Holy crap, has it been a long time since there's been a rant on this section. Up until recently, I've been going through the maddening process of moving and learning a new commute... but everything's set up, everything's rounded up, and mostly unpacked. So I'm ranting.
Recently at work, Microsoft brought by a pack of Xboxes and a crudload of games. I mean all of the launch titles: Halo, Fuzion Frenzy, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, and others.
And, having gotten my grubby hands on both a debug X-box and a Japanese GameCube, I have these short conclusions about the future of these consoles.
First, the Xbox controller needs to be shot. Seriously. We call it the Veal Dreamcast Controller--someone grabbed a Dreamcast controller, stuck it in a closet and fed it pure lard for six months. So it's fat, bloated, and unsuitable for any real purpose. The memory sticks are kind of cool. with a sort of chest-buster look to 'em. But if my thumb rubs up against the analog stick when I press the A button there's some problems. There has seriously been a collective brain fart by the Xbox guys with this monstrosity. The testers for the controller must've been Manute Bol and a rhesus monkey with elephantiasis. There's no other explanation for something this bad.
Second, I feel this need to stick pop tarts in the GameCube. It just doesn't look like a console to me... oh well, Super Monkey Ball kicks ass.
Third, the fact that Luigi hums or sings along to the music in his new game amuses me to no end. Sometimes you don't notice him and think he's the actual soundtrack. I don't know why this amuses me, but it does.
Fourth, I agree with my co-workers. Fuzion Frenzy needs a Typing of the Xbox, or something. It's just so right.
Finally, the little aliens in Halo may just be the most fun bastards to shoot in a while. They give you such crap when you die ("Not so tough NOW, are ya?") that you can't wait to respawn and pop a few more of them so they start scattering and screaming "Run! It's him!". When Cortana buys himself an Xbox for DoA3 and Halo, I'll spend some time with Halo.
Of course, half you readers out there won't let me get away with this rant without mentioning the game everyone likes to drool on, Dead or Alive 3. And I must say, while I haven't really liked the game much engine-wise, but everyone who plays this game has to give it its due: It's one of the most friggin' beautiful games in history.
Seriously. The ice cavern, with the reflection off the ice patches, with the darkened passage lit by torches, that took my breath away. The subtle muscle movement you can see on some people is amazing. Ayane's ending, with the reflection of the pyre in her eyes, friggin' awesome. And I actually kinda like the gameplay of this one over the last one, for the sheer fact that the counters don't do 50% damage anymore. It makes the game much less annoying to me--though I'd still rather play Soul Calibur 2.
A random note before I enter the next phase of my rant. According to Helena's ending and the fact that she swims for a good two minutes without surfacing, she can apparently breathe underwater. I was mystified by this revelation, until a co-worker came by and pointed out that with any of the Dead or Alive girls, any dive they make is a two-tank dive. So that, and her treading water without moving a muscle, make perfect sense now.
Now, as I was playing Dead or Alive 3, I started thinking about ninja--why everyone loves 'em so much, why I love 'em so much, and why, centuries after they ceased to exist, they persist in popular mythology. Dead or Alive 3 gave some insights into this phenomenon.
Ninja magic is cool. Everyone wants to be able to jump from rooftop to rooftop only making that "shwwwwp" sound. Admit it. Part of the fun of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the goofy fun of seeing Zhang Zi-Yi and Michelle Yeoh jump from rooftop from rooftop, although they must be better ninja than most, because they didn't even make a "shwwp". And anyone remember Shinobi? The greatest thing was busting out the Ninja Magic, freezing everyone on-screen, and kicking their asses at your leisure. Plus, ninja get to say strange, cryptic yet badass lines. One of Hayabusa's fight intros says something like "Rage is a whirlwind!" Doesn't make much sense for him to say it, but it certainly sounds impressive, doesn't it?
And, of course, everyone wants the uniform. Not only is it slick and will keep you warm and unseen by mortal eyes, but it's never anything less than stylish. And usually magical (and thus this is a subset of my first point); just take the Dead or Alive kunoichi as an example. Their outfits somehow protect them from below-freezing temperatures, even while covering less than half of their surface area. Not only that, but they alter Japanese DNA to allow gigantic chest sizes, while providing magical back support to prevent these girls from keeling over with horrific back problems.
Well, I'm done talking out of my ass for today, though if Largo's rants continue to be AWOL, expect more random weirdness from me in the near future.