The Ten Weirdest Games From Japan

Posted on April 27, 2010
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We love Japan here at Weird Worm; they're practically our bread and butter. No matter how many articles we publish, ideas we have, or mind-altering chemicals we accidentally consume, Japan will always be with us to show us that they know weird, and they want to share it. A lot. We're guessing it's because our screams make them giggle.

1.

Cho Aniki

The Cho Aniki series has become somewhat famous in America for being, well, exceptionally weird games that must have some sort of an appeal, because they keep making them, but at the same time you're wondering why, exactly, this extended gay joke of a franchise is still selling discs.

We're not kidding about the gay joke thing. Cho Aniki is basically lots of naked, excessively jacked, and exceptionally fey guys running around doing stereotypically gay things, like…firing white beams out of the holes in the tops of their heads powered by thrusting your crotch out excessively. Oh, and, naturally, it's white. Even the Japanese make fun of this thing, but the punchline is…they're buying it!

2.

Seaman

No, we promise, this one is not a gay joke. It's just a very, very weird concept.

Seaman is basically a fish with a human face, like if somebody had seen Monty Python's "Meaning of Life" and decided that opening bit would make an awesome video game, presumably while smoking something along the lines of rubber cement. Less a game than a toy, it came with a microphone and bugged you with questions. Also, you had to feed the annoying little guy.

Unsurprisingly this game was not a hit.

3.

Kid Icarus

We know we're going to catch holy hell from the Ninty fanbase for including this, but give us a break, guys. This game brings new meaning to the word bizarre.

"Kid Icarus" essentially tossed '80s satire (one item is a credit card) and Greek mythology (presumably a poor translation of it) into a blender and made a video game out of it. So you were flying around with a bow and arrow in hell trying to collect all the items and hearts to hit puberty and get a kiss from the Goddess of Light.

It's inexplicably remained incredibly popular, mostly because the first level would make you cry like a little girl, and served as a way for Nintendo to tweak their fans with a never-quite-realized sequel…well, except for the Game Boy game, but we can't really talk about that, since it was never released in Japan.

4.

3D Ballz

Yes, that is what looks like a bunch of bubbles in the shape of a man fighting what looks like a bunch of bubbles in the shape of an ostrich. Well before consoles were able to handle polygons, they were trying to make video games 3D, and the result was usually something bizarre like this.

Even weirder were the pet spinoffs, "Dogz", "Catz", and "Oddballz", which seem to have been designed solely because they had the artwork and engine lying around and desperately needed quick cash. It also apparently came from PF Magic, but the concept is bizarre enough that we're making it Japanese by default.

5.

Mario's Early Years

Nintendo is nothing if not marketing savvy. There's a reason Mario is second only to Mickey Mouse as a corporate icon children recognize. And part of that is making some really bizarre and terrible games for everybody's favorite overweight Italian stereotype to star in.

"Mario's Early Years" is a shameless attempt to insert the major characters of Nintendo's core franchise into the minds of preschoolers in the guise of having an "educational" game. It also assumes, not unreasonably, that anybody playing this game has the IQ of a five-year-old, and motor skills to match. But probably the least forgivable thing about it, even for a game aimed at children who can barely speak, is the fact that this was obviously a PC game that was ported over to the SNES. Because nothing works better than trying to switch over a keyboard-and-mouse control scheme to a console controller, and then stick a toddler with it!

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