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Tycho / on Fri, Dec 12 2003 at 5:40 am

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As Foretold In Revelations

Two things:

One, He is risen!  We had originally considered doing a completely reverent comic about the Nativity.  I don’t know what else to tell you, yesterday was pretty weird all around.

Two, Double Dash is the business.  I don’t really have anything amazing to say about the single-player mode, a fairly humdrum plow, endured to reveal new karts and characters only.  Some reviews have checked in with lower but still respectable scores, which excoriate the game for “being the same as the old version” and “changing things” simultaneously.  I do not envy the man who must, shaman-esque, interpret the signs and wonders of some new sequel - particularly when it’s a sequel to a franchise so buoyed by the affection of gamers.  Yes, it’s true - one may no longer “hop” around corners or over some obstacle.  It has been replaced by a powerslide mechanic that is far looser than you you would find in a pure racing game - even in the middle of a slide, you have a fair amount of control over your movement and facing.  More importantly: when played co-operatively, the person riding on the back of the cart handles the boosting of any powerslide with a quick input, producing the blue sparks that can confer a quick burst of speed at the end of every slide.  At this point, we can get blue sparks at virtually any time, even on the Blue Sparks Challenge - or (BSC) - which we ourselves invented.

So, while hopping is (of course) very traditional I do not have any issue with powersliding per se, and might even prefer it - because of its co-operative nature.  It’s not like the guy on back is just throwing shells or some shit as I had originally surmised.  He’s certainly managing your team as an offensive force, but he’s also punching other carts to steal their stuff, not to mention producing the critical blue sparks.  The driver can carry another powerup as well, which you can sort of salt away until you toss it back to your teammate.  Each person will be busy the entire time, I can assure you.  I found solo, one player to a kart racing to be plenty of fun on its own in the various game modes, but I won’t deny that I’ve already had that particular kind of fun.  Playing only that gametype, one may feel as though their beloved franchise has either stagnated or been diluted or whatever other sad-sack bullshit.  Playing two people to a kart, however, is not some trivial, superficial addition you can simply eschew, like mayonnaise.  It’s not some irrelevant condiment.  I would argue that it’s the entire Goddamn point.   

Outside of Double Dash, it’s the new Myst game that has been absorbing any time not seized by Child’s Play.  It’s usually system-intensive games like an FPS that instigate a round of hardware upgrades, but the fact that my SATA RAID was largely inspired by the load times in Uru either makes me really hardcore or a complete nut job.  I saw the original Myst for the first time in Journalism class, on one of the machines we used to do layout.  The teacher, Ted Ketcham, understood that we were looking at something completely amazing, and let us play it the entire period instead of writing hate-filled screeds about the ASB.  It’s an index of technological evolution that we’ve gone from that - pre-rendered, streaming off the CD-ROM - to beautiful, real-time worlds of comparable granularity in less than ten years.  I bear witness to stunning vistas every time I load that fucker, this isn’t some Quake 3 shit with maybe a curved arch.  Like all puzzle games, Uru certainly has it’s share of frustrations.  At this point, three ages in, I have found the trade-off acceptable, and the rewards - aurally and visually - highly significant. 

As a sidenote, it was that same journalism teacher that discouraged my use of italics, submitting humbly that the writing itself should be clear.  Using italics now is only part irresponsible writing, and part homage.

The statistic is two days old, but Child’s Play is now at a hundred and twenty-three thousand dollars in toy and cash donations.  The original storage place now acts as a staging area, and is as full as it was when we needed a truck to take it all out.  You guys are going to kill me.

(CW)TB out.

better i should know

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