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Platforms: Xbox / GameCube / PC / PS2 (cancelled)
Average Review Score: 19.6%
What the press release promised: “Anything goes in this highly competitive, totally wild, all-out, all-star Nickelodeon™ challenge. Taking the best of the party games that have come before it, Party Blast offers a freestyle game approach, focused on fast and furious rounds of competitive gameplay, where you step into the game as your favorite cartoon star.”
What the game actually delivered: A multiplayer experience so overwhelmingly bad that it somehow managed to beat titles like Shrek Super Party, Fuzion Frenzy, Monopoly Party and Sonic Shuffle onto this list. In fact, according to averaged review scores, this game is considered worse than Imagine Party Babyz.
Let us repeat that. Worse than Imagine Party Babyz.
Even if, for some sad and strange reason, you wanted to play a party game based on annoying Nickelodeon shows, this would not be worth your time. The mini competitions make absolutely no sense (basketball-hockey on skates!) and slog down with four players on screen. That’s right – to get Nickelodeon Party Blast working seamlessly, you must play alone. Seriously, though, who would have agreed to play with you in the first place?
The nicest thing anyone had to say: “It is sort of confusing.” – Metacritic user
The most scathing review quote: “Kids may never want to play games again after playing this.” – IGN
Average Review Score: 18.9%
What the press release promised: “Climb behind the trigger and help our distressed farmer friend obliterate hordes of no good cluckers! Great comic sound effects, and catchy original songs to fashion a world where hunting fowl is a blast! Brilliant animation takes you through forests and villages, through deserts and mountains, winging winged adversaries and piling up points.”
What the game actually delivered: Nothing mentioned above, that’s for sure. The “brilliant” animation consists of a few pieces of stale and static background scenery with crudely drawn chickens flapping in front. The sound effects can only be described as “great” if you love the cacophony of gunfire and dying barnyard animals filtered through portable speakers. Even calling the farmer “distressed” is misleading; he’s a murderous old coot.
Chicken Shoot’s true crime, however, is charging you a single dime to play. This was originally available as a free Flash game, and while still pretty worthless, worked a lot better in that format. Asking $15 for a far inferior version is just insulting.
Oh, and there’s a Wii version. Compare its graphics to the PC edition – which, once again, is free – and see if you give a damn.
The nicest thing anyone had to say: “I found myself craving lots of fried chicken after a while.” – Game Almighty
The most scathing review quote: “Chicken Shoot is like Duck Hunt for idiots.” - GameSpot
Platforms: 360 / PS3 / PC
Average Review Score: 18.8%
What the press release promised: “Marking a return of the trademark humor that has brought joy (and sniggers) to millions of teenagers for over two decades, Box Office Bust will feature saucy comedy and bombshell babes as players tackle exploration, platforming, racing and puzzle-solving challenges to complete missions. Lampooning the glitz, glamour and gorgeous women of Hollywood, Larry’s set to run riot.”
What the game actually delivered: A Leisure Suit Larry game in name alone. What was once a beloved adventure series, packed with humor and sex, now includes no more laughs or nudity than a late-night Girls Gone Wild commercial.
GamesRadar’s own Mikel Reparaz went so far as to declare Box Office Bust one of the “unfunniest games of March”… a critique that is exceedingly kind in its specificity. Watch the footage he courageously put together and you’ll realize this would qualify as one of the unfunniest games of any time window ever.
The nicest thing anyone had to say: “Visually the game doesn't look terrible.” – ZTGameDomain
The most scathing review quote: “Just like George Lucas tried to do with the Star Wars Holiday Classic, [the publisher] should go out, find all the copies, bury them in the darkest place known to man, leave it there and never speak of it again.” – GameFocus
Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade
Average Review Score: 18.5%
What the press release promised: “Hop into a Toyota Yaris and drive it on crazy tracks loaded with stubborn obstacles, cool power-ups and intense enemy action. The relentlessly twisted courses might have loops or even be tube-shaped, but the Yaris never has to worry about sliding off track, as it defies gravity by scaling side-walls and going all topsy-turvy.”
What the game actually delivered: Failure and embarrassment. From a player’s perspective, Yaris is an absolute mess. The controls suck. The graphics suck. The music sucks. The multiplayer sucks. Take whatever expectations you’d usually have for a cynical piece of advertising shovelware and lower them by a few hundred percent. Sneak King is a masterpiece in comparison.
In an ironic twist, however, Yaris fails utterly as a marketing tool as well. Read that press release description again. “Defies gravity”? “Scaling side-walls”? Nobody’s going to associate those spectacular feats – let alone the laser guns, sawblades and rocket launchers also included in the game – with a four-door budget sedan driven by soccer moms. So now, instead of associating the word “Yaris” with reliability or affordability, we think of the seventh worst-reviewed game of the past decade and a half.
Good going, suits.
The nicest thing anyone had to say: “Still, it's free.” – Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
The most scathing review quote: “A festering turd.” – X360 Magazine UK
Average Review Score: 18.4%
What the press release promised: “Speed and strategy are the keys to this fast-paced game. Jack up your opponents by using a slew of power-ups that will slow them down. The first one who sinks the last cup wins it all. Be fast. Be furious. Be victorious.”
What the game actually delivered: Well, the game does enable you to “toss” a virtual ping “pong” ball, so at least half of that title is accurate. Never mind that, due to the broken controls, you’ll rarely get the ball to land where you intended. Or that, due to the ridiculously dated graphics, you’ll rarely be able to see where the ball actually did land. Or that, due to the stupid simplicity of the activity simulated, you’ll rarely care one way or another.
As for the second half of the game’s title? Not many college fraternities we know of engage in pong tossing… They do play Beer Pong, but this game’s publisher (with a helpful push from censor-happy Nintendo) was too afraid to stick with the original name. America’s children are safe from alcohol, then, but who will protect them from overpriced, underdeveloped WiiWare?
The nicest thing anyone had to say: “If you want to get any real enjoyment out of this game, you absolutely have to get some friends to play. It's still not very good, but it does make it that little bit more bearable.” – Nintendo Life
The most scathing review quote: “Six-pack of bottled domestic beer: $6.99. Package of 20 16-ounce cups: $1.79. Not having to pay 800 Wii Points for a terrible game: priceless.” – IGN