In most games, a move or an ability is supposed to help characters progress through the journey. There are certainly moves that are pointless, such as splash in the first Pokemon-games, but what about moves that are useless, but still have a charm to them? To give you an idea, here are simply some of my personal favorites.
#5 Mario break-dancing
It kinda baffles me how many moves Mario had in Super Mario 64. All of the jumps were useful, but most of the different attacks were not needed. The 3-hit combo-punch, dive-punch, slide-kick and our #5: the breakdance-move. While his other attacks had some range or got Mario to attack while still moving, this kick is so short, has to be done while standstill, and is so useless that I have no idea why it was even added here. It is admittedly pretty cool to see Mario bust some moves, but it is so bizarre to include this in the game. A good enough reason to take the number 5 spot.
#4 Taunting your competitors
There are plenty of games, specifically MMO’s, that have useless animations for commenting, such as emotos, sleeping and dancing to name a few. So why Runbow? Well, in this game, you can’t really take a breather. You are always on the move, either by running or by fighting each other, so taking a small time to actually taunt is never recommended. Despite this, I often found myself and many others taunting right before the finish line, which in about 40% of the time has cost me the first place. It is not just useless, it can even destroy your chance of winning. Yet, we all love to tease a little bit.
#3 Hugging the Blob
One of my favorite games and one of the best reboots ever, A boy and his Blob by Wayforward is such a beautiful side-scrolling puzzle game for the Wii that I have fond memories of and happy to see re-released for the PC. While there are plenty of beans that can make the Blob turn into anything, my favorite thing to do in this game, is to simply hug the blob. Throughout the game, you simply feel how much the Boy and the Blob care for each other, like a child would for his/her pet. The simplest things can mean a lot, like a warm hug can. Even if it is not practically useful.
#2 High Five
Co-op is something I always welcome in a game. Whether it is beating people up in the streets, exploring the worlds of an MMO, or in this case: get your dead father to the proper burial place. Chariot is an interesting co-op game where you have to drag your father’s casket to his final resting place. There will be plenty of hard routes to navigate through, thanks to tough puzzles, devilish level-designs, and depending on if your partner is helpful or not. However, what better way of finishing one of the harder segments than with a well-placed high-five? This is a simple thing to have and even Portal 2 did it before, but it is so satisfying to do it here, as both players must tap the button at the right time to execute it. It is also much faster, making it easier to get a move-on to the next challenge, where you might scream, argue, try to be patient, and again: make the high-five even more pleasant than before.
There are actually a good couple of useless moves in this genesis-game. With no health, Micheal can grab his crotch by pressing C, pushing up will make him stand on his toes and my pick for number one: holding the attack-button and moving the D-pad to the other direction of where Michael is facing, will make him moonwalk. It can actually make you take a cheap-shot, is not practical at all, but it is the Moonwalk! It is Michael Jackson’s signature move and it fits the game so well with plenty of his iconic hits. It is useless in any way, but it is so cool even to this day. In fact, I see many try to replicate this as glitches in more recent games, which gotta mean something when one game already had it in it as part of the normal gameplay.