Tiger Woods 2005 continues to obscure the actual game it's based on, delivering an enjoyable (if light) round of mini-golf. The multiplayer is still a head-to-head, two player affair, which doesn't make sense and further distances the game from its origin. Of course, it's an EA Sports game so all the bells and whistles are there and production values are very high. Contrast that with Links, whose level of polish is pretty middling and whose only memorable feature is an excellent round of golf, online or off. Only one of them takes the game seriously. I wish those weren't our choices.
At any rate, Gabriel The Elder suggested a comic about the game and I shot him down, which then became the comic, so I guess I've satisfied your USRDA for worthless trivia. We don't have time to fuck around, though - there's a lot to cover:
It is times like this that I wish I were a more vigorous prognosticator. You have, of course, seen the new "PSTwo" - like the PSOne, it is a re-tooled iteration of the system with a much slimmer form factor. And, as anyone who has installed a Playstation 2 hard disc will tell you, the system is mostly empty space inside. You could literally put an entire sandwich in there and it would fit comfortably. Lord only knows what teenage indiscretions have made that secret realm their home.
Anyway, I wish that I had just come right out immediately and said what I was thinking, which is to say that there's no Goddamn way a hard drive is going to fit in the new system. Well, now we've got verification that this is the case. The reasoning is great, too: "Consumers who want and use the Hard Disk Drive are typically the more 'hard core' gamers, and with more than 27 million Playstation 2 units already sold in North America, we feel that a majority of those HDD interested consumers already have their Playstation 2 units." For me, it's not that I'm worried that I won't be able to get one. What I'd be worried about is developer reticence to incorporate the add-on as a real part of the system and utilize its functionality, marginalizing my investment.
Unreal Tournament 2004: Director's Cut has tons of new shit, not the least of which is three completely new vehicles and four new maps for its highly engaging Onslaught gametype. It is essentially a new product at retail, but in keeping with Epic's historic benevolence it is also available for download. There's a demo incorporating these new features, as well.
I often refer to E3's Kentia Hall as the Gaming Ghetto, Where Games Go To Die, etc. You absolutely need to visit it, just to see the low rent publishers with their MMO RPG RTS hybrid spectaculars stacked like cordwood out front of their booth. I saw one that I wanted to know more about last time, a game called Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. I'm partial to three dimensional space-based strategy games, and the glossy pamphlet I took from the booth is actually something I still have here. You never know what is going to happen to the games you see in that hole, but it's pretty much even money that you'll never heard from them again. There's a demo for it out now, though - and that's more than I expected.
In Game Chat
is a project a some guys I know are working on, and it's an interesting concept. Picture what is essentially an IRC client. Load up whatever game you're playing, and when you hit alt-z it pulls up a chat overlay that is drawn right on top of the game. The program also has an open plug-in framework for people to extend the functionality, I think it currently has a WinAmp control in there just as a proof of concept. I'm mostly excited about the possibility of these extensions, as I'm ordinarily not a chat person - but when they start to rock voice support something to that effect, I think they'll really have something great - look at some of the planned features for stuff they have en route.
Gran Turismo really isn't my series, as I believe I've made clear. I think of the dark world under the hood of a car as a treacherous and deadly region, and have no desire to modify the things that are in there. Also, the name is just kind of fancy and foreign. At any rate, now Gran Turismo 4 doesn't even have online racing, so I guess I won't buy it twice.
I am really enjoying Stealing The Network: How To Own a Continent, which is actually the second book in the series. They are essentially fictional accounts of clever people exploiting security systems of various kinds, using specific details and genuine information as a foundation. Each of the stories, written by a handful of people capable in this context, is tied together with a metanarrative that sort of has me by the balls. I don't know that the writing in every case is always top drawer - one gets the sense that they are engineers first, their prose being somewhat pragmatic at times, sentences constructed for a specific purpose by robotic arms under hermetic conditions. But it is always interesting, it's a huge book and I'm burrowing straight through it with real hunger. It's a bit pricy, but I've quite enjoyed it, so I guess that's about all I can ask.
stand in the gap