Nov 30, 1998 - Dec 4, 1998

As we enter the final act of 1998, I wonder if lightning can strike twice. One game has already come from out of nowhere this year to rock the gaming landscape. Sure, Half-Life carried the time-worn Sierra pedigree, but these new cats called "Valve" may have just been lucky. Is it possible that yet another complete unknown -- in this case a company known as "BioWare," whose pedigree to date is the completely forgettable Shattered Steel -- can come to the rescue of the ailing CRPG genre in the same way that Half-Life seems to have breathed new life into the largely dull landscape of FPS games (see: Sin)?

The likely answer is: definitely not.

Maybe it's just the lingering memory of the X Files movie, but I Want to Believe that this week's Baldur's Gate is a harbinger of things to come. Tragically, I'm having trouble imagining that suddenly D&D and computers are going to get all chocolate and peanut butter with each other after such a long, depressing drought, particularly in the hands of this upstart BioWare. The most I can manage to hope for at this point is that Baldur's Gate is an entertaining distraction. I don't expect Gold Box quality, but it'll be nice to dabble with Magic Missiles and saving throws on my computer again.

Either way, I don't want close out what's been an amazing year with skepticism or pessimism. I could comfortably hang my hat on any year that provides games like Half-Life, Unreal, Grim Fandango and Fallout 2. I know there are a number of you who will add StarCraft to that list, and so for you it's a pretty good week with the release of the Brood War expansion pack. I don't count myself among your cult, ever the Warcraft 2 purist that I am, but I recognize that it's something of a big-deal release. Add to that an inventive shooter called Thief that also releases this week, and there's a lot of possibility hitting the shelves, if not so much certainty.

Going back to my desire to end on a positive theme, I'm going to give the nod for Game of the Week to Baldur's Gate. Hopefully years down the road we'll be talking about this moment as the year when role playing games became popular again. Hell, living in a state that just elected Jesse Ventura, I gotta believe anything is possible.

Comments

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breander wrote:

This brings back memories of high school. I wonder if I can do things better this time.

As long as you don't sleep with your future grandmother, everything should be fine.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
breander wrote:

This brings back memories of high school. I wonder if I can do things better this time.

As long as you don't sleep with your future grandmother, everything should be fine.

Too late.

BadMojo wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:
breander wrote:

This brings back memories of high school. I wonder if I can do things better this time.

As long as you don't sleep with your future grandmother, everything should be fine.

Too late. :(

That's what she said to me too!

Woot, went to office linebacker while making a 'yo grand mother' comment in 1998! Life is good!

I hear the sequel to Rainbow Six is coming out next year!

Hot damn! The Denver Broncos were good in 1998!

wanderingtaoist wrote:

The recently released updated version of Battlecruiser 3000AD, on the other hand, is a future of gaming.

Regarding the game of the week -- I don't know Elysium. From what I hear, Bioware may not be able to get enough product to market to make a difference. I'm hearing they'll be hard pressed to get copies out, and it may drag into the new year before everyone who wants a copy gets a copy.

I did something they called "preorder" in hopes to have a copy reserved for me when they start to trickle in.

I have clearly been posting for the better part of 12 years, and I still don't see my golden handcuffs, Sands.

It's some weird version of Y2K(10)! The Goodjerian Calendar uses some form of base 12, and we just reached the end of time and rolled over. How will we know if we can't get our own Goodjerian Calendars!! When is it going to show up in the Swag shop?

NICE TRY, QUEEN DOPPLEPOPOLIS! *hits all of the dopplegangers with a wrench*

Hmm, 18 and just getting ready for university in the new year. Man, if I told myself that in 12 years time, I'd have an amazing hot cheerleader for a wife, a beautiful and intelligent 2 year old daughter and another on the way, I'd probably just laugh.

That and enjoy the sleeping in. For the love of god man, enjoy the sleeping in!

I like the website better this way.

Hmm, maybe I should also tell my 18 year old self to go buy some stocks in a small company called Google. Might be worth something someday

What lies in the shadow of the statue?

