Being born into the era when the Nintendo Entertainment System was growing in popularity, I had no choice growing up but to be a hardcore gamer. Why? There were no easy games. Hell, there were rarely even save points or passwords. If you wanted to beat a game (think Mega Man series or Mike Tyson’s Punchout) you HAD to become, essentially, perfect at these games. There was NO room for error. You either were perfect, or you didn’t beat the game. Though it drove me insane and caused me to smash many a controller, I WAS a hardcore gamer. The reason I was a hardcore gamer was because I had no other choice. There were no alternatives. All the best games were hard as f*ck to beat. But then something happened as the console age evolved. We slowly got the option to become casual gamers. Gone were the rage quits and broken controllers. Now WE were in control of how much of a game we saw, and we didn’t need to scream and punch walls to get there. It was nice for a moment. Then the Dark Souls series came out and pushed us all into two schools, no questions asked. You were either a hardcore gamer, or a casual gamer. Allow me a moment to explain both, as I have been both.
I miss Commander Keen. Early PC platforming at its best, this 1991 Id Software game was about an 8-year-old boy who fought evil aliens. If he was starring in games today, he might look something like this. [Read more…]
Anytime a game is ported from PC to console or vice versa, it’s always an exercise in showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. This week’s release of The Sims 3 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii — the first ever Sims game to receive a full-fledged port from PC to all three consoles — is no exception. (A Nintendo DS version is also being released, but it’s practically a different game altogether.) Maxis and EA Games have long tried to bring its juggernaut franchise to consoles, but always wound up altering the gameplay to suit what they perceived as console players’ need for focused tasks. These past console entries have lacked the “sandbox” quality of the PC versions, never allowing console players to truly revel in doing whatever they wanted.
The Sims 3 for consoles aims to be the the first entry to change that. While the developers have added a “karma” system to this port, which contains various goals and objectives, the console Sims 3 still retains that “sandbox” quality, letting you micromanage and toy with your Sims for hours on end, to your heart’s content. Early reviews for the game are favorable, enjoying the ability to use the god-like qualities of the PC game on one’s favorite console, and even appreciating the new karma system and the inventive ways it lets you mess with your sims — for better and worse. There appear to be some lag issues with load times and movement between screens, but any effect this will have an effect on sales seems minimal. The numerous expansion packs that PC players enjoy are missing in the console version, but it’s not hard to imagine some forthcoming DLC that contains the same content.
Have console players’ dreams finally come true? Is one of the bestselling PC games of all time at last fully playable via Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo? Let us know what you think if you get to play the game for yourself!
Though it’s not really that difficult to get your PC to display on a big TV, it’s possibly beyond casual users. Add to this the fact that you could still be shackled to keyboard and mouse and you have a bit of a problem if you want the freedom to play games like your mates with consoles.
Enter IGUGU’s Gamecore, a wireless controller featuring a trackball, direction pad, joystick, programmable action buttons, a full QWERTY keyboard and six accelerometers that accurately detect your movements.
Not only does this open up a wealth of game-controlling possibilities, but because the system is PC based it can run 99% of all PC games and all Internet-based ones. That’s something your console-owning friends can’t boast.
It can all link up to your TV either via VGA or HDMI input. You just need a receiver near to your TV and you’re free to go wireless.
OK, so wireless controllers aren’t exactly new in the console arena, but if you’re approaching a serious PC gamer, this could be what your setup needs.
What’s more, it’s expected to retail for just $79, which doesn’t sound at all bad to me. You don’t need any new games, either, though once you start playing you may well want to get some more.
Iomega has announced the launch of its new v.Clone software which allows you to clone your PC’s contents onto a hard drive and then use it as a virtual machine on any other PC.
Backing up, travelling with important files on a USB stick or accessing your home PC via the Internet are all possibilities but Iomega’s solution means that you have an exact replica of your primary PC’s contents and can access it from any Windows-based PC with a USB port.
The best features are that no data trail is left on the host PC once you’ve finished using it, it’s password secured and data encrypted, and it seamlessly synchronises with your PC so it’s always up-to-date. It can even be used immediately if there’s an emergency and your real PC dies.
The software will begin shipping on Iomega USB 2.0 hard drives this spring, pricing to be confirmed.
Take a look at this beast. Pretty beautiful isn’t it? (I have to assume that you enjoy gear pr0n, of course)
Not only that, but it has a heck of a lot of power under the hood, utilising Intel’s new Core i7 processors and either an Intel Kingsberg P55 Extreme or EVGA X58 SLI Classified motherboard.
Cram it full of storage (up to six hard drives or 12 SSDs), your choice of graphics and sound cards, and up to 12GB of RAM and you’re set for a powerful computing experience.
This is how twins are made.
The first pair were obviously conceived by Mac fans.
Without a doubt, Blizzard’s upcoming sequel Starcraft II is one of the most anticipated games in recent memory. The first Starcraft created such hardcore fan appreciation that up to this day — 11 years after it was released — thousands of people still play the game. That is unprecendented and anyone would be hardpressed to think of any game that gains this level of longevity.
One of the reasons for the fans’ continued support for Starcraft, aside from the deep, strategic gameplay is the fact that you can play it with your friends and mount frenetic multiplayer battles during LAN parties. Nothing beats having a heated game in a room with all the trash talking going on between two competitors.
But if Blizzard’s plan for Starcraft II does push through we won’t see those cool Starcraft LAN parties anymore. Blizzard confirmed what many are speculating about Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. The game will be launched for the PC at about the same time the newly revamped Battle.net online network service, which is at the last part of 2009. Unfortunately, the game will be releaed without any LAN multiplayer option.
Blizzard said that the decision to remove this popular option is a type piracy prevention mechanism and also a way to maintain quality assurance. Blizzard wants to direct players to Battle.net as the best, and now the only, option for multiplayer gaming for Starcraft II.
I’m not too sold on the whole anti-piracy thing idea. Why would long-time fans of the game suffer for what pirates are doing? By removing the LAN multiplayer option, Blizzard is effectively alienating a large majority of Starcraft fans who plan on playing the game through their local networks. LAN multiplayer will obviously not need an internet connection — why would Blizzard expect players to connect to the internet to play with people who are all in the same room? And what about the lag, which is obviously not going to be a problem with LAN multiplayer? I think Blizzard is making a big mistake with this move.
Great, so what does that mean practically? This lightweight 10.1-inch machine has a frameless, scratch-proof LED screen and pebble design keyboard. Not only that, but the case is durable and strong – pretty much a necessity when on the move – and Samsung has even been thoughtful enough to coat the keyboard with an anti-bacterial finish so that all the crud that drops into it during its lifetime won’t breed and then pass on some rare fungal infection or airborne virus to you. Good news.