School is hard, no one will argue it. But at times, video games are even harder than that stats final you didn’t study for. Sometimes you just want to sit back and play something to relax instead of having to worry about keeping your kill-to-death ratio above 1. We want to help you take it easy, so we’ve put together a list of 10 games that don’t take themselves too seriously and will, hopefully, help you blow off some steam and mix in a couple of laughs along the way.
Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
Release Date: 1/13/10 Platform: PC, Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Arcade)
Despite its name “Serious Sam HD” isn’t very serious at all. It takes place in ancient Egypt as you try and save humanity by blasting monsters with rocket launchers. It’s a remake of Sam’s original adventure from 2001, and while the gameplay is a little dated, big guns never get old.
Dark Void Zero
Release Date: 1/18/10 Platform: DS (DSiWare)
Part marketing scheme and part retro-revival, “Dark Void Zero” looks and plays like it should have been released 20 years ago. Supposedly spawned from a shelved title from the 8-bit era, the game was resurrected by a supposed Capcom contest winner from the ’80s, the Jimmy Fallon, and competed for release as DSiWare. Supposedly.
Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond
Release Date: 1/6/10 Platform: PlayStation 3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Arcade)
Faux video game classic “Matt Hazard” gets a sequel of sorts with the 2-D side-scroller “Blood Bath and Beyond,” in which he goes back in time to attempt to stop Marathon MegaCorp from ruining him. The first Matt Hazard game spoofed numerous, classic 3-D titles, and “Blood Bath” follows suit, taking shots at some 2-D greats.
Release Date: 1/18/10 Platform: Wii (WiiWare)
It’s a game about half-naked bodybuilders chasing after a thief that has stolen their friends’ protein powder. Think about that: You run around as a greased-up, muscle-bound vigilante. This game couldn’t be more buff if it tried.
Release Date: 3/28/10 Platform: DS and Wii (WiiWare)
You know any game with Wario in the title is going to be a little less serious than his plumber arch-nemesis. “D.I.Y.” lets you make, modify and distribute your own mini-games, just like the ones in the “WarioWare” series. You can officially take this opportunity to perfect the “Picking Your Nose” mini-game.
I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1
Release Date: 8/16/09 Platform: Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Indie Games)
Just look at the title. Seriously. OK. One more time. Now, how serious can you really take this game? It’s been one of the best-selling indie games on Xbox Live since it was released, but that could be because people really just like games that only cost $1, and have zombies in it.
Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing
Release Date: 2/23/10 Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, PC
Imagine this: Sonic racing against AiAi from “Super Monkey Ball,” Beat from “Jet Set Radio” and Opa-Opa, the spaceship, from “Fantasy Zone.” “Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing” isn’t just your everyday kart racer; it’s packed full of classic Sega characters with which you can go head-to-head against your roommates with.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Release Date: 1/26/10 Platform: Wii
When you pit a tiny robot designed for housekeeping against a giant made entirely of gold, you not only have an awkward first date, but also the best fighting game on the Wii. The fighting is serious, the character roster — made up of Capcom greats and the stars of Japanese television studio Tatsunoko –- not so much.
Twin Blades: The Reaping Vanguard
Release Date: 12/29/09 Platform: iPhone, Xbox Live Indie Games
You play as a nun who is out to stop the zombie apocalypse by shooting and slicing her way through 31 days of zombies. That’s right — “Twin Blades” comes complete with a kick-ass sister, a giant scythe and an almost endless wave of zombies. Take ‘em down or the terrorists win.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Release Date: 1/26/10 Platform: Wii
Travis Touchdown is back with his light-beam sword, and twisted 8-bit flare. From the brain of famed game developer Suda 51 and plays to lowest common denominator (which is always the best) in terms of its humor, “No More Heroes 2″ has you taking down the top 51 assassins, playing retro mini games to power up your character, and heading to the bathroom to save your game. There’s really no better way to relax between classes.