Published on July 1st, 2013 | by Michaela Buckley0
This post marks my 100th on this site and so instead of a boring retrospective, it’d probably be easier for you just to hover over the tabs at the top there and just reacquaint yourselves with my other reviews and theories. For the centi-post today, I thought I would take a little look at a game that has a special place in my heart.
Incredible Crisis on the Playstation 1.
A somewhat strange game that was released at the latter end of the PS1’s lifetime in 1999, Incredible Crisis is an arcade style mini-game compilation game and so features a wide variety of gameplay set into small segments.
As a Japanese game by a small game developer it’s strange this game was released at all, it was published by Titus, who seem to have put their money behind a lot of games in the PS1 era, looking at their catalogue which includes such superb titles as “Superman 64” it’s not too hard to understand why they’re not around any more. Fortunately thanks to their aimless mass publishing and Virgin Interactive’s distribution in the EU, we were able to experience this amazing game. Also what the hell IS “distribution” anyway? Isn’t that the job of a publisher, or were they trying to share the burden?
When I say it’s a Japanese game, I really can’t stress the “Japanese” part enough, this game has a dance choreographer listed in the credits!
The game had to have two of its minigames taken out because they were kanji-based. (Kanji is one of the Japanese alphabets)
The game starts very similar to Gitaroo Man (Ooooh… Gita-roooo Man…) with a sexy lady’s voice saying “Welcome to Incredible Crisis…” and that’s how you know the fun begins.
The story is about a Japanese family and how all of the members are trying to make it back early for Grandma Haruko’s Birthday. The father of the family is a salaryman called Taneo and first chapter follows his day at work.
Now here’s where I would usually talk about the gameplay, but that’s a little bit difficult as it changes from mini-game to mini-game. So instead lets just go through some of the early games.
The first game is a rhythm game based on many Japanese workplaces’ habit of making their employees endure morning exercise before they start work.
Different buttons on the D pad and face buttons appear and you must press them at the right time just as they pass the line. After a few round of increasing difficulty, you then have to fill a meter by repeatedly hitting a button. The dance moves are awful and hilarious.
But before Taneo can celebrate a good “working out” a giant metal globe that was being placed conspicuously on a statue without supports shockingly comes loose and somehow falls horizontally into the skyscraper window just where Taneo is at. This is the start to a very bad day for Taneo.
Taneo seizes his chance for survival and makes an Indy-style dash for it, which turns into a convenient mini-game.
Repeatedly pressing X makes Taneo run faster but uses up the energy drinks. Taneo seems to be able to drink them at superhuman speed and after a short interval eerily replenish them, I don’t even want to know how he recycles this liquid. Obstacles which are clearly a health and safety nightmare are in the corridors and he must tap up or down to avoid them.
After reaching an elevator, it begins falling at rapid speed and Taneo must repeatedly press the stop button to get it to slow down. Notice how many button-mashing mini-games are in this? It gives Metal Gear Solid a run for its money for arm-ache. Also there are objects falling from the building which he must avoid.
I can’t help but feel like it would take a peculiar set of circumstances as well as a lot of health & safety violations for any of this day to have happened.
Know this, it’s not ninjas, yakuza, earthquakes or tsunamis that will most likely get you, it’s dangerous clutter.
After this there is a balancing game on a pole that he inevitably manages to fall onto and somehow survive. There is a meter which you must let go of the x button at the right time to hit the green area for him to move forward and if you make a mistake you must balance him right again.
After this, the bloody pole breaks anyway and he falls through multiple tarp before somersaulting safely in front of the entrance to the building. For some reason the Skyscraper had market style tarp on the sides of the building.
The globe rolls out of the entrance doors and goes right by him, but unfortunately he is hit on the head by another random object.
This next bit is a trivia game, but it has some of the most difficult and random trivia, ranging from, 1 + 1 =? to Did Florence Nightingale serve in the Crimean war? Seriously! Then there are fairly large multiplication sums you have to do in three seconds and if you get a question wrong twice in a row they zap you! And I heard Japanese Healthcare was best in the world…
Then the bastards push you while on your gurney out of the speeding ambulance! So Taneo does the only reasonable thing one can do in that situation and surfs it. This game you have to avoid various road stuffs and out of control cars as they come towards you.
Then it’s the sex game.
Well, not a sex game, but it may as well be. Some woman turns up (you can actually see her in the first mini-game doing the dance workout) and starts flirting with Taneo, who like any good husband, quickly succumbs and eagerly joins her on a Ferris Wheel out of nowhere.
This is the most awkward game in the world, I say this because at least most the most lurid games have the decency of being on the PC where headphones are accessible.
You need to massage the woman, you can only see the Ferris Wheel and must listen to her instruction to move the D pad in the right direction and when… “prompted” repeatedly mash the button to fill up the gauge. This doesn’t sound so bad right? Dead bloody wrong. She utters the directions in a very seductive voice and when you hit the right spot she moans orgasmically rather loud, but you kind of need to hear her so have to keep the sound on. Very embarrassing. It’s also the mini-game I’m best at.
After she’s had her way, she jumps out of the Ferris Wheel into a helicopter and turns badguy by placing a BOMB in the pod! Taneo is blown onto the windshield of the chopper which makes it spiral out of controle, so he jumps off onto the badguy woman who has a parachute. Then for some reason she and the military start shooting at a giant Independence Day style UFO and Taneo has to shoot their missiles out of the sky with a nearby turret. Yes, a nearby turret.
It’s pretty easy to shoot the ones going to the alien’s ship, but I can’t ever seem to shoot the ones coming towards Taneo’s turret.
After this the boat has leaks and starts to sink. There is a really weird man in the boat with Taneo who is my favourite character in the game who helps you out. You must repeatedly tap the buttons (again) to fill the bucket with water and then empty it, while avoiding random objects that keep falling from the water spout. Serious litter problem in Japan!
This is all I could be bothered to play in order to get pictures, but I managed to get a lot of the weird sailor. There aren’t many pictures of this game online and it took me a while to get these together, I died quite a number of times. I own a copy on the Playstation, but the the console’s on its last legs at the moment.
The later chapters involve the other family members, but I’m not so fond of those. It’s a real shame that there aren’t more games like this in the west because you can damn well bet that Japan has tonnes of these every year.
If you do play this or have already played this there are some games that evoke the same Japanese kind of vibe like No One Can Stop Mr. Domino! on the Playstation and there is another similar to this called Minon Everyday Hero on the Wii, Mister Moskeeto on the Playstation 2 and the entire Katamari series. If you find anymore that you would like to recommend send it to firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to see some more of this unique style.
Incredible Crisis is a great game, which is enormously fun and good to play with a friend, taking in turns. The humour is very cheesy and slapstick, but I found that I am still laughing loudly to the pure ridiculousness of it all. In the words of Taneo: U-WAAAYYY!!!