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Gabe / on Fri, Mar 29 2002 at 10:28 pm

I hope you weren’t on the clock.

Well I guess now we know what Microsoft employees do while they are at work. Apparently they surf the web for obscure Star Wars material. Monkey’s point here I think is that all this other weird shit is considered canon so I should accept JK2’s multiplayer. The problem is that, as usual Monkey has no fucking clue what he is talking about. I didn’t bring up canon because that is a slippery slope but since Monkey want’s to talk about it lets do it right. There are many different levels of canon, from First level canon all the way down to what Monkey is speaking about here which would be considered apocrypha. First level canon would be items that fall directly under George’s vision for the Star Wars universe. This would include the movies and their respective special editions. Next you would have second, third and fourth levels. These include things like the original screen plays and the radio dramas of the films. After that you get into “official”. This is where the books, comics and some of the games come in. The original Dark Forces games and Jedi Knight when beaten with the light side of the force are considered “official”. After official we get all the shit licensed by Lucas Arts but not actually a part of official continuity. This is called apocrypha or just plain unofficial. It is easiest to think of this stuff as an alternate reality or existing in it’s own timeline. This is where you get crap like the cereal and the other junk Monkey brought up. Finally at the bottom of the list you have fan fiction. I am not certain but I assume the single player portion of the game is considered “official” canon. It would have been nice if the same care that was put into the SP game to make it fit in with the Star Wars universe had also been given to the MP.  But instead we get a pretty standard multiplayer experience that only pays lip service to the license. I guess I was just hoping for more.

As for the picture of a stormtrooper with a lightsaber that only serves to prove my point. That was an early concept that was later removed. George wanted lightsabers to be special. Not only are they hard to build but the actual act of constructing one is a spiritual experience in itself. They are not for stormtroopers. Am I too uptight about Star Wars? Yes, most defiantly. Should I just lighten up and enjoy the multiplayer for what it is? Probably.  Is it okay for me to say that I think it could be better and offer ideas on how? I think so.

I also want to point out that I don’t place any of the blame for this on Raven. I think they made one of the best single player games I’ve ever played. I can also appreciate the kind of pressure they must have been under from Lucas Arts. I can not thank them enough for the fantastic game they delivered.  Maybe later Lucas Arts will let them make the multiplayer game that I know they want to make and that many of us want to play.

-Gabe out

anon / on Fri, Mar 29 2002 at 8:44 pm

From the I’ve-Got-Your-@*%$-Canon Dept.

All right, Mr. “It’s-Gotta-Be-Official-Canon”... let’s see if we can’t think up some more games that exist strictly in the Star Wars universe for you.  After all, your banal complaints revolve around the multiplayer concept not adhering 100% to the Star Wars Dork’s Timeline Handbook… Have you even played the multiplayer yet?

Hey… maybe what we really need is a Star Wars game featuring Bea Arthur, reprising her role as Ackmena, owner of the Mos Eisley cantina.  You knew Bea Arthur owned the Mos Eisley cantina, right?  The game could be called Star Wars: Bar Hag, and it could be an action/puzzle game, kind of like the Monkey Island series, only in the Star Wars universe, and with Bea Motherfucking Arthur.  You would go through the daily rigors of running the galaxies biggest hive of scum and villainy:  Serving drunk & angry aliens, cleaning up after the occasional bar fight, pausing to dance and sing with your patrons, and drinking with a giant rat.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

 

Hey, I’ve got another good one!  Star Wars:  Han Solo, Wookiee Hugging Fool.  The premise is simple enough:  You’re tired of the reputation you seem to have gained as a cool, badass smuggler… it’s just such a negative image.  No, you’re a new kind of Han Solo—the kind that knows how to LOVE.  But how to reinforce this new image?  HUG AS MANY WOOKIEES AS POSSIBLE!  Your basic goal would be to run around and give them all a loving squeeze, proving once and for all that you’re just a big, silly lug with a possible furry fetish.  For bonus points, you could play games with the baby wookiees!  I think this would make an excellent platform game… maybe cell-shaded?

