Booked it, packed it, f****d off
In the words of one Lenny Kravitz "I want to get away, I want to fly away, yeah yeah". Powerful, evocative, even 'quasi-Shakespearian'--Lenny Kravitz has been called precisely none of these things, but he does have a point. Everybody needs the occasional vacation, if only to spare their worn-out co-workers the indignity of a full-on cubicle freak-out. Video games, for their part have always provided a small measure of this escape, simulating everything from lush tropical landscapes to vibrant foreign cities--but what if we could visit these virtual regions for real?
Why, you'd probably require a travel agent, or better yet, one of the modern breed of all-purpose travel sites. Of course, with the web, comes the user review: an everyman interpretation of the product on offer, unburdened by the need for proper spelling or even coherent sentences. What follows are eight such reviews, detailing the many pluses and pratfalls of vacationing in video games.
Mass Effect's Omega
Mad4It89 says: Me and the lads fancied a big boozy weekend somewhere in the Milky Way galaxy, so we opted for a cheap-as-chips trip to the Omega resort, Sahrabarik. I really wish we hadn't bothered. Shortly after setting down, a mad pack of thieving Vorchas nabbed all of our travel gear. We tried to track it down via the local authorities, only to be told that there weren't any police in the region. Typical. Turns out those nasty chaps at Cerberus had just taken charge, and they weren't much interested in sorting out our 'first earth' problems.
On the recommendation of a shifty-eyed Salarian, we decided to pay a visit the 'Afterlife Club'. The bouncers weren't too keen on letting us in, seeing as how we'd all just downed a small space station's worth of Batarian Ale, but they eventually relented. I really wish they hadnt. No sooner had we entered the club than everything started kicking off. My mate Paddy even had his spine shattered by a wayward singularity. Oh, and word to the wise fellas, don't ever tell an interstellar policewoman "you'd like to inSPECT-'ER biotics". I havent eaten a solid meal in weeks
Dead Space's Sprawl
LimblessTim wrote: So much for good, clean 'family fun'. This entire vacation was an absolute nightmare. Talk about your pushy locals, these guys were snatching at us from the very first moment we arrived. Really rude behaviour all around. The brochure told us we'd be staying during the slow season, but it seemed to me that a large party of Spaniards had arrived just before us. Look. I really dont mind them enjoying one of those 'tomato tossing' holidays, but did they really have to cover the entire resort in red, fleshy produce? Inconsiderate.
Most of the reps we complained to just started laughing maniacally and falling over. I really wish they hadn't legalized weed here Oh, and don't get me started on the lack of proper childcare facilities. The nursery area was a complete shambles. I mean, who leaves Line Racks and Ripper Blades just lying out in the open--what possible reason could they have for leaving them there? Dangerous. I demand a full refund--to be made payable to the Higher Church of Unitology, South-Western Sector, Earth.
Final Fantasy X's Spira
YucankeepyourYevon commented: I'd always wanted to visit the ruins at Zanarkand, to hike the entirety of Spira in a year or so--too bad Yevon's pesky priests are having none of it. I've been asked for some pretty strange ID over the years, but nothing tops Yevon's request for a 'self-sacrificing summoner' card. Well, I don't have one, and I'm not really sure what one is.
Anyhow, I decided to charter a flight with the friendly fellas in the Al Bhed. Sure, they might look like dancers at a Scandinavian rave, but these boys don't muck about. They even threw in some 'cdibet pmuuto duinecd' insurance, in case I ran into any trouble. For me, the highlight of the entire trip was an evening spent whale watching. I tell you, this one big bugger had a real temper on him, even tried to vaporise us with a energy beam once or twice. Cheeky sod. Nature, though ey? You can't beat it.
GettySmith wrote: My husband Roger and I wanted to experience something a little different for our 40th wedding anniversary. He said he knew a chap who'd recently returned from a resort named Rapture and had had nothing but good things to say about the place. So, off we went, sailing for around two days to reach the isolated spot of ocean that marked our over 50's hideaway. I must say, the cruise portion of the vacation was absolutely lovely, but I began to have some serious reservations about the rest of the trip upon setting my eyes on its dingey old lighthouse. Talk about an inauspicious entrance, the whole thing was dank and rather odorous in places.
