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What's the Worst Console You Ever Played?

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Yes, you must have actually played the console.

 

For me, it's the Odyssey 2. The only thing I like about the system are the joysticks. The only decent game made was KC Munchkin. Everything else is a depressing blocky disaster. Look at these horrible arcade translations:

 

 

 

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The Virtual Boy nuff said. I played it at a friends house in 1996 or 1997. It is too awkward and my eyes felt strained from placing it in the visor/goggle area to see the screen. And it gave me neck cramps. The controllers are great though.

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The Tiger R-Zone. My grandparents bought me one with Mortal Kombat 3 and Panzer Dragoon when I was a kid. At the time I actually didn't think the games were all that bad, but what I did hate was that the sharp pointy tops on the buttons would stab into your fingers and the monocle design of the system's eyepeice would make you go cross-eyed unless you played with one eye closed. Those stabby buttons though, man... I honestly cannot think of a worse button design in the entire history of video game controllers.

 

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Edited by Jin
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Yes, you must have actually played the console.

 

For me, it's the Odyssey 2. The only thing I like about the system are the joysticks. The only decent game made was KC Munchkin. Everything else is a depressing blocky disaster. Look at these horrible arcade translations:

 

 

 

While I agree that the Odyssey2 was lacking with most arcade translations (Turtles, however, is pretty darn good), I was always pleased with the minimal-to-no-flicker, good use of color, and well-used The Voice module across its range of games. It had some unique offerings as well.

 

For me, my biggest system disappointment was the Action Max. I spent my own money on that and ended up quite disappointed with how limited it was and how amateurish the production values were.

 

I remember also being dissapointed in getting a Sega Nomad, albeit well after it was sold in stores. It was built up as this end-all, be-all handheld, and the screen was profoundly dissapointing in terms of motion blur when I tried to use it. Like most handhelds, I have one with a modern LCD screen replacement now and it's a whole new system, i.e., one that reached that initial promise.

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Hard to say. For me even the worst consoles at least have something interesting about them. The original Odyssey and the Studio II would have to be the worst by default, being the most primitive. The Odyssey 2 is a PlayStation 4 by comparison (sidebar: KC's Krazy Chase, Pick-Axe Pete, UFO, Attack of The Timelord, and Freedom Fighters are great Odyssey 2 games). However, I've managed to have some fun with even those. Not a lot, mind you, but some, mainly due to their sheer quirkiness.

The DINA would have been a great little system if it weren't so shabbily made, but the built-in game (an incredibly generic yet also really fun space shooter) keeps it out of "worst ever" territory.

I had an R-Zone back in the day (I remember thinking the controller was really cool-looking), and while I can attest to it being pretty useless, I file that one under "LCD/VDF/Handheld/Tabletops" rather than "consoles."

I have only meager experience with the Emerson Arcadia, but it wasn't exactly riveting. It's not really a horrible console (it's got a few cool games including some hyper-obscure arcade ports), but everything about it struck me as incredibly bland.

If the Hyperscan counts as a console, that's the worst for me. No redeeming qualities come to mind.



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I have played quite a lot of obscure systems, and from all of them, the worst are in the home and portable range, the HMG 7900, and the Game Master.

 

The HMG 7900 is a somewhat color version of a RCA Studio II, but it's a different processor and graphisms are quite a bit less blocky. But the games are just a mess of blocks with no effort or taste put in.

 

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The worst being that first appearence of this system are at late as 1983. It could have been okayish for a budget system in 1978... but a system inferior to an Odyssey2 in 1983... bleh.

 

 

The Game Master is equally bad, with a black OR white screen (it cannot display shade of greys) and games that were designed with too much hope for the system's capabilities (a bit like the Tiger Game.Com : it look "good" on the boxes, but once you play it's just intolerable).

 

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In the more famous system, the worst is the Nintendo 64.

Most games have awkward controls (Mario 64 is unplayable for me), the texturing job is a PITA in most games (I prefer the blocky pixelated soup of the PS1 or Saturn to the barfing blur of the N64) and worst of all... NO RGB ON THE SYSTEM! Coupled with what is probably the worst composite output that add nothing but more blur to the picture! It feels like playing with a sheet of tracing paper all over your screen.

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I actually like Popeye for the O2, it's a weird take on the game. Why they couldn't get at least two levels in I don't know. I also like what they did with Tutankham. They had to play to the O2's strengths and that required some major creativity.

 

Worst is hard to quantify. The ones I've enjoyed least are the APF-1000, Studio II, and VideoBrain (all very primitive with almost no game support), but some people really like them (people love playing with my VB every year at MGC).

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The b/w dot matrix LCD handhelds, such as the Game Master immediately came to mind when I read this. Then you have those plug and play systems you find at Walgreens, with all the generic Chinese games crammed in. And sadly, yes - I've played them. Same kind of crap that makes up half the games built into the Sega Genesis Flashback. :lol:

 

The Hyperscan is probably the worst system I've never played.

