Massively Multiplayer: Gaming In The New Millennium

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by RySenkari, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

    Feb 23, 2018
    Could I post part 2 of TTTE Season 1 now?
  2. TehIrishSoap Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2014
    Always fun to see David Lynch pop up in alt history. I know he won ATL for Mulholland Drive but what's his ATL film list? I imagine Lost Highway isn't butterflied but Inland Empire is
    HonestAbe1809 and Pokemon Master like this.
  3. Threadmarks: BONUS: Thomas The Tank Engine Animated Series Season 1, Part 2

    Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

    Feb 23, 2018
    *The Fat Controller notices a Brunswick green saddletank, No. 50 (Percy). Percy notably has rivets across his saddle tank, the boxes on his sides, the sides of his roof, bufferbeam front and sides, and around his cab entrances, smokebox, his cylinders fronts and sides. He also has handrails on both his tanks and cab sides. With holes on the front of his cylinders.*
    "If I choose you will you work hard?"
    "Yes, sir! You'll never regret buying me in your life!"
    "Good. Now what can I call you? Spike...?"
    *No. 50 visibly cringes.*
    "Conker...? Hogarth...?"
    *The Fat Controller notices that No. 50 is still cringing. Then he remembers retrieving a little boy's yo-yo during his trip.*
    "How about Percy?"
    "Oh yes, sir. Please sir!"

    -The Fat Controller first meeting Percy (Nigel Pilkington), Trouble in the Shed

    *At Tidmouth Sheds, we see Henry feeling sorry for himself. He is still in his old shape, and resembles a smaller green version of Gordon.*
    "Maybe James is right. What if I don't work hard enough? Perhaps I should just let myself be scrapped."

    -Henry (Tim Whitnall)'s internal monologue before singing Why Couldn't I Be Better?, Coal

    "I've waited too long.
    Now I must act fast.
    To see that I don't.
    Come in place last."

    Intro to Time to Shine, sung by 98462 (Tim Curry), The Flying Kipper

    "I suppose that's what those bootlaces were for, to be ready?"
    "I take that as a yes."

    -Toby (Michael Gambon) roasting James (Rob Rackstraw), Dirty Objects

    Narrator (Mark Moraghan): No matter how old Toby may be, all his friends have the same thing to say to him."
    Children Chorus: Oldies but Goldies, we still care for you...

    -The last line of Dirty Objects, notably the first time a reused song from the classic series was used in its unaltered form.

    "How is a rebuild like that possible? Or, *gulp* was it a rebuild?"
    -James (Rob Rackstraw) pondering what happened to Henry at Crewe, Gordon's Whistle

    "Donal', you dinnae think we'll ever bae scrapped, do yae?"
    "If that happaens, I'll bae going, not ye, Douggie."

    -Douglas (Ewan McGregor), and Donald (David Tennant) in their early bird cameo at the end of Gordon's Whistle.

    After the first half of TTTECGI's first season, The Hasthorne Family left to work on other projects. As such, HiT replaced them with Mike O'Donnel and Junior Campbell. Needless to say, the fans were sent into a seemingly endless tizzy. Around this time, the writing also improved, with more efforts to keep characters in balance.

    Number 50:
    At a workshop on the British Mainland, the manager has scratch-built a new shunter to help his two existing ones, the red-painted saddle-tank King George and the Royal Blue side-tank Barney. The new engine is a little green one simply known as No. 50 (Nigel Pilkington) [1], and is built from designs for the GWR Trojan and 1361 Saddletanks. Then using some miscellaneous parts that the crew had fabricated for cancelled orders. However, the engine is much smaller and not as strong as King George and Barney. Which leads to him being mistreated by them, as well as the manager who regrets spending so much on an engine who wasn't as reliable as he hoped. No. 50 lives a dissatisfying life, his owner and the other two tank engines are cruel to him. In spite of this, No. 50 is a happy little engine, he is close friends with Molly (Maria Darling) , an GER Calud Hamilton who often pulls passenger trains to a station right outside the factory. No. 50 also gets along well with the engines that are built and tested on the factory grounds. Though he still yearns for a better and happier life outside the noisy and dirty factory (A Place for Me) [2]. One day, the owner of a fruit factory in Latin America comes to look for an engine to use on his line [3]. No. 50 tries his best to look presentable and be chosen. But when it seems that he'll get to leave, he ends up getting in an accident caused by Barney which damages his buffer beam. Which leads to King George and Barney being chosen instead.

