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Tycho / on Mon, Jun 3 2002 at 4:49 am

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The Cycle, Part Two

The second (and final) portion of The Cycle can be found in your grocer’s freezer.  Barring that, we’ve also made it available on the site.

For some reason, every three years or so, Gabe is gripped by a passion for Role-Playing Games.  Nobody knows why.  Obviously, I don’t have a problem with this.  One of the reasons we so rarely cover RPGs in comic form is that, outside of these bizarre windows of opportunity, he doesn’t give a good God damn about the genre as a whole.  Since we tend to do comics about games we’ve both played, that throws a certain percentage of them right out.  During these stints of his I invariably try to get him into harder stuff - “If you like this, man…  Wow.  I’ve got this Fallout Shit that will fuck you up,” but all that seems to do is snap him out of it and make him angry.   

Well, even if the good times are over, at least they dropped by at an auspicious juncture.  Though I doubt he’ll end up a Tactics Ogre man, we were certainly able to find some common ground in Lost Kingdoms - this is the CCG/RPG you might have heard about for the ‘Cube, originally called “Rune.”  Whatever they’ve decided to call it now, it’s rad.  I keep reading comments from people disappointed with the way combat works, decrying it as “simplistic,” but it manages to be so fast-paced and fun in execution that I wonder what those people would like.  First of all, it’s not Turn Based, so I’m sure that loses it some points with The High Council of RPG Purists.  You find cards for your “deck” like you find anything in this genre.  Meaning, it’s either in some conspicuous box somewhere, or you get it as a reward for completing a task - in this game, each chapter is a discrete “level”, and there are rewards associated with not losing.  Combat takes place wherever you happen to be standing at the time you’re attacked, it simply cuts away any part of the level beyond a certain radius - usually the area ends up being square.  Some cards spawn autonomous creatures into the playing field.  Other cards act as attacks - direct beams, traps, or melee techniques.  Others replace you in the battle, for varying lengths of time, and usually to the detriment of your opponents.  All of these events occur in real time.  When you take into account that you can only bring thirty cards into each level - and that those cards are divided up into five elemental suits - you can see how it might get interesting.  Cards gain experience and shift into new forms.  What’s not to like, really.       

Did anyone else download that multiplayer test for New World Order?  Did you load it, and then wonder if your computer had crashed?  Maybe it was formatting your machine?  And then were you like, no, I guess not, it just takes a week for it to do anything?  But there’s no bar to tell me that, so maybe I should do something to pass the time, like build a log cabin?  And then, were you like, What The Fuck?  Did it occur to you that they’re going to need to get up a lot earlier than they apparently do to properly emulate even Counter-Strike, a game so Goddamn old that we have unearthed fossils of Tyrannosaurs, hunched over granite keyboards playing it?  I just…  God.  I have no idea what this thing is trying to communicate.  What is the purpose of it?  I don’t know what it’s for. 

We’ve already said what we were going to say regarding Doom III, but seeing it garner the accolades it has just makes me want to say it again louder.  There’s no game there.  There’s nothing to comment on from a play perspective, save a few minutes of visual and auditory presentation - like a Future Crew demo writ large.  I’m not saying it’s going to suck or rule.  Maybe id will be the ones to make a real game with their technology again.  What I’m saying is that there’s nothing to actually know about it.  Promising?  Okay, you can have “promising.”  Here you go.  Best of show?  Not on my watch.  What the hell show did you go to?         

(CW)TB out.

shut your mouth until you can


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