The 12 most useless game trailers


What’s going on here?
Quite frankly, how do you market an 8- or 16-bit game? Well, with a mixture of “high concept” live action and gameplay of course! Here are some of the least helpful.


A grizzled Moogle takes auditions for new monsters in Final Fantasy III - VI if you pay attention to series continuity - and is barely impressed. HA!

We seriously have no idea how anyone not familiar with the series would be persuaded into playing this.



Gender-bending Link crunks with backup dancers on a terrible PBS-esque dungeon set before saving Zelda. Then Ganon appears. But not before there’s more dancing.

We have no idea actually. We were sold as soon as the funk started.



A couple Christmas elves sit poolside and explain that they pitched the idea for Sonic & Knuckles to Santa. S&K if you remember enables you to play as Knuckles in Sonic 2 and 3. Or as one little guy reiterates - “LOCK-ON TECHNOLOGY.” Santa politely turns down the brilliant idea, to which the guys sell the idea to Sega, making bank in the process.

Despite the game’s release in October ’94, the entire concept hinges on the Christmas holiday. Apparently the best course of action to explain S&K is with little people. The gameplay shots were nice, but the abrasive stars were not.



”HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. YOU LOOK LIKE A REAL JERK.” The boring family calmly explains their weekly Sunday drive around the neighborhood. “OH NO YOU AIN’T. YER GONNA PLAY POLE POSITIONNNNNNNNNNNN!” A giant Monty Python then hand reaches from the sky and tosses their Station Wagon around before placing the family in car crashes and hilarious MTV filter effects.

Save for the gameplay shots, the rest of the TV spot is like a snuff film with the family placed in mortal terror. We’d rather not play Pole Position if the likelihood of dying or having skidmarks on our soul is at stake.



15 seconds. An ostrich running on the beach set to the Chocobo theme. And then we hear someone laughing in a voiceover, not unlike Heath Ledger’s Joker cackle. Oh and something about Final Fantasy IV.

Words can’t describe…what just happened?!

Nov 18, 2008

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  • Avsareone - November 22, 2008 11:03 p.m.

    I can see it now, the LoZ: Wii comerical will be full of Dance music, except it will actually use character rendering and Link will be a guy.
  • Defguru7777 - November 21, 2008 3:50 a.m.

    I think all of these trailers were awesome! But the Resident Evil 2 one was kind of corny. And the Zelda II one was the most asinine ad I've ever seen!!
  • Shellghost - November 20, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    now whenever i see an ostrich i get the sudden urge to go play final fantasy iv, wierd how advertising works.
  • pyroman7048 - November 20, 2008 9:39 a.m.

    if u think those are good take a look at this Super Smash Bros. N64 commercial, it's really my favorite game ad of all time.
  • lucklesswonder - November 19, 2008 9:33 p.m.

    Wow, I was totally obsessed with the Gears and Halo 3 trailers when they aired. Aw, who'm I kidding. I still am.
  • aserbianguy - November 19, 2008 8:45 p.m.

    the gears 1 commerial when marcus fights the corpser never appears(though you do get to fight a corpser)in the game because that part of the story was before he went to prison.
  • xboxmunkey - November 19, 2008 8:31 p.m.

  • MacGyver1138 - November 19, 2008 4:52 p.m.

    It doesn't help the Sonic and Knuckles commercial that the creepy backwards-talking guy from Twin Peaks is one of the elves selling the game idea.
  • AyJay - November 19, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    gotta love those R&C commercials
  • Scotch - November 19, 2008 4:52 a.m.

    UMMMMM im a music nerd,,,and isnt the veeeery first one Michael Andrews AND gary...just saying :)
  • Coolbeans69 - November 19, 2008 3:48 a.m.

    I'll never look at zelda the same again
  • TrIp13G - November 19, 2008 3:31 a.m.

    LoZ: As David Bowie so succinctly puts it... "Let's DANCE!"
  • CALLOFDUTYLOVER - November 19, 2008 3:30 a.m.

    Killzone2is probably gonna be one of those extremely hyped but cant deliver game.These trailers prove how much hype killzone 2 is trying2 get.
  • cuchillo0 - November 19, 2008 3:28 a.m.

    weres god of war 3 trailer, that sucked!
  • netlatnu - November 19, 2008 1:11 a.m.

    When I saw the retro ads section, the first one I thought about was the disgusting Yoshi's Island ad that had a man eating tons of stuff and exploding. Somehow, I bought that game despite the ad, and I'm glad I did. Virtual console, Nintendo?
  • crazyshemai - November 19, 2008 12:33 a.m.

    LOL @ the last one and the zelda peepz getting their funk on XD awesome article GR!
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - November 18, 2008 11:03 p.m.

    "HEEEEEEEEEY! You look like a real jerk!"
  • KHfan - November 18, 2008 10:14 p.m.

    i LOVE the ratchet and clank trailers!!!
  • sharifsta - November 28, 2008 12:59 a.m.

    every on done read my first comment i thought it didnt upload it
  • sharifsta - November 28, 2008 12:57 a.m.

    i agrre about gears of war.I know i know every soilder has to have a moment but come on.If i was new to gears of war and saw that i would never buy it i wouldent even know whats it is about i think there should be at the lest just half sad and then like some locus jump out and theres a big fight sence