Well, well, well… what do we have here? It’s the game everyone was clamouring for in 2009: Irozuki Tincle no Koi no Balloon Trip, aka Ripening Tingle’s Balloon Trip of Love! The name really says it all, doesn’t it? Too much, even. This is the sequel to the 2006 hit (seriously, quarter of a million units sold in Japan alone), Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland. The first game came out in Europe and Japan only – the fact that it left Japan is surprising in and of itself – whereas the sequel was Japan-only. And the fact that the sequel remained Japan-only is most definitely not a surprise – let’s take a look.
I just… well… where do you even start with this? Well for one thing, why does the video begin with a crotch shot of Tingle? Secondly, did they have to turn the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz into a Tin Woman and give her huge breasts? What were they smoking when they decided that the Tingle origin story that explains it all should begin with a man watching a TV shopping channel and ordering a book to make him attractive to women, only to be sucked into the book and transformed into the Tingle we all know and… love? (We all find disturbing, more like.) Seriously, I need to know who came up with this hot mess of a plot so they can be brought to justice.
I have to say though the game at the very least looks amusing, and it’s testament to the expressiveness of the art and animation that much of the humour doesn’t require translation. My favourite part of the trailer is the parting moment, when Tingle kicks what he thinks is the lion’s bum, only for it to turn out to be a giant raccoon’s bum. The raccoon then proceeds to punch Tingle in the face repeatedly, drawing blood in the process. It shouldn’t be hilarious but it is. Why was Tingle trying to kick the lion in the bum in the first place anyway? What a dick. Now that Tingle’s ripening and no longer freshly-picked he ought to be more sensible, surely.
On the internet, things can be confusing. Bob’s Game, the much-hyped, unreleased homebrew game for the DS is a prime example of this – what the hell is it? Who is Robert Pelloni, aka Bob? Check out this video below from Bob’s very own Youtube channel and see if you’re any the wiser; I know I’m not. But regardless of what you do or do not learn from this video, you will at the very least discover those same qualities that made this quirky looking RPG an online sensation in the first place: masses of time and effort put into a pet project, and delusions of grandeur and self-importance. This video describes the journey of Bob’s Game in the most paranoid terms possible, then tops it all off with… ha ha?? It’s a joke – and the joke’s on us -er, wait, Yuu…
Watch. Please, watch, then explain it to me. I just can’t- it makes no sense. No sense. What kind of a joke is this? Who on earth thought this was a good idea?! “I’m Bob, an independent indie developer with no clout or experience in the games industry. I know, let’s create a fake, viral marketing campaign dedicated to smearing Nintendo, the company I’m currently begging to publish my videogame”. WTF?
That really ought to be the end of the story, right there, just one big WTF. Let’s chalk it up to a hoax, big mistake on Bob’s part. No more hunger strikes, no more ridiculous “assaults” on retail shops – everyone can relax and get on with their lives. But no, according to the bizarre Wikipedia entry which chronicles the entire Bob’s Game debacle, Bob’s still got an axe to grind. Would you believe it, Bob claimed in a recent interview that his viral marketing tricks are “the mark of somebody who deserves to be a part of the game industry”? Let’s throw it out there: does anyone think this video is the mark of somebody who deserves to be a part of the games industry?
At the very least, I’ve learned you can’t get Weirder on a Wednesday than with Bob’s Game.