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.