Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome to 2008

We were away for most of the Christmas period and the break was extended by the death of an elderly relative which necessitated a gruelling cross country drive to the funeral on New Years Eve. By the time we got home I would happily have collapsed into bed but my kids insisted on staying up to ring in the new year and I did my best to mark the occasion appropriately with a glass of the finest Irish Whiskey in hand.

I celebrated the arrival of 2008 by purchasing the collectors edition of Call of Duty 4 for €39.99 in my local game shop. I am somewhat pleased with myself because I resisted the temptation to buy the ordinary version for €50 three days before Christmas. Haven't installed it yet so opinions will have to wait.

Previously I resolved to try one of the unplayed games from my collection and I chose Supreme Commander. I got as far as the first level and I don't think I will continue. I have a strange relationship with RTS games. Several RTS games rank among my finest gaming experiences (Sacrifice, Earthsiege, Homeworld, Rome Total War, Battle For Middle Earth, Company of Heroes) but many other top rated RTS games have failed to hold my attention for more than a day or two. It is not about game play. I think the thing that makes the difference for me is "atmosphere". The games I like all have a terrific atmosphere which sucks me in. I still remember the day I successfully defended a nondescript bridge against overwhelming odds in Rome TW. I was on such a high after that battle. I felt like Horatius. Supreme Commander has gameplay in spades but from what I have seen so far it has little or no atmosphere. Perhaps I will give it another shot but I wouldn't guarantee it.

In other news my gaming experience has been much enhanced by the arrival of a lovely 22" wide screen. It really does make a difference. All I can say is that if you are still gaming on a small screen start saving for a bigger one . You won't regret it. Sadly my Christmas present screen has a small defect and needs to be returned. I will probably have to wait several weeks for a replacement. I will miss it.

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