Gamers often know what they’re getting into when they buy a game -- it’s usually some variation on shoot the guy, solve a puzzle or play a sport -- but there are times when odd games like “Catherine” come out of nowhere and throw us for a collective loop.
In Atlus’ new erotic action-adventure-puzzle-horror-thriller-or-something-like that, you control a seemingly regular guy named Vincent who must navigate his way through a love triangle with two different women and escape surreal dreams involving talking sheep and giant chainsaw wielding babies.
But before awarding “Catherine” the title of Weirdest Game Ever, here’s our list of some of the most mystifying, strange or just plain crazy games of all time.
Revolution X (1994)
Arcade, SNES, Sega Genesis and Saturn, PlayStation
For better or for worse, Aerosmith cleaned up their act from their wild early days and became something of a theme park band in the ’90s -- writing monster ballads for cheesy movie soundtracks, shooting videos starring teenaged Alicia Silverstone, and lest we forget, Steven Tyler and crew also starred in an odd arcade shooting game called “Revolution X,” Midway’s follow up to the popular “T2: The Arcade Game.”
The plot of the “Revolution X” sounded like something written by an over-caffeinated 14-year-old boy. You dueled corrupt government and corporate military forces led by Head Mistress Helga, a woman who sounded and looked straight out of a shady kink shop. Her army, the NON (New Order Nation), declared war on youth culture and banned all forms of music, television, magazines, and video games and topped it off as by kidnapping the members of Aerosmith during one of their concerts.
The game featured a gun peripheral, but it did not shoot actual bullets. Instead, you ran around the Amazon jungle and literally shot CD’s and laserdiscs at bad guys while trying to rescue mostly-naked female hostage and eventually Aerosmith. Thankfully, no sequel has been made and we’re safe from saving Aerosmith by shooting invisible streaming data and tossing iPod grenade at their would-be captors.
Ever dreamed of owning a pet fish with a creepy human face that liked to insult you with sarcastic quips or inform you about which celebrities you share a birthday with? Sega thought so. Less of a game and more of a freaky virtual pet simulator, “Seaman” had Dreamcast owners scratching their heads in puzzlement.
With “Star Trek’s” Leonard Nimoy narrating, the game started with an egg, which hatched several of the aforementioned merman-like creatures. The gill-men soon begin using “goo-goo-gaga” baby talk that eventually led to full-fledged words and an extensive vocabulary. Gamers had to plug in a microphone that came included with “Seaman” because the bulk of the gameplay was conversation between you and your pet fishmen. And not just any kind of talk, but like deep stuff, man.
The Seamen might argue with you on issues like religion, American social norms or politics. And if you tried to sass them, they’d give you attitude right back. Playing "Seaman" was like trying to hang out with your annoying know-it-all older brother.
Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Considering it’s one of the most iconic video games ever made, you might be surprised to see Super Mario Brothers on this list. But just because the world has accepted the quirks of the Mario universe, doesn’t mean it’s a normal, rational place.
If you think about it hard enough, the idea of two Italian mustachioed plumbers fending off a reptilian fire-breathing villain in the land of the Mushroom Kingdom is pretty weird. Toss in the fact that the tandem befriend an androdgynous toad creature, wear goofy animal suits for special powers, and must avoid anthropomorphic grinning bullets and you get a game that sounds like it was made when Nintendo was on some pretty potent shrooms.
Katamari Damacy (2004)
At a time when the indie game scene on video game consoles was practically nonexistent, an obtuse Manga style budget title that involved rolling a cornucopia of objects into a giant ball of trash seemed unlikely competition for the Grand Theft Auto and Madden Footballs of the world. Yet, the oddly named "Katamari Damacy" (which literally means “spirit clump” in Japanese) became a verified sleeper hit for the Playstation 2 in 2004.
The bright and shiny cartoon graphics and pleasantly off-beat music of Katamari disguised the fact that some of the gameplay was actually kind of horrific. As your character, the space kid called The Prince, rolled his ball of junk to bigger and bigger proportions, you began sucking up toddlers, shrieking adults, animals and later buildings and neighborhoods into your epic snowball of stuff. In other words, The Prince was the cutest Destroyer of Worlds of all time.
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