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Every Game Should Have Big Head Mode

2011 was a year in gaming known for an unusually large glut of games ending with the number three, but in my opinion it was the resurgence of big head mode that made it a particularly memorable year. One of the first games to boldly throw the feature in was Gears of War 3 and much later was Batman: Arkham City. The second I find particularly hilarious. After completely devouring the game, I became slightly depressed in the fact that I had pretty much seen all there was. Until one day it came to my attention that there was a way to play the game with goofy, bobble-headed versions of all the characters.

Instantly, Batman’s dark adventure became a whimsical journey as he smashes the teeth of the endless thugs infesting Arkham City with his enormous fists and headbutts them with his overinflated cranium. As I sat and enjoyed the spectacle, I began to wonder why every game couldn’t include a big head mode? So many games would benefit from such an inclusion. Take L.A. Noirefor example, a game that had so much time and talent behind it. Imagine trying to keep a straight face as Cole Phelps attempts to interrogate a suspect with a balloon-sized head and the hat to match. Did its lack of success correlate with its lack of big head mode? There is a distinct possibility.

Or the love scene in Heavy Rain with character models that have such huge noggins that they constantly clip into each other every time they attempt to kiss. The possibilities for entertaining wackiness are endless. How such a feature has yet to become standard is beyond my comprehension. In fact, there was a time when it all but was a standard feature. Rarely was there a sports game in the ’90s that didn’t have a code for big heads, most notably basketball games. I don’t know why that was the case, but at the time it seemed to make sense.

Not that there aren’t games with big head mode included, but in terms of sheer popularity the ones in the past decades vastly outnumber the ones currently on shelves. It’s a bit sad, actually. Big head mode is excluded from most first-person shooters on account of messing with hitbox detection and being far too hilarious for common usage, plus ballooning development costs make the inclusion of big heads merely an afterthought. Developers, from now on big head mode isn’t something you can include only if you have far too much extra time on your hands—it’s now a requirement.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in March 2010.

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