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Tycho / on Wed, Mar 26 2003 at 8:08 am

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Dear Factor 5

Gabe will most likely be very busy today wrapping up this month’s gift and Monday’s comic, so we may not get to hear an extended version of his plea to Factor 5.  We actually cracked out Rogue Squadron II for the Cube fairly recently, it’s still very beautiful, and it’s still very difficult.  But like Gabe, I have a difficult time kindling much enthusiasm for another action game set in the context of the original trilogy.  That isn’t even a comment on those movies - I’ve just always preferred the more adventurous forays into Star Wars mythology, games that take more license with the license.  The New Jedi Order fiction seems as good a place to start as any.

The official Star Wars site does include a good bit of information on the Expanded Universe for fans like myself who are perhaps not dedicated enough to read like fifty fucking books.  Even at that, there are still some names gamers might recognize.  Also, I might receive a mean mail from Gabe (well, another mean mail) if I don’t show you a Chiss Clawcraft.  I can’t bring myself to argue with him about it, I wouldn’t mind taking it for a spin.

I’m still giddy from last night’s Battlefield.  After some ignominious defeats in Stalingrad and some invigorating successes in Berlin, the map switched to Kharkov.  I like the Pacific Theater, and I also think the Africa maps are spot on - but Kharkov really has it all, in my opinion.  For one, the aesthetics are sound.  The wreckage has good feng shui, it’s very tasteful.  The geography is also noteworthy - the conflict takes place on three stacked levels of elevation, the uppermost portion sporting plateaus and artillery pieces in perfect position to shell either base.  Battles were heated, but as it so often happens in Battlefield one team gets an upper hand and it’s hard to shake them out of it.  It wasn’t us, by the way.  They had about seventy tickets on us at one point, and though I was trying to make a difference I mainly stayed on the server just to get to the next map.  Providence smiled on us, or something did, might have been Providence, and we were able to maintain two points while their ticket lead slowly evaporated - but our stock of thirty-five spawns didn’t look braced to hold it.  It got down to the last ticket, and the round I thought for sure we’d lost came around.  We’ve had a few upsets like this lately, for and against us.  For all the good things I enjoyed about the game, I was never sold on the “attrition” style gameplay, where it becomes less and less likely to bounce back once you lose the upper hand.  I think that I just didn’t understand it.  You can bounce back, but it’s not going to happen doing what you’ve been doing up to that point.  The large maps, useful vehicles, and the full roster of professions can be combined by desperate men in devastating ways. 

Cat Update: name has been changed from “Butch Catsidy” to “The Sundance Kit.”  Please note this for your records.

(CW)TB out.

in my private galaxy


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