Saturday, 19 December 2009

Gamespotting 039 - Down Time

Well; Me as well as many other people have now finished for the xmas holidays and I think everybody deserves a bit of rest and relaxation over the next few weeks. With the rush of the next week aside for the moment; this weekend will prove to be a godsend for many people.

Well; I am sitting here at my desk which has been covered in paperwork and books for the last few weeks and I have shifted all the crap for a few hours of downtime catching up with a few things. The main thing on my list was to look for a few more Xmas presents for a few members of my family and Amazon was my first stop. I had a fourth look at the kindle while I was there (admiring it secretly) and picked up a few bargains along the way.

Second stop was on my blogs; which I updated after a month absence with some more rantings and then downloaded some podcasts (Answer Me This; One Life Left and Phill and Phil's Perfect 10 to name a few) to keep me occupied.

One thing that has scared me over the last few hours was that this was officially my last christmas at Salford; even though I have not noticed it over the last few months but it is scary that this time next year; I will be a year older and doing my day to day tasks within another place apart from Salford which I am going to miss so much when I have left there.

To tell people the truth; I am unsure what I want to do next yet; I have had a few things and ideas floating around in my mind (Teaching being the main thing) but the decision is still unsure and I will have to think about it very quickly.

Well I am looking forward to this christmas very much and have a lot to keep myself occupied with (mainly my Dissertation and Essay to name a few) but I also have some time with my PS3 with my name on it and also re-playing no more heroes ready for next years sequel which is top of my games list (as well as Bioshock 2 and Mass Effect 2); so now I am going to play some good games instead of playing nothing.

Well; I am going to be now but I wish everybody a merry Xmas and hope people have a new year (when the hangovers have finished)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Gamespotting 038 - Objection in the Courtroom and Spreading the Rage

Now if you have been a member of my course for the last few weeks; very little Game playing has been happening with all the work he have had to do over the last few weeks; but I have held some form of Gameplaying with my Nintendo DS and playing my favourite DS Games; the Phoenix Wright series.

Now its not everybody's cup of Tea as its more of a graphic novel than a game; but it is one of the best gaming experiences that I have ever had with a series of games (More than Resident Evil games and CODE: Veronica and I love that game) as it provides a level of humour and great storytelling which I have not seen in games for a long time. I think I am sick of good looking games which provide no storyline at all as can be seen with most games from this generation; but these games provide the flipside to this generation while constantly keeping my attention with the never ending twists and turns of the storyline.

There is another title within the series released next year and I am looking forward to this title a lot more than anything else next year (with the exception of Bioshock 2 and Mass Effect 2 which go without exception)

Also Within this blog post I wanted to spread the word further of one of my favourite podcasts; One Life Left whos' resident gaming Poet Craig "The Rage" Macellend has released his own book on Blurb which I have ordered and I am looking forward to a lot (calling it an early christmas present to myself); so I hope people go onto the One Life Left website and look at the book to see some great poetry.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Gamespotting 037 - Wearing the Fedora while people are installing Windows 7

Hey People

It has been a long time coming but here it is; a new post on the blog. I have been so busy with all my third year work at the moment that the blog has been the last thing on my mind so I thought I would take a few minutes out from the workload and get some new material on the blog.

Now one thing that I have been occupying myself with at the moment (apart from games of course) is learning about Linux. Now I have heard of Linux before and what it is; but never put it into practice and used it as an Operating System. But while reading LifeHacker (my Second Favourite Website)I have been reading about the new versions of Linux and especially Fedora Linux.

Now one of the best things about Linux is that if you want to try out the new OS before installing it; you can create a Live CD which allows you to stream a lite version of the Fedora OS straight of the disk without installing it first and give it a try; and after trying it I thought it was excellent.

The amount of time and work that has gone into this project is amazing and even though that this is the longest running version of Linux; the other Linux Distributions are not a patch on this. I have also found a secondary use for this disk as I fixed my Sister's computer and used it to repair her Hard Drive, so it came in handy for two different reasons.

Ultimately; I do think that Linux is the future of computing and the release of a free OS which will become the universal standard will be on the cards on future Tech and by looking at stuff like Linux I think that the future is nearly here and its defiantly wearing a Fedora.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Gamespotting 036 - Retro All The Way This Chrimbo

Over the summer and the few weeks into this semester; I have discovered a few things about my gaming taste and it might not come as much of a surprise but I am a fully Retro gamer and nothing else.

I have been finding myself playing nothing but Retro titles over the last few months and have got another pile to play after them. Many people would say there is nothing wrong with this; but as a video games student. Shouldn't I be playing more modern titles that have just been released instead of playing around in the past?

It has crossed my mind a few times over the last month while playing Sonic and Pokemon for my dissertation; but I think it is because there is nothing that I want to play at the moment but more importantly; I feel there is nothing going to be released within the next few months that I would be in desperation to play.

I am not bothered much about the likes of COD: Modern Warfare 2 or many other big titles over the christmas period but instead have opted for more retro titles; including Panzer Dragoon Saga which I am at a Bidding War in at this moment in time but should be mine in a few days; but also playing Shenmue 2 on the way it should be played; The Dreamcast.

So hopefully there will be something that will come along that will bring be back into the next generation; but for this moment in time I am sticking in the last.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Gamespotting 035 - Such a great website that I have to share

I am one person who likes a good little website which would help them with their work on a daily basis and I think I have found the best one today which everybody should know about.

The website is called and is basically a series of free web applications that you can use anywhere and are of a good quality to be compared to free open source programs and in my opinion even some licence software.

There are six programs altogether, which can deal with most common design tasks with the exception of office tasks and are most importantly free to use. They are only in Beta at the moment; but I think you will look past that with the quality of the programs.

The Link is:-

I hope the readers of the blog will like this and use it as much as I have.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Gamespotting 034 - Living the Dream 10 Years Straight

I have waited to post on the blog until today for one important reason; its the 09.09.09. Now I am not excited about all the Beatles stuff that has came out today (Got the last one I need today; such a good Album)or all the films that are coming out today for some reason; but for one gaming milestone, the 10 year anniversary of the Dream cast.

Now I know that everybody is covering this at the moment; but I want to talk about this amazing console that I still have set up today to play on anytime I want to. I have been playing games for 17 years; seen some great titles and some extreamly bad ones but when I look back; there was only one console that I have always played on constantly and that is the Dreamcast. I just love the console; everything about it ranging from the Games (Shenmue, Jet Grind Radio, Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure), The Peripherals (Fishing Rod) and the ability to go online and play gamers all over the world; which did shape the way we would play games in the future.

In my opinion; it is the console that can't be faulted. I know that it got out-manoeuvred by the Playstation 2 when it was released; but I still don't know why the Dreamcast was taken out so quickly. Around the time, I thought the Dreamcast was so much better than the Black Box that Sony was releasing and the games could not be matched; but the popularity of Sega's Swansong slowly declined and third party support dwindled which spelt the death of the console.

But I will always have a place in my heart for this console as I still think its the best console ever made and has not been matched since; I know that consoles since then have offered so much more for the player and makes the Dreamcast look like a ZX Spectrum; but none of them have the charm that the Dreamcast does; but what it mainly is about the Dreamcast is that SEGA made a console for the fans of their games and the company itself; which is rare and personally I cannot see Microsoft or Nintendo doing the same sort of thing in the current market.

So I want to thank Sega for making such a great console; for the fans and I will always have mine set up ready to play any undiscovered gems that I have not heard of before (Skies of Arcadia on the way from Ebay), so to celebrate I am going to have a game of Lucky Hit and have a fight with Boris "The Bear".

Monday, 24 August 2009

Gamespotting 032 - Third for Now.....But Wait and See

Sony have taken one of the most radical changes over the last 10 years while they have been part of the games industry. They came from nowhere with the Playstation 1 and gained world wide success with the console and gained even more with its Sister console the Playstation 2 which has cemented itself as one of the most successful consoles in Video Games History.

