The series is a big Take That! spoof of the unbalanced and frequently abusive Japanese court system. It culminates in Apollo Justice, where Phoenix, fed up with the current trial system and its unfairness, introduces the Jurist System.
In the second case of Dual Destinies, Phineas Filch circled a wrestling match listed in the TV guide as "Howlin' Wolf vs. Pretty Boy Vampire" Blow-by-blow commentary by Timothy Twilight. He says that "it was a complete disaster".
Also from Dual Destinies, an optional conversation in the DLC case culminates in Phoenix quipping "A tornado made of sharks? Not even Hollywood could conjure up something that insane."
AdventureQuest and its spin-offs, MechQuest and DragonFable, have spoofs and references coming out of their ears. There are even a few places in each game where it would be easier to list what ISN'T in this category.
Another Twilight slam occurs in AdventureQuest Worlds, in the boss fight of the Werewolf/Vampire War against a sparkly vampire by the name of Edvard, whose girlfriend Beulah dumped him for a werewolf (Ouch). For the first few days after the war ended, he was the weakest war boss in the entire game, with only 900 hit points and rather weak damage.
Another such ad for AdventureQuest Worlds makes fun of the ever-pervasive Evony banner adverts (namely the ones with the Ren-Faire-dressed Gaussian Girl that say "Play now, m'lord") by having a player character pose heroically in front of the text "Slay free, play indiscreetly" while wearing nothing but boxer shorts.
Adventures to Go! takes a snipe at AIG - when Finn first joins the eponymous adventurer's guild, he refers to it as ATG. Severn, the man at the office next door, tells him that the abbreviation "makes it sound like some failed bank or insurance company".
Smug villagers in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer seem to be one directed at Otaku people who are obsessed with Japan. Their dialogue when reading is an indication. Examples include them lamenting about how they were looking for a Manga in Japanese, but could only find a localised version (with an "urgh" added before "localised"), them claiming Manga is superior to Anime, but only in its original language (which they likely cannot understand) and criticising a Manga for changing the main character's name, which is apparently a pun on Japanese food.
The hot springs scene with Buxom handmaidens in Asura's Wrath can be seen as a subtle take that at God of War's sex minigames. There are a few others, such as Asura defying the idea of a rampaging demi-god having to be completely ruthless to be a badass.
The game begins as a traditional platformer with the duo in a race with Grunty. After a few seconds, L.O.G. interrupts saying "No. No. No. It's too painful to watch. Gamers today don't want all this. They just want to shoot things! But as we're broadening the demographic, I'll have to come up with something original".
The character of L.O.G. was a Take That! at the Executive Meddling the game received, as he is dismissive of the classic gameplay, and is an unlikable character who wants to change the entire premise.
Biing! was made for fast and expensive machines. You may run it with a normal Amiga, but you better buy yourself a real computer.
Apogee had a bit of a joke at the expense of Commander Keen in Bio Menace, where Keen is one of the hostages in the second episode. In the backstory for episode 4 of Commander Keen, a character gets Keen's name wrong. Apogee repeated the incorrect version of Keen's name in the dialogue when you rescue him in Bio Menace.
A few easily-missed ones in the third game poke at big gaming in general and Electronic Arts in particular. To elaborate, attempting to use a money coin on a dumpster brings a DLC-reminiscient popup window advertising a useless but shiny product for a microtransaction, while examining the doctor's medicine cabinet reveals a number of deleterious drugs ending with another advertisement for "other Eeh-Aay products".
At one point in Goodbye Deponia, Rufus is groping around in the dark and finds something "dry, long, and thin" which he jokingly identifies as "...the plot of "Secret Files: Tunguska"! Or a low-hanging branch. Either one."
Japan and Korea, historically, haven't exactly been the best of buddies. That said anumberof practitioners of the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do in Japanese fighting games are either Jerkasses or outright evil. There's really only one well known aversion (and, even then, he has his occasional flaw).
Sega's American marketing campaign is an example of "take that" taken to extremes that have rarely been seen since. Aside from the classic marketing slogan "Genesis Does What Nintendon't", there's this commercial taking a jab at the Game Boy's monochrome screen. Later Sega commercials, like the ad for NiGHTS into Dreams… had random people throwing PlayStationsoff skyscrapers, among other things.
An early advertisement for Shinobi Kid, the game Sega later released as Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, showed that the first boss of the game was named "Mari-Oh". The final version changed his name and redrew his face to look less like Mario's, but he still would shoot fireballs and shrink when weakened.
At one point in Double Switch for the Sega CD, four Italian mobsters appear. Two of them are named Mario and Luigi. They confront this one guy Brutus, who owes them money. Once you save Brutus's life, and most of the mobsters get subdued, Brutus yells at the one fleeing mobster "Tell Mario and Luigi their days are numbered!"
Battle Mania, the Japanese version of the Sega Genesis game Trouble Shooter, had a code that extended the Sega Logo Joke to have one of the heroines stomping on a Super Famicom. The Japan-exclusive sequel Battle Mania Daiginjou had some familiar-looking flying enemies with red hats, yellow capes and green mushrooms.
A particularly silly bit of mudslinging occurred over an ad for Sega's handheld console, the Game Gear, which stated "If you were color blind and had an IQ of less than 12, then you wouldn't care what console you had." Nintendo responded to this by attempting to organize a protest against Sega for allegedly making fun of disabled people. When this failed (for several reasons, including the fact that the ad clearly depicted a dog), then-president of Sega of America Thomas Kalinske fired back with a statement that boiled down to "Why are you wasting your time protesting a magazine ad when you could be using it to make better hardware?" Nintendo dropped the issue and did not pursue it further.
A magazine ad for the Game Gear had the slogan "A way to separate the men from the boys".
Sega took this to such a length that Nintendo actually had to fire back, something they rarely did before and have almost never done since; including the below-mentioned Yoshi's Island and Donkey Kong Country 2 gags, they actually went as far as to take out a double page ad/Wall of Text explaining how the Genesis and SNES were all but identical in most respects (and that the SNES was actually superior in some ways, namely graphics and, especially, sound).
Nintendo's advertisement for the first Donkey Kong Country boasted that a game with such advanced graphics can't be found anywhere else, especially not on Sega. The ad takes a particularly vicious stab at the Sega32x, which released around the same time (and would eventually become one of the failures that hastened Sega's exit from the console business).
Shortly after the Turbo Duo system for the TurboGrafx-16 was released, its American distributor TTI saw it fit to release an incredibly anti-Sega advertising campaign featuring Johnny Turbo, a rotund superhero of sorts who defended the honor of the first CD-based gaming system by fighting off the evil Feka corporation and its cronies for making the same claim with their own CD gaming system. The comic was bad enough that it would have qualified as So Bad, It's Good at best on its own, what with its weak counterpoints of the Sega CD's capabilities, implications that Sega employees are Not Even Human (to the point of naming that trope) and even blatant Ho Yay-laden surreal imagery toward the end. But some investigation revealed that it was much more a take that toward video game executive producer John C. Brandstetter, who the main character was modeled and named after, than Sega. The entire sad story has to be seen to be believed.
In The Fermi Paradox, a television series called "The Simpletons" is described as having gotten boring and stale, frequently using celebrity-glorifying cameos and making cultural references that are completely devoid of humour. The show being cancelled is considered the best possible outcome, whereas it being made mandatory to watch and continuing forever is considered a cultural descent into decadence.
Poking around gravestones in the original Japanese release of the original Final Fantasy would reveal Link's grave. In the North American version, this was changed to Erdrick's grave, which was also used for the European PlayStation version. Erdrick was the ancestor of the hero in the first Dragon Quest, which was much more similar to Final Fantasy than Zelda was. Later re-releases of Final Fantasy would restore the name Link, to the confusion of many Western gamers. Also, the original English translation's text for the gravestone was made Hilarious in Hindsight when the publishers of Final Fantasy and Dragon Questmerged.
The Nameless Mod allows you to find the Daikatana weapon that does little damage to enemies, harms you as you use it, and takes up a large amount of inventory space.
2027 has a subtle one to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Reading a newspaper in Paris may have a small mention that there are other media outlets besides Picus. Picus was the only media company seen in Human Revolution.
