Sunday, August 24, 2014

Personal List: 25 Strange Cult Classics

Cult classics. Whether you're talking about Birdemic or The Room, there's always something so oddly charming about their shortcomings and failures. Most of the time, however, it is largely contributed to the oddity of it, as is the case in cult video games. While some struck fortunes, others took years to be realized, and some are hardly even realized at all. Such games have everything from goats to half-naked men, flying aimlessly around the screen, yet regardless of the topic, many now admire them. Here are twenty games that break the limits, test the bar, or are just completely unexplainable.  By the way, around 15 are Japanese.... Shocker.
25. Sneak King (2006) - Xbox 360
Yes. The critically-panned game is somehow quite popular. I guess that could be contributed to it being cheaper than four Whoppers, but whatever.
Sneak King is a Burger King advergame released as part of a promotion alongside two other less-popular games, PocketBike Racer and Big Bumpin', both of which sound like rides at the local county fair. They sold for a mere $3.99 at Burger Kings across America, making it the best-selling game of 2006.
It was also, however, one of the worst-received. Scores included 6.7 and 5.8, as well as a well-deserved "BURN IT".
24. Naughty Bear (2010) - Xbox 360, PS3
If a game involving serial killing teddy bears isn't a sure sign for success, than I don't know what is.
The plot of Naughty Bear starts with a bear named, uh, Naughty Bear. He is the only bear on an island known as Perfection Island to not be invited to Daddle's birthday party. Being nice, he makes a gift anyway, but after being made fun of by some other bears, he sulks back to his house and plots a mass genocide on all the teddy bears.
Game critics rejoiced in saying that the game sucked. It got 3s and 2.5s and many awards for being the Worst Game of the Year.
Also; unrelated, but here are some fun reviews from a parenting website. (Indicated is the name, rating, age recommendation, review title, and review.) Enjoy!

Four Stars, 13+
13+ for violence and torture!!!
Fun but is actually quiet violent my character killed an un-ted with bone and jammed it down the bears throat. u can kill, murder, assassinate, snap, choke, and gag your enemys.

Unknown User
One Star, 16+

Five Stars, 2+
epic game
is teddy bears for god sake just let your kids play it

Unknown User
One Star, 17+
hate it.
hate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i added it as a favorite by accident!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ugh! how do u remove favorites?????????

Unknown User
Four Stars, 12+
This is the whole story
Come on give the game a break ok you kill teddy bears I think your parents would rather have you playing this rather then far cry 2 or black ops 2 ok first of all I have the game not like these people ok the teddy bears you kill are all bullying you and they once did a really bad thing to naughty bear and he got so mad he killed them he has a point he kills teddy bears that where horrible mean to him so think about that first
Unknown User
Two Stars, 12+
teddy bears are supposed to be CUTE. what are they gonna imagine next, a FIG TREE?!

sounds very violent

Five Stars, 10+
I love this game! It is a great stress relief. Sometimes things in life are too cute and you just need to do something. I let the kids I watch play. It is just a silly game that doesn't have real violence in it. Naughty Bear is better than Sid from Toy Story and that is a beloved childrens movie. At least Naughty Bear has a reason.
23. Jackie Chan in Fists of Fire (1995) - Arcade
Wow! There's a game like Mortal Kombat but with not one, not two, but THREE JACKIE CHANS as fighters! This game HAS to be the best!
That's all.

