Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Want to play as the Red Hot Chili Peppers at home but don't have the musical chops and sock budget? The "Californication" game is here to fulfill your needs! The promo for this RHCP track imagines a video game starring the band that sets each member off on their own playable adventure. John attempts to escape the evils of Hollywood, Flea rescues a bear, Chad snowboards on the Golden Gate bridge and Anthony burns rubber in a convertible. After a bunch of on-screen silliness, the band reassembles inside the earthquake-split earth. A bit better than Woodstock 99, we suppose.
50 Cent - Heat
It's bargain-bin graphics galore in the video for 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' track "Heat". This clip features two dudes playing the game CoIntelPro III - Operation: Driveby, where the goal is to kill assorted targets, including 50 Cent. Tension builds between the players, Fiddy escapes comfortably without getting shot and in-game dancers move with about as much sex appeal as a busted Playstation engine can offer.
Roxette - Almost Unreal
Well, this is definitely not like any Super Mario Bros. game we've ever played. This Roxette video from the Super Mario Bros. soundtrack focuses on a teen that has access to (we think) a video game system that offers up clips from the box office bomb, as well as bits where the Swedes perform the song way more sincerely than is required. Ease up on the dramatic faces, guys. You're sharing the screen with Dennis Hopper sticking out his lizard tongue. The video concludes with the lead being "de-evolved" into a lizard. To be honest, we would've preferred a video where Roxette just punched bricks for four minutes instead.
Björk - Hyperballad
This one's not exactly Bjork The Hedgehog, but it's still a really cool clip. The Michel Gondry directed video for "Hyperballad" thrusts the viewer into a world of 2D and 3D wonderment, including sequences where Bjork is rendered a 2D character that can only travel in the rigid movements (limited paths, head-over-heels jumps) of an early video game character. Dazzling stuff.
Beck - E-Pro
Creepy retro game-style visuals is the environment occupied by Beck in the video for "E-Pro". The singer hops and pumps his legs through a series of spooky wireframe environments, fending off skeletons and encountering morphing bicycles on his way. An ill-fated attempt to grab a diamond leads to Beck being decapitated by birds (so inconvenient!) and spending a good chunk of the video as a disembodied head. It's both fun and freaky.
Hot Chip - Don't Deny Your Heart
We won't ruin the amazing turn that this Peter Serafinowicz-directed Hot Chip promo takes partway through its run time, but we will offer that it's an exciting new innovation in the world of soccer video games. Bring on Hot Chip Football '14.
Junior Senior - Move Your Feet
When you have a deliriously fun pop single on the market, it never hurts to have a video that can keep up in the thrills department. The video for Junior Senior's "Move Your Feet" is stuffed to the brim with low-res pixelated gags, some a fair bit saucier than others. (We're looking at you, champagne bottle sequence.) Come for the throwback visuals, stick around for the squirrel-instigated mayhem.
Cadence Weapon - Sharks
Cadence Weapon lets the classic video references fly in the video for his single "Sharks". The Edmonton rapper (and former Poet Laureate) lays waste to buildings Rampage-style, hops through traffic like Frogger and trails a Donkey Kong doppelganger while decked out in Super Mario inspired threads. By the time the clip closes out with a beat-em-up homage, the Breaking Kayfabe emcee is already at the high scores screen.
Sia - You've Changed
Who says video games have to be high-tech? Sia's clip for "You've Changed" references video games in a novel low/no-tech way, choosing to recreate classic game selection screen tropes through the use of crafts. The clip's essentially what would happen if Video & Arcade Top 10's visuals were handled by the cast of Take Part. That's not a bad idea for a show, actually.
Air - Kelly Watch The Stars
The worlds of ping pong and Pong collide in the visual accompaniment for Air's "Kelly Watch The Stars." In the video, a game of Pong and a bout of ping pong are in sync with each other, with the action in one game essentially mirroring the other. (That said, it should be noted that Ping Pong Kelly looks a heck of a lot cuter than her white rectangle video game equivalent.) It's all one big goofy gauzy delight, complete with astral projection (a standard facet of modern ping pong) and over-the-top joystick movements.
Moby - Wait For Me
Steady yourselves accordingly, gamers, it's that exciting Moby video game adventure you've been clamouring for. Sadly, the video for "Wait For Me" isn't styled as a tea room manager strategy game or a music licensing RPG. Instead, it's a sidescroller focusing on the increasingly glum experiences of an 8-bit average Joe who loses his on-screen video game hearts as his miserable day progresses. (Candy Crush, this ain't.) This clip was created as part of a contest where Moby would give $5000 to the best fan-made video. This particular treatment of "Wait For Me" didn't win the $5K, but it did scoop the runner-up prize of $1000.
Architecture In Helsinki - Do The Whirlwind
Pixel-powered thrills and background details abound in this Architecture in Helsinki video. "Do The Whirlwind" has the Australian band transmogrified into fantastical VG versions of themselves and sets them on a voyage through a bevy of environments on their way to a "Band Challenge". It proves to be a doomed journey for the group, as they get whacked at sea (eaten by a boat, no less) and their souls float up to heaven. The video comes to a close with a zippy Pac-Man scene and the overwhelming urge to hit play one more time.