Though it’s tangential to this particular strip, you can be certain that Ikaruga deserves every kindness we invest in it. It is glorious, and the most reverent requiem a Dreamcast enthusiast could hope for. I was originally unsure about the fact that the game foregoes the weapon upgrades most consider intrinsic to the genre, but the fact of the matter is that one simply does not have time to fuck around with that sort of crap. It will be quite difficult enough to manage your polarity through thick waves of enemy fire, without also flitting about for weapon upgrades. Also, and I was not aware of this initially, you actually absorb shots of your own color, ultimately unleashing them in a swarm of deadly homing lasons. This makes veritably every enemy shot a potential power-up, so, shooter enthusiasts: rejoice! I neglected to mention that the game features cooperative play, and you can only imagine my exultation. It’s actually more of a pain then it’s worth in some cases, but it’s still much better than going to the dentist. The ships can bump into each other, and having two players makes it nearly impossible to rack up proper combos using Ikaruga’s freaky combo system, but what are you gonna do. The game is also hard as hell, even on the easiest mode, which is the way it should be. We’ve theorized what the hardest mode must be like, and we think maybe you just get cancer and die.
As much as I like Ikaruga, I didn’t exactly need another game at the moment. There are domestic releases galore, and though this month may not be as relentless as the last there are still manifold options for the refined gaming palette. Let’s be serious though, if only for a moment. The only game on the shelf is Battlefield 1942.
I’m disgusted with Gabe, as his wretched, miserable machine doesn’t have the juice to play it and he appears to be quite satisfied with that. Where is the stand-up, do-right gentleman who bought a Pentium 233 - sporting the mystical MMX - when Unreal was released? He’s in there playing Socom, or some shit. Socom indeed. He hasn’t seen what I’ve seen. He hasn’t seen Berlin, where (in my admittedly limited experience) Russians drive over you with a tank. There are sixteen maps in all, which isn’t a lot compared to, perhaps, a higher number. Let’s say twenty: Sixteen is demonstrably less. But these aren’t, you know, Rocket Arena maps. These are comparatively gigantic, as near to places as we’ve had in this genre, with nuanced terrain and very respectable geometry. I’ve been in the beta for Battlefield, I’ve played Wake for months already and I’m still playing it new ways. Also, I don’t know if you’ve seen B1942’s take on Omaha Beach. I haven’t played it online yet, so I can’t vouch for it in that sense - but with every game that interprets that conflict, that beach gets longer and longer and more daunting and terrible.
Oh, and let’s not forget: We will supposedly see the UT2003 demo today, which has been delayed somewhat from the original May 24th. Like many other sensible people, I’d already acquired an early version of the game - and even in its protean state, there is much to like. I’ll certainly give every gametype their proper run-through, but I’m here mainly for Bombing Run, Sport Of The Future. Maybe I’ll see you out there, my handle is “Tycho.”