Volume 96, Issue 85
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

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Anti-social?

This won't help

By Christopher Hodge
Gazette Staff

If you're planning on picking up a copy of the new video game EverQuest Online Adventures (Playstation 2), be prepared to kiss your social life goodbye. The game is like crack-cocaine – the minute you plug in, you're addicted.

EverQuest is part of a new breed of video games called multi-player online role-playing games. Played entirely online, they allow you to interact with thousands of other players in a gigantic virtual realm.

A classic sword and sorcerer game, EverQuest allows you to choose from a variety of different characters, including trolls, elves, humans, gnomes and dwarves. Once you've picked a race, you can go even further and customize their appearance, giving your character a unique look that will stand out among the thousands of other players online.

Once you've plugged into the server, you can spend hours wandering through the virtual continent of Tunaria, slaying monsters and completing quests in an attempt to acquire experience points and rare items.

The game also encourages you to team up with other online players in order to slay difficult monsters. Amazingly, the game is almost completely instantaneous and interaction is smooth.

One of the downfalls of the game is the small fortune it costs to play. You'll need the game, a Playstation 2 system, network adapter and a $10 monthly fee on top of all that. It's also strongly suggested that you pick yourself up a compatible keyboard to talk with your fellow gaming geeks, as it can be very frustrating to type out every letter with your PS 2 controller.

As far as graphics and sound are concerned, they won't woo the hearts of many die-hard video gamers. You'll often be plagued with a strange sense of déja vu every time you walk past the tree you've gone by hundreds of times before.

For those newbie gamers who still rue the day they accidentally stumbled into an online game of Quake and were slaughtered a dozen times before taking a step, you will appreciate the fact that none of the other online players can gang up on you. You need only fear the creatures that wander the wastelands, and not the gaming junkies who have spent hundreds of hours perfecting their game-playing abilities.

So, if you're looking for a new video-gaming fix, disconnect your phone, plug into EverQuest and say goodbye to your social life.

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