Hey guys, I thought I might take some time to share thoughts on Cameo’s in video games, my favourite ones and the weird ones. Many of these show up in genres of games you may not expect and some may appear in games where you might think they would be overpowered.
I am including playable characters and allies in this small list of cameos so that…
Come on get to it… COME ON
Patience fella. I’ll get to it at some point, just hold your horses will ya.
You’re such a tease you know that?
Now the Saints Row games are a big old bag of fun, an alternative to the GTA series where building up the Third Street Saints gang and muscling your way into every venture in the city is the aim of the game. Taking part in escort missions, insurance fraud mini games and races on quad bikes while your in a mascot suit on fire are just a small list of things you can do in these games, however progression through the main story and side mission will net you unlockable “Homies”. Companions that you can call on a mobile/cell phone to help and guard you as you do whatever you feel like in the city.
Some of the allies you can unlock are people like Roddy Piper after a mission that plays out the events of the movie They Live. Hulk Hogan as a wrestling trainer called Angel. As well as voice cameo’s from Mila Kunis, Keith David, Tia Carrere, Michael Duncan Clarke, Clancy Brown. The list goes on of talented actors included in this game. Oh almost forgot: Burt Reynolds
You what? Smokey and the Bandit and Malone Burt Reynolds?
Yep, he is the mayor of the city Stillwater
where Saints Row is based
other unlocks which aren’t cameo’s but I’d like to mention anyway are a plethora of people in fury mascot outfits, aliens, the antagonist
once you complete the game and of course
a Dominatrix, and a guy in a full leather gimp suit to complete the collection.
I don’t think I have words for that
It sounds questionable I know but trust me it makes the game more fun running around with these allies that you summon by ringing them on your mobile/cell phone. You haven’t played it have you? Well just wait till you find out what kind of melee weapons you get in the game, it doesn’t take long to get into the spirit of things.
Space Channel No 5
So the Deamcast game from back in the day that had you playing as a reporter, who was investigating an alien invasion. The invaders from another planet would force people to dance for… reasons. Now the goal of…
Just dancing? No experiments or probes?
No probes. included.
Your goal was to challenge the aliens in dance battles and gain viewer ratings in the process. Simple enough right? However if you got far enough into the game, a special someone would join you in your quest to out shuffle your opponents. Michael Jackson, The King Of Pop, the moonwalking, side shuffling funkatron dancing machine himself would be dancing with you in this game.
The Smooth Criminal? Blue Gangster? Your were aided by Captain Eo himself? How the living Hell did I miss that one?
Probably because it was a secret at the time of launch, also to add to this I wasn’t aware of the concept of rhythm games at that point as well as the Dreamcast belonged to Jay at that point.
Still though… MJ dancing to fight aliens
Hold on to that thought, Im not finished with MJ just yet.
Side note from Jay
What’s interesting about Space Michael’s get up is that it should be familiar to anyone who has seen the music video to Scream.
Also, there’s a relatively active Japanese hash tag specifically for Space Michael: スペースマイケル
スペースマイケル = Space Michael
Quick Honourable Mentions
Here are a list of Quick fire mentions of minor to moderate cameos in video games that might have passed you by. Theses are taken from games that I remember playing, growing up - Ill mention these before getting to my favourites a bit later on. I haven’t included all of the cameos that have ever been, I would be here all day. So here we go:
Gary Coleman in Postal 2
Phil Coliins in GTA Vice City Stories
Nathan Fillion in Halo 3 ODST
Jimmy Kimmel in an interview segment in COD Black Ops 2
Gene Simmons as an unlockable character in Tony Hawks Underground
And last but not least,
The Nature Boy Ric Flair as Commander Hill in Command and Conquer Red Alert 3.
That’s a strange bunch of cameos fella, Gene Simmons sounds cool as an unlockabl… RIC FLAIR!
Yep. Out of all of these I enjoyed Ric Flair’s performance as the Commander Hill in C&C Red Alert 3, he was always either yelling at you, calling you names and yelling at you or giving you weird sideways complements… then calling you names and yelling at you. Kind of kept me going playing Red alert 3 to see the kind of things Commander Hill would yell at you. Pure class.
So remember I said keep hold of the idea of fighting? Well there are a few more games I’m gonna mention that have cameos and there all fighting games. So hold on to your butts this is gonna get violent.
So I’m talking about the more recent releases from Netherworld Studios.
As well as the old familiar cast we have guests like Hellboy, the Xenomoph from the Alien movies, the Predator from the Predator movies, Freddy Kreuger, Leatherface and my favourite: Jason Voorhees.
With opinions sometimes divided on if these characters were needed or even fair to play as, I think these additions to the Mortal Kombat roster - albeit in the from of DLC - make fighting your friends to the death in this game an awesome, as well as a funny one.
Jason Voorhees? He can’t die though. The Alien? Man I have to try these guys out.
WWE Wrestling games
So I’m talking about WWE 2K16 in particular.
Available as both a pre order bonus and as DLC, you could play as none other then the Terminator! That’s right Arnie himself body slamming, chocking, and throwing whoever you liked all over the squared circle. In two different variants you could play as the T-1000 from either of the first two Terminator films, and wreck havoc on the WWE universe on your way to attaining the Championship title of your choice. I found this a blast and nothing stood in my way when I played as him.
I can’t decide if that’s awesome or not. Surely it would have been overkill from the power of the wrestler.
It was but don’t think about that, think about beating the living snot out of the wrestlers you don’t like with a killing machine.
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
So this game, as well as being a very well rounded boxing game that verged on the insane at times, hosted a sizeable list of unlockable characters - with one specific unlockable character being available only after you beat it on hard mode. I’m gonna save the best for last but some of unlockable characters in the game:
The best of these unlocks, after only 2 completes with any character you got
I’ll give you a drum roll
Michael freaking Jackson!!
You very much what!!!!
Yep. The king himself in his History Tour garb or a red or white shirt with his iconic wide brimmed hat. You could play as MJ in a boxing game… Let that sink in.
Wha… I… yo… err
Yeah. Unlocked after only two completes, he danced when you won and did very stylised ultimate combo moves. You got these combos from filling your special meter up - once full, it gave you access to an instant knock out combo. In the case of playing as MJ you could knock your opponents straight out of the ring. The man himself leant his voice to his character in the game, at a lower pitch but still, he was in the game.
I’m gonna be honest with you, once I unlocked MJ in this game I didn’t play as anyone else. Couldn’t tell you a thing about the other boxers in that game, if I had known at the time I could have unlocked MJ with a cheat code I would have played as him from the very start.
So in Ready to Rumble Boxing Round 2 you could taunt your opponent to gain a small boost in the special meter… Yep you could do iconic dance moves and smack talk as MJ. Not only that, once you won the match (because I wasn’t losing as him) your player could celebrate.
Yep a rather long dance would ensue where MJ would dance, jig and celebrate his victory.
here’s a YouTube video of someone playing (and winning) as MJ
Oh another thing before I forget: in the credits for the game, the production team included them saying “Thanks Michael” as a sound snippet. Upon first playing the game this left me very confused and very determined to find out if the “Michael” was who I thought it was.
So how long till you completed it the second time and how long was you on it after you unlocked the King Of Pop then?
I am quite proud to say that I raced through the second play through. Once I had unlocked him it took my mMm and Jay to drag me off the game to go to bed. I would not get off that game willingly.
What are some of your favourite cameos in video games? Where they hidden cameos (like MJ in Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2), or where they unlocked from the start?
We mentioned 6 games in this episode. Those games where: