Author Topic: The Half-Life Resurrection Thread: Preface (i.e., Read This Post First)  (Read 24372 times)

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Half-Life 2, Part 2
« Reply #180 on: December 21, 2019, 12:37:53 AM »
Half-Life 2, Part 2


The Sound Of Music...And Screaming...And Crying...

Excellent work on both the music and the sound. I could go on and on about it, but I won’t. My favorite weapon sound is, of course, the pistol; I even imported it to HL1. Anyway, the music is that same atmospheric goodness that made HL1 so fun to play...you know, when you had the CD in the drive.

The voiceover work is marvelous. I mean, they got Benson! How cool is that!?

[Robert Guillaume, I mean.]


I Spy With My Little Eye...I See David, I See Juan, I See Chris DOING SOMETHING VERY NAUGHTY TO HIS SISTER!

["Romper Room," I believe. When the subject came up in my twenties, my mother told me that she remembered me not liking the show very much (I was three or four) because the host would never mention that she saw any kids named "Eric." I guess I felt left out.]

It’s been beaten to death elsewhere, but HL2 is a beautiful game. It’s just gorgeous. If you’re running the latest rig, it’s almost photorealistic.** The face movement technology certainly has something to do with it (one might speculate). They still have a long way to go before you get the feeling that there may be some sort of intelligence behind their eyes, however. I’d say it has something to do with the soul -- atheists, I entreat you to jump up your own asses -- and the fact that it shines through a person’s eyes (except in the case of Britney Spears, who has no soul and thus always looks like a cow in a slaughterhouse just waiting for the sledgehammer), giving them a deeper animation that an animated proxy cannot convincingly convey.

[** As is usually the case with games being revisited, this statement doesn't exactly hold up now, especially 15 years after the fact.]

So here’s my plan: we get a bunch of Grand Soul Gems and Fphyggi’s Gem Feeder scrolls,** and we head to a major Midwestern city. We trap some souls, we plug ‘em into the game, and everyone will be happy. Except the Midwesterners. But who cares about them, right? So what if they’re the pasty, doughy backbone of our country? Screw ‘em!

[** Morrowind references.]


Have I Used The “This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun” Bit Lately?

Most of your weapons from HL1 return in one form or another. There isn’t a Gluon Gun in sight, but that’s okay. No snarks or tripmines in your arsenal either, which is regrettable. I often enjoyed laying traps for the various bad guys (and things) in HL1, but knowing the improved AI, they just might not have worked here.

Some of the weapons have been streamlined, some in good ways, some in not-so-good ways. Your pistol now fires about as fast as you can click your mouse, which is very cool. I don’t mind saying that at all. And it’s accurate too, so I’d often switch to that for long-range target practice. Later, the .357 becomes almost as valuable, but its ammo is precious; sticking with the pistol works on weak targets.

I might point out that long-distance killing would be better if the crosshairs weren’t so light as to be almost invisible in daylight.

[God forbid we should be able to customize our HUD in-game.]

The shotgun is much better-looking, but it only holds six shells now. You can still rip off a double-barreled blast, so that’s good. The drawback? Far less ammo. You’ll have to be more accurate. Machine guns have changed as well. Instead of an MP5 (or an M-16, if you were using the High Definition Pack), you have a sub-machine gun (SMG). It’s small and *somewhat* accurate; it’s best when used in short bursts at medium range. Alt-fire throws a contact grenade, as God intended.

[But holds only three of them.]

Side note: one thing that chafes my ass -- besides a cactus about this high -- is the mysterious “de-featuring” (or “feature out-creeping”) of the game between the demo movies and the final product. For example, in the demo when the player *zoomed in* with the machine gun...sadly, that didn’t make it to the final game.

[I don't recall anything about it, but I wonder if the player in the demo had zoomed in with the zoom key?]

Your other machine gun is a sort of plasma rifle that the Overwatch (Combine) uses. It chews through ammo quickly and you don’t get all that much ammo anyway...it’s best used as a backup weapon when the SMG isn’t as effective. The alt-fire shoots a bouncy plasma ball that zooms all over the place like a malevolent Superball, eventually disintegrating whatever organic matter it comes into contact with. Nasty...and therefore, fun! Not as fun when THEY use it on you, however.

Then you have your hand grenades. Not the pretty pineapples* you’re used to tossing around with such gay abandon (“Who you callin’ gay, Reviewer Boy??”), but more in keeping with the urban setting. Valve should have licensed the “Sprite” symbol to put on the grenades, just to make the urban-decay irony all the more heart-breaking.
[* Mike: “Nice pineapples.” Servo: “Those aren’t pineapples, you wussy! They’re grenades!”]

