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Rune Review
2000-11-03 Erik Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5
Rune is not the thinking man's action adventure, whatever in the hellish, baby-eating Islamic high holy days of Ramadan that is.  But that's not Rune's fault - we'll get to those in a minute.  It's a problem with PC games and game players in general.   What is with this "thinking man" crap?  People willl put "thinking man" in front of fucking anything as if those words magically makes it better.   All it means is that the fun's been replaced with a spreadsheet.  Every goddamn boring thing I do all day is the thinking man's something or other.  From the moment I brew my first cup of the thinking man's coffee, tea, to the moment I try desperately to fall asleep while thinking about how I hope to God they don't repossess my car tonight, all I do all fucking day is think.  And now my head's tired.  Dr. Derek Smart's Battleship 3000 is the thinking man's Galaxian.  Look where that got us.  I don't know why people believe that thinking as recreation is some surefire sign of intelligence.  You know who's smart?  Dr. Stephen Hawking.  But do you think he wants to spend his free time playing the "thinking man's" anything?   He thinks more than I do.  I can imagine how exhausted his brain is - only I'm not going to because it'd take too much mental effort.  Also, he's crippled.  He wants to run and jump and snowboard while simultaneously not thinking at all.  I'm just like that.  I want games targeted at the action man's Stephen Hawking.  When will somebody make the action man's chess?  On second thought, that sounds too complicated.  I want to play the action man's Robotron - a game like Robotron but with much less thinking.

Having said that, Rune is too simple for my tastes.  Inside someone's head, the idea of a game comprised entirely of melee combat probably looked great.  I don't know much about the game development process, but I'm almost positive that it isn't 1) have an idea 2) extend pineal gland 3) beam idea directy onto warehouse filled with CDs.   Somewhere between step 1 and step 2, I think there's a part where somebody plays the goddamn game.  In step 1.5, that person stands before of a roomful of his coworkers, all sporting stained Gundam t-Shirts and funny beards.  He puts his outstretched palms about two inches away from each other and says "simplistic, repetitive melee combat is fun for this long".  Then he stretches his arms apart as wide as they'll go and says "our game is this long."  Master of sounds Tim Gerritsen can feel free to use that as an example of "What Went Wrong" in his postmortem on Gamasutra.

All of that's pretty bad, but it's not really what I'm upset about.  The following disclaimer is from the description of the Breakneck demo:

However, Readers BEWARE there is another more darker side to Breakneck

In the spirit of the Halloween terror-racing classic, Breakneck, readers beware, because there is another more darker side to Rune!  And by that I mean it's very därk.  The umlaut over the a in "dark" denotes extra edgy Scandinavian gloominess.




Hi, I'm Lee Majors.  You might remember me from my role in The Norseman as The Norseman.  You might also remember me from The Fall Guy where I played either Colt or Howie.  Erik called my agent and asked if I'd like to hand out a few awards to some kinda Atari game.  I'd read all about Erik and the good work he's doin' at Old Man Murphy in Christianity Today, so I said yeah, kid, sure.

The first award of the night is the "coveted Pizza Hut The Edge Pizza Award for Excellence in Edginess".   And the winner is... Rune.  Erik gave me a note that says "Tim Gerritsen is at home programming sound effects and composing Internet messages about what a financial burden his wife and kids are, and can't be here tonight."  Now I don't know much about the Internet, but I was married to Farrah Fawcett. We busted up a couple of decades ago.  I ended up with a hit TV show and she eventually got caught takin' a crap on Richard Gere's front lawn.  So you hang in there, Tim.

This next award is the "Tutty-Fruity Shoulder Bag Way To Go Peace Prize".  This is given out only periodically to "game moments that give Erik the fruit-shivers."  Whatever the Hell that is.

And the winner is... The end of Rune!

Tim Gerritsen couldn't be here tonight to accept the award, so Erik wrote an acceptance speech for him: "I'd like to thank everyone living at the end of Rainbow Lane in Castle Gayskull."

Castle Gayskull.  Hah.  Now that's pretty funny.   Way to go, Tim.  Erik told me a few of you all might be mad because that picture is a "spoiler".  Maybe that word means something different now what with the Internet and you kids and your frozen yogurt and so on, but in my day a picture wasn't gonna spoil nothin' for nobody.  When we wanted to spoil something, we went and spoiled some alien plans for usin' their robot bigfoot to rule the world.  And we didn't spoil 'em with a fancy drawin' of a rainbow bridge - we broke the hairy damn thing over our bionic knee.


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