[NSFW] Q&AmeCola: Embarrassing Games

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Embarassing Games

With all the quality reviews, delightful columns, and hard-hitting game journalism you can find here at GameCola, it’s sometimes hard to believe that the site’s written by regular people like you and me, and not a race of evolutionarily advanced superhumans. To help bridge this divide between staff and reader, we’ve set up this column so you can get a look at our staff’s personal opinions on serious issues. Serious issues like the following:

This month’s question was submitted by Jeff Day, and it is:

What game are you most embarrassed to own?


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Kate Jay
Final Fantasy X-2

I’m not embarrassed to say that I own Final Fantasy X-2…but I am sort of embarrassed to admit that I really enjoyed playing it through a couple of times.

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(Kate Jay is the author and illustrator of “The Gates of Life.”)


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Paul Franzen
Charm Girls Club: Pajama Party

Does it count as “embarrassed” if I’ve recorded myself playing this game for the entire Internet to see? (Or, in this case, listen?) Charm Girls Club: Pajama Party has been a burden for me from the day I put on a pair of dark sunglasses and a false mustache (over top of my beard) and purchased it from my local GameStop. It’s the game I have to hide when we have company. Particularly my wife’s family—that’s not a conversation I want to have with my mother-in-law. When my friends come over, it’s a different story. They know that I’ve dyed my hair Barbie pink in the past; they know that—this is true—I was once medically considered a teenage girl. But when regular people come over, I have to treat this game like it’s Christian Porter’s goatse Christmas card, stuffing it inside a box in the attic and hoping that no one sneaks a peek.

A close runner-up for me is Duke Nukem Forever—but I’m less embarrassed by the fact that I own it than by the fact that I actually enjoy it.

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(Paul is GameCola’s Editor-in-Chief as well as author of “Minus the Pudding: The Best of Xbox Live Indie Games.”)


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Christian Porter
Katawa Shoujo

I’ve amassed a large hoard of games that are embarrassing for a number of reasons. A lot of them—like, say, Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp—I can just pass off as games I had to get because I was writing an article about them, and just hope no one realizes I finished that article two years ago but still have the game. Others, like Cho Aniki, I can just say I got because they’re funny, or I got ironically like the asshole hipster I am.

But then there’s Katawa Shoujo, the game about dating crippled girls I mentioned a while back. Originally, I got the game because I thought it would be funny. The embarrassing part is that I ended up liking it. A lot. This one, though, I had no pretense to hide behind, because you don’t spend about 40 hours playing through a series of romantic vignettes in a period of five days because “LOL, cripples”; you do it because you’re really enjoying them. I didn’t even laugh once at anybody else’s expense. Normally when I call something heartwarming, I do it while simultaneously rolling my eyes and pumping my fist in a jerk-off motion, but this was different. Katawa Shoujo was heartwarming and, goddamn it, I really liked it. Turns out I’m not made of stone after all. Of course, you can tell people “It’s a really deep, romantic story filled with well-developed characters, internal moral issues and deep psychological turmoil,” but once they find out you have sex with crippled girls in it, they’re not going to believe you aren’t just some pervert with a lust for an odd brand of kink.

Especially if they know me.

ksrin

(Christian Porter is the creator of “Top of the Heap,” “Power Gloves & Tinfoil Hats,” the video series “Speak American,” and also some other stuff.)


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Matt Jonas
Sonic the Hedgehog

Wait, hold on—are you, like, serious? What, really serious? Like, bodaciously serious? Are you serious? Like, super serious? Are you, like, really serious? YES FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY PLEASE STOP.

Sonic the Hedgehog is a game that practically everyone has owned at some point. You might have had it bundled with your Mega Drive or Genesis back in the day. You might have it on Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, or Sonic Mega Collection, or Sonic Compilation, or on the Xbox Live Arcade, Wii Virtual Console or PlayStation 3, or on your Android, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. You might have it built into your third-party licensed modern Genesis, of which there are several. You might have Sonic Classic Collection on Nintendo DS, Sonic Generations on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. You might even have Sonic Genesis on the Game Boy Advance.

