Left 4 Dead

image 3.5 rating  (3.5/5) – shooter – zombie – survival horror

Reviews: Metacritic 89% | Game Rankings 89.17% | zero punctuation 
Reference: wikipedia12 | Achievements
Walkthrus: Mahalo | WikiCheats | GameFAQs
Developer: Valve Corporation, Engine: Source 

This is not my normal style of game. I hate zombies. I hate zombie games. I fully expected to hate this game. However, given its stellar reputation, I rented it, expecting to play it for an hour, and toss it. That almost happened.

At first I played the single player campaign. I didn’t know what was going on. I was frustrated. I kept dying  repeatedly. The game provides no in-game save option. Consequently I kept getting sent back 20 minutes to the last (rare) check point – a game construct that annoys me to no end.

After a couple hours of futility I was about to return it to the rental store. But, I had heard that it must be played online to be enjoyed. Having no friends with the game I loathed the thought of going online with unruly 13 year olds running off in every direction telling me how much I suck at it. But an amazing thing happened. I had fun.

left 4 dead - hordes of zombies

I was into a game within 30 seconds. At first, I didn’t put my headset on. I expected to hate it and didn’t want to hear others berate my ineptitude. Strangely, 30 minutes later I noticed I was having fun – a lot of fun. At one point I was about to die and then someone came by and healed me. What? That never happens? Where did this sudden benevolence come from?

Continue reading “Left 4 Dead”

Orange Box – Mini Review

orange box cover art3.5 rating    (3.5/5) – shooter – platformer

Reviews: Metacritic 96%
Reference: wikipedia12
Developer: Valve Corporation Engine: Valve’s Source Engine

[Note: This mini-review predates the founding of the Daleisphere. It was culled from an email I wrote to friends about the game in early December 2007.]

Orange Box consists of several games in one package:

  • Half Life 2 and the mini-sequels Episodes 1 and 2,
  • Portal (there will be cake 🙂 )
  • Team Fortress

Certainly worth a rental if you’ve never played Half-Life 2 – or even for Portal. Unfortunately, as was the case on the PC, Half-Life is a game that gives me headaches and makes me nauseous after 30 minutes of play. I cannot sit with it long enough to play it through. If whatever does this doesn’t affect you, its quite a nice shooter. Though I wouldn’t give it the kudos its getting in the press. 

The game “Portal” also makes the Orange Box worth a rental. It’s playable all the way through in just a few hours. I enjoyed it quite a bit. 

I didn’t try Team Fortress (which is getting terrific reviews) – it is an online only game and nobody I know has the game.