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Tycho / on Mon, May 5 2008 at 12:00 am

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The Expected Result

If your Wii is not used exclusively for bowling when your parents are over, you probably get excited when even the most rudimentary sort of game is released.  This is because Wii games that even reach the level of “adequate” are not especially common.  Speaking from our own experience, we’re hungry for almost any opportunity to make use of the machine, and each time it happens we’re reminded how much we enjoy using it.  Recently we’ve had both the means and opportunity, with a pockets of time during the day and a (comparative) deluge of first party software.

We’ve kept an eye on “Steven Spielberg’s” Boom Blox, based on the fact that we crave destruction and also the game’s nonsensical, inexplicable pedigree.  I would say that we had a manageable level of enthusiasm and could take or leave the title until we saw this full reel of someone playing through the press demo.  I have a high opinion of language as a method for communicating ideas, but no written preview could have catalyzed this kind of desire.  It’s a game that is, as its core, kinetic.  One could probably describe the game effectively with deeply nested equations, but that kind of thing is done better elsewhere.

You can break glass and blow things up, which would be sufficient to spur a purchase, but there’s a couple twists on multiplayer evident in the video as well.  They’ve essentially “fixed” Jenga.  Partial collapses are possible, and the towers are made from multicolored blocks - a color dice tells you what kind of block to choose, which steers the game away from some of the classic outcomes.  You might notice that when a target is selected for a thrown ball, there’s a slight pause before anything happens - but since the clip is direct feed, it doesn’t show the action.  Essentially, you “throw” the ball with the controller.  That’s what’s not being shown, and when I’ve seen it performed by other people it looks like something I really want to do.

I’m now convinced that I would play Boom Blox in any environment, and under any circumstances.  In a house, in a boat, with a mouse, I would even play Boom Blox in a goat’s presence.  I would play the tabletop version, and be destroyed.

I have a friend who -  like Lucifer - goes by many names, but he has a habit of dragging me strange delights.  That link goes to an article about a Chinese MMO called ZT Online, describes its mercenary business model, and delves into the differences between Chinese and western gamers.  The translation isn’t impeccable, but the content is so dense it will crush your skull.

(CW)TB out. 

  a thousand flowers could bloom

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