The Common Headcrab
Here is a little Half-Life 2 comic for you. I’m writing this post at 11:30pm on Sunday, wondering idly to myself whether the game I have purchased on Steam (as well as the one some readers purchased in stores) will become available at midnight tonight, on the 15th, which is technically the “ship” date. Since it has already been “shipped” in a sense, and since most stores have the fucking thing and are just being told not to sell it, the term is absolutely incoherent anyhow. Basically, I’m wondering if I’ll be up doing the same thing tomorrow night.
Midnight just hit. So, I guess that’s a yes.
I’ve been jumping online for Halo 2 whenever Gabe gives me the signal, and we’ve been sticking mostly to custom games as I suggested we might do. We’ll usually start out in something matchmade, but the reality is that at this point you don’t really know how long you’re going to be sitting there waiting to get joined. The first few times we used it, it popped right up - which leads me to believe it’s similar to the load related issues Burnout 3 had initially, the ones that disappeared shortly after launch. As a result, it’s not something that worries me overmuch. I would like a way to do a rematch in games the service sets up, but like I said that’s not typically where I spend my time.
Between Team Oddball and Territories, we played several rounds of a gametype Gabe has cooked up on his box called “Grab Bag,” which comes highly recommended. Essentially, it’s a round of Team Slayer with random weapons and vehicles. I’m used to seeking out specific weapons that I have succeeded with in the past and maintaining a fairly strict circuit in team games, but when each of your two weapon slots has some new alien doodad you don’t usually grab, you find yourself changing roles every time you spawn.
Anytime I have not been summoned by the Gabe Signal, I’m either botching some home maintenance task or playing Metroid Prime 2. It “ships” today as well, and it pleases me to speak well of the game as I’m fairly obsessed with it. Retro shocked us when they were able to make a first-person Metroid game that was not only excellent on its own merits but could genuinely adopt the mantle of that much loved series. To a certain extent, they’re not shocking us this time. All they’ve done is make another completely excellent first-person platformer with solid shooting gameplay, a unique aesthetic, and a satisfying, traditional progression. I typically play it until the lack of sleep causes vivid, terrifying hallucinations to enter my visual field.
Gabe mentioned the EA_Spouse Livejournal last week, and here’s the sequel: a man named “Joe Straitiff” has been let go from the company and would like to tell you why. The people I know who work in the industry essentially destroy themselves creating the games you play, nothing in this document will come as a surprise to them, they fully expect to be smashed against rocks over the course of a project. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that what Joe is talking about isn’t terribly uncommon.
even your friends look worried