The Xbox 360 was my favourite console early this generation. That may have had a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t own a PS3 until two years after it launched, but in its heyday of 2007, the Xbox 360 was the place to be in my eyes.
However, it doesn’t have an unblemished record. There have been some shocking games released on 360, as there are on any platform, and many of them were before Kinect launched.
As we did with the PlayStation 3 earlier this year, let’s take a look at six of the worst exclusives released on Xbox 360.
Kinect was always going to throw up some absolute shockers. Add “launch” and “Ubisoft” into the mix and we can narrow it down to Fighters Uncaged. Fighting games and motion control sound like a winning combination, but they haven’t faired well on Kinect, Move or the Wii.
Perhaps most disappointingly, boxing was arguably the worst mini-game in the almost just as rubbish MotionSports, yet Ubi still decided to make an entire game surrounding such a failed concept. They had to have known it wasn’t going to be good, but nobody could have anticipated it would be this bad.
The motion controls simply don’t work. Your movements are too fast for the game to register and when the on-screen avatar eventually decides to throw a punch, it’s not even remotely close to the sweet left hook you just produced in the real world. You might as well stick your dog in front of the Kinect sensor, he’ll find just as much success.
Bomberman: Act Zero
I’m an old school Bomberman fan and shed many a tear when I witnesses this monstrosity. The glory days of Bomberman ’94 are clearly long gone, as Act Zero attempted to reboot the series with a radical departure from what made it so good in the first place.
The retro Bomberman design was completely overhauled and, boy, did it stink. Hudson Soft threw out 20 years of history and irreversibly tarnished the series’ reputation in the process.
The cool Bomberman was replaced by a hideous generic cyborg, meets 80’s Power Ranger, meets Iron Man with giant hands and an extra dash of ugly step-sister. The game itself was horribly broken and could only be considered fun next to the prospect of gnawing off your own genitalia with a spoon.
Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad
If we had to pick one game to be the all time worst, it is without doubt Onechanbara. It should be listed in the dictionary under “WTF”, so Webster, if you’re reading, get right on that.
I don’t even know where to begin with this travesty of modern game design. It should have been a winner, or at the very least not the absolute worst exclusive a console has ever seen. It attempted to combine zombies -- a money spinner in the video games world -- and girls in bikinis -- a money spinner in every corner of planet Earth. How did it go so horribly wrong? Sure, such a premise doesn’t generally turn out brilliantly, but even Lesbian Vampire Killers was somewhat enjoyable under the right mindset.
The controls didn’t even pretend to work, so mashing “A” was the best plan of attack, and even then, it’s debatable as to how much impact the player was having on the terribly dull proceedings. Messing up scantily clad chicks violently massacring zombies is an absolute disgrace.
Too Human was an epic disappointment. Truthfully, it’s not really in the same league of some of the other shockers here, but I expected so much more from the developers of Eternal Darkness.
Too Human is the Xbox exclusive equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever. It remained in development hell for a decade and the end result was proof it should have been cancelled years earlier. It was originally set for a four-disc PlayStation release in 1999, then switched to the GameCube in early 2001, before finally being released on Xbox 360 in 2008.
It had some cool ideas, but on the whole it felt broken and didn’t implement combat nearly as well as it should have. It’s certainly not the worst game on Xbox 360, but considering its potential and elongated development period, it should have been so much more than this colossal disappointment.
Raven Squad: Operation Hidden Danger
Raven Squad was a deplorable attempt to combine an RTS with first person shooter on a console (and later also on PC). Some dude’s plane crashed that you are sent to find, and the hell on Earth that follows begins with your plane suffering a similar fate. Sit Rep: It’s all broken. And I’m not talking about the ever-growing pile of expensive aircraft.
Nobody knows what happens in Raven Squad after that because that would mean continuing the story, which was made impossible by the sleep-inducing capabilities of sheer boredom.
Raven Squad is as much of a poorly made generic clone as it is possible to conceive; except it cloned all of the worst parts of competing games and mashed them together like some type of deranged scientist convinced his rat-man concoction is a good idea to unleash on the unsuspecting public.
Perfect Dark: Zero
Like Too Human, it might be a little unfair to lump Perfect Dark: Zero into the same company as Onechanbara, but it deserves the tag of one of the Xbox 360’s worst exclusives.
Perfect Dark: Zero should have been so much more. In the end, it served as more of a symptom of Rare’s impending demise as a leading international developer and led to suggestions that Microsoft may have blown USD $375 million on their 100 percent acquisition.
As a launch title, Perfect Dark Zero wasn’t all that bad. It looked great (at the time) and the gameplay was generally solid. However, it was in development for five years prior to release and wasn’t even close to revisiting the dizzying heights of its Nintendo 64 predecessor.
By Ben Salter - Tweet @Ben_Salter
What is the worst Xbox 360 game you’ve played?