Article The Dorklyst: 10 Incredible Videogames That Only Exist In Our Imaginations

By Alex Schmidt / December 6, 2012
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There are plenty of crazy fictional videogames seen in TV and movies. That's because games can be great devices for mainstream storytelling, or exciting opportunities to come up with a game without actually having to build it. But what about the awesome game ideas we never see at all? The ones springing from the imaginations of novelists and writers who don't realize that the only way anyone consumes media these days is through a Netflix account? A lot of fiction's coolest videogame ideas haven't been visualized, let alone made into actual games and then perfected as Uwe Boll movies.

Here are 10 amazing videogames that are currently only available for the Frontal Lobe 360…

10 Mega-Mutilation Part Three (from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling)

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This game only gets mentioned in one of Harry's letters to Sirius Black, so the Goblet movie never shows us Dudley Dursley's favorite fictional title for PlayStation. All we know is how great the name sounds, and that Dudley didn't get to play any more MMP3 after he threw his PS1 out a window, which happened during an "I WON'T go on a diet, Vernon and Petunia! Also, Harry is can literally kill any of us by pointing a stick and saying a couple words, we should probably be concerned about that" freakout. And yes, it's hard to justify Dudley feeling like a victim when he lives in the same household as tormented orphan Harry Potter, who is pretty much systemically emotionally-abused by every single adult he comes into contact with. But don't assume Dudley's lack of perspective about life means he doesn't have a good sense of which gory violent game was the best gory violent game of the 1990s. Obviously Mega-Mutilation Part Three is great, but just too awesomely violent for J.K. Rowling to describe to kids in detail.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 12 Greatest Videogames Based On Movies

By Alex Schmidt / November 16, 2012
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The immutable Laws Of Corporate Synergy (they're like the Three Laws Of Motion, but for money) require tentpole movies to have videogame adaptations. That's how we know Star Wars Episode VII will have no less than 8 games based on it (hopefully at least one about podracing). It's why Skyfall is already the jumping-off point for a through-the-franchise Bond game. And considering they're already doing The Great Gatsby in 3D, they might as well print some more money with The Sims: West Egg.

Now even though movie cash-in video games start life as an extra revenue source for a ruthless corporation, they're also the biggest project of any game developer's year. A lot of them turn out to be labors of love worth playing again and again, long after the film fades into obscurity as Saturday afternoon programming on TNT. Here are the 12 greatest videogames based on movies.

12. Ghostbusters: The Video Game

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A lot of videogame-to-movie adaptations are only good ideas because the cinematic source material is ridiculously great. Best example: this 2009 "shooter" (sort of) where you get to be a Ghostbuster in what's essentially the franchise's third movie. Sure, after some mediocre NES entries when the original movies came out, the idea of a good Ghostbusters game seems as crazy as cats and dogs living together – mass hysteria, right? Plus, the endless ghost-trapping is only sort of fun, there's no way to translate Bill Murray's brilliance into stilted cutscenes, but did you read that part before? You get to be a Ghostbuster. That's worth a rental just for the wander-the-Ghostbusters-firehouse experience you get in between missions. There's even a surprisingly hot NPC version of Janine Melnitz. Do your best Spengler and holla at her.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 8 Most Bizarre Fictional Videogames in History

By Steve Romano / October 12, 2012
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The world of movies and TV have long been filled with fake videogames that only exist within the boundaries of their respective universes – whether it's due to plot demands that couldn't be filled by existing games or simply trying to avoid copyright infringement. While sometimes there are games that look so incredible that the possibility of their existence would have nerds foaming at the mouth, there are also games too weird to possibly exist anywhere in the real world. Here are the 8 most bizarre fictional videogames in history.

8. Super Bario Bros. (Muppet Babies)

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With a title as ambiguous as Super Bario Bros., it either sounds like a shrink-wrapped bootleg video game you'd find being sold off a filthy tarp in a New York subway thoroughfare or the name of a bodega with some spelling issues. But given what goes on in the game itself is something that could only be found in those pirated video games, we're leaning towards the former.

Super Bario Bros. is essentially what happens when – please forgive the following potentially-scarring mental image of Muppet/NES game cartridge intercourse – the original Donkey Kong and Gonzo had a baby without Super Mario Bros. even being aware of the infidelity going on behind its own back. In the search for an adequate analogy, we nearly forgot to mention the King Koopa knockoff that throws what look like neon green boogers instead of fireballs and hammers. There's that too.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 9 Weirdest Celebrity Appearances In Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / October 5, 2012

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Some videogames just need a little something extra to bring them from good to great – celebrities! It worked on Entourage (which brought it from "ugh" to "Hey, Michael Phelps!"), why wouldn't it work in videogames? Sure, real life celebrities appearing as virtual versions of themselves in weird, not at all appropriate scenarios is really distracting and usually actively hurts the game, but everyone knows star power is what gamers really want, along with expensive DLC and escort missions (we'll check on these facts later). These are the 9 weirdest celebrity appearances in videogame history.

