Monodi blog header photo
Monodi's c-blog

Monodi's Destructoid Blog

Posts 0Blogs 109Following 0Followers 88



I Love it Because it's Stupid


I have a confession to make: I have a very, very sensitive funny bone. I can laugh at almost everything that intends to be funny. I will admit that I like to watch Family Guy as tiring the jokes can get, I feel like I just have to enjoy the things for what they are.

When it is about video games, it happens the same thing. You will have a much better result in selling me your game if you make it about a simple and ridiculous concept rather than a serious story about tragedy and a million of different endings depending on your difficult choices and the widest variety of weapons.

For me video games can have a lot of faces, and can accept them all, but when you go to the basic idea of giving "childish" material, it makes the whole experience even more fun. Let's make a comparison of pulled-out premises between two well known games:

First a personal favorite:

Half-Life 2

Take the role of the former physicist Gordon Freeman to raise and lead the resistance against the Combines who oppress the human race. Make your way through the dangerous lands raided and watched by aliens, and fight the power with advanced weapons and your wit.

Now, a Nintendo64 classic:


Help Banjo, the bear, to rescue his little sister from an evil witch who wants to extract all of her beauty. With the help of your feathered friend Kazooie, you can go through the crazy worlds around to find the Jiggies and puzzle pieces to continue on your quest.

See? Stupid!

Now, a concept is not all what matters in a game, you have to give it substance in the interactivity and interface. Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure captivated me at first for having a traditional melee battle system, a reintroduction of the Panel de Pon tile puzzles, and a very high difficulty that raises gradually. But when you add the british stereotypes, humorous dialogue, charming character designs and A FREAKING GIANT ROBOT WITH CLASSICAL MUSIC COVERED WITH METAL, well you got a big, fat bonus.

Punch-Out!! stands in my favorite franchises for its simplicity and humor. Just like Henry Hatsworth it is both hard and funny. You have to learn your enemies' absurd attacks and also find the weak spot in their technique. It has the most shameless stereotypes around and... well... it's freaking boxing at the basic concept: beat the crap out of the other guy and survive.

I have witnessed many gamers around to dislike things because they are not serious. When it is about video games, I find that as an odd oxymoron. When The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was out, everybody pretended it did not exist for the carttony aspect of Link unlike the BADASS adult version that debuted on Ocarina of Time. As the biggest Zelda fanboy I know, I think they did not change much at all. The Legend of Zelda has always been the story about a boy who got the power to save all of his land, pretty much like the legend of King Arthur. It is not only cute, but also encouraging and inspiring to make games that demonstrate the power of a child, and one person at all. And if I am not wrong, A Link to the Past featured Link as a boy, Ocarina of Time centralized the story on him as a boy (despite the upgrade you get after collecting the three spirital stones), Majora's Mask did the same, and even Twilight Princess features him as a youngster. Not around 10 years old, but still a youngster.

Same thing with Team Fortress 2. Are people seriously claiming the game for being a terrible excuse of a FPS just because of the silly tone in it? I mean, come on! It has blood Don't they like blood? And big guns? Why am I supposed to take the idea of human tragedy caused by war so seriously in a video game? If I really wanted to experience that I would rather watch a movie, or read a book or article... or... play another game like Fallout or... well, that's not my point.

I actually am someone who finds most of Mature-rated games to have a hypocritical subtitle of "maturity". Whenever I see a game about a BADASS MAN WHO HAS BIG GUNS AND CHAINSAWS AND BUCKETS OF BLOOD IN EVERY FRAME, it just feels like something my little cousin would enjoy rather than myself... but I think I just got trapped in a subjective topic on the matter.

Oh but yes, there are games that are not childish, but take the leap of not being serious. Leisure Suit Larry is a classic adventure game about a horny hustler trying to hook-up with every woman he finds and has to do a series of tasks to get their heart as silly they are. On the other side of the coin, Psychonauts is a 3D action/adventure game that looks and feels like a game for kids, but has psychological topics that are, or could be, far beyond the comprehension of a child. (Paranoia, suicide, sex, bipolarity, affairs...) And of course, great humor too.

My point is, why aren't many games taking the liberty of NOT being serious? Is it that hard? I could pull out a concept as silly and effective as Banjo-Kazooie by taking folded papers out of a hat and relate them in a single topic. And that is nothing to be ashamed of.

Sometimes stupid means genius.

PS: On a slightly unrelated note, this is the best thing I have seen today.
Login to vote this up!


Jonathan Holmes   1
mourning orange   1
Kraid   1
Elsa   1
Lil Jorsche   1



Please login (or) make a quick account (free)
to view and post comments.

 Login with Twitter

 Login with Dtoid

Three day old threads are only visible to verified humans - this helps our small community management team stay on top of spam

Sorry for the extra step!


About Monodione of us since 10:46 PM on 10.15.2008

About time I updated this freaking thing!

For those who already know me, I am Monodi. Those who doesn't, well, I am Monodi.

I got such a growing passion of gaming through the years and now I am currently in college starting my courses of Game Design as well!

I consider myself a Nintendo fanboy from all my life, but I have been much more in contact with titles for PC recently. Not that I am abandoning one, but I think it pretty much could cover the best the industry has to offer.

I am up for the philosophy that gameplay is more important than graphics, but I think graphics and technology are also a crucial part of the industry and experience even.

Games I love and recommend in no particular order

Rhythm Heaven (DS)
Half-Life 2 (PC/XBOX)
Team Fortress 2(PC)
Drill Dozer (GBA)
F-Zero GX (GameCube)
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)
Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GB/C)
Punch-Out!! (Wii)
Super Mario All-Stars (SNES)
Mirror's Edge (PC/PS3/XBOX360)
Marvel VS Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes (Arcade/DC/PS)
EarthBound (SNES)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
Pokemon Silver (GB/C)
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PS)
Time Crisis 2 (Arcade/PS2)
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne (PS)
Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube)
World of Goo (PC/WiiWare)
Starfox 64 (N64)
Left 4 Dead (PC/XBOX360)
DanceDance Revolution Extreme (Arcade/PS2)
Mother 3 (GBA)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
Cave Story (PC)
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (DS/WiiWare)
Psychonauts (XBOX/PC/PS2)

Other stuff I love

Digital Art
The Beatles
Daft Punk
Julieta Venegas
Classical Music
Electronic Music
Game Music
Dr. Pepper
Wild Cherry Pepsi
Ice Cold Milk
Symphony Bars
Fish sticks
Cookie Ice Cream
Spacing Out
Walk home with my MP3 on
Talk to myself
Go out to eat with friends
People that like to be what they are
Gaze the stars when the sky is clear enough
Life itself
Steam ID:http://steamcommunity.com/id/Mon
Mii code:1635-7357-5813-2395


Around the Community