Atanok’s Weblog

2009/05/02

Crysis: Warhead

Filed under: Uncategorized — atanok @ 03:21

I beat this one about 2 weeks ago, and it’s still fresh in my memory, so let’s do a quick overview.

Screenshots look more awesome than moving images.

Screenshots look more awesome than moving images.

It’s about the same thing as Crysis, only better in about every way.

Still far from being a masterpiece, Warhead makes quite a few improvements from its parent title – specially in what it comes to storytelling.
The faceless soldier gets replaced by Psycho, the likable British comrade we fought alongside before. He does a pretty better job as lead character, showing some (still somewhat cheap) emotions and some character development.
He also gets a nice nemesis, NKA’s Colonel Lee, who displays gratuitous sadism whenever possible, and a mixed-feelings-background-story old friend, O’Neill. Both more memorable than Nomad (main character) from the original Crysis.

The weapons are about the same, with a few additions that don’t really change much.
The suit’s power capacity and recovery times were apparently fine-tuned for the better (I think…).
AI is still a bit erratic, but more balanced and consistent.

As for the difficulty, it’s still a walk in the park on the hardest setting. The differences between difficulty levels is still small, and most changes are things like disabling grenade warnings, no ammo auto pickup, enemies speak Korean, no crosshairs, etc…

Ok, so let’s wrap it up:
Crysis Warhead was an improvement over Crysis, it makes for some enjoyable gaming, while still not being a marking title.
Multiplayer was left out because I don’t.

Advertisements

[Touhou] Perfect Cherry Blossom: Extra Stage ReimuB – Clear :part 1/2: HD

Filed under: Uncategorized — atanok @ 02:54

This has been a draft for over a month, so I’ll just dump this here now before it gets too old…

[old]
This is the Extra stage in Touhou 7: Perfect Cherry Blossom.
Part 1 shows the stage before reaching the Extra boss, Ran Yakumo (Yukari’s shikigami).
This is the very first time I clear Extra, so it gets pretty desperate at the end, specially since it was also my first time seeing Ran’s last spellcard and I didn’t expect to win…

In this part I use a couple of bombs in a stupid fashion and I die once against small fry due to distraction by my part.
It *is* embarrassing, but looks like generally bad beginnings result in a better performance later on for many players… I think I might start becoming superstitious >_>

This video was encoded with results based on a couple earlier tests to see how could I keep youtube from drastically reducing video quality.
It turns out youtube only places quality concerns over videos that have EXACTLY 1280×720 as resolution (and not a pixel row or column less). This means I have two reasonable options to keep a high quality and the aspect ratio…
Take the 640×480 video and…
– keep it that way while adding filler black space all around it.
– upscale to 960×720 and put sidebars to make up for the missing 320 pixel colums.
The advantages of each approach are obvious.
The first is the best approach in size and quality, since the moving video is restricted to a 640×480 frame, making it easier on the codec and not subjecting the source video to an upscale filter.
The second approach exists only for ease of view purposes, since it’ll take up the most space possible in the youtube frame, something important for those viewing in normal or high quality mode.

I chose the second one, despite the disadvantages and the unmentioned higher processing time on my end.

The codec used was x264 quality-based and the audio codec was Ogg Vorbis.
Both will be reencoded by youtube before reaching your end.

I think the best approach youtube could make would be providing their conversion tool for download and putting the conversion load off-site, on the uploaders’ machines.
If concerned that it would be used for other purposes, they could make it output some stupid proprietary format that would simply be the normal output h264/AAC stream encrypted with their public key (make one), so that only they could decode the file.
Then, run it trough a simple test algorithm to see it’s a valid video stream and host it directly, making the lower quality versions on-site based on that.
Also, PROVIDE BINARIES FOR ALL PLATFORMS.
I wouldn’t forgive them if they came out with a “New! Beta uploader try now!” and give a stupid .exe when their own damn conversion tool is running on linux
[/old]

Since the time I wrote this, youtube changed to recognize videos with other widths as “HD”.

Edit: Might as well post the continuation while I’m here…

2009/05/01

Quick comment on Call of Duty: World at War

Filed under: FPS, Games — Tags: , , — atanok @ 12:21

I posted this as comments on a youtube video, so I might as well dump it here for some quick new content.

CoD:WaW flamethrower scripted death

Some guy we never quite get attached to gets script-killed by a Nazi flamethrower.
Until the sequence finishes, the enemy is invulnerable to bullets, fire, melee, division by zero, and lazorz.

