The Hidden Controversies of 2015

Is it really that time of year again? How time flies in this crazy world. And what a wild ride it has been? We’ve seen Nolan North replace Peter Dinklage as the voice of the Ghost in Destiny, Batman: Arkham Knight released on PC in such a broken state it was pulled from sale, and the much anticipated Silent Hills cancelled unceremoniously.

But these are surface-level controversies, my dear readers. Mere distractions from the harsher realities of the world, the ones buried so deeply that some may not even believe they’re real. Indeed, you may look through what I am about to reveal and think I just made this up after a few mugs of rum and Coke, banged out in the early hours of the morning.

But I assure you, I, Ric Cowley, investigative journalist extraordinaire, have gone to the ends of the earth to find the information gathered in this article, and I am duty-bound to share with you the truth exactly as it was found. And so, without further ado, let us dive into the most hidden controversies of 2015.

Float Like A Butterfly…

There’s been a lot of hype around Nintendo’s NX this year. Almost to the point of there being too much hype. With Nintendo remaining tight-lipped about their upcoming console, instead focusing on their latest games and partnerships in the mobile gaming world, it’s hard to see why anyone would bother wasting their time speculating on what this console may bring.

The hype reached a fever pitch when the Wall Street Journal claimed to have received documents with information about the new device, which sparked rumours that it would contain a separate, mobile device. The Nintendo world went into a frenzy. Would it be like the Wii U Gamepad, only long-distance? Or would this be two consoles bundled together? Would there ever be a Four Swords remake to make the most of this capability, or was that to remain a failed GameCube experiment like basically everything that was released for that console?

As is the case with these things, it would appear that Nintendo had no intention on answering these questions, because they had other things in mind. Things that, on the surface of it, might actually be considered too sinister for words. Except these words, right here, that I’m typing, looking out the window in case a hired Goomba decides to knock on my door to fit size me up for a nice new pair of concrete boots.

Nintendo were planning on filling every NX console full of bees.

Buried deep within the leaked documents lay a patent that no one was meant to see. Hastily rushed through as a “reward delivery system inside a computer game console”, the design would see as many bees as could be squished into the console as possible, ready to be released when the player first loaded up their console. The bees, obviously pissed off after having been stuck inside a console for so long, would then attack the owner of the console, most likely resulting in their death.

I KNEW we should’ve bought him a PS4!

Imagine the havoc. Christmas morning. Little Timmy opens his present. It’s a console NX. The ungrateful shit complains because he wanted a PS4 so he can abuse people on Call of Duty with his dickhead friends. His parents choke back their tears – they’re only trying to do right by their son, but they can’t afford the more expensive console. Timmy sulks. His dad, ever the mediator, decides that maybe if Timmy just gave it a shot, he might like it. Timmy sulks more, but agrees. Dad sets it up, ignoring the buzzing sound from within, assuming these new-fangled machines must just sound like that. The screen boots up. A familiar jingle plays.

And then bees. Bees everywhere. Mum goes first – being allergic to bee stings will do that to you. Timmy cries. Dad fights his way through the swarm to the front door and manages to break free. But the Jacksons over the road got their little Tabitha an NX as well. He sees their eldest daughter lying dead in the doorway, her body swelled to the point where she’s almost unrecognisable. Bees swarm out of the house, heading towards Timmy’s dead. The world goes black.

Efforts to chase Nintendo up on this patent were fruitless. They fought back with tired, old excuses like “not every patent filed is ever used”, and “how did you get into my office?” The rest of the world was busy debating whether or not the new Zelda game was going to be any good, ignorant to the horrors that await them.

Only time will tell, friends. Stay cautious.

Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

One FREE store with EVERY purchase!*

Remember GAME? It was that place you’d stand in for hours, trying to persuade your parents to buy you Grand Theft Auto because all your other friends had it, and they weren’t all exhibiting murderous tendencies. Not yet, anyway. It’s also where you’d go and offload all your unwanted games for a small fraction of what you paid for them, exchanging them for another game that would inevitably work its way back into that same store.

