December 20, 2007

Catching up on old computer games

At least two years too late, because I just finished a game last night and started a new one, are two BruceR computer game reviews. You might enjoy these better if you imagine them being read out by Yahtzee Croshaw, as I did.

Gun (Activision, 2005)

Paid $5 for this, and worth every penny. Most of the boss battles are stupidly overdone, the last one worst of all, largely because the whole concept of a "boss battle" may work fine in a Half-Life/Doom/Fantasy RPG scenario, or anything involving demons, but makes absolutely no sense in an American western. The final boss makes himself invulnerable to bullets, but not high explosive, by putting on a steel breastplate, for instance. Riiight.

Other than that, a very pleasant little game, of a finishable length, with a non-hackneyed story, good voice acting and several interesting tactical challenges and plot twists. The horse riding is fun, as is the poker-playing, the bullet time is well-executed (although giving you unlimited ammo in a slow-motion environment is just silly), the gun choices are... weird, and there's some definite issues with area-loading that lag you right out at times. My advice would be to play it through while being choosy with the side quests, and then cheat through the final boss battle so you can get on with your life. Or in my case...

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (Ubisoft, 2005)

Still working through it, but it's sublime so far. The first really intelligent friendly AI in a World War 2-themed shooter and determined devotion to period detail makes this a keeper. Looking forward to the second and third installments in this series.

Posted by BruceR at 02:13 PM

Jerk of the month: Yves Ducharme

Globe and Mail:

Each week, more than 600,000 containers of liquids or gels - one for each passenger passing through the airport - are confiscated, said Yves Ducharme, director of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

In August of 2006, the transport authority restricted passengers to carrying liquids and gels in a one-litre bag in containers of no more than 100 millilitres after an alleged plot to detonate liquid explosives on planes departing from London's Heathrow airport.

"This tells us passengers have become complacent about their own security," he said.

Mr. Ducharme said each confiscated item leads to a delay of about five minutes.

Oh, spare me. The war-against-liquids rules are entirely pointless, and people know that: that's why they're ignoring them. The more inconvenience airline traveler's passive disobedience causes Mr. Ducharme and his minions, the better, most Canadians would agree. Since the indignity of shoe removal, belt removal, etc. etc. is universal anyway, why wouldn't a person (not that I've ever done this, mind you) enjoy playing hide and seek for the slightly-over-100ml tube of toothpaste in their carryon that they were going to throw out later anyway with an underpaid team of security checkers who know the whole exercise is as pointless as you? Got to do something to kill the time until your flight, after all.

Posted by BruceR at 01:13 PM