Features// Pocket Frenzy's Orange Box

Posted 28 Jan 2008 15:55 by
I had never played Half Life 2 before. I?ll just give that a moment to sink in. Shocking as it may be, this is one that fell through the net for me, but I have righted this terrible wrong with the help of a re-release on The Orange Box, a collection of games by the Valve production team which gave me an insight into what I?ve been missing over the last few years.

Starting at the beginning, I got stuck straight into Half Life 2, throwing shoes at people, falling off planks of wood, playing with cranes and generally having as much fun as the incredible physics of the game would allow. It still seems as fresh today as it would have in 2004, but I feel bad that I missed out on that original ?wow? factor. At that point I was at uni, getting my ?wow? factor from the fact that you could buy a jar of Tesco Value peanut butter for 54p, a loaf for 20p and spend all the rest of your week?s shopping on narcotics.

I have to be honest here and say that this is not the only jaunt down memory lane I?ve been taking. In between scaring myself with turkey-headed zombies and blowing myself up all too regularly with containers of explosives, I may have, slightly, a little bit, been playing Viva Piņata. The shame! It was cheap in the sales. I succumbed. I lost hours. Precious hours of my life breeding whirlms and mousemallows. And I don?t regret it! That?s the worst part. I don?t regret a minute. Horrifically girly, futile, yet strangely addictive. The only purpose I?ve found it achieves is to put my bloke to sleep within five minutes, and I (fortunately) prefer him awake, so even that ability is completely useless.

My internal dialogue is rather unusual when it comes to deciding between these two discs of games. Something along the lines of: ?Right ? a stack of good games ? I?m loving Half Life 2, still got to play the extension packs, just got that new shotgun too. Need to find the crazy Russian by the church. God, it?s a wonderful game. (I put it in and start loading it up)...

...can?t believe I spent five hours on Viva Piņata last night ? what am I like? Such a stupid game. Although I did get to name the mothdrops after actors from classic 80?s bratpack flick The Lost Boys. That was fun. And my whirlm population seems to be quite unhappy at the moment. Shy FX only has a couple of rays of happiness left. I wonder if I should mate him with Kenny Ken again. And I just got a new spade. If I dig a bigger pond I might start getting some more Newtgats I can name after obscure Mighty Boosh jokes. (I take The Orange Box out of the 360 and put VP in) I?ll just do ten minutes ? just some quick breeding, then I?ll go and be sensible and kick some zombie ass?.

I had not realised that I could be so amused by selecting names for little creatures and making them ?romance? each other. I really am no better than a Hilton at times.

The Orange Box is a brilliant collection of games and one which most of my friends have splashed out on, but I do feel impressively incapable of using it to its full capabilities being, as I am, without an Internet connection still. Fortress looks like it should be a straightforward bit of a laugh, like a version of Halo done for one of those hand-held games machines you used to get in the early 90s with only one game on it and no colour. Simple. Fun. Addictive.

I had a quick go at Portal, but was foxed within about two minutes on the third task in training. Again, the shame. It?s no wonder I revert to playing children?s games when I can?t get through a basic training procedure. ?I may not be able to work out how to get up an 8 ft wall when I have a gun that can blast a portal into another dimension ? but I am queen of the small fluffy creatures! Watch as I direct a Mousemallow named Murray to eat an apple!!! Ahahahahahahaha!!!!?

I?m reaching the punctuation danger zone, so, reverting back to Half Life 2, I settle back down into some impressive, vaguely challenging entertainment, promising myself I won?t go anywhere near the papery animals until it?s completed, but, like a Sour Crowla sweet, I feel the poison inside me and there is no doctor in the real world for this illness.

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Comments

Raul Paymonde 28 Jan 2008 23:47
1/16
Dear SPOnG, would it not be possible to publish a picture of Pocket nude, but with two strategically positioned games boxes preserving her mystery?

Just a thought.


Tim Smith 29 Jan 2008 04:30
2/16
Raul Paymonde wrote:
Dear SPOnG, would it not be possible to publish a picture of Pocket nude, but with two strategically positioned games boxes preserving her mystery?
Just a thought


Dear Anonymous,

No.

How about you try to write better than Pocket, and not post 'anon', then we'll take you seriously.

Cheers

Tim
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OptimusP 29 Jan 2008 11:38
3/16
If Tim would be a Assist trophy in Brawl, what would he do?
Tim Smith 29 Jan 2008 16:21
4/16
OptimusP wrote:
If Tim would be a Assist trophy in Brawl, what would he do?


And there was me hoping that someone would respond.

Damn my fragile ego.

Damn it to hell!

Tim

P.S. I want Referee Screech from Anco's Kick Off to be an Assist Trophy in Brawl. But you youngsters won't know what I'm going on about.

config 29 Jan 2008 16:26
5/16
Fsck, I've never heard of this Brawl that you talking of!
Raul Paymonde 30 Jan 2008 12:44
6/16
Tim Smith wrote:
How about you try to write better than Pocket, and not post 'anon', then we'll take you seriously.

Why would I want to write better than anyone? I'm a reader. If everyone aspired to be a writer, you'd be out of a job.

If you don't want to have people posting anonymously, why do you enable it on your website?

And if you are going to refuse to take one of your readers seriously because they dare to to say what many of them are thinking, maybe you are in the wrong job.
Tim Smith 30 Jan 2008 13:37
7/16
Raul Paymonde wrote:
Why would I want to write better than anyone? I'm a reader. If everyone aspired to be a writer, you'd be out of a job.


No, I wouldn't. It would just be more competitive.

