Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

The Warp Whistle: May

Each month Ben Van Iten blows on his warp whistle and skips ahead in time to look at upcoming video games.  These were his findings.

In May, everyone dresses like this

 Greetings from the future.  I have seen May 2010.  The weather is nice.  We still have a black President, and there are several games to shove in your consoles. 

Iron Man 2, May 3rd (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP): If there’s one thing that goes together with a blockbuster action movie, it’s a subpar video game adaptation.  Unlike the latest Transformers game which broke the mold by adapting from the original source material (aka, kickass cartoon mythology) instead of the movie franchise, this game will no doubt disappoint.  Maybe if there was an unlockable mode where we could play as a crazed Terrence Howard trying to get back into the movie script I would consider owning this game.

Reader Rabbit Kindergarten, May 4th (Nintendo Wii): Reader Rabbit and Sam the Lion are flying their airship to a new island when it is attacked by bubble wrap.  I know, the premise gripped me too.  I was hoping that at this point they would have to battle zombie Nazis, but instead they are subjected to a series of educational mini-games.  This could have been a bug, but all of the fatality button combinations didn’t work.

Lost Planet 2, May 11th (Playstation 3, Xbox 360): In a follow-up to the highly successful original, Lost Planet 2 lets you create your very own snow pirate and goddamn if that doesn’t sound like fun.  Character customization seems to be one of the bigger improvements in this futuristic third person shooter sequel.  And much like other RPG shooters that have surfaced lately, your actions dynamically affect the world around you, which should make the game feel less scripted than the first one.  Lost Planet is more like Gears of War than the Fallout Series, but it certainly has drawn some inspiration from the latter.  Personally, I think the biggest selling point of the game is the co-op campaign where up to four players can work together to defeat the story mode.  Every single shooter should have this feature.  If it wouldn’t be for the next game on the list, this would probably be the must buy of the month.

There's a lot of people out there. To shoot in the face.

Red Dead Redemption, May 18th (Playstation 3, Xbox 360):  When it was first described to me as “Grand Theft Auto with horses, and hookers dressed differently” I became instantly excited.  And in an interesting twist that has created a lot of buzz, the multi-player mode is played out entirely on the menu screen.  Basically this is another sandbox style game from the good folks at Rockstar where you can pretty much do whatever you want: get drunk, fire your pistol at the townsfolk, hunt some animals, whatever.  The fame and honor system lets you decide the extent of your…morality.  I will predict that this will be the most compelling video game that utilizes the old west for a backdrop yet.   Third person shooters probably won’t get too much better than this in 2010.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, May 18th (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Sony PSP) Honestly, I’ve always hated these games.  It’s Tomb Raider with less tits and no guns.  I don’t care.

Super Mario Galaxy 2, May 23rd (Nintendo Wii): Looking over the screenshots of this game, I can’t make heads or tails of anything that is going on.  You got flying Yoshi eating crazy peppers, Mario is on a spaceship, I don’t know.  But here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter.  The game will be fun as hell.  Mario rarely disappoints.  If you own a Wii and you aren’t planning on getting games like this, then why did you buy that system in the first place?  Was it just because you thought it’d be cool to have people over for a couple beers and some Wii sports every now and again?  They all got over that, man.  You’re alone now.  I’m sorry.

Let’s Play Flight Attendant, May 25th (Nintendo DS): This combined with “Major League Eating: The Game” for the Wii ensures Nintendo has officially taken the lead in games that were made on a dare.

Let’s Play Culture Blues Contributor, May 27th (Sony PSP):  Explore the Culture Blues offices in stunning 8 bit realism, and get Jeff his coffee for god sake. Submit pieces of your writing over and over again to cruel editors who continually reject your work and fuck your wife.

In a bit that I am blatantly stealing from Jeremiah’s Internet Killed the Video Star, each month I will be also going backwards in time to take a look at an older game.

This month’s blast from the past is Joust for the original NES.

It's even less exciting than it looks

I remember when my Dad brought this game home for me.  I was skeptical at the box cover, but I gave it a shot.  The premise is good.  You get to saddle up your very own space ostrich and jump on bizarre creatures, which naturally turns them into an egg.  It was all going so well until I actually turned on the Nintendo.  It was perhaps this game that made me the jaded and poorly adjusted individual I am today.  I don’t think any of the programmers bothered creating a final boss or anything, because no one could have ever made it there.  Even looking at the screenshots makes me upset.

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5 Responses »

  1. Joust owns. Is there some website where we can play this online together? You better hope not. I will run you through.

    You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.

  2. I am sure you would knock my space bird in the lava, but I accept your challenge anyway

  3. Joust always felt like an inferior version of the Ben Kenobi's cave stage in the NES Star Wars game. Rocks. Jumping on shit. Winged creatures. Space eggs. I feel like I'm going to be disappointed if I ever actually go to space.
    http://www.videogamecritic.net/images/nes/star_wars.gif

    I remember getting bored with Joust quite quickly, unlike the Star Wars game, which sort of kicked ass.

  4. real pumped about red dead redemption

  5. I just played Joust online for 45 seconds. It sucks.

    I feel like the controls are way less forgiving than they used to be. Then again, my child brain probably didn't realize how horrible they were. I also had hours to devote to getting better at something like this. A commitment I couldn't possibly make as an adult.

    Oh well, back to Joust.