Daniel takes a swing at writing a Top 10 and ends up causing the apocalypse.
Okay, so you have got your 12 gallons of water, 1000 cans of baked beans and a well ventilated fallout shelter, but do you know the exact moment it will strike? The apocalypse can be a fickle thing to predict, and being the bunch of tough guys (and gals) we are it can be difficult to ask for a helping hand when it comes to spotting the signs. The trick about global Armageddon is that much like a turd in a punch bowl, the signs are a subtle thing. Things like Futurama getting cancelled and George W. Bush gaining presidency are all subtle beginnings to hell on Earth. Thankfully, I have concocted this guide to help you spot the apocalypse before the apocalypse spots you. Before you are the top 10 signs of the end of the world, in the gaming industry. We strongly recommend that if even one of these events comes to fruition then you best grab all your videogames and high tail your ass underground.
10 - A good Tomb Raider sequel
Way, way back in prehistoric times (7 years ago) anything that starred the voluptuous Lara Croft was destined for greatness. The Tomb Raider franchise was once the jewel of the PSOne library. Come back to the present, 7 years, 5 mediocre sequels and a dwindling fan base later; Lara Croft has become more like that annoying grandmother that your parents keep scolding you to visit more, rather than the supple young lass we once all knew and loved. If we ever see another Tomb Raider adventure that breaches the 90% mark on Game Rankings, something is definitely wrong with the planetary alignment, there are some things that are just too good to be true. Head for the hills, boys, the angels of darkness are coming.
9 - Reading replaces videogames
Hah! No offence to books of course, as I am a self-proclaimed avid reader. But videogames being completely replaced with books? Will Counter Strike addicts turn to the pages of Dickens to ease their cravings? Instead of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo battling it out could we see a book war of sorts as Penguin, Bloomsbury and Puffin duke it out for ex-gamers attention? Should this happen, the apocalypse isn't just already on its jolly-olly way, it's already happened. Gamers have nothing to live for.
8 - The end to piracy on PlayStation
No more mod chips, no more pirated games, no more emulators. Sounds like a perfect world for Sony, right? Unfortunately what might appear perfect at first are in reality the creeping signs of the beginning of the end for humanity (or maybe just China). No more piracy on a PlayStation console is like leaving a serial killer in a nursery and telling him not to touch anything. If piracy ever comes to an end on one of Sony's consoles, something is seriously out of whack. Make sure to stock up on a few extra cans of baked beans before heading into hiding.
7 - Monaco trying to sell GameCube
Who is Monaco? They happen to be the distributor of Nintendo products in New Zealand, of course that doesn't mean their necessarily very good at it. In fact Monaco are desperately trying to sabotage the success of Nintendo's little console at all costs. Should Monaco start marketing GameCube again, we may have a case of Tomb Raider syndrome on our hands; it's just too good to be true. Monaco trying to sell GameCube? Devil speak.
6 - Xbox stops scaring Japanese children
"Mother, run! It's Godzilla! Godzilla!" ah the pleas of frantic Japanese children as they gaze at the 12 tonne might of a single Xbox unit. Alas, no dear child, that is no Godzilla, that is an Xbox and although it still has the potential to crush you if mishandled, there is no need to fear it. Unfortunately, no matter how many times Microsoft campaigns this message in the land of the rising sun it works to no avail. With sales that are often equalled if not beaten by Sony's archaic PSOne, it seems Microsoft's pseudo-godzilla has scared the baba (that's Japanese) out of Japanese school children. Could Microsoft's big box of terror ever claim the Japanese game market? Of course, but that will probably be around the same time as the apocalypse, sorry Microsoft.
5 - Playboy: The Mansion, rated G
Ah, Playboy its fascinating articles have kept young men (and old men) entertained for over 50 years, I mean you do read Playboy for the articles, right? For those of you who's Playboy knowledge isn't up to par, thanks to the geniuses at Cyberlore, now there is a Playboy game 'head'-ing to our consoles and PCs in 2004. Playboy: The Mansion is set to give male gamers a whole new way to play with their joysticks. Of course, we all know the Playboy magazines aren't meant for kids, I mean how would they get around all those big words? So we can all be well assured that something is definitely wrong in the world if such a cultured franchise like the Playboy brand doesn't get the rating it deserves. If Playboy: The Mansion releases with a General rating, then you better get your head underground faster than you can say "ar-ma-ged'n-it-on"
4 - The Phantom becomes market leader
"High-octane game performance", "Fastest game console on the market", "More games than any other console" add on "and makes great apple cider" and the Phantom console might sound slightly more appealing than a punch in the face. These were a few of the super-duper things that are supposed to separate 'The Phantom' from the rest of the herd. Oh and good news you can preorder this "console messiah" today. Oh alright, excuse me while I go get my cheque book, whose this out to again? Infinium Labs, was it? Quite frankly there is something seriously dodgy about this 'Phantom' console business, a device nobody has ever even seen in person. The phantom becoming market leader in the future? Satan must be coming to town.
3 - R-Rated Mario Adventure
Ah Shigeru Miyamoto, your wonderful little Italian plumber is still the pinnacle of gaming bliss it was back in the 80's. Mario is undoubtedly a gaming icon and a wholesome one at that, from his 'leaving everything to the imagination' suspenders, to his peacekeeping method of disposing of foes (jumping on them), right down to his queerly close relationship with his brother. Mario is the epitome of non-offending character and game design, a censor's wet dream. Should Mario and Luigi ever start shooting hookers, take it as an omen that the apocalypse draws near.
2 - ET 2: The Sequel to the worst game ever
Remember ET: The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600? What you don't? Oh thank god, because ET was easily the worst videogame of all time. It was so bad that it actually killed the Atari 2600. Atari published 5 million copies of ET's craptastical adventure, and nearly every one of them was sent back. The value of ET: The Extra Terrestrial was somewhere between a pile of shit and a pile of vomit. The pile of shit was probably ranked higher as at least you could fertilise your lawn with it. To make a sequel would not only be a sign of the apocalypse, it would be a sign of the end of gamers.
1 - George Bush Game
The above title speaks for itself. You know you're in deep doo doo when a game is produced about one of the world's stupidest men. A George Bush game might just be the ultimate sign of the apocalypse. But love him or hate him (mind you, mostly hate him) you have to admit his presence does raise a good case towards tighter probation on the irrationally stupid.
Well there you go, 10 of some of the most unlikely and ugliest scenarios in the gaming industry. Be wary of each and every one of them, for should any one of them come to reality the apocalypse draws near. Hopefully this little guide will help save your ass when our day of reckoning comes, and if you don't think it will, well then you can die assured that the rest of us are laughing at you from our well-ventilated fallout shelters as we indulge our taste buds in a cold can of baked beans.
Good luck to all survivors and hopefully together we can help rebuild a world a little less screwed up than the old one.