In the darkest corners of the video gaming universe lie the most irredeemably horrendous titles. These are games so terrible, that referring to them as video games should contain an asterisk. Hong Kong ’97 lurks in these murkiest of depths, with its non-existent gameplay and utter disregard for basic decency. Sitting alongside Hong Kong ’97 – albeit for somewhat different reasons – is CrazyBus.
The very existence of CrazyBus is one of gaming’s great anomalies. CrazyBus was little more than a test by its mysterious Venezuelan creator to try out their computing skills. For reasons unknowable, the creator then self-released the game as an unlicensed title… on the Sega Genesis… in 2004.
The most immediate of CrazyBus’ great sins is its soundtrack. As soon as you boot up the game, your ears will be bombarded with horrible noises lapping over each other in a chaotic attempt to produce music. It is the most cluttered, ear-assaulting noise you are bound to hear in any game (I use that word loosely here). I wish I could say I’m exaggerating, but the truth is any and all sounds that emanate from CrazyBus really are just terrible noises. No other bad gaming soundtrack I’ve ever heard even comes remotely close.
As for the “game” itself, well, it’s the single most shallow and empty experience you could possibly have on any gaming platform. You have a selection of Venezuelan buses to choose from (represented by heavily pixelated stock photos of said buses), and after you decide on your vehicle (all of which look like they were spat out of Microsoft Paint, and bear no resemblance to the photos on the select screen), it’s time to play the game.
You hold right on the D-pad. That’s it.
I wish I were joking, but that’s all CrazyBus is. You hold right on the D-Pad, and your visual-eyesore of a bus will go right and rack up points. These points, I might add, go outside of the point counter, and oftentimes can’t even be properly read, as their garish colors clash with the backgrounds (with these backgrounds also being stock photos of buses). The only other input the player has is to honk the horn on the bus, just in case you wanted any more audial abuse.
But here’s where things get downright laughable. You can instantaneously claim the game’s highest possible score (65,535 points) simply by pressing left on the D-pad at the start of your session. And that is that.
There is nothing more to CrazyBus. Though it’s understandable that someone would dabble with their novice programming skills just to see if they could make anything at all, it’s considerably less understandable that someone would then take such a test and actually self-release it. And how such an individual could imagine that the noise of CrazyBus constitutes music is dumbfounding.
Why was this released? And on the Sega Genesis in the mid-2000s, no less? There’s absolutely nothing to it as a game, its visuals are beyond ugly, and the noise that emanates from it is simply ungodly.
Even as an unlicensed title, why on Earth was CrazyBus ever released?