Drive-by Opinions

Posted by Alex Jordan on

I did what I promised and attempted to convert Latitude and Longitude coordinates into X, Y, and Z coordinates for Around The World. I was surprised to find how close the results came (I'm currently using the position of New York City as a benchmark), but I've made enough changes to the world map so that the projection is now off. But, like I said, it was close. I'm going to keep fiddling and see if I can get it to work.

Oh, and I played a bunch of games, too.

Bad baaaaaaaaaaad company, 'til the day I die...

First up, the Xbox 360 demo for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 dropped last night, along with the PC beta. I didn't play the first Bad Company, but I was a huge fan of Battlefield 2, which did the whole leveling up and unlocking thing a few years before Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was even a glint in Infinity Ward's eye. The BC2 demo shows off a lot of those same systems, as well as the whole sprawling infantry-and-vehicle combat that we all know and love.

Due to the scope of the game, the framerate seems to hover around 30 frames per second, which is very jarring when compared to, um, all other 60 fps first person shooters. Also, the shooting mechanics - which were pretty mediocre in Battlefield 2 - are flat-out terribad this time around, and exist at some unfortunate intersection of realistic bullet physics, oft-gruesome lag, and what is still very clearly an unrealistic, arcadey game. Fortunately, the destructible environments, squad mechanics, discreet class roles, and the vehicle gameplay more than make up for it. I may purchase this when it comes out.

I also installed Ghostbusters: The Video Game on my now-alive desktop and played through much of the first level. First, it runs like crap on my desktop, thanks to my new graphics card's inability to replace my 4-year old processor. Also, the gameplay just isn't that fun. The graphics are great (assuming I could crank them up) and I can't tell you how awesome it is to run around with the voices and likenesses of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson... but, the game isn't fun. I could probably just watch a Let's Play instead.

I quickly swapped out Ghostbusters for the original Mass Effect, which (also!) runs like crap on my computer. (This is driving me crazy, as I really do not want to keep spending money upgrading a desktop that I've done my best to replace with a laptop and Xbox 360.) I'm running the game on low-to-middle-ish settings, but so far I'm really impressed by the writing, voice-acting, and the characters. It seems like a really interesting space opera, and for a change I actually get to play a role in a role-playing game. I'm still on the first mission and I'm confused as hell by all the different menus and options and whatnot, but I'll stick with it. I really would like better graphics, though. Dammit.