Game Feature

The Weekly WTF: The Pervtastic Homo-Erotic Horse Racing of ‘Japan World Cup 3’

Japan World Cup 3

As we all know, our friends in the Land of the Rising Wang get a bad rap. We look at things like those pervy vending machines full of panties they have on the streets, or porn involving ladyfolk in diapers, and we say, what the shit, Japan?

This kind of stereotypical mudslinging gets us nowhere, natch, because it’s usually all bollocks. I’m from Merry Olde England, and don’t have awful teeth or a fancy-ass top hat and monocle. I think tea sucks, frankly, and would have gladly dumped it into the harbor in Boston right along with you guys.

Anywho, my point is that we can defy this stuff. We can be whoever and whatever the balls we want. Japan doesn’t need to exacerbate their pervtacular reputation with a load of naked dudes dancing about on the back of a giant horse. But hell, that’s what they wanted to bring us, and they’ve damn well done it. These guys will not, shall not and cannot be stopped. Behold Japan World Cup 3.

This one started life as a flash game back in 2011. It’s a very passive experience, seeing you bet on a horse race and watching how it plays out. But once a yeti, the Trojan Horse and said nude dudes hit the track, you know it’s all going to be a little more interesting than it sounds.

Achievement Hunter
brought this little oddity into the public eye some time back, and… it’s all classic WTF of the highest order. The over-excitable announcer? the horse running biped-style and waving its ‘arms’ about like a boxing champion? The yeti humping the Trojan horse? It’s more spectacle than game, and that’s just fine.

The whole thing just defies description, except the one offered by the bemused ‘player’ below: ‘I don’t know what’s going on, but I love it.’ When words won’t do, just watch.

Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Hitman- Codename 47

Hitman- Codename 47

As we know, Solid Snake is the master of video game stealth. Armed only with a cardboard box, a ‘gentleman’s publication’ or two to distract the guards with and a fairly shit beard, there is no mission this guy can’t accomplish. Sure, he might waste a little time hiding in a locker like a big hairy-faced girl, but them’s the breaks.

Nevertheless, there’s another titan of the genre who just doesn’t get enough recognition. This being, of course, the badass cloned assassin they call Agent 47. Our ol’ baldy barcode buddy has been doing things Snake never dreamed of since 2000. Let’s take a look back at the first in the series.

Hitman: Codename 47 hit the PC back in 2000. It introduces the main man himself, awakening in a Romanian sanatorium after being ruthlessly cloned and experimented on by… some unscrupulous dudes or other. While locked away, he hones the skills needed to become a master assassin; finally surprising nobody by murdering his way to escaping the hospital.

In the outside world, 47 soon becomes a professional hitman, and is contracted to take out four high-profile criminal dudes across the planet. Which is where things get effing serious.

Controls are a little funky, using a kind of FPS-style scheme and a third-person perspective. The Agent’s movements are a little stunted, strafe-y and forward-y, something a little like the famously craptastic tank controls of Resident Evil. So what you don’t want is to be attempting to haul ass away from the scene with seventeen guards in tow, firing buckshot into your asscheeks. Stealth is the name of the game.

Hitman- Codename 47 2

Movement may be a little restrictive, but the open world nature of the levels and freeform approach to them gives you a lot of freedom. As long as your target’s met some kind of deathtastically grisly death, and you haven’t, it doesn’t matter how they meet this end. Screw Minecraft, Hitman is where the real up-to-the-player’s-imagination gameplay is at.

This has always been central to the series. To gain access to your fancy-ass targets, who of course have all the VIP badges/groupies/henchmen they could ever want, you’ll need a crafty approach. From stealing a santa outfit and infiltrating as the big jolly bastard himself to lethal shenanigans with electric fences, everything is possible.

The guntastic approach can also work, if you want to Arnold Schwarzenegger your way through the guards, but it’s dangerous and not cost effective at all. Civilian casualties and such are deducted from your pay on each hit, and it’s this you must use to equip yourself for the next mission.

The open-ended approach gives Hitman much of its replayability, and a heaping helping of crazy death compilations on Youtube. But most importantly, it set up a long running series, it’s a classic of the genre and a revolutionary game that still holds up.

