Sunday, October 29, 2006

Facts about FPSs

3 Step guide to FPSs
There are 3 basic steps to becoming good at a first person shooter:
1) Basic FPS skills
This means learning the basic movements of the keyboard, WSAD keys, mouse, aiming, reflexes, "R" for reload, bunny hopping, strafing, etc. These skills usually apply to most FPS shooters and therefore are universal.
2) Specific Game Skills
In Counter-Strike, you aim for the head. In AA, you aim for the torso. Each game has different gameplay properties, so it's basically impossible to be good at AA and CS at the same time unless you have some kind of "double" mind that can switch games. So, you have to learn what works, what doesn't, and anything else specific to that game.
3) Specific Map Skills (strategies)
Every map is different. You need to know where the battle lines are drawn, where the strategic points are, how to flank, and the best camping spots. Even the most skilled player can get killed by an unskilled player because the skilled player doesn't know where to go or what to do on that map. "Skills" may save you in the beginning, but learning the map will make you 5x better on that map.
In Counter-Strike, map strategies have existed for years. Everything is basically common knowledge.

Skill vs. Tactics
To be good at CS you have to have about 80% skill, 20% tactics. Running and gunning and learning how to headshot will save you in many situations. Without those skills, you'll die no matter how smart your strategy is.
In America's Army, you need about 60% skill, 40% tactics. This means that the player with the smarter head, and the better maneuvers can kill the whole opposing team by himself. This can be true in CS, but the element of surprise is much greater in AA.
In america's army, it is MUCH harder to tell where you're getting shot from, and you can take on 5 guys at once. But in CS, you always know where you're getting shot from, and it is much harder to take on multiple enemies. Thus, America's Army is an easier game to go solo in.

Maybe more later...


Thursday, October 26, 2006

LOST ...again. and 24?

If I make one more blog about LOST, I should rename this to, "THE LOST BLOG."

Today I am going to compare the situation of the Season 1 Finale of Lost, with todays episodes.

Season 1 Finale:
After being stuck on the island for a month or so, Michael finally doesn't hate Jin anymore and they agree to work together to sail off the island with their new awesome raft and try to get help.
Meanwhile, we still don't know anything about these mysterious "others" whom we have never really seen. Also, the french lady says the others are coming and Jack says we should try and hide the LOSTies in this "hatch" that Locke had discovered around the time that Boone died.
So then they go get some dynamite, blow the hatch, discover a huge ladder, and then the raft gets blown up by the mysterious people on a boat and Walt gets kidnapped.
Viewers have no idea what is going on.

Season 3 Episode 4:
After the explosion of the hatch, Locke cannot talk, but he can see mysterious hullucinations that describe Jack, Sawyer, and Kate's situation. Also, Desmond can now see the future and Ecko hasn't really said much, except surviving being the polar bear's dinner. (How else am I supposed to say, "surviving being?")
What we know about the others: The others are a group of "civilized" people who live in their own happy little Giver town. They are experts at psychological mind games, torture, lying, and having a tightly knit community.

Word: I wish they would stop it with all the "I need to talk to THE ISLAND!" and, "THE ISLAND wants us to blah blah blah." LOST is getting a little much on the weird side. The whole hallucination thing was somewhat interesting, but just kind of too weird to be plausible.
And if the others are on a seperate island, I find it kind of hard to believe the LOSTies never saw that 2nd island before. Maybe it's on the WHOLE other side of their current island which takes like 10 miles to get to.

24 is coming up again. I think it will be interesting for the first so many episodes (about 6) and then it will fall into the 10 step plot guide, but who knows? I might be wrong this time.

LOST is still good. And if you're complaining they don't reveal anything, think about how much you knew about "The island" in season 1 compared to right now. You didn't know what was in the hatch, you didn't even see the others, you had no idea how the others got there, and you didn't know alot of stuff. But today, you have practically 25/100 pieces of the puzzle! Back in season 1 you only had like 7/100 pieces.
So, yeah.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

CS: Source - Weapon Pricing

The beta for weapon prices is out, and after trying it for a long 10 minutes, here are my impressions:

The BAD:
First of all, they got rid of "Buy Primary" and "Buy Secondary" (ammo) in the buy menu. Now, ammo is automatically bought with the gun (for free I believe) so there is no reason to have "Buy ammo" anymore... right? Nope. It totally undermines those countless hours of memorizing how to buy a Kevlar+Helmet with two fingers and one second at my disposal. I remembered the old combo was always B-8-2. Now the equipment section is under "6" instead of "8" thanks to the new menu. That means I have to always push B-6-2! And then I'm not even sure I can afford a Kevlar+Helmet because the price changed.
Old habits die hard and everyone will complain about this. But then again, you can always learn to press 6 instead of 8 in like... 2 days.

Slower buying times - Now I have to check every price of every gun to make sure I'm getting the best deal. (Yes, I can just buy an AK regardless of the price, but who knows? I might be wasting an extra 500$) So that means I'm sitting in spawn for 30 extra seconds and an enemy kills me while I'm trying to determine if it's more profitable to buy the shotgun and the deagle than just the AK.