[MST3K reference.]

Anyway: pull pin, overhand toss. Alt-fire is pull pin, underhand toss.

[More accurately: overhand throw and underhand roll.]

The RPG returns! No, you won’t be farting around the hinterlands with elves, you idiot. I mean the Rocket-Propelled Grenade launcher. Same deal as before: guide the projectile with the laser, or turn it off (alt-fire) for a straight shot. You only get three rockets this time, so for God’s sake, use your damn aim.

Hmmm...what else? Well, your Tau cannon is on a dune buggy, but you can’t wrench it off the mounts and take it with you. That’s fine by me...I sort of suspect about ten power cells would have been allotted to the player, what with all this ammo-limiting going on. Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be just sad to be carrying around a weapon that you’ll never have enough ammo to fire even once? I admit that this scenario keeps me awake at nights. Or maybe it’s my out-of-control amphetamine addiction. Hard to tell.

Oh, yes: mustn’t forget the Gravity Gun. This interestingly large contraption can pick up (and pull) items in the world and allow you to do two things with them: drop them gently or zap ‘em at someone’s head really hard. I must admit, I prefer the second option. You can also simply zap objects with the primary fire. This is one of the most useful weapons/tools ever featured in a game (yes, even more useful than Blood 2’s voodoo doll), and it’s no wonder that it was ripped off for inclusion in the Doom 3 expansion, “Beating A Dead Horse”...uh...I mean, “Resurrection of Evil,” which is a fine expansion even though it’s...well...dark.

[They should've just called Doom 3 "Dark" and been done with it.]

The Gravity Gun is brilliant, no matter what’s said about it or who “adapts” it. The physics being what they are, it doesn’t take a genius to see that the game could be even *more* fun by utilizing the environment to seriously hinder one’s enemies (as if the random clutter all over the ground wasn’t enough to hinder you...stupid physics engine). Plus, it doesn’t need ammo. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. And it gets even better near the end of the game.

Oh, almost forgot: another so-called “weapon” is the Bugbait, a sac of antlion pheromones that allows you to call and guide antlion drones. More on that (not really) in the monsters section. This has been another nice segue out of this section and into the next, brought to you by the Kanye West Council. The Kanye West Council encourages you to shoot your own career down in flames with your big stupid mouth at least twice a day.


And Now For A Word From The Things In Your Pants

Inventory? WHAT inventory?? You have no inventory! I don’t think you even have pockets. This isn’t an RPG,** kids...it’s just you and your Magic Invisible Gun Rack™.

[** NOW would be the time for farting around the hinterlands with elves.]


Barely-Sentient Missives From A Stupid, Stupid World

Yes, HL1’s AI was (were?) sort of stupid. At the time however, the human Grunts were considered innovative because they actually took cover and reloaded. Granted, they would often reload as you were shooting at them, and they’d sometimes just crouch and shield their faces when a grenade landed nearby. But they were fun. (Especially hearing “OH GOD!”...that was like listening to Keiko Matsui on a lazy afternoon, my friends.)

And don’t me started on the scientists. Gaaah.

It’s much better now. The AI’s following behavior doesn’t dictate that they stand in the middle of an ordinary corridor and shout “I refuse to go another step!” The enemies are smarter, and so are your allies. However: even though they all show some glimmer of intelligence, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t stupid in more subtle ways. The urban sniper map, for example. Run, run, run, bang, die. Blockheads.

So they’ll still pull stupid stunts now and then, but that’s okay. You can also command a group of up to four allies, and controls are pretty basic. It’s not perfect, but it works. Your allies are expendable (of course), being replenished when the devs think you will need them. A nice touch.

As a side note, I’d like to point out that if you are in the pre-programmed path of a character, you will be (rudely) pushed aside so they can get to their predetermined “mark,” so to speak. I thought this was especially poignant in the air boat section, when the female rebel decided that I was in her way. Oh, excuuuuuuse me. Splash. Right into the toxic goo. How nice.


The Two Mawmen From Ravenholm Approacheth!

You will discover many interesting life forms in HL2, most of which want to kill you. Just like a trip to Jim Jones’ Death Flags Over Guyana (tainted corn dogs, broken roller coasters, and special rates for easily-manipulated tour groups!). You will meet some old friends (mawmen, headcrabs), some of which will be showing some intriguing mutations and outright blasphemies against nature: fast headcrabs, faster de-skinned zombies, black poisonous headcrabs, and the poor souls who stumble around with a bunch of those unholy terrors clinging to them...when you hear one of those howl nearby, it’s definitely an “oh Lordy, where’s my blunderbuss?” moment.

