Some rare games are lost classics, superb artistic and technical achievements that, for one reason or another, flopped in the marketplace faster than you can say "8-bit Moby-Dick." But for every Ōkami and EarthBound, there are 100 other failed releases like Cheetahmen II, gag-inducing stinkers that even their creators would prefer we just forget about. Unfortunately for them, the collector's market doesn't give a Shaq-Fu what they think, as evidenced by these 11 awful, rare, and awfully rare games that nevertheless sell for more than your high school beater.
11. Link: The Faces of Evil
Auction Price: $590Car It's Worth More Than: 1989 Geo Metro
Criticize Skyward Sword all you want, at least it never triggered any acid flashbacks. The same can't be said for Link: The Faces of Evil, one of three notoriously weird Zelda titles released on the Philips CD-i. Seemingly based on one of Shigeru Miyamoto's fever dreams, The Faces of Evil is famous for the bizarre full-motion cutscenes that make it closer to a David Lynch movie than a proper Zelda outing. But despite looking and sounding like a prescription cough syrup bender, a new copy of this game can sell for nearly $600, making it a better investment than that Geo Metro your buddy swears just needs a new transmission.
The Smash Bros. series is Nintendo's attempt at giving itself a big pat on the back the games are filled with Nintendo history, from the stages to the trophies in the game. But the stuff Nintendo wants you to pay attention to is the playable characters, which have ranged from R.O.B. to Mr. Game and Watch to Ness (who has now appeared in more Smash Bros. games than games of his own). Yet there are hugely important things from Nintendo's past that they'll probably never allow as characters in the new Smash Bros. games here are 10 of them.
10. Anyone From the Super Mario Bros. Movie
Nintendo's sole attempt at trying to squeeze its way into Hollywood is one they would like to forget besides being an enormous box office failure, it did some real weird things with the Super Mario brand, including changing Goombas from little walking mushrooms into hulking reptiles with tiny heads, making Bowser look a lot like Dennis Hopper, and their most unforgiving sin having Luigi not have a mustache. So what are the odds we'd see anyone from the Super Mario Bros. movie in a new Smash Bros.? About as likely as the cast reuniting for a sequel that turns out to be Bob Hoskins' dream about fighting a frog named Wart.
Many classic videogames still boil down to a very basic formula: Good Guys + Bad Guys +/- a few princess = Conflict. In some games the actual reasons for the conflict (princess-related or otherwise) don't actually matter much the most important relationship and interactions in the game are between our player and his or her antithesis. That's probably why, no matter how long the feud seems to drag on or how implausible it is that the villain survived his last defeat, game designers keep bringing back the devils we know it just wouldn't feel like the same series without them. Now what happens when these naturally opposing forces find themselves on the same side in a fight against an even greater foe? Here are the 10 greatest hero and villain team-ups in videogame history
(WARNING: Some spoilers about villains and heroes teaming up to follow)
10. Master Chief & The Arbiter (Halo 2 & 3)
Unlike many of the foes on this list, Master Chief never actually entered into combat directly with the Elite (or Sangheili, as they like to be called these days) that would become known as "The Arbiter". That's probably a good thing, as otherwise the prophets would have had to find another Arbiter. Other than a different pair of hands and the ability to cloak without a power-up, the Arbiter didn't play much differently from his former nemesis (both were also very good at killing Covenant and at getting human marines slaughtered just by their presence in combat). However, in the storyline, it would be the Elite Fleet (sounds way better than Sangheili fleet to me) that would prove the decisive factor in ending the war with a human victory. Just think how different it could have gone had the Prophet of Truth just decided to put off the Civil War until after humanity had been wiped out. Actually, Master Chief probably would still have just killed everybody, but he would have been able to kill a lot of Elites too, and they're a lot more fun to fight than Brutes. That's probably why he started doing that again in Halo 4.
Real life couldn't have created an enemy more terrifying than your standard police officer; after all, what other civil servant has the state-sanctioned power to murder us, both with military-grade weaponry and egregious parking fines? True, most of your garden variety cops spend their shifts hassling non-violent drug offenders and telling rude teens to stop skateboarding on things, but a small minority employs the power of the badge to abuse their authority with criminal intent. Thankfully, the medium of video games allows us to seek vengeance against those who've fallen over to the icky side of the thin blue line a more gratifying fate than seeing the traditional crooked cop punishment of extended paid vacation.
(WARNING: Some pretty significant spoilers lie within)
10. Officer Frank Tenpenny (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
Since 1994's Pulp Fiction, the casting of Samuel L. Jackson in any role serves as a sort of shorthand for the audience, as if to say "this expletive-shouting man may be dangerous and unstable." If he's on the protagonist's side, then victory's in the bag, and the creative vulgarities can fly freely without caution; unfortunately, the first five minutes Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas spell out the fact that Officer Frank Tenpenny is a very, very bad man. His behind-the-scenes string-pulling gives our hero CJ the mass-murderer status demanded by every Grand Theft Auto installment to date, and Tenpenny's own crimes eventually lead to a full-scale riot the aging hardware of the PlayStation 2 did its best to simulate. Close to ten years later, and Grand Theft Auto as a whole has yet to come up with a more enigmatic villain or at least one voiced by a guy with some clearly defined snake boundaries.
