Hump Day Otaku News Report 07.30.03

First I’d like to say that I’m a dumbass. No, not for my still present loyalty to Squaresoft. Not for spending way too much money on anime and games, and therefore getting into massive debt. I’m talking about the name of my column. I screwed it up last week! I can’t believe I did that. Since Chris was on vacation and Widro was filling in on the posting duties, I sent in my column with the name Otaku Hump Day News Report. People, that’s how out of it I’ve been lately. No matter. It’s in the past, and it will stay there. Now it’s time to move on.

This week, we have the Legaia 2 review I promised, and beware, it’s a full sized review, so it’ll be a decent sized read. When I start blabbing, I just can’t stop. We also have a memorium for a company who pioneered the way we use the web, and it’s sad that they are virtually forgotten by the general public. Not much else out of the ordinary other than those. So I hope you like them.

Oh, and just an addendum to my review of Golden Sun: The Lost Age. I finally finished it, and boy was it great. It had a good ending with a lot of swirves. The story just gets better and better, and I hope and pray Camelot will make a third. They made a ton of Shining Force games, and I’m hoping they can make a new mega-franchise out of this. Now if only Nintendo wouldn’t give them bullshit like Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, then maybe they can make some good games! Preferably for the GameCube.

Gaming News

Namco/Monolith News
I’ll save a little space by compressing this info into one area. Monolith has released yet more information on their two upcoming titles: Xenosaga Episode II and Baten Kaitos. We’ll start with the latter first. This is the people who are working on the title, courtesy of GamesareFun:
Producer: Tadashi Nomura (Saga Frontier II, Xenogears)
Directors: Hiroya Hatsushiba (Valkyrie Profile)
Yasuyuki Honne (Xenogears)
Scenario: Masato Kato (Xenogears)
Music: Motoi Sakuraba (Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, El Viento)
All in all, there are about 20 people from Monolith and 30 from Tri-Ace working on the game. That’s a great crew for what looks to be a great game.

As for Xenosaga Episode II info, there still isn’t a whole lot, but there’s more than before. Apparently, the battle system will be somewhat faster than previously, but not changes very much otherwise. And it has also been confirmed that you can transfer your save data from Episode I to Episode II, which makes me hope that I kept my savegame! That is from RPGFan. Also, it has been revealed (via Gamespot this time) that there is an anime based on Xenosaga in the works, which I hope is released here!

Nintendo Release Dates
Nintendo has announced American release dates for quite a few titles, but I’m gonna skip the crap (which is mostly rehashed Mario games anyway):
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 – GBA (Oct 21, 2003)
Fire Emblem – GBA (Nov 3, 2003)
Sword of Mana – GBA (Dec 1, 2003)
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles – GC (Feb 9, 2004)

I probably shouldn’t have included FF:CC, but I felt bad not putting ANY GameCube games on there. Sadly, I’m beginning to agree with Bryan Berg and am worried about the future of the GC. Nintendo is still churning out crap based on their most famous (and stupidest) mascot, and they don’t seem to be stopping. They really need to get their shit together, otherwise people will realize that the GameCube wasn’t such a great purchase after all.

KotOR Sets XBox Sales Record
The newest RPG for the XBox, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, has set XBox sales records. It sold over 250,000 copies in the first 4 days of release, which I think is fantastic. Congrats to Bioware for making this game, and at the same time FUCK YOU. I want this game so bad it hurts, and this weekend, I’ll probably go buy it and an XBox. I get 3 checks in August anyway, so one is basically a freebie. My wife keeps taunting me by saying, “You can go get one baby.” I fear for my livelihood though, because I may not sleep if I get it. If I do, expect another full blown review in here from me, since Polecat took the actual review. And if I get an XBox, that means I can do reviews for that too. Muhahahaha! Justification! I’m a sad, sad person, I know.

411 Newsbits
I’ll keep this schtick up until someone tells me not to!! And because I’m lazy.
-Nintendo likes to toot it’s own horn (or for you adults out there, suck itself off) buy posting sales numbers for the company, which state that the GBA has outsold the PS2 every month since the beginning of the year. What they don’t mention is that most people who WANT a PS2 HAVE one, that the GBA SP was JUST FUCKING RELEASED, which means everybody wants one, and that it’s about half the price. And I don’t really consider them compeditors. Oddly, they don’t mention how the GameCube is the lowest selling major console out there, since few companies will make good games for it, other than the N themselves.
-Maxx Payne, a former WCW wrestler, is suing Rockstar for the name Max Payne. Is it just me, or does it sound like this wrestler just wants a) money and b) publicity. He apparently wasn’t good enough to cut it in wrestling, so now he tries to step out of mediocrity to get noticed. Hello Mr. Payne, it’s called a play on words. You made the same play on words yourself, and so did Rockstar. They didn’t know you existed (and neither did anyone else for that matter), so just go back home.
-The next Tenchu game, Return From Darkness, will be XBox only and will feature XBox Live support. I know they won’t do this, but the first thing I could think of when they mentioned Live is having a bunch of Ninjas trying to assassinate each other. That’d be wack.

