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Gabe / on Fri, Feb 22 2002 at 10:12 am

more like “State of Boring” heh

I wanted to step up to the plate and give you some of my own thoughts regarding State of Emergency. As many of you know I’m a big fan of old school gaming. Some of my favorite games of the past were games like Streets of rage, Double Dragon and Final Fight. Old school brawlers have a special place in my heart. I think that is why I loved and continue to love Zombie Revenge so much. I mean that is a game that takes all the best stuff about a side scrolling brawler and “kicks it up a notch”. When I first saw SOE at E3 last year I thought I was in for more of the same. After playing the game I can see that is not the case. SOE is like a brawler without the stuff that makes a brawler good and a mission based adventure game without the stuff that makes one of those good. You get lots of great weapons and plenty of people to beat up. However there is very little progression. Mission after mission has you running around in the same mall doing basically the same thing. Or China town which, lets face it is pretty much just the mall with pagodas. I mean I like shooting people with shotguns as much as the next guy but it’s just more fun to do in a game like zombie revenge where you are progressing through different environments. When you play zombie revenge you’ll be all like “ooh I’m in the sewer”, “ooh now I’m on a fucking train”, “ooh fuck ya now I’m in a goddmaned haunted house.” Whereas with SOE you’ll be all like “ooh I’m still in the mall, why won’t Jesus just take me back home and end my suffering.” So maybe SOE wasn’t trying to be a brawler. Maybe they were trying to strike out and form their own genre. Well more power to them in that case. The problem is their genre is really boring.

Why. Why in the name of God would you show off these screen shots. If your game looks like ass keep it to your self. I don’t understand why a company would do this to themselves. Maybe their Bruce Lee game will rock, I don’t know. The fact of the matter is when ever I hear the name from now on I will think “oh that is the game that looks like shit.” That is the message they have delivered to consumers. What PR guy thought that showing this crap was a good plan? I would suggest that it’s better to release nothing at all. Hell that would probably get people talking about it. You know, keep it all mysterious and shit. Then once people actually buy it they can find out that it looks like a Playstation one game. I have decided that I will offer my services to all game developers to help them determine whether or not to release a screen shot. Simply send it to me first and I will tell you whether or not it looks like ass. If I like it you can even put a quote on your game box or magazine ad stating “Gabe doesn’t think it looks like ass!”

A lot of People mailed me complaining about the IGN message boards being moved to their insider service. I honestly don’t care since I stopped visiting IGN after their latest re-design anyway. It’s like they had a meeting where they tried to decide how best to fuck over their site and make it impossible to find any content. As for their forums being a part of insider now, I can’t say I blame them. They are just trying to pay their bills. Not to mention the fact that there are plenty of free forums around for you to talk about how the Gamecube is for kiddies or the x box suxorz.

Guilty Gear XX looks fucking awesome. Thanks madman.

Anyone out there have a Metal Slug 3 AES cart or a Sengoku 3 AES cart? Well I can draw. Lets talk trade.

-Gabe out.

Tycho / on Fri, Feb 22 2002 at 9:00 am

Beautiful, Challenging Heritage Hills

I don’t know if there’d be any interest in this, but it can’t hurt to mention it.  I’ve zipped up the course Gabe and I goof around with in SimGolf, and it could be a lot worse.  Hole 9 is a travesty, please don’t judge us by the ninth hole.

(CW)TB

Tycho / on Fri, Feb 22 2002 at 12:00 am

Hotly anticipated - by Batjew - State Of Emergency has arrived, and it’s largely irrelevant.  Like some mini-game run amok, creeping to the edge of the platter until the entire disc is overcome, SoE takes (arguably) the worst parts of GTA3 - the running around and shooting - and stretches out that Dentyne-esque five minutes of flavor into this epic cord of mediocrity.  I guess it’s sort of controversial - I guess - but it wants it so bad that I’m loathe to grant it.  Here’s something to keep you occupied while you aren’t buying it.

