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Alive 2


    As we enter the new millenium I look back and realize something got wrong
on the way of our Digital Evolution. Even before I had my STe (back in 1990) I
was drawn to video games : these small and often crude looking pieces of code
really got me hooked and I remember putting a lot of money into arcades. Then
of course I played lots of memorable games on ST... And I still have about 150
floppies filled with these small treasures :) In 1995 I bought a PSX after
reading an article about a game called Wipe Out. Here we are 6 years later and
I feel like the games industry is trying to copy the computers industry :(

    We had PSX, Saturn and later N64 : three machines into competition ! Both
Nintendo and Sega failed and they paid for these mistakes. I won't tell you
much about N64 which was unadequately designed and couldn't live long with
cartridges games + low screen resolution added to exaggerated antialiasing. I
would rather play a pixellised but well designed game on PSX especially as most
games now use PSX high resolution. Saturn is also long dead, no question. But
what about other and new machines ?


    The one you should wait for, or so they said... But as months passed by the
original price got much higher than promised, there were a lot of innuendos
regarding memory restrictions... a problem which is still current event :(
Remember when we saw the first snaps and videos of promised games ? the Emotion
Engine (PS2 128 bit processor) would bring life to games and make us experience
something unreachable before ! Erm sorry but sequels like Ridge Racer 5 or
Tekken Tag Tournament were not what I really had in mind. Besides PS2 doesn't
even have 4 connectors (but an expensive multitap is available), no modem (but
one will be available soon :) and the DVD player is said to be of average

    What about games ? Most expected were the games shown months before the
actual release of PS2 : RR7, Tekken Tag Tournament, Dark Clouds, Gran Turismo
2000 (later renamed GT 3 :) and The Bouncer. The first two games, tho not bad,
really bring nothing new and appeal to the jerks who bought all five Tomb
Raider episodes... No further comment needed... Dark Clouds and The Bouncer
were released a couple of months ago, meaning almost one year late and didn't
prove to be any different or revolutionnary than other games. They look nice,
really nice but Dark Clouds reminds of a poor Zelda clone while The Bouncer is
nothing more than an awesome looking Double Dragon clone... I read that only 30
minutes sufficed to go through the whole game, damm where are these Turrican,
Speedball, Vroom or Gods ? Not to forget that we are still waiting for Gran
Turismo 3 that should be finally out next month, unless it gets delayed for the
tenth time.

    So far I cannot think of a single ass kicking game on PS2 :( Sure we are
all waiting for Metal Gear Solid 2 but game is due to hit the blocks next
December in Japan, later in the rest of the world. Damm what are we supposed to
do in the meantime ??? Buy an expensive unexploited console to end up with
watching DVDs ? Sorry but I'm not that sort of lamer. As I heard on satellite
channel GAME ONE : "PS2 is a fashionable console not the one real gamers buy".

  Still I can trust SONY for making big money... The most powerful always wins


    Surely the Dream is here but maybe it is too late. Last summer as I grew
tired of playing PSX while still looking for interesting games, I decided to
buy Dreamcast after many hours spent watching games on TV. Also long time
planned Shenmue was to hit earth fullspeed anytime and god it really seemed to
be something new ! At last my passion for games was revived ! Okay SEGA didn't
keep their promises of online gaming and ass kicking games but still over the
last year many great games have been released on this machine. Of course you
have some porting like Quake3, Rayman2, MDK2 and others... But we were also
offered many great and original games like Soulcalibur, Shenmue, MSR, Sonic,
Virtua Tennis... And all mentioned games plus many others make DC a great
console as it manages to meet the gamers demands.


    Yes unfortunately SEGA's big time in games is over, curtain drops on the
makers of Sonic. You all know that SEGA has recently announced the demise of DC
at least as far as manufacturing is concerned. To survive the Japanese firm
will have to make games for other platforms and let me tell you this : it
sounds really odd thinking of SEGA games on Playstation 2 or X box. It's like
selling your soul to Bill Gates...

    Many games will still see the light of day on DC but already some companies
have announced cancellation of a dozen games... Why are they THAT stupid ?!! To
make sure they would sell out all machines SEGA has decided to drop DC price by
30% making it half the price of brand new PS2. Sales have never been that good
over the last months and real gamers feel they have a chance to spend some good
time playing on DC before another decent machines rises.

    I don't know through how many disappointments we're going to go in a near
future. Already great games like Phantasy Star Online and Grandia 2 are out but
we know there will never be a Soul Reaver 2 on DC and not much has been heard
about the soon-to-be-out Half Life :(

   But no need to cry, better and faster machines are already close to us so
let's have a dive into early 2002.

YEAR IS 2002

   For months Nintendo has been trying to lobotomize us with brand new Mario +
Something :) GameCube looks really nice and powerful and more developers seem
involved into the Nintento ultimate try to catch up with Sony. Still I really
have a bad feeling about their choice : was it really smart to adopt half CD
half DVD drive format ? Erm you cannot read music CDs nor can you watch a DVD.
Btw, do you have other good ideas in mind ?

   Far from being a joke, the other planned machine is Micro$oft's first strike
to the gaming industry. X box is - of course - more powerful than any other
existing machine. And surely it's easier to code than pain-in-the-ass PS2. Many
developers have already shown interest (yeah suck it while it's hard losers !)
but I - and other gamers I think - really don't like the idea of M$ entering
our gaming world and puke all over it. As Matrix is played on TV, I wonder what
would happen if M$ not only controlled us at work, but also read our thoughts
when we get back from work and relax playing a cool game ?

    Future will tell who rules over the others but I can feel a lot of pressure
hovering around. Ok Sega is out of it (besides I do not think they will ever
reactivate their console dept) and Nintendo has weak arguments. Playstation 2
isn't much better... What comes to me is that with such *crappy* decisions,
Japanese Godzillas could end up deep fucked up by Bill Gates. When I write this,
I sense the consequences : if M$ controls the PC + console industries, they will
keep up tamed ! And then what ? TV ? Newspapers ? Politics ? Damm this sounds
really gloomy and maybe we don't have to overthink it :) Still I really hope
this year promises will come to reality and bring a bit more diversity to a
world that really looks like this disgusting PC world...

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Alive 2