Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Demoman Intervention, Pt. 3

If you didn’t read Parts I and II, here’s the scene: Demoman’s team has set up an intervention for him. He just can’t let go of the booze, poor guy. Scout and Sniper are now dead as a direct result of a) their bungled intervention and b) Demoman’s insanity. Now, here’s the thrilling conclusion(!):

Medic: “You’re out of control, my Scottish friend.”

Demoman: “Bah! You don’t even know what out of control means! I’ll show you out of control!”

*Demoman sticky-jumps, then sprays grenades in all directions. Pure, unadulterated chaos ensues. Spy is in bloody little pieces all over the parking lot.* Continue reading

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June 11, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weeky Shenanigans #4 (E3/Computex Edition)

Here lies Weekly Shenanigans #4…

  • Left4Dead fans were up in arms this week after Valve announced a sequel Left4Dead 2. Most felt that the sequel was taking the place of content updates or DLC. Valve’s own Doug Lombardi took some time at E3 to talk with Rock Paper Shotgun and seems to have mollified most of the gamers that were previously sharpening their blades and planning an offensive against Valve’s headquarters.
  • By far, Nintendo’s conference at E3 was the most uninspiring. Evidently they’re content with seducing even more of the casual demographic with things like the Vitality Sensor. I’m sorry, but really?! The Vitality Sensor? That sounds like a scam whose sole demographic is men with ED. They did announce a handful of interesting games, including a new Metroid from Team Ninja. I’m not sure who thought of that combination, but they deserve the biggest cookie in the history of baking cookies. With chocolate chips, and a chewy middle that’s just ever-s0-slightly doughy. The Penny Arcade guys summed it up pretty well with this:

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming, State of the Blog, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Shenanigans #2

Against all odds (and by all, I mean the previously-mentioned 28% chance that this wouldn’t happen), Weekly Shenanigans is back for its second installment. I’ve got plenty of juicy, nerdy tid-bits for all you good little boys and girls, so let’s dive in.

  • Three Mile Island

    Score: Three Mile Island

    I had an irresistible urge this week to watch a movie absolutely devoid of meaning or any emotional significance. Pure visual and auditory stimulus without the need for any of that messy thinking nonsense that other movies demand – that’s what I was looking for. After much hemming and hawing, I ended up going home with a copy of Hellboy II. Believe it or not, I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie  was moderately enjoyable – maybe even good. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing but respect for Guillermo del Toro, but the original Hellboy was such a lackluster film that I didn’t have very high expectations for this one. Instead, I found a superhero movie that didn’t take itself too seriously (thank God), poked fun at all manner of stereotypes, and actually had a bit of character development. Unfortunately, the film faltered a bit near the end, but it was overall a very enjoyable work. I give it a rating of Three Mile Island. That might not sound like a good score, but it is. I think. Continue reading

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Tech, Weekly Shenanigans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Like a Boy Scout, Man. Like a Boy Scout.

Plan (T+L)

Plans. Plans are good.

I’d like to think of myself as a decent gamer. I’m not too hardcore – I actually get outside from time to time, for starters. That being said… I dabble. A twenty-four hour gaming session now and again, the occasional Mountain Dew IV drip; nothing too serious, you know?

That’s why all these recent Team Fortress 2 announcements have me shaking in my boots. The Spy? Really? Really! I feel like I’m at least decently proficient at most of the classes in TF2, but the Spy? For all the sneaking and skulking around I do in other games, for all the times I choose to be a rogue, or thief, or solar-powered ninja, I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the Spy. The backstab? Haven’t mastered it. Disguising myself and making it to the other team’s intel without being detected? Can’t do it without half the people on the other team taking one of those just-in-case shots at my head, even when I’m invisible. No, scratch that. Especially when I’m invisible.

That’s why the Spy freaks me out, man. I can’t defend against him. How can I when I’ve got no idea what a typical Spy would do in any given situation? One time the same Spy killed me 39 times in a row. I didn’t touch my computer for a week after that. My therapist said that’s an understandable emotional response to emotional trauma. Then I told her that I’ve started to hit my friends whenever I see them, just in case it’s a spy in disguise. She referred me to a specialist. Continue reading

May 23, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Let Them Wear Hats

Slotted Backpacks? WTFBBQ!

Slotted Backpacks? WTFBBQ!

Slotted-backpack inventory systems. Customizable headgear. Achievements separated from unlockables. What is Valve doing to my beloved Team Fortress Two?!

I’ve got to admit, it’s driving me crazy to see major changes being implemented in my favorite time-waster and not being able to check them out. As of right now, I don’t have TF2 installed for the Windows partition on my laptop, and I’m not even sure it has enough space to hold it. That’s all purely speculative, of course; when it takes six or seven tries and forty-five minutes to download a one meg PDF file, the very thought of trying to download and install the seven gigs that are TF2 is simultaneously laughable and horrifying. Continue reading

May 3, 2009 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In All Fairness: Games For Windows Live

First of all, let me start off by saying that I haven’t been too kind to Games For Windows Live in the past. Among other things, I’ve said that nobody is even aware of its existence, that it’s useless so far, and that it needs to be scrapped completely and replaced with something new.

Recently, I’ve made an honest attempt to put my own biases aside and look at the situation objectively. On the one hand, GFWL doesn’t approach the utility of Steam, not by a long shot. That being said, most Steam users have a rather short-term memory about these things – for the first several years of Steam’s existence, it was roundly mocked and derided as little more than Valve’s version of DRM. I’ve had some bad moments with Steam personally, most notably when my computer is temporarily without internet access – Steam throws a righteous fit. GFWL also has some challenges that Steam hasn’t faced, like trying to adequately interface PC gamers with console gamers. Continue reading

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pirates Are Just Underserved Customers

Apparently, those who pirate videogames (those for PC in particular) are just underserved customers – so says Valve’s Jason Holtman. He recently participated in the Game Business Law Summit at SMU; below is the original article on the topic from Game Daily: Continue reading

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, News | , , , , | 2 Comments

Fallout 3: Initial Impressions

So… up until three days ago, I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t buy any more computer games until the semester was over. It was almost like my version of a New Year’s resolution, and it lasted about as long.

I saw that Fallout 3 was available for pre-purchase on Steam, and couldn’t help myself. I bought the sucker, and promptly began counting down the hours until I could play it. For some reason, once the release date rolled around – yesterday, October 28th – Steam wouldn’t allow my download of the game to start until 1:00pm my time (central). Not too sure why that was the case – I’ve purchased plenty of games on there before, and a few of them even gave the option of pre-loading game files so my experience wouldn’t be hindered in any way once  it was Go Time. Honestly though, it was a minor inconvenience, as I was somewhat busy yesterday and didn’t even have time to install the game until this morning.

I’ve only put in perhaps two or three hours so far, but I like what I’ve seen. As I play through the opening, explore the immediate area, and take a few quests, I’ve decided that Fallout 3 is a blend of a few recent games, both visually and in terms of gameplay and interface. Bioshock, Oblivion, and Half-Life 2 all came to mind, and none of those are bad things. Incidentally, some of the voice acting done was by the same professionals used by Oblivion.

All in all, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. Parents might want to stear clear of this one, because Fallout 3 has definitely earned the Mature rating. There has been an amount of language and truly impressive levels of gore (headshots that blow away the cranium, realistic body fluid effects, etc).

Hopefully I’ll be able to post some screenshots and a few gameplay videos tomorrow. I really want to capture a few good examples of the V.A.T.S. system, as the visuals that accompany it are really cool.

Right now, however, I’ve got a paper to write. It’s due in a little over two hours.

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment