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Author Topic: My 2004 pc gaming year in review  (Read 6277 times)
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Rob_Merritt
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« on: December 10, 2004, 06:38:28 PM »

Once again I spew out yet another gaming year in review post. This makes the 13th year I’ve been doing so. Despite being an “unlucky” number, 2004 was a very good year for pc gaming. I bought 43 games this year. Yes I manage to play, though not finish all of them. Below I list the 10 best and the 10 biggest disappointments. I’m doing this a bit earlier. Mostly because I don’t see anything coming out in the last 3 weeks that will alter this list any.

Before I begin, I always list my computer specs. The biggest reason is that the games played have their experience affected by the computer they are played on.
Athlon 64 +3200 (New Castle Core)
ATI Radeon X800 pro 256MB
MSI "K8N Neo Platinum" (MS-7030) 250 Chipset Motherboard
Two Geil Value Series 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS
NEC 8X Black DVD+RW/-RW Drive, Model ND-2500A
Maxtor 250 gig Ultra ata 133 (7200 rpm, 8 meg cache, 9.3 seek)

Ten Best Games of 2004
1. Sid Meier's Pirates – While my initial impressions weren’t that great (Firaxis, hire voice actors, ok?), the underlying freeform game play took hold of me like no other game this year. I easily put in 80 hours of play in two weeks.

2. Thief 3 deadly shadows – Besides feeling really connect to the character through the story; I felt connected to the environment. Having a body and a shadow should now be a requirement for any FPS. Thief 3 edges out Far Cry because it’s good from beginning to end. Far Cry sort of sputters out towards the end.

3. Far Cry – In my opinion, this is the game Half Life 2 should have been. Good story line, excellent pacing, wide open environment, great all around graphics that sometimes boarder on amazing and AI that would do more than just stand there.

4. Simpsons' Hit & Run – I love GTA type games (wish they could just name the genre something) and while I’m not the biggest Simpson fan, Hit & Run makes Springfield a likeable game environment.

5. Sims 2 – I like the Sims, this was Sims on crack. Nuff said.

6. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude – It was a funny game. I laughed harder at this game (and specifically the scene with the teddy bear) than any other game in the past 4 years or so.

7. Children of the Nile – Its Tropico, done right. Another feature I loved was there were no right or wrong game play choices, just consequences. It made even playing a bad situation fun.

8. Evil Genius – It was Dungeon Keeper meets Austin Powers and it worked very well. I would like to see more of this subgenre with Dungeon Keeper like games with different themes.

9. Doom 3 - Considering every single id software game done by id sucked when it came to single player, Doom 3 actually being an average single player game was an amazing victory.

10. The Political Machine – This game was just really different than anything else I’ve played in the past few years. At times it was a little too easy and simplistic. Basically pandering to the political right = the win all the time. The presentation and different game play were big hooks none the less.

Ten most disappointing games of 2004
1. Spider-man 2 The movie – Activision, please die. Love Rob. Really this was an amazing low. Activision had a good Spiderman 2 game on the Xbox. All indications were it was to be ported to the PC. Instead we got come kiddy crap that was barely functional as a game.

2. Half Life 2 – This game was supposed to replace slice bread on the inventions that helped man kind list. Instead we got a game with an install from hell, sub par short game play, linear levels with way too many cheap camp grounds for the retarded AI, and crap for story. But hey, it had nice textures.

3. Rollercoaster tycoon 3 – I can’t wait to play this game once it reaches beta test stage.

4. City of Heroes – I had hopes that I could live the life of a Superhero. Unfortunately, you only got to live one half of that life in the game. Out side of beating people up, very little came over from the four colored pages and the game was a very shallow experience.

5. Singles – All I expected was the Sims meet porn. However they had to weld on a Japanese like dating system on top of it and the sex part was rather lame.

6. True Crime – Its just like GTA, just without the fun.

7. Chris Sawyer's Locomotion – As much as I wanted to like this game, and I was fine with the graphics, there were too many problems the over all system

8. Star Wars Battle Grounds – Actually the game isn’t too bad but the online crowd that this game attracted (tiny as it was) was lame.

9. Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising – Look, I’m not a graphics whore but really, the mid 90s called Nova, they want their graphics back.

10. Catwoman – I know the movie was going to suck but I had hope that EA would provide a decent costume vigilantly game with some interesting stealth elements.

Ten games in 2005 I’m most looking forwards too
1. GTA:SA
2. Bards Tale
3. Freedom Force vs the Third Reich
4. KOTOR 2
5. Psychonauts
6. Stalker
7. Dungeon Siege II
8. The Movies
9. Dungeon Lords
10. FEAR

Ten games I hope are announced if not appear in 2005 for the pc
1. Fallout 3 (I know it’s a 2006 title but we should at least see something)
2. Sim something else that Sim City or Sims
3. Another Sierra adventure game brought back to life. Prefer Space Quest
4. More RPGs that aren’t Fantasy based
5. Sam n Max
6. A new X-Com game
7. The Syndicate remake currently known as Blue Vault
8. Xmen Legends
9. Fable
10. Duke Nukem Forever
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2004, 06:46:04 PM »

I'm amazed that people can be disappointed by Half-Life 2.

