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      21.05.2011 17:42
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      Steam seems like a good system on the surface, but it takes away gamers rights.

      This is written as a response to the recent post about how great Steam is. Because while I do use Steam, I do have some concerns regards it and other online distribution methods.

      1) You don't own your games.

      Steam, the Playstation Network, X-Box Live Marketplace and so forth actually state that you don't own the games, and that what you're buying - when you accept the licence agreement - is a licence to play the games. Some agreements even state that the company isn't obliged to continue to make them available. Now, this is a grey area legally - and it might fall foul of the UK's unfair contract law - but it's taking a lot of the power away from the consumer.


      2) If the system is down or your internet's down, you can't play your games.

      This varies between services, but you quite often have to be online to continue to play games. Steam has an offline mode that, if activated, supposedly allows you to continue to play games without having to connect to verify you own them. Yet I've found Steam's offline mode to be twitchy at best. And Playstation 3 owners found that they couldn't play Final Fight or Bionic Command 2 while PSN was down because these titles required online activation.


      3) You can't sell the games.

      The second hand market has often been a source of annoyance for the games industry, since when someone buys a second hand game, the publisher doesn't get a cut. Steam et al stop you selling your games - which means if you've bought a game you don't like, or if you've finished one, you can't get any money back off it. I've got about five games on Steam which I've finished and have no intention of going back to. Yet there they sit, pretty much useless to me.


      4) The games can be taken away from you.

      Given that the power is in the hands of the online distributor, it's entirely possible for a company to remove your ability to play a game. Imagine the following scenario - Johnny Software Company puts out a new version of their Super Football title each year. But they decide it's not selling well enough, and so when Super Football 2012 comes out, they revoke the rights of owners of Super Football 2011 to play that game. Think I'm being paranoid? Maybe a little, but it's not entirely implausible - Kindle owners who downloaded George Orwell's 1984 found that Amazon had remotely taken the title off their Kindles, without their permission.


      5) Steam by stealth.

      There are games landing on store shelves that require Steam - meaning even if you've physically bought the product, you still need to activated and all of the above catches apply. Take Silent Hill Homecoming - there's no warning of any kind on the box and yet when you buy it, you find that you have to activate it on Steam. Fallout New Vegas also requires Steam - although this is mentioned on the box. These aren't Valve's own titles either, these are third party titles. And speaking of New Vegas, I actually had New Vegas delivered to me on a Wednesday - as is often the case when you order something from an online retailer. Yet when the disc arrived, I couldn't play it as it refused to activate on Steam until the official release date. Yes, this was a product that I'd paid for, and couldn't play for two days.

      That's not to say Steam is rubbish - it's not. But I find it a bit worrying that it's taking away the rights of gamers to own and play what they purchased.

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      12.02.2011 16:48

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      A must have service for any PC gaming enthusiast

      In 2007, Valve (the company behind sensational games such as Half-Life and Left 4 Dead) released their online gaming distribution platform STEAM.

      Steam rapidly took off, becoming one of THE most popular online services to have ever been released. There are reasons however why it is the leading online games service now!

      1.) Community. With all games, a community aspect is always key. Valve built community options into Steam from day 1, such as friend invites, chat and clan support.

      2.) Online multiplayer. Steam released online multiplayer from the first day of its release. People could then play Half Life 2: Deathmatch, Day Of Defeat and Counterstrike against each other, with all the servers grouped together within Steam. Of course this service is FREE, making it one of the best services today and far superior to other services such as Xbox Live, Games For Windows Live (which was a failure) and the Playstation Network.

      3.) Game Distribution. Obviously one of the most important aspects of the service, Steam made it very easy to search and find the games that people wanted most by organising them into categories. Also when Steam branched out into third party games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Fallout franchise, this really elevated them into an online service that is great for everyone! The annual Steam sale at Christmas time is also a real treat, since being an online retailer, Valve can reduce their games to a ridiculously low margins.

      4.) Great customer service. If you have a problem with a game not running correctly on your computer, Steam will be more than happy to help you out.

      5.) Game compatibility. Steam lists the minimum and recommended specifications at the bottom of the page for each game, so you can easily check whether it will run on your machine.

      6.) Multi-platform. Steam isn't just for Windows now, the service has been developed for Mac and can run on Linux (with WINE)

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      17.11.2010 12:40
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      bring back Lemmings!

      I suppose I grew up at the same rate as video games did, although if you are my age and still playing them you obviously never grew up! I starting with Atari's infamous Pong tennis game back in the late 1970s, the absolute tedium of trying to hit a white square ball back and forward with different size bats already the world's most boring video consul game ever made at that point, and stopped playing them when I completed all the levels on the greatest video game ever invented - Lemmings! You need brains and a good temperament for that one, the Tetris of its time. Tetris, by the way, was invented by the KGB to use to recruit potential agents as part of their asymmetric tests. That's why its so blinking hard.

      Today it's all different and you can just freeze the game and have your tea (or a quick bonk) in-between and so don't lose a life (or credit) so don't have to start again from level one. Where's the challenge in that? Admittedly some of the best arcade games in the early 80s where about making money so you could indeed do that and put another ten pence in and just carry on from where you left off to get that big score up on the honours board but at least one party gained. But most of the time when you lost your credit it was back to the start with that dreaded sound that started high and went down a key or two very quickly...Blip, Blop, Blub...

      Tron was one of those games that let you put that ten pence in the slot to continue the game, and Hollywood have done the same with a surprise sequel to the original 1982 Jeff Bridges movie, advanced digital enhancing allowing for the very same Jeff Bridges to be the star of the second film some 30 years later, the older version and the younger one on screen at the same time. Sadly that 1982 movie pioneered the film of the video game and we have seen some shockers since, Doom the worse that I can recall (Silent Hill wasn't that bad guys), Lara Croft the best one for obvious reasons.

      Ironically, baring that crossover from game to film in mind, all the big selling consul games today rival Hollywood movies for retail and rental sales, some approaching a billion dollars to date, Britain, surprisingly the heart of the vide game industry. It's not surprising, however, that all the big event launches are war games in these War on Terror days, one game causing huge controversy as it had the play the option to be the Taliban and so kill western troops. But when it turned out real British and American soldiers were playing the Taliban option on the game on the bases it died down. It is, on the other hand, rather odd that people queue up all night outside HMV to get these games. I'm informed that 'Call of Duty: Black Ops', heavily plugged for critical Christmas sales, has broken the all-time sales record, beating Modern Warfare 2. There's even talk that the long awaited Duke Nukem sequel is on the way and may beat this new record. A friend of the family is working on the software for it and the actors have been cast to do the audio.

      October Top Ten...

      1 (-) Aliens Vs Predator (18+)
      2 (2) Just Dance (3+)
      3 (1) Bioshock 2 (18+)
      4 (6) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (3+)
      5 (3) Fifa 10 (3+)
      6 (4) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (18+)
      7 (5) Wii Sports Resort (3+)
      8 (11) Mario & Sonic At Olympic Winter Games (3+)
      9 (7) Wii Fit Plus (3+) Wii (100) 17
      10 (13) Army Of Two: The 40th Day (18+)

      But I'm not interested in modern games, not because I don't like them but I know I will get addicted to some, as boys do naughty websites when they should be chasing girls. Its hard enough to have just one take away a week! But when I was a lad I loved them and many a midweek fairground would have me glued to the arcade games, in those days the home gaming revolution limited to Radar Rat Race on the Amiga 500.
      Phoenix was my arcade game speciality, the space invader hybrid where you had to shoot the alien attack craft as they peeled away from the mothership, which got lower and lower until it could squash your gun tethered to the ground, the idea to ping one right into the heart of the biggie to gain big points, the lower it got the bigger the points. I could play for ages and once held a score that was in the top ten in England! In those days the magazines would list the highest scores if you sent yours in and so easy to check. I recall it was around 376,000 points, about three hour's game play, only ending because the Carney pulled the plug on the game because it was closing time. Even today they have the sound on really loud to burn your ears out so you can't play all night on one credit. Having 'Intruder Alert' from the game Bezerk blasted at you at 13 at 200 decibless you remember it! My left wrist never hurt more, which as a 14-year-old boy ruined your sex life.

