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Tycho / on Fri, Feb 18 2005 at 4:30 am

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A Raucous Platform Duo

Gabe’s had to replace a couple Xboxes, and there were well over a hundred
at PAX, and we’ve never seen one catch on fire, or shoot lava out the
back, or whip its power cord around like a scorpion tail.  But the
mental images generated by

href="http://xbox.boomtown.net/en_uk/articles/art.view.php?id=7412">

this
Boomtown article were

href="http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/02/18">

too rich
to pass up.  It’s my understanding that there have been thirty or
so cases out of 14.1 million units shipped, so it seems unlikely your
entertainment center will become a tower of flame anytime in the next
ten minutes.

More actual, interesting news.  Saints be praised!

It sounds as though Troika is no more, or at any rate they are liquidating everything in their offices, so if they are still coherent as a developer presumably their next game involves sitting in a bare room.  Troika (for those of you with a concussion) is the little company that couldn’t, producing games of marvelous, unprecedented promise coupled with epic lapses in technical execution.  The company was a hole that great ideas crawled half-way out of, so I hope you’ll pardon me if I don’t dab the corner of my eye with a handkerchief and try to look strong.  There were undeniably talented people there.  Hopefully they’ll end up someplace where that kind of thing matters.

I’ve linked the Starsiege: 2845 project several times, not only to imply how “up” I am on the “scene” but because they were doing something that fascinated me. They were creating their dream project in the Tribes universe with the full knowledge and support of Vivendi Universal, making their project fox free.  Learning that they simply weren’t able to realize their design in the “Vengeance” engine was curious to me, and made me wonder about the limitations that modified version of Unreal placed on the Tribes: Vengeance team itself.  Interesting that the Starsiege project moved over to Torque Shader Engine, the vastly updated version of the technology underpinning Tribes 2, which gives their project an odd kind of symmetry.  At any rate, they’re moving forward - if this sounds like the kind of project you’d want to be a part of, they’re currently adding to their team.

One of these days I will really and truly grasp the convenience of just subscribing to Official Xbox Magazine.  There’s a lot of stuff that I either don’t care about or is available somewhere online, but once or twice a year they have something that I practically can’t live without.  I bit the bullet a couple years ago after they had that disc with Splinter Cell and Panzer Dragoon Orta, and then I got a year full of coasters for my trouble.  The “March” disc, which I’ve been going to the store every day for and finally hit yesterday, is a hell of a thing:  Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Conker, and Unreal Championship 2 all playable - Live playable, in the last case.  It’s unbelievable.  Unreal Championship 2, as you’re no doubt aware, is not just the refried PC game it was last time - it’s a kind of “FPS as Fighting Game” motif, with tight levels and modern effects that really leverages the equipment.  Chaos Theory doesn’t look like a game from this generation.  It’s the way you imagine games on the next round of systems will look.  It is like peering into the future.

(CW)TB out.

you should have married me


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