Nice write-up, though biggrin
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JayG
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2004, 07:00:19 PM »

It is strange to see Leisure Suit Larry in the winners section, and Half Life 2 in the losers. Interesting list Rob.
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bluefugue
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2004, 07:03:24 PM »

I didn't play 10 new games this year but I guess my favorites would be...

1) Rome Total War
2) Half Life 2 and Thief 3 (tie)
3) everything else

Didn't play any disappointing games this year.  Didn't buy any disappointing games this year.

FWIW, HL2 is highly linear but so was HL1, so I don't think this should come as a surprise to anyone.  Though one could argue that shooter design has moved on in the last 6 years, yada yada.  I thought it was fine though, neither "best thing since sliced bread" nor "a crushing disappointment."  I give it 8/10.
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leo8877
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2004, 07:14:13 PM »

Rob, I just want to say thanks for putting HL2 in the disappointments column and Doom 3 in the favorites.  Sure, HL2 was a neat game, but compared the what I hoped it would be, it did not live up.  Doom 3 on the other hand, was way more than I hoped for.  Bravo sir!
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2004, 07:35:28 PM »

Wow, those are some pretty unpopular picks, Rob.

Quote from: "Rob_Merritt"
3. Far Cry ? In my opinion, this is the game Half Life 2 should have been. Good story line, excellent pacing, wide open environment, great all around graphics that sometimes boarder on amazing and AI that would do more than just stand there.

Let's talk about this.

Good story line:  If by "good" you mean "predictable" and "cliched" then yes, I agree with you completely.  Crazy doctor mutates monkies.  Mercenaries defend his privacy.  The black dude giving you directions is evil.  Wow, that's some great writing.

Excellent pacing:  Wander in the jungle for thirty minutes!  Encounter a small group of three mercenaries!  Then wander some more!  The pacing sucked ass until the midway point where the game started to get much more linear (and therefore interesting).  Sure, the 'non linear' FarCry levels were cool, but exploration was not rewarded.  At all.

Wide open environment:  This was cool, I agree.  The problem was, like I said above, exploration was not rewarded in the least.

AI that would do more than just stand there:  Wow, what an innovation.  Seriously, in a one-on-one fight, FarCry's AI was very impressive.  The AI didn't function well in a group, though.  Add in the fact that "stealth kills" were completely impossible, and the game goes from "creative ways to defeat an overwhelming force" to "run and gun, bitch!"

Quote
6. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude ? It was a funny game. I laughed harder at this game (and specifically the scene with the teddy bear) than any other game in the past 4 years or so.


It's a funny game.:  Unfortunately, it's also a bad one.

Quote
9. Doom 3 - Considering every single id software game done by id sucked when it came to single player, Doom 3 actually being an average single player game was an amazing victory.


Are you out of your mind?  Doom and Doom 2 had fantastic single-player FPS experiences for their time.  Hooray for sweeping, generic statements that are flat-out wrong!  And since when does "average single player" equate to an "amazing victory?"  This choice is ludicrous.

Oh, and by the way, Doom 3's single player wasn't even "average."  It's a step back from Doom 1 and Doom 2--indeed, id totally betrayed the Doom spirit with this pitch black piece of shit.

Quote

Ten most disappointing games of 2004

2. Half Life 2 ? This game was supposed to replace slice bread on the inventions that helped man kind list. Instead we got a game with an install from hell, sub par short game play, linear levels with way too many cheap camp grounds for the retarded AI, and crap for story. But hey, it had nice textures.


Counter-culture backlash ahoy!  Coming from a guy with the just-average Far Cry as #3 and the atrocious Doom 3 as #9 on his Top Ten, it doesn't surprise me in the least that Half-Life 2, the single best first-person scripted shooter since Half-Life, appears as NUMBER TWO on his Top Ten Disappointments.  You're telling me with a straight face that Locomotion, Singles, Joint Ops, and CATWOMAN were actually better games than Half-Life 2?  You, sir, are nucking futs.

To paraphrase Samir from Office Space, "This is a horrible list!"
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bluefugue
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2004, 07:40:39 PM »

Some day, Ebby baby, you will learn to disagree with other human beings without being unbearably condescending toward them...
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bluefugue
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2004, 07:42:17 PM »

Quote from: "leo8877"
Rob, I just want to say thanks for putting HL2 in the disappointments column and Doom 3 in the favorites.  Sure, HL2 was a neat game, but compared the what I hoped it would be, it did not live up.  Doom 3 on the other hand, was way more than I hoped for.  Bravo sir!