      My brother was the equivalent Scramble Champion to my Phoenix feats, the arcade game where you had to move a small space ship over various terrains under fire and then go through the almost impossible tunnel at the end to complete the stage. You needed to yank the joystick back at the last mini second (oh matron!) to get the thing through or you would crash and burn, game over. He would be on there for 8 hours or more, scoring in access of 750,000 pts. He also held one of the highest scores for Missile Command, a rather tedious game where you had to knockout the incoming nuclear missiles with your own missiles before either hit the ground. It was inspired by a movie on the same subject called 'War Games', with Mathew Broderick, much better than the video game I recall.

      Galaxians was my second best arcade game memory of the 1970s, another hybrid of the classic Space Invaders game, the difference here being the grid of little bombers that got lower and lower cold peel away and bomb you in two's and threes. You were again stuck on the ground but you cold learn the patterns and keep going for ages, which I did. There was a later variant about five years later where you would shoot up the swooping bad guys but add extra power to your guns as your points rose up. It was fun but not quite the same.

      Apart from Lemmings, platform games like Donkey Kong and Packman never appealed as it was all about learning patterns and restarting and so I stuck with shoot em ups. The early racing games were fun, like Grand Prix and Monte Carlo Rally, but much better on the PC and consul, Grand Prix One a spectacular game ahead of its time. Admittedly you needed three hundred fingers to control the car and so had to set the gears and accelerator on manual to get around the tracks but it was very realistic. Until this day it's the only PC game I ever bought. Admittedly crashing the cars was the best fun as you reach lap 35 on rubbish tyres.

      Right, it's pretty pointless doing long Dooyoo Lounge reviews anymore as dooyoo completely ignore crown nominations in this section, the crowns going elsewhere to feed the guides ever increasing percentage of the gold jewells on site, now up to 67 in the last 250 awarded in all categories, a seven year high, and so maybe its better to spend all may spare time blowing up Iraq with the rest of you than spending time perfecting my dooyoo reviews!! Grrr. Talk about Lemmings walking off the cliff....

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        20.07.2010 14:18
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        Add more fun to your Sims 3 game!

        The Sims 3, the latest in the 'Sims' series of life simulator games from EA Games, was released in early June 2009 to great anticipation. However, the new release was disappointing to avid fans of The Sims 2 as it was notably lacking in basic content such as hair styles, clothing styles and household objects which even The Sims 2 base game had more of. The place to turn to find solutions for these dilemmas is, as always, the large collection of Sims custom content sites.

        Custom content developers soon discovered that this new iteration of the Sims was coded in a different way from The Sims 2 and that creating new content was going to take some time to figure out. At first, most custom content consisted of houses and community lots, as the building component of the game is the only one that remains the same. New community lots are especially useful, as most community lots that come with the game are 'rabbit holes'; that is, your Sims vanish into them and you are no longer able to observe them as they dine out or go out for drinks as you were able to do in earlier Sims games. Now, when you send your Sims to these lots, they disappear and you are simply presented with an empty floor plan and no Sims.

        In its unmodded straight-out-of-the box form, it is also much harder to create a Sim that looks like who you want it to look like than it was in The Sims 2. The applet 'Bodyshop' which came with The Sims 2 no longer exists in The Sims 3. Gamers now have to rely on the rather limited facial feature sliders in Create A Sim to try to achieve a likeness, as opposed to being able to create a face in Photoshop and then import it into Bodyshop as previously. Creating a true likeness is difficult because the default face in The Sims 3 is a large double-chinned 'pudding face' and this is very hard to defeat. If the person you are trying to represent has a moon face and double chin, you're fine. Otherwise, it's a problem.

        However, see below for two must-have items that have now been made by expert modders: Facial Slider Hacks (part of The Awesomemod, discussed below), which enables enhanced facial sculpting, and the CAS Texture Unitool which enables you to make custom facial overlays as well as clothing, accessories and all other CAS items, just like Bodyshop.

        As far as new clothing styles, hair styles and objects are concerned, creating and importing meshes (wireframes) for these items was found to be more challenging than in The Sims 2 at first, but thankfully various creators soon figured it out and now that the process has been streamlined, there's loads of great custom content of every type imaginable.

        Here are some great places for free Sims 3 custom content:


        1. MOD THE SIMS (formerly Mod the Sims 2) http://www.modthesims.info/

        I'm a creator at Mod The Sims (as 'EsmeraldaF') - it's by far the best Sims custom site I've ever come across and I find it absolutely indispensable. As well as quickly-increasing numbers of Sims 3 items, they also have a massive amount of Sims 2 content, worth a look if you are still playing The Sims 2.

        Moderation there is very strong, with strict quality control on what they will accept as uploads, so you are assured that the custom content you'll find there is of a good standard. In the Sims 3 subsection of their Downloads section, you will find a massive selection of Sims, clothing, hairs, makeup, accessories, houses and community lots, objects, mods, new worlds (neighborhoods), and other goodies.

        If you want to make your own clothing, accessories and face overlays, try their CAS Texture Unitool: http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=364926 . This brilliant tool gives you the functionality of Bodyshop, and more besides - you can also export and import custom meshes, and change categories, ages and genders of clothing, hair and accessories. You use this in a similar way to Bodyshop by exporting the textures of the item, working on it in Photoshop, re-importing it back in, and then saving as a .package file to copy into your game. The interface is not as intuitive or user-friendly as Bodyshop was, but once you get the hang of it, it's a godsend. It's really easy to use once you know how.

        You have to be sure you have Microsoft's .NET Framework 2.0 (Windows XP) or 3.5 (Vista/Win7) installed on your PC, or else it will crash when you try to save your work (as I found out the hard way!). It can also be used on Macs - instructions are on the Unitool's upload page. You also need the NVidia Photoshop plugin, as the files are in .dds format which Photoshop does not include (http://developer.nvidia.com/object/photoshop_dds_plugins.html ).

        As a creator myself, I've used it with great success. I've created clothing, face overlays, 'Hat hairs' (for regular hairs, use another of their easy to use tools, 'DABOOBS', to package your hair meshes and textures: http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=358682 ) (I should probably point out that DABOOBS stands for 'Delphy's Acronym Bending Original Output Barber Shop', Delphy being its creator), eyes, and all sorts of accessories with it.

        If you want to create objects, they also provide tools for packaging those. They're a bit techie and may look daunting at first, but again, once you get used to them, they're very easy to use. S3pe (Sims 3 package editor) will let you package them up (http://forums.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=362412 ), and s3oc (Sims 3 object cloner) extracts the object from the game that you want to make a clone of, and then fixes your new package to enable it to be imported into the game (http://forums.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=362413 ). I use these for creating all of my new custom objects.


        2. MY SIMS 3 BLOG (http://mysims3blog.blogspot.com/)

        This amazing site consists of a huge updated-daily compilation of the best new items that the site owners have found across numerous custom content sites, with pictures and links to each item. They really work hard to keep up to date and provide you with thousands and thousands of quality items all gathered in one place - this site is absolutely essential!


        3. MORE AWESOME THAN YOU (http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com)

        They have created a big mod called The Awesomemod which fixes many of the bugs in the game, allows you to turn off unwanted features, and many other useful tweaks, my three favourites being a Facial Slider hack which enables you to make the facial sliders travel up to five times further, the ability to edit your sims in CAS after you've created them and put them in game, and the ability to REALLY turn off Story Progression: http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/smf/index.php/topic,15185.0.html.

        I use this mod myself, have had no problems with it, and would not want to be without it!


        4. MISCELLANEOUS SMALLER SITES

        These are my pick of a few more sites that also provide quality Sims 3 content:

        Garden of Shadows: http://www.digitalperversion.net/gardenofshadows/index.php

        XM Sims: http://www.xmsims.com/sims3/ehtm/main/index.html

        All About Style: http://all-about-style.com/sims3.html


        Most sites require registration in order to download, but registration is free and so are all of their downloads.

        Also on Ciao as thereddragon and on Helium as Esmeralda Draic.

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          14.11.2009 19:28
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          What will the future hold?

          Computer Consoles and the games that are assosciated with them have become an integral part of modern entertainment and as such the respective companies who mass produce them are incredibly rich and powerful.

          I myself have grown up with consoles pretty much all my life, back when I was a boy it was Nintendo and Sega that were vying for the attentions of the gaming public. I was always loyal to Nintendo back then.

