Late Shri SeriousSam
There was once a person who said he was never late for anything. He told me that once he had decided that a particular event would be central to his day, and that his whole day, in fact, would be structured around that event, he owed it to that event to make sure he is never late. I would like to say I agree with him. I would also like to say that I am never late for anything. But that is far from the truth. I am always late. For everything.
This is not something I do consciously, dammit!
But it happens nevertheless. In a way, you can look at my journal entries and see it has been quite late since I made a post. It is also a fact that I write my journal entries quite late into the night. This has nothing to do with my actually being late for dates, interviews, my job, or even Doctor’s appointments, but it’s a place where you can see my chronic lateness, and wag a righteous finger virtually. You can even shake your virtual head, all the while giving me a virtual sardonic smile. You can do all these things to my face too, but God knows I get enough of them.
My journal entries are also an indicative of my internet usage, which has become unreliable since I switched service providers to Sify. But they give me 24 hours of free unlimited download in a week so’s I love them.
It’s hard not to.
But I manage.
Another thing sorely lacking in my life to get my creative juices flowing(and hence making a solid gaming post) is quality gaming. Not your usual multiplayer LAN gaming which I get a LOT of, but quality time with my PC. She misses it and complains I don’t love her anymore, at least not for her Graphics Card. I mean, I know friends who own GBA SPs, PS2s, X-BOXes, and generous enough personalities to let me molest their gaming peripherals, but I want to play a good PC game!
Here I must digress(as usual) and tell you about this crazy co worker of mine. He is a nice enough fellow, and is slowly approaching 1337-ness in his programming skillz. What makes him interesting for YOU is that he says crazy things like, “OMG! THIS GAME WILL OPEN YOUR HORSES!” if he happens to like it. He claims every movie and/or game he likes is “Ultimate”. He says it with such conviction that you are hard pressed not to believe that Paycheck, that awful, awful movie that must not have Philip K Dick’s name on it, was in fact the last one you ever need to see, since it IS the “ultimate” movie. Apart from having little grasp of superlative words, he is a mean CTF player(though still not better than me, much less ultimate). If there is anything better than Ultimate, it will OPEN YOUR HORSES!
So this sayer of crazy things that don’t even make sense and me were discussing video games in general over lunch, and he said the stupidest, and some how the most thought provoking thing he has ever said. He said that, “Single player games are like masturbating. Multiplayer games are like sex”. My argument was that TWO player games should be like sex; true multiplayer must be an orgy, and in more cases than not, a big, gay, orgy. But that didn’t swerve his stand a bit.
And I’m not saying he was totally wrong. He was onto something, but the sex analogy was a bit long drawn.
And that, in a metaphorical way entirely, is what I have been missing – masturbation. An overwhelming single player experience that makes me climax with gaming pleasure. A good, well made, single player game. It’s been a long time since I ever got my hands on one, though.
ENTER DOOM III
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The kind of reviews that most good games get truly confuse an average gamer, since seeing text like, “The single player game is insipid, and the AI is lackluster” next to a score of 8.5 is crazy. One way around this predicament is to actually play the game and find out. But like most techies, I have a job that tries to fuck me in the ass whenever I am not looking(enough with the sexual analogies!)
So an easier way out that that I devised, and that works in most cases is this:(I thought of patenting it too)
Games with a score of 9.0+/10 are actually quite good. They may not deserve a 9.0 in you opinion, but they are good games, and give you a good time by all measures. Game with a score of 7.0-8.0 are actually fun to play, only the publisher didn’t feed enough money to the websites and magazine to get a better score. Sure, its a fan only or a hardcore only game, and may have a few things that you don’t like, but its still fun. Games with 8.0 to 9.0 are where the real shit lies. These games are awful, and the reviewers had a hard time suppressing their disappointments after the big hype. These are the games that pay their way to good scores.
This system worked in most cases, and I was pretty happy with it, even with the exceptions. I hate repeating myself, but
ENTER DOOM III
Ominous as the capitals and bold face looks, the game has much less to offer. The game had a huge hype behind it, and awesome looking screen shots and videos. Everybody hailed it as the next best shooter, the game that would save PC gaming. The reviewers went crazy in trying to one up on the praise of the game. 98%, screamed the reviews. Then came the actual player complaints. As sophisticated as the technology in 2035 is, nobody has heard of duct tape. You play a highly trained space marine, but your guns don’t have light attachments. The flashlight has to be turned on at the expense of your gun. You can either see what you’re shooting, or actually shoot it. The levels are all samey, the same pipes, doors, crates, everything. And the game play is generic.
