By posting under the Sway Speaks banner, I sort of relieve myself of the responsibility of certain aspects of journalism such as professionalism and research. I find it's much easier to write stuff that way, so here's another. This time I more or less ramble on about something I received from Sega. I figure that's all the disclaimer you guys really need. By now you should know which link to click if you want to Read More (that was a hint for those of you who don't).
My Yahoo! e-mail address is so old it originally started out as a Rocketmail address. At some point Yahoo! bought (absorbed?) Rocketmail's free e-mail service and offered me a brand spanking new yahoo.com addy. I jumped at the chance, mainly because everyone sniggered when I said "Rocketmail". So for probably about six or seven years now, my main free e-mail address has been at yahoo.com. It's the account I use when I sign up for anything that demands an address. As you can imagine, the spam flows fast and freely. The only way I can stay on top of it is to pretty much check it and clean it out several times a day. I've got the Spam Filter turned on so a lot of incoming mail gets directed right into a sort of Sarlac Pit. Still, I always have to check it. Sometimes I can just cruise by on the barge and watch all the "Debt-B-Gone" and "Glands-B-Big" e-mails suffer while being slowly digested over a thousand years, or deleted after 30 days, whichever comes first. Other times I'll see a newsletter or something that I actually requested and I have to hang over the edge like a carbonite-sickened Han Solo and rescue that piece of Lando mail from certain doom. Yesterday I had to do this for Sega NewsBlast Vol. 2 #1.
Of course, everything in said NewsBlast was pretty much fluff. One section, called "Remember When" takes us waaaay back in time as Paul C. recalls the following:
I remember when I first played my Dreamcast. I also had a PS2, so I was skeptical of Sega's new machine, but after one round on Sonic Adventure, I knew it was something special.
Um. How about Remember When a controller consisted of a joystick and a single button? Or Remember When you would get blisters on your thumbs from pressing the tiny side buttons on the Intellivision controller? Or even Remember When you could never get past the damn boulders on Jungle Hunt when your family would go to Farrells Ice Cream Parlor?
The only other item that really caught my eye was news of the Legacy Online launch. Legacy Online was previously (before Sega picked it up) called StarPeace. It is sort of like Sim City 2000 with an online massively multiplayer economic model. It appears you can download the client from the web site and sign up for an account at $9.95 a month. Your first two weeks are free.
The purpose of the game is to start a company on one of the available worlds and build yourself an empire. The economic model is very detailed and, therefore, there are several routes available for you to attempt. Some players might stick to real estate ventures while others will try their hand and commercial opportunities. It's entirely possible to start earning revenue simply by owning warehouses and buying, storing, and selling commodities. More advanced players will undoubtedly dabble in multiple areas. After all, why buy food for your stores when you can afford to grow it yourself?
I played StarPeace for a week or two a couple months ago when Sega announced an open beta. First off, the game is old. The Sega launch is actually a re-launch. The game I played had dated graphics (notice I said Sim City 2000) and a troupe of hardcore loyal fans who had already pretty much cornered the markets on each planet. Being a newbie in StarPeace was like lurking in a very very established forum. Everyone seems to know each other by name and even the most unlikable person demands respect simply for his longevity. Because the game is persistent multiplayer, your game continues, even when you're not logged in. And, unlike most MMORPGs where you really can't be affected when you're not logged in, you and your businesses are affected while you sleep. This is nice when you're making money and can come back to the game and find you're rich. As you can imagine, the flipside is not as nice. I tried a handful of businesses and none of them really flourished. I couldn't commit to the attention to detail that the game demanded. You really need to log in at least once a day to assess the changes in the market and landscape. In this regard, the game was immensely addicting. But unlike other games, once I decided to stop playing I didn't have any withdrawal symptoms.
However, the worlds have been reset. Vast beta empires are no more. Head over the Legacy Online page and give it a whirl if you're interested. There are screenshots and manuals there if you want to do a little more research before you try it out. Personally, I find I can only handle one game that I have to babysit all day long. For me, it's my Yahoo! mail.