This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
Every day someone endures the tragedy of a bad game. Somehow developers with good intentions commit sins like bland level design, poorly thought-out gimmicks, and frustrating boss fights. We at the Bitmob Writing Challenge asked our community to report the worst stages and bosses in a prompt called Levels of Shame. Six writers did their civic duty not to make fun of these works, but to make sure these creators learn their lesson and rejoin society in good graces.
Offender: Lost: Via Domus
Location: Smoke Monster cave
Reporter: Raymond Williams
- Transforms the celebrated TV show into a mediocre adventure game starring a made-up hero with a generic amnesia backstory.
- Has John Locke speak like he is quoting from a page-a-day calendar.
- Turns clash with Smoke Monster into a struggle to keep a torch lit and avoid holes.
- If the player dies, he has to go through the same cutscenes and preparations all over again.
Offender: Cyborg Justice
Location: Level 1-1
Reporter: Gage Lawhorn
- Encouraging players to customize their own robots and then including a trench in the first level that can only be crossed with one specific body part.
- Camerawork makes crossing said trench difficult during co-op mode.
- False advertising: Gamers will find no justice here.
Offender: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Accomplice: Hydross the Unstable boss fight
Reporter: Dallas Swim
- A grind of a boss fight against a water elemental who could one-shot-kill characters and cast spells that battered entire parties.
- Constant shifts between different resistances complicates the jobs of the six or so dedicated healers needed to survive the battle.
- Most clans chose to avoid the boss altogether, which eventually led the developers to weaken it through a patch.
Offender: Sonic CD
Location: Palmtree Panic
Reporter: Carlos Alexandre
- The first stage of an allegedly overrated platformer that sets it on the wrong track.
- Obstacle-heavy level design that goes against Sonic’s need for speed.
- Annoying time-travel mechanic where you could warp to a bad future clogged with enemies, a past version of the stage where you need to destroy a device to get the good ending, and a good future devoid of challenge.
Offender: Dead Rising 2
Accomplices: Various boss fights
Reporter: Chris Kimsey
- Dull boss fights that go on forever against enemies who can kill you in seconds.
- Throws innovative combat system out the window by forcing players to rely on the safest weapons for victory.
- Strategy for most fights is the same: pummel until Capcom releases a spinoff game.
Offender: Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Location: Two entire games
Reporter: Jonathan Oyama
- Defamation of character: turning skilled martial artists into gift-demanding airheads.
- Failing to give the actual volleyball gameplay usable controls and a working camera angle.
- Obstruction in resolving these issues in the sequel by hiding them with more bad minigames and more girls in bikinis.
Offender: Mega Man X6
Location: Blaze Heatnix stage
Reporter: Chris Hoadley
- Forces players to play the same dull and frustrating sub-boss five times.
- Disgustingly lazy level design.
- Sections where it’s nearly impossible to get through without intentionally taking damage or using special weapons.
We thank all of you who participated. For crimes of a different kind — stories whose premises seem picked out of a hat — check out the results of the random-headline challenge soon. Since we've given you two prompts in October, we'll take a break from the challenge for this month and return in December.