This is all before I got to play it. Like I said, I am always late.
So this is the late Doom III review. Everything you heard about the game: the good, and the bad, is true. First thing you notice is that the Mars complex is extrermely dark, even before the shit has hit the fan. How they get any work done is beyond us mortals. Then, (cliche alert!) all hell literally breaks loose(God, I hate that phrase). And you get your gun in action. Its still dark. Neither man nor satan like light on Mars. Hell, once you see the pseudo outdoors, even Mars doesn’t like light on Mars. So you switch between the flashlight and your gun like a street hobo trying a juggling trick, and fight your way through an horde of, well, TENS of enemies. Heh, I know that was a cheap shot.
Technologically the game is a question mark. It looks more beautiful than Nicole Kidman in Far and Away, and God knows I wanted to kill Tom when I saw that movie. It is even more beautiful than Rita Hayworth, man. You unpack the textures lib, and you see a normal map, a bump map, a planar map, for every texture. It is so cool, you actually think there is geometry where there is only textures. This is in direct opposition to UT2004 where every single thing, IS, in fact, geometry. So if the goemetry is minimized by cool technology, why does the frame rate drop like the sensex during the congress victory? I know not.
This is not to say that it is all textures. There are some very cool machinery and pipes (always pipes) that make the levels look gorgeous. And the damn game is scary. The sound of the game, one thing nobody hyped, is so well done that I give it my award NOW, fuck the rest. It scares the crap out of you if you use headphones, which of course, is the only way. The enemy models are lovingly rendered, and they truly inspire dread. The problem is that it gets old after a while. One major design flaw is that the most enemies spawn as soon as you pick up health, ammo, or armor. If you don’t touch a single ammo cache, armor shard or health pack, the whole game gets over real fast. You get so used to the whole thing, that the scares get less scary after some substantial time in to the game. And what lacks is big fights with lots of monsters. Its like Doom married Resident Evil and a had a baby.
I guess what I am trying to say is that it isn’t as good as the “100%!” crowd would like us to believe; it is no saviour of gaming culture. But is no as bad as the later complains that you see on so-called “honest” reviews. Its a good game, with kick ass sound, Trent Reznor music, great looks, and adequate AI. It has some mean monsters, and a good survival horror paced gameplay. Only thing wrong with the game is its Level Designers. They have concentrated more on the looks, and have gone wild with the punishment/reward gameplay. They are dangerous people who should be sent west.
They have forgotten the face of their fathers.
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[I am reminded tell you that you must read King’s Dark Tower books. They will OPEN YOUR HORSES!]
If you already have, ignore the capitalization of nonsense phrases and remember that I am always late. Part of the reason, I have found, is that I love my home. Its a fifth floor apartment overlooking a very busy road, and it takes me more than an hour to get to office, but it’s very difficult for me not to feel ok in my home. And as such, my inertia makes me prolong my stay at home until the exact time, which in a city as chaotic as Delhi, is suicide. By the time I reach my designated location, I am already 35 minutes late, if not more. Most cities have a preferred mode of transport, and that is the lifeline of the commuters in that city. Delhi works in a opposite manner. People will do anything to reach where they want, on time, with sufficient ease, and most importantly, in the cheapest way possible. I am late because Delhi doesn’t plan its commute. I cannot for the life of me travel from A to B taking the EXACT time needed if I cannot plan what to do. And Delhi’s traffic make an effort to make that impossible. I like that however, it helps me be an asshole.
This is also because of a very different trait I have, my Gamer gene. Most anal(and non anal) people who reach places on time, wake up in the morning, and plan their day ahead. The moment I wake up, the first thing I ask myself is, “what games will I play today?”. This is the most important question you need to ask yourself.
You can think this is bullshit, but this is the truth. A truth so powerful that, yes, you’re right – it will OPEN YOUR HORSES!
For your stable doors to burst open with a righteous neighing and stomping, you have to understand the concept of videogames as an totally non derivative artform of your generation. But that is a discussion I partake in when I am full of beer or conscientious affection towards the discussion. Or both. I promise to open your horses soon, however.
I am also late in posting a meme from