April Fools comes but once a year, and for many this is enough. I was recently speaking with a friend who was discussing just how unfunny he thought the gaming industrys take on Aprils Fools is. I had never really considered it until then – mainly because I’d never had the patience to sift through and work out what was real and what wasn’t – but I had to stop for a second and comtemplate it.
Majority of the time, these announcements aren’t funny and either fall into the one of the following categories: shocking, lame or disappointing.
This year, the afformentioned categories were stilled filled by any and every gaming company that dared try. Some would have been better not trying at all, while the (more tasteful) efforts of others were definitely appreciated by a lot of gamers.
Here are the top 3 that got it right this year:
League of Legends – Cho’Gath Eats the World
Say what you want about League of Legends – love it or hate it, you have to appreciate what they did this year. Riot managed to create a terrific throwback to the game series Rampage – an old favourite of mine – adding their own flavor and one of their most well-known veteran champions Cho’Gath.
In Cho’Gath Eats the World, players basically do exactly what they would do in the Rampage series: destroying anything that stands in their way, namely buildings and innocent people within those buildings.
The game is beautifully rife with League of Legends fanservice. As Cho’Gath, you’ll have deal with other champions that try to come between you and total destruction. Garen will use his signature sword-spin to try and take you out, Singed will line the bottom of the level with poisonous gas, and Super Teemo will fly in and try and take you down. The fanservice definitely doesn’t stop there either; many more guest appearances arise and are done in a greatly amusing fashion.
What’s most impressive about Cho’Gath Eats The World is that Riot has had this planned for a long time, building speculation and hype for the game, albeit subtely, for a year before it dropped on April 1st this year.
Oh, and there’s also a whole other game hidden with Cho’Gath Eats the World, starring Teemo.
Riot, color me impressed!
GOG.com – RetroMator 4000
Good Old Games is a website that has been delivering old, lovable gaming hits to people for quite some time now, and they’ve always done it well.
With a simple philosophy and no-nonsense service, they’ve managed to build quite a catalogue of games, and subsequently, a terrific fanbase.
The cherry on the top of the GOG cake is that it also seems they have a very good sense of humor.
Introducing the RetroMator 4000, software to help you relive the nostalgia of all those retro games you once enjoyed. Sick of fancy, new graphics? Retro-mate them so that they look and play like an early 90s PC game. Tired of graphics altogether? RetroMator 4000 has you covered. Simply Text-Mate the game to turn any game into a text-based adventure!
Other features include being able to remove quicktime events from games and replace them with ‘traditional boss battles or imcomprehensible timed puzzles’, and removing those pesky things like regenerating shields, health, and unlimited ammo – allowing you to instead limit yourself to only a few slots.
GOG did a fantastic job on this, poking fun not only as new game trends, but also at old ones. Their mockup site is truly something that needs to be seen also, and will give examples of much of the above that I mentioned.
gg GOG.com. Well played.
Capcom – Super Duper Street Fighter IV
The Street Fighter Series is renowned for releasing new versions of games in the franchise, distinguishing these additions with words like ‘Super’.
Some may argue that this this trend is a bit ridiculous, and can leave a lot of players confused about just which Street Fighter release is the latest or even what each iteration offers.
I have to tip my proverbial hat at Capcom for having a sense of humor about this with their April Fools joke year this that claimed that a new version of Street Fighter IV would be out soon – the suitably titled Super Duper Street Fighter IV.
In this theoterical release, players now play with a ‘Duper’ bar under their Super bar. Apparently, Super Duper Street Fighter IV will ‘usher in a new era of “duper combos” as well as balance changes and content updates that are sure to max out duper meters across the globe.’
Capcom decided to keep it simple this year with their April Fools, and this simplistic style of humor impressed me almost as much as the quotes from the announcement did. I’ll leave you with a statement from Matt Dahlgreen, Senior Product Manager.
“Super Duper Street Fighter IV has been a dream of ours for some time, and that dream is now becoming a super duper reality!”