A moment of gaming reflection – Mann vs. Machine (TF2 Co-Op)


I love the new Mann vs. Machine mode in Team Fortress 2 (review pending); the carnage, the oil spray, the rage quitters who leave after losing one round in Mann Up mode (ok, so I don’t love that so much). As great as this mode is however it still suffers from glitching up every now and again. Crazy wait time for servers to open up, loss of sever connection during a game, lag, and more were present at launch. They were annoying sure, but in some ways they were hilarious. Case in point: finishing up the 3rd wave of Mannworks here, a Demo blew a Deflector Heavy all the way up into a bridge above – then it actually got stuck there. Sure it could still see and shoot us, but it couldn’t movie and as luck would have it he had the bomb. After having a good laugh at its expense and clearing out the rest of the bots we put it out of its mutated misery. Like most glitches found this one will be neutralized by Steam in futures patches, but on this day you can believe a robot can be one blown into a bridge by black scottish cyclops and phase into it by wacky programing – and that just makes me smile.


You can see the rest of the pics here.




Lag – The silent killer… Of games


Now I wouldn’t say I play games online a lot (if I wanted to hear losers and 3-year olds yell obscenities at me I would go to a kingdom hearts message board), but I do like to challenge myself against other people every now and again. I turn on my Xbox 360, pop in ‘The Orange Box’ and warm up ‘Team Fortress 2’. I get keyed up for 10-30 minutes of non-stop slaughter, and finally load on to the playing field, and then it hits me. Not an enemy player but something more insidious… Lag. I can’t move, can’t turn, and can’t shoot. Then sudden movement and turning for few seconds then freeze again against the wall. Firing constantly, even without pulling the trigger since the first time. The finally indignity was dying by an opponent I couldn’t, see, avoid, or fight. I left (in a crappy mood) to find a better room, but I never did. I was temped to melt the disk into slag; I didn’t because that would be stupid, still this was not an isolated incident. Games, FPS mostly, are meant to be played online these days, but no matter the game, chances are if you play it online it will be hampered by Lag.

For those who don’t know; Lag is where highly congested network latency causes a symptom where an electronic action appears later than expected. There are many reasons why this happens, but I don’t care! We have come a along way as a people, cloned sleep, created good trilogy movies, and so on. You can’t tell me we can’t eliminate latency issues from online game play, you just can’t! What I’m I paying for Xbox live for if I’m not getting what I’m paying for; game developers are guilty too why have something in testing for years if Lag is still around. Truth be told, Lag free game are found in unexpected games like Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Their online is seamless, and coming from a company that’s not known for their online games, at all, makes the others look like there dragging there feet. I’m glad to say that Lag is more of a minority event than anything; and not as bad as I make it out to be. Lag though a serious issue should be dealt with immediately by the powers that be, otherwise it can (and will) ruin a game for a player. Patience and restraint can only go so far.