    Trouble in the Shed: No. 50 is left to be repaired, when he meets an engine named Hiro (Hiroyuki Sanada), who was built for a planned standard gauge line in Japan, but was left stranded in the UK when it was cancelled [4]. Now, he sits in the workshop, but does dream of one day going to live on the Island of Sodor (The Island Song). Then it is revealed that King George and Barney got their comeuppance when they accidentally wandered into the path of an express, leaving No. 50 with the last laugh as he returns to work. Back on Sodor, the big engines refuse to get their coaches and so Edward is brought in to shunt for them. However, poor Edward is met with relentless hostility and so the Fat Controller goes to the workshop to look for a tank engine [5]. He has a hard time deciding one, as while all of them seem reliable workers (barring King George and Barney), they are simply not the best options. However, while surveying an engine that is currently meant to go to Africa, No. 50 accidentally bumps into said engine. The Fat Controller ultimately decides to buy him, and names him Percy after a boy whose yo-yo help helped retrieve before going to the Mainland. The big engines still refuse to shunt and fetch their coaches, so the Fat Controller shuts them up in the sheds and brings Thomas to work with Edward on the main line while Percy runs Thomas' Branch Line.

    Coach Trouble: Ever since 98462 lost his name, Cecil has been trying to be on his best behavior so that he doesn't suffer the same fate. Meanwhile, Thomas is ordered to use some new coaches on Henry's passenger trains. They are new ones, and immediately take a disliking to him being a tank engine. Which angers Thomas, and frustrates him so much he bursts a safety valve while entering Wellsworth. After this, the Fat Controller reluctantly has 98462 take over for Thomas while he works the Brendam Branch instead. Though after 98462 gets even more violent with them, he has Edward go. Edward ignores them whenever they insult him, but he does end up needing repairs to his coupling due to wear. Lastly, Cecil is rostered to take them, but he eventually gets so cross he doesn't care where he's going and rams into the back of Bridget's goods train. While Cecil is forgiven, he is warned. When asked, Edward explains to Cecil and Thomas that his trick was to just ignore them.

    Percy Runs Away: After several days in the sheds for being naughty, the big engines finally see sense and agree to get their coaches ready, so the Fat Controller lets Thomas, Edward and Percy play on the branch line. Thomas takes Annie and Clarabel for a run and Edward takes some trucks to Brendam, leaving Percy alone. He strays onto the points, and Gordon scares him when he rushes into the junction. Percy flees, and eventually, exhausted, runs in a sandbank. Gordon later commends him for preventing an accident and Percy becomes the brand new station pilot at Tidmouth.

    Coal: Ever since his stay in the tunnel, Henry has been feeling chronically ill and is having trouble making steam. While engines like Gordon, Cecil, and James are unsympathetic to him, Edward, Rita, and Percy feel pity for him, and Thomas and Bridget usually feel sorry for Henry when he doesn't make them late. The Fat Controller fears that he will have to be replaced if they cannot find a cure. Henry is left in an even more depressed state as he laments his condition (Why Couldn't I Be Better?) [3]. (During this, Henry imagines himself, in a reference to Christopher Awdry's lore, as a Robinson Atlantic). 98462 overhears this conversation and sees this as his possible change to shine again when Henry is sent away. Henry's fireman tells the Fat Controller that Henry's firebox is too small and cannot make enough steam. The Fat Controller arranges for some Welsh coal to be brought for Henry and as soon as he begins using it, Henry feels better soon.

    The Flying Kipper: Fishing boats often dock at Tidmouth and send their fish to be sold on a train dubbed The Flying Kipper. While Rita usually pulls the train, it is Henry's turn to take it, with his driver confirming that he may become the permanent secondary express engine if they do well. 98462 is furious about being left as he puts it, "neglected", and makes plans to get rid of Henry, ultimately seeing his chance when he learns that he will take a goods train that same night (Time to Shine) [6]. Henry makes good time (Night Train), until they encounter an incorrect signal they are unaware was caused by snow forcing it down. 98462 has tricked the signalman into thinking the line is clear, but he has actually stopped on the siding with his goods train. While his crew are drinking cocoa in the brakevan, Henry collides into 98462's goods, which does lead to 98462 being hoist by his own petard when the impact derails him. After the crash, Henry is sent away to the works at Crewe and comes back better than ever before, rebuilt in a fresh new shape and no longer needing Welsh coal. While Alfred is relegated to a purely goods engine as his punishment.