I don't much like this idea of calibrating a game to our expectations of it, though.  I mean, does that make a game better if you think it's gonna be shite and it turns out to be only average instead?
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Interloper
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2004, 07:44:40 PM »

Hey Rob, thanks for the post.  43 games in one year?!  Sheesh my wife would kill me for blowin' that much money on this hobby, er, addiction, er whatever.  Anyway, just wanted to say I'm one of the few the agrees with you on the Far Cry, Half Life2, Doom 3 paradigm.  You echoed my thoughts precisely on those.   Even if you don't agree with his, it can't' be a worst list ever as it's his opinion.  Your opinion doesn't invalidate his or vice versa.  I found it an interesting take on this past year.
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2004, 07:58:26 PM »

Quote from: "bluefugue"
Some day, Ebby baby, you will learn to disagree with other human beings without being unbearably condescending toward them...
Note carefully that the only thing close to the dreaded "personal attack" was my line, "You, sir, are nucking futs," which, considering the inverted N and F, (and the fact that he's saying Catwoman trumps Half-Life 2), should be taken in good humor.  Everything else in my post clearly attacks his concepts and ideas, not him as a person.

Which means, back off that purty  :!: button, kiddies.  I'm not trying to tear Rob a new one.  I'm hacking and slashing at his list.
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2004, 07:59:39 PM »

I also thought HL2 was a disappointment.  It's high on his list of disappointments because the expectations were higher for it than say......Catwoman.  It doesn't mean those listed below were actually better.
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Glycerine
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2004, 08:07:52 PM »

Quote from: "bluefugue"
Some day, Ebby baby, you will learn to disagree with other human beings without being unbearably condescending toward them...


I seriously doubt that...

Nice list, Rob!  I agree with...some of it.  smile

Glycerine
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JeffG
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2004, 08:11:09 PM »

Thank you Lord Ebonstone!

"2. Half Life 2 – This game was supposed to replace slice bread on the inventions that helped man kind list. Instead we got a game with an install from hell, sub par short game play, linear levels with way too many cheap camp grounds for the retarded AI, and crap for story. But hey, it had nice textures. "

To be fair, he said it’s a big disappointment, not a bad game.  Well, to each there own.  I agree in part on Far Cry, I do feel this game has a lot going for it.  But you're clearly missing a card or two of you think Doom is a superior game.

Install from hell?  

Oh well, cry me a river.  The game was virtually bug free and had one bad day with steam.  Wah.  I've seen worse games with worse bugs lauded by many.

Sub-par short gameplay?  Yeah, OK.  Please elaborate here, in light of the brilliant doom gameplay.  Every enemy in doom was the same, with a different mesh.  Every enemy in halflife had a unique mechanic and a preferred way to kill it.  There is a huge toolbox there.  This game lasted me the same time both Doom and Far Cry lasted.  Oh yeah, and how about the innovation of actually USING the physics as part of gameplay.  Both doom and farcry had physics, and neither used them.  Talk about sub par.

Cheap campgrounds and retarded AI?  Again, I cry foul.  Doom3 AI was by far inferior - every single enemy in the game ran straight up at you shooting away.  HL2, however, the AI communicated, looked for cover, used pinning fire, threw grenades if you were turtling.  Not to mention different enemies used different AI.  I love people who say this - you know, if the AI were brilliant, you'd never win a game.  AI is at its best when it mimics man - sometimes smart but often stupid.

Crap Story - this is totally subjective, and depends largely on the amount of exploration done within the game.  I don't like spoon fed typical TV crap stories, so I liked this.

Honestly, this is just my opinion, but if you play games and don’t like Half Life 2, you should probably pick a new hobby.
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leo8877
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2004, 08:23:56 PM »

Quote from: "bluefugue"
Quote from: "leo8877"
Rob, I just want to say thanks for putting HL2 in the disappointments column and Doom 3 in the favorites.  Sure, HL2 was a neat game, but compared the what I hoped it would be, it did not live up.  Doom 3 on the other hand, was way more than I hoped for.  Bravo sir!


I don't much like this idea of calibrating a game to our expectations of it, though.  I mean, does that make a game better if you think it's gonna be shite and it turns out to be only average instead?


I think for the purpose of his list.  The second list is labeled top 10 disappointments after all.  Not top 10 worst games.
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ChrisGwinn
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2004, 08:24:09 PM »

I don't know anything about children of the nile.  Off to Game Rankings.
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2004, 08:30:36 PM »

Quote from: "JeffG"
Thank you Lord Ebonstone!

"2. Half Life 2 ? This game was supposed to replace slice bread on the inventions that helped man kind list. Instead we got a game with an install from hell, sub par short game play, linear levels with way too many cheap camp grounds for the retarded AI, and crap for story. But hey, it had nice textures. "

To be fair, he said it?s a big disappointment, not a bad game.  Well, to each there own.  I agree in part on Far Cry, I do feel this game has a lot going for it.  But you're clearly missing a card or two of you think Doom is a superior game.

