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Half-Life for the Dreamcast... It lives! Tim 
Posted by: Tim at 4:13 AM EST on 2/8/2003
File Under: Games

Hey, look! Another webcam picture! Yay! Now, what does this one show?

What's this? Do your eyes deceive you? No! It's none other than Half-Life for the Dreamcast!

Back before the poor old Dreamcast was canned, Half-Life was the one game everybody wanted, but nobody could have. Sierra, in their infinite wisdom, cancelled the release of the game, even though it was 100% complete and ready to be published and sent to stores. Hell, several media outlets had already written reviews of the final game, and Prima even had a strategy guide for the game on store shelves for a short time! Sierra blamed the cancellation of the Dreamcast itself for their decision. Whatever. Why not release it and at least recoup some of the losses you took on developing it? Stupid Sierra.

So, wait... If it wasn't released, then how do I have it? Well, think of it in terms of this SAT-style analogy: Half-Life is to the Dreamcast as Thrill Kill is to the PlayStation. (Man, if they really had analogies like that on the SAT, I would have absolutely killed that test.) In other words, if a publisher is too stupid to release a completely finished and highly sought-after game, someone, somewhere, is going to do just about all they can to get their hands on a copy of it and pirate it for the general masses. That, my fellow Dreamcast lovers, is exactly what happened. Though nobody really knows who leaked it, I don't think anyone would be surprised if it was actually a disgruntled employee who wanted their hard work to see the light of day - after all, it wouldn't be the first time.

Anyway, I've put some time into the game, and I'm pretty impressed with it so far. There are some frame-rate issues here and there, but since this is the Dreamcast, and not the GameCube or Xbox, that's acceptable. Aside from that, the only technical issue I can find with the game is that there are some crazy loading times. Most likely, this would have been minimized with a commercial release - warezed games tend to have unoptomized file structures on the disc, and GD-ROMs naturally have faster loading times than CD-ROMs - but since we wouldn't be playing this game at all if it wasn't a warez copy, there's no complaining. But still, the whole "Play for two minutes, load for 20 seconds, play for three minutes, load for 15 seconds, play for five minutes, load for 30 seconds" thing gets old.

I have to say, playing Half-Life on my Dreamcast makes me wish I hadn't missed out on the game on the PC. Yes, this is my first ever experience with this game, despite the fact that just about everyone else and their mother has played this game, all its mods, gotten tired of it, and moved on by now. Well, here I am trying it out for the first time... But I love it! It has a very Halo-esque feel to it, I must say. Or, rather, Halo seems to have taken after Half-Life, what with the whole suit thing and holographic lady helping you out. (All through the training mode, every time she would say something, I couldn't help but think "Cortana?") Despite the fact that I didn't really care for Halo, there's something about Half-Life that is drawing me. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but I like it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's technologically inferior and not quite as polished. Call me crazy, but I like when a game's graphics aren't very realistic. In fact, I like the look of a lot of Saturn games more than anything on the PS2, GameCube, or Xbox. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Ummm... Reading back over this post, it seems to be a whole lot of me rambling on about nothing. I guess I don't really have anything much to say, other than "HAHA, I HAVE HALF-LIFE FOR THE DREAMCAST, AND YOU (probably) DON'T!"

Oh, and one more thing - I love the fact that the gray-haired scientist looks just like the doctor from MDK2, one of my favorite Dreamcast games ever. That makes me happy.
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