The Weekly WTF: The Legend of ‘Shaq Fu’

Shaq Fu

The Japanese have a term, kusoge. This doesn’t mean ‘creepy porn with women in diapers’ or ‘creepy panty-vending machines’ (obviously, we know what these horny horn-dogs are like and we salute them for it). It roughly translates to ‘shitty game’.

Among the most notorious kusoge you’ll find up Satan’s asshole is Shaq Fu. As we know, celebrities will do all kinds of dumbass things in the name of cashtastic (nope, I’ll never stop bringing up Hulk Hogan’s 1985 Honey Nut Cheerios commercial, possibly the worst thing in the history of the world), but this effort from Shaquille O’Neal is right up there.
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Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Metal Slug

Metal Slug 1

In many ways, the run and gun genre is the studliest, manliest, gonads-like-cannonballs-iest in video games. It’s all about raw actiontastic. There may be a half-assed plot (usually involving terrorists) lurking in the background, but we’ve no time for that. We’re just cruising from left to right, feeling like invincible badasses and wrecking everyone and everything in our path.

It’s like being Arnold Schwarzenegger in… every movie Arnold Schwarzenegger ever made. Bar that Christmas one, but we won’t count that because it’s shit.

As far as notable entries in the genre go, you don’t need to look much further than Metal Slug. Which is, y’know, what we’re looking at right now. How’s that for a segue?

So, yes. The first installment of the series hit the Neo Geo (remember that fancy-ass ‘arcade at home’ dealie that cost more than your average Hollywood movie budget?) in 1996. It’s the story of the bastardry of General Morden, a megalomaniac who has seized control of the world’s governments. When nobody else can stop him, who’s left to go it alone against his forces? The player, that’s who. You probably saw that one coming.

Cpt. Marco Rossi and Lt. Tarma Roving of the Peregrine Falcon Strike Force are also tasked with recapturing or destroying the Metal Slugs, big ol’ angry tanks that no crazy asshole should be left to play with. And that’s all the setup you need for some sweet, sweet sidescrolling carnage.

Metal Slug 2

Sure, there’s more bullets-amundo than in the last half hour of Commando, right here, but there’s something oddly charming about it all. Metal Slug’s hand drawn 2D art adds a cutesy air to the whole thing, and the animation is full of quirky humor. Mostly on the part of your enemies, who’ll often be sunbathing or something and scream like startled chihuahuas when they see you coming.

And let’s not forget the announcer, who sounds far too cheery for all the mangling, stabbing and entry wounds happening on screen. Nobody has ever sounded so thrilled to see you pick up a HEAVY MACHINE GUN!

Then there are the spangly vehicles to dick about in. The trademark amphibious, jumping tank is just the kind of super-destructive weirdery you’d expect of Metal Slug. That’s just the kind of game it is, a tongue-in-cheek Contra-alike with a unique air that sets it apart.

It’s an old-school challenge, and a great example of the pure fun exemplified by the game of yore. Neither of these are common traits any more, which is surely part of why the series has endured for so long. How many sequels, again?

The Weekly WTF: How ‘Do Not Believe His Lies’ Was Even Too Freaking Weird For the Internet

Do Not Believe His Lies

Just about anything can be done via the magic of mobile. As the interwebs like to say, there’s a freaking app for that. We’ve already seen a cutesy toontastic game that teaches women to masturbate, which shows you the kind of open field we’re dealing with here.

Sure, Apple’s lawyer-bots have to prevent some pitches from ever seeing the light of day. Still, though, the relative ease and cheapness of development here lets all kinds of batshit crazy flow. Mind-mangling puzzler Do Not Believe His Lies, for instance.

This one hit the App Store last July, and has reportedly never been finished. Some believe it to be impossible to do so, and everybody believes that it’s creepy as all hell. Let’s take a look.

The game begins, as Kotaku reports, with a black screen displaying a simple message: We were expecting you. Your journey begins now. We await you on the other side. Good luck. You’re then told that the first code is hidden on an otherwise blank-looking screen. It starts off gently enough, with you just needing to increase the brightness to read the message, but it soon becomes unhinged.