          The first console I ever owned was the Nes, this must have been about 15 years ago. I had all the Mario games, duck hunt (shooting ducks and clay pigeons out of the sky) and a WWF wrestling game.

          The NES (Nintendo entertainment system) was released in 1985 and was an 8 bit machine. The games came in the form of cartridges that were slotted into the console.

          The next console we bought was the SNES (Super Nintendo entertainment system). Released around 1992. This was a big step up, doubling its predecessors power to a mighty 16 bit.

          While the gaming industry was still in its infancy, I find still to this day that the super nintendo is one of the most addictive consoles available. You can now even download programmes called emulators that mimic the desired console and enable you to download SNES games (or any old console games) and play them on your PC. The files are known as roms, 9 times out of 10 they work perfectly.

          Some of the best games for the SNES include

          -The super Mario Series: A young Italian plumber saves the mushroom kingdom from the evil and enigmatic Bowser.

          -Bomberman series: Plant bombs, blow up blocks and collect power ups.

          -The Legend Of Zelda: An absolutely immersive RPG which to this day remains one of the greatest games on any platform.

          -Donkey Kong Series: A long way from the irate ape lobbing barrels at plumbers, this collection of games took the simpering simeon on a quest to defeat the crocodile king K.Rool.

          -Super Mario Kart: All your favourites driving around tracks on little go karts. From Mario to Bowser and everyone inbetween.

          -Super Punch Out: A brilliantly made boxing game, shuck and jive to avoid a knockout.


          At the same time as the SNES was doing its rounds there was also the Sega Mega Drive. Now as I've already mentioned I was a Nintendo boy but I had a few friends who had Mega Drives and I have now got a Genesis emulator (Genesis is what the Americans call the mega drive).

          Sonic was the main man (well hedgehog) as far as Sega goes. Some of my favourite games included

          -Alien 3: Take ripley through the Hellish prison complex to free poor souls from captivity before its too late.

          -Sonic Series: The speedy blue hedgehog and his foxy friend must race to save their animal pals and defeat the evil genius Dr Robotnik.

          -Streets Of Rage Series: A 2d side scrolling beat 'em up complete with bone crunching weaponary.

          -Kid Chameleon: A platform game with a twist. Unearth special headware that enables Kid to morph into different forms and handle different weapons.


          A few years passed and by the time 1995 had come, the public was ready for another generation of consoles, Enter the sony Playstation. The console required CD's to operate rather than the archaic cartridges of its forebearers. CD's could hold a lot more information and really challenged every one of the machines 32 bits. This is where graphics
          started their unstoppable advancement that continues to today.

          Although graphics do not necessarily make a game. Some fine examples that showcase the CD revolution

          -Final Fantasy 7: The Indominable giant amongst games produced by SquareSoft, an absolutely massive RPG that could take upto 60 hours to complete. A real benchmark in game production and raised the bar for everyone.

          -Final Fantasy 8: The next superb installment of the Final Fantasy series, again, a hugely accomplished game and a gargantuan epic to complete.

          -Metal Gear Solid: Take on the roll of Solid Snake as you stealth your way through an immersive and involving storyline to defeat your enemy and save the world.

          -Gran Turismo 1 & 2: Not just a fine racer but a complete racing simulation including a wealth of upgrades and a buy and sell feature, with myriad selection of cars by a number of well known manufacturers.


          This was the era where Sega started to fizzle out with the release of the less than emphatically popular Dreamcast machine, at 32 bits it matched the Playstation in power, but in power alone. Disappointing sales figures ensured that from now on Sega would be relegated to a producer of games for other consoles.

          The next step up came in the form of the N64, another attempt by Nintendo to regain the crown as unequivical master of the console. As its name suggests the N64 followed in tradition by doubling the power of its predecessors with a hefty 64 bits to play with.
          This was the first modern console to incorporate a joystick into its controller, it took a little getting used to but once mastered, afforded the player a greater degree of control and accuracy. Some real cult classics emerged from this new platform such as

          -Goldeneye: You are Agent 007, Bond....James Bond. A brilliant single player campaign was complemented with astonishingly addictive multi player action, with 4 friends able to duke it out on a single TV. This was where Goldeneye really excelled as a shoot 'em up, the battles could be frenzied, frenetic and truly memorable.

          -Mario 64: The Moustached hero is back in glorious 3D, despite some slight issues with camera angles this was a fantastic adventure, collect all the stars and rescue Princess Peach from the barbarous Bowser.

          -Body Harvest: A trans global adventure through time with a stupendous soundtrack ensures that Body Harvest ranks as one of the most underated games of all time, by no means critically acclaimed, it manages to slip under the radar of many a serious gamer and doesn't get the accolades that it so thoroughly deserves.


          With Sega effectively out of the picture the remaining companies continued to wage war with eachother in the unending pursuit of virtual supremacy, the next secret weapon would come from Sony, with the birth of a new millenium came the arrival of a new gaming machine, the 64 bit menace, the playstation 2.

          Although equal in bit power to the N64, an impressive list of technical specs would catapult the PS2 to notoriety, becoming the fastest selling console of all time. In just five short years after its release, the machine was sitting in the dens, bed and livingrooms of over 100 million gamers worldwide. This was the time where games started to become a real powerhouse of the entertainment market, amongst some of the finer examples

          -Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: Another inspired addition to an already established franchise. San Andreas expands the gaming map into a tri-city behemoth complete with desserts, countryside and a massive mountain to boot.

          -Onimusha: Wage War against hoardes of demonic adversaries in this hack and slash adventure with an oriental twist. Savage upgradeable weapons mix with intense boss battles to produce this incredible title.

          -Resident Evil 2: Hold back an army of the undead while you desperately flee the metropolitan menace of Raccoon City.

          -Parasite Eve 2: Utilise Impressive spells and cold hard weaponary as you battle against an evil presence in this smash hit sequel. Defeat twisted monsters and gain experience to bolster your statistics and strengthen your plight.



          The battle of the machines still rages but unfortunately It is here that I must leave the fight, for as of yet, I have no direct experience of the Playstation 3, The Gamecube or The Wii.

          I can only offer, that at present it is Nintendo that is revelling in digital dominance, with the introduction of the ground breaking Wii, its motion detecting nunchuk controllers once again raised the stakes and helped propel the gaming industry as a whole into an exciting and seemingly boundless future.

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            19.05.2009 16:12
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            Enjoy

            Ive been playing computer games for as long as i can remember, my first memory was when i was two years old, my brother got an orginal Nintendo along with super mario bro's one, two and three! I loved these games and still do, recently i found the nintendo and went throught them all agine!
            Wen i was old enought to get my own console i went for the Sega Mega Drive as it was a new release at the time! It was such a good pass time and really enjoyable to play, espeicaly with such games as Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic3 and Sonic&Knucles!

            Even now im still playin games, at the moment im playin between my xbox 360 and PC, my favourite games for the xbox360 are Halo 1,2 and 3, Bioshock, Ninja Gaidan and Fable! A few of my favourite PC games are Call of duty, world of warcraft and diablo!

            I think computer games are a great pass time and a good way to get rid of stress after a long day! I wud recomend any of the games that i have mentioned as I think they're great fun to play!

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              19.05.2009 14:30
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              I cant imagine living in a world where there are no computer games, they have become a part of society now and help us relax, and they certainly can help you kill time too.

              Computer gaming started suprisingly earlier than most think, in 1952 the first computer game was created, it was a tic tac toe game, and ever since then games have been evolving and becoming more advanced and also more accessable to the public.

              Computer games help encourage problem solving skills, develop hand eye co ordination, and the new Nintendo Wii console even encourages exersize, so they arent all as bad as some people may think.

              I have been hooked on games since I was a child, since I was bought my first Nintendo (NES), and got on to my first computer. I just love the fact that in some games you can live another life, or complete a challenge and just relax for an hour or two from time to time.

              Some games that have been great over the years include:
              The Mario Games, especially Yoshis Island for the SNES
              Theme Park World
              Tomb Raider (PS1)
              The Sonic Games, especially Sonic Adventure
              Tony Hawks Skateboarding games, especially Underground
              Soul of Calibur, (the dreamcast edition was great aswell as the Xbox 360)
              Halo
              not to mention the classic computer games like
              Solitaire, Hearts, Pinball etc.

