I love absurdity. A show, movie, or game with a ludicrous story line or surreal visuals will draw me in every time. I live for creative concepts that jam together things you would never expect. Like Humanity Has Declined.
Yes that's a headless chicken. Get on board with Crunchyroll.
Today I'll focus on five super weird games. Ratings-wise the games listed range from 'atrocious' to 'incredible', but who cares right? We're just here to have a good time. My list is about the craziest, most out-there game plots that exist, but there are so many I'll have to do a Part 2 at some point. Embrace the weird and keep reading.
Let’s start with a game that’s getting a sequel! A game that divides us, unites us, and may still be crammed in a dusty box somewhere in your attic.
I’m talking about 1994 classic Shaq-Fu.
Shaq-Fu has been widely criticized as being one of the worst games of all time. But bad is sometimes fun, right? Nothing wrong with a little fluff in your media intake. I'm not sure why a sequel of Shaq-Fu is happening, but I honestly don't care because listen to this plot of the original: Shaq goes to Japan for a charity basketball game gets sucked into a Second World after visiting a dojo. There he must defeat an evil mummy in order to save a kid named Nezu. In 97 Nintendo Magazine wrote that it was "not possible to come up with a worse idea than this." Meanwhile Shaq is laughing his very tall ass off while the sequel is in development. Brilliant.
Released for the Sega Dreamcast in '99, Seaman is literally a frog with a humans face. Your job is to care for Seaman from egg to final 'frogman' stage, where it's voiced by none other than Leonard freaking Nimoy. Seaman's origins are wild: French biologist Dr. Jean Paul Gasse went to Egypt in the 30's, determined to find a creature that was the "omnipotent messenger of gods". After finding but failing to breed seamen eggs, Gasse continued his research while traveling and later his journals were discovered. Soon after the seamen were successfully introduced to aquariums. The game debuted the Dreamcast microphone which was essential for players to interact with Seaman. Its speculates on humans and its own origins, and even asks questions about your age, profession, birth date, etc. Seaman will die if he is ignored for a few days, but the game itself is pretty minimal in player action (adjust the water temp, feed Seaman, adjust the lights, etc). Seaman will even playfully scold you if you check on it too often (balance is key). The game was praised for its comprehensive use of the microphone and was such a well developed and responsive AI that some have considered it somewhat of a friend.
Pushing the limits of the bizarre, Katamari Damacy was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004. The plot centers on a small young prince who sets out to rebuild the galaxy after his father, the planet sized King of All Cosmos, accidentally destroys it during a drinking binder (we've all been there, right?). The King sends his son to Earth and orders him to roll around a giant ball called a katamari, which is essentially a magical wad of super glue, to pick up garbage, people, buildings, and even parts of nature, in an effort to make it large enough to rebuild the ruined cosmos. The game's graphics are surreal, rainbow bright, and heavily stylized, bringing in a quirky style that was so loved in the U.S. that it sold out in record time. Well received by critics, Katamari Damacy garnered a cult following and spawned 8 sequels across a range of platforms, proving that mass amounts of people love absurdity (myself included - currently downloading the iOS game as we speak).
Set in the wondrous world of Cubivores, King Cubivore reigns over the land as it crumbles around him from continuous feasting of the world's "Wilderness". Nature begins to die, plants wither and brown. Playing as a Cubivore hellbent on dethroning the King in order to restore the Wilderness, your job is to attack other Cubivore's and eat their limbs in order to mutate and evolve until this has been done 100 times. Only then will you be strong enough to defeat the King. The goal is to create a strategy and to attack other Cubivore's based on color (the more intense the color, the more powerful) and the type of strength or defense needed in order to become the most powerful version of yourself. The Cubivore's have cubed faces that resemble our own fauna - cows, pigs, ducks, pandas, you name it - resulting in monstrous & wacky looking creatures. I can't really say much else because I'm incapacitated by fear. The images from this game are going to haunt my dreams. Observe:
A terrifying nightmare is at the core of Catherine, the puzzle platformer game developed by Atlus studios and released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2011. The story alternates between the main protagonist Vincent's waking life in which he struggles to juggle adulthood and his relationship with his girlfriend Katherine; and his nightmares, where he must climb up a giant staircase that is always evolving in order to survive. After meeting a girl named Catherine in a bar and sleeping with her, Vincent's nightmares become worse and worse. The nightmare world is populated by other men who have been turned into anthropomorphic sheep (lol), and Vincent must avoid traps and maneuver blocks to ascend the staircase before it collapses. There are different endings to the game all depending on Vincent's choices, but rest assured that they're all pretty bonkers. No spoilers here, because the game is still readily available for less than 20 bucks and isn't it time to drag your last console out of the closet anyway? Also Catherine looks like some warped fever dream cooked up by Takashi Miike and David Lynch, which is always a disturbingly good time.
---LEVEL 3 CLEARED---