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.