In Jill of the Jungle, produced by Epic, the action would be interrupted from time to time for a newspaper headline about some more famous video game character admitting that he just wasn't as cool as Jill.
Apogee Software swung a punch of their own in Monster Bash. In the backstory, Johnny Dash, the ten-year-old hero of the game is dragged under his bed and informed that his puppy has been kidnapped, along with numerous other dogs and cats. Upon being informed that his puppy has been kidnapped, Johnny's response is: "Who did this! If it was that Jungle Jill girl down the street, I'll kick her butt again!"
First releases of original Jazz Jackrabbit and its "Apology Mode" (code used to run it was APOGEE), referring to the fact that many of 3D Realms' (then Apogee's) Platform Games used EGA or even CGA graphic modes with a maximum of 16 colors, whereas VGA 320x240 256 color mode was industry standard at the time. This was slightly unfair, as Jazz Jackrabbit was released a year after Apogee's last EGA game, Bio Menace.
At the end of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, you find yourself in the Video Game Hero Hall of Fame, alongside Mario, Yoshi, and Link. There's also a sign that says "No Hopers", under which one can see Sonic's shoes and Earthworm Jim's gun. Strangely enough, Earthworm Jim was an SNES game, just like DKC2, though it was also released for the Genesis/Mega Drive.
Many Nintendo and Sega video games from the 16-bit era would tease you for trying to input a player name associated with the rival company. Considering what Sega went on to do later (producing third-party titles for other platforms, Nintendo's included), the entire smear campaign on both sides has become Hilarious in Hindsight.
Uniracers would tell you the names Sonic and Sega "are not cool enough." The final boss of the game could also pull a number of Interface Screws on you, one of them being "Hedgehog Speed" which was actually super-slow motion.
True Crime: Streets of LA features random background billboards for "Jockstrap", featuring an anonymous man's midsection, with a logo almost exactly like that of Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar Games. Furthermore, if the lead character received a call to attend a car jacking, he would often reply with "Grand Theft Auto? That sucks!"
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas fired back, with billboards for the True Grime street cleaners. Prior to that, one of the assassination missions in Vice City had you killing five men with names suspiciously reminiscent of the main characters from GTA clones. True Crime: New York City fired back at GTA in one of the side missions for cab driver Freddie-upon receiving the mission Marcus remarks "Man, now I gotta be a cab driver for this fool? Next thing you know, I'll be flying remote-controlled toys and shit!" referring to the widely hated Zero missions in San Andreas.
Grand Theft Auto III took a jab at the Driver series by sending the player on a mission to kill a Camp Gay undercover cop named Tanner, who is described as "strangely animated" and "more or less useless outside of his car."
Driv3r hit back with the "Timmy Vermicellies", some dudes in ridiculously bright-colored clothes with floaters on their arms. Coincidentally, Tommy Vercetti from Grand Theft Auto: Vice Citycouldn't swim, and had a bright turquoise shirt. Also, Calita is a take that to Catalina from GTA III.
GTA San Andreas then fired back in the mission where you must find and steal Snoop... uh, ahem... Madd Dogg's rhymebook. Shortly before you reach it, one of Madd Dogg's bodyguards is sitting on a couch, playing some unseen video game, and suddenly says "Man, how did Refractions mess up so bad? TANNER. YOU SUCK ASS". Coincidentally, too, Driv3r was developed by Reflections.
The tutorial level of Chroma Squad ends with the five stuntmen you control walking out on Dr. Soap, an overbearing blowhard director who is unpleasant to work with. This is a reference to how many actors from the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers walked out from Saban Entertainment (their reasons ranging from pay disputes to safety concerns to homophobia). Dr. Soap was also originally named "Mr. Mi Ah", a not-so-subtle reference to Saban's founder Haim Saban. This reference was also made in response to the developers' legal troubles with Saban during the game's release (although they would resolve said issues more amicably).
Quik the Thunder Rabbit, a Platform Game released for the Amiga by Titus Software involving a fast-running anthropomorphic white rabbit, had a joke at the expense of Sonic the Hedgehog. In the intro of the game, a tiny blue hedgehog is slowly making his way over a road before Quik zooms around the corner, causing the rodent to scurry away and leap off a cliff. Nothing like attacking what clearly inspired you...
The Splinter Cell series has a number of subtle jokes at the expense of rival stealth games, most notably Metal Gear. For instance, in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, interrogating one of the guards causes Sam to demand he hands over some ammo, to which the guard says something like "What, you think if you shake me enough a bunch of bullets will fall out of my pockets?" Also in the second game, the characters comment on the ridiculous codename of "Mortified Penguin", which seems to be a reference to FOXHOUND's "Adjective Animal" naming convention. Oddly enough, Creator/Ubisoft (the developer of Splinter Cell) have collaborated with Kojima Productions on a few occasions, so these are most likely friendly jabs.
Metal Gear retaliated in Metal Gear Solid 3's Snake vs. Monkey game, where Snake suggests letting "Sam or Gabe" take care of the monkeys. The latter is a reference to Gabriel "Gabe" Logan, from the Syphon Filter series. His CO responds with "this is the genre we turned over every leaf in."
Splinter Cell also took a jab at Gordon Freeman in Chaos Theory: "Crowbars are for geeky video game characters."
Splinter Cell takes a jab at James Bond as well. If you grab an enemy guard, Sam informs a mook that "He's a real spy, not one who drinks a martini and wears a tuxedo, one that has a lot of blood on his hands."
Splinter Cell also took jabs at itself. The third game's missions generally got rid of the three-alarm-game-over limit that several missions in the first two games had, and Sam and Lambert referred to this in a conversation early on, even as Lambert asked Sam to be careful.
The first game in the series also takes a good jab at Ronald Reagan. While Sam is laughing at a news broadcast showing a blatantly wrong account of what happened and lauding about how history won't forget the efforts of those who fought to save America, Sarah has this to say:
Sarah: Dad? What's so funny? What's going on? You haven't laughed since the Reagan Administration!
One of the trailers for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has a Russian guard on a motorbike say to Snake upon being held up, "What is this? A Grand Theft Auto? We're not in a Vice City...this is a jungle!"
Metal Gear Solid 4 seems to be peppered with take thats aimed at video gamers and Internet culture as a whole.
The original jokey trailer for MGS4 featured Raiden fighting against what appeared to be Sam Fisher over a director's seat which held the coveted "main character" designation. As it turns out, after Sam throws Raiden off a cliff, he takes off his mask to reveal Solid Snake dressed up as ol' Sam complete with Sam's gun.
The first MGS4 trailer showed what looked like a First-Person Shooter. Phrases like "Finally a Policy Switch?" and "Forget Pre-rendered Stuff - Format: Playstation Scenes!" flashed on screen. Then, the camera swept out of the point of view of the "player", and it turned out to be a random guard whom Snake swiftly disarmed. Then up came the writing : "No! This is no FPS! This is MGS! MGS for TGS on PS3!"
Chapter 3 of Super Paper Mario is a massive take that against video game Fan Dumb; the villain of the chapter is Francis, a nerdy chameleon who, amongst other things, likes to go on video game forums and complain about games that he hasn't played.
Similarly, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has an unlockable Easter Egg called the "Next Gen Filter", which turns all of the game's bright and vivid colors to shades of brown and adds more bloom.
The rivalry between Capcom and SNK resulted in numerous swipes.
After Art of Fighting was released, Capcom created Dan Hibiki for Street Fighter Alpha as a mockery of AOF protagonists Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia. Not to be outdone, SNK gave Yuri Sakazaki new moves that were explicit parodies of Ryu, Ken, and Sakura's. Eventually, both companies decided to profit from the rivalry with the Capcom vs. SNK games. And Dan's Ultra Combo in Super Street Fighter IV, "Haoh Gadoken", which is a spoof of a commonly used desperation move from Ryo/Robert's moveset.
In Street Fighter Alpha 2, if you enter "SNK" as your initials after getting a high score, the game will change it to "CAP".
When the "Enter Your Name" screen in Pokémon Red and Blue is skipped by hacking or using a cheating device, the player and the rival have somewhat meaningful names. The player's name becomes NINTEN, and the rival's... SONY.
In Duke Nukem 3D, in one level the ground is briefly shaken by an earthquake, toppling a building that resembles id Software's headquarters, prompting the hero to comment "I ain't afraid of no Quake!"
