Monthly Archives: November 2004

Half-Life 2

Just finished Half-Life 2 (after about 18-20 hours spent over the last 5 days) on it. This — seeing my currently available spare time — is quite an achievement and shows the very high quality of the game. It is relatively hardware-friendly (i.e. it was fun to play on my machine — in contrast to the CPU-hog Doom 3).
I got the game over steam (via an ATI-coupon that I upgraded to “Silver” for $10) and had absolutely no problem activating it whatsoever; one advantage is that I can install the game on my laptop and on my home machine at the same time.
The graphics are amazing, although a good deal is independent of technical merit and is simply very good art direction; nevertheless there are some very neat effects in there such as distortion or good use of environmental cube-maps. One of the other highlights is definitely the animation system, in particular the facial animation and lip-syncing.
The story leaves plenty of things for you to infer on your own, but that has always been Half-Life’s approach.
Highly recommended.
(Plenty of other games left to play — this one jumped the queue so to speak ;))

iBook arrived

I got my iBook G4 (12″, 1.2Ghz, 768mb, 60Gb HDD, Bluetooth) on Friday. Lovely machine so far (still so much stuff to get used to — like the @-key ;)), the only niggle is that the tiny speakers resonate with some particular frequencies and when they do, they sound rather awful (which so far was evident in one song from my collection).
Some things are very impressive though, for example that the iTunes visualisation still updates in real-time after activating the Exposé zoom-out. I have yet to see an application for Mac OS X that only looks average or even bad. 😀