One thing Uwe Boll got right in his myriad of shitty video game movies was the humor. Video game humor tends to be as brainless and lowbrow as it comes and if you ever actually laugh, it’s more of a “it’s supposed to be funny so I’ll go along” type of a chuckle, rather than a genuine lol. Well, let’s remember and salute the exceptions, the games that went for the challenge of achieving the funny and succeeded.
5. God Hand
I love Japan, but I have to admit that Japanese games can be really fucking weird, on occasion. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing serious Japense titles that karate chop the fuck out of most Western counterparts (plenty of which are plain retarded) but some elements of their games are often quite… hmm, what’s the best word… INSANE. The characters, for example, tend to be on the extreme side of bizarre, with a hint of some severe mental disorders (you can’t tell me that most of the females aren’t on some heavy anti-depressants) and the stories involve conflicts that arise from some rather illogical decisions (like when instead of murdering someone as quietly and sneakily as possible, a bad guy must raise his head high so he can be seen go “I JUST KILLED A GUY! HAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!”). And you know what? I can totally dig it. It’s absurdly exaggerated and it provides maximum escapism, and more Japanese developers should just run with it, like only they can, like they did in God Hand:
Yep. It’s the kind of game that would keep you WTF-ing all the way through. I was actually contemplating long and hard whether to post a God Hand cutscene with a purple poison chihuahua or with a wrestling gorilla, arriving on a bus, reading a newspaper, but I decided to take it easy on your unprepared minds. You are welcome, and if you find random funny, you should play the game for the rest.
4. Shadow Warrior
To support my previous point about loving Japan, I will express my love for a game that has been accused of being racist against Asians. Erm. I think that works somehow. Anyway, Shadow fucking Warrior, Lo fucking Wang! Do I rally need to go on? If I do, then imagine an Asian Duke Nukem and well, that’s all you have to do. To be fair, the game wasn’t as good as Duke Nukem 3D but I enjoyed the hell out of it because it was an action-packed, no-nonsense first person shooter and Lo Wang was fucking hilarious! Despite the fact that he was voiced by a white dude, I would argue that the character was no more racist than the Duke is to whites or Black Dynamite is to blacks. And hell, what’s wrong with stereotyping, if it involves samurai swords, shuriken grenades, double-uzis and hentai? As far as Shadow Warrior’s audience is concerned, all of those things are epic. I mean really, show me one person, who started disliking Asians because of this:
…and show me a game with an Asian dude spouting better, funnier, more badass one-liners. As a matter of fact, show me a game with an Asian character with a better name than fucking Lo Wang. You can’t because no such game exists. If it did, it would be called Shadow Warrior 2. One can only dream.
3. Grim Fandango
Only one Tim Schafer game is allowed here, because if I were to list every one of his titles that needed sequels and were funny, I’d fill this entire list. Instead I’m going to spin the bottle and cheat by landing it on Grim Fandango. Now, I must say that I was never a fan of this game. To me, controlling the character felt like trying to squeeze pimples out of a pit-bull’s scrotum with peppered chopsticks (on PC, with a keyboard, at least). And some puzzles were endlessly frustrating because they made as much sense as… what I wrote in that last sentence. However, even I have to admit that it was a great game and that’s, in no small part, due to its’ humor. Grim Fandango was not exactly a laugh-out-loud type of deal but if this game couldn’t keep you smiling throughout, you might actually be dead. The story, the setting, and the characters were beautifully crafted (to help matters, the voice acting was also excellent) and the humor was subtly soaked and fused into every single one of those elements, which made finding the perfect funny youtube video a pain in the ass. So, instead, I present to you the intro and you will know what I’m talking about here:
It’s one of those “only in a video game” types of settings and stories, with one of those “exceptional indie movie” levels of quality. And don’t think that the awesomeness was delegated to the cutscenes either, the gameplay kept it going beautifully. Shit, maybe I should give it another go?
2. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
When it comes to juvenile video game humor, Conker hopped right onto the royal throne and I mean it in a good way. This game did the stupid, silly shit right (and there IS such a thing). There were fart jokes, there were dick jokes, there were references to drugs… actually, there were scenes of someone doing drugs, and it was all beautifully presented on a… if you don’t know, you’ll shit bricks… Nintendo. Rare dropped a remake years later (yes, it was made by Rare, who used to make video games!) but the original was all N64. And you know what else? The Xbox remake was censored, while the N64 (NINTENDO!!) version was not! That’s too unrealistic for a fucking movie! Anyway, the game was actually a pretty decent 3D platformer (with an amazing multiplayer), even without the filth, but then, I wouldn’t be writing about it, wishing for a sequel. Now, for me, the humor was spotty: things could get “mature” for the sake of being “mature”, but occasionally, the game went into the right gear, and often struck a perfect balance:
Yep, I decided to go with a classic. There were funnier moments in the game, like when a paint-can, a brush, and a fork argued over who should kick Conker’s ass but the reason I chose the Mighty Poo was because that whole fucking thing in that video could really only happen in a video game and I applaud it for it.
1. Armed and Dangerous
I hate to use the word “underrated” because every piece of shit, ever conceived by the human race, has a fan claiming that it is underrated. But allow me to make a case for Armed and Dangerous. This was a solid third person shooter, with its’ own unique gameworld, that told a story of Lionhearts–a group of thieves that included a blind old man, a tea-drinking robot, and a talking mole. You would mostly control Roman, the human leader of the group, who mainly did the “shooter” parts, with the help of things like a shark gun, which could shoot sharks into the ground, sending fins toward your opponents that… well, you can figure out the rest (hint: assholes got town). But wait, then there was also a gravity bomb that Roman would screw into the ground to hold onto, as the world flipped upside down, and of course the black hole grenade, which was exactly what you think it was (it sucked… :p). But what really made the game was the humor. ‘AnD’ featured a whole ensemble of professional voice actors to deliver scenes that would rival a genuinely good comedy of any medium. It was the only game ever that would have me coming back to watch those hilarious cutscenes like it was a good movie, time and time again. Here’s a taste:
Two points about that: one is that the scene is ultimately more hilarious when you actually know those characters, two is that it actually wasn’t the funniest scene in the game, if you actually know those characters. Why there has never been a sequel to AnD is beyond me. Maybe because it didn’t take off as it should have? Why don’t you help remedy that part by buying it?