The Top 7... Spin-off games you've never heard of

The great thing about a rich and vibrant IP is that the universe is bigger than just the main character. Look at the Episodes from Liberty City expansions or Pokemon... heck, even Dragon Quest has got its Rocket Slime. We sat up. We took notice. But what about the failed off-shoots? The ones that we look back on and laugh at cruelly. Ladies and gentlemen: Here, for your viewing (dis)pleasure, are the spin-off games you've probably never heard of. Yes, you may throw things.


7) Nina Williams Death By Degrees (From Tekken)

Were you ever good at trigonometry? Not really? Pity - you could have used it as a lethal weapon. That's what Nina Williams from Tekken did. Armed only with a protractor (probably) and a selection of ridiculously skimpy outfits, she went around kicking people in the face with stilletos on PS2. It was the start of a massive, one game long series that set the world alight like a box of wet matches. In a vacuum.

Above: That's the last of the 'degrees' gags, promise. But seriously, this girl needs a jacket

So what did it bring to the table that regular Tekken couldn't? Firstly, a fighting system based on use of the analogue sticks. One to move, one to direct attacks, all augmented with the shoulder buttons. Doesn't sound extremely exciting, does it? Wrong! Nah, not really, it wasn't very exciting. That said, there were also some impressive X-ray focus attacks which let you smash individual bones in your foe's body. Sounds great, yeah? Shame it was pointless. After the first few, they stop even being finishing moves and everyone carries on fighting just as before, despite shattered skulls, ribs and kneecaps. D'oh.

It's a shame, really. Perhaps if a little more time had been spent on making the game great instead of finding the smallest clothing-to-flesh ratio allowed by the censorship ratings board, this might have been really something. As it is, it just left us with this:

Above: Nina, maybe you should learn to use your new sword properly, eh? It's costing a fortune in latex 


6) Freshly-picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland (from The Legend of Zelda)

Tingle is surely one of the strangest things ever to emerge from the mind of a human being. He's weird in every Zelda game he apperas in (although the 'Tingle Tuner' GBA link-up in Wind Waker was pretty damn neat). So, in a move even more unlikely than Family Guy's Cleveland getting his own show, Tingle got his own game. Oh my. Even more surprisingly, unlike said Cleveland Show, Freshly-Picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland is actually pretty good.

I speak not from my own experience, but I have it on good authority from GamesRadar's UK editor, Matt Cundy, who says of the game: "It was 'OK'. Tingle had fairy women who used to help him and they had massive... norkulars. Tingle's known for being a little on the camp side so that was quite ironic. The game was a bit rough around the edges, but you did get to play as Tingle". Can't say fairer than that.

Sadly, Tingle's first DS game never made it to US shores. Wait... what? First game?


Special mention: Colour Changing Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love

Yes, Tingle's actually had a few DS games in Japan. The second was a version of Balloon Fight (with added green leotards, natch), which was only available to Japanese Club Nintendo members. Then there was the also Japan-only 'Colour-changing Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love' which was a direct sequel to Rosy Rupeeland. Sounds amazing.

It's apparantly based on The Wizard of Oz, as Tingle is accompanied by a scarecrow, a tin robot woman, and a lion called 'Lion' (congratulations to whomever came up with that) as he fights to escape from a fantasy world.

Logically, that makes him Dorothy.

*Deep breath*

Moving on, then...


  • sirkidd2003 - June 7, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    Heard of all of them but Golden Axe Warrior (which I must now track down and play)... I feel proud of myself!
  • IvansTreehouse - May 9, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    I would love to see Ken 2010's costume in SSFIV.
  • zeno_zabatsu - May 8, 2011 6:58 p.m.

    What about Mortal Kombat: Special Forces
  • rxb - May 6, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    Good work Towelly, played a few of these but some are real rare finds.
  • angelusdlion - May 4, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    I remember watching my cousin beat Street fighter 2010.. multiple times. He loved that game.
  • angelusdlion - May 4, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    I remember playing the demo for Death by Degrees and thinking "Appropriate name, this game makes me feel like I'm dying inside a tiny bit at a time." No seriously.
  • VercettisShirt - May 4, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    I loved Knuckles Chaotix. One of the few games that made the 32X worthwhile.
  • screwuguys - May 4, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    I actually played Virtue Quest. I been looking for that game but i forgot the title. THANKS!
  • Link555 - May 4, 2011 12:04 p.m.

    Yup its good that these games stayed as obscure as they did.
  • fullmetallegend - May 4, 2011 1:39 a.m.

    I've heard of all of those other than Street Fighter 2010. Mainly due to Nintendo Power back in the day and X-Play.
  • ThatSkinnyGuy - May 3, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    Nice Top 7, and an Ultravox reference for us old bastards. Nice job, Towelly.
  • linhanqiang42 - May 3, 2011 3:18 p.m. best on-line shopping The best online stores.Free shipping I believed that you will like her Good thing. Does not look regretted
  • jmcgrotty - May 3, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    To those making suggestions that they felt should have also been mentioned, it isn't like the list is endless. It has a finite number of spots, so they aren't going to get them all.
  • philipshaw - May 3, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    I have heard of most of these but that the ones I didn't know were awful isn't suprising
  • quincytheodore - May 3, 2011 7:25 a.m.

    I shamelessly admit I knew "Death By Degrees" and I even finished it when I was in high school, I guess. I bought it in shady homemade DVD store, granted I was a bit drunk and it was late. Yeah, it was my friend who stopped by there and yeah, they opened until night and no, it's not porn. They sold, still do, in batch of dozens/tens. I saw the game and went, "meh, rip-off spin-off, why not?" Okay, it might went like, "Hahahahah, shameless fapservice guys!!! wkwkwkwk.. hahah... Put it in the bundle..." After a brief test, the opening CG was okay. Yeah, we could test it beforehand. It was crap, I forgot about it and then months later, I got sick after "retreat" (like mountain/countryside tour) The only unfinished game was that Sonya Blade's kickfest. It was mildly amusing and awkwardly memorable. I got better after I finished it. It might have healing properties for all I know.. Or maybe I got better after NOT playing it anymore.
  • Dvsshark - May 3, 2011 3:34 a.m.

    I knew of three of these games and actually owned one. I don't wanna say which one, because knowing would reveal that I owned a 32x...crap. Well from what I remember it was sorta fun but weird dragging around a bubble be or crocodile. Now that I think about it chaotix was the first game that showed all those turds.
  • Cleanser247 - May 3, 2011 2:45 a.m.

    Nice Top 7!
  • Fedexcommando - May 3, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    On the topic of GnG "for those who actually saw him, he was an instant hit" lulz because the game was pretty much impossible, even the first level.
  • TradeMarkP - May 3, 2011 1:01 a.m.

    Street Fighter has only EVER meant one thing to me: beating the shit out of old cars. All of the SF's without that are just like Street Fighter 2010 to me. Also #Nothingsomegoodbionicscantfix would be the greatest TT ever.
  • hanktherapper - May 3, 2011 12:05 a.m.

    Every time I see a picture of Tingle it makes me want to quit gaming.

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