This Week, I Have Been Mostly Playing…

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This week I have been mostly playing…

Many Half Life 2 mods! …among other things that is. I might as well do a quick rundown, since they were fun singleplayer affairs and not too long, although difficulty varies they were all worth playing.

First up is an oldie, Antlion Troopers Deuce. I admit, I didn’t get as far as I’d like and it crashed on me too (might be a incompatibility with more recent patches, who knows?) but is simply a defense mod, where you and several combine squads defend a base, then move inside the base to defend it, then escape the base as it is overrun. Very difficult, rest assured, not least because controlling your squads and keeping enough of them alive (as well as turret placement) is a pain!

Second is Riot Act, a pretty fine mod where you play a rebel captive and have to escape Nova Prospekt, the combine prison (well, you escape through bits without seeing Freeman 🙂 ). Some nice bits in this mod, and you fight a lot of different enemies (including most of the “bosses” from the original game) – taking control of antlions at a few instances. Shame I had to leave all my rebel friends behind as I went too far for them to follow 🙁 Ahh well, I escaped at least!

Third is Union, a set of maps where a prisoner (although this wasn’t obvious to me playing it seems!) teams up with a Vortigaunt, which was incredibly well done. Many puzzle sections, good enemies and some really tough parts (on hard at least) – it uses Episode 2 Hunter enemies, and the Vortigaunts cool attacks against zombies and antlions. The story is probably the most polished of the four mods, although it is a lot shorter, and uses appropriate voice chat for puzzles and battles.

Lastly, I played through a mod I refound, having played it ages ago, that being Combine Destiny, which you play a combine soldier basically battling through lots of zombies, some human rebels, and a few ant lions. This mod is a little ungracious on health, but otherwise a fine play even if it leaves you to walk away from your surviving soldiers a few too many times with no explanation (and sometimes there is little explanation as to where to go), but these are minor issues. There are some fun bits where you get to see the combine’s technology used against your enemies. There is also a Combine Destiny 2 mod in the works, woo!

Being without a gravity gun for each of these games really, really makes me miss it in hindsight. Some situations, a good barrel to the face of those damn fast zombies would have saved me a lot of ammo and effort.

I also brought Enemy Territory: Quake Wars last week, when I saw it on offer, and have been playing it on and off. It’s relatively fun but some levels are rather confusing and I’ve got too used to non-Quake style gameplay (I swear the original Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, people couldn’t run quite so fast!). Once I learn the level layouts and classes better, I’ll probably play more of it. The large maps are a refreshing change from Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty 4.

I’ve put some more time into TF2, and saw some good Advanced Spy Training videos today – even if you are not a spy, spend 30 minutes watching these…as he so quotes Sun Tzu so much, I must point out “So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles.” 🙂

On my Wii, I’ve only really been playing my only game Smash Bros. Brawl – the campaign – where I’m at this maze thing now. With continues it’s fun enough, as long as I can get on the TV to play it 🙂

Finally, I’ve been trying my hand as King in Medieval II: Total War, although I am having some trouble grasping how to make actual money, I’m steadily taking out those pesky french after defeating the Scottish. Go England! The battles are fun, especially defending your castle against a superior force and doing spying and assassin missions. There are a few cases of “dumb AI” which is surprising – such as when two armies attack my castle, one of them usually doesn’t have time, or just doesn’t get any siege equipment, leaving them standing outside the back of my castle…doing nothing but shouting “Order received”. The AI must be commanding, but they certainly don’t seem to pathfind well enough! I’ll see if I can conquer all of Europe, or possibly finish it “quickly” and aim to restart with a better knowledge on how to sort my money problems.

Also, I’ve joined to play future vintage games at the Vintage Game Club which started this month. I haven’t got the money right now for Grim Fandango, but rest assured I’ll play it eventually!