Weirdest Spinoff Games Starring Popular Characters

Sometimes, video game makers decide to try something different with the tried-and-true characters we love. And, as so often happens when imaginations run wild, some of the resulting spinoffs get weird:

Pokemon Pinball

The Pokemon games are pretty standard — if supremely popular — Japanese RPGS where you go around, capturing Pokemon, training them, and basically attempting to become the very best (like no one ever was). However, all of that goes out the window in Pokemon Pinball. To be honest, though: Pokemon Pinball is the bomb. It's a super-weird spinoff but we kinda dig it?

PP (heh) is a pretty standard pinball game, except it features Pokemon as bumpers. They pop up when you get high scores, and there are small mini games when you get enough points. Now, since putting Pokemon on literally anything — backpacks, bologna, t-shirts — is a license to print money, the Pokemon Pinball game sold like hotcakes. There was a sequel, which is basically the same game, just with more Pokemon. But you know what they say — you never forget your first. And for us, the original Pokemon Pinball is where it's at.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Toad is one of those Mario characters you love, but forget almost instantly when you're not playing the game. He's no one's favorite — a small mushroom-looking dude who squeaks when he talks, yet somehow Nintendo decided he would be the best candidate for a new game!

In Toad, which emerged as a spinoff of a mini-game from Super Mario 3D World, instead of focusing on defeating Bowser and rescuing Peach, you explore different worlds and find coins and gems. Ya know, like some kind of Gem Getter. However, unlike basically every single Mario game ever, you can't actually fight back. Or even jump! It's all about exploring, solving puzzles, and trying very hard not to get hit by things. Man, if most Toads are this weak, no wonder Bowser kidnaps them all the time. It's like taking candy that is a baby.

Punch-Out!!!'s Arm Wrestling

Punch-Out!!! is one of the best games to ever feature a convicted rapist (at least you can beat him up at the end). Despite how Mike Tyson is literally evil, the game is still pretty good, but you know what's not? Its arm wrestling spin-off.

Yeah, believe it or not, Punch-Out!!! had a spinoff that was, basically, the exact same as the main game, except instead of going through levels progressively trying to knock out stronger and stronger opponents, in this game you go farther and farther trying to ... arm wrestle people? Lame. Although, Bald Bull makes a cameo, and the last person you arm wrestle is Frankenstein, so that's neat?

Look, we're not going to mince words here: this game is short and it sucks. If you're going to make a Punch-Out!!! spinoff, why not go all the way and make Kick-Out? Or, better yet, don't make a spinoff.

Fallout Tactics

You know what the best part of the Fallout games are? Slow, methodical, chess-like combat! Wait, that's not the best part? That's not even a part, you say? Well, dang, then you have obviously never played Fallout Tactics, which combines the world of Fallout with the action-adventure of playing chess against your uncle. You take turns moving your characters — who belong to the militant Brotherhood of Steel — as you burn through the postapocalypse Wasteland, but without all the fun of actually wandering the Wasteland.

Even a lot of hardcore Fallout fans aren't big fans of this game. It's not hard to see why — it has bad graphics, a pointless story, and the most notable thing you could say about it is that it appeared in this article. The one thing we'll say is that, like all the other Fallout games, it does have multiple endings. None of them are as stupid as Fallout 3's "kill yourself because of reasons" ending, so it's officially one completely different game away from being a decent Fallout game.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Metroid Prime was a revolutionary experience. It was the first real first-person shooter that was also a platforming game. It was the first 3D Metroid game. Above all else, it — and its sequels — were some of the best games ever made. Metroid Prime: Federation Force gladly carried on its legacy by being ... in 3D.

Unlike the actual Metroid Prime games, you don't actually play as Samus. Instead, you play generic space cops — what fun! But, hey, at least they're in giant mechs, so that's pretty much like Metroid, right? Oh, don't worry, gang, it also includes a three-on-three sport where you can shoot a ball across a field, just in case you were looking for more ... soccer in your Metroid?