What happened to the INVENTORY SCREEN? In the buy menu it used to show what you had at the current time so then you could figure out what you needed. Now it's replaced by a little ad saying "This week the Mac-10 is 10% off! Everyone buy one while it lasts!"
Yes, I can see it now... "Come down to the terrorist gun shop this saturday! All grenades are 50% off and Kevlar is down to $600! Hurry in because this sale won't last!"
Terrorists are better shoppers than you think.

After thoughts:
I thought it was a good idea to change the prices. After all, if the deagle is better than the mac-10, it should cost more, right?
But then they actually changed the menu which could take some getting used to. And I liked that the guns came with no extra ammo (the old way). Then you had to ECONOMIZE by deciding how much ammo you needed for which guns and what kinds of grenades you needed.

My proposal: YES, change the prices. Change the obvious prices. But I don't know if constantly changing the prices every week is a good thing. Then you won't remember if your "Deagle + Nade + 2 Flashbangs + Kevlar" combo will work everytime you have $2,400.
But yes, the prices are flawed, and yet they (Valve? Steam? Who is responsible?) also made some, in my opinion, unnecessary changes to the buy menu.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006


Why I like the Demo of No One Lives Forever 2:

First let's compare this game with other games, such as: Half-Life 2, or the demo of Prey.
The first level in NOLF2 starts off with a kind of tutorial while you're entering the japanese village. You have to sneak around, search bodies, kill people, hide, do lots of junk, and solve puzzles. IN ESSENCE, IT'S AWESOME.
Now compare it to the demo of Prey. In prey, you walk around and shoot random guys with any random gun you have in your arsenal. It doesn't make a difference. You just keep running through the level, trying not to get your head shot off, and then you're like, Oh, I'm done.

On the other hand, there are many, varied gameplay styles in NOLF 2. Instead of picking up guns from the bodies, you have to SEARCH the bodies. Instead of random charges of enemies coming at you, and you spraying your gun for hours, you have to hide, remove bodies, and take enemies out 1 by 1. I know people might say that's just a choice of preference, spy games vs. action games, but in my opinion, this is an action spy game, and it's much funner than any spy or action game.
And all the guns are varied. One gun doesn't do the whole job. You have to switch between every weapon in every different kind of situation, exactly what gun design should be. That's one problem with HL-2 (kinda), one gun might just get you through the whole game ( an exageration, yes, but it can be true).

That being said, NOLF 2 has very different, diverse, and excellent gameplay compared to some other shooters out there. The gameplay is a mix between 1st person splinter cell, golden-eye 64, and some other stuff. So, it's pretty awesome.

And to top that, they totally got the atmosphere right. The dialogue and everything is excellent.

No One Lives Forever 2 (demo) : 9.2/10


Thursday, October 12, 2006

24 Plot Guide

The 10 Step Plot Guide to 24
1) The beginning of the season introduces the characters and the threat. Threat: (Bombs, asassinations, viruses, nuclear missiles, kidnapped people, or any other random terrorist threat) Jack will decide to neutralize it because he always promised to quit CTU the season before.
2) At least 3 new characters join the cast. At least 1 will be a mole.
2-A) Have at least 2-4 side-stories going on that have nothing to do with the main plot, or slowly have something to do with the plot.
3) To find the threat, Jack must chase after his first suspect and then interrogate him afterwards.
4) Repeat # 3 until it leads to the first target or group of suspects. Commence action sequence. Jack almost captures the lead bad guy, but then the bad guy gets away.
5) Update the threat or change the threat by this time.
6) Have a shocking twist for the first 1/3 of the season. Kill off ____, Destroy location _____, and/or _____ is a mole.
7) Repeat steps # 2-A through # 6 for the next part of the season. Change the threat, have some action scenes, introduce new moles, have a shocking political scandal, and reveal a higher level bad guy who was in charge of the current bad guy.
8) The last 3rd of the season will have the final threat and the final bad guys going down for a showdown. More shocking interrogation scenes and kill off more of the main cast.
9) The final showdown will be full of action. It will seem like the problem is solved with 40 minutes left in the show, when suddenly there is a shocking TWIST. Then right before the show ends, there is another twist if the first twist was not satisfying enough.
10) Cut to next season. Add/change the characters, bad guys, objectives, and Jack's current predicament. Repeat the ten steps over and over for 5 seasons.

Viewers will increase every season, guranteed.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006


First things first: It was good, kind of predictable, a few plot holes, some weird situations, and you can't trust anyone. Every single one of "the others" has an alterior motive, so everything they do is to manipulate the LOSTies for further purposes. And just once, I wish the LOSTies could beat the others at something, like the prison escape sequence, but how do you even know that's real? How do you know the other prisoner wasn't just another "other" designed to make Sawyer do "blah blah" or think "blah blah."
And I miss the other characters.

TOO MANY COMMERICAL BREAKS - every 8 minutes there is like a 4 minute commercial break, so that's like... less than 40 minutes of a show. :\ =/

Everything is a mind game. The twists are getting a little predictable. During the off-season I heard the "ultimate" lost theory where everything checks out and makes sense, and everything is continuing to check out and make sense, so I'm waiting for an unexpected twist to totally blow away that super theory and create another 10 theories. But for that to happen... everything will have to change, which will create 20,000 plot holes.
Despite anything negative, LOST Is STILL awesome. I am waiting for next week.

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