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Tycho / on Wed, Mar 13 2002 at 1:45 pm

Final Fantasy N

Ravenous for news, I hit VGNation - and saw something I hadn’t seen yet.  Check it out - in all my imagining about what form a game that utilized the GC and the GBA might take, I guess I never expected this.


Gabe / on Wed, Mar 13 2002 at 1:31 pm

Listen up Lucas Arts!

It’s a good time to be a star wars fan. Far be it from me to complain about a how many star wars games there are. I have already told you how excited I am about Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars Galaxies. However Lucas Arts refuses to make the one game that I really want to play. I understand that they are making these episode one games to tie in with the movies. However they are overlooking the books which could provide them with games that are about a hundred times cooler. Anyone who has been following the star wars story line into the New Jedi Order books will tell you that the galaxy is in the middle of a shit storm the likes of which it has never seen. Seriously would you rather play a game set against the backdrop of political intrigue that is the episode one/two universe or the galaxy wide war against an unstoppable foe that has already brought the republic to it’s knees as in the New Jedi Order? For me the choice is a simple one. Drop me into an x-wing cockpit and send my ass out against the Vong. That is where I want to play. Put me in the fucking trenches of a war that has already cost the lives of some of the most cherished characters in star wars history. Not killing wave after wave of mindless droids from the safety of some spotless chrome starfighter. Someone at Lucas Arts needs to grow a fucking brain and realize that they are missing out on what could be some of the best games to ever use the goddamned license. I know you don’t accept un-solicited creative ideas from out side the company but maybe you should. I mean come on, Obi-Wan, Battlegrounds, Power Battles or Star Wars fucking Demolition? You guys obviously aren’t coming up with winners on your own. Why not look to the fans for some inspiration. We know what kind of games we want to play. One survey would have told you that no one wants to play a demolition derby set in the star wars universe. A DEMOLITION DERBY SET IN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE! This is the kind of shit we get but you won’t let us play a game set in what is arguably the most dramatic period of strife the star wars universe has ever seen? Please Lucas Arts, I am begging you. Pick up a copy of one of the New Jedi Order books. Give it a read and see if it isn’t screaming to have a game made out of it.

The Penny Arcade PSO weekend is set to take place this weekend. I had a lot of questions in my e-mail about it and I figured I would answer them all right here for everyone to see:

Q: What about PSO ver2 players? Can we kick it old-skool with you guys or are you version one players too good for us?

A: PSO ver2 players are welcome to join us. You might want to keep in mind the fact that we will be starting new characters though. We will be starting on normal mode so bringing in your level 150 HUmar might not be a lot of fun. Also if you drop a ver2 item and it gets picked up by a ver1 player it will revert to a ver1 item. So you may accidently lose some special stuff if you drop it. Other than that please feel free to join us.

Q. I already have PSO-2. Why is PSO-1 good and PSO-2 Evil?

A: Ver2 is not evil. However it does require a monthly service fee. PSO ver1 is totally free and that is why we chose it to play this weekend.

Q: If I lost my web browser disk how can I get a new one?

A: Browsers can be purchased by calling: 1 900 260 9000. The charge is $ 5.99.  You can also go here to get more information.

Q: If games in PSO only allow four players and there are four of you PA guys how will anyone join your game?

A: All four of us will never be in the same game together. We will probably hang out in groups of two. Right now the plan is to play on ship Miranda in block 4. We will be moving around to different games with PA or PA related stuff in the name. If we see spots open we’ll try and jump in. You can also check Penny Arcade over the weekend as we may decide to create a game and we’ll give you the name right here. From the mail I have received it looks like there should be plenty of PA fans there to play with so it should be a good time.

Q: How will we know it’s really you guys and not some dork using your name?

A: I will create a PSO weekend forum thread that will stay at the top and we will use it to announce the name of the game we happen to be in at the time.

I think that about answers all the questions I have gotten. If you think of something else let me know. Otherwise see you all there this weekend.

Oh and one last thing. I got this today from my source inside Nintendo:
“I just read today’s post about the gba-cube link and it is possible to use it as a controller, no titles use it yet, but it IS possible.”

While I can’t tell you who this guy is I can tell you if anyone would know, it’s this guy right fucking here.

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Wed, Mar 13 2002 at 11:04 am

GBA = Controller

Gabe (and )told me about this Flippin’ Kirby thing, where Kirby falls down from your TV, into your GameBoy Advance, and you play him in there.  That seems to cry out “using it as a controller” to me, so maybe this was an Xbox rep wearing a Mario pin or something.  Need more info?  The hand_of_g0d writes:

“That’s just not true. It acts as a secondary display for Animal Forest +. Here’s what happens, you plug in your GBA during gameplay and this little frog guy appears at the docks with a boat. He ferries you over to this island and the island then shows up on your GBA. You can now interact with the islands resident by feeding him fruit from the trees and moving things around. If you ‘upload’ the island back to the GC everything appears the way you changed it, so lets say you move some rocks around to spell out a bad word, when you get there on the GC it’s still spelled out for you. Also, with the GBA you can create wallpaper, clothing, and flag textures that will appear in your game.
That’s all fact because it’s already out.
I heard rumors that it would be used to provide a map for you during games ***LIKE*** resident evil so that you don’t have to toggle back and forth. That sounds like a screen to me. And let’s just assume that with an RPG you could take your party (or maybe just a character) with you, and put him through a virtual trainer to lvl up his exp.”

