Doing this year’s E3 predictions post was tough. I didn't want to duplicate the same ideas I did in years past, but I knew it would be challenging to top the fun and mysterious energy of going to a psychic in 2009, and damn near impossible to top the sheer epic awesomeness of having exclusive access to the animals of the L.A. Zoo in 2010.
So this year I decided to do something that could potentially give back.
With the help of the extraordinary people at the Burbank Animal Shelter, I decided to visit one of the most celebrated shelters in Los Angeles and have all the puppies (and a few other surprise animals!) make our E3 2011 predictions.
Equipped with a +7 love of dogs and all the incredible questions that you, the community, provided, I went into the animal shelter with two goals: To make predictions proving that anyone (even cute puppies!) can make just as accurate E3 predictions as the highly-paid industry analysts, and, most importantly, to try to get as many of these animals adopted as possible.
I knew this would be a fun, heartfelt experiment ... but I had no idea it would kind of change my life.
Before we get to the predictions, here's a little background on how all of this worked.
Similar to last year’s post at the L.A. Zoo, I went into the Burbank Animal Shelter to get the predictions for two main things: 1) The community yes/no questions and 2) the “winner” of the press conferences.
A few weeks back, you all lovingly and wonderfully provided a gigantic list of yes/no questions about things you want to know about this year’s E3. Using these questions, I entered the shelter and used different techniques with the animals to see how they would answer a handful of those questions. For example: if a dog licked my hand or face after I asked a question, that was a yes! If the dog turned away, the answer was no. Similarly, if a dog barked or got excited after I read a question, that was a yes! If he didn’t do anything at all? Yup! That’s a no.
In addition to answering the questions, I wanted each animal to make a prediction about which of the big three companies (Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony) would “win” the E3 press conferences.
To do this, I actually let all the animals play with actual Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3 controllers, noting which controller they played with the most. Each controller represented the company the animal predicted would “win” the press conferences! If an animal drooled on an Xbox 360 controller, for instance, their “winner” pick was Microsoft!
Since the premise was very similar to what I did with the L.A. Zoo predictions from last year, I wanted to do something different to make this year stand out.
That’s why I chose the Burbank Animal Shelter.
After last year’s zoo post, there were people who jokingly said how much they would love to take home one of the animals that made a prediction they loved. While taking home a giant hippo, while awesome, would be pretty much impossible, the idea of taking home an animal in need from a shelter is not only realistic, it is very much possible!
So that was my motivation.
If even one of these fine, loving animals gets adopted because of this prediction post, I will be the happiest person on the planet.
With all that being said, let’s get to the predictions ... and this wonderful, magical, absolutely incredible experience I got to take part in.
The Burbank Animal Shelter is a small, yet active facility in a very unassuming part of Burbank -- just a mile down the road from some major movie studios!
When I pulled up with notebook and camera in hand, I was pleasantly surprised by how warm and inviting the entire building felt. Most animal shelters intimidate me with their industrial ceilings and concrete floors, but the Burbank Animal Shelter had the vibe of a school, with hand-painted artwork and colorful walls around every corner.
As I entered, I was greeted by a woman who would be my guide through this entire experience.
Take a look a this picture. This is a picture of one of the most kind, caring, and warm-hearted people on the planet.
This is Denise Fleck, President of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter (VBAS).
After introducing ourselves, she immediately brought me back to see all the animals. I was excited, but nervous, as I had no idea how I would feel after interacting with all these adorable creatures.
As I stepped into the back area with all the animals, my heart overflowed with feelings of love, excitement, compassion, and the need to drive home with about fifty new members of my family.
But I held back -- I am a professional videogame writer, dammit! -- and headed to the area where the predictions would be made.
So here we go! The results of my experiment! I present to you Destructoid’s E3 2011 predictions ... as made by a bunch of adorable (and adoptable!) animals at the Burbank Animal Shelter.
