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Tycho / on Wed, Oct 23 2002 at 7:22 am

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Winter Buying Guide

So I uploaded today’s strip into the past, like I uploaded a strip last week into the future.  This makes no sense, as Gabriel very politely names each comic with the proper date.  I simply won’t draw attention to it, look cool, and hope that no-one notices.

There is a strip today, though - and it’s a strip about the important choices kids face in a changing world.  Should they buy Timesplitters 2, or Red Faction 2?  We here at Penny Arcade know that it’s tough being a teen.  Sightless, searching eyeballs grow on your knuckles.  You yowl, craving trace metals found only in frightened blood.             

Also, you only have fifty bucks, and that’s counting possible trade-ins.  What to do.

The sequel to Red Faction has garnered plenty of excellent reviews, as Game Rankings will attest.  There are plenty of people who like it and will suggest you buy it.  I’ve told you where to find my rebuttal, it’s up to you if you want to investigate it.   

If Timesplitters 2 and Red Faction 2 get the same score in a review, what does this value represent?  What are they being compared against?  Some unformed, future game of vague origin, which represents the goals and values humanity has established for ten-ness?  If you compare Red Faction here to some indistinct nothing, then maybe it looks pretty good.  You set it beside a contemporary like Timesplitters 2, and it starts to look like an ant enema.

Red Faction 2 is serviceable where Timesplitters 2 has a distinct joy of vivre.  It’s not a point I’ll bend on.  Visually, RF2 gets the job done and looks good when the models in T2 pop out of the screen with life and character.  T2’s got the full co-op, which never hurt nobody, and the variety of its gametypes and locations is luxurious.  I won’t say that the environments in Red Faction 2 aren’t more detailed, because they are more detailed.  It’s just hard to care.  The experience isn’t as vital.  It isn’t as vivid.  And it isn’t as fun.   

Timesplitters 2 belongs online so bad it hurts.  If our universe does indeed sport some benevolent author, the rumors about an online expansion are true

The reformulated, no-hardware Sega has been raiding ancient IP of late for use in modern games, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Anyone who has seen and played their stylish reunion with Shinobi can’t help but be impressed, and Panzer Dragoon Orta practically sold Gabe an Xbox by itself.  These were not games I owned, now - the Tycho Continuum where consoles are concerned goes back a scant two years - but some of my best friends are console people, so I played most of the big games when they were still ripe.  I don’t know shit about ToeJam and Earl though, let alone ToeJam and Earl II, but the fact that the latest iteration (essentially) took it up the ass on the review circuit will probably keep me away from it unless someone tells me otherwise.  I guess one of the guys is yellow?  That’s about the extent of my knowledge.   

Good news for Penny Arcade, on the technical side:  We’re moving the site over to a ten server cluster today.  Performance has steadily decreased as readership has increased, which I guess is how it works, but I would have figured that after four years everybody who wanted to read something like this was already here.  I was tell all the new people that we were just fine before they came around, but then HomeLAN suggested this server thing and I was like “okay.”  We’ll have some downtime on Saturday when they move the database server to the new facility and add some rizzam, they’re telling me like a half an hour.  The HomeLAN guys have been far better to us than we deserve, and I want to take this opportunity to appreciate them for it. 

Oh!  I’ve also seen the new Over Easy logo, which comes to us via Kiko‘s strong, clean designs.  We felt joy, maybe for the first time, when he agreed to handle the logo and lettering.  By this time next week, you’ll see what we’ve been so excited about.   

(CW)TB out.

i got a black cat bone


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