The Top 10 Games That Just Rub It In
Every gamer is familiar with two words: “game over.” There are plenty of ways to lose in games: exploding, getting shot, falling off a ledge, crashing, being lit on fire, falling into water, and so on and so forth. Most games decide the shame of your sudden, painful maiming is enough to get the point across, but some game designers think that watching your hideous/hilarious death isn't quite rubbing it in enough.
Photo: Sierra Entertainment
By: Dan Seitz
10. King's Quest
Back when PC gaming meant a lot of pointing, clicking, and figuring out the moon logic of the game designer, because combining butter and a weasel totally makes sense in the real world, nobody put out more adventure games, or put out harder adventure games, than Sierra.
One mistake was all it took for a game over, and Sierra probably spent more time writing one-liners than they did developing the actual game, but one, from the original King's Quest, stands out as the worst. Being a Sierra game, you can screw up and die by falling into a moat within thirty seconds of starting your adventure. The game over?
"The moat monsters appreciate your good taste".
Gee, guys. Thanks.
9. Sega Rally
Sega, back in the '90s, were arcade gods, and put out a truly superb game called Sega Rally Championship. It was the first game where the surface you drove on made a difference in speed. And it was also a model of sportmanship. Except when you lost, the game was REALLY happy about it. Upon losing, a loud rhythmic tune would play “Game Over Yeah” in the most annoying way possible.
8. Total Distortion
Photo: Pop Rocket
Total Distortion was a pretty innovative game where you played a music video producer fighting “Guitar Warriors.” It was better know for its humor than its gameplay, probably because it was about ten years ahead of its time, and also because it's hard to make a game about rock music that doesn't involve a plastic guitar and doesn't suck.
As it was created by Joe Sparks, the man behind Radiskull and Devil Doll, when you lost, a cute little metal ditty.
We're pretty sure we heard “Your heart is stopped and your brain is cold” in a Ke$ha song.
7. Half Life 2
Photo: Sierra Entertainment
Half Life 2 really shouldn't need any introduction, unless you've been gaming on a Mac your entire life, in which case, we think Half Life finally became available on Steam! You should go play it!
Anyway, being an FPS with physics puzzles, it kept insisting on making you jump various chasms, leading to a whole lot of death. And it's not enough that you died and failed to save the Earth, the NPCs themselves actually stand around and make fun of you. For example, the rebels actually say: "He'll be OK, he's done this before." You know, in front of your corpse.
We guess Gabe Newell popping up in full-motion video and yelling “HA HA YOU SUCK!” was a little too resource-intensive. Maybe in five years, when Episode 3 comes out.
6. Tony Hawk
One of the eternal riddles of the Tony Hawk games is how your character, an athlete able to do back-flips at high speed, resist the forces of gravity long enough to twirl 720 degrees, and having the inhuman strength to stomp on the end of their board in a stall from zipping up a half-pipe at eighty miles an hour, can't swim. Seriously, this guy is so athletic he's superhuman in real life, and water undoes him.
Just to rub it in, apparently the programmers feel the need to inform you, the player, of how much you suck. Our personal favorite is the reminder to “Stay in School!”
Yes, that's for the inspirational message, guys. You do realize Tony Hawk is what we're playing to avoid school?
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