Pulse Cannon – Sept 2

Pulse Cannon – September 2
Michael O’Reilly

So long August and hello September, this is O’Reilly with another Pulse Cannon coming at you live. Ok I wrote this yesterday, but that’s beside the point. (Actually I’m writing this now, you’re reading this tommorow. Where’s Doc Brown and Marty McFly when you need em?) The past few weeks I’ve been regaling you with my gaming exploits during the previous seven days. And seeing as how none of you have bothered to regale me with your exploits, that trend is going to continue.

This week saw the new games drought continue for me, as nothing debuted that I wanted to play, and that forced me to dig up old classics while still carving my way into the depths of Hell with Doom 3. Since I’m fairly suggestible when it comes to some things, I found that as I read a thread about Homeworld over in Penny Arcade’s forums, I suddenly had the urge to play it again. Or more accurately play it period, since I never managed to finish the game. Finally, just like last week I downloaded a demo of a PC game that will be coming out, only this time it’s not really one I was eagerly anticipating. Instead this is a game that sort of snuck in under my radar, and it’s only now that the demo is out that I’m hearing anything at all about it. The game is Evil Genius, and I’ll let you know later what I thought of the demo.

First off though, I’ll give you my weekly update on my weekly progress through Doom 3. Last week I mentioned that I basically stopped playing after running into more spiders and just saying to myself enough is enough. The fact that my boomstick ammunition was running low also encouraged me to take a breather for a short while, which actually wound up being about 5 days. As I sat back down to play the game again, I steeled myself for the coming onslaught of eight legged freaks (Never saw that movie by the way, can you guess why? No it wasn’t cuz David Arquette was in it.) and got the shotgun out. Sure enough, ammo ran out shortly after I got into it. I was happy to discover though that the pistol does a fair amount of damage to the little bastards also, meaning I could peg them off from a distance when I could see the damned things. As I worked my way deeper into the game I am starting to find myself getting annoyed with just how dark the entire game is. I don’t mean dark as in story. I mean dark as in lights out every where. I realize it’s supposed to be spooky etc, but a person can only take so much dark before he finds the need to exit the game and boot up something else. Anyway, as I advanced further in my quest to meet up with a bunch of useless Marines, I came upon a room containing a new weapon. I had already picked up the PDA of a security chief who was talking about the BFG 9000, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it. Instead it was a regular ordinary plasma rifle. Which I won’t turn my nose up at, as it came in really handy just as soon as I picked it up. Ya, that old trick. Anyway, I wound up stopping shortly after I got the plasma rifle since I was in the mood to go out and see the sun for a change (All that darkness I tell you). More next week perhaps, or maybe I’ll play 3 other games.

Next we come to Homeworld, the classic title made by Relic that is in many ways becomming a relic in it’s own right. No seriously, it came out in…well the disc says 1999 but I think it’s older than that. Anyway, I mentioned above I saw a thread in the Penny Arcade forums and decided I wanted to play this game again, but soon after I loaded it up I remembered why I never finished playing the game before. Harvesting resources can be SUCH a bore. That plus the enemy are fairly unforgiving right from the start (Ya I know that sounds like whining. It’s my column, deal with it). Still, I know this is a great game when you’re willing to put the time into it, I just don’t have the time right now. Or maybe it’s the patience I don’t have. Either way, I’m gonna give this one another shot soon and see if I can’t get past the initial stages of this game and get into the groove.

Lastly I come to the demo I downloaded this past week, that of Evil Genius. Now, I mentioned that I hadn’t been looking forward to this game, in fact I really hadn’t even heard anything about it until I heard about the demo, so I don’t think I could say this has been hyped up the way Rome Total War has, or Half Life 2 for example. So I went into the demo not really knowing what to expect, other than the fact that you are an evil genius bent on ruling the world. The demo itself is fairly quick, if you grasp the concepts behind the game..or if you’ve ever played Dungeon Keeper, which this appears to be an almost direct copy of. Switch out imps for minions and your dungeon for your secret lair and you wind up with what could pass for Dungeon Keeper 3 if they wanted to do that. I don’t remember having my actual Dungeon Keeper walking around in that game, however. So having my evil genius walk around in game is pretty nifty. Especially since you can capture enemy agents and gloat over them in their cell, which is one of the things you can do in the demo. Still, I have to say that the most fun I had with Dungeon Keeper was torturing Imps and various other things in the game, not actually completing my dungeon, so unless Evil Genius improves upon it’s predecessor I doubt I’ll be picking it up.

So there you have it, another column in the books (or URLs, if you wanna get technical about it). Some new games comin out next week, so hopefully I’ll have something other than Doom 3 to talk about. And maybe you’ll email me your experiences…and maybe I’ll win the lottery. Anyway, until next week, this is O’Reilly powering down the Pulse Cannon.