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You might be a storyline writer for an RPG in which a rogue mage is trying to bring about the end of the world, or maybe you are trying to think of a final boss for your secret agent FPS, what you need my friend is a doomsday device. I can help you to create an in-game device so fiendish that you might be afraid that someone will try to actually use it to bring about armageddon, by providing a list, handily combining all the best ideas from other games, and from other forms of media, into one doomsday-y cake (yes doomsday-y is a word, it’s means like doomsday) Read more… »

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Gaming To Die For
By: | March 30th, 2009

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After finally getting around to completing Prince of Persia this weekend, it led me to ponder on player death in video games. For those of you who have played, or read about the game, you will know that in Prince of Persia the player is unable to die. Mis-timing jumps will result in your AI partner diving in to rescue you and mis-played combat will see her doing the same, allowing your enemy time to heal as she does so. So how important is this whole death thing, and is it an essential component of gaming? Read more… »

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Samus Aran: Hot Babe, Bounty Hunter, and a whole bunch of other things. Samus is the main protagonist of the Metroid series, which follows her adventures and missions to thwart the Space Pirates, and their attempts to harness the power of fictional organisms such as the aforementioned Metroids. Not only that, but she’s well known as one of the first female main characters in a video game.

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Every now and again I like to think that, on the whole, mankind hasn’t done too badly for itself. We may not be plumbing the depths of deep space just yet, but the amount of our own we’ve killed in the name of some unseen deity or profitability is a record we can be doubly proud of. Doubly, because any creature wishing to challenge us for the record must first climb its way up to the top of the food chain – and last time I looked, there was no space beside me for an ocelot. And secondly; that number just keeps on getting higher, yet there’s somehow an overpopulation problem. 1-0 MonkeyMan. Read more… »

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Power Trip#3: Guitar Hero
By: | March 26th, 2009

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For this week’s Power Trip, I explore Guitar Hero in spirit of Guitar Hero: Metallica‘s release this week.  The first installment in the Guitar Hero series introduced the most powerful mind controlling technique in gaming since Psycho Mantis.  The power up this week is so powerful that it can malevolently manipulate the internal workings of one’s mind, turning dissonance into sweet harmony, red to green, and condemnation into euphoric idolization. Read more… »

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Over the last few years, games have started to develop a few nasty traits. Like in any person, traits are generally part of the evolution of character, game elements that develop when developers try to find new ways to innovate, or in some cases, even take shortcuts. In some cases, these aspects of design can become innovation stalwarts, providing standards for the industry. But over time, they can become stale, or crutches to disguise bad design. But sometimes, they shouldn’t have existed at all.

These traits can arise for all sorts of different reasons, from laziness, to create mass appeal, and even, more recently, one of greed or exploitation. Sadly, the more games that start to use these elements, the “cheaper” the titles become. In this article, I’ll cover a few of my top pet hates, and establish why I think that games should remove them, and what I think that developers find some appealing about including them.

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The games industry is becoming quite a monster. Just last week we reported how Resident Evil 5 had pretty much outsold everything apart from Mother’s Day cards in the UK. Remarkably, this came as no real surprise to anybody that has been following the growth of the sector over the past year or two, which says a hell of a lot for the confidence that is flowing through the industry in 2009.

The film industry, in particular, appears to be suffering as a direct result. Music has been in trouble for a long time – blame stubborn major record labels for that – but film has managed to ride a technological storm that is now slowly (but surely) transforming the business into a so-called “dinosaur”. Games are closing the gap – both financially and contextually – becoming, in many people’s eyes, the natural successor to Hollywood. After all, who would argue that Grand Theft Auto IV, for example, doesn’t offer a more worthwhile narrative and dramatic experience than most of today’s movies? Read more… »

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Does Gaming Need Sequels?
By: | March 25th, 2009

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Does gaming need sequels? There are quite a few reasons for “no”, but my main one would be that sequels take the originality out of gaming: eventually leaving it dry. Franchises like Halo, Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon: these eliminate the creative gaming rainbow and replace it with just a single colour; that colour is beige. It’s tough to like beige.

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“Its morphin’ time!”

14 years ago those words used to send shivers down my spine, listening to them yesterday just made me queasy. Nowadays the Power Rangers suck more than a Dyson vacuum cleaner, but back then, if you liked the Power Rangers you were the coolest kid on the block. Oh yeah, I knew all the Power Rangers. Jason, Zach, Kimberly, Trini… and that Blue one. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was released on a load of systems, the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, Sega CD, and Game Boy all saw a version of this game, but the SNES version topped ‘em all. Read more… »

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The future of gaming. With the current gen consoles well into their life span we can’t help but think ‘What’s Next?’ downloadable games are currently selling like hot cakes, Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, PSN store, Wiiware and virtual console games have provided a new way for us to access games without even getting off the couch (and that’s ok in my books). What if I told you that all your games could be accessed online, without downloading them, Not having any bulky accident prone consoles in your lounge and the ability to play with PC, Mac and console gamers? You would probably call me Andrew Ryan and tell me to get off your internets but Steve Perlman’s OnLive concept just might be enough to sway a few. Read more… »

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DSi Hands On
By: | March 24th, 2009

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We here at Gamer Limit managed to get our hands on the Nintendo DSi. With all of the swirling comments on whether or not this would be worth the upgrade, which let’s be honest, happens every time Nintendo decides to release a new handheld regardless of what it is, we would like to throw our own two cents in.

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Product endorsements are nothing new to the commercial industry.  In fact, they’ve been around probably for as long as any of us can remember.  The fact that Hally Berry is endorsing or “selling” a stick of lipstick or that Beyonce is gushing over the amazing sheen of her hair via a new shampoo product is simply a by the numbers routine that is part of American society and broadcasting.  So why then, does it make me uncomfortable to watch celebrities such as Liv Tyler sit here and play a video game, but not just any video game but the Legend of Zelda? Read more… »