The fugliest games ever made

Sometimes, games look good. Sometimes they look bad. Sometimes they look so bad, we want to stop playing them, take them out of the machine and kill them till they're dead. Occasionally, this happens completely out of the blue in an otherwise great-looking title, which makes us wonder if the work experience lad suddenly got 'creative' while the real devs were out for lunch.

Whatever the reason for these occurrances, we've broken them down into nine different flavours - all of which basically equate to praline and dick.

We didn't realise how garish this game is until we downloaded it off Virtual Console recently. Squiggly wiggles in scrolling backgrounds no longer say 'cool'. What they actually say is 'YEAH I'M SO IN YER FACE THIS MUST BE THE COOLEST FRIKKIN GAME YOU EVER SAW!' Pity, cos it was actually a lot of fun.

Above: Whaddya mean, purple and green don't go well together?

Above: Earl looks happy enough... Oh, but he is wearing shades

Remember Geometry Wars and how great it is? This plays almost identically. However, there is a slight difference. Where Geometry Wars is played out in the cosmos of virtual space, Nucleus is played out in bodily fluids. That's about as attractive as it sounds.

Above: If the action looks squelchy, you should hear the soundtrack

Which means you're faced with a choice. You must decide which one of the following you'd rather play in...

Bonfire night explosions of colour and joy:


Or virus-infected blood:

Yeah, we thought so too.

When we first played this, we didn't want to play it any more. Sequel to the best side-scrolling beat-em-up of all time? Who cares – we want our eyes back! All because of one scene – the disco level. Great idea for a fighting scenario, technically incredible advanced parallax techniques… but Axel seems to have found an ugly stick under one of the tables and used it to beat the game to within an inch of its life.

You enter the disco level and immediately notice the pink spots and green laser beams. It's a bit of a clash.

Then the screen starts to flash, in a manner we can only describe as 'violently'.

Finally, out come green lights which scroll quickly across the screen. Our image resizing software has softened the blow somewhat here, just as the old coaxial cable would have done.

But shall we take a look at those magnificent transparency effects now?

Above: Never stick a fork in a toaster. And NEVER play SoR3 through HDMI

Some games take great delight in restricting their colour palette. Earache Extreme racing couples this approach with the graphics of a PSone game (on PS2), making it look like Shadowman on wheels. Add in some terrible collision physics and an atrocious frame-rate and you've got yourself a real looker.

Above: This is a press shot, purposely chosen to do the game justice

We could have picked any one of a thousand old games here. So we've used an incredibly detailed selection process which basically involved saying Sabre Wulf. At the time of the game's release, the screen was so busy we couldn't work out what was going on.

Now, of course, that lushness has wilted somewhat, especially in the face of games like Tomb Raider Underworld, to the point where its colour palette now looks like someone ate a load of cheap confectionery and barfed it all back up in 259x192 resolution.

On to page 2 - the only time static screens will ever carry an epilepsy warning


  • dibber - March 29, 2009 6:01 p.m.

    Did you use the IDSPISPOPD code for your Big Rig video? Looks like "no clipping" mode is enabled... The rig just happily drives right through concrete structures with nary a bit of friction. Lovely.
  • CorupptedCrunchie - March 27, 2009 12:17 a.m.

    i only saw 22 seconds of big rigs and i dont even want to see anymore. and, last time i checked, trees get hit if you run into them. that game should be erased from history and anything else... but why the hell didnt sonic get hit with the ugly stick?
  • admobadmo - March 20, 2009 2:19 a.m.

    The Big Rigs seems quite innovative to me: 1. Completely SAFE impact-free collision modeling! 2. Go anywhere exploration, just like in the Grand Theft Auto, or in Microsoft Flight Simulator! 3. Everyone gets a Trophy! 4. Constant-speed E-Z driving model, regardless of terrain! So simple, in fact, that a child could do it!
  • HushM110 - March 19, 2009 7:29 p.m.

    Mirrors Edge is so freaking bright.
  • Scotch - March 19, 2009 3:23 a.m.

    i saw the big rigs video about a year ago...that video AMAZES me EVERY single time i see it.. ahahaha great articulo :D only for some reason i expected mercs two for Pstwo aswell AHAHA :)
  • homie_cheese_slice - March 18, 2009 10:23 p.m.

    Wheres Killzone 2? I almost couldn't play it, it was so ugly.
  • noobeater - March 18, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    lol at pimlocosound wht a booooooooring sounding game
  • noobeater - March 18, 2009 9:05 p.m.

    lol at big rigs and its god aweful graphics i vote for a worldwide obtaining this game and burn them all...then lock the ash into a safe and dropped into the mariana trench (deepest part of the ocean ftw)
  • pimlicosound - March 18, 2009 4:09 p.m.

    Oh, and nice Wayne's World reference in the intro, Justin! Most appreciated.
  • FistfulofPelican - March 18, 2009 8:24 a.m.

    It's a magical truck that can travel through solid objects - that's the only justification I can give. Oh, and the levitating bridge is magical too.
  • antknee27 - March 18, 2009 6:42 a.m.

    Oh that Big Rigs was the best...why did it even have roads? You can drive through everything! Talk about no QA dept.....
  • HardNoks - March 18, 2009 3:58 a.m.

    you havent seen anything yet, look up shadow madness on the ps1 WARNING: you may begin to bleed from your eyes and or/want to shoot yourself
  • MrPips - March 18, 2009 12:37 a.m.

    Um, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you on Mirror's Edge. I have a 52" tv and usually sit about 5 feet from it, and I don't get sick at all. Perhaps you get motion sickness, but that doesn't affect everyone.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - March 17, 2009 11:04 p.m.

    How can Mirror's Edge both be one of the fugliest games AND in our Top 7... prettiest games of 2008? CONTRADICTION! BURN EVERYTHING!
  • jar-head - March 17, 2009 10:16 p.m.

    last vid: 3:20???
  • SuperGoomba64 - March 17, 2009 10:01 p.m.

    Earache Extreme racing looks like if someone puked blood all over the graphics in Doom.
  • cowsrule - March 17, 2009 8:10 p.m.

    That reminds me of the first Ausin Powers movie where he says Basil's mother looks like she was beaten with an ugly stick also big rigs sucks
  • Necron - March 17, 2009 7:12 p.m.

    Big Rigs? WOW!!! Just WOW!!! Worst game ever made. The game has no clipping what so ever, I mean, WTF!!!
  • Awesomeitude1523 - March 17, 2009 6:12 p.m.

    lol at the ugly stick on the last page Recaptcha: 10th Quigley No thanks
  • Z-man427 - March 17, 2009 6:08 p.m.

    i liked Mirror's Edge... but it did make me wish for some Dramamine

Showing 1-20 of 45 comments

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