With Max Payne 3 hype reaching critical levels, it's time to look back and realize that… well, they can't all be winners. The little known ports will always be there to remind us that even the great minds behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption can falter. Here are the five worst Rockstar Games games:
5) Evel Knievel (Game Boy Color)
Yeah, an Evel Knievel game…. on Game Boy Color. Who knew there was so much to riding a motorcyle off a big jump? You've gotta tap a specific button, then you have to tap it harder, then you have to tap it faster. All the while you're being treated to hand-drawn crash scenes. Evel Knievel is forgotten for a reason: This game sucked.
4) Austin Powers: Welcome To My Underground Lair (Game Boy Color)
Rockstar released Welcome To My Underground Lair and Oh Behave! as a pair following the success of The Spy Who Shagged Me. The duo of Austin Powers Game Boy Color games were essentially operating systems inspired by the two Mike Myers characters. Underground Lair let players play a Pac-Man clone called "Mojo Maze" and… a Rock-Paper-Scissors clone. Needless to say, these were not groovy, baby, no.
Oh yeah, each title had Austin Powers inspired calculators too… so….
3) State of Emergency (Xbox)
I know many of you might saym "Hey, I had fun with State of Emergency! Why are you including this on a list of the worst Rockstar games?" To which I reply, "No, you're wrong. That game sucks."
State of Emergency played off of the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, Washington and naturally earned the ire of politicians and parents, despite lacking the high-quality of Grand Theft Auto III. That's why you thought the game was cool. Because you were 11-years-old and you were probably thinking to yourself that you were going to be the founding member of a rap group called "F*** You." Jesus, you were such a snot-nosed punk.
In reality, State of Emergency was repetitive, difficult to control, repetitive, needlessly inciteful, repetitive, and violent. Did I mention that it was repetitive? Missions frequently repeated themselves; beating someone to death with a severed arm was only fun for the first hour. Rockstar smartly washed their hands of the franchise and moved on to bigger and better things.
Next up: the two worst games from Rockstar…
And the worst two Rockstar Games Are….
2) Smuggler's Run (Game Boy Advance)
Sure, Smuggler's Run for the PS2 was fun! You got to drive around, go up huge mountains, and generally explore a huge environment while doing jumps and flips and sh**. Really, if you've never played this game splitscreen, you're missing out.
What wasn't fun was Smuggler's Run for the Game Boy Advance. The neat effects and physics were completely lost in the apocalyptic-grainy wasteland of the GBA. Let's not forget the complete void of anything resembling a sense of speed. At best the texture on the ground changes from one shade… to another.
I'm sure GBA owners appreciated the love from Rockstar, but there were times during Smuggler's Run that it actual felt like vitriol and hate. The 29 missions were so unbelievably tedious and the AI you frequently raced against couldn't be bothered to try anything remotely clever.
All in all, Smuggler's Run was terrible, but not as terrible as….
1) Surfing H3O (PlayStation 2)
I have to pay respect to Dr. Moo's original review of Surfing H3O here at GameRevolution, so here are a few choice selections from his critique of the worst Rockstar game of all time:
Surfing H30 already starts off with a huge strike against it simply because of its name. H30? What the hell is that? We all know that H20 is water. So what happens when you add an extra hydrogen molecule? More fun? Bigger waves? I'm no chemist, but if H20 = water, then H30 has got to equal something like The Blob.
Which, as it turns out, is a good analogy. Surfing H30 is a blob of a game, a mindless, wandering ball of gaming waste aiming to devour your money, though at least it comes with a free toy.
The big novelty here is a little plastic surfboard attachment that comes packaged with the game. You snap it on to the analog sticks, and suddenly pushing down on the sticks to activate the L3 and R3 buttons is made easier. I'll admit that the attachment has its charm for about 5 minutes, after which it becomes a great bathtub accessory. Surf's up, rubber duckie!
I should mention that playing without the little plastic surfboard is about as much fun as stabbing yourself in the eye with a little plastic surfboard. I'm not exaggerating.
The lackluster presentation, awkward control, and unbelievably shallow gameplay make this the first official bottom feeder for the PS2. Sic 'em, Jaws.