September 29th, 2003


Even For Anime, That's Just Weird

I picked up a copy of Newtype USA the other day, which had a DVD containing the first episode of a new (to me, at least) anime series, "Angelic Layer (Battle Doll)." Sort of a cross between Cardcaptor Sakura and Pokémon, where people create and customize quasi-mystical (techno-mystical?) "battle dolls" (or "battle angels" as they're also called), which then fight in arenas (on a show called "Angelic Layer")... and the story centers on one particular girl who comes to Tokyo to live with her aunt, never having heard of Angelic Layer, spots the show being broadcast on a giant screen, and immediately becomes entranced with it.

Artwork pretty nice, setup okay, so far so good. Then, out of the blue, a guy suddenly gets an octopus shoved down his pants (as punishment for calling his boss a pervert) and spends the rest of the episode squirming around, twitching, and grabbing his posterior.


Um ... I gather it's supposed to be comic relief, but if this is what's used in the first episode to establish a premise, I don't think I want to see where it goes from there. It was weird enough in ex-Driver when the sex kitten biker chick kept trying to seduce the 12-year-old wonder boy. :-`

-The Gneech
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Olivia :(

Olivia, one of my co-workers, passed away last night; she's been fighting cancer for the past several months and lapsed into a coma late last week.

She was a very nice woman, and we're sad to lose her.

-The Gneech
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    sad sad
Boromir battle

Whether 'tis Nobler, Or At Least More Feasible...

mammallamadevil and I are hashing out the details of my new machine, and in the meantime, I've been trying to decide (a) what to do about my old one, and (b) what to do about legacy software ... such as Wing Commander.

There are a variety of games on my shelf that are now no longer feasible to use, because they are not compatible with modern machines. Half of these games have Wing Commander in the name, but it's hardly limited to those ... there are also a boatload of LucasArts titles that I'd really miss if I lost the ability to play them ... Full Throttle, Sam and Max Hit the Road, etc.

My old machine is a P3 designed to run Win98, so I can easily roll it back to that and run a lot of my old software -- I'm not sure if it can run all of it, tho ... I have this suspicion that I gave up on Privateer because it was unplayably fast on this machine. I might be forced to hit the Computer Junk Dealers for an old 486 if I can find one. The unfortunate problem is that eventually, all computers die. Floppy disks disintegrate astonishingly quickly once they reach a certain age, and hard disks are the same technology with a different configuration. The games I have on CD are the ones that will survive the best (and it's probably worth hunting down CD-ROM versions of some of my older titles).

Y'see, a lot of the current crop of games, just aren't doin' it for me. I mentioned Tachyon last week ... it's pretty much the latest word in the "Wing Commander Clone" genre, and in terms of gameplay, it's lightyears beyond its clunky, animated ancestor ... but that doesn't make it more fun. It's like with movies ... The Truth About Charlie may have a 2002 budget, but lots of people prefer Cary Grant in Charade ... or Steve McQueen over Pierce Brosnan as the enigmatic Thomas Crown.

It's not just nostalgia at work, although that's probably part of it. A lot of it is just in the ineffible "it" that some things have and some things don't. Wing Commander II is not as good as Wing Commander III, or as Tachyon ... WC3 is better than Tachyon but about on par with WC1, and so forth. There are games out now that I'm pretty excited about ... Temple of Elemental Evil being one, the upcoming Sam and Max: Freelance Police being another. I'm hoping that these herald the end of a gaming slump that began shortly after Wing Commander IV ... but I don't want to only be able to play the new games, when so many of the old games are still great.

-The Gneech
  • Current Music
    The Monkees -- "I'm Gonna Buy Me a Dog"