6 Completely Insane (But Totally Playable) Video Game Mods
Sure, big studios can make great games: They have money to throw at multiplayer features, killer graphics, celebrity voice actors, etc. But you know what the little guys have that all of their big studio money could never buy? Madness. Here are just a few indie developers who spent years of their lives, sometimes toiling single-handedly, just to bring us a video game adaptation we never wanted and, frankly, are still unsure about.
The Dystopian Adventure RPG Starring Charles Barkley
Barkley Shut Up And Jam is a 1993 game for NES, Atari, and Genesis that most people have forgotten about. We guarantee you Charles Barkley did. But not Tales of Game's Studios (crazy apostrophe intentional). In 2008, they made an unofficial sequel for PC called Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden, which merges basketball action with ... old-school Japanese RPGs. Of course!
The game is set in a dystopian 2053. Basketball is outlawed after Charles Barkley accidentally dunked so hard that it destroyed New York City, killing 15 million people. That is not our joke description. That's actually the plot of the game. For some reason, Michael Jordan is the enforcer who hunts down and kills rogue basketball players -- because it takes a jammer to catch a jammer?
You play as Barkley, on an epic quest to clear his name and restore balance to the game of basketball. Of course, you don't confront your enemies with fireballs and laser attacks; you harness the arcane power of basketball to vanquish your foes.
As the game advances, you team up with other basketball legends such as Vince Carter, who has since become "Vinceborg 2050."
At one point, you even teleport to the fabled basketball dimension, where sportscaster Dick Vitale gives you mission instructions.
See, this is exactly what we were talking about: Never in a million years would you have imagined wanting this, but now you know about it and your life feels emptier for every moment you spend away from it. Here, go. Be whole again.
The Great Gatsby: The Game Lets You Explore The Great American Novel In NES Form
In love with both gaming and classic American literature? Who isn't! Your bookshelf overflows with first edition Hemingways and dog-eared Nintendo Powers, but you've never before found a way to merge your two passions. Well, The Great Gatsby: The Game is for you! Finally, F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic indictment of Jazz Age America and its culture of hedonism is available as an action platformer.
You play as Nick Carraway, the book's narrator, adventuring through various key locations of the Roaring '20s, all the while battling waiters and flapper dancers -- just like in the novel?
At the end of each level, you fight a boss inspired by the novel's symbolic themes. For example, at one point the famous eyes of T.J. Eckleburg's billboard, which represent the God of corporate America, come alive and blast your ass with lasers. Just like the novel:
And during the final stage, Nick Carraway does battle with the literal ghosts of World War I on the beach.
It is, without a doubt, the finest literary platformer ever produced. Well, at least until Square Enix's long-awaited adaptation of Infinite Jest comes out.
A Doom 2 Mod Meticulously Renders The Seinfeld Apartment
Seinfeld is arguably the greatest sitcom to have graced our television screens. Doom is arguably the chainsawiest FPS to have graced our computer monitors. Put them together and you get ... a lot of questions that we don't have answers for. But you also get this mod for Doom 2 that allows the player to navigate Jerry Seinfeld's NYC apartment.
Doug Keener claims he poured over 100 hours into lovingly re-creating Jerry's bachelor pad as a Doom 2 level, meticulously placing all the furniture, artwork, and even shelf contents exactly as they appear on the show. And, of course, all of the main characters are present, trapped in a tiny room, endlessly repeating their most famous lines like they actually are stuck in an ironic layer of Hell built just for them.
And, of course, it wouldn't be in any way complete if you couldn't hunt down and obliterate Newman, who exists as an Easter Egg for particularly savvy sitcom mercenaries.
The Mod That Turns NBA 2K14 Into Space Jam
We're sorry, but you're probably never going to see a Space Jam sequel. If you need emotional assistance to cope with this loss, Daniel O'Brien has started a support group in the supply closet. So far it just consists of him, a bottle of Scotch, and lots of unmanly sobbing. If you don't feel like staining your T-shirt with the tears of a DOB (yes, his tears stain; we don't know what's wrong with him), you can try playing the Space Jam mod for NBA 2K14, which replaces the game's real-life players with characters from the film.
The mod doesn't seem to change the gameplay much, if at all: It just tweaks the appearances of the players. Sometimes that's a simple matter of altering skin tone, and other times it's a matter of crudely stapling a cartoon bunny head on a man's body in a futile attempt to snatch a fleeting moment of childhood joy from the otherwise screaming void that is your adult life.
The Bizarre Horror Remakes Of Sonic The Hedgehog
There's a popular creepypasta story about a guy who receives a bizarre, unreleased Sonic The Hedgehog game titled simply Sonic.exe. He loads it up only to find a nightmare version of the early Sonic games in which Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik are hunted and indiscriminately murdered by an undead, phantom Sonic. Of course, afterward the narrator himself remains haunted by the same evil Sonic. This all sounds much less scary when you type it out.
In any event, someone went ahead and made the game as described in the story.
It starts out Sonic business as usual: runnin' fast, gettin' rings, and ... there's no third thing. But soon you find the environment littered with bloody animal corpses hanging from the branches of happy little palm trees.
No matter how fast you run, it's not fast enough.
Then you run into Sonic himself, who makes your intestines explode with the power of his mind, which isn't a power we remember Sonic having. But then again, we were high for basically all of the '90s.
There's another version called "An Ordinary Sonic ROM Hack," which is basically just the original Sonic The Hedgehog for Genesis, except that Sonic occasionally warps into a Silent Hill-style alternate dimension where he's stalked by an evil, immortal version of himself.
We're not sure why Sonic in particular is so ripe for a horror reimagining, but one thing's for sure: This is still better than Shadow The Hedgehog.
The Video Game Version Of The Room Is Actually ... Good?
Tommy Wiseau's The Room came out in 2003 and has since developed a cult following as one of the greatest terrible films ever made. And of course, cults being rather cultish with their obsessions, there's a video game adaptation.
The resulting pixel-art point-and-click adventure has been positively reviewed by both Time and Entertainment Weekly, which is more critical respect than Wiseau himself will ever get. You play as Wiseau's character, Johnny, pointing and clicking through the traumatic events leading up to his wedding. The game lets you explore virtually every location in the movie, and even participate in off-screen battles only implied by the film. For example, in the movie Johnny and his friend Mark chase a gangster away after he pulls a gun. That's the end of it on film, but the game burns off that dangling plot thread with an epic battle:
The game version of The Room is actually a pretty impressive feat: It jumps genres from click-hunting puzzler to turn-based action to timing-heavy platforming:
We'd ask how Wiseau feels about being so vastly overshadowed by this crudely pixelated effigy, but we have a feeling we already know his response.
Adam Koski is the author of Forust: A Tale Of Magic Gone Wrong, a hilarious and exciting fantasy novel.
For more game mods that may or may not have been a good idea, check out 6 Awesome Hacks That Did Mind-Blowing Things With Old Games and The 7 Creepiest Hacks Of Popular Video Games.
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