5 Video Games With Rock Stars Not Rocking

Metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada has released “Zombie Slay,” a video game for your iPhone or iPad inspired by and featuring music from their horror-themed Zombie EP. Though the blood-spattered romp through a zombie epidemic just came out, it’s shaping up to be one of the few the first successful rock star-video game partnership that didn’t involve fake musical instruments or synchronized button-mashing.

Granted, previous games of this nature managed to combine blatant commercialism, lazy design and cut-rate programming into a cyclone of cross-promotional ineptitude, which set the bar incredibly low. The only redeeming factor of these gaming abortions was the novelty of their neutered 8-bit versions of classic songs. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hop on the Nostalgia Express to look back at the terrible video games that will forever haunt the associated bands, thanks to the wonders of the Internet.

‘Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker’

The King of Pop dance-fights and throws lethal glitter at baddies to save kidnapped children. To reiterate: the goal was to SAVE. KIDNAPPED. CHILDREN. That’s what we writer types like to call “foreshadowing.” Also, sometimes Bubbles The Chimp would appear and give MJ special powers. The thing is, in terms of gameplay, this is probably the best of this sorry bunch.
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‘Revolution X’

The arcade shooter is about a dystopian future in which the hot, leather-clad dictator Helga bans all pop culture. It was up to Aerosmith (with an assist from you) to save music forever. That’s what we writer types like to call “irony.” The “reward” for freeing the aging rockers from the clutches of the S&M-y government was a VIP pass to Aerosmith’s post-rescue celebration concert. Which probably explains why nobody ever put in the time to get past the first level.
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‘Journey: The Arcade Game’

Journey was the Jackie Robinson of bands appearing in video games, and we’re amazed that anyone wanted to revisit the band-game territory after this turd. “Your mission is to help retrieve their instruments from the dangers of the Five Galaxies.” Because Journey couldn’t just buy new ones, obviously. The most awesome part of this insipid clunker was that the pixelated bodies had black-and-white photos of each band member’s face pasted onto them, “South Park”-style.
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‘KISS Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child’

In this first-person shooter for the NightmarecastDreamcast, the player controls members of KISS some fictional band while classic KISS songs ambient techno plays in the background. KISS and their music are largely absent, and thus so is fun.
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Inevitable Justin Bieber Game

We’re just spitballing here: Usher is kidnapped and The Beebz has to save him, using a combination of attacks: he throws swatches of fabric from super skinny jeans that constrict and suffocate the bad guys, and busts out hypnotic dance moves that totally rip off the “Moonwalker” game. Collect enough hair helmets, and you can unleash Bieber‘s special move, the glass-shattering Wail of the Eunuch. In the bonus levels, you must fend off hordes of shrieking girls by using Bieber lookalikes, kind of like what Saddam Hussein used to do. The final boss battle is a dance-off between Bieber and ZomBieber. And thus, we’ve come full circle.