I sit here not having written any kind of article for 2 years, non the less I'm giving it a one off shot. This will be a fairly simple post and is a way of showing why gaming is important to me and what impact it's had on my life.
I was born in 1988, one of the first few games I remember playing was new Zealand Story, for the Amiga. Considering it was released worldwide between 1990-1991 I was still considerably young and yet this game captured my imagination, it wasn't exactly hard to grasp the controls either. The overly happy music was always ringing in my head and the levels are always seemed challenging and rewarding, the excitement of not knowing what the next level would be like or what obstacles I would face kept me entertained to no end. So my dive in to games had begun and I was now hooked.
Any game I could get my hands on I did Battle Chess, Apprentice, GODS, Zany Golf. James Pond you name it the chances are I played it and loved all of them, for some of the games I was probably to young to understand what I was doing however sounds, graphics and constant ability to control something out of this world was always fun.
Newer and better technologies came out, my brother got the SNES console and I would spend hours watching him play the likes of Mario, Mario Paint, Zool, Sim City 2000 and more, while I would get a chance to play on occasion it was mainly hist console so my time was limited. While I did have friends at school I was a very quiet individual and would love to return home and get my head stuck in to video games.
Were my parents bad for letting play so much? Well I have no idea, I never got in to a lot of trouble growing up I would mostly hang around with kids who also enjoyed playing video games, it was somewhat of a relief to find kids my age who enjoyed the same kind of activity.
As the years went on gaming systems expanded and the first personal computer in our house hold was purchased, a window 1995 PC. It easy to say I used it the most out of our family, mainly again using to plays game such as PETZ, Hover and others. What I'm still surprise at though is how I missed some block buster releases games such as System Shock, Deus Ex and even Diablo 1 and II went past without me realising how good these games were meant to be, even now I am yet to play through any systems shocks or previous Diablo games, though I'm sure I'll get round to it eventually.
The older I got and the more games systems started becoming more mainstream the easier it was to find people who enjoyed such a hobby and my days at college probably proved this the most. Late nights on battlefield 2, Quake 3, CS 1.6 and CS:S were some of the best moments I've had with fond memories still stuck in my head.
The problem now is that the excitement I got hearing new announcements for games or actually playing games isn't the same as it used to be. Over the years I've played games on and off I haven't completed a game in months and I've yet yo play a game for over a couple of hours, is this what it's like to grow older?. Gaming is important to me and by writing this I'm hoping to re-ignite the love I have with such a wonderful form of entertainment but now the constant rehashes of FPS games or the sequel of a sequel of a sequel makes things less exciting, maybe I'll have to go back to one those old classics I never played and show myself again what it is to be a gamer.
So for those you who have paid attention to my blog thus far, there is a key element about my laptop and how shit it is. I'm glad to report that this is no longer the case!
About 3 weeks after I made my introduction and first couple of blogs and I've actually been able to acquire my new computer, it's not the most intense one but it's a fine start:
I5 Cpu 2.66GHz
4GB 1333Mhz DDR3 RAM
GTX 260 OC 869MB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
And all I have to say is wow, no longer do I have to feel my my hand burning against my old laptop (it actually got that hot). As you can imagine one of the first games I've tried to run is Just Cause 2, and my god was I pleased. Yes it can also run Crysis.
Some games I plan on getting installed next include, Tropico 3, Dragon Age and the new Battlefield game. I look forward to these next couple of weeks and can happily say it's good to be back on a PC that works so well.
OK so I wanted to get serious in this post, I have been a gamer since I was kid anyone who's ever known me knows I like to game and believe it or not a lot of my friend are gamers.
Now I just wanted to talk about how gamers are stereotyped and how bullshit it is. Most people used to (I say used to because of the influx of casual gamers) to think that playing games was completely pointless, your were a bit of a geek though not necessarily and outcast (that's a bit extreme) but chances are if you brought it up someone would always have something negative or stupid to say.
Well they got one thing right gaming is pointless, you spend hours and hours in front of a computer or console trying to achieve something for a temporary feeling of success and it's that escapism from other mundane things in life which make it feel better. Most games have a challenge, some kind of plot, something that requires you to think about what you are actually doing, for this reason alone gaming should be considered a more useful way of spending time then watching 10 minutes of TV followed by another 5 minutes of adverts.
Now one of the most common comments is the age old 'get a life' or some remark to how unsocial gamers can be, this really depends on the type of gamer if you are easily sucked then yes I suppose it can take it up the majority of your time and have some kind of repercussion. However this isn't always the case I know many people including my self, who plays games with my friends as well as actually live out normal lives and do social things, from going to a few bars and clubs to taking trips out to random places you can do all this and still have mass amount of gaming time.
One of the best experiences I had with gaming was when I was at college. I arrived home late from lessons, booted up my old beast, and soon as I was on-line I got SHOUTED at by 2 of my friends (also from college) to join Teamspeak and play some Battlefield 2, I got home at around 7 PM and we had finished playing at about 3 AM, of course we had breaks and did a few other things in between but the amount of fun that was had is incredible.
Now gaming over the years has no doubt become not only more profitable then most other type of entertainment but also attracted more of a player base and yes I'm thinking casuals, casuals aren't a bad thing, people who want to pick up something for an hour or two and have some fun and that's fine because hey they're still gaming and it's still having fun right. It's felt a least once or twice that being a gamer was negative thing and was generally frowned upon some what, and there are times where when I was playing games I would feel a bit guilty because I started believe that it wasn't worthy of my time. That gaming wasn't something I should still do as I got older, however I've slowly learned that gaming is kind of a lifestyle and if you enjoy it then just fucking enjoy and if someone criticize you for it then they simply don't understand
So I Want to ask you all, What are some of the absolute golden times you've had while gaming and how do you feel about the general stereotype we are usually given.
