The lights are on
Dick Vitale's "Awesome, Baby!" College HoopsDick Vitale was a well-known basketball coach and sportscaster
back in the day. Maybe not well-known enough, though, as Time Warner Interactive
felt the need to add his catchphrase "Awesome, Baby!" to the title of the game.
In addition to reminding gamers who the heck Dick Vitale is, the inclusion of
the quote on the cover also gives them an idea of the supposed quality of game. That, or
the game stars an awesome baby sired by Dick Vitale. Does college basketball
have a minimum age restriction?
Bill Laimbeer's Combat BasketballUnlike the other basketball star-endorsed games on this
list, I fully support Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball. Bill Laimbeer was a player
for the Detroit Pistons in the '80s who made a name for himself by being overly
physical on the court. Laimbeer's thuggery was reviled by basketball fans, but
resulted in one of the greatest premises for a video game ever slapped together
in what I can only assume was the eleventh hour. Here's the description,
straight from the manual:
In the 1980's [sic]
and '90's [also sic], there was a legendary "Bad boy" of
professional basketball. As the roughest player in the league, Bill Laimbeer
was known for doing anything to get the ball. Unfortunately, the basketball
league didn't approve of his "competitive" style of playing, so they forced him
Times have changed.
The year now is 2030 and Bill Laimbeer has mysteriously resurfaced as
commissioner of the basketball league. He's as young and as vigorous as he was
at his prime. Some believe that he has used today's cloning technology, but no
one can say for sure. One thing is for sure: His objective is to get back at
those people who forced him to retire, and to play basketball his style!
His first move as commissioner
was to fire all the referees and eliminate all personal fouls. He has also
allowed major companies to use the cloning technology to create an army of
incredible players. The players wear armor and compete not only for points, but
for weapons, explosives and cash that are tossed into the game by the eager
spectators. And finally, he's put himself back in the game – at a price...
Now when you win, you
crush the opposing team. But when you lose, you really lose. "This is basketball
my way," exclaims Laimbeer. "No wimps, no wussies! Just brutal hard-core
The sport is no longer
basketball. It's Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball!
Why Bill Laimbeer would agree to a video game premise that makes
him sound like basketball's equivalent of Adolph Hitler is beyond me, but if there's a
game on this list that demands a sequel, it's this one.
Dennis Miller: That's News To MeFrom his embarrassing M&M commercials to his brief stint
as a Monday Night Football commentator, Dennis Miller has proved time and time again that he'll do anything for a quick buck. But That's News To Me is lazy even by his standards. This 3DO
title isn't really a game at all: The player picks a topic and a month of the
year, then watches a quick, Weekend Update-style video clip of Miller making a joke. And
that's it. That's News To Me's lame jokes based on the current events of 1993 are
about on par with Miller's current shtick, but they can't compare to the
highlight of his comedy career: his role as Sandra Bullock's ill-fated psychiatrist
in The Net. Not only is it hilarious,
but navigating The Net's DVD menu has just as much interactivity as this 3DO "game"
Shelley Duvall's It's A Bird's LifeBehold, the winner for the most bizarre celebrity tie-in for
a game. You probably remember Shelley Duvall as the terrorized wife of Jack
Nicholson in The Shining. This 3DO
title is a lot like that, only it has fewer blood-filled elevators and
more Shelley Duvall narrating a children's book.
In addition to telling the story of Mowglie, Pearlie, and
Humpty's journey from Los Angeles to the Amazon rain forest, It's A Bird's Life
also contains 11 sing-along songs, interactive jigsaw puzzles, 3D finger
painting, and a connect-the-dots minigame. Creepy ghost child twins and Jack Nicholson
making out with a decaying corpse? Not so much.
That concludes our look at the weirdest celebrity-based video games. Think we missed one? Make fun of it yourself in the comments section below!
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.