CHATTER: Top 8 Games That Needed a Verbosity Slider

Have you heard about the new Bubsy game? The quick-talking bobcat has finally returned in 2017 for another venture into old-fashioned platform-style gaming, a mere 21 years after the failed 3D title that killed his franchise seemingly permanently. But perhaps the most interesting thing about Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back is that they finally added a slider labeled “verbosity”, which allows you to control how much that cat chats. For those curious, yes – you can finally shut him up. But who would want to?

Having the choice to adjust the verbosity of a character is a great idea – so why not apply it to other games? We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 games we think could have been made better if they had a verbosity slider!

Gex

Gex and Bubsy have similar histories, both being heavily referential TV-themed platformers that transitioned from 2D to 3D. It’s for this very reason that they settled down and got married once they retired, burnt out by the stress of day-to-day raving and coke-snorting. But one thing had kept their chaotic California lifestyle from ruining their relationship: constantly quoting old, pointless TV shows.

So what if Gex had a verbosity slider, just like Bubsy?

On the minimum setting, Gex would only make realistic gecko sounds, which is mostly silence accompanied by high-pitched screaming. But on the maximum setting, Gex would do nothing but repeat the titles of classic movies and TV shows over and over again! Imagine, nothing but Gex going “Golden Girls, Frankenstein, Terminator 2, Miami Vice,” over and over again!

Wow… truly astonishing. It’s almost as nostalgic as the time Will Byers did the same exact thing in Stranger Things Season 3.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

[What? Everyone knows what Ocarina of Time is. Shut the hell up and don’t make me write this.]

On the minimum setting, Link is even more silent than usual. No grunts of pain, no excited yells – however, the game is rendered unbeatable before even the halfway point: Link can’t play the ocarina!

On the maximum setting, Link still doesn’t know how to speak English or even his apparent native language of Hylian, but he’s constantly yelling. Absolutely, just constantly screaming, no matter what on-screen is happening. Imagine all of the emotional value of the Great Deku Tree’s demise – absolutely ripped from the game, as Link screams! Wow!

Banjo-Kazooie

Banjo-Kazooie is one of our favorite games. You play as Banjo, a lovable bear who is inexplicably and excruciatingly permanently tied to an evil talking bird named Kazooie. Even though they claim to be friends, she does nothing but agonize him, day in and day out. It’s a great tragedy to have to watch this occur.

We are incredibly invested in the concept of a Kazooie Slider, which would finally silence that awful crapping pigeon. On the minimum setting, she would cease talking completely.

For those sadistic freaks who would ever consider turning it past that, the maximum setting would give her full British voice acting. Although the game itself and its subtitles are written in British, its sound effects have always been Sims-esque gobbledygook. The power of the Kazooie Slider would overwrite this for her and her only, giving her the opportunity to finally call Banjo a daft twat. Jeez!

Dukem

Dukem 3D was a surprising change to the first-person shooter formula of its time – Dukem himself was the first FPS protagonist who could speak! Unlike his predecessors, Dukem was a fleshed out character with thoughts, feelings, and a heaping helping of attitude. Imagine what it would’ve been like if he had a verbal slider!

On the minimum setting, Dukem would be as mum as any Doom Guy or Quake Dude – but when slid to the maximum setting, Dukem would wax philosophical about life! Why is violence the only answer he knows? Why does he have to treat women that way? And how can he float around while kicking with both legs at once? Dukem’s just full of questions about his ultra-macho lifestyle!

Parappa the Rapper

Parappa the Rapper is a beloved franchise that pioneered the rhythm game genre. You play as a rapping dog, trying to win the affections of a talking flower. It’s fun, goofy, and kind of bizarre.

On the minimum setting, Parappa would fail every level by refusing to rap, stunning his teachers into utter shame. Set it to the maximum setting, and Parappa fails every level because a single button press is registered as ten, essentially having a seizure right on center stage.

Myst

We’re going to be really honest, we don’t know what on earth Myst is about. There are some puzzles, and some 3D objects? You have to do things with them? Well, if this game had a verbosity slider, we’d say it would be on the minimum setting by default?

But what if you cranked that slider up?

On the maximum setting, the Myst Man himself tells you in explicit detail what to do on every screen. This is the first time you will get to see the Myst Man – he will emerge from the myst, lock eyes with the camera, and tell you exactly what to do on this next puzzle. It will involve some freely-rotating cubes and a hacksaw, and you will do it, and then he will insult you for being stupid enough to need his help.

This will progress in the same fashion for every screen, with you turning keys and him demeaning you. By the end of the game, you will truly hate the Myst Man! Is this the villain that this game so desperately needed?

For those curious, we imagine that he looks exactly like the Michelin Man, but with a black-and-pink checkerboard pattern overlaying his entire body.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Kirby 64 is yet another entry in the absolutely adorable and creepy Kirby series, starring a pink puff that… well, doesn’t really talk. But we were wondering what it would be like if they did add a slider.

The minimum setting is exactly the same, except Kirby doesn’t make that weird inhalation noise.

At the maximum setting, the game is unplayable: Kirby is permanently using the Mic power to play all of Elvis Presley’s classic hits. You will try to push up, down, left, right, A, B, and all of the C buttons, but Kirby will remain locked into place, jamming to that one song from Lilo & Stitch about being a dog or something.

The Berenstain Bears in Big Paw’s Cave

The Berenstain Bears in Big Paw’s Cave is an 80s arcade game where you play as Brother Bear, exploring the cave of the huge and nasty (and strangely nonsentient?) Big Paw Bear. Your goal is to recover the honey Big Paw has stolen from you, while avoiding obstacles such as bats and stalactites.

We were thinking about it, and we realized this was the game that deserved a verbosity slider the most. The minimum setting would be the same as the game itself, of course. But at the maximum setting, Brother Bear would stop walking, look directly at the camera, and begin to recite the date and time of your death – along with all of the grizzly details.

Yes, if they could have just programmed in a simple 8-step slider, the Brother Bear could tell us exactly when Big Paw Bear will come to kill us in our sleep.

And maybe then we’d finally have a chance of defending ourselves.

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