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Great Games for Cheap People
November 30th

Gary: Hey, why you diggin' in that big $10 bin here at the Le Software Sans Selection. (Pronounced Wal-Mart).

Randy: Well, you know me. I can always find something shiny enough to catch my ten spot in these sale bins.

Gary: Oh yeah, that Janet Reno Interactive Experience was a real find.

Randy: Now that was reeellly scary, kids.

Gary: But the 3D thing made it… just …well… disturbing.

Randy: But this time I think you will be surprised.

Gary: Don't think I wasn't surprised with the Janet Reno thing.

Randy: No, surprised in a good way.

Gary: Don't think I wasn't surprised with Janet Reno thing.

Randy: Ewwwwwwwh!

Gary: But back to the bin. What grubby treasure did you catch in your mitts today.

Randy: Feast your eyes on this: Future Cop L.A.P.D.

Gary: Cool! That's a pretty recent title. And one of Electronic Arts first in a long time for the Macintosh.

Randy: True enough. Thanks to the efforts of one lone programmer who wrote the Mac version in his own spare time, just cause he knew Mac people would love it.

Gary: Or so the legend goes.

(Sound of Spanish guitar riff is heard as Randy and Gary look thoughtfully off into the setting desert sun.)

Randy: Wow, nice cut scene!

Gary: Thanks, I've got a flare.

Randy: But back to my bargain find here. Future Cop L.A.P.D. is a wicked fun game that should satisfy battle sim, action fans and arcade lovers alike.

Gary: Most definitely. I remember when we played the demo on this one. I wound up playing the damn thing for most of the night and into the morning. You are a cop in the future patrolling the nasty city of Los Angeles in your X1Alpha. This is a hybrid vehicle that transforms between a hover car and a land walker style tank that is armed to the hilt with weapons of mass urban destruction. And boy did we destroy some urban landscape! Wheeeee!

Future Cop L.A.P.D. in action.

Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark!

Randy: And that was just Crime War, one of the two game modes in Future Cop. You can play solo against the AI drug lords armies of bad guys and machines or you can go split screen on a single machine for head to head action against a friend. Or you can play over the Internet, and even use Scot Kevill's superb GameRanger to find games and log on, thanks to the GameRanger Future Cop plugin.

Gary: And Future Cop's Crime War mode is mucho funno. If a gamer has ever enjoyed the splatter of a pedestrian in Carmageddon or the pop of a zombie head that you capped in Resident Evil, then you will love Future Cop. Great RAVE and 3Dfx accelerated graphics make the explosions look awesome. And there are lots of explosions. And yes when you spray a group of drug-crazed gunmen they spew blood and stagger to their deaths.

Randy: Yeah, baby!

Gary: Great detail and lots of humor make the killing a blast in this game. I'm sorry, but screaming little men running around on fire jumping to their death making Three Stooges sounds is funny to me.

Randy: Yeah. That is funny.

[Editor's Note To Self: Remind Idiots to take their medication...]

Gary: The game also looks good in software rendering mode too so this game is one of the few recent titles that doesn't make hardware acceleration mandatory.

Randy: But if you do have a 3D card be sure and grab the latest update that just came out for Future Cop. It brings it up to version 1.0.2 and adds support for VooDoo 3 boards and more options and fixes for RAVE rendering and also adds support for GameRanger.

Gary: But wait the fun doesn't stop there, because there is another way to play Future Cop L.A.P.D. Precinct Assault mode. This mode allows you battle sim and strategy fans to flex your expertise here.

Randy: Future Cop allows you to take your fighting skills into the battle field while putting you in charge of supplying more troops and claiming new territory. Gamers who enjoy Total Annihilation or Gridz will totally dig The Precinct Assault mode of Future Cop. You start out with Precinct Assault defending your base against attacking troops. As you make more kills you acquire money and can manufacture more troops to fight.

Gary: You can also expand your turf by advancing and claiming neutral guns and turrets. As you grow stronger you get larger weapons manufacturing plants. Eventually you build your base over the entire map and squeeze out the other player.

Randy: And that player is the AI controlled Sky Captain if you are playing solo. And Sky Captain is an unforgiving opponent. If you can beat him then you should be fairly well equipped to take on a live opponent in a split screen match or over the web.

Future Cop L.A.P.D. in split screen mode.

Multiplayer action with out a network! Fragalishious!

Gary: Wow. I guess you did find a good score in the $10 bin. I am actually impressed this time.

Randy: So am I. All this fun for only a ten spot, and it's actually two games in one. Kudos to the folks at Electronic Arts for getting back on the Macintosh bandwagon the release of Future Cop L.A.P.D. If you haven't played this game you should score a copy today. I didn't think you could buy this much fun legally within the continental US for so little money.

Gary: On the down side, we did find a few issues with the game. First and foremost you can only save the game after you have completed a level.

Randy: Ouch! Some of these levels are long and hard and you die many times. And you have to start back right at the beginning every time until you finish and save the level. A way to save more often would be the best thing I could think of to improve this game.

Gary: We also experienced some hard crashes on both Randy's Umax s900 and his PowerBook G3 266. It did run more smoothly on our B&W G3 350 but it would not see the ATI card until we ran the 1.0.2 updater. Surprisingly system requirements are very modest, requiring only 120 MHz PowerPC processor running at least System 7.5 and QuickTime 3.0, 24 MB of RAM, a x4 CD-ROM drive with 20 MB of free drive space.

Randy: My last recommendation would be to use a game pad or two with this game when you are playing in split screen mode with a friend. You just need too many keys to share an input device like a keyboard with your opponent.

Gary: My jaw still hurts from you elbowing me in the head so many times. Are you sure you needed all that space on my keyboard to play?

Randy: Oh yeah, there was absolutely no way I could have prevented elbowing you in the head. I had to do it to win the game.

Gary: But I beat you, Idiot!

Randy: But I beat you at the Elbow Gary in the Head game.

Gary: Dude! I knew it. You are dead. Grab a game pad and prepare to be dismantled in L.A.

Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.

The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.

You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .


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