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The Forklift

October 31, 2000

A while ago, a friend of mine who works at Sega called me at my work and said: "I'm playing a high profile Dreamcast game that starts with the letter 'S' and ends with the letter 'E'". I said "No, it can't be that one! It's too early! Sonic Adventure? That game won't come out until next year!" He said: "No, it's not that one." I then said "Then I don't have the sightliest idea of what game that is." He then changed the subject.

A few days later, he called me at work again. "Do you know what this is?" I heard a sound. "It seems like the sound of an engine", I said. "It's my forklift", he answered. I almost said "You bastard". He was playing a game that I really wanted to play. Then he said "Do you know what this is?" I heard another sound. "That's the horn of my forklift". He then kept teasing me about this game, saying how awesome it is.

After a while, though, he began to say some things that worried me. He started saying that the game is boring at times. Yes, boring. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is work for two days, waiting for an event to happen, or for you to have enough money to continue. At other times, you have to catch the bus, and if you miss it, you have to wait for the next one. And that is boring, because real life is boring some times.

After I thought about it for a minute, I said "I guess that's why the Japanese press didn't like the game that much. They only gave it an 8". My friend then said "That's what I would give it, too, an 8".

However, after he finished the game, he began saying how much the game changed his life, how much he fell in love with the characters, and how he never felt that in any video game since Lunar. I confronted him with "Didn't you say it was boring?" "It is boring at times," he answered. "That doesn't mean it didn't change my life".

So when you play this high profile Dreamcast game, keep that in mind. It is not perfect. Reviewers who have seen the U.S. version are also beginning to say that it is very linear. So it does not give you unlimited possibilities to explore. Of course, that doesn't mean it won't be an excellent game. I want to play it. As a matter of fact, I pre-ordered mine already.

Also, my friend did not violate his non-disclosure agreement by telling me this. This game could be any one of any number of games. After all, like he said, "there are many games with forklifts". :-)


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