How To Play Quake 1 Like It’s 2011 (not 1999)

Features, Games and Gaming, Retrospectives

Seeing this recent post on RPS got me in the mood to do some singleplayer QuakeOneing. Just thinking about it gave me a shiver of anticipation, and I could hear the shotgun pow-tch-chk, the hiss and growl and roar and the clank-wobbleboom of grenades. That was it: the itch needed scratching. As soon as I got home from work, I got to re-installing.

But if you’re anything like me, you like a little modern gloss on the old warwagon. Leave the gameplay mechanics alone, but the shiny? I like the shiny!
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Andy Rooney On Teams and Fortresses

Features, Games and Gaming

I don’t know what’s  happening to gaming these days. In my day you had a fortress, you had a team, and you just went at it. It was like tag or flag football, the bedrock of any small town community. I know community isn’t in vogue these days. It’s one for one and all for none, it seems. I watch the television and it’s not more about team sports, its about the individual stars.  A trophy for this, a  medal for that.

It seems to me that nowadays, our fortress team games are obsessed with personal milestones. What sort of whacky combination of numbers have to be achieved today, I wonder. When I was younger, you just worried about how many times you fragged, and how many times you got fragged, and that was that. Now there are silly hats and punny little titles given to any number of strange number crunching.

Lately I’ve been wondering if it doesn’t have to do a little bit with things. What I mean is, too many people are in a rush to get things, get into the city, say, pick up a newer version of a pair of pants that have been perfectly fine these past five years. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it myself, if was a little bit younger, a little less wise, but it’s a shame all the same.

And seemingly, the company that, to be honest, makes me think more often of plumbing supplies than video gaming, has attached their weird and wonderful number crunching to getting more things. What’s wrong with a rocket launcher, I ask? Now you want a rocket launcher that does more splash damage, or less splash damage, maybe heats up your car on a cold  morning.

It might be a bit much, I wonder.

But things move on, sure as taxes, or your toast getting inedibly dry after an endless conversation with a coworker you don’t like too much. I’m not one to complain about things. But it seems to me that the Team Fortress of today is a little too friendly, maybe, a little less fortressy. I don’t think we ever needed hats to really enjoy the game. We sure don’t need more things.

At least, I’d like to think so.


Important Internet Opinion: Singularity

Games and Gaming, Reviews

I’ve played through a few hours of Raven’s everything-old-is-new again First Person Thing, Singularity. I am now prepared to tell you exactly what you need to know about it.

Q: Is it pretty?

A: Yes, it is quite pretty, with the kind of predictable Unreal Engine prettiness that we — or me at least — are starting to get a little weary of. There’s glowy bits and impressive vistas and water that wiggles relatively convincingly, and people almost kinda look like people if you squint at them right. It’s not so much Unreal as the all-too-real duct tape of this generation of shooters, the default choice because ol’ Carmack got interested in rockets on iPhones or something and dropped the ball. Oh well.
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Doom, Duke3D and More: A Guide To Some Early FPS and Source Ports

Features, Retrospectives

Are you an aging gamer, like me, and do you find yourself pining for the days of gaming yore occasionally, when the sound and fury of the latest warporn deathsim Medal of Duty and Honour: America’s Bullet Pride game, fun as it might be, has left your head ringing? Yearn for some simple sprites and some chiptuney soundtracks? Is your computer a bit crap and does 11,000 frames per second† sound like something you might enjoy?

Well, read on, friends.

†Note: actual performance may vary.
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