New Game Releases
* Ship Date – 7/29/03
Mario Golf (GC)

I only put this here because there really isn’t anything else worth putting. I think Mario should die a slow and painful death. Like Jeff said, we have really only bargin bin titles this week, and Mario Golf is the cream of the crap. Camelot’s talents are WASTED. I know Alex Lucard will agree with me on this one.

Links to the Past

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
Talks about NCAA 2004 (sounds really fun, for a football game), the Phantom console (sorry, it’s gonna bomb), Blockbuster (if I rented games, the Freedom pass would rock!), Eminem (people still care about him why?), and NFL 2K4/ESPN Football (hey, the “Crib” sounds like one of those totally useless things I could get in to!). His commentary is about the immenent demise of Nintendo as a home console maker. I know I wouldn’t complain if they went the way of Sega and stuck with GBA on the hardware end and went cross platform on the software end. And thanks for the Silver. You know I think of these f*cked up quotes just for you, Bryan.

Friday’s Slice o’ News – Jeff Watson
I think it’s safe to say that all the new guys are taking to their respective positions like fish to water. Jeff discusses Eminem (kinda like the Yellow M&M because he’s STUPID! Yea, that was lame. Black Mage is my fave in 8-Bit Theater after all), Global Gaming League (meh), the Phantom (just like the movie with Billy Zane, it’ll SUCK ASS), and Super Farm (ummmm, yea). He also lists his top 10 Jaguar games. Personally, I didn’t know they made 10 Jaguar games, I thought it had died before then. But it ranks right up there with the 3DO in failed consoles, in my mind. Oh, and a Jay and Silent Bob game would ROCK, but they’d make it a platformer of some sort (like Conker’s BFD) and I wouldn’t like that. And Jeff got my column name right, even though I didn’t!

Retrograding Weekend News – Alex Lucard
Part 3 of 5 of his Shining Force history. I was going to suggest he do a history of Squaresoft, but he’d probably kill me. And it’s not fair that these gaming companies write him and not anyone else. Do they just skip over our stuff, or do they just hate us? Hey game companies! Write me! Please?

Gamer’s Hangover – Cory Laflin
Cory proves that he’s that damn good by receiving Bryan Berg’s Gold Medal for the week. And for the record Cory, it’s about columns not quotes. I may have had a better quote, but your column shone above all the rest. Cory talks about the Gaming League, the Phantom (I signed up for the beta too, just because a) I’ll NEVER turn down a free console and b) I want to play it before everyone else so I can either praise it or ream it a new one), Sega’s planning (oxymoron?), and much more. In regards to PETA, I agree with Cory. Their intentions are sound (to an extent), but their methods are deplorable. I love animals very much (so much that my house is a veritable zoo), but the lengths these people go to get their point across is asinine. They need a kick to the head (I’ll have to explain my usage of that phrase someday). Cory, beware Matt Hardin. He said he was going to write you. You won’t be the same afterwards. Ask Bebito, he’ll tell you.

Rumor Down-Lo – Bebito Jackson
Speaking of which, Bebito posts some rumors on Shenmue III (I already reported it, but he clarifies it better), Banjo Pilot (personally, never really liked Rare, but like the designs for their new RPG), Red Dead Revolver (does anybody really care much about this game?), and Gran Turismo 4 (me wanty). He also posts quite a few fan letters (am I the ONLY guy who doesn’t get a ton of mail?!), including one from Matt Hardin. That’s just a taste, Cory. It goes downhill from there! *evil grin*

CHEAT! – Alex Williams
Too many games to list here, but he basically covers all the games reviewed here at 411 since his last installment. He also started a new section called Retrocheating, which has some cheats from yesteryear. Alex, next time you have to include the Konami code, since it’s the most famous cheat known to man, but as an added challenge, you have to include each and every game you could use it on.

