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Top 20 Incredibly Bad Licenses for a Video Game (Part 2)

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14. Garfield

Plenty can be said about the Garfield comic strip, but for me, I know it's Jim Davis' clever way to tell a story of a paranoid, depressed schizophrenic disguised as a comic strip about a lazy cat who likes to eat lasagna. As I mentioned before in my blog,Garfield Minus Garfield does an awesome job in revealing the comic strip's true nature.

It's a shame most people don't notice that because they only see Garfield as a pretty lame comic. You can't really do much with a lazy, fat cat who eats a lot and does nothing else. But whether you love or hate the orange critter, there's something truly mind-boggling that there are over fourty video games released featuring Garfield. That's right; going all the way back to the Atari 2600, the Garfield license has been used in 40+ different games. I don't know if that's a record, but hell, there's gotta be someone out there who finds Garfield hilarious and buy these games.

13. Kiss

Of all the rock bands that are out there, there's no bigger PR and marketing machine than Kiss. It's kind of interesting to see what people will remember the band for; their music or their lust for marketing. I'll give Gene Simmons credit where it's due. He sure makes one hell of a salesman. From comic books to action figures to funeral caskets to even condoms, Simmons has slapped the Kiss name to just about everything. But when it comes to video games, Kiss has it all wrong.

Surprisingly, there are only two Kiss-branded video games (plus an unconfirmed one for Commodore 64), but for the most part, they suck. Their first game was Kiss Pinball for the Playstation 1 and it wasn't offensively bad. But seeing how you probably get more entertainment playing the actual Kiss pinball machine, this game made no sense. However, the Kiss ad nauseum train goes full steam with the release of KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child for the Sega Dreamcast and PC in 2000. Based on Kiss' comic book series, the Psycho Circus game is nothing more but a Quake/Unreal ripoff. The funny thing about this game was that you played the role of not the actual Kiss band, but a Kiss tribute band. I don't know if Simmons and his band didn't want any part of this crappy game, but it's kind of like playing Super Mario Bros. only to find out you're only playing some fat guy from Brazil who's pretending to be Mario.


12. The Olsen Twins

Remember when Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were America's little darlings way before there turned into anorexic crack whores? That's okay if you don't. So apparently back when Full House was all the rage in the late 80's to early 90's, the Olsen Twins captivated audiences everywhere with their adorable spunk because they just couldn't get enough of not one, but two modern day Shirley Temples. While Bob Saget and the rest of the Full House cast's careers went down the toilet when the show ended, the Olsen Twins had other plans by going on a decade long marketing blitz in order to enslave little girls to the Olsen brand. Just like with Kiss, the Olsens planted their name on toys, cereals, videos, and the whole shabangbang. Thankfully, there weren't any Olsen Twins condoms or caskets.

In an attempt to make video games a little more emasculating, Acclaim released a total of 13 Olsen Twins-licensed games. Now, I don't know about you, but I just don't see pre-teen girls flocking to the nearest Gamestop to pick up copies of Mary Kate & Ashley's Crush Course or Mary Kate & Ashley's What's That White Stuff. Targeting the 6-12 female demographic with video games is like target the male demographic with sanitary tampons. Granted that video games are much more casual today than it was 10 years ago, but I don't think releasing a "Mary Kate & Ashley's Anorexic Action" game would be a smash hit today.

11. Bebe's Kids

From what I can recall about Bebe's Kids the movie, it was extraordinarily boring. Not much to write home about this animated dud. It was hard to tell if this movie was targeting kids or a mature audience, but in any case, it bombed at the box office. What many of you probably don't know is that Bebe's Kids is essentially an well-noted routine done by the late standup comedian Robin Harris. With that in mind, it looks like Bebe's Kids for Super Nintendo is the first and only video game based on someone's standup routine. Just imagine a film studio making a movie about Dave Chappelle's Rick James routine and then licensing that movie for a video game. Now you know how crazy converting Bebe's Kids to video game form was.

