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Tycho / on Fri, Mar 8 2002 at 12:00 am

Fortified by healthful bran, we appear to have defeated proud Continuity, who is our eternal foe.  I give you Das Oldskoolen, Part 2 - the second (and blissfully final!) portion of our gripping whooziwhatsit.  Mordo - though an excellent name for villains of any stripe - is especially apt, “Mordo” being our crew’s omnipotent nemesis on “Lipton,” the Medal of Honor server we frequent.  Frequented, perhaps I should say.  I find the addition of Crow King’s Realism Mod roughly as appetizing as a public urinal coated with pubic hair.       

While I was busy moping - because two of a daily sixty-four thousand readers called me some mean names - I wasn’t writing about Renegade, which I am forever claiming I’ll do.  I did chat with a remorselessly biased lawyer (hissss!) about Bnetd, but that hardly filled up the whole time.  I try to forget, when I’m up in EditPlus, how many people read the things I put in this space.  I appreciate that you do, of course - but if I actually think about it, Performance Anxiety grips my writing gland.  Writing a sentence, introducing words to one another, it makes me feel as though I’m strolling through a Food Court without my crucial pants.

Renegade, though.  For real, this time.

I read an excellent review of the game at IGN, the sort of review I’d write if I wrote reviews of things that weren’t junk mail.  After playing the Multi for a week or more, I might have raised the final score to at least an eight - there’s an awful lot of game there, if you’re willing to meet it half way.  I don’t feel bad for being as disgusted with the demo as I was - it just wasn’t representative of the actual product.  It’s in their best interest to release another one, with a more intriguing map and perhaps the imminent air vehicles.  I had a few questions about why they did things the way they did, and got them answered by Westwood’s community guy, Cliff - we met him at E3.  I know it’s his job to fight fires and smooth over rough edges, but he wasn’t full of shit when I talked to him on the phone.  He knows that their demo situation was sort of fucked up.  He knows that it could look better.  But he also knows that it’s a hell of a game - and as long as we’re talking about the full version, more specifically the multiplayer aspect, I’m likely to agree.

You know what, though?  Don’t tell Cliff:  Renegade’s best feature to me isn’t what’s in the box, rather, it is what it potentially represents.  It’s good, fun, love it, woo, etc.  But the game that sits right between it and Allegiance is the one I want.  You remember Allegiance?  I’ll bet Greg Kasavin does.  This game was so far ahead of its time that we’re still catching up, and it came out two years ago, this month.  Imagine a full-on RTS, with resource gathering, exploration, tech trees, you name it.  Now, imagine that every unit under your purview is a human being in an all-out star war between five unique factions.  Renegade takes the rules of Command & Conquer very seriously - and, while there is certainly a lot of Conquering, the addition of a Command metagame would not only be true to the source material, it would give me an erection that might last more than a week.  Servers could obviously be configured with default bases, as they have now - ready to roll at the beginning of the map.  But a bare bones base - seen in the classic C&C view, customizable by a savvy commander who invests the team’s resources for upgraded technology and superior defenses - is it getting Hot in here?  Subterranean areas outside the commander’s direct control?  Air strikes?  The possibilities of this conflux are highly invigorating.  Now, Cliff’s told me that placing these buildings in real time would be impossible - poppycock.  Did Thomas Edison say it was impossible when he invented the Electric Weasel?  Nay, I say - he did not.  Revolutionize gaming or don’t, Westwood.  It’s sort of up to you.   

Who knows how or why, but Sega chose to advertise their SegaNet “Free For All” Weekend here at Penny Arcade.  When they say “try it” for free, I want to emphasize that they don’t mean “try the man in the ad, who is currently giving birth to an adult porcupine.”  You can read more about it here, but it is (in essence) a three day trial for the SegaNet service.  I’d been looking for an excuse to do it anyway when this came up - but Gabe, Monkey and myself are going to set our DC’s back up, make new characters, and get our PSOv1 on for a two day Old School gaming orgy.  Tentatively, let’s say we’ll be in Oberon, Block 4 on the 16th and 17th, jumping between games that have “PA” in the title.  Should be a hoot. 

I picked up Fatal Frame on Wednesday, which I assumed (from the title) would bolster the nascent “Survival Bowling” genre.  Our man Kiko said he steered clear of it, as it seemed like a cross between “Pokemon Snap” and the quote undead unquote.  Shows how much he knows.  It’s more like Resident Evil with, um, cameras.  Shut up.     

(CW)TB out.

three to get the heads ready

Gabe / on Wed, Mar 6 2002 at 2:21 pm

Two parts zombie, One part shot gun.

Let me tell you how easy it is to make a great videogame. First you need a bunch of zombies. Then you need a ton of great weapons like shotguns and cross bows. Then add a pinch of four player cooperative play. That my friends is a fucking recipe for success. Gamespy has delivered a very complete preview of Hunter: The Reckoning. Now I know what you’re thinking. “But Gabe, that is an Xbox title! I heard it gives you a terrible itchy rash all over your body if you just look at it!”  That may very well be true but this is the game I want to play. Sega won’t step up to the plate and deliver a Zombie Revenge 2 so I have to get my un-dead fix someplace else. Between Star Wars and Zombies it looks like the Xbox has me by the balls.

I just finished reading the latest issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly. It’s funny I never actually subscribed to this magazine but I have been getting it for years now. They even found me when I moved across the state. I continue to pay nothing for it. Every time it shows up in my mail box it’s like a little present from baby Jesus. Anyway this latest issue had a pretty great two page preview of Virtua Fighter 4. Now I had been excited about this game before but now I am downright giddy with anticipation. They go so far as to compare it to Soul Calibur as far as fun is concerned. You can’t give much higher praise than that. March 19th seems so goddamned far away though.