But many people within the games industry have noted and also the popularity of its competition; Sony's current consoles the Playstation 3 and the PSP; even though they are both the most powerful in their respected fields are both last at the moment. But in my opinion; Sony have been waiting in the shadows as they watch what the competition have been doing; watching their success stories and huge disappointments and in the end; they are going to pull out something big.

I have never underestimated Sony during this generation but I know of a few people that have with the noted failure of some of their games and not instant popularity of its on-line service home and also the blu ray drive; but with their new upcoming titles and both revamps of their consoles (Which feature most importantly the price drop); they might finally get to climb the ladder and get some of their fanboys back. I know that they will never win this gen because of the insanely popular console that is sitting in front of millions of TVs around the world; but I hope they pull it together as I think they are not out yet.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Gamespotting 031 - Back from the Holidays

Hello Gamespotting readers; if there are any left; I am back on the blog and normal service is going to be resumed. I am sorry that there has not been as much as I wanted on the blog; but I have had so much going on at the moment that it has been at the back of my mind.

I have been up to loads over the summer; been sorting out some stuff for my third year of university mainly my third year project and also my dissertation which as the blogs have been on halt for a few weeks; but is going to be heavily updated from today. I have also been playing a lot of games; mainly Fallout 3 and a few sonic games. I have also rediscovered my PSP and have been replaying a lot of the titles that I have had stashed in my library somewhere; but even though I have completed Gitaroo Man Lives three times; I have lost the skills and can't play the game anymore which is highly frustrating.

But I have been doing a lot of personal projects as well; finally finished Stephen King's The Dark Tower series which I have got to say are fantastic, lost nearly three stone in weight (probable because of not eating all the yummy machine food in the centenary building) and finally improving my skills as a Video Games Student; e-books and the PDF are the best things ever.

But there are so many things that I want and need to do; but the time for third year is coming fast so I am going into overdrive from now on. So I hope everybody is having a good time this summer also and will see you back on here soon for some gaming rant of some kind (Maybe the PS3 slim or something like that???)

Monday, 27 July 2009

Gamespotting 030 - Andrew Ryan or John Galt????

The main thing that I have been doing over the summer (apart from going down to the pub for a few too many drinks and playing games) is reading. I love to read and I have had a lot of reading material to do over the summer.

At the moment; I am reading Friends Like These by Danny Wallace which is a great book about revisiting your past, but also for my Dissertation but not an official reference piece that is is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Now this book is huge; it has as many pages as the bible and twice the amount of words (Thanks Wikipedia)and I am enjoying it at the moment, but while reading it; it does bring me back to my Xbox for one reason, Bioshock.

Now; Bioshock is obviously inspired by this book. The utopian image of the future that Ayn Rand puts forward are clearly seen within the game; but also this draws more attention to the games main "Antagonist" Andrew Ryan. Now within Atlas Shrugged; the antagonist put forward to the reader at the beginning of the book is John Galt. This mysterious figure that can be heard everywhere; but not seen until half way through the book, when the pages get into triple figures and towards the end of the book is finally shown to be the hero of the book helping the world into a better future.

Now when comparing to Bioshock; Andrew Ryan is portrayed within the same image. He is considered the bad guy sending splicers, security droids and big daddys but in my opinion; he is the same character as John Galt. In his opinion when building Rapture he wanted to escape the crippling power of authority and rules from the rest of the world and where is the only place where they cant reach you; under the sea god knows how many levels under sea level. But he is portrayed as the bad guy in the same way as the book and the only thing he is trying to do is escape and be free.

I love it when I can compare a game to another form of media on such a deep level like this and Atlas Shrugged; but I think that when Bioshock two comes out; Andrew Ryan will be avenged and the purpose of Rapture will finally come true rather than becoming a huge battlefield for your plasma powered hand and the splicers

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Hidden Level 06 - A Tender Moment while listening to Tracey Jacks

Well; I have not had a chance to go to a festival this year due to having no money and not being able to get the holidays of work. But to compensate for this; I have been watcing all the festival coverage of this years festivals on the BBC.

Glastonbury was good; but my favurite festival of this year was T in the Park; a festival up in scotland. There was a lot of acts that I rearly wanted to see such as the Pet Shop Boys; Seasick Steve but imparticular one of my favourite bands Blur. Now putting the whole Blur Vs Oasis thing to one side, I love Blur and I have always wanted to see them live; which is the main reason why I am annoyed that I could not make it down there.

But while watching the footage of the gig on the BBC; Lead singer Damon Albarn stated that It was to be their final gig. But is it their finalgig for ever or is it their final gig of the summer; But I hope it isn't because watching them live was absolutly fantastic and reviews from Glastonbury were amazing too with some of them saying that Blur was the best act to play there in years.

I ust hope that it was not their final gig as I want to be there with the crowd singing along to Tender and Girls and Boys for years to come; and not just for a brief while

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Gamespotting 029 - Jumping On The Bandwagon (Once Again)

Well; the time has come for the next step of the blog and that is the accompaning podcast; Now I have never recorded a podcast in my life so this will be my first time so ultimatly it is rubbish, but practice of perfect.

I have now put the first "episode" up on a podcast service called ClickCaster and was recorded on my trusty G1 phone using its built in voice recorder. So I hope you enjoy it and see what you think.

The link to the podcast is at the following address:-

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Gamespotting 028 - Happy 100th Episode One Life Left

Monday will mark a special day of the summer for me and something that I have been looking forward to since January; the 100 episode of One Life Left.

One Life Left is a video games related radio show that it is released as a Podcast every week on Itunes and I have been listening since episode 40 which was a long time ago now and they have finally got to their 100th episode.

So just wanted to say happy 100th episode and hope everybody can listen to it.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Gamespotting 027 - Spending Each Night In Rapture

Well; it is official. I do love the Xbox 360 platform. I did have one during the first months of its initial release and I was dissapointed. The thing was extreamly loud and I had the Red Ring of Death seven times on four different consoles.

Now originally; I got my new Xbox 360 to play and create some XNA titles and possibly release them on the marketplace for the third year project; but that went out of the window when I got Mass Effect and Bioshock for the bargin price of £10.

Now I have played through Mass Effect twice now and I have seen pretty much everything about the game and unlocked both good and bad endings; in preperation for the next title so it was time I moved on to Bioshock.

Now this was the first time I have played the game; but I have heard nothing but good things about it and it has got to be said; I love this game, the storyline and moral choice system are very well crafted and my first Big Daddy fight with the bouncer type scared the crap out of me when it put its drill directly into my face.

But I do have one major problem with this title and that I have seen it all before just because it is basically a remade version of System Shock 2 (One of my favourite games ever) with some art deco style and a dash of Ayn Rand for good measure, not that I am copying the zero punctuation review, I just agree with it.

Not I can't say that this is a bad thing because in my opinion it is only building on perfection because I still don't think that there is a better made PC game than System Shock 2, but adding the big daddy and little sister element to the game is perfect for a game like this and I felt was missing from System Shock 2; the gameplay mechanic that gives the player some sort of moral choice.

Overall; I am looking forward to Bioshock 2 and see what has happened to Rapture after the events of the first one; I just hope it doesnt come out at the same time as Mass Effect 2; as I do not want to make a real life moral choice and choose between the two games that I rearly like.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Gamespotting 026 - Birthday Wishes To The Blue Individual

Well; the character of Sonic The Hedgehog has been involved a lot of my gameplay time over the last few weeks due to my University dissertation and according to the official Sega Blog; today is his 18th birthday.

