Archive for the 'News' Category


Black Mesa

I had a bunch of good titles for this post but had a system crash about 20 minutes ago, and I’m still trying to find my files. Just one of those days, I guess…

Black Mesa, the most anticipated mod of all time (probably). It has been in development for some time now and despite them only ever giving a “Done when it’s done” response when questioned the last trailer they released suggested to me that they were aiming for the end of last year. It all went relatively quiet after that. until now. They have released some new screens…

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The Gadget Show Live 2010: Part 1

Well this year I booked early, last October to be precise, so I managed to get Super Theatre tickets as well as entrance to the exhibition. The Super Theatre tickets were well worth the extra money and the live show itself was really good. I will write more about the show in the next few days, first I want to talk about some of the more exciting new tech that was on show in the exhibition, 3D.

One thing I expected to see lots of at the exhibition, as it seems to be the next big thing, were 3D TVs and I was not disappointed. Not by the lack of companies showing off their 3D systems at least, the TVs themselves however… Well, you’ll see.

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Left 4 Dead – Left 2 Die? (Updated)

A lot of people are happy that a sequel to Left 4 Dead has been announced, a lot of people are upset or even angry however and I really can’t blame them.

The people saying they deserve free content are of course wrong, Valve owe them nothing of the sort. I do however believe that some of them do have a point. They paid anywhere between £20 and £35 (depending on where they got it and when) for Left 4 Dead and have now been told that it was the price for one years play. “But you can continue to play Left 4 Dead after the sequel comes out” I hear you say, not entirely true. Look at what happened when Epic released a direct (and improved) replacement for Unreal Tournament 2003 one year later, everyone moved to Unreal Tournament 2004, and servers for 2003 became empty and lonely places. A sequel with this few changes, mainly things that were promised in the release of the original, will move most of the playerbase away from the original game, leaving only the bots to play with. Some people are saying “Valve will continue to support the first game”, but that really doesn’t mater if there is no one playing it any more. Perhaps Valve intend to turn it into a yearly franchise? Well there is a reason why I don’t buy multiplayer games published by Activision, they don’t bloody last. Everyone moves on to the inevitable sequel and your game becomes worthless. If I wanted to pay a subscription for my on-line gaming then I would buy a bloody XBox, I don’t need the latest mindless sequel to have fun in an on-line game, I just need other players to still be on it. I know multiplayer games have a limited lifespan, (you can’t find many servers for Death Match Classic any more, UT2004 is almost unplayable on-line) but to limit it to one year like this is frigging ridiculous.
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The Gadget Show: Live

Sadly I didn’t manage to get tickets to the show itself, I was too slow in booking and they had sold out. I did get tickets for the exhibition though, some very interesting stuff there, The following is about the stands and exhibits I found most interesting.

One of my favorite exhibits was The Centre for Computing History, with electronics from the 70s 80s and 90s, They had old phones computers and games consoles and a few other things including a Sinclair C5. I have seen one of these once before, driving around Plymouth but I expect that most people have never seen one. They also had an original SEGA Master System. I had a SEGA Master System II (still have it about somewhere, but never saw the original), which was to the original what the PSOne was to the PlayStation. Oh and talking of PlayStations, they had an original PlayStation playing Wipeout, this was mainly interesting because Sony had a demo of the updated PS3 version at their PlayStation stand, things have come a long way since 1994…

From the past to the future. CEDIA – The Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association. According to the blurb I have, CEDIA is a not-for-profit trade association for the home electronic systems industry. Don’t ask what that means, I don’t really know, I’m going to have a look at their website, at some point but what I really wanted to mention here was the talk they did about the future of technology. The guy doing the talk was a big Apple fan, and kept mentioning his iPhone, but that aside it was an interesting talk. One of the main features was about the way we watch TV and access other media. The idea is that quality will play second fiddle to being able to get what you want when you want it. it was pointed out that already Youtube is more popular than MTV for watching music videos, sure the quality is crap but you can watch it when you want. I’m not so sure that this will take off for everything though, mostly for the same reasons I don’t think OnLive will work, you get either poor quality or high bandwidth, so I think DVDs and regular telly will be around for a while yet.

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Team Fortress 2 Update

A new update for TF2 is often a mixed blessing, most of the changes are for the best but occasionally there are a few off ones. Todays update certainly has one of those.

Added the ability for players to permanently delete items from their inventory using the new Backpack menu. This does not reset achievements. Once an item has been deleted it can never be re-earned

What the hell were they thinking? Why would you want to delete an item? If you don’t want a weapon just don’t use it. What also concerns me is that someone will find an exploit and start deleting other peoples loadouts. This just sounds like a bad idea to me.

I said that these updates are normally a mixed bag, well this one is no different.

Scouts now drop the flag if they’re carrying it when they start phasing

I assume this means drinking a Bonk! Energy Drink. I haven’t unlocked that yet so I didn’t even know they could use that whilst carrying the intel, I haven’t noticed anyone do it but I haven’t played much since the scout update came out so it is not surprising. I am glad that they have taken this ability away though. Leaving it would be like being able to use the translocator in Unreal Tournament whilst carrying the flag.

You can read the full details about the update here.



OnLive – Why I don’t think it is the future

A topical post for my blog today. There are a lot of blogs covering OnLive at the moment however most are doing so with far more enthusiasm than I will.

So what is OnLive? Well from

OnLive is an on-demand video game distribution system announced at GDC 09. The service is a gaming equivalent of cloud computing with the game being computed, rendered and stored online. The service was announced to be compatible with any Intel based Mac or Windows PC running XP or Vista and is also able to stream games to the OnLive MicroConsole connected to a television.

Sounds good does it?
Not to me.

considering the average speed in the country is under 3meg[1] this is not going to work. As for me personally? well I can barely stream videos from youtube, what hope do you think I have of playing Crysis on a remote desktop connection? Any guesses? Did I hear a “none”? Yes, I think you may be right. The internet in this country is simply not up to this, the copper in the networks needs replacing but that isn’t going to happen until BT think it is economically viable. So probably around the same time Hell has a frosty coating of snow then.

Continue reading ‘OnLive – Why I don’t think it is the future’


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