By Brian Salisbury
The videogame leviathan known as E3 is once again upon us, and those of us
who count ourselves fanatics of great games are beyond excited. Whenever I see
such a communal celebration of videogame culture, I can't help but be reminded
of one of my favorite sci-fi movies of all time: Tron. So I started thinking
about the possibility of being sucked into a videogame and wondered which
titles from our illustrious gaming history would provide the best environments
for such a digital exile.
Super Mario Brothers 3
This franchise has graduated to full-blown videogame dynasty. Though there have
been countless titles under this banner, I would specifically want to live in
the landscape of Super Mario Brothers 3. So while you would still have the ease
and convenience of traveling via the public pipe transportation system, you
would also have the ability to turn into a raccoon and fly...like a raccoon?
Left 4 Dead 2
L4D2 may seem an odd choice for a gaming world we wish we could live in, but as
a certified horror geek I can think of no better pastime than mowing down hordes
of the undead and adjusting their status to merely dead. The pairing of zombie
chaos with the city of New Orleans is pitch-perfect given the supernatural,
mystic vibe of the Big Easy. But woes betide me if I startle the witch or fail
to shoot the boomer before he gets too close. At least I will have my three
zombie-hunter compatriots with me, all of whom having inexplicably competent
medical knowledge should I require patching up.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Essentially this choice is designed to give our id a place to run wild. Grand
Theft Auto is basically a world without consequences. Sure, you shoot enough
gang members in broad daylight or flatten too many hookers with your stolen
Caddy and the cops will pursue you. But consider the relief of rounding the
right corner and walking through a big icon that instantly makes law enforcement
ignorant of your misdeeds! Vice City is the obvious choice of the bunch, because
who wouldn't want to commit felonies while wearing neon shirts under stark white
suits or listening to Judas Priest and Mister Mister?
The gorgeous, all-encompassing planetary scenery is reason enough to want to
live in the world of Halo, but the ability to utilize futuristic weaponry is no
small incentive either. The real benefit to living in the world of Halo is being
able to have gigantic death matches with your friends. Since they re-spawn
constantly, why not attach a sticky grenade to their suit and kneel over their
dead body afterward as a hilarious sign of dominance? Personally, I would love
the chance to drive the warthog and spend the day fragging my foolish
Legend of Zelda
Though not the most advanced in terms of graphics, I could live with being
blocky and only being able to observe my enemies from overhead. I also know the
locations of the entrances of all nine dungeons, so I would rock through Hyrule
in no time. I would be freaking Link, for crying out loud -- the savior of Zelda
and the wearer of the goofy, Christmas Elf hat! Not to mention I would be in the
game that was among the first to allow players to save their progress, so I
wouldn't have to worry about starting over if someone came along and bumped the
giant NES in which I would invariably be confined.
God of War III
I am a big fan of mythology, but theres reading dusty books recounting the
names of all the gods, and then theres opening up a titanic can of whoop-ass on
Mt. Olympus. God of War III explores more of the underworld aspect of Greek
mythology, which was always my favorite aspect, and again, destroying Hades with
the bow of Apollo is far more exciting than a trip to the world history museum.
Kratos is a warrior who fears no one and has the rage and power to level entire
planes of existenceneed I say more?
I love Hammer films from the late '60s, wherein the incomparable Peter Cushing
routinely pitted himself against Christopher Lee's Dracula. I imagine the world
of Castlevania would be a rock-opera, Labyrinth version of a Hammer film. As
much as I would love using a badass whip to take down the minions of the Prince
of Darkness, I don't think I would ever get used to the insanely tiny
staircases. I envision that, much like in the game, it would take me a few
attempts to perfectly line up my feet and negotiate the stairs. I would
therefore be the dopiest-looking vampire hunter in the world.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
I am a tad out of shape -- OK, more than a tad. So given the opportunity to
possess the power of super speed, I would lose my mind. Luckily, I would be
surrounded by lush environments of corkscrews and loops for me to blaze through
with the fury of a hedgehognatures speed demon? Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has my
favorite levels, Casino Night and Oil Ocean, and despite my view constantly
being obstructed by the perpetually annoying Tails, I would have a blast using
velocity to thwart the evil Dr. Robotnik.
Yes, I am aware that bad things will more than likely happen to me, but there is
something too beautiful about the city of Rapture to pass up. I have always
wanted to live beneath the ocean and avoiding the ever intimidating big daddies
to do so seems a small penance. Im a supporter of stem cell research and all,
but I would recommend steering clear of the little orphan girls who will try to
harvest them from your corpse. Heebies and jeebies abound in this world, but it
would be endlessly cool.
Red Dead Redemption
I cant think of anything more awesome than being a cowboy. It was something we
all imagined being as kids, and Red Dead Redemption gives us the very real
opportunity to do so. Not only would I make my badass presence known throughout
the ridiculously expansive environments, I would also take on as many charity
missions as I could; easy enough as almost every person you talk to in the game
has just been robbed or is about to be hanged. Thats not to say I wouldnt
occasionally throw the bandana over my face and rob a stagecoach, but thats
what being a complicated man of the west is all about. Plus, the bandana will
neutralize my wanted level so all is well.
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