Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Byte: The big come down

After purchasing the full version from Steam earlier in the week, I've now almost got to the end of the Adventure mode of Peggle, which is quite depressing really, because whatever you play after finishing a game as well designed and imaginative as this is undoubtedly going to be a bit of a disappointment.

I picked up the Unreal Anthology (which, incredibly, runs off a single DVD) from Play for a tenner because I rather stupidly misplaced my Unreal Tournament 2004 CD key when I threw out all my game boxes a year or so back, and I miss playing it online. My other rational for picking it up was that I'm going to need to tone up my flabby reflexes and get back into practice for when Unreal Tournament 3 comes out in a couple of months, as UT is really the only online shooter I've ever been any good at and I don't want to start playing the new one a few months behind the curve of all the caffeine-fueled hardcore twitchers.

I think I'm in the middle of a changing of my gaming mood, as I'm hankering more for a bit of FPS action lately, what with reinstalling NOLF and playing through Half-Life 2 Episode 1 again. Since I installed Steam on my laptop to be able to play Peggle and DEFCON on it, I even put Half-Life 2 and Episode One on it (mightily abusing the speed of the network at work to the tune of about 5GB in an hour and a half), just to see if my T60 was capable of running it. Obviously, with an Intel graphics chipset, it doesn't exactly look this good on the laptop, but despite some glacial loading times, it does give me a playable frame rate, which is testament to the flexibility of the Source Engine.

It's probably no coincidence that my gaming genre shift happened to coincide with my three month sub expiring on World of Warcraft. I think I'm going to take a break from WoW for a while and go back to it afresh in a couple of months. After reaching level 70 the shine kind of came off the game a little - probably because I hammered it too hard since The Burning Crusade came out, and I've always been a more eclectic gamer: I don't like to play the same thing for too long. No doubt in a couple of months I'll get severe withdrawal symptoms and sign up again for another three month sub, but for the moment, I think I need the break to play something different.

On the writing front, there's been no word from gamesTM since the Burning Crusade review, but that's the life of a freelancer - it's either feast or famine, with the latter being the more common of the two. Though that reminds me - I really must send off the invoice for that - not to mention my expenses for that trip to Kinloss last month... Not quite gotten around to finishing that Silent Hunter 4 review for Pro-G yet, as I've been preoccupied with power shower related difficulties (and being addicted to Peggle hasn't exactly helped, either). With all the shower dramas and needing to get the car serviced somewhat desperately, I've been struggling to keep ahold of a train of thought recently - not that my powers of concentration are anything to write home about at the best of times, but they've been particularly flighty for the last week or two.

Fingers crossed after a couple of months when I finish paying for the car and I can get a proper grip on my finances normal service will be resumed. Sigh. All things being equal, I'd much rather be playing Peggle...
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