    Gordon's Whistle: After Henry returns to Crewe, everyone is surprised to see what has changed. Gordon on one hand is furious that he was rebuilt while he hasn't been converted into a Super Pacific like the rest of his Gresley brethren (Why Me?). Edward, Bridget, Thomas, Percy, and Rita are all happy to see him back. However, the main scope is when Gordon insults Henry about whistling too often. Only to end up getting his whistle jammed until a fitter comes to knock it back in place. This episode would become famous for the shocking events added after that. conversation between James, who took over for Gordon after his incident, and Cecil. During it, James asks Cecil if he noticed anything odd about Henry. Cecil affirms yes, pointing how that while Henry hated the rain in the past, that was because he didn't want his paint ruined while he know seems to fear the rain itself, and also points out that he is less cocky and has a deeper voice. They are visibly spooked, and attempt to laugh off their suspicions. James tries to pretend to think it was just a complex rebuild, but believes worse. Eventually, we see a shed at Crewe. As a familiar green engine stands at the entrance to a siding, it's buffered up to from behind. As soon as its on the siding, the engine is revealed to be Donald (David Tennant). As he goes back into the yards, his twin Douglas (Ewan McGregor) asks if they think they'll ever be scrapped. With Donald swearing if that does happen, he will be first to go for Douglas' sake. The fact old Henry never speaks at all leads to the shocking questions surrounding the new Henry. Most fans like to think that as much from the old Henry was recycled as possible.

    Scarves and Sneezes: Percy is cold one morning and expresses a desire for a scarf. Henry replies bluntly the engines don't need scarves, but Percy just teases him. Meanwhile, Henry is running through the Countryside, when some rude boys drop stones on Henry's boiler. His crew plan an elaborate revenge where Henry sneezes on them. In the ensuing sneeze, 98462 gets covered in soot as he is passing Henry. Which leads to him planning revenge once more. Meanwhile at Tidmouth, Percy goes to shunt some coaches, but approaches the platform so quietly that he runs over a trolley, scattering luggage everywhere. The Fat Controller, furious, seizes his top-hat off Percy's lamp-iron and sends Percy away with a pair of his trousers coiled around his funnel. Henry learns about this and feels sorry for Percy, and the two make amends that night.

    Toby and the Stout Gentleman: The Fat Controller and his family are feeling overworked as Summer Vacation begins for his grandchildren. So they decide to visit East Anglia and a clergyman (Christopher Awdry, in the first of several Stan Lee-esque cameos). While there, they go to visit a tram engine named Toby (Michael Gambon) and his coach Henrietta (Maggie Ollerenshaw). The two have seen better days, and Henrietta laments the low cargo levels compared to the past (Those Tramway Days). However, they cheer up when the Topham family ride on them at least once a day during their stay in the area. After they leave however, their tramway becomes less viable and eventually closes. At first Toby fears the worst will happen to him, but he soon learns the Fat Controller wants him for his own ends…

    Thomas in Trouble: Thomas is bringing some trucks down from a quarry when he surprises a policeman, who tells him he is breaking the law by going across a public road without cowcatchers and sideplates. Thomas is upset, and the Fat Controller has to leave his breakfast to talk to the policeman, who tells him he cannot change the law. A comment by Thomas makes the Fat Controller remember his holiday, and a certain tram engine. A few days later, Toby arrives to help at the quarry, and after he scares the policeman he and Thomas become friends (Toby).

    Dirty Objects: James makes fun of Toby and Henrietta for having shabby paint. When Toby makes a snide comment about bootlaces, James huffs off to get a "slow goods" train. He bumps the trucks so badly they are determined to pay him back. As he goes over Gordon’s Hill, the trucks push him down into a pair of tar tankers standing in the yard and Toby and Percy come to his aid. The Fat Controller congratulates Toby and Percy for their work, and promises Toby and Henrietta a new coat of paint (Toby, Reprise). Thomas and Toby becomes even firmer friends and Toby is guaranteed a new lease on life.

    Off The Rails: Henry and Percy tease Gordon repeatedly while he is in a siding resting. Then the big engine becomes even more grumpy after being told to take a goods train and his fire is slow, so Edward takes him to the turntable. Gordon attempts to "jam" the table, but instead breaks through a fence and slides into a ditch. Edward takes the special instead and Gordon is left in the ditch until nightfall when Henry and James finally pull him out.

