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Sunday Thoughts: April Fools

Don't worry, it's only once a year.

Is it funny, really? The concept of April Fools jokes is an odd one, an age old Spanish tradition that has, like most things, been duplicated down through the ages into something rather more coarse and oddly unrefined. Videogame website April Fools in particular are rarely terribly sophisticated, and are normally met with considerable frustration by anyone taken in by them.

Unless, of course, they’re well done. And despite what you might think about the industry, there have been rare occasions where a neat little trick has been pulled out of the bag and everyone’s just had a good old laugh about it. Well, apart from those – as I said – that got suckered in.

There’s a couple of ones this year that fit the bill – Mars Effect, a new game by Minecraft creator Notch is a rather brilliant take on EA’s still controversial series and isn’t afraid to have a dig.  Indeed, “a game ending that makes sense” is one of the feature bulletpoints.  Oh, and if you’ve got Resistance 3 handy, try playing the section on the boat today.

But it’s normally from outside the gaming world that the brightest tricks can be found, if they can riff on our favourite hobby.  This year’s Google one is wonderful, because it brings a smile without having to destroy anyone’s dreams (you hear me, Valve?) – check out Maps and switch to 8-bit mode for a cute little diversion. They even updated the Street View mode to run in all its retro glory.

Some of the better game-based gags in the past seem to have come from EGM – a ‘realistic’ version of Wind Waker, or topless cheats for Dead or Alive Volleyball – and, ironically, Sony. Remember when they announced a PSP/PS2 Jak and Daxter game just as the PS3 was in full swing, way back in 2009, on April 1st?  Thankfully nobody fell for that one…

What’ll we get this year?  I’m looking forward to lots of sites chucking out ‘information’ on the PS4 and next Xbox.  And by looking forward I mean absolutely dreading, because both are ripe pickings at the moment and who knows what ridiculous content people will be shouting – I’m betting silly names like Orbis, and daft rumours like locking out pre-owned.

But yeah, expect the worst today, and be thankful that a lot of sites take the weekend off.

  1. hol
    Since: Oct 2009

    I’ve seen on for cross game chat being a ps+ exclusive this morning, made me chuckle :)

    Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 10:53.
  2. Shaggy2Dope
    Since: Nov 2010

    I would love to believe that everything that has been going on with GAME has coincidentally become one massive April Fools joke but i highly doubt that. :(

    Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 11:03.
  3. MadJunkBoy
    Since: Aug 2010

    love the google maps 8-bit! i’d pay for that, and i love how they got a little warrior running the path between LA and NY! =D
    it’s been a while since i had a April fools joke pulled at me, luckily since im sooo easy to fool! :P

    Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 11:53.
  4. amiga_dude
    Since: Aug 2009

    at 12:01 I posted that I was fed up with the PS3 and was going down to Tesco to buy a XBox360. Amazingly people belive it and sent me there gamertag’s. I told them I had to go to PC World as didn’t have network cable long enough to connect my XBox360 and that I should be back at 12:00 will add them then.

    Me thinks going to have a very long wait…

    Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 12:12.
  5. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    TSA’s best april fools was “Flat”, the smaller version of PS Home. I remember other sites picking up the story and running with it as if it was confirmed by Sony lol.

    Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 12:13.
    • MadJunkBoy
      Since: Aug 2010

      haha that must have been an awesome April fools joke! =D

      Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 12:36.
    • nofi
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      Ha, yeah, that was funny. I’d forgotten about that.

      Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 12:51.
    • BIGAL-1992
      Since: Jan 2009
    • Sympozium
      Since: Aug 2009

      Aw, all the comments are gone from that :(

      Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 14:57.
  6. Sab7786
    Since: Jun 2009

    lol @ google maps 8 bit haha

    Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 13:35.
  7. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    I’m surprised that Hideo Kojima didn’t do an Aprils Fools joke this year as he usually does one every year.

    I’m surprised that Square didn’t annouce FF7 remake today and that it would be running on Frostbite whilst having a tacked on MP and 900+ trophies. Oh and it’s a FPS.

    Capcom has promised to stop treating us as cash machines. April’s fool. Now give me £20 for that joke. :p

    Comment posted on 01/04/2012 at 16:38.

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