Shockingly Pink, Shockingly Tasty

The times are extremely interesting for the retinue of cyberpunk masterpiece System Shock and fans of so-called immersive sims in general. If you’ve been buying once-lost adventure and RPG titles from GOG recently, there’s a chance you’ve been enjoying enhancements coded in by a certain Night Dive Studios and their sub-contractors (contractees?). Modern resolutions and compatibility, bug fixes and improved UIs all spring from company founder Stephen Kick’s desire to make the sequel, System Shock II, legally available again after having been limboed between two rightholders since the venerable Looking Glass Studios tapped out in 2000. Since then, Night Dive has updated a large variety of games and is even giving the first of the Shocks much more than the standard doses of electrotherapy having set out to completely rebuild the game from ground up. They’re collaborating with old Looking Glass staff on it so definitely not looking like another Thi4f. Nor is the unrelated System Shock 3 in the works by Otherside Entertainment, an unbelievably qualified superteam dedicated to leapfrogging “immersims” of the past and delivering us from the dark ages of triple-A stagnation for good!
Now that you know something about Night Dive, whose handiwork System Shock: Enhanced edition, too, is, let it also be known that it’s officially been given the treatment, abusing every inch of the mousepad now that mouselooking is a thing. We have ‘PvtCb’, the runner behind the old “classic” System Shock run as well, doing the honors. The game is on my to-play list and so I don’t wish to delve into its secrets too deeply, but in a nutshell, you embody a hacker whose audacity and superior know-how incur an involuntary assignment aboard Citadel Station, where it is the station’s central A.I., the unforgettable Shodan, he will struggle to outwit. The run is with deaths and resets, in single-segment mode and on the default difficulty. The mouselook makes it much smoother and enables new tricks so it’s only 0:10:37 long where the classic version ran on for half and hour.

Sam ‘Samtastic’ Locke is one of our frequent-er frequenters when it comes to run submissions. He’s been systematically chewing through the valid categories for the two main Oddworld titles in a pleasantly esthetic, necklace-like pattern: Oddysee, Oddysee, Exoddus, Oddysee, Oddysee, Exoddus, and his latest two for the remaster Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!. If we wanted to project some into the future at conscious and malicious risk of putting him on the spot, the logical continuation would be either reeling back with Exoddus, Oddysee, Oddysee etc. OR going for the other remake, Soulstorm, then N’n’T, N’n’T, and one more for Soulstorm. Seeing as Exoddus‘ remake is yet to emerge from the Oddworld processing facilities, this would force the cessation of activities until given the opportunity to tick it off later down the [Monsaic] line… but it’s one of those two options… or letting everyone down. Everyone.

Speaking of being let down, if your childhood memories are particularly photosensitive, them being exposed to the cold steely light of reality an immensurable disaster, you might have been distraught at the sight of Sam’s last New ‘n’ Tasty into-pulp-stomping. Here’s your spiritual Aloe vera: a 0:54:46 effort of a far more normal-looking (but exactly as mis-Mudokon-ic) glitchless category played on Hard.

Meanwhile, in the anthropomorphic discolored cartoon corner, pink being the color of passion (just ask Steven Tyler), more and more unseemly debris has eroded off Pink Panther Pinkadelic Pursuit level times under siege from ‘wesen’‘s oceanic swell. The land mass of this 2002 platformer has now shrunk to a profile not unreminiscent of a well-cared-for bonsai tree. All but two levels (The Railway Line and The Stone Age) have been updated bringing the table to 0:10:58 with the pile of snipped leaves on the side amounting to well over a minute converted rather alchemically into time. The runner *thinks* they might be done with the game, or at least the PC ILs now, so who knows where the ebb and flow will continue its inexorable work at cliff-polishing, or bonsai-pruning depending on which analogy appealed to you more. Unless hydraulic shears are a thing.

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Source: Speed Demos Archive

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