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Preload your engines, the Orange Box has been launched

without comments

You have to give it to Valve, the creators of Half-Life and the equally successful Half-Life 2 sequel, not only these guys develop great games, but their focus on detail and execution has really paid off.

It’s good being Valve, after all they have kept on capitalizing big on Counter Strike for the past few years despite of the fact it wasn’t their own creation. But hey, they did create the mod tools and put them out there for gamers to use and expand their game platform (at no cost). They later relaunched the original HL bundled with Counter Strike, since then other similar successful game bundles have followed up until now that they bring the Orange Box.

Steam screenshot

It’s a beautiful concept, really. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 took way too long to be finished, and Valve knew that. The episodic series momentum was gone for many, so now instead of launching a rather short good game for $30, they have packed it up with the long time coming vaporware-returning-from-the-dead Team Fortress 2, and guess what, it’s another great game. Not to be outdone with that, for the usual retail price of $50, they are giving away the original Half Life 2, the additional pack HL2 Lost Coast, HL2 Episode One, and a sneak peek next-generation FPS single player experience they call Portal.

The Orange Box was just released today through the Steam distribution system and should be available from retail stores as well.

Execution… have to give it to them. From the popularity observed during the Team Fortress 2 beta and the established base of Half Life fans, this looks to be yet another winner for Valve.

Written by Julio Franco

October 10th, 2007 at 5:41 am

Posted in gaming,software,the web

Games for Windows, where is my Halo 3?

with 5 comments

I must admit I’m a console gamer on a very limited basis. I have owned a PS2 for years but for the most part I have limited myself to a handful of what I consider great games, beginning with the Pro Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven franchise.

It wasn’t until recently that I got myself an Xbox 360 to go along my new HDTV, and man was I impressed. The fact that I started up by booting the Bioshock demo probably added to the experience, but even with the gorgeous graphics that can now be had using new high-def TVs, I did not buy Bioshock (for the 360), and I’m yet to decide if I will jump ship on either Gears of War or Microsoft’s recently released Halo 3. The fact is, I still feel much more comfortable playing shooters on my PC, for that same reason I went and bought the Orange Box so I could get some TF2 beta action.

Now, you will excuse my rambling, but back to where I wanted to go with this post… Microsoft’s Games for Windows initiative is great, I mean, at least it’s something! But you will want to think again if you believe the software giant is really committed to PC gamers. I find it ridiculous and even insulting that Halo 2 was released for the PC just three months ago when the console version was launched back in November 2004!

I’m pretty sure PC game sales wouldn’t cannibalize those of the Xbox, and because both platforms have so much in common, I’m also sure a really committed team of developers would have been able to bring a Windows version in no time if they wished to.

It’s not that we desperately need Halo 3 for Windows. The PC without a doubt has received and will continue receiving a number of AAA titles by the end of the year (Crysis, anyone?), but looking at Microsoft’s Games for Windows efforts, they could do so much better.

Written by Julio Franco

September 26th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

Posted in gaming,microsoft

Mario Bros, anyone?

with 3 comments

This is a funny video, worth your next couple of minutes ;)

Written by Julio Franco

November 29th, 2005 at 5:13 am