Editorials

Most gamers have an opinion it’s just ours are not only right, but informative and sometimes funny so you can read them all here.

Video Games and Life

Now to be fair I did not know gaming would lead me to meet friends online and then in person, but today that is a very common story. Just as internet dating was (and sometimes still is) looked upon as weird so was making real friends online, but that has changed. Sure, we can look at Facebook friends and laugh knowing that out of those 3000 you might have met 50, but even if you meet one or two they could change your life. [...]

How Gaming Changed This Girl’s Life

It’s funny how, in the beginning, he thought it was cool dating a girl who liked gaming. He now cautions guys against dating gamer girls! He was just mad that I took over his Playstation for about a whole solid month. Yeah, I know it shouldn’t have been that long, but I’m one of those “gotta get everything” kinda gamers… so I went for every character… played out every possible subplot… even used the strategy guide to make sure I didn’t miss anything. And boy did I get everything! It changed my life. [...]

Marriage: An editorial

There are women who do not wish to conceive any children, but feel that as they get older they will not find someone they would want to spend their lives with. Often women and men for that matter, feel that dating in their mid and late thirties will only bring in people with baggage, issues and kids from previous relationships. [...]

Top Five Star Trek Ships

Well, they sure took their sweet time but finally the Federation creates a ship that doesn’t suck ass! I know their main interest is exploration and the wussies don’t want to upset anyone by daring to build something powerful, but would it really hurt to build a few actual warships? All those cumbersome, stupid-looking ships with saucers and sticky-outy warp nacelles… Let’s face it, they couldn’t fight their way out of a junk yard. The Defiant, however, is another story. [...]

How To Deal With Your Girlfriend Breaking Up With You

The first movie you need to watch is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The film is about a guy who finds out that his ex-girlfriend paid a company to have him erased from his mind. Once he finds this out he in turn gets the procedure done to him. Fate would have it that they meet again at the beginning/end of the film, when the truth gets uncovered. This movie is useful in our situation because it might help you remember how bad it got and how good things used to be. This will be a make or break movie, which will help you decide whether she is worth or not trying to get back. The solution (dilemma) proposed in this film is that if you are meant to be together, you will be. Should you want to still stay away, read on… [...]

Definition: Wigger

We can all sit here and pretend that caring about words and labels are silly because only our actions matter but we all know we don’t live in that world yet. It does matter, when you have the word wigger openly used you are one letter away from saying the “N” word and no spin can change that fact. If you really believe that black people are the “N” word then go ahead and call a white person who “act’s black” a wigger. You may not agree but if you are ever in doubt use the mathematic formula. [...]

Games: Most let down, Most hopeful

The New Year is a time to look forward with all kinds of resolutions, most of them that you will not keep and it is also a time to look back on the year. When it comes to gaming there is always room for reflection and regret. There is also always that hope that the next game that’s coming is the one that will keep you enthralled for months or more. [...]

Classic Video Game Cereals

It was like a ritual. Saturday morning we would wake up earlier than any other day of the week. It was all about Saturday morning cartoons and what better way to enjoy them than with some sugary cereal preferably with colored marshmallows. For the most part I ate the popular ones like Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes, but when I began playing video games and saw they had cereals for them I had to try them out. [...]

Christmas Comes to Pac-Land

On December 16, 1982 the first ever Christmas special of the video game age debuted in prime time. Hanna Barbera’s Christmas Comes to Pac-Land took the popular new Saturday morning cartoon series based on Pac-Man and it’s many sequels into uncharted territory for anything related to video games. In this ABC holiday special, Santa Claus crash lands in the fictional town of Pac-Land, an odd world where it seems to be legal to eat other inhabitants and walk around without pants. Santa, (voiced by a pre-Optimus Prime Peter Cullen), has never heard of Pac-Land while those who live there have never heard of him or Christmas at all. [...]

A little game called HuttBall

The thing about games like theses is you can easily believe the goal is to kill people and sadly like many Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft people only care about their kill count. The arena has two main hazards that can be used to your advantage. One is several fire burners than are on a timer and if you get caught on top of one when they go off you are as good as dead. The second are two acid pits that when you fall in them kill your pretty quickly. Also, when you fall inside them you walk slowly so the chances of you getting out are slim. [...]

