Sunday Thoughts: April Fools

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.

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34 Comments

  1. Assassins creed for kinnect was another funny one I saw.

    • best one i heard that Microsoft wasn’t going to rush out the next Xbox, and they were going to wait until it worked and was reliable.

      then i realised it was April fools day

  2. “blow on the cartridge to fix bugs” – Lol! Ah, good memories.

    Skyrim would need its own wind tunnel.

  3. The best possible April Fools joke would be a legitimate, massive announcement purposely released on April 1st, so the joke is that fact that IS real yet nobody believed it due to the date.

    April 1st: Sony release PS4 specs!

    April 2nd: Uh, those specs were real guys, what are you doing?

    • Sure there must have been a few of those over the years!

    • April 1st 2012: PS4 won’t play used games.
      Christmas 2013: Oh, wait… you guys weren’t kidding.

  4. Once again, TSA’s old article for a specific emulator for PS3.

  5. Specific? Speccy. Bloomin’ predictive text.

  6. That R3 thing, that an april fool as well? Just played through the boat ride again, apart from gaining the Slaybells trophy I saw nothing different.

  7. Is there any truth to Resistance 3 multiplayer being x5 XP this weekend? Couldnt work out from fb whether it was realbor not and I havent even started the game yet.

    • Yup I’m on it now mate, 5x XP is a bit extreme though!

  8. I’ll admit to absolutely loathing April Fools day. There’s rarely a better reason each year to ignore the TV, the newspaper and the radio, and get outside to enjoy the wide open world.

  9. Already had a April fools attempt pulled on me. They failed :P

    Loving the google maps thing though :)

  10. Already had a April fools attempt pulled on me. They failed :P

    Loving the google maps thing though :)

    • Didn’t know it was possible to do a double comment on the front page. Looks like it is.

      • It’s deja vu. It’s when they change something in The Matrix.

      • haha u never stop to surprise us OK! =D

      • How the hell do you keep doing that.

      • It’s an April fools trick!

      • What can I say? I have skills at double posting ;)

      • Which has caused Adam to become addicted to hot chocolate. ;) And i think Tef uses your face as a target when he plays darts, Ok. :p

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if he did :P

      • He’s a spammer :p

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