6 Baffling Video Games Adapted From Famous Movies and Shows
It's easy to see why so many crappy licensed games get made -- your cheap, slapped-together fighting game is going to sell way more copies if you can stick the title Fight Club on it. The problem is that sometimes the programmers are apparently in such a rush to finish the game before the deadline that they don't actually have a chance to watch the show or movie they're basing the game on. So, you wind up with deeply confusing titles like these ...
Home Improvement Features Tim Allen Fighting Dinosaurs, Aliens, Sanity
In the 1990s, Home Improvement was popular enough that it made sense to release a game based on it -- at least until you stopped to think about it and asked yourself, "How do you make a game out of a sitcom about Tim Allen dicking around with tools?" Absolute Entertainment answered that question with a decisive "You don't." So they made this instead:
No, that isn't an illustration for our fan-fiction novella about Tim Allen seducing dinosaurs: There really was a Home Improvement game for the Super Nintendo that sent Allen's character on an adventure across exotic landscapes, all the while grappling with a drill and shooting nail guns and Harry Potter spells at pterodactyls. Apparently the programmers were halfway through the game when they found out Home Improvement isn't that Spielberg movie set in a park.
"Sorry, we got distracted by the Heidi motion capture tests."
Astoundingly, there's an explanation for this madness, and it has nothing to do with someone suffering a cocaine relapse: Tim is on the set of his show-within-a-show, Tool Time, when he learns that his special tools have been stolen, so he goes on a tour of various movie sets to recover them. As for why the presumably animatronic dragons and shit are trying to kill him, that's not explained -- it's just assumed that everyone and everything naturally hates Tim Allen.
"We saw The Santa Clause, you inhuman monster."
Although the first part of the game features Tim Allen swinging around the forest like Tarzan while chainsawing prehistoric creatures, the next levels range from an Indiana Jones Mayan temple to the final boss fight, which is a giant robot battle on Mars. If we accept the "This is Tim's coke-fueled fantasy" theory, this is the part where he starts a street fight with a hooker.
After this, they cut to him naked, trying to wrestle Richard Karn's beard.
Even if you managed to ignore Tim Allen's likeness and tried to enjoy this as just another good old fashioned dinosaur-punching, robot-killing SNES game, it still wasn't worth playing. The gameplay was tedious and the controls were unclear, since the instruction manual was more of a novelty item thanks to this sign in the middle:
"Or plot ... or logic ... or ..."
Then again, if you bought this game after watching the TV commercial, which showed no gameplay at all, you deserved to be disappointed.
Porky's for Atari Is Frogger With Pixelated Boobs
"In retrospect, we were a tad hasty awarding 'Game of the Century' without playing literally any other video game."
In case you're one of those people who missed the 1980s entirely, Porky's was a massively successful sex comedy where a bunch of high school students sneaked into a strip club to get laid, got kicked out, and eventually got their revenge by sinking the club in a swamp. Also, at one point they spied on girls in the school locker room and one of the kids got his dick stuck in a hole in the wall. Clearly, with a premise like that, it would have been a huge missed opportunity not to turn this movie into an Atari game.
The game features four levels that adorably try to recreate scenes from the movie using the Atari 2600's finest pixels. First, you have to cross the street Frogger style to get to the titty bar. In a total inversion of the spirit of the original, you actually have to avoid the strippers instead of going after them.
If you get hit by anything, you fall into the swamp and have to pole vault your way back up (surprisingly, we're talking about an actual pole).
Porky's Strip Club is located on an old nuclear waste burial ground.
The next scene takes place in what is supposedly a gymnasium and features what is supposedly a naked girl taking a shower. Or at least that's what they were going for, according to the manual -- in truth, this looks more like the dungeon where Custer from Custer's Revenge probably keeps his victims.
Note that the dick holes aren't even at dick level.
Once you get back to the street and successfully avoid those terrifying strippers, you must climb the scaffold while avoiding Porky himself, and then finally blow up the club.
