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Vitruvian Dave

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-10-19 05:33:05

Direman Press Delayed to 4th Quarter 07

Apologies for the lack of an actual strip, but I've been spending my free time on the site relaunch. We should be up and running in the first or second week of November.

In the meantime, if it's humor you seek, you must play Portal. It is the least ballyhooed portion of The Orange Box, but you should attack it first. It's an FPP - First Person Puzzler. As the name suggests, you're able to create portals connecting walls to floors to ceilings in order to accomplish your goals. It's something of an IQ test for spatial awareness, and tops the best that even Zelda can muster in terms of satisfying environmental puzzles.

This is all accompanied by the disembodied monotone voice of the lady observing you. She spouts the most amazingly insidious comments. She alternately threatens you with bodily harm and offers you cake as an incentive to progress through each test. I hate to spoil anything for you, so suffice it to say, she's hilarious.

The game is short; I finished it in one sitting which I estimate at a little under three hours. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every minute of it, and it has the best, no seriously the best end credits music ever. It made me dance a little as I chuckled and grinned ear to ear.

Portal - Rank S (and only one of five amazing titles in The Orange Box!)

I also played a bit of MLB Power Pros on the Wii. It's a long running series in Japan, and finally got localized for us. It features cute little squishy versions of Major League baseball players, and plays a stripped down, but mean little game of baseball. MLB Power Pros also features the deepest stat tracking for all of my fellow sabermetricians, and a fat dynasty mode for wannabe GMs.

The kicker is the create a player mode. It's actually a text driven RPG, where you play a college ball player trying to get drafted by a Major League team. You have to juggle training to improve your stats, resting to avoid injury, studying to avoid being expelled, working a part time job for gear, dating because girls are awesome, and playing in games to get noticed by the scout.

Every last bit is interconnected to baseball. For example, I was dating this brainy girl who helped me pass my classes and who I genuinely liked. But I also had to pay attention to this other girl whose father just happened to be a scout! If you botch these relationships, your "Ladies' Man" rating will plummet, causing you to become a nervous "Free Swinger" who'll take a swipe at any pitch.

If you're a baseball fan, please support this title for the Nintendo Wii or PlayStation 2. It seems that nobody's even heard of it, and sales are abysmal. I'd love to see this franchise hit the Xbox 360 and see it thrive on Live, but at this point, I fear that we won't see another American release at all.

MLB Power Pros - Rank B (not killer amazing, but unique and fun, and a viable alternative to the only other competition, MLB 2K7)

Now Playing - MLB Power Pros (Wii)

Xbox Live/PSN Gamertag - Vawce

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