It's so weird that, with dozens of Nintendo fans begging for another game starring Samus, Nintendo went, "Wait, what's that? You want to play as these NPCs that appeared briefly in one game? Not as Samus? And you wanna play ball with them? Weird. Okay, whatever floats your boat!"

Halo Wars

Ah, Halo Wars: the game that no one knew they wanted. Because they didn't. It's a real-time strategy game (basically, you're a commander telling dozens of different troops what to do), which is exactly the same as the other Halo games in exactly zero ways.

While the Halo games revolutionized shooters, this game revolutionized how little people could care about a Halo game. As an RTS it's fine, but about the only people who play RTS games are the nerds who D&D players picked on in high school. Thankfully though, only one was made, so we can forget about this game forever and ev– oh, there's a sequel? *Sigh*, of course there is.

Above all, Halo Wars is maybe the silliest title of any game ever. Like, we get it: Halo is about a war, you don't need to remind us a second time through the title. Just show us the damn war!

Pacman: The New Adventures

Have you ever heard of Sonic Adventure? Or maybe Megaman Legends? They're both games that took traditionally 2D platform characters and thrust them into an awkward, pseudo-RPG-esque world of blocky graphics and bad storytelling. While those games are bad, this game is the granddaddy of them all, and it's worse than any of the others.

We all know who Pac-Man is: a small three-quarter pizza-looking yellow dude who eats pellets and runs from ghosts. So let's make a video game about him ... leaving his house to go buy milk for his kid? Yep, New Adventures decided to take the simple arcade game character we know, and turn him into, basically, the Shenmue of the NES-era. He has silly adventures, there's lots of completely awful dialogue, and there's no fun to be had whatsoever. There's no mazes either! Oh, and you don't actually do anything, because it's a point-and-click. You tell pac to do something and he does it. Whoopdie scoop. There are ghosts, though! Not that you can fight them or anything. You just click a button, feed Pac a pellet, and watch him have ghost-eating fun.

Not only is this a terrible, terrible game, but it inspired dozens of other terrible games. For that we say, *blepppbt* to you, New Adventures. *Fart sounds* to you.

Mario is Missing

We really wanted this to read "[ERROR: MISSING DATA]" but our editors decided that's too meta. So, we have to talk about Mario is Missing.

Imagine all the fun, joy, and excitement of an old NES-era Mario game. You thinking of the gorgeous level designs, the great music, the excellent platforming? Now, throw all of that in the garbage, and replace the levels with small towns, Mario with Luigi, and all that boring excitement with you walking into different towns, attempting to find Mario. Because he's missing.

Do you do anything fun in these towns? Oh, hell no. Seriously, all you do is walk around, talk to people, answer basic history questions (because this is an educational game, AKA the one thing kids wanted less than coal for Christmas), and then go fetch things so they'll give you items you can give to other people to give you more items and on and on and eventually you find Mario if you haven't broken the cartridge already.

Mario is Missing is what you gave your kids if you were too scared to say "I hate you," but still wanted to make it really clear.

Dissidia

Okay, we're going to try not to laugh over the title too much, but c'mon? Dissidia? What does that even mean? Okay, we checked and it means a best-selling game.

While this game is actually super weird, we're not going to pretend we're not down with it. In it, you play as dozens of different characters from different Square games, primarily the Final Fantasy series, and you just ... punch each other a lot. It's basically Smash Bros., except it takes itself too seriously to be that good. Oh, and it's for the PSP, Sony's attempt at unthroning the DS as Lord High King of the mobile game markets. Those two combined make this game, while fun, a bit too weak to ever be great. Plus, again, it's just plain weird.

Dissidia would have made more sense as a Kingdom Hearts spinoff, which was actually what it started as, but honestly? Don't get us started on how weird of a spinoff Kingdom Hearts is, okay? Final Fantasy mixed with Disney is FUN, but ye gods is it weird.

