Computer games with ridiculous scenarios
Despite the bizarre or random storylines, these video games are also remarkably fun to play
Through gaming history, some of the best titles have been based on a premise that is, frankly, ridiculous. Take Jet Set Willy for example, where Willy the Miner of Manic Miner fame has to clear up his house after a massive party. Call of Duty it is not. Then again, perhaps it's indicative of just how ubiquitous the more straightforward shooting, chasing or empire-building impulse has become in game design.
Here we celebrate some of the more difficult to swallow scenarios in games that are, at the same time, great fun to play.
Incredible Crisis: Elevator of Doom
Taking the role of each member of a Japanese family, the player goes about the bizarre daily adventures of father, mother, children and grandmother as they get into stranger and stranger predicaments. With level titles such as: “Elevator of doom!” and “Nerd on a wire”, it’s no wonder Incredible Crisis is stupidly fun even today.
Deadly Premonition: Possibly the funniest cutscene in the game
Created by budget-game developers Access Games, Deadly Premonition has been both resolutely canned by critics and utterly adored by others. You take the role of Agent York in this third-person psychological survival horror as he investigates a murder in the Twin Peaks-style town of Greenvale. With graphics that wouldn’t look out of place on a Dreamcast, unintentionally hilarious characters and controls similar to a shopping trolley with one wheel, the Xbox360 title is soon to release a Director’s Cut on the Playstation 3. Your brain tells you to hate Deadly Premonition, yet your heart utterly adores it.
Parappa The Rapper - Stage 1
Possibly the very first music-rhythm game, Playstation 1’s Parappa the Rapper tells the story of a rapping dog who is in love with a flower named Sunny. There’s also a karate-master onion and driving instructor moose named Mooselini. The surprising difficulty shows that this is certainly not a game only for children, and the addictive nature of creating music with the paper-thin mutt is extremely fun. Fifteen years since its original release and the songs are still memorable today.
Typing of the Dead (Chapter 2)
After the release of on-rails zombie-shooter House of the Dead, the next logical step by Sega was always going to be to port the game into a typing practice program. Rather than using a lightgun, in Typing of the Dead the player has to teach the undead a lesson by unleashing an unholy barrage of five-finger typing and correct spelling. The result of what seems a ridiculous concept is actually an incredibly nervous game that has your heart racing and mouth shouting expletives with every misplaced keystroke.
Plants Vs Zombies Gameplay
Well, it just rolls off the tongue so easily, it’s hard to understand why it took so long to be made – Plants vs. Zombies, where plants battle it out against unnerving zombies to protect their human masters. One of the few laugh-out loud games of this decade, the levels can become tenaciously difficult whilst never ceasing to be incredible fun. You’re not a proper gamer until you’ve beheaded a Dolphin Rider Zombie with a platoon of Gatling Peas.
Katamari Damacy Gameplay (Part 1)
Released on the Playstation 2, the user plays a young prince who rolls a ball around the world in order to clean everything up after it was accidentally devastated by his father (he’s the size of the planet) amidst a binge-drinking session. It makes much more sense when you actually play the game. Sort of. The controls of Katamari are an absolute delight to utilise.
Set in the mind of the various characters in the game though the main protagonist’s psychic abilities, the player must solve the puzzles and levels engineered by the game’s brilliant writer, Tim Schafer. Hugely imaginative, Psychonauts has the uncanny knack of being a fun platformer whilst having unique and interesting characters.
Animal Crossing Trailer
Originally available on the Gamecube, Animal Crossing sets the player the humble task of simply existing in a village comprising of various friendly neighbours – go fishing, collect butterflies, buy furniture – there are no specific set goals to complete. The reason the game scores so high with critics and gamers is hard to explain until you play it yourself. Perhaps Animal Crossing can be considered a gamer’s vacation away from the multi-kill and must-do-this-challenge mindset of most titles.