"That's what you get for not letting underage kids illegally solicit your strippers for sex, motherfucker!"
And that's it. That's the entire game. You can beat the whole thing in like two minutes. Amazingly, the game was successful enough to be remade on the Atari 800 home computer, albeit with slightly better graphics.
"Now these are pixels you can be proud to masturbate to!"
March of the Penguins Is a Ridiculous Lemmings Knockoff
You probably won't recognize this cover without the 99-cent stickers.
Possibly the first game ever based on a French nature documentary, March of the Penguins was released on the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance in 2006, a year after the original movie grabbed an Academy Award and broke box office records across the world. The movie, if you haven't seen it, is about the brutal conditions this flock of penguins endures in order to keep their breeding cycle going. Now imagine you're a room full of programmers who have been told they need to make a child-friendly portable video game out of that concept.
The first level, "Journey to the Breeding Ground," has you guiding the lovable penguins to the remote, magical place where they'll make sweet penguin love to one another (aka the other side of the screen). They are marching nonstop, in the most literal sense, and it's up to you to place objects in their path that will alter their movement, like fun trampoline tents, ice slides, ramps, and other elements that suggest the programmers watched a very different, much more insane movie than the one we remember.
Honestly, Morgan Freeman's "WEEE!" and "BOING!" sound effects are pretty dope.
The main game is basically that over and over again, with mini-levels peppered in that have you guiding your penguin baby-daddy through a maze of eggs and other tedious penguin-related bullshit. Overall, the implication here seems to be that you're playing the role of an unscrupulous filmmaker jerking some birds around to get the shots he needs for his pretentious "documentary."
When an underwater level is your high point, you're in trouble.
We're not saying they should have taken away March of the Penguins' Oscar for endorsing this shit, but they could have at least downgraded it to a Golden Globe.
Pimp My Ride Becomes a Bizarre GTA Ripoff
When you think about it, the idea of making a game based on a reality show where a rapper puts flat screens in the trunk of your beat-up Oldsmobile isn't completely without merit -- Pimp My Ride is already a pretty ridiculous concept, so how could the video game industry possibly make it worse? It can't be done. Unless, that is, they didn't actually make a Pimp My Ride game and just put out a shittier version of Grand Theft Auto starring Xzibit.
Which fits well with the shitty everything that stars Xzibit.
The game exposes the disturbing source for all that money Xzibit spends in bouncing-car mechanisms and fluorescent paint jobs: He gets it by violently crashing into other cars until they literally explode money. That's what you do for the bulk of the game -- just crash into everything you see until you collect enough money to buy upgrades for your client's car.
Unfortunately, there's no option to buy this guy a punch in the dick.
But what about the side missions? They had the good sense to rip off that part of GTA too, right? Sure, here's a cool-sounding one called "Ghost Ride the Whip," let's see what it's ab-
Whelp. Out of nowhere and without warning, your character starts doing break dance moves as your GTA knockoff turns into Dance Dance Revolution ... but, like, a pimpin' version.
Finally, you present your hard-earned murder money to the auto shop and can upgrade a few random parts for your client, who turns out to be suffering from an extreme case of facial paralysis, in addition to other problems.
"Yo, you havin' a seizure?"
But hey, it's pretty cool of Xzibit to give back to the community and help out disabled people like that, right? Not really, because the clients' cars get added to his collection, for some reason, and you can take them out for joy rides whenever you want, crashing into shit to your heart's content. This game actually teaches you that not only do crime and vandalism pay, but they're faster than direct deposit.
Related: What We Want From 'GTA 6'
Waterworld on Virtual Boy Lacks Any Water
It says it's for "Kids to Adults," but honestly this should count as child abuse.
While no one would expect the unholy combination of one of the biggest movie flops of the '90s and Nintendo's failed, eye-destroying 3D console to be a masterpiece of the interactive arts, here's the one thing you'd assume Waterworld for the Virtual Boy would have: water.