Install from hell?  

Oh well, cry me a river.  The game was virtually bug free and had one bad day with steam.  Wah.  I've seen worse games with worse bugs lauded by many.

Sub-par short gameplay?  Yeah, OK.  Please elaborate here, in light of the brilliant doom gameplay.  Every enemy in doom was the same, with a different mesh.  Every enemy in halflife had a unique mechanic and a preferred way to kill it.  There is a huge toolbox there.  This game lasted me the same time both Doom and Far Cry lasted.  Oh yeah, and how about the innovation of actually USING the physics as part of gameplay.  Both doom and farcry had physics, and neither used them.  Talk about sub par.

Cheap campgrounds and retarded AI?  Again, I cry foul.  Doom3 AI was by far inferior - every single enemy in the game ran straight up at you shooting away.  HL2, however, the AI communicated, looked for cover, used pinning fire, threw grenades if you were turtling.  Not to mention different enemies used different AI.  I love people who say this - you know, if the AI were brilliant, you'd never win a game.  AI is at its best when it mimics man - sometimes smart but often stupid.

Crap Story - this is totally subjective, and depends largely on the amount of exploration done within the game.  I don't like spoon fed typical TV crap stories, so I liked this.

Honestly, this is just my opinion, but if you play games and don?t like Half Life 2, you should probably pick a new hobby.

Well said.

Quote

I don't know anything about children of the nile. Off to Game Rankings.

It's a game I'm having trouble finding my opinion on.  I guess the bottom line is I'm finding time to play it, so it is a lot of fun.  Perhaps the best way I can describe my thoughts on it is to say it's a fun game that introduces a lot of interesting things to the city builder genre, but I think it will really come into it's own if it gets a well thought out sequel.

Personally though I like it's approach of giving citizens actual intelligence, personal goals, and not relying on walkers.

s
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2004, 08:37:59 PM »

Not to be disrespectful or anything, but I'm going to have to laugh at your list. Doom 3 in your favorites and HL2 in your disappointments? Give me a break, I think people are hating on HL2 for the attention cause I just dont understand it. Ok, HL2 is linear, what the hell was Doom 3 then? At the very least HL2's environments were creative and varied.
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2004, 08:43:18 PM »

As for Rob's list, I would totally agree with his assessment of Doom, Far Cry, and HL2.  Exactly as I saw it.

Next year I most definitely want FEAR and Stalker.  Top two for PC.
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2004, 08:43:54 PM »

Man this list is nothing compared to MY LIST

TOP THREE BIGGEST PIECES OF CRAP I EVER INSTALLED ON MY COMPUTER FOR 2004

1) HALF LIFE 2- What a pile of STEAMing doggie doo. OVERRATED.  OH YOU CAN PICK UP STUFF AND THROW IT AROUND?!?!?!  I do that with my own feces EVERY DAMN DAY.  Steam s-u-x 2 tha max!!!!11!!!11!!

2) PIRATES!- It's hard to pretend to be a pirate when your avatar is so ghey!!!!! har har har har move to Canada you man kissing sissy!!!!! oooo a dancing simulation?!?!?!?

3) ROME: TOTAL WAR- The Roman Era SUX DONKI BALLZ!!!!! I WANTED MIDDLE EARTH or MODERN ERA!!!!

TOP THREE AWESOME GAMES FOR 2004

3) DOOM 3- OMG THIS WAS SO DAMN SCARY.  Dark room, and zombies coming out of closets!? Combine this with a classic story and it's hello urine in my pants!

2) TRIBES: VENGEANCE- YEAH CLASSIC TRIBES GAMEPLAY BACK UP IN DAT AZZ!!!  Done by the sexy geniuses at Irrationally, they brought back that good old classic Tribes gameplay. The sheer awesome that pours out of this game is sweet sweet sweet.

AND THE GREATEST GAME OF 2004 IS

1) UNIVERSAL COMBAT- done by those programming gurus... nay programming GODS... at 3000ad, this game brings the good old fashioned BC style gameplay to 2004 bitches!  Exploring the depth of this game is like exploring the lovely curves and valleys of a beautiful women... who's naked!  I can be a pilot AND a soldier!? Combine this with a classic and deep storyline and hello semen in my pants!
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2004, 09:21:09 PM »

While I like your list for the most part I think Half-Life 2 and Far Cry should be reversed simply because one (HL2) includes an easy to use and documented quicksave which rewards experimentation.  Far Cry apparently has a quicksave but my Fictitious Uncle Elmo who wants to play the game, explore around, experiment and just have fun would never be able to figure it out.  He wouldn't know a console command from a carrot.

