For the Worst of the Worst of Gaming in 2009… The Crashies

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We’re in the thick of Video Game Award Season, with the IGF and GDC awards next week. Lots of deserving games will win nice shiny awards. But what about the bottom-dwellers? Where’s their recognition? Let us introduce The Crashies.

We are, of course, taking some inspiration from the Razzies. Also known as the Golden Raspberry Awards, they’ve called out the absolute worst in movies year after year for the last three decades. However, with more than 1400 releases in 2009, the gaming industry outpaced the 619 movies Hollywood released by a factor of 2. There’s bound to be a lot of crap in there, but no video game equivalent to the Razzies exists to salute that stockpile’s collective wackness. Until now. And, with that, let the Crashing begin.

Worst Remake of a Classic Game

Bionic Commando (Capcom)

So much should’ve went right here. With the way that graphics and physics technologies have evolved since the classic platformer was on the NES, the nouveau Bionic Commando should been a free-wheeling romp that let you be Spider-Man with a bad-ass gun. But a terrible story, dodgy camera and needlessly grim tone spoiled whatever lingering love you might’ve had for Super Joe and his adventures.

Rygar: The Battle of Argus

This Wii game’s a remake of a remake. In 2003, Tecmo updated its shield-slinging barbarian for the PS2 and first Xbox. Though it was a bit of a button-masher, it was somewhat fun. But adding some Wii remote-waggling to the button-mashing doesn’t count as a major upgrade. Worse yet, the last-generation graphics fall way short of today’s expectations, even on the underpowered Wii.

Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff

Fans of the classic arcade football game have been clamoring for years for an update and that’s exactly what they got. Granted, Kickoff on Nintendo DS doesn’t have the benefit of licensed athletes like the original but it makes up for that by adding special abilities for your players. But the glitchiness–special moves not triggering, out-of-bounds catches counting for completions–that was endearing in the 1980s just felt sloppy in 2009.

And the Crashie Goes to:

Bionic Commando

This game should have been the best chance of building on old-school nostalgia and bringing in the title’s core gameplay concepts into the present-day. But, 2009’s BC fell far short of that, like many of the missed jumps you had to endure while playing it.

Least Enticing Title

MLB Front Office Manager

Because every kid dreams of putting together a roster of overpaid, under-producing steroid abusers.

Puchi Puchi Virus

Here’s some advice to all you Nintendo DS game-makers: don’t give your cute and admittedly clever puzzle game a name that sounds like an anatomically specific STD. Moms everywhere will say, “Wash your hands after you finish playing Puchi Puchi Virus, dear!” Scratch that, moms everywhere won’t buy your game in the first place.

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