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Another Portland Blog

Monday, October 25, 2004

 

Sweet mother heroin? Naw, sweet mother video games

What is it with this generation? Our parents were able to put away with their GI Joes and Hula Hoops when they came of age. What is with the kids today and all these god-fer-saken' vidy-er games?

While I'm not as addicted as some gamers, I still can't shake the habit. Why can't I get this horrible, pixilated monkey off my back? Because of games like Knights of the Old Republic.

For most, this contribution to the Star Wars universe is an old hat. It was released over two years ago, making it positively ancient by industry standards, and anyone that cares has already beaten and moved on. I came late to the Xbox party and didn't bring one home until last December. I've been playing Knights of the Old Republic, off and on, ever since.

KOTOR follows the adventures of a Jedi in training as he (or she) bounces around the universe in a vain attempt to thwart a Darth Vader knock-off that looks like Patrick Stewart after an unfortunate run-in with a riding lawn mower. The games appeal lies in its central gimmick: your given the choice between following the whims of either the light or dark side of the Force.

For the most part, I minded my p and qs as my character, self-dubbed Mofo Skywalker, traveled from planet to planet. I exposed a plot to enslave a village of wookies on Chewbacca's home planet and killed the head of a Sith academy rather than help him run the place.




But when I reached the games pivotal moment where Mofo was forced to choose between dueling with his turncoat gal-pal Bastilla or joining her in an insurrection to rule the galaxy, I went with the later. Who am I to turn down a perfectly good galaxy?

My in-game pals all tried to talk me out of it and, sadly, our friendship ended in a vicious fight to the death. I left my Obi-Won-esque mentor for dead on a planet ruled by slug people, alongside another Jedi that was some sort of cat/girl/alien/thing.

I even tricked the Republic to aiding our efforts and convinced my Wookie co-pilot to go along with the plot. Unfortunately, he changed his mind as we stormed the gates of the bad guy's space station and I had to put him to sleep with a thermal detonator.

So, after spending a positively stupid amount of time on this thing (the game's save screen snidely tells you how much time you've played), how did everything turn out? Well, I'm proud to say that my evil sci-fi girlfriend and I now rule the galaxy with a pair of iron fists. KOTOR's final video showed Mofo and Bastilla standing over a crowd of cheering bad guys as the Imperial March played in the background.

So my first decree as co-ruler of infinite amount of universes? No more ocean dumpage and legalized marijuana. And I've got my people working on the tube technology as we speak.

Yes, that was a Tenacious D reference. Sorry. In other video game news, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is due out tomorrow. By this time Wednesday I'll be living vicariously through the life of an imaginary South Central street thug.

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