The minds behind Rick and Morty have never been shy about poking fun at the gaming world, being Final Fantasy 7 and its sword-wielding hero Buster the latest to get some comicality from the series. Considering the style and hype of the game itself, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon had no shortage of material to pull from for the latest episode, “Bethic Twinstinct.”
The series doesn’t make an explicit reference either, leaving it in the background as part of the game design joke. The sight gag rick and morty shows Morty playing at home with his older sister, Summer, as a way to distract himself while Beth and Space Beth come over.
Rick joins them and, at Morty’s suggestion, turns the console’s realism set to maximum, making the games offer a more “realistic” experience. This causes Summer and Morty to play a “realistic” version of Final Fantasy 7 in which Cloud takes on a random monster, but the realism setting renders his gigantic Buster Sword unusable.
Final Fantasy 7 isn’t the only game that seems to comically suffer as a result of the show’s idea of what realism in video games should be. The cartoon gives his take on what would be a “realistic” version of Street Fighter, Galaga, and the text-based games, the former of which forces players to seek each other out on the street to fight before their meter ” oblivion” fills up, and forget what they were going to fight for in the first place.
The general gag is an amusing jab at the idea of realism in video games, at developers promising more “realistic” experiences in their games, and at what the end results can sometimes be.
Part of the problem, though, is that the idea of realism in a game can vary depending on what kind of experience developers are trying to deliver, whether it’s an open-world epic like Red Dead Redemption 2 or Nathan Drake’s cinematic adventures in the series. Uncharted.
It can lead to very loose interpretations of what counts as realism, which can have unintentionally amusing or frustrating results; An example of the latter is the tedium of some of Red Dead Redemption 2’s crafting and looting systems.