Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Once I had a three week blackout. The last thing I remember is playing Streets Of Rage for 48 straight hours and then passing out. When I woke up I was in a desert with a laser in my hand, robot blood all over my fists and a sentient 
computer-watch attached to my wrist.

It introduced itself as C.O.M.M.Y 3000 and together we set off on a mission to both cure my amnesia and teach COMMY what it meant to feel human emotions. 
As my emotions usually peak via computer games (graduating University = 3/10, completing Silent Scope in the arcade = 9/10) I decided to let COMMY play through some of the games I have saved on my computer emulator. 

I accidentally fell asleep as he studied and when I woke up to the smell of burning logic chips and the sound of computer screams I realised he'd made his way into my file labelled 'definitely created by serial killers'. I share the contents of that folder with you now, along with COMMY's observations.

This is an article about weird computer games, so yes, there is a temptation to just display a pixelated image of Japan. But that would be lazy, and if I was lazy I wouldn't have once spent a day travelling across England just to avoid the postage costs on a box of Alpha Flight comics.

There's no real way to review Cho Aniki (literal translation: Super Big Brother). To review things you need comparable objects which act as shortcuts for the reader. But I just can't think of any other games about an intergalactic body building emperor that is attacking planets to feed his protein addiction. Also, not many others feature the heaven realm sending two muscular flying men in Speedos to vanquish alien invaders. You fly with alongside the super muscle brothers firing lasers at a random selection of homoeroticism, and each end of level boss attacks you with his groin. As the case blurb itself says: LET THE SUPER-SWEATY MUSCLE ACTION BEGIN.

This game is gayer than two penises kissing to Cher and I’m genuinely surprised that’s not a level in it.

Often, Japanese games that seem unspeakably deranged to us actually have some basis in their culture. Cho Aniki is not one of these games. That's because Cho Aniki has no basis in any logic, culture or reason that our brains can comprehend. Yet. There is still the possibility that it's a time travelling documentary.


Last year, North Korea made a video game. If they next invent a time machine and take Pyonyang Racer back to ten years before computer games exist it'll still only be the third best one.
In what is probably a fairly accurate depiction of North Korean life, you drive through cold, empty, faceless streets enjoying the best graphics 1994 can buy.
As the website itself is written as if it's trying to conceal a corpse (in bold below), I decided to have COMMY run his truth-light ™ over it.

Koryo Tours Pyongyang Racer is a small racing game developed in the DPRK (North Korea). North Korean students from Kim Chaek University made this game…they loved making it and they told us to tell you that they hope you enjoy it.

 You will drive a long journey through Pyongyang. On the journey there will be special sites that you can see, but you should also collect the items that appear close to the sites! Don't forget to collect enough gasoline during your journey! If you drive recklessly there will be a Traffic Girl to direct you and if you get too many warnings.......

We would love to hear any feedback you may have about the Pyongyang Racer game we can pass on.

Of course, seeing the place in a game is not the same experience as seeing it with your own eyes!
Predictably, peoples love for nonsense means this site has been swamped with players and appears to have crashed. Trying to log on now sees an endless loading page that possibly activates your webcam and starts creating a 3D model of your face.

As a child, Night Trap was an endless loop of wasted potential. It's like asking for Robocop as a best friend only to find out that the genie thought you said 'Herpes Simplex A'.
It keeps tricking you into being interested only to reward you with hatred.
Does sitting in a darkened room with your face illuminated by a bank of security monitors sound fun to you? No
How about if those monitors are showing cheerleaders having pillow fights and wearing towels? Yes.
But the chances of seeing an exposed tit are nil. No.
But there are vampires trying to burst in and attack the cheerleaders - you have to stop them. Yes.
But the vampires look like dickheads wrapped in bin liners and the you stop them by pressing a button that makes steam spray across a doorway. No.
But it was banned! Yes.
But it was banned by retarded mothers who never played it and think McFly is Heavy Metal. No.

Night Trap SUCKS.


When scientists created a machine that synthesized the 90s into a physical form, it screamed, imploded, and in the smoking crater was Revolution X.

Revolution X is so 90's it will probably make all your Action Man toys develop a free polar bear 'eco-sidekick'.

This nightmarish vision of the future takes place in 1996. What’s more retarded is that this game was made in 1994. They gave the world a whole two years to go into ‘the future’. As an explanation, it stars Aerosmith so they had to make sure they looked current...but Steve Tyler was born with a 300 year old face so I don't see why they were worried about that.

The New Order Nation (NON) has declared war on the youth and banned music. You have to shoot them with guns that fire CDs (a power upgrade turned the CDs into laserdiscs). All the while, five seconds of Eat The Rich loops over and over again, with Steve Tyler screaming game advice at you. This is the easiest thing I've ever written about as just describing it's existence replaces the need for jokes. 

You start off in the middle of an Aerosmith concert, watch them get kidnapped and set out on a mission to save them while flying helicopters through America and shooting the shit out of villains in yellow hazard suits until you make it to Wembley stadium where you face off against Helga, a German woman who transforms into a giant monster with machine guns, grenades, and rocket launchers for arms. You know, just re-reading that has made me change my mind about this game. I think it might be the best thing ever made.