The beauty of their dreams

Independent marketing schemes such as those created by Innovatty on twitter, involving all of the indie developers retweeting about each other’s ideas were also invaluable as well as the forums on sites such as TouchArcade. The challenge was intimidating, attempting to do battle with companies such as EA, in an arena that they were swiftly trying to dominate. Adverts such as the one above, were circulated across the globe in an attempt to build up a buzz before the game was released. Finally, towards the end of August, we gained permission from Apple for the game to go live and after hours spent blogging, tweeting, face booking and you-tubing, all we could do was hope. [...]

Top Ten: TurboGrafx-16 HuCard Games

When gamers look back at the heyday of the Genesis/NES wars, NEC’s TurboGrafx-16 is often overlooked. That’s a darn shame – as big a shame today as it was back in the 1990s, as the TurboGrafx video game system had some quality games that are still fun to play today. Just for kicks and giggles, here are what I consider the Top 10 huCard (in no particular order) games for this forgotten system. One more caveat: the CD games aren’t on this list – they’re for another day! [...]

Classic Games you would give as gifts today

True story, I was in a Kay Bee toy store several years before they closed and was looking for some discounted games. An older woman comes in and asks about the Playstation2 which was brand new at the time. The guy behind the counter tells her the Atari Jaguar would be much better liked for her son and showed her a wonder bundle of games and told her he could give them all to her for one special price. [...]

My Favourite Games: VI

I can still remember buying this game second-hand in my local game/music store. I had little knowledge of it and, thanks to my prior Sega allegiance, I had never played the earlier Metroid games, but I had heard that it was supposedly something special. I really didn’t know what to expect so, upon playing it for the first time, proceeded with caution. What followed was one of greatest awakenings of my gaming life! I was initially wondering what was going on (no one reads instruction books unless they get stuck!) but was quickly immersed in the atmospheric, haunting world of Brinstar and all the other amazingly designed areas of Super Metroid’s world. [...]

Exploring the SuperGrafx

The original PC Engine was an amazing machine itself, like the Holy Grail to a videogame-obsessed teenager like myself. All the hype and excitement surrounding it in the pages of magazines like C&VG built it up and up – even my dad was impressed with it! But then reports started surfacing of a new, more powerful PC Engine. What could possibly be better than the amazing Engine? Well, as many of you may well know by now, it was not well received and few games were ever released for it, but even in spite of that it retained its mysterious and enticing aura in my mind and it has remained ever since. [...]

Pirated Childhood

This game was the entire reason why I went to the lobby every time I could. This game took me out my seat and brought me to a gaming world I have never experienced, and back. The so called Super Bros 8 is actually a hack of Don Doko Don 2 released by Taito. The whole game fits well for it to be a potential Mario title (if you ignore the storyline that is). You play as Mario holding a hammer and stomping evil looking mushrooms (sounds Mario-like?), as well as other creatures along your way including pigs! [...]

Exploring the Commodore 64: Part 2

Like the first post, the games featured here were all available elsewhere but were probably most famous as C64 games, especially a certain few, but unlike last time I’m somewhat more familiar with these games, having played them or similar games elsewhere, which should actually prove better for familiarising me with the C64’s abilities. One thing to note is that, as you may have noticed, all the games selected are arcade-style games. I thought this would be okay since I’m just seeing what the C64 is like as a system and I don’t really have time to learn the intricacies of some of the great strategy and adventure games the system offers such as The Sentinel, Forbidden Forest, Citadel, etc, but I certainly intend to play them eventually, at which time I’m sure you’ll hear about it here! For now though, here’s my first impressions of these games: [...]

There is no magic in making games

It takes 10,000 hours to become really good at anything. If you only spend one hour a day on something, it will take you approximately 27 years to become really good at it. It’s a lot of repetition, and a lot of trying to achieve higher and more interesting goals. You keep starting over and over with a clean slate, hoping to nail it down perfectly this time around, but each time it’s like making an ice sculpture in a desert. Everything starts to melt, you lose details and focus, and eventually you decide to scrap it and start anew. There is really no getting around it, everyone has to go through it. But one day… [...]

Chronicles of an Indie Game Developer

I spent months learning more about game development and improving my programming knowledge before applying for a couple of jobs at local game developers. For my first interview I was told to download a GameBoy emulator, learn Z80 assembly language and produce a simple demo for the GameBoy in a weekend! I was so enthusiastic that I spent all weekend making the best demo I could. I got offered the job but amazingly I also had a job offer from the other company to work on a top selling PlayStation game, which I accepted immediately. [...]

