Friday, May 22, 2009

well, that was a letdown

I just finished Crysis Warhead. I didn't realize that it was a different game from Crysis (should have known but wasn't paying attention). Crysis Warhead is really not that different from the other Crytek games that I've played, which would have been fine, but from all the hype, I was expecting something ... I don't know ... original. But mainly I was disappointed because it was so short. Wen you spend $40 for a game, you expect more than fifteen hours of game play. Frankly, I feel a little ripped-off.

The graphics were tremendous. At the highest settings it was almost like watching a movie, but my computer couldn't quite keep up at those settings so I had to tune it down a bit.

The hovercraft is kind of neat, but I don't think it handles like a real hovercraft. There is not enough momentum in the original direction when you make sharp turn. The physics were also sloppily done on the train. If you were on the train and jumped, it seemed to move you immediately into the reference frame of the ground. That is, if you jumped straight up, you would stop moving forward relative to the ground, and the train would run away under you. It was almost impossible to jump forward.

Although the instructions contained diagrams of the controls for flying helicopters and VTOLs, there was no opportunity to do so in the game.

There is a cloaking technology to turn yourself invisible sort of like the alien in Predator. It's fun to use, but the way the game was set up wasn't very good for it. Although the game supposedly allows a stealth approach, they made it almost impossible to get through any of the scenes without setting off an alarm and bringing down the entire enemy on you --even with the cloak. You can only move a couple of dozen yards with cloak on, and the enemy soldiers are always positioned in such a way that there is always some spot with no way to get from hide to hide within the limits of the cloak. And forget taking out the problem soldier with a silenced gun. That always sets off an alarm and brings more soldiers.

My advice: wait till the game comes down to $20 or buy it in a package with Crysis. It's not worth what they are charging for it now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

playing a Christian on the net

Just saw this comment in response to a post of mine:
These young people may be the criminals of tomorrow and such actions can only deter possible future deviance.
The author is essentially advocating that we should punish children even if they have done nothing wrong in order to deter "future deviance". Obviously this is insane. Even ignoring the moral implications of punishing people for hypothetical future acts, there is the question of exactly how punishing someone for non-deviant acts is going to discourage deviant acts. How, exactly would that work? And even more oddly, my stated reason for opposing the "delicate flower" treatment of children is not to punish them at all but to help them. And nothing in the article suggested anything about punishing the children either. It was nothing more than a dare. It tested the children's courage, and by having them accept the dare and survive, it probably gave them courage.

So what to make of this odd comment? Well, the answer was in the signature. He signs his name "Pastor Lou Stuhlwater". Ah. One of those anti-Christians who goes around pretending to be an insane bible-thumping televangelist, shocking everyone with his calousness and irrationality. A quick jump to his web site confirmed the assumption.

When a "Christian" makes a intentionally offensive comment on a blog, 99% of the time it is a fake. By "intentionally offensive", I mean things like "all you queers will burn in hell" as opposed to "homosexual behavior is morally wrong" which, despite the predictability of giving offense is not intended to give offense --that is, the writer would prefer that he could say it without giving offense.

Most of these intentionally offensive statements are written by someone who actually hates Christians and is acting out his spiteful stereotypes. Which leads one to wonder why some people are so obsessed with acting out spiteful stereotypes. Is it just to bring shame on Christians by doing bad things in their name or is it deeper? Do these people secretly want to be the crazy irrational screaming hate-filled monsters that they play on the net? If they do it in a name that they don't really agree with, then they can get the jollies of being disgusting people while still telling themselves that they aren't really like that --they are just playing a role. But if you do it all the time, well, where is the dividing line between the role and the real person?