I grew up in a tiny seaside town that had nothing to do in it. There was one toyshop, and as I didn't give a shit about Sylvanian Families, there wasn't only one thing to spend pocket money on. 

The arcade was an Aladdin's cave of games that the rest of the country was sick of. There was an amazing Spider-man arcade booth that was glitched and sometimes your character just fell down dead; I asked for my money back once and was told 'that's how that game works'.

But it didn't seem to matter. This was a place that I loved and somewhere that I could never possibly be emasculated by allowing a woman to get sexually assaulted. Right?

One day there was something new there. It was a different kind of game...one with a physically interactive twist. On the front was some kind of superhero, and at that point in my life that was about all it took to get my attention (that point in my life has so far lasted 31 years). Walking closer I saw a punch bag where buttons should be. My friends were behind me urging me to have a go. BUT WHAT WAS IT? Suddenly it came to life. "SONIC BLAST MANNNNNNNNNNNN" it screamed. And with that I felt my 20 pence slither into its coin slot.

 There were no colourful characters. There were no superhero-like fonts.

What there was, was a pixelated depiction of a criminal holding a screaming woman by the hair.

"Level One: Purse Snatcher Thug" read the title. What was happening? As if in answer, a punch bag sprung up from the center of the control panel. No. NO! Not only did I have to stop this sexual assault, but I had to do it with a crowd of enemies watching, jeering and...with strength? I WAS 12!

Panicking, I wailed my arm at the pad as hard as I could. Behind me people laughed, in front of me the thug stared back at me, smug. 

That night I lay in bed, humiliated.  My game had ended with the thug...taking the woman. What had I done...WHAT HAD I DONE?!

When the pitch for Seaman was given, its creator should have been congratulated for his hard work and then instantly fired into the sun. If you create a game about amphibians with tiny human faces that eat their siblings, the chances of you not being a dangerous sociopath are technically hilarious.

In Seaman, you raise this awful looking creature in a tank and teach it to speak through a microphone. It learns words, phrases, and finally how to hate you. No matter what you do or how you bring up the Seaman, it will always grow up to insult you until it dies. Oh, and Leonard Nimoy speaks to you throughout the entire 'experience'.

Bye, sleep.


Do you remember playing this game? No...because according to the story, if you had played it, you would have developed insaniac tendencies and then killed yourself.
In the early 80's, this game started appearing in arcades in Portland Oregon. It was murderously addictive, resulting in long queues and fights over whose turn it was to pilot a rectangle through space. It was described as being a 'polygonal flying shape game', although that's less a description and more the results of a nerd online dating request.
At the end of each day, men in suits would turn up and collect information print outs from the game.
The game is said to contain subliminal messages which would influence the action of anyone playing it. Then...IT WAS GONE! Passed into legend but making appearances everywhere from The Simpsons to Keyser Soze's personal arcade.
According to Snopes, it's fake and an urban legend...but if that's the case then why are me and COMMY now fleeing from grey faced men wearing suits?! Holy shit!!!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The 10 Best and Worst Comic Book Films Ever Made

Everytime a new superhero film comes out, I lapse into something of a depression. This is because even though I know it'll be terrible I still go and see it three times. 

After all; why should middle aged married men who visit prostitutes be the only ones allowed to spend their money on something that makes them scream into their pillow for a week afterwards?

As I've seen all the comic book films, I thought I'd run down the best and worst for you so you don't waste your money next time you're illegally downloading a movie. There's a lot I'll have to miss out; for example there's no point including Ghost Rider as just believing that film exists makes it more powerful and weakens the doorway between our world and the Nicholas Cage dimension.


I've graded the best comic book movies on a one-to-five system. One Benziger means that I bought it on DVD, five Benzigers means that I asked my girlfriend to dress up as the DVD for my birthday.

KICK-ASS (2010)

The first time I saw this I thought something had gone wrong and my eyes were projecting my dream life onto the cinema screen; show me a man that hasn't dreamed of dressing up in a costume and beating thugs to death, and I'll show you a man that isn't me.
There are problems with it, sure. The jet pack at the end is silly and 'Red Mist' is just slightly more unappealing than 'Red Rash' (on a date's groin).
But Big Daddy's story was actually better than the comic. Also, I respect a film that doesn't shy away from a smiling eleven year old girl disembowling a man seconds after dropping a C-bomb.

SIN CITY (2005)

The Sin City comics are such an unrelenting slew of grim events and unhappy endings that you have to actually be Kerry Katona's gynaecologist to relate to them. The film managed to take an incredibly stylised piece of work with potentially flat characters and make it not only transfer successfully to a different medium, but benefit from it. It kept the look perfectly - there is so much violence and impossibly haggard heads in this movie that until halfway through I actually thought I was watching a European porno.

