real video games that feel like fake video games in movies and tv

While I was playing Cruis‘n Blast and getting totally sucked into it, I got to thinking about something. Visually speaking, that game is blasting at 110% constantly on all fronts. The tone of the whole package hit me with the same sense that I would get watching a fake video game be played in the background of something like Law & Order. It’s got this wild, maximalist look to it that feels like what someone would imagine a video game is, but they've never engaged with games beyond the early 90s.

I've gotten this sense before with movies and TV shows that carry a tone of feeling like "the fake movies that characters would watch in their shows".

Has anyone else gotten this sense from a game before?

@“fivedollardare”#p60664 great question. i get that feeling with the Pop Radio Hits in Japan‘s mainstream music scene, and always have. even though i’ve lived here for 12 years, i still can't process most of the top radio (streaming) hits beyond, “this sounds like something that would play in a tv show or car commercial.” current examples include Yoasobi, King Gnu, or Macaroni Enpitsu. i constantly try to engage with the stuff i hear passively, but i can never get legitimately into it.

of course there is also lots of cool music being made in Japan all the time!

as for games, a lot of these intentionally retro-looking games that clog up the Nintendo eShop also give me those vibes. in some cases, it's not clear whether they're made by people who have ever genuinely played a game made in the 80s or 90s. haven't played any of them to find out, though. so it's second-hand vibes at best.

METAL STORM dude, that walk cycle is too smooth to be real. Just a two second clip of it walking on a TV screen in the background of a sitcom to make your little kid brain go WHAT ON EARTH WAS THAT?!

i get this feeling from legends arceus because the bonkers button mapping makes you thumb left-right-left-right like someone pretending to play video games

@“treefroggy”#p60672 this is a good one. i totally forgot about this game. you look away for a second and now the guy’s walking on the ceiling! why’s he walking on the ceiling?!

Splatoon is kind of one of these, because the music is really hip but it‘s all squidkid jargon so no lyrics necessary, and it’s a shooter but the ammo is just ink so you could easily plant it somewhere G-rated.

Ninja Five-O is there too if you needed a handheld.

@“saddleblasters”#p60686 oh my god i just loaded this up. i forgot how crazy the death animation is!

fortnite seems like it's from Tim and Eric. Cinco developed video game

Been doing some thinking about what other games I‘d seen to help define what I’m talking about and this one came to mind:

I first saw Crypt of the Serpent King on the Switch eShop, and I would argue that that whole storefront is chock full of real video games that feel like fake video games in the background of a TV show. It‘s still hard to articulate but it’s something to do with the clashing of the visual flatness of the game running up against these character models that looks hyper detailed.


edit: just saw @yeso 's post above...this must be the quintessential fake video game

Killer Instinct 2013

The recently released About an Elf on Switch is pretty much this for me. It‘d likely be more claymation than these weird renders but it’s got that vibe. [upl-image-preview url=//]

Feeling the weird render part of it - games with characters that could look like they’d be on the front of a 2000s era GPU box, and couldn’t possibly be done in real-time feels like a staple of fake video games. Games with deep uncanny valley vibes fill that space in my head, and they’re way more common now because of huge character asset stores being easy to access. There’s this game that I saw spotlighted on the Steam Women’s Day sale that fit that look.

On the flip side, seeing a fake game made real is also a bit of a treat:

My partner started watching Grimm recently. I walked in while she was watching an episode where there was some sort of MMO with a murderous goblin. I‘d be lying if I told you I didn’t just immediately think of this thread.

@“sixteen-bit”#p60946 Hell yeah, I missed this when you posted it but this feels like the perfect example - it’s got those characters that look like they’d be on the side of a GPU box.

I‘m not the only one who thinks this game I just found out about doesn’t look real, right? I'm not the only one who thinks this is harder to separate out from its genre than fucking Drakan: The Ancients' Gates?

The way DC Universe Vs. Mortal Kombat looks and the fact that a kid in my highschool had the habit of bringing their tv and xbox to school in order to play it between classes makes it feel like a fake video game to me.

Dino Crisis is visually full of some quintessential video game nonsense that doesn't take a lot of literacy to understand.

@“fivedollardare”#p60664 not what you asked, but when a person plays any of the mario parties they look the way actors pretending to play a videogame look.

that multiverse game with superman punching scooby doo doesnt seem real