Gillman’s List: Five Worst SNES Games

I decided that to counter Stark’s list of best SNES games, mainly because I can’t let Stark have anything—ever, I should probably come up with a list of the worst games on that console. I also want to point out that unlike other “worst ever” lists that you see floating around the net; I play(ed) these games.

5.Clay Fighter

People who have been following the site for a while will know that fighting games haven’t always been my favorite genre, and when I was younger I refused to play them under the basis that I was the absolute worst person in the world with anything that resembled hand-eye coordination. This, oddly, did not stop my brother from renting any and all of the newest fighters and forcing me to repeatedly lose to him. I have said this before, and I will say it until the entire world knows, kids are idiots; even taking this into account, though, I knew that something was wrong with this game.

Saying that this game was conceived from the ground up as a cash in on the fighting game craze of the early 90’s would be akin to saying that a Nazi war criminal made some mistake. I am sure that there is a design document for this game kicking around somewhere that simply says, “Sure, why not?” with a couple of money signs after it. Knowing that this game was both stupid and that even bringing it up at school may cause a beating probably speaks loads about how it was thought of back in the day, and that is before I even attempt to bring up that the plot revolves around people being infested with a meteor from the circus.

Stupid fact about it: To date it has received two full sequels and one that was recently announced–all of them worse than the first one.

4.Secret of Evermore

There was a time and a place when any RPG released on any system pretty much instantly became a needed purchase from any nerd in America. That time was during the SNES and it somehow sadly ended up involving me buying Secret of Evermore.

The game managed to leave an odd taste in my mouth when I first bought it, although I didn’t really have any room to complain seeing as it was keeping me from playing through Secret of Mana for an eighth time. It marked the first time, as a young child, that I had ever seen a massive glitch in a game–this one causing the entire game to need to be restarted (and oddly enough me also call Stark a liar before I experienced it myself). I played through it recently and surprisingly found it to be so unplayable I couldn’t even make it through the tutorial.

Stupid fact about it: It was the first and last Square Enix game made entirely in the United States. It also referenced Evil Dead in the intro.

3. Killer Instinct

Back in the day there where good attempts at cash-ins and bad, and oh did we all try to pretend that Killer Instinct was one of the good attempts. Coming out right around the same time that Street Fighter II was wearing out its welcome, with 15th release in a handful of years, Rare debuted a brand new title that was entirely based around combos and not being Street Fighter.

The problem with the fabled 82 hit combo (which was just where the game stopped counting not the limit of how many times someone could be hit) was that there really wasn’t that much skill to it. In games like Street Fighter or King of Fighters the buttons needed to be pressed during the correct frames of animation for the combo to continue; in Killer Instinct as long as the buttons where pressed in the correct order—regardless of speed–a combo would start. This mythically led to fabled stories of people fast enough to input the commands going to get drinks, leaving the arcade, and coming back while their attack finished.

Stupid fact about it: The game officially was the death of the title “tournament edition” as it was hard to have a balanced and worthy game when anyone past a beginner’s skill can learn an attack that will suck up an entire life meter. Sadly a player could also be juggled in an upper cut for the same result.

2. Bubsy

Sure, most people know of the tragic attempt to bring Bubsy into 3D but no one talks about the fact that the series shouldn’t have started in the first place. The game boasted massive levels that had tons of collectables scattered throughout them, but it also played a lot like the Barney game that was out at the same time. I know that Bubsy is a cartoon cat, although there has always been an odd feeling that he might have some kind of other strange animal mixed in there, but he controlled like he was mainly cocaine and helium.

One of the big selling points of the SNES was the amazing amount of colors it could use, although as a child I just knew that stuff looked so much better than my NES, and Bubsy was out to use every single one of them. If Hannah Barbara did a ton of acid while looking through a kaleidoscope it might end up looking something like this game. Just remember that at the time people thought that this was a decent and playable game.

Stupid fact about it: Its big sequel, Bubsy 3D, has largely been called one of the worst games that man has ever made. It just goes to show that during the early 90’s people where just excited that game where coming out on consoles again.

