Monday, October 24, 2011

From the Vault: The Orange Box - or - My name is Phil and I'm an achievement whore.

Every now and again I like to go back and revisit some of my older titles that I've played to see how they hold up. Well with the case of The Orange Box it was two fold. I get to play Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 & 2 again......and I also get to go after more achievements for my gamer score.

I'm a total achievement shill.

Quite frankly this is probably the *BEST* video game value you can possibly ever get for your money. It comes packed with Half-Life 2, the expansions Episode 1 & 2 (which expand the fight for humanity Gordon Freeman is embroiled in), Portal (which is ungodly awesome) and Team Fortress 2. All for the price of one game. And all on one disc. You can't beat the gooey awesomeness of this deal Valve packaged together.

And the coolest part of this collection is that the games STILL hold up. Heck, even the Source Engine (Valve's proprietary graphics engine) still looks pretty good too. Story is still engaging, action is fast paced, the horror elements is still freaky (cough cough Ravenholm cough).

And that's just Half-Life 2 and its expansions. Portal is still challenging. And for the first time I gave TF2 a shot. And its also, gasp, fun. Speaking of which I do have to point out the graphic style for TF2 is this cartoony cell shaded look. Its totally unrealistic compared to the looks of the other games on the disk and it works so well. My favorites have to be the Spy and the Sniper for appearances alone with the Heavy coming in a very close third place.

But what really inspired me to go back to play these games was the achievements. I noticed I only played Portal and Episode 1 & 2 when I first got the game and never played main game or TF2. So since I have some time I decided to pad my gamer score a bit more. Luckily I picked a game that is just a joy to play. And if for some reason you missed out on The Orange Box before you can probably track down a new copy of it for around $20 bucks and that is gaming value like no other.