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

By Alex Schmidt / December 6, 2012
The Dorklyst: 10 Incredible Videogames We Can Only Imagine - Image 6

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)

The Dorklyst: 10 Incredible Videogames That Only Exist In Our Imaginations - Image 7

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.

Filed Under   the dorklyst   dorklysts

Article The Dorklyst: The 12 Greatest Videogames Based On Movies

By Alex Schmidt / November 16, 2012
The Dorklyst: The 12 Best Videogames Based On Movies - Image 1

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

The Dorklyst: The 12 Best Videogames Based On Movies - Image 2

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.

Filed Under   movies   the dorklyst   dorklyst   dorklysts

Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Greatest Radio Hosts In Videogame History

By Alex Schmidt / November 9, 2012
The Dorklyst: The 10 Greatest Radio Hosts In Videogame History - Image 1

If you've ever played a game so much that you dreamed to its soundtrack (I'm looking at you, Age of Empires II with the expansion pack), you know music makes or breaks the experience after a few dozen hours of gameplay. Luckily a lot of game developers do what radio stations do to break up the musical monotony: add a DJ, make them distinctive and funny, and when they're truly great make them larger-than-life characters in the world around you. Here's ten in-game radio hosts worth looking forward to as you push yourself to finally beat that goddamn level.

10. DJ Atomika (host of Big Radio in SSX 3)

Why do we love Ryan Seacrest? (Don't disagree with me. If you live in America, years of ratings and focus group testing prove that you and everyone you know loves Ryan Seacrest.) We love Ryan Seacrest because he's undistinctive, professional, and an efficient way to move us from the entertainment we had to the entertainment we're going to have. Long-running SSX host DJ Atomika (voiced by Mark Hildreth) moves us from snowboarding event to snowboarding event with Seacrestian panache. He's the radio personality equivalent of a ski lift, and exactly what we want on the mountain.

Filed Under   fallout   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 15 Most Overpowered Weapons In Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / November 2, 2012
The Dorklyst: The 15 Most Overpowered Weapons In Videogame History - Image 1

When moving through any game, your goal is usually to move up the food chain: get better guns, get better armor, get better everything. Get to the point where you're unstoppable, where you can mow through enemies like a weed whacker through a bunch of easily-whacked weeds. But this desire needs to be kept in check – because when the developers include weapons that are too good, it can completely throw off the balance of the whole game. There's no need for strategy or real challenge with weapons that are that powerful – and just like when Tim Allen makes a way too powerful weed whacker on Home Improvement, sometimes we need to recognize when things have gone too far. These are the 15 most overpowered weapons in videogame history.

15. Fierce Diety's Mask (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

The Dorklyst: The 15 Most Overpowered Weapons In Videogame History - Image 16

Getting all the masks in Majora's Mask is something of a pain (unless you're Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day and used to this kind of stuff, but in which case, you're also a fictional character). Unfortunately, you need them all to get the final and most ridiculously-powerful mask in the game – the Fierce Deity's Mask. The FDM transforms Kid Link into, well, the Fierce Deity (who looks a lot like Adult Link but with gray hair and some bad facepaint). While it can only be used in boss fights, the mask makes the game a joke – even the final boss fight against Majora's Mask becomes a quick scuffle, with Fierce Deity Link shooting his laser-sword against the helpless evil mask. It's like if they let you beat Ganon in Ocarina of Time by having Biggoron step on him.

Kinda makes you wonder how this thing nearly brought the apocalypse down on Clock Town. Also makes you wonder why they didn't evacuate Clock Town the second they noticed the moon was, like, 100 yards away.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Craziest Self-Imposed Challenges in Videogame History

By Andrew Henderson / October 26, 2012

The Dorklyst: The 7 Craziest SelfImposed Challenges in Videogame History - Image 1
Some gamers have a problem – the games they play just aren't difficult enough. Sure, the game was fun, but what if it was incredibly hard too? What if someone made up challenges that were so tedious and impossible that it would render the entire experience into nothing more than anguished frustration and mind-numbing boredom? "HELL YES!" cheered the masochistic gamers, each cracking their knuckles in anticipation of the Herculean virtual tasks ahead – the 7 craziest self-imposed challenges in videogame history.

7. The Green Mushroom Race (Super Mario 64)
The Dorklyst: The 7 Craziest SelfImposed Challenges in Videogame History - Image 2

Sometimes the best ideas come from sheer boredom – this is not one of those ideas, but odds are it did spring from being super-bored. Super Mario 64 is not a hugely difficult game – there are a number of challenges, each one pretty clearly illuminated in each level. Once you've completed those, what else is left? In short: The Green Mushroom Challenge. To initiate the challenge, you have to climb a tree that spawns a green 1-UP mushroom, and then rush to collect all eight red coins within a level before collecting the green mushroom, which is chasing Mario the entire time. What makes this so frustrating is that the green mushroom travels slightly faster than Mario, so instead of simply running, you have to "trick" it by constantly pivot-jumping over it and long jumping across chasms.

