Animal Crossing: New Leaf | Platform: Nintendo 3DS | Developer: Nintendo EAD | Publisher: Nintendo of America| Originally Played From: March 7, 2014 – November 21, 2016 | Originally Released (North America): June 9, 2013 | Released (Japan): November 8, 2012 | Released (Europe): June 14, 2013 | Released (Australia): June 15, 2013
Metroid II: Return of Samus | System: Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console) | Developer: Nintendo R&D 1 | Publisher: Nintendo |Original Platform: Game Boy | Released (North America): November 1991 | Released (Japan): January 21, 1992 | Released (Europe): May 21, 1992 | Played From: December 14, 2014 – May 4, 2016
Bad acting in video games! It’s funny, but if we dig a little deeper, what else can we find? The simple reasons why so much of the acting in early games was so bad, whether or not some of these actors went on to do any more acting, and some of the technical reasons why it was so poor. Let’s jump in!
This YouTube video has the answers to the basic question of why acting in early games was so bad:
If you can’t or don’t want to watch the video (which I highly recommend), to sum up the most common reasons: No one had any idea what they were doing back then, the people involved usually didn’t really care about what they were doing, most of the budget went to other aspects of development (leading to members of the dev teams having to attempt to act; I don’t envy being in this position), actors usually performed alone and with little knowledge of context or character relationships (which a good director would provide), and their equipment sometimes wasn’t quite up to snuff, either, with bad microphones. I would posit a few other factors: Some of the people involved with acting and direction didn’t take games seriously, no one really had many connections to experienced actors and directors, and let’s be honest – game writing usually wasn’t that great back in the day. Games were frequently content to regurgitate fantasy/science fiction tropes to justify basic plots. Another aspect to this is how abysmal some of the Japanese-to-English localizations were at the time, as we’ll see in many examples.
Chronicles of Mystara: Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom| Platform: Xbox 360| Developer: Iron Galaxy| Publisher: Capcom| Released: August 22, 2013| Originally Played From: December 21, 2018 – December 24, 2018
Sometimes, I forget that Capcom used to make lots of licensed games. CoM collects both of their D&D beat ‘em ups. Both games boast multiplayer for up to four participants, and each player has to choose a class. Each class has distinct abilities.
Fighter: The balanced guy, who also has the highest amount of health
Elf: Has short range and less power, but has seven spells at her command
Cleric: The best character at using shields to block. He also has five spells
“The ALIENS are fast, spit acid, and are right behind YOU!”
Alien 3 (NES)| Developer: Probe| Publisher: LJN| Released: March 1993
Talking about some of the games based on what may be the worst Alien movie out of the original quadrilogy? Sure, why not. Despite… most of the recent flicks in the series, I still love the franchise, and these games have some interesting trivia, like which one adapts the film’s tragic ending. It may not be the one that you’d think.
The NES, Sega Master System, Genesis, and Game Gear games based on the flick have the same basic premise: As Ripley, you have to run around the levels and rescue the other prisoners and reach the exit under the time limit. Depending on which version you’re playing, this is easier said than done.
Contrary to the flick’s premise, there are numerous aliens wandering around instead of just one, and Ripley is packing heat to deal with them, but because all of the prisoners are trapped in Xenomorph webbing, none of them are free to help her. The Super NES version of the game is a bit more involved because you acquire multiple objectives per level, and you can do them in any order you wish.
“On the unforgiving world of Pandora a Hyperion suit and a con artist embark on an adventure to recover cash they both think is theirs.”
Tales from the Borderlands|Developer: Telltale Games|Publisher: 2K Games|Platform: Xbox 360|Originally Played From: July 16, 2016 – July 23, 2016|Released: April 26, 2016 (Complete Collection; all five episodes originally released from November 2014 – October 2015)
Platform: Xbox 360|Developer: id Software|Publisher: Bethesda|Released (Original PC Version): December 10, 1993|Released (XB360 Version): September 27, 2006|Originally Played From: October 13, 2016 – October 26, 2016
A portal to Hell opens up after the Union Aerospace Corporation experiments with teleportation between Mars’ two moons, Phobos and Deimos. You are an unnamed Marine who has to fight his way out of Phobos’ moon base, braving the horrors that now call it home.
The PC game originally consisted of three Episodes made up of eight missions each. The first Episode: Knee-Deep in the Dead.
Developer (until 2009): BottleRocket|Developer: Namco Bandai Games|Publisher: Namco Bandai Games|Platform: PlayStation 3|Released (North America): November 23, 2010|Released (Australia): November 25, 2010|Released (Europe): November 26, 2010|Originally Played From: July 8, 2012 – October 9, 2012
This is a 3D reboot of Namco’s cult classic, horror-themed beat ‘em up, Splatterhouse. It uses a premise similar to the first game, wherein Rick has to rescue his girlfriend, Jennifer, from the nefarious Dr. West. To do this, Rick has to make a devil’s pact with a certain artifact…
It all began when Jennifer was supposed to interview West, a professor of “necrobiology”, at his mansion. Rick went with Jennifer, not only to look out for her, but also to propose. Before he can, however, some specimens of West’s experiments attack the couple, kidnapping Jennifer and leaving Rick at death’s door. Rick manages to knock open a sarcophagus… and that’s when he meets him.