Some films like 'It's a Wonderful Life' are supposed to be able to lift anyone's mood. But, as Phoebe said in Friends, it should have been called, "It's a sucky life and just when you think it can't suck any more it does."
I'll admit, I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life, so I can't comment. But I have played some video games which I guarantee can lift anyone's mood. Get ready for some heartwarming awesomeness. After our recent Week of Hate, they should be just what the doctor ordered.
This game is so happy, I was scared to go past level one. Surely the rest of the game would spring some horrible trick and kill all these happy little souls? That's what games do, right? Wrong! Joyously, mould-breakingly wrong! While the nasty Moja Moja can cause harm to the little fellas, you can beat them by bouncing at them. BOUNCING at them! Like little space hoppers of defiance.
That bit where you fly up and around through the air in the shape of a heart, the bit where you sing to wake up a tree... LocoRoco is a proper love-in and no mistake.
All the bad stuff's still there, but given such a twist by the Lego characters, there's nothing left to scar you. Luke's lost his hand? He gets a prosthetic one which goes haywire and bounces around the bridge of the Millennium Falcon. The game itself isn't all that, but the cut-scenes are absolutely charming.
Above: Lego versions of Star Wars characters do not deserve hatred
Catching a fish yeilds a pun. How many games give you a pun when you catch a fish? None. And it's no fun with no puns, son. Then there's the touching moments you share with Celeste, the cute little owl with a bow in her feathers, as you draw her a heart in the stars through her telescope. Watering your flowers, growing your vegetables, the moment when the hedgehog sister stops being shy and finally talks to you...
You know what the only really sad thing about Animal Crossing is? Other people who you invited into your town getting out their axe and felling your trees. But that's not the game's fault - it's humanity's.
Above: Yep, the medication's working juust fine
An indestructible yellow cab, punk rock blaring from your speakers, a town full of colourful stereotypes that you can never run over... There are people sunbathing on the beach, people playing tennis in the tennis court - and all under beautiful blue skies.
This is the summer holiday you took to the beach as a child, coupled with the thrill of the amusement arcade with the sand-covered games machines. As Dexter Holland so eloquently put it in the soundtrack... ya ya ya ya ya!
Above: They don't make 'em like this any more (sniff)
Sure, you're making zombies' heads fall off and it's kinda sad that they want brains so badly but you won't let them. But if that's going to disturb you then you'd better steer well away from... well, everything. Plants vs Zombies raises a smile right from the initial loading screen where the progress bar reveals daisies in a row, until the last one appears... oh, but it's a zombie's head instead! It's so daft, you can't help but smile.
Above: Who would have thought a game about reanimated corpses could be so heartwarming?
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