If you've got a really mediocre game and you want to give it an extra push to make sure it really lands face-first in the fail puddle, all you have to do is slap a licensed property on it, right? I mean, in the long evolution of games based on television, movies, or books, pretty much every iteration has been some kind of apalling two-headed mutant. The fact that there's a handful of exceptions whose names include the words "Lego" or "Star Wars" is really only a gaming proof of the monkeys-with-typewriters principle.
So really all I have to do is to mention that the following games are on their way (really - I'm not joking) to give you an idea of how they're almost certainly going to be unmitigated rubbish.
Asterix Brain Trainer (DS): Replace the disembodied head of Professor Kawashima with the poorly animated visage of Getafix and you've got a sure-fire success, right? Right? Apparently it's packed with entertaining mini-games! October 2008.
Bratz Ponyz 2 (DS): I think it's the "2" that cracks me up here. I mean, I have no doubt that these things sell like they're made from a particularly addictive form of methampethamine, but Sweet Jeebers, would anyone who's played the original honestly be masochistic enough to come back for a sequel? This version apparently boasts more ponyz and more minigames, which has certainly never been a recipe for disaster. September 2008.
Rubik's Classic (DS): You might be tempted to think that this is a particularly lame DS version of Erno Rubik's famous Cube, but what you're probably not aware of is that Mr Rubik has been working for some years as a video game developer and is almost certainly personally involved in whatever this game is. I'm still pegging it as lame, though. 3rd Quarter 2008.
TNA Impact! (XBox 360, PS3, Wii): Pro-wrestling franchise TNA understandably wants to get in on the phenomenal success of games such as THQ's Smackdown vs Raw lineup. Unfortunately they've picked Midway as their developer, so we can all prepare ourselves for a game that'll fall somewhere between "comically bad" and "trauma-inducing". August 2008.
The Sims 2: Ikea Home Stuff (PC): Seriously. Ikea. This expansion to The Sims 2 contains Ikea furniture and is more expensive than "free". That seems like a bad trade. Out this week.
It goes without saying that upcoming games based on Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda, and Space Chimps are going to be terrible. And finally, I was going to finish up this article by taking a cheap shot at Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which for some reason does not feature "Janie's Got A Gun". So I will.