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Tycho / on Mon, Oct 11 2004 at 4:30 am

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The Hiccough, Scourge Of Man

Jesus Christ, sometimes I get the hiccups.  I don’t get them on purpose.

The first day of the Nintendo thing was, as you could probably gather, focused on the DS - but there was free play the next day on every Nintendo platform, and though the coverage of the event was pretty thick it’s possible that I focused on some element that someone else didn’t.

Before I played Tales of Symphonia, that and Baten Kaitos made me vibrate with anticipated pleasure.  I like the feel of a wavebird, and even the standard controller is a departure, and so I relish any opportunity to use one for the kind of extended period an RPG promises.  Typically the ‘cube pulls Party Game duty, it’s rare that I have a real solitary experience with it.  Since Tales of Symphonia is compressed hell, all I have left to buoy that fantasy is Baten Kaitos, and from what I saw at the event I was able to relax as much as I’m capable of.  It’s been suggested that I would prefer that all the objects that surround me were replaced with cards representing those objects, with their statistics and unique properties made explicit - which is an idea that Baten Kaitos takes to heart, with its card based battles and inventory.  I had the good fortune of being able to talk to someone who has tested it thoroughly, and I was able to find out some intriguing elements of the combat - like being able to block with attack cards in some instances, using “camera” cards that take snapshots of enemies, and put together “pairs” and other poker hands for bonuses.  I found a great post in the Nintendo forums by someone who had imported the game, and obviously his experience is a bit more encyclopedic than my brief dalliance with a highly constrained press demo.  You might hit it up

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was there, and they drew attention to the fact that the graphics and lighting had improved in this version, and I guess I didn’t really see that.  I’m not trying to be a graphics snob, either - turning away the steaming dish with an affected gesture, exhorting the waiter to direct further inquiries to my open palm.  Metroid Prime looked great.  This also looks great.  They did show us a suit while we were there, a new suit or at least a new take on a suit that was a radical departure from old interpretations and made me excited to begin earning powerups and jolting space pirates with progressively more potent beams.   

A brief note on Metroid’s multiplayer:  it’s a lot more fun than you’re expecting.  Out of the Deathmatch and Bounty modes, we found ourselves pulled toward Bounty where every hit and kill produces coins that you snatch up and run away with.  Unlike Hunters, the DS variant of the series, you can indeed use the lock-on button to center your view on an opponent - but this is no guarantee of victory, as you can easily dodge shots or go into the morph ball which breaks it.  It’s not the reason to get the game, but there is a spark there which I disregarded even the remote possibility of. 

Lord Of The Rangs:  Third Age is a multiplatform title, not even locked to the platform we were there to see - but it really needs its own post.  I’ll handle that later today.  I’m going to go through the Pikmin entries and fish out some winners.

(CW)TB out.

i know that you’re smart

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