Angry Gamer’s Mailbag – Liquid Cross
He just started, and his second column is already a mailbag. He got a lot of hatemail on the issue, it seems, and apparently even people on game site message boards were lambasting the column. In his defense, I wholeheartedly agree that most FPS games are a total waste of time, and I find shooters MUCH more challenging and fun, even if I do suck at them.

Review of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (XBox) – Polecat
Although I only gave permission to Jeff for this review, Polecat submitted one anyway. Polecat has really been cranking them out lately. Even in my heyday I wasn’t able to do this many reviews. I shouldn’t read any more reviews of this game because each one makes me want it more and more. It will be mine! Someday, anyway.

Review of Charlie’s Angels (GC) – James Renick
James likes to review those games that most people wouldn’t bother trying, which is a good thing, because he’s more likely to find a diamond in the rough. Even though he scores this game high, I’ll stay away from it because, well, I want to.

Preview of Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix (XBox) – Bebito Jackson
This is DDR’s first foray into a non-Playstation console. I think that’s all fine and dandy, but I’d prefer they release SOME OTHER Bemani games here. I don’t care what. It could be Guitar Freaks, Drummania, Keyboard Mania or even Beatmania itself. It doesn’t matter to me. It makes no sense to me why they keep making more and more of these in Japan, and all we get is DDR which is the same exact thing every single time! Please Konami, hear me out. I will plunk down the money for a game AND whatever first party controller you release for ANY OTHER BEMANI GAME, but not DDR. Since I was once a musician, I’d much rather simulate playing an instrument than dancing. But then again, we’re in America, and too many Americans like shitty pop music where the dancing is emphasised over the music itself. *sigh*

Otaku RPGer Review – Legaia 2: Duel Saga
Genre: Traditional RPG
Platform: Playstation 2
ESRB Rating: Teen (Mild Violence)
Developer: Contrail
Publisher: Fresh Games (Eidos)
Release Date: 10/2/2002
Official Homepage: Legaia 2 @ Eidos

Sometimes I don’t really like to review sequels for the simple fact that they either are exactly like their predaccessors (.hack) or just aren’t as good the original (too many to name). It is those odd times where one can play a sequel that is either a lot alike the original, yet improves on it, or one that keeps the best parts of the previous title and starts fresh with just about everything else. Legaia 2 is one of those types.

Legend of Legaia wasn’t a particularly special game, but it was a lot of fun. For the most part, the game was a standard RPG, but they did have a unique battle system that worked almost like a fighting game. In addition, it is one of the few games that actually changes the way you look when you change armor. Despite these cool features, the game wasn’t that highly regarded and was overshadowed by other games released that year (in particular, Star Ocean 2 and Final Fantasy VIII). That didn’t stop Contrail from releasing a sequel.

October of 2002 featured even stiffer competition for the Legaia series because this time there were 3 other very high profile games released in the same month. All 4 of the big games released that month were sequels, and the other 3 were probably more anticipated. The competition was Grandia Xtreme, Wild Arms 3, and Suikoden III. So now that Legaia 2: Duel Saga had been released and had the daunting task of going up against sequels of several beloved games, the question is just how will it perform? Will the competition kill Legaia? Or could it possibly match the success of the other games?

Our adventure begins like so many others. Our hero, Lang, decided to sleep in, but is awoken by his pseudo-adopted sister Nancy shows up banging on a bucket. She tells you to get your ass out of bed, otherwise her dad Galvan will kill you! It’s your first day as a member of the Vigilance Corps, a group of hunters and defenders in your small village of Nohl. Something goes awry on your trip to the Hunter’s Woods though, and you are attacked and left for dead by a powerful man with gold eyes. While you’re in a coma for 5 days, the town’s most precious item, the Aqualith, is stolen. Since it is the sole source of water for the town, the Aqualith must be returned, and of course Lang is the one to step forward to retreive it.

While on your journey, you meet several companions, including the mute girl Maya and the alcoholic martial artist Kazan, who accompany on your quest to return the Aqualith to Nohl. And as to be expected, you find out along the way that it’s not only Nohl that is in danger, but the entire world! And, predictably, it is up to your motley crew (not the band) to set to world to rights again.

Clearly, this is a story we’ve heard before. Reluctant hero is on journey for village, finds out he needs to help the entire world, meets new friends along the way, one of which is a cute girl (which may cause problems with a close “friend” at home), and is searching for elemental crystals that were made at the dawn of time to help save the world from some odd, extremely powerful man with silvery hair. No, this isn’t Final Fantasy XII. Seriously, the story is very cliche and it definitely feels like the game has been played before. Despite that, the cliches are all used well, and everything flows together nicely. The decisions the characters make, their consequenses and everything inbetween all make sense. The main characters are all likable, and the villians are evil, but some are mysterious enough to merit questions about motivation and the like. The characters all seem human and you could see them as being your next door neighbor. So kudos for making a story that we’ve all heard before still seem interesting. It’s not fantastic of course, but it’s not awful.