You will meet some former friends who are now your allies (Vortigaunts). You will meet some new friends (antlions) who can become your allies under the right conditions (bugbait). Some new friends will be reworkings of old friends (jack-booted thugs, choppers, etc.), some will be a conglomeration of alien races (Striders, Combine gunships, etc.), and some will be familiar to anyone who’s ever been around children longer than is required to disgustedly push them away with one foot before one is infected by whatever foul substance is always pouring out of their various orifices (spoiled crack babies about waist high who will use your groin as a punching bag) (well, maybe not...I admit that I most likely made that up).

Many new friends.


Local Geographic

The most touted aspect of the game, of course, has to be the graphics. It’s a beautiful game, despite the (alleged) ugliness of blood and viscera everywhere. Then again, some of us consider such things beautiful in their own way.

What can I say about the visuals that hasn’t been said elsewhere? Fantastic water, incredible textures, insanely lifelike models, impressive lighting...it’s all there. It’s worth upgrading just to see how [insert needless superlative here] the game can be.

HL2 was developed with ATI cards in mind, but Nvidia works too. Hooray. It’s a bit dark on my monitor, by the way. I just wanted to say, that I won’t be rhymin’ no more today.


He’s At The Ten...The Twenty...Waitaminit! Holy Crap, He’s a Spy For The Other Team And He’s Running Backwards!

Yeah, it looks good. Yes, it’s a marvel of physics, etc. But the bottom line is that HL2 is a buttload* of fun, despite all of the pretty new things. Lemme ‘splain that.
[* Standard buttload joke here.]

See, the problem with most games nowadays -- and here’s where I slip into Cranky Old Guy Mode -- is that they’re all flash and no substance. Sure, you’ll find some good-looking games with good gameplay once in a while, but there aren’t that many of them. Or they’re so damned banal that you’d be better of just playing some game you’ve played seventeen times already.** But HL2 manages to pull off a stunning mix of excellent graphics and great gameplay.

[** At the time, I truly had no idea how bad things would eventually get. These days I only buy a brand new game every couple of years; most games are complete shit anymore.]

I think enough has been said about that already, so I might as well focus on the negative for the moment. If anything, the game is quite linear in its layout. There is only ONE path, ONE way to get where you’re going. You can achieve progress through different methods, but it all comes down to finding the exit.

This is something that’s been bothering me for a while concerning FPSes. Sure, you can come up with innovative ideas on how the ammo clip should be placed on your Death-Spewer 9000, but there hasn’t been all that much progress made in convincing the player that he or she can make his or her own choices to affect their in-game destiny; everyone ends up in the same place.

I’ve seen plenty of comments -- some of them even spelled correctly -- complaining that HL2 isn’t “realistic” enough. No. They’re misguided. The real problem is that the game doesn’t give you enough freedom to make choices for yourself. I suppose that might translate as “realism” to someone who doesn’t own a dictionary (or even a standard thesaurus), but “freedom” is the issue here.

I find it somehow dispiriting that even though Gordon is the “last free man” and others are fighting for their freedom, the player is given virtually no freedom in gameplay. That’s a sad, poignant metaphor in action.

Instead of making the player go from Point A to Point B and on to Points C through Z in perfect alphabetical order, how about shaking things up a bit? Nothing too dramatic...simply let the player choose a path that’s right for him/her. Let’s say that instead of going directly to Ravenholm, you’re given the choice of going to another part of the city. Maybe Alyx freaked you out by saying “We don’t go there anymore...”? You can come back to Ravenholm at a certain point...or not.

Look: I’m not exactly an idea man. That much is obvious. But I’ve played some open-ended games that gave me plenty of impetus to keep playing because I was encouraged to find my own path, my own way. That’s the kind of game I like. Because I’m stubborn and insist on having my own way, that sort of thing appeals to me. I don’t see why FPSes should be any less open-ended than RPGs (with some exceptions, of course). Let us think for ourselves for once, devs? Thank you.

With that said, one must fear one thing when designing such a game: the prevalence of stupidity among the Masses. “How do I get here?” “How do I get there?” ...and they’re still on the friggin’ train! I’m not talking about the normal folk who have trouble with the actual difficult parts...I’m talking about the people who would have a hard time finding their asses with both hands, a high-powered flashlight and the entire cast of “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” armed with mining helmets and erections.

But, you ask, what about the gameplay, stupid? Glad you asked. From some relatively quiet moments to full-out action, you may find what you’re looking for here. Thankfully, there are no stealth missions. I absolutely HATE it when some ass-clown decides to drop stealth missions into an action game. Stealth missions belong in stealth games. Period. Anyway, you’ll find what you like in HL2: interaction in non-violent settings, to break up all the running and gunning, where you’ll find out that you don’t talk that much...or at all; frantic missions involving watercraft, a driving section that’s quite nice, and plenty of violent, all-American action...but in eastern Europe.