    Leaves: Gordon is forbidden from taking the express after his incident and is relegated to goods work. Gordon is upset and grumbles to himself, but James just laughs at him (Work, Work, Work). To add further insult to injury, the Fat Controller reluctantly sends 98462 to take the Express instead. Later, Gordon tries to warn James that the hill is slippery from leaves. James simply laughs, but soon regrets it when the coaches drag him down the hill. However, Gordon takes pity and helps James up again.

    Down the Mine: After helping James up his hill, Gordon takes a slow goods at Knapford. When he is there, he gets teased by Thomas for falling into a ditch. Thomas carries on even after Annie and Clarabel rebuke him. Thomas then goes to the Lead Mines to shunt trucks. At that mine is a board warning engines to not pass a certain part of the complex. Unaware that it is because a mineshaft has made the ground unstable, Thomas concocts a plan to go past a "danger" board and falls through a weak spot in the ground. Gordon, who laughs when he finds out, comes to the rescue and on the way home, the two form an alliance (Forgive Your Friend) [7].

    Paint Pots and Queens: The Queen of England is coming to Sodor and everyone wants to be the one to go the mainland and pick her up (Will You, Won't You) [9]. Henry brags that he will be chosen to take the Royal Train, but these plans are soon put to rest when Henry disturbs a painter and a paint pot falls onto him. Meanwhile, Thomas and Gordon apologize to the Fat Controller for being silly and he allows Gordon to pull the Royal Train. On the big day, Thomas gets the coaches ready and Edward clears the line in front. The Queen meets all the engines and talks personally to Thomas, Edward and Gordon, but the latter feels proudest of all.

    Mrs. Kindley's Christmas: Mrs. Kyndley is an old lady who lives in a cottage near the line. Although she waves to Thomas every day as he passes, she falls ill and no longer has the energy to wave. A few days later, Thomas and Toby are rostered to doublehead a special train of Christmas Carolers to Knapford Cathedral (A Sodor Christmas Song). They make their way down from Ffarquhar when a dressing-gown waving from Mrs. Kyndley's window stops him. While the driver and a doctor go to see what the matter is, the fireman discovers that the gown was used to warn them about a landslide. The next day, Thomas, Toby, Henrietta, Annie, Clarabel and the Fat Controller go to the cottage to thank her. The Fat Controller offers her tickets to Bournemouth, where she recovers from her illness.

    [1] A reference to 1950, the publication year of Troublesome Engines.
    [2] Think Over The Rainbow + Sing Sweet Nightingale.
    [3] Has a similar composition to "I Want To Go Home" from OTL's Journey Beyond Sodor.
    [4] This is a reference to the original pre-war version of the famous Shinkansen. Which would have been a steam-hauled service run by streamlined 4-8-4s.
    [5] During the sequence, several engines from OTL's CGI series are portrayed. Such as Ryan (a Purple GNR N2 0-6-2T), Nia (An East African 2-6-2T), and Stanley.
    [6] A song like "No More Mr. Nice Guy" from the animated Swan Lake. I'm not using the actual name because it's too boring. Though the villain song in that film is not that bad.
    [7] 1960s style song akin to the original version of "We're Your Friends" from The Jungle Book.
    [8] A song from OTL's special The Great Race. But with many lyrics and characters changed.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  4. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

    Feb 23, 2018
    Just posted my TTTE Part 2.
  5. Queen Grayhoof A Dream Left To Cling To

    Jan 10, 2017
    Who Dat Nation
    Yeah, we can see ^^ It’s really nice!
    Beta.003 likes this.
  6. HawkAussie Is not a Magical Girl

    Apr 4, 2014
    I think its the feeling of believably that people have loved to enjoy as its a timeline which is around people on this site was born.
    Nivek, HeX and AeroTheZealousOne like this.
  7. Threadmarks: Winter 2010 (Part 2) - Psygnificant Developments

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Nov 1, 2010
    Klepto: Double-Crossed

