For a relatively young medium, video games already have their fair share of axioms. Here're three: Japanese games are weird and often morbid. Sports titles arrive every year like clockwork, bilking fans out of their hard-earned cash with very little innovation. And movie tie-ins always, and I mean always, suck.

Case in point for that last one: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow, which arrives in such a state of half-assery that it's almost laughable. Little more than a blatant money grab, the game makes nearly every misstep possible, the end result being a spaztastic debacle noteworthy for its sheer number of awful choices. The Hindenburg of movie tie-ins, if you will.

Set between the first and second films, you play mostly as Jack Sparrow (actually voiced by Johnny Depp) as you hack, slash, and quip your way through a legion of brain-dead villains. Joining you on your quest, intermittently, are Will (not voiced by Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (ditto Keira Knightley). In a single-person game, switching between the characters is as easy as a simple button press; during co-op play, you and a buddy can choose which character you want to be. Neither option is particularly enthralling, especially since you'll spend much time—no matter who you play as—battling not just enemies, but an outlandishly inept camera system as well.

Now I'm a player, not a designer, but it seems to me that when your gaming enterprise is almost entirely built around combat, the ability for players to see just who—or what—they're fighting is kind of a biggie. Perhaps the biggest biggie. And yet the best developer Bethesda can muster for Pirates is a camera that varies from incredibly clunky to leaving you feeling almost drunk-like. Motion sickness is not a particularly welcome feeling from a video game, and when coupled with Pirates' loose controls and shameful graphics—not to mention the carbon-copy enemies, pitifully long cinematics, lame boss battles, and all round God of War rip-offery—we find that a challenge to the title of Worst Movie Tie-In Game is afoot.

In the '80s, video console sales went kablooey due to an overwhelming force of craptastic games. Here in '06, the industry finds itself on better footing, but as long as shameful tie-ins like The Legend of Jack Sparrow keep getting produced—and, perhaps more importantly, young kids keep squandering their allowances on them—that footing may begin to slip. The Legend of Jack Sparrow could have been, and should have been, a great game (hell, the movies themselves are practically video games already), but instead it's little more than the digital equivalent of a cheap Happy Meal toy—with a $30 price tag. Now that's plundering.