Explaining this strip would be impossible, except to say that it is - like the Claw Shrimp strip - a precise transcript of a conversation. I know that there are people who come by Penny Arcade exclusively for the cock talk, and who are we to deny them?
We've really had and embarrassment of riches lately when it comes to demos, eh? You can invest yourself solely in interactive demos these days and never have a spare moment. The Etherlords II demo I mentioned a couple days ago has two or three hours of gameplay in it, depending on how you play - I like the move away from the Heroes of Might and Magic style "levels" and the move towards persistent, RPG style characters. Aside from some... overzealous voice acting on the part of the Synthets, that demo is damned near perfect - you get a chance to play the game at your own pace, for an amount of time that feels substantial. Of course, Nival also recently put out the English demo for their brilliant tactical RPG Silent Storm, which is brilliant, tactical, etc. It was a rough road getting there, but the Call of Duty demo hit all the community sites a few days ago and it seems to have generated feelings of warmth and contentment for many players. This is, to my recollection, the same demo they had playable at E3 this year. So while it might have been difficult to get too worked up over it, it was nice to see that it ran really, really well on my machine, and it's nice that everyone else can see what I was talking about when I said that the MOH:AA team could top themselves. I was really hoping for some multiplayer out of this demo, we played Medal of Honor nightly - warts and all - and I look forward to seeing what they deliver on that front. And today, for fuck's sake, we're blessed beyond the reach of reason - a Homeworld 2 demo, with a tutorial, two single, and two multiplayer missions. Commandos 3 demo is out, and there's also a Worms 3D demo about to hit. What have we done to deserve such riches? Aside from propping up their entire industry, I mean.
Going back to the Call of Duty thing, though - did you hear about that at all? How FilePlanet originally had exclusivity on the demo, and all the community download sites basically said fuck that? Activision (and others, no doubt) learned their lesson where that's concerned - the support of the community download sites is a practical requirement for any publisher looking to push a 200 meg binary. Why would they stoop to distributing their own promotional materials, when they can get the customers to handle that, too? It's a twisted marvel.
I remembered keen Penny Arcade readers having praised an e-mail client called The Bat! last time I was having some kind of mail crisis, and I will admit to having been charmed by the notion - I liked the idea of a tough, non-nonsense bat in charge of my correspondence, and the exclamation point seemed to imply festivity. I'm really happy with it so far, and even though it has some extremely potent tools for managing spam I'm trying out a free spam proxy thing called SpamPal that seems to work pretty alright, if not a little overzealous at times. Unfortunately, I've had to basically clear out the bad_words spam filter as I use virtually every one of the cited terms in the course of normal conversation.
don't hit a miscue