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Retro Video Game Music Tie In’s. When Rock Stars Make Terrible Games.

Kiss Pinball Screenshot

Retro video game music ties in’s should fill me with joy. In the last 100 years, rock and pop music along with gaming are unequivocally the newest art forms on the block. Of course, it was inevitable that the two would cross over as all good art does. Yet the terrible outweighs the good. For every Moonwalker, we have had at least three or four Queen:The eYe. You would not believe how many bad games we had to get rid of from this list to finally get it down to five! So just for you, five terrible retro video games based on musicians and bands.

Kiss Pinball

The freakish Kiss Pinball. Image courtesy of [email protected]

Now quite a few artists on this list actually had a game and then inexplicably end up with a sequel or another down the line. Kiss are no exception.

It would be great to say it is what it says on the tin but it actually isn’t. The game is neither a good pinball game, nor a good representation of Kiss. Featuring a mere two tables, sub standard physics and terrible graphics it is an awful pinball game. In terms of representing Kiss, it does not even feature any of their music on the soundtrack.

In their defense, it was a budget Playstation title. However, in the scheme of rock band merchandise, Kiss are really not afraid of putting their name on any old rubbish and this is no exception. So after this terrible retro video game music tie in did they learn their lesson?

Of course not. They went straight on to be in a Kiss first person shooter named Psycho Circus. The louder you shout, the faster it goes.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Pleasure units gained! Image courtesy of [email protected]

This game really is baffling, mainly because Frankie Goes to Hollywood were such an anti establishment, pro LGBT force of nature in a decade of insecurity. After being banned from the BBC for debut hit ‘Relax’ and releasing ‘Two Tribes’ they somehow went on to star in a lacklustre retro video game music home computer attempt.

The world you play in is basically built around the imagery and music of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. However, the idea behind the game is lacking. You are an empty person who has to fill four attributes (love, faith, war and sex) before you can enter the pleasure dome. To fill them you have to take part in a number of minigames. Halfway through the game, a murder takes place and you must find the murderer.

Released for Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. Highlights however do include a number of Frankie goes to Hollywood tunes rendered in a timely chiptune fashion.

50 Cent Bullet Proof

50 Cent in Bulletproof. Image courtesy of [email protected]

Ok so this is flirting the line of retro gaming but I had to include it. This is because I really, really hate this game for a number of reasons.

  1. My brother played this game non stop. He kept telling me how good it was, even though I told him it was turd. This led to him playing the follow up, Blood on the Sand. He kept on saying it was good. I said it was crap. He completed it then finally admitted it was rubbish.
  2. I hate everything Fifty Cent stands for. Celebrating gun violence and telling people that you can be someone if you shoot the crap out of other people in real life. You are not Bulletproof, 50 Cent. You got shot like 8 times. If I shot myself in the foot, I would not say I was Bulletproof just because I got shot and did not die.
  3. The game is basically a huge vehicle for ‘fiddy’ to mythologise himself and his past. It is a semi biographical account of the rapper as he gets vengeance on the hitmen who shot him. I am sure, in Fifty Cent’s mind this is actually how it happened, as opposed to him on his knees crying, begging for his life and soiling himself, which is probably how it really went down.

Prince Interactive

Prince Interactive. Image courtesy of [email protected]

When I first played this game I was working part time in a five and dime…

Not really, just a little Prince reference for the fans there, and you would have to be a mega fan to appreciate this effort. Part Prince encyclopedia, part graphic adventure, you take a tour through Prince’s Paisley Park studio. In each room you have to solve a puzzle that gives you a segment of Prince’s iconic logo. Imagine Myst combined with and Encarta 95 but all the facts and videos are about Prince.

Where many of the retro video game music tie in on the list are genuine cash ins, Prince actually fills this disc with quality, often original content. It contains interviews, music videos, concert footage and six songs, some of which were previously unreleased.

With Prince's reputation as a forward thinking innovator, it is easy to see how he was experimenting with home computer technology and gaming as a medium to put out music. A valiant effort that while experimental and innovative at the time, has unfortunately not aged well and falls a little short of the mark.

Spice World

Spice World on PS1

Let's get this out of the way. I actually like the Spice Girls. They were the last of the great pop groups, before a world of reality TV banality. Yet I am also aware that some of the merchandise was a little iffy....and I had a full size Mel B cut out in my bedroom (it left looking like a plasterers radio).

Spice World was a crap movie, with a worse game and an even worse concept. You move through different stages prepping the Spice Girls for a live performance. Mix the track they will sing, input their dance moves then control the camera in their performance. It plays as bad as it sounds.

If you are a fan, the soundtrack is pretty good with most of the girl groups major hits. It also has the actual recorded voices of the Spice Girls on some segments. But even that was not enough to save it.

Oh well, at least it was a one off....until Get Fit with Mel B on the Xbox 360! Confirmation that if I dream hard enough, it will happen.

This month is terrible games month. Got any we need to share? please put them underneath in the comments with your name so we can share them on the social media pages.

Thanks to www.mobygames.com for the images and emplay on youtube for the Spice Girls video.

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