For the last few days, people have been directing my attention to articles on “Hate Games” - mods in essence, centered around racial themes.  Like the Columbine thing for Half-Life, you don’t have to wonder what the PR ramifications are for gaming in the mass media.  That’s probably worth investing some thought in.  These games are an expressive medium - something we regularly contend here at Penny Arcade - so it was only a matter of time until someone chose to express something that we disagree with.  Nazis or Aliens today likely take umbrage at ninety percent of the product in a given game shop.  When people get really mad at these things, or whatever, I hope they understand that this is how many people feel about our games in general - that they represent and reward depravity, pugilism, and senseless violence.  It’s fine to feel that way, but the same edifice that empowers dumbasses to produce this kind of shit underpins and protects our ability to express anything, let alone a game that lets you shoot off any one of fifty distinct body parts.  Are people going to be all, “Oh, I guess Jews are crafty” because they played some Goddamned videogame?  Not any more than they’re going to want to drive over Grandma after playing GTA3.  Do games negatively impact behavior or don’t they?  We’ve maintained every other time it comes up that the psychological toll of this passtime is negligible.  It’s good to go back over your arguments once you start sounding like the other side.   

It was too late to get in on that Dungeon Siege contest I mentioned, the info I sent never went where it was supposed to go - but Steve (the guy who is handling the whole thing, he’s been very nice to us) is handing over two copies to give out any way we please.  He may regret it:  I give you “Penny Arcade’s Embarrass Yourself In Public Dungeon Siege Win-It-Before-You-Can-Buy-It Giveway,” and absolutely anyone can play.  Here’s how. 

  • You will humiliate yourself for our amusement in a public place, and provide us with evidence of the fact.  Working PA into it might help.  All evidence, victorious or not, will be posted on the site.

  • It’s not our fault if you get in trouble.

  • Nudity doesn’t get you any bonus points*.

*Nudity will get you bonus points

The contest will end on March 8th, 2002.  That means there’s only two weeks left to erode your sense of self!

(CW)TB out.

a logical progression on the timeline

Tycho / on Wed, Feb 20 2002 at 12:00 am

To be honest, this conversation actually took place in the car on the way back from SpokVegas.  Other than that, everything else in the comic is factual, provided you don’t count the room or our representations in it.

This was the month I’ve been waiting for on the Xbox tip, but the reviews I’m seeing so far are somewhat disheartening.  WWF Raw, which I’ve been looking to compare to (in my opinion, the Highly Amusing) WWF Smackdown: Just Bring it, gets a 6.5 from Gamespot and a 9.1 from IGN.  Mysterious.  How about Wreckless, then?  Hong-Kongy, mission-based driving action, amazing graphics?  Gamespot clocks in at a geriatric 6.8, while IGN shoots by at (a comparatively blistering) 9.0.  Curious about New Legends?  I consumed the 7.0 review at Gamespot, knowing in my heart that IGN would give it something like a ten point five to amplify my distress.  Neither one was crazy about Nightcaster, averaging out at about a seven, which would ordinarily place it in the far-flung suburbs of Buysville.  But, when I saw this bit on Evil Avatar, I became despondent:  Game Informer gives Gunvalkyrie and Jet Set Radio Future - the games I was convinced would rescue the month - a 5.25 and a 7, respectively?  I guess I’ve never heard of Game Informer, so for all I know, those numbers might represent how much they paid for lunch.  It got me thinking, though - I like all kinds of things other people don’t seem to.  I felt Kingpin’s “BagMan” multiplayer mode was the best thing since best things.  Also, Gabe and I are of the opinion that Zombie Revenge is about as good as a brawler gets, and we’re the only ones who think that.  I typically take the average of the reviews I read and make my decisions based on that, but instead of discarding a month’s worth of games on a stranger’s say-so, I’m considering heading into EB making up my own Goddamn mind.  It’s something I’ll need to ease into, obviously, and I’ve been making decisions all morning in an effort to limber up.

I signed us up to be a part of this Dungeon Siege Sneak Preview thing, but since I don’t see us on there, maybe I did something wrong.  Still, maybe one of those other sites can hook you up:  as I understood it, once the contest goes up for reals, the first ten people to sign up at each site come away with an early copy of DS.  That certainly seems like something I’d want you to be able to do here.  I wasn’t supposed to say anything about it obviously, but I’ve been to this Gas Powered Games place - it’s like a half-hour away, in good traffic.  If memory serves, Chris Taylor and I spoke briefly regarding my urethra.  I guess they might be mad that I broke the silence regarding my visit, but what are they going to do - send somebody over here to kick my ass because I said their game was fun?  That seems unlikely.  The ass kicking I mean, not the fun.  I can vouch personally for the fun.  The game does everything it possibly can to be fun, streamlining or outright removing the tedious crust of classic hack and slash gameplay.  You’ll see what I mean.   