22. Brutal Legend (2009) - PS3
Yes! We finally get to a game deserving of its cult status!
The game features Jack Black as Eddie Riggs, a roadie who somehow finds himself in a heavy metal-inspired world. It even featured, in the game, Ozzy Osbourne, a bunch of people nobody knows unless they live in their parent's basement (Sorry, that was mean, but you know who you are), and a soundtrack of one hundred songs across all the metal subgenres. Advertising included vinyl records, an attempt to break the world record for "most people air guitaring" (440 people showed up), and Jack Black appeared at the VMAs and on Jimmy Kimmel in-character to promote the game. It got astounding reviews.
It was, however, declared a commercial failure, selling 1.5 million units worldwide. (Doesn't really sound like a commercial failure, but whatever).
Despite this, its legacy lives on. Despite poor sales, it had a huge surge in popularity, collectively gaining numerous fans.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Personal List: 5 Curious Cases of Game Developers in Games

Oh, easter eggs. Personally, they are one of my favorite things to talk about in games other than, say, glitches, and with so many ridiculous easter eggs it's rather surprising how few I can think of where the creators appear, in flesh, as a secret. They have since become the stuff of legends. Here are five that I think are worth taking notes on. It doesn't matter if it's surprising, useless, or just downright weird, but these are my favorites.

5. Postal II (2003) - The Whole Staff
Oh, Postal II, you card you. I don't like it, I don't like mentioning it, but it somehow keep appearing on my lists. The game is best known for the controversy surrounding it, what with all the violence, vomiting, urinating, animal cruelty, stereotypes, and the generous amount of gore. As such, there are equally as many people who love it and hate it; it gained a cult following, two notoriously bad movies, and a Kickstarter for a third in the duo. (It failed.) The creators even claimed it was "satire". (Of course, they went a little bit too insane for me to actually consider it as satire.)
At some point in the game, you can actually storm into the Running with Scissors headquarters (the company that created the game) and massacre them like some barbaric savage. Then again, they probably deserved it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Personal List: 7 Celebrities in Video Game Commercials

To hear that Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday is perhaps one of the most tragic things I've heard this year. The man was a legend, a beloved figure who touched the hearts of all who saw his movies. Consider this list a tribute to him as we look back memory lane to see celebrities embracing their love of games.

7. Bryan Cranston - Megaforce (1982)

In this extremely old ad for Megaforce for the Atari, Bryan Cranston, future star of "science b!tching" Breaking Bad makes in appearence. He inserts the game into the Atari, um, turns into a motorcyclist(?) and some, err, weird stuff happens.
Surprisingly, Jack Thompson wasn't all over this stuff after Cranston destroys his room.

6. Christian Bale - Mrs. Pac-Man Cereal (1983)
Before his intense and infamous rant as well as some movies involving giant robots and terrifying ninja turtles, a little Christian Bale starred in a ridiculously '80s cereal commercial for Mrs. Pac-Man cereal. Also; those dance moves. Accompanying lyrics include:
"Pac-man's cereal's got a new surprise; when ya look inside, it's shocking! *whistles*"

5. Evel Knievel - Crash Bandicoot: Warped (1998)
In a really awkward-looking ad, Evel Knievel teaches the Crash Bandicoot guy how to do some motorcycle stunts. 75% percent of the commercial involves talking, 10%  moronic procedures, such as raising up and waving and 15% advertisement. Boring? Yes. Weird? Certainly so.

4. Paul Rudd - SNES Commercial (Unknown Date)
In  SNES commercial, a teenaged Paul Rudd plays a a smorgasbord of beloved SNES games while making some really awkward faces with random shots of people walking.

3. Heidi Klum - Guitar Hero: World Tour (2008)
 In a commercial making fun of Tom Cruise in Risky Business, Heidi Klum rocks out on a plastic Guitar Hero guitar before starting to undress into her lingerie and walk towards us. It should be seductive, but it just comes across as discomforting and kinda perv-y.

2. Jack Black - Pitfall (1982)
At the ripe age of thirteen, Jack Black gives an excited and memorably overacted speech about being lost in the jungle with Pitfall Harry. This is followed by several other testaments, but WHO CARES?! It's all about Jack Black and his crazily excited talking.

