Thursday, 23 December 2010

It's almost Christmas

So tomorrow is Christmas Eve, Christmas is almost upon us. I'd be in more of a Christmasy mood, but I spent the better part of today trying to fix my computer so I could actually log in. I never want to have to boot into safe mode ever again.

Anyway, not much has happened. The snow has generally brought the country to a standstill. You'd think we'd be able to cope with snow, since we can split atoms and land on the moon.

Whilst at my dads, my brother and I played Apache: Air Assault. It's brilliant as a helicopter simulator, but for brainless halo-players like me it fails to be fun after awhile. I played as pilot, and my brother was the gunner. It was really fun having to co-ordinate as we took out convoys and attacking forces - and I quickly became able to strafe smoothly parrellel to a road so my brother could pound the bejeebus out of armoured trucks.

It was fun for a while, but as soon as we started to be pitted against six Mi-24 Hind helicopters, it became more of a chore. For starters, Air-To-Air missiles were absolutely useless because they keep popping flares everytime you launch one. The Apache's cannon is too slow moving and has too much of a spread to compete against the Hind's chaingun,  so the aerial fights became nothing more than rocket fights. And trust me, trying to hit a fast-moving helicopter with slow moving dumb rockets is difficult. Trying to dodge six simultaneous barrages is nearly as difficult.

So yeah, Apache: Air Assault is a good game. I'm guessing it will be more enjoyable to someone who is good at aircraft simulations - for me, keeping out of enemy gunfire is a challenge enough.

I also got Halo: Reach this Christmas, but I doubt I need to add to the mass hype and love that the game has already got. Suffice to say, I've always liked the Halo series over the other multiplayer giants, mainly for it's sci-fi setting and fairly colourful palette. In my opinion, Reach is a brilliant sequel - the best (and last) halo game.

Anyway, 300 is on so I'm going to watch that. This post is probably riddled with obvious errors and spelling mistakes. It's not something I intent to continue, it's just this is more of a personal entry than an analysis or update.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Area 51 - Quick Post



Does anyone remember the PS2 game Area 51? Well, it was released as freeware so you can get it free for PC. Strangely, it was initially released for US-only customers, by the American Air Force. I downloaded it faster than you can say "conspiracy".

On a similar note, there's an Area 51 film that was started in 2005 and apparently is in post-production;

"A group of teenagers stumble upon an area in the Nevada desert known for hosting an alien encounter."
They lost me at teenagers. Do not want.


Update: There's one annoyance with this 'free' version, though. You have to be connected to the internet because it apparently streams advertisements during the loading screens. There's always a catch.

I played about two levels before I got bored, and didn't notice any advertisements. The initial buzz soon faded, and I had no motivation to sit and play it. It was disappointing to be honest, disappointing how little I cared for a game I would have loved to have played 4/5 years ago. 

Monday, 13 December 2010

Developer bias?

Ever since I finished Fallout 3, I've found myself browsing the Vault Wiki reading all of the lore and cut content. It's usually quite interesting to me, though with the release of Fallout New Vegas I've noticed it's becoming a place to share exploits and useless theories about how to get all of the best stuff in the game.

If you skip past these sections, you start to get an insight into how hateful some of these people really are. I really enjoyed the original Fallout, but I still stand firm in my belief that Bethesda did a decent job with Fallout 3.

Most of the articles for Fallout 3 have some comment about how the game is inconsistent with Fallout 1/2. It's irritating at best, but I learnt to ignore it. I figured that they were right to be bitter - Fallout 3 isn't the same as Fallout 1/2. Then New Vegas was released, and things just got pathetic.

New Vegas shares the same amount of inconsistency and non-canonical content as Fallout 3 - but because it was created by some of the old Fallout developers, it seems to have immunity to any sort of hateful comment. People are lapping the game up and spewing out content about it all over the Wiki, completely ignorant to the fact that the game shares the same flaws that they moaned about in Fallout 3.

And that's it really, that's why I get irritated by that Wiki. It's one rule for one, one rule for another. Bethesda get universal hate, Obsidian get universal love - and both did relatively the same thing. It's not fair on Bethesda, they made a decent action-RPG.

In all fairness, I prefer Bethesda's effort.

Friday, 10 December 2010

One more week 'till Christmas...

It's sad, in a way, that there's only one more week until we're finished for this term. It is, however, going to be nice to see all my old mates again and play unhealthy amounts of video games during the festive period.

Tomorrow is the Return to Castle Bradgate (horrible joke, couldn't resist) so hopefully I can get some decent drawings done before I start moaning about the cold. I've actually got a plan this time, so I shouldn't have to bug the locals about to get home like last time.

Apart from that, the plan is to get ahead on Heather's Tree project and finish off the refinement on my Guru's work. I've only got to touch up the texture on the weapon, and sort out the flow on my Sack boy, so that shouldn't be too difficult.

I've noticed over the past week that I have the strange craving to play the original 1993 DOOM. I put it down to my post about the film. Of course, I could just go out and buy Doom 3 for the Xbox, but that's not the same really. Thanks to the internet, I can play it in my browser.

Damn you Critical Studies, I never usually want to play [very] old games. As I'm writing this, New Vegas is staring at me from my shelf with a look of disgust and betrayal.

I haven't really got much to say, but I'll post over the Christmas break. I've got Halo: Reach and Apache Air Assault to try over the break, so I'll be raving about them mostly. I'll probably end up writing a page-long description of how I blew stuff up in Apache. You'll just have to ignore that post.

Monday, 6 December 2010

It's cold, and I'm sleepy

I watched Doom about a week ago, and just felt robbed. I'd seen it before, but I didn't really pay much attention to it. This time around, I was just confused as to how they could get it so wrong.

I don't need to tell you what Doom is. Hell, I only played the original for the first few levels, but I seem to understand more about the Doom universe than the film producers. Whenever I think about Doom, I imagine the "Doom-Guy", hordes of demons and possessed humans, the base on the Phobos moon and an atmosphere of tension and mild terror.

Doom was Doom in name only, as it featured no recognizable qualities or elements of the game. It followed more along the lines of a run-of-the-mill action/horror film, like Resident Evil. Everything was really dark, fight sequences were really blurry and jumpy, everybody died one-by-one. And then there's the blatant Aliens copying. Enemies in the crawlspaces that try to turn you into one of them, panicking marines spraying bullets, and the guy who betrays everyone by "following company orders". Nothing really stood out, and the film seemed incredibly generic.

In my opinion, there's only one scene in Doom that was worth seeing. The "First Person" scene towards the end follows one of the characters drug-fuelled killing spree, as he destroys a horde of enemies using pure violence and clever use of the environment. For example, he shoots the axe a zombie is carrying, which then falls into the zombies head. Not realistic, but cool nonetheless. I know many people who disliked that scene, and it's understandable - the only creditable Doom reference in the entire film was blatant fan service.

That scene showed a tiny insight into the film Doom could have been. Unfortunately, little effort seems to have been put into making Doom stand out from the crowd. And worse than that, little effort was put into making it faithful to the Doom universe.

Then again, what did I expect from a film of a game? I saw the film adaptation of Farcry a few months back, and that was pretty shoddy too.

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