America's Funniest Home Video Games


By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne, who is strong enough for a man, but pH 
balanced for a woman
    
   Humor in video games has been something that I have always loved and 
enjoyed.  Itís like a delicate spice, but like all spices, they canít be 
put into just anything.  Some games, such as Metal Gear Solid, have a rock-
hard image and having straightforward comedy would pour water on its 
proverbial flame (although I did laugh when Octacon urinated on himself out 
of fear).  Meanwhile, there are other, more laid back games, games in which
comedy is all they need to raise them up a notch on the enjoyment scale.  
Any way you cut the cake, humor is a welcome addition to any game and here 
are a few games that I felt took humor in video games to a new level of 
laughter.

1. The Oddworld series
   You canít keep a straight face and tell me that you didnít chuckle just 
a little bit the first time you heard Abe fart.  Besides the methane 
flowing from Abe constantly, who could forget the first time you 
accidentally killed a Mudokon and heard Abe go "Oops!"  Priceless.  The 
Mudokons in Oddworld are funny, too, with enough weird body movements and 
mannerisms to make your 89-year-old grandma pass out from laughter.  

2. Final Fantasy 7
   After thinking about it for a while, FF7 did have some funny parts in it.
For instance, every time you board any kind of ship, you see Yuffie 
standing around getting ready to puke her guts out.  Thereís also that 
funny scene when Cloud cross-dresses and then Aeris and Tifa come in and 
threaten to twist, pull, and cut a guyís family jewels off.  Another funny 
scene is when you find Hojo on the beach with his hoís and startle him.  
Good old FF7... it never disappoints.

3. The Crash Bandicoot series
   With so many costumes, gestures, and wacky worlds, Crash is a laugh fest
that canít be missed.  One gesture in particular is the crotch-chop dance, 
which was introduced in Crash 2 when you defeat the bosses.  Itís about 
time a game had some crotch-chopping going on!  And who said death couldnít
be funny?  Definitely not the designers of the Crash series, thatís for 
sure.  Finally, the last time I played a level as hysterical as the 
original Crash's "Hog Wild" was... well, never.  The Crash series has never
seemed to let up on the gags and they have made the series all the more 
enjoyable.

4. Xenogears
   Xenogears had a lot of subtle humor in it, but itís humorous nonetheless. 
Itís also more of an intellectually humorous game and if youíre not careful,
a clever one-liner could slip right past you.  Xenogears does have some 
very noticeable funny moments, though.  One that comes to mind is when 
youíre in the sewers.  You find some keys to open locked doors and when you
come to your first door your party canít seem to push it open.  After 
everyone points the finger at everyone else, you try one more time and it 
turns out that the door opens by pulling it, not pushing it (which you have
been doing all along).  Also, thereís the part at the beginning where
Dan asks you to marry his sister and he makes a little comment about how 
well-endowed she is.     

5. Resident Evil
   Last, but not least, is Resident Evil, which I think is the most 
hilarious game ever.  This is based solely on its hilariously cheesy voice 
acting and dialogue, which shows how incredibly funny a game can be just by
screwing up somehow.  Hereís the dialogue when you first enter the mansion: 

Barry: What is this?
Wesker: Wow!  What a mansion!
Jill: Captain Wesker, where's Chris?
Wesker: Stop it! (pause) Don't open (pause) that door!
Jill: But Chris is... (gunshot)
Barry: What is it?
Wesker: Maybe it's Chris... now Jill, can you go?
Barry (without even waiting for Jill to respond): I'm going with you!  
Chris is our old partner, you know.
Wesker: OK, let me handle this (despite the fact that he's not really doing
anything).
(Barry and Jill enter dining room)
Barry: A dining room... WHAT?  What is this?
Jill: What is it?  (That makes four times they've said "What is it?" or 
"What is this?" in the first five minutes of the game.)
Barry: Blood (with an emphasis on the "l").  Hope this is not Chris's 
blood...

   I could go on like this forever, but I think you get the idea.  You may
or may not find it funny in writing, but listening to it for real is drop 
dead hilarious.  Other parts in Resident Evil are funny, too.  For instance,
in the PC version there is a scene where Barry Burton (America's most 
lovable moron) walks up behind a body and taps it on the soldier thinking 
it is his partner Chris.  The body turns out to be a zombie and after 
looking the monster straight in the face for what seems like an eternity, 
Barry exclaims, "What a minute... youíre not Chris!"  Whenever there is a 
scene with Barry Burton you know that youíre going to be rolling on the 
floor trying to catch your breath for the next five minutes.  If Capcom 
were smart, they would put him in Resident Evil 3.

   So there you have it.  Humor does appear in most games, but only a few 
can execute it as well as the games mentioned above.  I hope that game 
developers continue to let their imaginations grow, as well as their sense 
of humor.

You can e-mail Jimmy at jimmy@mastergamer.com

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