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Tycho / on Fri, Dec 13 2002 at 7:55 am

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The (Product) Cycle

Apparently there’s a new Tribes game in the wings, but the days where news like that would have gotten a free pass around here are over.  The only thing Vivendi’s thrall race Sierra could do to get me back in the fold now would be to license Tribes out to a third party I actually trusted.  It is my secret hope that the release of any new Tribes title will stir up that ancient enmity between ourselves and the vile TribalWar, as I look back with fondness on our original conflict.  When you say smart things that engage the mind and then your opponent says ridiculous, idiotic things that make people dumber just for hearing them, well, everything is right with the world.

After that rush of November games it’s hard to know where to invest one’s time, but I’ve found that this is a decision that often makes itself, according to some invisible design.  I have many games that I feel instinctively are excellent, like Rygar and Age of Mythology, but excellence alone is not sufficient when quality is so commonplace, as it was a few weeks ago.  Here are the games getting played around here right now, by me at least.   

Battlefield 1942 is something I need not elaborate on too long.  I have paid it the highest praises on many occasions and so it does not warrant further noise on my part.  However!  The 1.2 patch is, to me, like getting an altogether new game, or perhaps the game that it should have been to begin with.  I scarcely care at this point.

I don’t remember under whose power this game got back into circulation, but I’m glad of it:  America’s Army is better than I remembered.  I don’t quite recall why we stopped, maybe something else came out that we thought would have more longevity, but that apparently didn’t pan out.  Our two favorite maps from the beta are back in - Farm and Weapons Cache - so that’s good, and there’s equipment I never expected to be in there like Binoculars that are pretty handy.  They make things far away look close, and I think that’s a great idea. 

Hegemonia is a game I’ve played a lot of, but I’ve recently started over to give it a go in the co-op campaign.  I’ve been waiting for my man Pork to get a copy, and now that phase is out of the way we can get to the serious business of blowing things up in outer space.  The campaign isn’t any different, functionally, we simply have two minds and mice to commit our acts of desperate violence with.  Much like the original Myth’s co-op mode, the resources available to one or two people are the same - it’s mainly a matter of delegation.  As it stands, I tend to handle the economy and research, and he destroys civilizations.  It’s pretty handy, because micromanaging battles and macromanaging a star empire that spans multiple galaxies goes a lot smoother when the responsibility is broken up.  We spent about forty-five minutes creating a set of naming conventions for each class of ship, and the final result is nearly two pages.  Why even be a geek if you’re not going to overdo it a little bit, you know? 

Also:  I have never felt such joy.  Though I may be the only person on Earth who saw Dynasty Tactics as a work of matchless power, Koei has seen fit to make a sequel just for me! 

(CW)TB out.

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