As many folk know I do like my racing games. Xbox Live has seen many great racing games. Moto GP 1 & 2, Project Gotham Racing 2 and Race Driver 2. All were class games and had various strengths. However the driving model in each, although attempting to be sim, veered more to arcade so to keep the games as approachable as possible.
GTR is an entirely different beast.
I vowed never to buy an online game that a) charged per month, b) involved Orcs and Elves, c) made me worry about levelling up and the skills that I learn and d) consumed more of my time than is already spent on Xbox Live
But I gave in and bought World of Warcraft. Quite simply the most enjoyable online game, if not most enjoyable game I have ever played. Graphics and sound are good if not ground breaking. Half Life 2 put paid to that. What’s astounds is the sheer scale of the gaming world that is available to you and it’s non-linearity. The community aspect is second to none. Although the game doesn’t come with voice support Yahoo messenger with a headset soon gives you the ability to talk with your fellow players. There’s just so much to this game – different races and classes, so many occupations and skills available, an in game e-mail system as well as auction houses and some astounding set piece moments and this is a game I’ve only scratched the surface with. Recommended although only if you’ve got the time to spend on it. The WordPress upgrade will have to wait.
Picked up Half-Life 2 via steam on Tuesday. Played for roughly an hour……quite simply the most atmospheric 1st hour of any game I’ve ever played. Graphics are amazing but unlike other games the environment depicted is amazingly realistic and full of real world detail. This is helped by an impressive sound engine that not only delivers good in game effects but an impressive (so far) soundtrack. I’ve also been surprised twice within the first hour which is a good sign of more impending shocks. Story is also unwinding at a good pace. The havoc engine used for the physics also adds to the realism although some of the graphical lifting effects are a bit ‘rough’.
On the minor side, the loading times are very high and also pretty frequent. Steam as a delivery system was also brought to it’s knee’s on Tuesday but thankfully didn’t affect me too much.
Can’t wait to play more but as usual in the games industry…too many good games in the run up to Christmas means somethings got to be sacrificed…I wish it could be Christmas shopping but alas it will probably be Half-Life for the time being. Sneaky hours hear and there are the order of the day.
After a bit of thought I’ve finally decided to get the old pc up and running as a server. The first task was to make it quieter. The fans on it were quite loud….cue visit to Quiet PC. I’d always liked the look of the Zalman Flower so I gave into temptation and made the purchase. At the same time I was convinced that the power supply also was a bit too loud so I picked up a quiet one of those too.
Delivery for once really was next day so ii got round to installing them both today. The verdict – the flower cooler is definitely quiet and keeps the cpu (it is an ageing 1GHz Athlon) cool. It’s heavy though and is only suitable for certain motherboards and chips. The power supply was disappointing . At first it seemed very quiet but listening from a different angle you could hear a very deep hum. Tried the old power supply and it was quieter. Some you win, some you lose. So I’ll be returning the power supply back to Quiet PC – hopefully their returns policy is as good as the rest of their store had been up to now.
Once I get windows on it I hope to run it as a server with the main pc and xbox using it as a media storage device. It will also have a webserver which I can access from anywhere (work firewall permitting :-() and ultimately I may host this website from it. That’s a long way off though.
With Autumn now officially here and a break in the wet weather we’ve been having it was time for the final grass cut of the year. This then turned into a garden clearance (never did I thought so many plants would last for such a small time). Cue 10 bags filled and a trip to the dump. To round it off, a trip to Dobbies to restock the barren wasteland that was the garden. One point…since when did garden centres clear out half there shop to stock MASSIVE amounts of crimbo decorations. Blimey. I guess it is only 10 weeks on Saturday till Christmas.
The second clearout was the pc. Only 3 months old and running out of room (it only has 160Gb)? A swift clearout later and I’d freed 60Gb. Shocking the amount of guff you accumulate with broadband. Having the 1 Meg connection doesn’t help. Time to get the old pc set-up as a server and put all the movies and music on it instead.