Summary: As you can clearly see from the redeye (originally Something Awful's depiction of Levelord), Andrew is having a bit of trouble sleeping lately. Apparently even the mighty Bub needs to be more discriminate with his choice of comments about Jason Hall. What comments? Come hither, get a sneak peak into next month, a drug-hazed look at last week and don't fear the reaper!
They Break the News, I Break it Again!
Ah Spring his here! Ah me. April: a time for green grass, downy chicks, and bunny rabbits. Yes, it’s supposed to be nice and warm and birds are supposed to be singing. I think the local Midwestern birds are all dead now. Thanks to some nice sleight of hand from Mother Nature they’re flash frozen with surprised looks on their faces. Yeah, April opened with 6” of snow and temperatures in the low 30’s. As odd as that seems consider than a mere week later, last Monday, the mercury rose to 91! It stayed there, hot and humid as all get out, for two days. I was miserable because the only thing I hate more than cold-cold weather is hot-hot weather. Where was my nice and mild 65-70 degree window? Can’t I have a couple weeks of fun sunlight and outside time for my delicate baby-smooth alabaster skin in between the arctic chill and the equatorial oppression? No. Because just after two days of 91 degrees it fickly plunged to 35 degrees and it’s still there now! (It’s Good Friday at the time of this writing.) Wonderful, this means my almost 3-year old daughter (Official Daughter of Beatdown) will have to wear long underwear under her Easter dress and a parka over it! Festive. Bundle up, it’s time for some news.
HEADLINE: Exciting Crowbar Game Coming!
Everybody is abuzz this week over an innocuous ad currently appearing in the German multiplatform mag Edge. The ad features no writing, which is good because I can’t read German, but does feature a very attractive crowbar on a white background. Many have noted that the crowbar’s shadow helps form the #2. Now, what game was so big, so monumental, so powerful, and so memorable, that it could get away with such a vague advertisement? What game famously featured a crowbar? What game could it be? Hmmm… maybe, Blood 3? Yes, Beatdown officially predicts that Monolith is working on Blood 3. Why the shadowy 2? Founder Jason Hall is so endorphin and steroid-addled he mistakenly made the crowbar’s shadow form a 2. Mark my words!
SIDEBAR: FiringSquad officially predicts that Andrew won’t survive the next meeting with the King of teh Monstars!!!
BIZ: Sony Shocked! Awww….
Frictionless Insight (a great “intelligent” news source – the very opposite of this news source) is reporting that Sony has dropped trademark registration for “Shock & Awe” as a game title. Apparently, soon after the news broke, here and elsewhere, Sony suffered a lightning blitzkrieg of criticism that took it completely by surprise. They were email-bombed non-stop, and irate game fans and investors penetrated deep into Sony’s territory in mere hours. This initial attack was no doubt sparked by a story in last week’s Beatdown. Ahem, I like to refer to that story as my little decapitation strike.
BIZ: Black Day at Black Isle
If you’ve been following game news recently you’ve probably noticed that things are getting worse for Interplay. Well, they just sustained a grievous blow as Black Isle’s leader and lead designer, the awesomely named Feargus Urquhart, has left the building in search of greener, more stable, pastures. Feargus helmed such classics as Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale, and the Fallout series. I’ve interviewed him maybe five times in the past five years and once he confided in me that, one day, he’d love to do Planescape Torment 2. Looks like that will never happen. Anyway, sources indicate a few more Black Isle employees might jump ship and go with him, so we might see a new RPG game company emerge from all this mess. Good luck Feargus, you have the coolest name in the business outside of American McGee.
POLITICS: Rebuilding Iraq
The fighting is over, the looting is mostly over, and the US and Iraqi people are setting their sights on rebuilding Baghdad and the rest of the nation. Rumor has it they’ve asked a cadre of real city building and planning experts to pitch in and help out. May we suggest they include the master of all city building? Mr. Sim City himself, Will Wright.
DECREED: Ye Gods!
As mentioned in the last Beatdown, I’m an Age of Mythology addict. The only problem is: I’m not all that good at it. My ESO rating has been stuck somewhere in the 1600-1690 range since November (due mainly to my inability to handle early Norse rushing tactics, or late game “I’m going to build buildings all over the damn place while you get bored” tactics). I am HubBub on ESO btw, if you want to beat down Mr. Beatdown, and judging by the forums linked to these columns, there are a few of you out there.
ASIDE: Seasonal Gaming
Well, a couple religious holidays came and went and we here at Beatdown productions hope you had fun. For me Easter always means chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, jellybeans, sugar rushes, and hardboiled eggs where the dye has seeped through the shell. There’s nothing like a morning featuring pink and green eggs. ‘Mmmm! On the holidays I’ve always used Beatdown to brainstorm some appropriate games. If you want to celebrate the season, why not boot up: Messiah, Black & White, American McGee’s Alice, or Space Bunnies Must Die (bonus on the last two: rabbits and chicks!). Then again, all those are pretty bad games, the sort of games you might want to Pass-Over. Get it? Ugh.
SIDEBAR: Space bunnies must DIE!
Operation Flashpoint 2: Rumor has it this one will feature Viet Nam.
OPINION: Postal 2
Speaking of controversy: Postal 2 offends me. This game reflects poorly on us all. Look, I’m no prude but any game that encourages you to kill innocent people, kick them to a bloody pulp, dismember them, play soccer with their heads, torch them, pee in their mouths… any game that lets you chase down Gary Coleman, for his autograph or for his head on a platter… any game with this kind of blatant disregard for decent society, mores, and all that’s good and right with the world…. any game that offers this much anti-social filth, psychopathic options, and unremitting gore and sucks this bad just offends the hell out of me. If you’re going to make an offensive horrible anti-social fantasy game, if you’re going to fuel the anti-gaming lobby for years to come, make the damn game fun to play!
A couple Birthdays are coming up at my house. My daughter will be three by the time you read this and I’ll be 32 soon afterward (April, 25th). Yes, I am that old. I’d love the new White Stripes album, a TiVo, a new fishing pole, a better putter, and I could really use a PS2 to replace the one my deadbeat brother is borrowing. Anyway, I’m expecting lots of cool presents and good wishes from readers, and I just know Firing Squad is going to pool together and get me something really nice. Maybe they’ll even extend Beatdown another month! We’ll see. Until next Monday then.
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