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I am an aging gamer from England and being born in 1977 means I grew up seeing how gaming has evolved over the last 20 years. I started off with an atari 2600 and a amstrad cpc 464. I eventually moved onto the sega megadrive, the 32x and the saturn.

As sega started to wind down from being a console manafacturer I moved onto the sony consoles, owning a ps1, ps2 and now a ps3.

I'm not a big FPS fan apart from the odd one or two (I love the battlefield games), I'm not big on racing titles either but I love open world game series such as gta, saints row, elderscrolls and fallout.

I hate games that are more of a graphical showcase with very little content. I hate games where they make it really hard and punish the player for doing certain things, games are meant to be fun.

I love innovation in games and a creative eye,I love when they add little details like NPC's that have their own little routines, I love customisation wether it be your character, to a vehicle to a building or part of the game world your in, but most of all I love having lots of options and destractions that go alongside a main campain and allow the game to continue even after completion.

I hate the MMO model and when games take themselves to seriously.
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Note: If you have been keeping a media blackout on your PC about GTA V and it's features then look away if you want to be surprised as I speak about them in detail in this blog.

When I look at the Grand Theft Auto games and Red Dead Redemption it is quite clear to me that Rockstar have went forward paces and backwards one regarding GTA IV.

It's not to say that GTA IV wasn't fun it had lots of fun moments especially when it came to the expansions and the online modes.

What also occurs to me is that they seem to be looking forward into more interactive experiences. Examples of this appeared in San Andreas with customization, side missions and selling animal pelts in Red Dead Redemption



and now with a fully realized world in GTA V/GTA Online.

GTA V wants you to create your own empire and make the 3 main protagonists your own to shape as you need. Vehicles can be given your own stamp and a large arsenal of weapons available to be modded to suit your playing style.

Stats can be improved and with special abilities we are already in RPG territory, although when it comes to GTA Online you can acquire a appartment to invite your friends round to view it's features



or you can purchase a garage to show off your modded cars and not to mention your online avatar can be adjusted in many ways including clothing, tattoos and haircuts.



None of this is new to anyone who has been following GTA V for the past year or so but it makes me think where could Rockstar go from here. Personally I'd love to see them do a new version of GTA London with surrounding villages,countryside and motorways.

Another idea would be to see them take on a medieval RPG and see them do a proper adventure game lampooning some of the RPG games we all know and love or maybe lampooning fantasy films in general such as Lord Of The Rings, Eragon, Krull or Conan.

Rockstar are capable of making large scale open worlds, they are capable of doing massive vistas,



they are capable of stat building, capable of customization.

Here's what kind of situation I'd love to see: Start off as a peasant in service to a lord or baron who witnesses something corrupt they do and gets caught as a witness and framed for a crime he didn't commit.

They break out from a prison or from an execution and flees to a nearby village and is hidden by a family whose head is part of a rebellion who recruits you to recruit other factions to take down this baron(ess)/Lord/Lady etc.

You could take residence, modify armour and weapons, purchase mounts, take on side missions, do jousting or bare fist fighting, open a shop, visit a bard or town crier, get drunk in a tavern or build a fort to plan conquests.

Bounties and animal hunting could be another avenue for the game. The weapon wheel could involve sword, daggers, bow, crossbow, slingshots. Online could involve horse racing, jousts, fort take downs and mini missions.

I think Rockstar could thrive on a game mixing the best of classic adventure games with a blend of typical GTA humour and mechanics. They are great at providing a great narrative as well.

If that doesn't tickle your fantasy maybe a pirate adventure, hey what works for Ubisoft ;).

Please discuss as it's something I think should be a consideration for them.
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I have been looking forward to the game long before there was an english website for it and have followed it since. I downloaded the demo and loved it and then I pre-ordered the game based on that experience.

Party in the palace


So far I am enjoying it, ok it's not the prettiest action adventure game and it's got a few technical flaws to it but if you are someone who likes to spend hours and hours in a video game then this is one game where that just might be the case.

It took me a few random deaths to get into the swing of things but I'm finally getting used to it.

Firstly I will get a few things out of the way, firstly the draw rate isnt that great when it comes to enemies or characters and you can lose sight of a character about 100 yards away.

