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Tycho / on Fri, Mar 1 2002 at 12:00 am

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Please, Call Me Kotor

Today’s comic touches on Knights of the Old Republic, and the recent decision to (exclusively!) release first to the Xbox while PC users grouse and sweat chicken fat.  I’ve told him, Gabe, we - collectively - have an Xbox.  We have one.  He can play it the day it comes out, he can even keep the thing at his house if he wants to - but he says it’s the principle.  And I said, “Well, you got a Genesis for Mortal Kombat, right?  Isn’t this cooler than Mortal Kombat?”  And then we’re back to the principle thing.  I know how he feels, as I used to feel much the same way.  It was only Sega’s Shenmue 2 (and the possibility of 3, etc.) that dragged me kicking onto this very large path, and that was so long ago that I hardly remember being angry.  I mean, I used to think of it as the Dark Side, and sometimes it’s Darkish I suppose, but most of the time it’s a nice mauve.  Join usss!  Of course, we can be certain that he’ll be by later today, just in case I need him to mutilate the true facts of our conversation.

It was nearly a year ago, but you might remember my comments on the early, early KOTOR tech we saw at E3.  Very few people who saw it seemed to write about it, which I thought was strange - but I now entertain the possibility that they were struck absolutely dumb. 

Interlude.

The whole thing was fantastic, yes, but not just because we were seeing the coolest thing at a gigantic, three day “Cool Things” expo.  I mean, this shit was closed door, they aren’t ordinarily going to waste their time talking to an artist and his stupid writer friend.  It was BioWare’s Communications Manager, Brad Grier, who - in his unquenchable enthusiasm for the project - asked us if we wanted to see the best new game of E3.  I don’t know if it’s the Canada thing, or what, but he’s this genuinely nice guy that we only see once a year, and we always look forward to it.  So, he gets us in.  And, like all the other times Gabe and I snuck into these press room demos, Batjew just turned his basic, non-media ID backwards, assumes an easy-going, but don’t fuck with me manner, and just walks in with the rest of the line.  We actually met the Juegos Online guys at this thing, the ones who now translate PA into Spanish in exchange for, um, being able to translate PA into Spanish.  This game takes place an even longer time ago than the movies, uncharted territory, and one of the Juegos guys was grilling the presenters on what seemed like fairly obscure Star Wars shit - the man didn’t miss a beat.  That’s worth noting.  I am eternally soothed to find a dork at the helm.

Agent Nich Maragos (of The GIA) made sure I knew about Progress Quest, and I would be remiss in my duties keeping such sparkling splendor to myself.  It’s even been called the Statbuilder killer, which I think we all know is lofty praise.   

I’d like to defeat Renegade before I come down one way or the other on it, but my exposure to the full version’s multiplayer has (thus far) been pretty satisfying.  This must be more like what people experienced in the Beta, because the version I’m playing now is the gold version - unpatched, though I heard there is one out today - and I’ve experienced zero lag in any server I’d care to play on.  What’s more, I’ve tried several servers with co-operative vehicles, i.e. gunner and pilot combinations, that no Demo server I played on had activated.  I’ll tell you what, though:  the map they released with the demo, C&C Under I think it’s called?  Filth.  If they’d included the City map I’ve been playing on - where I’m firing my tank’s cannon off of a highway overpass at Nod Stealth Tanks speeding on the streets below - they’d have a lot more takers, I think.  I’m not really satisfied with the graphics, primarily the nondescript, blah interiors of buildings that should be fascinating - but it’s not a dealbreaker.  Picked up Jet Set on Tuesday as well, and I think it’s luscious.  We might have done a comic on it instead, but after Gabe and I argued for twenty full minutes re: the Xbox thing, that seemed the natural course.  But both of these games make me want to write - a lot, as they make me think about games and their construction.  I will be insufferable on Monday, just giving you a heads up.

Also, we’d like to welcome our first advertisers: the freshly allied news and editorial sites Game Partisan and VG Nation, which are seen on the strip and content pages, respectively.  They’ve got a truly massive undertaking underway for April - the four, nineteen, zero two you see mysteriously suspended in binary - and they’d like to get acquainted before things get underway.  Gaming news, raucous roundtable discussions, and the like - give these two a try, and see if they don’t strike your fancy.   

(CW)TB out.

ferris wheels of noblemen


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