Psybadek Soundtrack, Mike Clarke, 1998
Including Psybadek in a list of “The WORST Playstation Game[s] Ever Made” (as a YouTube reviewer does) is probably taking things a bit far – remember that there were loads of horrendous shovelware for Sony’s console, particularly in its latter years. Still, Psybadek remains a bit of a mystery. Here’s a game by one of the 32-bit era’s most successful and trendiest developers (Psygnosis), released in between heavy-hitters by that company like the WipeOut, Colony Wars, Destruction Derby and Formula 1 titles – and according to both contemporary and more recent reviewers, Psybadek falls flat on its face, with nary any redeeming features. At least Psybadek’s mix of racing and platforming elements showed that the developers were thinking outside of the box, even if that genre combination was ultimately poorly implemented.
As Gamespot noted in their review though, there’s one aspect where Psybadek – unexpectedly – shines: its score. Their claim that “the soundtrack is easily one of the best in video games anywhere” might sound like hyperbole. However, this is indeed one of the era’s strongest electronic game scores and far better than what you would expect to find in a game with such an otherwise poor presentation. Thanks be to veteran composer Mike Clarke, who had delivered numerous soundtracks for Psygnosis since the early 1990s, including one of the best metal scores ever to grace a video game: Formula 1.