PC gaming in the 90s

PC Gaming 15 years ago

It’s difficult to put ones finger on what is exactly different between PC gaming now and 15 years ago. Aside from the obvious differences common to all platforms; the technology, graphics, sound and hardware etc were older – but there was something more exciting about gaming back then.

It felt like PC gaming was evolving monthly, compared to now when PC gaming is very much dorment thanks to the consoles taking over the world.

Between 1995-1998 we went through 6 different version of Directx, probably a hundred different models of soundblaster and various Voodoo / 3dfx graphics cards. The technology evolved so quickly, you couldn’t keep up.

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DayZ-mod

DayZ – The Arma II mod you should be playing

The ArmaII DayZ mod is a bit good.  It’s emergence serves as all-too-infrequent reminder of what can happen with PC Gaming – modding a game to offer a different game mechanic or play style using the existing game engine.

I must admit to being one of shameful few who haven’t actually played Arma II and simply bought it for the DayZ mod.  I simply don’t have the interest or inclination to play yet another (albeit impressively realistic and large-scale) military shooter.

Onto DayZ. Or Day Zed. Whatever. (I pronounce it DayZee, despite being British). It’s alpha, it’s broken, it shouldn’t therefore be judged.  However it must be tried, even in it’s current state – it’s very good.

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HL1 - my god man what are you doing

Half-Life has the best start to any video game.

It’s 1998, a friend of the family buys a new computer.  It’s a Time PC (remember them?).  I get a call to go round and help ‘set it up’ for them.  In the box with all the cables there’s the usual ‘Nero Burning Rom’ trial CD’s but with the graphics card came a free game.
It was Half Life.  I’d never heard of it – but as thanks (and because it was a PC for office use) I was given the CD to take home with me.

Fast forward 13 years.  I still think it has the best and most effective introduction to any video game to date.  Allow me to take you on my 16 minute journey as we plunge headfirst into the work of Black Mesa, Gordon Freeman and crowbars. (more…)

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The Ball PC Review

The Ball – review

Despite what comments I may make in this review, The Ball is an iconic game. It’s impossible to review this title without explaining (for those of you that might not know) the history of The Ball and its significance.

Up until recently the video game industry has one great, big, major roadblock. That was that the license costs for game engines and builders were astronomical…at least for average Joe. Many aspiring game devs (myself included) waded through the muddy backwaters of the internet to try and find engines we could build games on. The Unreal engine (which I’m sure you most commonly know from the Unreal Tournament titles and recently a vast number of releases including Gears of War, Enslaved and Darksiders to name a few) released its development platform 100% scott-free. You can legitimately grab yourself a copy and get building; the launch was the aspiring game dev’s wet dream. You could fully develop a game and pay the commercial licensing to Unreal only once it’s finished…it is, to all in intents and purposes the holy grail of Developer software. So where does The Ball come in to this?

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wow1

Is it worth getting into WoW after avoiding it for so long?

After a brief trial many years ago, I’ve decided to return to Azeroth and once again flirt with World of Warcraft.
This week I am mostly interested to see the Cataclysm and the end of days of Azeroth as we know it.

However it has been brought to my attention that my planned brief liaison with the gnomes, blood elves and dwarfs may develop into a full on relationship that could affect me back here in the real world.

Luckily I’m very strong at resisting these urges and am also pretty cheap so the monthly fee is already there as a barrier of entry that hasn’t been justified to me yet. Not to say that WoW is too expensive, if it was a game I really wanted to play lots and lots of then the updates, world events and community would be worth the expense. I played a lot of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer and it that was only available on a subscription model but was supported like WoW then I’m pretty sure I could find a way to pay.

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Fallout New Vegas PC review

Fallout New Vegas review

“Always bet on black” – Wesley Snipes, Passenger 57

With the words of the tax dodging thespian never more pertinent and the adventures ahead of me in New Vegas there could be no other option – SDG_LM was all in.

Fallout New Vegas immediately strikes out to differentiate itself from Fallout 3 by starting you in what appears to be the exact opposite of how three started. Getting robbed, shot in the head and then buried in a shallow grave is never the nicest start to your adventures but luckily you survived and now you’re out for revenge. Which in the Mojave Desert will be served hot, sweaty and with sand in your shoes.

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starcraft-2-pc-review

Starcraft 2 review

So how do you go about writing a review on a game that has received so much commercial success and community attention without repeating what everyone else has already said? It’s tricky, but there are still people out there looking for a slightly alternative view on things…..and so that’s what I’ll try to bring in this review.
I think the main concern of gamers is that Starcraft II would simply recycle what the developers previously made over a decade ago, all be it with a few new shaders, models and shiny bits here and there. Let me make it very clear from the start; it’s not.
What sets this game apart from the swathe of other releases in this genre is undoubtedly the campaigns ability to not only immerse you in the story- but to really give you a connection between the dialogue and the gameplay. Ok, so you can argue that the story of our centrepiece Jim Raynor is 100%, certifiably cliché. And it is, but then Starcraft II has never been so much about “Jimmy’s love story” and more about the entire universe, you know, the vibrance of the other characters and everything, which really shine through. Of course, Starcraft has also been about South Korean gamers being wildly overpaid to play the game for as inhumanly long as possible in any one sitting.

