Thursday, 30 June 2011

Online Only Games from PSN for the PS3

Despite a continual uptake of players I’ve noticed a distinct lack of information, or even interest, about console based multiplayer gaming on the PS3. 

 So, in this blog I’m taking a look at what MMORPG and MMO games are available through PSN for the PS3.

 PNS On-line Only Games Quick list:
Near future, up to 256 players in a game.

Battlefield 1943
World War 2, up to 24 players in a game.

Modern Combat: Domination.
Contemporary, up to 16 players in a game.
Middle future, up to 32 players in a game.

Section 8
Far future, up to 32 players in a game.

Near future, up to 32 players in a game.
Free Realms    
Fantasy past, massively multiplayer game.

DC Universe
Contemporary, massively multiplayer game.

Angel Love Online
Fantasy, massively multiplayer game.

Angle Genki.
Fantasy, massively multiplayer game.
  • FPS = First person Shooter
  • 3PS = Third person Shooter
  • RPG = Role-Play Game
I’ve taken a look at what’s available, and compared their pricing structures, game-play, graphics and sound.
Not every type of game will suite everyone, and there can be a world of difference between what a MMO and a MMORPG player thinks is good.
Just one other thing before we get started on the mini-reviews: You may think I’m being overly generous in my prise of the graphics for these games, but you have to remember the yard-stick is different for massively on-line games. Today’s machines simply can’t process the type of graphics capability displayed by the latest single-player games in a massively on-line environment.  The reasons are both complicated and boring, so why yatter on about frame-rates and network speeds, yada, yada… Ok, so given all the techno-reasons, my estimation of the graphics is based on other similar types of on-line only games. Oh, and a game that has on-line options isn’t the same as a true MMO system. There are more technical reasons for this, but bottom line is they would just crunch with the amount of simultaneously connected game users a true MMO or MMORPG can handle. And this isn’t a bolg about technical stuff…

Friday, 24 June 2011

Digitising Alice

A history and round up of Alice's Adventures in Videogameland…
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is perhaps one of the most enduring children’s stories in the western world, and many, if not most, of us have probably grown up with it on one form or another. Alice has spanned many film versions over the years, starting with the 1951 animated Disney version and including at least one ‘adult’ version. The book has practically always been in print, in one form or another, since first published in 1865. And I’m sure you are all at least relatively familiar with the various book and film adaptations, but how much do you know about Alice’s long and often rather obscure digital history?

For many people the gaming history of Alice started, and for a while stopped, with the original American McGee Alice game released in 2000. If you were one of those who assumed this you would of course be wrong. And I’m not referring to the newly published ‘Alice: Madness Returns’ 2011 sequel ether, although that, along with the Tim Burton film adaptation, has brought the series back in to the media spotlight.

The real history predates the American McGee’s game by quite a few years. As far as I know the first commercial game to appear based on the Alice in Wonderland concept was in 1984 for the Commodore 64 home-computer, although I’m by no means certain that this was the very first instance of an Alice inspired game.  There have been quite a few other games based on the concept over a range of 8 and 16 Bit home-computers of the eighties and nineties, and although it is perhaps an iconic western story, Alice based gaming was also taken very-much to heart in the land of the rising sun, an it is from Japan that much of these early and forgotten games originated.

However, Alice’s adventures aren’t just limited to her own games, there have always been many other games where ether she, or Wonderland in general, makes an appearance. The following is a short (and by no means exhaustive) list of the more instantly recognisable titles: Kingdom Hearts, Psychonauts, Rule of Rose, Silent Hill, Thief, Bloody Roar, and not forgetting the LaserDisk game Dragon's Lair II.
But Alice-based gamming is most definitely not a thing of the past. As of 2011 we had a brand-new American McGee game released. And another parade of game incarnations came, part-and-parcel, with the release of the 2010 Tim Burton film adaptation.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Sonic Unleashed? Well not always…

  Sonic Unreleashed

I have to admit that the Sonic the Hedgehog games have always been one of favourite series, ever since I played the very first one on my shiny new Master System. But this isn’t going to be a fan-gush on the brilliance of the games, and I’m the first to admit that that initial shine got more that a little tarnished as Sonic got on in years. To be faire though, the old Sonic seems to be making a bit of a come-back lately, but I digress…
What I want to look at here are the miss-starts and blind-allies of the Sonic race. I want to take a look at the games that didn’t make it, and it may turn out to be a more interesting story than you may first think. At one time there was a lot of miss-information and out-and-out fiction circulating about ‘lost’ Sonic games. As such, I can only recant the things I have acquired, seen or heard about. I will leave it up to you to decide how much truth there is to any of this. All I can say is that I genuinely have, or have ‘officially’ heard about, everything I have included here.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Shut the SHMUP up!

I was in GAME buying another PS3 joy-pad recently, and overheard two of the ‘gamers’ behind the counter discussing ‘shooting-games.’ They were of course talking about first-person shooters. They must have seen me roll my eyes or something, because I got a rather funny look from the bearded twenty-something.
Maybe it was the smirk on my face. Maybe that smirk said, “…and you call that a shooting game?”

So am I really that old, has the definition changed that much?
Now, I’m not against a good FPS. I remember the sheer awe of first playing DOOM on an Amstrad 386SX PC. I also think many of its modern descendants are vastly superior. You won’t find any rose-coloured glasses here folks, but a shooting-game…

Ok, technically I suppose they are correct, but technically a tomato is a fruit. Doesn’t mean it would go well with some double-cream in a fruit-cocktail does it?

Hello and welcome to my Computer Games Blog

Hello, I’m Garry and this is my blog about all things computer-game related.
To a lot of today’s gamming-generation I’m probably an old-fart. That’s ok. I’m old, and I fart. So why should you listen to me rambling on about… well any stuff and nonsense that enters my head really?
Well, I could say that I was around, and playing games, since the advent of the first TV-games consoles. I could say that I have worked in the computer industry most of my life, or I could even regale you with tales of my teenage attempts to write knock-off programs for the 8bit home computer market. But that could all be pretty boring really!

Like most other bloggers, all I really have is my own view and take on things. Well, that and a lot of questions. So if you like my ramblings, or at lest find them interesting, feel free to follow. If not, well I’m quite happy to talk to myself… it’s only when you answer back that you should begin to worry, right?

As I said I’ll be covering pretty much anything, games related, that pops into my head on this blog. That means a fair amount of retro musings, as well as the more up-to-date stuff.
I’d like to think I’m one of those people who can see a good game, and a bad one, for what it is irrespective of what level of technology it’s using. That doesn’t mean this is a retro-love blog. People seem to forget how much utter crud was released for the ‘classic’ machines of the past.

Oh, I’m also a bit of a collector, or should that be hoarder, of computer and games systems and their software. So expect some stuff on that from time to time. Although as a family we do have at least one of practically every current games console, and they are all, more or less, in daily use.

That’s about it really. Welcome to my Computer Games blog.