Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Gaming for the New Millenium 

Aren't video games great? Here we have a rapidly-growing sector that for the few years has made more money than the movie industry. And now, more than ever, manufacturers are lining up more and more movie-licensed games, off-the-wall ideas, and rehashes of old ideas to cash in on the number of pimply-faced teenagers and nerdy thirtysomethings that spend a gazillion dollars a year on them. Why not join their ranks? Spend your hard-earned cash and get away from your boring-ass life.

Of course, if you do that, you'll need to know what all the hottest new games are, and that's where I fit in. Thanks to my years of experience as a game consumer, I know all the games that will be released in the next few years, much like how an experienced stock broker can flawlessly predict the market.

So without further ado, here's the full list of the top selling games of the next two years:

Timemasters Splitter Dark Code: The Invisible Omega Conspiracy. This futuristic first-person shooter tells the tale of a young federal agent who is caught in the middle of a hidden war between Coca-Cola and Pepsico in the year 2020. Combining dark atmosphere (ie, you can't see the game in the daytime due to glare on your screen) with massive, full 3D environments (every level that isn't in a dark grey warehouse full of pipes is in a dark grey alley full of pipes or a massive luxury apartment, which is dark grey and full of pipes), TSDC: TIOC will provide over 40 hours of continous gameplay, along with 20 hours of CG cutscenes that you can't skip over, featuring nonprofessional actors reading even less professional dialogue.

Gran Turismo 5. Forget the upcoming GT4, let's talk the next game in the series. GT5 will feature over 500 Japanese cars, along with 3 American cars and one model built no one's ever heard of, which is built in Slovakia. It will feature total graphical rehashes of every single track that was in previous games, including the fifth incarnation of Grand Valley Speedway. Bless their hearts, they will still be attempting to incorporate all-important Rally racing into the game, even though nobody played those modes in Gran Turismo 2 or 3 except for a handful of French Citroen enthusiasts. And as we all know, the true measure of a performance car is the ability to go off-road. It will also feature licensed tracks by Radiohead, John Mayer, the Rolling Stones, Beyonce, and other terrible artists that don't at all fit the world of high-speed racing, but sound really impressive because they have high licensing fees.

Need for Speed Underground 3: Ghetto Blaster. The biggest trend in gaming at the moment is the attempt to appeal to riceboy street racers, with no less than five games currently in the works. But here's one you probably don't know about. Ghetto Blaster will focus on the more realistic riceboy culture, rather than the glorified mega-buck magazine cars. It will feature several types of rattle-can primer paint, the ability to fix parts or install speakers using duct tape and bailing wire, a choice of several home-made bodykits made from rain gutters and garden edging, and a choice of thirty different race cars, including the 1989 Hyundai Excel, 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier, 1982 Mustang 4 cylinder, 1998 Ford Escort ZX2, and the ultimate race car...the 1987 Honda Civic DX 4 door.

Grand Theft Auto: Schwanz, Ohio. In still another rehash of the GTA3 game engine to cash in on the Grand Theft Auto name, GTA:SO will feature a hard hitting story of an ex-convinct (who still looks remarkably like Chris Isaak with a Neanderthal brow) moving to the (fictional) town of Schwanz, Ohio and finding it difficult to mend his ways. The game will feature bicycles, jackable earth-moving equipment, gum chewing, and the ability to control your character's bladder and bowel...which will naturally take people's minds off the fact that they're playing a rehash of GTA:3, which will fit perfectly next to its brothers GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas. And like those games, this one will be called revolutionary until people actually play it.

Max Woo. This neo-noir crime thriller follows the story of Max Woo, an Asian cop whose life is torn asunder when some goons kill his parakeet. Features include bad Sam Spade-inspired dialogue, Hong Kong-inpired gunplay, and Steven Segal-inspired "super slow" kung-fu fighting. There's also a "fist time" feature to slow the fighting speed to a crawl, and a "bullet speed" feature that allows you to stare in fascination at numerous accurately modeled bullets flying into plaster walls and leaving accurate holes in them. Also features an "East Coast" soundtrack, whatever that means.

Dri4er: The fourth entry in the Driver franchise will have very few cars at all, despite the title, and will focus almost entirely on running and shooting, with over 80% of the missions devoted to shooting people. The game once again is no longer set in the 1970s, completely without explanation, and the cast is once again completely changed...for the fourth time. Featuring the voices of Lance Henriksen as Tanner, Will Smith as Jones, Tommy Lee Jones as the FBI agent who gets in their way, and Melanie Griffith as some bitch who serves as the villian. Rag-doll physics will be implemented, meaning enemies will fly 40 feet through the air every time you shoot them with a 9mm pistol, and particle effects will be used extensively, meaning sparks and mysterious black chunks fly out of your car every time you run into something.

Grease Pit Monkey Nuts. This whimsical combination of puzzle game and platform shooter will feature lots of cute monkeys with large weapons, some nuts that you have to arrange in a certain order, and incredibly repetitive puzzle game music. Make it through level 999 to finally unlock the special "Deez Nuts" mode, then complete 999 levels of that to unlock the special "Two Nuts" mode. Complete 999 levels of that and you win the game.

John Madden 2006. Sports games have to be re-released every year with "updated rosters", because sports fans don't want to play a game that's two years old and has a guy playing for Dallas that's now playing for San Diego. No, they want to spend another $50 each year to rectify that, so they can have a perfect sports experience. As such, Madden 2006 will be the exact same thing as Madden 2005, but with one or two people on different teams. But the important thing is that every sports fan will buy it, and nobody will ever play Madden 2005 ever again. And when Madden 2007 comes out, nobody will ever play Madden 2006 again either.

Start saving your money now...these games are going to be huge. In fact, you'd best reserve a copy of them right now.

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