These Boots Are Made For Quaking

Happy Weekend TAY!

I wasn’t here last weekend as we took our son to his first concert. We thought Green Day would be a good crowd with a positive vibe for a first time and we weren’t disappointed. We had a blast and it was nice to see the wonder in my kid’s eyes at the giant spectacle. My son learned a lot that day from watching the giant crowd of people.

He learned:

  • a $10 grilled cheese sandwich with Doritos in it isn’t quite what you dreamed it would be.
  • adults sometimes drink WAY too much and miss out on the fantastic performance because they can’t even stand.
  • what marijuana smells like.
  • to not live your life through the lens of your camera, but to take in life with your own eyes.
  • Green Day have an amazingly positive show and make inclusiveness a central theme to their message.
  • that Green Day kick ass live!

What a great day, we came away as even bigger fans. Thanks to Spikespeigel for having my back last weekend!

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As for gaming, I’m in heaven right now. After finishing the awesome Brütal Legend I wasn’t sure where my mood would take me, but it landed me on an old favorite.

I am replaying Quake. It has likely been more than a decade since I’ve played Quake and I was a little worried. Quake was a favourite of mine because it is much of what I want from games, boiled down to the basic elements. I was worried that Quake would no longer give me that vibe it once did, given that gaming has exploded since Quake originally took everyone’s breath away.

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I’m happy to find that it is still the brilliant meat grinder I remembered. Frankly, I’m a little surprised how well it holds up, though, I’m giving it some help.

I’m using the Quake Epsilon package to give a little spit and polish to the 21-year-old game. Epsilon is a brilliant collection of the Darkplaces engine and many spectacular mods all in an easy to execute format. Darkplaces is a giant mod that is often referred to users when running Quake on modern hardware and makes many improvements to id’s original engine. The Epsilon packaging drops in the better textures, lighting, shadows, water...you name it, it has probably been upgraded.

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The best part of the Quake Epsilon package is that the mods have obviously been lovingly selected and stay true to the original look and feel of Quake.

This isn’t your daddy’s Quake anymore, and yet it absolutely is. Everything is there, intact and feeling the same as you remember. Nothing seems to have been negatively impacted in any way that I can see and yet everything looks so much better.

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New shadow and lighting effects have been added, but they feel like they’ve always been there. There are also new environmental effects that add so much to the atmosphere of the game that you want to believe that id Software themselves would have used the same ones, given the modern tech.

I can’t recommend Quake Epsilon enough. If you haven’t played Quake and love a good twitchy first person challenge, make sure to pick it up for the price of a coffee the next time someone has it on sale (it is on sale right now on Steam for a pittance.). Don’t forget to add Epsilon though.

My son and I continue to soldier on in our game of Sonic & Knuckles, which is tougher than I remember. It is certainly much harder to find those special stages than in Sonic 3. Brilliant stuff!

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Our collector’s edition of Sonic Mania arrived last Tuesday and we still have a bit of time to finish Sonic & Knuckles before Mania unlocks on the PC.

The Sonic Mania collector’s statue is much larger than I was imagining. The Genesis/Mega Drive that Sonic is standing on seems to be basically the same dimensions as the original console. I need to think about where a good home for it will be. It is rather tall as well and doesn’t fit on my shelves.

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I have company visiting this weekend, so gaming will be a little light. I’m looking forward to getting back to Quake and Sonic during the last week of my son’s summer vacation.

So, what are you playing this weekend?