Standing the Test of Time

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Have you ever played an old game and said to yourself “hey this game is 3, 5, 10 years old and it is still really fun?” Console games I can see doing that as I break out Twisted Metal 2 every once in a blue moon. For PC games, on the other hand, it is pretty rare for me. I usually can’t get past the 800 x 600 graphics on my 21″ widescreen monitor. Not that I need my games to run in the latest Direct X mind you, but the old games are pretty rough to look at.

So what am I rambling on about then? Well apparently the folks at Gamespot ran a contest to see who the greatest video game hero ever is, and as it turns out Gordon Freeman of Half-Life fame was the ultimate champion. I admit I did not participate, but I had my bets on Mega Man, but that might be my age showing. Anyway, Dr. Freeman won with fifty some odd percent of the vote and as a result the folks at Valve decided to sell all Half-Life games at 50% off. Being the bargain shopper that I am I jumped on that deal. I played a couple of levels of the original HL back in college (1998 or ’99) and I thought it pretty cool, but not owning a computer of my own back then (hey I was broke) I never gave it a second thought.

So fast forward to Oct ’09 and here I am with like 4 or 5 “new” HL games on my computer. What’s a guy to do…play some stinking Half-Life, that’s what! So I had some issues getting HL1 to run on my Windows 7 64-bit gaming computer so I started playing HL2 instead…I then started to see blatant references to HL1 that I just didn’t understand, so I bit the bullet and fired up my old graduate school laptop after searching for it under a mound of dust. It whirred to life and the ol’ Dell Inspiron 8200 was put to the test of running an eleven year old game. After wincing at the 800 x 600 resolution graphics I could actually get the game to run with, I have settled in to playing what is one of the best games I have played in years! Did I mention this game was released in 1998?!

So I am a little over halfway through this game and I have to tell you I am thrilled with the experience. I thought I would just find a cheat code and God-Mode my way through it to see what happened, but I am happy to say I have not used one cheat thus far. (flexes cyber muscles). I don’t think they are still offering this deal, but if you have never played Half-Life, please do yourself a favor and play it before there are no computers left that will run the thing…that day will truly be a day for mourning.

–Pid

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