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Retro Disappointments


Jax Mandrake
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It's me again, dear friends.

I've seen similar topics on a few websites, and now I want your input. This is a bit like my other topic on awful games in awesome series, but this time I'd like to expand a bit.

Has there been a game in your past that you desperately wanted to play after seeing screenshots in magazines (or on websites, but I say retro for a reason) or otherwise learning about it, and then you finally get a chance to try it out and it just makes you cry due to its awfulness?

For me, the best example is Kid Kool & the Quest for the Seven Wonder Herbs. Long before the Nerd explained its seven deadly sins in his video, in fact long before there was even one internet on which to share opinions, I saw pics of Kid Kool in a number of gaming magazines and thought it looked cool. This will give you an idea how long ago this was: I saved up several allowances to rent it from the local video store, and even put some true effort into getting homework done just to clear my schedule.

At last, I picked it up from said outlet, zipped home as fast as my chunky preteen legs would allow, slid the cartridge into my plastic-encased second heart, picked up controller one, sat down in my worn office-style chair... played for about five minutes, removed the game from the NES, put it back in its store-supplied case, marched back to the outlet and demanded another game (and they actually let me rent something else for free, which I have long since forgotten).

I apologize for textwalling again, but I had to share the details because I am a writer. So I ask again: have you had a similar experience? Please, if possible, keep it oldschool. Don't just recall trying out Assassin's Metal of Duty XIII: Skyward Theft and thinking it didn't live up to your expectations that it would absolutely kill Assassin's Metal of Duty XII: Halo Effect from a mere six weeks before.

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Iron&Blood. Big time. How could go wrong with a title like that right? Rented that one (back when it renting a game on a weekend as a kid was a big deal) played it for about 20 minutes then begged my dad to run me back to the store to return it. No way was I wasting my weekend on that POS and I LOVE fighting games.

haha I actually used to own Iron and Blood! :(

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Dragoon games. Legend of Dragoon looked so pretty in screenshots and it was hyped big by Playstation magazine back in the day, but when it was released it was this lazily translated train wreck with bland music and archetypical characters. That's not to mention the battle system that required way too much practice to get the timing right. I tried to get back into it recently, but had to take a break for a few months. When I came back to it, it was unplayable because I was out of practice with the timing of everybody's skills, and I was right before a boss.

The other one was Drag-on Dragoon, which was renamed Drakengard. My buddy and I were excited by all the information that Magic Box (remember Magic Box?) had on it, and it looked like an enjoyable hack-and-slash RPG. That was before I was subjected to the repetative music and lousy english dub. The flying missions were especially obnoxious, just for how poorly the levels were designed. It's also a game that requires multiple play-throughs to get everything, which would be fine if it wasn't so tedious at points.

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Mario is Missing.

When I was little I would get very excited whenever I got to play a new game, because it was kind of rare that I'd get new games. I remember one day we were at Blockbuster renting some movies (which we didn't really do that often) and my dad let me pick a game to rent too. I was super excited about this, and I looked around the NES games and found Mario is Missing.

For those of you unfamiliar with this game, it's basically a licensed geography edutainment title starring Luigi, who is looking for Mario. It's not very game-like at all; it's mostly just geography trivia with some very light platforming (if even). It wasn't made by Nintendo, and is from the era where Nintendo wasn't as protective of what their IP was associated with as they are now.

Basically what I'm saying is that Mario is Missing is a total piece of shit.

I didn't really know any of this going in. I just thought it was a new Mario game and I was good at Mario games so I wasted my rare chance in renting a game on it. I remember going home, popping it in, and being utterly confused, then angry, then disappointed. This was not a fun new Mario game with interesting worlds, power-ups, and enemies; it was a mean trick played by adults trying to fool kids into learning boring geography trivia.

The depth of my hatred for this game and everything it stands for cannot be overstated.

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Hehe, I actually remember enjoying Kid Kool as a kid. It gets remarkably better after you get to level 3 and use that pogo-pole thing to get 100s of free lives. And Kid Icarus has fond memories as well, although I agree that there are certainly aspects of the game worth hating. The eggplant wizards, for example.

Now a game that I had as a kid... and went back to and played as an adult, with quite a shock as to how terrible it was... The Adventures of Bayou Billy. I actually remembering beating that game once when I was a kid. Playing it now... just kill me. Terrible. Amagon would be another in that same boat.

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Mario is Missing.

When I was little I would get very excited whenever I got to play a new game, because it was kind of rare that I'd get new games. I remember one day we were at Blockbuster renting some movies (which we didn't really do that often) and my dad let me pick a game to rent too. I was super excited about this, and I looked around the NES games and found Mario is Missing.

For those of you unfamiliar with this game, it's basically a licensed geography edutainment title starring Luigi, who is looking for Mario. It's not very game-like at all; it's mostly just geography trivia with some very light platforming (if even). It wasn't made by Nintendo, and is from the era where Nintendo wasn't as protective of what their IP was associated with as they are now.

Basically what I'm saying is that Mario is Missing is a total piece of shit.

I didn't really know any of this going in. I just thought it was a new Mario game and I was good at Mario games so I wasted my rare chance in renting a game on it. I remember going home, popping it in, and being utterly confused, then angry, then disappointed. This was not a fun new Mario game with interesting worlds, power-ups, and enemies; it was a mean trick played by adults trying to fool kids into learning boring geography trivia.

The depth of my hatred for this game and everything it stands for cannot be overstated.

Also worth noting for the surprisingly disturbing ending where SPOILERS you actually fucking kill Bowser. You launch him into a glacier, he freezes and then just breaks apart. To this day that really freaks me out.

Mario's Time Machine or whatever's ending was just as twisted, IMO.

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Also worth noting for the surprisingly disturbing ending where SPOILERS

Those Spoilers are awesome.

Bad Dudes is one terrible game that you think will be awesome until you try to play it.

Also the original TMNT on NES. Everyone was so pumped on TMNT when it came out, and the game was this overly difficult monstrosity, at least for the average pre-teen fan of TMNT at the time.

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