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  Raid 2020... The Worst Game Ever?    
       
 

Raid 2020? No Thanks.

September 24, 2004
By Andy 'AndrewM' Evans (AndrewM@neshq.com)

There have been lots of bad idea throughout history - ethnic cleansing, solar powered flashlights, and the Arby's Oven Mitt, to name a few. All of these combined and multiplied by ten million could barely even hold a candle to the abomination that is Raid 2020. At the very least I'd prefer gouging my own eyes out and eating them over playing another second of Raid 2020.

I guess I should backtrack. I was inspired to write this editorial because I visit various gaming forums and one of the more common discussions that pops up is worst game ever. Since this is a Nintendo web site I won't bother with other gaming systems. Some of the games that pop up as nominees for the prestigious 'worst game ever' award are Action 52, Cheetahmen 2, Adventures Rocky and Bulwinkle, Karate Champ, Terminator 2, and Ghostbusters. For the sake of my journalistic integrity (or what's left of it) I will explain why each of these terrible games has nothing on Raid 2020. That comes later however - now I must explain Raid 2020.

The Premise & Title

Born in 1982, I managed to a full dose of the late 80's/early 90's DARE program. I guess you could say I lost faith in the DARE program when my DARE officer got caught stealing a lawnmower from Wal-Mart (no, I'm not making this up). "Don't do drugs kids, go steal lawnmowers instead!" Maybe there was an epidemic of lawnmower-stealing DARE officers, and the DARE people decided to get a third-rate software developer, Color Dreams, to make an anti-drug game. That's really the only way I can figure that this game got created. The oh-so-clever Color Dreams decided to get their new pet project off on the right (read: WRONG) foot by giving Raid 2020 what every video game needs: a slogan? The best Color Dreams could do, in an era overflowing with cool slogans (anyone hear of Mr T?), is come up with "Winners fight drugs." Not "Winners don't do drugs," but "Winners fight drugs." I guess when I was seven I should have picked up an uzi and battled my local crack dealer.

With a host of tried-and-true themes - save the princess, fight the once-in-thousand-years-evil - Color Dreams stuck with fighting drugs. In a strange twist of fate I'm 99% sure that the Color Dreams staff were high when coming up with this game.

The Graphics

Do you see these graphics? Solid gold! Wait, wait, never mind. If you've never had the displeasure of playing Raid2020 and you're wondering what you're looking at, it's supposed to be a pier. I believe the cancerous-looking brown things to be pilings and the grayish blobs are seagulls. Pilings can look good in 8-bit (T&C Surf Designs), so why do they look so terrible here? It's Raid 2020, that's why! The pilings are also different widths which doesn't make much sense, as anyone who has ever seen a piling can attest. As bad as the pilings are what I've really been struggling with are the seagulls. They seem to be wearing glasses(?). Seriously, if you are reading this and know what those are please e-mail me because I have wasted several seconds of my life trying to figure it out. The next logical question is "Why the hell are the seagulls wearing glasses?" The answer: I have no idea whatsoever.

Bad Enemies, Worse Gameplay

The guy in the suit is our hero. Obviously the scruffy gentlemen in the picture to the right are bad guys. Easy enough, right... WHOA, what is that white thing??? In an effort to avoid a repeat of the Seagull incident I searched the Internet high and low to find a Raid 2020 manual, which game the following description:
Get them before they get you. They make quite formidable foes, due to their convenient lack of pain receptors--Pit Bull's bright idea. Rumor has it that these cyborgs, as well as all the other enemies, are controlled by a master computer monitored by Pit Bull.

I'll give you a minute to recover before I continue. Good? Ok. So the graphics are pretty terrible, as you're well aware. How about the gameplay? The gameplay is so bad that I couldn't come up with a word to describe it. I went to dictionary.com to find a good word to describe the Raid 2020 gameplay. It came back with this:
abhorrent, atrocious, awful, base, beastly, contemptible, cursed, deplorable, despicable, detestable, disgusting, execrable, foul, grim, hairy, hateful, heinous, hellish, horrible, loathsome, lousy, nasty, nauseating, obnoxious, odious, offensive, repellent, reprehensible, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, sleazeball, stinking, terrible, very bad, vile, wretched
Close. Now if you added all those together and tossed in a dead baby, that's the Raid 2020 gameplay.

Glitches

Glitches on such a fine game... I find that hard to believe! Get used to it. In the wonderful world of the Nintendo there were some really well programmed games (Metroid, Baseball Stars), games that had cool glitches (Mario Brothers 1), and some really glitchy games. One example (or 52) of a glitchy game was the Action 52 cartridge. This is sort of expected since the company that created Action 52 made two games, probably out of the company CEO's garage. Color Dreams on the other hand made 15 games for the NES. So what constitutes a glitch? Well you can ride on your enemies' heads. This would be funny, if not acceptable, if this were a different game. I can tell this is a glitch since A)When you're riding on other things in the game you get hurt and B)You're invincible while riding on someone's head. Other glitches include enemies randomly appearing (not in a randomly-generated enemy way) and items facing you (maybe they intended this as a feature?).

I had to title this part of the article 'stupid' because there are too many things about Raid 2020 that are stupid to not mention them.

Stupid: You can ride on butterflies. I think they're butterflies, the graphics are too bad to be certain. If you ride on a butterfly you lose health, but if you ride on a human's head you don't get hurt. Never mind for a second the physics involved with standing on someone's head, let's try to figure out why a butterfly hurts you but standing on a drug dealer's head (who has a gun) doesn't hurt you.

Stupid: Inconsistent controls. While on the pier, after a jump you stop wherever you land. On the 2-d pilings screen you slide from wherever you land.

Stupid: A gunshot wound takes off as much damage as getting hit by seagull poo. While we're here...

Stupid: Seagull poo hurts you.

Stupid: The attempted use of 3-d in this game. It adds nothing to the game and was programmed poorly.

Stupid: Me, for wasting twenty minutes of my life playing this game..

So I'm not quite done yet, I just couldn't stand to have Raid 2020 open any longer to get screenshots. I went ahead and checked the reviews of Raid 2020 on GameFAQs.com. Raid 2020 is one of the few games to receive all 1/10s, which inspired such review titles as "About as much fun as being the only toilet seat at a chili cook-off." Raid 2020 rounds off the requirements for bad games with terrible music. If I had to listen to more than nine minutes of Raid 2020 at a time I think I'd go get my hair cut with a lawnmower.

I know earlier I said I'd explain why Raid 2020 is worse than other horrible games, but I just don't have it in me anymore. Just writing about this game makes me want to punch a hole in my TV.

Last but not least, a million apologies to my old high school English teacher, should she ever read this, for what I'm sure are boatloads of grammatical mistakes.

- Andy 'AndrewM' Evans