And even though the game is decidedly linear (as I’ve pointed out in over-verbose detail above), you do have choices as to how you proceed: you can use one gun, or you can use another...maybe even another. Or -- and this is a *huge* departure -- you can use a grenade. Or your crowbar. Endless possibilities.

Was that sarcasm? I can’t really tell anymore.

So. HL2 manages to take every element considered standard in FPS games and makes them fun again. You’ll find plenty to kill and destroy, from vehicular manslaughter to urban warfare. As opposed to *suburban* warfare, of course, which involves fighting from street to street (bearing such evocative names as “Hummingbird Way” and “Maid Marian Court”), firing rocket after rocket into any SUV you encounter as minivans driven by homicidal soccer moms unleash their hellish loads of soccer maggots who will swarm your orange ass and wreck your shins with their little cleats...you get the idea.

To be honest, I never liked how HL1 handled higher difficulty settings. Playing on hard only made the AI stronger, which...well, again, I never liked that. For me, it would’ve been more interesting to increase the number of bad guys *intelligently*, as well as increasing their stats slightly. Sadly, HL2 carries on their own tradition, meaning that the levels are still sparsely populated of a concerted opposing force, but they are tougher. But really: would you rather have two Combine soldiers who are a lot tougher, or would you rather have five Combine solders of moderate toughness? I prefer the latter.


We Don’t Go To Wal-Mart Anymore

I recall gaming blurbs for Far Cry proclaiming that you should “forget about Half-Life 2”...but thankfully, I didn’t. Far Cry, by the way, was just about the blandest, most irritating FPS I’ve ever had the misfortune of spending $35 on. Some people loved it and keep raving about it to this day, but keep in mind that there are also people out there who get their jollies by playing with their own excrement.

Not that I’m implying that people who liked Far Cry are coprophiles.** I’m just saying that you have to keep some sort of perspective when dealing with whatever the mainstream gaming public proclaims as “the best game ever”...look, just forget I even mentioned it.

[** Okay, so maybe I was.]

HL2, however, continues its predecessor’s legacy by immersing the player in a frantic, increasingly dangerous environment. At no point are you ever taken out of character to watch tedious cutscenes or suffer through overlong monologues. There are a few scenes that you will have to sit through as a passive observer, but these are usually interesting enough that you don’t notice that you aren’t killing stuff. For example, the ride(s) through the Citadel is (are) long...but enlightening. And most importantly (to me), the interaction between you and Alyx is kept at a believable, human level that doesn’t pander to the prurient interests of the stupid dipshits who only want to watch porn in a game.

The maps vary in location and intensity; the one thing they all share is exquisite quality. Since the game is one (thankfully) lengthy trek from a train station to the Combine’s HQ, it makes sense to vary one’s approach to said citadel. It’d be monotonous if it was just your character hoofing it all the way, so Valve mixes it up a little and puts you in the driver’s seat of a couple of vehicles, with maps appropriate to the medium. For example, the airboat ride takes place in water and not in deep space. A big thumbs up to Valve for such attention to detail.

The driving sections are a bit lengthy, especially the airboat. (“Okay, that’s enough now, thank you. Thank you. Yes. Can I go now??”) The dune buggy segment is great, although I need to ask: why do I always find myself upside down on the beach, being swarmed by antlions? Is my driving *that* bad?

The problem -- for me, anyway -- is that since I don’t play racing and flying sims, first person driving is awkward and overwhelming, which is one reason I hate driving in real life. The alternative to this is a Halo-style (or GTA-style) third-person driving romp, but...that kills the You-Are-Gordon immersive factor. So the first person thing is essential, and I can live with it. However, I would have liked the ability, for example, to fine-tweak the turning controls a la NOLF so that I had more control over what I was doing. Tap the strafe left key and whooooooaaaaaaa nooooooooo! When I can drive better in real life than I can in games, I...well...no, that’s a GOOD thing. Isn’t it?

[I hated the airboat segment. The dune buggy wasn't nearly as bad, but it still wasn't my favorite thing ever. There's just no pleasing me.]

And besides the horror that is vehicular navigation, it makes sense to include a scary perambulatory section in the game. This is presented to you in the form of “We Don’t Go To Ravenholm...,” a creepy trap-filled zombie-fest that will make you pine for an HL2 version of They Hunger, it’s that good. Gravity Gun + Saw blades = fun for all ages. Above 17.

