Today’s strip features nearly a half-ton of prime bear. Speaking of which, I’ve always been a little disappointed that our plan to produce authentic Bear Steins never came to fruition - I can’t shake the notion that there are those who want to drink bear, but settle for other liquids.
Hello, and welcome to Clarification Theatre. I’ll be your host, Me.
Gunvalkyrie: Check out Gamespot‘s take on things, if you’re still wondering where you’ll land on it - I doubt Gabe or Monkey will ever touch it again. It’s not a game that you can just pick up and play, as I said previously - it takes a bit (well, a lot) of getting used to, and some levels unduly punish the player for minute errors - which the controls don’t help. In the end, these are things that (as the Gamespot reviewer states) you either can or can’t overlook. I can overlook it. And, as I said on Friday, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone found the toil and the reward incongruous.
Freedom Force: I do hope you took up Irrational Games on their offer of a demo, the retail version is to be released this Tuesday as I understand it. It is not a long demo, by any means - but you could get some good time out of it if you felt like doing to, leveraging their Character and Ability creation tools to craft paragons of superheroism like my own Sunder and/or Breakpoint. I received a mail from a reader curious about the game’s moddability - for example, can one skin their own heroes? Yes, comes the jubilant and emphatic reply. Yes, you may: they’ve even produced a tool which allows industrious lads or lassi to have skins ready to go, well in advance of a game purchase. I pre-ordered from that EBX over in Redmond, as the box claimed I would be privy to several unique heroes. The actual site codifies the arrangement, however: what I get are three unique skins. Skins, for fuck’s sake! As though there’ll be some kind of shortage?
A large number of people wrote in about my comment on the Radica Flood Light, which I boldly claimed was the only GBA light worth buying. The mail either took me to task for the implied slight against Portable Monopoly‘s Afterburner product, or expressed a deep hunger for additional info. I think I’m probably on record somewhere as saying that the front-lighting solution from Portable Monopoly perfects the Game Boy Advance. If there is a more advanced praise technology I can leverage in regarding the Afterburner, please direct me toward it. We’ve supported that project since it was little more than a hazy concept. But it is hardly an off-the-shelf solution - you aren’t going to stroll into a store, grab one, stick it on your GBA and immediately begin the rocking process. You need to perform surgery on your handheld before you see any benefits. I don’t even see it as being in the same category as the (invariably worthless) consumer lights, being an invasive modification to the system. There’s going to be people who, for whatever reason, don’t want to open their machine - and until the Flood Light, I didn’t think there was a viable alternative. Perhaps Gabe and I should do a full review.
I’ve got the winner all lined up for das “Embarrass Yourself For Our Amusement And Win Dungeon Siege Or Something” contest, and I’ll make her life available for public mockery this week. I’m disappointed that more of you did not choose to humiliate yourselves, but on the other hand, I was not forced to see any of you naked. I’m willing to call it even. The next time we dangle a bauble before you, however - please try to be more spritely!
you’re the last thing on my mind
I know I said I would have something done for Club PA members today. Verizon decided to turn off my internet though on Wednesday and I just now got it back. I’ll get you guys your new gift over the weekend for sure. I may also write a little update about how much fun it is to destroy a droid ship with force lighting from the relative safety of your star fighters cockpit.
Blade II is out today. God willing and the creek don’t rise, we’ll be watching the Blade movies in order today.
We’ve switched this site’s usual links with Folgers crystals. Let’s see if anyone notices.
The Underdogs: Four score and seven people asked me what had become of their beloved Underdogs, that modern museum of abandonware classics. Initially, I feared the forces that conspire against this kind of thing had claimed victory - but the truth, as usual, is wholly bereft of drama. They just got a new domain, that’s all.
Steam: By now, you’ve probably heard about Valve’s “Content Delivery” wangamabob. I had to read the article on it a couple times to understand (even remotely) what the fuck was going on, but it seems to me the best way to really get it is to try it out. It asked me for my Credit Card number, so I got scared and ran away. Somebody else can try it, that’s my thinking.
MechAssault: This game’s Mechwarrior heritage probably could have been made clearer, but if you see even a frame of this video you’ll see that it can’t be anything else. I wondered (absentmindedly) if it would support the Xbox voice thingy and/or full online play, and with a little digging I was able to verify both. In fact, the same article that set me straight also had some info about Crimson Skies coming over to the Xbox - I can’t tell you how pleased that makes me. I know exactly how many pages into my CD Binder the original Crimson Skies is - who would have thought we’d be lucky enough to get another?
GBA Flood Light: You can’t see it, because they aren’t ready for you to go and get them - but the Flood Light is the only GBA light worth buying. Just a heads up.