So as my previous post has stated I have a pretty shitty laptop when it comes to gaming, I used to have a decent desktop however that is now covered in dust and outdated (until I get my new one soon!).
Loading up my laptop I look through all the various games I've installed, one of the most recent being the Just Cause 2 Demo (guess how well it ran?). Though my portable machine isn't the best it can still handle the mind fucking game that is Chess Titans.
Lets hit the ground running, Chess is an age old game invented by the catholic church so they could argue about something else apart from God. It has various different kind of moves and strategies for instance, the knight has the ability to move in a kind of L shape across the board (I know pretty bad ass). One neat feature about chess titans is the ability to save games, you know what it's like you sit down for a session, grab a few beers the next thing you know, you can't tell the difference between your queen and your asshole, though if you were in this state you'd have more chance of falling out a window then saving a game of chess.... anyway.
Chess Titans graphics during Alpha
Another neat ability is the fact that you can analyze your moves by constantly retaking them until you win the game.
The graphics are pretty sweet and the DX10 effects add that little bit of mist to the game so you can't actually see what the hell is going on and that's always a bit of a challenge. Of course it's not just the game of chess your playing it's the kind of surface your playing it on so you can also choose between various different surfaces which is always completely useless.
Thought you always ave the same endings in chess this being Winning or Losing it's the way you get there that's so interesting, Knights taking queens, Rooks taking Bishop, Kings molesting pawns etc etc, it's guaranteed you will never have the same game twice.
The King in his drunken state looking for a bit of action with a few innocent Pawns.
The only real problem I have with chess titans, is the fact after I take my initial move and the computer take about 3 minutes to take his so maybe my laptop isn't good enough for this game after all.
Chess-Titans is nothing original, it's not graphically incredible, hell it's not even worth playing. It's better then reading a book though. (unless it's harry potter >:)).
So just before I set out to university I was of course looking for a laptop to take (as it's standard nowadays), using it in lectures to type up notes instead of using pen and paper (whatever that is, think it has something to do with Greece.) However being a student my intention was to attend a lecture and do anything but actually listen to what was going, so I got a gaming laptop, or so I thought..
I discovered this place called the 'Internet' and had to go to the darkest corners of this mesh hell hole just to get something moderately cheap and decent, the end result was an Acer Aspire 6920G, this was the beginning of my downfall.
Once I got it I was quite impressed, it has a cool touch pad to the left that is used for media controls which is probably the only half decent thing it does apart from word processing. I spent the first hour removing the shit load of spyware they insist on giving you, it's actually like receiving a computer infected with malware and spyware and having to remove it, accept I just paid for it.
That's not an Acer. It's a Bear.
Now I tried numerous game on this hunk of crap, this first being WoW, a not so graphics intense game. With 4GB of RAM and 512 graphics card you would think it would run rather smoothly. So I load up WoW log in and get hit with lag, I check my settings and turn vertical sync off, but it's still not running as smoothly as it should. By this point I thought I'd figured it out, DALARAN I was in the busiest place on the server. So after a while of getting a group together we head to the instance, get inside and low and behold my performance still hasn't increased.
I've tried several games since WoW and the same problem occurs, simply because the computer cannot handle it. You see the CPU starts to throttle when it thinks it's over heating, so to increase performance you have to download utilities to stop the throttling. As you can guess this made things a lot smoother but low and behold the computer overheats to 87 Degrees and cuts out. There is another way to counteract this and that's to cut down the voltage taken but cut the voltage to low and it blue-screens.
The Acer is a nice laptop, and can be used as a coffee table or standing on it to increase your height or even as a word processing tool (why) but for gaming It's nothing but a throttling piece of shit.
I've written blogs before but I don't think I've ever felt more pressure of writing an introductry then right now, I sense all yours eyes reading over this analyzing my every word about to jump in a flame me for one reason or another so let's get on with it.
Introductions, Introductions, Introductions.
OK so I might have been a little over dramatic but that's probably a good thing in some cases. My name is Mike, I live in the UK and I'm a 22 year old student doing networking.
I've been gaming since the release of Zelda for NES and have probably gamed my some what lacking social aspects into the ground (I think the turning point came when online shopping came in to, I get to buy games and not leave the house, it's a win, win situation).
So getting a little more serious, Some of my best moments of gaming include old classics, I remember one Christmas I received Dungeon Keeper along side Theme Hospital, both for PC. I spent countless nights up until stupid times playing the hell out of both of them.
Recently with my studying and what not games have taken a back burner. I won't lie I've played WoW for years on and off and spent many nights on Teamspeak with friends playing some FPS such as Battlefield 2, Unreal Tournament 99 and Quake 3. Though I don't really own consoles (I only have a Wii and that's for Guitar Hero oh and ZELDA). I actually got an XBOX 360 with GTA 4 but my brother seemed to take it at some point and I am yet to reclaim it.
I would consider myself a PC gamer, I know there's been a lot of talk about how PC gaming is dead (apparently?!) but lets admit it, this will never happen and if it does then that means that North Korea might have a chance at diplomacy.
Anyway rounding this up a bit. Here like so many other bloggers, I Will keep my thoughts about all kind of random stuff. With the majority of it about games of course.