Once I had a three week blackout. The last thing I remember is playing Streets Of Rage for 48 straight hours and then passing out. When I woke up I was in a desert with a laser in my hand, robot blood all over my fists and a sentient computer-watch attached to my wrist.
It introduced itself as C.O.M.M.Y 3000 and together we set off on a mission to both cure my amnesia and teach COMMY what it meant to feel human emotions.
As my emotions usually peak via computer games (graduating University = 3/10, completing Silent Scope in the arcade = 9/10) I decided to let COMMY play through some of the games I have saved on my computer emulator.
I accidentally fell asleep as he studied and when I woke up to the smell of burning logic chips and the sound of computer screams I realised he'd made his way into my file labelled 'definitely created by serial killers'. I share the contents of that folder with you now, along with COMMY's observations.
This is an article about weird computer games, so yes, there is a temptation to just display a pixelated image of Japan. But that would be lazy, and if I was lazy I wouldn't have once spent a day travelling across England just to avoid the postage costs on a box of Alpha Flight comics.
There's no real way to review Cho Aniki (literal translation: Super Big Brother). To review things you need comparable objects which act as shortcuts for the reader. But I just can't think of any other games about an intergalactic body building emperor that is attacking planets to feed his protein addiction. Also, not many others feature the heaven realm sending two muscular flying men in Speedos to vanquish alien invaders. You fly with alongside the super muscle brothers firing lasers at a random selection of homoeroticism, and each end of level boss attacks you with his groin. As the case blurb itself says: LET THE SUPER-SWEATY MUSCLE ACTION BEGIN.
This game is gayer than two penises kissing to Cher and I’m genuinely surprised that’s not a level in it.
Often, Japanese games that seem unspeakably deranged to us actually have some basis in their culture. Cho Aniki is not one of these games. That's because Cho Aniki has no basis in any logic, culture or reason that our brains can comprehend. Yet. There is still the possibility that it's a time travelling documentary.
COMMY'S EMOTION PROCESS:
Last year, North Korea made a video game. If they next invent a time machine and take Pyonyang Racer back to ten years before computer games exist it'll still only be the third best one.
In what is probably a fairly accurate depiction of North Korean life, you drive through cold, empty, faceless streets enjoying the best graphics 1994 can buy.
As the website itself is written as if it's trying to conceal a corpse (in bold below), I decided to have COMMY run his truth-light ™ over it to decipher the true meaning...
Koryo Tours Pyongyang Racer is a small racing game developed in the DPRK (North Korea). North Korean students from Kim Chaek University made this game…they loved making it and they told us to tell you that they hope you enjoy it.
You will drive a long journey through Pyongyang. On the journey there will be special sites that you can see, but you should also collect the items that appear close to the sites! Don't forget to collect enough gasoline during your journey! If you drive recklessly there will be a Traffic Girl to direct you and if you get too many warnings...
We would love to hear any feedback you may have about the Pyongyang Racer game we can pass on.
Of course, seeing the place in a game is not the same experience as seeing it with your own eyes!
Predictably, peoples love for nonsense means this site has been swamped with players and appears to have crashed. Trying to log on now sees an endless loading page that possibly activates your webcam and starts creating a 3D model of your face.
As a child, Night Trap was an endless loop of wasted potential. It's like asking for Robocop as a best friend only to find out that the genie thought you said 'Herpes Simplex A'.
It keeps tricking you into being interested only to reward you with hatred.
Does sitting in a darkened room with your face illuminated by a bank of security monitors sound fun to you? No.
How about if those monitors are showing cheerleaders having pillow fights and wearing towels? Yes.
But the chances of seeing an exposed tit are nil. No.
But there are vampires trying to burst in and attack the cheerleaders - you have to stop them. Yes.
But the vampires look like dickheads wrapped in bin liners and the you stop them by pressing a button that makes steam spray across a doorway. No.
But it was banned! Yes.
But it was banned by retarded mothers who never played it and think McFly is Heavy Metal. No.
Night Trap SUCKS.
COMMY'S EMOTION PROCESS:
When scientists created a machine that synthesized the 90s into a physical form, it screamed, imploded, and in the smoking crater was Revolution X.
