We all know what WTF really stands for, but in D3’s little world – or at least for this mini-game compilation – it has an all new meaning. That’s because the game is intended to be played during the odd ten minute break, or while waiting for the photocopier to finish fusing carcinogenic toner to wood pulp. It did have us saying WTF more than a few times though. We’d even go on record to say that it’s madder than Wario Ware.
It’s unfair to make such a comparison, however. The Japanese title was Byte Hell 2000, which does a fairer job of describing what WTF is all about. There’s no plot as such – possibly as D3 removed it for the US release – but from the looks of things you’ve been sent to hell and must carry out the most tedious jobs known to man. In Pendinomium you screw lids on pens: press X to ready a pen, press X to put the lid on. That’s it – and it goes on forever.
Not all the games are this mind numbing, thankfully. There are clones of Frogger and other retro classics, plus plenty more have goals or a number of lives. In Lumberjack you chop as many logs as you can without accidentally splatting a furry animal and the baseball game, with NES-style graphics, looked interesting initially, until we found that the aim is to monotonously catch one thousand balls. There’s a wrestling game with decent animation and detailed characters too, but all you have to do is tap X when the character has been pinned. Bah.
At the end of each game you’re awarded cash which can be spent on various capsule machines. Some contain Shenmue-like gashapon toys which have witty descriptions (“You have unlocked a red skipping rope. It could be used to start a fight” or “This toy is horribly painted. No child would want it”) while others contain tools. Tools like a restaurant bill splitter, a program that makes the PSP’s screen light up so you can use it as a torch, a Chinese horoscope thing, a hilarious replacement for your eyes, and an instant noodle timer. In the last of those, as soon as you press start a vertical FMV clip of either an oiled up beefcake or girl in a bikini appears and tries to do their best to entertain you for the three or four minute duration.
The presentation holds it all together nicely, with a faux e-mail system where random e-mails and pictures arrive sporadically, and also time sensitive messages. Play at night and the demon who dishes out jobs will tell you to go to sleep instead; play at noon and he’ll ask what’s for lunch. The games themselves are heavily stylised, with twee music, strange speech samples, subliminal messages and the odd random occurrence. Only four games are available at any given time, but you can do practice runs on those already unlocked.
There are things here that’ll make you smile; some you might even want to show fellow colleagues – unfortunately we can see ourselves strapping our PSP to our ears with elastic bands and walking around with the fake eyes on display – but if you’re after a real, proper mini-game collection then you’re better off with Capcom Classics Reloaded or waiting for Sega Mega Drive Collection. But, you know, it’s cheap, different and not another sodding racing game or shoddy PlayStation 2 conversion.