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volume 1, issue 17

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

Real Life: Check out our newest comic strip, Real Life! Updated daily!

User Friendly: Updated daily!

Related Links :

Geek Toys: Our review of The Intensor, the freaky geek chair.

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It's a Very Geeky Christmas

 

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman

 

Part One: Geek Toys

Hey, here at loonygames, we make no attempt to hide our love for toys. We’re not just talking about action figures here…geek toys covers all of those gadgets, gizmos, and all around fun crap that only hardcore geeks can get into. Let’s take a look at what the loonygames staff is drooling over this year.

Low End ($10 - $20):

Resident Evil Toys: You can’t beat these things with a stick. As far as we’re concerned, there shouldn’t be a geek around who doesn’t have one of these babies on their desk, happily scaring away the kids. What makes them so dang cool? They’re zombies! That’s right, honest to goodness zombie action figures. The fact that they tie into one of the coolest PlayStation titles around aside, zombie action figures are just too dang cool to pass up. Be sure to check out the non-zombie RE toys…they’re not quite as cool, but they are pretty well made.

Manufacturer: Toy Biz

Avg. Price: $10

Geek Factor: 2

Coolness: 5

Blizzard’s Epic Action Figures: Here’s a shocker for you…action figures based on Blizzard’s Warcraft and Starcraft games. What’s more, these are really well made. Personal favorites include the "Orc Grunt" for his sheer size, the "Zerg Hydralisk" for its demented appearance, and the "Human Footman" for the attention to detail. Great toys, that are well made enough to pass for miniature statues.

Manufacturer: Blizzard

Avg. Price: $12

Geek Factor: 3

Coolness: 4

Duke Nukem Action Figures: What can we say…we love these damn things. The Duke figures are totally kickass, with an attention to detail that is on par with the best figures out there today. The plain ol’ Duke figure is the best, but don’t forget about the aliens. The "Pig Cop" in particular is stylin’.

Manufacturer: Resaurus

Avg. Price: $10

Geek Factor: 2

Coolness: 5

Nintendo 64 Memory Upgrade: Here’s a weird concept…a RAM card for a console system. Despite Nintendo’s original stance that this would never come out without the 64DD, it’s been released anyway, and lots of games this year are taking advantage of it. A quick list of some of them: Rogue Squadron, Turok 2, NFL Quarterback Club ’99, and just about every new title in development. It’s not too expensive, and every N64 owner out there pretty much wants one. You can’t go wrong here.

Manufacturer: Nintendo

Avg. Price: $20

Geek Factor: 3

Coolness: 2 (the games that use it: 5)

 

Mid Range ($25 - $100):

USB Wheel Mouse: Logitech’s always made the best mice around, and their first USB mouse is no different. The lack of a third button is a major disappointment, but if you want to take advantage of that USB port, this is the way to go (besides…if you really want the third button, see our next pick).

Manufacturer: Logitech

Avg. Price: $25

Geek Factor: 2

Coolness: 3

MouseMan Wheel: So you want some buttons, eh? Well, you’ll get three buttons here (two standard, and one funky thumb button) as well as the wheel that’s all the rage these days. What’s more, thanks to the recent PS/2 mouse fix, you can beef up the sampling rate in Windows to get the same level of control as a USB device without switching over. Stylin’!

Manufacturer: Logitech

Avg. Price: $30

Geek Factor: 2

Coolness: 3

The FragMaster: We’re not quite sure what to make of this funky looking thing, so we’ll let you decide. It claims to be the first joystick designed for first person shooters, and whether or not that’s true aside, it sure is weird looking. Definitely the strangest looking thing since the SpaceOrb 360, and you know what a hit that thing was. Recommended for the true geek that has everything.

Manufacturer: Thrustmaster

Avg. Price: $55

Geek Factor: 5

Coolness: 1

Wingman Force: Yeah, it’s a big joystick with force feedback. What can we say, besides…we dig it. Force feedback’s a cool thing to have. What keeps this from being totally kickass, is a lack of software support, and the gratuitous price. Well, that and the fact that for most games you'll want to use a mouse, and not a bulky joystick. But definitely the thing to get for flight simulator fans (at least until that force feedback mouse comes out).

Manufacturer: Logitech

Avg. Price: $90

Geek Factor: 3

Coolness: 2

Dex Drive: Now here’s a geek toy. The Dex Drive is a odd looking gizmo that plugs into your PlayStation’s memory card slot and then into your PC’s COM port, allowing you to save (and back up) your games to your PC. Sound like a waste of time? Maybe…but it also just might start a PlayStation revolution. Imagine web sites loaded with save games to download…imaging reverse-engineering PSX save files to let you do all kinds of funky things. It’s not just a wacky idea…it’s already happening. A must have for the absolute geek out there.

Manufacturer: Interact

Avg. Price: $40

Geek Factor: 5

Coolness: 5

 

High End ($100 and up):

The Intensor: We reviewed this baby last week, and it just had to make the list…it ain’t cheap, but man oh man is it a scream to use. This one’s only for hardcore geeks with lots of cash to blow…but shoooeee is it fun to annoy your neighbors with its kickin’ sound system. Trust us on this one. :)

Manufacturer: BSG Labs

Avg. Price: $300 - $600

Geek Factor: 5

Coolness: 4

Palm III: Well, you can’t talk about geek toys without mentioning the all time champion geek toy…the handheld PC. It’s part status symbol, part really useful device, and part…well…toy. Sure you can use it to balance your checkbook, check your e-mail, and plan your life…but you can also use it to play some totally kickin’ games, too. And thanks to that IR port, you can even use it to control your TV and VCR. Now that’s technology for you.

Manufacturer: 3Com

Avg. Price: $300

Geek Factor: 5

Coolness: 4

 

Keep going, there's plenty more geekiness ahead!

Credits: Illustration © 1998 Dan Zalkus. It's a Very Geeky Christmas is © 1998 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, dangit.