Revolution X is so 90's it will probably make all your Action Man toys develop a free polar bear 'eco-sidekick'.
This nightmarish vision of the future takes place in 1996. What’s more retarded is that this game was made in 1994. They gave the world a whole two years to go into ‘the future’. As an explanation, it stars Aerosmith so they had to make sure they looked current...but Steve Tyler was born with a 300 year old face so I don't see why they were worried about that.
The New Order Nation (NON) has declared war on the youth and banned music. You have to shoot them with guns that fire CDs (a power upgrade turned the CDs into laserdiscs). All the while, five seconds of Eat The Rich loops over and over again, with Steve Tyler screaming game advice at you. This is the easiest thing I've ever written about as just describing it's existence replaces the need for jokes.
You start off in the middle of an Aerosmith concert, watch them get kidnapped and set out on a mission to save them while flying helicopters through America and shooting the shit out of villains in yellow hazard suits until you make it to Wembley stadium where you face off against Helga, a German woman who transforms into a giant monster with machine guns, grenades, and rocket launchers for arms. You know, just re-reading that has made me change my mind about this game. I think it might be the best thing ever made.
I grew up in a tiny seaside town that had nothing to do in it. There was one toyshop, and as I didn't give a shit about Sylvanian Families, there wasn't only one thing to spend pocket money on.
The arcade was an Aladdin's cave of games that the rest of the country was sick of. There was an amazing Spider-man arcade booth that was glitched and sometimes your character just fell down dead; I asked for my money back once and was told 'that's how that game works'.
But it didn't seem to matter. This was a place that I loved and somewhere that I could never possibly be emasculated by allowing a woman to get sexually assaulted. Right?
One day there was something new there. It was a different kind of game...one with a physically interactive twist. On the front was some kind of superhero, and at that point in my life that was about all it took to get my attention (that point in my life has so far lasted 31 years). Walking closer I saw a punch bag where buttons should be. My friends were behind me urging me to have a go. BUT WHAT WAS IT? Suddenly it came to life. "SONIC BLAST MANNNNNNNNNNNN" it screamed. And with that I felt my 20 pence slither into its coin slot.
There were no colourful characters. There were no superhero-like fonts.
What there was, was a pixelated depiction of a criminal holding a screaming woman by the hair.
"Level One: Purse Snatcher Thug" read the title. What was happening? As if in answer, a punch bag sprung up from the center of the control panel. No. NO! Not only did I have to stop this sexual assault, but I had to do it with a crowd of enemies watching, jeering and...with strength? I WAS 12!
Panicking, I wailed my arm at the pad as hard as I could. Behind me people laughed, in front of me the thug stared back at me, smug.
That night I lay in bed, humiliated. My game had ended with the thug... taking the woman. What had I done... WHAT HAD I DONE?!
When the pitch for Seaman was given, its creator should have been congratulated for his hard work and then instantly fired into the sun. If you create a game about amphibians with tiny human faces that eat their siblings, the chances of you not being a dangerous sociopath are technically hilarious.
In Seaman, you raise this awful looking creature in a tank and teach it to speak through a microphone. It learns words, phrases, and finally how to hate you. No matter what you do or how you bring up the Seaman, it will always grow up to insult you until it dies. Oh, and Leonard Nimoy speaks to you throughout the entire 'experience'.
COMMY'S EMOTION PROCESS:
Do you remember playing this game? No...because according to the story, if you had played it, you would have developed insaniac tendencies and then killed yourself.
In the early 80's, this game started appearing in arcades in Portland Oregon. It was murderously addictive, resulting in long queues and fights over whose turn it was to pilot a rectangle through space. It was described as being a 'polygonal flying shape game', although that's less a description and more the results of a nerd online dating request.
At the end of each day, men in suits would turn up and collect information print outs from the game.
The game is said to contain subliminal messages which would influence the action of anyone playing it. Then...IT WAS GONE! Passed into legend but making appearances everywhere from The Simpsons to Keyser Soze's personal arcade.
According to Snopes, it's fake and an urban legend...but if that's the case then why are me and COMMY now fleeing from grey faced men wearing suits?! Holy shit!!!