5 Games That Were Released Hilariously Broken

Even the biggest-budget titles can wind up as a cautionary tale.
5 Games That Were Released Hilariously Broken

Making video games might seem like a sweet gig when you're in junior high, when games are nothing but rocket launchers and yelling racial slurs on Xbox Live. But it's actually super hard work, and not everybody can do it. Not just cheapo indie games get released in a garbage state. Even the biggest-budget titles can wind up more as cautionary tale than quality entertainment. For example ...

Jurassic Park: Trespasser Tried A Novel User Interface: Breasts!

Trespasser was a 1998 PC game with a then-new concept: a completely minimalist player interface, with all information filtering through the character's own body. This did not work as intended. For example, instead of a health meter, you kept track of your vitality via a heart-shaped tattoo on the character's tits. It was 1998, and we hadn't learned proper shame yet.

Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Or how to draw boobs.

Astute readers may have already spotted the problem: You could only see the tattoo by looking down, meaning you were constantly taken out of the game to ogle your own cleavage. A further problem: You had to be able to see said tits whenever you glanced downward, and that got in the way of spotting vital ledges, items, and enemies. Say what you want about Lara Croft, but her ample bosom probably never got her devoured by a velociraptor.

The dinosaurs themselves were a big selling point of the game. They were supposed to have advanced enemy AI, acting like real, deadly animal hunters instead of mindless meat puppets for the player to shoot at. Here are a few such realistic hunters on the prowl:

Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
*Cue John Williams*

It's hard to be afraid of an enemy that gets itself caught in a wooden fence, then forgets about you while you're still standing there. Incidentally, that's the same reason they stopped making Halloween movies for a while.

Electronic Arts
"Clever girl" wasn't meant to be sarcastic.

Nobody Really Wanted To Make Aliens: Colonial Marines

SEGA released Aliens: Colonial Marines in 2013. It was a bold property that sought to explore what happens when the always-terrifying xenomorphs stop being horrifying and start getting funky.

Xenomorphs invented spin class.

It's not like this was a rush job. They had seven years to work on this game. Yet Colonial Marines runs the gamut of terrible game features -- crappy AI, buggy gameplay, awkward movement ...

It's trying to sneak out of the game.

Shockingly, this wasn't entirely SEGA's fault, but rather ... Gearbox Software? No, the folks who made the amazing Borderlands series? What the hell happened? Oh no wait, it wasn't Gearbox, it was TimeGate Studios, who ...

OK, we see the problem. Nobody making this game actually wanted to make this game.

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And no one wanted to play it.

SEGA didn't even want a monster game. They wanted Call Of Duty, but in space. Gearbox didn't want to make Call Of Duty in space; they wanted to make Mad Max in space, which they did ... with the money they "reappropriated" from this title. And TimeGate Studios ... ah, who cares what they wanted? They were the patsy getting stuck with the bag. All three developers pulled the game in at least three different directions until the whole thing flew apart, spewing acidic blood everywhere like a nightmare pinata. And then they still released it.

Sonic '06 Was Never Supposed To Be A Sonic Game

Sonic the Hedgehog has had it rough since the Dreamcast died. For a long time there, it seemed impossible to make a 3D Sonic game that wasn't a crime against eyeballs. Just take a look at the 2006 Sonic The Hedgehog:

Guess which drug the character is doing in each GIF.

In a series infamous for coasting on nostalgia and furry fan art, Sonic '06 still manages to stand out as an exceptional disaster. It's like the worst defendant at a war crimes trial -- everyone there is a monster, sure, but this was the guy wearing a necklace of human genitalia.

Result? Disappointment.

It was all screwed right out of the gate. The project wasn't originally intended to be a Sonic game at all, but the development team got charged with the reboot, and they pretty much mashed everything together. Which might explain some of the bizarre interspecies romance on display.

But not all ... You got problems, Sonic franchise.

The developers also had to program for two new consoles at the same time, neither of which they had any experience working with. In the middle of that mess, Yojiro Ogawa, the group's director, sort of wandered off with half the team to start Sonic And The Secret Rings (which was also a giant steaming flop, but for totally different reasons). Stuck with little experience, insurmountable hurdles, and half a team, well ... it didn't help when SEGA demanded a finished game by Christmas 2006. That's how we wound up with ...


... and ...


Was the other property they mashed this together with an Exorcist game?

Silent Hill HD Was Broken Because Konami Threw Away The Original Code

Silent Hill HD ended up being terrifying for reasons wholly unrelated to its sexually charged satanic imagery.

I'll kill 'em. Just like that.

Now, to be fair, that screencap shows a completely terrifying monster. The problem: It's not supposed to. That's the graphics engine having a nervous breakdown. Far from a slick HD remake of one of the scariest series ever made, Silent Hill HD took all the carefully orchestrated atmospheric horror and replaced it with the vague, uncertain horror that you might not be able to get your money back for these broken games.

If you look close, you can see the ghosts of their dignity.

See, the HD remakes were handled by a development company named Hijinx, who noticed something off about the source codes Konami had given them -- namely, that they weren't for the finished versions of the games. For some reason, Konami threw all that code away the minute they finished the series, and instead of turning down that easy remaster money, they handed Hijinx whatever garbage they had left lying around on old hard drives. Hijinx cobbled together what they could, but none of it played nice with the original material. This is how we got some of the most unsettling moments in horror never intended, like Maria's eyeball-teeth here:


Or all the water turning to sausage:

"Welcome to Silent (but deadly) Hill."

Fight For Life Played Like An Unfinished Game ... Because It Wasn't Finished

This is the Atari Jaguar, the unholy offspring of a video game console and a telephone:

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It wasn't just ugly on the outside. It also ran like somebody filled a tractor's gas tank with gravy. Toward the end of the Jaguar's comically short life, Atari hired programmer Francois Betrand to produce a 3D fighting game the console could handle ... the same way the human body could theoretically handle getting crushed by a falling airplane engine. Bertrand had previously worked on Sega's successful Virtua Fighter series, so if anyone could squeeze a decent fighting game out of the Jaguar, it'd be him.

Turns out, no one could.

Spending hundreds of thousands dollars on Pogs would have been a sounder investment.

This was in the midst of the final death throes of Atari, which at that point had stopped paying employees, since the company was being sold off to Hasbro anyway. After four months of surviving off crumbs in their keyboards, the developers finally put their foot down and refused to give Atari the latest build of the game until they ponied up the back payments. So Atari did the reasonable thing: They released whatever code they had already and called it a game. Fight For Life was only (generously) about 60 percent done, and thus was an utter disaster. The characters just stood around like idiots, because no one had programmed their animations yet. The game intro looks like an awkward attempt at speed dating for cosplayers.

That's not even touching on the matches themselves. The characters sort of shuffle around the arena and occasionally flail at each other before falling over for no apparent reason. This wasn't a video game; this was Fight Club in an old folk's home.

Henrik Magnusson also enjoys meaningless pop culture and online harassment masquerading as satire in comic form.

Think you could do better? Check out "Level Up! The Guide To Great Video Game Design.

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