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2, Issue 4
November 30, 1999
of a Gamer:
(My First Foray Back Into Gaming)
off, I just want to thank you guys for all of the great e-mails
last week. I feel so loved! Anyway, let's turn to the real business
II was the
first game I'd played in about two and a half years. It was also
the first game in which I've ever had to run a tutorial before
playing. Although I consider myself an animal lover (and a former
vegetarian), I experienced a sick pleasure at blowing up the chickens
in the barnyard. I figured if the rest of the game were like this,
I'd have no problems! That's where I made my first mistake. Someone
had already told me that the original Myth was hard enough
to be unplayable, and that Myth II was only slightly easier.
Still, I thought, how hard could it be?
I get into that, I just want to give into some childlike awe.
I had never seen a game in 3D before, so when I first started
playing, I just couldn't figure out what to do. I was so used
to games that scrolled either vertically or horizontally that
I couldn't get used to the illusion of actually moving forward
or backward. It was a little disconcerting. And the graphics
stunned me. I could move the camera in, out, around, take an aerial
view of my troops or come in close-up right over their heads.
And in addition to the main action, there are also leaves falling
from trees, and birds and butterflies flitting around. It was
began to play, I immediately learned my first lesson about gaming:
Much as I love my PowerBook, a track pad is not an ideal gaming
tool. The time it took to run my finger across the pad and then
click with my thumb really slowed things down. For example, whenever
I was ambushed it would take so long to select my knights and
bowmen that I'd inevitably lose quite a few of them. Sometimes
it seemed as though I spent more time listening to my computer
shout "Casualty! Casualty!" than I did actually playing
the game. But anyway, as I expected, the first three maps were
fairly easy and I finished them all by the second try. I don't
remember much about the first map, other than finishing it very
quickly (full disclosure: I played on the easiest setting). The
soldiers jumping up and down at the end of a level, shouting "Yay!
We did it!" is just the funniest thing in the world. And
the monsters and other nasty things that come at you are actually
very cute. Maybe they are supposed to strike terror into the hearts
of my knights, but I just have to laugh at them.
level provides even more visual pleasure. It's dark and gloomy
and the rain comes down steadily and my troop has to trudge through
streams and muddy forest into an abandoned graveyard to save some
prisoners. At this point I was still trying to work the camera
and I kept getting lost whenever I tried to look too far beyond
where my soldiers were standing. But I managed to finish it, and
while my soldiers were shouting "Yay!" at the end, I
couldn't help but join them (with my cat staring at me disapprovingly
from the other side of the room).
map is where I begin to have issues with the game. I mean, come
on! All you have to do is lead some ungrateful guy to his village.
Big whoop. When he makes sudden turns and you don't follow him
immediately, he berates you and tells you you're going the wrong
way. Then when the bad guys start coming after him, he cowers
and shows you what he's really made of. I kind of wish I could
have just left him there and gone on, but alas, you just can't
do that. The map is pretty and there are plenty of falling leaves
and butterflies and stuff, so I can't complain too much. Here's
where I realized something, though: I don't think I've seen a
female villager yet. I understand that there aren't going to be
any in my fighting ranks, but still, shouldn't there be some in
the towns? Or are they all hiding inside somewhere? It's the world
without women, and while some might say this is a good thing,
I find it kind of odd. Is a tiny woman in a dress too hard to
graphically reproduce? Or maybe there were a few and in my excitement
I just missed them. I dunno, but whatever, the game must go on.
map killed me. Over and over and over. I think it's called "Into
the Breach," and I actually started taking notes on it because
I just wasn't getting anywhere. I got my soldiers to the fortress
and there we were joined by another troop. Uh-oh, I thought, if
this is going to be so hard that I'll need backup, and then I'm
really in trouble. Sure enough, my screen spins around (rather
dizzying, by the way), and the drawbridge closes. Scene shifts
to an "invisible dwarf" by the seashore. Of course,
the first thing I tried to do was to send a few knights and bowmen
over the hills to try to help the little guy out. But of course
you can't do that, and by the time I realized that, an enemy knight
killed my dwarf and the game ended. So much for his invisibility.
Okay, round two, time for a more active dwarf. I was really good
about killing all the knights that came my way and I got all the
way to the gate. Only to realize that there was no way in. A close-up
revealed about five knights crowded behind the gate, but none
of them moving to open it. Maybe if I set some charges and blow
it up? Nope. I peeked behind the gate to see if maybe I could
find a clue, and I decided to listen to the evil knights' conversation.
What are they talking about? Ruling the world? Sex? A nice, home-cooked
meal? Nope. They want to buy the biggest turnip in the world.
Very funny. I restarted the level.
I meant business. Third time's the charm, right? I finally remembered
that you can pull up hints from a menu, and so I did that. Ah...My
dwarf has to follow one of the enemies into the breach. Hence
the name of the map! Okay. This time I was so proud of myself.
I stuck close behind one of the knights, followed him into the
fortress, and started blowing up everything in sight. And I was
immediately killed. As I normally do in life, I took the wrong
tactic and went charging in when I probably should have just snuck
around instead. I gave up. This was just too hard.
to try playing online, so I logged onto bungie.net.
The opening screen is a chat room with a scrolling list of games-in-progress.
I tried to join someone else's game, but they were all in-progress
and no one was starting anything new. Fine. I started my own game
of "Body Count." And was joined by one person. Who decided
he wanted to just hide until the timer ran out. Gee. That was
I'm done with Myth II. For what it's worth, it's a great
game and I give props to the guys at Bungie for releasing it on
a hybrid disk for the Mac world to enjoy. But it's just too darned
hard. I want to go blow someone up. I want mindless slaughter.
actually enjoys this.
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