    Klepto: Double-Crossed is a stealth/action/puzzle title developed by Psygnosis for the Microsoft Xbox 2. After At Wit's End, the previous game in the series, was handled by a different studio, Psygnosis returned to make this game, which had a somewhat larger scale while also introducing a new storyline and canon for the series. The game itself is a fairly basic action title in which players control Klepto, the world famous thief who must steal from a variety of high-security locations and make it out again in one piece. Much more action-focused than At Wit's End, Klepto has a variety of moves he can use to incapacitate enemies and guards, though it's still preferable to avoid fighting whenever possible and use stealth to the fullest. There are puzzles in this game, though not as many and not as difficult as the ones in At Wit's End, with Psygnosis wanting to return the series to prominence by making a game that appealed more to mainstream gamers. This game sees Klepto running afoul of an organization known as The Luminence, which seeks to gain power by gathering up treasures and artifacts to use their wealth to fund a massive political empire. Klepto used to steal for the Luminence, until he stole an object called the Heart of Crystalia, something that allowed the Luminence to gain mysterious magical power. Klepto eventually befriended a woman named Melissa, who claimed to want to help him take the Luminence down, but in reality, she was working for them, and used the information Klepto gave her to acquire several valuable artifacts for them. Now, Klepto must take down the Luminence and find out why Melissa betrayed him, before it's too late to stop the world from falling under Luminence control. The game's storyline is actually brand new to Double-Crossed, referencing few if any events from previous games in the series, but being presented as if it's a storyline that has existed for quite a while. The game presents plenty of backstory to contrast with the game's current events, and ultimately, the story is explained in such a way that new players can jump right into the series even if they've never played a game in the series before, while old players can feel that a history is being respected even if much of the series' canon isn't mentioned. The game itself features 12 chapters, each split into anywhere from 2-6 different objectives, in which Klepto is tasked with stealing an object from a certain location or reaching a certain place, with most chapters ending with Klepto's escape from that location. He eventually learns of Melissa's motives, reconciles with her, and the two work together to take the Luminence down. The game's self-contained story somewhat feels like a "finale" to the series, but it does leave some plot threads open for a potential sequel, while proving to be the most complete game in the series to date and showing just how far the franchise has come. Klepto: Double-Crossed gets mostly positive reviews from critics, though a few are disappointed in the departure from the series' usual mechanics and gameplay. It would average around an 8/10, making it one of the better games in the series thus far, and is the best selling Xbox 2 exclusive of the first quarter of 2010, topping the earlier Shotty to become a bright spot in an increasingly thin lineup of Xbox 2 exclusive games.


    Microsoft To Spin Off Psygnosis Into Independent Studio, Paving The Way For Cyberwar To Go Multiplatform

    In one of the most surprising pieces of gaming news to come out of this year's GDC, and a sign of the increasing turmoil at Microsoft's gaming division, the company announced that Psygnosis, which it purchased in 2001, would be spun off into its own company, separate from Microsoft but still making games. The news comes as Microsoft looks to streamline its gaming division in the hopes of remaining competitive with Nintendo and Apple, but Psygnosis, which created the Cyberwar series that has been one of the most lucrative exclusive Xbox franchises, has been extremely valuable for Microsoft, and the news came as a shock to a lot of people in the industry. As part of the deal, Psygnosis will retain the rights to the Cyberwar and Wipeout franchises, but Microsoft will retain a small cut of each purchase of those games for an undisclosed period of time. Microsoft may have spun off the company because in recent years, Psygnosis did become a bit of a money sink, with promotion and production of Cyberwar games and related media putting a large drain on the gaming division's budget, despite the success of the Cyberwar series. Last year's Netizen X was one of the top selling games of 2009, but still missed sales projections by between 20 and 30 percent, causing the game to turn much less of a profit than Microsoft was expecting. With Psygnosis now independent, Microsoft would no longer be obligated to financially support the series, freeing up funds to develop new IPs and perhaps to develop new hardware. The Cyberwar series now represents pure profit for Microsoft, which will gain a small portion of the sales revenue of each game sold, while also making Psygnosis an attractive target for acquisition by a larger third party company such as Activision or Ubisoft. Cyberwar 4, which was expected to be released next year, is now said to be targeting 2012 as a release year, with budget projections for the game rising, potentially to the level of a liability for Microsoft.

    Psygnosis is expected to announce a Cyberwar trilogy compilation which will likely see release on the iTwin and Sapphire, and Cyberwar 4 is expected to be released on those consoles as well, along with the Xbox 2 (assuming it's still around at that time). Psygnosis' recent game Klepto: Double-Crossed, is expected to remain exclusive to the Xbox 2, at least for the time being, and the company is also expected to continue production of the futuristic racing franchise Wipeout, which has been one of the more successful games in its genre.

