The Art of Video Gamesmanship, Pt. 2

Several weeks ago I penned an article all about how to squeeze more life out of popular video games by playing them wrong on purpose, because there a bunch of video games and (as far as I’m aware) only one of me, I decided to write a sequel, because being wrong is something I’m apparently great at.

FIFA: Groundskeeper Willie Version

In the UK where I come from, FIFA is a veritable cultural phenomenon, everyone and their brother plays FIFA and it sells better than Viagra-laced copies of Playboy. So it will probably come as no surprise when I tell you that I can’t play FIFA to save my life. Put a copy of Tekken in my hands and I can still remember Yoshimitsu’s 10-hit combo. Pop in a copy of FIFA and I will look like I’m trying to throttle the controller like it owes me money. Dirty stinking, British money.

This led to me developing my own way of playing the game that I like to call “Groundskeeper Willie FIFA,” inspired by one of my favorite ever quotes from the man himself, which goes as follows:

“Brothers and sisters are natural enemies. Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!”

For this variation of FIFA all you need to do is grab a friend and play as two countries that are historically regarded as being enemies, for example, Scotland and any country on Earth. As soon as the game starts, you immediately start hacking at each others legs. The goal isn’t to score; it’s to cause as much damage to the opposition as humanely possible. Whoever has the fewest injured players at the end of the match, wins, because goals don’t count for anything when your team has 14 shattered ankles between them.

This is by far the best way I’ve found of playing FIFA and it’s even funnier when the other guy doesn’t know you’re playing with Groundskeeper Willie rules in effect. Especially if you adopt a crude Scottish accent the entire time and emphasize every tackle with your best “Grease me up woman!.”


Resident Evil 5: Cheerleading adventure

Resident Evil 5 was Capcom’s attempt at recreating Resident Evil 4 without Ashley Graham, the young girl, you the player are tasked with babysitting throughout most of the game. However, what they created instead was a game with an even more useless side-kick called Sheva Alomar.

Now if you’ve never played the game before, imagine being forced to play a game with a younger sibling who hates you and multiply it by 10. That’s what playing with Sheva is like. She’d randomly shoot you in the back of the head by accident, watch you bleed out because she was trying to harvest chicken eggs and react to you being nicked by a splinter by spraying you with $10,000 worth of magic healing drugs. At least Ashley Graham had the ability to do a suplex to make up for her shortcomings, which is arguably the best way to do that. Remember that one kids.

Ashley is the president's daughter.

Ashley is the president’s daughter.
(credit: Capcom)

However, the burden of Sheva can be lightened considerably by plugging in a second controller and playing what a good friend of mine likes to refer to as “Cheerleader Mode.” In this mode, only one player at a time is allowed to engage the enemy, the other player has to constantly press the Partner Action Button (yes it’s really called that) and cheer. It really does make the game more tense when every action you make is punctuated by the word “GO!” being screamed at the top of your partner’s lungs. It also makes failure sting that little bit more when you’re forced to watch your character slowly bleed to death while your partner sarcastically repeats the word “Thanks” ad infinitum until the words “You’re dead” flash up on the screen. If you think that sounds annoying, you haven’t played with Sheva when she’s being controlled by the AI.


Metal Gear Solid 3: Bring the pain edition

The Metal Gear Solid series is famous for cramming as many ways as possible for players to dick around into their games and Metal Gear Solid three is no exception. Want to run through the entire game with your shirt off and knock out every enemy with a swift punch to the sack? You can totally do that, because the people how made this game know how gamers think They really did think of everything:

They really did think of everything.

This isn’t surprising, since Britain spent centuries planting flags on every surface it could find.
(credit: Konami)

One of the game’s more curious features is the fact that Naked Snake (yes that his name) can be injured, which means you the player have can then perform surgery to correct the problem. Here’s the thing though, there’s nothing in the game that actually forces you to heal these injuries, you can, if you so chose, just ignore them until they go away, just like real life. What makes this even funnier though is that things like bullets and arrows will stay lodged in your body if you don’t remove them in time. So it’s entirely possible to play through the entire game with an arrow lodged in your character’s face.

So whenever I wanted to play this game and couldn’t be bothered taking it seriously, I’d intentionally get Snake as hurt as possible just to see how tough he really was. This culminated in perhaps my greatest gaming achievement to date, surviving a direct, point-blank shotgun blast to the penis.

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That playthrough was arguably the most fun I’ve ever had playing a game because Snake never mentioned or commented on the fact he was walking around with a nut-sack full of shrapnel. Every conversation he has become absolutely hilarious because I knew that while he was calmly discussing the cold war or whether or not he could eat a certain species of mushroom, he was also nursing a three foot wide hole in his crotch that he was too polite to bring up.

If that isn’t a role model, I don’t know what is.

Karl Smallwood is a freelance comedy writer you can hire! His work has been featured on Cracked, Toptenz and Gunaxin. You should probably click those links to make sure he isn’t lying. He also runs his own website where he responds to the various pieces of hate-mail he’s gotten over the years, in fact, he got so much hate-mail that he wrote a book about it that you can buy on Amazon. When he isn’t writing, Karl also Tweets and uploads pictures of himself drinking on Facebook.

Karl found more unintended fun in the pixelated world when he pioneered The Art of Video Gamesmanship.

We mean gaming. Did you think we speak of country matters?

We mean gaming. Did you think we speak of country matters?


More from Karl Smallwood

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