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The Top 7… Games you don't want for Christmas 2009

First, there’s the Guitar Grip that sends spasms of pain through your wrist. Then, there’s the mushy drum sleeve and inaccurate voice recognition. Let’s also not forget the silly censorship that strikes naughty words, like ‘hell,’ out of the lyrics. Nothing screams ‘I’m a good little consumer and a total tool,’ like rocking out to Two Princes by the Spin Doctors on your DS during your daily commute - and nothing says ‘I don’t really know you, but I figured you like bright colors and lame pop music,’ like a carefully wrapped copy of Band Hero for the DS under your Christmas tree.

Above: Blegh. Bright colors and jaggy polygons will remind you of the early 90s - just like Band Hero’s song list!

Above: Meh. The mushy drum sleeve doesn’t feel very responsive

Above: Ugh. The Spin Doctors on Sesame Street. Once Elmo likes something, it’s officially not cool anymore

What you should do if you got this for Christmas: See if you can upgrade to the console version of Band Hero (a real guitar controller makes all the difference). If music games are your thing, you should also check out DJ Hero. If a refund or exchange isn’t an option, you can also stop treating Band Hero as a game, and start using it as a mini-exercise machine. You’ll likely have the most powerful handshake on your block after pumping up your digits with Band Hero for a few months.

5. Marvel Super Hero Squad (PSP)

What could be worse than a Wii port of a horrible 360 or PS3 game? Try this PSP port of an awful Wii game? Meet Marvel Super Hero Squad, the biggest insult to Marvel fans since the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In it, you’ll get to play as grotesquely adorable caricatures of some of the coolest characters to grace the pages of comic books. But wait, there’s more! You’ll also experience the joy of repetitive battles as you pound identical enemies to death and the excitement of wrestling with the awful camera angles that make finding objectives a real challenge. And don’t forget about the graphics! They were unsightly on the Wii version, but they’re downright horrible on the PSP.

Above: How can we feel the fury of Wolverine’s berserker rage when he looks so huggable?

Above: The jaggy characters and textures perfectly complement Marvel Super Hero Squad’s boring button mash-a-thons

What you should do if you got this for Christmas: Batman: Arkham Asylum was, without a doubt, the comic book game of the year. But if you’re a diehard Marvel fan or already got your fill of Batman, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 for the 360 and PS3 is an excellent alternative to Marvel Super Hero Squad.