We all get depressed sometimes regarding our capacities and aptitudes, and from where I’m sitting you’re looking at two real options.  The first is to end your own life.  Penny Arcade doesn’t support this option, so please don’t call our friendly staff for assistance - I only include it here for the sake of completeness.  In fact, we recommend most firmly against it, particularly if you would like to continue living, or have new carpets.  The other option - the palliative yet indecorous option, which we fully and officially endorse - is to find something worse than you can do, and scramble atop it with a hoarse laugh.  I learned this technique from our own Gabriel, who is nothing if not reprehensible, taking comfort where he can in the crude scratchings of the autistic or the infirm.  So, if consumed with self-loathing regarding my vocal and lyrical contributions - as I was Monday, for example - I’ve found that if I slam down a shot of Bryan Wilson’s holiday indiscretions, and chase that with Uncle Ed’s Millennium Band, I emerge from despair invigorated and cocksure.

(CW)TB out.

ding-dong ding-dong ding-dong ding

Tycho / on Mon, Feb 18 2002 at 12:00 am

The story you are about to read is true.

But that’s just his side of it.  While Batjew was in town last week, he and his cohort Gabriel - brazen and unchecked in their feverish hortations - also played Medal of Honor, while the notorious S. Monkey and myself kept Nazi populations low.  They, however, began play without first connecting to the Goddamn GV.  That’s the rule.  If you’re going to play a game, MoH for example, Gabriel, you start by hooking up to Monkey’s GV.  You do this because that’s where your teammates are.  You don’t just nip off to some burnt-out hole in France to hunt the Axis with your pal Batsomething there.  I guess I have no great reserve of sympathy for a man who can’t be bothered to click fully three (apparently, very strenuous) times.

Speaking of the crew, we hope to give that Renegade Multiplayer Demo a try on Monday night, if we can.  You might recall my being very impressed with what was shown at E3 last year - I’m wondering if what you can download doesn’t include the highest quality art assets, because the multi demo I’ve got here (with requisite patch) doesn’t look anything like what I saw there.  The geometry is about right, but what I’d seen at the expo led me to believe that these basic (but certainly serviceable) environs would be dressed for the dance with fairly lavish textures.  That’s not what we’ve got.  As an enthusiast with my predilection toward team-based action, it’s hard not to be enamored with the overarching conceit of Renegade - playing out a round of CnC from the ground level.  Yes, please - I’ve left room.  But there had better be some real cream filling in that son of a bitch if they want me to put up with these rough edges.       

We’re going to be getting rid of NewsPro soon - not because it hasn’t served us admirably, but because it was never exactly what we needed.  It was good enough as a proof of concept, and I think we all like having the ability to append items to the post - but we need something that’s actually archived along with the main body of the content, so a year from now you can know if Gabe called me a Crappopotamus or not.  The same twisted genius that fashioned our web-searchable archive is already well underway on something that’ll give us precisely what’s required, along with a slicker overall presentation and titillatingly exposed wrists and ankles.  I’m so excited that I’m considering a small amount of physical movement.   

Let me tell you something about being in a band.  When your band disintegrates - and this disintegration is an immutable phenomenon, like January - these intimate partners of yours are going to get new rock bands that you aren’t in, the sonic equivalent of girlfriends, and you’ll be invited to a practice where you listen to them and get kind of embarrassed that they ever wasted their time with you.  Because you can sing, you began to get the impression that maybe you should, and the ability to tell genuine epiphany from run-of-the-mill hubris is something you might want to investigate.     

I’m sure I’ll get a hit more stuff up here later Monday or Tuesday, but for the time being I’m pretty wiped out by the drive back from SpokAngeles.  That, I guess, and the fact that the Lipton MOHAA server has no trace of that infernal Omaha Beach, whose perpetual return - like an infested and unwelcome zombie pet - is the only thing that shocks us away from the game.  I’ll hitcha again soon.     

(CW)TB out.

it’s the hive of my bee




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