Far Cry also had insane difficulty and Half-Life 2 was too easy.  I wish for a happy medium.
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« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2004, 09:27:27 PM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"
Man this list is nothing compared to MY LIST
Combine this with a classic story and it's hello urine in my pants!


Haw haw  :lol:
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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2004, 09:39:15 PM »

Quote from: "JeffG"

Honestly, this is just my opinion, but if you play games and don’t like Half Life 2, you should probably pick a new hobby.


This is probably one of the most absurd, elitist statements I've ever read, even if it is your opinion.  So the entire "hobby" of computer gaming is based on HL2?  A person's liking of HL2 is now the benchmark of keeping computer gaming as a hobby?  ALL the other games out there are now damned to hell and don't "count" towards an individual considering themselves a gaming hobbyist?  Ridiculous.
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« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2004, 09:40:09 PM »

I didn't even play a good percentage of those games. The ones I did we completely disagree on, but we'll just have to you know.. agree to disagree on those.

I'm with Ebonstone on Far Cry. I heard all these great things about it, and then when I got it I discovered that every single good thing I'd heard about the game, with the exception of the great graphics and wide-open levels, was a lie. The story was boring and uninvolving. It was overly and needlessly difficult, especially towards the end. The weapon sounds were barely any better than Doom 3, and I got bored so many times I had to force myself to play just to finish it.

Doom 3 was a less-than-great but still mildly fun experience for me, but then I'm a great deal more tolerant of the whole "It's too black" thing than most people seem to be. I'd rate the three big FPS games in order of Half-Life 2 being the best, then Doom 3, then Far Cry.

All IMO, of course.

Half-Life definitely blows the other two away though. I think 9 out of 10 of the people who are knocking the game had mostly unrealistic expectations for it. It continues where Half-Life left off. It keeps the first game's style, it's gameplay, and a lot of it's details as well. The only thing that changed (and even this change is somewhat slight) is the pacing. HL2 is a much faster game than the first. Otherwise.. I have to ask.. what the heck were you expecting?
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« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2004, 09:49:28 PM »

I've got some advice for everyone.  Stop expecting the second coming from games, and you'll enjoy the games more.  There are plenty of great games that people put down, simply because they expected more.  That's the problem with gamers today, expecting TOO much.
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« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2004, 10:01:20 PM »

Far Cry was a good game but HL2 was just so much better.  I haven't played any of the other games, but I get the strong feeling that Rob is not a good barometer for the quality of games, at least for me.
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« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2004, 10:19:22 PM »

Can someone please explain to me why it's not ok to not really like HL2?   This is the first game that I can remember where people just get furious with any one who doesn't praise it as the best game of all time.  What's wrong with having your opinion of what's fun?  Did HL2 have great graphics, good AI, gravity guns and bears oh my!?  Yes it did.  Did I have a total blast playing through it?  No, I didn't.  It just didn't capture me like other games have.  So what?

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 is my favorite game of all time!  If you don't like that game, should you play checkers instead?  Who cares, my taste is different than yours.

Same with other games like Warcraft III.  I've logged more hours playing (and having fun) with that game than any other game I've ever played.  If you didn't like it after playing the demo, should you be cast into burning flames?  LOL, NO!

For myself and others, HL2 just wasn't that great of a game.  I think that if it didn't have the HL name, then no one would care that much about it.  Now that the sequel is out, I see that Black Mesa had as much to do with me liking HL1 as the scripted sequnces and AI.  The setting for HL2 didn't capture me, and as such it wasn't that fun of a game.  Doom 3 was more fun for me this year.  In the end, WoW trumps them both (FOR ME!)

Any way, sorry to go on, but I just don't get how people get so mad about others not liking HL2.
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« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2004, 10:28:02 PM »

Quote from: "leo8877"
Can someone please explain to me why it's not ok to not really like HL2?   This is the first game that I can remember where people just get furious with any one who doesn't praise it as the best game of all time.  What's wrong with having your opinion of what's fun?  Did HL2 have great graphics, good AI, gravity guns and bears oh my!?  Yes it did.  Did I have a total blast playing through it?  No, I didn't.  It just didn't capture me like other games have.  So what?

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 is my favorite game of all time!  If you don't like that game, should you play checkers instead?  Who cares, my taste is different than yours.

Same with other games like Warcraft III.  I've logged more hours playing (and having fun) with that game than any other game I've ever played.  If you didn't like it after playing the demo, should you be cast into burning flames?  LOL, NO!

For myself and others, HL2 just wasn't that great of a game.  I think that if it didn't have the HL name, then no one would care that much about it.  Now that the sequel is out, I see that Black Mesa had as much to do with me liking HL1 as the scripted sequnces and AI.  The setting for HL2 didn't capture me, and as such it wasn't that fun of a game.  Doom 3 was more fun for me this year.  In the end, WoW trumps them both (FOR ME!)

Any way, sorry to go on, but I just don't get how people get so mad about others not liking HL2.


