Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson: A gaming retrospective

In light of the King of Pop's tragic passing, (and to help me digest watching the wretched Main$tream Media falling over themselves trying to psycho-analyze the poor man's entire life) a list of games starring the one and only Michael Jackson, who, apparently, was quite a gamer himself.

Mystery game that, perhaps, is not to be

This Dutch gaming website had rumored as recently as last weekend that Jackson was working on a game to help propel his comeback. Game development sometimes has a habit of persisting despite the odds, and if demand from Jackson's fans is high enough...well, let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if it did see the light of day (or perhaps a special Guitar Hero/Rock Band Michael Jackson tribute). What will most likely occur for now, if anything else, before anything else, is a fracas over the estate of the deceased musician, who was deep in debt.

Suddenly not so funny

This recent online Flash game has you trying to prevent an exhausted Jackson from, literally, falling apart on stage in the middle of what promising to be a grueling comeback concert tour. The news media is currently speculating that, tragically, Jackson's fatal cardiac arrest came about from the training he was undertaking to build his physical endurance for this tour. Time to retire this one, perhaps.


Here we have Jackson merging with clothed chimps and transforming into cyborgs at 0:30, later into a Decepticon-ish jet at 24:44. In addition, we have Jackson battling shrieking, shrinking zombie chicks at 15:30, crazed phallic mecha at 19:15, and a hentai-worthy machine at 17:10. Later, the brutal, violent death of Joe Pesci at 25:00, and before, the truly chilling voice that warbles "I LOVE YOU MICHAEL" at 16:55 (Pesci, that you?). This is, of course, in is companion to the legion of children in bondage, the sight of armies of villains dancing themselves to death at Jacko's command, and Michael Jackson's pre-level shrieks, such as at 12:03. We can only be speaking of one game:

This is not the mediocre Genesis/Mega Drive version, rightly one of the Angry Video Game Nerd's victims. This is also not the non-Sega-affiliated drek that appeared on home computers, such as the ZX Spectrum 128. This is the raucous, at-times viciously surreal arcade cult classic Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, proving that, unlike the movie, games can actually make even intolerable celebrity fever dreams entertaining. Supporting up to three players, three Michael Jacksons (!!) can partake in this fast and fluid beat-em-up, fighting evil and make the world safer for those aforementioned kids. Sega's fun gameplay would ultimately triumph with gamers over what was, we assume, was supposed to be the draw: the license of Michael Jackson. An arcade classic anyone should play once.


Jackson had a couple videogame cameos, including a sequence where "Space Michael" is rescued by heroine Ulala from the classic Sega Dreamcast series Space Channel 5, herself no stranger to heroics-by-dance. Then there's his completely unexpected appearance in Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2; you've not yet seen it all until you see Jackson pulverize fat chicks and Canadian punk rockers with his fists and no mercy.

Michael Jackson Dance

Finally, we have here, in tribute to the musician, and not whatever scandal magnet he may have become in the end, this little online Flash game. Also available for Facebook and Bebo, it's basically Dance Dance Revolution: Michael Jackson via keyboard; time your keypresses to classic Jackson music in order to build them combos up. A fun distraction and a nice way to commemorate the passing of this unique musician. Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

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