Friday, September 30, 2005

Toamna gaming

Iata ca a venit si toamna. Toamna pentru mine inseamna in general doua lucruri: gaming si game-making. Cum inca nu m-am decis ce joc ma apuc sa fac toamna asta (bineinteles va fi SUPER ULTRA MEGA COOL... assuming I finish 10% of it, make that 5%), am mers pe optiunea gaming pentru moment (hey, mai am doua luni sa ma apuc de joc, so don't panic).
Pentru inceput, optiunile erau basically: A) a rerun of the Final Fantasy or Thief games; and 2) find some new, exciting and most important GOOD games to play. Option 2) was chosen basically because I knew that if I try to run any FF I'll probably get bored with it at 1/2 of Disk 1 (with the possible exception of FF VIII which is at Skander's and apparently enjoying it), and I believe I've just played Thief:DS again at the beginning of the summer.
(Note to self: whatever comes after a "basically" must be long and preferably hard to understand; the above is a good example).

So there I was stuck with option 2). So I valiantly proceeded to do some game huntin'. I'm huntin' games... be vewwy vewwy quiet !
Primul lucru pe care il observa un old-time gamer in ziua de azi este ca jocuri bune nu s-au mai facut de 10 ani :D. Dar daca nu te dai batut descoperi totusi cateva remarcabile realizari. O sa incerc sa le pun in ordine cronologica (sau crono-ilogica, whatever the case).

MAFIA: although I believe I've played this game before fall technically began, it deserves a mention just for being so good. I'm currently waiting for a long enough period of time to pass before I play it again... I don't want to abuse the goodness ;)

GTA San Andreas: I've actually started playing this because of how much I liked Mafia (for the record, Mafia is still about 183% better). It was actually rather enjoyable (good humor 'n all). And then came pilot school... shortly, my options became:

1) try to do pilot school myself until I get to the point where I smash my keyboard into the monitor, afterwards proceeding to slaughter my family and whatever other "innocents" happen to be around;
2) uninstall the game to avoid point 1);
3) have Danutz do pilot school for me.

The game is still on my hard disk awaiting solution 3).

Far Cry (rerun): When I first played Far Cry, I swore to play it again when my video card would be up to it. About one year later and a video card upgrade, ready I was. With no "helicopter of doom" (*) bug, it was much more enjoyable and just as nice as I remembered it (likely the best gameplay ever). It also seemed a bit easier this time due to a better FPS, but not much (and the "look, I can kill you in two hits !" monkeys were as annoying as ever with their long jumps). And for the record, so far it's the only game I've seen that does the G36 justice.
(*) The "helicopter of doom" bug that happened on my old video card basically meant that whenever you'd be looking in the direction of a helicopter, little imps in your video processor would instantly drop the fps to about 0.04. Yes, this even happened when there was hard cover between you and the helicopter, creating interesting ground-looking moments when you could only hear the chopper, but you'd have no idea in which direction lied the abomination. Sometimes it happened with boats too *shudder*.

Counterstrike: amazingly enough, at some point I started playing Counterstrike again. At this moment I do not, but the link still lurks on my desktop, waiting to deprive me of sleep forever. MUHAHAHAHAHA !!! >:)

Firearms: I bet you have no idea what this is. It's actually a HL mod which I liked a lot back in the CS playing days but which, like so many other shooters except the ubiquitous CS, was never played around here. But nostalgia kicks back, and with the help of some bots, I've actually had some two days of fun with this until deciding that it's not that great anyway (and I suppose that is because the G36 sucks bigtime in Firearms). Seriously... I should be allowed to design all the shooters ever... they'd be so much better :D
(Note to self: what does "ubiquitous" mean anyway, and did I spell it right ? Oh well...)

Small Games: Including Air Strike 2 Gulf Thunder and other Reflexive games and the amazingly cool Lemmingball Z which no computer should go without...

Fable - The Lost Chapters: this is the game that proves that good RPGs can still be made. It is also the game that annoyed me to tears (no, really, the part where I had to bit into a pillow to stop swearing so I wouldn't wake up my neigbours at 3AM is a good clue... amazingly I lost no teeth). Basically, the major drawback of this game was that for every thing I liked, there were at least two other that would make my life a living hell (hello to the #$%^&@ "combat multiplier" door). But it has its good (great) parts too, especially the fact that you can be magnificently EVIL... which I was. MUHAHAHAHAHAHA !!! All in all, I'm even willing to play it again someday, although what will happen to my computer, myself, the city and the world remains largely unknown.