So; I just wanted to wish the blue speed freak a happy 18th birthday; and now he is officially an adult; maybe he can be part of more mature games or even better some more 2d classics like Sonic CD (which I once again am officially addicted to because of Metal Sonic)

So I hope the series can continue another 18 years and get back to his roots quickly before more crap titles with his name on them can be released (Sonic and The Dark Knight; what is that????)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Gamespotting 025 - I didn't feel old until 5 minutes ago

Today; I have finished my Student Accociate position and have enjoyed it; most of it was teaching but in some occations I was talking to some of the younger students about playing games and what they were playing at that time (Most of them playing Resident Evil 5 and GTA 4)

But when talking about some older games on consoles like the Mega Drive; they had no idea of what I was talking about and when mentioning some more well known titles like Sonic the Hedgehog and Ecco the Dolphin; some of them said is that where he comes from and my jaw nearly dropped to the floor.

I thought everybody would have played a Sonic title in some point of their gaming lives; but it shocked me that they have never played these titles. It just might have been my age and when I was their age; the playstation 2 was not even out and the Dreamcast reigned supreme for the year that it was alive (RIP) and all I remember was these classic titles.

But this got me thinking about the modern age of gaming; are modern gamers being spoiled with powerfull hardware and software rather than focusing on how good the graphics are or how many people you can shoot; not saying they said this but it has become commonplace to mention the bodycount when talking about games (mainly FPS).

When the Mega Drive was out; there were no fancy graphics (compared to todays standards); no Hard Drive to store vast ammounts of media on and only being able to play games with a few friends (Rather than millions on games like Warcraft) it was all about the game and the ability to get to the end in one sitting and the experience and social experience of being a gamer expanded with the evolution of the console market with players swapping Memery Cards with their mates and using their saves.

It might just be me; it might be because I have been on a Video Games Course for Two Years and have learned to play and appriciate games in a different way than other people have; but I hope people will look back on these titles and see what games used to be like and not to be discarded because they are not as shiney as modern day titles are.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Gamespotting 024 - Mass Effect Post Mortum Report - Bring On The Reapers

Well, today when I finished work. I completed Mass Effect on my first runthrough and it blew me away. I was hooked; but the final act of the game had me glued to my TV Screen for around four hours.

Defeating Saren wasn't easy, as he took out the rest of my team within the first minute and it was me on my own; but when looking in my weapons upgrades page; there were upgrades with tungsten rounds which inflict more damage and get through Shields in which Saren was hiding behind; after this it only took one shot of my Sniper Rifle and the job was done until Saren Mk.3 arrived.

I got the good ending (As I do with most games that I play) and am extreamly satisfied with this game and the ammount of work that went into it; the only problem was that I want to play the second title already; but have to wait.

So I urge 360 owners of the world to go and get this game; for a 20 hour experience that I have not enjoyed as much as when I played Code Veronica for the first time. now if you excuse me; I'm going to Bring Down The Sky and effect the masses for a while longer

Monday, 8 June 2009

Hidden Level 05 - The Joy of the Freebee

Well I have been doing some research today for my Dissertation and I have found some good bits of the internet today which will be usefull for the project.

But when looking at my latest blog posts in Blogger, I was looking at one of my favourites called Applied Games Design and they have updated their blog with an entry which has a link to a free book; now I would not say no but in this case it is a games related book; so I thought I would spread the joy and give a few more people the link to this book.

It is called Well Played 1.0 by Drew Davidson and has a few essays that could come in usefull and enjoyable at the same time.

The link to the page is

So have a good read and enjoy the credit crunch

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Gamespotting 023 - Captian's Log C-19882 (Jump starting a spaceship with a text box)

Well I have been playing a few games at the moment; the last Phoenix Wright game on my DS; A few Sonic titles for my Dissertation Project and Finally Mass Effect.

Now I picked up the game on several reccomendations from Uni people and picked up at the Bargin price of £9.99 along with a copy of Bioshock for free and I have been hooked on the title since I have bought it.

The gameplay is one of the classic examples that can be found with previous Bioware title such as Knights of The Old Republic and it provides a simple gameplay system that is harder to master than it seems. I only found out today that you could modify your characters weapons even further and this did help when taking down some huge plant thing with Zombies following me everywhere.

The characters are rearly well designed and all of the characters have their own backstory (even if they are on the screen for five minutes)and the one mechanic that impresses me the most is the speech system which allows you to talk your way to being a good or bad character without having to play the game any differently.

But I have only one problem with Mass Effect and that is would it be classed as a Video Game in the traditional sense or is it a piece of visual fiction. I came to think about this when I was playing the first few missions and most of my time was being taken up in cutscenes with various lines of dialogue to choose from (Very Monkey Island Me Thinks) and thinking when is the gameplay going to come and when it does; it just shoves it at you unexpected which is a bit weird.

But this is only a small point and I am absolutely hooked with this title; I am going to play this to the end and can't wait to take down Saren with my Avenger 3 Assault Rifle with its umlimited pots of Ammunition

Friday, 29 May 2009

Gamespotting 022 - Remenising within the Consoltation Zone

Well' this week has been a relaxing one and I have finally been able to catch up with some older games titles in my back catalogue; I have finally got round to re-playing Bioshock that I got with my copy of Mass Effect (15% completed and ashamed as have had it for a month) and finished Phoenix Wright 2 for my DS. I have also been doing a lot of blogging this week as I am currently writing three (This One, The One for My Dissertation and my Teaching Assignment Blog)

So when looking on the past posts from Blogger at my desk; I came across a Tv and Radio Blog from the Guardian talking about Charlie Brooker and the potential for his Awsome Wipe series to cover games as its next subject insted of the news and TV.

If this Gameswipe series were to happen; it would be the only Video Games Tv Program in the UK at the current time which will be amazing as there has been a drought of them for a while.

It has to go on the record and previously mentioned in a past post that I love Gamesmaster and do wish it was back on the screens insted of more boring cutting edge documentaries about something weird happening to people; but I also loved other games programs of yesteryear and watched them all.

There were the obvious ones like Gamesworld and Bits, but my two favoutite ones were VideoGaiden/Consolevainia and Re:Loaded. Re:loaded was on Channel M and was all filmed around manchester; it had features and also covered other gaming events such as an Indie Games convention and going into TV21 in the Northen Quarter to look at some of their older arcade machines; it was not only great community programming but great TV.

The same can be said for VideoGaiden with their programs being on The BBC; but only in scotland so has to go to some random Sky Chanel to watch it; but the format was the same and it ruled while it was one.

I even liked Gamezville and that was rearly bad (This was the show that had no propper gaming news and playing rearly crap games with the exception of a few titles like Marvel Vs Capcom.

But in all fairness; I suppose the games program has had its day as most gamers get their news of Gametrailers; Kotaku and other popular sites for their gaming news as they can refresh their content all the time for hardly any money. But I would love if programs like Gamesmaster and Re:Loaded would make a comeback; just for retros sake. Hell if they can rebrand the Mega Drive and re-release that; why can't they do the same for Gamesmaster.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Gamespotting 021 - The Days of The ZX Spectrum Happening Once Again

Now; over the last few days; I have been paying on the then dust ridden Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and looking on their respective game marketplaces. Now even though I prefer my Playstation 3 as it doesn't break down every few months or so; I love Xbox Live. Mainly for three reasons

Number One: The content you get on Xbox Live is so much better; has so many classic games on there ranging from Sonic The Hedgehog and Streets of Rage to Ikaruga and Castlevainia: Synthany of The Night (and soon Marvel vs Capcom as well.)

Number Two: You can get the Fallout 3 DLC packs on there which I have enjoyed a lot (Broken Steel being my favourite) but this will soon change when the PS3 versions are released and I can upgrade my completed character)

But the main reason I like this is that it has a dedicated page called Community Games which allows gamers to download XNA built titles created by small game dev teams for not many credits (400 being the standard price) and play them on your console. Now this is not the first time this has happened as Sony have done it with their Net Yaroze add on for the original playstation and also allowing games like Flow, Flower and Riff: Everyday Shooter to be allowed on the Playstation Network which were all created by one person teams.

