Well, that wasn't too promising. As I write this, I'm sitting in my room at the Days Inn of Evansdale Iowa, warm and dry for the first time since I left Chez stuckintraffik this afternoon at 4...yes, I know I was supposed to be on the road three hours earlier, departing from Inver Grove Heights after picking up a revolver for P, but what with the crappy weather it would have made not a damn bit of difference. It rained steadily all the way down from Minneapolis to the Iowa border (briefly changing to torrents in Rochester), and just south of Charles City lightning entered the mix. I was able to put up with that until an hour after nightfall, but my eyeballs are too old and weak to stand God's Flashbulbs going off every couple of minutes, and I threw in the towel just outside Waterloo when I saw a Days Inn advertising FREE HIGH SPEED INTERNET.
So what held me up? Well...Bioshock, for one thing. stuckintraffik is pretty fired up about this game, and I can see why. This game combines hard-hitting action with a genuinely creepy story ripped from the pages of Ayn Rand's worst nightmares: imagine, if you will, a utopian undersea community of Objectivists that gains the ability to rewrite their own genetic code so as to give themselves telekinesis. pyrogenesis, and other powers. What happens to Rapture, the city I've described, makes the noir horrors of Dark City look mild by comparison. The demo must be played to be believed, and the possibility of all those alternate plot lines in the story makes me eager to try this one out too.
I sure hope this is the leading edge of a wave of games that has more role-playing/more multiple plots to screw around with. I can't put my finger on it at the moment, but Cobb said one of the reasons PC and console games were starting to kick the ass of movies in the fight for the entertainment dollar is that games are offering players the chance to be the hero. If you offer heroes many ways to reach their goal, then you've got something movies can't begin to offer no matter how cool the scenery and flashy the effects. This is one of the reasons HALO has done so much better than the other FPS games out there: behind the none-too-great game engine lies one hell of a story that pits the Master Chief and the Arbiter against an ancient and deadly enemy quite capable of destroying all life in the galaxy...for the best of reasons. HELL YES. I cheerfully admit that I'm contemplating sinking a couple of C-notes into an XBox 360 for the sole purpose of getting HALO 3 and seeing how it all winds up. If it does. It would also be cool if EA got serious and made the next iteration of Command & Conquer either multiplayer or something multithreaded and plot-driven like Bioshock, but I realize that might be too much to hope for. Meanwhile, is there any hope of getting Peter Jackson back to work on the HALO movie? Please?
In the meantime, I have the box set of Ai Yori Aoshi to keep me entertained. I'd been wanting it for a while, and when Best Buy put it on sale (with the "Enishi" second season DVDs included) I snarfed it up.
One last trip outside to the Sportage for razors and Diet Coke (seems dumb not to make use of the fridge) and I'll call it a night.