First up was Baby, a five-year-old female American Staff mix. She was as cute as she was energetic, and unbelievably friendly. It was easy to tell she was a happy dog, as her face was permanently plastered with one of the biggest dog smiles I have ever seen.
manasteel88 asks: Will Kevin Butler be at the Sony press conference this year?
SuperMonk4Ever asks: Will Star Wars: The Force Unleashed III be announced?
CorruptAI125 asks: Will there be a new Silent Hill: Downpour trailer with actual gameplay?
Wolfy-Boey asks: Will The Last Story finally get announced for U.S. and PAL territories?
Nic128 asks: Will The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword be delayed and released on Nintendo’s next-generation console?
When I first met Lady, all I could think about was “Lady” from Game of Thrones. And this made me cry. And cry. And then cry a little bit more.
At first I couldn’t decide if I was crying because of the emotions of the day, or because I was just an extra-sappy guy with a serious, unhealthy obsession with Game of Thrones.
While the day was refreshingly emotional, it was definitely the latter.
Danzflor asks: Beyond Good & Evil 2?
ManWithNoName asks: Will there be a reveal of Persona 5?
SuperMonk4Ever asks: Will a new Prince of Persia be announced?
Scissors asks: Will Valkyria Chronicles 3 be announced for North America?
CoruptAI125 asks: Will the NGP cost more than 400 dollars?
The Situation, a beautiful and rare-for-a-shelter Doberman Pinscher, is not just named after the popular Jersey Shore character of the same name (although that is where his name originally came from). You see, The Situation was brought to the Burbank Animal Shelter after his owner moved, and to quote Denise Fleck, this caused quite “the situation” for him.
rexwolf2 asks: Will The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword meet its expected 2011 release date?
crackity jones asks: Will The Last Guardian release this year?
SilverDragon1979 asks: Will Sony announce the PlayStation 4?
SteezyXL asks: Will Mass Effect 3 win the Destructoid “Best of E3” award?
that1dood asks: Will we see Final Fantasy VII HD announced?
Like most shelters in Los Angeles, the Burbank Animal Shelter has a good number of Pit Bull mixes. Either because people are scared of them (given their unfair reputation) or because Pit Bulls are still one of the most bred animals in the area, many Pit Bull puppies are left at shelters all across the city.
But if sweet Devon is any indication, people have nothing (and I mean nothing!) to be scared of. Devon was one of the sweetest dogs I got to meet at the shelter.
Lenigod asks: Will we see L.A. Noire tech in the next Grand Theft Auto game?
VGFreak1225 asks: Sly Cooper 4?
Morty asks: Will there be news about TimeSplitters 4?
Hohojirozame asks: Will there be any new and exciting AR card "gaming" for the 3DS?
bbain asks: Will Fez be released for PSN?
On the days I visited the shelter to research this article, I had a special bond with Andre. The Pit mix was so gentle and warm with me, that it took everything I had not to just adopt him on the spot.
There was just something about those perfect eyes that said so much. Every time Andre looked at me, my heart smiled a little.
Ali D asks: Will there be a new game announcement from Rockstar?
Knivy asks: Will Diablo III release this year?
jjjenigma asks: Will Double Fine's Sesame Street game make the Kinect a must-have peripheral?
LK4O4 asks: Will Prope announce a U.S. release for Rodea the Sky Soldier?
LazyEyelids asks: Will there be a new Onimusha?
Okay, get ready for the cutest story you will hear all day.
Peaches & Cream -- a terrier mix and chihuahua, respectively -- were actually found as strays wandering the streets. Sad story, of course, but get this: They were found together.
Despite the fact that there is still no explanation as to why two completely different breeds were found wandering the streets of Los Angeles together, Peaches and Cream are the best of friends and are inseparable in the shelter.
I can only imagine Peaches or Cream would be so happy for each other if one of them got adopted, but I can’t imagine them ever being apart. Their story is too sweet and amazing to think about separating them.
