In the interest of expanding my bank account authorial frontiers, I recently decided to try my hand at writing reviews. Valve’s recent Alien Swarm release was my first target, and my verdict is now up on CrispyGamer. Huzzah!
Scratch that: For the benefit of your teammates, read my PSA on How Not to Cure Infestation. Then go play, once you have been instructed in the delicate art of not killing your friends. You’re welcome.
The other warthog tore around the corner at full throttle, military treads cutting four deep gouges through the hard-packed snow, and skidded right into my crosshairs. I slammed down the trigger and unleashed a merciless hail of lead from the turret’s .50 caliber guns. Even as they swerved wildly for the nearest cover, I knew their light armor never stood a chance; after two hellish seconds I released the trigger, letting the barrels spin to a halt. Another would-be challenger was no more.
The game was Halo: Combat Evolved. The map, Ice Fields. The mission…well, it was a race, so the mission was just to go around in circles really fast. But my teammate in the driver’s seat was handling that job; I was manning the warthog’s rear-mounted M41 Vulcan machine gun. My mission was to kill anything that moved. His precision maneuvering and my itchy trigger finger kept us near the head of the pack for several laps, but there was another warthog team ahead of us that had so far managed to stay maddeningly out of range for the whole game.
Certain people—you know who you are—have been asking me whether I have a Twitter account. And then asking me why I don’t have a Twitter account, before transitioning smoothly into demanding that I get a Twitter account. People, this is annoying. Twitter is annoying. I am annoyed.
Would it help if I explained my position on this? Here it is: I don’t do brevity. It generally takes me at least twelve hundred words and half a dozen screenshots to properly articulate myself, so I refuse to even consider doing it in 140 characters. For God’s sake, the internet isn’t even supposed to have space restrictions; that’s half the reason I’m here! But, if you absolutely insist, here is your daily dose of stupid: My blog, as it would appear on Twitter.
May God have mercy on your souls.
What’s that? Why, it’s a DEATH SPORK, of course! I wrote an article about it, but you won’t find it here. It’s in a guest piece over at Second Person Shooter. Go read it, lest you never find out the true origins of the Spork.
Normally when I write I try to make a point, or make my audience think, or just appear smarter than I actually am. This is not one of those times. If you absolutely must take something away from this, here it is: Trash talk and roleplaying are two great tastes that taste great together!
See, lately Kent Sutherland and I have been playing a lot of Neptune’s Pride, an eight-way galactic free-for-all of an online strategy game for which the phrase “diplomatic clusterfuck” seems just barely adequate. The game is itself a treacherous beast that thrives on paranoia and trust issues, and believe me when I say that makes for an entertaining postgame writeup. Oh, did I mention that we’ll be doing a postgame writeup? That’s coming sometime in the fairly distant future; for now I offer you this excerpt from our correspondence as a taste of things to come:
Yes, you. Even if you’ve never made a game before, you totally thought about it that one time. And it would have had an inventory system. And that system? It would have sucked.
That felt good. And now that I’m done making absurd generalizations, maybe I should explain to you patient readers what I’m talking about: I’m talking about realism. And tradition. I’m talking about collective blindness to fact; a mass delusion that plagues nearly the entire game industry, trading a chance at unfettered enjoyment for slavish obedience to an ancient custom.
I’m talking about inventory systems, and I reserve the right to be as melodramatic as I please.
…Apart from the obvious, I mean. Mass Effect is simply an excellent series; anyone who doesn’t love it just has no taste for the genre. But I could never just leave it at that. I have this pathological need to define everything I like, ideally in the nerdiest possible terms.
And what could be nerdier…than science?