1. Robin Williams - Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (2011)
"Dad, are you mixing me up with the princess again?"
"Hard to say, you're both pretty magical."
Robin Williams was one of the biggest Zelda fans of all time, even going as far to name his daughter after the titular princess, Zelda. Who wouldn't want to hang out with the guy?
In one of the greatest commercials of all time, when Zelda Williams asks him if she's confusing her with Princess Zelda, he utters the famous words, "Hard to say, you're both pretty magical." Carpe Diem, Robin, and godspeed.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Personal List: 5 Mario Power-Up That Didn't Quite Catch On

Hey, look! I'm back. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!
Anyway, you know what I love? Some good ol' platformers. My biggest soft spot is probably for the Mario franchise, with its often fascinating gameplay, universes, and of course, the power-ups. Nothing is quite as satisfying as that classic sound of when Mario gulps down a Super Mushroom and your NES goes "Frrump-rump-rump" or whatever the sound was (it's hard to describe in words, but dear God was it satusfying). However, I am not here today to talk about the classics; I'm here to talk about that ones that, regardless of if they have a plce in our hearts, didn't quite catch on for the future installments. These are my top 5 favorite power-ups that didn't catch on.

5. The Frog Suit - Super Mario Bros. 3
Possibly the most unloved Mario power-up of all time, the Frog Suit enabled Mario to swim efficiently underwater with the downside of being pathetically slow on land. Unfortunately, since World 3 is the only world that predominantly features water (and with many levels being on-land whilst chased by angry bloated pufferfish), it became a scarcely-used and inferior power-up when compared to more beloved SMB3 ones such as the Raccoon Suit, Tanooki Suit, and Kuribo Boot, which even though only featured in one level (I think) became a beloved item, so popular it reappeared in Paper Mario: Sticker Star and donned blades in Super Mario 3D World as ice skates.

4. Bunny Ears - Super Mario Land 2
I often like to consider Super Mario World and its sequel to be oddballs in the Mario series. Perhaps this is because they were developed by Grunpei Yokoi instead of Miyamoto, but they both came out as black sheep. The first brings you to the land of Tatanga, where an evil alien has kidnapped Princess Daisy. In the sequel, you are instead off the defeat Mario's villian and anti-hero, Wario and reclaim Mario's mansion. While the first gave Mario a feather as an alternative to the Fire Flower, this was only because it was impossible to show the traditional Fire Mario who had a different color scheme but the same sprite. However, SML2 did introduce a brand new power-up, the Bunny Ears, which allowed Mario to carefully flutter to the ground to help coordinate falls. It hasn't appeared since, but as  nod to Rabbit Mario, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, when Mario puts on the Bunny Hood, he turns into his rabbity form unlike the other characters.
3. P-Balloon - Super Mario World
The dreaded P-Balloon. It does not forgive. It does not forget. It refuses to grieve the many deaths you shall encounter while under its evil curse.
Perhaps the rarest power-up in Super Mario World, grabbing it causes Mario (or Luigi) to swell up like a hot air balloon. Other than arousing paraphiliacs, Mario floats in the air for a temporary time before plummeting back to the ground to uncertain doom.
It is most notorious for its appearance in the mind-numbing, infuriating level "Tubular" in which you float past Chargin' Chucks and death traps.
It sucks. Thankfully, we haven't seen it since.

2. Blue Shell - New Super Mario Bros.
One of my personal favorites, the Blue Shell is possibly the most recent power-up in the main series to not appear in future installments. While it may cause Yoshi to fly in Super Mario World and wreck havoc in Mario Kart, it only appears as a full-fledged power-up in NSMB. Picking it up causes Mario to slip into the shell and roll across the floor like a shuffleboard if he runs for a few seconds. While it is a pain in levels with tons of steps, it is pure fun when you can just glide across levels, knocking out Goombas like glorified bowling pins.

1. The Hammer Suit - Super Mario Bros. 3
Oh, Hammer Suit. How could it not be at number one? The beloved SMB3 power-up is notoriously hard to obtain, but worth all the ordeals. It grants Mario the ability to throw hammers just like those pesky Hammer Bros. There is simply no explaining how amazing it is; imagine a unicorn with ten kittens on its back flying under a double rainbow. Double that by ten and that's how effing awesome this guy is.