When Duke encounters a dead Space Marine in a secret room, he wryly comments "that's one Doomed space marine". In turn, the protagonist of the Cult Classic FPS Blood would come across a mangled, nearly dead Duke-lookalike hanging upside down, exclaiming "I've got time to play with you!" (a reference to a self-referential Easter Egg found in DN3D's first level).
Duke Nukem 3D actually has a number of references to various visual productions. There's a mock-up of Itchy and Scratchy from The Simpsons on some screens in one level, a recreation of the Star Trek: The Next Generation bridge that's been damaged hidden in another, several dead movie characters in various levels, various decorative items that mention something from a movie or TV series, and large portions of a number of levels are based on sections of movies.
In a level of Duke Nukem Forever, a soldier offers duke a suit of Powered Armor that looks suspiciously like Master Chief's from Halo. Duke's reply? "Power armor is for pussies."
One of Duke's quotes from Duke Nukem Forever: "I hate valve puzzles!" And another one, which is also a throwback to the Space Marine one above: "That's one dead space marine!"
When turning on bilinear filtering in EDuke32, the option may rename itself to "Blurry", "Vaseline", "Smear Filter", or "Terrible".
Serious Sam takes some potshots at Duke Nukem in almost every title thus far. For example, the Sirian council in Serious Sam II requested Sam's help because some "blondie guy" was "taking forever". In that level was a secret area called Duke's skeleton, which was a skeleton hung from a tree with still a very particular haircut. Sam's comment on finding it. "Dude, you've been hanging there, like, FOREVER." The fan-made Serious Sam Forever trailer doesn't help matters.
After Chapter 2's intermission, Monodam says they're "BACK-TO-SQUARE-ONE", Monotaro quips "...Square won? If square won, they wouldn't have got eaten by the competition!", to which Monophanie replies "After that terrible movie, they had no other choice!"
Daggerfall's manual includes this little take at the Unpleasable Fanbase: "People who play role-playing games need more than some pretty graphics and nonstop action to whet their claymores; they want depth and character and wit and drama. They want the thickest, most involving novel that they've ever read translated to their 15" screen, with themselves as the hero. That's what I love about people who play role-playing games. They're so reasonable."
Right in the middle of the GameCube vs. Xbox vs. PlayStation 2 feud, one volume of Nintendo Power published a letter from a fan complimenting the writers on managing not to resort to this. The writers jokingly responded by claiming that the Xbox would cause brain damage if you dropped it on your head, and that the PlayStation 2 ate small children. The latter joke became a Running Gag. When a fan commented on how creepy the concept of the Kid Hero often was, Nintendo Power simply said: "The next time a child with a sword attacks you, simply feed it to the nearest PlayStation 2.
IRL example: Microsoft's various take that moments against the PlayStation 3, such as crashing a PS3 launch party by bringing a boat with a gigantic Xbox 360 banner into the background as cameras were rolling, or offering chairs for the patient people in lines outside stores waiting for their PS3 — the backs of the chairs contained a seemingly innocent URL which led to a site where Microsoft took the piss out of 360 having been on the markets for ages before PS3 and how all that waiting must have been tiresome.
Dr. Darling: Frankly, anyone who thinks games are bad for you is a FUCKing idiot.
BioShock in general can easily be interpreted as a take that to Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy. Especially when one considers Andrew Ryan's name is almost an anagram of Ayn Rand. The Big Bad is named Fontaine, but uses the pseudonym "Atlas", obvious references to Rand's books.
Also, it seems just for the hell of it, Francis from Left 4 Dead hates Ayn Rand, amongst MANY other things.
Someone made a rather infamous Game Mod for Doom called Doom: Rampage Edition. The reaction was bad of course, and the author defended his work by claims of autism. Anyways, a prominent member of the Doomworld community said he could pull a better wad out of his ass. A week later, "A Better Wad I Pulled Out of My Ass" was released on idgames.
The upbeat, optimistic, and very much non-angsty Zidane, male lead of Final Fantasy IX, delivers an affectionate barb to his predecessors. "No cloud, no squall shall hinder us!". Likewise, the encyclopedia in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time gives the normal meteorological description for "Squall" and then continues with "Speaking of squalls...oh, never mind".
When stepping into a dark room in Prey (2006), the protagonist comments that he's "Doomed," a jab at the frustrating flashlight/weapon swapping in Doomł.
Helter Skelter is the first assassin that Travis kills prior to the events of the game. He happens to be a cigar-smoking albino with more than a passing resemblance to Dante from Devil May Cry. He gets unceremoniously decapitated in the game intro with Travis commenting that he "couldn't tell if he was the shit...or just plain ol' shit!". This has led some people to believe that Mr. Suda51 isn't too fond of Dante or his series.
The rank five match against Letz Shake, whose weapon is a gigantic earthquake machine that has Cell processors and Tri-Core engines, and which is controlled with what appears to be a Power Glove and a set of Virtual Boy-esque goggles. After powering up for what seems like forever, a dashing fellow in a white suit, wielding a beam sword like Travis's, proceeds to drop out of the sky and destroy Letz and his earthquake machine in one slash.
Right before the rank one match, Travis has a conversation with Jeane during which she takes a stab at Duke Nukem Forever: "What if the game gets delayed? You don't want this to become No More Heroes Forever, do you?"
Skelter Helter is a not-so-subtle jab at Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII. Suda seems to have a vendetta against Dante and his stylish swordsman ilk.
In No More Heroes III, in the Sonic Juice fight, Sonic Juice demands to be fought turn-based RPG style, which makes Travis go on a tangent about how he refuses to play a certain RPG because of how the characters look. Sonic Juice ends up actually agreeing with him on that.
The Dark Sun universe game Wake of the Ravager has a large Take that to Ultima VIII in a journal you can find in the game, mostly mocking the plot holes and lack of resemblance to earlier Ultima games. This was in response to a surprisingly nasty Take that in Ultima VIII itself. It contained an in-game book called "The Eye of the Boulder", which mocked the competing game series Eye of the Beholder for requiring a large number of floppies, having inferior graphics and sound, using a restrictive movement system and having bad storytelling. Both the Eye of the Beholder and Dark Sun series of games were published by Strategic Simulations, Inc.
In a leaked gameplay trailer for the MMO Jumpgate Evolution, the fighter squadron in the video indicates that they have been ordered to attack "Battlestation CCP" who have been edging into their territory with "Operation Trinity". CCP being the name of the company which designed and runs the MMORPG EVE Online, and "Trinity" being the name of one of the recent large expansions to the EVE universe, primarily the graphics content of the game. Some call it coincidence, but others are certain that the footage of "Battlestation CCP" exploding in a ball of fire nicely explains the competing developers' outlook on their rivals.
The plot of Ultima VII: The Black Gate was an extended, thinly veiled attack on Electronic Arts. Not too much of a surprise, considering the purchase of Origin by EA not long afterwards.
Sony's legendary "$299" press conference, which pretty thoroughly took the wind out of Sega's press conference.note For those not in the know, Sega of America's president at the time had announced at E3 1995 that the Sega Saturn, initially meant to be released in September of that year, was instead already available as he spoke for the suggested retail price of $399. The very next keynote after this was Sony Computer Entertainment America's president announcing the PlayStation's lower launch price.
There's also Kenji Eno's take that to Sony. At a press conference where Eno was going to announce platform exclusivity to the PlayStation, he abruptly announced that his games would be exclusive to the Sega Saturn, with the overhead display first showing a PSX logo which changed to a Saturn logo, and stomped on a plush of one of Sony's mascots.
Kessen III contains several Take Thats against the general characterization of Oda Nobunaga in fiction by casting him as the hero instead of a demonic baby-eating villain (the Onimusha series in particular, which features Nobunaga as the final boss in a couple of its games). During a battle with Akechi Hidemitsu (the true name of Onimusha's main hero Samanosuke), defeating him as Nobunaga treats the player to a special cutscene where the two treat each other as Worthy Opponents rather than a demon facing off against a holy warrior.
And in Samurai Warriors Chronicle 2nd and later 4, Yagyu Munenori (the father of Yagyu Jubei) is portrayed as an honorable swordsman, as opposed to the turncoat he appeared as in Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams. This also simultaneously gives a Take That! about general portrayal of 'dastardly Munenori' in other stories.
