Garfield. If you're illiterate and don't remember him from the newspaper comics section, then you probably remember his endlessly syndicated cartoon series. Perhaps you've napped in Garfield liscensed sheets or used Garfield Marital Aids. Having put his bulbous sarcastic orange face on virtually any object that can be mass-produced by mankind, it's not that suprising that he's had a few ventures into the overcrowded video game market. It's also fitting that none of them have exactly done well as they seem to have about as much effort in them as Garfield himself would put into them. Which brings me to the typical Screwed Up Japanese Version.

     The redundant Garfield: A Week of Garfield title reassures us that this is in fact, a game about Garfield and not Peanuts or X-Men. Garfield has to go on a journey across Jon's incredibly large and incredibly poorly laid-out house to find Odie, who seriously just wandered off the title screen (see above.) It's gratifying to finally see a video game with that abortive, "We already give up, just play the game and make up your own story" approach. You'd expect them to at least fake it, like say, "ODIE HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY NINJAS. ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH GARFIELD TO SAVE ODIE?" I suppose no plot is better than a stock plot in this case, since the idea of Garfield fighting a wizard or doing anything remotely aerobic is about as believable and M. Bison running Ryu over with a truck. Which sadly, almost happened in the movie.

     Since Garfield comics have a cast of about three people, and nothing really happens, you see a lot of what I like to call 'improvisational enemies.' These are the pixelated monsters that rush at you in platform games, leaving you to wonder what just killed you after you are killed. Garfield battles such terrifying creatures as inchworms/fecal matter, white mice, frogs, and baseballs. Birds hate him too, of course (see also Karateka, Ninja Gaiden, Gilligan's Island, Joust, and every other NES platform game) and then there are unidentifable green splots that speed across the room at speeds light can only hope to achieve one day. The things that really gets me is that the mice hit like a linebacker, and tend to smash you into a corner and actually crush you to death. An oversized cat should be able to take a hit from any mouse, just like a man in a bus playing chicken with a Pinto. The baseball best sums up the programmer's spirit, though. It randomly plops from the sky, bounces a little, and just kind of rolls offscreen.

     And what crappy platformer would be complete without useless powerups? As Garfield's stripey orange behind scoots across the level, he randomly uncovers tiles with heirogylphs on them. Coffee and milk add about a micron to your life meter, but every other food item is ammunition. I like the exploding pastry and three-way cookie shot, but why would a cat use bones as a weapon? His default attack involves looking ticked and raising his leg slightly, and it does no damage to anything, anywhere, ever. I assume he's supposed to be spraying his territory. He can also crawl around on all fours by turning himself into a real cat temporarily.

     Jet boots. Garfield the cat is the last person, plant or animal who would use them. And yet, there they are, conveniently on one of Jon's many windowsills. If Jon has anything in greater quantity than windows, it's tables. He has a table placed every table length in his house. There's also a bed in the living room, which isn't quite as weird as the baseballs in the kitchen.

     And, just when it was safe for atheists to play video games after the stoning of Wisdom Tree, here's Garfield in church on Wednesday. This is his last known photo before he was beaten to death by three orange birds. Maybe I should have tried for a Super Hail Mary combo or something, but I was too overcome with joy that I only went through a three day Week of Garfield to try and save him. Let that brainless mutt find his own way home. It's the way Garfield would have wanted it.