The Cynic Loosed

Disclaimer: The following mini-reviews represent what could widely be considered an affront to the established conventions of game reviewing in several significant ways. First, they are of a length best suited to describing a game in the manner readers are probably interested, instead of the rambling, self-involved mind-numbing missives which I do so enjoy. Second, they represent a single perspective and are not universal statements on comparative gameplay, and make no apologies for personal bias. Third, they do not assume youÂ're an idiot. Fourth, and finally, they revel in their absolute subjectivity, and any expression of disappointment that my opinions do not coincide with your own will be scoffed at as an intense experiment in vocal futility. It should also be noted that all the following games (with only one exception) were purchased with my own precious money and were not contributed, a practice which leads some paranoid schizophrenics to the conclusion that my response as a reviewer might be influenced by the developers or publishers of the game. I speak entirely as a consumer.

Doom III

Part of me hates to revisit the issue of Doom III, but my ego driven psyche seems to be possessed of the mad delusion that I have a useful thought to add, though my conscious centers for reasoning and rational thought would be quick to argue against the point. However, the following thoughts beg to be burst forth in much the way that a festering boil begs to be lanced. I would not expect my thoughts to be any more pleasing that the oozing results of such a lancing.

Doom III was a disappointment. It was a quick slide from intense survival horror style shooter to a mindless and dim, grudging, slogging chore as you peregrinate through hour after hour of repetitive gameplay. I absolutely loved Doom III for exactly the first two of those hours. I spent four more hours feeling ok about Doom III, and eventually I just wished I was eating a sandwich or bouncing a tennis ball against a wall instead. It was, of course, a beautiful game on the rare occasions when there was illumination enough to enjoy the experience. In fact, itÂ's probably the most IÂ've ever spent on a benchmarking tool.

I know the conventional point of complaint is the issue regarding the future, the flashlight, and duct tape. However, if the breaking point in your suspension of disbelief is that there is no plausible way to attach a light to your weapon while marauding hell demons populate a martian base, then you should consider checking your medical insurance for coverage of mental illness. It's a gameplay decision, and among the many flaws of Doom III a relatively minor one.

You love Doom III, you say? Hey! ThatÂ's fantastic. IÂ'm not going to sit here and tell you why youÂ're wrong -- you should be able to figure it out on your own -- but it didnÂ't come close to doing it for me. It probably has something to do with why some people thought The Day After Tomorrow was a good movie, while IÂ'd rather watch a late sixties informational video on toe fungus. I need a narrative these days, and one that shows up more occasionally than once per every three or four hours. And, if youÂ're not going to give that to me, at least give me interesting things to look at, a steady flow of new experiences. The more I realized that I wasnÂ't going to be going anywhere particularly interesting most of the time, just tripping through one gory claustrophobic corridor to the next, the more I couldnÂ't have cared less. Doom III makes Halo look like a kaleidoscopic journey through great varieties of environments, by comparison. Hey, itÂ's a dark room with blood on the walls, I bet something jumps out at me from behind a vending machine, bank of computers, or ATM looking piece of equipment. Next!

Tony Hawk Underground 2

Hello, Mr. or Mrs. Consumer, IÂ'm calling on behalf of THUG 2 so we might tell you about our fantastic deals. If you order right now, you can have cliché posturing by the digitized avatars of low-level pseudo-celebrities on your television set in less than forty eight hours, including but not limited to MTV buffoons rendered faithfully to their accurate levels of idiot pandering, skate boarding sellouts phoning in yet another game thatÂ's exactly like the one before, and staple genre characters exhibiting Xtreme gameplay! Not only that, but we are adding, not one, not two, but literally thousands of annoying stereotypes including drinking Oktoberfest Germans, trailer trash rednecks, flannel wearing malcontents seeking pointless architectural vandalism, and many many more. Further, youÂ'll feel right at home in a game thatÂ's virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor(s), devised of exaggerated combined acrobatics with silly names in tightly confined and conveniently laid out locales. Order now and weÂ'll include a cacophony of annoying songs, absolutely free!

Rome: Total War

Hang on; IÂ'm on a roll here. DonÂ't worry, I can think of something negative to say about this one too. The box is way too red and not filled with money. Damn them!

Superpower 2

Imagine, if you will, a giant ball. Now upon this ball is cast the abstract outlines of imaginary boundaries. Contained within these boundaries are ever spiraling levels of numbers, large numbers defined by substructures of small numbers with those numbers calibrated to coincide with the careful manipulation of a deep superstructure of – you guessed it – more numbers! Now some of these roiling waves of numbers you can change, and when you do other numbers change in apparently unrelated ways, almost simulating how the fluttering of a butterflyÂ's wing in Paris can dictate whether the clown at McDonalds will interpret my request for no freakinÂ' pickles as an order or an anecdote.

I installed. I launched a full scale nuclear assault on the civilized world. Lots of numbers suddenly got very big (though some others got really really small). IÂ'd pretty much seen what IÂ'd come to see.

