Archive for the ‘games’ tag

What Makes You Quit A Multiplayer Game?

Posted on 6th Oct 2009 at 14:24 by Joe Martin with 51 comments

Joe Martin
Those of you who listened to last week’s Gaming Podcast will know that, between the filthy jokes and my off-mike laughing fit, we talked about our lunchtime gaming habits – specifically COD4. We play every lunch time and occasionally after work too, with ‘we’ being most bit-tech, ComputerShopper and Micromart staff.

In the wake of our most recent after-work game an interesting dilemma presented itself though and we schedule our next big match for November 10th. The day that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 goes on sale. Thus is was asked; do we carry on playing COD4 for the time being, or do we switch over to the sequel?

Strangely enough, only two people said that they wanted to switch to the new game. Many reasons were given – shortage of funds, can’t be bothered to install, PCs that won’t run it, etc. My own reason however was simply that I wasn’t ready to leave COD4 just yet and don’t feel I’ve got everything I can out of it.

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When a patch broke my favourite game

Posted on 7th Jul 2009 at 11:31 by Harry Butler with 22 comments

Harry Butler
Back in April I reviewed Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor and it pained me to give the game such a negative review. You see Company of Heroes is one of my all time favourite games, and up until the release of Tales of Valor I played it religiously, taking to the fields of Europe for 1 vs1 auto matches on a nightly basis, learning from my mistakes and watching Shoutcasts of better players to improve my skills. Make no mistake, I absolutely adore this game. And the the developers broke it.

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Who Should Review Monkey Island: Special Edition?

Posted on 16th Jun 2009 at 12:02 by Joe Martin with 36 comments

Joe Martin
Journalistic integrity is something we pride ourselves on here at bit-tech and we always try to make sure that our reviews are fair-minded, open and in-depth. Each of us at bit-tech and Custom PC magazine has a specialty and we always try to play to that expertise. Tim does graphics cards. Richard does motherboards and PSUs. I play games. Harry makes the coffee.

It’s this integrity that explains why you’ll never see me review a hardcore racing sim such as Forza or Race Pro; as a man who can’t even ride a bike, let alone ride a car, I have no right to talk about the flaws in a racing sim.

This integrity though does present one very big problem for us though and that is; who should review the upcoming swathe of Monkey Island games – both the newly announced episodes from Telltale Games and the Special Edition re-release from LucasArts proper?

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What makes a game a game?

Posted on 22nd May 2009 at 12:30 by James Gorbold with 8 comments

James Gorbold
This week I've performed a stop and search patrol in downtown Baghdad, escorted a convoy of trucks through Basra and taken part in a heliborne assault on a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan.

Fortunately I didn’t get a scratch though, as contrary to the rumour going round the office I haven’t signed up for a tour of duty with a mercenary company - I’ve been taking part in these real-world conflicts on my PC using VBS2.

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Games I Wish Worked on Vista

Posted on 12th May 2009 at 10:08 by Joe Martin with 26 comments

Joe Martin
I only upgraded from Windows XP to Vista relatively recently – it was really only when I started at that I actually became concerned with keeping up to date. Until then I'd been happy to stay with whatever OS let me play the games I wanted to play, upgrading only as I needed to to play the latest games.

I’ve regretted the move to Vista ever since, though I was at least wily enough to ensure that my girlfriend’s PC ran XP still, ensuring I had at least one option when struck by the sudden need to play a classic game. You know the need I’m referring to – it usually comes when you’re doing some menial task and you’re somehow reminded of an old game you really liked. Quickly that flash of memory grows, flares into an obsession and you find yourself reinstalling games you haven’t played in years, usually Deus Ex.

That quick burst of obsession is something I experience fairly regularly, mainly because games are such a massive part of my life and I find it hard to break away from them. Some days I can’t cross the street without thinking that I should quicksave first. Oh, how I wish I was joking.

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Should We Change Our Game Reviews?

Posted on 25th Apr 2009 at 12:35 by Joe Martin with 54 comments

This is a blog post I’ve been thinking of writing for a long time, but I’ve chosen not to get around to it until now because it hasn’t really been very relevant.

There’s not been that many good PC games coming out lately that have required an in-depth look at graphics. Well, not from me anyway. A good thing about being part of Dennis Publishing is that delegation is nearly always an option.

