It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here. It’s not that I’ve stopped being social online; rather I’ve been using Twitter so much that writing a full-on blog post has seemed both time-consuming and unnecessary.
So what’s been going on? Three things mostly: work, xbox gaming, and Ruby on Rails programming. I’m happy to say I’ve finally got RoR pretty well figured out, and have created some pretty neat stuff with it so far (mostly around xbox social networking). My long-term goal is to use it the next time I re-design the Lab Rescue web site.
I’m off work this week, and it’s nice to relax at home, see family, visit friends, and generally relax.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!
Bioshock was released last year, and won many awards from many gaming magazines and sites. It’s a first-person shooter that takes place in an underwater city overrun by mutated humans (like so many other games) who spliced their genes to gain super-human powers. The atmosphere, art, story depth, music, and sounds set this game apart from any other. Definitely one of my favorites. Much has been said about it on other web sites, so if you haven’t played it, do a search and read up.
If you look through my gaming posts, you’ll recall the The Orange Box contained five games on one disc. Portal and Half Life 2 were both excellent, and I was surprised to discover that Team Fortress 2 — which didn’t look appealing to me at all — is at least as much fun, if not more!
It’s a typical two-team strategy game, with variants of capture-the-flag, territories, etc., but is done in a kind of “Road Runner” cartoon motif that works surprisingly well. There are also many different classes of characters to choose from (soldier, spy, scout, engineer, etc.) each with very different abilities, and somehow they’re all fairly well balanced.
Our Xbox 360 gang played this game nearly continuously for 6 months, until we finally got tired of the somewhat limited map selection, and switched off to Rainbow Six Vegas recently.
Just finished Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction for the Playstation 3. I was really looking forward to the game after it was announced, and received it as a birthday gift from Eric and Sundee. This was the fourth game in the series — the first three were for the Playstation 2. As expected, the graphics were excellent, very bright, cartoonish, and high-definition. Game play was pretty similar to the previous games in the series, so there wasn’t really anything too new or innovative about it. Overall it was fun, but not one of my favorites. If this was the first game in the series, or if I hadn’t played the other ones previously, it would probably have ranked higher, but since I’ve seen (and played) almost the same game before, I can’t give it a top rating. If you haven’t played the other games, it’s definitely worth playing, though you’ll miss out on lots of the back plot and characters.
As I mentioned not too long ago, The Orange Box is actually five games on one disc. I’ve recently finished Half Life 2, and was thoroughly pleased with it.
This is a first-person shooter game, but with a much more developed story than most, and enough differing elements of gameplay (sneaking, shooting, driving, boating, etc.) and different environments that it never gets boring or repetitive. The length of the game was quite satisfying also — it was a much longer game than I expected. The game is completely linear, but I don’t mind that at all.
There isn’t much that’s groundbreaking to talk about, except for the “gravity gun” which is one of the many weapons (or items) available in the game. This gun manipulates gravity to let you pull items in from far away, carry them, and launch them away from you (presumably at targets… barrels of fuel are particularly useful). It’s a nice twist and adds a new style of gameplay I haven’t encountered before.
The graphics and gameplay are very well done (though the airboat controls took some getting used to), as is the story and dialog. One of the best games I’ve played this year… it makes The Orange Box an even better value!