Friday, November 28, 2008

When the day came for the warriors,
They stood up and were counted.

The leader of them stepped forward and looked upon his fellow tribesmen. Boys danced among their ranks, eager to see those they would one day follow. Dark clouds held over their village as they listened to the rain fall upon their forests and their people. The hills glistened in the downpour as the glow over the hills raged on. The men were silent as they thought to themselves of their sons and daughters and wives. The children continued to dance and began to tumble about, warring in their own worlds as the chiseled faces and furrowed brows above relaxed at the sight.

Darkness was across the sky, a blood red hue, but beneath the pouring thunder there was light, shining beyond the sun.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


So I played the Tomb Raider Underworld demo and found myself begging for mercy. Tomb Raider is exactly the type of game that I love: acrobatic world-exploration with fighting interspersed. But the core of the game is movement around luscious environments with a plethora of movement puzzles that force Lara Croft to pull off awesome looking stunts. And when the events work right, then the game is really cool. Hanging on ledges, leaping to rock outcroppings, doing random backflips, awesome stuff. All of these things are set up in a fashion so that each puzzle is a twisting rail that you've got to navigate to create a beautiful balance beam routine.

However, between each routine the game hates on your movement. There are so many context-sensitive dynamic events that the computer doesn't realize when you're just trying to run around or enter one of these things, when you're near something. I have never experienced before a AAA-game where I pressed a few different direction keys and nothing happened. I don't know if I want to see my character run in place, but not even having that image of the game being confused, it threw me. When I press the forward key, something should happen! The game is a lot of fun when it works, but be cautious about approaching anything while running on level ground. You will be stopped and Lara will attempt to do something and often fail.

In addition, I found the camera far too sensitive. I would set it up how I liked, but moving only slightly would shift camera position dramatically. This is especially an issue in tight spaces, where you might suddenly get a wonderful close-up on Lara that is appreciated for the few seconds before you attempt any movement, and then the camera freaks out. Also, I actually found myself sometimes falling to my death because I would approach a ledge while the camera stayed too low for me to know that I was about to plunge very far down.

All of this is too bad, because the game has a lot of potential. It feels very fluid at times, and animations interacting with the world are very enjoyable, especially the often easy ability to pull off incredible stunts. Perhaps the final game will correct these camera issues and movement sensitivity, but I'm not holding out immense hope for these things to be corrected to the point that I'd buy the game...

We'll see, Lara, we'll see.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I'm not sure if this is an issue, but is it insomnia if I actually sleep quite well, it's just my inability to go to sleep? I find myself working here in the lab and it's almost 3am, I have to
get up in about 5.5 hours, and I only slept about 4 hours last night? I feel tired, but I find myself slightly strung out, not able to just drop things and leave? Am I allowed to leave? I've got more to do before I sleep but I think instead I should just sleep.

I want to play Mario Super Strikers though, or perhaps God of War, both of which have been preoccupying my random spare moments of late. Both incredibly addictive games for completely different reasons. But files are finished transferring now, so I best do some work and sleep while I can. I'll talk more about my respective experiences with those games in bit.