I know I don't get pissed when someone says they don't like HL2. That said, however, when you make statements like this...

Quote
sub par short game play, linear levels with way too many cheap camp grounds for the retarded AI, and crap for story.


...then you're just asking to get railed on. I mean, seriously, every bit of that sentence (with the exception of the story, which is debatable) is just plain wrong. It's so wrong, I'm inclined to dismiss it as a poor attempt at trolling. Especially when the person posting it fails to mention the many revolutionary aspects of the game such as the character models and the physics. I'd also list the method of story telling as revolutionary for the FPS genre, but as I said, that's debatable.

Anyway, that's my take.
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« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2004, 10:29:15 PM »

No disrespect to Rob, but lists like this drive me nuts, because one gamer's trash is another's treasure.

Heck, I'd be very hard-pressed not to crown CoH as my favorite game of all time at this point, surpassing classics like Pirates!, Diablo II, NFS:Porsche, etc.

It is interesting to see how other people view things, though.
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« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2004, 10:56:55 PM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"
Man this list is nothing compared to MY LIST
Best list evar, bar none.   :lol:

Quote from: "Scuba-V"
Far Cry was a good game but HL2 was just so much better.  I haven't played any of the other games, but I get the strong feeling that Rob is not a good barometer for the quality of games, at least for me.


100% agreed.  I liked Far Cry enough to play all the way through it.  It was an enjoyable game, but it can't come anywhere near Half-Life 2.  What made me respond the way I did to Rob about Far Cry was the fact he chose objectively the weakest points of the game in explaining why he liked it.  Indeed, aside from the wide open environs, Half-Life 2 is objectively superior to Far Cry in each of Rob's listed reasons.

Quote from: "leo8877"
Can someone please explain to me why it's not ok to not really like HL2?


Sure.

It's because those who don't like it feel compelled to overreact in their dislike for it to be cool and edgy.  In addition, they fail to provide objective complaints about the game, or if they do, the complaints are irrelevant or flat out wrong.

If you don't like the game, cool.  Don't put it on your Top Ten.  If you were really as disappointed with it that it deserves the number two slot, whatever.  Put it on your Top Ten Disappointments.  Just be prepared to defend your choice with fact beyond "i h8 steem lewl."

Quote
In the end, WoW trumps them both (FOR ME!)

If you saw the less narcissistic GOTY discussion thread, you'd note that I too selected WoW as my game of the year.  Why?  More gameplay hours, simple as that.  In terms of sheer quality/production value, I think the difference between WoW and HL2 is just a matter of taste/genres.  I have just as much fun playing one as I do the other.  The thing is, the nature of WoW means it'll last longer, so I tip my hat to it in the end instead of HL2.
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« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2004, 11:27:02 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"

It's because those who don't like it feel compelled to overreact in their dislike for it to be cool and edgy.  In addition, they fail to provide objective complaints about the game, or if they do, the complaints are irrelevant or flat out wrong.


Please do not group everyone that doesn't like HL2 into this characterization.  Lord knows I don't need to be "cool or edgy".

I didn't like it because:

1.  The game WAS on rails.  No open-endedness at all.
2.  The Combine AI WAS boring, uninspired, and predictable.  A true step down from HL1's Marines.
3.  The story just did not drive me forward like HL1, NOLF1, or even Tron 2.0.
4.  Steam sucked....not for everyone, but for a LOT of people that bought the game at retail and couldn't play the damn thing when they got home.

Do I think the game had great graphics, characters, and physics?  Hell yeah.  But they alone do not make a killer experience.
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« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2004, 11:30:10 PM »

Quote from: "leo8877"
think that if it didn't have the HL name, then no one would care that much about it. Now that the sequel is out, I see that Black Mesa had as much to do with me liking HL1 as the scripted sequnces and AI. The setting for HL2 didn't capture me, and as such it wasn't that fun of a game.


While you may not have been engaged with the setting of HL2 its one of the more oft-praised aspects of the game so I think its safe to say that HL2 would have still received a lot of attention even without the Half Life name.
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« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2004, 04:11:45 AM »

Quote from: "Greggy_D"
I didn't like it because:

1.  The game WAS on rails.  No open-endedness at all.
2.  The Combine AI WAS boring, uninspired, and predictable.  A true step down from HL1's Marines.
3.  The story just did not drive me forward like HL1, NOLF1, or even Tron 2.0.
4.  Steam sucked....not for everyone, but for a LOT of people that bought the game at retail and couldn't play the damn thing when they got home.


1.)  Name a FPS that wasn't on rails.  Far Cry?  Nope, you had to go through certain points (the rest of the world was next to empty, after all).  Wandering around for thirty minutes in the wrong direction only to be instantly slain by a helicopter when you go "off the map" does not translate to the game being any less "on rails" than HL2, sorry.

