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5:40 PM on 06.01.2008

If you love it, buy it: Piracy

(I'm taking a spin on "If you love it,change it" because I felt like it)

The dictionary defines piracy as:

Practice of a pirate; robbery or illegal violence at sea.”

No, wait that’s not right, oh here it is:

The unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.”

As far back as I can remember piracy has always been there, be it in bad VHS copies of movies, all grainy with muffled sound to the guy round the corner who’d burn you off a the newest Eminem album (I was young and naïve, it was ‘cool’) for a couple of quid, more if you wanted covers printed. But in terms of video games it wasn’t till the 32-bit era that I began to take notice.

Around 1997 my cousin got a Sony Playstation for Christmas; I on the other hand got a Sega Saturn a few years earlier. By this time the Saturn was already waning in Europe and Tomb Raider and Alien Trilogy were getting boring. One day as I regularly did I stayed round my cousins, normally we’d play Rayman and some other games I honestly cant remember but this time was different, this time she had a pile of CD cases next to her PS1, remember this is the first time I’d even heard of chipping a PS1. I sat in awe as she told me how her step dad had gotten it chipped and that let it play copies of all the new games coming out for a fraction of the price….

….don’t worry this story does have a point…

….We marvelled at games like Sypro the dragon and FFVII, all games well worth their original £44.99 *cringes* at the time, but one week we got out hands on Rugrats: Search for Reptar, a kid’s game we easily completed it within 2 hours, I haven’t thought about it till I recently house sat for a family member who has a Wii with WarioWare a game I also complete within 2-3 hours. I thought looking at the £30 price sticker “is this game worth that much?” The pirated copy of Rugrats cost £5 and I remember it being a whale of a good time, though I refuse to play it now because I know it’ll look like throw-up-on-bread. Now to the point here, is it right for a game to be released at a full retail price when said game takes very little time to beat? I’m not just talking about warioware here *cough* halo 3. Though piracy is wrong no one in their right mind would buy a game 10 years ago they knew they could beat in a matter of a few hours for full price, why would you settle with doing so now?

My Short but sweet life as a PC gamer.

In 1999 I got my very first PC, it was a pile of crap Intel Celeron 333 with barely enough ram to run office 98 but I loved it, the game package I got with it introduced me to some games I still hold dear today, games such as Jazz Jackrabbit 2 and Tonic Trouble. During this time Pokemon was becoming something huge, I was sucked in hook, line and sinker and when one of my friends said they had a floppy disk with Pokemon Gold on it, I jumped at the chance to get a hold of it. I remember pondering that the world of pokemon was so big how could it fit on a measly floppy disc, I remember I had to pay 50p to borrow the disk, but at the time it was the best 50p I had ever spent, on the disk were 2 files, SMYGB – a gameboy emulator, and a rom file. At this time I had no idea what the legal implications of roms were, I was all “WOW Pokemon Gold on my PC, in full screen!!!” The rom file was in fact a fan translation which was only around 50% complete but the point I want to make in this case is I willingly paid money for a pirated product unbeknownst or any legal implications. We see this everyday on eBay “650 Genesis Games on a CD” and such, people buy them too. I had a run in with a guy I knew on a forum who’d bought a PC engine rom disc for like £7, granted PC engine games aren’t the easiest or cheapest to find, just look at my bank account but it was just the principle that he had paid for some guy to download a set of roms from a torrent or limewire etc and burn them to a disc earning himself almost 100% pure profit from the venture, heck slap an extra £2 P&P and you’re guaranteed 100%+ profit.

Piracy on PC is a weird issue; unlike consoles PC gaming has been rampant with piracy since forever, measures such as code sheets and online activation through steam have all failed, during my early PC days I didn’t have a CD writer, my friends dad used to copy games for me every now and again but truthfully I have bought every game he copied sometime later when I started making my own money and could afford to replace the copies with originals, point being as the title suggests if you love it, buy it, I have always believed that you should be able to try a game out fully before you buy it, kind of like playing rock band in HMV, you get to try out all the instruments (except the mic….I think) and you don’t pay a penny, then on that experience if you decide that it is worth the asking price you pay, simple.

I was having chat/argument with a friend from mainland Europe the other day about the whole console vs. pc debate. My argument was PC gaming isn’t doing as well as it has for two reasons, the first being the surge in popularity of console gaming thanks to Sony with the PS1 and Nintendo with the Wii, my second and most related point was that as mentioned before no matter how hard developers try to add copy protection to a game (see: Mass Effect PC) it’s always cracked thus the game is spread across the internet like a virus. I made the point that if the games were being pirated that badly then publishers would get to the point where they would no longer see money in the PC gaming market and pull out, he shunned me.