Secondly although there is a few locations on the map theres not that many towns as such with only really 2 main towns in the game and the rest are all kind of faction bases.

Pawns work well as companions and dont die as nearly as bad as skyrim apart from the one or two random occasions when one would walk off a cliff and fall to their death somewhere I couldnt reach to revive them.

Armours and weapons look cool and not too fantastical (I'm looking at you final fantasy). Enemies can be hard but never impossible and if you do find you are too quick to die you can always avoid enemies altogether and take a wider route until you are levelled up enough.

Larger bosses arent that hard to figure out and if you find a pattern to taking them down it can start to become quite a good XP and money earner. I tended to use the strider class which I later upgraded to magic archer. If you are an archer or mage class it can sometimes be simply a case of taking the distance or using climbable terrain to stay out of reach of the bosses and rain down all hell upon them from there.

Three monsters in one, still no match for me!!


Overall I'd say I'm enjoying the experience although some of the quests are pretty routine kinda fetch this, kill so many of that, or eliminate this monster.

Customisation functions are cool and currently my pawn is a massive warrior who I named Conan and made him look like such. I think I made the character a pretty good approxamation of me as close as I can get. Currently one of my favourite tactics is to use rift crystals to purchase pawns higher level than me to help me get a little boost.

I'm hoping that eventually there will be an expansion pack as I'd love to see more of the world as one character mentioned something about the mainland meaning that future expansion or a sequel based on that as this may just be a smaller island outside the mainland that I am playing in although at the same time being a pretty big land.

If I had to say the best option is if you know someone who has the game I'd borrow it and test the water or rent it as it has no online pass which makes a change of late. I know a lot of reviewers pretty much hate this game or just cant get into it but there isnt that many hardcore adventure or rpg reviewers out there.

I liked the game, I couldnt reccomend it to just anyone though, I'd have to say if you like grinding games you may like it but check youtube first look at the videos and see for your self.

Bit of target practice against some explosive barrels from above a fort.
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It takes a lot to get me psyched about a game and Dragon's Dogma is one of those that got me psyched up for it. I have been following this game since the original site was in japanese and watched through the footage and interviews from the different game trade shows.

I love the fact that it's a totally new IP in rpg/action adventure games and such a surprise it came from Capcom of all developers. It's open world, it has customisation, it has brilliant combat, it is mostly single player although it's community features are excellent.

I love the pawn system where you make your own pawn then lend them out to other gamers and you get to borrow other peoples pawns as well.

The companion ai could be a complete dog but it isnt. The one thing that annoyed me in skyrim as good as it is, is that the companions would often be so weak they would get annihilated very quickly in a combat situation meaning most of the time I wouldnt even hire one.

The classes in Dragon's Dogma seem pretty solid although I think I favour the Strider with the daggers and the shortbow.

The world in game isnt as pretty as some of it's peers but it has plenty of depth. I have played the demo so many times and still enjoy stabbing a flying griffin in the face sending it spiralling to the ground. I have since gotten it down to a proud 60 seconds defeat time maybe less.

I even made my own custom arisen based on myself as seen here:


Warning quality of the picture does not represent the in game graphics and is poor because it is taken by camera of my television as I dont have any screen capture software or cables.
I even made a pawn based on conan which looks very imposing. The grab mechanics seam really solid most of the time with only a few occasions where my character would fail to grab hold but maybe that was due to my timing.

I love the fact that darkness at night has been captured well in a game at last making exploring feel genuinely dangerous.

I have personally pre-ordered the game from Game and cant wait to play it come release date which is May 25th here in england and europe.

In my opinion this is probably one of the closest you will ever get to rivalling Dark Souls and Skyrim and I look forward to seeing if it can deliver.
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Personally growing up in the early days of videogames I have seen them evolve from something that could be coded in a week or month to massive budgets and timescales with up to 3 years or more to make, possibly even longer if you count a certain franchise that went under cancellation *cough*.

Anyway what I am getting at is when I was growing up I felt that the golden age of gaming started with the sega vs nintendo wars and led right into ps1/ps2 vs xbox territory.

