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$20 Game of the Week/Maximum Letdown Special: A Midsummer’s Beatdown

As I type this, it’s a few days removed from America’s birthday. Which means leftover fireworks, leftover hot dogs, and public pools. More importantly, it’s the middle of summer. Which means the temperature is getting higher, and with those temperatures, tensions are getting higher. Eventually, with those high tensions, this will happen:

But why get into a real life brawl and risk ending up on when you can engage in some digital fisticuffs instead? This special edition of $20GOTW/Maximum Letdown takes a look at some of the best and worst fighting games of the recent and distant past, so click below and check it out.
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Maximum Letdown: Mega Man Soccer (SNES)


As with any great franchise, there is the potential for spinoffs. As with any spinoff, there is also a chance for it to get out of hand. This is one of those times it got out of hand.
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Maximum Letdown: Captain Planet (NES)


Remember that TV show Captain Planet? Created by Ted Turner in the early 90s, it starred a group of kids known as the planeteers who had special rings based upon the 5 elements. By putting their rings together, they summon a blue-skinned superhero known as Captain Planet who battled pollution. It was basically one big environmental PSA in animated form. Surprisingly, it was enjoyable, and it’s themes resonated well with audiences both old and young. Not only did it handle environmental issues, it dealt with heavier subject matter such as racism, drugs, and even HIV (and this was the first children’s program to deal with HIV too). It lasted 6 seasons, and contained celebrity voices such as Whoopi Goldberg, Sting, and Meg Ryan. Of course the obligatory video game tie-in followed. While the TV show was cool, it’s too bad we can’t say the same thing about the game.
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Maximum Letdown: Dead Island (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

deadislandLet me make this clear. I don’t hate this game. It’s not even all that bad. My disappointment in this game comes from two main sources. First of all, I hate zombies. How many more times do I have to see them in every single form of media? Now I like Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead as much as the next man, and I get a kick out of Plants vs Zombies. Lately however, every other game, movie, book, novel, and TV show has a tendency to ram the undead down our throats. If it ain’t about banding together to kill the undead hordes and escape, it’s about survival and scavenging supplies. If it ain’t about survival, it’s about how the living are even more dangerous than the undead. Many times it’s all three. Now I can appreciate when a medium of entertainment can do something different with the medium, i.e Zombies mode in Black Ops or Undead Nightmare in Red Dead Redemption. I kinda hoped Dead Island would do the same. Sadly, besides a few nifty ideas here and there, this game does little.

The second reason? See for yourself after the jump
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Maximum Letdown: Taboo – Sixth Sense (NES)

Taboo Sixth Sense was one of the first apps for the Nintendo. Unfortunately, this was decades before everyone and their mom had a smartphone. Therefore an app back in the NES days basically meant an overpriced piece of shit that was lacking in gameplay. It’s based upon a rather fascinating concept: The Tarot. Sadly, there was little else to it. Oh, and you won’t believed who this game was developed by! Click after the jump to see the twist ending!
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Maximum Letdown: Street Fighter (Malibu Comics)

Many people, including myself, thought that the movie starring Jean Claude Van Damne was the low point of the Street Fighter franchise. Or you may have thought it was the game based on said movie. However, you’d be wrong on both counts. At least that movie was goofy enough to get some chuckles out of, and you can’t blame a developer for wanting to cash in on the digitized fighter craze. This 3-issue comic from Malibu however, was Street Fighter at it’s worst. How bad was it? Capcom itself asked them to pull the plug. This despite the company giving the okay to Hasbro to make a line of action figures that barely look like Street Fighter characters.
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Maximum Letdown: Contra – Legacy of War (PS1, Sega Saturn)

Contra – Legacy of War represents one of the franchise’s lowest points. As the sequel to the Genesis classic Contra – Hard Corps, Legacy of War should have used the Playstation’s processing power to bring the franchise to the next generation with full force. Instead, it became one of the bastard step children of one of Konami’s most beloved franchises, right along side the Nintendo 64 Castlevania titles.
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Maximum Letdown: Waterworld (Virtual Boy)

As shown by this past week’s Top 5 segment, good movie adaptations are far and few in between. However, bad movie tie-ins are all too frequent, as shown by this week’s Maximum Letdown. A movie tie-in on the Virtual Boy? Forget about it.
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