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Tycho / on Fri, Apr 5 2002 at 3:57 am

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The Sign Does Not Lie

Today’s strip concerns a game you may be spending the weekend with, Gas Powered’s inaugural release Dungeon Siege.  DS is such a streamlined hack und slash experience that it virtually plays itself - which will probably be one of the main complaints leveraged against it.  It won’t keep people from buying it, oh, goodness no - they’ll tell you this while they’re playing.  We’ve rather enjoyed it, ourselves.  Spanning the gap between the Action RPG and an RTS, you can specify default behaviours for your characters which can obviate your presence altogether, provided you have someone to follow through the game.  Gabe has actually gone and done chores while his lethal automaton and I plundered dungeons he might never see.

That aside, today’s cartoon refers to all those fun times we had in the Pit of Despair.  Along with the main campaign (which can be played solo or in blessed, blessed co-op), there is a huge extra world which includes (among many other things) a seemingly infinite maze which seals your doom.  So, that’s nice.  The dialogue and events today are almost verbatim, up to and including when I logged out and left him there.  I like to imagine that he stumbled about in the dark, frightened by noises real or imagined. 

Gabe mentioned Duke Nukem:  Manhattan Project already, but I’ve actually played it, so you get to hear about it again.  Someday, some company is going to want to put their shitty, stupid-ass game on Penny Arcade, and it’ll end up being some big deal, as it is every time it business and integrity are at odds.  Well, no soul-searching this month.  DN:MP is scrumptious, all-purpose, cure-what-ails-ya platform shoot-‘em-up.  I talked to their PR guy about laying out a demo, along the lines of the old “Shareware” concept that put its forebears in front of people - but when the whole game costs twenty-five bucks I can understand why giving part of it away for free isn’t a high priority.

Young man, share those gaming links with your sister.  No “buts”!

  • The Army Men: RTS is, oh, I’m going to say about a million times better than I expected.  I downloaded it in the middle of the night (game demos and insomnia, two great tastes that have a universally recognized relationship when juxtaposed) and it got a grip on me.  It’s not super complex or anything, and it knows that - it’s simple, straightforward, and doesn’t fuck anything up.  When I saw that it was by Battlezone II/Dark Reign 2’s Pandemic Studios, I was like, “Well, yeah.”  If you don’t have anything to do, or you do have something to do but you think you can get away with it, see how it treats ya.

  • Having conquered Jedi Outcast (final verdict, enough moments of absolute brilliance to make sometimes tedious jumpy shit tolerable) and Gunvalkyrie (a treasure for the dedicated gamer), my sights are again set fully upon Freedom Force.  The joy with which it was produced continues to permeate the game, while well-voiced characters say things in (actually interesting) cutscenes that I don’t immediately try to skip.  I itch all over if I don’t check Irrational’s site every day, and my obsessive-compulsive nature has borne twisted fruit:  a new hero model is available, complete with trenchcoat and dual pistols.  You can nab him here.

  • A game I’m following pretty closely is Battlefield 1942, a video of which you can grab at the following link.  Picture Tribes set in WW2 with a shit-ton of vehicles, and you’ll know why I crave it so.

  • This guy used to write me sometimes.

Chris Morrison (of Polymer City fame) wrote in regarding Wednesday’s comic, saying that it looks like we go out of our way to get people riled up.  I told him that when you don’t care - that is to say, when you don’t go out of your way to not make people mad - it often looks like the same thing.  People seem to think that their preferences on a subject - consoles, operating systems, naked jaguar bitches, etc. - represent an inviolable quantity, as though liking vanilla (or what have you) constitues some ultimate, invulnerable act.  That’s just not the case.  To call our expression of preference regarding bi-curious teen lynxes “Bigotry” dilutes the power of the written word.  I’m not apologizing for shit - I do have this hard-assed persona to maintain - but, I will extend an olive branch.  Here’s a picture of Brenna dressed a Wombat, which I will admit looks pretty good.  Try not to beat off to it.

(CW)TB out.

it’s stupid and it’s strange


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