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volume 1, issue 38

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.

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loonygames goes to E3!
(part one)

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman


Other Oddworld Stuff: It's very subtle, but in the Oddworld PR stuff, there's all kinds of other projects mentioned. The PR sheet mentions that there will be other "side game" announcements coming soon (like the Oddworld: Adventures title for the GameBoy Color that was released) but what I really dug from this part of the PR sheet was this line, "just wait until you see the bomb we drop on the world of action figures!" And since I can't do their hyperbole any justice, I'll just read off the section regarding, yes…the Oddworld Motion Picture:

"Finally and most ambitiously, Oddworld is moving into the world of feature films. Our first motion picture, to be created entirely on the premises of Oddworld Inhabitants, is already in pre-production. Expanding on the events and characters glimpsed in the Quintology series of game titles, our feature films will cement Abe and his fellow Inhabitants in place as the key entertainment icons of the 21st century."

How cool is that?

Woo..check out these (very!) early screenshots from No One Lives Forever (14 screens).

No One Lives Forever: I saw a very early version of this Monolith game running, and it was enough to get me excited. NOLF is a first person shooter that centers around Adam Church, a sort of James Bond-ish character. The designers are aiming to capture the feel of the 1960's James Bond here, and the result is a delightfully retro game. The title was shown using the current LithTech engine, but they will be moving it over to the LithTech 2.0 engine shortly. Cool stuff.

Star Trek: Voyager: I had seen this briefly during my trip to Raven Software, but it was nice to see it up and running in public. The game uses the Quake 3: Arena engine, and they are doing a spectacular job of putting the curved surfaces to great use here. They are used everywhere, and the end result is a reproduction of the Voyager ship that is exactly what you would expect. You play a member of a security team that's sent around to defend the ship from aliens who are boarding the ship, but part of the game will take you to the Borg cube (yeah, baby!). I got to see a bit from the Borg levels, and man…they rock. In all, there are nine weapons, and ten missions in Star Trek: Voyager, and levels will be introduced by characters from the show (yep, they're going to be featuring the real actors) who will give you your assignment. I can't wait to see more from this one.

Heavy Metal: FAKK 2: I'll admit it…I'm a Heavy Metal junkie. I always have been. I grew up repeatedly watching the original film, I've been an avid reader of the magazine for over a decade, and man…I just love the stuff. And who better to make a game based on the upcoming film sequel than Ritual Entertainment? This is the second announced game that is made using the Quake 3: Arena engine, and like Voyager, it looks great. Considering that they've actually only had the technology in their hands for 8 weeks, they've done a great job. There are tons of lush, organic scenes, which like Voyager make extensive use of the curved surfaces. They've ported over the scripting system from Sin, so expect to see lots of cool stuff going on in the background. It's tough to make any judgements about the game based on what I saw here, but it does look pretty, that's for sure. Oh, and just to be a stickler here…the film (and the game along with it) is based upon Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley's graphic novel Melting Pot, which never actually appeared in Heavy Metal. The characters graced the covers, and small excerpts were run (including the prologue) but the biggest part never actually showed up in the magazine. :)

Three screenshots from Daikatana.

Daikatana: I'm a big fan of the MPlayer demo that was released, so I was kind of looking forward to seeing the full game in action. And boy, was I disappointed. With all the bad things being said about Daikatana, I was kind of rooting for this one quietly, hoping that they would prove everyone wrong at E3. Unfortunately, what I saw (which admittedly wasn't much) isn't going to quiet the nay-sayers yet. As fun as the deathmatch is, the single player stuff I saw looked outdated at best (when compared to the Quake 3 or current Unreal engine titles, it's looking downright ancient), and the sidekicks that I saw in action didn't appear to do anything especially revolutionary. If anything, they just seemed like overhyped versions of the Barney character in Half-Life. I'm still hoping to be proved wrong here, because after all this time I can't help but think that they're still working on the game because they believe they've got something worthwhile to show the world…but I haven't seen that yet. In all, this year's E3 demo didn't look that different from last year's. Which as you may recall was one of the things that resulted in the scrapping of Prey (or at least, that version, anyway). Let's hope they've got a master plan to unveil soon…or Daikatana is going to get snowed over real fast by the other titles out there.

Nerf Arena Blast: Amongst all the controversy about the Columbine High School shootings, the concept of a game where you actually go around shooting kids may seem downright in poor taste, but leave it to Hasbro interactive to make a game that does it with class. Nerf Arena Blast, a previously unheard of Unreal engine title, is basically Quake 3: Arena for kids. It's multiplayer only (the single player game uses bots) and you go around shooting kids with big happy Nerf guns. Some of the weapons are original, but the large majority of them are licensed versions of actual Nerf weapons. I wish I had a kid to get this one for...it looks stupid, but fun. :)


(Continued in Part Two!)


Credits: Illustration © 1999 Rowan Crawford. This article is © 1999 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it...or we'll peck your eyes out.