Vidjagame Apocalypse 75 – 1994’s “Best” Movie Games

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Twenty years ago, it was a given that if a movie released between the months of May and September, it’d have a flashy-looking tie-in game on every major console — and actual humans would be excited for it. 1994 was jam-packed with wholly unnecessary movie-games, so let’s count down the five best as dictated by their movies’ box-office grosses. After that, there’s some talk about Sacred 3, a lot more talk about how nobody wants to pay for news anymore and things were better when Glenn Miller was running the country,  and your most embarrassing fart-related stories.

Question of the Week

What’s the crappiest movie-licensed game you played to death as a kid, only to realize it was terrible years later?

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UPDATE: And be sure to check out this week’s Top 5 in video form!

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36 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 75 – 1994’s “Best” Movie Games

  1. QOTW: Where do I begin with this question of the week? That was exclusively all I played as a kid because I was a slave to preexisting franchises and terrified at the notion of trying anything that wasn’t based on a Nickelodeon cartoon. Name any popular movie that came out in the early to mid-2000s, you’d bet your ass that I had that movie’s game, even if I didn’t like the movie. Occasionally there’d be a Spider-Man 2 that would stand out among them as being good, but for the most part, my PS2 collection was filled with the worst that gaming had to offer, so I had a lot to pick from for this question. But after seeing Chris’s stream of Fantastic Four last week, I realized that that was undoubtedly the worst that I had. Ugly animations, boring combat, and just like every other dumb superhero game, the enemies are almost exclusively robots. I don’t even remember if I actually liked it, I just played it a lot out of habit, because “back in my day” you had to like every game that you bought, because that’s all you’ll have to play until Christmas.

  2. QOTW: I’ve not listened to the episode yet but I had my answer so fast i had to reply. Jurassic park for the sega genesis. That game is just awful. The music is awful, the control is awful and the game camera is awful ( this was back when games didn’t even have cameras). But to this day i can run through the game as grant in a couple minutes because of my scary childhood focus and total lack of other games until Christmas. (i still think the water fall/boat level is neat)

    Pro tip: the password for early access to the volcano level is printed in the manual in a screenshot explaining how the password screen works. I submitted this to sega visions magazine in envelope on which I drew a traced bubsy the cat. It was never printed.

    1. I’ve now listened to the episode! I’m a mail clerk by trade and can verify most people have no idea how to write an address, what their address is , how to package a package or basic common sense.( what do you mean I can’t mail an 80 pound bag of bullets and wine to Belize?! I’m going to ups!)

  3. True Lies is still a fun watch. violent, horribly mysogynostic, ridiculous, 30 min too long. but it’s self aware.

    and Ace Ventura 2 is a wonderful film.

    1. Don’t get me wrong. Ace is a super obnoxious character to be sure. There is a lot top hate. But I still maintain The Mask and Ace 2 are beautiful.

  4. Top Gun: Combat Zones for the Gamecube. I didn’t see and still have not seen the movie to this day, but I remember trying to play through this game and had a bit of fun with it, but the game looking back at it was just plain garbage solely based on the fact that if you had to take out buildings, that they took FOREVER to destroy, even with missiles. Seeing that the game was developed by Titus who also created the much ‘beloved’ Superman 64 game, it definitely explains why the game is a massive turd. In fact, I’m sure this was the game that put the final nail in the coffin for that ‘game’ company, which is surprising considering how much of a failure that Supes game was.

  5. Wow. The theme of the episode being based on the year I was born… two days after my birthday.
    Anyways, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius on the PS2. I remember it being insanely difficult once I got to a certain level in the game, but I’ll chalk it up to either it being a horrible game or my own stupidity. For some reason I replayed the first level over and over dozens of times. Probably because I didn’t have room on my memory card or something similarly ridiculous.

  6. QOTW: There’s so many to choose from… but the worst were probably three Batman tie-ins, Batman Forever (SNES), Batman & Robin (PSX), and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (N64). Batman Forever was a literal rip off of Mortal Kombat that was purely button mashing for 2 hours, Batman & Robin was a mock-open world game that gave absolutely no direction for objectives or explained anything with horrible controls, and Return of the Joker was literally a fifty minute 2.5 game that could be run through by barely doing anything. And yet, I played all three because of being a huge Batman fan, and because I was too young to know better.

