||The first nominee for Most Screwed Up Game is M.C. Kids. You can almost see
how someone came up with the idea for this. Why not mix a game about hamburgers and hopping?
Because it's fucking dumb. This game consists of you falling into a magic story book to get
magic cards to save Ronald McDonald's magic bag. It was stolen by the
wicked robble-robbling Hamburglar, and it's your job to journey through the land of excessive
trademarked McDonald symbols to find it. You'd think after selling his 17 trillionth
cheeseburger, Ronald could hire better help then a six year old kid.
|Even most people's goldfish caught on that this game was a shameless McDonald's promotion,
so few people enjoyed its madcap reverse gravity buttons and deadly gophers and snails. This game
was also notably crazy since it was developed in America. That means it's genuinely screwed
up and not just weird because of some cultural difference between us and Japan. However, the staff
did hire foreigners to write the instruction manual.
"Track the Hamburgler before he uses the Bag of Magic for his own use!"
I checked the manual to see if there was a warning about the dangers of M.C. Kids induced insanity, but
the only thing I found was this: "Frogo: Distant relative to the Goforit, this creature is able to withstand the
freezing cold! Hitting him just right is considered a Super-Shot!"
And as far as warnings of forthcoming ridiculousness are concerned, I'm pretty sure that counts.
||The second nominee is Paper Boy. This was the exciting saga of a young
boy on his paper route. It sounds like a normal idea for a game, and it almost
was. Then they added the enemies. As you threw your papers through windows and against front lawn graves, you
had to avoid break dancers, giant remote control cars, motorists that aimed for you, strangely intelligent
rubber tires, and angry rampaging housewives. I don't know what kind of problems they might be
having, but they must be pretty bad if they're taking out their marital frustrations on the paper boy. But a seemingly
unmotivated attack by an old lady with a rolling pin is completely normal after you get further down the block.
Then, standing in the middle of the sidewalk, is Death. Yes, the Grim Reaper is hanging out by the curb. And even
though that is a monumentally weird thing for a paper boy to run into, Death doesn't do any more damage than
an angry puppy running into your spokes.|
|It's no wonder the front page of the paper you're delivering
has your face and an article entitled, "Amazing Paper Boy Delivers!" If my paper boy biked past Death, that would
probably be more interesting than the president getting a blow job. Of course, if I get my paper, an article about
how my paper was successfully delivered seems unnecessary. I sort of assume that some sort of amazing paper
boy did have a part in its delivery since I haven't believed in the magic Daily Paper Fairy since I was 19.
||The third nominee for Most Screwed Up NES Game is Bubble Bobble.
In it, Bubby and Bobby get turned into magical bubble blowing dinosaurs after
their girlfriends are stolen. To get them back, they put wind up toys and purple whales in bubbles
and pop them to turn them into treats and prizes. This ends up teaching them the true magic of life, love, and friendship.
Obviously, this game was released before the archeologist Brick Steinman disproved the "Dinosaurs
Blew Magic Bubbles" theory.|
|My brother and I sued Taito since this was basically our life story with some
dinosaurs, bubbles, prizes, and magic of love added. Our courtroom drama was made into a fascinating TV movie
with a Casio Keyboard soundtrack by Seanbaby Reiley, age 10. It had cameos by most
of the cast of Danger Island including Chango as the cuddly blue brontosaurus, Bobby. I don't want to spoil the ending, but
the Taito lawyers had more experience in arguing cases than my 13 year old brother.
||The next contender for the Most Screwed Up NES Game is A Boy and his Blob.
This was a romantic adventure combining an amorphic jelly bean loving blob with Atari 2600
graphics. I remember thinking, "It's about god damn time."|
Robert, the blob, is probably the best sidekick of all time. What other partner turns into a coconut
if you feed them a coconut jelly bean? Actually, that doesn't seem as
useful as I once thought. That must be why most sidekicks are pets in capes. It's
hard to find a good application for turning your friend into a coconut.
|There were other flavors of jelly beans that caused the thing to turn into ladders, trampolines,
or holes, but I was always hoping he would turn into a game cartridge that was worth playing. He never did,
and I usually threw him the nasty ketchup jelly bean and tried to find the "Kick Blob" button.
||Zombie Nation. This is just what it looks like. It's a giant flying head saving a city by destroying most of its
buildings with super fire breath. This is just one of the problems a city runs into when it's depending on a
detached head for salvation. The other, of course, is neighboring cities making fun of you and your big stupid
I wonder if this idea for a game was intentional, or if there was some big mistake somewhere in the
creative process. Did the graphic designer just make the head too big to allow for a body? Was it a normal
game until somebody accidentally spell space-ship as "b-i-g f-l-o-a-t-i-n-g h-e-a-d?"
|The sales pitch for this game must have been interesting. I'm assuming it was two guys who
walked in out of the cold and thought it would be funny to pretend to be game designers. The thing that
scares me the most is that none of my theories are probably right, and this game was carefully
designed after committee meetings and market research. They thought it would
do very well in demographics of people with no arms and legs. And they might have been right, but
since Nintendo didn't release the groundbreaking Power Tongue Controller, quadraplegics never got
a chance to enjoy the brilliant action of Zombie Nation. Or any other game, I guess. They
just had to sit in their living room while bullies put dead birds on them.
||After some frightening psychoanalysis of these games, we decided that we should
stop trying to get inside the minds of anyone who conceptualized, designed, or has ever
played any of these games. But after checking in "Bill Beckman's Hierarchy of How Fucked Up Stuff Is," we found
that giant floating heads are more abnormal than bubble blowing dinosaurs, McDonalds, and shapechanging
blobs put together. So Congratulation! to Zombie Nation for proving that deranged psychotics
can still be effective game programmers. And now, as is well precedented, we get to hear from the demented star of the winning
|"It will take more than your silly fireball to stop! Oh. Is that the same fire they use for the president?
That will go great with my key machine if I could find a Thank you! Thank you very much! I move like a rainbow
and sting like a trailer whore! You'll never see the samurai head before the truth... oh you think if you
ignore me I'll go away. Well, I can't go away because I'm not even here! I'm a ghost of a phantom of a shadow in the
darkest corner of your children's hearts! Hide me away, and I'll be showing you the last mohican. I'll show you a fat
little boy who isn't scared of whales. Who wants ice cream?"