28 June, 2006

Now I am become flamebait, the tipper of cows.

I finished Half-Life 2 yesterday. First game I've finished in recent memory.

I talked to a fellow C-section friend a while back. She never finishes anything either. I said to her, "You're a C-section, aren't you!" I can spot us from a mile away.

She says to me, "No, I couldn't even go through with that."

Apparently they'd decided to do a caesarean and gone through all the preparations, then she goes and pops out au naturale style. I wonder if you can get your money back when that happens.

So I decided recently I need to quit starting new things and focus my time on finishing what I've started, and I'm a bit proud of myself for finishing both a game and a book in the same week. Lord knows how long it's been since I pulled off that double whammy. Thing is, yes, Half-Life 2, hell of a game. Monstrous accomplishment, work of art. Game of the year? Best game ever? What the fuck?

No spoilers here, except in the most nonspecific and general way, but have these people never before played a game with a satisfying ending? How about a disappointing yet neverthelesss cathartic ending? How about one where you get to see what happens?

I felt a little bit like I did when I left halfway through Unbreakable to use the bathroom then came back 5 minutes later to see the final lines of dialogue and the credits rolling.

Oh well. Yes, it's a great game, but let's not kid ourselves. It's no Quake II.


27 June, 2006

O bitter defeat!

So I think I finished Urban Dead. I lost.

UD is a great game, but its players leave much to be desired. I've been in a fight with the fire department over barricading levels for a hospital they don't use. I spent two weeks lobbying for a guild relocation then watched as everyone got lost on the way. Every day I log in and see important buildings breached and multiple people killed because the buildings' residents refuse to put up strong barricades just in case someone gets stuck outside.

The pessimist in me suspects that the better a multiplayer game is, the more fatally it will be hamstringed by the essential unworthiness of its players. I give you Subspaces's Trench Wars, I give you the crib death of every great Tribes variant. Countless diabolical and clever Counter-Strike maps put out to rust. Anarchy Online's initial (and acidental) territorial fighting, and the beautiful overland hunting game sucked into the bowels of the earth. Asheron's Call 2.

Yes, the players did ruin Asheron's Call 2. If anyone wants to debate that with me we're going to take it outside.

So I moved all three of my characters to different locations within striking distance of the Giddings Mall, which I consider vitally important for reasons I can't be bothered to explain after all this. The idea was not to play sneaky zerging games but rather to be separately of a common benefit. This resulted only in my becoming three times as frustrated with the human side in the game.

So I've decided not to be quite as helpful anymore.

Whether this just means being a self-serving asshole or turning in earnest to the dark side, I'm not sure. So presently I'm on a soul searching break, a journey of self-discovery through the blood-caked food courts of poor, forgotten Malton.

Maybe it's time to get the cable turned back on and play a real game.

12 June, 2006

Knee Deep

What is it with web games? Why do I like them so much all of a sudden?

Right, it probably has something to do with my Internet connection being incapable of supporting any other type of online gaming. I'm thankful for this, though. Were it not for my inability to play more technically demanding games I might never have discovered Urban Dead, which has become my favorite game, or Nexus War, its spiritual successor just as UD is said to have been the spiritual heir to Vampires!.

I've gone on quite enough about Urban Dead, but I'll say a word about Nexus War, because it's beginning to sink in. It doesn't resonate with anything universal like humans versus zombies, and for me it lacks that special intangible that gives me a sense of place and atmosphere in a game. It might simply be that the interface is too nice.

But I will say this: It's a real, full-blown MMORPG in the style of Vampires! and Urban Dead, complete with item trading, crafting, guild housing, castle raids for lack of a better term, and lots of other stuff. It's really, really complicated and I'm only just now getting the hang of it. But I'm starting to really enjoy the game.

Hopefully I'll get my cable back in this week and I can start writing about the real stuff again.

09 June, 2006

A cockmonger approaches. Command?

Read Great Blogs and the Important of Reciprocity [sic], and then read poor Tobold's typically meek response. Tobold I love you to death, man, but you have got to grow a middle finger.

I don't know, what do you guys think? Should I add a list of self-aggrandizing assholes to the sidebar on my own page?

Why do I let this sort of nonsense piss me off?

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