I Live!

September 12, 2007 by Tim

So I’m in the new place since Saturday. The move went pretty smoothly, thank you to all who asked. I got the video games set up Saturday night, pretty much everything else is still in boxes. I imagine I’ll be unpacking for the next week or two.

I think the website had some downtime over the weekend, nothing to worry about though. Maintenance and such, we try and do it in the wee hours of the morning when most people are sleeping. My server guy tells me Ctrl+Alt+Del’s readership has grown substantially this year, which is pretty cool. So, hello to everyone that joined us in recent months.

I only just got my cable hooked up this morning, so I had a few days there without internet. Which meant no Call of Duty 4 beta. However I did take the opportunity to play some Stranglehold, which I am finding to be quite enjoyable, albeit a bit frustrating.

I did try the multi-player when the game arrived last week, and unfortunately I thought it was a little weak. Which is unfortunate, because you’d think a game like that would lend itself to some fun, chaotic online stuff. It didn’t, and I think I know why.

In the single player game, enemies take one or two hits and they’re down. This lends itself well to gunfights with no auto-target, where you’re leaping over tables, running up rails, spinning and diving, etc. You can throw out a hornet’s nest of bullets, and as long as a few of them hit your target, you’re fine. Maintained accuracy isn’t all that crucial. In multi-player, however, your opponents can take a good deal of damage, which means you have to keep your target in your sights all while shooting and diving and rolling and whatnot, if you hope to down them before they heal up. I just don’t think it worked too well.

The main game is a blast, though. You get some cool moves to pull off, all of which are ridiculously over-the-top, and trademark John Woo stuff. Stairs have become obsolete, due to the fact that you can run up and slide down railings. It makes no sense to me, why you would run up a railing when you have safe and solid stairs right next to it, but it does look cool. I find myself compelled to run up railings. I can’t help it.

It’s a lot of fun, but it can be a bit frustrating too. Sometimes twisting and diving in midair can disorient you momentarily, and it’s enough to kill you, which means you have to start over at the beginning of a gunfight. I wouldn’t say its a deal-breaker, but more than once I’ve found myself deciding to just take a break when I die. There’s nothing really driving me to try it again right away.

Anyway, Stranglehold most likely has another day of my attention before Skate comes out. It will be interesting to see if EA has gotten the skate.reel thing working. It wasn’t when the demo came out last month.

Same thing with the Tiger Woods 08′ online functionality. Sometime this week I’ll pop it in and see if that’s finally been sorted out, because it wasn’t for the first week or so. I’ve never been one to complain when servers are up and down the first few weeks when a new MMO comes out, or for stuff like this when clearly they have some bugs to work out. You can prepare all you want, but there’s no way to accurately troubleshoot problems that may arise when tens of thousands of people hit your service. I understand that.

I figure a company the size of EA should be able to make some sort of progress on server issues in the first couple of weeks, right? If it gets towards a month after the game has hit shelves though, well then maybe its time to point some fingers.

The official trailer for Iron Man came out while I was moving, apparently (thanks for the links). It’s very similar to the comic-con trailer, but missing some footage, and there’s no Kasabian playing over the beginning of it. Still, the move looks great. I think RDJ is going to be a perfect Stark.

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