5 Japanese Video Games That Defy All Logic
Too creative? Scratching the bottom of the barrel? Japanese video game developers have no time for your narrow-minded concepts of artistic limitation! Anything and everything—in their eyes—has the potential to be a worthwhile gaming experience, from lowly street pigeons to living alone in an apartment. Prepare to scratch your melons in disbelief with five Japanese video games that defy all logic!
1) Takeshi’s Challenge, Famicom (1986)
Dubbed one of the worst games to have ever been released on the Famicom (known internationally as the Nintendo Entertainment System), Takeshi’s Challenge stars real-world actor/director Takeshi Kitano as a punch-happy salaryman on a nonsensical quest that’s impossible to explain without sounding mentally unstable. Objectives are as bizarre as they are unclear, such as getting a divorce from your wife (after getting blackout drunk), singing karaoke into the Famicom controller’s microphone, making a scene at a pachinko parlor, and waiting patiently for an hour. We'd show you a video of the game, but it's just too boring and depressing.
2) Splatterhouse: Naughty Graffiti, Famicom (1989)
A prequel-ish successor to the gruesome arcade smash hit, Splatterhouse, Splatterhouse: Naughty Graffiti—for the record there’s no instance of mischievous acts of defacement whatsoever—is a complete deviation from its predecessor. It is cute and cuddly and forsakes the usual vomiting zombies and hellish demons for... Michael Jackson vampires and chestbursters from Alien? It’s all done in the spirit of parody, mind you, but the transparency does cause Naughty Graffiti to straddle that line between innocent pop culture reference and pure copyright infringement. But how can you get mad watching Dracula dance to "Thriller"?
3) Roommania #203, Dreamcast (2000)
To put this game in perspective, Sega’s Roommania #203 is a lot like The Sims, except that it features a singular character who won’t soil himself just because he’s too lazy to reach the toilet. Though that’s far from saying he doesn’t need a little help. That’s where you come in as an unseen, voyeuristic god, utilizing your divine influence (represented as ping-pong or foam Nerf balls for some reason) to bring some excitement to Neji Taihei’s (Mr. Life-of-the-Party in the purple shirt) milquetoast lifestyle. Otherwise he’d just sit around his room all day doing relatively nothing, aside from moping and going on his computer, making Roommania #203 the most uncomfortably true-to-life simulation, ever.
4) Cho Chabudai Gaeshi, Arcades (2009)
In the past, upending a chabudai (a traditional short-legged table from Japan) was one method of embittered fathers to vent their displeasure with their kin, the violent practice having faded away in modern times. Yet someone out there thought, “Hey, remember all those times dad went insane and annihilated the table? Let’s make a game about that!” And so Cho Chabudai Gaeshi was born, making family violence and mood swings seem cartoonishly whacky. Yikes.
5) Hatoful Boyfriend, PC/Mac (2011)
Dating sims, while morally questionable and sometimes disturbing, are by this point a cultural institution in Japan that flaunt incredible staying power. Granted, they’re all virtually the same as they more often than not center on the trials and tribulations of students. Hatoful Boyfriend follows that same formula save for one minor detail: Everyone in the game is a bird. Pigeons, for the most part (Sesame Street's Bert would so be down for this game). You play the sole human girl in an institute inhabited by intelligent avians that where their hearts on their sleeves (or wings, whatever). Don’t look now, but that Galápagos finch is totally checking you out!
What’s the weirdest video game you’ve ever played?