 

How about a game styled after The Sims?  I call it Star Wars:  Chewbacca the Family Wookiee.  You control Chewbacca, his wife Mala, his son Lumpy, and his father Itchy, who also happens to be the ugliest being in existence.  You can guide them through their various daily activities, including cooking, cleaning, watching TV, and singing with Jefferson Starship.  Hey, you could even control Chewie as he downs a few beers and watches wrestling!  Uh oh… looks like it’s time for the “Change Itchy’s Furry Diapers” mini-game!

The possibilities are endless!  Why not make a game based on the upcoming Star Wars cereal?  Wage terrible battle in your cereal bowl, using cute little marshmallow spaceships, Star Destroyers, Yodas, and Clones!  Gosh… Jango Fett sure is a lot less menacing when he’s in a General Mills box!  “Why’s everybody always after me lucky midichlorians?”

The fucking point of all this is that you need to take your precious Star Wars universe a little less seriously.  The Republic isn’t real, man!  It’s just a story!  Now, before you all deluge me with email, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy Star Wars; just like most of you, it’s my favorite series of films.  Just because you’ve got some good ideas for a potentially better game, doesn’t make JKII bad.  It could just as easily be argued that you’d be taking a game like Medal of Honor, and replacing Allies & Nazis with Rebels and Stormtroopers.  Allow me to reiterate:  Jedi Knight II is precisely the kind of game that needs to enjoy commercial success before a company like LucasArts is going to make anything on the scale you’re talking about, because that kind of innovation always comes with a certain risk factor.  This game is a step forward in the direction that you want to go, and that needs to be recognized.

By the by… are those Stormtroopers with lightsabers that I see in that official sketch?  Why, YES IT IS!  The original concept was for everyone in the SW universe to be carrying sabers.  Let’s take that a bit further, shall we?  Can you imagine a world in which EVERYONE has lightsabers, or possibly even the Force?  You could have a chef, chopping up some onions with a teeny saber… maybe opening a can!  How about a mailman, flinging mail to the mailbox with deadly accuracy?  Oooh, what if there were teeny tiny sabers that everyone used as a butter knife?

 

As far as Gabe’s Lord of the Rings game goes… if you take out the stupid words he uses to make it sound stupid, it actually sounds like a pretty fun game.  “Just imagine an Elvin ranger ... firing arrows at a hobbit ... while an Orc ... turn[s] invisible and sneak[s] up behind both of them.”  I hope some kind of game developer is paying attention, because this is a game that I want to play!

If anybody wants any more images, I’ve got some here, and here.  Be sure to scope out Boba Fett in his first ever appearance!

(PP)Safety Monkey out.

Gabe / on Fri, Mar 29 2002 at 12:02 pm

Lord of the Rizangs

Here is a thought for you. I know Safety Monkey is a fan of Lord of the Rings as I’m sure many of you are. Here is another license with absolutely unlimited multiplayer possibilities. Let’s say though that a game comes out and all you get is DM and capture the flag. Not only that but you can play as any character you want and they all have rings of power. Just imagine an Elvin ranger named “LeGAYlos” firing arrows at a hobbit called “Frodo-Sexual” while an Orc uses his ring to turn invisible and sneak up behind both of them. Would you not feel just a tiny bit disappointed?

-Gabe out

Gabe / on Fri, Mar 29 2002 at 11:40 am

Is it retarded in here or is it just Monkey?

Thank you to everyone who mailed me in response to my little rant above. I was surprised at just how many of you agree with me. Of the hundred or so e-mails I got, only two of you felt like I was in the wrong. Since it seems like so many of us are in agreement on this subject I’ll just do what we all do in real life. Ignore what Safety Monkey said and continue our conversation as if he’d never spoken at all.

