Welcome back to The Hot Sheet, G4tv.com's light-hearted look at the industry. As always, data and analysis is unscientific, and facts may be slightly altered for comedic purposes. Let's get in touch with our feelings, shall we? (Oh, and happy 4th of July!)
What People Can't Wait To Get Their Hands On
People have got summer fun on the mind, which explains Wii Sports Resort being on top of this week's Amazon.com snapshot of top pre-orders. Nancy Drew is an odd one, from our core perspective at least. And in the distance, the faint sounds of tuba, trombone, and creative student cheers can be heard...
Amazon.com's Top 10 Pre-ordered video game items, as of 1:43PM, Saturday July 4, 2009
Emotions That Games Need To Better Get In Touch With
Can a game make us cry? Who cares -- can a game make me feel really bad about my life choices, friends, and the way I dress? Because sometimes, maybe they should.
Lots of games have blood and guts, but very few of them actually tap into the part of the brain that says "enough!" It's kind of hard to do with computer graphics, but God of War 3 seems to be on the right path. (Oh, also Postal.)
2) Disappointment in Others
More than just getting into our line of fire, our NPC friends need to have more relatable failings as virtual human beings. They need to not come through for us at the end, they need to drop more fly balls, they need to choose not to hang out with us in Liberty City. Then they can make it up to us.
GTAIV flirted briefly with this idea with the whole Dwayne/PlayboyX scenario, but if there's a game that could go way deeper into the bad things you do in videogames, it's Grand Theft Auto. There need to be more reprecussions than just a lower score.
Or: "Where's Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 3?" Which leads into...
5) Sexual Confusion
It's weird enough being expected to oogle digital ladies, let's make it more awkward by having them oogle back. How about following Gordon and Alyx on a first-person date? Every time Alyx says "You..." and reaches for "your" hand, it gets a little creepier. Should be especially disturbing with Natal involved.
You just team-killed your buddy. "Haha, oops!", right? Nope. After the mission is complete, the MPs arrive and haul you off to your court-martial. America's Army did something like this, but more games should put you in situations where if you legitimately foul-up, you have to clear your good name.
It would be the opposite of Flower, where over an extended amount of playtime the world around you starts getting grayer and more lifeless, your efforts doing little to stop the march toward inevitable defeat. Why we'd play this, I don't know. I'm depressed just writing about it.
Teammates are way too supportive these days, offering tactical information and extra ammo, sometimes even sacrificing themselves so that you can fight on. What would happen if you got separated from your squad, and instead of forming a rescue party, they just bugged out and chalked you up as an acceptable loss?
Most games want to build you up, and most gamers want to be the unstoppable hero. Let's play with this some more, like when Tomonobu Itagaki did it with Ninja Gaiden Black's easy "Ninja Dog" mode by giving you pink ribbons. Another alternative: judging people's 360 avatars...just like high school!
10) Mortal Peril
Ever see the scene in that semi-official "Thunderball" remake "Never Say Never Again" where Bond is playing Domination, the tabletop video game that gives electric shocks to the loser? Come on, Wii Vitality Sensor!