You are a monkey named Spanky. Take a moment to digest that. Sexual innuendos aside, you're wandering through the forest, singing happily. BAM! There's a brick that fell from the sky. BAM! There's another. It isn't long before an entire castle is built around you. The fruit in your backpack comes to life and tries to kill you. Now, you have to find keys and fight your way through legions of anthropomorphic fruit in a quest to get out. So, how do you fight them? By using the power of sports! Remember, you're a monkey. Now, you toss out this little blue ball that turns into a baseball if you break it. However, if you bounce it, you change its color and augment its size, going from blue to green to yellow to red. The attacks go from baseball to soccer to volleyball to basketball. Wait... what? The worlds just get weirder as you go on, too. Some are just too weird to describe. It seems like Super Monkey Ball for the Game Cube borrows some elements from this game, but it can't even BEGIN to touch the strange factor. Yeah, this one will leave you scratching your head and thirsting for more.
You're a young boy. Your girlfriend gets kidnapped by an evil magician of some sort and you get turned into this little blue blob thing. The combat is somewhat awkward when you run out of red balls, since your attacks consist of stretching straight up and flattening out at your enemies. It's kind of cool that you can tell what's in your mouth by what color your cheeks are. You have red balls as your main projectiles, which explode on contact if your life is full. You can get an iron ball, which weighs you down, but after you fire it from your... whatever, you can slide over and pick it up again. The jump ball allows you to jump higher when it's in there and the seed grows a large, climbable plant when you exhale it. You can climb walls, climb ceilings, and slide through plumbing. It definitely strays a bit from the traditional platformer. The Japanese version had towns you could go through and talk to people for hints. It kept you looking in places that might be atypical for a platformer. The whole game was a learning process, since the bosses they threw at you all required different tactics to fell. It was an interesting excursion with some decent scenery and music.
#8: Plok (SNES)
You're this little guy who's entirely red and yellow. You wake up one morning to find that one of your coveted flags has been stolen by fleas! You travel over to the island to get it back, only to find that you've raised a pair of boxer shorts. After you've been "diddled" repeatedly, you get it back. You return to your hut to find that your entire homeland has been invaded by the fleas. Not that strange until you factor in your method of combat: you throw your arms and legs at your enemies. Yes, you have a nice variety of different forms and vehicles that you can use temporarily, but you're mostly hurling your limbs at people. If you hit a target (like a switch for puzzles) with one, it will stay off of you. Later on, you'll find any missing limbs hanging on a clothing hanger. Well, at least the cartoon-like artistic style fits the game well. All this and perhaps the most vexing thing about the whole game is trying to figure out why he whips out a harmonica and starts jammin' on the title screen. The guy doesn't even have a mouth!
You're a dolphin swimming through the vast oceans. All of a sudden, you're abducted by aliens for no apparent reason. You have to fight off an army of extraterrestrials with nothing more than sonar. You slide through the spaceship, trying to get from one area to the next. Some areas don't have water and others require you to fly through the air with the aid of space dolphins or something of the like. Not only all of this, but you have to reassemble the Astarite, a giant DNA molecule made of big balls. How do you do this? Well, you have to travel through time by using your sonar to activate the time machine that you find conveniently at the bottom of the ocean. Even after all of this, the weirdest part of the game hasn't been mentioned yet. There's this river in the sky. Yeah, it's just like this highway of water that's high above the earth. There are breaks in it, so you have to jump over them or you'll fall out. When you fall out, you don't die, you fall forever. This portion of the game is a top-down perspective, so you just have an animation of Ecco spinning and getting smaller. However, this animation never ceases, so you have to start the game over if this happens. This may be a glitch, but it's still one of the most bizarre things I've seen, even in this game. Oh, and if anyone can tell me what those weird monster things in the last level are supposed to be, I'd love to know.
Michael Jackson is a man who needs no introduction. We all know about his music and we all know about the charges brought up against him. He was charged after the release of this game, but that doesn't make it any less weird. You're Michael Jackson, of course. You go to this place that looks like something right out of Dick Tracy. You have to open doors and search all over to save the abducted children. Yeah, you're saving small children. You can punch, kick, or throw your hat at the gangsters, each bringing a burst of glitter. When you save all of the children, it's time to dazzle some gangsters! So, how are you going to find the way out? Simple! A blue ball of light will come flying from the background, land on your shoulder, and transform into Bubbles, Mr. Jackson's pet chimp. Bubbles sits on your shoulders and points to the direction of the exit. After the explosion of confetti and fallen mobsters, you leave the building. After each stage, you get a close-up of Michael, who screams with a hilariously bad voice over. It's fun, but you can only take so much before your brain melts down. Play this game for a laugh, but please, play responsibly.