Many of you offered ideas to improve upon my multiplayer concepts. One idea that came up more than once was a solution to having only one or two Jedi on each team. There would of course be more than one or two people who wanted to play the Jedi. Many of you suggested that the role of the Jedi be given to the highest scorer on each team. Others thought that people should rotate through that position. Points could also be given for completing mission objectives and you could earn the right to wield a lightsaber by having the most points. All of these are fantastic ideas and I think any of them would work well in a game.

Josh Marotti is ready to get started right now on a mod like the one we have talked about here, for Unreal Tournament. He would like anyone interested in working on it to contact him. I think it’s a great idea and I look forward to seeing what they come up with. It seems to me like a mod for JKII though is what’s needed. All the models are basically there already. I’m sure it’s jut a matter of time before some industrious group of mod makers delivers the game we all want to play so bad. Hell I would even love to see Raven release it. They could do something along the lines of Quake 3 Arena if they wanted to. Make it a commercial release with new maps and new mission based multiplayer modes. I know I’d pay for that.

In other news the first installment of Love and Hate: With Kara and Batjew is now online. I think it is safe to say they were overwhelmed by the response they got. I’d say they recieved about a hojillion e-mails just in the first day.

Hah Hah check out these guys!

-Gabe out

anon / on Fri, Mar 29 2002 at 9:00 am

Ignore the man with the wookie bedsheets

I never thought it was possible for someone to like Star Wars too much, until now.  I feel like I’ve got to take counter-point here, because JKII is an uncommonly good game, and deserves to be recognized as so.

As far as I’m concerned, LucasArts made some excellent decisions with this title.  They didn’t waste time and money developing their own proprietary engine, instead taking existing, proven technology.  They also gave their game to Raven, who have repeatedly shown themselves to be capable of making amazing Quake-based games, and who have also shown to be respectable stewards of other peoples’ intellectual property.  To that extent, I also feel that Raven did just about everything right with this title, and I’m mighty glad they did.  Gabe & I both agree that the single player is a lot of fun, so I won’t waste time trying to elaborate on that.  Suffice to say, however, I found the gameplay and level design to be interesting, and the story thus far has been pretty compelling (admittedly, I’m only a few hours in).  The single-player is worth the price of admission.

The multiplayer, however, is where we differ.  Gabe refuses to play it, because he considers it blasphemous to see a stormtrooper with a lightsaber named “Wookiekilla”.  I also think his ideas for an objective-based Star Wars action game are pretty cool (who knows, maybe this is accomplishable in an expansion?)... but dammit, this game is NOT a “kick in the balls to hard core Star Wars fans”, nor is it a slap in the face of any kind.  I feel that kind of attitude is essentially sacrificing fun for the sake of idealism.  If you’ve ever wondered how a pitched battle between Jedi might be appropriately represented in a video game, now’s your chance to find out.  Saber fighting has been drastically improved in this outing, and I’d go so far as to say it must have been the focus of the developers, because it is TIGHT.  There are a variety of new attacks and moves depending on your stance, which direction key you’re pressing, and your relative position to other players and objects.  There are even 3 different saber styles (light, medium, heavy), that have their own moves, speed, and damage.  The other weapons are balanced, the levels are extremely well done and a lot of fun to run around in, there are a variety of gametypes, the force powers are easy to manage and change in-game… I could go on and on.  Trust me on this:  You have not lived until you have stopped an escaping flag-carrier by grabbing them with the Force, and dropping them into a VERY deep pit.

I don’t feel that every single gametype and every single match in a Star Wars multiplayer game needs to be official canon… sometimes, it’s fun to just whip out a lightsaber and hack at each other.  Hence, I’ve had a lot of fun with this game in only one short day, and I think you will too.  Raven and LucasArts have done a great job, and I hope that this game enjoys the commercial success it deserves.  This is exactly the type of game that needs to succeed before something even more compelling and original can exist.

(PP)Safety Monkey out.




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