To Give Up A Game First Requires Us To Give Up Part Of Ourselves
February 21, 2006 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Takeshi no Chousenjou may be the hardest videogame ever written. With a title screen warning that it was "created by somebody who hates videogames" (actually writer/actor/director/comedian Takeshi "Beat" Kitano) "Takeshi's Challenge" forces gamers to endure such tasks as singing karaoke for an uninterrupted hour and holding a single button for four straight hours. Players who endure to the end are rewarded by having to hit the final boss 20,000 times. If you don't speak the language, you might be able to enjoy the game as a Japanese precursor to Grand Theft Auto, but those who understand it more fully see it as "a videogame that riffs on human disappointment for as many hours as the player is willing to search for redemption." Warning: last link contains possible spoilers for Mother 2 and some of the Metal Gear Solid games.
posted by yankeefog (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Actually, looking at that last link again, I should have mentioned that you have to scroll down a ways to get to the relevant stuff. Doing a search for "Takeshi" is probably the fastest way to get to it.
posted by yankeefog at 9:21 AM on February 21, 2006


God, Tim Rogers is such a tool. I hope he gets run over by a bus one of these days.

The other stuff is good, though.
posted by jimmy at 9:27 AM on February 21, 2006


Jesus Christ. Is there anything that Beat doesn't do?
posted by brundlefly at 9:29 AM on February 21, 2006


Very interesting and funny. It's curious that there isn't too much art made regarding video games and their conventions...
posted by mert at 9:30 AM on February 21, 2006


Yeah, I challenge you all to a 20,000 hit deathmatch...see you in a couple years.
posted by jne1813 at 9:31 AM on February 21, 2006


Jesus Christ. Is there anything that Beat doesn't do?

Make interesting TV shows and films
posted by dydecker at 9:33 AM on February 21, 2006



Make interesting TV shows and films


Fa. I beg to differ.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:38 AM on February 21, 2006


The second link is broken in IE. Extra quotation mark or something.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:39 AM on February 21, 2006


How about an eight-hour search for redemption? Penn & Teller's Sega CD game, Smoke And Mirrors, had a mini-game called "Desert Bus." The object of Desert Bus is to drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas. Your bus doesn't go over 45 mph. There is no scenery or obstacles, just an empty desert road. Your bus also veers slightly to the right, so you can't put something on the accelerate button and go live your life. The trip takes roughly eight hours. If you get to Vegas, you score one point.
posted by Spatch at 9:42 AM on February 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I loved Johnny Mnemonic. Never failed to put me out like a light whenever I was having trouble sleeping.
posted by Gator at 9:44 AM on February 21, 2006


What has Johnny Mnemonic got to do with anything?
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 9:47 AM on February 21, 2006


...The subject of this post was in it?
posted by Gator at 9:49 AM on February 21, 2006


Just when I thought I couldn't love Beat any more than I do...


And dydecker , if you thought Kikujiro was boring, I weep for you because you have no soul.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:56 AM on February 21, 2006


Make interesting TV shows and films

Fa. I beg to differ.


I add this, to that list.
posted by btwillig at 9:57 AM on February 21, 2006


Too easy, no fun. Wish the game had a hard mode. Maybe if it had a stage with one billion mazes it would be more challenging.
posted by qvantamon at 10:13 AM on February 21, 2006


jimmy, what's your beef with Tim Rogers? I don't know anything about the guy, but I thought that essay was fantastic.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:29 AM on February 21, 2006


Everything I learn about Takeshi Kitano just increases my respect for the man.
posted by Gnatcho at 10:35 AM on February 21, 2006


you know, despite the fact that this post links to fucking Tim "I'm high on myself" Rogers, this is still awesome. Good for Beat Takeshi! I adore him more, now, than I did before I heard about this. Fucking rad.
posted by shmegegge at 10:38 AM on February 21, 2006


Douglas Adams helped write Bureaucracy, one of the first games to purposely antagonize the player with tedium.
posted by straight at 11:01 AM on February 21, 2006


That article in the last link was huge, and only incidentally refers to Takeshi. I read the whole thing anyway, because I like Earthbound. The author seems only able to write very convoluted paragraphs.
posted by jenovus at 11:17 AM on February 21, 2006


There are, of course, simpler videogames.
posted by mert at 11:41 AM on February 21, 2006


if you thought Kikujiro was boring, I weep for you because you have no soul.

I loved Hana-Bi, but Kikujiro was rather unfortunate. Too violent to be a kid's movie, but too awkwardly childish to be an adult movie. The last part, when they're all camping in a field somewhere, is awesomely stupid and maudlin. I realize the man shot the film right after a horrific motorcycle accident that made him re-examine his life, and I understand he didn't want to be pigeonholed as a gangster filmmaker, but Hana-Bi had far more genuinely touching moments, even if it is technically "one of those gangster movies."

...many others believe the entire game was a cruel joke on the gaming community by Takeshi Kitano.

Of COURSE it was a cruel joke by Kitano. That's why it's so awesome. What did anyone expect from a game by Beat Takeshi?
posted by chrominance at 1:13 PM on February 21, 2006


Spoilers for Earthbound? A game that was released more than ten years ago? Or did you mean Mother 3? ;-)
posted by disillusioned at 2:24 PM on February 21, 2006


interesting post-- i'd never heard of this game before. it made me think of the novel lucky wander boy. always cool to find games that baffle and vex. PS tim rogers writes turgid, bloviated prose and i've rarely managed to finish reading anything he's done
posted by jcruelty at 3:28 PM on February 21, 2006


I always find it hard to reconcile the grande artiste Beat Takeshi people in western media fawn over with the complete retard I see on tv everyday, wearing a bald-cap and bonking people on the head with a plastic mallet while groping some chick.
posted by nightchrome at 6:08 PM on February 21, 2006


wearing a bald-cap and bonking people on the head with a plastic mallet while groping some chick.

My lifelong dream is to be paid to do that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:56 PM on February 21, 2006


stavros: he's a relatively amusing comedian most of the time, but in the Will Ferrell style of retarded dirty old man comedy. I have a tough time taking him seriously at all, which is why the fawning attitude people take over him is confusing.
posted by nightchrome at 10:45 PM on February 21, 2006


Beat Takeshi is a comic and artistic genius, far too sophisticated for the likes of you, nightchrome. This applies even when Takeshi-san is asleep.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:08 AM on February 22, 2006


FoB: uhhhh, okay.
posted by nightchrome at 8:07 AM on February 22, 2006


nightchrome, you're just jealous because no one wants to storm your castle. KIDDING
posted by jenovus at 9:36 AM on February 22, 2006


I loved Hana-Bi, but Kikujiro was rather unfortunate. Too violent to be a kid's movie, but too awkwardly childish to be an adult movie.

That's a cultural difference, right there. Japanese films aimed at the younger market tend to be more violent in nature than their Western counterparts. See Princess Mononoke for another example.

Maybe the camping section of the movie is stupid and maudlin to you, but it's in context with the film as a whole. It's supposed to be drippy and sentimental, so it's a bit silly to criticise it for being so, in my opinion.
posted by macdara at 3:42 AM on March 2, 2006


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