*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

click to show/hide
...or I Shall Taunt You a Second Time! (...)
click to show/hide the rest of this post
I am sick. As in, actually sick, not the "oh, i feel abnormal, TIME TO STAY HOME!". I went home around 3rd period yesterday, although my mom didn't pick me up until 6th period. Kind of defeated the purpose, although I did get some sleep in the nurse's office. I stayed home today, and my sneezing's gone, but I'm coughing a little more, and my head feels akin to cotton. I would have actually preferred to have gone to school, not for the fun of it, but because I still haven't finished all the work in chemistry. Hopefully I can get it all done in the two days left. I'm going to school tomorrow, sick or not. Staying home has been boring (not completely boring, but I beat Chaos Theory, and nobody's been around to play online with). Speak of which, I think I'll give my thoughts on Chaos Theory's Single Player.


So, Chaos Theory. I've talked it about it a lot before, and I have to say it lived up to it. The SP is amazing in general. There's always three or four ways to solve things, but that makes the game easier, since the designers can't predict what you have to do. Compared to the first and second's levels, these are a good bit longer (they usually take an hour to beat, but once you know them, you can run through in about 15-20 minutes easily). There's more enemies, the enemies are smarter, the graphics are better, think of whatever you can and it's better. With one exception. But I'll get to that in a minute.

A short BULLETED!!?!?! list of what's improved:
  • New Weapon: Knife....the indestructible coolness goes on...
  • Level Complexity: As mentioned before, the levels are longer, and more complex. There's always 2 ways to get to one destination, if not more, and usually 3 ways to kill any given guard (besides shooting or running up and knifing them). The game allows you to play however you want, now that alarms only increase the difficulty of taking out any given guard. In pandora tomorrow, 3 alarms meant you failed, but here, 4 alarms is the limit. It just means the guards are super-alert and fully equipped with rifles, body armor, and helmets.
  • More Maneuvers: You can kill people from just about anywhere, in any direction. The new moves include neck-snapping from a pipe, pulling over edges, shoving over edges, 4 non-lethal attacks, 5 lethal stabs, the list goes on. In addition to more moves, there's WAY more chances to use these moves. Remember in the first SC, where you got to use the split jump once? I used it three times total, and probably used the edge grab half a dozen times, at least. Ah, the satisfaction.
  • Smarter AI: Multiple enemies will breach rooms from multiple directions, move between cover, switch from pistols to rifles as they find more disturbed items in the levels, notice broken lights, opened doors, etc..
  • Opportunity Objectives: These are always simple, but add just a little more interest to the levels. It's always about finding an X number of something (weapons crates, microphones, phone lines, whatev). While simple, they usually don't make you go searching the entire level again once you've gone through (with one exception, heh), it's just a nifty little touch. Obviously these aren't required to beat the mission.
  • Success Rating System: At the end of each level, you are rated on your stealth skills, based on whether you killed enemies or incapacitated, alarms triggered, bodies found, and number of times identified as an intruder (as opposed to being suspected). A 100% requires no killing, no bodies found, no alarms, and never being identified as an intruder, as well as getting the opportunity objective. The non-killing objective is the hardest, as it takes longer to knock someone out, and nearly impossible to do when they've identified you.
  • OCP: The pistol is equipped with an alternate fire, which is an electrical distruptor. It distrupts electrical objects for about 15 seconds, so you can keep moving past. This is important, because cameras are now indestructable, and is also useful for attracting guards without them identifying you.
  • Gadgets Simplified: Certain gadgets are combined into one (like the noise camera and the sticky camera).
  • Better Graphics: Like, a lot better, these are some slick polygons *bonk*.
  • Better Sound: The sounds are a little bit better, but what I really mean here, is that sound plays a bigger role in sneaking around. There's an ambient sound meter which tells you how loud the surrounding area is, so you can adjust your speed accordingly.
But of course, with the good, comes the bad
  • Plot Retardacity: I don't know how to say this...but the plot? It sucks. It's filled with a lot of unnecessary holes (things stop making sense after the 4th or 5th level), and it just doesn't flow. The first two had an identifiable villian, you felt like the levels had a purpose. In this case, however, you just kind of do whatever the objectives are, instead of intuitively knowing what you should be doing. In addition to being overly complex and filled with contradictions, it also doesn't make sense logically. A lot of key elements to it just would not happen in today's warfare, or even 20 years ago. They invoke technology that we're far from gaining, and vastly underestimate the technology we have now. EXAMPLE: You are transmitting data to the NSA, via a plane flying by. For some reason, this plane is flying directly above a war zone, barely missing the skyscrapers. In addition to this, the plane, still going x-hundred miles and hour, is shot down with an infantry's bazooka. This wouldn't have happened in Vietnam, let alone 2007. The connection cannot be so weak as to require the plane being inches away from the source. Gah, I won't go on.
  • Poor Cutscenes: They may have been the same before, but I remember the cutscenes from the first two versions being far smoother. The model animations this time around are very robotic. They aren't convincing, and add to the level of vaguery in what's going on. The cutscenes are also usually cut short as a character is saying something, to try and give a "rushed" sense, but it just adds to the confusion.
  • Sporadic Retardacity: Two levels are very, very poorly designed. Level 8 and 9, to be specific. They both start out nice and fun, but towards the middle, something happens to completely change the goal of the mission, and you're tossed into a situation that is not logical or fun. Example: after the plane crashes, you are faced with North Korean UAVs, invincible, flying, infrared-scanning cameras with spotlights and a turret. They follow you wherever you go, and they can always follow you because the level has only 1 direction to go. Another example: after fighting breaks out between the Japanese ISDF, you need to reach the main target, the instigator of this outbreak. Because these men are all combat-ready, they are wearing helmets, body armor, are super-alert, and have infrared nightvision goggles on. Three of these men are in one room, with two doors. One door in, and one door out. That's it. It is impossible to not kill these men, or do it by stealthy means. I tried, for over an hour. That's the kind of situation I mean, where the game's purpose is stolen by an obstacle that cannot be bypassed stealthily. This were probably the product of crunch-time, and last-minute attempts to get 10 levels in. The last level almost redeemed them, but was slightly dissapointing in the level of fun it was. SC 1 and 2 both had incredibly fun final levels. Why were they fun? I don't really know. They just were.
Beyond that, the single player alone was probably worth 50 bucks. If I'd gotten the collector's edition, I'd still have the three original bonus levels from SC, but, such things are not meant to be, I suppose. Once I play through the Co-op I'll post some thoughts on that, but as is, I have nobody to play it with. I probably won't write much about Versus for a long time, if at all, because of the extreme complexity. It's taken me about 4-5 hours of playing just to get fluent with the controls, but the strategy on what to use and when to use it is the real key, and the levels are so get the idea. Hopefully I won't forget to write it up, though. Hehe.


My throat feels like a lizard.


I got the server set up (with considerable amounts of help from Benjamin). Go explore the files I have up at the moment! What does this mean to you? I no longer have to use photobucket, which was semi-unreliable, downgraded the picture size, more annoying to link to, yada yada yada. This also means I can resurrect the random templates, unless, of course, you do not want them. If I were to bring them back, it would be be random, it would start on blue, but you could set it to whichever color you prefer. I'd also improve the colors and backgrounds and such for the red and green, and maybe introduce a few other colors. We'll see.

The Server Location
posted by MC Froehlich at

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home