Many games aren't worth the $30-$60 price tags they bear. I even skipped reviewing some games in 2005, because there seemed no point. What could be said about a critical and commercial mediocrity such as Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death?
That said, I played hundreds of games. These are the ones I can't force myself to play another minute.
1) Resident Evil: Outbreak File #2 for PlayStation 2 -- This Resident Evil is a painfully slow and stupid adventure in which you kill zombies. Don't confuse it with Resident Evil 4 for GameCube, a masterpiece in which you kill zombies. Both are rated M for mature. Outbreak should be rated I for infuriating.
2) NHL 2K6 for Xbox 360 -- 2K6 squanders the high-definition power of the new Xbox 360. It looks awful compared to other 360 titles. Worse, to borrow an old quote from Mel Brooks, it stinks on ice. Rated E 10+ for everyone 10 and older.
3) Lizzie McGuire 3 Homecoming Havoc for Game Boy Advance -- This tie-in to girly "Lizzie" products starts out kind of fun, with little puzzles to solve, but wears out its welcome in about five minutes. Rated E.
4) Psychonauts for Xbox and PS2 -- This was one of the best-reviewed games of 2005 by other critics. I stick by my earlier, positive review as an objective appraisal; it is big, colorful and full of varied gaming techniques. But it rubs me the wrong way, with disgusting-looking characters and moronic dialogue. Rated T for teens.
5) Metal Gear Acid for PSP -- Acid makes you sneak around, spy-like, and kill guards. But it dulls the action by making this a role-playing game. You have to schedule plot points, then merely watch as the game carries violence out for you, reducing you to spectator too often. Rated M.
6) Top Spin for PS 2 -- Several years ago, a Top Spin game for Xbox was a keeper. This year, the game was released for PS 2, but only after its pretty graphics and tight tennis playing were downgraded for no good reason. Rated E.
7) Killer 7 for PS 2 and GCube -- This anime assassination game looks very cool, but it stalls incredibly due to long, drawn-out plot explanations. Rated M.
8) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Game Boy Advance -- Other critics hated the Xbox, PS 2 and GCube versions of this game. I'd rather disparage the Game Boy Advance version. Run around fruitlessly, jump on platforms and solve dumb puzzles? No thanks. Rated E.
9) Alien Hominid for Xbox, PS 2 and GCube -- Hominid is a repetitive arcade-style shooting game that wears out my thumbs in approximately three minutes. There is such a thing as too much shooting. Rated T.
10) Spy vs. Spy for Xbox and PS 2 -- Based on one of my favorite comics as a kid, Spy is fun for 20 minutes, then you realize it could hardly be more tedious, killing spies with bombs and guns, ad infinitum. Rated T.
Doug Elfman is an award-winning columnist who is also the TV critic at the Chicago Sun-Times.
New To You -- Used Game Of The Week
Doom 3 isn't as creepy as some of its earlier versions. But this one is still quite spooky at times, and has a fun time forcing you to kill demons in a Martian hell.
The Xbox game is selling for less than $20 in used-game stores. It's rated M for blood, gore and intense violence.