As shown in the video above, the green mushroom doesn't just casually slide along until it falls off the level, it relentlessly pursues you. For example, when the player uses the level warp to get back to the top of the mountain, the mushroom is waiting for him back at the bottom of the level, and then continues to chase him like a lost puppy with nothing to lose. Can you imagine running away from an extra life on purpose? Talk about World 1-1 problems.

Filed Under   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Tragic Deaths Caused By Joss Whedon

By Barbara Holm / October 19, 2012
The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Tragic Deaths Caused By Joss Whedon - Image 10
The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Tragic Deaths Caused By Joss Whedon - Image 1

Who would you say is the most merciless, heartless killer in nerd culture? Anakin Skywalker was pretty ruthless when he mowed down those adorable little Padawans, right? Maybe the Doctor, who killed every other Time Lord and a good chunk of Daleks in the Last Great Time War? While these people are brutal killers, all pale in comparison to the most remorseless, cruel murderer in nerd history: Joss Whedon. Here are the 7 most tragic deaths caused by Joss Whedon.

7. Penny (Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog)

The Dorklyst: The 7 Most Tragic Deaths Caused By Joss Whedon - Image 1

Penny serves as a unrequited love interest for the evil mad scientist, Doctor Horrible. In the end, Doctor Horrible's hollow victory is caused and hinged upon Penny's death. That's the way tragic irony works – the audience yells, "No! That is the exact opposite of the thing that was supposed to happen!" Penny dying is like your mom giving away your favorite teddy bear because it got old and the dog puked all over it, but replacing it with a new, better teddy bear. Sure, you got a fresh new toy now, but at what cost? (oh, also, Joss Whedon stabs your old teddy bear in front of you a bunch, too) Penny is portrayed by the funny, smart, talented nerd queen Felicia Day, who I kinda want to be when I grow up. I think it was my Felicia Day love that left my heart as vulnerable as hers was when she was punctured through the chest by stray shrapnel. Wait, I guess all hearts are vulnerable to that.

Filed Under   xmen   the dorklyst   death   Firefly   buffy   avengers   joss whedon   angel   dollhouse

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

By Steve Romano / October 12, 2012
The Dorklyst: The 8 Most Bizarre Fictional Videogames in History - Image 1

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)

The Dorklyst: The 8 Most Bizarre Fictional Videogames in History - Image 2

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.

Filed Under   the dorklyst   dorklysts

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

By Andrew Bridgman / October 5, 2012

The Dorklyst: The 9 Weirdest Celebrity Appearances In Videogame History - Image 10
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)

The Dorklyst: The 9 Weirdest Celebrity Appearances In Videogame History - Image 1

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.

Filed Under   the dorklyst   dorklyst   dorklysts

Article The Dorklyst: The 15 Worst Weapons In Videogame History

By Andrew Bridgman / September 27, 2012
The Dorklyst: The 15 Worst Weapons In Videogame History - Image 1

"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)

The Dorklyst: The 15 Worst Weapons In Videogame History - Image 2

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.

Filed Under   the dorklyst   dorklysts   weapons

Article The Dorklyst: The 9 Worst Superhero Teams of All-Time

By Dan Abromowitz / August 31, 2012
The Dorklyst: The 9 Worst Superhero Teams of AllTime - Image 1

Teamwork is the key to success, especially when team members have the ability to phase through walls or literally bend time and space. When superheroes get together and form a team, it usually results in a stronger whole, with the different powers complementing each other and helping eradicate the worst scum in the universe. However, sometimes the teams of multiple superheroes are terrible. This goes against all logic, but groups of super-powered individuals can suck - either because the members are ridiculous, or ill-suited for one another, or because the team is nothing but a bunch of pets. Here are the 9 worst superhero teams of all-time.

9. X-Force/X-Statix

The Dorklyst: The 9 Worst Superhero Teams of AllTime - Image 2

The original X-Force was a Rob Liefield-created posse of loud muscular guys who thought coolness was determined by the number of pouches strewn across your massive build, with names like "Shatterstar" and "Warpath," led by King Pouch-Enthusiast, Cable. It sold tremendously well and helped to ruin superhero comic books for a little while. After a few different grim-n-gritty reboots, the series was given to the freewheeling team of Peter Milligan and Michael Allred, who promptly killed the whole team in an explosion and came up with their own. In their hands, X-Force became an spectacularly biting meta-commentary on the comic business, featuring a team of self-obsessed, dysfunctional, fame-addicted assholes whose sole purpose is to cause flashy carnage in order to sell merchandise, based on the whims of their managers and a fickle consuming public. Unpopular characters would be killed in the field, so each team members would do everything in their their power to stay relevant, at the expense of the team (one subplot centered around the token black character trying to prevent another black superhero from joining for fear that he'll be killed off as soon as he's no longer the minority, while another centered around two characters grudgingly striking up a gay love affair to drive up their popularity).

By the end of the Milligan/Allred run, the entire team (renamed "X-Statix," to be sufficiently x-treme) had been murdered several times over, and sales had dropped precipitously, despite the creative team giving the Marvel audience exactly what they apparently wanted. The reins were handed back to Liefield, because testosterone must flow.

Filed Under   the dorklyst