These two adorable, wonderful dogs would make perfect partners in someone’s loving home.
Time Glitch asks: Is the Halo remake real?
CelicaCrazed asks: Will we finally get a new Jet Grind Radio?
Sir Legendhead asks: Will there ever be a true sequel to Hulk: Ultimate Destruction?
ZombiePlatypus asks: Will we see anything from Doom 4?
Kylehyde asks: Will there be some more news about Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney?
In addition to dogs, there is a huge selection of cats at the Burbank Animal Shelter. I assumed there would be going in, but I was surprised to see the amount of sweet cats (AND MY GOD, KITTENS!) that were lovingly wandering around the nice size “cat area” of the shelter.
Here are few cat predictions for all you cat lovers out there!
Patience is a stray cat that was picked up and brought to the shelter a couple of months ago. While she was a little scared of me and my camera at first, she quickly warmed up and rubbed her cute face against my hand as often as she could.
So that is how I made the predictions! A gentle rub was a yes and a sassy look was a no.
Projectexodus asks: Will we see the announcement of Grand Theft Auto V?
smurfee mcgee asks: Will Pikmin 3 be at E3?
CoruptAI125 asks: Will we see Metal Gear Rising at Microsoft's press conference?
Wolfy-Boey asks: Will Naughty Dog go back to the Jak and Daxter series?
Lord Death of Murder Mountain asks: Will there be a Mirror's Edge 2?
Beverly is a new mom who just gave birth to some kittens at the shelter. It was very hard for me to take a picture of the kittens because they were running around and playing so much … but also because I kept “ooooohing” and “ahhhhhing” over them and it was tough for me to hold the camera still.
Here is the best picture I took:
Seriously, I WANT ALL OF THESE KITTENS!
Scissors asks: Will Double Fine talk about Psychonauts 2?
rexwolf2 asks: Will Chad meet Miyamoto?
SilverDragon1979 asks: Will a StarTropics sequel be announced for the 3DS?
Ryan is one of the older cats in the shelter, but also one of the sweetest.
And while he is only ten years old, he has been a guest on Access Hollywood many times, which is much more than I have accomplished in my … er … more than ten years on this planet.
Now welcome to Internet fame, Ryan!
Blindfire asks: Will we see Torchlight 2?
Lenigod asks: Will we get any new information on StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm?
Hohojirozame asks: Will we be able to battle Pokemon using AR cards?
Elsa asks: Will Sony announce cross-game voice chat?
Handy asks: Will we get any info on El Shaddai?
Okay, now back to the dogs.
And just because the cats were only featured in the “Kitty Half-time Show” of this article, it doesn’t mean they are any less important or worthy of an amazing home. In fact, all the cats (AND OMG KITTENS!) were as sweet as can be.
By all means, go out and adopt a cat today. Seriously, right now. HURRY! THE CATS ARE WAITING!
When I first approached Babino, his size and serious stare intimidated me a little bit. (He is a large Border Collie and Doberman mix.) But, man, he couldn’t have been a nicer pup. Like a few of the other dogs in the kennel, Babino stood tall and tough ... but his wildly wagging tail completely gave him away and revealed him to be the big, cute lummox that he is.
Knivy asks: Will Sony switch to Steam as their online delivery system?
that1dood asks: Will we get to see more of the gorgeous indie mech game Hawken?
jjjenigma asks: Will we see some new 2D Castlevania games?
CelicaCrazed asks: Will we see Burnout: Crash City?
Kylehyde asks: Will we see a 2D Metroid for the 3DS?
There are some animals in the Burbank Animal Shelter that don’t have names yet, usually because they are brand new to the shelter. While this made it tough to talk to them, it did allow me the opportunity to give them temporary names, which I gladly did by naming them after some of my favorite videogame characters.
Once of my favorite “nameless” animals of the day was Dr. Yang, a ridiculously cute pup that kept flinging around a chew toy every time I asked him some questions.
