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User Journal

Journal Journal: Half-Life 2 Review

After my review of Doom3 I have finally gotten my hands on its apparent "foe", Half-Life 2.
I would like to point out, for the record, that both Valve and ID software are world-class game development studios and both have confrimed this by their latest releases.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics in this game are good, but not of Doom3's caliber. Now, since I have to take into acount other games to rate this one to... it lacks a little luster. The graphics are awesome however. There are a few things in level design, texture placement, and ruble texturing (in particular an old house along the Costal Road) that are plain ugly. I wondered why not place actual ruble from the side of the house there, instead of a textured blob... but I digress. The water in HL2 is fantastic and the variety of shader effects is nice. Fire looks a little 1998 at some times though. I would like to discuss that there are quite a few texture glitches in the game for me but turning the texture quality down to medium fixes this without impacting quality too much. The shadows are sub-par. Overall I like the graphics alot but they aren't the major selling point.

Sound: 6/10
I really wanted to give the sound a higher score but this is the only way that I can be fair. The sound timing and placement is beautiful but the quality has to be turned to low for it to even work. I imagine after version 1.1 or 1.2 comes out then my complaints will dissapear, but as it stands the sound experience is a little lacking. There is no reason to have crackly, stuttering sound when the game runs at around 40-45fps the rest of the time.

Gameplay: 10/10
Wow. The interactivity of this world is quite simply amazing. Throwing bottles at people, pulling plugs and tv's out of the wall. Physics puzzles that aren't overly-used. The engine amazes me at times, especially when playing CS:Source, but thats another story. The weapons work very well... I don't like the non-toggle grenades, though I could easily bind the buttons... thats just lazyness talking. The AI is simply amazing, and you are very lucky to hit someone with a grenade. If people thought doom gameplay was repetitive I would say that the gameplay in HL2 is just as repetitive especially until the "Sandtraps" level. Its a game, you do somthing over and over till you beat it... thats what games are. The implementation, complexity, belivability, and fun-ness of those tasks are what make a game good... but I digress. Overall I have no problems with the gameplay; everything seems natural and easy.

Story: 10/10
I'm litteraly engrossed in the story. I crave knowing what is about to happen. I play too many hours. The acting is above the par certainly, but it is more than that. The charecters are believable and that is quite an acomplishment. I particularly like the Overwatch Soldiers and the things they say... "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, FLASH, FLASH, FLASH, BANG!." It all gives it a nice consistant quality that would come from the training of elite troops.

Final Score: 8.5/10
That may seem a little harsh, but the first patches should clean that up to a rather nice 9, 9.5... hell, even 10. Drivers for ATI and nVIDIA should help too... as I've seen both versions. Keep in mind that I have not played through the whole game, but my opinions on it are unlikley to change unless they do somthing really stupid.

I'm even more eager for mod-makers to get a hold of this than I am for them to pound Doom3 around. Go for it guys! They Hunger 5! Re-make of They-Hunger! Lets go go go!
First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: The Deffinitave Doom3 Review

I have been reading a few forum posts on how Doom3 "t0t411y sUxz0rs" and how HL2 will "sizeriously phizown" it. I've also read some about how HL2 "si sucky!" and how Doom3 "is teh best gamesss of teh ALlztimeSSS1!".

After all of that mindless dribble I can feel my IQ droping like the Hindenburgh. I need to get some of that stuff off of my chest. So I'm gonna give a review of Doom3 along with some comments and some hope for HL2 and futre Doom/HL2 Mods and such... as well as any hope for Quake IV.

Graphics: 10/10
I ran Doom3(D3) on an AMD 2700+ XP with 1GB of Kingston Hyperion 333FSB RAM and an NVIDIA FX 5600 with 128MB of RAM. I did a few optimizations and found that I could (for the most part) run it in Ultra Quality @ 1024x768 with all the options on except AFiltering and AA. I played most of the game on Medium quality before this and I settled on High for a good balance.
What did I find... the graphics are SHIT HOT... real time projected shadows, light sources, speculars... all are amazing. I have a screenshot of a zombie soilder shooting at me and his muzzle flash is throwing a shadow. That makes me a happy happy boy. The textures are sharp and I love the atmosphere created by the graphics.
Now for those of you (morons) who say "oh emmm geee, teh AtI is for teh suckz!!!11". You're wrong. John Carmack himself has said that the Lookup Tables for the Shading were implemented a long time back; during the first stages of development. There was no way for them to know that this implementation would be slower that doing the actual math on ATI cards. There is a simple fix involving changing one of the shader files that you can find on the net. It makes it "all better". So there, shut up about that.

