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Orange Box for the PS3, it is fun but could be better

Santa heard my wishes and gave me the game I have been asking for. Yes, like a little boy, I was happy to pull the game out of my stocking. Oh I should tell everyone my gifts. I got a brain exercise game for my PSP (which states that I have a brain of 27 year old after hovering in the forties for several attempts), push-up bars to help me train, and my Orange Box game for the PS3.

Now I have been a Half-Life fan since it’s first release way back in the day. It was a ground breaking game with an engaging story and wonderful graphics that made you cringe when you saw bones with meat on them slide across the floor from a dark corner. The first game ended hinting that there will be a sequel. In 2004, that sequel was released for the PC gamer and in 2007, the PS3 owners not only get the sequel but sequel to the sequel, a new game called Portal (which is fantastic) and the most incredible mod ever created, Team Fortress 2.

Team Fortress or TF has roots back in the old Quake days and you had to use a lot of imagination to separate the classes. HL released TF Classic that allowed the classed to be very distinct with great maps. What are these classes I keep talking about? Well they are the roles you play during the game. You can be either a spy, scout, soldier, demolition man, engineer, medic, snipper or heavy weapons guy. Each class determines what you should do on any given map and requires everyone on a team to work together. The better the team works together, the quicker you can dominate your enemy.

TF 2 took the game and added a very colorful Wilie Coyote Acme feel to the game making it very cartoonish and fun. It would be a hoot if it were not for the terrible lag between shots. Something is buggy with the net code for TF2. This leads into a discussion problems with the game.

TF2 would be great if it were not so laggy. I would blame my bandwidth but booting into Warhawk, I experience no lag. In fact Warhawk has to be the most fluid online game I have ever played. Dog fighting in Warhawks is incredible and you need skills to survive. TF2, you really need to lead your shots almost too much just in hopes to get a hit. Not very fun with a pistol that has no splash damage.

I am not experiencing as much lag in the Half-Life 2 as what is being reported. I have not played episode one. I want to finish HL2 to keep the story intact. But it does not mean that the game is lag free. There is some drag when panning in open areas. I also noticing a white line appearing occasionally on the right side of my screen. Not enough to be annoying but enough to be a concern. Bear in mind I am playing this game on a 106″ screen, so any flaws no matter how small is magnified.

I am sadden that Valve handed this game over to EA to do the port. EA is not my favorite developer as all their games on the PS3 are just terrible. You figure that EA would try to polish the demos in hopes of getting you to buy their games but man all the demos from them are terrible. It is as if EA has no desire to put forth anything of quality on the PS3. Though I did not want to support EA, I just cannot walk away from such a wonderful product Valve created. I know Valve has no love for the PS3 but I hope that will change in the future. I gave up PC gaming for the sheer fact that I do not have the time or money to keep up with the hardware requirements. Plus I am into convergence and ironically the PC is just not there yet. The PS3 is just an elegant solution for the home theater. Gaming may not be there but the PS3 makes a fine HD movie player and streams other media off your network very well. Plus to be able to view my content from my PSP is a wonderful addition.

I hope EA will start taking the PS3 seriously and clean up their games. I cannot change Valve’s perception of the PS3 and have no intention to do so. Until the code is cleaned up, I still have a lot of HL2 and Portal to play. Oh Portal deserve it’s own post. Damn that is a good game. Till next time folks, I will see you onine (Zuir).

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