While the story has been seen before, a lot of the gameplay features haven’t been. For one thing, the battle system has been seen in only one game previously: Legend of Legaia. Yes, the nifty arts system that looks like it came straight out of a fighting game has returned. For the uninitiated, the way the battle system works is this. Each character has 4 base attacks: Upper, Lower, Left and Right Handed. You get a certain amount of blocks that you can use to attack, and they go up as your characters gain levels. If you use certain combinations for the attacks, they turn into arts, which do more damage than regular, and depending on how you do arts, you can chain them together, for mucho damage. As you do regular arts, you gain AP, which can be expended in Super, Hyper, and Variable Arts, which do even more damage. This system is almost identical to the one in the previous Legaia, and is a breath of fresh air when compared to many battle systems.

Magic is handled using Origins, which function similar to Summons. Each of your characters have an Origin that can be called on to do a massive attack or to use beneficial magic like healing. As your characters gain levels, your Origins too level up, and they can learn new magic as they progress. Your characters traverse the world map in a fashion that is becoming more and more popular: a map with dots. There are no random encounters on the world map, and you can choose to go from point A to point B, and it goes there without you having to walk your happy ass there, which is so common in RPGs. Normally, I wouldn’t like a world map of this sort, but the fact that there are no encounters is a nice touch.

As with most RPGs, you can buy weapons and armor in stores, but this game adds a nice twist. In addition to buying them, you can upgrade your existing equipment by collecting materials from enemies or buying them from certain shops. There are quite a few different materials and you get more and more as you progress, so it’s not possible to upgrade everything to the maximum right at the beginning. In addition to weapons and armor, you can also equip accessories, which do all sorts of things. Each accessory grants the holder with certain skills, but most of them only start out with one skill, and you have to level the accessories up to attain all the skills available on the item. You can upgrade your accessories too, but it works differently than with other items. Rather than combining materials with the accessories, you actually combine two accessories to produce another one. The sum isn’t always better than the parts, though, but many times the sum will have better attributes if leveled up to the max.

Another nice gameplay element that is disguised as a fun collectable is recipies. Many games have them, but few actually truly benefit you in any decernable way. In this game, when you cook something, the entire party eats it. Recipies have benefits, and many also have drawbacks. The best ones have major benefits in all stats. Collecting recipies is a lot of fun (oops, wrong section!), and can be found all sorts of ways, from magazines to actually eating the food itself.

The nice thing about recipies and combining is that they can be done for free. Well, you have to have the ingredients and materials, but for the most part those are cheap and easy to come by. The nicest thing is that often instead of save points, you have camping areas, and at any camp area (or on the world map) you can choose to combine items, cook food, save the game, rest (the RPG equivialent of using a tent), and chat with your party members, which is somewhat similar to chatting in Grandia 2, except you don’t choose who talks.

Clearly, the gameplay is the richest part about the game, and it’s really what makes the game a blast to play. If the gameplay weren’t this good, the game would be just another RPG with a cliche story. There really isn’t anything at all to complain about in this area, because so much thought went into everything. Well, I can think of one gripe. Occasionally, it will lag some in battles, in the fact that once the battle starts, it takes 2 or 3 seconds for something to happen. It doesn’t happen that often, so it’s not that bad.

The visuals in this game are a mixed bag. Don’t get me wrong; the graphics are excellent, but I have just a few issues with them. The models are very detailed and are all very good looking, and all the characters are well designed and unique. But on the downside, they didn’t put enough planning into the movement of the models, and there is quite a bit of clipping at times. Many games have this problem, but it’s not as noticable. It’s very common to see someone’s hair disappear into their shoulder, or for their shoulder to be malformed and collapse into their torso. What’s even worse is when a model is supposed to intentionally touch another model, or something of the sort, and it either clips or is so far away it doesn’t look like it’s touching. For example, at one point Kazan cracks his knuckles, and his two hands are the equivillent of 4 inches away from each other, which looks sillier than when a nasty wrestling move is done on a non-wrestler (Kane and his tombstone and Bubba Ray and his Sitdown Powerbombs…I’m sorry, those don’t look painful!).

