the-inbetween yearly archives for: 2004

The Other “Big 2”

Uh, not Half-Life 2. I am getting an estimate on a machine done now, so if all goes well I’ll be able to play that in the new year. Until then I’m going to have to take every one else’s word. No. The other “2” is Metroid Prime 2. I’ve managed to find a couple of hours — somehow — between work and multiplayer Halo 2 to play this and get some general impressions of the first bit of the…

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Halo 2 Quickie

I wanted to wait until I finish the single player campaign before rendering a verdict, but I’ve been playing too much multiplayer to get that done. I’m close though. However, my quick impressions: the multiplayer is varied and great, the matchmaking is meh, the campaign is weak and more of the same, the story is average, the level design is still weak, and the graphics aren’t even that great (with annoying popup in the cut-scenes.) But hey, the multiplayer is…

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Ravages of Time

I’ve been meaning to play Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for a long, um, time. It’s supposed to be good. Unfortunately, the more I hear about its sequel, the less I want to play the original. Playing The Sands of Time would feel like justification for UBISoft’s crapufication of the series with The Warrior Within. With every new tidbit that they release, the sequel is rising so far up on the “Not to Play” list that it’s crappiness…

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Halo 2 Before the Release

So Halo 2 is to be released at midnight (I’m not touching THAT topic again), and all the ads…er, reviews for the game are flowing in. The basic consensus is that the hype makers are saying that Halo 2’s hype meets their daily hype quota requirements. HYPE!!! I’m so annoyed by the state of commercial game reviews that I’m not going to bother reading them. I have heard, through review hearsay, that a lot of the criticisms against the original…

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Walk Home

The walk home from work isn’t a particularly long one, but when you are walking face-first into the wind on a cold day, it can be a difficult one. Maybe it’s a bit macho, maybe a bit of a deathwish, but I walked the entire way without even bothering to cover up or buckle the jacket. My philosophy is that if you can’t tough it out in November+December, then you are not going to be able to survive January+February. Get…

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Election dollars

The American Election is over, and the people — the ones that didn’t have their votes thrown away or eaten by voting machines — have spoken. They said “four more years.” From a strictly Canadian perspective, I do have to say that it has its bright spots: Hell, come 2008 (that feels like such a long time), our good ole Canadian dollar might even — maybe — break even. What a good day for imports and eBay that will be.…

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Grand Theft Metropolis

Deja Vu. I’m glad that Grand Theft Auto doesn’t render itself within the confines of a real city (yes, I realize that there was a GTA:London game, but let’s stick with the GTA3 dynasty). Instead, it chooses an abstracted approximation (and spoof) of a real metropolis for its setting. Cities that seem familiar and have recognizable structures and architecture, but are still different and fresh. Cities that are the constructs of level designers rather than city planners. Not because of…

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Election Day

It’s Election Day south of the border, and it shouldn’t pass without at least a mention. All I have to say is: “Hey you! Americans! Don’t fuck up.” Then I saw all the news of voting irregularities, lost votes, intimidation, fraud, e-voting failures, and I had to ask: “hey man, what the fuck?“ The self-described leader of the democratic world has a democratic process on par with the Ukraine (funny aside: before the Ukranian election, the US threatened action against…

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A Novel Weblog

Well, that whole “write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November” thing is starting again, and I shall not partake. I attempted to try last year, only to fall short by 99.5%. Basically, my story was “A guy walks into town.” What happened next was left as an exercise to the reader. The thought of trying again in 2004 crossed my mind. The rational thing would be to set my goals low, like beating last year’s output rather…

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Invisible Walls and Magical Sound Showers

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the same old GTA3 under a different disguise and with some additional welcome tweaks to the gameplay (swimming!). It’s yet another upgrade rather than a sequel, and many of the core, underlying problems with the design remain. But, regardless of that, its still enjoyable. Enjoyable, but not necessarily fun. I’ve spent a few hours with the game already and I have yet to complete anything more than three missions. Instead, that time was spent…

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The Failures of Game Retailers

In my eyes, there are four key factors that are hampering the mainstream acceptance of this hobby that I love: the content of the games themselves, the lack of any quality mainstream cultural writing about games (this is improving), bad marketing, and horrible retailers. Retail is the one that baffles me the most. You’d think that dedicated game retailers would be knowledgeable, well stocked with the proper releases, and, uh, dedicated. But no. They’re a hormonal wasteland of pandering Xtreme…

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Fake Snow

It was fake snowing on Yonge Street today as a chick was snowboarding on top of a Mini down one of Toronto’s busiest streets. While I’m sure that creative bit of creativity will be all over the televisions in a month or two, the scary realization is that the fake snow will also be present and all too real. Seems like a lot of game shops around town are going to be open midnight Monday for the launch of Grand…

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Dream On

Some smart-ass put Freddy Got Fingered into the Criterion Collection section of the downtown HMV. I was amused. Suffice it to say, I was in the store for a reason; that reason being that I’m a media whore. Dream On is what I bought, so that debating, in a previous post, about nostalgia and retro tv was all for naught. It’s weird how the mind remembers things. Two days ago, the show was a blur to me. I remembered vague…

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