This week, Zero Punctuation shares some thoughts on games hyped at E3 2009.
As my father once said, "Never trust any trade convention that's named after an enzyme in the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex", so I'm always wary about E3. Hype is a device invented by mean-spirited marketing executives who never discovered the true meaning of Christmas, and I said last year how it makes the most logical sense to be pessimistic. So allow me to get right into it and explain why everything that was hyped at E3 2009 will definitely fail and be incredibly depressing and probably make you start cutting again. You're welcome.
Project Natal! I know they pronounced it "na-tahl", but I'm going to keep calling it "nay-tal" because that's what it looks like, and it's a really fucking creepy image. The only thing creepier would be a grown woman flirting with a dead-eyed CG ten-year-old while Peter Molyneux stands in the background gushing about it. It may be an amazing bit of technology, but all these motion-sensor concepts have to eventually face the fact that people play games to unwind, and no one unwinds by coming home and waving their arms about like an air traffic controller covered in beetles. Oh sure, you'll get a few sales from the gimmick crowd, but it's like selling shiny objects to magpies - everything's fine until the moment someone invents a slightly shiner object and then you're left crawling back to the core fanbase you spent the last few years totally blowing off. Speaking of which, that brings me to...
Nintendo! Oh hello again, Nintendo; I almost didn't recognize you with all that casual gamer semen crusting around your mouth. What's that? Four new Mario games? Aw, what's the matter? Your cool new mainstream friends starting to get bored and you somehow remembered that you're a video game company, not Fisher-Price?
Anyway, I'm very disappointed in you. As I said in my Super Mario Galaxy review it'd be hard to find new territory after going into space, but now it seems like you're just not even gonna fuckin' try. Super Mario Galaxy 2: the expansion pack that walks like a sequel. Presumably, we'll to have to wait a bit longer for Super Mario Space-Time Continuum, but in the meantime we can also play a new 2D Mario Bros. with multiplayer support, so now the Wii can annoy up to four people at the same time for maximum efficiency!
Oh yes, and some hints were dropped concerning a new Zelda. Oh you coy little bitch. I look forward to discovering whether we get the grappling hook or the boomerang first this time.
Sony! Sony and Microsoft continue their endless one-upmanship with Sony's own motion sensor baby toy that's even creepier than Peter Molyneux's enthusiasm: the EyePet. It's the face, I think; it's just a little bit too human. It's like they dressed one of the Rice Krispie elves in a monkey suit and withheld food until he debased himself for our entertainment.
But that aside, Sony's all about the exclusive titles. Metal Gear Solid: Rising, the latest in the undead franchise that not even Hideo Kojima's writing can kill. And I've got to say he's outdone himself this time, because a lot of his games bore me but this is the first one that's bored me before it even came out. The Last Guardian by Team Ico is slightly more interesting in that it seems they've just made Ico again, but replaced escorting a recent concussion victim with tearing shit up on a giant monster, which is definitely a positive step. But do bear in mind that the monster in question is far too lovable to survive to the end of a Team Ico game.
Quite a few third-party games to get through now, so let's keep it snappy...
Assassin's Creed 2! A while ago, the idea got around that Assassin's Creed 2 would be set in the future like what Assassin's Creed 1 was foreshadowing, but it seems Ubisoft feel that too much innovation all in one go will cause people's heads to explode. So we've instead moved from ancient history to slightly-less ancient history. Thank god for that, I was almost getting interested.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves! We certainly are among thieves; thieves of Tomb Raider, thieves of Indiana Jones, oh snap! In all seriousness, there's multiplayer now, and the possibility of having to put up with more than one wisecracking Nathan Drake is officially my new vision of hell.
Beatles Rock Band! Now that's what I call redundant; it's like saying "Badger Mammal". Or "Inspector Morse Detective". Or "Harmonix Obvious Cash-In".
Alan Wake! Ironically, waking will be the exact opposite of what this game will make you do!
Sonic All-Stars Racing! First thought: why the fuck does Sonic the Hedgehog need a car? Second thought: why the fuck does Sonic the Hedgehog need to still exist?
Final Fantasy 14! I feel that anything I could say would be repeating myself, so I'm just going to express my feelings with a strangled noise from the back of my throat.
(5 seconds of strangled noise from the back of Yahtzee's throat)
Halo: Reach! As in: if anyone thinks a new Halo game would be the slightest bit worth a damn, that certainly would be a reach!
Bayonetta! More like...hey, yo' betta not play this game- oh fuck you!
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories! Oh right, so it's a whole new interpretation of the concept with retooled gameplay and an emphasis on psychological horror. Actually that sounds pretty good, but I'm committed to this idea now, so it's probably going to be bad. Why? Because people are shit. Whenever I'm in a crowd I think to myself, "Who left this shit all over the place?" I'm shit, you're shit, the world is shit, and if you're sitting there thinking "Yes it's true, everyone is shit except me", then you're a double bacon shit with large fries, Mr. Shitface.
Sorry, this reflects badly on me, doesn't it? I should have said Mr. or Mrs. Shitface.
(strangled throat noise singing the end credits theme)
- Has never learned the true meaning of Christmas either: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
- Peter Molyneux really is big on the idea of connecting emotionally with an AI, I guess we know who'll be first in line when then invent robot hookers
- I know Penny Arcade did that Last Guardian joke but I honestly wrote it down before then