On the good note, character designs themselves are really good. Lang and Sharon (another party member) in particular are very colorful and flashy in design, which fits nicely with the more subtle designs of Maya and Kazan. Likewise, monster designs are top notch; all are interesting in design and don’t seem like they were stolen from other games, which is how it feels with many games. The only problem with design I have is that the models for many NPCs are reused, but that’s a common thing in games, unfortunately.

Environment design is spectacular, and everywhere you go looks and feels like it should. One town fits perfectly in its motif: one the rich half of the town is a beautiful, lush garden that reeks of money, and the poor half has a bunch of run down, ramshackle buildings and trash. Forests look like forests and ruins look like ruins. There is quite a bit of variety here, and it’s really fun to be able to explore all the different areas. So other than the problems with the clipping and reusing models, there really isn’t any bad things I can say about the graphics.

This will be hard for me to grade because there is some good and some bad here. As for the good, well, the music is really nice. There are quite a few different themes and all of them are well composed and interesting. The battle theme is nice as well, and the little celtic theme they play after you win is a fun ditty as well. While I’m not rushing out to buy the soundtrack, I’m not eager to mute the TV either.

The sound effects are also good, though it’s hard to find a game nowadays that don’t have good effects. You can hear every footstep, which changes depending on the ground you’re walking on. Likewise, every punch and sword slash sounds just like it should. Again, nothing to really complain about here.

But I AM going to complain about the voice acting. I don’t want to say it was horrible, but it wasn’t good. None of the characters have very good voice acting, and very few of them truly feel like they FIT with the character they are portraying. I don’t know WHO did the voice acting for the game, but they should either practice or find a new profession. And though this isn’t a problem with the voice actors themselves, but it is quite an annoyance. During battle, all the characters say things when they attack, and if they kill the enemy, they say something, and if someone kills the last enemy, they say something else. Well, in many cases (with Lang especially), what he says is completely off with his lips. It is very bad, especially since the lips finish flapping completely, then the audio kicks in. It isn’t as bad an issue outside of battle, but it is very annoying nonetheless.

Fun Factor
There is very little about this game that couldn’t be considered fun in some way. You have all of the things I’ve mentioned already: the combining of weapons and accessories, as well as the cooking. This game is a lot of fun for collectors as well as the fans of leveling up, since you can level not only your character, but also your Origin, accessories and Hyper Arts. As for collectors, you can collect recipies, ingredients, combinable materials, accessories, rare items (for selling?), and nicknames. Oh, I didn’t mention nicknames, did I? Basically, there are several events in the game that occur that will give you a title of sorts, and you can collect them all. Also, sometimes the choices you are given affect your title. Additionally, you can get several nicknames by cooking food a certain amount of times.

As for non-gameplay related items, there are quite a few little mini-games that you can play. The first one you play is called sidejumping, and though it isn’t that much fun, it is very unique and can get quite difficult. Next you learn how to plant flowers, and you can water them and fertilize them, and eventually they will yield fruit. The way you grow them depends on what they grow. There are also different seeds that have different fruits. But probably the coolest side quest type thing is collecting furniture and putting it in a room. You can’t really arrange it or anything, but it’s just neat to see the furniture placed in your own room, and you can put whatever furniture you’ve earned. In fact, if you put in the items that Maya likes, it’ll earn you another nickname. This whole thing doesn’t effect the game in anyway, but it is fun to play with.

Story: 8
Gameplay: 9.5
Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 6.5
Fun Factor: 9.5

THE 411: Of the 3 other games that were released about the same time, this game is hands down the best of them all. While the voice acting left a lot to be desired and the clipping was quite annoying, the game very solid and a pleasure to play. Maybe it’s just the surprise factor, because to be honest, I was one of the ones anticipating the other 3 games (Suikoden III in particular) more, but was amazed at how much better this game is to those. If you like RPGs in general, then you’re really doing yourself a disservice by not playing this game. Fans of the original Legaia definitely need to pick it up. And hell, this could be a good game to get fighting fans into RPGs, maybe. And believe me, this game will bite you in the ass like it did me because I never expected it to be this much fun.

Final Score: 8.5

New Anime Releases
* Release Date – 7/29/03
City Hunter TV Season 1 Collection 1 and 2, Heat Guy J Vol. 1 (also w/ box), Ninja Scroll 10th Anniversery Edition, RahXephon Vol. 4

We have a collection from a series that is supposed to be popular, but I know nothing about. We also have a new release from Pioneer that is sure to please. We have a re-release of a classic. And we have a disc that I need, but probably won’t get anytime soon. Oddly enough, I saw discs 2 and 3 at Walmart the other day. I would have liked to get them, but alas, my wallet is very thin right now. Even all the OT I’m getting will have to go to bills which sucks. Ah well.

