Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Left 4 Dead (PC) Impressions

I got a chance to check out Left 4 Dead tonight, for about an hour. These are very early impressions; I'd have liked to play it a little more before giving them, but the game wouldn't let me.

My computer can handle it, and it runs silky smooth and looks great, but for some reason it's still crash happy. Not sure why, it runs great, and then all of a sudden decides to crash for no apparent reason.

Anyway, it's the very definition of twitch finger action, very cinematic, and incredibly fun. It's old school shooter and new school shooter wrapped together in one tasty package. I can't wait to play more, if I can just get it to stop crashing to the desktop every twenty minutes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

War Never Changes

After nearly 70 hours and almost a month, I've completed the main quest in Fallout 3. I took my time, explored, did a lot of side quests, and really immersed myself in the world, but I didn't do everything and see everywhere, nor did I talk to everyone and complete everything I started. There's easily another 10-25 hours of content I didn't see, not to mention another playthrough being a completely heartless, no good, evil bastard (I played my initial run through as a paragon of virtue). Perhaps the best 80 bucks (I got the collector's edition lunchbox on the PS3) I've ever spent on a game. I'm not prepared to say it's better than Fallout or even Fallout 2, but it is definitely a worthy successor and an incredible addition to the franchise. Bring on Fallout 4!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Musing on Technology

Here's a hypothetical situation: Say you've got a fancy pants HDTV, and a fancy pants Blu Ray player, along with a fancy pants HD satellite TV connection. You want all this stuff to work together with a fancy pants surround sound system, connected by HDMI cables, but you don't want to bother with a separate switcher (one more remote, one more thing to turn on before you can watch TV, movies, or whatever).

Why, then, do almost all the "home theater in a box" surround sound systems that actually have HDMI inputs (why all of them don't have HDMI inputs is beyond me, I mean, anyone getting new tech right now should be in the digital age with their peripherals, and as such, need HDMI inputs) not include audio decoding? What I mean is, if those HDMI inputs are used to connect a Blu Ray player or HD satellite TV connection or game system, the audio is not carried through the surround sound speakers, but simply passed to the TV speakers. In order to get true digital sound, extra cables are required.

Allow me to repeat: in order to get audio from a peripheral to the surround sound speakers, a separate connection is required, in addition to the HDMI connection that is capable of transmitting both audio and video. That is fucking retarded. What's even more retarded is that this is actually touted as a "feature." That's not a feature, assholes, that's a limitation. Jesus Christ.