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for Nintendo 64 featured one Easter egg called "Quack Mode" which lowered the game's frame rate and caused the graphics to become more blocky. As the name hints, this was a Take that aimed towards the then-popular first-person shooter Quake.
Quake fired back with the N64 version of Quake II, where the instruction manual tells you "What are you waiting for, Dinosaurs in fog?".
Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade took a stab at attorney Jack Thompson over his crusade against video games. They donated $10,000 in his name to the charity Thompson would have donated to, had he not been lying. "For Jack Thompson, Because Jack Thompson Won't". To explain: Thompson was a Florida lawyer who made video games his Moby-Dick, using tactics that amounted to harassment to try to get these "murder simulators" essentially banned forever. He offered a challenge to game makers: produce a video game to his very exacting demands and he would donate ten grand to charity. The hook, here, is that Thompson felt game makers were forging murderers out of children, and so his challenge was for the makers to put themselves into the game as targets, specifically as targets of unspeakably vile and grotesque murders. The challenge was phrased as a "You don't dare do this because you know I'm right", and Thompson very obviously never expected the challenge to be met. Which it was. An indie developer produced Thompson's demanded gameexactly, effectively calling Thompson's bluff, which, lo and behold, was in fact a bluff. Thompson tried to weasel out of it and then Penny Arcade stepped in and donated in Thompson's name, basically to grind the salt into the wound. It was an excellent moment for schadenfreude, as Thompson, obviously, came out looking like a gigantic tool right away. Thankfully For The Lulz, Thompson was not quite finished looking like a gigantic tool. And then Jack Thompson tried to sue them for donating in his stead. The judge got in on the take that by throwing Thompson's case out and threatening his license.note Eventually, the courts got so tired of Thompson's continuous jackassery that he was permanently disbarred by the State of Florida Child's Play is a charity that those two also set up to try to counteract the "gamers are evil" stereotype in media.
Tomonobu Itagaki, of the Dead or Alive series, cannot give an interview without taking a dig against any competing fighting series. According to Itagaki, Namco once dissed the Dead or Alive series in a Japanese ad for Tekken 4. Whether it was a genuine diss or good-natured ribbing by their part is unknown, as the company also had a friendly rivalry with Sega, in which the two companies cross-promoted Virtua Fighter 4 and Tekken 4 in a series of ads.
La-Mulana is a take that to the current generation of video games; the game's MSX-like graphics and gameplay are in response to newer games being extremely flashy and having less challenge than their older, tougher ancestors. And then there's a couple quotes from Elder Xelpud targeted at Nintendo and the NES. One Game Within a Game is a Take that at Dating Sims and their players: "Real women don't operate by game systems!" A more subtle Take that concerns F1 Spirit 3D: its ROM is the cheapest of all the MSX ROMs that have to be bought, and the only thing it ever does (when used in combination with the Contra ROM, which is also ludicrously easy to obtain — its MSX2 version was a Porting Disaster) is make the player more vulnerable (either drain their health out gradually or make any attacks from enemies instant-kill, depending on the order of the ROMs).
In the third game in the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy, refusing to pay Moneybags to open the bridge in the level Crystal Islands results in him threatening to turn you into a blue hedgehog.
In The Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush Threepwood meets the Flying Welshman, a ghostly character who has been stuck in the misty ocean for years. He complains to Guybrush about the mist, to which Guybrush responds, "I like mist. I think it's pretty." Welshman: "Well sure, mist is pretty. But egad, is it DULL." An allusion to the game Myst, apparently.
A trailer for Saints Row 2 features not-so-subtle jabs at Grand Theft Auto IV by asking the viewer if they'd prefer "taking bored friends to go bowling" or "watching TV in the game" to spreading raw sewage on houses, doing crazy stunts or running around naked, all of which you can do in SR2.
In the mission "Saint's Seven," Pierce proposes a plan to rob the Poseidon's Palace Casino that the Boss and Johnny Gat consider to be overly complex and (worse) boring. His plan is the exact same plan used to rob Caligula's Palace in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. (In case you were wondering, the Boss and Gat's alternative plan consists of "run in, shoot everything that moves, blast the safes open, and drive like hell away.")
The introductory cinematic to one of the Mayhem minigames makes reference to "Zach Johnson," a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of infamous anti-video game crusader Jack Thompson, who is described as "a nutjob lawyer who gets hard at the idea of a lawsuit."
In Asha's recruitment mission in Saints Row IV, the Boss moves through a base full of cloning tanks to fight their evil twin. (It Makes Sense in Context. Kind of.) Asha will describe the contents as "replications of a highly functional sociopathic paradigm."
Shortly after Diablo III was announced, a number of fans took umbrage at the "colourful" outdoor scenes, which included realistically rendered rainbows in waterfalls. The response of Lead World Designer Leonard Boyarsky was this.
In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, when asked by Peter whether he likes "the new duds", Wolverine tells him that it makes him look like one of those emo kids who like to complain about how hard their life is when they don't know true pain. A bit of a dig at both emo kids and the maligned Spider-Man 3. Peter replies to that with "Oh my god, you dork! You have a MyFace page, don't you!", an obvious jab at the "Social Networking" sites of MySpace and Facebook.
Back in 1993, Myst and The 7th Guest were launched, displaying novel, but similar, production methods. The 11th Hour, sequel to Guest, has a Take That to its competitor — a copy of a game called Missed, with similar cover art, can be seen lying in a font full of filth in the chapel.
The freeware Tetris clone Lockjaw originally had some modes that poked fun at Tetris DS and "guideline" Tetris games in general, such as "Ridin' Spinners" and Dual Marathon.
The "Vs." mode, included in the final cut, is explicitly labeled as a Take that to Tetris DSin the game's manual.
The same author of Lockjaw also developed Luminesweeper, a Take that to not only the PSP's high price and Lumines not taking full advantage of the PSP's hardware capabilities, but also as one to people who mispronounce "Lumines" as "loo-mines" instead of "luminous".
In Persona 4, you can get a book called "Witch Detective"; Daisuke, one of the two choices for the Strength Confidant will invite you out one day, and mentions that he bought the book by mistake before giving it to you. When you read the book, the game shows something like this:
The sixth dungeon is a casino where all the games are rigged, located in a Mental World. Except that said casino is a standing for a real world place: the courthouse. Sounds like both In-Universe and out of universe, someone is seriously disappointed by the Japanese legal system. It's driven home further when Makoto and Akechi, along with the other Phantom Thieves, point out that Japan's 99.9 percent conviction rate is too good to be true.
In certain negotiations with Shadows (e.g. Ganesha), they may accuse you of being fans of that "soft-core Fifty Shades shit" depending on what you say. Curiously enough, while the tone is insulting, you actually get a "good" responsenote Musical notes, which means that the Shadow will likely join you. By comparison, sweatdrops tend to cause the Shadow to give you an item and leave, while Cross-Popping Veins usually results in the battle resuming from that choice.
Like in Dancing All Night, the game takes shots at the idol industry. The final Mementos target from the original game happens to be a perverted idol manager who demands sexual favors from the girl he manages.
In Persona 5 Strikers, the second Monarch is a writer who, by stealing the Desires of people, is able to get his Cliché Storm novel series (an isekai series, no less) to sell like hotcakes. Futaba often mocks the many cliches he uses, such as the Quirky Miniboss Squad guarding the Jail, pointing out that having four guardians for three towers doesn't make much sense.
In Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2, during one of the between-mission Space Marine dialogues reference is made to a former campaign in Kaurava (location of the Soulstorm expansion), during which the Space Marine captain is described as being an idiot. Soulstorm was developed by Iron Lore Entertainment rather than Relic, who developed the rest of the series. The result was an Obvious Beta which became infamous largely due to Narm, in particular said captain's bizarre voice acting resulting in 'Sphess Mahrines' as a fandom meme. The exact line is given by a Space Marine who fought at Kaurava:
This could be a mistaken reading of the dialogue, or it could be a very subtle take that, but keep a bunch of marines alive enough in Halo: Combat Evolved, especially in a Warthog, and they will start to comment: 'Man, this never gets old!' When you've been doing nothing but driving or shooting for about fifteen to twenty minutes this begins to look like a Take That.
