The Top 7... Power-ups you DON'T want to collect

Perhaps not everyone got the memo. See, power-ups are meant to be a good thing. They are, by definition, supposed to power you up. As in 'not power you down'. So why be so cruel as to program things into your game that can be collected by the player that don't offer a few brief moments of awesome? Why would you do that? That's like selling sweets that are actually poos. And that's just mean. So why these 7 'power ups' exist is anyone's guess…


7) Skulls - Bomberman

There are only two good things about being ill. The first, and by far the most benevolent to partake in, is the simple enjoyment of having a perfectly legitimate excuse to sit on your arse and do categorically bugger all for a few days. It’s as therapeutic for the soul as it is healing of the body. We all need a little down-time from time to time, and sometimes the regular procession of weekends just isn’t enough. A little bonus weekend set within the middle of a normal week only ever does you good, even if you are leaking mucus from your face throughout.

Above: "Can't you see what's happening here? This Bomberman is dying!"

The other good thing, which comes from a far less emotionally healthy but no less satisfying place, is giving your illness to people you don’t like. Obviously doing this deliberately, or with anything life threatening, elevates you immediately to the level of psychopath. But realising that a total dick in your office now has the same vaguely unpleasant cold as you? Gold. “BAM! Take that, Tim in Accounts. Face-mucus for you, you vapid, self-important, vaguely misogynistic prick! And all your ties are shit”. And if you can make the timing of your visible symptoms work out right, he’ll never even know where his snuffly goop infection came from. A perfect crime.

Above: Come on, it doesn't even look like it's going to do you any good. Stay away!

That’s basically how Bomberman’s Virus pick-up works. Except the act of passing it on is, unfortunately, just a small, nay minuscule, silver lining. Because rather than infecting you with a cold, it drops one of myriad apocalyptically debilitating status effects on you. You’ll slow to a crawl. You’ll turn invisible. You’ll speed up to uncontrollable levels. You’ll start dropping bombs willy-nilly like some kind of high-fibre B52. Basically, when you get one of Bomberman’s viruses, you are going to die very quickly in one of many utterly humiliating ways. Your only hope is that you can take some poor sap down with you before you do. Better pray it’s not the slow-down virus then. If it’s that one, you’re f*cked.


6) The Care Package: Modern Warfare 2

Care packages? SRSLY!?! Yes. We're not joking. Screw the care package. All they bring is disappointment. If you're not very good at the game (like, say, Cundy, for example) and killing four enemies in a row is a minor miracle, then the care package is as glamorous as it gets. Want to be like the big boys in a helicopter overhead? Shooting and laughing and killing and being annoying? Well... TOUGH SHIT! YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Have a care package and STFU you stupid BABY!!!

Above: Army care packages are great, right? Well, yes, but not if they're in a game called Modern Warfare 2

Nobody *wants* the care package. Players want the tactical nuke. Or the stealth bomber. Even the bloody Predator missile would be an achievement. But the care package? Screw the care package. It's for losers. And for those losers it represents hope - an entirely misplaced hope that something genuinely good will be contained within its rectangular confines. But that never happens. Have you even seen the percentages? The chances of getting the AC-130 are 2.61%. TWO POINT SIX ONE PERCENT! That's equal to NO BLOODY CHANCE.

Above: Is it too much to ask that Cundy gets to do this more than once in our lifetimes?

And the worst thing? As you stand there on the battleground quietly contemplating the crushing disappointment of yet another miserly care package carrying ammo or a bloody UAV, a better player - who you telegraphed your position to when you laid the CP marker - takes aim and snipes you dead. Either that or the care package just falls on your stupid head in one undignified insult to your inability to be any good at Modern Warfare 2. Seriously. Screw the care package.


  • hardcore_gamer1990 - July 22, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    Heh. I love the evil mushrooms. Especially urging my friends to collect them.
  • Atari2600Forever - July 21, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    Mad props for the Bomberman love! Gotta play it on the Turbografix with 4 other friends (preferably after drinking keg beer all night).
  • papergoon - July 20, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    I've lived to see the day I picked up an EMP from a carepackage. Hijacked. Best MW2 moment.
  • 510BrotherPanda - July 20, 2011 4:02 a.m.

