Imx Fix in my experience
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October 24, 2003 12:17 PM

XboxPC gaming certainly was a lot of fun back in the day ("back in the day" = three years ago) because there was plenty of great modem based online gaming available. I was a major Myth addict 'way back in the day' and later moved onto Unreal Tournament and then to Tribes and Tribes 2. During this time, I made the required video card and processor upgrades, but continually fell behind the curve and was/am unwilling to buy a new PC for the sole use of gaming (I do my work on a Mac).

Life without 2+ ghz processors and Radeon 9600's means that you move back to consoles as your video game delivery mechanism. In my case, that was a Gamecube and an Xbox purchase meant to satisfy two needs; Mario and Zelda action, and PC gaming without the Windows.

I've got the broadband running at home now and have been playing MechAssault and Unreal Championship recently. For some reason they don't have the longevity that I was hoping for (but I certainly have gotten my money's worth on each because I got each of them cheaply and have put in 100+ hours on each (but I still suck)). I need a new online game and the choices are these...

Choice #1 ->   Midtown Madness 3
I'm very interested in seeing how online racing games work and if they can be any fun. I'm also curious to see if the type of person playing them is any different than the jerky 16 year olds I tend to find in the first person shooters.

I assume racing games are more episodic than deathmatch sessions where you can just drop in and start fraggin' the aforementioned zit factories. Does this appeal to my 32 year old gameplaying sensibilities, or will i always be waiting for a race to start? I have RalliSport Challenge, and I can go from turned off Xbox to rally action in about 20 seconds.

Choice #2 ->   Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
I have seen several good reviews for this game in terms of graphics, style and online play. This game would be less of a departure from FPS play than Midtown Madness but would still be within that genre making my extensive experience at sucking at FPS's slightly useful. And besides, I don't have any flight based games for my Cube or Xbox and this would probably be the best choice to change that.
Choice #3 ->   XIII
I'm pretty positive that I'm going to buy this one when it comes out in two weeks. In particular, I'm interested in this part of what the game has to offer...
Sabotage stood out at the one most likely to get the most play when XIII launches in a few weeks. One team plays offense and the other is defending. The team on offense has to detonate bombs in three specific areas that the defense will be trying to protect. Bombs spawn at the offensive team's base and can only be used one at a time and hand delivered by one of the players to one of the target areas. The bomb carrier isn't handicapped while carrying the bomb and so he can still shoot and use all of the weapons at his disposal, but once he gets to the target area --indicated by a big red numeral 1,2 or 3-- that's when trouble begins. The carrier has to trigger the bomb by selecting it from his arsenal and then continuously press the primary attack button to arm it. It takes 12 seconds for the bomb to be armed, during which the carrier is totally vulnerable since he can't fire any of his other weapons. If at any point, he removes his finger from the fire button before the bomb is armed or if he moves too far away from the target area, he'll have to fire again within the target area to restart the countdown. Repeating this process for the other two locations can make for some dramatic encounters with the defense.
That all sounds like the type of network gaming I want to play. Tribes had a seige based online gametype, and it was lots of fun if you had enough people to play it. Unfortunately, it wasn't the most popular gametype next to CTF and the ever present Deathmatch.
This entire discussion goes on in parallel with the gut wrenching decisions to make on Gamecube purchases. Viewtiful Joe is a must have and I was thinking about Rebel Strike too, and I'm not done with F-Zero yet...and...and....

Too much to play, too little time to play it.