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FCatCS

another article

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Another article I wrote not long back - not as good as the other article I've posted up, but I kinda like it.

The world watched. The world waited. The world murmured, scrutinised and uttered a few muffled words in anticipation.

It's strange though. There are certain times in life where you know what to expect. If Hugh Grant is going to play a role in a film, you expect him to play a quaint British fop; loveable, but at the same time a bit goofy. That's all he really does, so it can be expected. If Man Utd play a home game (or any game come to think of it) you expect the referee to turn a blind eye to the odd penalty shout from the opposition. You expect Christine Hamilton to be on every other tv show in existence. You expect Boris Johnson to be hilariously funny at whatever he chooses to do next. You expect Aero's to be bubbly and, you expect cheese to be a yellowy-orange colour. These expectations aren't always met. Aero's melt - losing their bubbly goodness and cheese, on occasion, is of the blue variety. By and large though, we pretty much know what's coming with all of them.

So to Mario Kart.

What did I expect?

Well, I expected to get around 16 (perhaps 20) tracks. I expected a few extra characters here and there. I expected the graphics to be tarted up to make use of this generations hardware. I expected a few shortcuts dotted around on some of the tracks. I expected a few unlockables - a mirror mode being one of those. I expected a battle mode for multiplayer havoc and, I expected an array of weaponry to be situated in multi coloured, question marked boxes, spaced evenly around each track.

Guess what I got people?

Aren't I the Nostra-chuffing-damus of the gaming world?

What did I get on top of those things mentioned? Not much. Admittedly I never expected the two players per kart thing (until the first screens emerged obviously). That didn't materialise as anything major though. Nice? Yes. Integral? No.

So I was left with everything I was expecting, the exact same experience as I was expecting. It was the exact same experience you were expecting as well wasn't it? A good cartoon flavoured racer, with the ability to induce unparalleled pent up rage and result in damage to both wavebird and living room window alike.

So what did the press have to say? Two of Britain's biggest selling publications came to two completely different conclusions. One proclaims it 'the bestest thing ever' and promptly hands it 95%. The other determines it 'the most average thing in the world' and dishes out a 5/10. Strange no? Well no, actually. Okay the scores are largely irrelevant. I don't even agree with the dishing out of numbers in all honesty but having read both reviews, I can, quite happily, proclaim both to be utter pap. Damn it one even spends a quarter of the review berating the fact that if you come in fifth you can't retry the race.

I mean for chuffs sake.

It's as if all sense of balance and proportion is somehow lost in amongst the all-consuming familiarity machine. It was Antoine Rivarol who said "Familiarity is the root of the closest of friendships, as well as the intensest of hatreds." - I've come to understand what he meant. It's so very true.

The reaction from gamers in general was a parallel of the reaction of the press. Arguments flared up and, at times, it seemed you had to throw yourself into one of two camps; 'lovin' it' or 'bitterly disappointed'. There was little room for camp 'enjoying it but hardly a life changing experience' - the only honest place to pitch the tent in my opinion.

The situation doesn't really bother me though - I think about it, shrug, and say to myself, come on - their reaction? It's exactly what you expected. Wasn't it FC? I nod to myself, before going to play the game with some friends over the road, expecting to enjoy myself. Nothing more.

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While I do read redeye on occasion, I can honestly say I haven't deliberately taken anything in either content or style from him. Is there any way you could point me towards where he's written anything similar? Cheers.

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Another good one. I like the phrase 'for chuff's sake' :P. It's so true about the new Double Dash, it's not obviously a bad game, but people expecting the same new thrill as the first one, or the N64 version....well it's a bit silly really.

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Cheers jim, for the comments on both pieces. The term 'chuff' is perhaps overused by myself, but is handy as an alternative to what would be swear words. Thus:

for chuffs sake

fan-chuffing-tastic

chuff off

etc

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I agree to a certain extent; they aren't well used in the piece and, on occasion, they are cheesy. If used sparingly though, I think they can be used well - I'm sure many will be familiar with this piece bow, nigger - where they're used effectively. When I used 'em they were rubbish though. Nice to see you here anywayz Foolish.

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I enjoyed reading this, which is by far the most honest comment i can make. So well done.

Some advice? You talk about familiarity and expectation. It's the crux of the piece, rather than your interpretation of Mario Kart. Make this the focus, and bring in other games.

Like what? Um...

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