Monday, August 16, 2010


I went on a road trip last week, but it wasn't to Shooterville, despite what my recent playlog might imply.  Aside from a session or two each of Peace Walker and Titan Quest, it's been non-stop blasting and laughing.

I had never before played Counter-Strike, but I got into that last weekend and have been back a few times for a couple of rounds here and there.  It's pretty hardcore, and it seems like it would be best with a squad of people who can communicate and know what they're doing.  It's definitely fun, though, even for a total novice like myself.

I also got back into Team Fortress 2 to some extent, it having been a while and several big updates since I'd played last.  That is a great game, maybe even the greatest game, if you consider the 120+ (read that again, for emphasis) updates that Valve has rolled out to it, making it a vastly different game from the one it started out as.  Just play it and then go play the decrepit 360 version to see the incredibly stark contrast between the two.  I almost wouldn't be surprised if one of the next updates to the game was just a title screen edit, changing the 2 to a 3.

Finally, there has been a Steam sale going on to coincide with id's Quakecon, and a bunch of their games have been on sale.  I picked up the original Quake for $2.49 in said sale, having a bunch of good memories of holidays at my grandparents' house playing the game with my uncle.  Doom and Quake together comprise my introduction to FPS in the mid 90's, and together with a bit of Half-Life deathmatch at college in '99, pretty much the totality of my experience with the genre until 2007 when I bought a 360 and started playing Halo games and others.  Aside from Morrowind and the odd oddity like Faceball 2000 or Drakkhen or Dr. Chaos, I hadn't even really played very many other games in first-person until the last few years.

Anyway, I think my Uncle and I had the shareware version of Quake back when it launched in '96, and I remember it being the first game where you could actually look and fire on the y-axis, or at least the first I'd ever seen (unless you could do that in Descent, which just sprung to mind).  It was mind blowing and completely awesome at the time.  The good news is that after a couple of tweaks to the resolution and enabling modern mouse look and WASD controls, the game holds up really well.  I've spent about 3 hours with this version in the past two days, and already finished the first of the four episodes therein.  It should go without saying, but with "always run" on and modern hardware, the game moves super fast and super smooth, almost never backing off 60fps (and even then probably due to software limitations).  It feels like it wasn't balanced for the modern WASD and always on mouse look control scheme, and therefore kind of easy to romp through for someone used to modern shooters.  These contemporary techniques feel almost like cheating, like bringing automatic weapons to fight against 11th century Crusaders.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I played a few hours of Minecraft over the weekend, too.  I finally got the random world generator to give me a snow world, and set about mining out a huge rectangular section of it, and using the dug out blocks to build a huge wall between and over the hills nearby.  It that sounds crazy, well, it is crazy.

No comments: