Stinkers – Silly Bandz

Genre:  Puzzle
Platform:  Nintendo DS

First, what are “silly bandz”?  Seriously, I had no idea what they are.  Do kids shoot them at one another like rubber bands?  Because that’s what this game will make you think.  The game even came with a package of them, but I still have no idea what they are.  Ok, after a quick Google search, it appears that kids wear these things like bracelets.  They don’t look too comfortable:

Silly Bandz; NS sillybandz story pic 1 only

I guess they are shaped differently and have some sort of collectible appeal?

So how could you possibly make a game about this?  Angry Birds ripoff!  It tempted me with the promise of collecting the “silly bandz” (you know how much I like to collect things), but the collection screen only shows you a small amount that you’ve collected, not everything.  The game itself is a short one, with about 2 hours to finish.  If you strive for 3 stars on each level, though, good luck.  After playing through a few levels as well as I could, I only got two (out of three) stars twice.  The game doesn’t allow you to zoom out nearly far enough, so you’re really guessing on your shots, which can be frustrating.  The music is repetitive and doesn’t add anything to the game.  It does increase in difficulty as you progress, but I had no desire to keep playing after about 1.5 hours.

If this game had somehow made it onto your radar, get rid of it.  It’s not fun at all.

Stinkers – Kabuki Warriors

Genre – Fighting
Platform – XBox

There was no other game that I could put as my first Stinkers post.  This. game. is. just. awful.  So true story.  A friend and I were in Best Buy one day, back when Best Buy was still cool and had a lot of video games and not full of stupid phone accessories, shortly after I had gotten the original XBox (launch day!).  We were looking at games and were looking for another fighting game.  I already had Dead or Alive 3, so why we weren’t content with that, I’ll never know.  This game was in a bargain bin (hint #1) and he picked it up and said “Get this!  It looks like Mortal Kombat but Japanese!”.  I am a fan of MK, so I bought it.

We took it back to my place and played it for about 10 minutes before we put it away.  I then assumed we missed something and played the single-player campaign.  I played it most of the way through.  I guess I was a glutton for punishment back then.

Let me sum up this game – you start out as an almost shapeless clay figure and fight with a curtain rod.  This isn’t what the game thinks you are doing, but that’s EXACTLY what it looks like.  Seriously, these beginning minions look like the developers just didn’t have time to render them and left them as-is.    You kill other generic grey things for several levels until you meet the one interesting guy in town, who happens to be a cross-dressing weirdo fighting with something as exciting as an umbrella.  To get money, you have to stop in the middle of your fighting and pose.  Your spectators then throw money on the stage.   Wait.  Guys in drag posing on a stage and having money thrown at them.  OMG it’s a game about strippers and must be a joke, right?  Wrong.  This game isn’t even close to being humorous, outside of its horribleness.

The graphics are ok and a few of the stages look pretty good.  There is also one immediately annoying sound effect through the entire game – EEEEOOOOOO – which will have you ready to shoot your TV.  The game play is as terrible as the characters.  My two-year old nephew would be able to get through this game simply by pressing the A button for a while.  That’s right, you have one button to press to fight and there doesn’t seem to be any need for strategy – or even thinking, for that matter.  This game is so bad that I would recommend playing it just so you can experience it and put it on your own Stinkers list.