Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Jedi Calendaring

For the last few weeks I've been preocupied with a small little game called Jedi Knight 2. It's not the newest game, but still - I enjoyed it immensly. I always had a soft spot for Star Wars themed games :) That of course excludes the prequel stuff - the prequels sucked for the most part and so I never touched prequel themed games. I just could not stand to re-live my dissapointment...

All in all the game was great. Although the first two levels seemed endless, and before I was able to get my coveted lightsaber I had to kill hordes upon hordes of stormtroopers with 3-4 basic weapons. Once I got the lightsaber though, missle weapons became useless (with exception of thermals and missle louncher to take out walkers, and the rodian sniping gun for a long distance headshots on heavy armed enemies) as the majority of enemies could be promptly dispatched using the combo of force parry, force speed and plain old hacking and slashing.

In fact, at rank 3 lightsaber parry it is only possible for enemies to hit you from behind, or with heavy weapons such as laser turrets, missle lounchers and etc. And cutting down enemies (be it stormtroopers, rodians, twileks or dark jedi) is a delight!

There are few downsides to the game though. Every few levels there is an anoying bit where you have to do something very unexpected - for example jump down onto an exhaust pipe and crawl into it, jump onto nearly vertical beam, or find a completely submerged underwatter passage not visible from any angle unless you stand directly in front of it. Some of this is just plain old bad level design (the invisible underwater passage) and some is uneccessary logical puzzle that make the game tedious at times. It all boils down to spending up to 2-3 hours trying to figure out a silly level-design quirk - which is not fun. Spending the same time plotting the right way to tackle boss level enemy or a well defended outpost of troopers is fun - running around empty corridors not knowing what to do and jumping at every wall and hitting every suspecious looking piece of scenery is just anoying.

Also the game seems to have a glitch in the save-game engine. Once you rack up enough saves, the game fails to display the newest entries for some reason. Deleting few saves seems to fix the problem, and the recent saves magically appear again at the top of the list. And since I like to save my game alot, I was forced to clean up my list every few levels... My brother had the same issue on win98 so this is not just me...

And in unrelated news - I just downloaded the latest build of Sunbird! I used the calendar plugin for T-bird before and it was cool, but I was actually looking for a good stand alone app. I really like to keep my tasks separate - browser for browsing, email client for reading email - that's why I use firefox + thunderbird instead of mozzila suite. Sunbird seems to be a great addition to the Moz familly of standalones :) I really hope they will implement synching feature so that I can use it with my pocketpc, and implement some other publishing options other than webdav.

The build is actually remarkably stable (but stability i's kindoff the hallmark of Moz apps). The only buggy behavior I noticed was a seemingly endless loop caused by trying to update a calendar with a publish check box checked, but no publishing location specifed. My callendar just kept loading without ever updating the settings, or displaying an error message... Unchecking the box solved the problem...

All in all, it is a cool app!

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