Guess what. I went and beat the game.
Before, I thought it would be simply bad, overly violent (the kind that makes gameplay worse) and use the ridiculous brown post-effect filters certain games nowadays add for “realism”.
Now I know while it’s not a horrid experience, it clearly shows it’s a refurbished CoD4. And most of the changes were for the worse.
The high difficulty was due to map design flaws and enemy over-consciousness, instead of the lethal-yet-believable enemies from CoD4. The flamethrower was pathetic and unrealistic (Hollywood style, gas instead of liquid), molotovs were poorly coded grenade hackjobs, handguns underpowered, cinematics badly scripted, poor storyline immersion or believability, annoying allied AI, ridiculous enemy respawning behaviors… the annoying flaws go on.
Nazi Zombies were the icing on top of the already unbelievable atmosphere.
Bottom line: It was bad as I thought, but for different reasons than those I expected.

btw, I only beat it once, in Veteran difficulty. Just like I did with CoD4 for the first time.
Finished in 2 sittings (I was already beat up and needed sleep on the first one).
I think it was easier than CoD4, but ironically I found CoD4 to be more “fair” – as in when you die, you know what you did wrong and what killed you. You think “that was my fault, I should have been better”.
On this one tough, 90% of the times I died all I was thinking was “WTF I didn’t expect that. What’d I do wrong?”.

I posted it here, a trailer for the game.

The trailer isn’t representative of the game in any way whatsoever.

2009/04/21

Still alive.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — atanok @ 00:34

Gee, it sure is one month without posting around here.

2009/03/17

Touhou

Filed under: Games, Touhou — atanok @ 02:44

Touhou can be pretty addicting…

I’ll post some of my ridiculous attempts at subduing Flandre one of these days…
Maybe some Ran videos as well… I almost got her last time… I swear…

2009/02/18

recordmydesktop and ensuing gtk frontend. Sound capture drama.

Filed under: Computers, Linux — atanok @ 08:32

goddammit Linux, these sound server schemes are way too complicated.

I want to record the desktop to elaborate tutorial videos, gaming capture and whatnot, but even though an awesome video capture tool is available, recordmydesktop, it’s the audio capture that’s bringing me closer to those nice young men in their clean white coats, and they’re coming to take me away HA HAA!

So far I’ve figured thatmy Intel “HDA” integrated audio board refuses to provide a “stereo mix” or “wave” output, and recordmydesktop doesn’t support PulseAudio (Ubuntu 8.10 default, thus Linux Mint) as a capture source.
It does however support JACK, a much lower latency sound server, but older and apparently underfeatured.

My general idea now is as follows:
Programs=>PulseAudio->JACK->recordmydesktop (for capture)
Programs=>Pulseaudio->ALSA->Hardware (for playback)

The second line what I think is already in place, so no problems there.
The first one though is giving me headaches, mixed with short breath, cough and dripping nose caused by what I suspect to be a bronchitis, but I digress…

I’ve tried using JACK with its friendly qjackctl GUI frontend to no avail, but I suspect the error in this case might be located between the chair and the keyboard, I must confess.

I’ll now give myself into a restless sleep while thinking about these issues, plus a broken 360 that isn’t mine and a driving code exam I should be studying for.

Oh, the unfunny drama keeps adding up.
Next up: DICKSMOLD EVERYWHERE

Quick update.

Filed under: Uncategorized — atanok @ 08:30

Long story short, I got attracted to Linux Mint 6 as an Ubuntu 8.04 user and because the Vista install on this laptop got somehow fried (ask MS) I decided to sudo rm -rf / and upgrade to the new 8.10-based distro.

I had an 8.04/Vista dualboot btw. Didn’t use Vista that much, once per month at most.

Everything went smoothly, and I got a shiny new OS running in minutes. This was about a week ago.

Now, onto the next post regarding problems that already haunted me in 8.04…

2009/02/02

Hotlinking fun.

Filed under: Uncategorized — atanok @ 10:18

lol wut

bbot bait :3

Hello world! Oh you…

Filed under: Uncategorized — atanok @ 00:18

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

GODDAMMIT WORDPRESS

I was going to kick things off by making a first topic titled “Hello world!”, but you had to ruin it by doing it by yourself.

Damn you, damn you, damn you, damn you!

/rant

Now that I’m over with that, I’ll officially declare this the first post.

Wish me luck with this blog of mine, which shall be viewed by an average of 1,33* people, including myself and google misdirects.

*repeating, of course.

« Newer Posts

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.