Admittedly, anime is weird to begin with. While I'm not sure that this was ever an anime, it certainly uses the same style. The intro is promising enough: an average high school girl is given a magical artifact by a man with green skin on her way to school. She turns into some kind of warrior and has to battle her way into school on time. So, you know what kind of sword she has? A takemitsu. Yeah, a bamboo practice sword. You use that to fight swarms of very suggestive-looking ghosts. At the end of each stage, Osaki comes down from the top of the screen and a bus drives by and picks you up. Osaki, by the way, has green skin, blue hair, and only one frame of animation. Seriously, it looks like a cardboard cutout is being lowered straight down to the ground. The first stage is a bit comical, with Osaki descending from the treetops. The third stage is completely outrageous, with Osaki descending to the bottom of a lake, where a BUS drives by and picks you up! Wacky.
How could I not include a Katamari game on this list. The first game in the series, Katamari Damacy, begins with the King of Cosmos getting drunk one night and destroying the stars in the sky. So, you have a big, sticky ball that you roll around to pick things up with. You start rolling up thumbtacks and candy, then start rolling up dumplings and cats and PEOPLE. Eventually, you're rolling up landmasses with the greatest of ease. When you're done, you hurl them into outer space to make a planet or blast it into stardust. This game is not only more of the same; it's a tribute to Katamari Damacy. Just about every song (with genres ranging from A Capella to Japanese Disco/Rap) mentions Katamari Damacy. How weird is it for every song in a game to make reference to a DIFFERENT GAME!? It's infectious, though. You can't help but sing along, even though everything's in Japanese, except for a few phrases in English. This game had my wife and I screaming F$%*in' Mistah SUNSHINE!!! It's a good thing we don't have close neighbors... Anyway, this game is like Japanese culture overload. For some reason, though, it didn't do all that well in Japan. It's bizarre, it's fun, it's addictive, it's Katamari. Just pick up any title in the series and give it one a shot!
#3: Fantasia (GEN)
When I first saw Fantasia, I was fascinated. There was such vibrant color and such masterful animation that I could only sit in awe. When I found out there was a game, I wondered how it could possibly work. So, I played it. Why not? Sega had some pretty good Disney games. Well, this one was atrocious. I'm not entirely certain what I was supposed to do. I was walking through the magician's workshop, fighting brooms, cauldrons and other indescribable things. All of a sudden, I'm outside hopping across lily pads. It wasn't long before I found myself back in the workshop, as if I had just pressed the Reset button. At one point, the game broke into a screen with an orchestra and began scrolling through a score, which had only one note. After a while, I just gave up, completely unsure of what was going on.
#2: Teddy Boy (SMS)
Okay, can someone please tell me what the HELL is going on in this game? You're a little guy that looks an awful lot like Alex Kidd wearing a Yarmulke and toting what looks like a Tommy Gun. You're in this crazy rainbow maze and there are giant dice everywhere. The dice open up and throngs of ninjas jump out. You have to shoot the ninjas, turning them into tiny, bouncing ninja heads that you have to collect to finish the stage. You also have a time limit to do this. I just... don't know what else to say about this game. It's just too weird to describe.
This game is not just outright bizarre, but incredibly creepy as well. You're a naked angel, who goes around eating things. Your mouth gets enormous and the food disappears. You've got small dogs spitting the letter "B" at you and cats that are basically puff balls. You have GAU, which allows you to shoot hearts that kill your enemies. You get to these stopping points, where you have to eat everything. Once you get to a certain point, you have to fight criminals to rescue children. It's pretty weird, but it only gets stranger when you put into perspective that you're an angel that takes the form of a child and you're stark naked. Seriously, Bandai, what the hell? The worst part about this game is the same problem that The Ninjabread Man had on the Wii: it's a train wreck. No matter how bad it gets, you just can't turn away. Even Katamari's got nothing on this game. Words just can't describe how bizarre this game is.
There are quite a few weird games out there. There are even some that didn't make the list, despite being outright bizarre. Urban Champion is a good example. (Just WHY are those two idiots slugging it out in the middle of the street?) As you've seen, there's good weird (Katamari) and bad weird (Chubby Cherub). Hopefully, this list gave you a few laughs, caused you to scratch your head, and maybe even elicited a "That's so weird I HAVE to play it!" or two. At any rate, you know either to give these titles a go or avoid them like the plague, depending upon your individual taste. I hope you've enjoyed this list. See you next time!
List by MotherKojiro (05/09/2009)
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