Cult Heroes – Bishi Bashi Special
Bishi Bashi is one of the best games that sold hardly any copies ever! Truly one of the cultest and most heroic videogames of all time. So, what is it? And why should you care?
For a start, Bish Bashi Special is a compilation of two titles, Bishi Bashi Super and Bishi Bashi Hyper, that were released separately in Japan, but only as part of this double pack elsewhere. Each is then itself a compilation of about 50 mini-games designed to be played by 2-4 players. 2-4 players who have had far too much sugar.
Do you remember the Channel 4 show Banzai? Viewers of the show were invited to place bets with each other on silly challenges such as ‘Which fruit and veg to Pete Beale out of Eastenders’ genitals weigh the same as?’ or ‘How long will Chris Tarrant shake hands with Mr. Shake Hands Man?’ There’s no betting in Bishi Bashi, but the bizarre Japanese comedic tone and quickfire pacing are pretty much exactly the same. Someone Japanese shouts at you, you get a brief explanation of your challenge, then you do it, usually with hilarious results.
Bish Bashi would be nothing if its games weren’t so much fun. They’re all incredibly simple at a glance, with many involving little more than hitting buttons according to prompts, but it’s clear that a massive amount of play-testing, optimising and balancing has gone into every single one. So whether you’re throwing custard pies at a wedding congregation or, yes, launching an uncle you’ll be laughing. Or at least smiling. Or at least rubbing your face because it hurts from all the laughing and smiling.
Social gaming may have come along in leaps and bounds in the last few years, but as far as we’re concerned Bish Bashi Special remains the absolute daddy. Rock Band? Hmmm… Wii Sports? Pah! Buzz!? Whatever. We’d rather play a few rounds of Jump For The Meat, Left And Right Jumping Girl and Mechanical Pencil Basher for old time’s sake.
You could spend around £20 on a rare and much coveted boxed copy of Bishi Bashi Special, or simply buy it off the PlayStation Store for a mere £3.49.