With the current gen consoles of 360 and PS3 things have kinda died down and we seem to be stuck with a lot of FPS and racing games although there are a few gems about but getting back to what I was talking about with the golden age I have three titles that will lay the seed of my arguement: golden axe, double dragon and streets of rage.

Double Dragon is currently being remade for psn and xbl arcade under the moniker of Double Dragon Neon and it looks to be shaping up quite nicely as seen here.



Quite a change and it does look pretty. However I think one series that has been neglected over the years is streets of rage



and I am hoping that it gets remade soon but I would love to see Sega maybe work with Rocksteady games on the title.

They have a good track record with combat style and open world design and I think they have an excellent art department that could do wonders with streets of rage. I'd also love to see maybe a streets of rage game where you can unlock new outfits through xp and upgrade your stats and abilities.

Four player co-op and arena battles would be also an awesome addition along with screenshot and create a fighter for the arena sections.

I really think that streets of rage city design would suit a Rocksteady designed game and with the combat knowledge needed for a modern day remake it would go a long way if they worked on it.



Anyway feel free to reminice with me in the comments and sound off if you would or wouldnt like to see a streets of rage remake/reboot or wether you think I have missed the mark on the Arhkam City stylings.
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Since the recession there was definately some scare mongering in the media like oh no we should do some sequels and cash ins and lay off the original concept games.

One of the most frustrating examples is lord of the rings, so far it has had tons of linear games based just on the battles of the films which is really sad as as far as the novels go they are crammed with years worth of lore and story opportunities.

I look at how EA dropped lord of the rings white council seen here





which was billed as a mostly open world middle earth rpg based before the events of the war of the ring using your own character. It was an exciting concept which was dropped in favour of yet another linear cliched new fellowship war in the north game.



I dont think developers are thinking outside the box enough, I mean when you look at the recent x-men game it would have been ten times more appealing if you could have created your own x-man/woman with more of a open world feel to it (i.e west chester new york where the x-men academy is based that way it could be partially based inside xaviers school). Point being it was another missed opportunity.

The lord of the rings novels including the hobbit and the silmarillion and the unfinished tails have more characters and lore that makes the elderscrolls look like a kids story. With Dragon's Dogma coming out in a month or two, theres definately enough room for some competition for the usual suspects of action adventure rpg's.

A truly original lord of the rings story that isnt anything to do with what happens in the fellowship of the rings or the hobbit would be a breath of fresh air and something we could all lose ourselves in for hours on end without the need for an internet connection.

The lord of the rings franchise is one on par with the star wars franchise for cash ins but is there a serious game here that would rival some of star wars greatest games.

One rpg to rule them all and in the darkness destroy them.
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I love RPG games. I've loved them back since the day they evolved from text adventures to sega rpg's like shining force to the western action rpg's you see today.

One thing I've always wanted in the RPG genre is a decent open world lord of the rings game but whenever someone tries to make one it becomes mmorpg or they make it linear on rails and cash in on the movies. My hopes of a wonderful homage to the works of tolkien and the ability to explore middle earth are unlikely to happen in my lifetime possibly.

The next best thing is skyrim and what a world it is, it reminds me very much of middle earth in places and theres obvious inspiration from it. My first introduction to the elderscrolls universe was oblivion and I loved it. It is like the GTA or saints row of the fantasy genre, an open world sandbox with various creatures and beautiful environments.

I love how customisable skyrim is compared to oblivion and many other sandbox games that support customisation, from scars to warpaint, choice of races, armours, weapons, magic.

I love how you can make a home for your character making you feel like you are a part of the world, something that some other games lack. The fact that you can change a community's economy by sabotaging it or by helping them with their problems.

A lot of new features such as the ability to smith, cook, mine, woodcut or hunt and sell items down to treasure hunting all make for a whole new level of immersion into the world. Races are heavily improved from early games.

It seems Bethesda have taken what they have learned from oblivion, morrowind, fallout 3 and also community mods and have put together the ultimate fantasy package, it may not be my lord of the rings but it is the closest I will get.

Hopefully the construction set they will release after the games release will be the best yet and just as simple to use and that DLC will not be like Oblivions throwaway horse armour DLC.