Summary: Silence! For there is a betrayer among us. He not only walks among us but is a leader. He is a voice of the community, preaching the word of the PC as far as there are literate people - North, East, West, and occasionally South. His name is Tom Chick, and at this very moment, brothers and sisters, he's whispering honeyed poison in your ears! Poison for your soul! Thou art forbidden to read his heresy! So it is written, so it shall be done!
Tom Chick on The Firing Line
This column will make you $250 poorer
I didn't want to have to say this. And Lord knows, you probably don't want to hear it. But it's got to be said. You can't avoid it any more. Whether you like it or not, the time has come. You need to get a console system.
I know you already have a computer for gaming. I mean, duh, you're reading this site, so you play computer games. Maybe I'm just projecting here, but you probably play more than you should because you're looking for that Next Big Thing. You'd hate to miss one of those. The Half-Lifes, the Diablos, the Unreal Tournaments, the Warcraft IIIs, the Planescape: Torments, the Combat Missions, the Civs, the Neverwinter Nights. These are the things that'll stay on your hard drive for years, the things that will crystallize those gaming memories in the corner of your brain where you also remember great movie lines, the way your favorite books end, and that time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer when her mom died.
But some of these Next Big Things aren't being written for your PC. If you're like me and you have a compulsive need to make sure none of the Next Big Things slip unplayed past your fingertips, then you're not going to be able to get by with one platform anymore. Your PC is not enough.
The doom-sayers might tell you PCs are dead, but what they're getting at in their own shrill way is that PCs aren't the only game game in town anymore. After a decade of uncontested supremacy when anything worth playing was on a PC, not being able to play Halo and Knights of the Old Republic probably feels a bit like death to them.
But this situation is nothing new. If you're a thirtysomething, you probably remember a time when there were PCs, Amigas, Apples, Commodore 64s, Tandys, and so forth. There were some games you simply couldn't play because you had the Wrong System. As a longtime Apple IIe owner, I know the pain of having the Wrong System. Never again, my friends. Never again.
That is why I've bought every single console from the last five years on the date it was launched. I was in line for a Dreamcast, a Playstation 2, a Gamecube, a Gameboy Advance, and an Xbox, waiting until dawn in front of Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, or maybe even a K-Mart because my friend Trevor had called my cell at 3am to say the lines were shorter at the run-down K-Mart out by the highway where no one goes anymore and he heard they were getting 20 systems but they only had twelve pre-orders so my chances would be better out there with him rather than at the Best Buy with the three hundred other people.
SIDEBAR: The stuff about K-Mart is true. Target and Wal-Martare also good places to get high-demand geek items.
The effects of Wing Commander deprivation
I have resorted to these extreme measures because I learned my lesson after being saddled with an Apple while having to read about a Next Big Thing called Wing Commander, which I would never be able to play. Some of you die-hard PC-only gamers might call me an 'early adopter', which is just a polite way to say 'sucker', and I'll reply 'guilty as charged'. But then I'll ask how far you've gotten in Knights of the Old Republic. I will watch you blanch and stammer and I'll hear the gears turning in your head as you mentally calculate whether you can eke out $250 from your budget and what your wife/girlfriend/mom will say if she catches you connecting to your TV an Xbox that you supposedly don't need.
They'll tell you, no, no, by multiplayer they mean online multiplayer. I haven't gotten around to trying Microsoft's Xbox Live, but by all accounts, it seems to work pretty well. One day I'm going to string one of those blue LAN cables over to my TV and I'll be able to address this with more authority. In the meantime, just say ĎXbox Liveí and odds are they won't know any more than I do whether or how well it works.
Knights of the Old Republic PC is scheduled for November 11th. Have fun waiting. Muahahaha!
Even though I don't know much about it, I'm all for this Harry Pottage stuff. Anything to get kids to read books. And comic books don't count, even when you call them graphic novels and make them into big-budget mainstream summer blockbusters. I like to think Harry Pottage as a sort of primer before kids are ready to read actual, you know, literature. Itís a gateway thing, in the same category as Are You There God? Itís Me, Margaret.
Then there was a bunch of other stuff Brett wrote about bad games. So I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say that I agree with Brett that bad games are no good. Down with bad games! Yeah, it's controversial thing to say, but me and Brett are crazy that way. We're not afraid to say things like that. If you got a problem with it, then we'd like to echo both Kirsten Dunst and President George Bush Jr.to say, "Bring it!"
SIDEBAR: Tsk tsk tsk, Tom, you forgot to put in a Random Fact here. Well, let me tell you, as someone who spent a lot of time at the BioWare booth at E3 (more than is healthy for oneís liver, mind you), I have to say that the high-res graphics and unwashed-out textures of KotOR are worth the wait for PC.
1.10 promises all sorts of new stuff, but mainly it reworks the skill system and fixes a lot of abuses and loopholes. This should make it finally worthwhile to start an online ladder character who means something. Iím completely psyched to jump back into Diablo II, but if I start playing before 1.10 is out, Iíll feel like itís not the actual game. Itís almost like waiting for a new release.
You can download a beta of the patch for single player or LAN games, but I'm waiting for the real thing. Come on already, Blizzard. I'm tired of staring at this screen. Bring it.
On second thought, take your time. The longer 1.10 takes, the more time Iíll have to play Knights of the Old Republic.
Tom Judas Chick has spoken. Iíd insult him more, but the shock is still getting to me. Itís one thing for Yam-Yam to have absolutely no taste Ė after all, heís a newsie Ė but the illustrious Mr. Chick? Iím at a loss for words. Maybe you have them. Let all that pent-up rage, frustration and anger at the splintering of the PC games market on useless consoles out. Let it out, let it out loud and say it proud Ė itís time to Sound Off!
SIDEBAR: Jakub is truly, truly heartbroken.
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