Friday, June 24, 2005

Games of the past

My childhood was pretty boring. I lived in the country for the most part, and my gaming extent was confined to a 150 Gigahertz, 16 Mb of RAM, Compaq Presario, which if you know anything about computers, you hold the Compaq in the same light as Hewlitt Packard computers. Cheap, and pretty much…terrible. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t pass the time while playing some overall great games. You’ll recognize a few games on this list, but some you won’t. Or probably wont that is.

Age of Empires
Yeah, the first one. Screw the 2nd one. The first one really opened me up into the world of pc gaming, and besides another game that blew me away at the time, which was Chrono Trigger by the way, was the definitive game to have back then. With its beautiful graphics, and nearly infinite replay value, this game could hold your attention for a long time coming. This only was helped by some smooth online play, which allowed even me on my 33.6kbs dial-up modem to play relatively well. Plus you can get it and its expansion, Rise of Rome, for only ten bucks now. You can’t beat that.

Crime Fighter
Time to dig way back here. What could very easily be the predecessor to today’s Grand Theft Auto series, this game does exactly the opposite of what it says you should be doing. Instead of playing as a crime fighter, you begin as a weak little nobody in the crime world and must move up by completing tasks like kidnapping kids and selling them for cheap labor, blackmailing the mayor with nudie photos, and causing large train wrecks for money. But what makes this game awesome is the absurdity of it all. You may attempt to break into a house, only to find that Rambo owns it. You may try and kidnap a kid, but upon nabbing the kid, all the grandma’s in the park pull machine guns out of their purses to attempt to stop you. And you thought Grand Theft Auto was bad. This is a really old DOS game, but does fine on Windows.

Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
The first Dark Forces game was good, but this improved on the idea so much, it easily gets the nod. The first game to give you Jedi powers and the first game that allowed you to run around and slash people up with a lightsaber. It also allowed you to choose, depending on whom you killed and what force powers you use during the game, between the light and dark side of the force, each with a separate ending. Truly awesome game. What’s really strange about this is that there is still a small mod community around this game at

Bad Mojo
I had to include this. You play as a cockroach. Sounds exciting already huh? Back in the day though, this game had some serious graphical muscle, and look surprisingly good with its photorealistic graphics. But, oh right, the story. You are a mad scientist who transformed himself into a cockroach. You must survive the everyday perils of a cockroach, dodging a hot oven, scalding hot chili, and of course, insect traps. What’s also cool is they recently re-released the game with the name Bad Mojo: Redux, which is pretty much the same game, but it’s only for twenty bucks. You owe it to yourself to give this game a look.

Grand Theft Auto
I had to put this on here, because a lot of people hadn’t even heard of the series until the third iteration came out. The original was a top-down version of essentially the games you play today, except playing top-down is a bit harder than it is in 3D. Recently Rockstar released this as a classic free game. So, especially since it’s free, you should definitely check this game out.

Duke Nukem
Before the series went 3D, and now has gone AWOL, the first two Duke games were classic side scrollers, and surprisingly good games. It didn’t have the gratuitous violence, and the women like 3D did, but it did have a solid action component that was surprisingly more fun than it probably should’ve been. The 2nd iteration was by far more sophisticated and more fun than the first one, so check that one out first.

Lemonade Stand
Do NOT hate on this game. Everyone of you know that one time or another, you were attempting to set the prices right at your stand, so you could get maximum money without losing customers. While this game has turned into a cheap, quick, online flash game, it used to be an original DOS game, with super simplistic graphics, and mostly just text. But as boring as it sounds, it was highly addicting, and I’m sure it all made your mommies proud that you were learning supply and demand at such an early age.

The first game in the series redefined the First Person Shooter, and brought the genre into a new age with its graphics, and the real quick reactionary abilities needed. It also had superb level design, and good lighting for a game of its time. It’s also had the netcode necessary to hold impressive multiplayer battles, which is the primary reason this game became such a huge hit.

X-wing Alliance
I’m a big space sim junkie, joystick and all, and the last really excellent title in that series to come out is X-wing Alliance. A deep, deep story mode, with extra goods depending on how well you do in some of the missions, and some very unforgettable online play made for one hell of a space sim game. And again, for its time, the graphics were great.

