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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | September 12, 1998
   

ECTSoplasm

Last weekend's lack of a mailbag was caused by my trip to London to see the European Computer Trade Show (ECTS). My coverage of the event brought in quite a lot of mail, so let's kick off with that...

First up a few corrections -


From : Michael Bell-Rao
Subject : Party of 4 BAH!

-->6, my funky frend. A party of 6 maximum in Baldurs Gate, yes indeed.
*points at your ECTS article distractedly*

Sorry to all the Baldur's Gate fans out there. I just checked, and yes I was wrong, you can have up to 6 players in your party, not the four that I reported in my write-up.


From : Jason Leighton
Subject : Article comment

Hiya...I was browsing along an noticed your article on Descent III. You wrote:

"The only other problem I had with Descent III was the back clipping plane...."

Whoever was showing the game might not have known that one of the features of the terrain engine in D3 is that it does real-time tesselation to make the game faster/more pretty depending on what the gamer wants. The terrain render distance was probably set too close at ECTS, thus making the back clipping plane very noticeable. Its too bad they didn't have it set for max distance, as you wouldn't have seen any popup at all.

Jason Leighton
Outrage Entertainment

A big thanks to Jason Leighton (Descent III's lead programmer) for taking the time to mail and let me know about this...


From : Zarfang
Subject : ARGH!! ECTS

Hmmm nice ECTS report, but you got a few things wrong.

The half-life game and TF2 was indeed very playable at the Cendant stand (not Sierra) they just had the rolling demo going there 90% of the time

I guess I was just unlucky that it was just the rolling demo running every time I dropped by the stand... I got to play Half-Life in the 3Dfx booth anyway.

*SNIP*

Quake 2 was very much playable on the Nintendo stand, I have no clue how you could have missed that??

Neither have I. I went through the Nintendo stand two or three times and didn't see it at all. If it was there it was well hidden. ;-)


But what brought in the biggest response was this comment about the Nintendo 64's GoldenEye 007 -

"I have heard so much hype about this game... People have kept telling me how good it is. Well, I have news for you. It's crap. Yes, crap. I won't mince any words. This game is quite possibly the worst shooter I have ever played."

It seems that the vast majority of you disagree with me on this point...


From : Christopher D. Sherbine
Subject : how?

How can I trust the previews of someone who doesn't recognize Goldeneye as a good game?




From : Matthew Gibbs
Subject : Your review of GoldenEye

Your review of GoldenEye 007 in the ECTS article you wrote for PlanetQuake was quite simply, unbelievable. I have absolutely no idea where you were coming from as you proceeded to bash a very highly rated game.

Just because it's highly rated doesn't mean I have to like it...

You obviously do not own a Nintendo 64.

Correct. In fact, I have never owned a console of any description.

A large percentage of gamers do not have the funds to purchase a two or three thousand dollar computer equipped with 3D acceleration hardware... an exceptable alternative is a reasonably price console unit for less than a hundred and fifty dollars (a price that would not even cover for a high-end accelerator).

Agreed. But just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's good...

*SNIP*

Once again, your lack of a thorough experience of the game has led to another comment of falsehood. Yes, there are no doors on a couple of the multiplayer arenas... However, every other level contains doors in many shapes and forms.

Perhaps I should have made it more clear that I actually only played GoldenEye multiplayer.

*SNIP*

Hmmm, I would have to say that Wolfenstein never entered my head while playing GoldenEye. I must say that level design in Wolfenstein were simply mazes. In regard to everything being square... This isn't Quake, this isn't some alien world, this is supposted to be a city on Earth... how many buildings are circular? How many military buildings are made with extensive architecture? "We have xxx resources available... should we get some more aircrafts or shall we make our base 'oh-so pretty'?" Once again (I imagine I'll tire of this eventually), not everything is square. Try -playing- the game.

What I saw were a series of big empty rooms and steep ramps that bore no relation to real life. The textures were drab and monotonous, and the level design was unimaginative. It sucked.

*SNIP*

One last time, I hope you devote a little more attention to your reviews -after- having played the object of the review for a sufficiant amount of time.

I'd also like to point out that this wasn't a review. I didn't sit down and play the game for hours on end like I would have done if I was writing a review, I watched people play it for a while and then played a few rounds myself. In that time I saw nothing that would encourage me to play it again, and left disappointed. It was intended as more of a rant than a review...


From : Alexander Koh
Subject : Goldeneye

Do you think it's possible that you may have overlooked some of the appeal of this game, given it's tremendous popularity -- it's one of the best-selling titles of all time (easily outselling Quake or Quake 2) and by far the most frequently rented.

That's partly because it's a console title, and there are only a handful of console games available compared to PC games. If you check the statistics, even mediocre console games out sell most PC games. Sad but true...

Do you think it's possible that you had so much difficulty with the N64 controller because you're used to a using a mouse and keyboard?

Yes, that's definitely possible.

Honestly, do you think a keyboard is that much more intuitive or ergonomic for playing games?

Yes.

Maybe you do, but you're in the minority.

I doubt it... I feel a PQ Poll question coming on.

You can always say that your comments are not intended to be objective, and that you're merely describing you highly subjective personal reactions to the product.

Which is true.

But if that's the case, why should anyone care?

I don't know, but obviously a lot of you did care!

One expects published commentary to consist of more than solipsistic ranting.

Aw. Spoil sport.

Implying that Goldeneye is comparable technologically to Wolfenstein, and inferior to Doom, is just astoundingly ignorant. Goldeneye is rendered in 3D and features polygonal characters and environments.

But despite that, what I saw still looked worse than Doom. Maybe I just played some really bad levels...

*SNIP*

Why is this such a popular game? Because it's fun.

Well, if you say so...

*SNIP*


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