Brands, whether they be used to advertise soft drinks or mark a cow with initials, are liked by many people who are affected by them every single day. Not only this, but many people are also affected by video games quite often as well, especially if they read websites pertaining to the topic of video games. So, it is only logical that some brands would want to team up with developers to get the good word of their snack or drink to the masses through the medium of video games. This editorial will cover three of the greatest branded video games ever made, nay, crafted, for the purpose of enjoyment and advertisement at the exact same time.
The man, the myth, the legend, Pepsiman was released in March of 1999 for the PlayStation as a low-budget title meant to advertise the glory that is Pepsi. This low-budget makes itself prominent through the inclusion of bizarre live action cutscenes of someone drinking Pepsi included in order to pad the game’s length. Often compared to games like Crash Bandicoot, or Temple Run, the titular hero is constantly running forward through the streets of San Francisco (and in some instances living rooms) in his quest to give someone a refreshing can of Pepsi. Cans of Pepsi are also scattered throughout each of the four stages so the player can score even more points so that they can brag to their friends that they have the high score on the critically acclaimed Pepsiman. Ridiculousness aside, Pepsiman is also the very first game that visual novel writer Kotaro Uchikoshi ever worked on. Although he was hired to work on video game versions of board games, he instead got stuck with creating the 3D models of Pepsiman and later went on to direct the cult hit, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors along with other games in the “Zero Escape” series. Unfortunately, Pepsiman never saw a western release and did not sell well at all. But hope always finds a way, and maybe one day Pepsiman will return from his caffeinated slumber.
Next up is the game Cool Spot which released on any console it could be on back in August of 1994, which starred the 7-Up mascot known as Cool Spot. In this platformer, Cool Spot must venture around several locations in order to free other cool spots from the cages that they were inexplicably put inside of. This can only be done by collecting enough spots around the stages which are both scattered and guarded by enemies with various and horrific designs. Not only this, but each stage contains a secret letter which can be found and then used to continue in the event of a game over. When joined together these letters either spell out the word “UNCOLA,” the slogan of 7-Up, or VIRGIN, as a way to be cruel. Not really, Cool Spot was just developed by the now defunct studio Virgin Games, who made the lesser-known Cool Spot predecessors, Spot: The Video Game and Spot: The Cool Adventure. Although, Cool Spot is assuredly the best game out of all the games featuring him as the protagonist, it is even fun at some points! Just like Pepsiman, it has been a long time since the one and only Cool Spot saw the light of day, although the red dot is still prominent on each can of 7-Up.
Last but certainly not least is the game Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool which was released for the SNES and the Sega Genesis in December of 1992, and the year of 1993, respectively. As standard with many branded video games, this title is a basic platformer highlighting the brand’s mascot, but interestingly enough there is no actual mention of Cheetos during the game. No matter how few copies the game sold though, a sequel was made entitled Chester Cheetah: Wild Wild Quest as Chester Cheetah embarks on a quest to explore the United States to find the ten pieces of the map to find Hip City, USA. Also a platformer, the game involves Chester searching through stages while also having to defeat bosses sent by Mean Eugene, Chester’s rival known by fans of the Cheetos commercials. In a shocking turn of events though, Cheetos are prominent in this title instead and must be consumed in order to stay alive similar to the way mushrooms work in Mario games. Overall, both games are just generic platformers that nobody really needs to play and Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool will only be remembered for the bad translation the manual suffered from. Thankfully, Chester Cheetah lives on through each bag of Cheetos sold in spite of the terrible games he was placed in.
That is it for this week’s editorial, tune in next time and by then Adeki will have hopefully completed Yooka-Laylee so he can review it for the site. Do you like Cheetos, Pepsi, or 7-Up? Maybe you just like the idea of selling your soul to corporations in exchange for money like Adeki is. Whatever the case may be, make sure to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!