The 8 Ball 10.23.12: Top 8 Weirdest Games of All Time
Welcome to the new writer edition of The 8 Ball with yours truly, Marc Morrison, at the helm. With David McGregor busy with university and “having a life”, whatever that means, I was asked to take over. The format is going to remain largely the same, but I have different opinions than Mr. McGregor, and a good chunk of you as well, so my lists might be a little out there from time to time. I may reuse old topics also with my own views, as well as making new topics up and going off from that. I still have the PC-centric column “Crossing the Steams” as well, but that is moving to a later weekly date, either Friday, or Saturday. With all hat being said, let’s begin:
8th – Deadly Premonition
Deadly Premonition’s weirdness has to be seen to be believed. While the basic gameplay varies from passable to horrid, everything surrounding the main character, Francis York Morgan, borders on a very fine lunatic line. Be it the improbably designed hotel you stay at, a rocker who owns the “Milk Bar” convenience store, to the most obvious, double-entendre spewing “sexy” gas station car washer ever created. And that’s not even dealing with the monsters you encounter, the twists and turns of the plot, and that when you drive around at night, late in the game, giant demonic dogs fall out of the sky and attack your cars. It’s one of the weirdest games to have hit the Xbox 360, ever.
7th – Mister Mosquito
Mister Mosquito has long been considered one of the more strange games to have hit American shores. The basic premise is that you play as the titular Mister Mosquito, a robotic mosquito who is terrorizing a Japanese family. He does this by sucking their blood, which aggravates them all and builds up their stress. The game can get a bit pervy, especially when you have to suck the blood of the 16yr old daughter as she is taking a bubble bath (shocker, I know), but it is a solid game that uses a very unique perspective to build a game around it.
6th – Katamari Damacy
The PS2 was really a great system for odd-ball games, and the oddest-ball of them all is the Katamari that you roll up in this surprise PS2 hit. As the Prince, you mission is to roll up everything in the various levels in order to remake the universe after your father, the King of the Cosmos went on a drunken binge and destroyed it all. The original game also had a parallel story of the Hoshino family as they experience what is going on in the universe around them. The game was a surprise hit for Namco, generating several sequels on various platforms. While most of the games have similar gameplay, you can check out one, even on newer consoles for a good dose of Katamari action.
5th – The Typing of the Dead
What better way to take the (then) popular genre of light-gun games, then to attach a keyboard to the gameplay and make your way through the game, typing to kill the zombie hordes? The fact this game exists, and actually came out was proof of Sega’s sheer lunacy, but also their willingness to try new and unique ideas. I absolutely love the fact that in the original Dreamcast version, they stuck Dreamcast model’s on the backs of the main characters and tried to incorporate some actual in-game logic as to make it work. Frankly, Typing of the Dead is likely the only typing game that could reach kids today, and should be taught in schools. Well, unless they come out with a Modern Warfare: Typing of the Dead. Knowing Activision, I wouldn’t put it past them.
4th — Pepsiman
The first of shameless two promotional tie-in games, Pepsiman is entirely naked in what it is trying to do: to make you buy Pepsi. It fails in this goal, mainly because Pepsi is the drink of swine, while real people drink Coke, but it’s still a goofy enough little platformer. It takes the design of early Crash Bandicoot games and has you either always running towards your objective, or running away from an object chasing you. The entire game is built around this, as you collect cans of Pepsi to deliver to the people in need. The gameplay isn’t particularly great, kind of broken in spots, and the graphics are barely above a first generation PS1 title, but still, it’s entirely goofy on its premise and just goes for it.
3rd – Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit
The flipside of the promotional tie-in screwball game is one in which it barely has ANYTHING to do with the source material. Enter: Home Improvement. The premise of the game is that Tim is introducing new “Taylor-Turbo Power Tools”, but they get stolen from the set of Tool Time. Tim then goes off on a quest to find them….by shooting insects and flame-shooting dinosaurs with various power tools. These include a nail gun, a chainsaw that fires energy blades, some grapple hook thing, and a type of electric power ax. This game has zero to do with Home Improvement at all, and that’s what makes it so odd. It’s only a shame they never made a Family Matters game, I would have paid good money to play a digitized version of Reginald VelJohnson. Then again, who wouldn’t?
2nd – Vib-Ribbon
I think this might actually be the first of the “use your own cd’s to make a game level” games. The premise of Vib-Ribbon is that the game makes levels from music, either on the disk, or from your own cd’s, and you have to guide Vibri (the rabbit) along the levels, past the various obstacles from the music. These include blocks, loops, pits and waves, with each button correlating to the different obstacle. The game could also mix and match these, having a blocky loop, for example. The game has a very simple graphical style but it still stands out to this day. A HD remake, with mp3 support would be great on modern consoles.
1st — LSD
And finally, the strangest of the strange, we have reached the LSD level. The game is a “dream emulator”, in which you walk around various psychedelic levels, watching the insanity unfold. Once you bump into a wall, or game object you are spirited to another level. Each of the dreams lasts 10 minutes or so, and you are given a graph of the mental state of how your dream progressed. The game runs terribly, looks awful, and absolutely makes no sense, but damn if it isn’t the outlandish game I’ve found.
With this being the start of a new writer, I don’t have any comments yet. But post a few below and I’ll respond if you have any salient points.
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