Sunday, 22 July 2012

Financially Friendly PC Gaming

Financially Friendly PC Gaming

PC Gaming is generally regarded as one of the most expensive video-game based hobbies you can have, at least compared to a console because of the fact that the current consoles are generally far cheaper at this point in time and guaranteed to work. However, PC gaming doesn't have to be the expensive venture it's made out to be. Here's a guide to cost effective PC gaming.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Spec Ops: The PC Port

Spec Ops: The PC Port

Spec Ops: The Line is an upcoming third-person shooter published by 2K Games, and just a while ago they released the demo for the PC - a fair while after the console version.

It is unfair to assume that the demo will represent the quality of the final game on release, but here's what I saw running through the demo - in terms of the port to PC only.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A Selection of Creepypasta (by me!)

The horror.
A Selection of Creepypasta (by me)

Creepypasta is an idea widely circulated on the internet, usually where creepy short stories are spread around the internet by word of mouth. This has gained them the name 'Creepypasta', where the 'pasta' has signified the idea of pasting the story elsewhere.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Paid DLC - and how it's damaging public relations

 It's amazing how quickly the gaming industry changes over the years, it has now been thirteen years since Quake 3 released, one of the first games to require a '3D Graphics Accelerator', and about as long since video games have been played competitively online. The advancement in these trends, however, is nothing that I'm against – in fact I'm glad.

What I am against in the recent gaming trends is the advancement of so-called 'DLC' which is, essentially, just another way of scrubbing the money from the people who have already paid copious amounts of money for your game, and it's damaging the public relations of the company. DLC may be good for business temporarily, but when people realise that the developers/publishers are essentially selling a game that is intrinsically unfinished, and you need to buy the remainder of the content, the players are going to want to play the game that they have already paid for in full – but they're going to be more careful when buying games from the company in the future.

DLC is slowly creeping up in price too – I could forgive the DLC if it were like Croteam's 'Legend of the Beast' DLC for 'Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter', which comes with three new versus maps, a new survival map and three additional missions for the cooperative campaign – all for £3.99 ($6), but they're not. They're all from publishers who leave out the additional content, then release it steadily, in packs of five for £15 ($25), which is more than half of what I paid for the game (that's right Call of Duty, I'm looking at you).

It says a lot when the additional content costs more than the game itself.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Developers, if you're going to port a game - port it right.

'Binary Domain' quietly appeared on Steam recently.
Earlier today I was heartily surprised. The game 'Binary Domain' had appeared in demo form on Steam - a game published by "SEGA" and developed by "Devil's Details", and it's been a good while since I last knew of a triple-A game releasing a demo. After reading a brief description and watching approximately 50% of the trailer on the Steam page, I decided that it could be worth my bandwidth - at least to give it a try.

I was wrong.

Monday, 9 April 2012

How PC Gaming is cheaper than Console Gaming

 How PC Gaming is cheaper than Console Gaming
(no, really - keep reading)

The amount of times I've been on a variety of social networking sites where people claim that "PC gaming is for rich kids" and that "console gaming is for normal people" is racking up. Not only is it absurd to base the amount of money one has by the gaming device they use, it is also a statement that makes no sense - one that has no backing whatsoever, other than of course the misconception that purchasing a PC means you'll be dropping several hundred pounds every other month on hardware.

In fact, when you look at it, playing your video games on a computer is actually a fair bit cheaper than playing your video games on a console - especially if you need a 'home' computer alongside the gaming console.

Allow me to explain: the 'gaming' computers that you see advertised around on the internet are notoriously overpriced - brands like Alienware and Cyberpower are generally pretty extortionate with their higher end computers, which may or may not come as a surprise. However, if you build your computer, you're going to get a much better deal - and it's not all that frightening building a computer, just like playing with (admittedly expensive) Lego - and if you follow the instruction manuals included and don't just jam the things where and how you think they fit you're almost certainly going to be fine - but even if you aren't, there are many people on the internet ready to help you.

The computer components below cost £316.83 (click to enlarge):

A list of components for a computer, parts purchased from eBuyer - prices correct at time of writing

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Troubleshooting your newly built PC

Building your first computer and having it work is one of the most fulfilling feelings that you can get. Unfortunately, the computer may not always work first time. This is not an uncommon occurrence, and you shouldn't feel disheartened if your new computer doesn't work first time. Instead, you should try to work out the problem with the tips below.

A typical computer internal, image thanks to

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Governments' Need to Leave the Gaming Industry Alone

"Warning: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior"

This is the phrase that congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf wanted to see on the vast majority of video games with the bill that they attempted to pass. The bill in question is named 'The Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, H.R. 4204' - at least they're honest and outright with the name, I guess.

Part way into reading the article, I realised that the branding would be on all interactive video game media on the market - and the only titles exempt from this classification are those that have been rated EC (or Early Childhood) by the US Video Game rating board, the ESRB. This means that so many games, that while are not for younger children due to their level of complexity or themes, will be branded with a message relating to the link between violent content and aggressive behavior - regardless of whether or not the game actually has any violent content in the first place.

Now - you'd tell me that's absurd, right? I'd tell you the same. However, the fact that they're even considering creating a bill that affects the video game industry in a fashion such as this is odd, especially since studies that link aggressive behavior to violent video games actually don't have much grounding (come on now, 329 people is not exactly a wide study).

'Cooking Mama' would have to bear a warning about violence and aggression, because it rated 'E'.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Traditional Console is Doomed - the PC is the Future

Steam is, as you surely know, the platform of the moment for PC gaming fans around the world - allowing users to form communities, play online and purchase games for their accounts, all in a free and complete environment.

Steam saw an 'active user' increase of 178% in 2010, pushing the Steam user counter to thirty million active accounts. It was not the first time that Steam had noted such a significant growth in user-base - and this year was the sixth year running when the Steam product sales were more than 100% higher than the previous years. A staggering growth for Steam, and it reveals just how much profit is being made, especially since Gabe Newell became gaming's newest billionaire, with a net worth of $1.5bn earlier in the year.

Steam already has thirty million users, and internet connections are getting up to speed in most places now. Downloading the tremendously large game files may actually be quicker then going to a store and physically purchasing the game in the coming months, at least for some countries. The usage of digital distribution could be seen to be relatively proportional to the increasing speeds of broadband around the world.

Steam is a digital distribution site for all aspects of PC Gaming, and it's growing at a massive rate.