Since the beginning of videogames, one thing has been clear: marketing executives have no idea what the appropriate time would be to use rap in commercials and advertisements. Or how rap should sound. Or what it should be about. But "having no idea what we're doing" has never stopped an executive, so terrible/awkward raps became one of the cornerstones of the videogame ad industry. These are the 8 worst raps in videogame marketing history.
8. Supersonic Controller
The Supersonic Controller had a lot of hurdles this commercial tried (and failed) to leap: selling a wireless controller when the technology wasn't good enough to make that work, selling a controller shaped like a triangle (great shape for pizza, terrible shape for a controller), and convincing you it would work for the Nintendo even though it was a third-party non-Nintendo-approved hunk of plastic that would embarrass MadCatz.
And what better way to stumble through this all than with a family-friendly rap (thus defeating the main appeal of rap in the 80's)? The problem is (besides being awful) that the rap can't even muster up the self-confidence to sell itself. They actually include the line "It will do." It's essentially saying that it gets the job done, but "Meh, It Works, Sorta" isn't exactly the ringing endorsement they thought it was.
The entire concept of having animals evolve into insanely-powerful beast monsters by beating the crap out of others in battle (or by being exposed to stones, being traded, etc.) is pretty ridiculous in and of itself. But it's not too difficult suspending your disbelief when the end result is a fire-breathing dragon who remains loyal to you (despite the fact you're forcing it to fight a bird who shoots lightning). But there are some specific evolutions that are extremely weird, even in the already-weird field of Pokemon evolutions. These are the 10 weirdest evolutions in Pokemon.
10. Cubone into Marowak
Cubone's life kinda sucks he's so upset at the death of his mother (remember, this is an entire species of Pokemon, meaning they all are bereaved over the deaths of each of their individual mothers), that he literally wears her skull, which may not be the most emotionally-healthy coping tactic. Then again, in some deeply, deeply messed up way, his mother is still protecting poor little Cubone since her skull now acts as his helmet. It's definitely indicative of some kind of creepy Norman Bates/Mother relationship, but it's mostly harmless.
Where it gets weird is when Cubone evolves into Marowak. Essentially, Marowak's just a bigger Cubone, which isn't all that weird. What is weird is that Marowak is defined by having gotten over the death of its mother (remember: AS A SPECIES, Marowaks have ALL gotten over the deaths of their individual mothers), but still wears a skull on its head. But it's specifically NOT its mother's! Meaning Marowak found some random dead Pokemon's bigger skull and is wearing that now? Something tells me Marowak hasn't quite reached the closure it claims to have.
Time travel has been a super popular theme in movies, books and games ever since the first time machine was invented in the year of our Lord Zenithox 33270XX, so naturally there have been plenty of virtual heroes zipping through the space-time continuum. Even with so many cool games featuring time travel, these eighteen veteran characters stand out for going the distance in the past, present and future. Their heroic chrono-adventures have taught us all that no matter how far into the past or future we go, bad guys and logic puzzles span across all history.
18. Bernard, Hoagie, Laverne (Day of the Tentacle)
Way back in an earlier epoch VH-1 historians now refer to as "the early '90s", the forward-looking game scientists at LucasArts developed Day of the Tentacle. The point-and-click adventure game followed a guy, a girl, and another guy in their efforts to foil a sentient purple tentacle's plot to take over the world. The course of human and tentacle events leads to each character being stranded in the mansion at a different period of time. The game played around with the unique temporal level structure, allowing the player to eventually switch between the three time periods, trade items, and show how the effects of a change to one period could have puzzle-solving consequences in future areas. The game's quirky sense of humor and cartoony visuals masked an educational journey, as the kids playing learned more about the Founding Fathers than they ever would have at school. For instance, did you know that John Hancock made the first bad Woody Allen impression in recorded history in Maniac Mansion over 200 years ago? Knowledge.
Sadly, the untimely demise of LucasArts means that this series is likely history. More time-travel wordplay to follow.
If you asked a kid what their favorite things were, odds are you'd hear a lot of them say "pizza" and "videogames." Really, most adults would say the same thing because pizza is (arguably) the best food there is, and videogames are the best things to do while eating food or not eating food. So combining the two seems like a natural fit and while many have tried to cash in on our collective love of dough combined with sauce and cheese over the years, only a few have done it memorably. These are the 10 Tastiest Pizzas in Videogame History.
10. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
There's a lot of super weird things going on in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. There's an upside-down castle. There's a goofy librarian sitting by himself in a library filled with ghosts and demons that he doesn't seem to notice. Hell there isn't even a symphony. But the weirdest thing may be the fact that there are a lot of fast food items popping up around the castle, including "New York style pizza." Given that Castlevania takes place in 1797, it seems unlikely that "New York style pizza" would be readily available in Dracula's castle back then, or even exist at all. But since Dracula does have the wizard (hilariously-named wizard, more specifically) Shaft helping him out, maybe it's possible that time and space have been bent to allow some pizza into the mazelike castle. If you hate unnatural magic powers back then, odds are you too would use them to resurrect Dracula and get a fresh Lombardi's pie.