2.)  Combine AI scaled with what level troop they were.  And most are of the consensus that the AI is the HL1 marine AI, perhaps with a couple tweaks.  So this point's flat out wrong unless you only played the first couple levels.

3.)  Personal preference.  Can't really argue with that.  I found the dystopic urban/suburban setting utterly breathtaking as I loved books like 1984, The Giver, Brave New Wold, Farenheit 451, etc.  But hey, that's just me.

4.)  Too bad.  Steam is one of those "big changes in the industry people try to resist."  It happened with the change from 3.5" floppies to CDs.  It happened with the change from DOS to Win95.  It happened with 3D Acceleration. (I've still got a PC Gamer issue which suggests "Thinking hard before jumping onto the 3D bandwagon" as the PC Gamer writers weren't forward-thinking enough to realize how 'big' 3D acelleration would become.)  It happened with DirectX.  And right now we're seeing the exact same growing pains coupled with ignorant shortsightedness in three major sectors of the gaming industry:

a.)  Dialup to broadband.  Multiplayer gaming is almost impossible on a dial-up connection these days--hell, single-player is hard enough what with patch sizes.  Dialup is starting to slough off.  When the 'next big thing' comes along after cable modems comes along and cable modems drop in price to compensate, dialup is as good as dead.

b.)  CD to DVD.  There was actually an article on this in the latest CGM.  DVD drives have been standard on computers for about two years now.  Games are starting to reach the "critical mass" of the current popular medium, CDs.  I theorize this "critical mass" number of CDs is 8--when a gamer opens a box containing 6-10 discs in it, it's a sign the medium's going to change.

c.)  Client-side authentication to server-side authentication.  Steam.  WinXP.  Like it or not, the current trend is to utilize that internet connection of yours to make sure you're not stealing.  There are obviously growing pains assoicated with this, but there are also benefits--no early pirate release, developers getting a bigger "cut" of the money, digital distribution competing with piracy for the "I don't want to leave my room to play this game" crowd, and more.  

Shortcomings?  An already miniscule number of individuals (PC Gamers lacking an internet connection) won't get to play.  

Benefits?  All those listed above, and probably quite a few I've not yet considered.

The point is, Half-Life 2 and Steam are both riotous successes, despite the few sniggles certain individuals experienced in activation.  You had problems.  Well, OK.  I'm sorry to hear that.  I didn't.  My brother didn't.  My room mate didn't.  The kids on my hall all didn't.  Indeed, I've yet to meet a single individual in person who had a problem with Steam.  Sure, they might have a conspiracy theory about what it does, but unlocking/verification/download troubles?  None at all.  If they connected to the internet properly, which is to say, if their computers and networks were functional, Steam did its job just fine.
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« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2004, 07:19:37 AM »

I completely agree with Ebonstone, very good reasoning and arguements. I had trouble with Steam/HL2 at first because my internet wasn't working, but I didn't react short-sighted by bagging on Steam, I simply waited until my connection worked and now I'm enjoying HL2.

Same with the Far Cry arguement, that game was on rails nearly as much as any other FPS the only difference is you could choose to go around a hill or through it, didn't make the gameplay much better if you ask me. Also, the indoor environments were every bit as linear as any other FPS. There weren't branching routes as far as I remember, and there weren't alternate ways of completing missions.
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« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2004, 11:01:54 AM »

Quote
riotous successes


This can also be said of a number of games that I didn't like and probably -LE- did not either.

The rest of your points are valid, but it does not change the fact that it's ok not to think HL2 was such a great game, for whatever their reasons.
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« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2004, 02:28:49 PM »

LE, I love how you tell people that they are "wrong", as if you were the defining voice in computer gaming. :roll:

Those 4 points illustrated why "I" didn't like it.  Sorry, but someone's opinion can't be wrong.
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« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2004, 06:04:46 PM »

Quote from: "leo8877"
Quote
riotous successes


This can also be said of a number of games that I didn't like and probably -LE- did not either.

The rest of your points are valid, but it does not change the fact that it's ok not to think HL2 was such a great game, for whatever their reasons.
You took that quote out of context.  I wasn't saying good sales = good game (Deer Hunter, anyone?).  It was in the context of Steam and internet activation becoming commonplace in the future.


Quote from: "Greggy_D"
LE, I love how you tell people that they are "wrong", as if you were the defining voice in computer gaming. :roll:

Those 4 points illustrated why "I" didn't like it.  Sorry, but someone's opinion can't be wrong.


You attempted to cite objective problems with the game.  Two of your gripes were illogical, the third was actually a matter of opinion (which you'll note I didn't argue with), and the fourth is a side-effect of a much bigger trend and less of Half-Life 2 itself, a point which I thought I made very clear.