I love these games; my favourite at the moment is Weapon of Choice on Xbox Live which is like a combination of Contra and the Top Down Sections of Bionic Commando: Rearmed and is only 400 points which is around the £3 pound mark which I say is very good value for a game of this calibur.

But I hope this trend can continue as this is now The Bedroom Programming boom of the early 80s started with computers like the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64; and lead to the creation of famous British Games Developers such as one of my Idols Matthew Smith who created Jet Set Willy and Manic Minor and British gaming legends; The Bitmap Brothers.

The Bedroom Coder is back; only this time we have the Xbox 360, XNA and the Internet to make the gaming millions and hopefully; it wont stop here.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Hidden Level 04 - Owning The Stardust Speedway

Now I might annoy some people here; but I have changed the topic of my Dissertation research. It was originally going to be based around Gang Culture within games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight; but I have figured out that this Dissertation allows me the time to explore some of my favorite games in more detail and diffrent ways that I once thought.

So; my Dissertation is now called "Owning The Stardust Speedway" and I am going to research how Sonic The Hedgehog is portryed as a Capitalist character within the varios entrys in the series. I based this idea on the fact that Sonic has to collect "GOLDEN" Rings to gain protection against enemys and keep on going through the various levels and also collecting the mythicl Chaos Emerelds which will turn Sonic into Super Sonic; the unstoppable force that cannot be stopped.

There is also the fact that Dr Robotnik has large and obviosuly rather expensive robot servents such as Mecha Sonic and Sonics Robotic Twin; Metal Sonic.

I am looking forward th this research project and hope everybody can follow my progress along the way and I promice that I will not change the subject again.

You can find the link to the blog at the following link;

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Gamespotting 020 - Gaming Nivarna In a 100 Foot Greenhouse

As the second year of my university course is coming to a close; I decided to take it easy this afternoon and on a reccomendation by my tutor Alan; I went to a videogames exhibition at URBIS called Videogame Nation.

The exhibit is all about the rise of the British games industry; from the beginning of the late 70s with the rise of the Bedroom Programmer to modern day gaming at the end with the xbox 360s and Playstation 3s. Now as I am a full on Games Geek; I absolutly loved this exhibit, there was enough retro goodness to last me weeks with everything from Jet Set Willy, Atari Jaguars playing Tempest 2000, Lara Croft, Darwinia and Lemmings to name a few.

Also scatered around the exhibit floor was random telephone sets ranging from old style dial phones to old pay phones; each were playing audio interviews with various British gaming icons such as Toby Young and one of my heroes; Matthew Smith.

But the thing that I loved the most was that right in the middle of the exhibition floor is the cinema room which was playing video game media from the last 30 years and right at the end of the film was a full episode of Gamesmaster; I was instantly hooked in and stayed there mesmorised about something I watched religiously as a kid (They should bring this back so much,:)). Half an hour later; I started to move on before anything else came back onto the screen.

Also right at the end of the exhibit was a few games created by past members of my course which was the biggese suprise of all, seeing all these projects coming out of the blue.

Overall, I would highly reccomend going to the exhibit; it is £3 to get in; but it is worth getting the visiters pack from the guy at the desk which was a £5; but you do get a program for the whole thing which turns into a poster of old gaming covers (I chose the Matthew Smith cover) and a badge which does cost £2 by itself so it is worth going for that one. The only thing was that you might have to go again to get everything in as there is so much to see; but as people say. They don't make games like these anymore.


Sunday, 3 May 2009

Hidden Level 03 - Reflections of Second Year, what is to come and Birthday Wishes

Well, I have just finished some more design work and also polished off my Technology essay which eases my mind a bit more. I only have two weeks left of uni and then we have the weight of 3rd year looming in the wings waiting to be started.

But overall, I have rearly enjoyed this last year at university; I have enjoyed the work that I have had to do for the various modules, meeting new people and getting to know old people even better and just having a good time. But once the last piece of coursework is handed in; you will find me in the nearest pub with a Double Jack Daniels and finally getting to chill out for five minutes.

I do think everybody else will feel the same way, but it has been one hell of a journey even harder than the first year; but it has all made us better people and better students.

Oh Yeah, just wanted to say HAPPY 27th BIRTHDAY to the THE HACIENDA, even though I wasn't there; you all do rule, just wished I had the money to go to the birthday party tonight.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Gamespotting 019 - The Pirate Bay Revolution and the joy of GamePark

Well this week has seen the death of one great piece of software and a great website; this was the "Death" of the Pirate Bay and potentially all Torrent software. Now I don't torrent anything and do object to it as the worlds finantial status is not as good as it once was and taking these music files is just making it worse; but the downfall of these two elements can ultimatly spell the doom for something that I am rearly looking forward to being released and this is the Gamepark Wiz Console.

Now Gamepark have been releasing consoles since 2001 with their first console the GP32; now it didn't sell as well as many other consoles as it was released at the same time as the Game Boy Advance; so it had no chance of competing with the highly anticipated upgrade to the Game Boy. But this console attracted me as it was one of the first Open Source Console; which basically means you can make the console whatever you want it to be if you have the programming knowledge.

But also; the console can run many emulators on its internal storage which means it can also be potentially 12 consoles in one. On my console it has a NES, SNES, Master System, Wonderswan, Amiga, Mega Drive, Mega CD, Game Gear, Game Boy and also MAME emulators on it which means that the number of games for the console can be umlimited. If only there was a dreamcast emulator for it; it would be the perfect console for me.

Sure it was hard to use and everything had to be in the right place for it to work properly; but I was blown away by the potential of the console. Now a few years later; the new version of the console is nearly upon us called the Wiz, it is the same as the GP32 that I own; but more like an Ipod Touch. Its even going to have its own app store like the Ipod, PSP and Nintendo DSI does; which makes it a good competitor this time round.

But with the axe hovering around the head of Pirate Bay and the potential of torrents being on the verge of extinction; does this spell the end of the console before it is even released. How will the players get the games to run on the console; sure you can get them on some rom sites, but in past experience these are full of viruses so torrenting is the only safe way of getting these files.

I just hope the console can survive this setback and reach the potential that it does deserve, just need to save the money to get one and the revolution can begin over again.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Hidden Level 02 - Luke Bale's Book Club and The Marvel of Spotify

I have been catching up with some podcasts today while I am at my computer doing some work and been listening to a great podcast called Sessler's Soapbox and taking a rest from the usual gaming rantings of his; he did a section which discussed and reccomended five books for the viewers of the podcast.

So I thought it would be a good idea to copy his idea and reccomend some good books that I am reading at the moment which people might like.

Number One - Are You Dave Gorman? (Danny Wallace and Dave Gorman) - This is a great book for people who like a bit of humorous reading, it discusses the events of when these two comedians lived together in the early 00s and after one drunken night; Danny bets that Dave cannot find 54 people who has the same name than him. Drunkily he accepts the challenge the book follows them globetrotting from America to England and back again finding these random people. It is a good read and the way that the two authors tell their version fo the story is great.

Number Two - Adrift In China (Simon Myers) - As I am thinking of doing a bit of traveling after I have finised my degree; I have been readin a fair bit of travel books and this one crept up top of the list. I found it on Amazon for 13p and in my opinion is well worth the buy if you like this sort of thing. It tells the story of Simon while he is Traveling China with his broken motorbike as a student and starts selling Coca Cola to the chinese people he meets along the way, very good read.

