What the HELL am I playing? I’m not sure if I’m playing a game or if I’m watching a Japanese TV drama gone horribly, horribly wrong. Welcome to Incredible Crisis, a wacky PS1 title that is anything but ordinary. With no shortage of ridiculous, even for Japanese standards, Incredible Crisis is a gameplay experience that is unlike any I’ve ever had before.
Incredible Crisis Video Review
Incredible Crisis opens up with a standard Japanese family. Grandma alerts the family that it is her birthday, and she wants them all to come home on time so they can spend the day together. Things are easier said than done however, as all shit breaks loose once the family members go their separate ways and try to make it back home. Taneo, a salary man and father of the family nearly gets run over by a wild wrecking ball and ends up defending the coast from a UFO; Etsuko is his wife and she gets caught up in a bank robbery plot and ends up jumping in a fighter jet to take down a gargantuan pink teddy bear terrorizing the city; Tsuyoshi is the younger son of the family and gets shrunk down to the size of an ant and has to escape from a spider and man-eating mantis; and Ririka skips school to go shopping and ends up befriending a tiny UFO who is trying to make contact with his mother ship… I wish I was making this up, the game is batshit crazy! The story is completely off the wall and nonsensical, but it is surprisingly well written. You might be asking yourself, “Why is this boy the size of an ant,” only to have that explained later in the game by another family members story. I liked how this happened, how each event connects to one another in the family’s crazy routes home. Everything is again distinctly Japanese as well, so expect to see lots of Hiragana and Katakana throughout the scenery and locations visited. Incredible Crisis is over rather quickly, clocking in at around 2 hours, but it’s a nutty 2 hours that you won’t soon forget. And to top it all off the game actually hints at a sequel after all the credits role, but as far as I know there has been no such sequel released.
Dodging traffic while riding on an ambulance stretcher, shopping for the best sale items at the department store, walking carefully across a spider’s web, and escaping from a bank heist undetected are just a few of the things you’ll do in Incredible Crisis. The game is a collection of mini-games that encompass the larger plot of the story. Each character has about five or six games to complete to see them return safely home, and each task is more bizarre than the last. Games range from the easy (like dodging opening hangar doors in a fighter jet) to incredibly difficult (like matching button inputs ala Parappa the Rapper), and usually teeter toward the crazy side (like giving a strange woman a “massage” on a Ferris wheel while she moans with excitement). Each game has simply controls that are given to you before the start of the task, but for the most part you’ll be using trial and error to succeed. Some games are complete chance, such as one where you have to answer random yes or no trivia questions in under three seconds: there’s no way you can do the math or think out the answer to some of them in three seconds, so you’re just going to hit a button and hope you get lucky. Much like games made in the early 90’s, if you give it some time and keep trying, even the hardest puzzles can be completed.
I give the game some praise for being fun throughout. I never got tired of the games I was playing, and there is only one repeat game (though it repeats twice, so I guess that’s 2 repeats), making a good selection of minigames. More current games do the whole party game theme much better, but as a single player experience, Incredible Crisis is fun. After completing each chapter, those minigames can be played at your leisure from the games start menu, making the game it bit more party-game friendly.
Visuals & Sound
What other game has giant pink teddy bears rampaging through the streets of Shibuya, runaway wrecking balls destroying buildings, and old ladies riding snowboards down icy mountains while being shot at by bandits? None, that’s what. Incredible Crisis puts on quite the show, and the visuals stand up with the action. Just about everything form characters, to backgrounds, to the animations of each item look great. I liked the expression on the character’s faces: they are genuinely funny, though they are without a doubt Japanese. This is a PS1 game though, so everything is rather big and blocky, but given that, things still look pretty damn good. Catchy music plays during the minigames: upbeat tunes while working out in Taneo’s office, desperate music while trying to disarm a bomb in a bank’s safe, and casual beats while shopping for new lipstick and body spray. Some annoying tendencies raise their head though when you make mistakes during gameplay: characters tend to scream out the same objections to your failures over and over again, and they are fun at first, but anything but acceptable after the tenth, twentieth, thirtieth time.
I had no idea what this game was when I first saw it, and I was missing out! Incredible Crisis is a fun, albeit short, experience that is completely ridiculous and crazy, but in a good way. If you are one who likes the heavily Japanese influenced game then you should give this one a look for sure. And if you’re someone who just wants a game that lets you touch a woman and hear erotic sexual noises coming from your TV, then hey, this game has that too! A little bit of something for everyone…
| The Good Stuff
– Varied minigames that are both fun and challenging (usually)
– Off-the-wall story that is pure insanity at its best
– Decent graphics and sound for a PS1 title
| The Not So Good Stuff
– Only about 2 hours of gameplay before completion
– Very little replay value for a collection of minigames
– Unforgiving difficulty in some games requires trial and error to win