This is it, folks. Just ten more episodes, and this whole nightmare will FINALLY be done and over with. So, let’s not bother wasting any time.
NO. 10: Happy Birthday, Mega Man (Captain N)
Captain N was a show that admittedly had a lot going for it. The idea of several of the NES’ most popular games at the time coming together in an action-adventure cartoon along the lines of Who Framed Roger Rabbit was one that drew a lot of people in, and in the end it actually ended up becoming a fairly popular and well-received series. Looking back on it now, though…yeah, it’s total garbage. That shouldn’t be surprising though, considering that it is made by DiC. The main problem with this episode (besides the fact that the NES characters look NOTHING like themselves) is that it’s just…well, boring. Aside from Mega Man (who sounds like Popeye if he had a severe case of throat cancer) wanting to be human and the heroes going on some sort of lame quest, there really isn’t much of an actual plot to be found. Oh, and for an added bonus, Roll makes her first (and only) appearance in this series as “Mega Girl”, once again proving that DiC couldn’t bother to research information about the games they make cartoons about even if there was a gigantic book right on top of their desks. Happy Birthday, Mega Man: At this point, I’m anything but “Happy”.
NO. 9: Kombat Begins Again (Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm)
Mortal Kombat was, without question, one of the most mature game franchises of the 90’s. It had a significantly non-kid-friendly cast of characters, themes such as corruption and revenge, and was packed to the brim with all kinds of brutal, bloody violence. So, with that in mind, WHO THE HELL THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE A CHILDREN’S CARTOON BASED OFF OF IT? But believe it or not, the idea by itself is the least of this thing’s problems! For starters, the character designs just look…off. It’s obvious that they were trying to invoke a Bruce Timm-esque style, but there’s something about that just doesn’t seem appropriate for a Mortal Kombat show. Next, the writing. You know how I said that Battletoads was nothing but lame jokes and catchphrases? Well, that’s exactly what this is, but somehow even worse. Lastly, the fight scenes. I don’t know if I can even call refer to them as such, because they’re so slow and so dumbed down to the point where I’m not sure if what I’m watching is an actual Mortal Kombat show! Kombat Begins Again: Forget Annihilation, THIS is the worst thing to have the Mortal Kombat brand’s name on it!
NO. 8: Oh Brother (The Adventures Of Super Mario Bros. 3)
Like Sonic, Mario does not have what one would call a good track record with cartoons. Unlike Sonic however, Mario’s cartoons were so bad that they only made three before they decided to call it quits, and after watching this piece of crap, it’s not hard to see why. The main problem with this episode is that it’s just so dang predictable. Be honest, how many times have you’ve seen an episode of ANY show where the protagonists have a scuffle over some random circumstance only to make up at the end? I’d also like to point out that throughout the episode, various sound effects from the games themselves can be heard, which is kind of cool at first, but after a while just becomes irritating. At the very least, the voice actors do their best with what they’re given (Walker Boone and Tony Rosato are definitely no Charles Martinet or even a Lou Albano and Danny Wells, but they do get the job done) and even deliver some fairly amusing performances (I actually wish that Harvey Atkin was the voice for Bowser in the actual games, or Koopa as he’s referred to in the cartoons). Oh Brother: My god, even the titles are starting to reflect my mood.
NO. 7: ALL Of The Ape Escape Shorts
Yes, believe it or not, at one point there was actually a series of animated shorts based off of the now-dormant PlayStation franchise Ape Escape (made by the same production company behind shows such as Adventure Time and Fairly Odd Parents, no less). And to the surprise of no one, they were…pretty awful. Now, I could just list off a single short and be done with it, but when it all boils down, they all suffer from the same problems: The character designs are terrible, each joke fizzles like a bacon strip on a frying pan, the pacing is awkward, and it’s just not very faithful to the games in general. Honestly, I think that this, Dragon Ball Evolution, and others serve as reminders on just how careful we need to be when adapting Japanese material for an American audience. Ape Escape: To watch this would truly drive someone bananas.
