Saint’s Row IV managed to gleefully mock the Mass Effect series with its spaceship full of misfits and romance system that is quite literally “press X to fuck.” I still remember the first time it comes up and “romancing” Kinsey only to immediately end up in bed, which was chuckle worthy but at least somewhat in character for her. Once it became clear that they were doing it for EVERY character? Sheer perfection.
Now, I’m positive that it’s purely unintentional, but the original No More Heroes felt like a massive satire on open world crime games by its design. So much virtual ink has been spilled about “living cities” and how games like GTAIV create this breathing worlds, but it’s all just loud window dressing. A bunch of aimlessly wandering NPCs shouting quips at the top of their lungs coming from and going to nowhere at all forever. NMH drops you in the same world, but fills it with basically nothing. There’s a handful of mini-games and random collectibles, but no one to talk to, no idle chatter, nothing of any consequence. It’s the exact same thing at the end of the day, it’s just not shouting at you to distract you from the emptiness.