I throw toilets!

I’m not a big computer game player, but every now and then I get a wild hair and have to get some gaming done. So, I borrowed a capable video card from work (ATI X800) a few weeks back so I could finally play Doom 3, which I bought almost a year ago, and Half-Life 2. I even took home my awesome work monitor (which I actually own, thank-you) to play.

To get to the point, Doom 3 is too dark. Everything hinges around the game being so freaking dark that you can’t see where you’re going, and then crap jumping you from behind. Not very original. I must admit, however, that it was repeatedly scaring the living crap out of me, so I can’t properly pass judgement. I’d like to be more critical; it’s a very single-dimensional game, but one that was single-dimensionally making me squeal like a little girl.

Half-Life 2 was really, really great. And I really mean “great”, not “mind-blowingly orgasmically compelling”. It’s a much better game than Doom 3, and that doesn’t even include the graphics (which are almost fucking-a amazing, and that’s pretty good). I actually finished it. The last game I finished was the first Halo, but that was only because I had just bought an Xbox and I really wanted to like it, and then because I hated the middle of the game so much that I felt it was my personal duty to declare it finished, dead, and to be able to never touch it again. So, it is significant that I finished HL2, for a completely different reason than Halo. It’s almost dramatic. It’s almost cinematic. It almost makes you care about some of the characters. It’s almost an amazing entertainment experience. A couple of monkeys could have written a better story? Throwing toilets at enemies (with realistic crunch!) was easily worth the price.

In the middle of finishing Half-Life 2 my shoulder went to sleep, and it’s still messed up many weeks later.

PSP

While I was in Best Buy picking up Scrubs I passed by the video games, and finally saw a Sony PSP on demo. Of course I’ve heard all about the new portable game system, but I hadn’t actually seen one running. Basically, the thing is so slick I had to go out and buy one yesterday.

Up until now, I’ve appreciated people with their little Gameboys and such. I know Nintendo puts an enormous amount of artistry and craftsmanship into its games, but there has always been something less-than-thrilling to me about portable game systems. The A/V experience was always sacrificed; they always look like console video games from a few generations back, and understandably so.

Well, not any more. The PSP’s LCD screen is simply gorgeous, and the visual quality of the games I’ve played is pretty much as good as a full-blown PS2. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I’m finally impressed by a portable gaming device. Now, all it needs is this.