Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Back to the Urban Battlefield

Monday, September 15th, 2008

No, I haven’t taken up free running I have just been playing a little more Call of Duty 4 over the past week, I was encouraged to look back at it by a friend some time ago. Only just got round to trying it again.

Since I last played there has been another patch, that includes new maps (I thought there were four maps, however I have only played three.

I seem to be playing fairly well still, I go through phases where I can get some awesome scores for a map or two a few matches later I can’t seem to get a single kill in. Finished the above match a few minutes ago – decided it was best to call it a night and end on a high rather than risk a crushing defeat in the next match.

The community seems to have matured, there are more clans hosting public servers that they actually play on and there are fewer M302 spammers around it seems. A wider range of weapons in use for the different roles, and occasionally organized teams of randoms all going stealth (my preferred class – Silenced MP5, Silenced USP .45, 3 Frag Grenades, UAV Jammer, Dead Silence and a stun grenade). This is probably the class that gets me the most kills.

My main tactic is slowly move around the map with one or two other people dressed for stealth, taking people out as we go. Aim for head shots where possible you can usually predict where people are going to pop up, in the corner of windows in between gaps in walls. The range of the silenced MP5 is severely reduced so sniping from a distance can only be done with short bursts (i usually try to squeeze out two or three bullets with two short clicks).

The more I play it the more I wonder if I might enjoy being in a clan that is on a competitive gaming ladder. Then again what with playing EVE, Team Fortress 2 and AudioSurf fairly regularly makes me wonder if I would ever have the time.

Steam

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Steam Main Window

The day I purchased AudioSurf was the first day that I even saw Steam (Content Delivery), sure I had heard lots of people talk about it, many people praising its loveliness and many more complaining that it was evil.

I had never had the need to install it, I owned Half Life (Video Game) (never finished it) and had played a bit of Counter Strike 1.6 in my time, but I had never felt the need to take it any further and buy Half Life 2.

While I was downloading AudioSurf, I noticed that there was 9 hours remaining of a free trial of Team Fortress 2 so I set that to download while I messed about else where. Now, I think Team Fortress is great, fun for a quick session blatting away at a couple of foes, that wasn’t what hooked me onto Steam, no it was the ease of it all.

I simply double clicked “Team Fortress” in My Games and it told me about the offer and guided me through downloading it (which was pressing “next” three times), when it was finished downloading I double clicked it again and it launched Team Fortress. I have been dreaming of software like this for years, so simple yet so effective.

Steam has a huge library of games, including some great packs such as The Orange Box, there is also a nifty “gift” system which allows you to pass on games you have two copies of, for example if you bought Half Life 2, then The Orange Box you would have two copies of Half Life 2 one of which you can pass on to a friend.

In summary, I think Valve Corporation has done a top job on Steam, without falling into the DRM traps that so many publishers seem to be dropping themselves into. I will post back when I have played the games a bit more, for the time being pleased with my discovery.

Audiosurf

Friday, September 5th, 2008

One of the many RSS feeds I subscribe to is Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Over the weekend Alec Meer posted an article about a game called AudioSurf.

Essentially you feed in an audio track in one of several popular formats, AudioSurf then analyzes the music and generates a racetrack. On this racetrack ride several coloured blocks. These blocks can be collected in a grid, in much the same way as Connect 4. Once you have collected three or more of these blocks of the same colour in a connecting pattern you will score points based upon the number of blocks and the colour.

There are variations on the theme giving your character special abilities such as pushing the blocks to the side to create more complex patterns, or “mono” mode in which you only have one colour to collect and one to avoid.

Because the track is generated from music the number of tracks available is only limited to your music collection, equally two people can compete on the same track by feeding in the same music.

If you get a chance and have $10 sitting in your PayPal account, it is available on Steam. My current favourite track is Fire Fall Down by Hillsong United.