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Minecraft - What's the point? I don't get it.

Minecraft: I don’t get it, what’s the big deal?

I was debating with fellow Sudogamer writer SDG_LM about Minecraft.  He downloaded it, and loved it.   I downloaded it (during the free weekend), and well. . didn’t.  Not yet, at least.

Here’s how it went:

– – – – –

SDG_CMC:

Subject: Minecraft 1 hour in.

SDG_LM, I gave it a go, and was not impressed. Here’s some bullet points I made.

– No instructions, anywhere. Not on the website, or in the game menu.

– No introduction, nothing sets the scene or the tone or anything.   If it’s purely ‘open’ and ‘sandbox’ at least just say it is.

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Worms Reloaded Sudogamer Review

I got Worms…Review.

Since the dawn of computers (well … 1995) worms have been popping up on each and every platform known to mankind, locked in an endless war. However it’s been many years since they popped their squidgy but helmeted heads onto the PC and now, obviously under the advice of Sarah Palin, they’ve not retreated but reloaded set to wage their spineless battles again on the desktop computer.  The last Worms PC game was released in a pre-Steam world and the gaming scene has changed so much, so will they emerge victoriously? Read on to find out…

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armada 2526 review

Armada 2526 review

Armada 2526 is a turn based strategy game and upon first view this appears to be ‘Civilization IV in space’. The premise being to colonize different planets whilst managing research and diplomacy before engaging in warfare against other races.

There are seventeen different races that can be played each with their own slight differences giving different strengths and weaknesses which gives it an ongoing playability factor with each game having a slightly different feel. However unlike Civilization the number of scenarios that you can play in is quite limited, there are only 4 one of which is the tutorial, which reduces the scope for different tactics to be employed which damages the re playability of the game.

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alien breed impact review

Review – Alien Breed: Impact

I was 10 when Alien Breed came out for the PC (2 years after the Amiga release), and I can just about remember playing it at a friends house. It was great. Hugely playable, ‘arcadey’ and satisfying. Alien Breed was release to critical acclaim, it was an important release. One can clearly see its influence in ID Software’s Doom (1994).
I believe a big problem with Team 17’s re-release; “Alien Breed: Impact” lies in our expectations. In the early nineties we didn’t care much for cohesive, compelling story-lines, ‘next-gen’ graphics etc, it was playable fun titles that utilised the meager horsepower of our PC’s (or Amigas) that drew crowds.

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sudogamer video game piracy

is video game piracy ever ok?

Evil Pirate L33ch3r vs. Honest Gamer

Obviously not, it’s illegal, it’s immoral, and it’s not even difficult to do these days.  In fact that last point is precisely why a lot of people do it. If Evil Pirate L33ch0r can download a full game over his home broadband connection in less than an hour, have it installed and start playing way before his good friend Honest Gamer, something isn’t right.

In fact, he is way ahead of Honest Gamer.

Evil Pirate L33ch3r  is enjoying his nice new download way before. . .

  • Honest Gamers’ ‘Amazon / Shopto / Whoever’ order has arrived, the game will ‘leak’ online (presumably review copies falling into the wrong hands?).
  • Honest Gamers waited for their antiquated DVD drive to spin into life and install  the one or more DVDs the game comes on.
  • Honest Gamer mistyped their CD-key for the 2nd time, before activating the game online, authenticating whatever DRM it came bundled with.

DRM & Install issues. Steam doesn’t always work.  The pirate is still winning. .

We are assuming that all of the above goes swimmingly.  There have been instances where the honest gamer gets stung.

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doctor who blood of the cybermen review

Doctor Who: Blood of the Cybermen Review

Previously in my review of episode 1: I was forgiving of the rudimentary game-play in the hope that the next episode would build on the first one and expand its bag of tricks….
Unfortunately it hasn’t, instead this episode repeats the issues of the first game and makes no efforts to improve on the previous episode. Sadly, our guess is that the remaining set of episodes will probably be rehashes of the poor stealth action and several perfunctory puzzles with no over-arching storyline running through the episodes.  DEW DEW DOO…..

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Doctor Who City Of Daleks PC Review

Doctor Who: City of the Daleks Review

Doctor Who: City of the Daleks is free to all in the UK and as a free game there can be few complaints directed at it. However it does fall quiet short of the high standards set by the Television series which would be hard to match without a big budget.
The game starts you off like the TV series setting the scene before the famous Doctor Who intro music kicks in and pulls you into an adventure where you will be hiding from Daleks, collecting thingamebobs, solving the odd puzzle and asking the odd question or two.
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