Total Nerd The Worst Video Game Cutscenes  

Adam Dorsey
209 votes 86 voters 4.5k views 12 items Embed

This is a list of the Worst Video Game Cutscenes. There have been a lot of bad video game cutscenes in the history of videogames, but to qualify for this list, you need to have a little extra something. Horrendous voice-over. High-school-play-quality acting in your full motion video. Writing that takes your characters from believable heroes to fantasy alien monsters who speak only in exposition.

Storytelling has come a long way since 1982 and the first videogame cutscene, when a circle met a circle with a bow in Ms. Pac-Man. Now we have voice-acting, full motion video, motion-capture, and -gasp- button-mashing quicktime events. The road to the truly cinematic video game cutscene future is full of awkward half-formed cutscene potholes. When brave, not-so-talented souls were first given the gifts of CD-ROMs and polygons, they tried and failed to make cinematic video game history. This list is full of those half-formed monsters, along with the results of decisions like "We don't need to hire real actors, we can just hire our friends," and "Maybe we should cast a playboy playmate in a role where she speaks."

When motion pictures finally added sound to their moving images, there were many mistakes made as artists struggled with this new technology. Video games are no different, except that they have huge fundamental changes in their technology every few years. Unfortunately for gamers (but fortunately for this list), that means there are going to continue to be terrible mistakes in storytelling and cutscenes as creators accustom themselves to these new technologies.

Game on, I guess.

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What’s the worst Zelda game? The repetitive Majora’s Mask? The thirty-five hour tutorial Skyward Sword? NOPE. NOPE. In 1993, the two worst Legend of Zelda games were released, for Philips CD-i, Link: Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon.

Please don’t ask me what a Gamelon is. Poorly animated and poorly acted, these CD-ROM based games should have grown the world of Hyrule in a way that the 8-bit and 16-bit games weren’t able to, and yet the original Zelda’s “IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS” is better storytelling than anything found in either of these relics. Somewhere they’re sitting in a pile of AOL free trial discs, wondering how things could have gone differently. see more on Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
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Hotel Mario


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In 1994, Hotel Mario released for the Philips CD-i. Philips was going to develop a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES (WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN RAD), but when Nintendo cancelled that project, they licensed several Nintendo properties to Philips. Unfortunately, Nintendo didn't give them any of the time, funding, or creative care that they gave to their other Mario projects. Not just a puzzle game, Hotel Mario took “full advantage” of the brand new CD-ROM format to include amazing animated cutscenes like the one above, where Mario tells the player to read the instruction manual. see more on Hotel Mario

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In 2006, Sega sorta reboot Sonic the Hedgehog, with this Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 game, titled simply Sonic The Hedgehog. Towards the end of the game, they made a million Sonic fan-fiction writers cry out in a mix of joy and terror when Princess Elise (AN ALIVE HUMAN) kisses a dead Sonic the Hedgehog (A DEAD HEDGEHOG), and through the power of chaos emeralds and fanboy juices brings Sonic back to life as Super Sonic.

The above clip is game footage that has been re-edited to show what would really happen to the world if a human kissed a dead hedgehog.

Also Ranked

#84 on The Best Video Game Soundtracks of All Time

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Final Fantasy X


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Final Fantasy X brought a new level of emotion, gameplay, and cinematic storytelling to the classic roleplaying series, harnessing the raw power of the Playstation 2. And then, well, there’s this scene where the main character Tidus laughs. Or learns to laugh? But he’s a person, so he’s probably laughed before? Like there are probably sitcoms in the Final Fantasy X universe, and people probably watch those and laugh, right? So why does this scene exist where he learns to laugh? And why was it seemingly written by the same master of human emotion that wrote the characters in the movie Showgirls?

Also Ranked

#6 on The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made

#9 on The Best Video Game Soundtracks of All Time

#43 on The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans

#27 on The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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