~ TALESPIN ~
Radiance Software / NEC
While people don't typically heap praise on this cartoony action-platformer, they don't often give it the shellacking it deserves either. So for a long time I actually thought I would enjoy the game, as something about the look of it in the few screenshots I'd seen appealed to me.
But this is one of the few Turbo titles that actually look worse when viewed on a television screen than when seen in screen caps. The backgrounds lack detail, the enemy designs are uninspired, and the scenery is bland. The music and sound effects are even more offensive than the visuals, as they're of such revoltingly low quality that they'd be deemed unacceptable for a low-level NES cart. But the horrible controls and ill-conceived stage designs are the aspects that are truly unforgivable, as they "team up" to make the experience as aggravating as possible. But don't worry: it's easy to come up with "strategies" that'll enable you to cheese your way through the levels, and most of the bosses require you to do little more than hold down the fire button (even the last battle is a complete joke). To top it all off, the ending stinks.
I try to look for the good in everything and all that, and I guess the "good" in this case is the variety in weapons you use and challenges you face. You toss snowballs in the cold level and wield an air hose in the underwater level; and there's a sidescrolling shooter stage, a stage that lets you control some other bum, and vertically scrolling "sky skiing" bonus strips. But when everything looks so terrible, sounds so terrible, and plays so terribly, variety can hardly offset all the negative stuff.
A duel for the ages.