Overall, the game was flat-out bad. In fact, some game critics consider it to be the worst SNES game of all time. But going back to the notion that Bebe's Kids originally was a standup routine, the game takes the least-interesting portion of Harris' act, as well as the movie, and uses that for the entire game. It's like taking George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" routine and just using the word "balls" to make a video game out of it.

10. Aerosmith

While Kiss has a badvideo game, at least there's is not as horrible as Aerosmith's cry for help.

Before rock bands slapped their names and likenesses to Guitar Hero games, musicians had other ideas to work with. Motley Crue kept it simple like Kiss by making a pinball video game, while Michael Jackson went the whole nine yards and did the Moonwalker arcade game for Sega. While some of you may argue that licensing a Michael Jackson arcade game is worse than licensing an Aerosmith arcade game, realize that Moonwalker came out in 1988 when Jackson was at the peak of his career and the game itself wasn't bad. In fact, I wouldn't call licensing a Michael Jackson video game a bad idea back in the 80's as anything tagged with the words "Michael" and "Jackson" would sell like hotcakes.

But let's go back to Aerosmith. The band had a relatively successful run during the 90's, so they wanted to capitalize on that success by taking at stab at video games. So Steven Tyler and the gang went to Midway Games for them to create an Aerosmith video game. The result? Revolution X.

In a nutshell, Revolution X is Midway taking its popular Terminator 2 arcade game and throwing in a bunch of aging rockers into the game. Along with an absurdly dopey storyline where the future is depended on you and Steven Tyler's large-ass lips, Revolution X is laughably bad and goofy as we get a couple of Aerosmith songs playing on loop over and over again while you take down ninja rejects by flinging compact discs at them. Hey, at least it shows you what they did with all those extra copies of the band's awful Rock in a Hard Place album. By the time you listen to an instrumental version of "Eat the Rich" playing in the background for the 40th time, you'd wish the game would allow you to shoot down the band in a murderous rampage.

Now that I think about it, I'd wish bands like Kiss and Aerosmith would've waited until 2006 to work on a Guitar Hero video game because we ended up with some pretty crappy stuff in licensed video games featuring dinosaur rock bands.

Top 20 Incredibly Bad Licenses for a Video Game (Part 1)

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While I already covered some of the worst video games based on movies, I thought I should take it a step further and go over some of the worst licenses (or licences for all you Brits out there) that have been used for video games. Bear in mind while Total Recall and Enter The Matrix were lousy games, they had the potential to be awesome because of the original product. However, there are plenty of video games out there that have licensed characters and properties that have absolutely no business in the gaming universe. You'll be surprised how many video games there are featuring mascots from fast food joints and kiddie superstars like Hannah Montana and "Coming to a Rehab Center Near You" Lindsay Lohan.

Let's just hope that this serves as a lesson to all the marketing and PR people that are out there looking to expand their brand name in something that shouldn't really have their hands in.


20. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

I know a lot of people have skeletons in their closets, but Mark Wahlberg might as well be the national spokesperson for skeletons in the closet. Before starring in inspirational movies about boxers, football players, rock stars, and taco stand vendors, Wahlberg took a "stab" at the hip-hop industry as a white boy who loved to rap and hang with his homies. OK, so he wasn't Vanilla Ice horrible, but by God he was laughably bad when he tried to roll with his Funky Bunch crew. He should be very thankful he has a blooming acting career because Marky Mark was certainly not meant for this world.

So anyway, Sega wanted to make its new Sega CD machine "hip" and "cool" or probably "hippity cool" to make it the only console out there that only cool people play. Unfortunately, Sega didn't get the memo that Marky Mark was not hip, cool, or hippity cool to most people, so it was no surprise the console tanked big time. I should point out that INXS and Kris Kross also had Make My Video games, but by far Marky Mark was the worst of them all.

19. Where's Waldo?

I certainly get the idea that the Where's Waldo books help kids or inspiring safety inspectors to have a keen eye. But has anyone ever asked why Waldo's hiding in the first place? Whether it's at the beach, a crowded mall, or the moon, this creeper is always trying to keep a low profile. Is he hiding from the police for child pornography charges? Or perhaps hiding from the mob after screwing them over on track racing bets? Whatever the case may be, Waldo's definitely blending in with the crowd to get away from someone.

