Five Fine NES Examples of Awful Games with Awesome Titles

by on February 10th, 2011
Share Button ‘s Five Fine NES Series Reminder: The following choices are in no particular order, and do not reflect a “best of” list, but merely a summarized list of examples per category on the Nintendo Entertainment System. In this case, Five Fine NES Examples Of Awful Games With Awesome Titles.

There is an old cliché saying that goes something along the lines of, “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” As applied to human beings, the sentiment is accurate and insightful: You, indeed, cannot properly judge a person by his or her appearance. For other popular media, however, the saying is somewhat false, as you can not only make a great many valid judgments of a book based on its cover, but you can come to many similarly accurate conclusions when gauging movies, music, and video games as well.

Some misleading-label examples for the retro 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console are somewhat infamous, such as the bizarre box art for the original Mega Man game, not to mention its sequel. While many games can be detected as being a bust or a blockbuster right away, others may have possibly lured unfortunate gamers into actually playing them based on a solid title alone. The following are five examples of awful NES games despite their awesome titles.

Menace Beach

It is certainly a bit easier to look back at the NES library of games and make insightful, detailed, experienced reviews of their quality. Back in the day, though, who could have known what horrors Color Dreams would unleash upon the world? With an honorable mention going to Robodemons, “Menace Beach” is a two-word phrase that brings to mind rebellious teenagers, crack-down cops, adult-level mayhem, and all sorts of menacing subplots. The result, instead, was a mishmash mess of slippery controls, nightmarish precision-jumping puzzles, giant sumo wrestlers, and some not-safe-for-work near-nudity.

Urban Champion

But even Nintendo in all of their first-party wisdom was not immune to the fault of occasionally laying a bad egg. Although it, arguably, proved to pave the way for the fighting game genre with its definitive set-up, Urban Champion is an incredibly shallow, unimpressive, short, simplistic, lackluster game. All this, even though its title brings to mind violent images of the bloody carcasses of entire street gangs lying around the victorious figure of a lone warrior in the smoky alley… the Urban Champion.


Sometimes it pays to use a completely original, made-up word for a video game title, especially in the case of fantasy-style adventures, in the vein of such examples as Crystalis. Yet, in the case of Hydlide, the end result was one of utter disappointment, as broken gameplay mechanics matched up with a horrid control scheme, all bundled together with a directionless, ill-motivated, waterd-down quest that barely qualified as a “game.”

Cheetahmen II

Cheetah? Men? Could it be another human-animal hybrid franchise, in the mold of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Battletoads? And a sequel – in the video gaming realm, unlike that of cinema, this often means a superior title to the original, for reasons of hardware familiarity, developmental efficiency, etc. Would Cheetahmen II be all the awesome it promised? No, it would not; in fact, it would crash and burn as a mere curiosity item for collectors, since the actual gameplay was absurdly broken, to the point of being incomplete.


License games have a reputation for tending to be bad rather than good, but some gems definitely stand out; and, for a knock-out property like X-Men, surely a fun game could be produced, right? While it has its niche following and occasional fans, the original X-Men video game developed for the NES was widely regarded as a failure as it did not live up to lofty expectations. Wolverine had no claws, the sound effects were goofy, the dungeon-crawl gameplay did not seem to fit the theme, and accessing the final boss required use of a secret code. These and other flaws made this among the more notable examples of poor license games, especially for a franchise with such a notable following, sporting a title that fueled excitement for fans that would ultimately go unfulfilled.

An awesome title does not always equate to an awesome game, as these five fine examples show, and perhaps best serve as a foreboding warning to the gamers of future generations: Read reviews. Play the game. Form your own opinion. But do not, under any circumstance, assume that a good title means it will automatically be a good game.

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