Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer Update

So its summer... I've been on holiday for a couple weeks now. I have some school in the morning but its only a little bit of work. I took the SAT and I'll get my grades for that and the rest of my grades for all my classes should have come in by now. I'm generally pretty pleased. An A in English and Math (my two best subjects... don't ask how, but I do good in Algebra. I'm also very good in English. :))

Major updates in the past few days:

I played most of HL2. I might finish it again, I might not. It's an awesome game with a lot of fun parts. I loved, loved, loved escaping from City 17 in my little airspeeder boat thing. VERY fun. Valve really did an amazing job with this game.

I played enough of Half Life (the original) to understand why it was such a good game. Its not your typical FPS in the sense that you shoot everything that moves with really cool guns (read: Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty) but it instead focuses on figuring out puzzles. You do fight monsters and bad-guys but they are not at all the focus of the game. This of course makes it rather different from Half Life 2. Still it seems to be an amazing game in its own right.

Also, IceFrog released the latest version of DotA (6.60) a few days back. I played with it for a few hours on Friday and wow... its a big upgrade. First off, a bunch of changes to heroes in some minor things like stat changes which I never pay attention to (I'm not good enough or concerned enough to notice an extra 1 str to my favorite hero or whatever). Then there were the bug fixes and the new heroes. There are now two new heroes: Tauren Chieftain and Troll Batrider. Both look cool, Tauren, as a Str. Hero sounds fun.

Most important though were three things: they rebuilt razor, and changed the organization of both the Heroes and the items. Razor is now very different with some weird spells that seem pretty cool. I personally loved razor as his old self: boring, simple and very deadly. Still, he seems to be slightly better and perhaps less boring and more balanced. That's always a good thing.

The tavern and item redesign? At first, everyone hated it, but I instantly saw the reasoning to the new organization and realized exactly why IceFrog did it. After reading the changelog my reasoning was confirmed. He reorganized everything to make it newb-friendly. Now the defensive items are together. The orbs are together. The early game items are together. It makes sense instead of having a bunch of random items in the new item shop and then everythign else sorta placed willie nillie. Also he added the talisman of evasion. I need to check if this thing stacks (I assume it won't) but 25% evasion sounds... amazing. Really, really amazing. Expensive, yes, but still amazing.

hmm... Oh, I got an new album: Twilight of the Thunder God by Amon Amarth. The band is a swedish Melodic Death Metal (read: Death Metal but with more melody and generally less crazy/heavy stuff). Its the first time I've listened to an album with nothing but "extreme" vocals (in this case the semi-understanable growls of whoever their vocalist is) without pause. This of course means I LOVE the album.

The band itself is a Swedish band (IIRC) that gets lyrical inspiration from Vikings and Norse mythology. So stuff like Thor, Ragnorok, etc are common themes in their music. Their name is a mountain in Mordor from LOTR. The music is all very good. Just enough melody to keep me interested and very good stuff in general.

Played a good bit of Far Cry 2. I'm now pretty good at it, though the repetative quests got pretty boring. I might finish it, but I'm not too interested in it anymore. I will say this is the first game where I've used a sniper rifle a lot though. That is no mean feat since I generally prefer shotguns and SMGs (close range action FTW). Still, this is a game that seems to reward stealth range and avoiding enemies (or engaging them from a distance) so the sniper seemed to fit.

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