Other segments include a nerve-wracking stroll through the city streets to enjoy a bit of urban warfare, playing peek-a-boo with a Strider and your RPG (I mean...you don’t play peek-a-boo with your RPG...how weird; no, you’re playing peek-a-boo with the Strider while wielding an RPG and...oh, forget it), a lengthy and enjoyable dune buggy ride (complete with antlions and roadside attractions, i.e., Combine ambushes), a trip to a former prison, and shooting more things than you can shake a device used for shaking at.

Three things stand out:

1. Playing chicken with a train in the dune buggy segment: the train just tagged me slightly, and I apparently failed/died, even though I had 92% health left. “Mission-Critical Resources”? Huh. The train clipped me and I heard an explosion, so it must’ve blew out the buggy’s engine. You think? So his car gets wrecked and Gordon can’t walk anymore?

2. “Defend The Base” scenarios...ugh. Alyx: “I’ll be right there!” Me: “Sure you will. Just keep filing your nails, princess. The wave after wave of bad guys will soon be over, and then you can show up too late to be of any use besides opening the door so I can get to the NEXT area I have to defend.”

3. I’d like to scramble up that rubble beside the highway so I can see--oh, HELLO Mr. Invisible Wall! So lovely to run into you once again.

I’m still not sure what to think about that ending, though. It’s rather...well, inconclusive, to say the least. All I know is that it had better not take them another five years for the sequel.** In fact, I had saved my game at almost the very end, and I was showing a hapless bystander how the game ended. After the ending sequence this person remarked, “You paid $85 for that??” Indeed.

[** It is to laugh. The irony of this is just sickening.]

Despite this, it’s a great game. However...


S T E A M: Driving Miss Daisy Crazy

[DELETED...too many words directed at Steam, which was still in its early stages and was thus a tad buggy. [/understatement] I don't see any point in keeping it, so I deleted it. Kinda wrecked whatever momentum I had, anyway.]


And Another Thing...

Included In The Collector’s Edition of Half-Life 2:

1. A t-shirt. I gave it to my dad, who collects t-shirts. I don’t wear shirts with game logos on them. I’m an outcast already...I don’t need additional help to further distance myself from society. That’s why God (ironically) created death metal, and I see no reason to embellish this already-workable system by wearing a shirt emblazoned with a stylized Lambda symbol.

[I guess what I really need is a shirt that just says "Fuck Off And Die." Pardon my French.]

2. A mini-guide, excerpted from the strategy guide and “Raising The Bar”...it’s cute, with some relevant and/or interesting info. Reading length: good for one (1) trip to the can.

3. The game itself. Huzzah.

4. Half-Life: Source. Yippee-skip.

5. Counter-Strike: Source. Waste of hard drive space.

[Needless to say.]

6. A little card with a quick reference guide on one side and a chart of the default keys on the other, in lieu of an actual manual.


Not Included In The Collector’s Edition:

1. A manual.

[So I bemoaned the lack of a physical manual. I look back now and wonder what my problem was; it's not as if I enjoy dragging out a stack of game manuals to leaf through on a cold winter's evening.]

2. A rebate for $35.

[That would've been nice.]

3. A strategy guide. A REAL one.

[Again: what's the big deal? Every strategy guide I have ended up being useless.]

4. A heartfelt apology for Steam.

[Like it would've mattered one way or the other.]

5. Another apology for treating their retail customers like so much scum whilst they coddle the online customers with all sorts of perks.

[I can't seem to find any evidence to support that. I may have been hallucinating.]


Instead Of Playing With Yourself...

What is this “Friends” option in the menu? Will I be able to hang out with Ross and Rachel at some point? Or better yet, shoot Ross in the nuts and make Ms. Former Pitt beg for the sweet lovin’ that only a reviewer can provide? Probably not. I don’t know. No, don’t explain it to me...I suspect it has something to do with this “internet” thing the kids seem so keen on these days.

Speaking of which: HL2 has multiplayer, in the form of CS (“Counter-Strike”) and HL2DM (“Useless Waste Of Time”). Curiously, in a complete reversal of circumstances involving games that feature a multiplayer component, the single-player campaign does not suck. Interesting.

Yes, I’m actually mentioning multiplayer, as much as I hate to do so. HL2 didn’t ship with an MP component initially; that’s what Counter Strike was for. But HL2DM was released shortly afterwards, and the already abysmally low average IQ of the internet slipped even further. But my mention of online play is not intended to imply that multiplayer is worth the time and effort, no; it’s well-known that engaging in multiplayer is the social equivalent of stopping random passerby on the street and holding up the correct number of fingers to proudly proclaim “I ate THIS MANY boogers today!”

