23 October 2007


Orange Box

Anyway I'm still failing to blog. I've got half a write up of a weekender in September (which was awesome) and such to finish, at the rate I'm going I'll have another one to write about as well. To add to that it has taken nearly a week to actually post this rather than have it in draft.

I've been busy playing games; notably The Orange Box and Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts though with a bit of Civilization IV thrown in for good measure and trying to finish my second Neverwinter Nights module which is going fine but still needs quite a bit more done.

After The Orange Box was released I stopped playing Team Fortress 2 and moved to Portal first instead. It's short but it's really, really, good fun. I love the sense of humour in the game, done mostly through the voices (it's amazing how something like a turret can seem silly just by adding some dialogue to it) and the ending was delightful. Some really strong scriptwriting, which is strange for a puzzle game. Though I haven't finished Half Life 2: Episode 2 it reminded me of what fantastic pacing Valve stick in their products. The diversity of game given its basic first person roots really shows off the designers skills. One minute you'll be driving around at breakneck speeds and the next you'll be holed up in a house trying to fight of a force of Combine, or trying to craw through a trench to avoid turrets. A lot of the fights seem really re-playable too with lots of choices about trying to out-manoeuvring you opponents (or get in a car and try and run them down). I noticed that Zero Punctuation covered this, his take is awesome.

I've had some really good matches on Company of Heroes as well. The two new armies have been really interesting to play with. I love the Panzer Elite, their fast play is a different style to the entrenching that I probably did more in the original but it works really well. What didn't seem to be working well was Relic Online servers that seemed to be having issues getting anyone logged in, it was funny to see the game names move to something expressing annoyance at that fact though. It really annoys me that they don't have any sort of direct IP connect or other fall back. Will they still be supporting this game in 10 years? I was, a fair while ago, playing Total Annihilation (which has only recently be crowned by Relic's games for me). Their online lobby is long gone, if it hadn't been for direct IP stuff we'd have been screwed. It's good to provide people with backup in the event that your service isn't working.

Other random news that I was reading was Halo 3 being blamed for slow month at the cinemas. Halo 3 was predicted at around 3 million sales over the first 12 days in the US. With a population around 300 million this accounts for around 1% of the population that might be staying at home instead. Are you sure the reason people aren't going to the cinema is because there isn't anything worth watching on at the moment? (Speaking of which after I failed to post this I watched Resident Evil: Extinction... humm).

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