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May 12, 2006

E3 Video Game Report

Last time I counted, there were precisely 1,348,662 web sites that cover the exciting world of video games. And in the time it took me to type that last sentence, it's likely that another 25-50 sites popped up. According to my projections, by the year 2011, every single electron in the universe will be used for internet video game coverage. Sadly, this will leave no spare electrons for video games. Or, for that matter, sentient life forms who might want to play video games.

In an effort to hasten this, the inevitable heat death of the universe, I've decided to join the ranks of the video game pundit-ocracy. Of course, some of you may question my qualifications -- and you'd be right to do so. I must admit, I don't actually play video games. I've always felt my time could be better spent reading books. SHUT UP I'M NOT JUST PRETENDING I READ BOOKS SO PEOPLE WILL THINK I'M SMART. Though my video game knowledge may be inadequate, I do have the ability to be extremely critical of things I know virtually nothing about. From what I've read of "video game journalism", I should do just fine.

Obviously, there could be no better time to start covering Interactive Entertainment than right now, during the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo. All the video game companies have gathered in Los Angeles to hype their upcoming products - and there's nothing gamers enjoy more than a video game that hasn't been released yet. You see, we video game journalists are a FORWARD thinking people. Our favorite games are the ones that exist only in our brainspace -- a magical realm constructed from leaked screenshots, vague press releases and good old fashioned speculation. Just as video games are more fun than "real life", speculation is more fun than reporting "real facts".

Anyway, I've browsed through the offerings at E3 and found a few "next-gen" games that are truly innovative. I believe these games will revolutionize (or should I say "Wii-ize"?) the way pasty friendless youths fill time between atomic wedgies and Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns. Check them out!

Title: Firefighter 360
Platform: XBOX 360

It took a national catastrophe -- magnitude 9/11 -- to draw our attention to the sacrifices made by our nation's firefighters. Yet, even after the twin towers fell, firemen and firewomen remain conspicuously absent from interactive media. Think about it: how many video games have allowed players to control a police officer, secret agent, soldier or Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve? Too many to count. And how many have allowed you to control a firefighter? None. Until now! Microsoft's Firefighter 360 is the first game that provides a thrilling virtual firefighter experience. Everything is in this game, from forest fires to office fires to adorable kitty cats stuck in trees (that is, adorable kitty cats that have been set on fire). And if you like hoes hose, this game has plenty of them it! Though there is a stunning depth of gameplay, I am most excited about the special "360 Mode", in which you drive around a suburban neighborhood, putting out houses that have caught fire due to faulty XBOX 360 power supply units. The graphics in this mode are so realistic, you can almost FEEL THE HEAT from the virtual flames. Just make sure that the flames are on your TV and not in the area surrounding your actual XBOX power supply. Those things do get a little warm.

Title: Grand Theft Auto 4: Grand Theft Console
Platform: Playstation 3

Gaming fans were shocked (SHOCKED!) to discover that Sony Playstation 3 would cost $500 for the entry level unit. Very pricey! In fact, the console is so expensive, many gamers may not be able to afford it. This situation is actually quite ironic, because one of the launch titles for the PS3 could teach less affluent gamers how to acquire the console without actually getting "a job".

In Grand Theft Auto 4: Grand Theft Console, you play a delinquent teenager who steals cars, runs over cops, and beats prostitutes to death with a baseball bat, just so he can afford to buy a new video game console. Of course, the game doesn't end once he gets the console. He still needs money for games, for Blu-Ray DVDs, for surround sound audio and a sweet Plasma HDTV. As the bodycount elevates, your character's home entertainment system expands. Will this teenage thug be able to kill enough people to afford next-gen entertainment? Find out when the PS3 launches this November!

Title: Wii TV
Platform: Nintendo Wii

Though Nintendo's next-gen console, the "Wii", may lack some of the graphics processing power of the 360 and the PS3, it makes up for it with an innovative control interface. The Wii boasts an advanced motion-controller that looks very much like a remote control.

vgr_wiicntrl.jpg

Though most of the Wii launch titles will utilize the unique design of this controller, no game makes better use of it than Wii TV. This game is the very first next-gen Television Watching Simulator. When you start the game, you design a character and a sofa for that character to sit on. When the game starts, you use your Wii controller to control the remote control that controls the screen watched by the Virtual TV Watcher you are watching watch TV on your screen. Think of this game as a grown-up version of Pokemon Channel for the Game Cube. And if you're over the age of 12 and have actually played Pokemon Channel, think of getting, as they say, a life.

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If E3 2006 is any indication, next-gen video games will bring countless hours of blissful joy to everyone. Well... at least to everyone with lots of disposable income, plenty of free time and no real social life.

Posted by Joey at May 12, 2006 02:27 AM

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Comments

The original version of this piece included a preview of a game called "Iraqi Warfighter". In this game, you started off as a hapless National Guardsman, who has just gotten thrown into combat in Iraq. After a few chaotic levels dodging insurgent rocket attacks, your character gets killed in a "friendly fire" incident. At this point, the player takes on the role of the original character's widow. After the obligatory funeral cut scene, you must begin the arduous task of raising three kids on a pitiful military death benefits stipend that arrives once a month. One must accomplish all this while remaining super-patriotic and 100% in favor of the war.

As you can see, this was left out of the final draft. As it turns out, even *I* was offended by original version. So, all of you out there who write me emails telling me that I'm an asshole, just remember: I may be an asshole, but I could easily be an even bigger asshole than I already am.

Posted by: joey at May 12, 2006 02:45 AM

this is the funniest site i have ever read. keep it up. (no i am not ur mother!)

Posted by: do you really at May 31, 2006 06:20 AM

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