King’s Personal Musing 10/4/12: Quick Thoughts on Black Mesa, Catching Up and MUCH MUCH more…

I give my quick thoughts on Black Mesa, among other things…

My Latest Musings:

I’m back! You know, I should know better by now. I really should. And yet I told you that I was going to be doing a Personal Musing yesterday. Obviously, that did not happen. I figured at the time, “oh I’m sure I can make that date, nothing could possibly interfere with that date, making me too busy to get around to it. Surely not.” *facepalm*. Eventually I’ll learn. Eventually I’ll learn to quit discussing dates like that. For whatever reason, I jinx myself when I do that. Ok, enough of that. Tonight, I finally broke through my Python coding troubles and finished the assignment much earlier than I had anticipated. So I’m here writing this up before I go and play some FTL for many hours than maybe I should ;).

Its been a while since I did a personal musing. To recount everything that happened since…geez, the 21st of August? That isn’t happening. But I’ll give you a very short tl;dr of what has been going on. So, first thing being, unsurprisingly, is that I’ve been at college for the first week. It was a lot crazier than I had anticipated. This would be the first time I’ve gone to a big University and held a job at the same time. Plus, I wanted to go out and be more social. And that worked for a couple of days before I got bogged down in homework. But its something I want to improve this year, hence why I’m living where I am. I also went on a trip out to Sun River in Oregon and we, the group of people I’m living with, hung out, went to a park and did some other fun things. And that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. A very tiny nutshell. I have three classes, Math 231 (Discrete), Computer Science class and Physics 201. The Computer science class is having me learn Python and that’s been really difficult getting my head around a new coding language. I only learned a bit of HTML and Javascript so to get this new language dropped on me has been challenging for the past couple of weeks. Other than that, its been keeping my head above water and meeting a bunch of new people. I’m pretty happy with how things are going. Oh before I go on, I’m going to try and catch you guys up on news and videos down below. However, because I missed out on so much I’ll be doing only a few news stories and videos per post until I catch up again. So enjoy!

What have I been playing… Well I finished Black Mesa and all I’ve been playing since then was FTL: Faster Than Light. Black Mesa, I’m not going to do a full review of it. Simply because its free. I feel that doing a full review for something you can just grab and try for yourself for free is a waste of time. That said, my thoughts are this. Black Mesa was a great remake of the original Half Life. While they did their own tweaking to the level design and how it all played out, the game felt very familiar to its source material. Its a very moody game too, the music is this sort of moody sci-fi feel to it. Gun-play is solid and challenging too and was fun, as you would expect from a Half Life game. The game has a great aesthetic to it, though it helps that it comes from HL. They really did a good job of bringing the game onto a modern engine and sensibilities  However, there were a few problems. Platforming feels worse than Half Life ever did and I really detest 1st person platforming as it is. Which I must have bleached how annoying platforming was in Half Life because I didn’t remember it being this bad. They nerfed jumping for whatever reason and that felt like a step backwards. Some of the areas in Black Mesa, especially towards the end, weren’t as optimized as they possibly could have been. My machine would often times have framerate issues depending on what was going on. Also, it had some fairly nasty crashing and memory problems too. All that said, despite how rough some of the technical parts of the game were, Black Mesa was (mostly) enjoyable and for a mod, it is really impressive all of what they put together. I also liked how the story felt just a little bit more fleshed out and they added some things to the game (like flares and different levels) to keep it fresh even for us who had played Half Life before.

I am not sure whether I’ll play Xen when the devs finish that part of Half Life. While I might not remember how bad platforming was in the original Half Life, I do recall Xen being a nightmare of 1st person Platforming and the boss is the most memorable for having the most challenging platforming that I can recall of any boss. So…I’ll probably play Xen. I mean, I finished Black Mesa, I might as well try. But it’ll probably promise to be a hair-pulling part of the game because the original game had a lot of hair pulling on Xen too. We’ll see… Oh right, FTL. FTL has been consuming the very few hours I’ve had available for gaming. Its been a lot of fun to play. Challenging and difficult, I’ve only unlocked five ships thus far and I’m going to play the game until I unlock them all. After that…maybe I’ll go after achievements. I’m not one to usually go after achievements, but maybe I’ll make an exception for FTL. Oh the ships I unlocked, that would be the Kestrel Cruiser (B-type), the Engi Cruiser (both types), the Stealth Cruiser, The Federation Cruiser (both types) and the Zoltan Cruiser (both types). I have really enjoyed playing this game.

Oh right, TeknoCratik has published its second episode and this one is all about cloud technologies. Or at least, that was the original intent of the episode but we also discussed education apps, our pre-iPhone 5 thoughts (which we’ll probably talk about the iPhone 5 on a later episode, now that we know what it is), Greenlight, Podcast apps and many other tech topics. So give it a listen on the website, your app or in this very post:

News of Relevance:

Steam’s Greenlight has been coming along and out of the 10 greenlighted titles, one has been published on the store. That one being McPixel. McPixel isn’t really in my interests though, but its, from what I’ve heard, not a bad game.

Netflix has been rolling out its new mobile interface to both Android and iOS devices. I rather like the interface, despite my initial skepticism seeing it on the website. I haven’t played around with it too much on my iPhone but its worked well on my iPad for a long while now. They’ve also added a new “For Kids” section onto their mobile devices. I just hope that silly animation that pops up to show it off doesn’t go on for too much longer, it’ll gets a bit annoying.

The makers of Shank and Shank 2 developed a new sneaking game that has caught my eye, Mark of the Ninja. It was originally made for consoles but it seems to be getting a PROPER PC port and should be coming to Steam soon. Well, by soon I mean October 16th. I liked Shank for its aesthetic and some of the gameplay, but it had a really lousy PC port. So here’s hoping the guys over at Klei did a better job with Mark of the Ninja because I am really interested in playing a stealth game.

Audio To Hear:

First up is a collaboration between Malukah, Taylor Davis and Lara. All three talented people do a cover of Guild Wars 2. You can listen to this version or watch the video below, it is quite good.

A more subdued song from john peeba:

Captured Internet Photos:

Photos has been really slow of late and I’m going to have to figure out what to do about it. Being dependent on Instagram somewhat bit me in the butt on this one…I’m still pretty annoyed that it happened at all. So this section is probably going to be empty for a while, while I try and figure out a different solution to this section.

Videos To See:

Meaning of Life, well, danisnotonfire’s opinion of what the meaning of life is. I rather liked it. A lot of what he had to say touched home for me…so give it a watch.

My friend gareth316 is starting a new Let’s Play series on Beneath a Steel Sky. The timing is rather fortuitous for him as the sequel was recently announced to be in the works, so you should give this a look. You really should. 🙂

I don’t normally link trailers here, but its really hard not to for The Hobbit film. This is the first film that I’m unreservedly excited about in a very long time. I was excited about Avengers, sure, but I had a lot of skepticism that they would actually pull of a great film. The Hobbit just looks epic. So while I shouldn’t be sharing it here, technically, I’m going to break my rule. Just once.

So what happens when a math person gets bored? They make hexaflexagons. This was just way too amusing not to share and yet interesting at the same time. Give it a watch.

And finally, the video version of “Fear Not This Night”, a Guild Wars 2 cover by Taylor, Lara and Malukah. You really should watch this video. Malukah has such a great voice. Taylor and Lara do a great job on Piano and Violin too. Its just a great mix of their three talents.

Wowsers, that’s a lot of stuff. Enjoy! Until next time…


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