Say what you will about the latest TF2 update, and many have, but it contains the most fun weapon yet– the Holy Mackerel.

A fish. For you.

It’s just pure fun.  It’s animated really well, for one thing; it flops around in a goofy way, and glistens like a wet dead fish.  Every time you hit someone with it there’s a notice in the upper right, and if you kill someone it says FISH KILL! 

I’m a lousy scout, but it’s a blast to run around on Blu with the fish, and I’ve actually done pretty well in some rounds, a combination of captures and FISH KILLs.  I learned fairly quickly that if you’re some distance away you’d better use, you know, a gun; also that the fish, awesome as it is, does not do well against fire or miniguns.  But it doesn’t matter, because, come on, FISH KILL.

It doesn’t seem as useful on Red, so I usually go back to Soldier.  (With a fairly dull loadout, including the original rocket launcher.  I used to use the Pickaxe– it was fun to do more damage and go fasterat close to zero health– but the Pain Train feels more helpful as capturing points is good.)


If you’re, like, off in Nunavut, you may not have seen this yet:

It’s really well done, though short.  (The plus and minus here is that you’ll have to watch it over and over to follow all the action.  I think it might have been more satisfying if it had focused on one bit at a time, or included a loop.)

I forget if I plugged the amazing Spy vs. Pyro cartoon.  I just watched it again and was re-amazed.  The creator has obviously absorbed all the lessons of Looney Tunes; each section tops the last.  The ‘sex scene’ is over-the-top hilarious.

There are no bad classes in TF2, only bad players.  

This occurred to me watching Chan, who’s frighteningly good as a sniper, playing scout (on Mach4 with just 2 players per team).  I kinda like playing scout, but I never thought of it as a terribly effective class: he’s made of paper and his shotgun is not that deadly.  But it was an education to watch Chan— he had no fear of the level 3 sentry defending the intel.  I’m not sure how he did it, though part of it is his incredible aim.  The shottie is effective if it always hits…

I like the sprays that my friend Leth came up with, especially the TF2 ones:

Coming soon from Valve, when some tricky negotiating points are resolved, such as them not even being aware of who I am.  Click to enlarge.

The classes are, left to right:

  • Flaming oil thrower
  • Trapmaker
  • Archer
  • Rogue
  • Barbarian
  • Wizard
  • Grenadier
  • Skirmisher
  • Hand Cannoneer

For Almea fans, more info here:

The first few times TF2 invited me to save deathcam shots, it seemed kind of mean– I already knew I sucked, I didn’t need reminders.  But I have to admit that it sometimes comes up with pretty cool images.  Click the thumbnails to enlarge.

(The fourth pic isn’t a death pic, just a silly moment on the MeFi servers: an all-medic round on Hydro.)

For the two TF2 fans who haven’t already seen this:

Quite lovely character animation for machinima.  You gotta feel for that demoman.

Also the opportunity to learn two useful French terms: bêtisier “gag reel”, and gogol “tard”.

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