Blockbuster's curious collection of exclusive games

ClayFighter 63 1/3: Sculptor's Cut (N64)

Blockbuster just couldn't get enough of that awkward ClayFighter action the first time around, so they brought the series back with another rental exclusive, this time titled Sculptor's Cut (because of clay, get it?). The biggest addition in this version was the inclusion of four new characters, one of which is the Statue of Liberty. Thankfully, Sculptor's Cut finally ended the tyranny of ClayFighter, and it has since become one of the most rare and expensive N64 cartridges in existence.

Stunt Racer 64 (N64)

Amid so many horrors, Stunt Racer 64 enjoys the distinction of being an absolutely decent racing game. It combines arcade-style racing, with extreme futuristic technology like rocket boosters, which let your car perform all sorts of sweet, mid-air tricks. As you barrel roll - excuse me, aileron roll - your way to the finish line, you earn currency to buy new parts and cars. However, despite being a solid game, it never saw a wider release.

Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetals (N64) [Limited Exclusive]

Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetals - which is a real word jumble of a title - is yet another awkward, painful fighting game dropped into the laps of unsuspecting children thanks to Blockbuster Video. Sticking to genre traditions, Transmetals stars a whole bunch of characters who are all fighting for reasons no one cares about, and there are super moves. You don't even really fight so much as run around spamming projectiles while grunting "Urgh! Urgh! Urgh!"

NFL Blitz Special Edition (N64)

NFL Blitz Special Edition is basically NFL Blitz 2001, only this time it's called "Special Edition" instead of "2001" which makes it different. This gets a pass, however, as NFL Blitz's hilarious combination of wrestling moves and simplified gridiron rules is still awesome. While Special Edition started out as a rental only, Blockbuster eventually started selling the game in its stores as well.

Razor Freestyle Scooter (N64)

While Razor Freestyle Scooter was released on several different platforms, only the Nintendo 64 version was exclusive to Blockbuster. But not even the sweet, sweet allure of exclusivity could entice the masses to try this poor imitation of the Tony Hawk skateboarding series. How bad is it? It manages to have a plotline involving robots abducting children - in a scooter game - and still not be awesome.

International Track & Field 2000 (N64)

This game is a collection of mini games themed around - you guessed it - track and field sports. And by "track" and "field" I mean "button" and "mashing" because that's just about all you do in it. For many kids, this was the ideal rental game, because you'd play it for a day or two and then never touch it again.

Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (N64) [Limited Exclusive]

Capitalizing on the success of the Indiana Jones movies, Infernal Machine pitted Indy against the Soviets in a race to collect the four pieces of the titular device, a biblical MacGuffin that does something. While the game was praised for its detailed plotline and interesting stages, it was ultimately torpedoed by the killer of so many Nintendo 64 games: poor controls. In addition to being available to rent or buy at Blockbuster stores, customers could also order the game straight from LucasArts' website.

Daikatana (N64) [Limited Exclusive]

The troubled history of Daikatana, which remains one of the most stupendous flops in gaming history, does not need to be retold here. Suffice to say, the underwhelming PC release spawned an equally underwhelming N64 flophouse exclusive to Blockbuster. It ultimately did little to help the struggling game, and was later given a standalone retail release.

Eggs of Steel (PSX)

It should come as no surprise at this point, but Eggs of Steel was yet another awkward, laborious game that further cemented the Blockbuster exclusivity program as a den of depravity with the motto "Who gives a shit?" The game stars a low-res animated gif of an egg wearing overalls who walks around a pre-rendered steel mill while reading letters from his girlfriend. His name is Charlie and sometimes he dies but not often enough.

Freestyle Street Soccer (Xbox and GameCube)

Given the amount of raw edginess radiating from this game, one would assume Freestyle Street Soccer follows in the wake of Razor Freestyle Scooter as another watered-down, simplistic clone of a superior game. Somehow, miraculously, astonishingly even, this is not the case. Freestyle Street Soccer is a decent, arcade-style soccer game with four-on-four matches and an emphasis on tricks. Of course, the machismo-driven, turf-war attitude is still completely laughable.

Maxwell McGee
Maxwell grew up on a sleepy creekbank deep in the South. His love for video games has taken him all the way to the West Coast and beyond.