              I love to relax and put a good game on and have a real feeling of acheivement when I have completed some thing that is a bit of a challenge.

              Ofcourse I dont think that we should over indulge in our love for games, as some people can be complete addicts and never switch their computers off to go outside, though every now and again I think that computer games are a great way to pass a few hours of the day.

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                19.05.2009 14:07
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                Computer games are a fabulous way for all to bond and have fun

                Where would we be without computer games? I think we would be still living in caves and drawing on walls. I couldn't image a world without them although I would probably get around 5 years of my life back.

                One of my first consoles was the ZX Spectrum and has never looked back since. I loved Batman on the ZX as it really challenged the gamer and in many levels you really had to pump a lot of brain power in if you were to have a chance of completing a level.

                Then from there I had a commodore 64 then a Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Gameboy, Game Gear, PS1, PS2 and PS3 and not forgetting the good old PC. How else could I spend my time if I didn't have football managing games and RPG games? Probably in the pub doing quizzes!

                It is just so exciting where we will be in the future and can only see virtual reality or 3D gaming being the next big thing for computer games. For men it's like having a handbag we need our games and consoles.

                My favourite games of all time would have to be the following:-

                Championship Manager (PC)
                Road Rash (Amiga)
                Alex the kid (Master System)
                Golden Axe (Mega Drive)
                Dead Ball Zone (PS1)
                Tomb Raider (PS1 & PS2)
                Call of Duty: Modern Warefare (PS3)
                Gears of War (X-BOX 360)

                Overall there are thousands of games I could add to that list and many different types of excellent consoles like Wii and X-Box. I see a massive future for this industry and cannot wait to see the next generation of games.

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                  10.09.2008 21:17
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                  Playing games is an excellent way to chill out with all the modern day features of gaming

                  Computer and video games have been going for years now. If you look back 10 years ago at the SNES and compare it to the technology of next generation consoles, the difference is enormous. This is due to the fast advance of technology. In another 10 years, video games may have a whole new concept to them. Nintendo have been very creative exploring new possibilities successfully as they have integrated a touch screen, microphone and online play with loads more all into the handheld DS. Playstation have enhanced their games with Blue Ray discs and Microsoft has made the Xbox 360 even better to play with improved graphics, Handy accessories and the best online service - Xbox Live, which now has more options than ever.

                  Video games are great to play as they let you do things in a game that you can't really do in real life. You can go around firing guns at strangers, drive high performance race cars and save the world on a daily basis! This brings worry to society that children are playing video games and causing crime from what they have seen on them. Personally, I think this is rubbish and it's all down to the actual person. If they naturally have something wrong with them then they are more likely to cause crime anyway.

                  Online play brings a whole new dimension to gaming. You can test your skills in your favourite games against others around the world using excellent services such as Nintendo Wi-fi and Xbox Live. Online play has been stretched to the limits currently as you can download whole games and content online over the Xbox 360, which is a feature that you can benefit from with most other consoles.

                  There is a large variety of games to suit everyone and Nintendo have been extremely Innovative with their consoles and games, which I give them credit for. They have created a controller, which senses all movement and has a built in microphone for realistic sound effects. There are now games which keep you fit, educate you and train your brain! Who says video games are bad for you? I think Nintendo themselves have bought a whole new concept to gaming - games can actually be fun AND educational at the same time! No matter what, games will always be fun to play in free time to chill out.

                  Thanks for reading

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                  15.07.2008 22:51
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                  Industry can only go forward

                  I have been playing video games for about ten years now, starting when I was very young with the Mario games on the SNES. I really enjoy video games and I don't think they can do anyone any harm as long as you play age suitable games, limit yourself to a couple of hours a day and have breaks. My tastes have gradually moved from Mario to games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, but I don't think the extra graphics modern PC's and Consoles have available are necessarily the reason that games have in general got better. After all Super Mario World is arguably just as good as any of the other games I have mentioned. Instead we have seen an improvement as popularity of games has spiralled and more and more casual users have bought consoles and thus injected money into the gaming industry. All i hope is that this continues as long as possible.

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                    24.02.2008 01:00
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                    Gaming is the future! One day, there will be a console or game that startles us all!

                    Welcome to my review of Video Games in General. I have chosen to review my top 10 favourite games of all time! Beside my favourites, here is a little insight into my view on games. I feel that gaming is extremely fun and with modern day games consoles that enable online play, we can all play together rather than by ourselves. Gaming has reached such a high recently, with the amazing invention of the Wii that recognises movement and proves to work excellently in games.

                    Video games can be addicting and even bad for your eyes if you play them too much. However, it gives people something to do and I would rather have children playing video games inside than out on the streets causing trouble. Video games enable us to drive fast cars, fly Boeing 747 planes, go on killing sprees, and blow up buildings as well as cause chaos and free roam around cities doing what you can't do in real life! I don't think video games lead to all these murders and killings they talk about at all. I feel it is the children themselves or people themselves that cannot control their actions and are mentally ill in the first place. We can do all these things with video games with good realism. The things we may never get to do in real life such as flying a Boeing 747 from London Heathrow to Miami, is one of the few things we can do in certain video games. I know there are also many video games out there that are educating or ones that improve our skills.

                    Video games have been going for years and years. They originated with the early Sega and Nintendo consoles such as the super Nintendo, Nes and Atari. Nowadays, we have the Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo DS and PSP. One thing that has dramatically changed over time is graphics and size of games. Nintendo have created some excellent consoles such as the Nintendo DS with dual screens (one being touch screen), and the Wii that senses movement in the controllers to add a new dimension to gaming. These days, we also have online services such as the original and very best Xbox Live. This allows players to take their skill online and go up against others from around the world, whilst speaking to each other.

                    ~ ~ 1 ~ ~

                    Name: Halo 2
                    Genre: First Person Shooter / Sci-Fi
                    Format: Xbox

                    This game was simply amazing. I don't play it anymore due to the release of Halo 3, the latest and last in the series. Halo 2 was an amazing game with the most incredible replay value. It was the first game in the series to actually support Xbox Live, and it did it very well. I played thousands and thousands of games online, and never got bored until the release of Halo 3. It was much fun with medals to gain in online matches with loads of different maps to play, weapons to wield and playlists that offered a variety of games including objective ones. The one player was impressive too, but it was Xbox Live that kept me playing. It was simply addicting trying to get up levels in each playlist and hopefully reach 50, though the maximum I ever reached was around 38! The graphics were perfectly clear and it was an extremely fun game to play online, making it my favourite game of all time.

                    ~ ~ 2 ~ ~

                    Name: Halo 3
                    Genre: First Person Shooter / Sci-Fi
                    Format: Xbox 360

                    In comparison to Halo 2, I have to say I have enjoyed this game less, but I find it an excellent game and much fun to play! It is hard to decide which game comes out on top, but Halo 2 was played an unbelievable amount, whereas I don't play this game non-stop. However, this game is excellent with the most amazing experience on Xbox Live with all new levels and loads of new weapons! The gameplay is extremely fun with new powerups and more. You can customize your character to the max and walk through many levels in the single player too! The single player had a superb storyline and ended brilliantly with a remarkable feeling in the last level. Being the last game of the Halo series, the very last part of the final level was exhilarating and full of power and excitation. Xbox Live is amazing and so much more improved than that of Halo 2. No cheats, no modders and many new maps and weapons with loads more options for custom games too! You can even view and record videos, take screenshots and forge your own maps, making them downloadable off the bungie.net site for other Halo players!

                    ~ ~ 3 ~ ~

                    Name: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
                    Genre: Action
                    Format: PS2, Windows, Xbox

                    This game was simply amazing. It was the first in the GTA series to actually have a lovely feel to it, in the way it felt like a real tropical holiday with an excellent storyline. I played this game loads and messed around flying helicopters around, flying the seaplane and using some of the many cheats to do cool stuff. The cheats actually made up a huge amount of the game, and I feel the cheats were an important part of the game. They enabled you to do things such as fly tanks to extreme heights with a low gravity cheat as well as unlock weapons at the activation of a cheat, so you could go around blowing up cars and causing havoc. The police would be onto you soon, and I used to camp out around buildings and survive as long as I could going on rampages and trying to move from place to place. The opportunities in this game are infinite as there is loads to do. Whether you are going to complete missions, drive a taxi and earn some money or complete the ambulance side missions, there is loads to do! The setting of this game was lovely, as it was hot and sunny most of the time until the thunderstorm hit, with excellent effects. The cars and vehicles all had radio stations, which there were many of. They featured songs from the 80s (when this game was set), which were very catchy and added a lovely feel to the gameplay to be driving along to such great tunes. This game is endless and so much fun!

