Thus begins the era of liars and whores (ok, no whores, but liars aplenty. You've gotta give me that.)
As a gamer I’ve always had mixed feelings about April Fools day. It seems that April 1st is always the day that gaming magazines, websites and all the rest, go out of their way to do something silly. Sometimes these gags are pretty damned obvious and they produce little more than a chuckle. However, every now and then someone will go to great effort to pull off a rather impressive feat.
Back in 2008 IGN produced a trailer for a live action Legend of Zelda movie thatfilled many a nerds hearts will love and anticipation right up to the point they remembered the date. And just incase you missed the joke and forgot what day it was, the trailer ended with the line “Coming April 1st 2009”. While I thought that trailer was remarkably well done and the whole joke was an award winning effort, it filled me with little more than disappointment. I thought it was great and I was glad they at least made the trailer, but it forced me to realize that we’d never actually see a live-action Legend of Zelda movie; much less a good one (this was just a year after Resident Evil: Extinction raped our minds so the prospect of a good video game movie stung even harder than usual).
The best jokes though, are the ones that are pretty damned obvious but are actually funny in concept. Take this year’s entry into the Just Wrong awards, the hidden romance option in Mass Effect 2. Beautifully done, slightly disturbing, and totally unbelievable. All in all, perfect. And let us not forget last year’s magnificent showing by Blizzard. Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 and WoW gags, not to mention a spectacular video of the new dance battle system . I still think they should have gone with that one. This year one does strike rather close to home. Duck and Cover has released a fake announcement that Bethesda was selling the Fallout franchise to Obsidian, the current developers of Fallout: New Vegas (and a company founded by some of the peole who worked on the original Fallout games). I really wanted this one to be true, but it was too silly of a concept for even me to believe.
However the award for the April Fools All-Time Bastards Freestyle competition has to go to EGM. Every year this magazine would be full of interesting articles and you knew that at least one of them was an outright lie. And they were pretty damned good at hiding which one it was because there’d always be an article or 2 about something unbelievable but true. So your options were to either ignore that issue completely, or try to guess which one was the lie. And from the fans’ reactions we learned that a lot of us were really bad at telling the truth from the lies. In 2002 the joke was an article which claimed that in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Sonic and Tails were actually hidden characters and could be unlocked by defeating 20 opponents in Cruel Melee mode. The pictures in that issue were rather well done and it was easy to believe. There’s a reason why that mode was called Cruel, and it may have taken me all month but in the end I beat 20 opponents in Cruel Melee mode on that damned game and to my surprise, nothing happened. So yeah, that’s why these little pranks don’t entertain me as much as they once did.