That being said, I'd like to point out for you and the rest of the peanut gallery that, once again, I did not call you wrong, I called your points wrong.  And I'd like to point out the utter hypocrisy in your rollie-eyed "you can't tell people what's wrong!" when your first two points are written in a manner suggesting they are objective fact:

Quote

1. The game WAS on rails. No open-endedness at all.
2. The Combine AI WAS boring, uninspired, and predictable. A true step down from HL1's Marines.


(Emphasis mine).

You didn't write "The game was too linear for me," or, "I was expecting more from the AI," so don't try to tell me I'm the Big Bad Thought Police come to stomp on your opinions and force objectivity into your opinionated tea party.   Indeed, you wrote those two points as if they WERE objective, true-to-god fact.  So-called "facts" can be wrong.  And sorry to rain on your parade, but point #2 is wrong.  It can't be "A true step down from HL1's Marines" if it is indeed the Marine AI.

Once again, in true matters of opinion, like #3, I didn't even try to argue.  #2 was not a matter of opinion as you presented it.  #1 is an irrelevant point as all scripted FPSes are by their very natures "on rails."  And #4 is a totally separate issue.
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« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2004, 07:13:58 PM »

I give up.  You win.   My four points were strictly my opinion and nothing more.
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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2004, 04:56:46 AM »

There is a HUGE error on my list. Simpson's Hit & Run was released in November 2003.  I thought it was Released in Janurary 04 when I first bought it. So I am not adjusting my list however the fact that it is on my list bother you, just mentaly remove it, and move everything up a notch. To fill in the empty void at the bottom, my number 11 choice was Wanted: A Wild West Adventure.

I do find it annoying that most of the debate has been on Half Life 2 and Far Cry. Even ignoring the two other FPS on the lists.

I noticed many have said Far Cry was very difficult.  Over all I found Doom 3 to be harder but none of them were insanely hard.

Now a few direct comments:
Lord Ebonstone : I appreciate your enthusiasm for Half Life 2. However your fanaticism has blinded you (and to the many rave reviews) to many problems of this program.

Quote from: "\/\/olverine"
Ok, HL2 is linear, what the hell was Doom 3 then?"
Yes, thats true and Theif 3 was even more linear yet I rank it higher than both of them. I think Doom 3 didn't seem AS linear because you did have to back track from time to time where as HL2 had that relentless deathmarch feel going for it. I think the question being asked here is what did Doom 3 have to offer to me that Half Life 2 didn't? For one, I really expected Doom 3 to suck. People are claiming that Ids games were somehow great single player games but when Doom came out, it paled compared to Ultima Underworld. If it wasn't for co-op and Deathmatch, it would have been a forgotten game. Plus remember the standard statement about every Id game "gee, great engine, can't wait till someone makes a good game out of it" So I was rather surprised that wasn't the case. In fact, thats the felling I got at the end of Half Life 2. Nice engine, hope someone makes a great game out of it some day. However if I am forced to remove expectation out of the equation. Then Doom 3 would still out rank Half Life 2 even if by a small margin. What does it are the audio logs in Doom 3. They really drew me in and kept me pushing to play the game more.

Quote from: "\/\/olverine"
At the very least HL2's environments were creative and varied."

Like Lord Ebonstone, I did like the post apocalypse eastern europe theme in HL2. I think if Valve just went ahead and populated the place with actual eastern europeans, I might of enjoyed it more.

Quote from: "warning"
- "simply because one (HL2) includes an easy to use and documented quicksave which rewards experimentation.....Far Cry also had insane difficulty and Half-Life 2 was too easy"

While normally I totally agree with this, there wasn't one instant in Far Cry where the automatic save wasn't where I want to do a quick save anyways. So I think they just got lucky in that regards. On the other hand, there wasn't really any point in HL2 that I wanted to save to try things a different way. The game didn't offer hardly anything in the way of multiple solutions to a problem.

Quote from: "Qbert"
- "Stop expecting the second coming from games, and you'll enjoy the games more."

oddly enough Pirates and Thief 3 didn't have this problem.  They actually delivered on their hype.

Quote from: "godhugh"
- "Especially when the person posting it fails to mention the many revolutionary aspects of the game such as the character models and the physics."

The physics were about on par with Deus Ex Invisable War. Some of the Character models were nice. The best I can say is they were evolutionary.

Quote from: "godhugh"
"I'd also list the method of story telling as revolutionary for the FPS genre"
I don't find doing a bunch of random shit and not explaining any of it  revolutionary. If I wanted that, I'd play more japanese imports
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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2004, 05:36:29 AM »

Quote from: "Rob Merrit"
but when Doom came out, it paled compared to Ultima Underworld. If it wasn't for co-op and Deathmatch, it would have been a forgotten game.


This statement is ludicrous.  You honestly think Doom is only remembered for its co-op and deathmatch?
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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2004, 06:08:31 AM »

I guess all I can do is pity you and your perception of games.  If you are so incredibly disappointed with what will be widely considered one of the best games of 2004 then I have to feel sorry for you in that you somehow missed out on all the fun.
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