The release of the Nintendo Switch has thrust the Japanese video gaming maestros firmly into the spotlight, though admittedly it is not a spotlight that they had ever really left.
While high-end, high-powered PCs tend to dominate the gaming world ahead of Sony and Microsoft’s PlayStation and Xbox consoles, it is more than fair to say that Nintendo remains the grizzled and untouchable veteran of the video gaming world, despite being seemingly overshadowed in many ways. Nintendo, which began as a trading card company in Kyoto, Japan, way back in 1889, is easily one of the most famous names in the world of video gaming. It has sold more than 670 million units of hardware and 4.2 billion units of software and created many of the most iconic video game franchises and series of all time, including Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda and of course Mario.
In the world of console gaming especially, Nintendo’s influence simply cannot be overstated. They not only created characters that have lasted for generations, spanning literally dozens of games across the evolution of consoles, but are also responsible for the creation of video game concepts and parts that all gamers today take for granted. For example, without Nintendo we would not have direction pads, vibrating controllers, multi-player consoles or virtual reality gaming. They have some real classic games and ideas, and their impact on the world of video games is inarguable. However, you do not create hundreds of games and sell billions of copies without having a few really weird ones in the mix. Let’s examine Nintendo’s catalogue and find the oddest games they have ever released.
This attempt at a comedy game from Interplay was released for the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1995. Interestingly, the creators attempted to bank on a nostalgia wave to crowd fund a new, HD remake via Kickstarter – attempted being the operative word. So, the 1995 edition from the creators of Earthworm Jim is the only version of this game we have. The platform game chronicles the adventures of millionaire Snotty Ragsdale, who by day is a typical millionaire but by night a superhero named Boogerman.
In this game, you had to fight your way through a score of levels, utilizing not only (as you may guess) a booger-flicking attack but also belching and farting powers. If there are any eight-year-olds reading this, then yes it does sound like the best game ever, does it not? To everyone else, though, it is just a bit ridiculous.
You do not need to have a multi-million-dollar bankroll and balls of steel to gamble for high stakes, with this DS game bringing the famous casinos of Atlantic City and Las Vegas to your fingertips. Featuring an entire casino’s worth of games including classic card and table games as well as slots, you begin with a $5,000 bankroll and must make your way to the high-roller games by playing through more than seven different types of casino game. Featuring all the gambling favourites including roulette, blackjack, video poker and slots, this game is a bit of a departure from Nintendo’s usual repertoire of whimsical platform adventure. However, perhaps it might be useful as practice for real-money online casino games – since you are playing cards on a computer anyway.
Mario is the most successful video game character and franchise of all time, and is undoubtedly the jewel in Nintendo’s crown. That means that you rarely think about how weird the concept is: you are a short, fat, Italian plumber who consumes mushrooms to change size and fight flying turtles. However, as Mario is so popular, this concept is totally acceptable – so we will not be including him on this list, nor any of his fellow video game characters from the Mario series. WarioWare: Smooth Moves is another story, though. It is most definitely weird and ridiculous. It actually has very little to do with Mario’s enemy in a classic sense, as you will not be chasing down the plumber or battling Luigi. The “micro-game collection” as it is termed has players using the Wii controller to perform various actions against a timer.
What sort of actions? Well, some levels may have you balancing broomsticks. Others may involve picking a nose. There are even levels where you have to do nothing but use a vacuum cleaner, though perhaps this is balanced out by levels where players must play through sections of classic Nintendo SNES and arcade games.
The original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a complete video gaming revolution and is certainly one of the founding fathers of the world of console gaming. It gave us classics like Metroid, Mario, Zelda and Bomberman. However, it also gave us Yo! Noid which is a pretty poor game about a mascot for a pizza company. For some reason. For those of us who didn’t watch American television advertising in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we shall have to fill you in on the entire concept of The Noid. The Noid was a mascot for Domino’s Pizza, who wore a lycra rabbit suit who attempted to ruin pizzas before they were delivered inside the company’s promised half-hour window.
Of course, that is a perfectly reasonable thing to make a platform style video game about, and otherwise award-winning video game developers Capcom decided to do just that. Needless to say, The Noid did not quite enjoy the same success as Mario, Link, Samus and other classic NES characters from the same era.
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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