the worst paper cut out finger puppets and the lack of a damage indicator makes the entire experience mercifully short. Every graphic looks like literal puke and controlling the crosshair to actually fire upon a target is reliant on hope and prayer. Neither of which are worth wasting on this game.

#1 The Crow City of Angels
Even after sampling twice as many Saturn games as I have ever played, this game was not dethroned. It still tops the charts on horrible. The awful tank controls that snipped a chip of the effort put into Resident Evil make this game half unplayable. The hit detection and controls make this game completely hopeless. Defeating these annoying scumbags carrying guns is solely reliant on nonexistent luck. The graphics are among the absolute worst, even for Acclaim and the aimless walking around levels can only be described through thumbtacks in your skin rather than words. If you legitimately beat the first level, you deserve a metal. You also deserve to play Virtual Hydlide. At least that game is better.

There you have it! There were some laughs to be had, and even some unintentional fun in unexpected places. These games all have some kind of value to them, even if that immediately isn’t apparent… which it’s not in some cases. You could try it if you wanted. Just remember to not drown in the incompetence and instead, drink lot’s of water.

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