1.Illusion of Gaia

We did a podcast about this game. I have never really hidden my feelings about this pro-Earth, anti-slavery, go-women game. This game made no attempt to hide these messages, but as a child I was so constantly bombarded with them from every angle that they simply flew over my head as almost required story telling elements of the time– don’t judge me as this was the same time that we all simply excepted the fact that every other episode from Blossom was going to be a “very special” one where Six managed to become addicted to some new drug/shopping/glue.

Later research into the game taught me that this game was part of a series, although super loosely connected, and that the other one on the SNES (Sol Blazer) was well received. It is kind of annoying that the main character in the game is travels with a pack of other children, each more useless then the last making him pretty much the only one that ever matters, all of whom slowly get weeded out throughout the course of the game. Some people try to defend this game with some of the “adult” things that happen in it, but the entire thing is packed so tightly with earth friendly conspiracy theories about how the ancients knew best and had better tech that all the heavy handed messages get lost when the dead souls of Atlantis are crying out against their crimes against nature.

Odd fact about it: If I play this game for more than 10 minutes there is a good chance that I might vomit. I have yet to figure out why.

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  • Bucko

    I can still sing the ClayFighter theme song. It was SOOO fucking mindblowing that they could have peoples VOICES – SINGING – IN A VIDEO GAME! WOWOWOWoWOWoWowowoW!!!

    Also, Earthworm Jim VS Boogerman is EPIC!

    • Holy Crap! Bucko knows that this is a website!?!

  • Josh keable

     I’ve heard great things about Illusion of Gaia. I almost bought it last week actually. Killer Instinct is awesome and I bought Clay Fighter 2: Judgement Clay a couple weeks ago. Not good but not in my top 5 hated snes games. 

    • No, they are all terrible.  Everyone is deluding themselves if they think otherwise.  The plot of clay fighter is that a meteor crashes into a circus and makes everyone both clay and attack each other.  How does that either make sense or sound enjoyable?  That is the kind of thing that would normally be a childhood nightmare.

      • Josh keable

        BUT, when you are young, you don’t think about if thats a terrible plot. At least I didn’t until I was like 10. I always thought Killer Instinct looked awesome. It isn’t great but enjoyable for like 15 minutes. I just think there are worse games for SNES. I pick up a few randoms SNES games from the shop down the street for me and come across alot of bullshit games. 

        •  Like I said, All children are idiots.  Killer Instinct and Clay Fighter where something new, weird, and not Street Fighter– they where everything people wanted from fighting games at that one moment in time.  Clay Fighter was just a shameless cash-in that people ate up, Killer Instinct only last two games because it was really unbalanced and was the least interesting or entertaining game to play against someone who was even slightly higher skill level at it.

          Clay Fighter’s first release was so glitchy that they had to release a “tournament edition” to fix some of the massive bugs kicking around in it.  Don’t you think it is kind of weird that these are games that had sequels cranked out as fast as possible, lasted one console generation and no one ever made another attempt to make more of?  The only reason that you are even hearing rumbles of people saying that there should be more of them is because it has been long enough that people just assume that all games from that era played like that and they are nostalgic from crap that they enjoyed as kids. 

          Also, I would love to hear about other terrible SNES games.  It would give me more to talk about on the site.

          • Josh keable

            True. I do agree KI was unbalanced and whatnot but entertaining. Definetly not solid fighters. I will make a list of crap SNES games as well.

  • While I agree that those games were “bad” (at the very least not “good”)…I just have a hard time believing that those were the 5 worst SNES games you have played….what about Eye of the Beholder, Batman Forever, or even Bebe’s Kids? 

    • I know people who like Eye of the Beholder, never heard of Bebe’s Kids, and Batman Forever is the only SNES game that I can remember that had loading time.  All of that said the list is a fluid thing, and at this writing that is what I could remember of pain during that time period.  Illusion of Gaia will always make the list for me as it is, to this day, the only game ever to cause a physical reaction as my body attempted to reject it.  Bubsy is really just a very terrible game.  Clay Fighter people like to defend because of nostalgia.  I mean that said I think that you can be right that there are other terrible games out there that I totally forgot.

  • Frostbeard

    Aside from Clay Fighter and Bubsy… How does it feel to hate good games?

    • My hate for Killer Instinct is not something that I alone have.  I thought that was kind of an easy line up.

      If you have played the other two recently I don’t really think that it is odd to have them on this list.