NO. 6: Bad Rap (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show)
Have you ever wondered if something could be so desperately “hip with the cool kids” to the point where it just became downright insufferable to watch? Well, wonder no more, because DiC’s got you covered with this stinking heap. For about the entirety of the episode, the characters speak in nothing but rap. Oh, and for some added bonuses, the main setting of the episode is a city called “Rap Land”, Koopa’s referred to as “Rappin’ Koopa”, there’s two walking fat jokes called the “Flab Boys” and there’s a not-so-subtle parody of James Brown called “King James”. Bad Rap: “Bad” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
NO. 5: Three Hedgehogs And A Baby (Sonic Underground)
While Sonic Boom is my least personal favorite out of the Sonic cartoons (And I don’t even think that ANY of them are good to begin with), I can’t help but to admit that Sonic Underground is worse on a technical level, this episode being a major factor into that. The plot revolves around Sonic and his siblings (Who only appear in this show, and for some reason are also voiced by Jaleel White) finding an abandoned infant, whom Manic takes a liking to. However, unbeknownst to them is that the infant is actually a life-like android designed by Robotnik and his two cronies Sleet and Dingo (who also only appear in this show), who intend on using it to track them down. So, what exactly is wrong with this episode? Is it the numerous instances where the characters randomly go off-model? Is it the laughably terrible music sequence? Is it the complete and utter disregard for following any of the games, or even SatAM which this show is supposedly closely related to? Yeah…it’s pretty darn awful. But you know, maybe it’s so awful, it’s kind of amusing. Three Hedgehogs And A Baby: Take it away, Joel.
NO. 4: The Medium Is The Message (Street Fighter)
Even if it is considerably more family-friendly than the likes of Mortal Kombat, the idea of turning Street Fighter into a kids’ cartoon is one that sounds like a recipe for disaster. And lo and behold, it IS a disaster! Once again, the story of the games have been dumbed down into something that barely even resembles the games, except this time it’s a G.I. Joe rip-off! And the characters…dear LORD, don’t even get me started on them. I know that they exactly have any intricate depth in the games, but here they’re just so damn stereotypical! You’ve got Gulie, the strong but moralistic leader, Cammy, the no-nonsense action girl, Ken, the totally radical surfer dude, M. Bison, the hammy-as-hell antagonist, and so forth. Their degradation also shows through the writing, which is packed to the brim with all sorts of campy one-liners and mindless action sequences. At the end of the day, it is technically better than the two live-action films, but that would pretty much be like saying getting ran over by a truck is better than getting ran over by a train. The Medium Is The Message: You know something’s bad when the only thing that people remember about it is literally just this.
NO. 3: The Shadow Falls (Double Dragon)
Many consider Double Dragon to be one of the major pioneers of the beat ’em up genre. As for its’ television adaptation however, most tend to just outright deny its’ existence, and judging by this episode, its’ not hard to see why. It’s just a huge, cluttered mess of a vapid prophecy storyline, bad animation, phoned-in voice acting, characters that were either drastically redesigned to the point where you couldn’t even recognize them or weren’t from the games in the first place, and the most laughably terrible theme song to a cartoon that I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Oh, and guess who made it. Just guess.
Seriously, who the hell let these people be in charge of so many video game adaptations? The Shadow Falls: There’s no need to cast a shadow of doubt that this sucks hard.
NO. 2: Out Of The Dark (Darkstalkers)
…okay, making a kids’ cartoon show out of Mortal Kombat was bad enough, but…Darkstalkers? Darkstalkers? A game in which one of the characters is a friggin’ SUCCUBUS? Pffft, sure, I don’t see what’s wrong with that! In all seriousness though, even as someone who hasn’t touched a single Darkstalkers game before (Though I do intend on trying out one of the games at one point), I can say that this episode is nothing short of horrendous. Once again, the story of the games have been dumbed in order to appeal to a younger demographic, which when you really think about it, is kind of an odd move. I mean, if you want to make a kids’ show, why make one based off of a game which, one again, HAS A SUCCUBUS AS ONE OF ITS’ CHARACTERS? Also, the characters have been more or less stripped of any or everything that made them so interesting and intriguing in the eyes of arcade fighter fanatics, not having as much of a personality as they do simple, one-note traits. Also, for no apparent reason they made an entirely new character called Harry. I…really don’t have anything to say about him, mainly because he’s just so damn uninteresting. Out Of The Dark: It really should have stayed in the dark.
Take AOSTH, and put it on a strict diet of crystal meth and stale energy drinks. Then, take the most obnoxious, noisy, in your face “90’s ‘tude”, and combine it with said show on said diet. The end result would what is, in my opinion, THE NO. 1 Worst Video Game Cartoon Episode EVER MADE…
NO. 1: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (Dropped Pilot)
Bubsy was already bad enough as a video game series, but in terms of a conceptual animated television series, it completely SKYROCKETS in terms of awfulness. The characters are irritating. The backgrounds look like Salvador Dali threw up in the back of an alleyway. The running gags are either relentlessly cruel (Poor, poor Arnold…) or aren’t even funny in the first place. The story is all over the place. I could go on for HOURS on just how wretched this thing is! Matter of fact, I’d take Bubsy 3D ANY DAY over this abomination. What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Everything…just….everything…
And that’s all I got for the Top 20 Worst Video Game Cartoon Episodes. Now, if you excuse me…I need a glass of water.
What is your least favorite video game cartoon? Be sure to leave your thoughts and opinions below, and thanks for reading! Stay retr0!