Firing Line #11: Lest we forget
Observing Game Memorial Day
As a citizen of the state of California, I'm doing my part. I'm running for Governor. My platform is this: that Blizzard should release the v1.10 patch for Diablo 2 already. If I am elected Governor, it will send Blizzard a clear message. A vote for me is a vote for 1.10. I know what you're thinking: 'What if Blizzard releases the patch before the October election date?' But I've already thought of that, which is why I have a back-up platform: that Freaky Flyers for the Xbox should have Xbox Live support. Granted, it's not quite as hot-button an issue as the Diablo 2 patch. Also, it was ripped off from Penny Arcade since I haven't even played Freaky Flyers, but it’s all my staff could come up with on short notice. It's still better than anything Gary Coleman has.
However, I'd like to take a break from my campaign to remind you that today is Game Memorial Day, the day we side aside before the onslaught of holiday titles to remember those that came before, those that are liable to be forgotten while we're playing all the cool stuff that comes out just before Christmas. In retailer vernacular, the month of September counts as 'just before Christmas', so everything from here on out is technically a holiday release. And yes, I'm looking at you, Tron 2.0, a.k.a. Mr. August 26th.
We need Game Memorial Day because pretty soon, as we're playing Half-Life 2 like Gabe Newell said we'd be doing starting September 31st, we'll have forgotten all about the stuff that came out earlier in the year. So when you're sitting around fat and lazy after this upcoming Thanksgiving, with a dozen new icons on your desktop, and you suddenly think, 'Oh, jeeze, I need to come up with my list of Top Ten Games of 2003!', don't forget stuff like Black Hawk Down, Galactic Civilizations, Age of Mythology and other things I can't remember right now because I haven't played them in a while.
Don't forget Black Hawk Down. It still holds up as a great multiplayer game, although in your memory it might take a back seat to the persistent online elements of Planetside and the sheer variety of gameplay in Battlefield 1942, which you're probably still playing like gangbusters. But Black Hawk Down's engine is fast for its size. The teamplay stands up to the moron factor without resulting in seven guys standing in line waiting for an airplane to respawn. The weapons have just the right mix of lethality and panic-inducing noise, with a bit of strategy thrown in with flashbangs, smoke grenades, and claymores. There are enough gameplay modes to keep it fresh; if I never play another game with "tickets", that's fine by me.