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Tycho / on Fri, Mar 8 2002 at 12:00 am

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Das Oldskoolen, Part 2

Fortified by healthful bran, we appear to have defeated proud Continuity, who is our eternal foe.  I give you Das Oldskoolen, Part 2 - the second (and blissfully final!) portion of our gripping whooziwhatsit.  Mordo - though an excellent name for villains of any stripe - is especially apt, “Mordo” being our crew’s omnipotent nemesis on “Lipton,” the Medal of Honor server we frequent.  Frequented, perhaps I should say.  I find the addition of Crow King’s Realism Mod roughly as appetizing as a public urinal coated with pubic hair.       

While I was busy moping - because two of a daily sixty-four thousand readers called me some mean names - I wasn’t writing about Renegade, which I am forever claiming I’ll do.  I did chat with a remorselessly biased lawyer (hissss!) about Bnetd, but that hardly filled up the whole time.  I try to forget, when I’m up in EditPlus, how many people read the things I put in this space.  I appreciate that you do, of course - but if I actually think about it, Performance Anxiety grips my writing gland.  Writing a sentence, introducing words to one another, it makes me feel as though I’m strolling through a Food Court without my crucial pants.

Renegade, though.  For real, this time.

I read an excellent review of the game at IGN, the sort of review I’d write if I wrote reviews of things that weren’t junk mail.  After playing the Multi for a week or more, I might have raised the final score to at least an eight - there’s an awful lot of game there, if you’re willing to meet it half way.  I don’t feel bad for being as disgusted with the demo as I was - it just wasn’t representative of the actual product.  It’s in their best interest to release another one, with a more intriguing map and perhaps the imminent air vehicles.  I had a few questions about why they did things the way they did, and got them answered by Westwood’s community guy, Cliff - we met him at E3.  I know it’s his job to fight fires and smooth over rough edges, but he wasn’t full of shit when I talked to him on the phone.  He knows that their demo situation was sort of fucked up.  He knows that it could look better.  But he also knows that it’s a hell of a game - and as long as we’re talking about the full version, more specifically the multiplayer aspect, I’m likely to agree.

You know what, though?  Don’t tell Cliff:  Renegade’s best feature to me isn’t what’s in the box, rather, it is what it potentially represents.  It’s good, fun, love it, woo, etc.  But the game that sits right between it and Allegiance is the one I want.  You remember Allegiance?  I’ll bet Greg Kasavin does.  This game was so far ahead of its time that we’re still catching up, and it came out two years ago, this month.  Imagine a full-on RTS, with resource gathering, exploration, tech trees, you name it.  Now, imagine that every unit under your purview is a human being in an all-out star war between five unique factions.  Renegade takes the rules of Command & Conquer very seriously - and, while there is certainly a lot of Conquering, the addition of a Command metagame would not only be true to the source material, it would give me an erection that might last more than a week.  Servers could obviously be configured with default bases, as they have now - ready to roll at the beginning of the map.  But a bare bones base - seen in the classic C&C view, customizable by a savvy commander who invests the team’s resources for upgraded technology and superior defenses - is it getting Hot in here?  Subterranean areas outside the commander’s direct control?  Air strikes?  The possibilities of this conflux are highly invigorating.  Now, Cliff’s told me that placing these buildings in real time would be impossible - poppycock.  Did Thomas Edison say it was impossible when he invented the Electric Weasel?  Nay, I say - he did not.  Revolutionize gaming or don’t, Westwood.  It’s sort of up to you.   

Who knows how or why, but Sega chose to advertise their SegaNet “Free For All” Weekend here at Penny Arcade.  When they say “try it” for free, I want to emphasize that they don’t mean “try the man in the ad, who is currently giving birth to an adult porcupine.”  You can read more about it here, but it is (in essence) a three day trial for the SegaNet service.  I’d been looking for an excuse to do it anyway when this came up - but Gabe, Monkey and myself are going to set our DC’s back up, make new characters, and get our PSOv1 on for a two day Old School gaming orgy.  Tentatively, let’s say we’ll be in Oberon, Block 4 on the 16th and 17th, jumping between games that have “PA” in the title.  Should be a hoot. 

I picked up Fatal Frame on Wednesday, which I assumed (from the title) would bolster the nascent “Survival Bowling” genre.  Our man Kiko said he steered clear of it, as it seemed like a cross between “Pokemon Snap” and the quote undead unquote.  Shows how much he knows.  It’s more like Resident Evil with, um, cameras.  Shut up.     

(CW)TB out.

three to get the heads ready


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