Cel-shading is a fantastic technique to help craft a timeless look for many video games. When looking back on older console generations, many of the games that hold up best are the cel-shaded efforts from major studios. The style isn’t realistic, something that can divide gamers, but that more cartoonish style is something that has led to some bizarre games.
Since many cel-shaded games end up going for a cartoony or comic book aesthetic, many cel-shaded games let you do things that many other games would never even dream of. Some are incredible, and some leave something to be desired, but it’s hard to not acknowledge how unique cel-shaded games can be.
10 Mega Man X: Command Mission
While Mega Man X: Command Mission isn’t the strangest looking cel-shaded game, the fact that a turn-based Mega Man RPG exists in the first place is the true thing that makes it bizarre. Even stranger, it’s actually a fairly good game, although it can be brutally difficult.
The game sees Mega Man X and a band of other maverick hunters working to keep the world safe from evil-doers who are looking to harness force metals for evil. The game has a few twists along the way and tries to implement some unique RPG mechanics as well.
9 Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw is a bizarre mixture of incredible talent at every possible angle to bring gamers a video game that features a high school cheerleader fighting off hordes of zombies. The wild game even featured help from famed director James Gunn.
The entire game oozes a certain charm and aesthetic that might not be for everyone, but fans of the hack and slash genre will probably find the game to be a great time. It can feel like the game is part of a bygone era, but that has nothing to do with its mechanics and style.
8 Afro Samurai
It’s never a bad idea to have more video games featuring samurai, but the fact that Afro Samurai exists is something that baffles many gamers. The game is a rather straightforward 3D brawler, but even though it is rather simplistic, it does its combat fairly well.
The overall visual aesthetic of the game is likely what keeps it in the minds of gamers around the world as it does look pretty unique, even amongst cel-shaded games. The straightforward and simple action mixed with a digestible story makes it an easy game for casual gamers to jump into if they want something different.
7 Sonic Shuffle
If anyone has ever wondered why the Sonic series hasn’t tried to create their own Mario Party clone, they’ve clearly never heard of Sonic Shuffle. The bizarre game is more or less an attempt at the Mario Party design, right down to the boards and mini-games.
Its sole release on the Dreamcast may be why so few people have experienced the game, and its widely negative to middling reviews are likely an additional factor. Still, it’s a surprise that the game didn’t work out, as the Sonic series seems like it would do well with that type of entry into the franchise.
6 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy
The fact that a video game based on The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy exists isn’t all that strange, it was quite the popular show after all. The fact that someone decided that game needed to be a fighting game is what many people will find bizarre.
Fans of the 3D arena fighter Power Stone will find a lot to love with this game. While a fighting game based on a children's cartoon may not make the most sense, the game's story actually sets up the premise in a fantastic way that won’t leave you rolling your eyes.
Due to the nature of how cel-shaded animation is presented, most developers opt to keep the feeling of a game relatively light, Killer7 does the exact opposite. While the game is bombastic, it features a storyline that follows a group of deadly assassins.
The game manages to stand out for a variety of reasons, some of which are its complex storyline that delves into politics and the game's unique mechanics. For those that enjoy hidden gems, Killer7 is definitely a game to seek out.
4 Untitled Goose Game
One of the strangest hit games in recent years is absolutely Untitled Goose Game. Those who haven’t played it may scratch their heads at a title like that, but most people who play it find it to be quite the charming puzzle game experience.
You play as a goose to more or less inconvenience the poor inhabitants of a town. All of your actions are to complete various objectives, and while it sounds simple, the game can take quite a bit of time to get through.
3 Cel Damage
There have been a ton of chaotic vehicle combat games over the years, but few are as wonderful and bizarre as Cel Damage. The best way to describe it would be a cartoonish version of a series like Twisted Metal.
You choose your character and battle your opponents throughout various levels and with a wide variety of power-ups. The cartoonish characters are designed in such a way that they never truly leave your mind, and the imaginative weapons work much like you’d think they would in your favorite childhood cartoons.
A lot of people could misconstrue what type of game Catherine actually is at a glance. You may think it’s one of those games made to cater to a typical male fantasy, but instead, it’s actually a fun, if strange, puzzle game.
It being an Atlus game, there are social simulator aspects, but the game is mostly made up of you taking control of Vincent as he deals with strange dreams and the two different women in his life Katherine and Catherine. If you like tough puzzlers with a great story, Catherine is a game you should look into.
1 Drake Of The 99 Dragons
Many famous online commentators of the gaming world have spoken about the strange journey that is Drake of the 99 Dragons. It seems to have been meant to become the next huge franchise, but most people find it difficult to play.
The bizarre game is a product of its time, pulling heavily from things kids find cool like dragons, dual-wielded guns, and The Matrix. It’s a hard game to describe to those who have never experienced it, but credit should be given for trying something relatively new.
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