July 22, 2004
The second time I've picked up a club in my life.
Xbox Live night has become a natural distraction on Thursdays when I'm home. It's more social than competitive for me. Just being able to sit in front of a console hooked up with headsets and a controller make it a unique experience I'm digging.
Thing is, the games lack. Or maybe it's just the monotony of 3D racing/flying games we have on tap with the common arsenal.
I took a moment to break the seal on Links 2004 before the night officially began and shot 18 holes with a bud. I fumbled for the instructions to find they were not present. Hmmm, musta been a used game. Luckily, the controls were easy enough to pick up, with prompting through the headsets.
I'll give the game a few kudos... Players went at their own speed, you could skip extraneous animations, and it was... mellow.
I've never been a fan of twitch gauges where you have to hit the rising bar at the very precise moment for maximum effect. It adds a layer of willy-nilly-ness that doesn't seem as gratifying as mastering a jump or aiming a grappling hook.
This conversation happened later...
Kevin: I have a personal aversion to 'sports games' converted to video.
Me: I'm with you. I want to suspend my disbelief.
Kevin: Just stupid– go play friggin tennis.
How I wish Nintendo or PlayStation were as far along with online initiatives as Microsoft– they've (almost) got it down. We need Super Mario Kart internet capable. Gimme Lord of the Rings, Ico, Grand Theft Auto, Baldur's Gate, survival horror (sans Resident Evil control schemes), hell, I'd even take Mario Party at this point.
Then let's go back and do the PacMan where all your friends are the ghosts as you run around munching dots. Nintendo did it as multiplayer, now they just need to fess up and address the network as an important component of gaming. I don't care if I can hook up my new fangled two-screened GameBoy to a controller port.
It's all just evolving at this point, I know I need to be patient.
Ratchet and Clank 3 will hopefully bring some whimsy back into the fold when it's released with online capabilities for the PS2 this fall.
Until then, I'll just get dizzy with Crimson Skies and curse those monkey bears for ganging up on everyone.
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