Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Left 4 Dead (demo) Impressions

(Note that this post has also been posted at my new blog dedicated ENTIRELY to games. Why post it here as well? Why, because sometimes I actually like getting responses, that's why.)

Now that the full game has been released on steam ($49.99 as of me writing this), I think it is about time I give my impressions of the Left 4 Dead demo. Keep in mind that I may not be the best objective reviewer here, because I ran through those two map sections over and over.

Some people say the graphics are pretty bad, I couldn't tell through the screams and the blood. But no, seriously, the optimized steam engine is a great gaming choice. Sure, it's not giving Crysis a run for its money, but L4D can play on lots of systems and frankly look pretty good when you have the hardware for it (maxed settings at 1280x1024 on my system with a Geforce 8800GT). Appropriate atmosphere for a zombie game, and lots of nice models that add to the effect.

The sound for Left 4 Dead is actually pretty satifying. Zombies are distinctive, weapons sound fun (maybe average for today's FPS?), and the voice acting seemed top notch. If there was a time when the sound was annoying, it would have to be when you're at the bottom of a pile of zombies that your friends are not shooting off of you, at which points I could see the frustration.

Okay, the fun parts about this game are definiately the team based shooting. This game doesn't have a lot of inovative features, unless you call the complete inablity to solo affectively a feature. (Seriously, there are so many ways you can fail as a solo player its rediculious [or in my case, fun]) It's a fast, basic shooter. There really isn't a lot more depth to the game than shooting zombies, saving teammates, and running to the objective. Why is that so entertaining?

Left 4 Dead is definitely a game to play if you like team-based action. If the thought of relying on another person in a game really sets you off, it probably isn't for you. But then again, it might just change your mind.

My only real gripe with the game is the "full" game price tag asocciated with it. This is a $50.00 (US) game right now, which is to say it costs the same amount as Fallout 3 and Farcry 2. I don't know why, but it doesn't seem like a "full" game experience. This shouldn't be in the same price category as those two previous games. It's not that long, and it's not that in-depth. It's basically just a really fun mulitplayer mode of a shooter. A price tag of $30.00 (US) would be much more appropriate, and I'm sure the Steam price will fall to that eventually. Right now, at its price, it's sort of difficult to recommend. It's an excellent, really fun game. If you pick your purchases solely based off those two aspects, it's a sure buy. If you are low on funds though, it might be more difficult to justify purchasing.

Personally, I'd consider buying the full Valve package from steam for $100.00 (US). Yeah, twice the cost, I understand that, but you get every single game by Valve ever. I don't have most of them, and the ones I do I'd just trade to friends for sexual favors. Just kidding, I'd trade them for drugs. Definitely drugs.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eye On Music: Cepia

Musical preview of the band Cepia

Information about the band.


SeeqPod - Playable Search

Edit: The second song is not by Cepia, as pointed out by the random traveler of the internet named "John". The band "Cepia Sound", is actually a separate artist from the U.K.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fallout 3 (In review)

First off, Fallout 3 is awesome. It has it's shortcomings, but the longgoings definitely make up for it (and yes, I said longgoings). The weapons are remarkably fun, the graphics are great, and Anything Goes (except child killing, but that's another story).

So I beat the game awhile ago actually, but I've still been playing it trying to get all the quests and exploration done, and I have to say those that just play through the main story missed a lot.

But lets face it, you don't CARE about my temporary addiction, so we'll get right down to me rating the game:

Graphics: 8.5
The graphics in Fallout 3 are pretty good, but like some other people have pointed out, it has some tweaky npcs, and a couple graphical glitches I ran into. The locations are memorable, and the little things (and big things) really add a lot to the game.

Sound: 9
This game can get pretty freaky if you play through without the radio...mutants make creepy sounds, and even without their sounds the dark atmosphere can get pretty creepy. It's not "scary" in most instances, but not all. Also, the classic music throughout the game is great, even if some is repeated too much.

There's no hiding how fun this game has been to me, it's just really fun to play. Choices actually play out in the game, and that makes it replayable and fun. Combat is great, even if V.A.T.S. can find some weird camera angles and disorient you.

When I played the game I played through as a morally complicated player, openly gaining fame and respect for my great deeds, but in the shadows I was a cannibal and a slaver. It feels great to be able to pull that off in a game, maintain an illusion to one image, while having hidden aspects the world wouldn't be so receptive of if I let the witnesses live. :P

Couple gripes:
1. The level cap of 20. I don't want to stop leveling, why should I have to? (most people will beat the game before reaching the cap)
2. No option to continue once the main story is over, but depending on how you play it I might understand.
3. Relatively few (but good) quests when compared to Oblivion -
4. The game shakes off a lot of "Oblivion with guns" stigma, but not all of it. If you've ever played Oblivion (I have, extensively), you'll see a lot of similarities, although most of them are actually useful.

Why is (nerd) Jacob writing a Fallout 3 review? Well, I'm waiting for Tony to get back to play Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory with him, but he's taking too long. Maybe I should just do some homework.

President-Elect Barack H. Obama

So, as you know, we have a new president-elect (Basically he's "locked-in" as president, but the virgin sacrifices haven't been completed yet). And as you know, I really don't care that much. As you know, I needed a new blog post to keep Tony repressed, and as you know, I'm hoping Obama moves us closer to my ultimate goal.

My parents are disappointed, but that's just because they are hardcore republicans. Tony is happy, but that's just because he's a mindless teen zombie that believes all forms of change are good because he believes the government is stagnant, and agrees with the president-elect on important issues.

But what about ME, the important person. I already said I really don't care that much, and that's basically it. My parents are disappointed that I'm so passive/eager for the communist/socialist movement (whether it be true or not). Honestly, I'm glad I couldn't vote this year. It wouldn't have mattered anyways.

BUT JACOB, I hear you say, EVERY VOTE IS IMPORTANT. I reply "no, not it's not".

There's the flawed argument that states that my single vote wouldn't matter (the race wasn't down to one vote). This is flawed because this attitude accounts for very much more than a single vote every election year, as tons of people think this.

Then there is my logical argument, that I actually do believe. You see, the people of the U.S. don't pick the president. Those millions upon millions of votes are ultimately pointless for everything except statistics. The reason? The electoral college.

The electoral college was basically founded way back when because it was easier to have representatives vote for the president than each individual person (a lot of people couldn't get to polls). The problem is, this system still exists. President-elect Obama won the race by default when approximately 50% of the votes were still being counted.

Is this bad? No, not really. He would've won by a landslide anyways, as shown by the popular poll numbers we have now. Electoral votes DO generally go the way the people of that particular state want. I'm not even arguing any of those points, I'm just saying that even if I had the capacity to vote this year, I would've been one of those votes that got counted after it was over.

Now I need to get my family to rally around Obama and support him, he's going to be our president now, whether 46% (or whatever it is) of America likes it or not. We'll be able to get a lot more done for everyone if the (north) American people are there following his decisions and being part of the process. We, the government, did not edit this last part in. Woo, go baseball and apple pie.