Alright, I think I’ve compiled a pretty good list of PC games that you might have missed from back in the day. I’ve also included some links here at the bottom to point you in the right direction of where you can find demos or full versions of these games on the Internet today.

Age of Empires –
Crime Fighter –
Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight –
Bad Mojo –
Grand Theft Auto –
Duke Nukem –
Lemonade Stand –
Quake –
X-Wing Alliance -
The Gipper
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 12:31 PM | link | 1 comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Console war not only a war for video games

One thing that the next gen consoles will surely bring is excitement which is something that everybody should have considering it is truly a technological revolution. The next gen consoles include the Xbox 360, Playstation3 as well as the Nintendo Revolution. One thing that all of these gaming consoles have in common is they are also computers. They may not run Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux (the Playstation 3 is supposed to come with a distro of Linux) out of the box but they all have the potential to do so (the Revolutions specs aren’t yet know but they are rumored to be very similar to the other’s consoles).

Why would anybody want to spend well over $500 for a PC with the same specs as that of a $300 Xbox 360? This just goes to prove to the consumer that computers can and will be built cheaper in the future. Such a decrease in the price of computers could lead to a computer being in ever house much like its predecessor the telephone. One thing that Microsoft loves to do is crush the competition. How could Microsoft crush the competition in the console world as well as making a further advance in the PC world? By allowing the Xbox 360 users to have some form of Windows on their machine. With the now upcoming release of Windows Longhorn many have begun to wonder how Windows Longhorn and the Xbox 360 will tie together. There is obviously more pressure for Microsoft to infatuate Windows into the Xbox some how as Sony is planning on releasing a distro of Linux with the Playstation 3 hard drive. The last thing Microsoft wants is to lose the console war as well as allow Linux to make any sort of gain on Microsoft. Millions of Playstation 3’s will be sold which means that there is a potential that millions of more people will be introduced to Linux. Believe it or not, the console war could also be a war not only for video games but also for the next leading OS.

If there is one thing that people like it is all in one devices. The problem with all in once devices such as media center PC’s is they are very expensive. The Xbox 360 is going to come with a media center extender much like the media center hacks for the original Xbox. This allows for the user to be able to listen to their music, watch their DVD’s, and view their pictures all on the same box. Add that to the fact that the Xbox360 is only $300 as compared to an expensive media center pc and you already have a deal.

Microsoft as well as many other companies learned a valuable lesson due to the hacking of the Xbox. This lesson is that people will eat the forbidden fruit. They will find ways around things in order to get what they want. I believe that it is time for Microsoft as well as other companies to listen to the people. Permit us to eat the forbidden fruit, make a profit your self and give the consumer what they want. The console war could be the start of something great or a complete failure for Microsoft. The choice is theirs, they can listen to what the consumer wants or they can watch as we get what we want anyway.
digg this story
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 12:43 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Why, oh why...Nintendo will never die...


That name stirs up a lot of emotion for pretty much every gamer. And rightfully so. Hiroshi Yamauchi and the rest of Nintendo Co. Ltd. did an outstanding job of bringing console gaming to the level it's at today. Unfortunately, we all know how Nintendo missed the boat with the Nintendo GameCube. But will Nintendo bounce back from their GameCube woes? Possibly. This year's E3 will have a lot to say about that. Revolution had better have on-line multi-player and DVD, or once again, it will be playing third fiddle to the PS3 and Xbox:360.

But enough with the rumors. It's time to look back at yester-year. Back when gamers would go to the arcades to meet up with friends, or head over to Timmy's house for an all night session of Super Mario Brothers. And, most importantly, a look at why, oh why, Nintendo will weather the storm of the console wars, no matter what the others throw at it.

Let's start off with something near and dear to my heart. Music. Everyone likes it in some form or fashion. We carry it around with us. We listen to it at work. We take it in the car. We listen to it to help us sleep. We use it for all sorts of things. And we reward people for it, or at least we're trying to.

But what about all those great songs that backed Nintendo games? Well, have no fear those great doots and hoots are no further than Google. I searched "Nintendo Music" and returned 4,690,000 hits! One of the hits, Nintendo Midi Music, has a great selection of music. From Zelda to Kid Icarus, Super Mario Bros. 3 to MegaMan, you can find just about every game on this site. I love it. I think I'll put on my Nintendo-themed desktop now.