It only got worse from there. The elevator portion of the journey was much too long, and only two people in the lift itself received an ample view of the city. Roger, meanwhile spent 45 minutes with his nose pressed up against a gilded corner piece. Very disappointing. Still, it was preferable to what came next. Creaking floors, water damage--hopped-up hooligans injecting their happy juice in broad sealight. Disgusting. Although, I would like to point out that the music was very pleasant and the childcare facilities seemed very impressive.
Half-Life's City 17
BelovedCombine says: City 17 is the peak of all human achievement. All who disagree must be purged. Doctor Breen is the most handsome man in existence; yet his humble modesty knows no bounds. The mighty foot soldiers of the Combine do not in any way resemble a 'Dr. Zoidberg'. The Citadel reigns over all other earthly forms--as might a basketball player perusing the isles at a supermarket. Ravenholm is a picturesque living quadrant, as are all other social spaces. Rumours of civil strife are false and must be reported immediately. The miscreant known as Gordon Freeman did not recently gain entry to the [REDACTED] complex, nor did he [REDACTED] many hundreds of 'resistance fighters'. Our worthy benefactors invite this Freeman to go [REDACTED] himself. Come to City 17. It's safer here.
Tomb Raider's Yamatai
ImRichBitchRupert commented: So ya, my uni cohorts and I had decided to take a really, like last-minute trip to Southeast Asia? Its totally spiritual, yeah? Our friend Quentin had been regaling us all with just how magical it is, and how the poverty there was really eye-opening and humbling, ya? So, we book a flight--firsty, obviously--and faster than you can say 'Louie Vuitton spring collection', calamity strikes. Our destination, Yamatai--a mysterious and ancient island, shrouded in myth and legend--had only the one 4-star hotel available. Yuck.
Speaking of barbarity, the locals all seem to be really into this one religion. There's a lot of red stuff around, and candles, but I didn't bother to enquire. I mean I'm there for the culture right? Who cares how the locals live their lives? Anyhow, two days in and we lose contact with one of our companions. Sebastian said that Biffy had gone off into the jungle with a strange old man. We didn't hear back from him after that, so I guess he's off finding himself all over the island. To summarise then: nice views, lame peeps and a super weird Samurai fetish. A real far cry from the total lolz we enjoyed on Rook Island.
Idontchooseyou commented: "See the world" they told me. "Step into nature" they said. "Run for your life on 17 separate occasions". Surprise, surprise that last entry didn't make it into your official Kanto brochure It really should have done. Make no mistake I've been on many-a Safari before, but this nature hike really took the cake. Electric rats, bodybuilding rock monsters, 3 foot bees--with drills for arms? DRILLS!? Who invented this? A sadist?
Why anyone would want to scour hedgerows for eight hours a day, hoping against hope to spot a smiling smog grenade, or a psychic mallard is far beyond me. Give me strength, I tried to get into the spirit, I truly did, but all these over-enthusiastic teenagers are beginning to give me the creeps. Where are their parents, and why is dog fighting their only hobby? It seems everything here is designed purely to aggravate and annihilate us humans. If I'd wanted that, I could've just gone to Australia.
Mario's Mushroom Kingdom
Kronik420 wrote: Man, things just haven't been the same since we got ourselves banned from Amsterdam, man. I swear dude, Ricky didn't mean to steal that paddleboat. Dude was just so baked he thought he was riding a Stairmaster. Luckily, someone at our nature-first, post-anarchistic, nu-Bolshevik collective had heard about another hot spot to toke in peace. Dude called it the Mushroom Kingdom. Radical. We packed up the van and hit the road, only to find ourselves caught up in some gnarly road race. These sickos were actually tossing poor defenceless baby turtles at each other, man. Super uncool.
We finally make it to our campsite, this big wide-open field next to a lush crop of untouched mushrooms. Trish tried to take a bite outa one of these little suckers only to find that it was some kind of trippy pygmy dude. Little guy was bombed out of his mind, and kept telling us about this weird plumber with relationship issues who keeps headbutting bricks. Right on little buddy. The rest of us weren't so lucky. Not a single consciousness-expanding drug in the whole damn place. That's false advertising dude. Not cool.
The (perfect) Getaway
What do you mean 'rambling and idiotic'? I'll show you rambling and idiotic *shakes screen vigorously*. Got any better suggestions for video game tourist traps? Let me know in the comments below.