GamesRadar's Anti-Awards 2008

Publisher Konami actually created the whole “pretend to be a rock star by tapping plastic instruments” genre way back in 1999, when both Guitar Freaks and Drummania rocked into Japanese arcades. Yet, Konami never brought the games to consoles here in the states. Whoops.

Instead, Guitar Hero copied Guitar Freaks exactly, made microscopic improvements, and exploded onto store shelves in Nov. 2005. Since then, the series has sold roughly eleventy-billion-jillion copies and everyone who ever touched it is wearing solid gold underpants and wiping up kitchen spills with spare royalty checks instead of paper towels. And finally, in 2008, Konami re-entered the genre it invented … with a broken game that looks ten years old.

Above: Good… job?

Rock Revolution’s drum kit is a comedy of awkwardly arranged Playskool shapes. There is no guitar controller at all, though 360 and PS3 owners can use other games’ guitar controllers. And the upcoming (but AWOL at post time) Wii version doesn’t even support instruments of any kind – you’re air-whacking. The songs are cover versions, there aren’t many of them, there’s no DLC and the note paths are vertical and clumsy.

Above: Strangely enough, there’s no singing at all in Rock Revo

Simply put, every single improvement that has been made in the rhythm action genre since 1999 has been systematically ignored with Rock Revolution. Sales show it, too. According to October’s NPD sales data, the game sold fewer than 3000 copies across 360, PS3, and DS in October. And thus, with a single ironically titled disaster, the company that rocked out before any other becomes the out-of-touch adult who needs a 12 year-old to help them operate that newfangled iPod thingamajig.

The maraca-shaking party-on-a-disc Samba De Amigo was fantastic on the Dreamcast back in 2000. Eight years later, even a barely-enhanced port seemed like a sure thing on the family-friendly Wii. But that was assuming the Wii’s motion-sensitive controllers could be made to, you know, actually work … a goal that apparently proved impossible.

We hear there have been some economic troubles as of late. Something about impending doom that can only be fixed by heaping money at rich executives… we think. We’re not economists, but we do know what we’ve seen: Signs. Not the film by that washed up writer/director, the ones that tipped us off to this whole economic collapse thing.

Amongst those signs is the sale of Midway, yeah, the entire company, for $100,000. Here are some things equal to or more expensive than the combined worth of Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Unreal Tournament and all of Midway’s other franchises:

-A BMW 760Li.
-The amount Brad Pitt donated to fight California’s Proposition 8.
-Sarah Palin’s pre-election makeover.
-The average price of a house in the US ($283,400).
-A smashed Kurt Cobain guitar.

Above: “Dude, stop, you’re getting dust all over my costume and I can’t afford to have it cleaned again. Which reminds me, you have a dollar?”

Of course, the purchase did come with $70,000,000 in debt. Eh, whatever, we say it was a good buy! With luck the new owner will use his majority stake to produce Mortal Kombat vs Killer Instinct vs NHL 2 On 2 Open Ice Challenge: The League 2.

They’re calling it a feature, but basically what they’re saying is, to make ends meet, your character now works while you’re logged out. Not like, works on beating up villains, but like, real jobs - intern, banker, mortician, fashion designer - who the hell ever heard of a super hero fashion designer? By day he accessorizes, by night he disguises, stitching up the seams of the city, busting criminals without a thread of pity!

Above: Dun duhduhduuuh!

Will we ever get past this ridiculous stereotype? Movie games are bad, comic book games are generally bad, so movie-comic games are a special kind of shitty. The best way to illustrate the difference in quality between one of 2008’s most popular films and its jerky, busted, antiquated video game tie-in is to pit their pull quotesagainst each other:

Above: Sounds like a great movie

Above: Sounds like the first time you get laid

This is one of those ideas that should be impossible to foul up. A flying suit capable of fending off entire armies, not to mention most of the other superheroes and villains in the Marvel Universe, and absolutely no good ideas come to mind? How do you miss the one goal a game like this should achieve, which is to make the player feel like an unstoppable force of good?

Answer: Rushed deadlines and no time given to make it anything more than another throw away purchase for confused parents.

Fatalities are synonymous with Mortal Kombat, but in MKvDCU the DC heroes don’t kill – they relentlessly beat their fallen opponent with the oxymoronic “Heroic Brutalities.” That is just about the least heroic thing you can do to an incapacitated person. Can you imagine Superman beating the shit out of someone only to continue turning their face into hamburger just because he can?

When we first clapped eyes on these Eidos-approved photos of the new Lara Croft model Alison Carroll back in August, we literally had to stare at them for an extended period of time just to take it all in. They’re millimeters away from being a pictorial crash course in gynecology.

Every time you think you’ve seen it all, there’s something else that makes you seriously question if these are meant to be risque or if someone just plum forgot that airbrushing tan lines and wearing some kind of underwear is standard photography business.