BlackSabre wrote:

Hmm, maybe I should also tell my 18 year old self to go buy some stocks in a small company called Google. Might be worth something someday ;)

I don't think that will work because their stocks started out at a price most stocks never every reach.

So 17 year old me is making this post. Hopefully 24 year old me will see it when I first stumble upon GWJ in the relative future. So future self, here is some advice.

Red Bull and Jaggermiester, is good, but only in moderation
If you need to buy a $50 tool to get the job done right, buy the tool. Don't mess around and have a crappy end result because you saved a few bucks.
Never lend your sweatshirt out to a girl, chances are you won't get it back.
Make sure you get the waitresses number from Trobec's. You will know when you see her. Trust me, it pans out well.
Start learning Bass now, it will save you time later.
Don't push the green button.

There, that should help.

:shock:... f'ing A! Thief: The Dark Project is coming out! I'm so hyped for the game. Does any one know if it will run well on my Pentium MMX 200Mhz PC?

PR STUNT PR StUNT I CALLELD IT FIRST

Does this mean the search function now runs a custom AltaVista query? THE HORROR!

The lack of geocities and angelfire websites in everyone's signature is really breaking the 1998 effect. Please to be fixing!

Yoreel wrote:

Don't push the green button.

So no 360, Gamecube, or even original Xbox for you? You must be a Sony/PC man.

Also, the removal the article images at the top of the front page via time warp requiring low bandwidth = very nice. Never did 'learn to like it'. I just learned to quickly scroll past it to try and forget it.

So, the site redesign is nice and all. But I gotta say, I really miss those old flickering torches up at the top. And why doesn't the pointer have the sparkle-trail behind it anymore? *sigh*

Anyway, I'm a huge Forgotten Realms fangirl, and even I could care less about Baldur's Gate. Iso-who-tric? So ugly! That'll never catch on.

BRING ON FINAL FANTASY 8 ALREADY!

Hey guys, guys! I just found this awesome site you should check out.

It was...uh...hold on. It started with goatse, but I don't quite remember the domain. I'll get back to you later, after my Quake ctf clan match and Carmageddon and Die by the Sword LAN games. Mr. Sands forgot to mention that the expansion pack "Limb from Limb" comes out on the 31st and will include an awesome looking multiplayer mode called Ogre Hockey! 1337!

This is by far the Nerdiest version of "Hot Tub Time Machine" that's ever existed.

Dear Dr. Brown,

On the night that I go back in time at 1:30 AM you will be shot by terrorists introduced to weclock.

Please take whatever precautions are necessary to prevent this terrible disaster.

Your Friend,

Marty

Eric, if you see this message: Drop the Chemistry now, pick up more writing and maybe some Sociology, your current relationship won't go any further but it will still be worth it, stop pining over the old one, might as well work toward technical writing because education is just as soul-sucking and you get payed much less, but you still need to go to graduate school back "home" to meet your wife, and there will be a trip with a friend to a foreign country. When you're at the public pool, stay alert, pay attention.

Future me, out.

COULD WE GET SOME NEWS ABOUT DAIKATANA ALREADY I WANT TO BE ROMERO'S B*TCH.

Also, I'm 28 again and just moved out to the DC area, and I think this really cool chick I've been seeing for about a year or so could be a real long-term thing (timewarp to 2010: yep, seems so).

sheared wrote:

I did something they called "preorder" in hopes to have a copy reserved for me when they start to trickle in.

That's such a scam, bro.

BlackSabre wrote:

Hmm, maybe I should also tell my 18 year old self to go buy some stocks in a small company called Google. Might be worth something someday ;)

Forget that. Direct Hit is the next big thing in search engines.

dejanzie wrote:

Does this mean the search function now runs a custom AltaVista query? THE HORROR!

What, you think we should move to Yahoo? That site is so whack.

KaterinLHC wrote:

Anyway, I'm a huge Forgotten Realms fangirl, and even I could care less about Baldur's Gate. Iso-who-tric? So ugly! That'll never catch on.

Catch on? It's out of style! You'll see when Ultima 9 drops in full 3D next year!