The 3DS is by far and away my favorite handheld system. It has an abundance of fantastic 1st party titles like Smash Bros. as well as pitch-perfect remakes of N64 Zelda classics. Mario Kart 7 is one of the best of the franchise and the Monster Hunter series can easily suck up hours and hours of your time. Even titles you wouldn’t expect like Mario Golf World Tour are solid entries to the system. I was searching for the next great game for the system when I stumbled upon a gem so bafflingly stupid and plain awful that it belongs in a category of its own.
I was at my nearby GameStop trading in Shovel Knight for the Wii U. I know it’s blasphemous to do such a thing but I was incredibly terrible at it and didn’t find too much personal enjoyment out of it. I traded it in and the cashier told me that the game was worth $1.50 in-store credit. I was baffled that a great game like Shovel Knight could be worth so little. I tried to argue with the cashier but it was no use as it was “company rules” to stick with the price. I rolled my eyes and began searching for any game that would suit my fancy that $1.50 could make a dent in.
I browsed multiple shovel-ware games for the Wii but nothing quite suited my fancy. I walked over to the used 3DS cabinet and admired all the great games that the system supported. There was Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora’s Mask 3D, and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D all waiting for someone to pick them up and enjoy the fantastic experience that it had to offer. But I wasn’t looking for a game like that because they were way too much for me to afford at the time. Then as I was about to give up on the cabinet, I saw it.
Carnival Games: Wild West 3D was sitting there with the incredibly low price of $5. I knew the Carnival Games series was bad, but it had a certain family friendly charm to them that would keep little kids happy. I had no clue that they ventured into the 3DS market, so I thought it would be worth a shot. It was $5 after all. I snagged the game and paid the $3.50 difference I owed and was ready to have some fun with a game I thought would be passable. What I got was a miracle of bad.
When you fire up a 3DS game, you are greeted to a tasteful image of the title accompanied with some graphics from the game and maybe some moving elements to it. With Carnival Games: Wild West, players are greeted with an awful graphic of the games title in a dreadful, practically unreadable font as well as a poorly designed mustached character sporting a classic ten-gallon hat. When I saw this I audibly laughed and knew that I was in for a treat. I started up the game, sat through the developer logos and began my adventure.
The same title image appeared with a sweeping view of the main hub that the character would be going through going to play mini-games. I deactivated Street Pass because I knew that I didn’t want to share with my friends that I was playing this monstrosity. I opened a new file and was greeted to my customizable character, which looked like a low resolution, dead eyed, malformed potato with a creepy smile on his face. I had a mixed reaction of a groan and giggles, as this was the funniest and worst character model that I had ever seen. I gave him the rough and tough cowboy name of jingles and gave him black hair that looked more like a piece of carved ham on his head.
Once I made the character I started walking around the town hub looking for some mini-games to play when I burst out in hysteria by my characters walk alone. He was practically jumping from one foot to the other like he was on the moon and his legs were so far apart that they looked like he was straddling an invisible horse. I had to pull myself together and actually play the game, and the first mini-game that I ran into was a classic stand off between you and the computer. I watched the computer character called Southpaw reach for his belt and I hit the button saying “Draw!”. I honestly didn’t know what to expect after that but what I got was Southpaw with a suction cup dart on his forehead. I was beyond stupefied as this was the dumbest way to show a shoot out. Is it too much to ask for a little blood in this child friendly game?
The rest of the mini-games in CGWW range from stupidly easy to straight up unfair. There are at least three versions of the same shooting gallery type game. All of which used the motion controls of the 3DS, making them borderline unplayable. The rest of the games utilized the touch screen, a fad that was panned out in the previous handheld generation. They were all variations of put the thing here or tap the button on screen in time. The mini-games were themed with a generically bland Wild West flavor and the laziness shows. Everything is either brown or black giving off the impression that the game is thrown together using as little coding as possible.
But this game is really fun, but for all the wrong reasons. The execution is beyond sloppy to the point that it has a certain charm to it, and everything in it makes me want to cry laughing. I find so much enjoyment in making my potato-faced character look as idiotic as possible, and hearing the voice acting is so cringe-worthy that it makes me feel as if I have a great future doing voice-overs despite the lack of talent that I have. I really want to try playing this game drunk, as it would lead to a pleasurable experience full of nonsense, stupidity and all around enjoyment.
I believe that no game maker sets out to make a game bad, as making an art style, coding, and marketing can be a pain in the ass. There are games that are only out there to make a quick buck like games based off of tween TV shows and movies. I feel that CGWW is a game that falls under that category, as it all seems like it would do the bare minimum to pass by as a functioning game. But somehow, someway, it comes off as the best worst game that I have ever played.