We were very excited about NASA’s recent discovery of organic matter on Mars, stronger evidence than we have ever had of the presence of life in the red planet’s history, and perhaps even now. And sure, that life is nothing more complex than a light dusting of bacteria, but it’s hope for a future off-world, and even more incredible, it cements the notion of alien life. That’s life within our own solar system, so it’s no Faster-Than-Light travelling alien sapience that look like somebody’s been gradually improving the same sloppy prosthetics job over the last couple of decades, but it’s a start.
Science fiction writers have considered the possibility of how our interaction with alien life might go. Though the real tragedy is that the War of the Worlds destruction-by-disease is the most likely outcome, we can dream. Here’s a rough breakdown of the more optimistic possibilities. (more…)
What makes something alien? And how can we create something wholly alien when we create from such terrestrial experiences? It is absolutely true to say that we write what we know, and no fantasy or sci-fi can create something utterly beyond our knowledge and comprehension because… well how would we write it? Can the viewer or reader invest emotionally in an alien that conforms to nothing terrestrial? To say nothing on the subject of makeup and special effects budgets.
Babylon 5 does it’s very best to give us something that did not and could not evolve on Earth, with signifying factors that make them something strange and different, but we are left with characters that we can love as someone with whom we share common ground, or loathe for showing us our worst facets. Here are some of the biggest players that make up the cast: (more…)
They come in peace – But other times they come to turn your land into pieces, or just evaporated all together. Aliens are a tricky subject to get right; Do you make them into an evil species whose sole purpose is to cause carnage and mayhem? Or perhaps you turn them into a long forgotten race who is looking for their way in the cruel, dark universe. Whatever you like to think of when you think of an alien, there’s no doubt there’s many of them in pop culture.
On the 14th, many of us not constraint by partners with bland and ordinary ideas on how to spend Valentines day together were in the Telford International Centre getting nerdy in our hundreds.
MCM is a huge market filled with games, memorabilia, art, replica swords, minis and action figures, and real Pocky (not this Mikado farce). There are stands to try demos of upcoming game releases, watch exclusive new film trailers, celebrity guests, and an arena for robots to bash the ever loving exhaust out of each other. This is the first MCM I’ve been to in a while, and it’s the first one I’ve seen where they’d opened two rooms for us. This was an absolute pleasure, the place was less cramped, flow was a little easier around stands, and I didn’t over heat within the first few minutes.
We arrived at around 11:30, by which point the queue was out of the building, over the road, and up to the far gate approaching the town centre. Oddly, in spite of the fact that it then took over an hour to get our tickets and get in, this wasn’t all that dull. I spent the time with Mike from Quotes from the Tabletop, and our friend and fellow ginger, James. We occupied ourselves collecting Mini-Avengers, and in spite of clocking better part of a Mini-Justice-League, I was disappointed to have not spotted a tiny Hulk.
Not pictured but also attending were Chris Barrie and Robert Llewellyn of Red Dwarf, and also Rob Maythorne, whose collected works can be found here, and whose own (far prettier) gallery of this years event can be found here.
Were you there? What did you see? Us? Surely not, else you would have said something. Come find us at conventions and expos. We want to meet you.
Science Fiction is a genre that has been around for a very long time, but there are some things that have been around… Perhaps some of these things have been around for far too long and have plagued the Sci-Fi genre far too much for people to admit. We look to expose the most cliché of them all.
Have you ever played a shooter that was so bad that you just held your arms in the air and shouted “What!?” No? Well we have. Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to our next Top 10, where this week we our special guest is Kevin from 1001-Up and The Mental Attic. If you’ve not seen any of his articles before, please go do so as soon as you’ve finished reading this article.
No seriously, immediately after this article.
10. Sniper: Path of Vengeance
See the problem with a game like Sniper: Path of Vengeance is that it’s trying too hard to be something special and different. Whilst the premise of the game is very exciting, it doesn’t live up to the expectations of living through the game as a sniper.
Go ahead and just kill things, because you know. That sells games and all. Don’t worry about consequences either, the AI probably won’t get to you fast enough. This was a pretty bad start.
Wet gets its spot on this list because of how badly it wasted its opportunity. It’s one of those games with excellent ideas that somehow manage to screw it all up with atrocious design. It was visually pleasing, but that’s as far as the pleasantness got. Every other thing in the game was badly done, from the combat to the plot and everything in between. It’s painful because even while you’re groaning at how bad it is, you can see the potential lying there under the surface!
8. Resident Evil Survivor
We only included this game into the list so as to only have one title per series, because frankly, every 1st person Resident Evil deserves a spot, or its own list. Survivor is essentially a light-gun game (such as Time Cop on arcades) on consoles, where you fight rehashed enemies and bosses from the Resident Evil series with not much of a plot or coherence behind it. The gameplay itself was really bad, a rip-off of House of the Dead without any of the fun bits.
