Thursday, November 18, 2010

How Did Acclaim Last As Long As They Did?

Throughout the history of video games, we've been met with great mysteries, but perhaps the greatest of all of them was the amount of time Acclaim last as a publisher and developer of video games. It was always amazing to me how so many of their games were bad, and it never occurred that they were all by Acclaim because of the multiple labels they published games under a bunch of different labels during the 8 and 16 bit days. They did a lot of home conversions for Midway's arcade titles, and they did some good work with those. Even the stranger ones like Trog and Smash TV were pretty good, mainly because Acclaim worked around the system limitations without messing with what made those games so much fun. They also made a lot of games based on movies and TV shows, and this was where Acclaim suffered. Most of the film or TV tie in games were poorly designed, glitchy garbage that some love for nostalgia's sake, but if they look deeper, they'll find true garbage. Take Acclaim's NES port of the Schwarzenegger sci fi classic, Total Recall for example, The game sought to capture the action and intensity of the movie, but it only botched the process. The game had horrible control, bad graphics, and it felt rushed. The same can be said for all of the games based on Fox's long standing animated series, The Simpsons. For some reason, Acclaim was allowed to continuously churn out that garbage and gamers continued to buy that trash out of love for the show. I still can't play Bart vs. The Space Mutants without being a little mad at myself for doing so. Somewhere during the 16 bit era, we all realized the occasional gem wasn't enough to make us love Acclaim, and many gamers slowly started to turn and walk away, but Acclaim wouldn't give up, and they gave us Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on N64, and for a minute, we were okay with them, but then they made those bad BMX games, which culminated in the release of BMX XXX, which was the most tasteless things ever done on a console in America(I can't say period, because there's some messed up stuff coming out of Japan). They finally closed up shop in 2004 after years of financial struggles and questionable business dealings. I mean, they were trying to buy ad space on people's tombstones. Who does that? Anyway, not all of Acclaims games were be honest, they had a few gems. The published The 3-D Battles of Worldrunner in the US, and that game was a gem. They will never be known as the house that spawned classics like Midway, but Acclaim has a place in video game history. Many gamers look at them like the elderly look at Bernie Madoff, but at least every move they made didn't bring misery to the community.

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