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Okay, fasten your seat belts, kids. We're gonna talk about Tingle. Tingle is the man who desperately wants to be a fairy in the Legend of Zelda games. He's incredibly obnoxious, overbearing, way too important to the games he appears in, and pretty much a bad Japanese caricature of a gay man. No one in America likes him, but seemingly everyone in Japan loves him, which is why he's gotten multiple Japan-only games all to himself.

But the one with the best title is Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, which is just what it sounds like — a hellish nightmare of a game. In Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, you try to find rupees in the game while retaining your sanity in real life, as you navigate through the Zelda world as someone who isn't even a little bit interesting. You can beat up people, cook stuff, and at the end, a fairy gives you ... the happiest of happy endings. Seriously, he walks up to her, starts bobbing his head hither and thither, and then all we see are hearts and moans. Your ending is sex.

Meanwhile, poor Link can barely get a peck on the cheek from Zelda. What's your secret, Tingle?

Tekken Card Tournament

If you have even a passing familiarity with what any of those words mean, you'll know why this game is blasphemous. Tekken has played around with genre before: it's had a solo fighting game, focusing on the adventures of one of the characters; it's had a tag team game; it even had bowling (as a mini game, but still). But this?

See, Tekken is a fighting game series. Do you know what you don't do in fighting games? Play Magic the Gathering, which is basically what this game is, just rebranded with Tekken characters. Luckily, this game was only available for Android systems as a mobile game, but c'mon — if you're going to make a mobile Tekken game and it's not going to be a fighter, at least let it be something where you can actually move characters around. Like bowling — seriously that game is fun.

Megaman Soccer

There are a bunch of games out there that let big-time popular game characters take a break and play some sports. However, Megaman Soccer is undoubtedly the weirdest.

Soccer's plot is that a sports event was attacked by robots so you, as Megaman, have to put a stop to it ... with soccer. Because, you know, why not? Aside from literally all the reasons. You then turn into dozens of copies of yourself and play soccer against the killer robots. That's not a joke, but we think it's ridiculous enough that, honestly, we can't think of a better one.

As you might have guessed, Soccer is nothing like the main series. You can pick which robot to fight, but that's about the only similarity. What's more, the idea of Megaman sporting around somehow makes less sense than Mario golfing and go-karting with his mortal enemies. For one, Megaman Soccer is set in a horrifyingly nihilistic world, one where humanity is all but enslaved, and robots either serve, kill, or go through existential crises. Who has time for sports in a world like that?

More importantly though, those weird Mario games are — for the most part — actually pretty good. You know what's not? This freaking game.

Starfox Adventures

Starfox Adventures is another game where you play as the same main characters you always love, but you do absolutely none of the stuff you like doing. For instance, is your favorite part Starfox flying? Probably, and if so, you're in luck ... for about five minutes. After that, you're done flying, and the rest of the game is you roaming around a dinosaur-ridden planet with a freaking stick.

Imagine the Legend of Zelda, only furrier and it sucked. That's what this game is like, basically. You run around, fighting dinosaurs, saving people (who are also dinosaur-like) before eventually finding out the main bad guy of the series, Andross, is behind it all. At that point, you fly off to go fight him, which is what you should have been doing the whole game. What is with all of these spinoffs doing absolutely nothing we like? At this point, we're totally excited for the F-Zero game where you go fishing.

Chocobo Racing

Chocobo Racing takes one of the most interesting, and silliest, mainstays of Final Fantasy — the rideable, adorable Chocobos — and throws them into a gorgeously cartoony world where you race them. Yep, someone made a racing spinoff of Final Fantasy, but instead of featuring any of the main characters, it features random NPCs. And, instead of you riding the Chocobos like the title implies, you race them ... in go-karts. Because when you're a species that can run around the literal world without once getting tired, you need nothing more than wheels and gas to get around.

You know how there are cult films and you can't tell if they're good or bad, but either way they're great? Chocobo Racing is the gaming equivalent of that. It's weird and fun and pretty damn awful. Like most spinoffs, now that we think about it.