Festive Feature #3 - Top Five Most Shameless Cash-ins of 2012
Written Wednesday, December 19, 2012 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
The video game industry is no stranger to shameless cash-ins. Year after year, businessmen with little or no idea about games throw the smallest amount of money and time possible at developers, hoping to score a few sales with titles based on successful movies, TV shows, books and more.
This year is no exception. Gathered below are the cheapest, nastiest, most desperate grabs for your hard-earned cash, a selection of tawdry of games that feed off far superior subject material without honoring anything that made the source interesting or fun in the first place.
But which one will be our winner? Which of these games is the Most Shameless Cash-in of 2012? Read on to find out.
The Expendables 2 movie plays off the notion that getting a bunch of past and present action stars together might be a laugh. It’s entertaining trash, enjoying box office receipts in line with its expectations. The Expendables 2 game, meanwhile, is about as much fun as getting kicked in the nuts by Jason Statham.
Let’s be honest, Sly Stallone and Dolf Lungren’s faces weren’t the prettiest things in the world to start with, but their in-game representations here are even more horrific. This is an ugly game that can’t even get the basics right; a twin stick co-op shooter that can manage neither moving nor shooting.
We’re not sure anyone actually bought this game at all, but if they did you can be sure that it was only because they enjoyed the movie. The worst kind of tie-in pap, The Expendables 2 shouldn’t even exist. A thoroughly grubby cash-in.
“Strap on some strong underwear and wade into crap-filled waters with me. Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games almost makes me wish there was another ice age in which to bury every copy of this game.”
That’s how our review of the latest Ice Age game started and we’ll be honest with you, it didn’t get any better from there on in. Rated an ‘unplayable’ 25, it was our lowest scored game of the year. “An insult to the film series,” Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games “doesn’t deliver on any level.”
Imagine the amount of poor little kids that came home with the game, eagerly anticipating exciting adventures with their favourite movie characters, only to unwrap this steaming turd. Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games should be reported for child abuse.
James Bond games should be great. The movies have a brilliant protagonist, fantastically outlandish bad guys, fast cars, action and exotic settings. Yet in a post-Goldeneye world they often fall short and 007 Legends is no exception.
What makes 007 Legends even more of a shameless cash-in, however, is the way it was marketed. Launched to tie-in with the release of Skyfall, and with missions drawing on such classic movies as Goldfinger, Moonraker and Die Another Day, 007 Legends was a painfully obvious grab at the return of Bond-mania.
Hell, they even stuck a trailer for the game at the end of a Skyfall promo, just to ram the message home.
So bad that it even led to the death of Eurcom, a British studio with over 20 years of experience in the industry, 007 Legends is an embarrassment to video games. We’d rather die in a tank full of sharks than play this nonsense again.
Capcom lost the plot with Resident Evil this year. But while the disappointing Resident Evil 6 was an understandable failure - the Japanese outfit at least tried to make a great addition to the core series - Operation Raccoon City is far less forgivable.
What makes the game such an awful cash-in is not that it’s bad (and it is bad, we gave it a 58 and advised that you avoid it like the T-Virus), but more that it ignores pretty much everything about Resident Evil that we liked in the first place. It’s not a Resident Evil game, it’s just an utterly uninspiring generic shooter.
Yet by slapping those two magic words at the start of the title, Capcom ensured itself success, selling more than 2 million copies worldwide. But while gamers payed for a Resident Evil title in stores, they came home with a dull third person shooter and the nagging feeling that they’d just wasted their money.
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is completely and utterly rubbish. A lazy, unfunny, repetitive and unimaginative mess of a third-person shooter, it’s bad enough that our sister-site's review of the game called it an “atrocity.”
Yet while it comes close, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse isn’t the worst game of the year. It’s not even the worst game of the year that ties in with a big name franchise. So why is it our Most Shameless Cash-in of 2012? We’ll tell you.
While tosh like Ice Age: Continental Drift is made for young kids, who are supposedly less discerning in their video game tastes, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is for grown ups. With its “adult” humour and mature audience, it’s a game clearly aimed at over 18s.
Trading off the good name of the hilarious TV series, the fact that we’re supposed to slurp up this crap is an insult. Paying actual money for Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is like being mugged by a friend. Congrats Activision, you just won an award.