Another hit, and truly a bit more impressive, is the Blindfolded Nintendo Piano Player. WOW, does not describe it. I sat through the entire 10 minutes awestruck, which is not easy to do. Even my boss at work recognized the songs. She had me e-mail her a link so she could pass it on to her son!

While we're on the subject of musical interpretations, let's not forget the choirs. Being a 5-year veteran of South Alabama show choirs, I know how much work and time usually goes into just 2 or 3 performances at the end of the year. And these guys and gals did it a capella!!! *Stands and claps* Outstanding job to all of you (especially the guy brave enough to yell out 'MORTAL KOMBAT')!!

But enough with the music! What will Nintendo bring to the table in the future? Well, at this year's E3, Nintendo really seemed to announce a bunch of nothing! Now don't go calling for my head just yet. Yes, I watched their news conference via the web. But to be perfectly honest, I'm not impressed! Let's take a look at some of what Nintendo actually did at E3.

Nintendo Micro
Where did this come from? Yes, I love the stylish look of it, the small size, and the back lit screen. But really, do we need ANOTHER Gameboy? Unless it's going to support mp3, it's just another play for Nintendo to try and suck the last little bit of cash out of a tired game system. Please, but the boy to rest and join up with the rest of the gaming industry.

Nintendo DS

Finally!!! Nintendo does something with an on-line multiplayer. With the ability to connect to pretty much ANY wifi hotspot, it seems that the DS may be the system to watch for Nintendo this year. And with games now starting to take advantage of the touch screen feature (Animal Crossing DS), DS might be able to compete with the Sony PSP (YEA RIGHT!).

Nintendo Revolution
Well, There's not much to talk about. All Nintendo decided to bring to E3 was the shell of the Revolution. While promising backwards compatibility and a service that will allow you to play ALL of Nintendo's games, even those from the good old days of NES, Nintendo decided not to "reveal it's hand just yet". Not even a glance at a controller. No one knows what to think of this move by Nintendo. But everyone IS placing them squarely behind Xbox 360 and PS3 in the next-gen console wars.

Any way you look at it, Nintendo is here to stay. The question everyone should be asking themselves now is, 'Will Nintendo continue to disappoint, or will it begin a new Revolution in the gaming industry? Nintendo was last place in the last console battle, will it be last again, or will it blow everyone away? We shall see, we shall see...
-UAB Tech Guy
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 4:14 PM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Next-Gen games look awesome!

Here are some screen shots of some games that are supposed to come out for the new Playstation 3 as well as the Xbox 360. The authenticity of these pics has not yet been confirmed however it gives us any idea of what the nex-gen games may look like.

This is a game that is supposed to come out for the PS3 called "2 Days To Vegas":


This is supposed to be what Madden will look like on the Xbox 360:

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 4:09 PM | link | 0 comments

Xbox 360 (Xbox 2)

Pictures of the Xbox 360 (Xbox 2) have been leaked on the internet. There have been similar "leaks" before of the new Xbox however it seems like this one may have some more truth to it. You be the judge! Here are some pics:

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 4:09 PM | link | 0 comments

Sony's lock on the PSP

Picture made by: ecstasy90 from the G4tv forum

The Sony PSP truly puts a new meaning to the term "all in one". The PSP acts not only as a portable gaming system but also as a portable media center. For $250.00 you can play your games, watch movies, listen to music, view your pictures and even get online! What’s the catch? Sony only allows you to play your media on a limited media format. All images or video must be a MPEG-4 format and all music must be a ATRAC3 plus or MP3 format. Most of us can deal with the MP3 format; it's the MPEG-4 format that I see problems with. I found this very disappointing until I found some helpful software that allows you to convert your video formats to MPEG-4. It's called PSP Video 9 and the best part about it is it's free! PSP Video 9 allows you to convert your PC video files to MPEg-4. The software also allows you to manage/copy your PSP video files from pc-PSP. With the upcoming release of bigger memory stick sizes this software opens up many new windows to the PSP. PSP Video 9 is great user friendly software that I think that every PSP owner should have. Go out and buy a bigger memory stick and then get this software, this is a must have!
PSP Video 9-Click here to download
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 4:07 PM | link | 0 comments