    -from an article on Games Over Matter, posted on March 18, 2010
  8. woweed New Hippie

    Sep 22, 2014
    And NOW Sony buys them. :biggrin:
    Beta.003 likes this.
  9. dmg86 Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    I suspect there is probably something that would prevent that for a fixed time afterwards.
    AeroTheZealousOne likes this.
  10. volvocrusher Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2018
    I think Google/Samsung will be the one to buy them
  11. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

    Sep 21, 2018
    Disneyland, U.S.A.
    Google's still working with Android too, right? Because a 2D platformer with the little green Android mascot would be a great idea for a game.
    tornadobusdriver likes this.
  12. RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Nov 1, 2010
    Google is absolutely still working with Android. This will become extremely relevant fairly soon.
  13. AestheticAcid Purveyor of silly things of little consequence

    Mar 27, 2017
    So I take it I'm safe to post the songlist for pop'n music TwinBeat: PARTY (as 2010 has come)?
  14. ejhawman Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    I've been binging Player Two Start and this sequel lately. I've gotten up to mid-2001, and see some interesting alt-hist so far.

    You save Polly Klaas, not so much a butterfly but a semi-direct effect. Maybe. but then she goes on to prevent/downscale Columbine, which seems a little unlikely, though it would only seem so from an OTL point of view. ITTL, few know how bad it could have been. But of course, this only delays things; the pathology of thought that leads to mass killings was too pervasive by then. There should be equvalents to the Pulse shootings and Las Vegas eventually.

    Of celebrity deaths, you trade Princess Di for Celine Dion. Neither here nor there to me. You take out Shigeru Miyamoto as a stipulated event/secondary POD to take things in a particular direction, not a usual practice but not really unfair to readers, I think. Let's see where you want to go.

    Some other random celebrities saved or lost. Megumi Hayashibara lost to a plane crash in 2000: that's going to hit anime fans around the world like a freight train. By then she was known for things like Pai from 3x3 Eyes, Rei Ayanami, Lina Inverse, Lime from Saber Marionette, Nuku Nuku, Tira Misu, Faye Valentine, Minky Momo, Hello Kitty, and of course Pokemon and Detective Conan. Those last two would likely be recast, but would there be any more Slayers ITTL? Also, ISTM there would be Evangelion remakes at some point; would they be delayed as recasting was thought over?

    As regards my own activities ITTL, assuming aggressive butterflies don't have me winning the lottery in 1992, nothing much changes in my life until I start a new job and start living on my own for the first time in 1998. Once I was on my feet I got into Final Fantasy VII... starting with the PC port, on a new PC. But from there I felt emboldened to get a Playstation to try the console version, and then a Nintendo 64 for Super Mario 64. Eventually I tried the Dreamcast, PS2, and X-Box, but the Saturn never entered my mind, it being dead so quickly. So... ITTL, I get the Ultra Nintendo and a Ring-bundle Saturn. TTL games I'd go for would be Squad Four and Ballistic Limit.

    In 2000, I was keeping my PSX saves on a mega-memory card with 16 pages when I got so wrapped up in Crono Cross I left it in the slot through an eight-hour play session. This left it stuck on the Crono Cross page, effectively wasting the card and all the other game saves on it. This would cost me months to rebuild saves for FFVII, FFVIII, Legend of Dragoon, Parasite Eve, and probably a few others, after I had gone through some burnout and concentrated on anime fanfictions for a while... TTL, there was no Crono game in release at that time, but something else might have got me that addicted. But there's at least a good chance I'm still doing new stuff and not retracing old ground.

    September 11 saw me doing Crono Trigger, which had only just then gotten republished, I think. Probably no difference here, and I would have a Katana by this time.

    A more forceful change occurs in mid-2003, when I got into online games. I tried Final Fantasy XI and Everquest. Square-Enix's connect service was buggy and unreliable for me, I wasn't able to sustain a confirmed subscription for more than a month, forst trying in 2003 and then in 2009. They must have revamped things before 2015, when I got into FFXIV, which I've had no problems with, but if their system goes through the same evolutions ITTL, I will have no better luck.

    Which leaves EverQuest as the big change in my circumstances. OTL, it consumed all my free time until I decided World of Warcraft was stable enough to try in mid-2005, then I was divided between the two games for a year, ultimately givig up on EQ in 2006. But TTL has Pirate Quest instead of EverQuest, and I am not partial to anything pirate-themed. My activities will likely continue to be console-based and some online reading until 2005.

    So, there's some improvement, and some lateral change, and not much obvious negative change. What could REALLY make this a utopia for me is to butterfly me into deciding to keep track of my e-trade account number and password on paper - learning from earlier losing track of a CompuServe account I was still paying for OTL until just a few years ago - so that I can pull my money out of nonperforming stocks earlier, and maybe throw it into Apple around 2003. That gives me much better financial circumstances after 2008, and may continue to this day.

