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    Rants and Raves

    Good evening ladies and gentlemen, you have crossed over to R&R, the personal haven of an Id and one Zero. Kick back and relax, as these two let their gums flap every Sunday. Be entertained by the antics and topics they bring up, and then discuss about it in the forum. But most important of all, have fun.

    Week Three-
    March 12th, 2000

    Id -

    I didn't have too much time for gaming this week, but when I did manage to scrounge up enough time for gaming, it was surprisingly not used to play The Sims. Though I was obsessed with The Sims last week, it seemed to all change this week... maybe I did speak too highly of The Sims. It was really good while it lasted, but when I started to play the game extensively for a few, the game started to loose its shine. Maybe it's just that I'm not as patient as I used to be, but eventually, everything in The Sims started to become more and more repetitive. For example, one of my Sims seemed to always be low on energy, which in turn forced me to rest the Sim every few hours or so. In addition to that, the Sim that I was controlling had unsuccessfully proposed to another woman 8 times already, which was really getting repetitive. I kept waiting and waiting for the right time, (after talking, giving a gift, feeding her), but nothing seemed to click. Like many games, the Sims is good off the get-go, but it eventually becomes not so interesting. Though it might be just me, I found that the original SimCity had much more lasting value. The Sims itself is a very innovative and interesting game, but if you really break down the game itself, the game really doesn't give the player that much freedom. For one, it's a point and click game, which deems the game more of a "watcher" than a "player", in addition, you can never actually "go to work", or buy a car etc. Maybe it's the little things. But in the end, like so many other games, The Sims was cool for a week, and not so cool the next.

    Not playing the Sims obviously freed up some gaming time, and with that time I actually decided to play Final Fantasy VIII again. I had already beaten the game about five months ago, but something kept calling me back to it. By Friday, I had invested around eight hours into the game, and managed to get to the SeeD graduation. This was far and away my favorite part of the game, as it is where Squall met Rinoa for the first time. The dance sequence is easily the best and most moving cinema in the game, as it managed to combine elegance with grace. In my opinion this was the scene that set the tone for the game as a whole. Sheer brilliance on Square's part. And commenting on Zero's recent news post, you gotta be kidding.. I'm already saving up for FF9 if any of you are wondering. But if you haven't played FF8 yet, there is no better time than now. I do recommend the PC version more though, basically because the PC version has better graphics.

    Other than FF8, I haven't really played much else. Well, I did play a few games of NBA Live 2000, which is also a pretty good game. But come on, this wasn't a week for games, was it? Mission to Mars came out in the theatres! I was anticipating this movie for two months already, and went to see it just yesterday. I am by no means disappointed, as I felt it was clearly the best movie I've seen so far this year, even beating out the other sci-fi flick I saw, Pitch Black. The story was great, the characters were memorable, and the effects were splendid. What more could you ask for? Though the movie as a whole seemed a lot like Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey. It was still good nevertheless, as it managed to answer all the questions at the end of the movie, unlike 2001. The only real fault of the movie was that the alien looked too friendly, but I'm not going to spoil anymore of the movie for you, don't worry. :)

    When it really came down to it, I didn't really play anything new this weekend. Maybe it was because The Sims kind of turned me off, or maybe it was because of the good weather [There are a lot of maybes in this article -Zero]. Who knows, maybe I'll play more games next week. Come to think of it, I didn't go to the arcade either! Well, until next week…may your PlayStation memory cards work properly...

    Zero -

    Yeah. Id's R&R articles are longer then both my R&R and column combined. Anyway, this was another great week for gamers, and a good one for me, as well. With the X-Box announced, you can only expect even better game, because strength breeds through competition. I don't care what anyone says, because Microsoft is poised to take a hold of the console market. Where does a two-ton gorilla sit? Anywhere he wants.

    I gotta agree with Id that it is disappointing that The Sims is limited to your household, but remember, it is the first of its kind. The Sims sequel will most likely be much better. Besides, Id is trying to play The Sims in a politically correct way. That's no fun. What you gotta do make a maze of hedges and put a refrigerator at the end. Now place some Sims in the maze and voila! Instant fun.

    My friend gave me his copy of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division for fifteen bucks. It looked good so I took it off his hands. After opening it up, I was set to spend about thirty minutes playing the game, but I was sucked into a vortex and three hours passed by. Or maybe I lost track of time.

    The point is Shogo is a fun game that was ahead of its time. The models aren't all that good, except for the giant robots, but the single player missions were genuinely interesting. There were plot twists, and you didn't run the corridors alone either. The game gave off a good sense of atmosphere. And you can blow almost anything up, which is a plus. Top-notch voice acting too, I thought I would dread the voices, because the game was reminiscent of anime, and almost all anime dubs are horrible. One more thing, see how many direct anime references you can find in the game. For example, in the beginning of the game, there's bunk under the ownership of M. Kusanagi. Also known as Motoko Kusanagi, of Ghost in the Shell fame.

    It was a really short week and had some beautiful weather, so I didn't spend all that much time on games. I will be getting Planescape Torment next week [one of the pitfalls of online auctioning: The wait time]. To everyone else, enjoy your free time while it lasts, because the Diablo II Beta Test is coming!

    " "

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