Friday, July 27, 2012

Sorting, Sorting, Sorting

Just prior to the sorting, the bins await my attention.
I recently started sorting my massive collection of action figures -- I had upwards of 12 Rubbermaid totes stuff full -- and it has been a completely upward climb trying to organize everything, especially when it comes to accessories, which I typically just threw into the tote with little thought of the kind of frustration I would cause my Future Self.

I'm somewhat impressed that I've been able to match up so many of the accessories to the various figures, but I still have a couple of small cardboard boxes filled with swords, guns, tentacles, chains, and appendages. I either can't remember which figure the pieces go with or have no idea where the figure is that pairs with the accessories. And The Simpsons figures are another ballgame entirely. Each figure came with three or four accessories. My memory just isn't good enough to pair that stuff up and I don't have the time necessary to research that stuff. At least the accessories in tend to have a similar look so that makes it a little easier.

I've been heavily collecting and reviewing action figures for the last 12 years and I've built quite the collection so as I sort and bag these figures, I'm in a philosophical battle with myself about boxing them back up and shuffling them down to the crawlspace. I don't really get a chance to "enjoy" these figures. I have a small handful of figures displayed and a few large Sideshow pieces out, but that's it. What good are these things doing packed away?

At any rate, I've been taking pictures so I thought I'd share some:

I have enough Halo figures and accessories -- from Joyride Studios and McFarlane Toys --
to recreate Halo: Reach. The pile includes a Prophet and Flood figures.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Prototype 2 (PC): Turmoil

I will likely post a stream of Prototype 2 screens in the coming days. It launched yesterday for PC and I love the fact I can just hit F12 and produce a picture-perfect grab of whatever I'm looking at. Or using FRAPS or Bandicam and a button press automatically takes a pic after a set predetermined period.

The game finished downloading late last night -- early this morning, really -- so I haven't played anything beyond the main title screen. (I just wanted to be sure it booted up okay.) I'm not sure if I'll enjoy Prototype 2 as much this time around -- I reviewed the 360 version -- knowing that the studio is essentially closed.

This isn't a unique feeling to Prototype 2. I tried going back to TRON -- developed by the now-closed Propaganda Games -- and it's difficult for me to play more than a few minutes. I start thinking about the people that made the game that may have struggled mightily after the studio closure. Those with families to support; trying to make mortgage payments or car payments or rent. I'm sure some landed on their feet right away or got jobs in other areas of the tech sector or gaming. I want to go back and play L.A. Noire again, but after Team Bondi collapsed, it feels somehow wrong to be playing the game. This is obviously something tripping in my own brain; some intensive game therapy might be required.

It's always the last games as well. I've had no problem going back to the likes of Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction or Turok, but there's some kind of mental block when it comes to the last game a studio produced. I don't get physically ill or anything like that... I just don't feel good about it.

Deserves some additional thought....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More "Killing Floor"

Man alive, Killing Floor has really impressed me of late.

I should have drawn comparisons between it and Counter-Strike much, much sooner. Ten years ago, I put in many, many hours with Counter-Strike and Killing Floor might be the first game I've played since then that has done a good job of nailing that upwards upgrade progression during the course of a match. Do well in a round (survive, at the minimum) and the player is rewarded with additional funds to purchase bigger and better weapons or equipment. And if you don't do so well, you need to rely on the generosity of your comrades to drop some money on the ground so you might be able to put down the next wave of zombies together.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reviewing: They Need to Watch

I'm 8 hours deep, but that wasn't nearly enough time to spend with a game that boasted "hundreds!" of hours of content. There's a drone sharing the room with me. The publisher's nameless eyes on the ground -- Darkfriend, some in the office derided -- to ensure I didn't upload the source code to the Internet or pass the disc to a conspirator to copy en masse to sell on street corners.

Occasionally he would shift in his seat, adjust his tie. Maybe take a sip of water. Though I'd never seen the full contractual details, I was pretty sure that as long as I kept playing, he had to stand guard. Watching me. Waiting until the credits rolled.

Hour 9 is when I stand up, sigh, and take off my pants. I kick them into the corner of the room.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Gains a Toe-Hold

A long time coming, summer has finally arrived in Vancouver!

June was a sloggy mess of cloud and rain, unexpected chills and periods of brief sunshine. For the last four or five days, it's been nothing but sun, and some smoky haze that that the weather guy keeps telling us is drifting up from forest fires in Montana. But at least it's not rain.

Temperatures have been riding at 25 - 30 degrees (Celsius) as well, which means the barbeque has been put to use (twice!) and I'm wearing clothes that have dried in the sun.

There's a smell associated with sun-dried clothes, sheets, and towels that's hard to pin down. It's a unique, comforting smell -- one that reminds me of past summers spent at the beach or camping or at summer camp. It's a crisp, unspoiled smell. And the fabric feels different. A tumble dryer beats a towel smooth. Sun-dried, that same towel feels prickly and somehow more absorbent.

So, even though I do find it difficult to nod off promptly in a stuffy bedroom, I won't complain about the heat. We've been waiting for it, it's finally hear, and I love the smell.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dumb Forum Threads

If there's one thing that reading gaming forums -- or any forum, for that matter -- provides is that there's often very little thought about thread titles. Making the title clear and saying a little something of what the reader will find once they click on the link is important but too few people actually take the time to formulate a single line to sum up what they hope to discuss in the forum. Or worse, pose a question that can be answered with a single word.

It also annoys me to see questions that anyone able to type could peck into a search engine and have an answer *SNAP* now.

I could shoot these barrel-imprisoned fish all day, but here are a few examples of what I'm writing about:

Who is your favourite gaming companion?
Misleading. My favourite gaming companion is a loaded .45 (ol' Betsy) and an open bottle of rum (Captain Morgan) but that's not what the poster is asking. It should read: Who is your favourite in-game companion?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Killing Floor - 6 Hours In

The game has been around for ages, but I'm finally getting around to playing Killing Floor with the recently released Gold Edition. And in a lot of ways, it's showing its age. Graphically, it's well behind what's currently available in the multiplayer shooter genre on PC and the world is extremely static as there doesn't seem to be much of anything in the way of physics.

The lack of respawn reminds me of the run I did with Counter-Strike back in the early days of The Armchair Empire, 12 years ago. Once you die, you just have to wait until the start of the next round! That's unheard of in most multiplayer shooters that are measured in kills-per-minute and things exploding.

And the menus... it took me more than a dozen rounds to figure out how the store worked. If it was found in any other game, it would receive a round of critical invective.