By By Curtis Westman
Korean business market grinds to a halt
Blizzard announced last weekend that the wet dream of over a million zealous RTS gamers is about to be vindicated with the advent of the sequel to one of the most popular franchises in the history of PC gaming — Starcraft 2. Rumours over the past months that the sequel would either never arrive or would be another World of Warcraft MMO clone in the Starcraft universe have accordingly been forgotten, as gameplay footage from Blizzard’s Worldwide International gaming convention show what is essentially Starcraft on steroids.
For three days after the announcement, Korean business suffered huge losses as workers failed to show up for work, catatonic in front of their computers, awestruck at the news.
And why wouldn’t they be? This is huge news for gaming. This is like the release of Duke Nukem Forever. On schedule AND living up to its hype. This is like the second coming of Christ — nobody ever thought it would happen and here it is after only God knows how many years. Centuries from now, archaeologists are going to dig up big stone tablets detailing the coming of Starcraft the 2nd, and are going to think it refers to some magnanimous king that liberated slaves and miraculously brought Protoss together with Terrans — Zerg and cats living together; mass hysteria!
They’re going to think we were such nerds.
Virtual Console Picks
The Wii’s Virtual Console feature lets us play older games from a multitude of systems on a single machine — similar to X-Box Live or, well, I would say the PS Network, but I feel dirty making that comparison — and every week there are more additions. I figured that I might as well explain the games this week so maybe people know what to avoid. After all, we don’t all have subscriptions to Nintendo Power. Oh, god, please kill me. I’m such a geek
This week’s offerings:
Donkey Kong Country 2: Okay, so this one time Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of the Mario and Zelda franchises) said that the Donkey Kong Country series was proof that American gamers would buy any piece of trash as long as it looked half decent. Apparently he was right. American audiences really lapped up the trilogy. To its credit, it has a lot of fun bits, and isn’t a bad side-scroller all told. It’s a bit slow, I admit, but the atmosphere is pure bananas (get it!?) which more than makes up for that.
Blazing Lazers: I’m a little biased with this game because I was one of the few North Americans who owned a Turbo Grafx 16, and loved the hell out of it. Blazing Lazers is a great shooter with a lot of charm. The music is fun and exciting and the power-ups are all pretty decent in their own right. Just because they misspelled lasers doesn’t mean it’s a poor game. It just means they’re poor spellers.
Streets of Rage 2: This series is beat-’em-up gold. With a friend playing co-op, Streets of Rage 2 is some of the most fun gaming I’ve had in a long time, simply because of its hectic nature and the fact that you’re beating the hell out of everyone. Nothing is more satisfying than picking up a discarded iron pipe and knocking the sense out of some fat guy with it. And sometimes, Owen, since friendly fire is forced, and you can accidentally beat the hell out of your partner as well. Oops.