id Software: DOOM 3 — fun, but nearly unplayable without the sound cranked and without surround sound. The game relies on a constant stream of monsters popping up behind you, and if you can’t hear it happening, the game just isn’t as much fun. It’s actually kind of a cheap monster system, I prefer the more realistic AI in far cry, but doom3 is still a good timewaster.

Far Cry

Tong Family Blog: Far Cry: Another Cool Game — latest time waster here on our home network. It has pretty much wiped out the ATI 9600 on one machine, while the 9800 on another machine is surviving but constant game crashing faults. But oh does the game look nice — best looking water of any game I have seen to date — great reflections!

Best Games of the holiday break

We’ve played a lot of games over the holiday. Our grades:

Call Of Duty: A+. Multiplayer incredibly fun, servers easy to connect to, firewalls not a problem. The only real beef is the stupid bunny-hopping behaviour that some players adopt to avoid incoming fire.

Counterstrike: A-. Great multiplayer gameplay. But aged graphics, ridiculously painful downloading required to get up and going, and confusing game lobby behaviour.

Halo for PC. B+. Fun, not a bad way to spend time. But just doesn’t seem to have the same addictiveness of Call of Duty or Counterstrike.

SSX 3. B+. OK we are suckers for snowboarding games. This is a reasonable next version of the SSX line.

XIII. C+. A great idea and a good story line. But incredibly stupid save game behaviour makes the single player missions painful — needless repetition of solved missions is no substitute for real challenge. Oh and the end of level bosses are juvenile, making the game feel like a Mario title.

Hidden and Dangerous 2. C-. A nice looking game, but so realistic that the fun is sapped out of it. Yes I am sure a single shot from that gun would really take me out of commission, but a fun game needs to be a little more forgiving.

Half Life 2 causing ATI and Nvidia to spin

Blue’s News: Message Board — the upcoming release of Half-life 2 is causing a lot of frenzy in the video card industry. Gabe at Valve currently seems to recommend the ATI 9800, tho Nvidia is spinning hard. It is fascinating that the release of a single game can cause so much angst, and as a user it is great to see these vendors trying to kill each other because I am going to get much faster video cards as a result.

Meanwhile Valve has released the new Steam client and the website is DOA, i assume it is getting hammered with traffic, so that is good for Valve.

Microsoft Links is a Dog

I bought Links 2003 and installed recently, wanted to see what state of the art in golf games was. This can’t be it. Buggy as crap — hard to finish a round without a crash. And compared to a modern 3d accelerated game (Battlefield 1942, Unreal Tournament, etc), this is such a slow game. It renders a static background, a player moving, and a little white ball flying thru the air — a pathetic amount of motion and detail compared to one of these other games. And yet it takes Links sometimes as much as a minute to render the next scene. What is it doing?

Tiger Woods 2003 is reputedly a better game.

If I was a kid.

If I was a kid. I’d want one of these for Christmas — french sloop model boat — I love any sort of boat model. And a chemistry set — tho in these days of extreme product safety the sets have been terribly neutered. When I was a kid I used to build models and promptly blow them up with firecrackers — combining these two great gifts into one merged orgy of creation and destruction. I am not really sure what this says about me but it is probably not good.


Coins I’m getting hooked on ebay again. Not buying so much, as just watching the action. I purchased some SLC Olympic coinage from the US Mint, and now I am watching all the Olympic Coin auctions on ebay. Lots of fun.

I used to collect coins as a kid and I still have the 76 Olympic Silver Dollar I bought up in Parry Sound that year. I guess I am kind of restarting my Olympic coin collection.