I'm an avid gamer who relishes any chance to talk about his favourite games. I was born in '92, started gaming in '95 on what you Americans call a Sega Genesis. Back then, all I cared about was Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Chuck Rock. Later in life it was Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Destruction Derby, Duke Nukem, Metal Gear Solid, Abe's Oddysee and many other Playstation classics. Since then I've amassed a collection of games and consoles with my 10 all-time favourites being:
1. Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio Future
2. Tales of Symphonia
3. Persona 4
4. Dark Souls
5. Chrono Trigger
6. Metroid Prime 1 & 2
7. Ocarina of Time (obligatory Zelda title)
8. Silent Hill 3
10. MGS 3: Snake Eater
Well technically, that's 12. But...erm...yeah.
Recently finished Mass Effect 3. Let's just say it's all about the journey, not the destination. I think with this statement in mind, it's one of the greatest stories ever told in videogames.
8th January, 2015. 9:30am. Videogame developers the world over have gathered at the White House to discuss and effectively attempt to save the industry from certain collapse. Their mission? To create the most awesome crossover game of all time. Ideas have dried up, companies are folding, and Mario Party 12 has been cancelled. The videogame industry is on the verge of obscurity, and these men are the key to its survival.
Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon is the first to arrive and greet president Barack Obama, two minutes later than expected. The president is unimpressed, as he bears a grimace that typifies his thoughts on the whole thing.
Ed Boon has not the chance to finish his lacklustre Sub-Zero pun, however, as Casey Hudson arrives by helicopter. Boon wastes no time in mocking Hudson's flamboyance. "Damn, Casey! You sure know how to make an entrance!" Boon remarks. "It's a shame you don't put that much effort into your exits!"
As expected, Casey takes the bait and swings for Boon. The president wastes no time in interfering and breaks up the fight: "Mr. Boon, please! This is exactly why you're in this mess in the first place!" Obama yells. "It is a damn good job I'm an MK man, else my tolerance for you would be Sub-Zero!"
Ed backs away, and shakes the hand of Casey Hudson. The three men head inside the White House.
An hour later, in the scheduled meeting room, the president pipes up: "Six devs? Six? This is our turnout? Your industry is facing certain doom and...and, six?! Just you six guys?"
The party of developers look to the ground, as if being scolded by a school teacher. Ed Boon glances solemnly at Casey Hudson, who hopes Tod Howard has some ideas. Tod Howard's "don't look at me" expression confirms his cluelessness. Suda51's expression is blank. While his track record remains excellent with 2014's No More Damned Killer Chainsaws, his own crossover, it seems his creative juices might have finally dried up.
Suda looks toward his friend Peter Molyneux; the two have the most collaboratory experience of the bunch, as they worked together to create one of 2013's more original titles, Black and White 3. The five look towards magic-man Gabe Newell, who announced only last year that Half-Life 3 will "never be a thing."
Gabe solemnly shakes his head, saying: "Where's Yoshinori Ono when ya need him?"
Ono, you will undoubtedly recall, was fired from Capcom after last year's poor-selling Ordinary Civilians vs. Capcom, which was also crowned the "most unbalanced fighter of all time" by IGN, Gamespot and Gametrailers.
The group sit in awkward silence for the next twenty or so minutes, with the occasional "what if..." followed by a hopeful gasp, and then a sweeping sigh of hoplessness. Many ideas are tossed around to no avail, as most of the companies behind these games have folded.
"Dynasty Warriors: Assassin's Creed," Tod Howard suggests. Followed by a hopeful Tekken vs. Mortal Kombat from Ed Boon. Follwed by an "everything has to be Mortal Kombat with you" from Casey Hudson.
As the summit draws to a close at noon, all hope seems lost. As the devs take it in turns to shake President Obama's hand, suddenly, something miraculous happens. A man jumps through one of the meeting rooms' windows with considerable force, breaking the window, and injuring Peter Molyneux in the process. The man gets up, dusts himself off and smiles at the group.
It is Shigeru Miyamoto. In perfect English, he enthusiastically bellows:
"Guys! You guys! I've discovered a cavernous loophole in the videogame copyright legislation! All those old licenses? We can do with 'em what we will!"
"And just how could we go about that?" questions a skeptical Peter Molyneux, who may be in desperate need of medical attention.
"Hear me out," says Miyamoto, "since last year's revision, there's nothing in the legislation to say we can't take all these licenses and make something truly unique, when the industry is on the verge of collapse! I already have it all planned out in my head!"
"Let's hear it!" proclaims Gabe.
Miyamoto-san takes a deep breath, before he bursts into his pitch:
"Okay! It's like a Smash Bros. style game, yeah? All the fighting game characters ever are having this epic war. Street Fighter is mad at Soul Calibur, but Soul Calibur kinda likes Street Fighter so they get Mortal Kombat to fight it out for them! Then Guilty Gear gets involved but it has to hold off Blazblue at the same time! Meanwhile, Skullgirls and King of Fighters are having it out even though the Skullgirls are massively outnumbered! Then they all remember that they all hate each other anyway and a huge fight breaks out between everyone! Then, things REALLY get crazy! Everyone from Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors shows up, but that doesn't stop our very own Mario from trying to pull everyone's trousers down! Then Sonic rushes in to aid Ryu Hayabusa and the Tenchu ninjas, but Sonic and Ryu aren't very good at stealth and they all get caught so...get ready, 'cause THIS will blow your mind...Duke Nukem and Solid Snake team up to save them from prison! What prison? Well, it's not a prison, it's the factory island from Beyond Good & Evil, and surprise surprise, Jade and Rayman are there because we have to please everyone! And speaking of pleasing everyone, it turns out Gordon Freeman is behind the whole thing! He's working with Captain Price to make sure the only games left are Call Of Duty games, because Gordon LOVES COD! In the end it's up to a crack team of game heroes to save the day: Link, the Doom guy, Travis Touchdown, the Arctic Avengers and whoever you are in Dark Souls are that crack team! So, what do you guys think?"
A stunned silence fills the air. There seems to be no disagreements. This is the game that is to save the industry. A game so grand in scale, ambition and sheer ridiculousness that it just has to work. It seems none of the group has any objections...
"Needs more F-Zero," says the president.
"Yeah that was pretty silly," says Suda, "even by my standards."
"Oh. Really?" says Shigeru, quietly. "I'll just...I'll just go...then...?"
"Yeah, we'll think of something else," replies Gabe Newell, whose eyes light up when he sees Peter Molyneux writhing in pain on the floor. "I've got it!" he shouts.
Applause go around as Valve's first Kinect title sells in the millions, though Peter Molyneux unfortunately died during his motion capture sessions.