[I give the little booger-eaters far too much credit in approximating their language skills.]

The reason I bring up multiplayer is due to scattered comments I’ve seen in various places to the effect of, “I don’t care about the singleplayer game...I just want to play CS.” Ladies and gentlemen, this is what’s wrong with this country (among other things).

[I cut this section off here. It went on for quite a while like that: rant, rant, rant. This sort of thing just makes my stomach hurt now.]


The Problem *Is* The Problem, You Dig?

Bugs? I don’t know. Every time I think I see a bug, Valve fixes it via one of their never-ending updates. (“Updating Steam platform...ready to play in 23 hours and 17 seconds...updating game...using your credit card to buy Gabe Newell a new home...”) I don’t know how different my game is from when I first installed it, but it seems to run smoothly, anyway (apart from still being a big stinky resource hog AND taking damn near forever to load up a game). It beats downloading questionable updates every couple of months as was the case with Half-Life. I kept saying that they should’ve stopped HL1 at v1.0.1.6, but nooooooooooo! Anyway...


This Is The End. What Do You Have To Say For Yourself?

A great game. If you can stand the insane load times (bring a book!) and the impertinent, aesthetic affront (nay, personal attack) that is Steam and its myriad annoying ways, you’ll find a great game. Come for the abuse, stay for the game. Or is it the other way around?


And the Envelope Please, Ms. Kwan:
What can I say? Five out of five.

[Going back to the Abstract, Nancy Kwan.]


Annoyance Rating:
Not bad, really. But when you add in the whole Steam mess and the install irritations...well. We’re looking at the sort of annoyance that causes SOME reviewers -- not that I have anyone particular in mind, no -- to punch their desks so hard that their desk lamps break. By the way, Valve? You guys owe me a desk lamp.


The Grace Scale...Grace gives it:
A One of “Ohhhhhh”...


Technical Crap...Just Skip This Section

Minimum Requirements
Better than what you got, homey.

Recommended System
Let it GO, man!

Multiplayer Requirements
Tourette’s Syndrome.


And Finally...

In closing, I’d like to point out the real question on everyone’s lips, which is: WHAT ABOUT ADRIAN SHEPHERD?!

[What about him? They couldn't even finish the goddamn episodic content, for Christ's sake.]

[I ended the review with a screenshot of a headcrab zombie...that would be a Mawman, IIRC...after I threw a can of white paint at him; the caption went soething like "Welcome To Kentucy Fried Headcrab!" ...because he looked like Colonel Sanders, and...enh. I guess you had to be there.]

[Next up is the deleted scene from the HL2 review. And that'll be that for Half-Life.]
It is the scent of garlic that lingers on my chocolate fingers

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Bonus: Half-Life 2 Review Deleted Scene
« Reply #181 on: December 21, 2019, 09:43:53 AM »
BONUS: The Half-Life 2 Review Deleted Scene!


[I probably posted this on the Hangar forums. I don't remember. The original version was...well, it needed work. And an exorcism. So I did the best I could with what limited tools I have. It still can't be read aloud in polite company, but at least it took out the lesbian scene. Sorry, horndogs.]


And now...the deleted scene from the Half-Life 2 review. You won't find THIS one posted on the main site, for reasons which will become all too clear once you read it.


H A L F - L I F E  2  R E V I E W . . . The Deleted Scene


Greetings, fools. Welcome back to the Fortress of Sorrowtude, a joke that never gets old. Today, I give you this, my official word on Half-Life 2...because the community is only fooling itself without my tacit approval and/or notice of the game. To commemorate this momentous occasion, I'm buying a dictionary/thesaurus set so I can learn how to use those words correctly. Anyway, I thought this would be a fine time to call in a few favors and acquire a celebrity of some sort to sing a song about Half-Life 2. Of course, I had no idea...

...I mean, I had something else in mind entirely than what we got. With the limited funds we had, I could only get one "celebrity": Ringo Starr. We go now live to my second cousin, Increase Sorrow (a fine gentleman of the Reform Puritan Party) in Salem, Massachussetts, where he is (more or less) presiding over ceremonies. Increase, can you hear me?

[SATELLITE LINK ENABLED]

INCREASE SORROW: Yes, I can hear you. Hello from Salem! My ancestors used to live here, burning "witches" and snatching land! Even though I am a modern 21st century citizen of the world, I still feel a swell of pride when I think of the wholesale slaughter, just for a bit of extra land upon which to thrash one's slaves mercilessly and father little gray children with kinky blonde hair.

SILVER SORROW: Anyway...

