Friday, 22 February 2013

Physical or Digital games

Many people have different ideas about whether we will only have digital games in the future, with the ability to stream games online and no longer the need to leave the house or order online and wait to play the game. The only thing limiting how long to wait for you to play after purchase is your download speed, digital seems to be the way forward for a lot of people.

Although, there will always be the nostalgia and memories of receiving a box, with a manual and a physical disc. And the collection of games that you gather over time, filling shelves, boxes and more shelves with games.  For me, just seeing a list of the games that I own is not good enough, there will be no sense of how much and how vast the collection is.

A lot of high street stores are closing down as a result of new ways to get games, but this is not just because people are downloading games on their consoles or PCs, but because of online retailers, that means that anyone can order a game/product in the comfort of their own home and wait for it to come to them. This is all good, although, you do not have the same experience of walking through the shop at new releases and looking at the back of the boxes, testing the game on show and the whole experience of buying in store.

I am all for digital downloads, but I don’t want to see a world with only digital downloads available, as with the music industry at the moment, with iTunes taking a lot of the sales for artists, there is still music being produced on CD for people who prefer their music in this form.

Frozen Fishy out.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Favourite Device for playing Games

There are many different devices for playing games; Consoles, computers, handheld consoles and smartphones are the big players in the field. I have owned a few of each of these and have played games on many. My history of consoles dates back to the Playstation 1, whilst also playing on a SNES at a friend's house as a child, for PCs, I have always had one in the house and am now currently using a laptop for day-to-day use and gaming with friends while at uni. My earliest memories of games is that of the handheld nature with the original Game Boy, handheld always has a place in the gaming industry, as you can carry your game with you and does not cost a great deal. My least experienced field is the mobile phone games, despite spending many hours on various phones playing Doodle Jump and various other apps, most of these have been on the ever popular iPhone, so I lack experience with other mobile phones.

So, for my lack of experience and game time on a phone, I am going to rule that one out as not MY favourite device for playing games.

I have owned many handheld games consoles in my life, much of which still work, proving the quality of the hardware, and have spent many hours staring at the tiny screens, but with a handheld device you are not as immersed in the gaming experience. Even though the devices are amazing in their own way and have come a long way. They do not compare to PC and console gaming.

Based on my previous post I am going to skip ahead and decide which of the many device in the remaining field...

I will take into account the consoles I loved both past and present, mainly looking at N64, Nintendo Gamecube, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.

Firstly I am going to rule out Nintendo Wii, despite it being a great console, it is the one that is collecting a vast amount of dust at the moment, the novelty wears off and is difficult to play a serious game or one by yourself on the Wii.
Secondly, Gamecube, great console, great games but two come to mind, Mario Kart double dash and Super Smash Bros Melee. These two are great games but that doesn't make it my favourite console by a long mile.
Lets speed this up, i'm going to rule out PlayStation 3 for my lack of good gaming experiences compared to other consoles the N64 for only having a select few good games, 007 Goldeneye, Super Smash bros and Pokémon Stadium.

So we have Xbox 360 and Playstation 2. This choice for me is relatively easy, both these consoles you can have a great time with due to great game releases and a great console.
But I am going to pick Playstation 2, solely for the amount of good memories I had growing up playing on this console. Favourite game on this console was Time Splitters 2/Future Perfect (even getting insomniac award for 23 hours spent playing non stop) and Star Wars Battlefront 1/2
There were many great and ground breaking releases for the Playstation 2, which is why it is my favourite console for playing games.

Frozen Fishy out.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Console or PC Gaming

This question has been asked for many years now by many people, and everyone has there own favourite, some don't care what others think whilst some try to force it down our throats. I tend to be on the side where I will tell you what I think, but won't force opinions on anyone else
I am aware that the handheld market is becoming more relevant at this point in the industry, but I am going to ignore that and answer the question which is always asked.

For me, I have always really enjoyed playing on a console, it was always easier to play with siblings and friends on a console than a PC. Even though I have fond memories of both consoles and PC, I remember more successful endeavours on a console and being frustrated on the PC. One game comes to mind in particular. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, I remember two parts very well, even though the first level was amazing and I played it many times, I will always remember the frustration of trying to follow Jar Jar Binks and running around Mos Espa trying to figure out anything you can do.

For controls, I prefer controllers, the ability to have all the controls you need in a simple handheld device and the joysticks, adds smooth gameplay and no need for numerous shortcuts. I understand that there is fully customisable options on a PC, but I personally, as a gamer, do not always see the point in this.

For Spec, the more powerful machine at the moment is PC at a larger price, but that is not the point I am going to talk about. As there are many different aspects of a PC that can be bought and changed in the computer itself, it is difficult for a game to be released and not have a problem on a computer system. As the Xbox/PS3/Wii all have the same spec, games can be released in certainty that they will work, and if there is a problem, it will occur on all systems, meaning that it will be handled asap.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy playing on a PC and do so on a regular basis, but I do prefer a console as a more complete package, one which I can rely on, to sit back on my sofa, relax and enjoy the immersive experience that it offer, nothing beats that.