Number Three - The Salmon of Doubt (Douglas Adams) - This is one of my favourite books and my favourtie Authors,this book is basically the contents of his Mac Computer before he died. It contains essays,speaches, Colums for newspapers and the final (but unfinished) book that he ever wrote right at the end; broken down into three chapters (LIFE, THE UNIVERSE and EVERYTHING), if you like the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy or even rantings by an author; this is the book for you.

Hope you enjoyed that, see what you think of these books as they are all good reads. Now for a bit of promotion for some software.

At the moment; I have been using Spotify which is a piece of music software that alows to you play tracks from a large music library all for Free, so it solves the problem of buying the songs of itunes; but you can only play the songs which the software is installed on; but I think that it is a great piece of software which is worth a download.

If you want a Beta Invite, give us a message on my comments page and you can have one straight away, so join the Spotify Rebellion and get some free music. Just hope there is a mobile version somewhere in the technology pipeline and this software will be a necesity for my phone.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Gamespotting 018 - Casting The Dream and Finding Sailors

As my university money is a few weeks away and all my current games have been completed, it has been time that I took a deep breath and looked under my Bed for a game that has been gathering dust for a few months and give it a whirl.

I was pulling piles of boxes from underneath my bed and eventually after 40 minutes of looking what to play ended up finding my beloved Dreamcast in its box. Further looking I found Shenmue, Ready 2 Rumble, Crazy Taxi and a few other titles. So over the easter holiday, I have been reliving Sega's last dream one more time and been playing these great titles one more time. I started with Shenmue, which has caused much discussion within my University group; but I will state that I love the game.

OK it gets boring in places and there is the neverending search for sailors within the storyline; but it does have its charms and does recreate real life situations better than any other game that I have seen, I just hope that eventually there will be a Shenmue 3 and the fans prayers will be answered.

Next up was Ready to Rumble which does bring back memorys of button bashing to get the rumble combos; but when playing through the storyline of my character (Boris "The Bear" Knockemov) there is satisfaction from not mashing down upon the Dreamcast controller and actually playing the game properly, I did eventually spend 5 hours playing the game and was like walking out of a daylight film when walking away from the console.

But replaying some of the Dreamcast titles has got me thinking about how did it die out so quick and what potential was wasted when it was finally scraped; just imagine if the Dreamcast won the console war of the time. How would it have affected gaming as we know it; Sega would still be in the console game, we maybe might not have some of the absolutly shocking Sonic titles that have been releases (Not naming anything there) and there might have been a Shenmue 3 out by now.

But I like gaming how it is at the moment, so maybe it was for the best that Sega failed with the console, but what a Swansong it did have and I am glad that I found it again, just need my Saturn with Nights into Dreams now and my dream week will be complete.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Hidden Level 01 - Gadget Mania and Japan Podshow

While I have been on my easter break from uni, I was looking at my blog and noticed that everything was about games, I know that it was a games blog; but I feel that it needs some more themes rather than games games and games, so I have created the Hidden Level feature which is the non games related posts of my blog.

So welcome to the Hidden Level, hope you enjoy these entrys of my blog. I am going to start with something that I have not stopped doing over the holidays which is buying gadgets. To start with, I am a huge gadget fan; I think it came with being a gamer for so many years but I have found that these gadgets have been accumilating in my room over years of buying them.

The latest entry to my collection will soon be the Powermonkey portable charger that I bought of Amazon. This will finally sort out my gadget needs and the downfalls of having so many which is the ones that are charged up or not. But this little silver block thing you can charge up at home and you can charge up your gadgets on the move, could be a good purchase for people who carry a lot of stuff and need it charging there and then.

I bought this item because I was coming back from Chester on the train yesterday and my Ipod cut out, which always pisses my off because I am always updating my library and podcasts lists with new stuff so always attached to my computer. One podcast that I have been listening to which I reccomend is called Japan Podshow which is all about life in Japan.

I am currently researching Japanese Culture to tie in with my Third year disertation project at University, so it has become an essential listen. It is the reincarnation of the previous podcast form which was A Year In Japan by a Photographer and ex Student Joseph Tame. I highly reccomend anybody to listen to this because even though it is abot Japan and may not imply to many people who wont go sometime; it is still a great listen.

Well I hope you liked my mini rant and hope that many more of these will come in the future.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Gamespotting 017 - Me with a DSi on a train to Liberty City with Phoenix Wright saying "Objection"

The easter break has already been good for me, have had a good rest and a catch up with my mates. Done a bit more uni work and watched a few films that have been gathering dust in my DVD collection for a while. (Mainly a Ghibli film, Ancherman and Sin City).

But on Friday, I bought a DSi. I was originally going to buy a DS Lite as they were cheaper; but I have been saving for one of these for a while and was especially temptep when I had a look at my friend Chris's One. I was instantly hooked with the new layout; the potential of the camera within the games to come and the Wii Esque shop which you could buy games. (Thanks Ninty by the way for the 1000 points for the online shop)

But most importantly I have finished Professor Layton and the curious village; which I reccomend everybody who has a DS should play as it is a very good game and combines puzzle games with that detective style of gameplay which combines very well.

But I have also got a few more titles to play in my newly regenerated collection such as Phoenix Wright 3: Trials and Tribulations, Bangi-O Spirits (Made by Treasure who rock. Gunstar Heroes is a great game by the way) and GTA: Chinatown Wars.

So I think that easter is sorted for me and can play some good games at the same time, just get all this work out of the way and we are sorted.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Gamespotting 016 - Broken DS and finally playing along with Studio Ghibli

Well Spring is here and I have just finished for Easter this week. I still have to do some uni work when off, but least can stay at home and do it. (More Daytime TV for me)

So the back catalogue of games that have been waiting in my room can finally get some attention. I still have to finish Resident Evil 5, Evidence: The Last Ritual and Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past on my newly found Game Boy Micro. I have also found some more titles when spring cleaning my room this afternoon that can be added to the list; but when cleaning. Broke my Nintendo DS even more by accident, so can't finish professor Layton yet; but will be able to when get my uni money so not all bad I suppose.

Also, one thing that I want to do while I am off is watch some of the Studio Ghibli films that I have bought of Ebay for cheaps. I love the studio ghibli films and when I found my broken DS; it reminded my that I will have to buy one for when the Studio Ghibli game The Other World comes out also. Saw the trailer the other day and is one of the only games that I would like to buy this year (With the exception of Riddick in a few weeks)

So I hope people have good easter, sorry for the lack of posts. Normal service of rants and opinions will commence soon.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Gamespotting 015 - Going back to Oddworld (But not with the Stranger)

Well, I have not been on the internet as much this week as I have been doing History and Analysis work, so I thought I would turn on my Steam account to see what they have put on there over the last few weeks.

Now I know that every week, they have been offering huge discounts off their games such as Lost Planet: Extream Condition for £3.49 and Team Fortress 2 for £7.99. Now my computer cannot run games of that graphical power, so I have been downloading some little gems of their such as Uplink and Darwinia.

But To my amazement today, they are offering both Oddworld: Abe's Oddessy and Abe's Exoddus for the small price of £2.25. Now you cannot buy these titles for cheaper and in my opinion are some of the best titles on there at the moment. The only thing is that they haven't got my favourite Oddworld title which is Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath which combines a first person shooter and adds a crossbow with live animal ammo which creates some truly unique gameplay.

I am glad these titles are on here for all the world to enjoy, and because it is the only Oddworld games still availible as they went bust a few years ago.

But be quick, if you want these titles; you can only get them for the weekend and then they go back up their respected prices, so cash out the equilivent of a week on Warcraft and travel back to Oddworld even without the Stranger to help you through it.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Gamespotting 014 - Too Much...Too Soon

Now as everybody knows, it is mother's day on Sunday. So a few days ago, I went down to the shops to buy her a present for Mothers Day, she wants a new MP3 player and end up going on HMV on Market Street.

