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Maximum Letdown: Brigade E5 – New Jagged Union (PC)

Once upon a time, there was a video game called Jagged Alliance. You hired a team of mercenaries to liberate an island from a ruthless dictator and assist a scientist and his daughter in the research of a rare plant sap with medical properties. Each of your mercs could develop their abilities RPG-style, and combat was done in a turn-based style. It was basically Tactics Ogre with guns and on steroids. It was awesome. It spawned a sequel which had 2 expansions, which were even more awesome. The series then went off the grid until a JA1 was re-released on the Nintendo DS in 2009 while JA2 was remade this past year. Jury is still out on both of those. However, in the years between JA2 and the remake, several games popped up that were ‘inspired’ by Jagged Alliance. Most of them sucked. Brigade E5 is one of the worst offenders. In case you don’t believe that it’s a rip off of JA, just take one look at its cover. Still don’t believe me? Here’s its European cover.

But which designer? The Interior Designer? The Toilet designer? It sure as hell wasn't the Lead Designer.

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Maximum Letdown: Mario is Missing (Super Nintendo, NES, Macintosh, PC)

It’s not often that Mario’s brother gets the spotlight. The most notable times he was the primary playable character was Luigi’s Mansion, and it’s upcoming sequel. However, the Gamecube cult classic wasn’t the first time Luigi was the star of the show. Nope, that honor belongs to this clunkfest, although many would rather forget about it. Yeah, it has an educational value, but it’s repetitive action and boring gameplay will put kids to sleep.
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Maximum Letdown: Independence Day (PS1, PC, Sega Saturn)

15 years ago, moviegoers packed theaters to watch Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day, a movie in which a group of pilots team up to fight off an alien invasion. The movie was nothing short of an epic in its day. Sadly, the obligatory movie tie-in video game was no where near as epic. Basically its a screw up of a flight simulator with repetitive missions, crappy play control, and worse flying physics. You fly around each level, take out all the enemies, then destroy the enemy superweapon in 45 seconds, rinse, and repeat. At least you can unlock new planes, but they play like crap too. Oh, and there’s a Will Smith soundalike! So yeah, this game’s a bust. You want to battle aliens while flying around? Go play some Star Fox.

Maximum Letdown: Fantastic Four (Playstation 1)

While the Fantastic Four may not be as cool as Spider-Man, as epic as the Avengers, or as badass as the X-men, but if you’re a fan or Marvel Comics, you should be familiar with them, ans for good reason: they are Marvel’s first superhero team since The Golden Era of Comics. They are well known enough to spawn a slew of spin-off comics, three animates cartoons, three movies (though one was unreleased), and a series of video games. Two of them are of course, based on the movies. Those weren’t very well received, but compared to this Acclaim Playstation clunker, they are like BioShock and Mass Effect.
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Canceled Part 3: A Maximum Letdown Special

Today, we celebrate Memorial Day. A day where we commemorate the sacrifices our brave soldiers have made for this country. However, we, as nerds, must also commemorate something else: games that have been canceled and left on the cutting room floor. Bow your heads in silence before reading this article.
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Maximum Letdown: Heavy Metal – Geomatrix (Dreamcast)

Heavy Metal is a comics anthology magazine that began life in France under the name Metal Hurlant. It gained notoriety due to its heavy emphasis on sex and violence. It was bought over to the U.S and renamed Heavy Metal in 1977, and was purchased and published by Kevin Eastman. Yes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kevin Eastman. The U.S version of the magazine featured several news articles that tied it into the Heavy Metal culture. The series spawned two feature films: 1981’s Heavy Metal, a set of story sequences done in different art styles (similar to The Animatrix) and 2000’s Heavy Metal 2000, a feature film featuring a character played by B-movie actress Julie Strain. The game also spawned 2 video games, F.A.K.K.2, a PC game sequel to Heavy metal 2000, and Heavy Metal:Geomatrix, a 2001 Dreamcast/Arcade game from Capcom. Although it uses a gameplay style similar to Spawn: In the Demon’s Hand, various gameplay issues and a lack of content cause the game to fall flat on its face. It doesn’t help matters that the game has very little to tie it in with the comics.
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Maximum Letdown: Beyond the Beyond (PC)

Remember when before Final Fantasy 7 came out, the graphics in Playstation role playing games weren’t that much different from 16-bit role playing games? Thankfully early Playstation RPGs, like their 16-bit ancestors, made up gameplay and storywise for what they were lacking in graphics, so you were still able to enjoy titles like Suikoden and Arc The Lad I and II. Sadly, this was not the case with Beyond the Beyond. This game had a boring storyline which did nothing to move the genre forward, and it didn’t exactly help matters that the game’s graphics resembled a 1993 SNES RPG. Actually, scratch that. In 1993, the SNES had games like Lufia and Secret of Mana that made this game’s graphics look like pong. Not that that was hard to do,
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Maximum Letdown: Sonic the Hedgehog (SNES)

Your eyes do not deceive you. This is an actual Sonic game on the Super Nintendo. “But Sonic is a Sega game!” Yes I know. So how is this possible? Did Tengen get another Sega license? Did Sega know that they were going to fail as a console manufacturer and decided to test the waters as a third party developer years early? Is this the second coming of Color Dreams? Nope. This Super Nintendo game is a product of the wonderful world of foreign bootlegging! A Peruvian-based organization known as Twin Eagles Group hacked a Super Nintendo game called Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos, stripped out all the good stuff, and replaced the main character with Sonic. Basically, you run through each stage repeatedly freeing Mario from cages. While it’s fun for all of 3 minutes, the charm of having a Sonic game on the SNES wore off and players would realize how shitty this game was compared to the Sega titles. It wouldn’t be until Sonic Adventure 2 hit GameCube that gamers would get an actual Sonic game on a Nintendo system. As bad as this game was however, it was nowhere near as bad as the NES Sonic the Hedgehog.

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