The score ranking system in the Civilization series compares your exploits to famous leaders throughout history. The lowest ranking? Dan Quayle. And one of the corporations you can start is Creative Constructions: The Ending sentence: "Perhaps if a construction executive had been present during the designing of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, it would already be complete and accepting donations for renovations."
"They don't really want you to play 'Free Bird': They're just heckling you." Turned into a Continuity Nod in Guitar Hero II when the last song you have to play to beat the game was, indeed, "Free Bird". "FINE. So they aren't heckling you. Sigh."
Guitar Hero III loading screen: NO STAIRWAY.
Guitar Hero 5 delivers a Take That! against everyone who was upset by the changes to Judy Nails in Guitar Hero III. The game almost totally reverts the changes... but notes that she now does music directed towards whiny, self-important teenagers.
In Postal 2's Apocalypse Weekend expansion, the final mission on Saturday is to recover the Postal 2 gold master disk from Running With Scissors' underhanded former publisher, Bullfish Interactive, leading to a boss fight with the company CEO Phraud Hogslop. Incidentally, in the real world, Running With Scissors terminated their deal with publisher Whiptail Interactive over breaches of contract on the latter's part...
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. had a shot at Half-Life, where Gordon Freeman winds up in the zone, making a log of his short lived experience in the Zone, how he traded his crowbar for food and died shortly after. It is also a take that against the developers themselves... mutated bears were originally supposed to be in the game, but removed before release. One of the only ones that wasn't still in the game's code.
Rock Band 3 has you "kill" 53,596 HOPOs for an achievement.
Valve then parodies themselves of the achievement with another achievement called "The Littlest Genocide", requiring players to kill only 10% of the original amount of zombies for the Zombie Genocidest achievement.
Zoey and Francis's comments on the statue of Atlas in the airport, another Take that at Ayn Rand and arguably a BioshockShout-Out.
A more obvious take that for Dead Rising is a graffiti on the wall that says "Otis, Out of film, no helicopter, Zombies are too fast. Not going to make it, Frank West".
Bill in The Sacrifice sometimes says anyone who runs around filling up things with gas is an idiot. He says this due to how gasoline will become very rare in an zombie outbreak. This is a jab at the Left 4 Dead 2 survivors, where they are required to get gas for a car, a generator, and a boat.
The 2nd level in The Passing has the survivors go through an under the river tour with the end of it marked by a sign saying "Coming in 2010!" Sometimes Coach may say "Coming in 2010? But phase 1 ain't done!" This is a jab at the Fan Dumb that complained how Left 4 Dead wasn't "finished" when Left 4 Dead 2 was announced.
At one point in Return to Zork, you are shrunk and placed inside a water-filled ship-in-a-bottle to find a Plot Coupon. If you search around, you can find a skeleton dressed in the same outfit as Guybrush Threepwood, with similar music in the background. The text reads "Guess his 15 minutes are up."
The Mushroomy Kingdom stage is a representation of the first two stages of Super Mario Bros. as barren wastelands because they've gone unexplored for over twenty years. The reason they look so dead? Because Real Is Brown!
Snake's Codec piece regarding Sonic is a joke that was lost in translation, as Akio Ōtsuka (Snake's Japanese voice actor) is the son of the late Chikao Ohtsuka (who was Dr. Eggman's Japanese voice actor at the time), thus the dislike. Hedgehogs are also snakes' worst nightmare, because they are their natural predators.
Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard had a huge one on Final Fantasy VII. The sixth boss is named Alto Stratus, a type of cloud. This character can only talk in text boxes, which Matt needs to click. He goes on and on about how he was sent to kill Matt. When one of his text boxes is just "..." Matt throws a rant on how much time people waste reading those. Then you finally fight him, and Alto moves in a FF-like ATB bar system. And the description for the achievement/trophy for beating him? It's "Forecast: No clouds ahead"
Also, the game takes a shot at Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The opening plot twist was for Matt to be killed of in the first level and be replaced by Sting Sniperscope, a then-unheard of character.
The viral marketing campaign for the game blatantly attacked Activision's business "ethics" with this press release from the fictional company, Marathon-Megasoft.
The painting of Vigo the Carpathian in Ghostbusters: The Video Game (canonically set in 1991) says that "you will have a ruler far worse than he was, and you will have him...twice." This refers to at least one US president that was elected twice after 1991. Another example is when Vigo predicts that "It" turns out to just be a scooter.
The paper shredders in Glider 4.0 were labeled "Fed-O-Matic," and appeared in rooms named "The North Room" and "North by NorthWest", after Oliver North.
Uplink delivers a Take That against the FBI in an Easter Egg if you visit the Steve Jackson game's website, claiming to start tracking you as a hacker.
In the opening cinematic for Brütal Legend, the band Eddie is working for is a painfully obvious jab at the entire genre of nu-metal who get hideously killed by Ormagoden, the 'avatar' of classic heavy metal.
Rock Band 2 has one towards a band AND towards one of its biggest sponsors. In Band World Tour mode, occasionally you'll get random events asking you to do a benefit show or to do an encore in addition to the songs you chose, etc. One of the challenges is to do a sponsor show with Hot Topic to play a song by Paramore. If you choose to do it, you'll get a decent amount of cash... And lose 25,000 fans in the process as well. This was later patched (the official reason is players got confused when they lost fans and also because the random events algorithm makes events appear more frequently the more they are rejected).
The first game contains a take that against chicken hawks if Kaidan is in the party for the "Our Own Worst Enemy" assignment, and a rather ironic take that against the video game industry itself if Ashley is in the party on Noveria. In the former case, Terra Firma representative Charles Saracino asks for Shepard's endorsement, as the opinion of the first human Spectre and a decorated marine carries a lot of weight. Eventually, Kaidan's patience wears thin:
Kaidan: So you can say "I support our troops," and get into office because of our sacrifices, huh?
Then there's the take that against the Moral Guardians who complained about the sex scene, in "Bring Down the Sky" (PC version) - a computer file in a radio station talks about how they'd received complaints that they were encouraging people to sleep with aliens.
Mass Effect 2 has a person selling video games on the Citadel uttering a different take that about the industry and Fan Dumb every few seconds.
The game has one from the latest unofficial patches made by fans that restored some of the originally planned content in the game, such as history of the vampire player character. The optional background for one of the vampire clans is "video game publisher", which proceeds to explain that the player character ruined lives and so forth. Considering what happened to Troika Games in no small part thanks to their publisher, this seems amusingly accurate. And the vampire clan which the video game publisher is embraced into? Nosferatu.
The out-of-the-box game is not even trying to hide the devs' sheer and complete contempt for the Republicans.
One of the "sins" you can confess to Venus, the only one she claims not to be able to "wash away", is voting Republican.
A Senator Limperman (a thinly veiled Joe Lieberman, who was not a Republican but nevertheless earned the ire of many in gaming for his attacks on the industry) is constantly in the news, caught in some new indiscretion.
When one character mentions that someone is writing a screenplay about how the world is really run by shadowy cabals of ancient bloodsucking monsters, one possible response is "He's writing a screenplay about the Bush administration?"
There are also two to Valve, who refused to sell the game on Steam since they wanted Half-Life 2 to be the first Source Engine-game on Steam. Two computer passwords in a certain area have the passwords "valvesucks" and "steamblows".
There's a dead assassin from Assassin's Creed next to a stack of hay. The description reads: "They never learn."
Ads for the 3DO referred to the SNES and Sega Genesis as baby toys.
In Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth and Cloud are routinely voted as two of the best characters in the series. The in-game manuals for Dissidia Final Fantasy have Penelo just not getting the appeal behind either of them and decides neither of them is all that interesting. This is ironic when you consider Penelo was a generic "quirky" character that spent basically all of XII in the background.
During the Madden NFL/NFL 2K war, both EA and Sega had one screenshot on the back cover depicting its cover player making a play at the expense of the other game's coverboy (ex. Marshall Faulk stiff-arming Brian Urlacher on the back cover of Madden NFL 2003, Terrell Owens doing the same to Ray Lewis on ESPN NFL 2K5).
E3 2010 was full of take that on all sides. A particularly memorable one was Nintendo talking about how glasses 3D was weak and showing off their glasses-free Nintendo 3DS immediately before Sony's glasses 3D-heavy announcements.