Do Not Believe His Lies 2

Each little riddle leads you to another. You’ll have to interpret morse code and all kinds of madness to make any progress here.
‘One of them involves watching creepy video,’ the ‘Taku’s own Patricia Hernandez goes on. ‘Many require cracking codes, knowing different languages, visiting specific websites and finding a hidden message, checking constellations, using chemistry, using music theory, and more. It’s insane.’

The puzzles themselves are totally bizarre, and have stumped much of a dedicated crew of gamers trying to crack this baby. But it’s the solutions that earn Do Not Believe His Lies a place in WTF history. With each little mystery solved, you’ll get a brief line of text. In its way, this is the ‘plot’ of the game, and it’s going to some creepy places.

From the mysteries that players have managed to decipher, the text we have is: ‘The first time I saw him there, I was just a child.’ There is also ‘He keeps showing up,’ ‘in my dreams,’ ‘I cannot escape him now.’ Imagine it as the creepiest effing Professor Layton game in the universe, and you’re just about there.

What the hell’s the deal here? Where is this going? Who is this dodgy dude? None of these questions will probably ever be answered, but a dedicated band of freaking confused gamers are on the case. For more on this, hit the link.

Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Battletoads

Battletoads

Yep. Battle-mothereffin’-toads. Almost 25 years later, this one still brings gamers out in a cold sweat at the very mention of its name. If you’ve ever woken from a harrowing nightmare shrieking not the bastarding hoverbike level!, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Battletoads is pure, unadulterated hardcore.

Only those with balls of steeliest, steely steel need apply. Let’s take a look.
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The Weekly WTF: The Murderous Monkeys of ‘Ape Escape’

Ape Escape

Super-intelligent monkeys? No thanks. These hairy bastards are smarter than a lot of us as it is. Augmenting their braintastic is just asking for trouble. Didn’t you see Planet of the Apes? It was Earth all along, mothereffers. That’s what smartified monkeys do, and we don’t need any of it.

So when your local beardly mad scientist develops an intelligence-enhancing helmet, keep it away from any circus chimps who might be lurking about. They’ll only become time travelling megolomaniacs. And if you don’t think that sounds like a badass premise for a video game, you haven’t met Ape Escape yet.

Yep, this was a thing that happened. This platformer hit the PS1 in 1999, and cast you as a young dude named Spike. Your furry-assed nemesis is Spector, who has innocently stumbled on the professor’s Peak Point helmet and been turned both super smart and batshit crazy by it.

Like any brilliant-if-slightly-pervy-looking scientist, our ol’ buddy has also developed a time machine. Hijacking that too, Spector sends an armed of similarly helmeted super-simians through time to eff with history and create monkey world. Or something. The old dude’s no use, because he’s freaking old, so Spike heads into the machine himself to bring the monkeys back to their own time and stop Spector.

Ape Escape 2

With some fancy-ass gadgetry, natch. Among other things in the professor’s lab, Spike found himself a spangly ‘time net.’ This may look like just like a regular butterfly net, but we’re assured that it has far more doohickeys, whatsits and teraflops inside. With this, you can catch the apes marauding about the levels and insta-beam them back where they came from, sans helmet and madness. You also have a stun club, a lightsaber-y weapon to bash your foes (all of whom haul ass away from you on sight) and make them an easy catch.

So, to recap, we’re bashing time travelling super-monkeys in the face with a lightsaber. On the back of a dinosaur, at one point. Nothing screwy so far.

Your objective in each stage is to collect a certain amount of them. There’s no end point to reach, no Mario-style flagpole or any of that BS. Ape Escape has no time for that. What it does have is some of the most brilliantly varied levels platformers have ever seen, thanks to the time travelling malarkey. From prehistoric volcanoes to Medieval castles and futuristic cities, you’ll go everywhere and anywhere.

And you’ll bring some crazy shit with you, too. As you progress, you’ll unlock more of the professor’s gadgets, like the propeller dealie you spin in one hand and fly with. As you acquire them, more of the previous levels will be accessible with them, so backtrack-ery is in order to collect all those monkeys.

All in all, nothing defines that what the hell am I doing with my life feeling quite like chasing a special ops monkey with shades and pistol up a cliff. Good job, Ape Escape.