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Tycho / on Wed, Jul 1 2009 at 12:00 am

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Guest Lookouts, Page 2

And here you go: Page Two of Lookouts, hand-painted by Becky Dreistadt and penned by Oliver Grigsby.  Works of this power and sophistication will run Friday, Monday, and Wednesday, at which point you’ll be forced to endure our work once again.

I’m leaving town today, but you won’t notice:  I’m bringing a laptop, and also my mind, and I intend to fill roughly the same proportion of your day that I did previously.  Historically, I’ve tried to distract you during these periods with a rotating cast of interlopers, but it never seems to catalyze anything akin to leisure.  I figured out sometime last year that “vacations” don’t really exist for me, as such - I can’t relax even under the most sedate conditions.  I’m constantly abraded by the normal operation of my consciousness, to the extent that I found a sensory deprivation chamber overstimulating.  At any rate, whatever it is I’m taking a vacation from, it isn’t writing.  

I will be sad to leave my Blood Bowl team, The Khornivores, lost and unloved out on the pitch - but there’s simply nothing for it.

Cyanide “have” made a videogame of Blood Bowl, and a pretty good one at that, which is all I really wanted.  I have been surprised this whole time that a videogame - a multiplatform videogame, spanning fully four discrete hardware manifestations - was even being considered for such a bizarre, awesome, but relatively obscure phenomenon.  I would be less surprised to see a tactical RPG based on the works of John Denver, but here it is: a richly tactical round of football, where trolls can throw rat-men into the end zone.

Yes, really.

For a middle of the road player like myself, you can get plenty of kicks in on the game’s artificial intelligence.  Eventually I’ll start to feel guilty about tormenting these dimwits, I’m sure of it - but it hasn’t happened yet.  The game’s cognitive prowess is, like much of its technical execution, firmly in the middle of the scale.  Load times aren’t great.  Graphics have plenty of character, but aren’t head of the class.  The user interface goes from savvy to somewhat inarticulate to bwuh-huh? with startling alacrity.

It’s still Blood Bowl, though, and there is much that can be endured in its service.  The game is going to live online and in player-managed leagues, so it may be that truly devious AI lost out in some kind of internal triage system.  I want to recommend the game universally, just to foist my predilections on people, but this is a game that needs (and warrants) a patch or two.

(CW)TB out.

cheap as gasoline

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