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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 two)

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman

 

Tribes 2: The game I was really looking forward to seeing at the show. Heck, since the second the doors opened I was itching to see this, and it killed me that I didn't get a chance to really check it out until the last day. Well I saw it, and I was impressed. It's tough to get people who haven't played Tribes 1 excited about it, since well…it's just more Tribes, but if you liked the original, you're going to love Tribes 2. Basically they've taken all the stuff that was right about Tribes, and left it alone completely. But all the stuff that was wrong? They've fixed it, and made the game even better. First off, they've added a ton of new levels. I was told that in all, there will be 30 multiplayer maps. Yowza. They've recognized the need for a real tutorial (the one included with Tribes 1 was admittedly a pretty weak introduction) and have added…bots. Ta daa! They'll be including a whole, real tutorial with this one, making it much more easily accessible. They've also ditched their software renderer, and area going hardware only this time around, and they've even thrown their Glide renderer out the window as well, and the game will be OpenGL only. The maps will actually look different this time around, with distinct locations. There are new environmental hazards, including water (yeah!) and lightning, which will actually temporarily slow down your energy reproduction (if you've played Tribes at all, you'll agree that this sounds badass). Expect a whole boatload of new vehicles, including some ground vehicles, and one or more that can cross water. Tribes 2 was the only demo I got where I really felt like an excited fanboy. I've grown to love Tribes so much in the last few months that I was really happy to see that they're not messing with what they did right. But ultimately the gameplay is the same, so if you didn't like Tribes, you'll probably dislike the sequel as well. But hey…for those fanboys out there, this is like the second coming. ;)

Quake 3: Arena: Every time I approached the Quake 3: Arena booth, there was a massive crowd, which pretty much says it all. The bots were shown battling it out with some professional players (Thresh and Kornelia) and while they were able to rack up a few kills, I did notice some strange behavior from time to time. I'd have to play against them myself to really evaluate them, but I saw one of them running in circles endlessly at one point for no apparent reason (well, what reason can you think of?). If you played the Q3Test that's out there, you know what to expect from this. It's a great deathmatch. That's why we play it, and that's why it's so popular. I didn't see anything that would lead me to believe it'll be anything more than that, but hey…I don't care. It's already (with Q3Test) the best deathmatch game id's ever made. I just need some more maps, and that's what Quake 3: Arena will give me. And in the end, that's good enough for me. If you hate Quake, then well…don't expect to like Quake 3: Arena. Period.

Perfect Dark: It's been a long wait, but the "sequel" to Goldeneye is finally ready to show. Rare has actually rewritten the engine from scratch (contrary to earlier reports that it was a rehash) and it's looking swanky. They've added a whole new arsenal of stuff, such as a really cool item you can use that will let you see through walls (think Predator), making the sort of rampant camping that was evident in Goldeneye deathmatch a thing of the past. They've added the ability (at last!) to walk off of ledges, there's a laptop gun (cooool) and lots of other nifty little things. The enemy AI has been beefed up significantly, and enemies now exhibit pack behavior. The version of the game shown on the floor at E3 only had six multiplayer and four single player missions (Rare won't say how much of the actual game this was, so your guess is as good as mine) but it was looking pretty damn good. Look for this N64 game in early December.

 

(Continued in Next Week's Issue!)

 

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.