There are plenty of edutainment games out there (plus a staggering amount of Sesame Street games), but Where's Waldo is a terrible license to pick for a video game. Why? I don't think I'd want to have my kid rub his face against the TV screen and look all over the damn place to look for Waldo while frying his eyes out. Oh, and the Great Waldo Search is a really terrible game to boot. Good luck trying to find our stripped friend in one sea of pixelated mess.

18. Sour Patch Kids

We're finally in the year 2012, right? So explain to me why out of all the intellectual properties that are out there that Capcom decided to greenlight a Sour Patch Kids game.

If you've ever been to a movie theater, then you've probably had a pack of Sour Patch Kids candy along with your buttered (if that is butter...) popcorn. If there's one thing Sour Patch Kids are guaranteed to do, that's ruining your teeth for life. Although this game hasn't come out yet, we do know that it's suppose to deal with the Sour Patch Kids navigating through movie theaters and other places while avoiding other treacherous candy treats and "deranged" humans (according to the press release). You know, the Sour Patch Kids doesn't really need to be a video game, but somehow Capcom is throwing all its marbles down for this game.

By the way, it gets even more bizarre as Method Man (yes, THAT Method Man of Wu-Tang fame) has provided the theme song for this upcoming game.

17. Chester Cheetah (Cheetos)

You gotta love the irony in this one. Remember as a kid when you'll playing some video games with your pals and one of them ask to pass over the controller while the little brat's hands are covered in Cheetos powder? I bet this game was dedicated to all those moments when it happened.

Believe it or not, Kaneko made two Chester Cheetah games for the SNES and Genesis. Overall, both titles were basic platforming games that weren't really anything to write home about. However, given the fact the game stars a mascot who promotes greasy cheese snacks, you know the game sole purpose was to get kids running to the grocery store and stock up on crunchy and puffy Cheetos.

16. Jeopardy!/Family Feud

I'll admit it: I tune in to Jeopardy on a daily basis. In fact, I'm a sucker when it comes to quiz shows like Jeopardy or Family Feud so I can prove to myself that I'm not dumb and truly am a genius. But there's a huge fatal flaw when it comes to making licensed video games based on game shows.

Jeopardy and Family Feud are two perfect examples on how things can go south while playing them in video game form. For one thing, it's a real pain in the ass to navigate the cursor to type in your answer. Life would be easier if this was being played on a PC, but seeing how there's been multiple versions of Jeopardy and Family Feud on the NES and other home consoles, it was pure torture just getting your answer in before time runs out. Also another huge problem with licensed video games based on game shows is the limited amount of questions in the game. It'll take you at least three playthroughs to finally see the questions being repeated, thus rendering the game unplayable. And don't even bother to play any of these games if you suck at spelling. Just misspelling a word by one letter will get it wrong.

15. Alvin & The Chipmunks

I'm actually pretty amazed that there hasn't been an Alvin & the Chipmunks video game until the franchise got rebooted for the 2007 live-action movie. However, seeing how this atrocity turned out, I think it was best the Chipmunks franchise stayed away from video games.

In a nutshell, all the Alvin & the Chipmunks is really about is taking pop songs from past and current musicians and cranking up the RPM so that it sounds like squeaky, little chipmunks are singing them. While I have fond memories of watching the original Chipmunks cartoons - both the 1960's and 1980's versions - Hollywood decided it would be a great idea to revive the franchise in 2007 by giving us a more realistic, yet half naked Alvin & the Chipmunks. And like most kids movies these days, a video game was released to coincide with the film's arrival. Bear in mind that also in 2007, rhythm video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Rand were all the rage. It seems pretty appropriate that Brash Entertainment copied and pasted the exact same game mechanics of Guitar Hero for a franchise that copied and pasted the exact same songs of pop musicians.