As with every day this month, before I get started on this blog, GO BUY A SWEATER! It goes to a great cause, and we need as much help as we can.
Now, there are many bad video games, and there are A LOT of VERY bad video games that spawn from movie tie-ins.
Christmas and the holiday season is no exemption to this rule, as some of the most popular movies every year release around Christmas to scoop up as much of a crowd as possible.
If you’ve ever found one of these absolute stinkers under your tree, I’m just incredibly sorry.
5.) Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge (Xbox, PS2)
I have actually played this game, and it somehow came into my possession at a point in life even though I’ve never been a fan of the film.
This game continues the story of the movie, making it much more substantial than any other game on this list. And, if you’re a superfan of the movie (or maybe just the beanies from Hot Topic), you might actually like this game. Unfortunately this spinoff falls victim to the same uninspired, repetitive gameplay that plagues most game/movie spinoffs.
4.) The Grinch (PS, PC, Dreamcast)
This game is so bad that its review on GameSpot was taken down, and now redirects to a 404. IGN’s review (a 5) states: “If there was a little more direction in the missions, and the graphics were a little smoother, and the levels had some consistency in the level of difficulty, it may have been decent.”
So, in other words, literally nothing in this game could be considered barely more than functional.
3.) Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza (PC)
Listen, if you people want to drive me to drink every single year by shouting “Die Hard is a Christmas movie!!!” from the rooftops even though nobody really ever cares to argue the contrary, then you’re gonna have to stand by the cash-in video game too.
Here’s a few quote from Metacritic for this absolute gem:
“An exercise in tedium.” -IGN
“Really bad game. Ugly graphics, nothing to see.”
“Simply a sub-par first-person shooter.”
“…loses a lot of points in my opinion cause you can’t get to use your gun with your right hand, and I really hate FPS games with left hand.” ………Wait what??
2.) The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (GBA)
There’s nothing quite like a movie/game cash-in, except maybe a handheld movie/game cash-in. I can’t tell you how many awful animated movie video game tie-ins came my way when I worked in gaming retail in the holiday season. This one, in particular, takes the cake.
With an absolutely scintillating “4” from IGN, The Santa Clause 3 is quoted as a bland, repetitive adventure that will bore its target audience before they manage to finish the game.
1.) The Polar Express (PS2, PC)
What the actual fuck am I looking at in this screenshot above? Someone seriously needs to tell me. You’d think a game that lifts its visuals from a CGI film would have a better frame of reference to go off of (even though the humans in The Polar Express movie creep me out on a scale that I do not care to elaborate on in this blog), but holy hell does this make my eyes hurt.
Clocking in with an absolutely pitiful Metascore of 39, The Polar Express is the pinnacle, dare I say the tip of the North Pole when it comes to terrible movie/video game cash-ins… Except it doesn’t really even relate to the plot of the movie?
Not only do you play as an anonymous character known as “hero boy,” you fight a puppet named Scrooge at some point as well, which to my knowledge is nowhere close to the plot of the film either. I’m lost, I’m scared, and I need to call a doctor.
That’s all for now, ladies and elves. Enjoy your holiday gaming, and avoid these titles like you’d avoid a fruitcake that’s suspiciously been sitting on your counter since last Christmas.