And here's what the game looked like:
There's not really a world, either.
As you might know (despite Nintendo's best efforts to erase the console from existence), the Virtual Boy was basically an overgrown View-Master that could only display graphics in black or red. Obviously, that makes it rather hard to make a game about a film that is 90 percent water -- but by Poseidon, did they try.
The movie takes place during a totally unfeasible future in which all the ice caps have melted and the entire Earth is flooded, forcing Kevin Costner to try to find some dry land while fighting off bandit "smokers" with his little ragtag boat. The game (ironically developed by a company called Ocean Software) attempts to take the wettest scene in the movie and accurately recreate it without the color blue. All you do is shoot smokers on jet skis and rescue survivors -- you could almost pretend that this is outer space and you're shooting aliens, if it wasn't for those drowning people waving their arms all around you.
"Wait, don't save me. Let me enter the void. Let this end."
Out of all the baffling decisions involved in the making of this movie, licensing the official game to a console that can't show the color blue is probably among the top 500. At the very least, they could have animated some ripples on the surface or the occasional jumping fish to indicate the presence of liquid, but apparently they'd already spent their budget surgically attaching gills to Kevin Costner by then.
Well, but what about the other stages? Do they look any better? You tell us:
It's the same shitty stage over and over. The game keeps going until you get bored or your eyes explode. By the way, if you have a pair of those red-blue 3D glasses and play around with the settings in this YouTube video, you can actually experience the headache-inducing gameplay that's made that much worse by a completely blank playing field! (We take no responsibility for any exploded eyeballs.)
The Dallas Quest Turns Dallas into a Dr. Doolittle Simulator
Dallas (again, for those of you who missed the '80s) was the interminable soap opera about a bunch of rich people scheming, manipulating, and sexing each other somewhere in the state of Texas (it's not clear which city). By 1984, the show had become popular enough that it was time for the next logical step: being turned into a text adventure for the Commodore 64.
This team would later make Melrose Place: Search for the Sapphire Scorpion for Super Nintendo.
Although Dallas Quest's title screen seems to promise a J.R. Ewing-centric acid trip, you don't actually control him or any other Dallas character in this game: You're a random private detective tasked with finding a map that leads to a rich oil field in South America, which you mostly accomplish by hanging out with bizarre animals. Like this giant 3-foot-tall rat that you bump into when you walk into a barn to get a shovel.
Sadly, typing "play a better game" does nothing.
What is this mutant abomination doing in the non-science fiction world of a CBS soap opera? You won't have much time to ponder this question, because if you take too long to solve this puzzle, the rat tears your goddamn throat out.
"You then wake up in a shower with Patrick Duffy."
So how are you supposed to get the shovel? Why, by putting some sunglasses on an owl and then having it eat the rat. Duh. The game is full of inexplicable animal interactions like that -- there are multiple puzzles where the answer is "give drugs to an ape." Which is great and all, but what the fuck does this have to do with Dallas?
If you give the cheetah some cocaine, it will let you ride it to the next checkpoint.
And here's the weirdest one: While floating on a riverboat, a bunch of hippos (who have somehow been transplanted from Africa) overturn your boat. In order to escape, you must blow a bugle to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" with "such deep feeling" that a turtle stops what it's doing to save your life. That is literally what happens.
"You and the monkey then recreate the kiss from From Here to Eternity on the beach as the tortoise watches. THE END"
Of course, with a Dallas revival currently on the air, a Dallas Quest sequel is inevitable. We're thinking it's going be something like Mass Effect, but with even weirder sex scenes.
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Related Reading: Not baffled enough by the crazy shit some people will program? Check out the madness that is Bomberman: Act Zero. And while you're at it, check out this headfuck of a Dr. Mario commercial. Oh, by the way- Super Mario Bros was almost a shooter.