Well, another one of those posts where I say something like “wow, another 6 months since my last post”, the difference this time though is that this is the new 64bit blog. Or should I say I got a new PC that I built myself (again) and am using Vista 64bit to supply ludicrously more power than my browser needs to enable me to type text in! Actually Vista is a steaming pile of dog turd, as I said to my mate, this is the worst operating system I have ever used and I include DOS 5 in that!
I mean for crying out loud it does virtually nothing that XP couldn’t do and the new enhanced security is simply a sequence of questions that force the point that it’s my fault if anything goes wrong after clicking ok. And then there’s these stupid floating on and off windows, just what is the point? Why when I click on “all programs” is my program list constrained to a tiny box on the left of the screen when I have a whole widescreen to fill? Seriously this operating system is a joke.
Unfortunately though, because I like to play games, it is the future. I would love to be able to dump this pig effluent that cost me 80 sovs and install a nice free LINUX installation instead. But unfortunately Linux cannot do what we really want, play games. Don’t get me wrong I can get a new port of Doom for it, or maybe even Castle Wolfenstein but anything new and modern and in quantity is simply non existent. Why can’t the LINUX people commision some of the big games for LINUX, build a community and let it flourish. Yes of course there are emulators, but you know what I say? Emulators shmemulators! Slow clunky pieces of cack. Try and play Supreme Commander through an emulator! So come on LINUX people, sort it out.
To be fair I shouldn’t really blame LINUX or Microsoft because it’s really Supreme Commander that’s at fault, and COD2, and for that matter COD, because, you see, my old machine (as brave as it was) just was not up to the job any more. An AMD 3000+ just does not cut the mustard. I spent 4 hours playing Supreme Commander at about half a frame per second! So the machine had to be replaced and I had to use Vista because all the games are designed for Windows. While we are on the subject of Vista, how come virtually nothing works with the 64bit version? What is the point of buying a 64bit processor and runnning a 32 bit version of Vista on it? Dumbasses.
Anywho, the new PC (with a Terrance of disk space and 2 figs of Spam) runs my games perfectly, especially Supreme Commander. This totally awesome game is beyond compare, except of course for Company of Heroes which is also beyond compare, and COD 2 which is also beyond compare, unless you count United Offensive – which also is beyond compare. So most of my recent life has involved researching, buying and building my new PC and, ironically, losing most of the functionality I had with my old machine because nothing will run with Vista 64bit. I take my life into my hands every time I read an e-mail because there are no virus checkers that work. Well, less is more, as they so very wrongly say.
There was a time before the new PC though, a beautiful time when I completed Osu! Tatekae!Ouendan! on all levels. A time when I got to the final boss in Metroid Prime and just needed one more hit to kill it, then got killed :-(. A time when I ruled the Star Wars Empires that were warmongering. A time that Supreme Commander was simply a slavver inducing thought at the edge of a distant horizon. A time when I bought my Xbox 360 and downloaded Geometry Wars Retro Evolved.
I got a good deal on my 360 (which I affectionately call “You Noisy Bastard”) but the game I got with it was called Pro Evolution Soccer 6 and as you know, I hate football games (except Kick Off 2 and Striker on the SNES, obviously), especially those that call it Soccer. So the only choice was to download GWRE. Imagine the awesome power of the ultimate next gen console unleashed on a few squares, the odd star shape and occasional snake thing. How could it cope? Well this is one of the best games ever bar none. It is utterly incredibly addictive, although I have to say not as addictive as Galagga 88 on PC Engine which I do not allow myself to play any more but in any currency GWRE is stunning. If you have a 360 and Xbox live! just download it and play the demo at least. You won’t regret it.
I swapped PES6 for a proper game, something I’d heard about called Gears of War, maybe you have heard of it? According to GamesTM it won a whole stack of awards including game of the year. So eagerly I put it in, but before continuing let’s just touch upon the whole issue of playing FPS games (or TPS games) with a joypad. No, just NO. You need a mouse and keyboard. I knew this so set the game to easy in order to give myself a chance at getting used to the damned controls. Actually they aren’t too bad because you get to hide behind stuff then pop out and fire. When you pop out you are simply aiming a currsor around which I can do relatively ok, what I cannot do is move and aim, my brain get’s it all mixed up and shoots at the sky or the floor.
As I was playing the game I could not help but notice the play area is simply a series of corridors all of which are very narrow. The graphics are really good for a console, but not in the PC’s league. Hmmm. Anyway I ploughed on endured the constantly repetitive gameplay. Duck shoot, cut scene, duck shoot, cut scene, avoid the Berserker. Rinse and repeat. How on earth did this win game of the year? It deserves no more than a seven out of ten. Eventually though I started to get used to the controls and kind of got into enjoying it a bit, but then something weird happened, the game ended, I had completed it! It must have took me all of 5 hours, most of which I couldn’t control the character. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad game, but I expect more and better than this from my FPS’s. So now I am playing it on “hardcore”; hmmmm, first time I have ever heard “normal” described as “hardcore”, it’s the future I guess! We can all be hardcore, give not a fig for the bloke who plays it for 200 hours, we are all hardcore, even after 5 hours and not a Gabba tune in sight .
The importance of the 360 and the new PC though is that my hardware collection is now complete again. There’s always the PS3 but I have no desire to buy one, I refuse to pay 425 sovs to have a Blue Ray put in my house, I don’t even have an HDTV. Not only that it’s far cheaper in the other regions too so we are beng ripped off in the UK. Did you know they just reduced the price to £399 because sales have dropped by 80% in the uk after just a couple of weeks? Stick that in your pipe and eat it all those who paid £425 for it last week! SONY really do know how to treat their customers.
I also bought 40 normal Xbox games for 90 sovs and about 10 PS2 games(God of War, Shadow of Colossus etc) for about 20 quid. Bargain. I’ve got enough new games to keep me going for at least three years!! I’m sure something will come along though to tickle my fancy once every few months and let’s face it, I still have Okami and 2 Zeldas to buy.
Every time I write this blog I can’t imagine gaming getting any better and yet every time between posts it does. Can’t wait to see what happens between this and the next one!! I lived through the 80s arcade nirvana but, honestly, now is the best time for video games, don’t listen to the naysayers.