 

And even though I no longer have an O2 collection or care to play most any of its games ever (outside of maybe the occasional 7800 port here and there), I have a respect and fondness for the machine. Lagged behind the VCS almost right out the gate, but the system and many of its games have their charms.

 

 

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Worst is hard to quantify. The ones I've enjoyed least are the APF-1000, Studio II, and VideoBrain (all very primitive with almost no game support), but some people really like them (people love playing with my VB every year at MGC).

 

I've wavered myself, at least internally, with calling the VideoBrain a console, but I think it meets every possible qualifier as a computer, so I really wouldn't count it as a console just because it's a computer heavy on console-like features and usage.

 

I agree the APF-M/MP1000 is pretty dreadful. There's one decent game (Space Destroyers) and the hard-wired controllers are a mess. I also agree with the Studio II for obvious reasons, although I will cut it a tiny bit of slack being the second ever cartridge-based console.

 

Someone else mentioned the Arcadia 2001. While I like the console, I agree it was a bit late to release a system with those technical capabilities. It's close to, but probably not quite up to the general capabilities of the Intellivision. It was meant as a cheap system and one that could be run off DC power if one so chose. The problem is, there really wasn't much of a target market for such a device, particularly since there was so much competition between the big three at the time. It probably would have been better trying to out compete the other consoles on technology rather than decent tech at a low price point at that point in time.

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Someone else mentioned the Arcadia 2001. While I like the console, I agree it was a bit late to release a system with those technical capabilities. It's close to, but probably not quite up to the general capabilities of the Intellivision. It was meant as a cheap system and one that could be run off DC power if one so chose. The problem is, there really wasn't much of a target market for such a device, particularly since there was so much competition between the big three at the time. It probably would have been better trying to out compete the other consoles on technology rather than decent tech at a low price point at that point in time.

 

The Arcadia isn't a great system, but it's hardly one of the worst. It's got several odd ball arcade licensed games and some halfway decent original titles.

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I don't think these words have ever been put into this exact comparison!!!

The Odyssey 2 is a PlayStation 4 by comparison.

and I agree with this: (sidebar: KC's Krazy Chase, Pick-Axe Pete, UFO, Attack of The Timelord, and Freedom Fighters are great Odyssey 2 games)

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The Odyssey² has a handful of cool games, like Pick Axe Pete, Killer Bees, and especially Smithereens. It's also got some of the worst games I've ever played, e.g. Hockey/Soccer, but the presence of a few great games really tips the scales.

 

I guess the Microvision is the worst console or handheld I've physically played, i.e. not in emulation. But even that has one killer app (Sea Duel), and any system with a killer app isn't really a failure. More to the point, it basically succeeds in what it's trying to do: it's a lo-res handheld for playing simple monochrome games, and it does that reasonably well.

 

If I'm not interested in doing that, why am I playing a Microvision in the first place? It'd be like blaming a goat for not being a cow.

 

So what system completely fails to meet its own goals, or had goals that were stupid in the first place? Hard to imagine the Studio II isn't a top candidate here, but I haven't played the real hardware so I reserve judgment (I do own a handful of games for the system, bizarrely enough).

 

Lousy screens nearly ruin a lot of handhelds, especially the Game Gear. Many people find the Virtual Boy to be unplayably headache-inducing, so that's a failure for them, but others have no issue. I personally can't play about 1/3 to 1/2 of the N64 library without eventually feeling physically ill, but I have no trouble with the controller. All these have built-in qualities that keep some people from enjoying them.

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Worst is hard to quantify

Exactly, so IMHO this is about which console people liked the least, which console's games they enjoyed the least, etc. There's nothing objective or quantitative about it and that's okay. How much did you, as an individual, enjoy the system? That's the criteria for "best" or "worst" systems. I like the O2 and a lot of its games, but if the OP says it's his worst, then so be it. If it's a question about sales or quantity of games, that's a more quantitative discussion.

 

I'm going to say the Wii U. I won one in a contest shortly after launch. It exaggerated the handful things I dislike about Nintendo, added all the things I dislike about modern gaming and wrapped it up in a clunky package with few games that interest me. Then again, I'm just not that into modern gaming so it would have been a hard sell even if the annoying bits (2 hour system update, for example) were fixed. It's a fine line between "worst" and "most disappointing." I actually loved the Wii, and it was my favorite console in that gen. I'm fully aware lots of people love their Wii Us, and that's fine. For me, it sucked. Got no enjoyment out of it, sold it after a week or two.

 

If we're only talking classic consoles, that's tough... of what I've owned over the years probably the Bally Astrocade although Wizard of Wor was fun.

 

If we're talking handhelds, then game.com, although I did have a little bit of fun w/ the Midway compilation and Tiger Casino.

Edited by BydoEmpire

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I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned this...

The Tiger Game.com is amazing in that it has so many unusable features and essentially unplayable games (yes, I know there are defenders out there, but I disagree). It shows so many possibilities and falls completely flat; even the very best cartridges are better implemented elsewhere, in my opinion.