    Hoping you don't have George Lucas sell out to Disney ITTL... or at least have Disney hand the franchise to someone with a brain.
    Andrew Boyd and Nivek like this.
  15. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    May 4, 2009
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    Not spoilers here just wait.

    Very interesting life story...seems a veteran but you might have missed the SNES-CD era itself, still thanks for the anedocte buddy
  16. RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Nov 1, 2010
    Yep, go right ahead.
    Beta.003 likes this.
  17. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

    Feb 23, 2018
    Looking back when I first posted here, boy was I stupid.
  18. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    May 4, 2009
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    All we start like that, you're improving buddy
    Beta.003 and Andrew Boyd like this.
  19. AndyWho Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    As a Saints fan, this seems like a loss I would take with some sting, but happiness as I respect the Steelers more than many teams in the AFC. Hopefully, however, we don't see a badly injured Manning like OTL for the 2010 season. Unless you're willing to make a trade for someone like Tebow (or give Colt Brennan a redemption story) or picking a certain QB down the road.

    I actually wonder if the Rams go to San Antonio over LA (given TTL's rise of the city, thanks to Selena) and the Browns are sold and rebranded to LA. The San Antonio Rams and the Los Angeles...Wildcats? Or maybe, with the void of the Rams move, they go to St. Louis.
    Beta.003 likes this.
  20. Threadmarks: Winter 2010 (Part 3) - Stellar Supernova Sidescrollers

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burst Bang

    Burst Bang is a shooter/adventure/sidescroller for the Game Boy Supernova. Its gameplay can best be described as Metal Slug meets Metroidvania, with fast paced bullet hell shooter combat mixed in with some exploration and backtracking. The game's protagonist is a cybernetically enhanced soldier named Rogen who must do battle against an army that has enslaved and mechanized millions of helpless civilians into becoming combat cyborgs. To battle this army, Rogen must master a wide variety of weapons, from a basic blaster gun to multi-rocket launchers and everything in between. Rogen's journey takes him across an entire country to battle his way through enemy cities and encampments, which are depicted in a stunning 2 1/2-D style that definitely looks like a modern game but with some retro touches. Rogen has a life bar that can be depleted when enemies strike or shoot him, and the life bar is actually fairly generous, making Burst Bang not quite as tough as say, a Contra title, but definitely tougher than the average sidescroller. As the player progresses, they can enhance Rogen's weaponry and armor along with his statistics, while also acquiring different items for him to use. Players can only equip three weapons at a time, one in each of three different types, but discarded weapons that have been leveled up can be broken down for parts and money, making it not quite so painful to give up a favorite weapon. Weapons can also be equipped with different kinds of buffs that can be stored and carried over when a weapon is broken down. The game has a genuine progression system, though it's not experience-based but treasure-based, with the player gathering up items dropped by enemies and found in different areas of the stage in order to enhance Rogen's equipment and loadout. The game features limited voice acting, including narration and small, 5-10 second voice clips that play throughout, with a lack of cutscenes (all scenes instead play out via in-game rendering and dialogue, though there's not much of a story to the game itself). Players can rack up combos by shooting enemies in rapid succession or targeting weak points on larger enemies, which earns better loot and does more damage. There are also some items that enhance Rogen's movement abilities, which are used to navigate him to new areas with stronger enemies. Despite the adventure elements, this is definitely more of a sidescrolling shooter that plays out like most games in its genre: it's mostly just Rogen running from one end of a stage to the other, finding power-ups and destroying enemies in his wake. The main story takes him across six main cities, split up by occasional wilderness levels, with the cities themselves containing street environments, lab environments, market environments, and a wide variety of locations with different types of enemies in each one. The game's plot is mostly straightforward, but a major twist does occur later in the game, when Rogen finds out that his cybernetic enhancements were given to him by the army he's fighting and that his original mission was to capture people to give to the army, but that he broke free of his programming thanks to a hacker woman who's now one of the evil army's most dangerous cyborgs. Rogen is able to defeat her in battle and free her from the parts that were grafted onto her, but she is too weak from the process and dies in Rogen's arms, spurning him on to defend the Grand Mastercomputer, the game's final boss.

