Earlier this week, I listed my favorite Nintendo spinoffs in honor of the recently released Pokken Tournament and Hyrule Warriors Legends, but more often than not the Big N’s lineup of spinoffs is stale, unimaginative, or downright awful. Therefore, I decided to list some of the lamest attempts from Nintendo at capitalizing on the power of a franchise name. Note that this is not a list of the worst Nintendo spinoffs, since that list would obviously have all the terrible Philips-CDi and Virtual Boy titles as well as some god awful Mario-based educational games, but rather games that were so lame they could not have survived without popular brand names on the cover.
5. Mario Party series
The first three games in the franchise excepting, the vast majority of the Mario Party series is boring, uninspired, and tedious. Not all the mini-games in each of the roughly 6,000 entries of the party game are bad, but most of them just seem hastily made and are characterized by some of the worst clichés in all of video games: button-mashing, quick-time events, and (in the worst cases) simplistic waggle controls. If you enjoy Mario Party, more power to you. I’ll be somewhere playing just about anything else.
4. Hey You, Pikachu! (N64)
This game is about nothing and involves no skill, intuition, problem-solving, or creativity. You just talk to Pikachu with a crappy microphone that never seems to work. Pokemon has had some pretty shameless attempts at sucking in all of its customers’ money, but Hey You, Pikachu! Might arguably be the most shameless.
3. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series
I thought this was an excellent idea for a series until I actually played it. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games seemed like Super Smash Bros. but with sports and in more of a Mario Party-like structure. What actually happened was a myriad of real sports mini-games, none of which control well or present any real challenge. The best part of Mario’s sports games is that they add elements to clearly separate them from their realistic counterparts; Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games just has you play worse versions of regular sporting events.
2. Donkey Konga (GC)
I usually like rhythm-based games, and I also actually enjoyed using the conga drum peripheral controller for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, which was a pretty decent game. Donkey Konga, however, came at a time when the GameCube was severely lacking in strong, traditional Nintendo games. I’m all for experimentation, but there’s only so much enjoyment in clapping and banging a fake drum to a bunch of pop songs from the 70s and 80s.
1. Pokemon Channel (GC)
Do you like watching Pokemon on TV? Yeah! Do you like playing Pokemon video games? I sure do! What if I told you there was a Pokemon video game where you watch Pokemon on TV? Wait…what? For those of you who didn’t exactly have the privilege of playing this game, I basically just described it for you. Sounds awesome. The lamest of the lame.
Any other Nintendo spinoffs that need to be called out? Tell us in the comments below!
Pictured Above: Flickr
Gifs taken from YouTube