Here are ten of the best April Fool’s gags the gaming industry have tried to trick us into thinking they’re real.
The video game industry has pretty much cornered the market on April Fool’s day jokes, with websites trying to outdo each other with what wacky joke will get the biggest reaction. Every April 1st, gamers eagerly await what kind of creative gags the gaming world throw at us. It’s practically become a tradition with us to expect them. In fact, it would be disappointing if, one year, they don’t even try… which would be a spectacular gag, come to think of it.
Since April Fool’s Day is already over, let’s take a look back at some of the best video game related pranks and jokes we’ve seen over the years.
10) Titanfall Optimus Prime DLC
The best gags are usually the ones we really wish were true. And who wouldn’t want to be able to control the leader of the heroic Autobots? While this one is recent, IGN managed to get our attention. While we may hope this does come true in the future, for now, it’s just a gag… a cruel, horrible gag.
9) Assassin’s Creed for Kinect
The timing for this gag was perfect. The Kinect was one of the hottest peripherals and developers were adding Kinect support to their games left and right. So when Ubisoft released this video advertising a Kinect version of Assassin’s Creed, it was pretty believable. Until you get to the second half of commercial, that is.
I don’t think the average gamer would be able to do a lot of the stuff shown in the video. But I would love to see them try the swan dive! This one deserves to be on the list because, although it’s obviously a joke, it’s a pretty funny joke.
8) Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball Topless Mode
Electronic Gaming Monthly, AKA EGM, were inserting April Fool’s jokes in their magazine pages way before it became the “cool” thing to do. Their most successful practical jokes usually involve preying on what gamers wish were true. And who didn’t want this to come true?
Apparently, having the girls of Dead Or Alive prance around in the incredibly skimpy Venus swimsuit wanted enough. No, gamers wanted to see them topless! In 2003, EGM printed a way to enable the girls to go topless… but the process was impossible to do because there wasn’t enough time to do so But that didn’t stop horny gamers from trying, leaving them frustrated in more ways than one!
7) Journey Rocket Death Match DLC
Journey is probably the most passive and non-violent multiplayer games of all time. Even when you do encounter another player, you can’t even throw profanity at them! While it’s a very serene experience to play that game, bloodthirsty gamers wanted a little more action.
Thatgamecompany decided to tease that specific market by “revealing” the Rocket Deathmatch DLC. Of course, this wasn’t real but wouldn’t it have been funny if it was?
6) Valkyrie Wilde
When the first Tomb Raider was released, gamers loved its great story and fantastic puzzles. But mostly, they loved Lara Croft and secretly hoped to see her nude (I’m detecting a trend here). It’s strange, really, that we all wanted to see Lara’s pointy bits. But, of course, there was no official way to get to see this. With Valkyrie Wilde, however, you didn’t need a code or patch because she was already naked from the outset!
You know an April Fool’s joke tricked people when your gag was reported as real by news outlets. Various news stations and programs voiced their “outrage” regarding this “disgusting” game. And it was hilarious!
5) Sonic and Tails in Super Smash Bros. Melee
In early 2001, SEGA announced they were going out of the console business and become a third party publisher. Later in the year, Nintendo released their massive crossover platforming fighter, Super Smash Bros. Melee.
EGM then reported a way to unlock Sonic and Tails in Super Smash Bros. Melee and even provided screenshots as “proof”. While it would have been unheard of a couple of years ago, this was totally believable at the time. This is another EGM Joke that used perfect timing to make their joke believable and fool the general public.
4) The Legend of Zelda Live Action Movie
We all know that most films based on video games are bad, but that fact’s never stopped us for wishing for them. And we all wanted to see a big screen adaption of Link’s adventures in the world of Hyrule.
When IGN revealed the trailer for The Legend of Zelda, gamer reactions were polarized. Yes, we were finally getting a Legend of Zelda movie that looked like it was faithful to the material. But it definitely didn’t look great! I mean, just look at Gannon’s makeup!
Thankfully it was just a really well-made video that did fool us. But we’re still waiting for the real one, Hollywood!
3) Be a Pokémon Master for Google
Google recently announced a new job opening: Pokémon Master! And it’s incredibly easy to apply for the job. All you need to do is update Google Maps and find all 150 Pokémon littered around the app. Oh, and by the way, April Fools!
While only a couple of days old, Google’s 2014 April Fool’s gag was brilliantly constructed. They even updated the real mobile app so you could actually search the world for all of those hidden Pokémon. Now that’s commitment to a gag!
Then again, Google hasn’t formally announced that this is a prank… so there’s a slim chance this is actually real. If so, then the joke’s on us when Google announces 15-year old Nester as the newest member of the Google family in September!
2) Metal Gear Solid X
We were all disappointed when we found out we didn’t control Solid Snake throughout the main campaign of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Instead, Hideo Kojima trolled all of us and we were stuck playing as pretty-boy Raiden. We all wished there was a way to play through the game as “Pliskin”.
GameNow published an article revealing an updated version of the game on the Xbox with one big difference: after finishing the main campaign, you get the opportunity to play as Solid Snake and go through a totally different mission! Alas, while we all would’ve wanted to see this, this was just a cruel joke made by the magazine.
1) Fight Sheng Long in Street Fighter II
In their April 1992 issue, EGM got a letter from a fan writing in with a big scoop for Street Fighter II. The letter supposedly revealed a way to face-off against Sheng Long, the long believed master of Ryu and Ken. The method to do it was incredibly difficult to say the least. You needed to have Ryu defeat all his opponents without taking any damage and, when you get to the final stage, get a draw with M. Bison for a grueling 10 rounds. If successful, Sheng Long will jump in and duel you to the death.
When this was reported, competing video game magazines reprinted the process thinking it was true, effectively spreading the hoax even further. If they only bothered to check on the bottom of the page that gave the trick, they would’ve seen it was a joke!
Honorable Mention: Mass Effect Animated Series
This is just silly and totally ridiculous, even by IGN’s standards. There’s no way EA would bastardize Mass Effect and milk the franchise for all its worth by making the characters kid friendly, right?
Then again, this is EA we’re talking about so I wouldn’t put it past them!