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For some, the 16-bit glory days ended far too soon. When sprites and text-based dialogue were the staples of any story driven title, many considered these elements to be the best way to tell a tale. It’s hard to doubt these claims, especially when you look at some of the renowned games that come out in the 90s – Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, Phantasy Star, Lunar and so on. The death of the cartridge and the rise of 3D removed most limitations, and some would say, the creativity which blossomed while finding ways around them.

For a global group of diehards, though, an ambitious new project to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Genesis/Mega Drive moved quickly from concept to reality. Pier Solar, the first brand new title to be developed for the MD/Sega CD, has almost completed its lengthy development. One of the first successful projects of its size, the developers originally began as a small forum community and grew quickly into a small indie development studio.

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When Microsoft first announced the specs for the original Xbox back in 2000, it was widely known that the software company was building a system out of existing hardware, essentially creating a high-end (for the time, anyway) “Gaming PC for the living room.”

There was much fanfare in the press over this,  but it was bad news to me . Read more… »

crystalchron

For I and many other school children, the summer months are always filled with warm memories – perhaps it is of random events with friends, or simply one’s naïve childhood, but, in looking back on it, it’s sure to make most people happy. In reflection, I remember that my childhood was spent playing video games, oftentimes with friends or simply by myself, and only just recently have I remembered just how wonderful these memories really are. Read more… »

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DotA Is Serious Business
By: | May 29th, 2009

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Recently, I got my hands on a copy of Warcraft 3 and its expansion. The main reason I got it was because of my best friend; he plays a custom game on WC3 called Defense of the Ancients (DotA), and was perpetually upset at playing with bad teammates. So, I told him I would buy it, and if I liked it, I would let him teach me.

I’ve played for about a week and a half now, and as it turns out, I do really enjoy them game. It’s a bit convoluted, but I enjoy the team aspect and variety of the game. My friend is good enough to play in clans, which I’ve read is no joke, so I’ve got a good teacher. There’s only one problem: DotA players take their game way too seriously.

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Every so often a flash game will catch my eye, and I’ll feel an uncontrollable urge to tell people about it. I can assure you that these games will either be exceptionally weird, quality, or innovative. But there is one thing they all have in common: fun factor. Recently I was browsing Newgrounds.com and one of the front page games caught my eye; a little title called Seed of Destruction.

Created by the users BarfQuestion and Komix, SoD leads you through a magical physics based survival game, revolving around a little man jockeying a gigantic sperm cell. With plenty of content, including a few mini-games, SoD is sure to have you giggling with excitement for a long while after playing it. Read more… »

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If you mention Battletoads to anyone who owned a NES 15 years ago, they probably went on about how amazing it was.

But here’s the thing, they are delusional. As delusional as your standard Greenpeace member. The cosy blanket of nostalgia has enveloped them in a comforting glaze of love for this cartridge based torture. Because think about it, in fact, go back and play it, because when you look past the kickass battle system, all that’s left is cheap level design and a difficulty level so severe you’d be more likely successful winning a real life fight with M.Bison.

Let me break it down and tell you why I think this game was designed by sadomasochists at Rare.

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sniper

Those of you following the Team Fortress 2 update blog will have no doubt read all about the new unlock system, which is supposed to provide a more level playing field to all players by changing the weapon unlock system from being achievement based to being random. “Random” insofar as you are randomly given an unlockable weapon, irrespective of whether or not it is usable by your current class, and irrespective of what you are actually doing in the game.

The theory is, this will enable all players to have an equal chance of gaining the unlockable weapons, without having to play a class you may not like, and without having to do silly things like perform 1,000 double-jumps.

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“I don’t like FPS games” is what I tell most people. That’s not really true, though; the real truth is that I don’t care to give people the long-winded explanation as to why I don’t play them. “I’m bad at them,” I’ll say instead, “and because my PC can’t run any FPS games made in the last few years that are worth playing.”

The second part is true, and, on reflection, maybe the first part is true, too. However, I don’t have to be bad at them. The reason I’m bad at them – and the reason I don’t play them – is because FPS games shun me. The way they do it is quite simple: there is little-to-no support for people like me – people who started playing FPS on console way back when.

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Where Are The 2-Hour Games?
By: | May 23rd, 2009

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Today I was struck by a notion. A particularly powerful notion, rather uncommonly potent for something of this sort: why aren’t there any two-hour games?

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Big name video game franchises, such as the Final Fantasy series, possess numerous elements that make them the memorable gaming experiences that they are, while also allowing for longevity over the years as additional games are added and competing series spring up. Yet these high standards we set for such games make it all the more disappointing when they, inevitably, fail to meet them.

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Recently, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 was announced for the Playstation Network and XBox Live Arcade. While this was cool, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone, either (someone I know from another website I visit called it “the gaming industry’s worst-kept secret”). Still, when it was officially announced, even though we all saw it coming, most people were happy to hear it.

Personally, I was a little skeptical at first until Capcom released a fact sheet about the game. Most people were probably thrilled to hear about the netplay, or the anti-aliasing options. What finally got me excited about the release was the mention that the game would be based off of the Sega Dreamcast version.

What does this mean? Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 will be “Arcade Perfect”, meaning that there are no gameplay-based phenomena that occur unless it would happen in the original arcade version. If you don’t know why this is important, get ready for an important lesson.

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mariodrunk

The games that we play are littered with various characters that can and will beat the living hell out of any alien, zombie, Nazi or parked motorcar. Admittedly, most of these guys could drink me under the table with relative ease – if they were real and, more to the point, paying. But there are definitely a few out there that I can’t help but look at and wonder just how much a couple of whiskeys would go to their head. Yes, I actually think about these things, don’t you? Hit the jump for just a few characters that I think would be all over the place at the mere sight of the bottom of a glass.

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