In Japan, mobile and social networking games are a huge market, and have even begun to eclipse console games in recent years. This can perhaps be attributed to their commuting culture, which has made portable gaming a necessity, and the fact that smartphones are more accessible than portable handheld consoles. At any rate, it’s an industry that’s worth big bucks, and generally high quality is expected. Perhaps that’s why some gamers in Japan have been sniggering over this unusual game from China, which cuts corners massively by borrowing the likenesses of western celebrities in place of original content.
Little is known about the game itself, but it appears to be a variety of card-trading game, featuring characters such as general Guan Yu and Shaquille O’Neal… wait…
▼ Get ready for a Shaq Attack, Guan Yu!
You can also collect cards featuring the likeness of historical persons of note, such as Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini…
▼ Seems to be quite a high-scoring card… wonder what the ranks are based on…
But it’s not all historical bad guys and legendary basketball players! The game features a well-rounded cast of characters, including Charlie Chaplin and beloved British buffoon Mr Bean (although they seem to have accidentally used a snap of Rowan Atkinson in character as Johnny English, instead…)
Things even get a bit more modern with the inclusion of eccentric chanteuse Lady Gaga! And wait, who’s that on the left?
Why, it’s Nick Cage, everyone’s favourite Coppola! (Just kidding, that’s obviously Sophia.)
This person has a pretty solid line-up including TWO basketball stars (sup, Michael Jordan!) and good old Becks (who seems to have gotten confused between football and water polo. Not to worry, Dave, we sometimes find it hard to tell the difference ourselves.)
When screens of the game were posted online by seriously amused netizens, the comments showed that in Japan they expect a lot more from games, including little necessities like, oh, original content for starters:
“Uh, it’s so obvious they didn’t get permission for any of this…”
“If they got permission for this, then I’m not even mad, that’s amazing!”
“They just stole pictures off the net!”
“Nicolas Cage only has one star, how shameful!”
“I died laughing at the inclusion of Nicolas Cage”
“Wow, they love NBA stars in China!”
“How can there be any kind of story behind this game?”
“Chinese and Japanese attitudes are just way too different!”
“Is this on the App store? Like, for reals?”
“What kind of game pits illustrations and historical figures and sports stars against each other?”
“I don’t understand this! I don’t understand ANY of it!”
It seems that China’s social game makers will have to try a lot harder to eventually impress the Japanese market. Cutting corners with celebrity images is pretty much scraping the barrel of game development, no matter how hilarious the outcome may be!