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Every gameboy without a backlight (or frontlight) ever. Great system, great games, but I'm just not going to play something these days with an unlit screen.

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Exactly, so IMHO this is about which console people liked the least, which console's games they enjoyed the least, etc. There's nothing objective or quantitative about it and that's okay. How much did you, as an individual, enjoy the system? That's the criteria for "best" or "worst" systems. I like the O2 and a lot of its games, but if the OP says it's his worst, then so be it. If it's a question about sales or quantity of games, that's a more quantitative discussion.

 

I think it's possible to be more nuanced than just "I liked it" or "I didn't like it". I prefer thinking of it this way:

 

1) What were the console's goals? (What was it trying to offer to the consumer?)

2) Did it meet those goals?

3) Were the goals good ones, or stupid ones?

4) Am I capable of appreciating those goals? (if not, then I'm unqualified or unsuitable to evaluate this)

 

This applies to a lot more than consoles, BTW, and can be used for music, movies, art, etc. It gets out of the fluffy, self-oriented realm of people's personal preferences -- and really, who cares what anyone likes or doesn't like? We all know what body part opinions resemble -- and focuses instead on trying to meet things on their own terms. I don't like football, but it'd be stupid of me to say a Madden game sucks because I don't want to play football games.

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Agree that "worst" is too subjective to have broad meaning. The most interesting perspectives in this thread are those from people who owned these consoles during their release period or very shortly thereafter. We can all judge the Studio II or Odyssey 2 from a distance of 5, 10, 20, 35+ years (many of us did this implicitly when we "upgraded" to a 5200 or Colecovision), but that's not necessarily fair.

 

But how many bought or received a console that was fresh from the store, opened it, played it, and pretty quickly said "This is ... not good"?

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Agree that "worst" is too subjective to have broad meaning.

Well, it depends on how we define it. Something that people often forget is that the valuation implied by "best" and "worst" typically means one and only one thing from the company's perspective: did it make a profit? The Atari 7800, whatever its flaws, did that, so it was a success in a very real way.

 

More generally, I disagree with the idea that quantitative and objective are the same thing, and the implication that qualitative (non-numerical) or subjective things somehow aren't as "real". We have a tendency to assume that only numbers and hard science are reality, and everything else -- love, joy, all that stuff -- is arbitrary, fluffy BS we use to tell ourselves delusional stories to distract us from our inevitable death. :D But I find that problematic, for reasons that go beyond the boundaries of a thread like this.

 

But how many bought or received a console that was fresh from the store, opened it, played it, and pretty quickly said "This is ... not good"?

Closest I've come was the NIB 5200 I got for Christmas in 1983 or 1984, with DOA controllers whose fire buttons were absurdly stiff and soon stopped working. With that one, the games were great, it was just the build quality of the hardware itself that was cynically horrible.

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But how many bought or received a console that was fresh from the store, opened it, played it, and pretty quickly said "This is ... not good"?

 

Raises hand cautiously... happened to me a few times with the Jaguar. :lol:

 

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NES Action Set. Shit controllers. Pack-in combines a snooze-fest light-gun game with a platformer that could only be loved by an unemployed monomaniac.

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I never tried ChannelF\Astrocade\Arcadia so I can't say anything about them. Never had any interest though.

 

Odyssey2 had a few noteworthy games that I played.

 

I never cared for the 3DO at all so I guess its up there in the list for me. I had AD&D, Slayer and a few other games for it in the 90's and I just coudn't stand it. I think I had the Goldstar model that was in a bargain bin at Best Buy. I sold it all on Ebay almost two decades ago. :P

 

Oh wait, I did try out the Virtual Boy and I think that might be my "worst". I remember playing it at a Kiosk at Toys R' Us and thought WTF is this shit.....

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I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned this...

 

The Tiger Game.com is amazing in that it has so many unusable features and essentially unplayable games (yes, I know there are defenders out there, but I disagree). It shows so many possibilities and falls completely flat; even the very best cartridges are better implemented elsewhere, in my opinion.

Well this thread isn't "what is the worst console ever made" but "what si the worst console you ever played". And it's likely that many people never touched one, never even saw one for real. Most European members for example as it was never released in Europe. Probably a handful got one from import, but they haven't reached this thread yet :P

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The DINA would have been a great little system if it weren't so shabbily made, but the built-in game (an incredibly generic yet also really fun space shooter) keeps it out of "worst ever" territory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would have picked that in a hearbeat except for the fun little space shooter game. If it didn't have that it would definitely be the worst. I bought it in the 90's through a place called Telegames. I remember thinking what the hell is up with the side cables sticking from the gamepads. Awful.

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NES Action Set. Shit controllers. Pack-in combines a snooze-fest light-gun game with a platformer that could only be loved by an unemployed monomaniac.

 

Wow! Never heard Duck Hunt/Super Mario described quite like that. Ever. :lol:

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