Netscape is dead. Long live Netscape.

I’ve been a Netscape user for a long time. I was like so many other people and stopped using them early on in the 4.7 series because IE was faster and I didn’t know any better. I tried the preview version of Netscape 6.0 and thought it sucked, because quite frankly, it did. What was released as Netscape 6.0 never should have existed. As they released higher and higher versions, 6.1, 6.2, and then 7.0, Netscape improved greatly as a browser, and with the release of 7.0, I switched back over to the good side forever, and am happy to say that I don’t regret it in the least. I know Netscape like the back of my hand and even helped support it on the Netscape newsgroups for a while. So it’s safe to say that I know Netscape better than 99% of people alive.

I was saddened to read that AOL has decided to kill off the Netscape browser. Several years ago, they bought Netscape in hopes of making Microsoft submit to them, but now it looks like the whole intention was getting Microsoft to give them money. After AOL bought Netscape, browser production was stagnant, and even after the good people at Mozilla started producing what is now the best browser on the market, the damage had been done. In the early years of AOL’s ownership of Netscape, an antitrust lawsuit was filed against Microsoft on behalf of Netscape and the results only recently came in. Netscape (and therefore AOL) won a bunch of money and AOL gets to use IE as their browser for 7 years, and celebrates by firing all of the Netscape engineers.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a business degree, but I just don’t see the point in this. I mean, I know that the AOL people are money grubbing bastards that like to fleece people that don’t know any better (which is why many writers ridicule people with AOL as their ISP), but if you have a company like Netscape in your pocket that you could use in your own services, wouldn’t it make sense to keep it around? Why would they want to keep a browser that has so many security holes that even my cat could hack into it (well, my cat is a 133t haX0r, but that’s beside the point). Mozilla is continuously improving as a browser, and has officially branched off on their own, founding the Mozilla Foundation. With only minor releases of Netscape to come in the future, if any at all, I am going to be switching over to Mozilla as my primary browser, and I suggest that all of you do the same (IE and NS users alike). At least try out Mozilla for a few days.

Here’s the features about Mozilla I like:
-Popup Blocker: Yea, you can get a seperate blocker, but with Mozilla, it’s not necessary. It blocks all popups and you can exclude sites that you want to allow popups. Plus, it works very nicely.
-Tabbed Browsing: I wasn’t a fan of this before it came out on Netscape 7.0, but now that it’s here, I don’t see how I lived without it. For power surfers like myself, it is so much more effiecient to have everything in one window that I can just click tabs on, rather than everything in different windows.
-Standards Support: This is a big thing for me, since I am a web designer. The W3C sets standards for web design on the internet, and Mozilla was founded upon standards support. No other browser supports this as well, except for browsers based upon Mozilla (like Camino for Mac).
-Sidebar: This is something similar to the left hand panel on IE when you open the history, except the sidebar is meant to always be there. I use it primarily for bookmarks, because it’s a lot easier for me to see my bookmarks organized in a tree format on my screen, rather than the flip out windows that you get by clicking Favorites in IE (or Bookmarks in Netscape) at the top.

Granted, these are all things that can be gotten in other browsers (Opera for one), but I think Mozilla looks more polished and I like the layout a lot better. I suggest giving it a whirl, and if you’re like me, you won’t regret it.

So while Netscape dies, Mozilla will live on because it is now officially its own entity, as well as the fact that it is open source software that anyone can modify and use. So while most people aren’t aware that Netscape was the first commercial browser on the market, and is arguably the first browser period (when it was called Mozaic, which is the basis for the name Mozilla, which was the Netscape mascot), and a lot of you probably don’t know that the IE you are using right now actually has ancient Netscape code in it (do a Help – About Internet Explorer…see how it says based on NCSA Mozaic?), Netscape is possibly responsible for the way we access the web, so they deserve all the praise they can get.

Rest in Peace, Netscape.

Well, it’s time again. I’ve stayed up too late writing this, which means I’ll be tired at work. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY!!! Anyway, I don’t know what to expect for next week. If I get the XBox and KotOR, I’ll probably play that all the time. If not, I’ll probably start playing Neverwinter Nights and PRETEND it’s KotOR. I know, I know, I’m weird. Anyway, I need some sleep. Enjoy all the other guys and write me or something. I don’t get enough mail. Seeya.