My overall opinion:

Since the 2600 the video game market has seen its ups and downs, the video game crash of 83 showed that although anyone can produce games it doesn’t mean you’re going to make money from it. It’s a shame developers today don’t look back and realise this is still very true, someone once said something to me. “Out of all the games on the ps2, 1 out of 100 is great the rest are either mediocre or just plain rubbish.” So why should you have to pay full price for a game that well doesn’t deserve it? I know people use the argument “Oh you’re supporting the developers” which is true but if the product is not worth the £40-50 then why should you have to pay that much for it. One thing which I am in all favour for is when a game is ported from one system to another with a reasonable time delay like Lost Planet was, they lower the price to reflect the time its been out on 360, but even Lost Planet was a painfully short game with laughable localisation (I do love it though :P)

I hope these arguments don’t make me out to be some sort of looser who pirates every game I ever want, its not true, I bought halo 3 on launch, collectors edition which I will say now wasn’t worth what I paid for it, same with Rainbow 6 Vegas 2, I loved the first one so much and the second one felt rushed, I guess what I’m trying to say is effort should equal price, I know with budget titles it does but even with some ‘big name’ releases if it’s a half arsed game then why should they demand a 1st class prices?

Ok thanks for reading my total nonsensical waffle, have a pleasant day    read

7:24 AM on 04.26.2008

The Moment my 360 Died


4:55 PM on 03.05.2008

Video Games brought up in my job interview

Ok before I begin a little info, I am currently in my second year at university and I'm studying Product Design Technology blah blah blah lol, anyway for my third year I'm suposed to do a placement in industry to get a wider persepective of the earth, the universe and everything.

Ok i finished filling in the application online last night thinking of course i'd have to wait at least a week or so til I get a reply, 2 others had already got a reply and were sheduled to have their interviews today after the guy did a presentation to my class, all was well until he said there was 3 people who had complete their applications. Them 2 and me anyway to cut a long and dragged out hour of waiting aside i was suposed to just have a 10 minute chat about my application and stuff because I hadnt the time to assemble a full portfilio of work to present, thats not how it played out however.

After 40 minutes of talking about engineering and so forth he went onto my hobbies and intrests which of course I wrote "retro-gaming" and this guy was like mid 40's stiff upper lip british type of guy which kinda made me a little hesitant at first but as my firends'll tell you I am mad and I just don't shut up, so once I'd gotten over the whole "how much should I dumb this down for him" he asked "Why do you like retro gaming?" Isn't that the holy grail of questions to be asked? I didn't know where to start, consoles, games even accessories swirled through my head I had so many honerable mentions I could have used i thought, no. So I started with the NES and worked through to the Gamecube ( I dont have a Wii, yet) I talked about graphics, gameplay, sound and control of games. The guy however sighed which made me think "Oh no" Then he asked "So you play games quite a lot then?" Which of course would make me out to be a total nerd if I said "Oh, why yes all I do all day is drool over my NES controller in a vegitative state" but no I managed to swing it by talking about how I used games to break the monotany of doing long periods of University work, he seems satisfied with the response and we finished the interview on a high note and hopefully I'll hear back soon.

Peace out   read

5:58 PM on 03.02.2008

The Best 15 I've spent in a while

On thursday just gone I was bored, I'd had enough of level grinding on Blue Dragon and I wasnt in the mood to do any work so what did I do? I went to my local games shop where I found The Legend of Zelda 4 Swords Adventures for 15 (and starfox assault but i'll save that for another day.) I'll be the first to say I'm not really a Zelda fan, yes i've played the games and found them enjoyable, some more than others but not 4 swords.

Being the skeptical so-'n-so I am I thought it best that if it were to be painful i shouldnt endure it alone, and enter my little brother, at 14 he plays 1st person shooters (mainly halo 3) all the time on XBL, ugh, I know.

The game, it begins with the 6 maidens and Zelda being captured, Link being the brave boy that he is withdraws a sword from a stone which splits him into 4 seperate Links, off to find the force gems to power up the 4 sword to make it powerful enough to thwart the evil at the end of each level.

I bought a GBA to GC connector a few years back and had never really used til this game but wow at first I found the whole go into a building, look at the GBA annoying but as soon as the shadow world stuff started it got really cool, unfortunatly I can't test the multiplayer yet as I only have 1 GBA to GC link cable, I know lame but alone the formation system offers a solid 1 player experience.

As for the graphics and sound, I found the sprites bright and colourful, The music is regular Zelda fair and the voices added life to the 2D sprites, I have found a few of the environments a little repetative but I'm sure if you were playing with friends it wouldn't be noticed, heck I didnt even notice when my bro was there shouting at me to collect more force gems and trying to nab my GBA from me.

Overall the game offers a solid if a little repetative single player option, but if you've got the friends, the GBA's and the GC link cables then have yourself a Zelda night in, this ones a keeper!

Side Note: My router broke so no more Halo 3 for my little bro for a while :D   read

5:44 PM on 02.16.2008

Just a Quick Hello

Yep I'm new, throw stones at your own will. Just wanted to introduce myself, I'm Dan a gamer of sec... 15 almost 16 years.

I love:


I hate:

People (not all but most)
Rockstar Games
People who inflate the prices of games on Ebay

Games I have RetroGoggles for:

Sonic (only 1 and 2)
Mario Allstars + world
Golden Axe
Streets of rade
Sim city
Theme Park
Bubble Bobble
Kirby's Dream Land

Embarasing Gaming moment:

Taking 15 years to complete Kirby's Dream Land, bad yeah, but it was the best game ending ever!

Well thats a little about me, can't wait to spill out my view's of games and gaming culture, maybe some reviews too.   read

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