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.
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.
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.