When you’re sitting on a hot property that you know people will pay money for no matter what you create (think Sonic or Mario), it’s probably difficult to fight the temptation, to, you know, conjure up some half-assed concept and use it to make money super-quickly. And so we enter the bewildering realms of the video game spin-off – a sickly place where creativity goes to die and disappointment knows no bounds.
Sure, some video game spin-offs probably begin life with good intentions, but in most cases, that “great idea” you had to grant a secondary character their own game (or to switch gaming genres to reignite the creative fires) doesn’t work nearly so well in practice.
Here’s 10 bizarre video game spin-offs you probably didn’t know existed, on account of their being (for the most part) horribly mis-guided attempts to “cash in” on existing brands and characters for the sake of a quick buck.
10. Mega Man Soccer (1995) (SNES)
All right, so nowadays just about every “cutesy” video game character has been given their own football or soccer-based spin-off, but ask yourself this: which Mega Man fans had been counting down the days ’til they released a sport variant of their favourite gaming franchise? Because Mega Man fans don’t like soccer – they like laser beams and Dr. Wily spouting his shit about the place. Still, Capcom presumably didn’t want to miss out on a potentially large audience haul, and deployed this little number as a result.
The worst thing, though, is that Mega Man Soccer is actually part of the official Mega Man canon (it takes place after Mega Man 4) which means that these events really did occur in the grand scheme of things. Which is to say, a story which involves a “televised soccer game being manipulated by Dr. Wily’s evil robots and Mega Man coming to save the day” – by playing soccer – is considered canon. To top it off, Capcom couldn’t even get the gameplay right, given that the control scheme is bordering on the hellish.
Oh, and the game also doesn’t have a proper ending, which is basically Capcom’s way of saying “thanks a lot for buying this crap, sucker!”
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This article was first posted on February 22, 2013