World of Tanks has a series of advertisements that poke fun at more "common" games, namely EVE Online, World of Warcraft, and your typical Tank Simulator and Racing game. The WoW one has your typical fantasy "tank" (as in the character archetype) curb stomp a group of players, only to get run over by - you guessed it - a tank. The other, non-gameplay trailers are roughly the same thing, only modified for each different subject matter.
In the original Age of Empires, one of the campaigns is set in Ancient Japan. The games include wildlife as various opponents, including stronger, more powerful versions of each. So what is the first enemy encountered in the Yamato (Japanese) campaign? "LionKing".
This is more of a "British"note It's also, in fairness, a super picky American thing than a strictly "video games" thing, but Ben There, Dan That! features one about beer in the alternate universe where the UK has become the 51st American state. The schlocky "authentic English pub" has two drinks on tap: a robust and delicious British lager, which the lily-livered American barman won't serve to anyone who can't provide more ID than is really advisable to carry in day-to-day life, and something watery and soulless, which would only qualify as "ale" (or, for that matter, "alcoholic") if you bribed the truth-in-advertising guys.
Sam: Is that George Romero or Cesar Romero? Max: Well based on the putrefied flesh, I'd have to say John Romero.
One of the special random encounters in Fallout 2 has a bunch of Unwashed Villagers all banding together and beating the everloving shit out of a guy named Grim Reaper. Grim Reaper was the username of a rather vicious and persistent troll who kept spamming the Interplay Entertainment forums during Fallout 2's development, mostly attacking a fan community called - you guessed it - the Unwashed Villagers.
Yes Man: And if you had, you know, a huge killer robot at your command, yeah, that would just clutter things up. And a lesser person might want that kind of overwhelming force on their side, but you know - where's the challenge in that?
The flash game Crush the Castle, possibly being the prime example of causing a case of Follow the Leader that soon turned into the mobile-based sensation known as Angry Birds, since it shares a similar premise and physics engine as the former, had a Take That! against the latter with its installment Crush the Castle 2 Players Pack. Beating its Undead Mode where you fight off a Zombie Apocalypse unlocks a chicken as a projectile. It has practically zero mass, does meager damage on impact with castle walls, and disappears on contact, making it the least effective projectile in the game.
At some point in World of Warcraft, there was an outdoor raid boss that summoned a mob named "Demented Druid". Their tactics? Moonfire spam. In the short story, Heart Of War, Garrosh complains about, among other things, the failure of the trolls to retake the Echo Isles from a single witch doctor. This reflects some player complaints about the trolls not retaking the Echo Isles until Cataclysm, despite the fact that the mastermind is (apparently) killed in a low level quest.
Portal 2 has one in the start of "The Itch" chapter. Wheately has shamelessly stolen test chambers from GLaDOS while claiming them as his own work and has made test chambers that are incredibly easy to solve and have silly writings on the walls out of wall tiles and light fixtures, which spell TEST. Valve stated in their commentary they wanted the first few test chambers from Wheatley to feel like how a first time level designer would make a level, which is a not too subtle jab at people who flood hosting web sites with poorly made or plagiarized levels.
There's a hack of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, titled Sonic 2 Dimps Edition, which is a large-scale Take That at certain Sonic games developed by Dimps, particularly the first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Notable features include random speed boosters everywhere, an altered soundtrack, physics tweaks and a heavy reliance on the homing attack.
Sonic 1 Boomed is a hack of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Genesis that is basically one giant take that to Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. The hack gives Sonic and Dr. Eggman their Boom designs and turns the former into a Motor Mouth, saying his lines from Rise of Lyric, as well as a few from the cartoon every time he collects rings, destroys enemies, or bounces off springs, among other things. The developers of the hack also credited Big Red Button Entertainment, the company that developed Rise of Lyric, as the company that developed the hack.
Ivan Ruce: It seems pretty obvious to me that no one wants to see a Flashpoint Rising in the Green Sea Region.
Moreover, the v1.99 patch for Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis actually both renames that game to ARMA: Cold War Assault and removes the Codemasters-created Red Hammer campaign. The former may have been legally necessary... the other, not so much.
In December 2006, the staff released an item called the "Yuletide troll chrysalis" in Mr. Store, which hatched into a familiar that provided extra stats, occasional healing, and items (in the form of Christmas carol parodies) that could buff players. The reaction was extremely negative, as a number of players suggested increasing its healing effect and axing the carols - in other words, stripping away its only unique feature. Mr. Skullhead, one of the creative team, did not take this well, and launched into a rant at the "Stop Having Fun" Guys, lambasting them for how they only wanted an "Optimal Ascension Familiar" that had no picture, description, or any other flavor, but merely did positive things and printed stats. On April Fool's Day of the following year, an Optimal Ascension Familiar became available... as one of the worst familiars ever put out, with negative effects rivaling the (intentionally) crippling Black Cat. There are many such instances in the history of KOL, but this is likely the most notorious.
The game usually uses Affectionate Parody, but the items related to the Furry Suit contain a number of surprisingly vicious swipes at the Furry Fandom. Not least of which is that the tattoo you can receive by wearing it is the "Loser Tattoo".
Hippies and hobos aren't treated kindly either. All hippies have bad body odor and do drugs, and hobos are all lazy, stupid booze-drinkers.
On the other hand, all frat boys use "bra" as a Verbal Tic, drink more beer than is probably humanly possible, and have an unhealthy obsession with paddling.
In The Binding of Isaac, Judas' fez is a jab at Phil Fish, who voted against Isaac creator Edmund McMillen and his comrades at the Independent Games Festival, thereby being considered a Judas.
Hotline Miami also joined in the mockery with the Phil "Fish Mask" which translates all dialogue to French... that's it.
In Retro City Rampage, the Player feels a sudden urge to go on a "stomping rampage" after playing the "stomping simulator" ''Super Stomp Pals", which leads into a long Take That! against anti-violent-video-game activist Jack Thompson (the guy who coined the term "murder simulators"), the Australian government, and parents who don't take personal responsibility for the games they let their kids play.
Lollipop Chainsaw makes some priceless jabs toward modern-day pop stars like Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. Also, in Chapter 4 (the chapter where Juliet and Nick keep being sucked into various arcade games), Nick says if, "a red cap and blue overalls pops out at me, I am seriously gonna vomit all over myself."
Game Dev Tycoon took a jab at people who pirate video games by releasing their own cracked version on torrent sites on release day. The cracked version plays normally until you get to the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 era, where you find out that all of your profits are being drained by pirates.
Garfield's Fun Fest: The plot of the game, which is adapted from the CGI Garfield movie of the same name, sounds like the developers are making fun of how the comic strip has lost its sense of humour.
There's an achievement in Pro Cycling Manager 2011 and 2012 for winning the Tour de France with a French rider.
The online posters that declared things such as, "Yes, we use your TV too...to play games." (a jab at Xbox One's E3 conference focusing on TV features)
And just to add insult to injury, the PlayStation 4 retails for $399, a hundred dollars less than Microsoft's console.
An early advertising campaign of the MMORPG WonderKing depicted human personifications named "WonderKing" and "Maple" dueling. The personification of "WonderKing" always wins the duel with "Maple" defeated.
After Zynga made a ripoff of Tiny Tower, Tiny Tower responded by adding an in-game quest called "Beware of Dog" (Zynga's logo is a bulldog), which involves ripping off another company's game. Even better, the icon for it is one of the in-game citizens in a devil costume.
PAYDAY 2 has an achievement called Fish A.I., which is a jab at the Call of Duty franchise that boasted having advanced A.I. for fish in one of their games.
Skullgirls revealed a new character for April Fools' Day 2014: Fukua, a Palette Swap of Filia. This was shortly after the final DLC character for Ultra Street Fighter IV was revealed to be Decapre, a clone and Palette Swap of Cammy, instead of characters that Street Fighter fans were hoping for... and when Skullgirls fans reacted positively to Fukua, she became a DLC character herself.
Tails attends the Really Bad Plot Developer's Trade Show partially because he "might get to throw things at the Archie Comics people".
Also at the convention, there's a sign saying "Meet the AoStH writers!"
In the release trailer for Scribblenauts Unmasked, one of the last scenes shows the Stephanie Brown iteration of Robin running down the villain Black Mask with a motorcycle, a take that to the former's horrible mistreatment in the Batman storyline, "War Games".