9. Justin Bieber (NBA 2K13)

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The fact that's there's a "celebrity" team in NBA 2K13 isn't all that odd – there were presidents and celebs playing basketball as far back in NBA Jam. But, really, the lineup includes Pauly D from the Jersey Shore, Kevin from The Office, Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm, and – most egregiously – Justin Bieber. Really, Justin Bieber's inclusion alone isn't enough to set him apart or make him notable in any way – but in the game the 5'7" tall tween singer has shot up to 6'4" and has stats that would make fantasy basketball fans weak at the knees. Maybe he does have some real basketball skills, but when a guy can't make it through a lip synch without vomiting, that doesn't seem too likely.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 15 Worst Weapons In Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / September 27, 2012
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"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

This important-sounding quote was spoken by some guy after you die during Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and it still holds true. Weapons in videogames, too, keep getting more and more powerful, yet there are still ones included in games that make us wish we had the raw power of some sticks and stones instead. We're not talking the purposely-terrible joke weapons that show up sometimes (like the mop in Chrono Trigger or the Bubble Gun in Earthworm Jim 2) – we're talking the weapons the developers thought you'd actually use at some point. These are the 15 worst weapons in videogame history.

15. Needler (Halo: Combat Evolved)

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The Needler can actually be a pretty effective weapon in Halo – assuming the target is totally still, your aim is on, and you have enough ammo. Unfortunately, players tend to move around in Halo (sometimes in different directions), getting the aim dead-on can be difficult, and if you don't have enough ammo, you're doomed. Hell, it's not like they're not being upfront with us at least – to "needle" typically means "to goad, provoke, or tease." Basically, it's a weapon designed to annoy your enemies – not kill them. And unfortunately, "killing" is a pretty important thing to do in Halo. Luckily, the Needler was improved in subsequent Halo games, stealing the raw power once held by the mighty Pistol.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 8 Best & Worst Gimmicks In Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / August 3, 2012
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Gimmicks have always been a mainstay of the gaming industry – what better way to separate your game from the rest of the pack than by adding some weird, unique, maybe pointless feature? Sometimes the gimmick adds another layer of depth and makes your game more memorable – other times its annoying, stupid, or just plain bad. These are 8 of the best and worst gimmicks in videogame history.

Best – Sanity Meter (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem)

Eternal Darkness was doomed from the start – playing as multiple characters (most of whom died grisly deaths no matter what you did), a surreal Lovecraftian plot (ending with ancient gods battling in outerspace while you fought a resurrected Roman centurion), and one of the most mind-bending gimmicks ever introduced into mainstream gaming: the sanity meter.

What it was (for those of you who didn't play, which based on the sales number is pretty much all of you) was your character would gradually go crazy every time they were seen by something…well, crazy. As the meter slipped, weird effects would start taking place – it appeared like there was a fly on your screen, the volume on your TV would lower, your save files would delete themselves. The game didn't see fit to only make the character feel like they were going crazy – they made you feel crazy too. The result was scarier and more immersive than almost any game ever, but most people ignored the game. Remember, developers: purposely trying to screw with gamers' grasp on reality – not the ticket to success.

Article The Dorklyst: The 5 Weirdest Changes George Lucas Ever Made To The Original Star Wars Trilogy (Not Including "Han Shot First")

By Andrew Bridgman / June 22, 2012
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There's no point getting mad about changes George Lucas makes to the original Star Wars films anymore. They're amorphous blobs more than films at this point, and have been since Lucas started seriously tinkering with them back in 1997. And that's okay! The original versions of the films still exist, so you can always cling to that, but the new ones are actually pretty fascinating, if for no other reason than Lucas makes some very strange, subtle changes. We all know (and mostly agree) how weird it was to reverse the Han/Greedo scene (the infamous "Han Shot First!" battle cry of internet nerds for the past 15 years), but there were a lot of changes made, some of which have some seriously questionable logic behind them, and these are some of the most baffling.

5. Adding More Dewbacks To The Droid Search on Tattooine

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Why is the Empire using multiple giant lizards for transportation on this desert planet? If they were sand people, okay, I'd get it. Sand people aren't the most technologically advanced folk in this universe, and they use whatever is available to them.

But the Empire is not only technologically advanced, they are the MOST technologically advanced organization in the galaxy. They have a laser that blows up planets. They can have their giant Star Destroyers travel at light speed with no issue. But when they're looking for droids on a desert planet, they choose to travel by giant iguana? You have to feed and care for these giant, unwieldy animals that are difficult to control. Even a poor farmboy has a landspeeder. Why wouldn't they use one too? Odds are they have ones that are way better than Luke's, and would probably have tools to help find droids that would not be susceptible to bearded old guys waving their hands. If one or two Stormtroopers were using dewbacks it would be okay (maybe their landspeeder broke down or they were being punished for another terrible day at the shooting range), but the idea of this many Stormtroopers riding fat, slow iguanas is a little weird.