Updated: 6/1/03; 7:46:13 PM.
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Monday, May 19, 2003

By the way, Enter the Matrix has freaking POWERade vending machines in it. I don't think I've ever seen a real life POWERade vending machine, and yet they are in my game. The POWERade/Matrix tie-in commercial (QuickTime) is clever, but I tell you what: it mainly succeeded at making me too creeped out to ever drink POWERade.

(I had to do a little web search to discover how stupidly capitalized POWERade is. Maybe I should have taken a little screenshot of their brand image and used that, instead.)  11:23:48 AM  (comments []  

A few more thoughts on The Matrix Reloaded. Some spoilers, so I made the text white on white. Select it to read it.


1. A lot of people have complained that the new movie isn't as surprising as the previous one. WTF? The new movie essentially says that every fucking thing you thought you knew about the first movie was a big lie, as part of an evil control loop to damp down feedback. And that's assuming we take everything the Architect said at face value, which would be silly -- doubtless the real truth is yet to come.
2. I remember when I saw the first movie, thinking "OK, when is he going to wake up from this reality?" And then deciding that they decided to dumb it down, and that was cool too. But now I'm convinced my initial impression was right -- Zion is in the Matrix. And the whole nonsensical thing about it making sense to use humans as batteries is also a big lie.
3. On that same front, I was glad to see that Morpheus is considered as more of a crackpot when put into context (and seeing as how he's the freaking PROPHET, why is ANYBODY SURPRISED that he's TALKY? I thought it worked well, unlike those smug Jedi bastards in the new Lucas flicks, for the simple reason that his whole belief system is set up for a fall). And that the Oracle is part of the control system; and possibly as part of whatever deeper experiment may or may not be going on here. Did I mention I love complexity? This whole storyline is like a geek paradise, at least if that geek is me. Levels of abstraction, system design, dystopia, filters on reality, kung fu, robots. LOVE. IT.
4. That being said, I found the early parts of each fight sequence dry and uninvolving. And yet I inevitably found the final parts caught me up so much that I stopped noticing that the CG was a little too smooth. I mean, FUCK.
5. Oh, and I liked the extended Zion walkthrough and rave. Because it's nice to see what they're fighting for, and why we should care.
6. And what the hell is up with Agent Smith? I quiver with anticipation; seems like his secret is going to be the most explosive. But I did love me that Merovingian, and his ghosty twin boys.

END SPOILERS  11:00:36 AM  (comments []  

I figured out my Enter the Matrix problems.

(1) The only way that the VIEW and PLAY commands work in the hacking mode is if you select the name of the file from the parameter list in the lower left corner. If you type in the file name it doesn't work. On the other hand, you CAN type in the file name for the READ and DIR commands. So that's just embarassing.

(2) The only way I could get the brightness to work was to revert to the unpatched state.

Also, it's embarassing that I had to read the FAQ to discover that I had to be running a slightly older version of the Detonator drivers. Did I mention that I wish I'd picked up the XBox version?

That being said, the first 45 minutes of the game have been pretty fun -- the fighting is smooth and interesting. On the other hand, the first driving sequence was really tedious. But the game has overall just felt uninspired, and I don't have high hopes for that to change. If there wasn't a Matrix tie-in, I probably wouldn't bother at all. But I'm too curious about the attempt to do an interwoven story, if only for professional reasons.  12:32:38 AM  (comments []  

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