See, because fist weapons don't grant a backstab ability and...
August 4, 2007, 23:47 EST
Actually, if you don't play World of Warcraft, I'm positive you don't care.
@machall productions .com
More progress made...
August 4, 2007, 04:40 EST
Taking my time with this one. I want to make sure it's done right. I shall continue to chip away at it over the weekend. However don't expect another comic after this one bright and early, Monday. I'll be all groggy and shit.
Ian and I put in a marathon Marathon session and plowed through up to "The Big House." Marathon co-op was never something I got to do back in the day. It was an Appletalk-only gig, and I was the only guy around with a Mac anyway.
We had to fiddle with the aspect ratio on Ian's non-HD tv to regain perepherial vision, but other than that, it's a good adaptation.
As a game, Marathon 2 holds up even better than I remember. Durandal is possibly the best character in video games, and all the terminal text is wonderful pulp sci-fi.
It's an odd symmetry, being here and playing Marathon with Ian, considering we first met seven or eight years ago over Marathon: Red.
@machall productions .com
"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to."
August 2, 2007, 13:39 EST
So by now, there's a good chance that if you have a 360 you've heard that Marathon:Durandal has been ported and detailed up for Live Arcade. While my co-workers may argue that Doom was better, I have a lot of love for the series.
It's been ported by the creaters of Burning Monkey Free Verse. When I heard that part of the news I had to laugh. The same chat channel that I met and eventually teamed up with Matt on was a Marathon fan channel. (I think it was on a program called 'Hotline') Matt went by the screen name Forensic where as I went by the ever creative handle of _IAN_. Also on the channel was Bruce & Mark. (Hippieman & HaveBlue) who both now work at Free Verse. When I heard that that Bruce was the lead on the project I had to smile at how it sort of came full circle.
Now, I'm going to talk about the port, not the original game. It's still the same damn game it was when it was released. So all the gripes of level design and confusing back tracking is still there and really doesn't need to be discussed here.
With all that said, I'm biased toward the 2.5d shooter. The port is pretty spot on. It feels just like the original, though I'm not keen on the Interact button (Switches, terminals, doors) be so far from the rest of the controls. The art is very well done. My hat's off to the wall texture artist. Most artists when they tried to up res those graphics made their own thing. This artist remained so faithful to the source material it almost looks like he painted between the pixels of the original art.
The creatures and guns are also really well crafted to their source material, though I would have liked more frames of animation than the original clips. But I understand what they were going for.
I also would have liked the co-op option to better support respawning. Halo style. As it is, when you die, you warp to the start spawn with just your pistol. I would prefer that you warp to another player's location and if both(all) players die, the level resets. Otherwise with enough lava deaths your eventually have a team of players trying to punch Juggernauts to death because they ran out of gear. (Though considering you can have 8 players in co-op, this could be an amusing sight.)
My last and largest complaint of this port is that if you play single player on a 4:3 ratio screen you will be in for some stomach aches. Instead of squeezing the screen down and increasing the FOV you are instead limited to an infuriating tunnel vision that will have you wildly whipping your view around so you can figure out where you are. This is just down right unacceptable. (Hippie, what the hell?)
So if you can set you screen to 16:9, do so and switch you Xbox to the same. Even if you lack an HD screen. Otherwise enjoy playing with blinders on.
Now if you play spit screen, there's no problem. That width is ideal for the game.
All things considered, I still played the game till 1am last night.