Tag Archives: Gaming

Retro Gaming: Super Nintendo & Super Mario All Stars

One of my favourite video game consoles of all time, the Super Nintendo with one of the best games released for the system: Super Mario All Stars. Released in 1992 Super Mario All Stars gave you 3 great NES Mario games (Mario 1, 2, 3) and and a special mario lost levels which were apparently only originally sold in Japan. The console definitely stands the test of time and is still very playable even today.

I had lots of fun playing games on the SNES back in the day, and am hoping those good old times can start again now that I finally have a working SNES console with a few other games on the way. There are plenty of copies of Donkey Kong Country on the SNES on eBay, I’ll see if I can get my hands on that game which was epic.

Diablo III Public Beta Starting Soon

Looks like things are getting a little closer to the release of Diablo 3. They’ve started a closed beta among employees based on the recent thread on the Blizzard forums. I wonder who you have to kill to get your hands on the beta client?

FYI, we’re getting very close to starting the closed public beta test for Diablo III. You might start seeing some new reports about the beta client as we’ve begun limited external testing with employees and their families, and there is no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for that. We look forward to sharing more info about the beta test in the near future. Stay tuned.

If you have a beta license, you are free to show, share, or talk about any portion of the beta content to which you have access, as this beta test is not confidential.


Death of the Disc-Based Game

Death of the Disc-Based Game – PC Feature at IGN.

The full-priced retail game might not disappear until after the next generation of consoles, but it will eventually. Major franchises like Call of Duty will continue to move huge quantities through ever-expanding brand recognition, but new or lesser known intellectual property is doomed to either flounder or catastrophically fail if they’re sitting on a store shelf bearing a prohibitively high price tag.

More and more games these days are being sold with ‘digital download only’ copies which makes you wonder how much longer will it be before we start seeing all games sold this way.

Blizzard are already doing it, the Steam platform on the PC has been around a while and becoming more and more popular and the console landscape is really the only place left for publishers to make a stand. Even consoles have downloadable games now via the XBOX Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, etc.

It will still be at least a few years before we see all games ship this way, but those without a solid internet connection will unfortunately be left in the dark with no good option to purchase new games, and that is truly a shame. It will be because of this reason, and likely this reason alone that publishers will continue to ship physical media. The question is, when will the switch happen?

Battlefield 3 Just Around the Corner

There were a lot of new details shown at this years E3 gaming Expo in Los Angeles including a Q4 release date (27 October, 2011 in Australia). There has been a lot of multiplayer footage and also gameplay footage. One thing must be said the game looks absolutely spectacular. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens when this game launches as Infinity Ward’s ‘Modern Warfare 3’ will be set to launch around the same time. Modern Warfare games in the past have dominated first person shooter sales for the last few years with Battlefield (to be honest) a close second.

Battlefield 3 global release schedule:

October 25, 2011
USA, Canada, Singapore

October 27, 2011
Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Australia

October 28, 2011
UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy

Sources: http://www.ea.com/news/battlefield-3-release-date-announcedhttp://www.enterbf3.com/

This year though I think DICE and EA have a hot game on their hands with BF3 and I think will knock Call of Duty off its very high perch. Can’t wait for this one, will be looking forward to it!

How-to Play Diablo 2 in High-Resolution

OK, I know a lot of people who still love playing Diablo 2 (my girlfriend included). She actually re-installed this the other day and she asked me “How come I can’t get rid of the black bars on the sides of the screen?”. The answer to this question is because Diablo 2 only supports a maximum screen resolution of 800×600. I showed her how to stretch the game across the whole screen but wouldn’t it be great to be able to play Diablo 2 at higher screen resolutions? Well, now you can.

I came across a really great article at N.E.E.T. Gamer which explains how it all works. You basically install some software which runs from the Diablo 2 game directory modifying the game to run in higher resolutions. The reason why something like this is able to work is because the graphics engine Diablo 2 uses is able to scale graphics accordingly based on your screen resolution (it can already do this between 640×480 and 800×600 anyway) unlike previous Blizzard games before it (StarCraft 1, WarCraft 2, etc) that used sprites of fixed size which could not be scaled or re sized without stretching and warping the image badly.

Here’s a quick link to the D2MultiRes Patch: http://www.moddb.com/games/diablo-2/downloads/d2multires-version-102

Have fun!

One Step Closer To An R18+ Video Game Rating In Australia

Last week the minister for justice Brendan O’Connor released a draft of guidelines that would accompany the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia.

With a classification system in Australia that does not have an R18+ rating for video games is ridiculous and stupid. We’ve had an R18+ rating for film and television in this country ever since the Office for Film & Literature Classification (OFLC) created the system but video games have been left behind all this time. Granted there is an argument that video games have not made such an impact on society as they have over the last 10-15 years and the need for an R18+ rating has not been raised before and I understand that, but at least between the last 5-10 years we’ve seen video games grow and the level of adult content grow with it. The question I’d like to ask is “Why should we treat video games differently?”.

As an adult living in Australia, currently I have the right to view R18 films whenever I like. I have the freedoms and rights to see what I want and consume that type of media with its adult content as I want, why can’t I do the same with video games? People say it’s because video games offer a level of interactivity that film simply does not. I understand where you’re coming from but its not as if I’d go around killing people or anything in real life after playing Grand Theft Auto.

Because Australia has not had an R18+ rating for video games, we have missed out on some really amazing games, more recently Mortal Kombat was released and banned in Australia, we’ve received watered down versions of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Left 4 Dead 2 just to name a few others.

So far as I’m writing this, I’ve started to think that perhaps I’m a little biased and my rants here are a little one sided. Fair enough, but I don’t hear too many arguments from people disputing the need for an R18+ rating for video games, do you? It’s kind of like saying would you object to legislation that would cure cancer or end world hunger? We need an R18 rating for video games not just to please fellow adults like myself, but we need this rating to better manage the types of content our children can get their hands on and to classify media in Australia in a more detail. There can be no blanket “one rating to rule them all” strategy because as it has been with video games this is all we’ve effectively had.

As an adult, I should have the same freedoms offered to me to consume adult material in video games just as I have the right to do so with film and television. I’m glad the Australian government are taking steps to catch up with the rest of the world on this issue. It will allow adults just as myself to better make decisions to restrict the type of content children consume, while at the same time not prohibiting the rest of us from watching (and playing) whatever we choose.

I’m really looking forward to an introduction of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia, it has been neglected and absent for far too long.