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Tycho / on Mon, Dec 26 2005 at 7:19 am

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An Unbelievably Merch Christmas, Part 4

Our epic tone poem continues apace.

The inversion of my expectations as regards the PSP and the Nintendo DS is something that I imagine will remain with me for a good while. 

I sometimes try to figure out exactly what my job is.  I settle on different definitions at different times, depending on a matrix of factors like blood sugar, time of  year, ambient light, sobriety, and so on.  The most basic expression of it is that I help you waste time, here on the International Cyber Web and elsewhere.  It might seem like people don’t need help with that, but most people want their leisure time invested optimally and this is something we can help with.

I attended a Nintendo event before the DS materialized at retail that showed a company almost intimidated by the innovations of its own device - ports of various kinds and tenuous third party leftovers that seemed to point, noncommittally, in the direction of potential.  I grabbed a PSP that launched strong with a beautiful piece of hardware and several great looking games with wireless play in franchises and genres I’d love portable.   

User experience on the PSP - while the system is off, at any rate - really is amazing.

In those days, of course, Final Fantasy: Advent Children was practically launching with the system on UMD, heralding a new age of…  who knows what.  Even when I was absolutely sold on the device, I still thought it was a kind of wedge designed to project Sony’s proprietary formats into the marketplace.  I’m not convinced this isn’t true, but I also hoped that a strong lineup would emerge to blunt that position.

Every now and then something comes out for it that makes me somewhat less ashamed that I lauded their glossy brick to you with such force.  The media features of the machine are, no doubt, a great comfort to the beleaguered PSP owner.  In my defense, it was a tectonic shift - industry wise - and I lost my footing temporarily as the plates realigned.  I’ve felt guilty for months, digesting every milligram of PSP news for the standout title that will make me seem like a valid source of information, if only in retrospect.

The games hitting the DS now in their major franchises aren’t the filthy ports with a few bonuses tacked on I feared would dominate the machine - they’re actually the legitimate sequels, definitive versions that replace the old ones in terms of features and I daresay fun.   The new Animal Crossing game  for the DS is Animal Crossing II, with the multiplayer that was clamored for.  The Mario Kart that is out for the DS is the new Mario Kart.  Not the "portable version," not the constrained subset.  It’s the most robust offering in the franchise.

It’s so ridiculous to think that after all I’ve Goddamn spent this year, I keep coming back to a hundred and thirty dollar system to play these tiny thirty-five dollar games.     

(CW)TB out.

stop making fun of my pants

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