We all know that PETA can be pretty heavy-handed with their methods, and we all know that Canabalt is a crappy videogame. Combine the two and you’ve got Super Tanooki Skin 2D, a new Flash game available at PETA’s website.
Yes, that is Mario — and he’s wearing a blood-drenched tanooki suit, holding a tanooki face that has presumably been carved out from the rest of its head. It may seem odd that Mario would become an animal rights target, but PETA’s point isn’t to make people boycott Nintendo. PETA’s point is to look “cool” to gamer teens (hence their plea at the bottom of the page to “make it viral”), since liberally-minded adolescents don’t yet realize that PETA’s methods are insane. No one runs around in blood-drenched fur while carrying the head of the poor beast they just slaughtered. But hey — if I ever see a scarf made from tanuki hide, I’ll probably think of this horrific image. That’s what PETA wants. They want us to associate beautiful things with bloody gore and death.
And after that horrific image pops into my head, I’ll laugh at its silliness and buy the tanuki scarf for novelty value.
But enough about PETA — on to the game. Super Tanooki Skin 2D is a lot better than Canabalt. For one thing, it’s actually possible to win. For another thing, collectible coins provide an alternate objective to survival. And finally, Tanooki Skin is funny . . . although the developers could have taken the joke a lot further. As Mario flies through the air, blood drips from his body. Wouldn’t it have been cool if the player had to dodge the bloody rain?
OH WAIT, THAT WOULD REQUIRE BEING ABLE TO DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN “JUMP”.
Of course, some people will ignore all of the above evidence and insist that Canabalt is better. They’ll say stuff like “I can’t place my finger on the reason — Canabalt is just more exciting”, or something along those lines, but the truth is that they like Canabalt’s music. If we critique games solely based on their music, I’d have to agree. But that would also mean that Canabalt is better than Uncharted 2, and we know that’s not true.
In ten years, when we’re still playing and loving Mario games, someone will say “hey, do you remember that crazy PETA game with the evil murderous Mario?” And I’ll say, “Hell yeah! That was funny.” And for that, Super Tanooki Skin 2D has earned its Hokuto star.