                    ~ ~ 4 ~ ~

                    Name: Animal Crossing: Wild World
                    Genre: Simulation / Communication Adventure
                    Format: Nintendo DS

                    This game was and still is excellent. It offered so much replay value, that I played it an incredible amount. I sat on it all day and all night for a good few months until I finally started to get bored. If I wasn't playing it, I was reading forums on the game or reading about the game in general. With the added bonus of wifi, this game was very fun as you created your own town and maintained it. I had a daily routine that I did, as I went around doing my jobs and then fishing or going bug catching in my free time. The game was extremely addicting, as you could upgrade your house, have the town shop upgraded as well as donate bugs, fossils and fish to the museum, which could be viewed. Who better to be viewed by than someone from overseas? With the superb bonus of wifi, you could visit other towns across the world and have others visited you. After adding each other (I got friend codes from internet message boards), I had people visit my town and I also visited others. This was much fun as it opened so many options of things to do, and worked well with the gameplay. It was also the first DS game where you could communicate via typing messages to each other. This game was simply endless with loads to do, and it was really fun too!

                    ~ ~ 5 ~ ~

                    Name: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
                    Genre: Action
                    Format: PS2, Xbox, PC

                    This game was around 3 times larger than the previous game GTA: Vice City. With an absolute enormous amount of things to do, this game provided much fun! Some of the things I loved to do was head to airports, take off planes and fly them around the gigantic map to other airports so I could steal another plane and take it to my base. I also would try and land planes on the highest mountain in the game so I could grab a parachute and take off again to later parachute out from thousands of feet. I also base jumped off high buildings, releasing my chute at the latest time possible without dying. With the enormous number of vehicles including BMXs, Motorbikes, Cars, Aeroplanes, Boats and Helicopters, you could perform tricks and more and make up your own missions and things to do! The weapons were great as there were so many of them and you could go on huge rampages causing havoc and trying to stay alive whilst the police chase you with cars, FBI trucks, Helicopters and even Planes. The missions were fantastic, and there were so many of them. The gameplay was great with loads to do and it was much fun! There were so many features in this game such as side missions, pilot school, boat school (and all the rest), collecting items, main storyline, taxi missions, races and more, that this game was never ending! I played it for months on end, and had loads of fun making up things to do and messing around. I had so much fun just messing around, that I never actually finished the one player myself!

                    ~ ~ 6 ~ ~

                    Name: X-Plane
                    Genre: Flight Simulation
                    Format: Windows / Macintosh

                    A pretty random game to be in my top 10, however I have had so much fun from this game. It enables you to fly every kind of plane you can imagine across the world from airport to airport! Sites online enabled you to download extra scenery for airports as well as download planes and textures and even more things to improve your game! I would start at a terminal gate, fill up my fuel and then make my way to the runway after entering my route. When ready for takeoff, I would sit back and fly my enormous Boeing 747 into the skies as I headed for my destination. It is a great game to play and it very fun trying to take off and land as best you can. It is complicated at first because you need to know all the controls and what everything does, however I learned surprisingly quickly having never had any experience of flying before! You could even fly on planet Mars, and use special planes to fly. You could also try landing on earth from space in the space shuttle! I even downloaded a programme and set it up to join a server, in which I flew with other players on planned journeys with another application open so that we could talk to each other! This added realism to the game, as we had people especially for traffic control that would tell us what to do, so we could take off separately and land in an order that was suitable. From dingy planes to enormous 6 engine planes and loads more to download, this game was endless as you could fly all around the earth and even into space! The physics are extremely realistic, and it is said to be more realistic than flight simulator games. You could even create your own designs for planes, whether you are making your own or copying real life planes. You could then be flying around in your Airbus A321 Easy Jet on a flight from London's Luton Airport to Dublin! This game is extremely fun and has given me much experience of flying different planes!

                    ~ ~ 7 ~ ~

                    Name: Call Of Duty 2
                    Genre: First Person Shooter
                    Format: Windows, Mac OSX, Xbox 360, Mobile Phone

                    This game is the most realistic war game out there. It game me a really realistic and good time playing it. The graphics were superb and the realism was taken to the max. Compared to the first, third and fourth games in the series, I believe this one stands out the most. I loved this game, for you needed strategy as well as skill to get through each level alive. It followed events and battles of the Second World War, and you fought on the allies' side as either British or American. In the game, you fight through many settings such as snow in Russia to the Coastline on D-Day. The D-Day level was simply fantastic, as it was so realistic and you really felt like you were pinned down. The weapons felt brilliant and really realistic to use. The weapons made you feel heavy, as they would be in real life so you walked slower and even slower with bigger weapons. You feel like you are pinned down at points in the game, so you need to think of a plan to move and progress. With the addition of smoke and frag grenades, you could do what you wanted and it was of maximum realism. Xbox Live also gave even more gameplay to the game, as you could take your skills online against the world. You could play through a variety of different levels and kill each other or capture the flag of the opposite team. This is the most realistic and exciting war game out there. It has different difficulties with Veteran being the hardest, which bought along extreme difficulty in trying to get through!

                    ~ ~ 8 ~ ~

                    Name: Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
                    Genre: Simulation / Role-Playing
                    Format: Game Boy Advance

                    I played this game so much, and got really addicted to it. Once again, it is quite a random game to appear in my top 10; however I felt that it provided me with a lot of fun. I got really addicted to this simple game, in which you farm fruit and vegetables as well as look after animals and adventure through the game. You are actually trapped in a location, however you can visit the town, your farm and the forest where other events occurred and there was plenty to do. You would wake up each day and get into your daily routine of checking on the crops and then heading to the town to see what's going on. There would be many events throughout the year that you could attend, and these would unlock things too. You could even get a girlfriend and get married! The simple idea of looking after crops and animals was extremely addicting. You would build up your farm from a few animals and low quality crops to Horses, Cows and Pineapples. Better crops would sell for more money, which could be used to buy more crops. You would then increase the size of your farm and be harvesting loads of great crops everyday! You could also sheer sheep, milk cows and receive eggs from chickens, which could all be sold. I find the whole concept of this game really addicting and fun to play. I played this game an enormous amount, so it deserves a position in my top 10 video games.

                    ~ ~ 9 ~ ~

                    Name: Goldeneye
                    Genre: First Person Shooter
                    Platform: Nintendo 64 (Originally)

                    This game is a classic. It is the oldest game that I have featured in this review, and it was simply fantastic. It is hard to explain what made this game so great, but it was an amazing shooting game at the time of release and I found it really exciting and fun to progress through each level. It followed the storyline of the James Bond films, and you would fight the according enemies and fight through the same places. There were loads of guns to use, which felt great with the trigger on the Nintendo 64 controller. You could do each mission on different difficulties and there were loads of them! You could also play the multiplayer with up to four players, which was loads of fun and I used to play this everyday with my brother! With the ability to choose what weapons you want in the game, it was great! You could use every kind of mine too, which were very fun to use and there were loads and loads of levels to play on from the single player. Some of the levels were surprisingly big, but they took the big single player levels and split them up into sections for the multiplayer. The game had great graphics at its time and was one of the most brilliant games of its time.

