Over the past year or two I've read a couple of books and watched a couple of films that personally I think would make epic video games.
The Genesis and Super Nintendo Had Some Weird Games
Remember back when games just focused on fun? Companies wanted us to buy their games so they tried their hardest to come up with some fun, unique experiences to earn our money. Nowadays all we get is rehashed sequels and unoriginal ideas. I want to take you back in time to when the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo were king. We had a lot of classics back then. Super Mario World, Star Fox, Sonic, Phantasy Star, and a ton more could be named but I want to get to the point. Classics and fun experiences aside, these two systems had some of the weirdest, quirkiest games in gaming history. Odd stories and even odder characters are just the start here. I’m not saying these are all terrible games. Of course not! However, you’d be hard pressed not to raise an eyebrow at these titles.
5. Dynamite Headdy
Now, I enjoyed this game. This and Ristar took some hours out of me but unlike Ristar, this game had a really unique premise to it. I believe Capcom looked to Dynamite Headdy when coming up with Viewtiful Joe. Headdy’s stages are like TV show stage sets. There are changing backdrops, props, and even Headdy’s health is a spotlight in the rafters. The things that make this game weird are the bosses and things that happen throughout the stages. You start out by running away from a giant mech that looks like a toy trying to capture “stunt men”. Using Headdy’s main attack, throwing his non-attached head at things, you take out the mech and then get shot at by a plane. This is all culminated by meeting up with an angry cat who fights you in front of a Japanese mural who uses a charged up tackle and energy balls to hurt you. This is Stage 1-1. Dyanamite Headdy is really fun game but damn… after that stage I just to pause and wrap my head around that intro.
You are a “superhero” who uses burps, boogers, farts, and other nasty projectiles to beat down baddies. Throughout stages you collect plungers, more boogies, and other disgusting collectibles to either refill you or earn for rewards. When you kill something, nine times out of ten you’ll hear a fart noise to signify that you vanquished a foe. How valiant. Boogerman is a fun platformer but c’mon who thought of this concept? Electionic Gaming Monthly awarded Boogerman the Grossest Character in 1994. He went on to be featured in Clayfighter as a playable fighter. I beat him down all the time using Bad Mister Frosty.
3. ToeJam & Earl
This is a childhood favorite but this is quite possibly one of the weirdest games ever. These two strange aliens crash land on the planet Earth and you have to teleport around the world finding the pieces. Along the way you’ll run into the strangest assortment of enemies in any game. You have old ladies, devils, hula dancers, hamsters in wheels, clowns, and ladies with kids in shopping carts. The game even makes fun of you with sayings near your health box. “ToeJam is a Doofus” and “Earl is a wiener” are two that I remember. Still, this game was pretty fun and even spawned two sequels: Panic in Funkotron and Mission to Earth.
I’ll summarize this pretty quickly for you. You play as Shaq, the basketball player, as you take on crazy enemies in a fighting game. Yes, Shaq knows how to whip ass using his powerful Shaq-Fu fighting style. This game has absolutely terrible gameplay but what can you expect? It’s a game that tried to capitalize on Shaq’s popularity back in the 90’s. I hate basketball but I still owned a Shaq jersey. I owned this game, too. I regret it but you know what? You live and you learn.
1. Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker
You hurt enemies by dancing at them. How could anybody find this entertaining? I know two buddies of mine that used to go to the arcade just to play this game. Another needless cash-in, Moonwalker featured Jackson’s music in a twisted Genesis-sounding amalgamation and the man himself beating up bad guys with his slick moves and crotch grabs. I honestly have no idea what else to say about this game. Just… just wow.
5. Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja
Yeah, this game was also on the Genesis and in the Arcades but the SNES version is the…uh, I guess you say best? Although the sound effects were a bit better on the Genesis, I felt the gameplay was smoother on the SNES. Caveman Ninja is a tough game. There are enemies everywhere and even a T-Rex that spews out boulders and swallowed Cavemen. You’d think those Cavemen would be upset at the thing that ate them, but no they just come after you.
4. Congo’s Caper
I loved this game! I played it so much but never actually beat it. It can get pretty tough in the later stages. This is actually the sequel to Joe & Mac but it is so much better. You are a primate stuck in an evolving complex. Think of it like Mario but with a Caveman twist. If you get hit once, you devolve into a little monkey. If you collect gems, you can evolve into a hybrid human-ape thingie that is like a Super Saiyan. Couple this with crazy stages and a ton of enemy types and you have Congo’s Caper. I highly suggest playing this game since it is really fun, challenging, and the music is pretty good.
3. Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
This game is freakin’ tough. One of the hardest games I’ve ever played right here. It is also extremely weird! First off, you’re a muscular freak of nature and a frog. Your hands and feet grow to enormous sizes and you wear shades. Things pop out of no where and sometimes you just feel like the game wants to be cheap. The levels are strange with buildings and platforms raising and fall. Hellish like areas showcasing demonic tapestry. Battletoads is a hell of a ride… in a weird way. Time to call some Gamestops.
2. Pac Man 2: The New Adventures
Alright this is just… creepy. Sorry but watching a fat Pac Man enter the houses of other families when only the children are home just isn’t right. Remind me of Pee-Wee Herman but with no regard to the sanctity of other’s property. When Pac Man walked into a house and helped moved a couch for some little girl and then took her coloring book, I just wanted to turn off the game and never touch it again. Pac Man needs to be in a maze with editable dots everywhere and ghosts. Keep him there.
1. Chou Aniki
So this is a fighting game. This is also the weirdest and most ridiculous game ever made. I dare you to find me something weirder then this. There are plenty of reasons as to why Chou Aniki would win any argument you can bring up but the worst one is the character that is completely naked sitting in a “tub” that is also half of the Moon. Scared, yet? Just watch the video and understand why you should be happy you didn’t play this as a kid. I know I am.