In DJMAX Portable, the song "Dreadnought" has a background animation depicting a national leader with George W. Bush's face (but with eyes censored out) as the power-tripping leader of "B.WLAND". When Pentavision released an "International" version of DJMAX Portablenote adds Japanese and English language options; the game is still Korean-region but the PSP is region-free anyway, "Dreadnought" was removed and replaced with another song.
On Day 3, if you try to weasel your way out of baking a cake, *Hyun-ae goes into a long rant about how relationships require actual work, unlike relatively effortless eroge and dating sim relationships. Then again, you're sort of playing the latter...
The Image Song"It's Not Ero!" is about *Hyun-ae's relationship with the protagonist, and the very first lyrics insist that Hate Plus is no "ero story" with "smutty CGs".
The launch trailer for Cel Damage HD takes a shot at the online multiplayer phenomenon that has plagued console games since the late sixth-gen era. Watch it here.
A very amusing advertising campaign for Monster Hunter featured a ton of this:
Ironbeard: "Are ya kiddin' me!? I dunnae geddit. I mean, what's so "deadly" aboot a wee bit 'o' crab fishin'!? Are they trappin' giant sea beasties, with deadly, venomous fangs!? Or electric fire-breathin' creatures, with razor-blade claws!? NO! They're catchin' iddy, bitty crabbies! I mean, look at 'em! Pah! Be careful, ladies: one 'o' these things might give ya a might nasty pinch!"
Lunar: Eternal Blue features an easter egg where, if you click a book in the library, it is about killing Barney, and Ruby says "Hallelujah, about time somebody wrote this book!"
To the Moon features a reference to Dusklight, a novel about a girl who falls in love with a zombie that smells of fresh flowers when exposed to sunlight. The protagonists dismiss it as trash.
Reelism, a mod for Doom II, has Bronies in one of the enemy slots. depicted as fat nerds in jeans, and don't do much but neigh and talk about the show in stilted, high-pitched voices, and serve as cannon fodder, meatshields, and ammo drops.
Riviera: The Promised Land takes a well-aimed potshot at the infamously obtuse Ymir Fruit puzzle from Tales of Symphonia; a puzzle which, by all rights, several party members should have been easily able to short-circuit. The Riviera party, consisting of a flying cat familiar, a Winged Humanoid with limited flight of her own, a proficient if error-prone witch, an archer, and a fencer with decent reach on her rapier, find a fruit they want that's danging over the water. The solution? ANY of the girls is perfectly capable of getting the fruit, and quite pleased to be able to show off the Ein. The archer even knocks the fruit into the water, then casually leans over to pick it up.
When Activision and Bungie announced that they had entered a marketing partnership with Red Bull to offer an exclusive mission in Destiny for any players who bought a can, the makers of Dying Lightfired back with a Twitter campaign that offered a free code for anyone who tweeted a picture of themselves drinking an ordinary glass of water with the tag #drinkrightdyinglight. Later, Digital Extremes took aim at Destiny's Collector's Edition-exclusive dancing emotes by offering a handful of dancing emotes of its own for free in an update for Warframe.
The arcade versions of San Francisco Rush 2049 feature a numeric keypad for entering account passwords and entering cheat codes in mid-race. In the case of the latter, entering 8675309 (as in the song "867-5309/Jenny" by Tommy Tutone) followed by the pound key (to confirm input) simply results in a Game Over.
The Lara Croft Expy basically serves as a vehicle for the writers to tear into the Tomb Raider franchise. Ten years laters, with all the Tomb Raider re-releases, and sequels and stuff, it's become Hilarious in Hindsight.
There's also this line in the Guild of Archaeologists:
Lewton: I won't bore you with the details of the Guild's security system — after all, if you've seen one intricate and fatal collection of pits and traps you've seen them all. Suffice it to say, it took a lot of trial and error, some scorched eyebrows and more levers than I could count.
Kings Quest (2015) has a subtle Take That! to the games of Tell Tale Games, such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, which use the "<Character> will remember that" system. After helping a travelling merchant, Graham is asked by his granddaughter Gwen if he will remember that, and Graham responds "he immediately forgot about it" (though curiously in subsequent episodes he does remember whether or not you saved him and react to Graham accordingly). Later on, after chasing some squirrels away from a pumpkin with a badger, Gwen asks Graham if the squirrels will remember that, to which Graham replies that they most certainly will. They do.
Near the end of the "Genocide" path in Undertale, Flowey explicitly calls out people who choose to watch playthroughs of the path rather than play it themselves, calling them "sickos" who are worse than the perpetrators; he then guesses that someone like that's watching as he speaks.
Suits: A Business RPG:
The game is pretty heavily influenced by OFF, but instead of acknowledging it, it harshly mocks the predecessor. One early-game area is a haunted basement, where you find a man in a baseball cap who says he wants to exorcise the place but couldn't find the ghost responsible for the haunting. Right next to him you enter a boss battle with a ghost named Mortis (looking almost exactly like the avatar of Mortis Ghost, OFF's creator). After defeating it, the man in a baseball cap decides to attack you for the Kill Steal, but you defeat him easily, at which point he exclaims "Guess you're really better than me..." before collapsing in a pile of guts and gore.
You end up fighting a "Shell Dan" from "The Huge Boom Hypothesis," with the battle background even resembling the staircase from Big Bang (complete with caution tape over the elevator). It's pretty obvious that the creators of the game aren't fans, given that you have the option to flat-out tell him "Your show sucks."
Mighty No. 9 takes a jab at the very fans that helped fund the game on Kickstarter by having one of the trailers say that players can "make the bad guys cry like an anime fan on prom night". While the jab was probably meant to be a harmless ribbing, it didn't sit well with everyone that either funded the game or were looking to play the game since most of them are anime fans. The PR disaster was apparently done by the publisher while the developers themselves had no part in it and they weren't happy when they found out about the incident either.
At the end of the E3 2016 trailer for Yooka-Laylee, the latter mentions that in the time it takes them to make new levels in time for the game's release, they'll probably put in car sections.
The Talos Principle: One text discusses the fact that various important books from the Library of Alexandria were destroyed, while various unimportant texts that were carelessly thrown away have managed to survive to this day. The following appears in regards to the latter: "(...) if we want our descendants to remember more than glittering emo-vampires and autotuned teen pop stars (...)"
The game was originally called Spooky's House of Jump Scares before the creators got a Cease and Desist from a company trying to trademark the term "Spooky House." They ended up complying with the request... and in-game, its new title screen is just the old one, with tape over it and the new title scribbled on.
After getting several requests for a specimen based on Five Nights at Freddy's, the creators finally added a deadly brown animatronic in the game's Endless Mode update. However, said animatronic is slow, does little damage, is drawn in a goofier style that contrasts with the other monsters, and has a very tame game over screen. In other words, he's the game's Joke Character.
The menu for the refreshments in the Hollywood level of Overwatch depict surprisingly high prices for the items (in the triple digits), with "Bottled water" being the most expensive. A jab at movie theatres for their concession prices and bottling companies for bottled water prices.
Grand Theft Auto really has it in for politics of both sides, just because you're a Democrat or Republican don't think your party won't get a pasting. Numerous Attack of the Political Ad promos will run that assault the other side on a scale real-life politics can only dream of, one side is portrayed as jingoistic, gun-crazy violent psychos and the other as namby-pamby bleeding-heart liberals who cannot handle the real world. Late updates to Grand Theft Auto V even play into the fall of the government bringing about the end of the world, thus the Doomsday Heists where you go on apocalyptic-level criminal acts to fight back.
In Prismata, a robot infected by VILE tells the player to enter their credit card information in order to unlock in-game power. It is immediately berated by the other characters.
The Interactive Fiction game Sins Against Mimesis includes a monster called "Kunkel", a "troll-like" creature who is obsessed with playing virtual reality shooters on its "ultra-whiz-bang" computer, and is eventually killed by subjecting it to the shock of playing a text adventure. This is a rather unflattering reference to Bill Kunkel, a journalist who once wrote a critical review of Infocom's The Sci-Fi Collection that was not well received by the interactive fiction community.