                    ~ ~ 10 ~ ~

                    Name: Perfect Dark
                    Genre: First Person Shooter
                    Format: Nintendo 64 (Originally)

                    This game was just excellent. It had so much to do and had the most stunning gameplay and graphics for the Nintendo 64 at the time of release. This game has to be one of the best games ever, and it was much loved by millions. There were loads of levels to go through, and the storyline was excellent. You played as a woman called Joanna Dark, which was also unique to have a woman superhero at the time. You could play the multiplayer with your friends, which provided much fun as you could also try loads of missions. There were missions that got harder and harder such as killing people and playing games against people. The opponents got harder and harder, as you ended up playing aliens, who were really fast and had some amazing weapon that killed you ever so quick! These missions were of extreme fun to complete with a friend, and then you could go head to head with each other to find out the better fighter! The levels in this game were huge, and had loads of interactive objects too such as laptops, lifts and buttons that did various things. The graphics were amazing for its time, and the characters were hilarious to play around with when you shot people on your own team and then chased enemies shooting their ass watching them slowly die, and limp. This game offers great replay value and loads to do.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    ~ CONCLUSION ~
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    I hope you have enjoyed my review and got a good view into some of my favourite games of all time. Future games I am looking forward to include GTA: IV, Gears of war 2 and the future consoles too! I think video games are great, as they allow you to do the things you cannot do in real life because of society and rules, or that you simply don't have the power or qualifications to do something such as flying a plane. Video games are much fun and put you in scenarios that you can enjoy. They keep children off the streets from causing trouble too, so don't think of them as promoting violence as they don't! It's the people that are violent themselves in the first place; not the video games that make them violent!

                    I am extremely excited about future games. I hope that by the time I am old, there is some fascinating games console out there with some really unique and special thing about it. I am sure that this will happen, as technology these days is growing faster than ever! You would never have thought of a portable MP4 player with music, video, photos and more, which is touch screen and has the ability to go on the internet, manage emails, watch YouTube videos, check the news and weather and much more! Yes, I am talking about the iPod Touch. I think that there will be a console in the future that can sense all movement, so you would actually be sitting in the driving seat or holding the gun and firing it with extreme realism. I also think there will be some kind of amazing worldwide game that everyone will love. It will be a game where you can roam the whole world and do whatever you want. You will spawn in whatever country you want, and you can do anything you want to - fly planes, fly rockets into outer space, get jobs, go to school, absolutely everything! Basically, I am talking about a game, which is identical to real life, so you can do anything and everything you want without society and rules.

                    Thanks for reading,

                    - Recon -

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                      04.08.2004 17:56
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                      A to Z Of Computer Games This is not a challenge just something I did and wanted to share feel free to have a go though. A Title: Ages of Empires II: Age of Kings Rating: 6 About: Take control of a small army when fighting was fighting and was done with sword. Rome has just fallen and the empires of Earth have risen up to try and take control of as much as they can. B Title: Brian Lara Cricket Rating: 4 About: A cricket game, control the batting, bowling and fielding of one of the country test teams around and try to beat your opponent. C Title: Championship Manager Rating: 8 About: This game has and still dominates all management games it has made all competitors look and weak and proves to be everyone?s favourite in this genre. The game is about taking control of a football team as a manager and taking them from season to season improving them trying to push them as high as you can before you move club or get sacked. D Title: Doom Rating: 4 About: The first person shooter that will not die, it has appalling graphics but proves to be such a hard game that it will keep you playing for ages especially on the higher levels. Nothing complex about this game just kill everything in your way flip a few switches and you?ve completed it. E Title: Ecco The Dolphin Rating: 7 About: This game was not the most complex idea only being 2D but it presented me with so much difficulty to complete. The game is about a dolphin that you have to guide through the level trying to stay alive and doing the odd non-complex mission. F Title: Final Fantasy VII Rating: 9 About: The seventh in the Final &#
                      70;antasy series the best of the series. Follow Cloud and help him through his strife to try and do the right thing and find out about who he really is at the same time. G Title: Grand Theft Auto 3 Rating: 8 About: Take control of a mobster in Vice City to try and climb the criminal rankings to be the kingpin of the city. Run jobs and favours from driving missions to assassin missions this game offers a wide variety of assignments to do. H Title: Half-Life Rating: 9 About: The first person shooter that started the obsession with them. The game has formed its only little cult who complete the game week in week out and love the many add-ons. The game is about a scientist who tries to travel to a far of place but the experiment backfires and the whole place floods with aliens, but was it a mistake or a clever ploy. I Title: Indiana Jones Rating: 5 About: Talking about the original Commodore version, it was a simple platform game go up and down, left and right to avoid danger and get to the end of the levels. J Title: James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire Rating: 3 About: Want to be James Bond well you can in this game, use your gadgets and guns to solve the levels and progress in the rather short game. K Title: Kingdom Hearts Rating: 6 About: Final Fantasy meets Disney take control of a team and take on the bad guys in a battle of choices and timing. Not as good as Final Fantasy but something a bit more for the younger people. L Title: Le Mans 24 Hours Rating: 6 About: Take part in one of the biggest races ever can you last the time and turn out to be first ahead of the rest. Not the best racing g
                      ame available but for its time it was a pretty good game. M Title: Mario Party 4 Rating: 7 About: The famous Mario now comes in the most enjoyable multiplayer game on the market. Compete against your mates or the computer to collect as many stars as you can on the game board as you try to increase your star collection and take stars from other people. N Title: Next Generation Tennis Rating: 4 About: A tennis game, they never really turn out the best as they are very hard to get right and this game proves no expectation proving to be unrealistic. O Title: Onimusha 2 Rating: 7 About: Take control of a sword swinging man fighting against the evil powers of the world that he finds himself in the middle of. P Title: Pro Evolution Soccer 3 Rating: 8 About: Control the team on the pitch and for those whom don?t know what football is you have to try and make your team score more goals then the opponents. Pro Evo is the best football game around in my opinion giving the most realistic football experience to date. Q Title: Quake Rating: 5 About: Was never as good as Half-Life really but it did try and provides a lot of simple fun for you to have if you do not want to think. The concept of the game is to kill everything in the room and don?t give it a second thought just start the guns blazing R Title: Rainbow Six Rating: 5 About: Based upon the book by Tom Clancy you control a squad of anti-terrorists as they rip through their environment taking out all hostiles and making sure that innocents stay safe. S Title: Silent Hill II Rating: 7 About: Take control of a character looking for his
                      dead wife in a creepy little town. Solve mysteries take on demons and interact with people all to try and reach the end and climax of the game. T Title: Theme Hospital Rating: 7 About: Take control of the spine of society the hospital and try and push it too such a successful level that you can progress to the next level which will present you with as many problems as the one before plus a couple more each time. U Title: Unreal Tournament Rating: 6 About: The idea of the game is people are thrown into an Arena together and they have to kill each other using what ever weapons comes to hand. It really is that simple it?s a trigger-happy fast paced game for those of us who like reaction games. V Title: Virtual Fighter Rating: 5 About: The original in the series, was one of the first beat them up games; bash the buttons as fast as you can to beat your opponent into a pulp. As you get more advanced you learn the button combinations to use combos and special moves to increase your deadly capabilities. W Title: Worms Rating: 6 About: The game that never took itself seriously. Control an army of worms as you use weapons and tactics to wipe the other worm armies of the face of the map. X Title: X-Men Rating: 5 About: The original Mega-Drive were you control a character from the X-Men each with their own special power, all you have to do its move along a flat platform taking out everything it throws at you to get to the end where normally a boss is laying in wait for you. Y Title: Yager Rating: 4 About: Battle and keep your wits about you as you have to battle for your life in the skies of tomorrow. A futuristic fight flight simulator but proves unbe
                      lievable. Z Title: Zelda Link To The Past Rating: 9 About: The original in the ever popular Zelda series. Take control of Link as he tries to save the princess Zelda from the evil of the world, solve problems, interact with people and fight bad guys all to try and achieve your goal. Hope this has brought back a few memories for anyone Have a nice day © David Clark ? Electronic Guide (DavidJamesClark@hotmail.com)