You might remember that a couple of years back they ran into some trouble and had to go into administration, eventually folding the far superior Gamestation brand and halving the number of stores in an effort to stay afloat.

But what you might not know is that this actually seemed to have work. Walking around the high street the other day, I discovered to my surprise that there was actually a GAME store operating in town. Shocked, I turned to a passerby and asked if they could see it too, and, as though they’d witnessed the rising of Lazarus, they fell to the ground, white as a sheet, praying to their god of choice. A man stopped to ask what the matter was, and I told him.

My word,” he said, dropping his bags. “I… I had no idea.

Soon a small crowd had gathered, all slowly realizing that the store they’d been walking past to get to CEX was in fact the very GAME that had been there only a few years before, not dead as they had thought, but still standing, albeit almost invisible as people had started to block the garish purple and yellow branding from their fields of vision.

I immediately tried to contact their head office, who seemed as bemused as I was that they still had jobs and were even there to operate the phones. The commotion that occurred in the office escalated, and I heard tables being overturned and fires started through sheer confusion. The line went dead. Later, it would transpire that power had been cut to the building by the police, to prevent any further violence.

A few days later things had died down, and the matter was eventually treated by everyone as simply a bad dream, hence the lack of media coverage on the ensuing riots. I haven’t seen the GAME store since then, but then I honestly haven’t bothered looking. The aftermath would be too much to handle.

Love: The Phantom Pain


Hideo Kojima may be the man behind the incredibly successful Metal Gear series, but there’s always something that seemed a little… off about him. When rumblings about his fallout with Konami began to surface, it seemed like a revelation that could shake the very core of the Earth was only days away.

No such revelation occurred, of course, and Kojima was simply quietly carted off, supposedly on “holiday” and unavailable for comment while his entire company was shut down and presumably jettisoned into space to make a statement to its employees.

Only, Kojima wasn’t on holiday at all. An intrepid reporter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, hunted down the missing designer, finding him holed up in a retreat typically used for marriage counselling, where couples can go and talk to therapists, and find their lost love or whatever it is people in relationships do.

Desperate to dig deeper into the mystery, the reporter disguised himself as a therapist, and changed some bookings around so he could have a sit down with Kojima and find out what the hell was going on. I’ll let him take over. Fair warning, this is rather roughly translated from the original Japanese, so some aspects may not translate properly to English.

What happened next may not be believed. Kojima-san walked into the room, and shook my hand. I motioned for him to sit down, maintaining my disguise until I felt I could speak to him securely. He did so, then, suddenly, started chirping wildly.

It was then that I heard the sound of something unzipping, and Kojima-san’s skin seemed to crumple before my eyes. I was paralyzed with shock, unsure whether I was hallucinating. And then, acting as though everything was normal, two crows stepped out his back.

Kojima-san’s entire body then slumped to the floor, and the two crows began speaking in fluent Japanese, bickering with one another.

“You let us get all crumpled, Harold!” cried one.

“Well, Audrey, if you’d bloody well listen to me for once we might be able to prevent these things from happening!” retorted the other.

This happened for some time, until I finally regained the use of my legs, and hastily excused myself from the room.

Yes, it would appear that Kojima was in actual fact two crows in a loveless marriage, operating within the human world by manipulating the skin of an unassuming Japanese man. Quite how the couple ended up in the games industry is still up for debate, but they certainly made a bloody good go of it.

So why didn’t any of this get out? Well, the reporter only managed to email one person, yours truly, before he was caught by Konami and publically executed in front of their staff as an example for why you should never dissent. And do you really think I was going to release that information before the whole mess had died down? Come on, now.

And that’s all she wrote, I’m afraid. A wild year it has been, and a wild year 2016 most likely will be. Stay safe, friends, and remember – the things we see are usually hiding the things they don’t want us to see. Dig deep. Find the truth. And double-check whether or not you’re allergic to bee stings.

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