Ladies and Gentleman, Hyperlink 2.0.
Like most Thursday afternoons, I recently found myself browsing through the pages of my local university newspaper. This particular newspaper happens to be what we in the journalism business call a "joke." It tends to be filled with a ridiculous amount of ridiculous “news” that is rarely actually news at all. That and an entire page of weather forecasts for the week. This week, warm and sunny. Christ, people pay good money to go to college to learn how to tell us that.
This particular Thursday afternoon was not expected to be any different. Suddenly, however, I turned to page four. Well, not really suddenly, I mean I got to it right after page three. Naturally. Anyway, page four of this issue was a full-page ad for the upcoming Game U College Tour, brought to you generously by Best Buy and G3. My initial reaction was “God I hate Best Buy." My second reaction was “does Joe Cruz know about this?” He did. He always does. That’s his purpose. Everyone has a purpose see, like in the Matrix. Joe Cruz’s purpose would have been to tell Neo to go back and get all the achievements for shooting fifty hobos in the face for looking like agents.
The tour was headed over to the campus on Monday, so I decided I’d spend a few minutes of my day checking it out. I just figured it couldn't be too bad. And I was curious to see what new games they might be showcasing. The ad promised looks at Gears of War 2, which was definitely something I wanted to check out. I never actually played the first Gears of War, but that doesn't mean I can't be stoked on checking out the second one. I figure it’s like Evil Dead 2, missing the first one won’t leave you totally lost on the second. Get it, all FPS games are the same. Yeah, even Portal (Editors Note: No, Portal is not the same and yes Call of Duty 4 is all sorts of sick). But not Call of Duty 4, that game is just sick. (Editors Note: see.)
The first thing I noticed about the tour was the first thing I imagine everyone noticed as they walked into the building, the noise. I totally get the idea of having to be loud and semi-obnoxious to attract people, but I hate loud noises distracting me from the gaming experience. If I’m playing Gears of War I want to hear Gears of War, not some annoying dirt bag talking the whole time about release dates and how I can win my very own copy of the game. If that dude had just shut up I think all the GoW2 fanboys would have had a lot more fun.
The room was set up to look like the living room we all dream of, bunch of consoles running on big plasma screens, comfy couches, surround sound, and ugly college girls pretending to be interested in their boyfriend’s hobby. Though naturally the girls were being relegated to playing Rayman’s Raving Rabbids on the Wii and generally looking unhappy to be there. But I admit, that game looks pretty fun.
They had set ups for checking out some of the newest and hottest games of the season. By this I mean Guitar Hero Aerosmith-fondlers, Madden 09, Tiger Woods 09, Face Breakers, and four stations to try out Saints Row 2. After playing Saints Row 2 for about twenty minutes I realized that it’s really just a hack job rip off of Grand Theft Auto 3. Yeah, not even Grand Theft Auto 4. Seriously, they should be embarrassed. And so should their children.
The obvious center-piece of the thing was Gears of War 2, and I happened to stumble in just as the tournament was getting serious. About as serious as a clown fight. The only saving grace was the announcer’s unmistakable misogyny, shining through every time one of the female contestants met a violent end. Seriously, who do those chicks think they are busting in on a bunch of dudes playing with each other. She had no right to be there in the first place. I didn't stick around long enough to see the victory podium, but I have a pretty good idea what it would have looked like.
My entire thirty minute experience at this “event” was pretty lame. Twenty minutes of Saints Row 2 that I’ll never get back, ten minutes of having a lame announcer yelling drivel at me, and no good new games to talk about. What gives Best Buy and G3? I thought you were gonna bring the ruckus? But no, you decided to bring disappointment instead. And you know what, I got that already.
Thanks again to the boss man for giving me things to do instead of washing dishes. Hope to be back soon.