Celebrities are always pushing the boundaries. Pushing the boundaries to get bigger paychecks, more publicity or pushing to get into another medium. Some boundaries are meant to be adhered to. With some rare exceptions, such as Vin Diesel starting up his own game company and producing the exceptional Riddick games; most celebrity involvement in the video game world has ended in disaster.
The following games tried to add that little spark by slapping some star-power into their experiences, unfortunately, it made most more infamous than anything else.
50 Cent: Bulletproof (50 Cent)
One of the most shameless and out-of-place celebrity-endorsed video games has to be 50 Cent: Bulletproof. The game is a complete ego-stroking of the chart-topping rapper, as it indulges Fiddy’s narcissistic and completely ridiculous imagination, by pitting him as a badass quick-talking gangster who takes on the mafia.
The game was created in response to Rockstar asking 50 Cent to voice the character of CJ in GTA: San Andreas. Fifty refused stating he only voices himself (which makes very little sense). Gamers then expected at least a decent GTA clone. Instead, we got a really bad third-person shooter that had terrible controls and uneven difficulty spikes throughout the game. The only thing that needs to be shot 9 times is this game.
Postal 2 (Gary Coleman)
They say to never speak ill of the dead, but Gary Coleman made a rather questionable decision to appear in Running with Scissors’ Postal sequel. Coleman became a legend for portraying Arnold Jackson in Different Strokes throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s with his timeous delivery of lines, but doing the motion capture and recording his own voice work for a game where you can urinate on dead terrorists does cause one to think “what’choo doin’ Gary!?”
We’re all down for some mindless video game fun here and there, but Postal 2 was a mess of a gaming experience from start to finish, with sloppy execution in every department. It proved that controversy and violence do not make for a fun experience, alas, it sold decently and a third entry was released earlier this year.
The Black Eyed Peas Experience (The Black Eyed Peas)
Just because you’re popular, doesn’t mean you deserve a game. The Black Eyed Peas begged to differ, as the group released The Black Eyed Peas Experience in partnership with Ubisoft.
Unfortunately, the game wasn’t a first-person shooter where you hunt down the actual members, but instead played out in the form of a dance simulator, which utilised the Wii and Kinect motion controls.
The game obviously sold like Fergie’s underwear on e-Bay and made Ubisoft a ton of money, but there’s no denying that the game was a shameless cash-in on the buzz surrounding the group and also featured a serious lack of polish in most areas.
Apocalypse (Bruce Willis)
Most people have probably never heard of or played Apocalypse, and I envy them. Bruce Willis somehow was convinced (or possibly tricked) into providing his likeness and voice to the original PS1 game, which saw him play a man faced with saving the world from the end of the world.
The twin-stick third-person shooter was clumsy, confusing and just plain silly. Willis’ voice work also sounds like it was phoned-in, through a potato. Apocalypse couldn’t touch Bruce Willis’ great film career, although it doesn’t detract from the fact that the only thing worse than the game, is the apocalypse itself.
Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style (Wu-Tang Clan)
Between the members of the Wu-Tang clan, the 90’s rap group has ‘conquered’ the music and film scene with certain members appearing in various movies throughout the years; but something deep inside compelled the ‘Gravel Pit’ hit-makers to test the waters of the video game world.
Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style emerged as a new contender in the fighting arena. Every game from Mortal Kombat to Thrill Kill has been shamelessly ripped-off; naturally, the Wu-Tang game ended up being loud, dumb and simplistic, much like the group themselves.
The only thing redeeming for the Wu-Tang clan, is that Activision didn’t use their real names and stuck with their stage personas.
Notable mentions: Shaq Fu, Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City