Category Archives: Gaming

PC & Console games, and anything in between.

Guild Wars 2 Screens of the Day – Sunday 30 December, 2012


Update: My character is now level 17, it’s cool to see your character progress and grow both in strength and also physically changes, costume improvements, etc.

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Cool waterfalls, this game looks great.
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Contemplating my next move, east or west?

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Discovering Viathan Lake, venturing out into LV 15-25 areas.

Will like have another update in a few days. Really enjoying and having fun with this game when I can! Holiday’s are great.

Let’s Play: Guild Wars 2 [PC]


What can I say about Guild Wars 2? One word, it’s epic! I have not played a massive multiplayer game for a long time (since the early days of World of Warcraft in fact) not necessarily because I haven’t wanted to (which is part of it) but because there simply hasn’t been any great MMO’s released that were worth the attention. The last MMO I played at any great length was World of Warcraft when it released, and I stuck around with that until the first expansion before I hit the level cap and got bored. With Guild Wars 2, I’m only 10 levels in and so far has felt very fast and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Below I’ve included a few screenshots of my travels.

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The visual are amazing in this game, if you take away one thing about Guild Wars 2 it’s that is a beautiful game which very rich detailed textures and the character models are something else. When you first load up the game and go through the character creation screen even, you know you’ll be in for a real treat. The costumes on characters are absolutely amazing looking, so much detail has gone into making this game look the part and must of been a huge effort by ArenaNet. A job well done guys.

gw003_small   The game play is very similar to World of Warcraft, but this game has learnt so much from its predecessors although some of the mechanics are similar, ArenaNet have done a great job in bringing fresh new ideas to the table. As a spellcaster (Elementalist) I would be used to watching my mana gauge refill and making sure to manage that correctly but here in GW2 that is gone. Instead, your spells simply have cool downs you observe before you can recast the spell but doesn’t feel ‘noobish’ at all which is a suprise.

Big battles that take place in the world are great, reffered to as environmental events and are a great place to gain some experience with other players and fight a villain perhaps a few levels higher than yourself. These events are triggered randomly, but make the world feel much more alive and changing frequently which adds a whole new dynamic to MMORPG’s.

Also, rather than having to walk great distances on foot/mount like other games, Guild Wars 2 makes it nice and easy to move between areas of great distance by the use of waypoints on the map screeen. It costs a small fee (a few bronze is nothing) to use them but totally worth it and removes the grind completely. One other improvement to the formula is that you no longer need to run back to a quest giver like traditional MMO’s but instead a message appears in your inbox where you can collect the reward from there (via the post!). Amazing.

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The soundtrack of a game can make it or break it and the score devised for Guild Wars 2 is epically crafted  and adds to the environment a great deal.

Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny’s Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, a Lovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses in instanced environments.

Guild Wars 2 claims to be unique in the genre by featuring a storyline that is responsive to player actions, something which is common in single player role-playing games but rarely seen in multiplayer ones. A dynamic event system replaces traditional questing, utilising the ripple effect to allow players to approach quests in different ways as part of a persistent world. Also of note is the combat system, which aims to be more dynamic than its predecessor by promoting synergy between professions and using the environment as a weapon, as well as reducing the complexity of the Magic-style skill system of the original game. As a sequel to Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 features the same lack of subscription fees that distinguished its predecessor from other commercially developed online games of the time, though a purchase is still required to install the game. As reported by NCsoft and ArenaNet, by September 13th (about 2 weeks after launch), despite temporarily halting first-party sales, the game has sold over 2 million copies. The game’s peak concurrency exceeds 400,000 players. Source: Wikipedia.com – Guild Wars 2

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Guild Wars 2 is an amazing game, anyone wanting to sink quite a bit of time should not pass this up. If you want to have a life over your holiday break not spend on a computer, look elsewhere!

Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2) – Collection Addition


mgs2 I recently got a limited edition copy of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for the Playstation 2, a nice addition to my PS2 collection. I did own this game back when it came out but unfortunately did not keep it. I’ve got it again, this time with the additional DVD which includes a making-of documentary, production photos, notes, etc.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is an amazing game every PS2 owner must play whether you are a fan of the series or not. The technical achievement alone is something to admire with the developers at Kojima Productions, they I’m sure are very proud of the game and is easy to see why. This was on of the first games on the PS2 that really made me think “yes the PS2 is a powerful machine” and the hardware truly helped deliver the cinematic feel of the game that KP/Konami strived to achieve in the first game.

The soundtrack is great, the first Metal Gear game in the series they were able to get a solid Holywood film industry music composer on board in Harry Gregson-Williams. His experience composing music for action films (The Rock, Enemy of the state, etc) really pushes this game into a whole new dimension and gives much more depth than ever thought possible.

The game opens with a flashback in 2007, two years after the Shadow Moses incident that was described in the original Metal Gear Solid. On August 8, 2007, Solid Snake and Otacon, now members of the non-governmental organization Philanthropy, are investigating the development of a new Metal Gear. Shortly after Snake arrives on the disguised oil tanker U.S.S. Discovery, Russian commander nationalist Sergei Gurlukovich and his group of Russian ex-military terrorists attacks the ship.

Snake sneaks down to the hold in order to record pictures of the new Metal Gear RAY. Sergei Gurlukovich sneaks into the hold and holds Scott Dolph at gunpoint, before Ocelot kills them.It is revealed that Ocelot had his severed arm replaced with that of the late Liquid Snake. The implant causes a change in Revolver Ocelot’s demeanor and behavior, with Liquid somehow “possessing” him. Under Liquid’s control he sinks the tanker and escapes with RAY before regaining command of his body. – Source: Wikipedia.com

This is truly an amazing game that you simply cannot miss. If you didn’t play this originally back in 2001, come back and play it!

Lets Play/Review: Hotline Miami (PC)


I haven’t done a ‘lets play’ video in quite a while let alone a game review, but I was browsing steam the other day and came across this new game called Hotline Miami. I had seen and heard good things about the game, and given last weekend was 50% off I thought why not.

The game is amazing and soundtrack is epic 80’s. Definitely recommend this to anyone out there that doesn’t mind a bit of blood and violence with some great story and music.

New Collection Addition: Nintendo 64


About 2 weeks ago I managed to pick up a near-mint Nintendo 64 console in original packaging. Finding anything new for my gaming collection is always exciting and finding items close to mint condition in the box is a bonus. I also picked up a few games shortly after getting this (which I’ll go into in separate posts) but the addition of a Nintendo 64 to my collection brings back many fond childhood memories of sitting around the couch in summer with friends playing Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark split-screen.

The Nintendo 64 is one of my most favoured consoles of all time and holds nice collectors appear as it was the very last console based on cartridges including Nintendo’s last also.

Thee Nintendo 64 , often referred to as N64 (stylized as NINTENDO, formerly known as the Nintendo Ultra 64, and codenamed Project Reality) is Nintendo’s third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, September 1997 in France and December 1997 in Brazil. It is Nintendo’s last home console to use ROM cartridges to store games (Nintendo switched to a MiniDVD-based format for the successor GameCube); handhelds in the Game Boy line, however, continued to use Game Paks. As part of the fifth generation of gaming, it primarily competed with the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. The N64 was discontinued in 2003 in Japan Europe North America and PAL regions by the launch of Nintendo’s GameCube. source: wikipedia.com

The library of games on the Nintendo 64 is not as extended as it’s direct competitor of the time the Sony Playstation, but personally in my opinion what the game library for the Nintendo 64 lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. Nintendo have always ruled their developers with an iron fist, so the majority of titles released for the Nintendo 64 were first-party developed games.

Thrift Store Pickups – October 2012: Starwars Goodness!


I went down to my local thrift store (Salvation Army) today and picked up a couple of nice additions to my Playstation 2 collection, as well as a really nice find way hidden in the back.

A special edition box set Star Wars trilogy release from 1997! This box set contains digitally remastered versions of the original star wars films and was released in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the first film. While I don’t watch VHS tapes anymore (DVD and blu-ray) having this in the collection is really nice. For a pick-up of only $1 I couldn’t say no. I was casually looking through some of their VHS tapes and noticed this gold box with a black lucasfilm logo on it…as soon as I saw the logo I knew it would be something worth checking out and sure enough, a star wars box set.

