Ever since the PlayStation classic, Driver, was released on the European PlayStation Store last year, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival here in North America. This last Thursday I checked the store as I always do, hoping I’d finally be able to download it. Instead, I’m greeted by Jigsaw Madness, a game released in 2002 for $10. That’s right, we’re being treated to value-priced shovelware. So this got me to thinking: This can’t be the worst PlayStation game to download, can it? I’m not just talking games that have aged poorly (looking at you, Hot Shots Golf 2), but games that absolutely no one asked for.
Forget that this game is aged now- this game was aged when it released in 1996. The game is downright atrocious to look at, the soundtrack is annoying at best and godawful at worst, and the gameplay is just bad. Even playing the demo as a 10-year-old on my PSX I thought this game was terrible. If it were up to me, I’d declare this game’s release on PSN as an act of terrorism, but I digress.
So now we move from bad to just plain boring. Like Jigsaw Madness, this was originally released as value software. Unlike Jigsaw Madness, I can’t imagine the gamer that this game would appeal to. You take control of heavy equipment and, well, move dirt. Eventually, you get to build a department store using stuff like cranes, but I can’t imagine anyone getting that far. For all I know, this may be the Ultimate Construction Simulator, but that’s not enticing anyone.
Do you remember how much fun WipEout was? Well, imagine that, but subtract the blistering sense of speed, well-designed tracks, and awesome techno soundtrack (or any soundtrack, for that matter). Ta-da! You’ve got Hi-Octane! It’s not necessarily a terrible game, but it’s definitely as mediocre as a game gets. With WipEout available for the same price it’s hard to recommend this game to anyone.
The value shovelware beast on PSN is relentless! This game was priced to sell at $10 in 2001, but you definitely got what you paid for. Imagine what Gran Turismo would be like if Kazunori Yamauchi and company had fallen into a coma for 80 percent of its development cycle: ugly cars and tracks, laughable collision detection, and engine sounds that are more reminiscent of a broken lawn mower than any automobile. The comedic value is through the roof, but it’s cheaper to just watch a minute of gameplay on YouTube.