Question of the Week: What game nailed the funny parts?

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing
Funny Stuff

"Dying is easy ... comedy is hard."  That concept has never been more poignant -- or abused -- than in videogames.

What's one game you played that absolutely nailed the comedy bit?

Adam Dodd:  One of the funniest games I've ever played was Psychonauts, but I can't give an example of the hilarity since I haven't played that game in years I'll have to go with the original Resident Evil.  This game did a lot of things like coining the term 'survival horror' as well as making the genre popular, but it also had some unintentionally hilarious dialogue.  One example of its deliciously cheesy dialogue sounded something like this:  Chris: "Aw, Jill, what good timing.  A moment ago I heard someone's voice coming from this hole.  Let's go together since it's dark and we can't see very well."  (Currently Playing:  Resident Evil 5, and the B-movie dialogue hasn't changed much...)

Charles Husemann
Destroy All Humans:Path of the Furon had a few funny moments but most of those were unintentional.  I know it's a bit old school but Maniac Mansion was really the first game that nailed the comedy angle.  The dialog was sharp, funny, and actually holds up fairly well over time.  It helps that the artwork for the characters was spot on but the writing was perfect.  (Currently Playing:  X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Bionic Commando, and Team Fortress 2)

Randy Kalista:  2004's The Bard's Tale is rather memorable for its sharp-witted tongue.  And it's not just funny in the "funny ... for a videogame" way either.  Even the banter between -- scratch that:  especially the banter between -- the Bard and the Narrator is cutting.  Narrator:  "Despite the Bard's warm and shining personality, people continued to run from him like the plague.  Perhaps he would one day learn that in order to keep friends near, a man such as himself needed to keep them tied up."  The Bard:  "If only I could find a sock big enough to put in that mouth of yours."  The Princess Bride's Cary Elwes is flawless in his role as the Bard.  (Currently Playing:  Zen Bound (Tree of Nostalgia) added, War of the Dragon Lords, Demigod, EVE Online: Apocrypha)

Dan Keener:  Well, comedy comes in many forms, and one of those is personal amusement.  To me, there is one game that absolutely nails it when it comes to just having a great time, having fun and laughing my ass off.  Well, actually, it isn't really the game, but a subset of the game and that is the Grand Theft Auto IV multiplayer lobby.  In addition to the personal fun I have running people over with a car while they are jogging around the warehouse, the lobby allows for such a dearth of opportunities to screw around including running boats up onto the road, jumping Vespas onto buildings and of course the time one of the GN staff members comes rolling back into the fray after procuring himself a firetruck.  In fact, the majority of the time we have so much side-splitting fun in the lobby, we forget to start a multiplayer game.  (Currently Playing Galaga Remix (iPod Touch), Dig Dug Remix (iPod Touch), Hasbro Family Game Night, Rock Band 2 and NYKO Metal Pedal)

Nathan Murray:  My favorite "funny" was not a scripted event in a game or a line of dialog. Of course there are many I've forgotten but this event in particular has always stuck out in my memory. When I was younger I had a friend who was the only person I knew who owned a Xbox. One day while we were playing Halo cooperatively he was driving a warthog while I was in the turret on the back. Suddenly we were attacked by an aerial bombardment. My friend yelled "bail out!" but before I could remember what button to press the warthog flipped over and crushed my character. "Ok let me take care of this thing. As soon as you respawn go pick up your weapons." He told me while he took aim. Some how he managed to blast the banshee or ghost (I con't remember what it was exactly) out of the sky. I respwaned and proceed to head to the wreckage of the warthog which had come to a rest just at the edge of a cliff. My friend watched in a mix of horror and amusement as the air craft came hurtling down bowling itself, the warthog, my previous body, and my current character right off the cliff mere moments after I had picked up my weapons and triumphantly excalimed "I got it!" We laughed about that the entire night and I still remember it was my first great co-op blunder.  (Currently Playing:  Far Cry 2, Rock Band 2, Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, BattleForge, and soon X-Men Origins: Wolverine the video game (don't waste your money on the movie, make your friend pay)

Sean Nack:  There's a scene in the "Death Toll" campaign of Left 4 Dead where Francis, the biker character, walks past a minivan and growls "I hate vans." My friend and I laughed our heads off, because it's such a left-field thing to say, and such a left-field thing to say so angrily.  (Currently Playing: Call of Duty: World at War, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, Resident Evil 5)

John Yan:  How about a game that was did it unintentionally? There were many, many moments in Army of Two that had us in stitches. It's definitely not the dialog or anything that had to do with the game but the way the AI handled some situations. There was one moment where two enemies behind a barricade. Both stood up with the one behind the other deciding to toss a grenade at us. He must not have good arm strength because I saw the grenade bounce off the back of his friend's head and land on the ground in front of them. Yes, the laughter was loud and long after the grenade exploded and killed them both. The other thing I saw was a situation where one enemy AI would climb over a barricade, run to the right around it back behind it, and proceeded to leap over the barricade again following the same path to the back. This happened at least seven times as Chuck and I stood there and just mocked the enemy as he was doing it. Good times, good times. I hope Army of Two: The 40th Day has more moments like that.  (Currently Playing:  Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2)