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twoplayer comic: Letters to the Editor
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posted by: Aaron Stanton
publisher: GamesFirst! Internet Magazine
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date posted: 01:36 PM Sun Sep 18th, 2005
last revision: 06:34 PM Sun Sep 18th, 2005


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Interestingly enough, a quick Google search reveals that there are actually two games on the market with dogs named Whiskey and girls named Natasha. You think that would be a rare enough combination, but apparently not as rare as I'd have guessed. If I ever get another dog, maybe I'll name it Whiskey in the same way I'd name a bunny Bunnicula if I ever happen to find myself owning one; fond memories. And if I ever get a girlfriend, I guess that means I'll have to name her Natasha... hope she doesn't mind.

But moving on...

So Nintendo announces the Revolution's controller, and life turns upside down. I have friends who I actually think are having emotional epiphanies; at least one has declared Nintendo the savior of the video game industry, and another has basically written them off the map in terms of game development. One thinks that Sony and Microsoft should be scared. The other thinks that Nintendo won't be in the console market much longer. Between the two of them, I think we've pretty much nailed the opinion of the hardcore market on the head.

But then there's the middle ground, and in this case, I think the middle ground leans more toward excitement and hope then doom and despair. Nintendo proved that they could successfully execute unique and creative ideas with the Nintendo DS, and so, for lack of a better term, have earned themselves additional street credit. They might not come across perfectly when sitting at the dinner table during formal cocktail ? or in pressrooms - but they know how to bloody their fists a little down on the ground where it counts.

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt a bit on the Revolution. I can see the possibilities, though I didn't care for it much when I first saw the videos from TGS. I couldn't help but think, "This is the revolution? This thing that looks like my remote control?" Some part of me is aware that Sony could control the market by including a look-alike remote with every Sony television set; players would become so confused when their Revolution didn't work with the VCR or TV remote that they'd give up on the system entirely.

What gets me excited is an element that is shared by both the Revolution and Halo 2: dual wielding.

When I was younger, I used to be hooked on an arcade called Area 51. It was a two player light gun game, and each day during lunch break from high school my group would wander down and spend the minutes taking turns on Area 51. I was good, second best in my school. Here's the thing, though: I tried playing with both guns at once, and I sucked. As cool as it might seem, it's really hard to shoot in two different directions at once with any consistency ? most of the time you end up just shooting the exact same spot with two guns. Not much help.

But imagine a sword fight with the Revolution and two controllers. The right controller controls your sword, and the left controls your shield. Imagine trading blows with an enemy, your sword sneaking in and out with a level of precision that can't be matched by current day game systems. It's not the same as dual wielding Area 51 guns, because I'm doing different things with the different hands. One's blocking, the other is attacking. I can't wait to beat the crap out of some guy online in whatever Nintendo's version of Xbox Live ends up being. Hell, I'll be happy if they just have some sort of gladiator program that lets me thwack some guy on the head by twirling a ball and chain up in the air. Fight Night ? or some equivalent - on the Revolution is going to kick ass.

The other image I have that really gets me excited is just one of a man walking through a dark cave, holding a lantern above his head, turning left and right as he watches for enemies, dynamic lighting casting shadows around as he swings the lantern. You, of course, are controlling the lantern with the Revolution controller, holding it over your head to raise the lantern in the game over your character's head. Is it a gameplay dynamic to itself? No, but I imagine that sequence in a game like Twilight Princess, and it gives me shivers.

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