Well, my loyal readers, this is going to be a short one, light on news, big on opinion. But why? Mainly because I still have traveling to do this holiday season and because there is almost no news to report. So, this is the loose ends edition of the Clap. Hope you like it.
I know, unlike many of my co-workers here, I hardly have any pre-column banter, much less any sort of picture of my real life, other than what sneaks into other peoples columns. Will I work on this in the coming year? Perhaps. As Lucard knows, I am a freakishly private person. The rest of the Kliq has probably inferred this, seeing as how I am freakishly private. I guess everyone has thier issues. So, here’s to being more open with you, my beloved readers.
Ha, funny how I said I would be more open and then didn’t tell you anything, huh? This might be harder than I thought.
My Three Wishes For 2004: Playing With Yourself Might Be A Thing Of The Past
From what I’ve gleaned from the big, year- end Kliq Awards, mostly everyone was big on the GameCube- GameBoy Advance connectivity as last year’s big innovation/ trend. While I, personally, find that whole scene pretty much odious, and think that the most important thing was a GameBoy Advance that I can actually SEE the screen on was a bigger development, I think I know what next years big thing will be: GameCube multiplayer. First, some exposition…
Every Monday night, from high school on, has been of nearly sacred importance to me. This was the lone night a week that I insured that I was free from classes, work, and obligations. This was the one night a week that all of my friends knew they could come over and have a geeky good time. In it’s original incarnation, Monday at Chuck’s meant Magic: the Gathering, Hungry Howie’s pizza, and WCW. As time went by, this definition changed to include some N64 multi-player, WWF, and beer. Sure, Hungry Howie’s is gone now, the N64 became my little sister’s video game system, WCW went under, and my Magic collection was traded for a Warhammer 40k army, but it has always kept it’s meaning: pure geeky fun, one night a week. Monday means Guinness Draught, Papa John’s, GameCube multiplayer, and heckling Raw. Monday means having fun with the people who you love. Ummm, anyway.
After experiencing the joy of Mario Kart: Double Dash, the only game I’ve ever played where co-op is more fun than vs. mode, looking at the previews for Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, playing just a little bit of Dream Mix TV, and realizing that there are more 4 player games coming out for Nintendo’s little (insert color) box this next year, I have to say that GameCube multiplayer is where it will be at in the coming year. Stock up on those WaveBirds now. You’ll thank me later.
My Three Wishes For 2004: Kiddie Is Erased From The Vocabulary Of Gamers Everywhere
The biggest annoyance I had in the gaming realm this past year, aside from Soul Calibur II, was the word half-wit gamers love to lavish on any game with overtly Japanese characteristics. You know the word, it’s in the title of this wish. Yep, the “k” word which instantly renders any game unworthy of anything but scorn in the eyes of immature and insecure gamers everywhere. You know the ones: jeans, sports team hat and shirt, sometimes a jersey, bought the Genesis for Madden or NHL, plays nothing but sports games and RockStar games. This guy is the reason they made True Crime and the Getaway. “It’s like the Grand Theft but more realistic and without any sense of parody! Woo- Hoo! Go Chiefs!” Or whatever sports franchise is winning at the time. Ugh. Nothing is more sickening than when a Mongoloid decides a game is too colorful and non- gritty for thier manhood so they have to denigrate it and try to prevent anyone from buying/ playing/ enjoying it. Seriously, if you don’t like a game’s art direction/ theme/ style stay away from it. There isn’t any one of the resident fans of, let’s say Japanese fruity shooters, going on the Max Payne message boards talking about how sucky it is because everyone looks like a very painful bowel movement is imminent. There are more gamers now than ever, and more on the way. The field of games can get wider and wider if the users are willing to try and accept as many games that come thier way and not just the ones that have strippers in them. Die, “k” word, die.
My Three Wishes For 2004: SEGA Removes Tab A (HEAD) From Slot B (ASS) And Returns To Rocking My Ass
Some of the games I’ve played the most this year have been from my beloved SEGA. REZ, check! Sonic and Knuckles, check! NFL 2K2, check! So why, oh why, does Sammy have to try to usurp control? Why does the development system have to shuffle? I don’t ask much, SEGA, really I don’t. How about releasing your own greatest hits, SEGA Ages, instead of a third party? Or Initial D? Panzer Dragoon on a console not owned by the Illuminati? Shining Force? Streets of MOTHERFUCKING Rage? Don’t make me beg SEGA. I love you. I’ve always loved you. I have a Master System, Genesis, Saturn, and Dreamcast in my living room. This can’t be a one way relationship, SEGA. Nintendo has been giving it to me good. Why do you have to break me heart? Just give me some more REZ and we can kiss and make up.
The Best of 2003: Music
I know, who cares about the music opinions of this faceless game columnist, right? Well, I’m not sure who, but this is my list of the top three game soundtracks from 2003. These are purely the opinions of me, Chuck Platt, and do not reflect the opinions or views of this site or anyone else, living or deceased. Any resemblance to normalcy is probably an optical illusion.
3. Soul Calibur II
Yikes. I give this game one hell of a hard time, but I do that because I care. I care if a game is good or not. I want only the best games to bear the name “Soul,” and that is why I judged this game so harshly. Believe it or not, the soundtrack was magnificent. I have popped in the soundtrack disc more often than the game itself. Seriously. I am a sucker for the Soul Calibur soundtracks and this is one excellent selection of songs. God, I’m going to have to dig out my Dreamcast, aren’t I? Fuck.
Another game that I didn’t really enjoy playing much, the soundtrack for Manhunt was an accomplishment in game music. As I sit here listening to Gary Numan, I can tell you I have only the deepest appreciation for industrial and ambient music and this soundtrack is full of it. From abject silence to pounding noise, Manhunt keeps the player on edge from beginning to end. The beauty of the whole thing is how this non- licensed, all original soundtrack is perfectly integrated into the game it is in. There is nothing that sounds out of place or gimmicky. Majesty.
1.Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
Duh. Like I could vote for anything else? This was the single best game soundtrack of the year, an amazing feat of old school RPG music with the twist of being inspired by a comedy game about characters in HELL. I can only imagine the difficulties of trying to figure out how to score a game that takes place in HELL and still has comedic touches, but this one does it. A piece of gaming genius, and I do not throw that word around lightly. An American release, Atlus? I’ve been a good boy. I bought Tactics Ogre and both DemiKids for Christmas. Please? I’ll even buy Go! Go! Hypergrind!
2003, The Year Of The Power-Up
Sure, I could list off the top 3 games of 2003, but you already know it’s going to be Viewtiful Joe, Ape Escape 2, and Disgaea in one order or another. So, instead, here’s my list of power-ups, accessories, and doodads from games this year. I’ll even make it a top 5.
5. V Watch
Henshin a go-go! Seriously, would you even play Viewtiful Joe without the V Watch? Me neither.
DemiKids lets you play as an elementary school child with a GUN that you use to summon DEMONS! Kick and ass!
3. Plastic Bag
Manhunt has a blue, Wal-Mart esque bag that you can suffocate gang members with. Brilliant!
Hold on, you can throw turnips, SMB2 style, in SMB3? Sign my ass up!
1. Horse Wiener
Duh, again. It. Is A Horse Wiener That You Equip!
Yes, I am secretly 12…
Well, I’m off to holiday, see you next week with Bebito vs. a Bear, C-Max vs. the Horsemen, and Lucard vs. Lee Motherfuckin’ Baxley in a three match rasslin’ special edition. And maybe some news, but I doubt it. Keep on keeping on. And give Alex Williams a hug, he’s super!!!