Imma back!

4 July, 2011

Almost a year? I didn’t think I was absent from writing about games for that long. Well the time stamps don’t lie, as the newly coined saying goes. A lot has changed in a year. I have slowly and forcefully broken free of unemployment, bought a new computer, laughed, loved, cried a little, and ate some fantastic sandwiches. I will spare you the details of most of those experiences, except of course one which is very relevant.

3 slices of lightly toasted bread, salami, ham, turkey, provolone cheese, blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing. Taken individually they are simple pieces of food, overlooked in the eyes of many a man, woman, or child. When combined correctly though, children learn of epic poems in school which were inspired by such an unfathomable force of nature. Epics poems written by men and women who have once set lips and tongue upon such beauty, such fulfillment, that love is but a mere soiled cloth in comparison.

But enough about the computer.

Remarkably I was writing about games with an old laptop, 4-5 years old at the time of my first scribblings on a cave wall. I was also playing, or attempting to play games on this same laptop. Of course the monitor had died and I was using an external one. Of course there was really no video card. Of course I had a difficult time playing any game which required extensive 3D graphics. Torchlight was hardly playable. What most people called setbacks though I embraced. Like a man embracing a stuffed animal from childhood, but not as psychotic. Mainly I didn’t have the funds to purchase a new computer, and just had to deal with all the slow loading times and choppy games. Over time the laptop started having hardware interrupts and everything became worse. It took me almost 10 minutes just to start Windows. Notepad took 20 seconds to open. At this point I took a hard look at my laptop, as a father might upon a sick child. Instead of taking it to a hospital like a father should, I decided to make a new one and lock the laptop into a dark closet somewhere within the house. At this time I was about 2 months into my new job, and looking with a friend for an apartment. A tough choice had to be made. In the end the computer won out, not the apartment. Perhaps a foolish choice to some, but not to one with a dying laptop who loves to write about games. After a week of research I found a pleasant deal on a website which had everything I was looking for, and then some. Spec time!

Intel i5 2500k, 8 GB RAM, the rest is kind of technical and boring, power supply, motherboard, case, blah, blah, blah. I had to put it together, which was the first time for me. It went smoothly though thanks to my degree, computer management and information systems, and with the A+ certification study guide book. When I started the new computer, which I named Archie after Night Owl’s vehicle (from Watchmen) which he name Archie after Merlin’s pet owl, it was like turning on a new age in my life. I had successfully went from the Bronze Age to the Information Age, or post-modernism. I rejoiced. Yet things weren’t finished there. Oh no, life was about to change even more.

I installed Steam and started playing Torchlight again, which I could finally play at 60+ fps instead of 5 fps during battles (not a joke or exaggeration). Intel combined, or integrated, its own form of a graphics card with its newest i5, so I figured I should be fine with games. Certainly Torchlight ran fine. Then I downloaded the Witcher, which is a huge game around 15 GB. Our internet is a little sluggish so I went over to my friend’s house to finish the download. We waited in anticipation as the game was finishing the download. He was playing the new Alice so I watched that for a while. Then when the Witcher was all ready I hit the play button. A message came up saying, “Your computer can not handle our graphics so piss off.” Actually the message wasn’t as rude, but it was  blunt as German game developers often can be. I was left in this predicament: I wait to save up some money for a graphics card, I buy the graphics card RIGHT NOW, or just not play the Witcher. Of course I chose the graphics card. I started looking at entry level cards, whichever ones were at a local store. I decided though that I should just spend the money for a mid level card so I wouldn’t have to buy another one for a while. I settled on the Radeon HD 6770, which is a decently powerful graphics card. After installing it I started playing the Witcher and all was fine in the world.

That all happened a few weeks ago and now Steam has their Summer Sale, and I’m going to be bankrupt from it. When I woke up the first day of the sale I had just bought Europa III Chronicals and was looking forward into learning the game. When I exited to head to work though I saw the store page. The sale. I had made a list of games that I wanted to play and couldn’t because of the laptop. After I made the list I decided I would wait until I finished playing the Witcher to buy any more games. Unless the games were on sale, then I would buy them and wait until I was done playing the Witcher to play them. Well there is this combo pack from developers on Steam and the Square Enix Eidos package had Batman Arkam Asylm, Just Cause 2, Supreme Comander 2, and a whole bunch more for only $75. I had Batman on the list, and Supreme Comander 2, but most of the other games weren’t. At the price though I was tempted, and my friend said I might as well buy the package because it was like 30+ games. He made a convincing argument and I bought the package. Then a few days ago Bioshock and Bioshock 2 were on sale for $5 each so I bought those as well. Now Trine is on sale. Tomorrow I’m sure it will be something else. Either way I now have more games than I can handle, and a machine that can play all of them. I have Just Cause 2 on highest settings and get over 40 fps.

Therefore with all these games and new computer I will resume writing with vigor anew. Welcome back. First up: Batman Arkam Asylm.


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