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A History of the Unintentional Comedy of Gaming

| 24 Sep 2009 14:00
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Ever laugh at the horribly wooden voice acting in Resident Evil? Chortle at "All Your Base Are Belong To Us?" Then you know well how frickin' funny it can be when games get stuff wrong.

Many developers try very, very hard to make their games funny - but despite their best efforts, genuinely funny games are few and far between. Why is it that the biggest laugh in the otherwise excellently translated Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All didn't come at any of the pop culture references or in-jokes, but at a single mess-up in the game's Bad Ending where the narrator gravely informs the player that "the miracle never happen."

Let's face it - sometimes games are just at their funniest when the gamers - and the developers - least expect it, as discussed by Brett Staebell in Issue 220 of The Escapist:

GoldenEye was a legend on the N64, singlehandedly shaking off Nintendo's "kiddy" reputation and opening the door for today's slew of split-screen FPS deathmatches. But what is any hero without a flaw? The A.I. may have been idiotic at times, and clipping occasionally raised questions as to the corporealness of your characters, but the star of this show was a glitch that can only be described as Nintendo's first unofficial foray into motion-sensing controllers. The slightest tilt of the game cartridge sent onscreen characters (and, even more hilariously, vehicles) into a flailing, anatomy-defying spin. That these characters were going for the gold in ragdoll gymnastics was humorous enough, but a Japanese meme rocketed this glitch - like CATS's stirring ultimatum - into a new stratosphere of funny. Not even a classic 007 one-liner can top that.

For a more complete look back at some of the more memorable moments of unintentional hilarity from the NES onward, check out "A Comedy of Errors" by Brett Staebell in Issue 220 of The Escapist.

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