Every week on The Free Cheese, we ask a question about video games. We, the editors and contributors, answer that question and post those answers in an article format for you to read and respond to. It’s a conversation that we start, and you continue.

This month, we turn the conversation to our favorite games of 2016 and focus on celebrating the best parts of this industry. However, it’s impossible to know what makes something the best without recognizing the parts that make up the worst. This week, we want to know which games would you have been better without ever playing.

I’m sure that there is a technical answer for this question; a game that was just broken for one reason or another and never stood a chance. There’re also plenty of games now that aren’t games at all, and instead reward a number of clicks with garbage, intangible items. My answer takes us to the recent past, and highlights a game that was just terrible.

After years, Activision brought back one of its signature franchises from what seemed like permanent death. Not unlike the removal of a corpse from its grave, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 resembled very little of the person we remember burying years ago. We can remember the clothes they were buried in, and part of its whole still remains, but now it’s become a rotten mess that smells wretched and belongs back in the ground.

I wrote in my review of the game just how awful it felt to play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. The games in this franchise were always good for one thing: feeling like you were in control of the character. You always felt powerful and you were able to do exactly what you wanted to do. You got really good at the game in a short amount of time and you were able to exceed your previous combos and records. THPS 5 couldn’t get grinding right, let alone combos or anything else.

The game felt crummy to play, and that isn’t even talking about the terrible checkpoint system and level advancement, and we haven’t begun to lament the soundtrack. I don’t want to taint the rest of my day by regurgitating the vomit I already swallowed after ejecting the disc on this last year, but if you want to read my full disgust go peep the review.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 is a horrible waste and it is the worst game I have ever played.

When Joe asked the question this week, I thought long and hard about all the terrible games I’ve played throughout my life. When thinking about this, I kept coming back to the same game and that’s the one I will declare as the worst game I’ve played. That game is Batman Forever on the SNES.

I’ve brought this game up on the podcast before, but it’s actually a funny story. I remember as a kid liking this game. Of course, I had no idea what made a game good or bad at this time, but this was Batman! Every game that had Batman on the box cover had to be good. I would play the co-op with friends and family but we could never make it far. We simply thought we weren’t good at the game. My perspective changed when I tried to play it a few years back. 

The game has so many problems. For one it is the stiffest gameplay I’ve ever played in a game. If that’s not bad enough lets develop the worlds weirdest control scheme. If I remember correctly the select button was suppose to be used as a regular go to button for some reason. Besides the scheme, the registration of the commands was awful as well. None of this would be terrible if the game’s difficulty was adjusted to this but it wasn’t. This was one of the hardest games I had ever played I realize now. To be fair, this wasn’t the only game to take a shit on the Batman franchise, but this one definitely took the biggest on it. I hate this game and I hope it dies in the dumpster fire it deserves.

 A lot of games come to mind when it comes to playing the worst. It’s tough to choose. One particular game comes to mind though lately. The worst Zelda game of them all: Triforce Heroes.I hate the lore. Did you really think it was necessary, Nintendo, to release a five minute video of Princess Styla explaining the story in her annoying ass voice? Spoiler: she lost all of her outfits so you have to retrieve them them by also dressing up.  I hate the memes. Throw in some references to classic Zelda games while you’re at it. Let’s force those in there. People are suckers for nostalgia right? Oh it’s a co-op game so let’s use “IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE”. CLASSIC. Reddit/10. I cringe at every line of text in this game.

I hate the marketing. Using a quote from the NES Legend of Zelda is disgrace in the context of Triforce Heroes. I already said my piece on it as stated above. Then to have the creators and Eiji Aonuma himself dress up as these three Links was sad. Especially when they had pom-poms.I hate the multiplayer. So this game focuses on co-op. Three swords as to four. What was wrong with four swords? Why didn’t you just go with a sequel to that? It better not be because “the 3ds is limited”. So this time around you play Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Even your hair color matches your tunic. Why? To help determine which Link you are when you’re not wearing the tunic? That’s okay! Just look at the touch screen to see all of the emotes you can send. You know, the main way of communicating in this game. I’m just gonna throw it up to lazy design. Here’s more proof.I hate Link. I have nothing against toon Link, but I have something against this design of Link. Confused? Me too and here’s why. Because it’s in fact the VERY SAME LINK from A Link Between Worlds. Fuck continuity right? Which brings me to my next point.

I hate the design choice. They reused the same engine from ALBW, which is okay I suppose, but then why change Link? If you’re going to reuse assets from another game, why go out of the way to change Link? Just keep the same damn model. I hate the gameplay. So back to the multiplayer, I’ll give it points that you don’t need three copies of the game. Playing off of one cartridge however means you can’t save your progress (unlocking costumes and what not). That being said, you NEED friends to play game. Which I get, it’s based around co-op. But maybe not every one has friends to rely on. Four Swords for 3DS let’s you play with an A.I. partner and Four Swords Adventures for GameCube let’s control all four Links. So why can’t I play this in single player….I HATE the single player. Alright. Look, out of all the things I tried to tolerate from this game, you had to go and ruin the one part that could help me get through this game. In single player, you have the other two Links with you, or so it seems. I just mentioned earlier that the Four Swords games let you have A.I./control more than one Link. Triforce Heroes gives you Doppels. Basically, when you’re switching between the three Links, the other two will stand still. They do not follow you around. They do not help you in any way. If you need to make a totem to reach the next platform, you have to move Link1 to the platform, switch to Link2 and walk over to Link1, and then move Link3 to the other two. Just so you can pick each other up and throw one of you to the platform above. Multiplayer, that takes seconds. Single player, probably around a minute. That’s just for walking to a platform and climbing it. Try solving puzzles by yourself. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of time. Maybe that was the point here, but it’s a terrible way to play this game. To take out a mechanic that could make this game somewhat bearable, instead, rubs in your face just how much you need to rely on others. You. Need. Friends.

I hate the online multiplayer. Good luck finding randos to play with. If you’re playing with close friends via wi-fi, use skype or something. But this is also implying that you all thought it was a good idea to spend money on this.Everything about this game screams filler game. And maybe I just need to accept it for that. I mean I do to a point, but there’s a reason why I didn’t say that this is the worst game I’ve ever played. It’s the worst Zelda I’ve ever played. I know depending on the title, a Zelda game can have a wonky story surrounding. Even the Phillips CD-i games have better stories than this game.To milk a franchise as grand as the Legend of Zelda. To advertise it the way it is. To build a story around a gimmick and ignore continuity completely. To waste all of this potential to make it something more in tune with the rest of the series, breaks my heart. I shouldn’t take this so seriously, I know (and I mostly don’t believe it or not), but because they slapped the Zelda name on it brings disgrace. If this was some eShop original, I wouldn’t care at all. It’s a rushed game that’s barely playable let alone enjoyable.Triforce Heroes is the Federation Force of Zelda.

Woof. That’s a lot of hate balled into one article. Add to the fuel, friends. What is the worst game you have ever played?

Posted by Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day.

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