    I heard that in the NES version of the Lost Levels, the Poison Mushroom was A LOT more similar in coloration to the regular Super Mushroom. They changed it to purple + a skull in the SNES version to be a little "nicer".
  • snothammer - July 20, 2011 2:05 a.m.

    I personally like picking up the viruses in Bomberman. They're a fun gamble, because some of them are (arguably) good. My personal favorite is the flame trail in Bomberman 64. If you pick one of those up, you can kill all the other players with one swift movement. I think the main thing I didn't like about them is how some of them have no effect on computer players. For example, if the COM picks up a control reversal virus, it is totally unaffected. Damn AI programming.
  • IceBlueKirby - July 19, 2011 6:29 p.m.

    I always wondered about the bubble gun in EWJ2. I thought it MUST have some purpose, but now I finally know that, no, it didn't. It was there to piss you off. I hate the lightning cloud more than anything though, because unlike most of these other powerups you can't just avoid getting it. The game just gives it to you, and then laughs at your futile efforts to give it to someone else. Even the AI is smart enough to just bump back into you the second you pass it off, giving the game even more chances to laugh in amusement of your impending shrinkage. And then once you're shrunk someone runs you over. Splendid.
  • philipshaw - July 19, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    Great top 7 and number 1 is spot on
  • nokeisoka - July 19, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    The skulls in bomberman 64 specifically the flame one is pretty fun combine it with the heart and you can go around killing ghost and players with increased run speed and instant contact death while picking up your heart everytime you die.
  • jmcgrotty - July 19, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    Without bothering to give examples, the whole Mario franchise is flooded with pathetic and downright bad power-ups.
  • theoatmealguy - July 19, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    The molotov was a crappy weapon at first, but once the green armor is picked up, the flame gets much higher, and travels farther. Great for destroying ground based enemies.
  • Yeager1122 - July 19, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    The clouds alright as long as you pass it along otherwise yes it does suck.
  • Stabby_Joe - July 18, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    Finally! Some just had to call out that dam lightning cloud. In my experience it's sort of rare... and let it stay that way or nothing at all. Another pick up, while not a real example for this list is old school shooters where you have a weapon to suit your current needs then you land on another that is, let's say only good for bosses.
  • Mumb00 - July 18, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the article's title was the invisibility potion from Wizards & Warriors on NES. I suppose the Bomberman skull is the same thing when it triggers the invisibility effect, but it made your character invisible only to you! All the enemies could home in on you just as easily as any other time, and that stupid shimmer effect did not make it easy to be jumping the various narrow ledges trying to run away from the buggering things!
  • humpiedumpie - July 18, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    That is some verry funny writing there haha :) great article
  • jackthemenace - July 18, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    I've only ever gotten, like, 1 care package. So Cundy's better than me./ Oh, and I WANT THAT T-SHIRT
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 18, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    What the hell is wrong with the care package? If you are bad at the game, you usually get choppers or airstrikes. If you're good, that's when you tend to get uav's and ammo. If you don't like it, don't put it as one of your killstreaks. It's as simple as that.
  • rxb - July 18, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    The bombmerman skull is terrible but has resulted in some of my most hilarious memorable moments ever. The care package is a godsend for poor COD players, I stll remember the first time i got crushed by one, happy days......
  • Ampatent - July 18, 2011 6:10 p.m.

    Two things. The propensity of UAVs in care packages is a good thing because any FPS veteran will tell you that a UAV can change a match completely. Second, I imagine most of us would have figured out faster that the purple mushrooms were bad if the skull on them was actually distinguishable. Clever idea though.
  • Darkhawk - July 18, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    The Molotov was only ever good for one level in the entire "Ghosts" series. But man did it ever make that level easier. Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Genesis. Stage 4 boss. The boss in this level is this shelled maggot thing, which Arthur is actually standing on top of. Its weak points are on its body, and certain ones can only be damaged by standing directly above, jumping, and then shooting straight down. This is extremely tricky to do because not only are there smaller maggots crawling towards you, there are also flying worms above your head, making it impossible to jump half the time anyway. HOWEVER! The Molotov, being the only weapon that arcs downwards, makes it a lot easier. You can just crouch and lob fireballs down on to the weak points, and finish it off quickly and painlessly. Here's the boss in action. Unfortunately, this guy is using the spear so you'll see how much trouble he has:
  • batmanboy11 - July 18, 2011 5:44 p.m.

    Yeah, this is about right

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