Almost every gaming platform ever released has its oddball titles. The ones that weren't quite games, the ones that weren't quite there.
For Sega's Mega CD add-on in the early 1990's, that oddball was the Make My Video series.
Spanning three titles, all of them released in 1992 (the year the ill-fated CD expansion for the Sega Genesis was released), the idea behind Make My Video was that the "player" would have access to a bunch of grainy, pre-recorded video and special effects and could then edit them together to form a music video.
So, yeah, they weren't games at all. They weren't even half-assed editing suites, since the selection of effects and decisions you could make (or were strongly suggested to make by in-game prompts) were severely limited, forcing you to choose from scenes from an artist's official video, random stock footage or even more random special effect shots.
In short, they were abysmal. But that's not what was so remarkable about them. What was remarkable was that all parties involved, flush with Mega CD madness, poured an enormous amount of money into them. Developed by Digital Pictures, the same guys responsible for Night Trap (and published by Sony), the Make My Video series enlisted the talents of three of music's biggest stars of the time.
Remember. Of the time.
One of those was Australian group INXS. Another was Mark Wahlberg, or, as he was known at the time, the white rapper Marky Mark (who was also in possession of a Funky Bunch). The third was backwards pants-wearing sensations Kris Kross.
Each of the three titles had the video action constrained to a small portion of the centre of the screen (thanks to the Mega CD's technical limitations). Each of the three titles would only let you have access to three of the artist's songs. And each of the three titles was presented in a way that would make you want to kill everyone involved in the production of the Mega CD, from Kris Kross' "DJ" editor host to the entire purpose of the INXS "game" which is to...beat two women at a game of pool so they'll stop playing INXS videos at a bar.
And no, throwing Megadeth tapes at them - as the game's intro attempts - does not work.
Needless to say, all three of the games were a complete disaster. You weren't really editing anything, the video was tiny, the acting was terrible and considering these were full-priced released you were being ripped off royally.
You'll find them ranking consistently among the worst titles ever released on any platform, and in many ways they sum up exactly what was wrong with the Mega CD: the potential of the hardware coming before any decent software to take advantage of it, an obsession with cramming everything full of shitty video taking precedence over releasing even average games.
That said...the games were at least advertised well, rap legend Chill E.B. (who did a whole range of Mega CD commercials) surely responsible for intimidating at least a few kids into buying them.
FUN FACT: The Make My Video series actually had a predecessor, also released in 1992: Power Factory C+C Music Factory, which was almost identical to the three games that followed.
Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.