Monthly archives: March, 2010

Welcome back, Commander

Command & Conquer 4 came out yesterday, and I thought I’d write a little about my beloved fondness for the series.

I’ve been a huge fan of Command & Conquer ever since the very first one came out way back in the mid-90’s.  The original C&C was one of the very first games we bought back when we got our first Windows 95 computer, and I’ll tell ya, I loved the hell out of it.  The awesome (albeit extremely cheesy) custscenes, the awesome units…nothing better than watching an Obelisk just slaughter an entire army.

I did play C&C Red Alert, but could never really get into it.  I don’t know if it was the fact that the units weren’t as advanced (ie sci-fi like), or that I just didn’t care as much for the story.  Either way, I did play it, and its 2 expansions, but the teaser in the game for C&C2 just made me more excited for that.  I did also play all the subsequent RA games, but again, didn’t enjoy them near as much as the original, Tiberium series.

Tiberian Sun, the followup to the original, was delayed a fair bit (especially considering Red Alert and the re-release of C&C on Windows 95 came with a trailer in 1997), but finally came out in 2000, 5 whole years after the original.  I don’t think the entire fanbase liked it as much as the first, but I sure did.  They really focussed in on the story this time…super cheesy of course, but they were still pretty fun to watch.  Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese from the first Terminator) and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader) made appearances, along with Joe Kucan reprising his role as Kane…this time, much more sinister and dark.

When C&C3 – Tiberium Wars was announced in 2006, it shocked everyone.  I don’t think anyone was expecting another C&C game from the original series anymore, especially after they made C&C Generals a few years before that.  But I couldn’t have been more excited.  It was the first game in the Tiberium series to use a 3D engine, and did it ever look beautiful.  AND, we even got a 3rd playable race, the Scrinn, who were hinted at in Tiberian Sun.  Great custscens again, with lots more Hollywood talent, including Micheal Ironside, Tricia Helfer and Grace Park.  The gameplay was a little stale by this point (with games like Company of Heroes taking RTS’s in an entirely new direction), but it was still fun as hell.  There was also 1 expansion, Kane’s Wrath, that filled in a lot of details in between the 2nd and 3rd games (from Nod’s perspective), and continues a little beyond too.  I find it didn’t add a whole lot to the gameplay, but the story was cool.

We are now at the final entry in the Command & Conquer Tiberium series, Tiberian Twilight.  The name comes from the original name of C&C3, before the entire Westwood studio was scrapped and absorbed into EA.  EA held a poll online to choose the name of this game, and the fans overwhelmingly chose Tiberian Twilight.  A fitting name to the final entry in the series.  All the cheesy (although more serious in tone this time around) cutscenes are back, but they totally revamped the entire gameplay experience from previous C&C games.  This time around, there’s no base building, and it’s all about control points and micromanaging your units.  I’ve just started playing it myself, so I can’t really give any opinions on it yet.

I just wanted to show my love for one of the grand-daddy’s of the RTS genre (yes…Dune II was first modern one, but C&C made it popular).  It’s sad that this is the end, but I’m sure Red Alert 4 is still in the pipes, and also really excited to see where they take the C&C franchise as a whole after this.

Until next time…



Steam bugs

Here’s a funny little one….I just signed up for the new Steam UI beta, and I was just sitting on my games screen when I noticed this:

If you’ll notice, in the Last Played column for Galcon Fusion, it says I last played the game tomorrow (click on the image if you want to see it a little better)…hmm…maybe Steam’s got some new kind of time warp machine that can predict the future?  Or maybe it’s just a bug, as things like this can happen in betas.

Still, funny none the less.

Oh, by the way…you can pick up Galcon Fusion for only $2 on Steam until Friday morning….it’s part of Steam’s Midweek Madness sale this week.  It’s a pretty cool little game.

Until next time…



GO CANADA GO!!

So yeah….apparently we won some big hockey game or something this past weekend. Who would have thought that, eh?

For those who have been living under a rock for the past 2 weeks, or just don’t live in Canada, the Winter Olympics were on, and they were hosted right here in Canada, out in Vancouver. I won’t bore you all with the nitty gritty details of every single event, but I will touch on the 2 sports I followed during the 2 weeks: Curling and Hockey.

To start, I’ll just say that Olympic curling is some of the best curling you’ll ever see. I think it’s better than the world championships they hold each year. Just the quality of the teams, the games played, the environment, everything. This is only the 4th Winter Olympics where curling was an actual medal event (in 1994, it was just a demonstration event), and I think each time, it just gets better and better. On the womens side, we had Canada’s Cheryl Bernard (who’s in her first Olympics) face off against the Swedish veteran, Anette Norberg. It was a tight game for the most part, but Sweden battled back being down 2 in the 10th end to tie it up off a missed shot by Bernard. Then, in the 11th, Bernard also missed her last shot, and Norberg won her second Olympic gold medal.

On the men’s side, it was a different story. Canada’s Kevin Martin faced off against Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud. This was Martin’s 2nd Olympic appearance, his first being back in 2002 where we won a silver medal. This time around though, he had an easier time, and never gave up the lead all game, and came away with a huge win in 10 ends. Although, the bigger story may have been Norway’s pants. They were a site to be seen, that’s for sure!!

For the hockey, the women’s gold medal game was a predictable site. As per usual, it was the US facing Canada, and it was one hell of a game. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see the entire game. I only caught the last period, but I could still feel the excitement. Canada ended up winning gold, with a final of 2-0.

Now, the men’s game…that was epic. It was Canada vs. the USA, and it couldn’t have been a more exciting game. The media really played this one up, of course, but it sure did deliver. Going into the tournament, Canada was of course favored to win, and the US was only expected to place, at best, 5th. That all changed once the tournament started. Canada was sharp, but they did show their weaknesses, mainly in finishing periods. They did have 1 loss in the tourney, and that was to none other than the US. Team USA, on the other hand, was practically flawless. They won every game they played, and pretty handidly too. Their goalie, Ryan Miller, was unstoppable.

As for the game itself, it was close. Canada did go up 1-0 in the first period, and finished the 2nd up 2-1. Though, as Canada has shown throughout the Olumpics, they lagged in the 2nd period, and it showed with a US goal. The 3rd started out well for Canada, but they slumped again. It almost looked like Canada was gonna win though, but with 24 seconds left, Zach Parise scored on Luongo to force overtime. In the Olympics, teams play a 20 minute sudden death overtime period, followed by a shootout. Both teams came out strong, and both goalies made some pretty decent saves, but a play developed in the US end, with a pass from Iginla to Crosby at the right of Miller. Crosby just shot the puck, and somehow it went in. I’ll tell ya…I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much excitement and happiness in my life. It was amazing. All the players poured out onto the ice, and even did laps with a huge Canadian flag. I will give props to the US though…they played a hell of a game, and Ryan Miller even recieved the MVP of the tournement. This game I think will forever be cemented in every Canadian’s memories.

Now, I watched the final at home, but decided after seeing all the excitement that was developing downtown, I hopped on the subway and proceeded to the center of the action, right at Yonge and Dundas. I managed to snag a few pictures too…take a look:

Now, that was the scene right from just south of Dundas all the way up to Gerrard on Yonge street. The police had the entire section blocked off, and as you can see, it was nuts. Here’s a video I captured too:

All in all, a great Olympics for Canada. We won a record 14 gold medals, and finished with 26 in total, 2 more than in 2006. I can honestly say I feel so proud to be Canadian….it’s the best country in the world!!!

Until next time….