This box set is 15 years old today, and very collectible so quite nice to have.

Myst For Panasonic 3DO [Japanese NTSC-J]


Today I received my copy of Myst for the Panasonic 3do from Japan. Myst for the 3do was released in 1995 and is one of the most critically acclaimed games on the 3do.

Myst is a first-person point-and-click adventure where the player controls a character known as The Stranger. Transported into the world described in the book, he needs to explore Myst Island and solve its mysteries. The game is presented as a series of static scenes where the player acts with the environment by clicking and manipulating objects. If you’ve ever played the Zork games before you’ll be all too familiar with this concept.

There are no enemies and it is not possible to die. Through Myst Island, the game is further divided into mini-worlds set in different ages accessed through different books. As far as point and click adventure games go where there are no enemies, its a very surreal yet exciting game to play and can suck you in for hours!

Panasonic 3DO Has Arrived in My Collection!


Half way through my work day today I had a nice surprise hit my desk, a Panasonic 3do! I was lucky enough to find a near-mint sdo from a great guy on eBay in the UK. He was kind enough to pack it and ship it across the world to me and arrived safe and sound. The first generation (FZ-1) 3DO is in my opinion much better, nicer looking and more collectable than the 2nd generation console model FZ-10. It is quite a heavy console, feels very well built and feels like an expensive piece of home theater equipment. With the Panasonic name behind it it’s easy to see why.

The Panasonic 3DO is a fairly rare console these days. Released in 1993 with a short life span of only 2 years the ‘Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer’ as it was known struggled to gain solid ground with stiff competition from the likes of the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. The 3DO can lay claim as one of the first CD based video game consoles with some of the more popular games such as ‘The Need For Speed’, ‘Myst’ and ‘Road Rash’ there wasn’t much more on the console that enticed gamers.

The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (often called simply 3DO) is a video game console originally produced by Panasonic in 1993. Further renditions of the hardware were released in 1994 by Sanyo and Goldstar. The consoles were manufactured according to specifications created by The 3DO Company, and were originally designed by Dave Needle and R. J. Mical of New Technology Group. The system was conceived by entrepreneur and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins

Despite a highly promoted launch (including being named Time magazine’s “1994 Product of the Year”) and a host of cutting-edge technologies, the 3DO’s high price (US$599 at launch), limited third-party developer support, and an over-saturated console market prevented the system from achieving success comparable to competitors Sega and Nintendo. This console was released in North America on October 4, 1993, Japan on March 20, 1994 and in Europe in 1994.

Since its discontinuation, the 3DO has been frequently derided by video game historians. Citing a lack of decent exclusives and an “astronomical asking price”, in 2009 video game website IGN chose the 3DO as its 22nd greatest video game console of all time, slightly higher than the Atari Jaguar but lower than its four other major competitors: the SNES (4th best), the Sega Mega Drive (5th), the Sony PlayStation (7th), and the Sega Saturn (18th). – Source: Wikipedia

In PAL regions, namely the EU and Australia there weren’t too many sold mostly because of the steep retail price of AUD $699. For 1993, this was a very expensive piece of equipment that only the most spoilt of gamers could afford. This helped keep the console out of the limelight making the console very collectable today. It was quite a powerful machine in its day but the soon to be released Sony Playstation in 1994 blew the 3DO out of the water not being able to match the PSX’s unrivalled 3D graphics performance.

Perhaps one of the more interesting parts of the console is the controller port. With only 1 controller port on the front of the console how were you supposed to play multiplayer games you say? Each controller was able to be daisy-chained to another controller with the inclusion of a serial port on the top of each controller. This didn’t give you a lot of movement between your friends but not too many consoles were able to achieve 8 player games at the time so was an interesting concept. On the bottom of the controller you can find a stereo headphone jack which is quite amazing.

The great folks at ‘Classic Game Room’ did an excellent review of the FZ-1 first generation 3DO for a closer look:

You can’t claim to be a serious video game collector until you’ve owned a Panasonic 3DO!