Everyone owns Sonic the Hedgehog. I own it for at least ten different formats, and that is why I am embarrassed to own it. As much as I dislike the original Sonic the Hedgehog, I don’t particularly hate the game. It just seems to be “there” in copious amounts, and I’m sick of it.

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(Matt is a staff reviewer and news blogger.)


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Daniel Castro
Vexx

I really don’t know if it’s a bad game or not; I’ve only tried it for around 15 minutes and felt so bothered about the camera that I immediately switched the game off and never got back to it. This game came to me with a few other great games my brother brought me when he came back from a long trip.

I’ve tried to trade the game in a retail store, but they couldn’t offer me anything since it doesn’t appear on their system. I tried somewhere else, and they didn’t accept it since its previous owner was kind enough to deal a payload of scratches to the disc surface before giving it away (what do people do with their games, anyway?!)

So this piece of damaged software remains stuck and buried deep down in my picky selection of perfectly cared for games, and I can’t just dispose of this one since it’s a present from my brother. Now I feel sad about this game. I promise I’ll play you, my adopted and traumatized little disc…some day.

vexx-46089.352359

(Daniel is the author of “Don’t Be That Guy.”)


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Nathaniel Hoover
Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover 3

I’ve got a copy of Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover 3. I’ve, uh, never opened it, and I’m pretty sure it used to belong to my sister. That doesn’t count, though…right?

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(Nathaniel is a reviewer, author of “Flash Flood” and the “Sprite Flicker” webcomic, and creator of fine videos.)


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Stu Gipp
Rapelay

Rapelay. I swear, I was trying to buy Axelay. But after I’d committed the first three in-game rapes, I started to suspect that something had gone horribly, horribly wrong with my order. I played the remainder of the game to be perfectly sure, and after watching the credits, I sat back, nodded to myself and said “Yes—this is not the cult SNES shmup Axelay at all.” Axelay, if I recall correctly, featured almost no rape.

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(Stuart Gipp is a staff reviewer and the author of “Ctrl-Alt-Del: The Animated Series: In Review: Diary of a Madman.”)


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Jeff Day
Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland

With a name like that, can you blame me for being even a little bit embarrassed? It’s the one game in the Legend of Zelda franchise to which people would be ashamed to claim ownership. (No, those CD-i ones don’t quite count; although they are terrible, they have a campy quality that has earned them the right to enter a gaming library without excessive anguish from fellow gamers.) Just take the character with whom players can connect the least, and fashion an entire game around him that involves earning money. Don’t we already have a game like that from Nintendo…called pretty much ANY Wario Land title? Nobody in North America likes Tingle, myself included…which makes it all the more shaming that I actually IMPORTED this title…on PURPOSE. Oh, the humanity!

tingle
(Jeff is the author of “Gamera Obscura.”)


Have a question you’d like answered in a future Q&AmeCola? Ask below in the comments, and your question just might make the next edition.

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15 Comments

  1. Great article though I have a few questions. Is the Charm Girls Club Pajama party game the female equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever? And the Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland was the game ever completed?

    1. You could put it that way! It’s a game about playing dress-up, doing your friends hair, and having pillow fights with your best budz. Also going bike riding in the middle of the night.

  2. I’m sorry everybody, the screenshot for Nathaniel’s choice is clearly Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover 2 and not CVM3, but I had already finished that lame photoshop and didn’t want to do another. I’ve shamed GameCola with my lack of journalistic integrity and for this I will commit seppuku per GameCola policy.

      1. I was going to call you out, Christian, for pulling the wrong screenshot, but then I realized that you, too, were admitting to having a Virtual Makeover game by pulling that screenshot from your own copy.

        Why do I suddenly want to review this game?

  3. “Everyone owns Sonic the Hedgehog. I own it for at least ten different formats, and that is why I am embarrassed to own it.”

    Only ten? That all? Matt, ask Stu how many copies of Sonic 3 he has owned on multiple formats. IT IS AT LEAST DOUBLE THAT. Everytime there is a new collection out he has to buy it, just to see how close to getting it right they get. We’re at the point now where we, his friends, are considering some sort of intervention if SEGA come out with ANOTHER sonic collection.

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