It is always a sad day in the gaming community when a beloved publisher closes its doors. Founded in 1989 as a toy company, THQ evolved into a premier maker of kids’ games based on Hollywood licenses, such as Pixar Animation movies and Nickelodeon television shows. It also profited from games based on the WWE brand. But in recent years, as the market for licensed children’s games began to shrink and their struggle to find a strong franchise to compete against titles like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, slowly led to their downfall. While much of its intellectual property, and existing catalog like Saints Row, Warhammer, and WWE will live to see another day after being sold to competitors, there are a backlog of IPs that have yet to be bought. We took a trip down memory lane and after much deliberation, we complied a list of our favorite unappreciated THQ published titles.
50 Cent: Blood On The Sand
We gamers have been subjected to a plethora of horrendous celebrity-driven video games over the years – Shaq-Fu anyone? With a licensed sequel game like 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand, the expectations for a quality title was extremely low since its predecessor was horrible. Surprisingly, stepping into the combat boots of 50 Cent and his G-Unit crew as they battle Middle Eastern terrorists for a priceless skull ended up being surprisingly enjoyable. Sure the premise was ridiculous and every level contained a helicopter battle, but it was a functional arcade shooter.
Releasing a successful original IP on the Nintendo Wii was a difficult goal to accomplish. Now imagine releasing a title where the main protagonists are a tarantula and a scorpion who must survive a variety of hostile environments and vicious predator battles. There is a storyline to follow involving humans (voiced by Billy Bob Thorton and Dennis Hopper), but the shining moment is using the Wii remote to execute “finishing moves” on your victims. Spider: The Video Game for the PS1 allowed you to explore the world through an arachnoid but Deadly Creatures somewhat realistic approach was such a unique experience that there really isn’t any other game to compare it to. It was one of the most original and fun titles to come out on the Wii but chances are you never played it. Shame on you!