INCREASE: Yes. Anyway, we're about to get started. [directed towards the standing-room-only crowd of perhaps a dozen somewhat disinterested people] Ladies and gentlemen, we've spared no expense...well, that's not true. We had to cut a few corners, and we couldn't get Michael Bolton, and--

[someone throws a half-empty can of beer, missing Increase by about six feet]

INCREASE: Thank heavens for drunken sloth, otherwise you would have tarnished my buckles, sir! BUT! We got something better...an actual Beatle!

[the audience's almost-thunderswell of mild interest subsides substantially]

INCREASE: Unfortunately, Paul only laughed at us. So please give a warm Salem welcome to Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band!

[scattered applause, some lackadaisical puking; Ringo bounds onstage, flashing a few of his trademark gestures to the "crowd"]

RINGO: Thank you, Salem! It's great to be here. Even though this city is a prime example of what's wrong with your grotty little country -- a dark history of violence, rage, wicca abuse, human debasement and people wearing buckles everywhere but on their belts -- we decided to show up anyway because we need the cash. And there aren't any bigger Half-Life fans than us, so we rewrote the lyrics of a tune by that other band I was in, you may have heard of it.

[a cry of "I haven't...asshole!" to cynical laughter]

RINGO: Right! I'll be accompanied by my All-Starr Band, and...

INCREASE: Waitaminit! All-STARR?? We believe in truth in advertising over here, mate! Only ONE of you is named "Starr"!

RINGO: Shut up, ya wanker!

INCREASE: [sighing] Fine. Whatever. Play your dumbass song.

RINGO: A-one, a-two, a-one-two-three-four!

In the tram where I was hired
Was the man who gave the HEV
He wore a suit and said wake up
In the land of of City 17

So we rode up to a depot
Till we found City 17
And we saw that the world was gray
In our orange HEV


EVERYBODY!

We all live in our orange HEVs,
Orange HEVs, orange HEVs
We all live in our orange HEVs,
Orange HEVs, orange HEVs--


[howls of rage from the audience]

INCREASE: STOP! STOP! STOP!

[the band stumbles to a halt; mass retching and severe cursing from the audience]

RINGO: What's the problem?

INCREASE: You! You're the problem! You and your STUPID band! What were we THINKING?? Just...just go! Get out!

RINGO: Hey, now...your check hasn't cleared, ya fookin'--

INCREASE: I'm cancelling the check, you hack! OUT! OUT! OUT!

[Ringo exits with band, grumbling, but cowed by our many thugs]

INCREASE: That's right, out! You--you put that butt back in your pants, mister!

[Increase slides down a stack of Marshalls and slumps dejectedly, mumbling to himself]

INCREASE: So this is what happens when all of the talented ones die. There you have it...back to you, Silver. I hope you're happy now. [to audience] Go home, you stupid shits!

[SATELLITE LINKUP DISABLED]

Hey! That turned out even better than I'd hoped!

[DISCLAIMER: All characters are fictional; any characters bearing the names of famous people is a complete and utter coincidence, and we at Silver Sorrow Enterprises ("Wishing You A Gloomier Tomorrow!") would like it to be known that we have nothing to do with the legal bearers of those names. This was a disclaimer. Here lies the disclaimer.]

[I would have let the poor thing rot in obscurity, but I liked the "Yellow Submarine" parody too much. And Increase Sorrow is one of my favorite inventions...]

[Oh, and I apologize unreservedly to both Paul and Ringo. Especially Ringo.]

[And there you have it. All of my HL reviews from the Hangar and beyond.]
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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The Contents
« Reply #182 on: December 22, 2019, 12:52:05 AM »
The Contents of This Thread

Color Code:
Orange = Half-Life
Green = Opposing Force
Blue = Blue Shift
Yellow = Standalone
Purple = something entirely different

