Christmas is coming!
I finally got around to writing this entry, and then some stupid Microsoft program stole the browser window I was writing it in, and now I’ve lost everything I had written. Instead of the long entry I had written, I’m afraid you will have to make do with this one instead. My apologies.
Christmas is coming very fast now, and I’ve only managed to sort out one persons present. Which I’m hoping arrives before Christmas. Last Saturday’s ’shopping for presents’ trip ended up with me getting a new shirt, a new casual shirt, a new pair of jeans and a new jumper, but no presents for anyone. The only thing stopping me spending more money on clothing was that I couldn’t find any good shoes. On the plus side my sister says my taste in clothing is getting better. Though I’m unsure how to take that!
In other, much more geeky news, I have finally completed Half-Life 2. Those not interested in that fact can skip this entire paragraph.
It’s a great engine and in places it’s a great game too, certainly it does things no other game has, and those things are amazing… but somewhere along the line they managed to make large parts of the game not fun. The vehicle parts were too arcade like, and just violated the realistic world which the rest of the game convinced you of so well. As did the conveniently placed barrels of fuel and totally unrealistic crates of ammo lying around everywhere. HL2 needed to decide if it was trying to be realistic or not, and it didn’t really do that. The Ant-Lions were a nice idea, but the level where you control them was ruined by the fact the Ant-Lions were even there. Instead of being an exciting, difficult and fun level needing thought and action to beat, it was a boring walk in the park. All you did was throw some bait and wait for the ant-lions to kill everything before going into the next room. My other major problem with the game was the entire section where you ‘controlled’ a team. Their AI was so bad that they actually made me angry. I ended up blocking them in a room by dragging some filing cabinets across the doorway, so they would stop getting in my way and getting me killed in the process. I also question why they offer such advice as “Don’t forget to reload, Gordon!” - Really? After around ten levels of playing the game you think I haven’t learned that already? You think I need to be told again and again? The team actually ruined a big part of the game for me, they were nothing but an annoyance, and a lethal one at that.
What is so disappointing is not that the bad bits are bad, because even those bits are better than most games I’ve played… It’s that the good parts are so good that you see the potential of what the game could have been, but isn’t. I really hope that in HL3 they concentrate on making a fun game. In the mean time I’m waiting for some mods that do away with the arcade feel some of HL2 had. That is the end of my nerd rant about HL2.
Today Leigh (my boss) and myself went to meet some clients, which is my first trip out to do that. It went well, which was cool. Other than that I’ve not got much to say, I’ve been busy at work and been to the pub a couple of times with Mike and Chris.