12-27-03 - 2


I got my brother James the video games XIII ("Thirteen") and KotOR for Christmas. Funny comments overheard as he's playing are - "this game is cool, but I don't care about any Star Wars stories" (as he skips the cinematics in KotOR); "yeah, this game is almost as tedious as Half-Life" (says a friend watching James play a semi-cinematic segment of XIII); James also frequently complained about any way that XIII differed from Halo or Counter-Strike, and about the lack of checkpoints.

I dig XIII. The toon rendering style is cool; I love the little windows they show when you get a head-shot, and they pop up sometimes at surprising times, like when you toss a grenade into an enemy fox-hole. The music is perfect, and the cinematics are gorgeous, and the story isn't in sultingly bad like most games. The weapons are nicely balanced, they feel good, require skill, and each has strengths and weaknesses. It has a lot of annoying gameplay glitches - we died or lost various times and were left going "what the fuck happened?" or "why didn't that work?"; another few months of polish would have been good.

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