Things Zach Rich Demands to See Before He Dies in 2020

When writing a prediction column like this, it's always fun to look back and see just how right your predictions were. Therefore, as we start every edition of "TZRDTSBHDI2020," we'll first look back a

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When writing a prediction column like this, it’s always fun to look back and see just how right your predictions were. Therefore, as we start every edition of “TZRDTSBHDI2020,” we’ll first look back and see how close my fantasies are to completion.

And how! Harmonix is starting to listen to me. Last month, I tackled the ten albums that will be made available in the Rock Band series before 2020, and while we didn’t see a full release of any of the ten albums (yet), we did get one track off one album from the list! The very first album on the list, Disturbed’s Ten Thousand Fists, is now 1/13 complete, with the addition of the album’s first single, “Stricken,” to the music store in early May. It’s only a matter of time, friends. Soon, we’ll all be playing “Weird Al” songs with plastic instruments!

Now then, as I write this, we are currently two days away from Microsoft’s big press conference to kick off E3 2009. The hype is huge, and the huddled masses are teeming with anticipation to learn just what huge and juicy games we can expect to look forward to, buy, and love to death in the next year. Many people have offered up their predictions of what will happen over the next week, but none of them are going to be dying in 2020, you see. Therefore, as a human being that is going to die within the next 11 years, the Big Three and all the third parties will simply have to bow down to my demands, or else face damnation in the eyes of every eventually-going-to-die child on Earth. Get out your fanboy hats, and jot some notes down, Nintendo, because this is:

Ten Things I Demand to See Happen at E3 2009 Before My Death in 2020

Here are the rules: If it’s printed on this page, it’s going to happen by the end of next week. It’s that simple, GameCola Faithful.

1. Mass Effect 2 will make me want to make love with the nearest alien, female or not.

I don’t think I’ve said this in GameCola before, but I believe Mass Effect to be the best game I’ve played so far in this console generation. It’s the textbook example of how to make a Western RPG/shooter hybrid. It has a dramatic story. It has touch-perfect controls. There’s a whole galaxy to explore. You can be as much of a goody-two-shoes or a badass as you want! There’s so much to see and do that it was simply jarring to me that millions of GameFAQs MORONS said that goddamm Halo 3 (which is a totally great game, just not God on a disc) was better than this Paragon of Game Design.

My anticipation for Mass Effect 2 has been at the forefront of my brain, and I physically NEED as much info as I can about the game to tide me over until it’s released in 2010. We know two very important things that I’ve been hoping to hear about this game:

  1. ME2 will use the information from your ME1 savegame to alter the story according to your actions in ME1, and

Bioware, I expect to be blown away by whatever you have up your sleeve for next week, and you better be playing with some hot fire, ’cause otherwise you’re going to get burned by my soon-to-be unleashed spirit.

2. Reggie will kick someone’s ass.

It’s been a while since we were introduced to the current President of Nintendo of America, and it’s been almost just as long since someone last had their name taken from them. I want to see Nintendo’s local badass take the stage and wow the hell out of us by being just as aggressive and intimidating as he was way back in 2004. And I’m not talking about beating Super-Mom at a round of Wii Sports Resort, I’m talking about jumping from a plane with no parachute, making a big impact crater on the Nintendo stage, appearing from the smoke completely undamaged, punching Shawn White in the face, and then giving us a teaser trailer for the next Zelda game. Nothing would top that, ever.

“I killed a man once. He was this wide, and about twice as tall. I knifed the son-of-a-bitch right in the jugular, and as he was taking his last breath, I told him that, where he's going, no one can playEarthBoundon the Virtual Console.”
“I killed a man once. He was this wide, and about twice as tall. I knifed the son-of-a-bitch right in the jugular, and as he was taking his last breath, I told him that, where he's going, no one can play EarthBound on the Virtual Console.”

3. Tim Schafer and Jack Black will adopt a baby together.

It’s the only thing I can imagine that would be more awesome than anything I’ve seen about Brütal Legend. The doubly fine folks at…Double Fine have been hard at work on this tribute to the metal gods for so long, and I need to see some fine gameplay going on here. Seeing as this comes from the folks who made the most excellent Psychonauts, I’m willing to bet that a million-and-a-half copies are sold of this beautiful nugget. Let’s see some gameplay, Tim.

4. Kingdom Hearts III will not be a PS3 exclusive.

Q: How do you make a mega-corporation cry?

A: You take away its talking ducks.

The amount of 360 support Square Enix has been showing is unbelievable, from average (The Lost Remnant) and severely overlooked (Star Ocean 4) exclusive RPGs to a core Final Fantasy game actually being released for a non-PlayStation console. So what would be the lipstick kiss at the bottom of the love letter? Mickey Mouse, of course.

