8 Video Games That Make Fun of Themselves

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
These games show us we don't always need to take gaming so seriously. In this video we're looking at games that poke fun at themselves, either through jokes about a history of mistakes or just flat out breaking the fourth wall. Our list includes “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts” (2008), “Crash Twinsanity” (2004), “Conker's Bad Fur Day” (2001) & “Conker: Live & Reloaded” (2005) and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson

8 Times Video Games Made Fun of Themselves

Welcome to MojoPlays, and no, we aren’t running out of ideas as we’ve found ourselves a NEW topic - 8 Times Video Games Made Fun of Themselves! We all have to poke fun at ourselves every now and again, and whether that’s through jokes about a history of mistakes or just flat out breaking the fourth wall, these were the games that showed we needn’t take gaming so seriously...well, not all the time, at least.

“Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts” (2008)

The “Banjo-Kazooie” series has always had a witty sense of humor whether it’s through Kazooie insulting every character she sees or suggestive imagery in the environment. While there’s been a handful of times where the game has broken the fourth wall, “Nuts & Bolts” was prime time for the franchise to make fun of itself. Allusions are made to historical moments such as Bottles suddenly not being dead and Tooty never showing up after the first game. Even the Lord of Games gets a crack at “Banjo-Kazooie’s” collectathon nature as well as their age. Gotta make fun of yourselves every once in a while, right?

“Crash Twinsanity” (2004)

There have been a handful of games in the “Crash Bandicoot” series that have made fun of previous games or even themselves. (Just take a look at the trailer for “Crash 4”!) While “Mind Over Mutant” joked about N. Brio’s lengthy absence in the franchise, “Twinsanity” takes the cake for making fun of the marsupial’s history. One scene, in particular, shows Cortex surrounded by rocket penguins. Apparently, Cortex gave them a false check and tries to talk his way out by using “Wrath of Cortex’s” financial failure as an excuse. What, 1.5 million copies wasn’t enough?

“The Secret of Monkey Island” (1990)

The “Monkey Island” games may not be as heavy into fourth wall-breaking as Crash or Banjo, but it’ll take the chance when it gets it. Take “The Secret of Monkey Island”, for example. Most of the jokes are about Guybrush Threepwood’s clumsy approach to becoming a pirate, but one of it’s memorable moments comes after taking lessons from Captain Smirk. Smirk teaches you a couple of things about swordfighting before shoving you out the door and telling you to go learn insults from other pirates. Guybrush says how he feels like he got ripped off before telling the player they’re probably feeling the same. If you were expecting an explosive and treacherous pirate adventure, you probably were.

“Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck” (2007)

If you’re a massive “Looney Tunes” fan, you probably nabbed this for your Nintendo DS! Based on the 1953 short of the same name, “Duck Amuck” sees players tormenting Daffy Duck through an assortment of minigames. In other words, this whole game is built around making fun of its central character. Sabotage Daffy’s symphony, listen to him complain, do anything you can to ruin his day until he finally boils over! There’s even a minigame where Daffy tries to sabotage the game’s code with broken text. Basically, this whole game is one big, cruel joke on the poor duck.

“The Stanley Parable” (2011)

“The Stanley Parable” features a number of different endings that subvert the player’s expectations from jumping outside of the environment to standing in a broom closet. One of the best endings, however, is when the narrator asks Stanley to rate the game and tries to find ways to improve it. After a few failed attempts to improve the game, the narrator simply ends up turning the game into “Minecraft” and “Portal”. Perhaps this was a jab at “The Stanley Parable’s” simplistic design and not-so-thrilling demeanor?

“Conker’s Bad Fur Day” (2001) & “Conker: Live & Reloaded” (2005)

Both “Conker’s Bad Fur Day” and its Xbox remake have a handful of jokes that make fun of not just the game, but the developers, too. One example of this is in “Live & Reloaded” when Conker tries to use the bat to send the gargoyle falling off the bridge. However, the gargoyle tells Conker the developers wanted to mix things up and he’ll have to find another way. After sending the stone creature to his doom, Conker tells the developer to not throw anymore surprises. Of course, there’s also the ending where Conker notices the game has frozen up and calls the developers for help. Funny how Rare made themselves a character in their own game!

“The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000)

If you’ve seen the 2000 Disney film, then it probably isn’t a surprise to see the video game adaptation make its way on here. After all, this is based on a movie loaded with jokes about the characters knowing they’re in the movie. So, it makes sense that the “Emperor’s New Groove” video game would joke about video game logic, and yes, they do it quite a lot! From the tutorial onwards, you can expect to question their virtual lives only to brush off information because, hey, they’re in a video game! Who cares?

“Paper Mario” series (2000-)

Over the past couple decades, the “Paper Mario” franchise has been the spin-off “Mario” series that pokes fun at the mustachioed hero’s decades-long history. Each game in the series has made jokes to previous games, taken us inside the mind of Goombas and Koopas, and most importantly, relentlessly teased Luigi and put him through the wringer. We’ve seen Mario has the grand, noble hero that’s ready to save anyone in need. So, to see Mario and company in a different, more comedic light is a nice change of pace and more reason why the “Paper Mario” series should be kept around.