#3. Aliens: Colonial Marines -- When the Giant Alien Wants You Down, You Stay Down
By now you've probably heard all about Aliens: Colonial Marines, the science experiment where several game companies spent 12 years perfecting the crappiest game ever made in order to study the angry reactions of fans. The game was so bad, the developers got sued for false advertisement for releasing a demo that suggested it was actually playable. Hell, you've heard from us before about how the AI was so awful that when Aliens finally did show up, they would walk right by you, allowing you to run through the levels unscathed.
"Have you seen the john? I can't find the john. Oh, Jesus ..."
But the beauty of this game is that there are endless ways for it to randomly break on you -- like when the invincible Alien gets completely obsessed with your character and won't let you continue the game.
"I've seen the rest of this game, it's for your own good."
That seriously happens 11 times to the same dude over the course of this video. See, one section of the game calls for you to escape from a super Alien that's impervious to your shots -- you're not supposed to fight it yet, just run from it like a little bitch. But, for some reason, a common glitch (it also happened to Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee) causes the super Alien to develop an unhealthy fixation with a member of your party and start repeatedly throwing him to the ground. If you attempt to revive your fallen comrade to continue the level, the Alien is like "oh no you don't" and furiously runs back, slamming him down again before the recently revived character has a chance to really do anything.
So strong is the Alien's obsession with that one player that, as long as he remains dead, this giant monster that's supposed to be chasing you through the scene will just ignore all the other players and focus its attention on ... um, the walls, apparently.
"Shit. You guys seen my contacts?"
And, every time, as soon as the marine is back on the ground, the Alien goes back to searching for its car keys, or whatever it's doing. This metaphorical tug of war between marine and Alien with the worst attention span ever goes on for a couple minutes, as the players lose more and more of their shit due to the hilarity of the situation. See, guys, if you'd included this part in the demo, no one would be suing you.
#2. Grand Theft Auto IV -- Niko's Schizophrenic Relative
The fourth entry in the Grand Theft Auto saga controversially replaced the sillier aspects of the previous game, like the jet packs and the haircuts, with "more realistic" elements and a social aspect, because clearly this game is aimed at well-balanced people with a firm grasp on reality. For instance, there's the not at all irritating feature where your character, Niko Bellic, gets constant and non-ignorable phone calls from friends asking to hang out.
Seen here after one too many calls about bowling.
One of those friends is Niko's cousin Roman, who speaks in a multipurpose European accent and likes eating on your dime, getting lifts from you, and inflicting his terrible shirts on unsuspecting people. As if that wasn't enough, when you're dropping Roman off at his place in your car, a rather nasty glitch will sometimes kick in and cause your cousin to suffer from violent, inexplicable mood swings -- one moment he's thanking you for a wonderful evening and telling you to "hit me up if you want to hang out again soon" ...
"You were right, that candlemaking class was just what I needed to unwind.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have pedestrians to plow down."
... and literally half a second later he suddenly cold cocks your ass for no reason.
"Because I said 'hit me up,' yes? I make good pun, like in Charlie Sheen sitcom."
After pushing you out of your own ride while yelling that it's actually his, the very confused Roman lingers on the front seat for a moment with a vacant stare on his face, as if trying to remember where he is and whether he took his antipsychotic medication this morning or not. Then he quietly gets out of the car and disappears.
Is Cousin Roman displaying early signs of dementia? Will Niko be forced to take care of his relative while getting constantly sucker punched? Actually, this glitch happens due to another vehicle blocking the passenger's door of your car, and the game's lack of non-carjacking animations for leaving through the other side. Thankfully, someone created an animation where you hit the ungrateful fucker back.
#1. Dark Souls and Super Smash Bros. Melee -- Slapstick Enemy Suicides
Since the Smash Bros. games are meant for when you have some friends and cheap liquor around, it probably wouldn't surprise you to know that they don't have the smartest AI in the world when you're playing alone. What you might not know is that Nintendo went to such lengths to accurately recreate the intoxicated state of mind of most people playing Super Smash Bros. Melee that you can beat the computer-controlled enemies by simply standing still, thus letting your rivals fall defeated in a pool of their own puke after taking their first swing at you.
Link can't hold his red potions.
Enjoy this video of Luigi beating every single Melee character on the maximum level of difficulty by doing nothing -- the AI gets so stupidly aggressive, it becomes its own worst enemy, often throwing itself into a pit while trying to get one hit on you. Most fights last like five seconds. OK, but how about a motionless Luigi versus a team of three Level 9 characters with two lives each? That'll bring you up to nine seconds. Even the most powerful characters in the game are no match for Luigi's apathy.
But the crowning moment of Melee's AI trouble is watching what happens when you fight Fox McCloud on the Jungle Japes stage and give him 50 lives. Surely one of those incarnations will manage to inflict at least 1 percent of damage to the static Luigi? Nope: Instead, the result is that Fox winds up living his own personal Groundhog Day as he endlessly throws himself off the stage.
See, this is why real gamers don't bother with this Kidtendo bullshit and prefer games that actually take some effort to beat -- like Dark Souls for PS3 and Xbox 360, in which you fight bosses like Taurus, a giant werewolf/minotaur thing that not only will murder your ass if you stand still, but also has an advanced AI that lets it dodge your attacks and ...
... huh. Never mind.
Check out Sever R's YouTube channel 2D Game Theater, where you will find some of the best tech discussions and armchair video game commentary around. Codie nitpicks video games at her site, Codiekitty.com.
Related Reading: This ain't Cracked's first trip to the game glitch round-up. Click here for the Assassin's Creed nightmare orgy from hell. What, that doesn't sound like a good time? These ghastly Super Smash Brothers mash-up characters are a different sort of stomach-turning. To let that queasy feeling ride, discover the wonder of Bioshock's severed body part dancers.