Give me the lowdown on the zaniest game you’ve ever participated in. We don’t mean “Whoa, wild head-bashing violence, guts and blood everywhere” ludicrous, though there is enough of that. How the heck did this make it through the brainstorming session? If no one else thinks this way, why do we? Still more pressing is the issue of how such concepts may be implemented into commercially viable video games.
Here is a compilation of some of the more Poki games we’ve played in recent memory.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
This game is a great example of an idea that started as a joke that ended up being turned into something wonderful. Blood Dragon, a throwback to action movies of the 1980s, has neon lighting, weird cybernetic villains, SO MUCH SYNTH, and dreadful catch phrases (such as “I’ll go to bed when you’re dead”). Is there anything not to like about the series’ final descent into madness?
All right, maybe it’s not your usual pick. 47 has always been quite somber (although he has dressed up in a chicken costume at least once before, but I suppose that’s sort of terrifying in and of itself), but this newest antic really pushed the boundaries of WTF-ness. Hope, South Dakota (Population: 1, when 47 is done with it) is the most random location for a video game ever, and the question remains: who is trying to murder 47 this time? Of course, they were armed nuns who committed the murder. If you want a video game experience that comes close to the original Machete, this is it.
The Binding of Isaac
The 2D sacrificial lamb violence is over the top, if not terrifying. You take on the role of Isaac, a naked and weeping kid who must make his way through a ghoulish basement to get away from his Jesus-freak mother, who is convinced that God has commanded her to sacrifice her child. As the game takes on an arcade style, Isaac’s dreadful predicament begins to take on a comedic quality. As we all see tiny Isaac in the fetal position, crying for his life, this game reveals that we’re all a little f***** up in the mind.
Dead or Alive 5
Feeling inclined to quickly sketch something offensive and move on, I must resist the urge. But really, I don’t know of a better illustration of the objectification of women than this game. These ladies can kick a** too, but why with those enormous… Listen, I’m not a puritan, and I really love playing this game with my buddies after a few drinks. Obviously, the extreme sexism and exploitation of women in the Dead or Alive series is successful, since the games keep being made.
Maybe THIS is the best possible illustration of what a hot babe with semi-automatics attached to her stilettos can do. How about those great catchphrases full of innuendo that make you sweat when you press your finger into the A button, if remaining fit and seductive while murdering everything in your way isn’t enough to please the most hardcore gamers… The pinnacle of sexiness in a video game. Miss Boobshirt groans in pain as she cuts everything to shreds. Bayonetta is a classic example of pushing the objectification of women in video games to an extreme.
This game deserved to be popular and become a cult classic in hindsight, but when I first pulled it from the box, I thought it was simply strange. So, you remember nothing about killing someone in a public restroom, and then you wake up and discover it occurred. After relieving yourself of some of your tension by using a urinal, you set off on a journey that will take you through timed bowel movements, claustrophobia, panic attacks, ghosts, strange cults, and the Mayans.
Like Fahrenheit, this game is a supernatural mystery that doesn’t take itself too seriously and borrows liberally from comedies like Twin Peaks. Like the aforementioned program, this game follows an FBI agent as he investigates a string of killings in the fictional town of Greenvale. Along the journey, he talks to a traveling tree salesman (can they really exist in real life?) and has lengthy chats with his imaginary pal Zach, who proves to be more real than he anticipated.
In addition, there is an elaborate tale about a covert gas experiment conducted in the 1950s. The game was advertised as a survival horror experience, but it ends up being more of a dark comedy thanks to the terrible language and the strange people who don’t know whether they’re in a game or real life. In a way, the game’s terrible quality is also appealing.
Super Meat Boy
This game was the precursor of The Binding of Isaac in that it pioneered the f***** up experience in the downloadable content market. Meat Boy is a mashup of Mario and a chunk of gory ground meat, and you get to take control of him. Your goal is to save Bandage Girl from the clutches of the nefarious Dr. Fetus, an embryo dressed in a spacesuit. The saw blades and falling blocks in this platforming classic will cut you to pieces again and over again. It was a best-seller on both XBLA and Steam.
Saints Row IV
The game’s popularity may be directly attributed to its ridiculous plot and mechanics. You take on the role of the Third Street Saints’ commander once again, however this time he’s the President of the United States and it’s up to you to repel an extra-terrestrial invasion. Intriguing results seem to have been achieved.