Now I wasen't rearly paying attention at the time (because I was listening to my Ipod with it a full blast, setting a good example there.) and as I was going in a saw a primary school kid with his mother walking out with a copy of Resident Evil 5 in his hands.

Now this game is an 18 rated game, even I think it gets a bit gory especially towards the end of the game and I have been playin games for a long time. But why do parents buy their kids games that clearly have an 18 rated sticker on them which on some of them takes up half the box. Is it to stop their nagging for the latest title, or just because they want I am not sure.

But for my history and analysis research for Uni at the moment, I am researcing Terrorism and came across a few quotes for the Games Industry ex-Darth Vader character Jack Thompson listing about how games would turn kids into killers and terrorists, but if kids are being introduced to these titles at such a young and also impressional age, what sort of impact would that have on them.

Now I'm not saying anything would happen to that kid or that he would emulate the game within the real world like from past examples in the media, but I think the parents and also the shops that sell these games must make it more aware about the content of these titles.

They don't put an 18 sticker on them for no reason and it is kind of annoying when you see this happen.

Sorry about that, back to normality for the next post

Monday, 16 March 2009

Gamespotting 013 - Re-Genesis for the Mega Drive

The 80s and 90s are back with a vengence upon the general public with items from the past finding their way back into mainstream society and not being confined to the retro department.

Now Retro games have always been popular with gamers and the release of the Wii has brought these titles to more younger gamers to experience and older gamers to relive their youth. But there is one exception of this that has never rearly gone away and became retro which is the Mega drive.

Sega's 16 bit console was much loved all over the world, in what ever territory and under whatever naming. OK it was not as popular as the Super Nintendo sales wise, but in my opinion the games catalogue was vastly superior to the SNES's b ut that might have been something to do with Nintendo's Seal of Approval Process (which is something I think they should look at bringing back for the wii if you know what I mean)

Even games development for the platform is still happening today with a team of developers creating a whole new title called Begger's Prince, but games prefiferal company BLAZE has gone one step further and bought the licence for the Mega Drive which means they can release new versions of the consoles for retro fans to drool over

I have bought the portable Mega Drive that they released last year and enjoyed playing these games on the move without having to have an emulator on my TTDS card, but this year they have announced a full size console for £30 which will have 15 games built in and the ability to play any Mega Drive game created around the world and be able to play it on the console, which for a collector like me is a dream console without breaking the budget.

But most people would trade in this magic console for most modern day crap on the 360 and PS3, but the gameplay on these games almost outclass the gameplay on modern games because older games were properly tested and worked properly because they couldn't be updated by patching or internet so they had to be done.

So I hope more people pick up this console and experience and start to look back on older games and not throw them away like in the picture I found on kotaku over the weekend.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Gamespotting 012 - Second Thoughts and Parappa The Rapper

Well, over the last few days; I have not had a lot of time to play video games. I have still got to finish the end of Beyond Good and Evil and replay the newly found copy of a Link To The Past for my GBA micro.

Now when reading Edge and listening to some podcasts over the last few days, I have now decided that I might buy Resident Evil 5 when I next get paid. I know that in a previous entry to my blog, I said that I was not going to buy the title and have stated this several times in uni.

But one item of media, changed my mind which was the Resident Evil Retrospective on GameTrailers. The latest episode of the retrospective lists the entire timeline of the series and gives a small history of events that predates any title in the series. But at the end of the video was the backstory of Resident Evil 5 and has already got me hooked on the entire game, even though I hated the demo. But on the other hand, the damo might be better than the game which in most instances is the case.

Also on another subject; in a previous blog entry; I mentioned that it was EDGEs 200th Issue with the multiple covers. I particually wanted the Strider or Beyond Good and Evil covers because they are two of my favourite games. But EDGE have been clever yet again and sealed the magazine in a black cover so that you don't know which cover you have got until you have bought it. So I was in the queue at Whsmith this morning and looked on the back of the cover, which then tells you what cover you have bought.

I quickly rushed back to the magazine stand and trawled through the pile of magazines in hope for the cover that I want, but they were all the same (Fallout 3), the cover looked crap so looked for another one and found the only copy with Parappa The Rapper on it. I quickly remembered the title and decided on that one insted. I would have liked the cover that I wanted, but with Parappa on the cover has changed my mind and love the picture they have chosen.

I think I might have to dig out my playstation version this weekend and re-visit the rapping dog and master onion on the opening level.


Good Times.....:-)

Monday, 9 March 2009

Gamespotting 011 - 200 Candles and 200 Covers

Not many gaming magazines get past their 200th issue, the only ones that I could think of were Gamesmaster and CVG when it was still a magazine. But on Thursday marks the release of issue 200 of EDGE magaazine.

Now to be honest here, I only started buying EDGE a few years ago. I was strictly a Gamesmaster fanboy and liked the cheat books and freebees that you got every month, but when I rearlised that I was 19 and buying a magazine aimed for the 9 - 18 age range; I made a brave decision to start buying another magazine.

I saw issues of Gamesmaster pass buy and I had not read them yet, but when I picked up EDGE for the first time a few weeks later, it quickly changed my mind about gaming journolism. I liked the way that they packed reviews, previews and articals about the games industry itself, and because it says VIDEOGAME CULTURE on the front cover, I feel like I was in the industry loop itself.

Now 200 issues later and a large pile of back issues getting larger every month, they still have the review magic and I am always hooked issue after issue. But not only is it their birthday issue, they have done a first for journolism and released a single cover with 200 different covers. Now other magazines like Empire and Q have released multiple cover issues before, but not on this large scale and the best thing is they are all unique covers.

The EDGE team has personally created 199 of the covers of the best playable games from their publishing lifespan ranging from Mario, Zelda, Half Life and even a Strider one (which I rearly want, either that or Beyond Good and Evil, Grim Fandango or Jet Set Willy), but there is a special #1 cover especially for EDGE subscribers which was created by Media Molecules using the Little Big Planet engine.

I am excited about this coming up on Thursday and just want to wish EDGE a happy 200th issue, hope you keep going till you're 400.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Gamespotting 010b - I've punched Nite Owl and he did nothing!

Well, with the release of Watchman and all of the advertising everywhere at the moment (even a guy dressed as Nite Owl at the one second past midnight screening in Manchester), I thought I would try out the new piece of downloadable content that I found on Playstation Network called Watchman: The End Is Nigh.

Now I love the book and can't wait to go and see the film, but at this point this is a watchman related item that I haven't liked. In this you can play as Rorschach or as Nite Owl (2) between the events of the book and the passing of the Keene Act which outlawed superheros.

As for combat, Nite Owl can do basic combos upon enemies and use his Batman like gadgets from his body armour; and Rorschach has very strong hand to hand combat and can pick up weapons that the fallen enemies have used against them a few seconds before.

Now this game contains two great things (Watchman related storyline and free roaming beat em up gameplay like the Streets Of Rage Film), but the two dont do well together very well and its just gets propper frustrating after a few hours because it is just the same group of enemies over and over again. There are good things about it though is it does fill in the player on some storylines that are not included in the book, so from a fan point of view; its well worth the buy.

But that is also the most annoying thing about the game; the price as it is £12.99. Now since GTA 4: The Lost and Dammed is a few pounds more and you get so much more from that package, but with this you only get four hours gameplay max and thats that.

Overall, I am dissapointed with this title because it could have been so much better that it is, but maybe the second installment (released around the DVD release later on in the year) may improve upon this formula.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Gamespotting 010a- Midway Games (1988 - 2009)???

With a world recession spreading throughout the world on a global scale, it has become obvious that no area of industry is safe; and the games industry has had it harder than any other creative industry over the last few months.

Of course, the newspapers say that more people are buying home entertainment from now on as it saves money on going out and provides more entertainment for friends and family, but this hasn't stopped larger games developers/publishers from going into the Red.