Frozen Fishy out.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Next Gen Gaming

It was rumoured earlier in the week, that the PS4 is soon to be announced, this has got me thinking again of what that will offer us. Firstly the answer to the question which has been asked for many years now, what will the new Xbox be called? We all have our opinions but who will be correct, my opinion, much to my brothers' denial, is the Xbox 360x2 or the x2 for short.

What more do we need?
When we think of the new generation I think of how blown away I was by the performance of the PS3 and Xbox 360, but I can't see how this impact can be had again. The hardware in the current consoles can be on par with a lot of PCs and only the high end can beat them. Saying that though, they also need to make it affordable to everyone.
There will be a blu-ray player in the Xbox, destroying all criticism it ever got, there will be new controllers, a new Playstation controller, dualshock 4? or will they incorporate quadshock for 'better immersion'? I doubt it, they have a product that works, why would they change it.
I believe the Xbox will stay a conservative shape (cuboid) as this seems to be their style where the Playstation will go for something a little more elaborate and more aesthetically appealing. I can see them making use of carbon fibre for the outer shell to make it more lightweight.

What don't we need?
Well we don't need to focus on just one audience, with more and more family/fitness games making a rise from kinect and ps move, I dont want to see a large focus on this on a base console, 'attachments' are fine, just don't ruin a great console for the niche hardcore players.
We do not need the console to be a really stupid shape, where it is impossible to store. I also feel that Xbox does not need to mention that rrod has been beaten, although this will show that they saw the problem and fixed it, it would remind players of what may have been a bad time for them.
We don't need a new online system and do not need to create new profiles to play online.

The most important thing for me will be that they make the best of the hardware and not the software, as proven by both the previous consoles, applications can be added with ease and have great quality, I do not want Sony and Microsoft selling consoles as a entertainment hub, more a gaming hub as the console should be, then the player can make it what they want.
I do have serious concerns that the whole entertainment promise may be too much and they don't create the greatest machine possible.

Frozen Fishy out.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

My 2012

2012 was my first year at university, so my first year of living away from home, all was good except for one thing. Internet speeds in university accommodation were absolutely useless, and they did not allow for steam or Xbox Live to be played, meaning the online game aspect of my life had to wait until the holidays.
On the good side of the year I went to my first gaming expo, first to Rezzed Indie Game Expo situated in Brighton where I fell in love with Qube and spent a good 3 hours of the day playing. Then in September I attended my first Eurogamer Expo going two days (Thursday and Friday) and enjoyed every moment of it and am expecting to go for the full 4 day weekend in 2013.
At Eurogamer I witnessed and experienced the Vesaro Racing Simulation Rig, which to say the least was amazing, and backed by Grid 2 (Game by Codemasters) it was a great experience that I would love to repeat but I don't have that kind of money.

In General 2012 was a good year for games and the start of me going to many expos in the future, maybe one year I will attend E3... Well there is always hope!

Frozen Fishy out.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

My Games of 2012

Well ok, its February now, and the list of games from 2012 that were good has been passed by many people, I still find it an interesting topic to talk about. This will be my first of many game related posts so i thought I would go for a basic topic, this will cover the games I loved and the games which surprised me.

Games I loved...
Lego Lord of the Rings was amazing, as with any lego game you play, with a silly sense of humour the game can be played very casually and is a good break from the other games available. This was the first lego game that i played where the characters could speak, and I do not feel it took anything away, more improved it. The only let down for this game was the achievement system where the second player would not get the story achievements as they used to, I believe that by doing this Tt games could deter a second player from participating, which is one of the great aspects of the game.
Trials Evolution the return of the trials games from RedLynx was very successful and made a huge improvement on already a great game, this game showed us that by giving the players access to the full creator mode, they can make masterpieces artistically and in gameplay, making the game never get old and boring, this is helped by the fact that there have been 2 DLCs for the game which will keep bringing the players back and keeping the game fresh.
Minecraft deserves a place on this list, even though many people would have picked this one, it is still a great game, and even though I played on the PC for a year by the point it came out, the release still got me excited and wanting to play. When Minecraft was first released, it was only the basic edition with none of the updates that the PC version had at the time, this made the Xbox version not seem new, but allowed me to enjoy playing as there was no need to worry about food.
Halo 4 was as much as expected, but still the expectations were fulfilled, making it a great game. With fantastic online play and cooperative campaign, it will always offer something to every player. And with the addition of Spartan Ops, they added a new side to the game, a campaign style mission where new episodes come out after release of the game, making sure to keep people playing. The aspect of releasing content soon after release of a game, can be taken negatively, but it is free so all is good.

Games that Surprised me...
There is one big surprise I want to mention
Spec Ops: The Line, I remember seeing the trailer to this game a couple of years ago at the VGAs, but then never seemed to be released, so it dropped off my radar of games to look out for, but after attending Rezzed Indie Game Expo, I was reassured with it being released, but the gameplay looked a bit linear. I received this game a couple of months ago, and was blown away by the story, the gameplay is traditional 3rd Person Shooter, so nothing new there. But the story, is really interesting, the first game I have played that got me really thinking about what I am doing and whether it is 'right'. I would reccommend this game to someone looking for a nice game with an in depth story to back it up.

Frozen Fishy out.