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volume 1, issue 39

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:

loonygames goes to E3 (part one): Part One of our massive E3 coverage.

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

T-Shirts: Stylin' loonygames t-shirts from Berda Compugrafix!

Artwork: Hey, dig the artwork on loonygames? We're selling some of the original art.

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Inside Raven Software: Our definitive history of the company behind Hexen, Heretic and other classics.

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loonygames goes to E3!
(concluded)

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman

 

elcome back to loonygames' E3 coverage. In our first part, you had a game-by-game rundown of some of the games available at the show. In this part, you'll find some more general stuff…all the things that aren't game-specific. Anyway, without further adieu, let's get into it.

Sega's Area: I spent some time hanging around Sega's Dreamcast booth, and I must say I was impressed. Sega's area (the term "booth" doesn’t really apply to their setup) was one part of the Console Trinity at E3 (the other two being Sony and Nintendo, naturally) and all three of them were enormous to say the least. Sega's area definitely made a major impression based on the sheer number of playable games available. For a system currently available only by import here in the US, that was a pleasant surprise.

The expected launch titles were all playable: Sega Rally 2 (still as impressive here as it was the last time I played it), Virtua Fighter 3: TB (likewise, very polished and well done), and of course, the freaky-fast Sonic Adventure. Sonic is looking great in its full translated glory, and I'm eagerly anticipating that 9/9/99 launch date so I can get my filthy hands on this one.

Also playable was the incredible House of the Dead 2. This game has been getting a great deal of negative exposure in the mainstream media due to its over-the-top violence, and Sega took the high road, letting the game stand for itself (Activision, on the other hand, should be ashamed for the embarrassing way they hid Soldier of Fortune from the floor…more on this in a bit). The game is virtually identical to its arcade counterpart, and if there was a difference in the poly-count, I sure as heck couldn’t find it.

The game I was most looking forward to at the Sega area was Yu Suzuki's Shenmue, and I left the show feeling very let down by what I saw. First of all, Shenmue was indeed playable on the show floor. This is a good thing. And yes, the game really is made up entirely of in-game graphics - no pre-rendered CGI at all. In all it's very impressive looking. Sega had a nicely made demo movie running on some big screens, and it really showed off the game well. What was a big let down was the fact that what was playable was well…sort of boring. They basically took a couple of the mini-games and made them playable to the general public, and while they looked cool enough, they were pretty damn boring. I didn't fly out to LA to stand around and play a pretty version of darts, that's for damn sure.

Oh well. Disappointment #2 from Sega's booth came when I started asking around about the Dreamcast's US multiplayer capabilities. I can't blame the fine people I talked to, because it wasn't that they were attempting to dodge my questions or anything, quite the opposite, in fact. They were very nice and attempted to answer all of the questions I asked…the problem was that they simply didn't know the answers. The impression that I got was that nothing is final yet with the US Dreamcast's Internet capabilities beyond the fact that it will have it in one way or another. As this is a major selling point for the system I was hoping for something concrete, but what can you do. What is known about the US Dreamcast is that it will be shipping with a 56k internal modem (which can be upgraded as new technologies become more popular). What you'll be using that modem for is still up in the air.

 

(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.