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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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Penny Arcade at E3: Those wacky Penny Arcade kids do E3!

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loonygames goes to E3!
(part two)

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman

 

System Shock 2: As a huge fan of the original System Shock (bring it back into print, damn you EA!) I was very anxiously awaiting this sequel. SS2 is even more RPG oriented than its predecessor, and while there is some action in the game, it's pretty much a full RPG. The game is built upon an enhanced version of the Thief engine, and they now have colored lighting and can support a much more diverse set of colors (all those browns in Thief were a bit much for my taste). SS2 is very colorful, and looks like a fully 3D version of the original (which had a very distinctive look to it). The game is indeed hardware only, which is probably not a disappointment to too many people these days, but still is likely to let down someone. In fact, almost all the games I saw this year (HumanHead's Rune being a notable exception) were hardware only. Considering the plummeting prices of low-end 3D cards, I'd suggest buying one now if you're a gamer without one. One really cool thing I saw in SS2 was the presence of (get this) the ghosts of dead crew members. They'll give you secrets, and best of all just plain look cool. SS2 has no real multiplayer, but it does support four player co-op. Fans of the original game will rejoice at this, since System Shock is still one of the classic co-op games of all time. Look for this one Real Soon Now, as they're just about done with the title. Yay!

 

Oni: I was really looking forward to this title, and I was very excited by what I saw. I only got to play two games at the show (the other one you'll see just after this) and I loved Oni. The game is an oddball mixture of Half-Life, Tomb Raider…and Tekken. If that makes no sense what so ever, don't worry…this is Bungie. They do weird stuff like this all the time (remember Myth: The Fallen Lords? The Quake meets Warcraft game?). Basically you play from a third person perspective, but much of the combat is hand-to-hand just like in a fighting game. But there are giant weapons you can get (the rocket launcher rocks) and a ton of kickass combo moves. One move I couldn't get enough of was this one where you grab the person's neck and spin around their head, causing them, needless to say, a great deal of pain. Kickass. The game's enemies have a remarkably complex AI, which for a third-person game is extremely rare (I loved Heretic II, but those guys were dumb as bricks). One example: I was shown a first person level where our heroine ran into a room, and all the guys scattered, jumping behind boxes. As she walked towards the middle of the room, they all pounced on her, making for a sort of "gang bang Tekken" scenario. Strange, but really fun. When I actually played, it was the deathmatch game, which ruled. I was actually playing on an iMac, and the game ran perfectly. Unfortunately, due to the extreme low-latency requirements of hand-to-hand fighting, Bungie isn't sure at this time whether or not they'll actually be supporting the game via their fantastic matchmaking service Bungie.net. While Oni will run well over LAN, ISDN and DSL connections, it's pretty much a given that it won't work at all over standard modem connections. That's a major suck, but what can you do. Expect Oni to be a total hit at LAN parties when it's released. Oh, and if you're wondering: Oni is Japanese for "ghost." :)

 

(Continued on next page)

 

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.