    1. Batman are Robin is so bad lol. I actually think the idea is way ahead of its time. Not bad at all, but that execution…Phew…I played a lot of Forever and boy oh boy was that fucking weird. As for Joker, I forgot about that game, I never played it but wanted too. The movie was fucking great. That’s a shame it wasn’t good.

      1. Looking back on it, it’s funny how Batman & Robin would basically become the template for Arkham in a way, just 10000000000% better. And RoTJ is definitely one of those cases where the game is far, far worse than the movie and helped build the assumption that all licensed products are crap. Count yourself lucky that you missed out on it, I’m jealous lol

  7. QOTW: The answer is obvious to me, I owned and played Jaws for the NES. That game was terrible, and in spite of being a spunky child at the time of playing it, it made no excuses as to how stupid the game was. The goal of the game was to kill Jaws, but you had to earn money for whatever reason by becoming a scuba diver and with a harppoin gun, killing jellyfish, rays, and small sharks that may or may not be descendants of Jaws, to help finance your endeavor with trackers to detect Jaws’ whereabouts. You cannot kill Jaws at the beginning since you’re just a man but later in the game you get a submarine with torpedos for whatever reason to kill the great sea beast. You can catch a speedrun of this game which takes five minutes to beat the game, when I viewed that speedrun for the first time I never realized that without cheats, the game is stupidly easy. Oh, and it was to my great dismay that this wasn’t even based on Jaws, as I learned later on in life it was from the godawful Jaws 4: The Revenge, the worst shark film before the Syfy Channel really pushed it to the limit.

    The only one redeeming factor in the game was the minigame that featured a Cessna doing bombing runs on jellyfish.

  8. Growing up my Uncle owned a pawnshop so I got all the crappy games he couldn’t sell to anyone else. The worst game I got from him was White men can’t jump for the Atari Jaguar. I remember trying to convince the kids at school that my Dad did have a job and that it was a better game than Nba jam cause it had Wesley snipes and Woody Boyd from Cheers in it as playable characters even thou sadly it didn’t.

  9. Hearing you guys read all those amazing stories about disgusting acts of the human body reminded me that we haven’t had a “dramatic fan fiction reading” in a long time. Oh, how I yearn to hear the sweet voices of the Laser Time network crew recount the unspeakable deeds of fictional characters.

  10. I remember playing a ton of the Fantastic Four movie tie-in game on PC. I actually completed it several times, which never ceases to amaze me as I look back on it today.

  11. Simpsons Wrestling… no seriously, I recall at some point in my life trying to push through a yellow, white and blue pile of shit, fighting hard to scrape any bit of polish from the mound… the voices sounded right… that was all.

    Your recent stream of the game gave me sympathy and respect for you all.

    1. Also I know its not a movie but it’s all I can horrifically think off. Although they did eventually make a Simpsons movie.

  12. Long time listener, never posted yadda yadda…

    But for QOTW: I feel like it’s too easy to call out terrible NES licensed games like Top Gun, Home Alone, Beetlejuice, etc… All of which I played to death, but could never beat.

    The game my brother and I LOVED was Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles for PS1. What’s not to love about a post Episode I movie tie-in you might ask? Everything, it turns out. It’s as if Lucasarts threw every idea into a blender and sold it as is because kids like me would beg for it.

    It wasn’t enough to get anally devastated by every single enemy in the game, we had to do it while enduring the score of Episode I seemingly recorded through mid-90’s speakers.

    The only redeemable qualities were Jedi double-jumps, force balls, lightsaber-extending power-ups, and quotes from shitty Anakin: “Wizards! That Jawa stole our hyper-drive!”

    Ah… Memories.

  13. The Stargate series is really great (for me, SG1 and Atlantis specifically). Right next to Star Wars and Star Trek as my favorite scifi franchises. Just sayin’.

  14. wow, I never thought about the fact that yeah the marvel universe is beyond the singularity, first contact, FTL technology, and yet life on earth is still same old same old. why hasn’t anyone done a story about this yet?