Battlefield 2: this game is just too good. Too bad noone else plays it (see the "CS theorem" above). Well, almost noone; I actually found a server (yes, I was shocked too). There was even a player on it ! (although he eventually left). So I spent an entire evening and the following morning trying to install the patch that would make my game work on that server. To make a loooong story short, I failed. Apparently there is a problem with the patch; it has happened to other people as well . Sigh. Well, it was too much trouble only to play on an empty server anyway. Still, it's amazing how much fun one can have with a handful of bots and some small maps.

Cold Fear: I just finished this game today. It's nothing to write home about, but maybe I could blog a bit about it. I had long wanted to play this game simply because of the setting: a stormy night on a ship out on the Bering Sea (well, the second half of the game actually takes place on an oilrig which is less cool, but the ship is just great). Cold Fear is a horror-survival game, but while it has its moments, it's really not all that scary, especially after you start to get an idea about what's going on (it's "monster/SF" horror, and it really doesn't excite me all that much: "so, you've got tentacles, big deal. *shoots*. Yawn..." Now, "paranormal/ghost" horror, on the other hand, now that's a thought...). Anyway, if the zombies don't do it for you, you can always just climb up to the crow's nest and look at the huge, black waves. That was always scary enough for me. I might have enjoyed this game more if it was first person (which I was hoping for), but they decided to use yet again that crappy "check out my haircut" follow-up camera. Although it makes for some nice effects (rain and blood splashing on the "inside" of the screen), it still has many of the problems associated with this kind of camera, and that in a game that really has no excuse for not at least including a first person option as well. Damn.

(Note to self: are there proper names for the two horror genres mentioned above ?)
(Note to self: why do my "notes to self" take the form of questions ? Am I supposed to answer them myself ?)
(Note to self: too many notes for one blog)

I-Ninja: actually, I had just failed to install this game before starting to blog (yes, failed. Yes, my Windows sucks. What, yours too ? What a concidence...). It looks like fun. I'll keep you posted. Maybe.

Until next time, have fun with your evil ways.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


I'm sooooooo horribly bored. In fact, I'm so bored that I'm not actually gonna post anything. Yawn.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Muvie watching and not much else

(Yes I know how to spell "muvie". Or something.)

[skip intro yes/no ? y]

Am vazut astazi filmul "The merchant of Venice". Apparently este dupa Shakespeare or sth si au pastrat (macar in parte) textul shakespearian. Ceea ce a dus la un fenomen foarte interesant: la un moment dat au inceput sa ma incurce subtitrarile pt ca nu surprindeau exact esenta originalului, asa ca nu m-am mai uitat la ele. That lasted for about 1 minute, cat mi-a luat sa ma prind ca nu mai intelegeam ce ziceau. Oh well. Times are tough anyways.
Altminteri filmul este dragutzel, desi nu e chiar genul meu. Adica nu are prea multe sabii (scoase din teaca) si singurul sange de care am avut parte este de capra. On the other hand, there was a nice bonus: acest film contine dovada irefutabila a faptului ca femeile sunt EVIL. If there was anyone still doubting that.
So all in all, nu e un film la care sa ma uit a doua oara; heck, nu e genul de film la care sa ma duc in the first place. Why did I do it you ask ? Well... girlfriends are evil :D

[random text intended to smoothe the translation to the next part]

Then again, avem celalalt film pe care l-am vazut de curand - Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Asta are sabii din abundenta, and they are huge, which is a good bonus. Nimic rau de spus despre poveste, it carries on the FF 7 legacy really nice but IMO the movie has one major flaw: the music. Outside of combat it's okay, but the combat music is either too weak or non-combatty enough that... I'm sorry to say that it totally ruined it for me; I've been unable to enjoy many of the fight scenes because of it (and they do make up for about 80% of the movie, and are otherwise great). Singura melodie marfa e cea din batalia finala, probabil ca sa compenseze faptul ca muzica din ultima lupta din JOCUL FF7 was absolutely awful. Anyway, if you can enjoy this movie to its fullest despite that, then you're lucky.
(Random fact: a mai observat cineva ca au schimbat diverse chestii de cand au facut trailerele ? De exemplu sabia lui Cloud din lupta cu Kadaj. Ahh... digital movies are so cool.)

[skip ending yes/no ? y]

Hf 'n all.

It... lives ?

Yes amazingly enough I created a blog.
Cu aceasta ocazie am descoperit ca sunt incapabil sa bloghez.
Oh well. S-ar putea sa mai scriu cate ceva interesant din cand in cand.
Or not.
Anyway, my blog is dark and menacing.