Archive for January, 2006

X2: The Threat Demo

It’s one of those Elite type things where you fly around in space and wish you had a quick keyboard reference and get hopelessly lost because there’s no up or down and then get annoyed and turn it off.

Not helped by the fact that my mouse cursor wouldn’t appear, mind.

Counter Strike: Source

I just played this for the first time in well over a year. I wanted to see the new de_militia map, so I jumped on to a random public server.

About an hour and a half I played. Over three different maps. An hour and a half of frenetic, fast-paced combat.

I got four kills.


People started commenting on it. Not unkindly, but the way they might talk about a younger relative who’s a little bit slow. I’ve got no idea why I was enjoying, given that my average life span was round about twenty seconds.

Rag Doll Kung Fu Demo

Now, I didn’t play it for long, I admit, but I really didn’t like the controls.

I know that they’re meant to take some time to get used to, but I’m really not sure I can be bothered. It was just annoying and confusing and I didn’t like it.

Which is odd, because I thought I was going to. I guess I’m just not in the mood today. I’ll try again some other time.

Guild Wars: Factions – Free Weekend

Well, Guild Wars is having a free preview weekend of the Factions expansion. Or something. I’m not exactly sure. I just saw the word ‘free’ really, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I went through the training, thinking the game was a bit too fast for my liking, but got through all the fights easily enough. After training, found myself in a big open area with loads of other actual human being people. Ran around randomly until someone invited me into a team. I accepted. When we had a full team, we leapt into a mission and died within about ten seconds.

After which the leader left and – gulp! – the game promoted me to be leader of the party. Someone else asked to join, so I let them jump in and sent us to a random fight. One person never turned up for some reason, so it was only three of us. We died within ten seconds.

After that, our party was down to two people, but two more soon joined. Someone recommended an easy fight we could do. So I chose that one and all four of us turned up and… we died within ten seconds.

I decided it was time to quit.

The whole thing was absolutely baffling and the fights run so fast I found it impossible to keep up. I guess it’s designed for people who’ve played the original and know what they’re doing. It is an expansion, after all.

Darwinia Demo


That was unexpected.

I downloaded the first demo when it first came out and hated the interface, so couldn’t work with the game at all. Saw all the reviews (even Kieron Gillen’s infamous Eurogamer review) and ignored them.

But I knew they’d made a new demo and I saw it in the Steam menu today, so i thought I’d download it. Was about to go to bed when I noticed it was ready to play. Stupidly, I booted it up.

The graphics look beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous, much more so than I remember. I really can’t stress how good it is. The interface has been sorted. I still have a few issues with how you look around the level, but nothing major. The gesture system for creating units has gone – and I don’t mourn its loss. What we have now is a beautiful game with huge amounts of personality that’s great fun to play.

And it’s only about a tenner to download? Well, I didn’t run straight upstairs to get my debit card when I finished the demo, but it’s definitely been put on my list.

And now, about ninety minutes late, it’s time for bed.

3D Mark 05

With my 9800 Pro and anti-virus software on (forgot to disable it) I got 2667 3DMarks.

After swapping in my 6800GT I ran the test in the same conditions (i.e. AVG running) and got 4911 3DMarks.

Shrug. Meaningless statistics are my friend. (But only 84.6% of the time.)

The GT’s a lot quieter, too, but I’m assuming that’s because the fan is currently dust-free. That won’t last.

I could try a game, I suppose, as that’s what it’s for, but I’ve not played Animal Crossing yet today and Mythbusters, House and – cough – Desperate Housewives are sitting on TiVo. In this Mythbusters they’re going to talk to plants!