Games are a safe and easy shortcut to epic experiences we could never have in real life. In the real world, taking your fearsome one-man army up against a world of adversaries would end with you being very dead and your government having to sort out a major diplomatic incident. The satisfaction of launching a 37-hit Ultra combo into someone’s face in reality could only be attained through a lifetime of training and would result in immediate arrest.
But we think that sometimes we give up too easily on our video game dreams. While not 100% repeatable in the real world, some video game action is tailor-made for the similarly grandiose and excessive reality of theme parks. In fact to varying degrees of safety, it would be possible to make fantastic licensed attractions based around quite a favourite franchises. Here are five ideas we came up with today.
The F-Zero/Wipeout rollercoaster
The most obvious one of the bunch, this one. These two iconic future racers obviously take rollercoasters as the inspiration for their track designs, so why not take things full circle? A two-seater Blue Falcon replica hurtling around a stomach-defying track laid out amongst a neon-drenched Mute City mock-up would have us setting up a tent and permanently moving into whichever park homed it.
The Gears of War paintball arena
In his notes at the start of the first Gears’ manual, Cliff ‘Cliff Bleszinski’ Bleszinski mentioned how a paintball match inspired the game's cover system. So screw running around in the woods and hiding behind wooden boxes. Let’s have a full-scale recreation of Jacinto’s streets. Let’s have a grub hole at one end (with steps and a safety rail leading in and out, naturally) leading to a whole underground cave section. Let’s have side-paths for flanking and multiple levels of elevation for sniping. And above all, let’s have full-sized Lancer replica paintball rifles. No chainsaws though, unless you sign the special waiver form first.
The Mario jungle gym
Above: Like that, only way more epic, with more moving platforms and fungus
Okay, so we’ll have to drop Super Mario Galaxy-style gravity defiance from our blueprints (it turns out there’s this thing called physics, and it doesn’t sound too much fun), but other than that, this one is a goer. With TV game shows like Takeshi’s Castle and Total Wipeout now putting contestants with increasingly platform-game-type challenges, we want to go the whole hog and start recreating 3D Mario levels we can run around in.
Just make everything spongy, rubberise the spike pits, replace the lava lakes with red ball ponds, and you’ve got an absolute winner.
The Rez HD motion simulator
Far less strenuous this one, at least physically. It might be a different matter for your mind though. We want the same basic model as Universal Studios’ brilliant Back to the Future ride (a massive, IMAX-bothering cinema screen in front of legions of hydraulic seats which move with the on-screen action), but we want to swap out Marty and the Doc for a specially reworked, dedicated version of Tetzuya Mizuguchi’s twisting, turning, psychedelic electro fever-dream. Done right, we’re talking the evolution of human experience here.
Though acid-burnt old hippies would flock to it in droves. As would pervs who just wanted to use the Trance Vibrator seats.
The Resident Evil haunted house
Walk-around haunted house attractions are cheesy as all hell, but packed with awesome jumps-scares throughout. The original Resident Evil is cheesy as all hell, but packed with awesome jump-scares throughout. See where we’re going with this one? A perfect replica of the original Raccoon City mansion, appropriately hokey actors dressed up as S.T.A.R.S. members as guides, guys in rubbery Tyrant suits, and a whole lot of fake glass windows for stage-hands to hurl unwitting dogs through.
Did we say hurl unwitting dogs through? We meant ‘humanely encourage professionally-trained animal actors to perform in conjunction with, for more than adequate reward’. Ahem.
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