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Tycho / on Wed, Jul 16 2003 at 2:02 am

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That Adorable Device

Div wanted to touch briefly on the auctions that surround the Massively Multiplayer genre.  Who are we to disagree, really.

Here in about three hours, I’ll be heading down to the airport with Brenna, Gabe, and Kara to hit the San Diego Comic Con.  I am told by their Website that we’ll be at booth 3147, which seems like a very nice booth for one to be in.  We will (no doubt) have an assortment of Penny Arcade sacraments in tow.  In any event, I deactivated my e-mail address a bit earlier today, so please hold that thought regarding my declining aptitude for Monday when I will re-activate the account and delete your mail.   

Wrapped up Shadows of Undrentide yesterday, and I am pleased to tell you that I was practically knocked unconscious by its quality.  Not the first chapter, now, which doesn’t diverge from expectations in the slightest and simply delivers what we all recall from Dungeons & Dragons, which is to say, a combination of subterranean lairs and gigantic lizards.  Magical things are missing, they always are, and powerful people are too busy changing the world to handle it.  That never gets old for me, but it’ll never get new either - I’ve done it maybe two hundred times, on and offline.  On the other hand, the second chapter seized me and never loosened its grip - though I’d heard misgivings about the length of the Undrentide expansion, you will not hear such things echoed in this space.  It is precisely the right length, hits all the right notes for an epic adventure, and delivers on some good twists that made me forget I was playing a Neverwinter Expansion at all.  Still hungry for more once it was complete, I gave Witch’s Wake a shot and was again struck off balance.  I don’t have time to discuss why at the moment, I’ll hit you back come Monday - but if you have NWN and haven’t played The Wake, don’t lose another moment.  Please play it right away.

Might as well continue the Bioware Festival I’ve started.

I won’t be able to play Knights of the Old Republic as you will, fuckers, but there’s something I hadn’t said yet that I wanted to make sure was entered into the record.  I saw a private show of the game in Bioware’s little hovel at this year’s E3, I could have chosen to see either the PC or Xbox versions and I chose to see the one that would be coming out first.  I had little faith in my ability to hold out.     

For what it’s worth, Gamespot and IGN both gave the final title very high marks.  As for myself, I was surprised at what I saw.  I’m not sure what I thought Bioware was going to do - Bioware, who with Baldur’s Gate and their Infinity Engine helped to bring RPGs back to the PC.  Not by doing anything wild or crazy, but by executing on the role-playing formula with craft and precision.  They just did it right.  Obviously, based only on what they showed me I wasn’t able to discern if we were talking about a game that would be good all the way through.  As I have said before, there are a combination of factors that make the Electronic Entertainment Expo a singularly poor place to judge a game.  While Star Wars:  Knights of the Old Republic is certainly unprecedented, its delivery is completely traditional.  It holds whenever possible to the d20 variant of the Star Wars pen and paper game, but fans of Bioware’s other role-playing games won’t be broadsided by any huge diversion from form.  Bioware is making the true, honest, clever RPGs they always did - it’s just that this time, someone happened to entrust them with the most powerful license in the world.         

(CW)TB out.

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