Ghost World is what attractive, fashionable hipster girls are talking about when they say 'I'm such a comic book nerd'.
I take slight issue with this, after all I don't go around saying ' I'm such a vacuous trend following blight' just because I've listened to one of the Mumford and Sons albums.
Ghost World is a tale of teenage angst and isolationism that becomes more potent with each viewing. It's not about a whole lot, mainly just being misunderstood, but that's something we can all relate to; whether it's watching your best friend grow up and pull away from you (the film) or being shunned for growing up in the North East and disliking football and domestic abuse (my life).

In 1994, film Producer Neu Constantin was about to lose his rights to make a film based on Marvel Comic's Fantastic Four. He hired Roger Corman, gave him 2 million dollars and told him to make something before the end of the year.
I can only imagine that at the end of shooting Roger Corman had 2 million dollars left over.
What Roger Corman shat out is one of the most legendary and incredible pieces of cinema ever to be created. The special effects have less technological skill than a swarm of locusts in a calculator and all of the acting looks like it was done by aliens as a way of teaching each other how to trick their future human egg hosts.
It was too atrocious to be officially released and I searched for it for years until once at my Godsons I saw a bootlegged DVD resting on top of his collection. My eyes glazed and I slowly reached out for it, murmuring softly.
"Oh you won't want that, it's not the proper one."
Thank mercy that he didn't get between me and the DVD that day. Thank sweet mercy. Although they do have three more kids, and time heals all wounds.


Previously, I had to resort to unaccepted arguments about oil shortages to explain why I'm not going to have kids. Now I just say sorry, The Avengers exploded my balls.
It's totally exciting, broadens out a niche subject with humour and manages to balance a lot of big characters. Girls liked it, nerds liked it and critics liked it. Any time somebody tells me that they don't like this film my brain deletes them from itself and starts processing them as an offensive collection of shapes and colours; when I look at my ex-friend Josh now, all I see is a migraine.
The only slight negative I have with it is that it's legally impossible to give a shit about another solo Thor film now.

Others that are good but I couldn't think of any jokes for:


The worst have also been graded with a one-to-five system, however this time by Spider-Man: Brand New Day comics. For those of you that don't know, Brand New Day is the worst storyline that ever happened in comics.
At least, I think it is. I have to take peoples word for it - every time I try and read it my eyes start punching me in the face. One Brand New Day comic means the film is bad, five means it is almost as bad as Brand New Day itself. Not worse though.
For something to actually be worse, scientists would have to resurrect Hitler and let him rebuild the Berlin wall while inventing 'Double Racism'.

TANK GIRL (1995)

Tank Girl was created in the 90's for moshers to wear on a t-shirt to pretend that they understood feminism. It tread a careful line between 'irreverant' and 'tiresome', but it was new, different and the pictures were great.
The film confuses 'anarchic' with 'throw as much random shit at the screen in as many colours as possible'.
I've never seen such a mess of half thought out ideas an unrealised streams of consciousness...and I've listened to every one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's DVD commentaries.
To be fair they do try to do something different and sort of half get there. It's just that watching it feels like you've woken up in Gwen Stefani's brain, mid seizure.


Some said that it would be impossible to film this book, but Zack Snyder proved them wrong. By quite literally filming a picture perfect representation of what happens in the book.
Somewhere along the way he forgot to inject the soul though. Yes it looks exactly like the original but so does the robot clone sent from the future to harvest your organs.
If I wanted soulless emptiness on my screen I'd turn on a show with Ferne Cotton in it and stare into her eyes. Actually I did that once, but then I passed out for sixteen hours. When I woke up I had no reflection and my cat wouldn't stop hissing at me.

When the creators of 2000AD sent their list of everything that made Judge Dredd great to America, they should have done more research on American national holidays. If they had, they'd have realised it was opposite day.

AMERICAN FILM PRODUCER: YO BOY, we got your message! I think we covered all the bases: he ALWAYS takes his helmet off, he has an annoying comic relief partner, everything is really kid friendly and all his enemies are boring. That sound about right for you son?!

CONFUSED BRITISH COMIC EDITOR: ...what? No...I...what? That all sounds like the worst film ever made, we're going to have to totally re-discuss the project before we start this.

AMERICAN FILM PRODUCER: Hahahahaha we already finished it! *Hangs up and walks out whistling.

ELEKTRA (2005)

Elektra is what happens when a scriptwriter isn't creative enough to write a suicide note.


I'll admit it was a bold move for the creators of this film to abandon any of the story, personality or charm that has made Spider-Man one of the most popular comic characters ever, but only if they admit that it was a mistake for their mothers to drink retard water while pregnant.
Peter Parker was meant to be a nerd. Making a cool, fashionable, skateboarding bell-end good at science doesn't make him a nerd, you clowns.
Also of all the villains to pick, they chose The Lizard. When the main villain in your film is The Lizard, the soundtrack should be you getting fired.
The end of The Dark Knight Rises saw Batman duking it out with Bane in a city wide battle. This film opted for Spiderman swinging around on cranes or 'Level Four' as it'll be called when the awful tie-in game gets made.
This film is so terrible that I once saw a confused dung beetle rolling it backwards up the road.

Others that I couldn't write about because they defy my religion: