Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
From: "Bryan B"
Subject: E- bomb
At the risk of being a complete nerd, i just had to clarify
something that was in the mailbag last week. The "bomb" that
the reader is describing is not acutally bomb, it is a
secondary effect of a nuclear explosion. It is actually
called an EMP, electro magnetic pulse. I believe it is
caused when a nuclear weapon is detonated in the atmosphere
some distance from the ground. Any electrical device within
the radius of the EMP will cease to function. But to my
knowledge this is the only way an EMP can be produced with
"current" technology. And as for the Pentagon, just about
every single military related project in the country traces
back to the Pentagon in some way. Now that I've confirmed
my being a nerd, I just wanted to say that you guys are the
only online gaming mag i use. Keep up the good work and
have a nice day.
Thanks for setting us ignorant
Now please report to your local humiliation center for your weekly wedgie.
P.S. Exactly how do
you know so much about e-bombs, Mr. Bryan B...if that is your
New 'Collector Edition' Editors.
Subject: i wanna game review....
i want a Shawn Sanders to do a Armored Core 2: Another Age.
Its made by Agetec.
thank you to do so very much,
You're just looking for any
ol' Shawn Sanders? Not the special gold-tooth edition Shawn Sanders?
Well, lucky for you we have an old, run-down original version Shawn
Sanders and an Amored
Core 2: AA review. We hope you enjoy them both.
P.S. Please don't feed the
Shawn Sanders! He bites.
From: "matt mitler"
Subject: Counter-Strike just an A?
It is obvious that you guys over at GR are obsessed
with CS. Well I cant deny it either that is also my
favorite game ever. So I keep on wondering why you
didn't give CS an A+? You said it yourself that at the
end of the review "Half-Life: Counter-strike has
redefined online play. This game has more potential
and more online gaming goodness than any other game
I've ever played. While better things surely await us
in the future, Counter-strike is a video game
*=revolution=* you can take part in right now. " So
There's no doubt about it
- within the hallowed confines of the GR compound, CS
easily gets the most play of any game on the planet. We cheer, we scream,
we curse at the monitor and we constantly pose the rhetorical question
"Who's your daddy?" to scores of invisible players. Half-Life:
Counter-Strike is more fun than it should be.
But it ain't perfect.
For starters, there's no
real single player component. We hate that this great game requires
either a working Internet connection or a room full of computer buddies
to set up a decent LAN game. I don't think any of us even bothered with
that lame Training crap.
Plus, the learning curve
is too steep. As hardcore gamers, we find any challenge to be delightful,
but many will be angered and turned off by the difficulty. Without a
single player mode to hone your skills and learn to play, it takes some
serious playing time and patience to get going.
Keep in mind that a GR "A"
is pretty much the equivalent of other sites' 10 out of 10. We leave
the A+ untouched mainly to keep it all in check. We take perfection
very seriously, and while CS is top-notch and tons of fun, it's
I have a few questions for you regarding Zombies.
The first is that how must you become a Zombie?
Is there a club to join, special food to eat, or what?
The second is HOW DID ZOMBIES START? I saw the movie
"Night of the Living Dead" and it explained nothing!
All that happens is:
"They're coming to get you Barbara!" and then they come
and get her! No intro to how it happened or anything!
At least in the Resident Evil series they tell you, but
that movie, one of the first movies regarding Zombies,
didn't metion anything.
Also, why don't Zombies fall and trip when walking? It
would seem that they're so careful about that when they're
the living dead, or the undead, or the unliving dead - WHATEVER!!!
They're still dead and they're so careful about falling.
It doesn't hurt when they get shot or anything so why do
they walk so slow!?
Last question: Do Zombies play PC games, or console?
The Famous Uncle Jemima,
And The Infamous "Thunder Rabbit",
Hi Brian... err... Uncle
First I'd like to congratulate you on your newfound interest in zombies.
have tried to answer the questions you ask. It's curiosity like yours
that reassures us older zombies. I feel confident that the new generation
of walking dead will continue our traditions of shambling, breaking things,
eating brains and hiding the Raven crest in an unlikely place.
The easiest way to become a zombie is to be bitten by a zombie.
While painful, this is the traditional method and is considered a rite
of passage by orthodox zombies. Other "modern" methods include injecting
yourself with the T-virus, breathing the fumes from a toxic spill, or
being controlled by a Voodoo
Bokor who feeds you the zombie
cucumber... which brings us to food.
Ahhh brains, delicious brains. Both zombie connoisseurs and that charming
Dr. Hannibal Lecter understand the true delicacy of the human brain. Some
zombies stick to traditional American zombie cooking, like zombie
meatloaf. Other less sophisticated zombies will eat almost any piece
of rotting flesh, including Taco Bell gorditos. And, as mentioned before,
the Voodoo zombie slave craves the cucumber.
Zombies never trip and fall because our shambling is an art form. It's
all about style. Our slow, choreographed ballet is far more terrifying
than simply walking up and hitting things, and only slightly less terrifying
Finally, zombies are reduced to playing primarily console games. Most
of the zombie games for the PC have been terrible.
Subject: Please help
I need a bit of professional advice please.
My current computer is very out of date. I'm having
increasing problems with "hiccupping" and crashing
while playing my games. I'm also finding myself
setting all gameplay options WAY down just to get
the damn things to run. Even with non-3D games like
the Baldur's Gate series (which I freakin' love and
in my opinion is the best conversion of D&D paper
games ever; if you know of any better please let me
know) I'm having serious problems.
For sh*ts and giggles sake I'm currently running an
AMD K62 400MHz computer with some generic 2D card
with I think only 1MB of memory and a Monster 3D2 4
or 8MB 3D card. (I'm now hanging my head in shame)
Oh yeah, a Quantum Bigfoot 6.4 gig hard drive.
(OUCH!!) I also really need a new monitor.
I would like to get a whole new computer, but I'm
on a very limited budget. (donations are joyously
accepted) So what I would like from you guys is to
take me by the hand and walk me down the path to
putting together a new computer, please. Well,
actually I know how to put it all together but I am
very behind in my knowledge of what is currently
being offered to gamers.
I also would like advice on whether or not I should
even bother putting one together or buying a whole
new computer from some company. I've been to a site
for a company named Alienware (alienware.com) which
supposedly tailor makes gaming machines. They look
pretty good to me, but they are expensive. I'm aware
of the problems with buying whole machines (such as
future upgrade problems), but again I'm on a budget
so this cheaper route looks inviting. The warranties
and customer support look nice too, but all new
computers come with Windows ME which I've seen you
guys write sucks for gaming because of compatibility
problems. Which brings me to this question. Which OS
works best with games and where can I get a full copy
since all I have is endless upgrades from DOS 6.22 to
Windows 95. I'm running Windows 98 currently, but I
don't have access to another copy so if this quits on
me I'm back a peg.
Pretty much to sum it all up I need advice on how to
get the most bang for my buck here, and how I could
best limp my tired computer along for a while more.
I know just a new video card would help my computer
a lot, but this whole thing is getting old and tired
and I'd like a whole new one. One other point I could
use advice on is what companies can be trusted to buy
from for parts or whole computers.
I know this e-mail was long and probably a bit
meandering (I'm very tired, I tried to be concise) so
I'll list my questions right here:
1. Parts or whole computer?
2. Where to get these items?
3. Which OS for best gaming?
4. Where to get said OS?
5. How to stretch a dollar to its maximum.
So there it is.
Many thanks in advance,
P.S. I absolutely love your site for its quick
streamlined interface, extremely brutal accurate reviews,
and hilarious witty (sometimes caustic) humor. Again thank
you very much for your time and advice.
Wow. Big letter. Let's cut
to the chase.
1. Parts or whole computer?
We almost always go the parts
route becasue we hate buying whole computers. You often get things you
don't want or need. But like Cain, it's not the path you choose but
how you walk it. And wether you buy or build, here are some rules of
thumb to follow to make sure your geek-fests are fast and stable.
For starters, get a new video
card. A 2D card and a crappy 3D card? Harumph, we say! You want a video
card with at least 32 MB of video memory and at least 256MB of system
memory. You should be able to find an older Geforce or Geforce 2 card
for plenty cheap.
Your motherboard should have
a 4X AGP slot. And you're gonna need a nice size hard drive (25+ GB)
that is fast and preferably quiet.
If you don't have the money
for a whole new system, then try upgrading with more memory. 320MB is
good for slower CPUs. Remember, you can never have too much RAM. Just
make sure it's all the same brand or at least compatible with different
However, the general rule
of thumb with computers is a "goodness of fit" model - having
3 billion MB RAM with a Pentium 90 is a poor fit and you'll find that
you won't really be maximizing your power.
2. Where to get these
You can go to Pricewatcher.com
for the best price comparisons and a list of retailers selling the part
you are looking for. And you can always use reselleratings.com
to check and see how that reseller is rated for efficiency and customer
3. Which OS for best gaming?
The absolute best OS for
gaming right now is, oddly, Windows
XP. It's the most stable OS Microsoft has put out, completely dusting
WinME or 2K . It comes with more driver support than ME
and seems to have fewer problems than Win '98, which we still run in
the GR office.
been running XP Professional at home for about a month now and
he loves it.
The full version of Windows XP should be out early next month.
4. Where to get said OS?
From your friendly neighborhood
evil Microsoft representative, of course!
5. How to stretch a dollar
to its maximum.
Hey, we're gamers, not economists.
Try pulling real hard. Or just remember that there's a reason why some
things are more expensive than others. If you want a top of the line
experience, you're going to have to drop some coin.