It’s been four years since the love-it-or-hate-it Kingdom Hearts II saw the light of day on the PS2, and with the three sidegames now coming out in Japan, there’s nowhere left for the series to go but move on to the next core installment. If Final Fantasy is Square Enix’s biggest series, and it’s not exclusive to the PS3, I can’t begin to imagine why this series, which is almost just as popular as its source material, would be. It would be a huge blow to Sony to lose this kind of support from hardcore RPG players, and this kind of thing could make the 360 the RPG gamers’ console of choice in the States.

5. Big Rock Band announcements will make millions cry with joy.

Even during the reign of the first Rock Band, big improvements were made to the first title through the use of title updates, like the in-game store. With the huge community aspect Harmonix incorporated into Rock Band 2, as well as the recent arrival of Rock Band Unplugged, and the forthcoming Legoand Beatles games, there could be some huge announcements from the MTV booth. Especially if there are some juicy albums (I’ve got suggestions) coming for DLC, or the Lego track list manages to transform the cutesy version of the game into a must-own for the fans. There’s also this whole Pearl Jam thing going around. How’s about a little info on that, Harmonix?

6. Rare will announce two or three new titles, and one of them will be a new Perfect Dark sequel. The original Perfect Dark will also be released as an XBLA title, and God will smile on us all.

There are a few screenshots floating around of a possible XBLA re-release of Perfect Dark, Rare’s non-Bond FPS for the N64. There’s also a disturbing lack of knowledge about what the British developer is up to. Another Perfect Dark could possibly be in the pipeline if there’s going to be a remake of the original, but that can’t be all those bloody geniuses from across the pond are up to.Killer Instinct 3Jet Force Gemini 2Mr. Pants and the Journey for Checkered Boxers? The mind absolutely boggles at the possibilities!

What the hell is Bean?
What the hell is Bean?

7. 1 vs. 100 will be just one of several Xbox Live Primetime titles on the show floor. Someone will win a car.

Growing up, I was a huge fan of the TV gameshow genre. Being a child of the 90s, I not only hadWheel of Fortune and Price is Right to watch daily, but also all of Nickelodeon’s game shows. Legends of the Hidden Temple, GUTS, Figure it Out…all good memories. Primetime’s games will show on your Xbox played in real time, and based on many-a-site’s impressions of the flagship title, 1 vs. 100, it looks like it works wonderfully.

On Monday, June 1st, the U.S. beta for 1 vs. 100 will be free for all Xbox Live Gold Members. That means anyone who is important will be playing this a lot. So, I can only assume that Microsoft will be showing off a lot of other titles that will be coming to the service in the future. Could they be original game ideas? Or maybe Primetime versions of true TV classics? Primetime Family Feud, perhaps? I’m eagerly awaiting more titles to be shown for this upcoming expansion of Xbox Live.

8. Microsoft will announce another huge partnership for Xbox Live. An angel will get its wings.

Similar to the Netflix reveal last year, I’m almost certain that Microsoft has another big entertainment partnership to flaunt at their press conference. I’m not sure at all with whom; I just know it’s coming, and it’s going to be just as big as the Netflix deal for XBL subscribers. How about a Time Warner Cable partnership? TV on the Xbox seems like the next ideal step, and who better than the cable juggernaut?

9. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and Batman: Arkham Asylum will both steal the show for the comic book lover.

Little fun fact for you all: I’m a comic book enthusiast. Underneath my bed is a collection of Marvel comic books from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, which I fully thank my Dad for. I know a lot about the Marvel universe, and that’s half the reason why I got such a huge boner every time I played Marvel Ultimate Alliance way back when I first got my 360. Now the sequel is a few months away, and the roster of playable characters is booming like crazy. The Civil War arc may not have worked to a tee in the comic series, but it’s the perfect setting for a game about teaming up some of the greatest heroes ever. As long as Deadpool can talk and there’s no mention of any “Weapon XI,” I will love this game forever and ever and ever.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m not as into DC as I likely should be, but damn do I love the Batman. I’ve kept myself a little bit in the dark about the upcoming Batman title (lol see wut i did their?), but the fact that Mark Hamill is returning to voice the Joker, just as he did in all of the DC Animated Universe series, makes this title almost an instant buy for me. It’s a shame I don’t have a PS3; the Joker levels exclusive to that console look to have the coolest gameplay I’ve seen from any game in a while.

10. Pikmin 3 will be shown for the first time.

Or the puppy gets it.

So, I hope you all enjoyed your early peek at what you’re going to see this week at E3. I know my predictions are going to come true; after all, the biological warfare of the MOOOOOOOOOON PEOPLE will be my ultimate downfall, and my upcoming death will guilt everyone into following through with these promises I made them make. So, happy E3, everyone!

I’ll be over here, graduating from high school.

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From 2008 to 2012

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