Over 8 million people purchased Halo 3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sold a whopping 12 million. And Nintendo can’t defecate out Pokémon and “Wii Insert Random Thing To Do Here” games fast enough to completely satisfy the masses. But with all these amazing successes, there have been numerous games and even complete series that have fallen to the wayside. Remember: for every Super Mario Bros., there’s a Shutokou Battle 2: Drift King Keichii Tsuchiya & Masaaki Bandoh. As a proud gamer, I feel that it is my privilege—nay, my duty—to take some time and offer a brief glimpse at many of the games that disappeared into bargain bins and trash bins alike due to overshadowing from more prominent titles, as well as titles that will forever remain sequestered within one region of the world. You’d better be prepared to be educated a little, because there is much that you haven’t seen.
DECEMBER 2010: Santa Claus no Takarabako
HEY, WHAT’S WITH THE GOOFY RED HAT?
Silly! It’s a Santa chapeau! Don’t you know that it’s Christmas time at GameCola? Ah, that lovely time of year when families get together and share peace and love amongst one another. It’s about chestnuts roasting on an open fire…a delectable turkey in the oven…and an endless supply of egg nog for one and all. The holidays are a time to reflect on the past year and all the bounties that you’ve been given (and—heh—get a few new nifty gadgets under the decorated tree).
I JUST FOUND OUT I HAVE A TAPEWORM, AND THE REST OF THE YEAR HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH FULL OF YOU TELLING ME ABOUT OBSCURE VIDEO GAMES. WHAT STUPID BOUNTIES DO YOU THINK I HAVE?
Well…uh…Mega Man 10 came out this year.
So why don’t we get into the Christmas spirit? I have an obscure video game for us as usual…and this time, it’s actually based on the big jolly red-cheeked man himself.
JOHN GOODMAN HAS A VIDEO GAME?
No, you goof. I’m talking about Santa Claus no Takarabako for the Famicom Disk System, an add-on for the Famicom released only in Japan! C’mon over here by the fireplace and we can enjoy its sweet bounty.
WHEN DID YOU GET A FIREPLACE?
Just this morning, especially for the atmosphere of this article. Now…about Santa Claus no Takarabako…
HEYYYYY, HOLD UP ONE SECOND. YOU’RE A LAZY ASS. YOU ALREADY REVIEWED THIS ON YOUR WEBSITE.
Oh, you caught me. Alright, call me lazy. Oh wait, you already did. But hey, it’s better than nothing—and there aren’t too many holiday-themed obscure games out there. So let’s talk about Santa Claus no Takarabako, shall we? I’d like to declare this a game, but actually, I can’t. It’s not so much a game as it is a piece of non-interactive software that you have to “interact” with in real life.
THAT DIDN’T MAKE ANY SENSE.
Er…in other words, you don’t play it. You just watch it, and play a game with your friends using what’s on screen. Let me give an example. In the Party Games aspect of this game, you get to choose between four games. Let’s pick one…ah, let’s go with Bingo. Everyone loves that. You are given a board with about 80 squares on screen with varied numbers…and a few symbols…yeah. The game slowly “calls” the numbers/symbols, and you have to check them off on a Bingo card. Wait, did the game come with a Bingo card? I don’t think so; instead, you have to have your own homemade Bingo cards handy for this. Or you could just take a shot of tequila every time a number with a 6 pops up.
NOW THERE’S A FRIENDLY ACTIVITY WE CAN ALL AGREE IS FUN.
Indeed, but don’t inebriate that tapeworm too much. There are other games too, such as a Slot Machine game, which wins you nothing but heartache at having spent money on this, a weird Roulette game, and something called “Pokerdice”. You generally don’t play poker with dice, but maybe the Japanese do at Christmas time.
WHAT THE HELL? WHAT DOES SANTA CLAUS HAVE TO DO WITH GAMBLING? IS HE EVEN IN THIS PIECE OF CRAP?
He is! There’s also an X’Mas Card mode where you can insert a special message to send to a loved one (I could not edit the “TO” and “FROM” fields for whatever reason) while Santa does his shuffle. You can also edit the Santa sprite (perhaps giving him tentacles or a Moe Howard hairstyle), but why would you want to? In fact, why would anybody want to spend MONEY on this? Are people seriously that stupid? C’mon!! What is WRONG with humanity?! Were we meant to de-evolve this way?
SO…YOU…DON’T RECOMMEND IT?
No! Absolutely not! Waste of time! The end! Show’s over! Merry freakin’ Christmas and get the hell off my lawn!
ANYONE HAVE SPARE TAPEWORM MEDICINE?