Tuesday, June 18, 2013

OPM September 1999 - Letters to the Editor

Back in 1999, I had an embarrassing Limp Bizkit related email address, dressed like a skater, and was a mall rat. Having just moved to a new city and getting a "babysitting" job that paid a whole $40 a week, I spent a lot of time bouncing between the Babbages, FunCoLand, and Gamestop at my local mall to pass the time and blow some cash.

I was a regular at Babbages. The employees there actually liked talking videogames and appeared to know more than your average game shop mall employee.

I was known by name at Babbages. They knew that I was good for $50-80 a month and I traded in games all the time. I often was able to jump ahead on pre-order waiting lists (when they still meant something) and was privy to games they hadn't yet demoed on the floor.

So, when they got a Dreamcast with Powerstone, the manager treated me like a VIP. He said, "Dan, I have something awesome to show you. Let's play." I grabbed that large awkward controller and we booted up the Sega Dreamcast.

It was fun. It was actually a fun 3D arena fighter with weapons spread across each map.  I unfortunately bought Bio F.R.E.A.K.S for the Playstation 1 and knew how these types of games typically went.

My mind was having a hard time conceiving how smooth the frame rate was for a 3d fighter.I was all too familiar with the frame rate drop when playing multiplayer Smash Brothers or Goldeneye on the N64, but my brief time on the Dreamcast I didn't notice any slowdown.

Then he popped in Sonic Adventure and my jaw dropped when I saw my favorite blue mascot blazing through this 3D city.

While I was playing, the manager was spewing off all these hardware specs that meant very little to me, but essentially he said, "Dreamcast is more powerful than what the PS2 will be."

I was just about sold.

Later while contemplating if I should blow my summer allowance on a Dreamcast, I came up with the idea to write a letter to the editor of the Official Playstation Magazine.

I was surprised when my Yahoo! Messenger started exploding with all of these strangers telling me, "Thank you for asking for a side by side comparison." Or "You tell them." (Which was weird, because I don't feel like I expressed an opinion.)

I had no clue that my letter had been published as my OPM still hadn't arrived. (I later found out, this issue came out a week earlier in Canada, which is why I wasn't aware that I had been published.)

Here is the only time I've been published in a magazine.

That's a lot of MBs and MHz!

Thinking back, the manager was probably trying to get a hardware sale. He probably didn't have a strong preference one way or the other in the Sega vs Sony vs Nintendo fight.

I don't know if he was getting desperate because the Dreamcast wasn't selling as well as they had hoped or if in a year he would be spouting the same lines about the Playstation 2 being the superior console.

Either way, I used my money to buy a car and I wouldn't have either console until 2002 when the first Resident Evil film was released on DVD and I bought my PS2.

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