Seriously, look at that face. HE IS SO DR. YANG!
Projectexodus asks: Will there be an announcement of a Metal Gear Solid HD collection?
CoruptAI125 asks: Will there be a Final Fantasy XIII Versus gameplay trailer?
ChillyBilly asks: Will Project Cafe have cross-game chat similar to Xbox Live?
that1dood asks: Will Project Cafe be the first Nintendo console to break the $250 barrier at launch?
SuperMonk4Ever asks: Will the Simpsons arcade game be ported to PSN/Xbox Live Arcade?
Scarlett is the dog with me in the header pic, and, as you can see, right before the picture was taken, the precious three-year-old Border Collie licked the side of my face. Yup, a big ol’ slobbering kiss right up next to my ear.
My heart almost exploded.
I am this close to going back and adopting her. But if you want to do it, please, feel free. I just might have to visit you from time to time. We can play videogames and pet Scarlett! It will be fun!
Scissors asks: Will Retro Studios make the next Star Fox game?
that1dood asks: Will we see Half-Life 3?
Kylehyde asks: Will a new Advance Wars be announced for the 3DS?
Projectexodus asks: Will The Last Story get a western release date?
SuperMonk4Ever asks: Will we hear more about Alan Wake?
Another “nameless” animal, I decided to call this noble and strong German Shepherd “Sabin” because he just reminded me of the brave, somewhat mischievous hero from (best RPG ever!) Final Fantasy VI.
Also, I think he may or may not have tried to hit me with an adorable Blitz attack when I was leaning over to pet him.
SuperMonk4Ever asks: Will we see some more new characters for Mortal Kombat?
bbain asks: Will Mother 3 ever be released in the U.S.?
Projectexodus asks: Will Nintendo show anything F-Zero-related for Project Cafe?
ZombiePlatypus asks: Will Square-Enix announce a sequel to Super Mario RPG?
crackity jones asks: Will PSN be up and running during E3?
Okay, this is when everything got real.
After interacting with all the dogs and cats, I had already been on a pretty emotional roller coaster -- seeing the animals was wonderful, but also a little sad knowing that I had to eventually say goodbye. But, all in all, I was so grateful to be at the shelter that the happy far outweighed the sad.
Then I met Kate.
When Denise brought Kate out so I could play with her I instantly fell in love. Those big, beautiful eyes! Those droopy jowls!
And then it happened.
In the middle of talking with Kate, I asked a question and she slowly walked over to me and sat in my lap. And not just an accidental “oh, I am going to sit right here and it just so happens to be by your lap” kind of sit. No. She plopped down on my legs and snuggled up against my body. And then she looked up at me with one of the most loving and motherly looks I have ever seen.
I will never forget that look for the rest of my life.
Wolfy-Boey asks: Dark Cloud 3?
garethxxgod asks: Will we get Star Wars: Battlefront III?
Scissors asks: Will they announce Klonoa 3DS?
VGFreak1225 asks: Will Microsoft announce the new Xbox?
So, there you go! What do you think? Do you think the cats and dogs of the Burbank Animal Shelter made accurate predictions? Which animals are your favorites? And what are you most excited about at next week’s E3?
Sound off in the comments! And make sure to check back a week after E3 for the official results! Which animals got the most right? Are cats and dogs more accurate than industry analysts? (They are easily more adorable.)
As I mentioned before, this entire experience was absolutely life-changing, Working and interacting with these brave, loving, genuinely happy animals was one of the best experiences of my entire life.
If you fell in love with any of them, check out the Burbank Animal Shelter website for information on how you can adopt all of these amazing creatures. You could take home any of the animals in this article. IT COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN!
And if you don’t live anywhere near Burbank -- or California, for that matter -- no worries! Just contact your local shelter, and -- if they are anything like Denise Fleck and the incredible staff of the Burbank Animal Shelter -- you will be invited to visit with open arms.
And who knows? You may just leave with a new best friend.
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