    1. I am a DC guy, period, but I believe that all if that have been brought up in the comics and space travel is a heavy facet of the cosmic side of Marvel. For the movies, I have a feeling those are about to be discussed because in those movies I believe besides the Kree, and occasional Starlord, aliens haven’t really established themselves in the MCU.

  15. My answer of the week is I was a big fan of Batman when I was younger and man, what a pile of baby shit Batman Forever was…

    1. OMG, mine, too. I’ve played it recently, it’s actually not that bad. If they released a remastered version of just that fighting mode on XBLA with more characters, locations, and better graphics for like, $10, I’d buy it.

  16. Fuckin True Lies, man… Caused sooo many arguments between me and a cubicle sharing coworker because i would include it in my top 10 movies of all time. He begged to differ.

    Never played the game tho 🙁 Sounds like it was pretty entertaining.

  17. QOTW: I first thought of the original TMNT game on NES, but that’s more TV-based and technically not a licensed-movie game—well, technically it’s a disappointment-suppository, slowly leaking into my young soul, realizing it wasn’t difficult, it was just the realities of life much too early. TMNT is a licensed clown-funeral.

    However, TMNT is disqualified, so I’m going to bring up Tomorrow Never Dies on PS1. This was coincidentally the “never again” moment for me and movie-games, after ignorantly tolerating the 16-bit licensed crop. So imagine for a moment the blissful goggles my friend and I gazed through at Tomorrow Never Dies. After Goldeneye, we jumped at the thought of there being another beautiful Bond-based shooter. Anyone over the age of seven seconds could see the potential, right?

    Say it like Spacey—WRONG!

    The first level was a heaving load of wobbly, pixelated snow-hork, and the disc must have been scratched, because the second wouldn’t load. We went right back to Goldeneye and learned a lesson of some kind, probably.

  18. Eeesh…Top Gun on the NES and Jurassic Park on the Genisis are easy call outs cause jets and raptors…But the game that really stole the cake for my dumb Star Wars riddled brain was Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles. For whatever reason I thought Plo Koon was fucking awesome and he didn’t have a boring old blue or green light saber (which would later be retconned to blue because Star Wars.)

    I should find a copy of SWE1JPB.

  19. QOTW- If we are just talking about movies, I can remember playing E.T The Extra Terrestrial on the 2600 when I was around three and four years old, All I could tell you at the time is that Pitfall was a much better game all around.

    If we open it up to all-around video, I’d have to say Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for the Genesis. Here’s a link to a full playthrough, be prepared for 20 minutes of your life you won’t get back. http://bit.ly/1sL6gs7 It plays a lot like a version of Street Fighter that was made for a five- year-old. I once beat the whole game by holding down the kick button with the turbo setting turned on, on the controller.

  20. Chris dude, thank you for this list. I remember quite fondly the movie year of 94′, it was just back to back blockbusters in my 7th grade mind. Pretty much saw all of those movies in the theaters at that time. I forgot that they made a True Lies game, and never knew it was so bloody.

    More weird esoteric lists like this, please!

  21. When I was a kid in 1997 we went on holiday to Portugal for 2 weeks. We had a TV that actually had a couple British channels which was quite a thrill as we’d never had that before on our holidays abroad.

    One of the channels was Cartoon Network and I would watch it every morning and whenever we got back in from the beach or whatever.

    This was fine for the first week but come the second week some asshole at Cartoon Network decided to run a Flintstones marathon for the WHOLE GOD DAMN WEEK!

    Flintstones, everyday, from 6am to 7pm (when the channel became TNT) for one week.

    The saddest thing is… I watched it… I was just so happy to have British TV on holiday that I didn’t care what I was watching.

    My Dad still brings it up to this day. I don’t think I’ve ever disappointed him more.

  22. Super Star Wars for the SNES. I was amazed how Luke Skywalker went from whiny teenager to genocidal psychopath in the game. Slaughtering Jawas, Sand People, and anything else in his way this was no run to Toshii Station for him!

    No password/saves, endless waves of enemies, annoying bottomless pits, the game really sucked. The only 2 levels I thought had any resemblance to the film was the Death Star battle.

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