    Burst Bang is ignored by most gaming news outlets in the months leading up to its release, as most believed it would be just a flash in the pan sidescroller and a somewhat backwards game for the Supernova. However, upon its release, reviews are extremely good, praising the gameplay and graphics, while calling it one of the most addictive sidescrolling shooters in recent memory. It would ultimately be considered one of the Supernova's best games of 2010, enjoying an excellent critical reception and becoming a decent sales hit as well, while also influencing other sidescrolling shooters, inspiring both retro and modern-styled games.


    Circus Freaks

    Circus Freaks is a sidescrolling 2-D platformer which features seven protagonists, each of them based on various types of circus performers. Players can choose between any one of the seven at the start of any given level or can switch between them at the different switching points in each level, and each has their own unique set of powers and abilities that cover a wide range of playing styles, including a high flying trapeze artist, a firebreather, a lion tamer who can use his powers to tame enemies and take control of them, a human cannonball with the ability to turn themselves into a living projectile, a juggling unicyclist, a clown who uses a variety of strange and colorful attacks, and a ringmaster who is a sort of "jack of all trades" character who can attack with a cane or create obstacles for enemies. These characters are all brought together by a powerful dark magic force called Voltex who has taken all the happiness and joy from children throughout the world, and only these seven brave circus performers can stop him. The game's art style is vivid, colorful 3-D, somewhat reminiscent of the Kirby series in both visual style and gameplay (though Circus Freaks is somewhat more difficult from a platforming perspective). The game's animations are designed to be amusing and funny the whole way through, and the game's soundtrack is a mix of whimsical and spooky. The story is told in the form of small cutscenes between stages and mid-stage skits as the characters encounter a sad child or a strange situation. Enemies range from mutant animals to living objects to mean humans, all of whom have their own funny animations and behavior, making parts of the game resemble a cartoon come to life. With a strong voice cast full of comedy oriented voice actors, including Dave Coulier, Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell, and Cristina Pucelli, the characters are brought to life in a vivid, likable way, and Circus Freaks becomes known as both one of the weirdest and one of the funniest video games ever made. It even features a bunch of collectibles hidden throughout stages that open up additional funny sketches featuring the game's characters. Circus Freaks, unlike Burst Bang, did get a decent amount of hype before its release, and largely lives up to it, performing strongly in sales and amongst critics to become one of the Supernova's top platformers of the year. It's not quite up to Super Mario World 4's level, but it's a very popular exclusive for the Supernova and would spawn at least one sequel and some spinoff merch.


    The Game Boy Supernova continues to be a strong performer in stores, and is expected to see dozens of great games this year. Its overall sales are on pace to reach 100 million, topping sales of the Game Boy Nova and perhaps even topping sales of all Nintendo's original Game Boy variants. However, that hasn't stopped Nintendo from thinking about what's next for them in the handheld arena, and with Apple making no secret that they plan on releasing an iPod Play successor fairly soon, Nintendo is looking for their next big thing, something that can top Apple's next handheld in both sales and technical performance, and we may have some idea about what Nintendo's next handheld could be like, from whispers about early development kits that are starting to go out.

    We're confident that Nintendo's next handheld console will follow the trend established by Apple devices and competing smartphones by having a touchscreen. Various third party software companies, including Squaresoft and Konami, have been exploring touch screen technology for their next generation games, likely to be able to function on Nintendo's next handheld. We've also heard that "connectivity" will be a big theme for Nintendo's newest handheld. In addition to being able to connect to the Internet (a function also boasted by the Supernova), this next handheld will also be able to connect with both the Nintendo Sapphire and likely its upcoming successor, opening up the idea of a Nintendo "ecosystem" to rival Apple and its connectivity between devices. Will owners of this new handheld be able to play Sapphire games on the go? Will the device have ports of Sapphire games that handheld owners and console owners will be able to battle against one another on? With rumors swirling that Apple's new handheld will be as powerful as the iTwin, don't be surprised if Nintendo tries to push a device capable of rivaling the Sapphire in power.

    The most intriguing rumor is that Nintendo's new handheld might just beat the iPod Play successor to market. This is all speculation, but with delays starting to plague Apple's new handheld, and Apple confident in the iPhone as a stopgap, Nintendo may have a chance to put their next generation handheld out first, scoring big points against Apple's upcoming machine. Unfortunately, we don't have any word about what, if any games are expected to be playable on it, but we expect a lot more console ports and a lot more games that show off the power of the new handheld. We're also expecting a release date of 2011, and don't be surprised if we see the new handheld released somewhat early that year, meaning that we might... just might get a tease of the new handheld at this year's E3.

    -from a February 27, 2010 article on Kotaku
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