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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


Gabe / on Mon, Mar 11 2002 at 8:21 pm


I have gotten a lot of mail about our PSO weekend. I want to make sure everyone knows not to purchase a used copy of PSO version 1. This game will only work on the first Dreamcast it is played in. You need to buy a new copy if you do not already have one. You can get it on the cheap right here if you are interested. Also make sure you get version one not version two.

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Mon, Mar 11 2002 at 8:09 pm

First Comes Love

I was extremely pleased with Red Alert 2, as well as the Yuri expansion - they married creative, sometimes bizarre units with a frantic pace that approached arcade intensity.

By now, you’ve probably read Gamespot’s First Hours feature on Command & Conquer: Generals, the latest game to take up that legendary mantle.  It’s by the RA2 crew, sports a wildly potent engine, and shakes a lot of shit up for the series.  Gamespot has provided us with nine pages worth of new preview, and I’m really liking what I see there.


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