Gabe was instructed to find and subsequently purchase the new Little Mermaid title for Kara, whose enthusiasm for teenaged fish has not abated since the film’s release in nineteen-eighty-nine. I had the opportunity to hear him call no less than twelve places yesterday in search of the product, each time with a voice carefully modulated to insist that he had absolutely no interest in such a thing. There was less and less Gabriel left with each inquiry, until finally he was making the calls via the speakerphone, sprawled out on the floor.
The game, available for the Nintendo DS, features some kind of wireless "Barnacle Band" multiplayer music experience - an endeavor for which I imagine he’ll be recruited nightly. Picture him scowling at Flounder as he mumbles "under the sea, under the sea, hee hee hee." It is basically awesome.
After Nintendo’s event, followed swiftly by the Tokyo Game Show (which I think may be rightly called Sony’s event), followed by Microsoft’s own dense barrage at X06, I must say that I have pushed through maniac enthusiasm and have now settled into anticipation fatigue. I’ve had endorphins coursing through my system for so long now that my body can’t distinguish them from inert compounds. I’ve got Okami to soothe me in the interim, a game that is beautiful along all axes of appraisal, and available for an ancient gaming platform that is no longer some kind if Internet battleground. We also dipped a single toe into the new Valkyrie Profile, also for the PS2. I suppose you could say that I have retreated, in a way.
I just need some of this stuff to finally come out, for the "next generation" - its swagger, and its promise - to arrive in an authentic way, with titles that weren’t originally intended for some other piece of hardware. I need Splinter Cell, delayed almost a year, to materialize in my tray so that the part of mind that tracks this information can be put to some more healthy purpose. The new Tiger Woods comes out the same Goddamn day, and then just three weeks later Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas, and Guitar Hero 2 all drop simultaneously. Soon after that, the Playstation 3. Even sooner after that, the Wii. There’s a lot I’m leaving out - it’s even more grave than I’ve let on. There are Dark Messiahs, there are Excite Trucks, and I haven’t even started discussing the DS(!!!).
A combination of next-gen pricing (which arrived far in advance of truly next-gen content), new hardware, and an overall amazing holiday lineup is going to desperately undercut the kinds of gifts I buy for other people.
You saw, no doubt, that GH2 is coming to 360 as well - probably looked at the crazy new controller that may or may not be wireless. I imagined that Guitar Hero 3 would inaugurate downloadable songs, just as Harmonix had already done with their Karaoke Revolution series on the Xbox - but it’ll arrive in the very next version, with new song packs always dangerously accessible online. I thought I knew their mind on the issue, but they moved quicker that I thought. I imagine that two hundred and seventy five million dollars can really grease the wheels.