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                        30.08.2003 23:53
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                        Oh boy. As you may have guessed from my other ops, I'm rather fond of my games. I've sampled hundreds in my not so long life, and now it's time to reveal my favourite ten (as they stand at the moment) of all time. Picking the top five was an absolute doddle; sorting the latter five however, was not - there are so many wonderful games I have had the pleasure of playing, and so choosing what should/shouldn't be in and then in what order was a nightmare. I hope you have heard of, or better still, played some of the games that have made the list, and before I start - under each game title I have added Genre, Developer, Year Of Release and Format information to do with the particular title (just in case you were wondering!) and I have given each game a percentage that I felt they deserved at the time of original release. I will start at ten and work my way up to one for maximum tension lol. And no, there are no Sonic, Mario, Tomb Raider or Grand Theft Auto games present. Enjoy! 10... SPYRO: YEAR OF THE DRAGON (3D platformer, Insomniac, 2001, PlayStation/PSOne) There was a time when people laughed at the idea of Spyro the Dragon challenging at the fore-front of the platform genre - the original was too bright, too easy and too shallow they said. And perhaps they were right, but obviously someone at Insomniac obviously wasn't content with this kind of image, as a year later Spyro returned bigger, better and much tougher in the superb Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer. But the purple dragon's quest for PlayStation-domination wasn't finished there. One last push saw Spyro: Year of the Dragon roar into action in 2001as he returned alongside a host of co-s
                        tars in a game akin to the very best kind of Disney film; kids will adore it for it's huge, colourful environments and cuddly characters, whilst adults can appreciate the subtle humour and astonishing depth. Graphically, it put games on more powerful consoles to shame whilst on the gameplay front it remained challenging and fresh throughout, taking the best ingredients of older platformers and adding in some of it's own innovations to stunning effect - truly, a game for everyone. 9... RESIDENT EVIL (Survival-horror, Capcom, 1996, PlayStation/PSOne) Choosing between this and it's sequel (the imaginatively named Resident Evil 2) was a very, very tough job. In terms of sheer excellence, they are almost inseparable, but I suppose that as it was the original that made the big breakthrough for the survival-horror genre, it should be that which makes my chart. Famed for it's adult content (read as zombies, limb-severing, head-popping action), jaw-droppingly nice visuals and hair-raising set-pieces, it became a massive hit for Capcom, eclipsing the success of even Street Fighter 2. It gained a reputation for being hard-as-diamond-coated nails thanks to the stingy ammunition supplies, and the horrendous acting will surely have you in fits of laughter, helping to ease the tense atmosphere at the very least. Though it was Alone In The Dark that effectively created the survival-horror genre, it was Resident Evil that made it popular and to this day, remains a challenging classic. Arguably the high point in the series. 8... BLOOD OMEN: LEGACY OF KAIN (Action/Adventure, Silicon Knights, 1997, PlayStation/PSOne) The Legacy of &
                        #75;ain franchise began long before Soul Reaver appeared. Blood Omen may not have been graphically cutting edge, but ultimately proved to be a compelling, fabulously original role-playing action adventure. The real plus point came in the form of Kain, the main character whom you controlled - he happened to be a vampire. Maximum blood-sucking ensued but Kain's talents stretched into changing his form - you could morph him into a bat, werewolf, human and even mist, so as to walk on water and through walls. The playing world was totally vast, allowing for forty or so hours of gameplay, and rather than the quality tailing off, if anything things just got more compelling. Blood Omen's ambitions were seemingly endless, and despite suffering from long and frequent loading times, it remains among my favourite adventure's, and is to this day, thoroughly underrated. 7... STREETS OF RAGE (Scrolling beat 'em up, SEGA, 1991, Sega Mega-Drive) The first none-playstation title in my chart is among the greatest multiplayer games ever created. I played it for literally weeks on end during a summer holiday six or seven years ago with a mate - we never tired of it either! For no particular reason, I dug it out again a couple of Christmas Eves' ago, and it amazed me at how well the gameplay had stood the test of time. SEGA's fabulously funky beat 'em up involved nothing more than assuming control of a plain-clothed cop, taking to the streets and giving anyone and everyone a good beating - either with fists 'n' feet or all manner of tasty weapons, including a golf club, glass bottle and lead pipe. It was mesmerisingly playable, had a thumping soundtrack, and in a time when games were still rather geeky, dared to be cool (Even my sister likes it!). <
                        br> 6... SILENT HILL (Survival-horror, Konami, 1999, PlayStation/PSOne) Probably among the least original games to grace my coveted ten, Silent Hill 'borrowed' the basic foundations laid down by Resident Evil (#9), and to Konami's credit, greatly built upon them. On first inspection it seems to mimic Resident Evil a fair bit, but rather than relying on the odd scare to make the player jump though, Silent Hill's shocking and unorthodox environments, freakish monsters and unnerving characters made for a constantly scary atmosphere, and so well implemented are sound and lights effects, that you'll find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat, extremely tense, listening for the slightest sound... It also looked lovely, had a memorable, warped soundtrack and threw up some fiendish puzzles too. Another milestone for the genre. Now for the fab five... 5... GRANDIA (RPG, Ubi-Soft, 2000, PlayStation/PSOne) The first of three role-playing games in my top five. This is one of those amazing games that takes you completely by surprise when you play it. I saw it in GAME one day - the box-art didn't stand out from the crowd particularly, the price was merely okay and reviews were of a good-not-great kind, but still I bought it. I didn't stop playing it for a month! Originally released in 1997 on the Sega Saturn, Grandia was ported over to the PlayStation three years later. An old-skool RPG, it starts off innocently enough as you assume the role of wannabee-adventurer Justin, who begins the game by simply rescuing his friend Sue from the towns bullies. Before you know it though, they are off on mini-quests, then on
                        more serious ones - they meet people, both good and bad, and by the end of the game your task is to save the world from destruction, with Justin much stronger and clearly wiser than when he began. The controls are just perfect, the design is near-faultless, the storyline is captivating and the battle system rivals that of even the best Final Fantasy. Only #5? It did look rather dated on release, and who knows where it would be if it looked a little slicker? Then again, adding snazzy might have taken away some of the old-skool magic...Rarely have I come across a game that has had me hooked for hours and hours on end, but you really will lose track of time. Grand indeed. 4... WONDERBOY IN MONSTERWORLD (RPG, SEGA, 1988, Sega Mega-Drive) The oldest game in my collection by quite some way, and the first classic I ever came across. Wonderboy was released in a time when games demanded you attempt to finish them in one attempt. You would have a job doing that here - the rare 'battery save' option allowed you to save your progress at inn's, and the developers took advantage of this by creating a massive gaming world that allowed for upwards of thirty hours gameplay. Simple 2D looks disguised a large and very versatile role-playing game that allowed Wonderboy to swim under the sea, traverse deserts, castles, mountain trails, forests, pyramids, volcanoes and even turn into a pygmi to reach certain areas via small gaps. Each item of equipment really made a difference, whether it was the Oasis Boots used to walk the desert without damage or the Trident equipped to allow underwater exploration. Storyline was charming, the music enchanting and as a game, was a few years ahead of it's time. 3... ME
                        ;TAL GEAR SOLID (Stealth adventure, Konami, 1999, PlayStation/PSOne) On release, the most highly-anticipated game in history. Konami had hyped it to death, and really had to pull out all the stops to avoid disappointing the fans. Metal Gear Solid was the first PlayStation game to focus totally on stealth, and as well as featuring some amazing graphics, a celebrated soundtrack and a gigantic selection of wonderful little touches (yes, there really is a PlayStation in Ottacon's lab), it had a plot to shame 90% of the no-brainer Holywood films of late. Much like Bond, Solid Snake (the main character) could use a variety of unusual items to his advantage - lighting his cigarettes to reveal trip wires and hiding in cardboard boxes to avoid the attentions of guards were just two of the truly memorable situations. Then there are the myriad of bosses and ways to tackle them - Psycho Mantis reads your mind, and so dodges the bullets you fire at him...but not if you plug your pad into port two! Sniper Wolf can be shot at with a Sniper Rifle, or you could just hide whilst firing off remote-controlled missiles to seek her out. The possibilities are almost endless, and it is all so incredibly fun and exciting. The A.I has been criticised in the past, as the enemy guards can't see too far in front of them, although as proved by the Tenchu series, Largo Winch and many other stealth games, it gets immensely frustrating if the guards can see you from a mile away. Instead, they will react to sound (if you tread on metal grates clumsily or through puddles) and often spot footprints in the snow. For once the acting is very good, and as there are two endings and four difficulty levels, there is plenty of replay value. 2... FLASHB
                        ACK (2D Action/Adventure, Delphine Software, 1993, Sega Mega-Drive) And now for the second best game ever created, the best of the 16-bit era, and yes I know you have never even heard of it. It is highly unlikely that Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid and all the other big adventure games that followed would have been complete without some kind of influence from this masterpiece. Conrad Hart has discovered that alien's have mixed in with the population of Earth and, as they find this out, they kidnap him, flying him to Titan, a moon around Saturn. What first surprises about Flashback are the brilliant FMV's - quite possibly a first in gaming. Then there are the totally astounding digital visuals, containing mind-blowing animation and superb backgrounds. Of course, a game is nothing without playability - and there was oodles of that here. For a start Conrad could run, leap, climb, roll, crouch, draw, fire, pistol-whip, throw and (naturally) walk his way through the levels, with astonishingly fluid animations - everything was just so graceful. The levels were stunning, and took great inspiration from Bladerunner and The Running Man, whilst implementing it's own excellent plot-line and loads of scenarios that (shock, horror) actually made you think before charging in. Enemies were relentless, later levels would see them not only chasing you through screens, but also up over ledges and jumps, and so you never felt safe! Drum roll... ... ... 1... FINAL FANTASY VII (RPG, Squaresoft, 1997, PlayStation/PSOne) Wisely, The Official UK PlayStation Magazine once said, 'In years to come they'll celebrate this as
                        an all-time classic". They were right, it is an all-time classic, and I salute it for pushing down the likes of Wonderboy and Flashback off the top places in my list, something I didn't think would easily happen. The more games you play, the harder it is to be impressed by new ones as it is likely you have seen much of what is on offer before. That's what I thought when I borrowed Final Fantasy VII (needless to say I've bought it since) off a friend. He said it was ace, but then again he thought Small Soldiers was pretty good...Anyway, as with most of the games in the top ten, things don't get into gear for a little bit - the beginning of your adventure see's you playing as Ex-SOLDIER and Shin-Ra member Cloud Strife, a very closed personality who has simply turned up to complete a job - blowing up a couple of reactors. This may be a simple task for him, but as with all the best RPG's, things are about to get a whole lot more intriguing...Rumours are of the super-warrior Sephiroth's return, there have apparently been many sightings of him - he often leaves behind a trail of destruction, but things are not all as they seem. Cloud and chums must set off on an epic journey spanning the entire planet, and it's soon clear that Final Fantasy VII isn't like other RPG's. It has it's own theme park complete with a monorail, rollercoaster and an amusement arcade containing half a dozen or so proper mini-games (an arm-wrestling machine and the good ol' basketball hoop-shooter among them), it has a farm where you can breed Chocobo's (Imagine chicks, but the size of Ostrich's!), feed them, ride them and even race them at the aforementioned theme park. The range of equipment, magic?s (or Materia) and items is absolut
                        ely staggering, some things are more common, such as healing potions and ethers, whilst others (especially the Tetra-Elemental accessory) are rather more tricky to get hold of, but throughout the world there are literally hundreds of hidden extras. When the company boasted of 100 hours of gameplay they were not joking, as I have clocked up closer to 250 hours - and for a twenty quid game, that is what I would call value! I've played it through six or seven times now, and each time I have uncovered half or dozen or so new things, as you'll just keep finding new stuff. It looked amazing in it's time, and the end sequence (a twenty minute FMV) was unlike anything I had ever seen. The often haunting music is brilliant and the Japanese go crazy for this kind of thing - the soundtrack has been #1 of there! So why did this make the chart and no other Final Fantasy's? Well FF6 and FF9 weren't too far away, but I suppose as I've played this one first the games released later didn't have the same magic, although are still brilliant in their own right. Of course, they have tried making a film out of Final Fantasy that ended up as more of a Resident Evil-meets-Bladerunner mish-mash, but for a plot of Hollywood-blockbuster proportions, look no further than this. I don't think Final Fantasy VII will ever be knocked off the top of my favourite games list, although I probably would have said that about Wonderboy a few years ago, and now it's number 4!

