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Tycho / on Wed, Dec 25 2002 at 7:35 am

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We’re Right Again, Part Two

Welcome back to Penny Arcade’s 53rd Annual We’re Right Awards, where the second day is just getting underway.

9. Dynasty Tactics:  As far as I am concerned, it’s a game like this that illustrates why we need our own Awards Ceremony.  Dynasty Tactics isn’t going to be one of the usual suspects on the top ten countdowns, and it’s easy to understand why.

People didn’t get it. 

When I look up a couple carriage returns in my text editor and see that line, it seems sort of preposterous.  Well, it’s my party.  People didn’t understand the game.  A cerebral puzzler that masquerades as a turn-based historical battle, it defies convention and probably also defied sales at the register while it was at it.  It clearly defied reviewers, unable to find where exactly in their great taxonomy it belonged.       

8. Warcraft III:  Another sort of art-house game that saw limited commercial success, independent shop Blizzard Entertainment came out of nowhere with the sequel to an earlier shareware project, the unsung Warcraft II.  I enjoyed this new iteration’s single-player and multi-player concept very much, and though the matching service did set up devastating challenges for me from time to time, I am willing to share the blame for this because I am terrible at Warcraft.  Regardless of how individual matches went, the matching itself always went about things in an elegant fashion - Blizzard can make a Goddamn interface, and don’t let nobody tell you different.  Above all else, Warcraft III deserves this place because somehow, some way the typical attenuation between powerful artistic vision and the execution of that vision did not occur.  Quite apart from any discussion of game mechanics, the aesthetics deliver with the precision of Federal Express.     

7. Timesplitters 2:  Extremely varied environments, co-operative play, matchless character design and gripping multiplayer make this son of a bitch an easy choice.  I’m not exaggerating about the monkeys, either.  They pack heat, and they will hunt your ass down, all the while yowling in worship to their wild-eyed simian god, who is often depicted with seven tails.  Experts now believe the golden banana to be largely apocryphal, in terms of iconography. 

I’m going to go do the holiday thing.  We’ll see you Friday, and I’m fairly certain Safety Monkey’s import review of the new Zelda should be done by that time.  We played it all day while I was rebuilding my system last week - if you end up with a Cube this Christmas, you have every reason to rejoice for the future. 

(CW)TB out.

now before i melt away

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