Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Worst Video Game of All Time

Night Trap (Sega Mega CD – 1992)

Over recent months on this blog I’ve been talking about the video games which I think are great. But this week I’m going to talk about what I consider to be the worst video game of all time, Night Trap. There is just so much which is wrong with this game.

The premise is that five girls have mysteriously gone missing from a house. The house has a bizarre security system featuring hidden cameras and traps. You are put in control of these cameras and traps, as five more girls arrive at the house, including an undercover agent.

First off, this premise is utterly stupid! If girls had been mysteriously vanishing from a house only an idiot would go and send more girls in there. Also, with the hidden camera system, you can only view one camera at a time. Surely it would make sense to have all of the cameras monitored at the same time? But, nope, in Night Trap there’s just one guy put in charge of the cameras, and he can only look at one at a time.

Of course, this helps to set up the creepiest element of the game, and I’m not talking about the horror story aspect (which I’ll come to shortly). With teenage girls coming to a slumber party, you get to watch them through hidden cameras. At one point, this includes one girl, doing her hair, in the bathroom, just wearing a night dress...

Then there’s the actual gameplay itself. This involves you looking out for creatures called Augers, and activating traps to capture them. There’s an access code to activate the traps, and you have to listen out for conversations to see when the code changes. Again, this is dumb! The place is overrun with literally dozens of these Augers, and yet it’s left to just one guy to activate the traps to capture them!

Rather than watching the story unfold, to capture all of the Augers you have to break away from it in order to do so. So it’s not possible to see all of the story, and capture all of the Augers, in one play through.

It’s not necessary to capture all of the Augers in order to beat the game. However, if you don’t activate the traps at key moments, one of the girls gets killed, often by having her neck drilled for blood. The scene with the girl in the night dress became very controversial, because if you don’t trap the Augers at this point she gets killed in this manner.

The gameplay is rubbish and not particularly fun. The game loses all sense of logic at the end, where it’s revealed that the owners of the house are, in fact, vampires. But oh, how are we going to defeat them? They know about these traps in the house! Surely they won’t be dumb enough to go near them? No, wait, that’s exactly what they do...

The game uses Full Motion Video (FMV) throughout, and it was one of the first games to use FMV. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work well in a game, and it just isn’t a fun game to play. This is made worse by the fact that the quality of the video on the original Sega Mega CD version of the game was very, very poor. And none of this is helped by the bad acting...

Overall, this game is just bad on every level. It looks bad, the story in the game is bad, the gameplay is bad, the logic of the game is bad. There is little to redeem this game, which is why I consider it to be the worst video game of all time.

Now, going back to those good video games, you may have spotted that at no point did I mention any of the Zelda games, which often feature in lists of good video games. Join me again next week when I’ll be explaining why they were absent from my list...

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