Yeah, you’ve read this correctly reader. The publisher for this is Square Enix. You know, those guys who published great games such as the Final Fantasy series? Those guys. So where did they go wrong when they published Mindjack?
We can’t be too mad at Square Enix. After all, conceptually this game was good. Unfortunately, with poor AI and a crummy story to go with it – Mindjack was doomed to begin with. I’d not recommend going out of your way to play this.
6. Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M
Sometimes you get a game and you think to yourself “I could do better”, this is one of those games. From the moment I laid my eyes on this monstrosity of a game I realised that something specially bad had been made. From the clunky weaponry to the uninspired enemies, Project S.W.A.R.M for the N64 just looks bad.
To make matters worse, it really didn’t live up to the power of the N64 at all. But rather than tell you all of this, how about you have a watch of the video we’ve found of it instead? Also, could the music have gotten any more generic!? It’s clunky, it’s sluggish, it’s crass. It’s not what we want in a game as there’s no depth. You’re basically a group of marines fighting insects. Anything else?
I guess it doesn’t help that it’s clearly not aged well.
5. Heretic 2
The Heretic series is a bit of a continuity mess. You first have Heretic, then the two Hexen, and then you have this atrocity, Heretic 2. It was ugly even by the standards of its time, and switching between 1st and 3rd person perspective did nothing to improve on that. The plot itself was serviceable, it worked, but the gameplay was so uneven, especially the constant and unneeded platforming, that getting to the end and the payoff was an almost herculean task.
4. Extreme Paintbrawl
Considered one of the worst games ever made, the funniest thing is I personally rated it better than the three games below simply because it now almost has cult-status due to the magnitudes of crap this game puts you through.
Terrible environments and really bad 2d characters in their 3d world. There are awkward movement cycles (including people crawling in the most worm-like way I’ve ever seen) and it’s not even like the AI can give you any form of challenge. Of course, it’s still possibly better than Big Rigs… But that game deserves a blog piece unto itself. But finally, do not get me started on the music. I might just go cry in a corner even remembering this game. Why did I rate this just number 4 again..? Oh right, these games…
3. Enter the Matrix
What pains me the most about this game is that I got a physical copy of it on release. Not only did it have an insanely large installation size for its time and the relatively short game, but also the gameplay itself was mind-numbingly dull. Not even running around the matrix and power jumping was fun, and the fights and shootouts were enough to turn even the biggest Matrix fan into a hater. The only good things about it were the full motion cut-scenes, and those weren’t that good either!
2. Alien Colonial Marines
To be honest, this game isn’t number 1 on our list only because Daikatana is bigger mess of a game, but it comes dangerously close.
Colonial Marines started out as what most thought would be the definite Alien game, but ended up being the most embarrassing titles ever released in the videogame industry since the aforementioned John Romero “masterpiece.” Terrible and glitchy visuals accompanied flat gameplay and an AI so bad it should be renamed to AS: Artificial Stupidity.
I was introduced to Daikatana by a Video Game reviewer/YouTuber called JonTron and it’s with this in mind, I wanted to like Daikatana, thinking that Jon might have gone a bit overboard.
He was not wrong in the slightest. Daikatana is a mess of a game, where you can kill people and get stuck in a map. Repetitive music, samey weapons and basically a game that wanted to be too big for the technology that was available at the time. On the PC version, you happen to also have some of the worst AI allies ever made on your side… But then on the N64 version they’re taken out but left in the cutscenes.
Yeah, these games are also pretty damn bad… But they didn’t quite cut the mustard to be called the worst shooters. They are still pretty bad mind you, so let’s salute them in all of their short comings!
Duke Nukem Forever
We couldn’t leave old Duke alone, could we?
This game actually played well enough, so before anyone thinks this is some cruel joke that it’s only an honorary, we couldn’t actually justify it being in the Top 10 list. However, many of you will disagree. You need to think of this game in a more subjective way, however. The games time-line was messed up and by the time the developers received the rights to make this game, you can bet your bubblegum that it had already been 10 years too late.
This was an ill-fated game. It did play fine though and there are some cheap laughs. Plus Duke himself was envisioned near perfectly, so we couldn’t say this was one of the worst shooters of all time.
Rage goes to our honorary mention because it’s not an entirely bad game; it’s just completely bland and uninspired, from its setting and plot to its gimmicky racing segments. If you took out the RPG and Loot-fest elements out of Borderlands along with all the humour and good writing you’d get Rage. It sounds mean and unfair, but it’s the absolute truth.
What do you think of our list of some of the worst shooters we’ve ever experienced? Notice we left the Call of Duty’s and the Battlefields out? Whilst I’m not a fan of either of those franchises, it doesn’t make those games bad. The games above are just bad. I mean really, Daikatana.
Once more, we’d like to step back and thank Kevin from 1001-Up and The Mental Attic for getting involved with our Top 10’s and if you’d like to get involved, just drop us an e-mail via our Contact Us page. Until next time, take it easy my fellow geeks!