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Tycho / on Fri, Apr 19 2002 at 10:01 am

It’s Strange

I have this uncontrollable urge to operate heavy machinery.


Tycho / on Fri, Apr 19 2002 at 8:02 am

I’m Gon’ Be On The Radiooooo

Gabe too.

I actually feel kind of bad about it, because I just turned down Dwarf Vader from the WSBN, but Jupe from Pnet knows Batjew I guess and she lorded that over us.

The show is called Tribes Talk I believe, but it doesn’t sound like we’re going to focus much on Tribes, though the Talking part is probably true enough.  If this is something you’re interested in,  bear the following facts in mind: 

Saturday, April 20th, 8:30pm PST on Pnet.

That is all.


Tycho / on Fri, Apr 19 2002 at 7:39 am

Caution:  Nipplecats

I honestly have no idea.

  • Uh, Nipplecat:  Flash and Fun to salve the soul.  Remember, adults use their Nipplecats responsibly.  Nipplecats.  I can’t say it enough!

  • A More Complete Guide To Playing Puzzle Bobble Online:  I’ve been told that my earlier announcement let loose a thundering horde upon the servers, diminishing the supposed “purity” of the game, because the Japanese have a perfect society where you can fuck robots if you want.

  • Endless Ages:  An Action RPG that is currently free while in Beta?  Where can I sign?  Golly, I hope we don’t tarnish the purity of this multiplayer game by adding more players.  I’m really biting my nails about it.

  • Get Amped Tutorial At MacGamer:  Another Japanese multiplayer game, Get Amped looks like a net-playable Super Smash Brothers - and MacGamer checks in with a tutorial on how to get started.  Obviously, there’s a danger of diluting the, you know, purity or whatever.  Just take it under advisement.

  • Vendetta:  Guild Software’s multiplatform (and by multi, I mean every) spaceflight DM/CTF game has about a thousand spots left for testers, so if you enjoy the smooth flavour of space-sims you may want to drop by - just so long as I have your assurance that you won’t erode any purity while you’re in there.

I would write more, but I have to go adulterate some purity.


Tycho / on Fri, Apr 19 2002 at 6:58 am


Regarding Wednesday’s comic (which concerned the production of dubious promotional materials), an anonymous producer from an anonymous production company chimed in with the following:

Just an anonymous (if you don’t mind) bit of knowledge for you on most Gamespot (and now other online preview places)...We (the publisher) send out two levels of images to reviewers on an “Art Asset” CD.  One level is a high quality BMP, usually about 2MB-4MB range.  The next is a pretty strong quality JPG usually 350-700KB.  What SOME places like Gamespot do is take the lower quality one, put it through what I term the “video grinder” and shove it back out to the public in a 50-65KB choppy piece of shit that is nearly blurred out of existence.

This recent rash of “what do I care what it looks like so long as my bandwidth is low?” attitude has caused us to rethink how we (in production) are sending screenshots to our PR people who then send them out to these schmucks that post the chopped-to-hell images on the net for fans to (rightfully) mock.  I can understand conserving a little cash on bandwidth, but at least put the fucking images through a photo editing program like ohhhh…I dunno….PHOTOSHOP, rather than MS Paint.

Interesting.  This isn’t the first I’ve heard about friction between publishers and gaming journalism as an industry - the last guy who spoke to me off the record expressed frustration with IGN, who often locks their best stuff away in a magic box


Tycho / on Fri, Apr 19 2002 at 6:41 am

I’m actually surprised that I’m still alive.  I’m not referring to my well-publicized cold, which your well-wishing has made quite tolerable indeed.  Well, that and Aleve, which (as it turns out!) contains high concentrations of goofballs.  No, I’m talking about Taxes, that special time of year when the amorous avatar of our nation Uncle Sam gets that special gleam in his eye.  I was not aware that one could pay their taxes in installments, I guess I just thought they sent six-legged robo-hounds to your house to prick you with their deadly tongues, which are also syringes.  Don’t mind me, it’s the medicine talking.  I do appreciate your indulgence with the late posts, once I feel better (and can stay awake all day) I’ll cinch up the schedule again.

Here’s today’s comic.  As a crew, we’re sort of between games at the moment - we’re slowly transitioning out of Medal of Honor (to the exultation of idiots everywhere) and into…  Well, we don’t know.  I’m for Jedi Outcast, myself, but Gabe and Kara don’t swing that way.  Long term, we’d be looking at Neverwinter or Unreal Tournament 2k3 (particularly the Bombing Run gametype), but we need something along a shorter timeline - and the Soldier of Fortune 2 test fits the bill nicely.  I keep hearing it touted as a “realistic” game, which strikes me as marketeering more than anything else.  It is quite lethal, as many of the most popular online games are these days, but the velocity of the experience strikes me as more arcade than “realistic.”  Frivolous play is rewarded with death, as it would be in any proper quarter-muncher.  The weapon models, sound effects, and character models all mean Goddamn business, Goddamnit, and I don’t know that firefights have ever sounded so fearful or so fantastic.  The bottom line is that it’s great fun.  I don’t know how many maps are promised for play in the box, but it’s somewhere around infinity if you count the random generator.  I’d like to applaud Raven for their in-game menu system, though it probably sounds like a silly thing to compliment.  An innovation from Team Arena that never caught on for some reason, it puts everything you need - server info, configuration panels, even a very functional friend finder - right there in in a clean bar along the top.  Their Jedi Outcast sports the same feature, and its elegance is welcome.  Set for retail release next month, I do not doubt that SoF2 will claim a position of prominence in our nightly adventures.       

I said on Monday that we would likely discuss Soccer Slam in greater detail, because at the time we had every intention of doing a comic strip on it.  Actually trying to write said strip proved more difficult, exposing a gaming comic axiom that I call the Elasticity of Game Quality.  Put simply, if a game is excellent, it’s often harder to deliver that in a concise strip than if a game amounts to a miserable insult.  Gabe, Batjew, and I played the game for over eight hours in a sitting.  We were not aware of the fact until other human beings, beings who are apparently able to detect time, made this clear to us.  That’s because like Virtua Tennis, a.k.a. Sega’s flawless jewel, Soccer Slam takes out everything that is unnecessary, streamlines what remains, and puts you at the helm with controls so effortless you feel like the Greek God of Soccer, Socceros, in no time.  The quest mode (played single or with up to three players) has you vying for the Continental Cup, earning cash throughout that you may redeem for new equipment (which not only improves performance, but physically alters the characters).  I hope it’s a success, because it deserves to be.  I’ve heard that the single player mode is lacklustre, and maybe that’s true.  I wouldn’t know.  After our glorious, day-spanning foray into the world of fantasy footy, I guess I don’t think of it as a single player game.  I’m sure Monopoly’s “single player mode” sucks as well, but I don’t see anybody trolling message boards about it.

The Master of the Ravenwing Scouts has challenged me to Warhammer 40k CCG combat, and I would not be properly representing PA if I did not take him up on it.  I’ll write about my experience next week in detail, the experience of having my ass kicked I mean, and hopefully I can capture the lyrical dance of foot and ass in a way that will not pain you to read it.  GameScape (serving the role/card playing enthusiast in the Bay Area - Palo Alto, San Francisco, and San Rafael to be exact) said they’d send me a deck or two, and I told them they had to bring enough for the rest of the class, by which I mean you.  Another Triple Threat (3T) is on tap for this month, it will probably include more excellent books and miniatures from Sanguine, the aforementioned cards from GameScape, and (if we’re lucky) an Xbox Controller S.  Stay tuned.       

(CW)TB out.

all those other bastards were only practice

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