Format reviewed: PlayStation
These days, you can’t shake a Wiimote without hitting a multiplayer mini-game collection, but when Bishi Bashi Special introduced its inspired lunacy to a European audience it really did make you gawp and grin in equal measure.
Suddenly you were replacing severed lips on sumo wrestlers, differentiating between aliens and girls in hot-tubs and helping Jeremy Beadle’s Japanese cousin to devour giant peas. Sushi Gulper, Ladder Of Love, Left And Right Jumping Girl… don’t the game names alone make you want to play them?
There are plenty of nods to games past, with skits on Simon, Breakout and, best of all, a bizarre reimagining of the javelin event from Track And Field, which has a bride hurling pies at the wedding congregation, the groom holding her bridal train as she launches her custard bouquet. You’ll also notice the debt WarioWare owes to this pioneering surrealism. Button-mashing to bring a flower into bloom, fulfilling fast food orders at speed and beat-matching with an afro-sporting disco dude all went on to find a home in Nintendo’s wonderful micro-game series.
Though you can play Bishi Bashi Special alone, an eight-player round robin tournament is the perfect party game. Not only will the experience of playing Jump For The Meat, which involves a bald and bronzed body-builder in Speedos bouncing on a pogo-stick and gobbling pork, be a defining moment in your collective friendship, you’ll soon find yourself chanting ‘Attention!’ in unison before every new challenge. Trust me on this.