For the second year in a row, I have failed to win (or, for that matter, place or show in) the Imitate Harry Stephen Keeler competition.
I'm so embarrassed.
NEW MULTI-PLAYER ONLINE GAMES FOR 2006
End-Run StockShots XxXtreme
In this exciting game of financial derring-do, gamers take on the role of shareholders in large corporations doing business in recently deregulated industries. The action takes place in a simulated VR model of the pit at the Chicago Board of Trade, where you can take on the avatar of your choice of 24 different young white Iowans and buy and sell shares in a loud voice in between berating your intern for getting the wrong flavor of non-dairy creamer at Au Bon Pain. Status bars indicate your paper worth, actual worth, level of caffienation, blood pressure and AR (Asshole Rating). Available mini-games include several dozen where the ruthless standards of stock-trading are applied to areas such as film, celebrity belovedness, land one does not own, new grocery brand roll-outs and sexual performance. Save points are located in overpriced condominiums; players must hit save repeatedly before the housing bubble detonates and the condo is replaced by a dollar store or a mattress factory. Level 3 boss is the CEO of the company in which the player holds the most shares, and you must battle him with a razor-sharp copy of the Sarbanes-Oxley Bill while attempting to guess if his deadly Earnings Report Blast is all bluff or not.
Human Sacrifice NCAA Courtball 2006
Live the life of an Aztec in this thrilling multiplayer sports action game. Players select one of several courtball positions and play for the collegiate championship before legions of adoring fans at their choice of home pyramid. Sophisticated AI engines provide realistic shock-pad impacts, true-to-life weather conditions, and a variety of vulgar catcalls in Aztec, Inca and Olmec. Unlock the secret DarkRedd mode for gory blood effects and award-winning sound effects (created by BlasTech's crack design team using a juicer, a side of beef, and a set of Big Bertha golf clubs). Play an entire season and deal free agents or trade for a handful of shiny beads and the thigh-flesh of a healthy grandmother. After the championship game, players have the option of Standard Mode -- where the captain of the winning team has his still-beating heart torn out and fed to a statue of Quetzal -- or the far more popular Needledick Mode, where the worst player on the losing team is taunted with junior-high sexual derision. Rumors of an illicit internet mod-pack where Spanish conquistadors arrive mid-season and give all the athletes typhus are unconfirmed as of this writing.
Call of Duty: Let Freedom Ring
The latest installment of this highly acclaimed soldiers-at-war simulation takes players deep into the fray during the liberation of Grenada in October of 1983. Gamers take the role of one of the eight soldiers who actually saw combat during the desperate struggle to free overpriveleged southern California medical students from the tyrannical grip of Marxist oppression. Missions include locating the three Cuban soldiers on the island and reminding them that there is a war going on, and then killing them; getting the whole of your squad to stand still at one time for a photo op; and protecting the country's vital strategic supply of nutmeg. Memorable characters are featured in the game, including a star turn by beloved character actor Tom Atkins as Col. Adcock, a veteran of the Falklands War and the former commander of the elite Puffin Battalion. At the end of the game, players must watch a brief recruitment video for the U.S. Army in which they are informed that war is much more exciting now, with numerous opportunities to have your head sawed off on camera by insurgents.
The WikiMedia empire finally enters the realm of gaming with this new massively-multiplayer online roleplaying game, protected by OpenSource gaming codes. You take command of a legion of high-tech futuristic warriors batting an alien invasion of Earth, with every aspect of strategy and tactics decided by you and every other person who's ever contributed to the game. Thrill to the edge-of-your-seat action of an ammo dump raid, interrupted periodically by a flamewar over whether or not the storage containers are accurately designed. Sit in a war room with your fellow general and decide the fate of thousands of soldiers until the meeting is disrupted by a faction of gamers who question your battle plan's objectivity. Send secret coded communiques to your military intelligence agents before they can be picked apart by the grammar police. Give the "fire!" signal to your artillery units and be instantly redirected to a disambugation page where you are asked if you mean "fire" the command to attack, "fire" the element of combustion, "Fire" the DC super-heroine, or "Fire" the internet chat software. Try and keep your fighting men trained and honed into an effective battle unit despite their periodic fragmentation into warriong factions of Randians, Freepers and hardcore Harry Potter slashfic enthusiasts. It's all the thrills of first-person shooters, all the smarts of strategic wargaming, and all the fun of hanging around with pedantic internet autodidacts all day!
Sims 4: The SimSims
The most complex and recursive iteration to date of the hugely popular Sims franchise, "SimSims" takes life simulation to the highest level yet of time-wasting, banal self-absorbtion. Are you tired of your Sims having richer romantic, social, and professional lives than you do? Then this is the game for you: take control of a Sim as he sits in front of his computer for hours at a time playing "The Sims". You control his every action as he controls the every action of his own Sim. Every aspect of the fake lives of both pixellated humans is yours to command; your Sim's Sim can't even go to the bathroom until you tell your Sim to tell his Sim to go to the bathroom after he gets back from going to the bathroom! Now with ultra-realistic Cheeto-eating action.