11 November 2010

Morning Vent, 11 November 2010 (Veteran's Day)

 Soldier GungirlTM stands guard.

   Today is Veteran's Day. Despite nearly 25 years since I last wore the uniform, I still feel a special kinship with the heroic men and women who have shared that Service. God bless you all, living and dead. Take a moment today to thank these selfless men and women who faithfully stand guard, protecting us, shielding us from the hostile forces in the world. 

 Mason says I need a PC upgrade...

    All the copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops arriving at the HQ found their respective homes yesterday. Reibo and I got home from shopping and found the two Amazon emblazoned boxes on the porch. (I had the Amazon account set up to text me when the packages arrived. It took 2 hours for the text to come thru, lol.)
    I'll be cobbling together a review of the single player when I finish the campaign. I can tell you that the PC version is a bit too demanding for my old gaming PC. (And that has some folks in the gaming press wondering, since Black Ops should be playable on a wide variety of relatively modest PCs.) I had to pretty severely downgrade the graphics to play at all, and the game tended to slideshow quite a bit. 
    There was a minor miracle of sorts, tho. When my Godson arrived around 6ish, I was deep into the single player on the PC version, despite the washed out Crayola graphics. They had to yell to get my attention, so focused was I on emptying AKs into bad guys. On a venture, I stopped playing on the PC and made an attempt to run the calibration software on the XIM360, which I had taken the back cover off of to check for loose wires. Amazingly, the device was properly recognized, calibrated OK, and worked when plugged in!! It only froze up once, and that might have been because of my over-enthusiastic button-mashing while trying it out. 
   I didn't play any of the campaign on the Xbox, but Matt and I did play 'Combat Training' on Xbox Live. I came away very impressed - and somewhat disappointed. The 'Combat Training' mode pits you against Xbox-generated bots, with their names taken from your friends list. Like the single player campaign, you can vary their 'skill' from 'Recruit' to 'Veteran', with that level being similar to Unreal Tournament's 'Godlike' skill. At that setting, the AI bots don't miss - ever. And they whip around corners and instantly target you. Think of the scene in the cocaine warehouse in the movie Robocop, where Peter Weller as Robocop strolls through plugging bad guys without even looking in their direction, and you'll get an idea of what the 'Veteran' level bots are like. Playing them in FFA, I never won a match till I downgraded the difficulty to 'Recruit'. 
    It's something of a flaw, since that level of skill is pretty inhuman. But as I wrote to my bud, Matt, it's going to be a good tune-up tool for learning the maps and weapons. I'd be interested to see how someone really good, like Sandy Ravage, does against the bots. Moving on...

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