Video gaming has always been a big industry in Japan. No wonder, some of the biggest games of the PlayStation era, like Final Fantasy and Resident Evil, were created in Japan. Naturally, the Japanese video games reflect the elements of Otaku Culture that make the island country so unique and wonderful.
Here, we present the top 10 Japanese video games that are weird and wonderful in the same note.
- Hatoful Boyfriend
- Mister Mosquito
- LSD: Dream Emulator
- Cho Chabudai Gaeshi
- WarioWare Gold
- Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed
- School Days
- Food Fantasy
With hundreds of game developers competing against each other in the market, be assured that there is no shortage of weird and wacky concepts. Most of these Japanese video games may leave you totally bewildered or scratching your head in confusion with their bizarre concepts. Does that sound interesting? So let’s look into the details and discover more about the wild imagination of the Japanese developers.
Publisher: MIST[PSI]PRESS Devolver Digital
Released in 2011 this game is based on the popular text-based visual novel and takes the theme of bird-watching to a new level. The interesting thing is, the title is a combination of the word “hateful” and the name of the game’s creator Hato Moa. However, the concept is completely different than anything you have tried before.
The gamer is a teenage girl who is the only human attending the St. PigeoNation’s Institute which is a posh school for, well, pigeons. There is plenty of chance to interact and romance the fair feathered birdies or being pursued by a few lovelorn ones. Not only that, but you can also get involved in a murder mystery and with a ghost. That is, apart from managing life, friends, and romance.
Publisher: JP: Sony Computer Entertainment
Ever wondered how it will be like to live the life of a blood-sucking mosquito? Hold on, there’s more. What if I tell you that the mosquito has a perverted bend in its mind too? Well, this game allows you to experience that and more. Actually, the main aim of the player as a mosquito is pretty simple- sucking blood from the members of the Yamada family as they pursue their daily chores.
However, the player needs to remain out of sight as your victims will go into battle mode if they spot you. The player can also touch the victim in various pressure points to calm them down and defuse the battle mode. Considering the popularity it enjoyed after it was released, this game definitely didn’t suck.
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This game was first released in 1999. Subsequently, a PlayStation 2 version was released in 2001. Does it sound like the adventures of a seaman on a ship? Well, things are not so simple here. The seaman is actually a special species which is a fish with a man’s face. The objective is to help the creature develop from a parasite into a developed frogman.
There are multiple intermediate stages that the creature has to pass through in its path to development. Keep in mind that the creature can speak and will throw the crudest insults at the player. As an owner, the player not only has to help it develop but needs to tame the mouth of the creature too. If you love pets, this is one special one that you might enjoy handling.
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Publisher: JP: Atlus
This is one game with a very interesting plot. The storyline is based on Vincent Brooks, a man in his late thirties, his girlfriend Katherine, and a mysterious beauty called Catherine. Vincent is not only afraid of commitments but also guilt-ridden. Then again, lethal nightmares keep troubling him. Sounds interesting? Hold on, there’s more. A section of protagonists in Vincent’s dream are not human beings but sheep. Yes, you heard that right.
In his nightmares, Vincent has to climb towers made of blocks that start collapsing under him. He has to use his platforming and puzzle-solving skills in order to stay alive. On the whole, this is an adult-themed game that has plenty of interesting elements in it. And obviously, lots of sheep.
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LSD: Dream Emulator
Publisher: Asmik Ace Entertainment
This game was released in PlayStation One back in 1998. But its unique concept has led to a resurgence in popularity during the subsequent years. Some say that it was developed based on a dream journal that was maintained by an Asmik Ace employee for ten years. The game simulates a first-person environment that allows the player to explore a range of surreal environments.
LSD allows a player to start every dream in a different setting. Each dream lasts for ten minutes but can end early if the player dies. In reality, the use of recreational drugs is associated with immense social stigma in Japan. So, this game presents a chance to enjoy a trippy setting without the risks associated with actual drugs.
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Cho Chabudai Gaeshi
How many times have you got really angry with your family members or your boss in the office? Imagine taking that real-life feeling and turning it into a whole lot of fun. Now, here is a popular arcade game that allows you to vent your anger and frustration over a whole range of household furniture. A player can choose from four different scenarios which include a bride at her wedding and a worker in the office.
You get sixty seconds to unleash mayhem on various objects and gather the maximum points. The popularity of the game also resulted in the launching of Cho Chabudai Gaeshi 2. Believe it or not, the sequel allows a scenario where a man’s ghost overturns his own coffin with the dead body still inside it!
Get it from coinexpress.com
This is basically a party video game that consists of a number of microgames. Note that the duration of the games are between 3 to 20 seconds and needless to say, the concepts are weird. They can range from picking your nose to barbecuing ham and each concept is completely different from the other. With the completion of each game, the player moves into the next.
As the player progresses, the gameplay gets faster and the difficulty levels increase. You can play this game anytime, anywhere and that is a big advantage. The short playing time makes it ideal for those who have very little time for video gaming. The best part is, it will leave you with a smile on your lips with a delightfully weird presentation.
Get it from https://www.nintendo.com/
Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed
This action-adventure game is set in the Akihabara Strip of Tokyo. The concept is to attack the enemies called Synthisters and vanquish them by stripping their clothes off. Yes, you heard that right. Basically, Synthisters are humanoids with vampire-like tendencies. But instead of blood, they suck away people’s social skills and their will to live. However, sunlight remains their major weakness.
So the player has no other option but to strip away their clothes and expose them to sunlight. The game progresses as a visual novel and there are plenty of options to customize the player by choosing clothing and weapons. The original version called Akiba’s Trip was released in 2011. The present version was released in 2013. The game also led to the development of an anime television series based on it.
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Publisher: 0verflow (Windows)
This game was released in 2004 and was the bestselling visual novel during that period. Interestingly, it is presented from the third-person perspective and the gameplay is kept to a minimum. The outcome can be positive or negative based on the choices made by the player. Also, mixed with the elements of romance are weird themes of sexuality and violence that are depicted in a non-linear pattern.
Here, the main character is Makoto Ito, a high school student who befriends two different girls. Now there is a positive ending in the story but there are multiple negative endings that involve murder, rape, and suicide. In 2007, a manga was also developed based on the concept of the game.
Get it from https://schooldays.us
Publisher: Elex Wireless
This is a role-playing game that’s perfect for all the food lovers and gourmets out there. Firstly, the rather bizarre plot of the game mixes special dishes, a restaurant scenario, and evil creatures lurking around. Secondly, you get to create new recipes as a cook you can also fight the creatures as a part-time adventurer. In addition, you can summon food souls and food spirits to help you with your tasks.
The good thing is, this game can be played for a few minutes or for a whole hour depending on your choice. On top of that, food fantasy also features top-class artwork and a unique blend of multiple genres that makes it a lot of fun.
These are a whole range of exciting options from the world of Japanese video games. Moreover, many of these games are deeply rooted in the cultural ethos of Japan which is much different from that of the western world.
Also, They allow you to understand the completely different world of Japanese culture through one of their favorite hobbies. With the global gaming industry set to register steady growth in the coming years, the future of gaming seems bright in Japan.