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Tycho / on Mon, Aug 25 2003 at 4:01 am

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How Could They Do Such A Thing

Humans are so mad right now, mad that Nintendo is making them buy a GameBoy Advance in order to play Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles.  As today’s comic makes so plain, Nintendo’s treachery leaps straight over garden variety malice and might even be called a vendetta.

This isn’t even my fight, it’s Gabe’s.  I’m not personally invested in it whatsoever, and I appreciate that you have not chosen to inflict upon me that unique genre of mail which now fills his own inbox.  I will tell you, though, that what he says is quite accurate, even if he chooses to agitate you with the manner he delivers the sentiment.  Using the GameBoy Advance as a controller is not only critical to how the game functions, it’s fun.   

People are always telling us that you have to have four GameBoys to play it, as though this is proof of some nefarious Nintendo plot.  I am assuming that they say this in an effort to be quarrelsome.  It’s excellent fun with any number of players.  The fact of the matter is that it’s going to be much harder to find a GameCube than it is to find four people who own GBAs, or even one guy with a couple on hand - maybe he had the old one and got an SP or something.  The installed bases for the two systems aren’t even close - take a look at some of these charts over at The Magicbox if you don’t believe me.  The disparity is shocking. 

And if you do have a GameCube, I mean, let’s be honest - it’s got to be because you’re a Nintendo fan.  You know what you’re in for.  I shudder to think about the gamer who purchases the GameCube unwittingly, their rage growing with each Mario title released.  The GameCube owner is one of the most long-suffering creatures on God’s green Earth, there is no reason to own it aside from a devotion to Nintendo.  They have this devotion because every now and then, according to some secret calendar filled with alien holidays, they are rewarded for their diligence.  This is one of those times.  It would be hard to count me among that congregation, as my faith is far from unwavering.  I had to be convinced through actual play - something that separates us from many if not all of the critics - that the GBA/Controller gimmick is more than some perverse marketing scheme.  It is.  Don’t you assholes remember when you all said that the new Legend of Celda was for Fags, and then when it came out you had to admit it was great?  Let me cut out the soul-searching phase for you. 

If you’re playing the game Single Player, you know, no GBA required.  There’s even an advantage there, because in that mode you have a moogle that carries the bucket Gabe mentioned, and he never drops it short.  Also, you can paint him - try that shit on your friend Bob.  Probably not.

The Lanwerx event on Saturday was a runaway success - and I’d like to thank Bungie very much for the copies of Halo PC they let us use for the event, for the two packed live demos of Halo 2, and for bringing by Joyride‘s new Halo toys to check out.  I’m also able to say with absolute certainty that if you should enter a Halo Tournament at some point and you are going up against the Notorious Thugs, just get back in your car and go home.  Their moniker is quite accurate:  Notorious because they are well known, and Thugs because they are well known for shooting people.  A couple guys from Wing Commander News stopped by as well, and I checked out the GBA version of Prophecy while we reminisced about Privateer Online.

After constantly hearing it praised and seeing a very nice showing at E3, I finally got a chance to really invest myself in Day of Defeat and did not come away disappointed.  Let me tell you about something else, though - The Goddamn Specialists.  I don’t know how many hours I put into that thing, but not a moment that went by that was not characterized by Woo inspired mayhem.  People at the event called it a cross between The Opera and Action Half-Life, and that seems fair enough - your loadout determines how acrobatic you can be, with the (impeccably modeled) dual pistols being a sort of Gold Standard for running on walls, doing flips and shooting down on people, dodging bullets and whatever else.  Once you get the hang of the stunt system - which is strange at first, because it entails looking up, middle, or down while you double-jump - you’ll be clearing rooms and doing Mary Lou Retton type shit in no time.  Remedy always said that they’d like to do Max Payne multiplayer, but they just couldn’t figure out how to handle the bullet-time - and The Specialists answers the question.  It becomes a powerup.  That wasn’t too hard, was it?  Like Double-Fire Rate, Infinite Ammo, Grenade, and any other potential imbalance the ability to slow down time is meted out via powerups with very strict time limits.  Please go get this game, I can’t play it yet and it would bring me comfort to know that someone was jumping over someone else while to guys with shotguns clash by the pool.

Neither DoD or The Specialists is on Steam now, at least not yet, so it looks like I’m off to the mall tomorrow.  After yesterday, I honestly don’t know if I can be without those games.   

I mentioned on Friday that I’ve been trying out Thunderbird, Mozilla‘s standalone mail client, because I’d heard that it had quite the adaptive spam filter.  It does have that, and it works as well as advertised - but I hate absolutely everything else about it.  The software I’m using is version .2 or some shit, so my attempting to use it for serious daily tasks is like making a fetus the President of the United States.  Mails constantly come in blank, or stripped of the time stamp.  Sometimes, mails arrive from the future.  Sometimes it follows its rules for deleting spam, and sometimes, hey!  Here’s a bunch of mail about dicks.         

(CW)TB out.

please help me ray

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