"Jason! Jaaaason! JASON!"
If you've played even a little Heavy Rain, you know exactly what the quote above is about. Near the beginning of this adventure game, hyped and marketed as a revolutionary breakthrough in interactive storytelling, you guide a frightened father as he searches for his lost son in a crowded mall.
Dramatic? Intense? Heartbreaking? Not when all you're really doing is hitting the "X" button over and over to yell the kid's name in a monotone robot voice. The scene is obviously only one of hundreds, but it quickly became an internet meme and a rallying cry for Heavy Rain's disappointed detractors. Now, in a brilliant and bizarre turn of events, that ridicule has been transformed into its own game: the Flash-based Press X to Jason.
This isn't the first time, however, that we've watched – and played – as a major, multi-million selling title was lampooned by a quick, browser-based creation. Here's the Heavy Rain mockery, as well as five others.
Clearly mocking: Heavy Rain
A frightened father (made of giant pixelated blocks) races through a mall (made of even blockier blocks) in a desperate (hilarious) effort to save his lost (dead) son from a fatal (hilarious) car crash. How? By hitting "X" as many times as possible. Smack your keyboard to the count of 100 and you'll earn an Achievement… Tourettes Lord!
Clearly mocking: Trauma Center
You're a handsome and talented doctor, saving the lives of beautiful women, kindly old men and innocent children through the precise, laser-focused use of futuristic medical technology. All with a DS stylus or Wii remote! What could be more thrilling? What could be more pulse-pounding?
Amateur Surgeon, that's what. You're a greasy delivery boy, risking the lives of inept criminals and homeless dudes through the sloppy, amateurish use of "tools" you happened to find lying around the back of your van… stuff like staplers, lighters, pizza slicers and salad tongs. All for free on your PC.
Clearly mocking: Guitar Hero / Rock Band
Music games are more about the timing and rhythm of button presses than actually playing music. So why limit this seemingly simple-minded genre to wannabe rockers? The time-honored art of removing your clothes for money also requires timing and rhythm. Press arrow keys to the beat to collect money and arouse the crowd! Press space bar when lust meter is full!
Clearly mocking: Cooking Mama
The fact that this Flash game is hosted on the PETA website (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ought to tell you everything you need to know. Mama is no longer the smiling, sparkly-eyed creator of delicious home-cooked meals, but a demonic, knife-wielding serial killer who guts and decapitates turkeys for fun, not for nutrition.
Clearly mocking: World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft's zillions of subscribers can take themselves, and their beloved MMO, pretty seriously sometimes. Entire days, weekends, even lives have been devoted to the game. WTF?! dares to ask that very question – WTF?! – by satirizing the phenomenon in the form of a Flash sidescroller with WTF?! appearances by philosophical and political thinkers like Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Mary Daly. We don't know… maybe you'll make more sense of it.
Clearly mocking: Xbox 360 Gamerscore
It's just a number. A meaningless number and nothing more. This Flash game wants to remind you of that inescapable fact as strongly and sarcastically as possible. Start the game, in fact, and you've already earned a handful of Achievements for such amazing feats as starting the game, starting level one and not moving. Do nothing for 15 seconds and you've got another Achievement.
You can even earn an Achievement for earning an Achievement. It's called "Best Player Ever." Ouch.
Mar 17, 2010