The crux of this blog post rests on one question; how useful is the graphics coverage we give in PC game reviews at the moment?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about then, well I guess that gives me an answer right there. You see, before I joined bit-tech the site had a policy of doing very in-depth graphic analysis for each and every PC game review that came along and console games were mainly ignored. Tim, Richard and co. would even graphically analyse new patches for games and game reviews would focus heavily on graphics.

Should We Change Our Game Reviews?

As far as I’m aware that started to change when my predecessor Ryan joined bit-tech. Console games started to get a bit more attention and the graphics coverage of specific games became less quantitative and more comparative – like in this Darkstar One review.

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A look at Fallout 3 DLC: The Pitt

Posted on 14th Apr 2009 at 13:00 by Richard Swinburne with 8 comments

Richard Swinburne
I finally managed to get Fallout 3's downloadable content to work. Once Fallout 3 decides it can automatically login to GFWL every time it starts, it consistently works - I didn't play with the settings, it seems have quite the mind of its own.

Anyway, gameplay.

You get dropped into "The Pitt", an area to the far north of the map controlled by slavers who run the only working steel mill in the Fallout 3 world, around post apocalyptic DC.

It's plauged by a leprosy-esque blight that changes people over time as they're exposed to an exotic cocktail of toxins unique to this particular area. First they turn into semi-ghouls and finally into crazy ape-like zombies called "Troggs" who quite fancy a limb or two with a side of brains.

Naturally, that's your limb, or grey matter, you tasty thing!

After being approached by a stranger and asked to get the cure from the head honcho of a group of slavers, you embark on a quick step trail of justice from bottom feeder to king of the slaves! RAWR!

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My week with Windows Live and Fallout 3 DLC

Posted on 12th Apr 2009 at 11:09 by Richard Swinburne with 14 comments

Richard Swinburne
So I reluctantly take on the second pack of Fallout 3 DLC: The Pitt, and after Joe's last attempt at getting Operation Anchorage working, not to mention the fun with GTA IV, I wasn't particularly wanting to install it on my system. However, I am playing Fallout 3 and I do like free software, so weakness to potential stupidity prevailed.

The Games For Windows Live install was relatively painless, except for the "there's an error" "there's an error" "there's an error" on first login that doesn't tell you it's not because of your password - it's because you have to load a (IE only) webpage to tick another EULA.

At this point, I'm so hesitant I'm treating it like a newborn child. Check the pulse "CPU and memory usage" (it's only using 85MB of memory, respectfully that's less than Firefox with two tabs open) check I don't click too much, be patient, be patient..

Why couldn't have Bethesda just used Steam!?

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My Guilty Secret: The Games I Haven't Played

Posted on 17th Mar 2009 at 13:20 by Joe Martin with 30 comments

Joe Martin
I’ve got a guilty secret when it comes to gaming, several in fact, which I’ve carried for an awfully long time and have occasionally haunted parts of my professional life. There are times when I’ve confessed these things and the result has universally been one of shock and disappointment. Quite simply; there are games I haven’t played.

Well, obviously. There are lots of things I haven’t played; awful tat like Imagine: Petz and so on. What I’m explicitly talking about here though are the reputedly great games out there which I’m expected to have played, but haven’t. Things like Diablo 2, for example.

It doesn’t sound like a huge issue, but it actually is. There’s a huge assumption out there that as a games journalist I should have played every game, ever – or at the very least I should’ve played every game that’s scored a 7/10 or more. There’s a consensus among readers and peers that a qualification for being allowed to review something is that a familiarity with every game like it. How can I write a story about Tomb Raider: Underworld if I skipped from Tomb Raider 2 straight to Legend and never even finished the first two games?

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My Five Best iPhone Apps

Posted on 18th Feb 2009 at 09:17 by Alex Watson with 23 comments

Alex Watson
Part 1. What’s your name and where do you come from?
Hello, Hello. It’s good, as they say, to be back. Although, do they say that any more, now that Gary Glitter’s a disgrace and Morning Glory is over ten years old?

Anyway, I thought I’d introduce myself. My name is Alex Watson, and though I’m the editor of Custom PC, this isn’t the first time I’ve written for the mighty bit-tech. You might have seen my name on the round-up of iPhone earphones at the end of last week, but I also wrote for the site back in 2006, on topics such as game difficulty, weird controllers and politics.

In the intervening years, I’ve always been a reader of the site, and it’s great to be back now as a writer, and to have the bit-tech guys working right next to Custom PC.

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