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Wherever there is change, there is fear. In everyday life, we all fear change; the price of bread going up or a slight altering of a bus route lead us to a transition period in which we aren’t especially keen to adjust. Popular culture is full of this “change”, and video games are the latest in a long line of mediums that have developed in ways that have left those used to the past consumed with a sense of anger and worry, leading to a certain degree of backlash. But, right or wrong, the collection of extreme knee-jerk reactions that our beloved hobby has garnered are by no means the first of their kind.

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The interactive media industry is one of ever-constant innovation and advancement. Each new title carries with it the obligation to provide a hook – some unique bullet point on a features list that sets the game apart from the veritable swarm of competition. What results is a digital arms race – better graphics, better multiplayer, better AI, better everything. With that, comes the expectation of the audience that a particular title is the next big thing – even if it’s not.

We gamers are an excitable bunch. When a title catches our collective eye, we often set aside rationality in favor of anticipation. We shovel each trailer, screenshot, and press release into the Hype Train’s boiler, further accelerating our expectations. Eventually the train reaches such a velocity that the game itself can no longer keep up, resulting in a phenomenon known as Overhype. Read more… »

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Retro Reunion: Earthworm Jim
By: | April 8th, 2009

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The temptation to type out the entire theme song to Earthworm Jim is overwhelming, but seeing as it has little to do with the actual game I think I’ll leave it out. Everyone remembers Jim, the worm with the super suit, super gun, and super vocabulary. The Earthworm Jim videogame was developed by Shiny Entertainment way back in 1995. The game was originally developed for the SEGA Megadrive/Genesis but was subsequently ported to a huge number of systems. The game appeared on the SNES, Game Boy, Game Gear, Sega Master System, and years later, the Game Boy Advance; its also now available on the Wii’s Virtual Console.

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stormfail

Stormrise’s failure is like sweet, sweet nectar to me. In truth, I thrive on the failure of games that were doomed to fail right from the beginning, and in a sane reality, you could put safe money on any console-based RTS being balls. But this isn’t reality. This is the jumbled anti-world the video-game industry stumbled into on its way to gaming nirvana, where up is down, left is right, and X is Y… as well as B, triangle, and “shake”.

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It’s Not You, It’s Me
By: | April 6th, 2009

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Late one night a few months ago, my friend Brett and I – the idea to follow below was at least as much his as mine – got to talking, and before long our conversation, as is so often its wont, had swung to the topic of games.  As is true for most gamers, I suspect, both previous exploits and titles, bosses, or levels possessed of especial difficulty are a favorite subject of discussion; such tales as my first encounter with Xenogears‘ last boss, or Brett’s conquest.

I can think of no more apt a term for just how thoroughly he cowed Raccoon City’s undead citizenry – of Resident Evil 3 still appear with a high degree of regularity in our exchanges, even years after the fact.  (I may never have demonstrated any talent in the more traditionally masculine domain of ‘foosball’, but, by God, Deus knew who wore the pants in the relationship by the time my Gears were finished with him.) Read more… »

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip and Dale! If you remember that theme song, odds are you have already played this gem of a game. Created by Capcom, those responsible for Duck Tales NES and Mega Man, platforming was at an all time high, and for good reason. After all, how many platforming games can boast a two player simultaneous cooperative mode, much less in 1990?

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Welcome to the Gamer Limit Money Shot, where the fine folks here at Gamer Limit bring you the best gaming deals of the week. Stop by here every Sunday for the chance to get the most for your gaming dollar each and every week. Read more… »

finances

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might have noticed that there’s a bit of a financial crisis going on. Companies, especially in the financial sector, are falling over, laying off staff, selling off smaller subsidiary companies. Many industries are starting to fall suit. But as we watch the dominoes fall, its reasonably rare to see any corporations in the gaming industry make headlines. Is gaming, as a few market analysts and economists have stated, recession proof?

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crysis

Killzone 2, Crysis, Empire Total War, Gran Turismo 4 prologue. What all of these games have in common is spectacular graphics, created through years of hard work by programmers and artists working in sync. Things like real time lighting, bloom effects, and texture mapping all make a game look more impressive, but how far can graphics go and how much do they really mean in a game?

I thought of these questions because I have recently been playing games on my laptop that my previous computer from about five years ago was unable to run, this includes Half Life 2 and Rome Total War. I never buy a top of the range computer, I simply can’t bring myself to buy something so expensive that depreciates in value so quickly, my laptop has a graphics card that I consider mid range, and it’s the first dedicated card I’ve ever had.

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Forget Fire Emblem and Advance Wars, Shining Force is where it’s at. Shining Force II, one of the first strategy RPGs, was released in 1994 by SEGA. Mind you this was before SEGA went down the crapper. Way before. Shining Force was a good game, hell it was a great game, but somehow Shining Force II took all that, and doubled it. It’s superior in almost every way, thus the reason it’s one of my all time favourite games.

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nazi

If you’re old enough, you may remember the first truly addictive first person shooter developed and published by then fledgling gaming company id Software. This shooter became a staple for the genre, blazing a trail for other landmark titles. Simply known as Wolfenstein 3D, the game blended graphic violence with fantastical story, pitting the protagonist against an entire castle full of Nazis, with only a knife and pistol at your disposal as you break free of your jail cell. With groundbreaking gameplay and plot, the inevitable controversy came to light very soon after the games release.

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For every game you play, you know there are at least a dozen you have missed. Even the most hardcore gamer will let a couple slide, as the tighter you close that fist the more will slip through your fingers, and my time is generally spent eating, sleeping, bathing and writing. Although, you’d be surprised how often I skip about three of those. Recently I ventured into unknown territory; into the bargain bin.

My aim was simple, and my aim was pure; it was to capture the moments of gaming that had slipped me by. For every Kratos I have seen ascend, whose trials and tribulations have I missed? For every Squall I have seen victorious, whose misery have I neglected. For every demon I have seen fall…I guess you’ve gotten the idea by now.

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