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Tycho / on Fri, Feb 16 2007 at 12:01 am

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The Onyx Obelisk

Gabriel’s ill-conceived Pong Pong challenge has brought out the wolves, and now the forest rings with their baying. Amaze Entertainment is holding tryouts internally to see who will leave our merry band in ruins. Upstarts from the DigiPen Institute of Technology will arrive soon to unseat the last generation as is the charge of all young men.  "Suckerpunch" will cease to be a euphemism when one of their usually mild animators suddenly strikes my diaphragm.

But John Smedley of Sony Online Entertainment will probably enjoy it the most.

As I understand it, we are to face off against "Smed’s Best," which…  I don’t know.  I’m kind of scared that they have a name.  If they have jerseys too, I think we might be fucked.  Then again, I wasn’t present when they calibrated these people so I can’t really verify their status. We have been so cruel so consistently to his organization that I’m glad we were able to discover a murder-free venue for the cessation of hostilities.

I have been kind to our foes thus far because I am polite.  It is a failing I have worked in desperation to remedy.  But those who get within range of my backhand should know this:  I can drive a ball so quickly and with such intense lateral spin that it will bore straight up your dickhole and kink your Vas Deferens, sterilizing you instantly.  You will learn what Pink Godzilla learned before you: bring caskets to haul back your dead.  You will hear our cold, clear bell across the courtyard and it will pierce you like a spear. 

Swear your oaths!  Tell your sons you will never return.     

Like a strange cult, my tabletop group meets according to secret dates and odd hours which are marked by no clock.  Our most recent ritual involved Citadels, Betrayal, and Ticket to Ride - and this while even more games slept in their boxes, awaiting their turn.  I nearly struck a mailbox on my way home, wondering how best to invest different volumes of imaginary gold.

In any case, still high from this recent exposure, I returned home to discover media whose contents were so titillating they skirted the frilled edge of erotica.  I was aware that boardgames were coming to Live Arcade - Carcassonne and others - but I wasn’t aware they were pulling in the company that made Rise of Nations to manage The Settlers of Catan.  To be perfectly honest, I was expecting to choke down a half-assed port of their Windows version.  I was wrong in absolute terms.   

I mention it because (as I have said in the past) gamers - by which I mean gamers of the electronic variety - would find a lot to like in these games, because they are simply well-built systems which accept time as an input and produce fun.  They have a delicious logic and a competitive thrill that strategy gamers especially might find irresistible.  Microsoft needs games of this type badly, because as a strategy platform their hardware simply doesn’t exist.  These games need a presence on the other hardware though, and fast - the Wii especially, whose novel sensing and pointing apparatus might be used to retain the appealing physical elements a digital interpretation might lack.  Dice rolling, tile placement, that kind of thing. 

I’m aware that admitting a deep desire to roll virtual dice makes me one of the biggest dorks ever and perhaps even a kind of dork sovereign.     

(CW)TB out. 

you poisonous vine

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