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Future of the Week: Metal Warriors

July 22, 2009 Future No Comments

Source: This Future of the Week is brought to us by Metal Warriors. This is a mech game for the Super Nintendo in which the player, controlling a little man inside a giant robot, must battle against other little men controlling giant robots.

Premise: In the year 2102 an evil army called the “Dark Axis Forces,” who you know is evil with a name like that, is plotting to enslave Earth. Well, something needs to be done, and as the back of the box says “you’ve got a three ton laser-sword-wielding, energy-cannon-firing, jet-propelled suit of robotic armor at your disposal.” The choice is clear: it’s time for battle.

Utopia or Dystopia: Let’s be honest, life in 2009 is pretty damned dull, intergalactic war and giant mechs sound like just what the modern era needs. Did I mention that the mechs have plasma swords? This is a utopia.

Prescience: Unfortunately, 2102 is still almost 100 years away and that’s just too far away to know how accurate this game will ultimately be. This is another one of those times where I have to say, it just doesn’t seem likely because nothing this awesome ever happens.

Future of the Week: Metroid Prime 2

July 15, 2009 Future No Comments

Source: The future of the week comes to us from Retro Studios, who, following the great reception of their game Metroid Prime in 2002, felt that gamers would actually enjoy their sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes in the year 2004.

Premise: In the year 2004, gamers will have evolved beyond the need to understand what they are viewing on their televisions. In the murky depths of Metroid Prime 2’s textures will lurk the means of enjoying a video game.

Utopia or Dystopia: Dystopia, because I like splotchy purple, but I would hate for it to be the only colour.

Prescience: Near its release, Retro’s prediction looked strong; critics found minor faults with the game but still gave it great scores. As players began to explore the game and the fanboy-goggles that had led critics astray waned in influence, the true horror of the game was revealed.

Future of the Week: Perfect Dark

January 26, 2009 Future No Comments

Source: The Future of the Week comes from a game which overreached more than any other on the N64, the first person shooter Perfect Dark.

Premise: In the year 2023, defense contractors will conspire with aliens and try to clone an American president. Special grenades called N-Bombs will create black spheres of a material which cause the space-time continuum to sputter and lose frames, slapping people will have a similar effect. Laptops will become so advanced that some will have sentient AI and be able to fly, while others will be able to transform into guns which in turn can transform into turrets.

Utopia or Dystopia: Dystopia. As exciting as the many shiny surfaces and neat guns would be, I just don’t think I could take the constant frame rate issues.

Prescience: Like so many futures, this one loses points for aliens. Maybe aliens will show up by 2023, but I doubt they will have much interest in what human defense contractors have to offer. The President of the United States is black even before the predicted date, but he lacks a goatee, and does not pronounce “assume” as “ash-ume.”

Future of the Week: AWESOME

January 19, 2009 Future No Comments

Source: The Future of the Week comes from the 1990 Atari ST and Amiga game AWESOME. I’ve never actually played the game, and so I will be basing this analysis purely on the box art, seen above.

Premise: At some unknown date in the future, space will be traversed in ships so AWESOME looking that they will have caught up with the most AWESOME artistic renderings.

Utopia or Dystopia: As incredible as I imagine this future would be, I have to call this one a dystopia. The image reminds me of the kind of ships I used to draw as a kid, but I could never make them look so AWESOME, and I became discouraged. In this future, I imagine many more children would aspire to such drawings, and feel a similar displeasure.

Prescience: Currently, the realm of space travel is underwhelming. People haven’t even gone to Mars, let alone set out on lonely interstellar voyages in decrepit looking battlecruisers. Current space-faring vehicles are small, and covered in boring heat shield panels instead of a thick, grimy layer of AWESOME.

Future of the Week: Aerobiz Supersonic

January 12, 2009 Future No Comments

Source: The Future of the Week comes from vintage business simulation/strategy game Aerobiz Supersonic for the SNES.

Premise: In the years 2000-2020, supersonic air travel will emerge and then quickly fade, Russia will join the EU, an oil crisis will cripple airlines, countries will ask the airlines for money in order to find fossil fuel alternatives, and I will become incredibly wealthy setting up short airline routes between the cities of Japan.

Utopia or Dystopia: The future portrayed has turned out to be the exact opposite of reality, making Aerobiz Supersonic a utopia.

Prescience: Supersonic travel never “took off.” Every day, Russia tries to hoist the Iron Curtain back up. Oil prices plummet along with the world economy. Governments bail out industries, never the reverse. The only thing I’m the CEO of is a money-losing website. Aerobiz Supersonic got it all wrong.

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