PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #229  (Vol. 5, No. 33)  This edition is for the week of August 9--15, 2004.

Book Review: “Florida's Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast” by Tim Hollis
 by William Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
Headline '89: "Grindhouse Cinema Fans Storm Tampa Theater"
 by Andy Lalino
Happy Birthday, Nolan!....Doom 3, It Was Worth The Wait
  by Vinnie Blesi
Tampa Comic & Toy Convention
 by Brandon Jones
In Honor of the Nol-Meister....Bush Speak
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Happy Birthday....Movie Lines....Movie News....Next, Please....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 29
 by Mike Smith
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.

Happy Birthday, Nolan!
Here is hoping that our fearless editor-in-chief, publisher, webmaster and ye olde Crazedfanboy, Nolan B. Canova, has a great birthday on Friday the 13th. His hard work and dedication to this fine online publication is nothing short of Herculean. If you would like to give him a nice birthday present click on that “donate now” button on the main page. Dealing with the many writers and egos (mine included) that go into this publication shows how endearing his spirit is, and he does it weekly! My sincerest birthday wishes to you, Nolan. (Thank you, Vinnie, I sincerely appreciate that! ---Nolan)

Doom 3, It Was Worth The Wait.
Once upon a time in the days of VGA computer monitors there was a primitive (by today’s standards) yet revolutionary game that allowed you to go through castle halls and shoot Nazis from a first person perspective. That game was “Castle Wolfenstein” and came from a little known company called Id software and started what is now called FPS (first person shooters). As computer graphics technology improved so did their games, coming out with “Quake” and then “Doom” and changing the scenery to a sci-fi horror one where scary and deadly monsters became your targets.

After years in the making the people at Id Software have finally released their gemstone, “Doom 3”. This game lives up to any and all the hype and then some. With stunning graphics that totally immerse you into the dark world of Mars City, this game with its great surround soundtrack is the closest experience to actually being in a videogame that I have ever experienced. Play it in the dark for maximum effect.

Unlike Id’s previous games, this game features a plot with cut scene videos and more interaction with computer terminals and the like, plus you can talk to characters. Don’t expect to be blowing up zombies from the get go in this game. The cut scene videos are seamless with great voice acting and in the beginning serve to build on the tension. If you haven’t read any walkthrough reviews you will be surprised at your first zombie attack. I know I was.

The computer technical requirements are steep. Too bad they decided to print them so small on the box that us old people can’t read them. The bottom line is that you will need Windows XP (does not run on 98), a 1.5 ghz processor at minimum, mucho ram, and a recent 3D video card (directx 9.0b compatible) with a minimum of 64 MB of onboard video memory and 2.2 GB of free hard drive space. Here is a great website which describes all the hardware options, http://www2.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjQ0

Here are my computer specs: 2.7 Pentium 4, 1 GB ram, MSI Nvidia FX 5200 video card with 128 MB onboard ram. I am able to run the game at Medium Quality and at a video resolution of 800x600 (see screenshots from my computer at right).

Here are some keys to the game. Your central information-gathering tool is your PDA. You can download info from computer screens as well as from other PDA’s so be on the look out for PDAs lying around. Besides being a nice diversion from the carnage, reading the information on your PDA will give additional clearance codes for restricted areas. The flashlight is your friend. Many areas of the game are dark, so your flashlight will come in handy, just be ready to toggle to your weapons.

I have not experienced any problems or bugs in game play. The manual is helpful and the game comes with a handy keyboard reference that is my lifeline. Also be prepared to save your game a lot. The quick load and quick save functions are lifesavers. And like most games nowadays it comes with multiplayer network play.

I am still in awe at the attention to detail in this game. Smoke rises from metal grates in the floor. Lights flicker off and on with great realism. This is the first game I have bought in years, and I have not been disappointed. It is rated “M” for mature audiences and can be purchased through Amazon.com via this website.

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2004 by Vinnie B.  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.