It's hard to tell if strange-looking games are actually good or not so please enjoy my reviews of 5 rather weird console games.
Nippon Marathon Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
Nippon Marathon is an on-foot racing game where you sprint through obstacle courses as kooky characters so let's head to the races.
Although there are plenty of weird games out there, there aren't many that are made to be intentionally bad for the sake of having a laugh. Nippon Marathon is exactly that. Its graphics are awful, the controls are sloppy and frustrating, and it's a super-annoying game to play. However, therein lies the fun! Playing this ridiculous game with friends can be a ton of fun as you run through city streets while tripping over obstacles and using silly power-ups. There are some cool mini-games thrown in for good measure, too, in the form of L.O.B.S.T.E.R. and Go-Go Trolley; a simple bowling game where you use a shopping cart. Plus, there's a pretty funny story mode that you can play through with each of the wacky main characters. Although all of this can be exceptionally enjoyable, it gets repetitive quite fast which makes it a pretty lame single player game and a short-lived multiplayer experience, too.
Nippon Marathon is a ridiculous bakage game that's a ton of fun with friends but its annoying gameplay is only tolerable in short bursts.Nippon Marathon gameplay video →
Override: Mech City Brawl Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
If you've ever wanted to pilot a giant mech to battle aliens and rivals while haphazardly destroying a city then here's a game for you.
It may seem complicated to control a mech but doing so in Override: Mech City Brawl is surprisingly simple. You basically use all 4 shoulder buttons for left and right kicks and punches and you can jump, dash, and block with the face buttons. Some more advanced moves allow you to charge attacks, counter enemy attacks, and unleash special or ultimate moves. Seeing as this is a beat 'em up, you can also pick up weapons. Anyway, the gameplay is easy to learn although timing when to counter can be quite finicky so it's a good thing that's optional. This is another game that can be played either solo or multiplayer for up to 4 players and Override: Mech City Brawl even features an online component. One aspect that I thoroughly enjoy is the customizable parts that you unlock as you play the arcade mode either solo or cooperatively with a friend. The problem is that the gameplay is so basic and repetitive that once you've played a dozen or so matches, you've already experienced everything it has to offer. Even arcade mode gets boring after an hour or so.
Override: Mech City Brawl presents a fun premise yet unfortunately; it doesn't offer any sort of substantial long-lasting gameplay.Override: Mech City Brawl gameplay video →
Youtubers Life: OMG Edition Review Xbox One ★★☆☆☆
Trying to become a star on YouTube is apparently a thing now so why not capitalize off this concept with a simulation game?
Youtubers Life: OMG Edition starts out very promising. First, you can choose what sort of channel to run. I picked a cooking channel but most people will likely choose a gaming channel because this is a video game, after all. Oh my, how meta... Anyway, after learning the ropes, you'll find yourself earning money via non-interactive jobs, studying (because I guess you're a teenager), and, of course, running your channel. Doing so basically involves filming videos then editing and posting them. Upon earning enough money and levelling up, you can buy more equipment which increases the quality and variety of your videos. After an hour or so of doing this, you'll begin to realise just how tedious the whole gameplay loop is. Even after moving out to a new home and meeting a significant other, nothing really changes. You'll still go through the same menus over and over again and it'll make you wish there was much more to it.
Before wrapping this up, I'd like to share something that happened in my playthrough which was funny and disturbing. Basically, I went on a date with a woman who kept talking about a masked dude that would break into her bedroom window and how it turned her on. I seriously don't know what kind of sick dummies wrote the dialogue but couldn't they think of something a little less creepy?
Youtubers Life: OMG Edition is a barebones sim with a monotonous gameplay loop that'll make you never want to be a YouTube star.Youtubers Life: OMG Edition gameplay video →
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
Here we have yet another XCOM-inspired turn-based strategy game but this one stars a duck and a pig. That's cool, right?
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden's campaign follows a duck and a pig who gather scrap and artifacts from a post-apocalyptic world in order to strengthen the Ark; a safe haven for survivors. Doing so is incredibly rewarding and taking out the hordes of ghouls that roam the environments is super-tough but satisfying. The gameplay switches from free-roaming to grid-based battles seamlessly and you have the opportunity to sneak up and ambush enemies but they can easily call for backup as soon as they notice you which can be incredibly annoying so it's a good idea to save often. When I first starting playing Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, I thought it was brutally difficult but after understanding how to thin out enemy groups with a stealthier approach, it became less frustrating.
Even though Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden sounds like a great game, it really doesn't do much to separate itself from XCOM which is a far superior game in every sense. This lack of originality and the fact that the battles frequently become unwinnable whenever an enemy alerts its allies make it a difficult game to recommend. Plus, I found that later in the game, it became nearly impossible to afford supplies due to the game world's limited resources. It's still a solid SRPG but these annoying elements are hard to overlook.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is an ambitious take on XCOM but it simply doesn't do enough with the established formula to make a worthwhile campaign. That being said, it definitely has some amazing visuals and cool stealth mechanics.Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden gameplay video →
Jagged Alliance: Rage! Review Xbox One ★★☆☆☆
The Jagged Alliance series has been around since 1995 yet it hasn't seen many releases since so was this revival worth it?
I know, this isn't necessarily a weird console game like the previous 4 games are but I figured since I already reviewed one XCOM rip-off, I may as well throw in another one as a bonus. Anyway, Jagged Alliance: Rage! is actually played a lot like Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, especially considering stealth is a huge part of its gameplay as well. That being said, it's more of a stage-based campaign as opposed to roaming around different environments. Each stage essentially tasks you with certain objectives and the best way to accomplish them is to remain stealthy while thinning out enemy patrols as efficiently as you can. Again, once one of them is alerted, you may as well load your save and try again because the odds will suddenly turn against you so remaining in the shadows is an ideal approach.
Whereas Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a polished and generally solid game, Jagged Alliance: Rage! looks and sounds quite shabby, especially with its awful voice acting, drab environments, and generic character models. Another huge downside is that there's simply too much going on at any given time. The goal of the campaign is to escape an island. On the world map, you have military units chasing you which makes it tricky to recover. Plus, your units become thirsty, frequently get inflicted with status ailments, and their equipment can become damaged, too. As a result, you'll find yourself juggling way too many things but you don't have time because enemies are chasing you then you enter battle ill-prepared only for a guard to spot you and it's all over in a flash. Screw that noise.
With XCOM available for almost every platform, why anyone would play a subpar version of it is beyond me. Unfortunately, that's just what Jagged Alliance: Rage! is except with an admittedly clever sneaking component.Jagged Alliance: Rage! gameplay video →