Monday, March 01, 2010

Well Played, Canada

It was the rematch.  And again, it was Super Hockey Sunday.  Previously, in a preliminary round, Team USA on men's hockey managed to beat Team Canada on their home turf.  Seems like a sign that Team USA could win the gold, right?  Not really.  Canada bounced back and made it all the way to the Gold Medal finals, where they faced, again, Team USA.

It was an intense match.  After trailing 2-0, Team USA managed to luckily squeeze a puck past Luongo to score a goal.  Now things are starting to get interesting, as it does seem like Team USA has some fighting chance at being able to come back from being down 2-0.  Into the 3rd period and time is winding down.  Things are not looking good.  Team USA gives up the goalie to put in an extra player into the game.  It's now a 6 vs 5 on an open net.  Under 30 seconds to go, Team USA scores to send the game into overtime.  Everyone is shocked.  Everyone jumps up to cheer.  Both sides are going nuts over it.  Into overtime we go.  Both teams, battling it out, trying to score the first goal to win the gold.  And in an instant, it all ended.  Crosby slaps the puck in to win it for his team and his country.  Team USA lost but earned a silver.

I'm not much of a hockey fan.  Nor do I watch hockey at all.  There are a few occasions where I'd watch hockey.  And it only involves if the local team (the Boston Bruins) manages to get into the playoffs.  But having watched nearly 2/3 of the entire game (too many stupid commercials), I must admit -- the game was very good.  Both USA and Canada slugged it out.  They both got heated.  And they both played well.  I cannot say that I'm disappointed.  It was a close match.  And Canada proved it's still the team to beat when it comes to hockey.  I cannot ask for anything better.  In the end, all I can say is: Well played, Canada.  Well played.

So the Winter Olympics are over.  The torch moves on.  The next Winter Olympics stage will be at the one place where it will be quite strange to play in: Russia.  I believe this will mark the first time the Olympics will be held in that country since it has been liberated from its communism days.

As it stands now, it is March 1, 2010.  In anticipation for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, I've been scouring the 'net looking for the best price for a particular headset.  Having played through the beta on the PC, I have found that the sound in the game was so good that it had me wondering if the game sound just as good in surround sound.  The game itself, although beta, is designed to be much more immersive in sound than before.  But many games, despite that many of them did feature an audio system that provide some form of surround sound, did not sound as amazing as what Bad Company 2 have.  I have heard sound effects from a variety of weapons.  Some of them sound nice but none of them had any impact.  And that's something you sometimes need when playing the game.  Visually, it all looks nice.  And I have seen enough games to know that games that look nice tend to stay that way for a while (and they really don't look any better than games running on a different engine).  Nothing stood out from it visually so there's nothing for me to say "Wow! Look at that!"

Crysis, Call of Duty: World at War, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, and probably a few other games out there, they all have some nice sound.  But they all did not have a lot of impact.  And many of these games are just simply sound samples played at certain events like when a gun is fired.  Usually all you hear is that one sample out of maybe 2 or 3 available for that weapon alone.  And once that sample is played, that's all you hear.

When Bad Company 2 is finally released, I will not only simply see how good the game looks but also how good the game sounds.  Hopefully the investment in this particular headset will be a good one.  I'd hate to have the hardware not live up to expectations as others have given the product a good review on it.

Speaking of review, the boogers at IGN gave Bad Company 2 a 8.9 overall rating, compared to that of 9.5 of the overhyped, overrated, and overly crippled Modern Warfare 2.  I think that will be the next step up: a personal and fan's review of the game, providing some in-depth look into the game itself from a gamer and fan's perspective, and try to provide an objective and unbiased look at how the game is overall.  However, I think I may very well split the review into two halves -- the first part will focus primarily on the single-player aspect of the game while the second part, to come at a later time, will focus on the multi-player aspect.  As multi-player will take time to evaluate, given weapons, unlocks, and rank progressions, I fear that the second part will come quite delayed after the first part is completed.  I also think that follow-ups with further opinions and evaluations may be posted to fill in the gaps and make the review more complete.  So hopefully, I'll have something substantial and worthwhile.

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