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                          03.05.2002 02:50
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                          Dolphin, the original name that Nintendo came up with. I'm glad they changed it. It was a bad name, what were they thinking? I'm not a zealot, but a Nintendo Loyalist (buh buh buh, before you shout, I own a PSOne and a Dreamcast too) and wouldn't of cared so much, as long as it delivered quality games. Several years on, and I see it is gonna live up to the hype I gave it. £129, that is an obscene price, especially for a big, next-gen console. What makes it even stranger is the fact that they dropped the price before they even released it. Not only that but some quality games right from the very first day, boasting the largest range of launch titles for any launch. The facts - 0.18 Microns copper-based 485MHz MPU. 24MB of cutting-edge 1T-SRAM. 162MHz GPU includes 3.1MB of embedded MoSys 1T-SRAM for Z-buffers, frame buffers, and texture cache. 6 to 12 million polygons per second. Dimensions : 4.3"(Height) x 5.9"(Width) x 6.3"(Depth). You can link Gameboy Advances and use them as controllers. There will be expansion slots for either a broadband/56k modem. The Games will come on micro disc format, developed by Nintendo, with a width of 8 cm, which can hold 1.5 gigs of data. 4 ports for 4 pads 2 memory card slots Possible connection of multiple Gamecubes (similar to the Xbox) The launch games - Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Super Monkey Ball Cel Damage Luigi's Mansion Universal Studios Burnout Tony Hawk's pro skater 3 Wave Race: Blue Storm ISS: International Superstar Soccer 2 Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader FIFA World Cup 2002 Bloody Roar Driven Crazy Taxi Extreme G3 NBA Street NHL Hitz 20-02 Batman Vengeance Tetris World Donald Duck: Quack Attack Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 Tarzan's Freeride With further releases including - Legends
                          of Wrestling, Pikmin, Super Smash Bros Melee, and Resident Evil. The games will vary in price from £34.99 to £44.99. Release date - 3rd May, not long to go ! Final opinion. Many dismiss Nintendo, their consoles and the games, as for kiddies only, but thats not true, sure they have games with cutesy graphics and vibrant colours, but don't forget, they can cater for the adult market. No, Resident Evil doesn't qualify as the only "grown-ups" game, oh no, Eternal Darkness, Metroid Prime, Turok Evolution and BloodRayne destroy the kiddie image. I think that Nintendo maybe onto a winner, the N64, in my mind wasn't a failure, but many flaws prevented to be as popular as the Playstation. But the Gamecube could prove to be Nintendos ace up it's proverbial sleeve. This means that Ninty are deadly serious at gaining the number 1 spot in, what can only be described as one of the largest console wars ever. Stupidly cheap prices, and some triple A titles will prove Nintendo are the best in their field. I'll be getting 5 games on launch, which should last me quite awhile, or at least until Resident Evil comes out anyway........

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                            02.01.2002 00:32
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                            I Guess I Am A Big KId.......... --------------------------------- I think it goes way back to the old ping pong game and then along came that old fav machine the atari 2600 console with such delights as the Smurfs and River Raid. I tell you right now that no one and I mean no one could ever beat me at River Raid, my skills with that plane and dodging in and out were worthy of a medal......... Next I suppose came the Atari St, and what a cracking computer it was, the games for it were even better. My fav game was Football Director and I took Man City from division Three to the top of the First Division and even won the F A Cup as well. I must have spent 3 weeks non stop playing that game and it goes down as an all time favourite....... So after the Atari St came that wonder machine, the saliva dripped from my mouth when I finally bought one.It was of course the Amiga 500. It stood in the corner of my sons room and although it was his Xmas present I knew in my heart that it was for me...Do you remember a game called Sensible Soccer, you do , I bet any money I would have stuffed you at it. Out trotted my light blue Man City team and by God we dominated Europe for years and years. Add all those brilliant shoot em up games and platform games and not forgetting games like Sim City or Civilisation and you had what I can only call total gaming pleasure...... Afte that we had the Sega Megadrive, Nintendo 64, Playstation and now of course the Playstation 2. But has it now got to the stage were it is just fancy graphics. I read the reviews about jaw dropping graphics but if the gameplay is crap then shove your fancy graphics....... One of the best games I ever played was Road Rage on the old Sega Megadrive, it was such a laugh and really playable. Or I used to love Emelyn Hughes Soccer for the Commodre 64, old games without the jaw dropping graphics but by God they were great games..... My best game I suppose was
                            Super Mario 3 for the Nintendo, only because I think it is the only game I ever completed. It had everything a computer game should have. And you know what, the graphics were just basic... Anyway I say a big thank you to all the people out there that made all those computers over the years. They gave me hours of enjoyment....... I thank you for the read, I wish you a Happy New year ...Take care all, your gaming friend online........... Art...1st January 2002......And Man City are top of the League...........Yes!!!!!!!

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