The Inner Geek

november 13, 2004

So a few weeks ago Ubisoft released Chess Master for the Xbox, and it was a bargain price: $20. How could I resist? I picked it up yesterday and have been hooked! This is more engrossing than my Burnout 3 or any other Xbox game I have. Yes, it is like the Inner Geek has sprung out and taken over! Dr. Mookie and Mr. Geek. Not only is the game fun, it has so many options to fool around with. And the AI (all 180 personalities) are tuned for all different levels of play (novice, mediocre [like me], and expert). There is a chess academy that is taught by International Master Josh Waitzkin -- not just the boring "read the text" type academy, this thing is fully narated by Waitzkin. I am exploring this academy and I think it will help improve my game. The game keeps track of all my stats and ranks/rates me as I play. I spent the late hours of last night screwing around and I dropped my rank in the game from the original 600 to something like 550. Hah. Now I have to play and get my rank back up there -- I thought about resetting my player stats, but I think it will be a fun challenge to play and get my rank/rating back up. There is an Xbox Live component to the game, but I am guessing most Xbox players are not into slow thinking games like chess (rather more twitchy games like Burnout 3 or Halo 2). Whenever I tried to log into Xbox Live to find a game to play with Chessmaster, there is no one there. There are ratings for players, so I guess there are people who actually play online, just not that many. I can only hope that more people will pick up the game so that I can play online also. If you have an inclination towards the age-old game of chess, Chessmaster is the way to go. I am hooked!

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