If I told you that Gabe kept hitting me with a tube he fished out of the dumpster - pausing briefly to consider the precise ferocity quotient his next strike should embody - well, that's not likely to reflect on me favorably. Please envision a scenario that doesn't make me look like a total pussy.
By the time I'd changed my mind about getting the broadband adapter for the PS2, the thing was almost impossible to find. This is pretty classic Sony, actually, if you recall the launch of their latest system - people waiting outside all night, people biting each other or skewered in impromptu gladiator-style combat. They have a sweet tooth for spectacle that must be satisfied, and if a perfect stranger connects a baseball bat to your femur, they're in Japan, and they could give a fuck one way or the other.
But yeah, I hadn't any intention of getting a BBA for my Playstation, because it was inexorably united with Final Fantasy XI in my mind, and if I played that game at all it was going to be on the PC. Also, I figured that the built-in port on the Xbox would sew me up for this generation's online frivolities - and while I think this will be the case by and large, there's going to be games that will never make it there for whatever reason. Creating online support for Xbox games isn't the freewheeling adventure carnival it is on the Gamecube or the PS2, and that has advantages and disadvantages for you, me, and developers. For example, it's required that all Xbox Live games support features like voice, friends lists, customizable matchmaking, and a bunch of other shit that is quite welcome. For a multiplatform release, though - like (ahem) Tony Hawk 4 - all that falls to the developer, who needs to invest a bunch of extra time in Xbox specific interfaces, testing, and whatever else. All Tony's online stuff via the PS2 looks to be GameSpy technology, lock, stock, and barrel - a turnkey solution they could just drop in, and there's no oversight about it's functionality is implemented. I've purchased this PS2 adapter to, in effect, hedge my bets.
That's all an introduction to me saying that this purchase is totally worth it, even if I never play another game aside from Tony Hawk 4. We've played some of the gametypes before, on TH2X or 3, with two people - but playing Graffiti or King of the Hill with 8 is like God speaking to just you. Holy shit. That's to say nothing for the team possibilities, which reveal subtleties in the modes I has not hitherto entertained. Let me tell you what things aren't great. Capture the Flag, though it sounds like a real good idea, doesn't quite flow right. If you hit a guy who has nabbed your flag, it appears instantly back at the base - I don't know if that's because you technically just ran over it yourself, or what, but it obviates the need for teamwork in the run. I'd certainly liked to have seen some support for the SOCOM headset in there. It's probably time to go pick up a USB keyboard, if that's going to be the primary means of communication on this system. With as many opportunities to differentiate yourself as there are - growing skills, tricks, and character customization options that put most MMORPGs to shame - Tony could be a very social game, if it wanted to.
Shenmue II should be out in stores today. I could certainly have played it on the DC via Kara's European Import, but I hold the first one in such high esteem that I held off. I haven't really seen much on it since E3, but aside from a cinematic-looking filter effect many of the faces and models hadn't really evolved much on the new hardware. Eh, I'll let you know. If I'm lucky, there'll be an extra copy of the new Official Xbox Magazine when I go pick it up today - I guess the cover disc has Splinter Cell and Panzer Dragoon playable. I know. Very exciting!
singing drunken lullabies