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Tycho / on Fri, Oct 25 2002 at 7:59 am

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Today’s strip should not be taken as some kind of encouragement along the Horse Steroids axis.

I’m overjoyed at the performance of the new server equipment, sometimes I just load up the page for no reason.  We netted around a hundred thousand new pageviews yesterday, so my guess is that people just weren’t waiting for the page to come up before.  I’m sorry about that.  What you’re seeing now in terms of speed should improve again on Saturday, when the database machine moves over to the colo facility.  Thank HomeLAN. 

The concentrated holiday gaming season has already begun, we’ve picked up a few and played them - for you.

  • The Two Towers is a fun, fairly straight-ahead brawler with sharp presentation and a fair bit of replayability.  Ofttimes I find a lot of full motion video sort of off-putting, but that’s only because I remember when Full Motion Video was almost uniformly shitty.  The Two Towers stuff here is classy and welcome, and there are well-orchestrated moments where it cuts between graphics and film that are quite effective.  Though the first few levels of the game act as a playable re-cap of the first movie (and/or book), it’s not long before you’re on the move to Helm’s Deep and (one supposes) some variety of climactic showdown.  The play itself comes at you like RPG Lite, rewarding fanciful maneuvers with experience you can redeem for more advanced fanciful maneuvers.  Three playable characters at the outset - Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli - but they promise a new character on the back, who I am assuming has a grey robe and a floppy hat.  Loads of extras for fans, and I’ll be damned if the voice acting isn’t by the actual guys.  The bad?  Gimli’s face looks really, really weird, like someone pounded on it with raw meat for days.  Final Score:  Radish.

  • Contra:  Shattered Soldier is as hard as fucking hell.  These days, no code is required for unlimited continues - because they know you need them.  Playing with these unlimited continues, though - in “easy” mode, which is something of a misnomer - gets you no real ending I’m told, so it’s almost like not playing it.  It’s more like training wheels for an actual run through the game.  Visually, this game has a lot to offer, as crisp, dense zones love you in three full dimensions.  I don’t know that I’d play this one by myself much, but it’s definitely a good ride in co-op.  If I had it to do over again, I’d probably have rented it - not because it’s not good or fun or puce enough, but because I just don’t see ever playing it again once you beat it.  Final Score:  Parsnip.

  • Tony Hawk 4:  Man, hell if I know.  Brenna’s really sick, so I didn’t get a chance to invest myself in it.  I come off like a big smart-ass here in the post maybe, but if Brenna tells me to put on a bridle so she can ride me around the house, I play the part down to authentic soundsFinal Score:  Beet.

  • (CW)TB out.

    heavens they’re tasty
    and expeditious


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