Leisure Suit Larry

Here is a game, which IÂ'm infinitely grateful to have not actually spent my own money on, and which IÂ'd conveniently describe as abysmally wretched to a degree that would redefine both words. You wonÂ't like this game if you like either of the two following gameplay conventions: 1) humor or 2) fun. On the other hand, if youÂ've always sought to direct a stupidly grinning sperm through an interminable tunnel filled with red barriers, then this may finally be the game for you. Considering my firm position that any word used to describe this game is forever thereafter tainted, I will end this quickly. ItÂ's bad. You knew it was going to be bad, but you had no idea how bad it was going to be. Take the concept of how bad you thought this game was going to be, quantify that value, then multiply by several hundred. Then, and this part is important, take that number, write it on a piece of paper, dip the paper in gasoline, bury that soaked paper in a significant pile of gunpowder, and then ignite (carefully, I suggest) the whole thing. If you go blind or are severely burned in the process, take heart in the fact that your suffering is less than if youÂ'd played Leisure Suit Larry.

And with that, I feel cleansed Â"…

- Elysium

Comments

Give in to your anger . . .

There's a little jar inside of me, and when it gets full I have to let out some pressure before I develop bleeding ulcers. Once relieved, I can return to my quietly naive optimism.

Excellent, but where are the EQ2 Beta impressions?!

You don't want me to do EQ2 beta impressions when I'm in that state. Or maybe you do?

Elysium wrote:
I'm not going to sit here and tell you why you're wrong -- you should be able to figure it out on your own . . .

Lol, that totally cracked me up. The subtle, ironic jab was just too perfect.

Total agreement on SuperPower 2, Ely.

take heart in the fact that your suffering is less than if you'd played Leisure Suit Larry.

I played it for an hours... it's so so true...

Just shoot me now

The box is way too red and not filled with money.

Goodness, has it come to this? The working response of the reviewer... "Why hasn't my hand been plied with the wealth of the east!"

I played Doom3 once and then never again. I guess I didn't like it either.

The box is way too red and not filled with money. Damn them!

Elysium, your rocking-ness on this article knows no bounds. Much like monkeys, you're really amusing when you're angry!

I wish I could try to disagree, but since I never played any of reviewed games except Doom 3, and its review is right on the money, that means I can't. I wonder if my former sentence actualy means anything... Caffein... Give...

I can't believe you won't give LSL accolades. What moment in time have we come to when we can no longer be entertained by terrible games with terrible designs (Spelunker!)?

One one hand I know LSL and DOOM 3 are "bad" games... on the other I have this sick mental condition I like to call "stupid moron consumer who will buy any game when it hits the bargain bin at $9.99 or less just to see how bad it really was" err Syndrome... (hey I didn't name it yell at my shrink!). One the other hand I could take said $19.98 and toss it down a hole and kick myself in the nuts and still probably be in less pain... Although I'm leaning more to playing the games as with LSL and DOOM 3 at least its not ME kicking myself in the kahonies!

Paint, I'll pay you $19.98 just to watch you kick yourself there.

Dr_Awkward wrote:
Paint, I'll pay you $19.98 just to watch you kick yourself there.

Get me copies of Doom 3 and LSL and we'll talk

Rome: Total War

Hang on; I'm on a roll here. Don't worry, I can think of something negative to say about this one too. The box is way too red and not filled with money. Damn them!

LOL.. it is way too red I agree with you.. They also concentrated on making it way too pretty in order to cover all the bugs underneath it (there are tons). Or maybe I have played it way too much lately and I am hypercritical.

Great article BTW sir!

However, the following thoughts beg to be burst forth in much the way that a festering boil begs to be lanced. I would not expect my thoughts to be any more pleasing that the oozing results of such a lancing.

nice, I was eating my morning bagel dripping with cream cheese while reading this.

I never watched Day after Tommorow...and I liked Doom 3.

Hmmm....

I'm actually looking forward to Day after tomorrow once it hits Holliwood Video's MVP selections

Whoa Ely you're sexy when you're angry baby!

painthappens wrote:
I'm actually looking forward to Day after tomorrow once it hits Holliwood Video's MVP selections :)

Don't bother. Not even worth it at free.

I laughed out loud. Great piece, Elysium.

On the flashlight comment....

It's one thing to suspend disbelief that a gateway to hell has been opened and is spewing for demons and zombies.

It's another thing entirely to suspend disbelief that a guy who can't figure out how to attach a light to his weapon is smart enough to survive such an onslaught.

mateo wrote:
painthappens wrote:
I'm actually looking forward to Day after tomorrow once it hits Holliwood Video's MVP selections :)

Don't bother. Not even worth it at free.

Dammit! Now I HAVE to rent it... just to see the trainwreck of a movie!

Day After Tomorrow is actually a competently done formulaic disaster movie.
They keep the pace going so it doesn't come to a big stall at any point, and I tell you, there is a difference between watching a crappy theater bootleg (not that I have, officer) and the DVD.

The visuals of this movie set the intensity by themselves and compensate for somewhat lacking (but by no means terrible) acting.

They look very real and they take place in real places (duh) and it just kind of gets to you.

Hey, Elysium, could you review SimCity3000 on the PS1 for me?