Gamers Health: The Journey

Regardless of stereotype, recent data has shown that many gamers are overweight, out of shape and have a bad diet, but one does not have to give up gaming to get in better health. One thing I learned is never try to do something you do not think you can keep up forever. What this means is if you start running 7 days a week and get fit that’s great, but if you cannot kept it up chances are you may give it up totally and revert back to the way you were. [...]

Top Five Amiga Shmups

It’s generally accepted that, outside of the arcades at least, shoot ’em ups have always been the province of consoles. There were a few good examples on the Spectrum, Amstrad, Commodore 64, Atari 400 & 800, etc, and the arrival of the more powerful 16-bit machines should’ve heralded even more, but they never really came, despite the genre’s enduring popularity. Few could argue with either the quantity or quality of offerings on the likes of the NES, PC Engine, or MegaDrive, and I myself, in my days as a die-hard Sega fanboy, used to champion the latter console as Lord of Shmups. Of all the computers, however, it was arguably the Commodore Amiga that fared the best with its shmups with not only some decent arcade conversions but also a good few original games too. In fact, I believe all the games in this Top Five were Amiga exclusives! Here they are: [...]

Are video games finally being accepted by the mainstream?

Any longtime gamer knows of that gut wrenching feeling that comes along when a mainstream media or entertainment source does a video game story. From news stories that claim violent video games are kid’s toys to Jay Leno jokes that paint gamers as basement dwellers and virgins, it often seems that the industry stats aren’t known by much of what passes as news and entertainment these days. [...]

80s Action Heroes: Return of the Sequel?

Action with comedy is a great combination. Who doesn’t want to see Axel Foley assisting the Beverly Hills police to clean up their zone again? After all, Eddie Murphy is still only 50, so he might have time for another whole trilogy. His character was just too likeable for the LA police to really want him out of their town. His (almost) one man army and unusual methods kept audiences captivated. We’d have him back any day even if he moved to another city! [...]

Top Five MegaDrive Platform Games

I’ve owned and enjoyed dozens of them over the years so picking the best five is no easy task. To make it a little easier I decided to not to include any of the MD’s fantastic arcade conversions such as New Zealand Story, Rainbow Islands, etc, and the (at the time) splendid Sonic series only gets one nomination here too. Naturally, run ‘n’ gunners (Shinobi series, Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts, Gunstar Heroes, etc) aren’t included either, and nor are arcade adventures such as Flashback, Puggsy, etc. These categories are all good enough and numerous enough to receive their own Top Fives at some point. So, with all that in mind, here is my five favourite Mega Drive platformers. [...]

The process of Design: Spice Road

I find it useful to understand games in terms of different game mechanics and how long the player spends working with each mechanic. This seems to cut through the cover-story and gloss and give a clear description of the game. For some games the majority of time is spend moving or waiting, with only a small fraction on making meaningful decisions. For a strategy game the big choice I found was how much micro-management to place on the player – how much time would be spent making interesting decisions as opposed to time spend implementing or maintaining those decisions. [...]

Games that scared me

Pretty much everyone can be scared, but to be scared in a video game is more difficult than one would think. Sure, we are immersed in the game so we feel like we are really the character, but there is so much of our real life right around us and the fact that we are most likely at home and surrounded by distractions that it is hard to grip us in fear no matter how good a game is. [...]

Still Providing Raw Thrills: Eugene Jarvis has impacted over 30 years of gaming

“You start out with all these dreams and hopes,” he said. “Then reality sets in. You can’t do this because the technology isn’t there or you can’t do that because the budget or time isn’t there. Then something doesn’t work how you wanted it to. It feels like being on one of those old wagon trains going across the desert and one of your horses dies. Then you sometimes have your best moments, too, when you stumble across something cool and unexpected to add to the game.” [...]

My Experiences: EA Sports Tester

Then a panel interview where I chatted with three people. I remember being asked if I could remember what the interviewers names were and I only could remember the chick’s name. Again, typical. I was told I had the job and I had to come in Monday morning for a week of training which consisted of learning the bug database and learning from the previous year’s titles. At the end of the week we got our assignments and I was on the NCAA team for PS2. We all felt sorry for the guy who was given Madden for Game Boy Advance. [...]

