If there's one thing the long-running Sonic The Hedgehog series is all about, it's using a handgun to kill the fuck out of your enemies in a gritty world. Right? Sega seems to think so, as the recently announced Sonic Adventure 3: Shadow of Hedgehog (that's 100% real) will feature a darker version of Sonic - creatively called Shadow - running through slums and blowing bad guys' cuddly little skulls apart, presumably to expunge multitudes of golden rings hidden inside.

To some this might appear to be an unnatural change, like a Mario title with nudity or a Tomb Raider game that's good. I say it's a move in the right direction, but it's still not enough. My finger is on the irregular pulse of the gaming community so I can safely state that no one wants originality or unique gameplay elements. What they do want is a bit of the old ultraviolence, a steaming side of the profane, a bowl of the macabre, a teacup full of sexuality, and a gravy boat filled with gravy.

Heads getting lopped off, exposed breasts, torture, geysers of blood, needles penetrating the viscous surface of human eyeballs; this is what it takes just to make a decent opening cinematic. In these exciting times, we've discovered that a non-player character with impressive cleavage is an acceptable alternative for an NPC with well-written dialogue, and that a main character with a sassy attitude can easily replace a carefully detailed backstory. By leaving out such time-consuming aspects of game development, creators can finally focus on making realistic blood spray patterns and cranking the brightness of each texture down to a level of darkness best classified as "gaping abyss of Starr Jones' vagina".

Think I'm way off? You're really argumentative, and wrong too. Not only is Sega on my side, but a crop of recently announced titles will back me up further. Like Shadow of Hedgehog, these games take classic franchises and update them with an amount of grit you won't find in even the biggest box of grits. Unless you shop at one of those places that sell eighty rolls of toilet paper in one package and giant canisters filled with twelve frozen pizzas.

Frogger On Fire

He spent his whole life running from traffic, now he's spending his last few seconds hopping for the tire of a sixteen wheeler.

During a routine breast exam, Frogger learns that he suffers from Frog Hopkins' disease, a condition that will take his life within weeks. Unfortunately his insurance policy won't pay a dime to his surviving wife and twelve tadpoles if he succumbs to an illness. It will, however, pay out big time if he dies in a car accident.

In this open-ended freeform game , you'll guide Frogger under the wheels of whichever car you wish. The bigger the splat you make, the more money your grief-stricken family will receive. Take the crash mode from Burnout 3, add the impressive ragdoll physics of Half-Life 2, then top it all off by pilfering the soundtrack from Katamari Damacy but change a few notes so no one can sue for copyright infringement.

Goo goo g'joob.

Burger Time, Bitches

This is exactly the same as the 1980's game, only the main character chooses to thumb his nose at authority by wearing his chef hat backwards. It's pretty much impossible to tell by looking, but trust me, it's backwards all right. Take that, authority!

Pac-Man III

Moving through claustrophobic corridors, you desperately search for items that will let you move on to the next map while unsure of what ungodly horror is about to come around the next corner. This has been the basic setup of Pac-Man for years, but this time around you'll experience events in first-person mode. You'll find that the environments of each maze are a lot darker from Pac-Man's perspective, and you'll need your flashlight to navigate the hallways. Be careful, though, because you can't hold the flashlight and chomp at the same time.

Counter-Kong

In this update of the arcade classic Donkey Kong, the titular ape has joined forced with the terrorists and is hurling an unlimited supply of suicide bombers through the streets of Israel. Only counter terrorism agent Mario can stop him now, so luckily his defense isn't limited to jumping this time around. As the bombers roll their way toward him, Mario can grab local civilians and use them as human shields or douse the bomber in a spray of sulfuric acid with the FLUDD backpack introduced in Mario Sunshine. Will Mario save the beautiful field reporter Daisy from the clutches of this madape?

Dig-Dug: Glory Hole

I don't really want to talk about this one, and to be honest I don't think I'll be able to sleep after seeing the screenshots.

"Winners Don't Use Drugs!" - William Sessions, Director Of The FBI

NARC

The original NARC has gone 3D! Instead of two cops wearing red and blue spacesuits, the protagonists will now be 20-somethings dressed in hip clothing. And get this, they'll take the very drugs that they're supposed to be taking off the street, man. If that's not edgy, I don't know what is or where I parked my car.

Japanese Paperboy

Are you Paperboy enough to maneuver your bicycle through hectic streets and deliver explicit hentai pornography? Utilizing your controller's analog stick, you must turn your bike's pedals to the rhythm of the J-Pop music while pressing the A button to toss the comics into your customers' anxious open mouths. A perfect score on each block unlocks a full hentai manga in the Secrets Gallery, with whimsical comics available such as Pancake With Three Dicks, Girls Stuffed Into Suitcases, and Sexy Tumor Lick. This ain't your grandma's Paperboy! Unless it actually is, and you're borrowing it or playing it at her house!

Looking at these games, it seems as though my prayers have been answered, right? Wrong again. You're 0-2 today, what's up with that? While the development of these games is definitely a positive trend, more can be done to promote obscene games. For instance, there are speculations floating around that a pc processor entirely devoted to video game physics is currently in development. It's a device in the same vein as a video card, only it is obviously devoted to powering the complicated physics of modern games. Might I suggest a processor whose considerable power is entirely dedicated to generating shitty nu-metal on the fly? Think of the possibilities. Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within turned out twice as good as the original because of the jarringly out of place music, so it stands to reason that Madden 2005 with the nu-metal processor would be 4,010 times as good. That's a lot of goods! Now imagine getting that level of awesomeness from every game you buy, and you'll begin to see why I'm such a big proponent of dark and edgy games.

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell

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