Curiouser and curiouser.  Our Finnish connection Lauri Kieksi chimed in with the following:

Just wanted to let you know that the reader comments you quoted in your
latest news post on PA (written by Belabor, whoever that is) was quite a
bit off. What Nintendo has been preaching to retailers is that the Game
Boy Advance cannot be used as a GameCube controller in *existing* games.
You can’t, say, pull out a GC controller amidst a Rogue Leader session
and plug in a GBA, and keep playing.


Tycho / on Wed, Mar 13 2002 at 3:46 am


I just had too many of these, had to do something with ‘em.

  • Just before we went to press, or didn’t, because we have a webpage, Blastaar mentioned the Homestar Runner cartoons in an e-mail.  Though I have a sneaking suspicion that this is one of those “u just found homestar runner? dam” type moments, I had to risk it.  The Commentary tracks on some of the cartoons are not to be missed.

  • Lewis Black steals the (Daily) show every Wednesday, and hearing him talk games was highly satisfying.

  • You’ve played Pong, I’m willing to accept that without much investigation.  You’ll likely concede that you haven’t played it in this particular fashion, however.

  • I can’t say enough good things about Trillian, a multi-messenger IM client that has gotten better with every release.

  • Like most skiing games, perhaps the best part of Ski Stunt Simulator is subjecting your on-screen counterpart to near-fatal injuries in the high mountains, where help is unlikely to arrive.

  • When trying to track down a cartoon that had been pulled from the NYT website, I came across the personal writings of one John Scalzi.  The man can turn a phrase.  What’s more, he’s also benevolent - as can be seen in this piece, wherein he assists the greasy in writing top-drawer hate-mail.

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation is now representing the Bnetd project, which means it’s now officially on.  The letter they sent back to Vivendi is very direct, and I have no doubt that the corporate response to this will be forceful.  The best thing that could happen for everyone involved is a compromise of some kind, one that would allow Blizzard to maintain their Key checks and geeks to host private Battle.nets.  Even if that was possible, and it’s not, not in a million years, it would just be a matter of time until a similar issue came up.  The EFF is involved because we’re talking about setting a crucial legal precedent - and if it’s going to happen, it might as well happen now.


Tycho / on Wed, Mar 13 2002 at 3:44 am

It takes two HTTP servers to keep the site running smoothly, and the main one - the one I publish updates to - is housed at a co-lo facility that was having some kind of router problem.  Many of you were getting in just fine, hooking up to the other of the two servers, and many of you were (more than likely) just timing out.  Sorry about the trouble, it’s nice to have you with us and that behind us.

With the newest Jedi Order book just around the corner, the announcement of Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, the recently released Episode 2 trailer, and the imminent Jedi Knight II, it seemed as though a Star Wars strip was probably in order.  Today’s comic product does reference an older item, and some newer strips will probably reference this one.  Don’t think that I mean unbroken and uncouth continuity though, God no.  Let’s try to keep a level head about this.     

In my most recent post, there was wild gesticulation as I imagined what a united GBA and GameCube might be able to accomplish.  I did it mainly to enjoy myself.  Things like using the GBA as a display, or secondary controller, though?  The Nintendo Rep came by (PA reader) Belabor‘s store, to hard-boil my lofty dreams while they were still in the egg. 

“You can’t do this.  Nintendo is currently downplaying this sort of ability because, as it turns out, it’s not possible.  The most we are going to see out of the GBA-GC link is the kinda stuff in Sonic Adventure 2/Sonic Advance.  It can download/upload files, but it won’t actually act as a ‘controller’ or a ‘secondary display’ for the GC.  Nice how they tell us now?  Or in this case, just not tell the actual gamers anything at all. The Nintendo rep came in to our store to tell us about this.  Granted, she knows less about this stuff then the idiots at EB, but she seemed to know what she was talking about with this… as if she were told by superiors to tell us specifically about it.”

I’ve received mails all day countering these claims, and I’ve collected them in the comments section below.

People have been telling me for months to hop on-board the Ragnarok Online MMORPG train, and ride it to wherever.  I signed up weeks ago, but I couldn’t find any place on their own (belabored, foreign) site to get the beta client.  There’s links when I look there now, but good luck getting anything from their distant machines - if you’d like to try this thing out, I’d recommend trying to grab it from FilePlanet or Khabal Gaming, where I got it.  You really can’t beat free, and if you have even a cursory interest in things Massively Multiplayer you should treat yourself to it.  My experience with it so far has been that it runs real well - and there’s a good chance you’ll be charmed by the feel, situated as it is somewhere between Precious Moments and Final Fantasy.  The scenery, characters, and hats are wondrous to behold, and to look at them is to let your eyes eat. 


How does it play?  Shit, I don’t know.  Hard to say, yet.  Like any offering from this genre, you begin your adventuring career without any money, possessions, or motor skills, like a very tall baby.  By way of example: I was slain outright by an evil ball of cotton, which I can tell you from personal experience makes you feel like a big, big pussy.  But taking that gelatinous mass they give you, and working it into something worthwhile - it’s the first twenty levels of these games that I cherish the most, and I’m right in the middle of it.  The shine still hasn’t come off, so I’m still making a jubilant noise when I travel from zone to zone, or move the camera around.  I like to click and click on monsters that haven’t done shit to me, sell their organs, and then find other monsters that look like the other one, and ask them if they’ve seen their friend Bob.  “I thought I saw him over there,” I say, barely concealing my glee.  “I wonder where Bob is.”   

Hey!  Wang-Fu shirts are again available, in any size your mind can envisage.  We’ll be restocking other shirts (and introducing new ones, zero to drunk, etc.) as we can fund them, but the shirt that sold out first seemed like the best place to start.

(CW)TB out.

if you can hear a piano fall
you can hear me coming down the hall


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