About a month ago I told everyone who follows me on twitter to sign up for the Pokemon newsletter because they were advertising that everyone who signs up would get a code for one of the legendary birds(distributed at random). Well this morning I got my email and instead of just one code, I got a code for them all! What an awesome surprise!
It got me thinking, what are the best surprises that gaming has ever given us?
Lets dive through the history books and take a peak shall we?
5. Saturn Launches “today”
Ok, so this one ended horrendously for SEGA, but that doesn’t stop it from being one hell of a surprise!
Let me take you back to E3 1995; it was no secret that SEGA was working on its successor for the Mega Drive (Genesis to you yanks). SEGA must have been feeling great with the success of their 16bit console and wanted to emulate it by being the first to market and at the end of their unveiling of the Saturn they pulled the classic “oh one more thing” move and announced that the Saturn was out “today”!
The media lost their collective minds, this was fucking huge! SEGA had pulled forward the release date by 3 full months; the next-gen was here and for only $400! Amazing! This put the pressure on Sony to try to match that, good luck Sony!
Sony didn’t match SEGA’s hugely aggressive move; no-siree-bob, they fucking blew it out of the water. and all it took was 2 words; well one word and a number.. “only $299”.
With those words that generation’s console war ended before it even began. Of course this wasn’t the only factor that contributed to the Saturn’s failure, but it was a damn big nail in its coffin.
The combination of the low-cost and the good range of launch titles meant that Sony was now a legitimate player in the video game console industry.
3. Peter Moore’s GTA:IV Tattoo
Peter Moore is a pretty cool dude he is incredibly enthusiastic about his job, he went to the same university I did (a higher class of Alum in Keele University) and he is the undisputed king of unveiling titles at e3!
When he had the honour of announcing ‘Halo 2’ (the sequel to the biggest franchise in the world at that time) he lifted up his sleeve and showed his tattoo of the logo! And yes it was a real tattoo – he literally uses his guns to reveal the big guns at press conferences – what a legend.
But his biggest tattoo was inked in 2006 – when he used one to reveal that ‘GTA: IV’ (again a sequel to the biggest franchise in the world at that time) would be available on Xbox 360 day one. This was huge news. I remember losing my mind when this was announced – GTA had a long-standing association with Sony and until now the Playstation had enjoyed the games months or even years longer than their rival consoles.
Ir was an amazing way of revealing the biggest news of the year! And that trailer for ‘GTA:IB’ was #kreygasm!
2.The Nintendo Revolution Reveal
When Nintendo puts in the effort they are more than capable of blowing us all away, and in 2005 they revealed their new console and with some carefully selected demos they led us to believe that gaming was going to change forever. They revealed their ‘Revolution’ and it looked fucking incredible!
Of course the console became known as the Wii and it did change gaming! But it wasn’t quite the revolution that Nintendo had envisaged…but I cannot get over the effectiveness of this reveal! It was known that Nintendo was working on some form of new control and although they didn’t show it on stage they did have demos set up around the floor. But this press conference was descidedly non-nintendo, they came out fighting and announced their virtual console and had videos of all their big franchises – simply put this press conference was incredible!
Hell this e3 was incredible for Nintendo, undoubtedly their best ever! And the ‘Revolution’ as the corner-stone in this success.
1. Shenmue 3
This is the big one. One of my favourite games of all time is ‘Shenmue’ and when I played through it and the sequel I remember saying to Sherry; “I’m only going to play this for an hour a day, I just don’t want it to end”. I loved it that much that I stuck to this rule and I savoured every last hour of it. Then the Dreamcast died and the sequel never came.
SEGA tried to keep it going after the demise of Dreamcast, they released the second game on OG Xbox (bundled with the “movie” of the original) and it just didn’t sell. I had given up hope of ever seeing ‘Shenmue 3’ released; but last e3 Sony and Yu Suzuki made all my dreams a reality!
I was lying in bed watching the conference and when I heard that iconic score – I lost my mind! A rush of emotions came over me, a mixture of joy, relief and a little bit of sadness (no idea why I felt a little sad).
I had to have this game, I backed it on Kickstarter once the KS page had been repaired (it had crashed due to traffic) and I woke up (a heavily pregnant) Mrs Luvva to tell her the news- she couldn’t care less.
I’ve been playing through the originals again but would not hesitate in buying a re-release of the original 2 – please SEGA, make it happen!
Tell me in the comments what your favourite gaming surprises IRL were!
I’d love to hear them!