Sound: 10/10
I know that by now you think I'm really biased... well sorta. Anyway I belive the sounds have drawn me into the game in a way that I havn't felt since HL. I play most games with the sound OFF. The effect of the fully 3d sound in Doom3 is AMAZING. I can't describe it any other way. Even the door sounds are sinister. The steel on concrete sounds for the doors later in the game is spot-on. The music is also incredible. Think way back to Quake for that one.

Gameplay: 8/10
The first thing that I would like to discuss is that grenades can't be thrown or toggled unless you download a mod... I hate that.
Some people complain that the gameplay is repetitive. Hmmn... have you ever played a game before? Tetris, arguably the most adictive game of all time, is highly repetitive. Of course, Myst, the best-selling game (last I checked) isn't. So who knows. Anyway... if you're complaining that this game is repetitive I have several questions for you:
1) Are you retarded?
2) Did you play Doom?
3) Again... are you retarded?
This about sums up my take on that. This game IS Doom! I shiver down the the core of my geekdom every time I'm forced to realize that. For those of you complaining of lacks of enemy waves... move faster pussy... you'll get plenty of waves. I've had as many as 10 monsters at once; and plenty of 8 way imp crossfire. And now, later, with the Hell-Knights... I've just fought like 4 in a row and they take impressive firepower to take down. Unless you can play 8-on-1 GODLIKE bots in UT2K4 I don't belive that you can do this easily on NIGHTMARE or HELL or whatever you forum people claim.
It is slightly repetitive though.

Story: 9/10
So... back to being biased. In any case the story is really really nice. The voice-acting is way above average; even great. If you don't belive me... go play Spellforce and Sacred.
I love, and I mean LOVE, the PDA's in the game. They're a little window into the mars base and the sinster activity going on here and there. Plus they give you happy fun codes of fun. Some people complain about the spurious (funny) emails. Face it, these people are Techs (Dorks) and Scientists (Geeks). These ARE the kinds of emails they would have. Get a grip... plus ID always provides the extras. (And if you really want to think about it the extra emails give us some insight into the bland and mundane existance that they lived on the base. Nobody downloads My Bonzai Buddy on purpose. Mymartianbuddy would be the same. They need that for entertainment. I'm sure you art and english majors can put down your makeup long enough to come up with other reasons for them too.)

Final Score: 9.25
Now, in conclusion, I would like to say that this game goes back to the hard-core old-school days of gamming. I love that. It is also a firm basis on which to build awesome mods. I can't wait to see a They Hunger (Hungry for... brains?) type mod for this game. I could also see the original Doom and Doom2 maps being ported for it as a mission. Good stuff. It seems to me that ID just told Valve (a little late mind you) "This is how you do Half-Life" and Valve said "L34v3 Uz 4lon3!11". Seriously, I like it, and it was worth every penny.

The Future 10/10
Now Doom3 has set the graphical standard... nobody can argue that. From the screens I've seen HL2 will have to step it up a notch but they may already have. HL2 has more of a "Big Open Space" thing going for it and thats awesome. I'm also hoping that the variety of weapons will be what we saw in HL and that they will add in the tactical AI of the Marines and kick it up a notch. Neither one of these games, however, will win out over the other. They both will have their ups and downs; unless you ride the shortbus to school and your mommy makes you wear a helmet for some reason.
I'm optimistic and the Mod scene is about to explode after UT2k4 and BF:1942 have been dominating it for so long. It is a bright, bright futre.
User Journal

Journal Journal: RSA Factor solving with BrookeGPU

I was thinking about it today, and with the post yesterday about BrookeGPU allowing programers to run code on thier video cards and being able to harness somthing like 10ghz (or at least that many gigaflops on a P4 class machine) with 25gb/s peak memory bandwidth. If you had 1 AGP card, and like 4 PCI cards, thats a lot of processing power, and if you used each one to do one level of a multi-level sieve process, or to all contribute batches of work to the job. Your CPU could act as a controller for the GPU cards. It could be big! Think about it...

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