#1: Rescue 9-1-FREEMAN
#2: Aggregate Pain
#3: Infiltration
#4: The Haunted Lab
#5: Deth
#6: Assault On Roswell
#7: Resistance
#8: Resistance 2
#9: Resistance 3
#10: Try, Try Again
#11: Chaos Theory
#12: DwellSP
#13: Gman Island Part1
#14: Assassin Mark 2
#15: Total Evasion
#16: Road of Destiny
#17: Jailbreak
#18: Kosovo 2000
#19: Kosovo II - The Second Day
#20: Revamp
#21: Edge Of Darkness
#22: Reviviscence
#23: RES V1.0
#24: DAV Sub
#25: When the Army Came to the Office
#26: Lounge
#27: The Interview, stage 1
#28: Mission Of Mercy
#29: Zubben
#30: Chemical Existence
#31: Faraón 1
#32: Faraón 2
#33: Castle Creep
#34: Retaliation
#35: The Hill
#36: The Evil World
#37: The Ropes
#38: The Xeno Project
#39: The Xeno Project 2
#40: Timeline
#41: Conundrum
#42: The Challenger Deep
#43: HL Shadows, Part 1
#44: Gunman Chronicles
#45: Two Smoking Barrels
#46: Fallback
#47: Outrun
#48: Alternate Path
#49: Twisted Hazard Course
#50: Smart Decoy
#51: Heart of Evil [AB]
#52: Freeman’s Revenge
#53: OpFor Postal
#54: Exodus Part1
#55: Exodus Part2
#56: Experimental Problems
#57: The Poseidon Incident
#58: Sabotage
#59: Heart of Evil (episode ABC)
#60: Gman Island Part2
#61: Conundrum 2
#62: Todesangst
#63: They Hunger Episode 3
#64: Drug Barons
#65: Chronicles: Episode One
#66: No Regret
#67: Back to Xen II
#68: Half-Quake
#69: Hard
#70: Hour-Glass
#71: Run For Life
#72: WANTED - The Half-Life Western Pack
#73: Half-Life: Blue Shift
#74: Timeline II: Iced Earth
#75: Gateway 2
#76: Return to Lambdacore
#77: Lunch Lady Invasion Episode 1: They’re Hungry
#78: 3rd505th
#79: The Innocent Eternity
#80: C3
#81: Death = Power
#82a: Sweet Half-Life, The Bitter Review
#82b: Sweet Half-Life, The Happy Review
#83: Azure Sheep
#84: Black Bag Operations
#85: Case Closed
#86: Swiss Cheese Halloween
#87: Prisoner Escaped
#88: Prisoner Escaped 2
#89: Standoff
#90: Woodpigeon01
#91: Battle For Life
#92: Mechanized Death: An Army Of None
#93: World War 3: Mission 3
#94: War Crimes
#95: Poke 646
#96: Timeline III: The Heart of Darkness
#97: Affliction
#98: The Cupboard of Doom
#99: Hidden Evil
#100: Half-Life
#101: ETC II
#102: Fallback, Fire, and Ice
#103: Half-Life: Xen
#104: Absolute Redemption
#105: Half-Life: Opposing Force
#106: Bonus: Heart Of Evil Preview
#107: Dressed To Kill
#108: Mel Soaring 2: Star Rancor
#109: Southeastern LAN Party
#110: Half-Starwars
#111: Tokami Island
#112: Be Careful!
#113: Project: Quantum Leap
#114: Nuclear Winter
#115: Intolerable Threat
#116: Heart of Evil [final]
#117: Halfquake Amen
#118: Virtual Reality: The Real World
#119: Mission Failed
#120: Swiss Cheese Halloween 2002
#121: Infinite Shift
#122: Todesangst 2
#123: Escape From The Darkness
#124: Aftermath
#125: Bootleg Squadrog
#126: Plan B
#127: Half Life: Trespasser
#128: Portrait of Freeman
#129: Point Of View
#130: Blood Bath
#131: Invasion
#132: Times Of Troubles
#133: Minimicus
#134: The Gate
#135: Hlywood
#136: Cthulhu
#137: Issues
#138: Haywire

Bonus: The Cerulean Dragon
Bonus: CWC mappack
Bonus: The swimmingpool
Bonus: Half-Life 2, Part 1
Bonus: Half-Life 2, Part 2
Bonus: Half-Life 2 Review...The Deleted Scene
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Offline Dough with Fish

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Re: The Half-Life Resurrection Thread: Preface (i.e., Read This Post First)
« Reply #183 on: February 22, 2020, 10:28:44 PM »
Long time, no post everyone!!!! Saw Silver finally got around to posting the last of his reviews! Awesome! Popped in here to share a YouTuber and Twitch streamer I've been a huge fan of for a while. His main deal is playing Half-Life mods! He did Heart of Evil a while back (part 1:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeK8P0kt-MQ) (Part 2:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duAowjUaBy4) (outtakes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ1Gm6owuLo) which I'm sure Silver will appreciate! Also, as of this posting he's streaming playing The Gate! https://www.twitch.tv/jollywangcore/ but if you miss it, don't worry, he's usually good about saving the archives.

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: The Half-Life Resurrection Thread: Preface (i.e., Read This Post First)
« Reply #184 on: February 23, 2020, 11:00:01 AM »
Hey, Dough!

These are great! One of his comments sums up the HoE experience quite nicely: "Oh, this is stupid." :ok:  ("This is so dumb I love it." is another.)

As for playing The Gate...on purpose...I don't know. Sheer masochism. I look forward to it.
It is the scent of garlic that lingers on my chocolate fingers