Origin vs. Origin

This might sound like a good thing, more customers calling in, and more chances for a sale. However, for anyone that has ever dealt with the gaming community you know there is a wide array of people you will deal with and those chomping at the bit for a game may be a little less than pleasant when they find out you cannot help them. [...]

Steve Jobs 1955-2011: Technology pioneer worked in the early days of Atari

Jobs and Wozniak would later pair up to work on Atari’s 1976 release Breakout, the ball-and-paddle brick-breaking game that has been cloned a million times over, from 1987’s arcade hit Arkanoid to countless Flash-based clones on the internet today. Offered a bonus by Atari if the number of chips that could be eliminated from the machine, Jobs offered to split the bonus with Wozniak, who worked for days on end to reduce the design to such a degree that Atari was unable to figure it out and had to redesign the circuit board over again. Despite the fact that Wozniak did the work, Jobs took most of Atari’s bonus money for the project without Wozniak’s knowledge. [...]

Khan’s Corner: First Impressions of Dominion

What is Dominion? For those that played WoW (and don’t pretend you didn’t) it is basically Arathi Basin with minion waves and a fog of war in the center of the map. There are five points in the map and you must claim them, defend them, and reclaim them in order to secure the fought over resources for your team as you slowly dwindle away the enemy team’s nexus HP bar. Sounds pretty wizard doesn’t it? Well it is! It is pretty damn wizard. [...]

Video gaming should not be the scapegoat for death of British gamer

Video gaming didn’t kill young Staniforth, folks. His own lack of activity did. He could have been an employee in a computer cubical for 40 hours a week that ate lunch at his desk. He could have been a person that travelled a lot, sitting for those long hours in planes and cars. He could have been sitting around watching a Harry Potter movie marathon, collecting stamps or watching paint dry. [...]

Game Censorship: Nintendo

Video games are still blamed for a lot of things now-a-days including people being violent, lazy or stupid. However, back in the 90’s the video game violence debate reached a boiling point and many games were changed or edited to remove things that would be offensive or too violent. Nintendo, wanting to be more of a family gaming company took the lead while Sega was looked at as the more adult system. [...]

Finding myself in the middle of the Duke Nukem Forever outcry

Fox News claims Duke Nukem Forever’s “Capture the Babe Mode” features violence against women. The reality of the story is that this over-the-top parody of the “Capture the Flag” games featured in titles such as Call of Duty does not feature such material to the extremes that Fox has stirred up. Yes, a slap on the butt might still be considered controversial and sexist by many, but it’s not described this way by Fox, which would have you believe players are punching women in the face or something. [...]

Top Five Master System Shoot-em-ups

Shoot ’em ups have long been one of my favourite genres and one that I probably own most examples of. The fact that my recent ‘Top Five MegaDrive Shmups’ post has been my most popular yet indicates I’m not alone! I also seem to have sparked a craze for compiling shmup lists, with all and sundry now apparently listing their own favourites, including my friend Graeme (Jdanddiet) here! So, continuing the theme, I thought I’d return to my first console, and here’s my choices: [...]

E3 2011: My E3 Guide

If you are media/press, pick up every free bag of goodies they give you. The best stuff I got was from World of Tanks, which gave me a bunch of toy tanks, a special bag, a World of Tanks T-Shirt, mouse pad, and special game bag, as far as the main floor went, and the biggest gift I got was from Topware which gave me a Collector’s Edition of Two Worlds 2 and a ton of T-shirts. Even if you don’t like a game, who knows, a friend of yours might like it! If you have a gaming website, some of this swag would be great to giveaway in the form of a contest. [...]

Top Five PC Engine Shoot-em-ups

Until the PlayStation came along, this remained the most faithful conversion of this eternally worshipped, all-time classic yet seen (Lord knows why it never appeared on the MD, come to think of it, that could’ve been a cracking version). Despite the fact that it was initially spread over two separately released Hu-Cards, it was still hard to fault it. The graphics and music are near- faultless and as close to arcade perfect as anyone could reasonably expect, and the timeless level design and gameplay is faithfully recreated. [...]

Are Asians Good At All Games?

Quick answer: Nope! Where the hell did this stereotype come from? Where did this claim that Asians are the demigods of gaming originate? I don’t know and I’m sure a quick google search could answer that question for me, but you know what? I don’t feel like opening my browser for such productive means! Instead I’m going to rant while being entirely ill informed and uneducated! Are you ready because I am! [...]