The Top 7… Games you don’t want for Christmas 2011

It's not easy being a horse, especially a horse during these tough economic times. Despite the huge federal deficit, massive layoffs, and two wars, American humans will find the time and money to waste on useless gifts for friends and family members this holiday season.

Like sheep lined up for the slaughter, they gather in droves to attend Black Friday sales. There, the humans will procure unsightly sweaters for the nephew they never see, dresses for the niece too fat to wear them, home appliances for mother's domestic prison, gift cards for unappreciative sons, and books about the civil war for the father who stopped loving them years ago. But I digress.

Considering the dysfunctional state of your society, the human desire for escapism is something I really do relate to. And when it comes to taking a break from the utter disappointment that is your life, you could do much worse than games. Unless, of course, you're talking about the ones featured here.

Above: This year, a human shopper stormed a Los Angeles Wal-Mart on Black Friday, using a can of pepper spray on fellow customers while hunting for an Xbox. Merry Christmas 

7. I Love Horses: Rider's Paradise

Why do human girls dream of horses? Is it because our strong backs offer more stability than their jobless fathers? Are we more nurturing than their chain smoking mothers?  Do we help them become more attractive to boys? The answer to these questions is yes. But the veracity of these truisms does not excuse the insult to horses represented by titles like I Love Horses: Rider's Paradise.

Preying on the pastoral fantasies and pony wishes of its target audience, Rider's Paradise tries to wrap the practice of horse care in a pretty box. But all the verdant fields and rainbows in the world won't stop this title from stumbling right out of the starting gate.

The embarrassingly bad English from the game's voice cast might not be so grating to the ears if the sound levels weren't so messed up and you could actually hear what they were saying half the time. Not that it'd really matter. This "plot-driven" title finds you playing a human girl charged with saving a farm in trouble. It's a story so lazy and contrived it feels like it might work better as the premise for an adult film.

To its credit, the game's unbearable single player campaign won't last long. Clocking in at a little over four hours, it's a short ride at best. But don't expect to get any satisfaction from returning to its stiff animations, simplified riding mechanics, and ridiculous green fields complete with butterflies.


Top 7


  • LordZarlon - December 5, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    These are kind of a no brainer.
  • Pytor - December 5, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    LOL! Buttercup, you nailed it yet again! Why you are still freelance and not on GR's payroll blows my mind. Giddy-up!
  • Grif - December 5, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    Buttercup is the Senior Wildlife Editor. Pretty sure that's not a freelance position
  • FemJesse - December 6, 2011 12:54 a.m.

    Buttercup can't sign W-2s with hooves..
  • Ridgley - December 5, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    That I love horses cover has a penis on it. You edited it out but I know it's there.
  • FemJesse - December 6, 2011 12:52 a.m.

    Buttercup can't sign W-2s with hooves...
  • Daruniah - December 5, 2011 3:19 p.m.

    Nagata's at it again!
  • andrew2696 - December 5, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    I like your taste in film Buttercup. You should branch out. How about "Horse Whisper Touching Tale of Horses or Exploitation Film?"
  • Travia220 - December 5, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    So you slam a Train Simulator for doing what it does? Not sure if serious? I know this is a light hearted article but really, lets put some effort into why people shouldn't buy a train simulator instead "Herp derp it haz trains we don't recommend."
  • Manguy17 - December 6, 2011 3:46 a.m.

    to be honest i thought buttercup gave a pretty good description of the game
  • needles - December 5, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    You forgot Skyrim.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - December 5, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    You are the biggest troll on this site.
  • porjos - December 6, 2011 6:11 a.m.

    Most of the trolls I have met on this site are at least a little clever...sadly you fall below the category of dumbass.
  • needles - December 6, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    It was a joke. I thought a rocket scientist like you would get it.
  • Person5 - December 6, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    the only reason he's the biggest troll is because most move on to a new persona after a while so people stay off their trail, not this guy though
  • Austin_SJ - December 5, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    My mum actually purchased an imagine game for my sister, despite me telling her that it was awful. She insisted "it's on her Christmas list" Why will some people never listen?
  • obviouslyadouche - December 5, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    One of the funniest top 7 in a long time, great job buttercup, somebody deserves a carrot
  • ThatFanInThePeacoat - December 5, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    Buttercup, will you be in protest of The Last Guardian? I mean, why use a giant bird-dog when you can just use a horse, right?
  • birdro - December 5, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    Nice reference on the Blackwater screenshot, almost forgot about that article for top seven worst game design ads. So depressing, yet so amusing all at once :P
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - December 5, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    My sister has at least half of those imagine games

Showing 1-20 of 51 comments

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