Burger Shop 2 has a scene where the player hires a private detective, but the latter turns out to be useless as he insists on presenting a bunch of unnecessary items as clues. This is obviously meant to poke fun at mystery-based Hidden Object Games, where you are always required to find, well, a bunch of unnecessary items before you can obtain what you're actually looking for.
Plague Inc.: The "Science Denial" scenario is a pretty obvious jab at anti-intellectual conspiracy theorists, especially the anti-vaccine movement.
In Rex Nebular And The Cosmic Gender Bender Rex walks into a MicroProse video game store. It has a bargain bin with tons of Sahara Off-Line's games at 90% discount, an obvious jab at their rival, Sierra On-line.
As if to further drive the jabs against Konami, the player can kill an enemy known as the Millionaire's Bane, an evil living slot machine, within an area that resembles a casino, complete with a Ms. Fanservice enemy in the background that occasionally fights alongside the Millionaire's Bane.Explanation This shot is specifically aimed at Konami owning a gambling business in Japan and have started using Castlevania for their Pachinko Machines. Particularly Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, alongside that the game has copious amounts of blatant fanservice that was never there in the source material. The infamous trailer also ended with the words "Erotic Violence".
Red Dead Redemption II: It's hard to tell if it's intentional due to Production Lead Time, but it's hard to not see parallels between then U.S president Donald Trump's infamous statement "Why can't we take more immigrants from countries like Norway?" and the game having a group of Norwegian immigrants with a criminal past (namely, murder of an interracial couple).
When Team Fortress 2's Competitive Mode was released, there were already Competitive Modes that had been released prior. Valve ends up taking a jab at other gaming companies by claiming that matchmaking had never existed in video games before.
Leisure Suit Larry: In Reloaded, using the "Zipper" icon on the neon "LIQUOR" sign at the Come 'n' Go will lead to the narrator saying "Don't try to pee on that sign, Larry. That's the kind of raunchy, humorless prank your idiot nephew would pull." This is a not-so-subtle jab at Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust, two games featuring Larry Laffer's nephew Larry Lovage that were not well-received, to say the least.
In Dink Smallwood mod Malachi the Jerk Malachi states that the password allowing entry to an invisible hole is "Tim Maurer's DMods rock" because the enchanter who hid it wanted to use something that no one would ever say.
Devolver Digital has generally lampooned the video game industry's expos and advertising with its yearly videos starting in 2017. There are some notable specific examples from them as well.
The 2018 Big Fancy Press Conference makes one towards both Loot Boxes and the instability of cryptocurrency, with Nina announcing "Lootboxcoin".
Nina: Lootboxcoin is the world's first cryptocurrency that is so fucking secure, not even the owners know its actual value! Totally unregulated, and absent of all civil, governmental, international, personal, or institutional liability!
During the 2020 connect Don mentions that Konami announced four Metal Gear games in a direct and then made a breaking announcement that three of the games had been cancelled in the same direct.
In the Henry Stickmin Series entry "Completing the Mission", whenever the player gets to make a choice on the Master Bounty Hunter route, they will have the "Dance Off" option, which consists of Fortnite's default dance. Choosing this leads to, in order, Henry getting shot in the head twice, having his face implode from the Right-Hand Man's Megaton Punch and having a tank land on him from nowhere. If that wasn't enough, the Fail screen gets more and more annoyed each time it's chosen:
First Fail screen: Do not. Second Fail screen: Cease. Third Fail screen: No. Fourth Fail screen:STOP IT!!!!!!
After the release of Cyberpunk 2077 was announced to be delayed a third time, Arc System Works and Overkill Software (through the Payday Twitter account) both made posts making fun of the announcement and its format (black text and a logo over a yellow background) on Twitter. The post Arc System Works made has been deleted but the one on the Payday Twitter account is still up.
The opening cutscene for the Nemesis chapter of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles has Jill unsuccessfully going Guns Akimbo on a bunch of zombies, and then attempting to grab an overhang and perform a Neck Snap on one zombie that's gotten in too close, which also fails disastrously and nearly gets her killed until Carlos shows up for an assist. Seeing how quickly both of the efforts blow up in her face and how out of character it is for the usually pragmatic and level-headed Jill to attempt such silly stunts to begin with, it's very hard not to see the entire sequence as a wry dig at the cartoonishly over-the-top stuntwork and action in the Resident Evil Film Series.
The game tends to make fun of anime quite a lot. The Anime Salesman sells a myriad of useless crap, the Anime Girl will explode in a number of days unless you stop the timer via an extremely rare event, the Otaku Katana breaks very easily and reading anime magazines at the Anime Store will only benefit characters with low Wit, as it harms anyone with high Wit.
Characters with a low Wit stat will tend to blame Barack Obama (who was president at the time of the game's release) for everything during the randomized car conversations.
Communism is naïve, promoting great progress but breaking up at the slightest difference of viewpoints and can't happen without shedding the blood of the lower classes of society it pretends to fight for.
Fascism is pathetic, being based on quack science, discriminatory and a haven for people wearing rose-tinted glasses and/or looking for scapegoats to pin their problems on instead of moving forward or improving themselves.
Ultraliberalism (libertarianism) is self-destructive, a dog-eat-dog/survival of the richest ideology promoting an "every man for himself" mentality fueled by greed and the pursuit of wealth at all costs.
Moralism (centrism) is malicious, violently enforcing the status quo and hiding behind buzzwords and a guise of incremental change which, while real, happens so slowly it doesn't benefit anyone and leaves everybody unsatisfied.
The books available for sale don't fare much better, but special mention goes to Sixteen Days Of Coldest April, a Doorstopper of Misery Lit lampooning classical Russian literature, so bleak and depressing the detective is physically and morally hurt by reading it.
Rabbids Go Home is one big jab at the "Glorious 30", a French economic boom from 1945-1975 marked by an explosion in mass consumption. All the humans are very indulgent and encouraged to buy and value things to ridiculous extremes, which is challenged with the Rabbids opposite extremes to have unbridled fun as they take things to meet their goal.
Chapter 3 is a vicious jab at Allegedly Free Games. After Mr. Glitch meddles with the Zelda-like RPG you've been playing all throughout Chapter 2, he turns it into a microtransaction-riddled Free-2-Play clicker game filled with ads, Money Grinding and Product Placement. Most of the hero's progress is blocked by paywalls and a good majority of puzzles in that chapter involve trying to circumvent those paywalls. Game remarks that Free-2-Plays are like riding a bike without the seat.
To the Moon: During the gender reveal party in Impostor Factory, the original Lynri remarks to the original Quincy that while the event was already spoiled for them since they were the first to know the baby's sex, at least smoke wasn't used for it. It's a shot at parents going too far at making their gender reveal parties grand, with one infamous case causing a wildfire.
Vampire Survivors made fun of Konami's decision to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Castlevania franchise by selling NFTs of artwork from the series. VS contains an item called the "'Nduja Fritta Tanto", with the creators saying it's the only NFT that will be added to their game.
Jade Empire features an In-Universe example with Incisive Chorus' play. One of the people funding the play requested revisions to the script, from making derisive references to the "Flower Guardians"(a reference to the villainous Lotus Assassins), and having a line, "The warmth of spring hides an icy heart" to criticize the Emperor himself. Naturally, including this sort of material in the play is a very bad idea. The questline also contains one against actors; if you do a good job replacing the person playing Lady Fourteen Flowers and tell Incisive Chorus you enjoyed yourself, he'll remark that this means you're not a real actor.
Per an interview, the annoying, but weak enemy "The Glass" from dnd is based off a freshman the developers didn't like.
Mortal Kombat (2011) Due to this game's excessive levels of violence at the time of release, the Australian Classification Board (an Aussie government body which serves a similar function to the American ESRB when it comes to video games) refused to classify the game. As such, Mortal Kombat 2011 was effectively banned in Australia. The developers gave Sheeva an appropriate Ladder Mode ending: Sheeva and her Shokan clan were granted asylum in Earthrealm. With the cooperation of world leaders, Sheeva secured for her clan... the continent of Australia.
Bug Fables: The sidequest "Awful's Beauty" consists of finding three bad books within the game and giving them to Reeves, a Wasp that loves bad writing. However, the last book is so horrible that even hedoesn't like it. The reason being is because most of it turns out to be All Just a Dream, a jab at works that use that particular trope.