The company that I am talking about is Midway, who a few week ago has declared themselves bankrupt. Now this is a sad moment because Midway has created some great titles in the past such as Mrs Pac Man, Rampage and of course Mortal Kombat; also the last mortal kombat title which was a collaberation with the characters of DC comics still sold milions of copies but this still didn't stop the eventual downfall of the company. It is sad that this has happened because it ultimatly leads to more redundencies and we could end up with another 1Up situation.

The obvious way out for Midway is to sell themselves to the highest bidder and try and get back up and running again, but they could try and sell themselves to Square Enix who seem to be buying a lot of western developers at the moment. This morning it was announced that they have confirmed the buyout of UK games company Eidos and now basically own them and their individual IPs such as Tomb Raider, Hitman and even Timesplitters.

I know it has become even harder for companys to purchase companies like Midway as they have no money themselves; but for the great contribution they have done towards the game industry and the great games that they produce; I hope that somebody passes them a lifeline and keep them alive for next generations to come.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Gamespotting 009 - Games On The Big Screen

Films that have been based on video game titles or series have never rearly worked as a film, they mostly seen as commertial flops and don't recapture the originality of the games they are trying to portray.

Some notable films that don't recreate the magic of the original game include the awful Street Fighter film (The Live action one, not the animated ones), Mortal Kombat (With the dance theme as the finishing credits) and the truly awful Super Mario Bros (With Bob Hoskins as Mario, lol), but I may have found some video game based films that gain a little bit of respectability back from the film industry.

There are several titles that I have watched over the last few weeks which all have got acclaim from film journalists, won awards and have shown me that you can make a good film about video games, here are the titles that I have found;

  • The King Of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters: the first title that I watched, about the rivalry between the Donkey Kong world champion Billy Mitchell and a challenger Steve Wiebe, who throughout the course of the film outdo each other and constantly swap the world title between the two of them, the film has caused some controversary as the events of the film are supposed to be false.
  • Chasing Ghosts: Beyond The Arcade: A more of extension to the King Of Kong as it fills you in in some of the events that happened in the arcade boom of the mid 80s such as the people who were listed as the world champions of classic arcade games, (including Billy Mitchell's Donkey Kong World Record) and some of the disputes that these listings have caused ever since.
  • FRAG - Now I haven't seen this film yet as it has not been released,but listing this as it looks like a great film. FRAG is about the world of professional gaming; mainly around the FPS titles such as Unreal Tournament, Painkiller and Quake. I am rearly looking forward to this title, but not sure if it is coming over here.
  • 8 BIT - Another title that is already out, but can only find the trailer at the moment. This film is about the like between Video Games and Art, so looks a good watch if can find any more footage.
I am looking forward to seeing some of these titles and hope more are to come with most of these winning best film awards at the Sundance Film Festival and best of all, I can say that there are some good films about Video Games and Uwe Boll is nowhere in the convosation.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Gamespotting 008 - A Very Game Filled Weekend (And Monday Morning)

Well, I have been very busy over the weekend. Been working (Most of the time) and in the middle of the workload been playing some good games.

I have nearly finished Beyond Good and Evil, which is still a great game and even better now that I have nearly finished the full story. Also I have been playing the original Syphen filter on the Playstation for my history research. trufully I have never played one of these titles before, but I am enjoying what I see at the moment, just for the Taser Gun animation imparticular which looks very realistic.

Thw Wii is still the console of choice at the moment as I have been playing loads of GameCube titles, but over the weekend found my beloved Dreamcast with Shenmue still in the disk drive (A Replay is in order me thinks if I can find the VMU). All this game playing is the most ammount of time that I have been playing games over the last six months, been very relaxing over all.

But one great gaming item that I picked up this morning will solve a common problem with two of the three current generation consoles. Have you ever played a game, but still play on through the levels or mode knowing that the batterys could go any minute and the screen will stay motionless for a few seconds while you find some more?

But I walked into a supermarket this morning and found the best geekey/gadget fan item I have seen for a while which is USB rechargable batteries. You plug them into your USB ports for a few hours and will have two fully charged batteries ready for your controller. I tried them in my digital camera (which usually drains batteries) and lasted a good 40 mins of picture taking even on a half charge.

So if you need a good set of batteries for your Xbox 360 or Wii controllers, get some of these and you don't have to look for batteries to finish a game anymore. Not trying to endorse this product in any way, but these are good rechargable batteries for the money.


Sunday, 1 March 2009

Gamespotting 007 - 2009 (The Year Of The Obscure Game)

2008 was a good year for games, but it was even better for the obscure game.

I have always liked these titles, not because nobody has played them. But they always have their unique charm that most popluar games do not have.

But after looking at some release lists for this upcoming year and the beggining of the next, these next few months will be very exciting for gamers all around the world. Some of the titles that I am most looking forward to would be (if it does come out this year) Beyond Good and Evil 2. Rumors going around the internet is stating that this title has been in development since 2004/2005 and is almost at completion.

Also the official sequel to another great game The Chronicals Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, named Escape From Dark Athena looks like one great title and looks more polished than some other next gen titles, also this game is one of the rare examples of a film tie in that actually is a great game and not a pile of crap produced very quickly to coinside with the release of the film.

Finally there is the all important release of the fourth Earthworm Jim game. Now the game has only been announced this year, but after the other great entries in the series, this will be a title to keep an eye on.

There are other titles that are coming out that must be watched, as since there are no major titles being released after Resident Evil 5 this year (I Think) a return to these games will be a great change.

Just goes to show that fan demand does work, just need Shenmue 3 and another Paracite Eve title and this year will be great.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Gamespotting 006 - Beyond The Crap and Modern Stuff

Over the last few weeks, due to lack of money; I have been looking around the gameshops for some cheap titles to play. Not only due I get more games for less money,but also some of these games are of a higher quality than anything else of this generation.

But I have already discussed this in one of the previous blog entries, but I came across another gaming bargain this morning. As I was walking through the arndale centre on the way to uni, I had to go into gamestation to preorder a game. As I was leaving, I looked at a single shelf of previous generation titles that were going for next to nothing.

There was classic titles like Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Buture Bay for the Xbox for £2.99 and Psyconauts for £4.99. There was a lot of great games that nobody was buying, but they were on the bottom shelf right near the door so can you expect anything else. Along these goodies, there was, right at the back a copy of Beyond Good and Evil for the gamecube (My console of choice at the moment) for £12.99.

I know this is a lot of money for a game that came out in 2003, when compared to a 6 month old Xbox 360 title which would usually go for this ammount (Too Human Imparticular), but I think that this was a purchase not to be missed. This has got to be one of my favourite games due to its story, gameplay and rather enjoyable main characters. But I have never finished the title, which is a shame because I enjoyed it the first time through when I played it on the playstation.

I just hope that more people buy these games before they are all gone to a big warehouse somewhere to be kept in storage or even worse be destroyed. Also it is cheaper than buying off Ebay or Amazon, so more money can be in your account for future use.

I hope there will be more gaming bargins to be had over the year as there is nothing that I want to buy, but that is not always a bad thing because I can play the games that I have bought before but never finished, and this title will be at the top of the list.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Gamespotting 005 - No more EVIDENCE for you, young gamer!

At the beginning my Uni semester, one of the first things that I did was read the assignment PA2 to see what work would have to be done over the course of the semester. I kept myself up to date with the deliverables to didn't look at the resource lists at the end of the document.

Last week, I was notified about the current History and Analysis reading/resource list and read what was on them, amongst the list was an unknown title that I have never heard of called EVIDENCE: THE LAST RITUAL. Not knowing much about the game, the first thing that I did was to try and buy a copy, but with little sucess. I finally obtained a copy of ebay, but has to be imported from America.

