Archive for August, 2008


Return to Rapture

My first playthrough of Bioshock left something ot be desired. I wanted to play it so much that I went through the game on the Xbox 360, watching the whole thing on a tiny 14 inch TV with mono sound. The game forced widescreen resulting in a minute image. Even so I gained a sense of the game. That screen became a narrow letterbox beyond which lay an odd and broken world, a smokey damp creaking old wreck of a place in which odd and broken things would attack me. Even in dead mono the cracked tones of Billy Holliday, intermingled with the mad jabbering of Rapture’s inhabitants sent shivers down my spine.

I finished Bioshock astonished by one of the best game stories I’ve experienced in years, and for days after my head was full of the characters I had encountered, many of which I had never even seen, having grown to know only their distorted voices from the many audio logs scattered throughout the world. The thing is, despite it all, I felt slightly disappointed. I had reached the end too quickly. I had only fleeting impressions of the locations I had visited. Driven by the ever-present golden arrow at the top of my screen, I had never properly wandered off the prescribed path. The experience was flat, as though I had tasted the methodone and come to know there was something more powerful afoot. Rapture deserved better.

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Stat Fortress 2 – Goldrush

Blow up and zoom for a better look.

Blow up and zoom for a closer look.

You may not know this, but every time you die, or crit, or fire your weapon in Team Fortress 2, somewhere deep in the Valve-o-plex a vast data warehouse makes a note. Valve then analyses every detail to discover exactly how players are playing their game. They know where you’re getting stuck or frustrated, and can then tweak and make changes to streamline the game experience. After a bit of number crunching Valve release this information publicly so that the great unwashed can see they are but one of many, many players immolated by pyros in the first tunnel at the start of Goldrush.

For the stat-happy the TF2 information can all be found here. The site also carries stats for the Half Life episodes, Day of Defeat and others. But what I’m more interested in is Goldrush. It’s been out for a few months now, so it seems like a good time to take a look at how things are panning out. Thus follows an breakdown of each stage of the recently released death map. Hot colours mean many deaths, cold colours are areas of relative safety. Blow the image up to get a better look, I’ve added extra annotation, the untarnished original image is here for your attention. Click below to read the rest of the commentary.

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Dante – He Aint Heavy; He’s My Brother

Hello everyone! Dante here, sorry about the slow update rate recently, but I’ve recently entered the exciting world of paying employment and acquired a new PC, so my productivity is down a little.

As you may remember I did a post about my ideas for a new minigun for the heavy a while back, well I’ve thought about it for a while and I’ve eventually come up with a full set of unlocks, which I’d email to Valve if I new the address to send it to (any help anyone) but for now I’ll pop up here for you. I also have a few ideas for other classes at the end, some are mine, and some are just the best ones culled from other people (credit is given though). All the sordid details below the jump.

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