I have gotten a lot of positive feedback concerning the new backgrounds I’ve been drawing in the strips. Some people have asked for un-obstructed views of these new locations. So here you go, enjoy:

Gabe’s bedroom

The kitchen

The living room

Another shot of the living room.

Last week I requested Nintendo produce a version of Mean Bean Machine for the GBA. I guess they were reading my News post because they did it and it’s called Puyo Pop. Now some people told me this game has been out since the launch of the system, way before my news post. The only explanation I can see is that Nintendo posses some kind of advanced time travel technology. Thanks to everyone who wrote in giving me a heads up on this one.

I would also like to thank those of you who offered your assistance in diagnosing my sick arcade machine. It looks as though I have a bad monitor that will need replacing. I also appreciate you telling me not to fuck around back there since it holds enough of a charge to knock my skinny ass across the room. So now I just need to find a new monitor and someone willing to come install it for me…Hmmm where will I ever find that.

Before I go be sure and check out these bad ass videos of Guilty Gear X on the GBA.

-Gabe out.

Gabe / on Wed, Mar 6 2002 at 8:47 am

Two things to keep in mind when sampling today’s product:  one, I love Warlords.  It’s got these cool castles, and you have to kind of bounce these things.  Two: due to lack of sleep, poor diet, or some commingling of the two, dreaded Continuity has us at a disadvantage.  We will do our best to cast off its deleterious effects by Friday - but we promise nothing! 

I wrote a lot in this space for a very long time about Monday’s comic, and what I’m sure people thought were their erudite responses to it.  Then, as I was wrapping it up - that is to say, finishing it, not wrapping it as such - I received a fairly hum-drum bit of hate mail.  I initially included it on the page here, but I can’t recall why.  You may rest assured that it dealt largely with my homosexuality.

Then, as I deleted everything I’d written on the off chance that it might entertain him, it occurred to me:  What a bright-red bucket of fun this is.  I endeavored primarily to inform with my post, to lay out a variety of perspectives on the issue, with links to no less than three fairly robust discussions I thought would be more revealing than any I might pantomime here with you.  The main issue for me - the chilling effect that often accompanies these roving packs of rapacious lawyers, off the leash and on the prowl - came across as well as I could do it, i.e., I managed to incorporate both dogs and coats.  I marked the date on my calendar, appending a small note which read:  “Dogs/Coats, Wr. Jat Mips.”  The first part seems clear enough, and I’d say that “you just had to be there” re: the Jat Mips issue, except that I was there, and it still doesn’t make any fucking sense.     

I can’t seem to write anything at the moment.  Well, that’s not true.  I can’t seem to write anything I don’t delete immediately afterward. 

(CW)TB out.

 

Tycho / on Mon, Mar 4 2002 at 3:55 pm

(sigh)

(Longer, deeper sigh.)

(CW)TB

Gabe / on Mon, Mar 4 2002 at 3:35 pm

like stuff should be like totally free man!

I would say that I get around 10 or so requests each week to sign some wacky petition. I have never signed a single one. I especially wasn’t about to sign a petition asking me to boycott fucking Blizzard. I mean what the hell? They have delivered some of the finest gaming experiences since the mid nineties and you want me to boycott them because they are making an effort to protect their copyrighted material? I know some people out there are gonna use the product for legitimate purposes. But the majority of people are going to use the thing to play pirated software. I don’t care if they did ask Blizzard to allow them to implement CD key checks. Blizzard doesn’t want them making the product period, and that is their right.  I read all the posts on Slashdot talking about the purity of code and how information should be free. I have a message for all these hacky sack playing Volkswagen owners. They can read it on their Apple iBook’s brilliant 14.1-inch TFT XGA active-matrix display. “Fuck you hippy, get a haircut!” In all their frenzy they seem to have forgotten something most of us learn when we are old enough to walk. You shouldn’t steal. Sure shit should be free, I agree one hundred percent. But what if it’s your shit? It’s a fantastic idea until people start taking your work. I can’t count the number of times I have seen my artwork in other people’s galleries or posted in forums with their fucking name at the bottom. People get this bug up their ass about how the internet is for the free trading of information and it’s all just code man. That’s bullshit. My creative work is not free information. I salute Blizzard for what they did. You need to go after these fucking people whenever and wherever you can. I’m glad they sent a cease and desist letter. Hell if it was me, I woulda sent the letter and man over to their house to punch them all in the dick.

In Blizzard related news I have a new piece of Gabeart finished and ready for your perusal. Feel free to click on the thumbnail below to enjoy the full sized image.

From what I have seen of War Craft 3 I am really impressed. It just looks so damn good. When I saw this Demon Hunter for the first time I knew I had to draw him. 

In PA related news we are still blowing out the remaining stock of hard cover books for the super low price of just $19.95. Jesus I sound like on of those furniture store commercials. Why the fuck would anyone ever get into the furniture business? I mean every goddamned commercial for one of those places has them lamenting the loss of their lease and liquidating all their remaining stock.

I guess they filled the Japanese Xbox’s CD tray with tiny razor blades that cut giant gashes through your games. So that sucks.

Here is a really interesting site I saw linked in our very own forum. This guy has video game shit I’ve never even heard of.

People always ask me where they can buy their own arcade machine. I personally got mine at a local arcade that was remodeling. However if you are looking for a place online you should check out Arcade Infinity. They have some pretty cool looking machines.

-Gabe out




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