It finally arrived this morning, and after I finished my coursework. I booted up my version and give it a try and like Resident Evil Zero, I have been absolutly hooked to this game. The general theme of the title is to try and caputre a serial killer called "the phoenix" before he kills again, to do this you must trawl a CD rom that he has left for you and slowly unravel the story of this latest victim.

I have never played a game like this before and even though I have only played the title for a few hours, it is safely one of the best games that I have ever played. There are two reasons for this, the first being the way that it is not a game, more of a film with genius and unique gameplay methods added onto it, some of these I have never seen before and you must listen, look and read everything incase you missed important infomation the first time round.

The second is the packaging, I recieved the title in a plastic (CSI esq) evidence bag sealed with a lage sticker with the games logo on it. I'm not sure why other games are not sold like this insted of the stupid and overall crap steelbook cases that these sort of games would come in. Also the disks look liked that they have been drew on by the characters themselves and look like a regular CD-R disk that somebody has customised.

But after researching the title for a bit longer, I rearlised that this game never had another sequel or an update title with more gameplay and infomation about the characters. This sort of title is needed in the industry at the moment, insted of the list of EA yearly updates, crap movie/TV show Tie Ins or anything Ninetndo (apart from Mario or Zelda games of course). OK it might not sell as well as other titles in the market, but I think it would make more of an impact than Games Party on the Wii.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Gamespotting 004 - Jill Valentine R.I.P

I can say this without any hesitation, I love the Resident Evil franchise and I am a series fanboy. I love the whole series, which sure has had its ups and downs over the years, but overall is one of the best gaming series that Capcom has ever created.But I am worried, I have recently re-downloaded the Resident Evil 5 demo from the Playstation Network to give it another chance.

When I first downloaded the demo, I hated it. Sure it has the over the shoulder gameplay that made Resi 4 such a good title to play and fresh at the time it came out, but it was nothing like that title. One thing that I have always liked about the Resi series is the menu screen which allows the player to heal, combine and change weapons without having to do it on the screen. This also gives the player a bit of time to figure out a stratagy against their current enemy, but is Resi 5 it has been replaced by a on screen inventory screen which was the most annoying thing that I have seen in a Resi game.

Also the enemies in Resi 5 are much harder this time round, this is no to be complained for the die hard fans of the series, but for a six foot giant executioner with blood stained hands and nails in his forarms to completly drain your health in one move with his giant axe is not the Resi that I know and love, even the Tyrant or NEMESIS didn't do that much damage and they are created as war machines with help of the T and G viruses for Umbrella.

So I have dismissed this title and have cancelled my pre-order of the game because I hated it so much, until last night. During the night, I watched Resident Evil: Degeneration and saw the trailers for the game on the disc, the trailers still looked like the same sort of gameplay tha I encountered in the demo, but the storyline that was protrayed within the trailer has blew me away.

The storyline (after researching it a bit further) links a lot of loose ends in the whole series storyline together. The return of Albert Wesker and as you play as Chris Redfield, you finally get to finish the fight that was first started at the end of CODE: Veronica, but can Chris win? The return of Sherry Berkin who was taken away by Wesker at the end Of Resident Evil 2 and has never been seen since. At the end of the trailer, she was seen in a watertank like the one that held the Tyrant in Resident Evil.

Finally, it was announced earlier this week that Jill Valentine (One of the original protagonists from Resident Evil, along with Chris Redfield) has died a few years prior to the games events. Finding all this out makes me to buy this game. Not for the game itself, but for the knowledge that it will provide upon completion.

But why pay fourty pound for a new title, when you can find out the infomation of sites such as GameFAQs or even Wikipedia, will it be the same thing as playing through the game? I never thought I would say that about a game especially a Resi Evil title, but due to the poor demo, I have to say no for now.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Gamespotting 003 - The Rebirth of the BeatEmUp

The year 2009 will down down is gaming history for many reasons, highly anticipated releases are coming up and consoles are getting a revamp to keep up to date with the ever evolving world. But in my opinion, the best reason that this year will be highly remembered is because the release of one game, Street Fighter 4.

For years the Beat Em Up has slowly declined in popularity compared to its hayday in the mid 1990s with game such as Killer Instinct, Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat taking over most home consoles and arcades. But with each new beat em up released doing nothing new for the genre and the rising popularity of the FPS due to games such as Doom and Quake, it seemed that Beat Em Ups could get no better.
Sure there have been great fighing games released over the last 10 years, examples Soul Edge (Soul Calibur included), Dead Or Alive and various collaberations between two franchises such as Capcom and Marvel providing great gameplay but nothing else for the player to enjoy. Also compared to other games that have lots of bonus content, hidden features and additional gameplay being sold for the same ammount as a Beat Em Up does, why would the games market buy these games.

But One game can change all this, and I believe that the game is Street Fighter 4. I have only played this game for a few hours, but I felt that I went back to 1994 with my Mega Drive fighting against my mates with the championship control pad. It still feels the same as the older Steet Fighter 2 and 3 titles, but adds the genious gameplay from additional titles in the seres such as the alpha games and EX3. Of course you still can pull of the Dragon Punch or Sonic Boom in the game way, but it allows you to play the game in many different ways than any other Street Fighter title, especially when you play as some of the new characters especially created for this title.

Already been given top scores by leading games review sites such as Gametrailers and Gamespot, the title is a welcome addition to anybodys collection (Especially when you are bored of the game First Person Shooter just set in a different setting such as FEAR 2 or Gears Of War 2). The only thing that I can complane about is the boss of the game Seth (you will know what I mean when you play the arcade mode) The Beat Em Up is back, and personally I have missed them. Only thing that I would like now is a new Killer Instinct title and the rebirth of the genre will be complete.


Sunday, 22 February 2009

Gamespotting 002 - Last years games are this years cool!

Hey people

Well here goes for my first propper blog post for Gamespotting (Not counting the introduction) well here is something that has been on my mind for a while.

Overall this generation has given us some great games so far with the likes of Street Fighter 4 (Already my game of the year), GTA4, Falout 3, No More Heroes and countless others that could be future classics. Also this generation will also be known as the re-birth of the bedroom programmer with tools such as XNA and Sony's Little Big Planet.

But the only thing that I have a problem with is that are these games value for money. I recently bought Mirror's Edge for my Playstation 3 and enjoyed it for the few hours of gameplay that it provided, but overall I wouldn't play it again. For one, the last level annoyed the hell out of me and it doesn't give anything back to the player for doing the entire game again.

I personally think that gamers could play some of the last generations games, which now cost next to nothing and have more content for the player to enjoy. For example, I recently purchased Resident Evil Zero for the Gamecube for £2.49 from Cash Generator in Manchester and been playing it for 20 hours now and it is still not boring.

As it is the only Resident Evil that I haven't played, I thought it would be a worthy investment. I put it into my gamecube and at this moment in time has never been out of the disk drive. The twists and turns of the plotline and the lack of a item box makes this one of the best Resi games, but not as good as CODE VERONICA.

So why pay £40 for an eight hour game, when you can look around and get some good bargins fron the last generation. Most of which can be played on this generations consoles and have a more enjoyable time.

Just something to think about.

A Piece of RECESSION BUSTING advice from Gamespotting. (HA)

Gamespotting 001 - Jumping On The Bandwagon

Hello People

I am Luke and I am a Games Fanboy. I love games and understanding how they work. As I love games, I am currently doing a Video Games design course at the University Of Salford and propper enjoying it.

A lot of the students on our course read or have their own blogs, so I thought that I would start my own and basically jump on the blogging bandwagon. To tell the truth, i am new to the entire blog scene, not reading them but writing your own. So this blog might be a bit basic to start with, but will get better when get used to the entire blogging thing.

Hope people will enjoy it and find it usefull.

Choose Life, Choose Games.