Raul Paymonde wrote:
If you don't want to have people posting anonymously, why do you enable it on your website?


Good point. I retract.

Raul Paymonde wrote:
And if you are going to refuse to take one of your readers seriously because they dare to to say what many of them are thinking, maybe you are in the wrong job.


If I hadn't taken it a bit seriously, I wouldn't have responded. I did both - and I am responding again.

I was responding to someone posting under the aegis of an old school pornographer asking for nude shots. So, as far as (and here, I paraphrase) "daring to say what many are thinking", goes - are you possibly taking yourself a little too seriously?

Cheers

Tim
DoctorDee 30 Jan 2008 16:32
8/16
Tim Smith wrote:
So, as far as (and here, I paraphrase) "daring to say what many are thinking", goes - are you possibly taking yourself a little too seriously?

Our readers are predominantly male. It therefore stands to reason that more than most of them would like to see Pocket in the buff. Seems to me that he (or she!?) IS saying what many are thinking. Look inside your own heart and say it isn't true.

And if you DO insist it in pretending it isn't, see if you can say "I am not Gay" with a straight face.



Tim Smith 30 Jan 2008 16:52
9/16
DoctorDee wrote:
Our readers are predominantly male. It therefore stands to reason that more than most of them would like to see Pocket in the buff. Seems to me that he (or she!?) IS saying what many are thinking. Look inside your own heart and say it isn't true.


It was the 'daring to say' I was referring to. "Daring"? I mean, what am I? Mr Dead Evil The Bastard or something - what was I going to do?

DoctorDee wrote:
And if you DO insist it in pretending it isn't, see if you can say "I am not Gay" with a straight face.


You're not... Ga... no, I can't say it.





PreciousRoi 30 Jan 2008 17:20
10/16
Plus, I mean aren't you Brits supposed to be all casual about that kind of stuff...I mean on an American site, it would be "daring" and terribly "un-PC", and would probably be sexual harrassment if a co-worker appeared to echo such a sentiment, by admitting that he had a penis...here?...bring on the SPOnG page 2 grrlz (or whichever page it is you lot use for teh cheesecake)

Truth be told, I recall considering making such a comment myself, for some reason I feel some shame for this, can't possibly understand why, but rejected the idea as too boorish for my own self-image...bugger that, arr, bring on the nekkid pitchers uv grrlz, ye poncy bastids...RAmen. Pastafarian doctrine should guide us in this, nekkid pitchers are beloved of the FSM, indeed, insofar as they recall the stripper factories in Heaven they are Holy. Reflect also upon their synergystic relationship with Beer, which also Art in Heaven, erupting from the Great Sacred Volcanoes. Indeed they are the very stuff of Heaven on this poor Earth. RAmen.
PreciousRoi 30 Jan 2008 17:39
11/16
Have you by chance been Touched By His Noodly Appendage?
Tim Smith 30 Jan 2008 17:50
12/16
PreciousRoi wrote:
...bring on the SPOnG page 2 grrlz (or whichever page it is you lot use for teh cheesecake)


Traditionally, it's Page 3 - well, that's in The Sun 'newspaper'. I can't remember where The Star put its Starbirds. But ancient tradition has topless ladies on Page 3. Fully-naked ladies are still frowned upon. Remember this is a nation that covered up table legs lest their lewdness should spark ruddity.

Also, most Brits are bloody heathen Protestants anyway and go to Hell immediately they think of nakedness.

PreciousRoi wrote:
Truth be told, I recall considering making such a comment myself, for some reason I feel some shame for this, can't possibly understand why, but rejected the idea as too boorish for my own self-image...bugger that, arr, bring on the nekkid pitchers uv grrlz, ye poncy bastids...


First off, is "bugger that" really a good choice of words?

Second off, you said 'boorish'... eheheh...

Sure let's make this easy to start with - please can everybody send in naked pics of their female relatives at your earliest convenience.

Send them directly to me at the usual address.

Yours, taking everybody seriously,

Tim
PreciousRoi 30 Jan 2008 18:04
13/16
Hmmm...one of you (not you Tim, obviously) damn American kids could always infiltrate Spring Break with a camera, I'm too old for that s**t, someone would confuse me with a producer from "Girls Gone Wild" or a porno recruiter or something...
DoctorDee 31 Jan 2008 11:05
14/16
PreciousRoi wrote:
Hmmm...one of you (not you Tim, obviously) damn American kids could always infiltrate Spring Break with a camera, I'm too old for that s**t, someone would confuse me with a producer from "Girls Gone Wild" or a porno recruiter or something...

I've been planning a Spring Break vacation for years now. I have a camera with a very long lens. Can you perchance suggest some good dates and locations? I've also heard of some mythical "Party Cove" where apparently it's spring break every weekend in summer. But I don't know where it is.

But let's be clear about this... female nudity is good, but we're a gaming site. Unless these girls play games (and Tim might suggest all girls do!) we don't want their stinking pictures.

[EDIT]Google is your friend. Party Cove is on the Lake of the Ozarks.


Tim Smith 1 Feb 2008 09:25
15/16
DoctorDee wrote:
But let's be clear about this... female nudity is good, but we're a gaming site. Unless these girls play games (and Tim might suggest all girls do!) we don't want their stinking pictures.


Of course all girls don't play games, only the ones I come across.

Cheers

Tim
config 1 Feb 2008 10:05
16/16
Tim Smith wrote:
Of course all girls don't play games, only the ones I come across.

You filthy little beggar! I don't think we were talking about those kinds of games.
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