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Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

March 25thth, 2004, by Matt
OK, so everybody in this village only ever talks about what the weather is like, and no matter what you give them— even if it's flowers, rocks, or coins— nine times out of ten they say they plan on eating it. The real problem with this game is that it won't let you hit them. You can't even throw anything. The only mean thing you can do is to show people the mouthwatering garden tool you just bought and then refuse to let them have it for dinner. Well, you can also take the eggs from your chickens, stand in front of them, and swallow their future babies whole, but the programmers appear not to have written any reaction for that. It would be pointless anyway since the chickens aren't constantly provoking you by reminding you that it's hot in summer.

Unreal Tournament 2004 Demo

February 12thth, 2004, by Matt
As you select which of the four black people you will portray in Epic's utopian vision of the future, where grisly black-on-black violence is no longer a heartbreaking social issue but instead a popular sport, you'll appreciate that the boys from North Carolina even went through the trouble of making the two dreadlocked male choices look only 99.5% alike, for the sake of smashing hurtful rhetoric. And talk about well-spoken: if you enable the text-to-speech option, the in-game chatter makes everyone sound better than smartest-man-in-the-world Dr. Stephen Hawking! There are rumors that the full version will include other races of humans and even aliens, but honestly, everyone is going to buy Battlefield Vietnam instead, so we may never know.

Beyond Good and Evil

January 11thth, 2004, by Matt
Now, maybe the guys who made this game look up to Nietzsche, thinking he's like the Eminem of philosophy because he also "just don't give a fuck", but he never wrote one damn thing about a girl with a camera and talking pigs. That was Ayn Rand. So I guess it was just supposed to be a catchy title. Well, good job there, if the job was "screwing up". Since this is obviously necessary, an open letter to the industry:

Dear game developers and publishers,

The following philosophy books will also make your very nice game not sell if you name the game after them:

Poetics
Discourse on Method
The Phenomenology of Mind
Metaphysical Elements of Ethics
The Second Treatise of Civil Government
On Being and Essence

The following might work:

Leviathan
The Heroic Frenzies
Cur Deus Homo (Warren Spector only)

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

January 8th, 2004, by Matt
The developers of this game would like you to know that their game's robot has massive and bulbous metal testicles. They don't say much else about the game apart from you being able to take over other robots. Whenever somebody says the game industry is suffering from a lack of creativity, remind them that taking a flop like Messiah, replacing the all the characters with robots, and re-releasing the game with an ad campaign based around puns on the word "nuts" actually is kind of boldly post-modern.

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