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Archive for the ‘gaming’ tag

Need for Speed Shift Impressions

Posted on 11th Sep 2009 at 17:45 by Antony Leather with 7 comments

Antony Leather
When it comes to racing games on the PC, I'll freely admit that I demand a certain amount of realism. The hole Fast and Furious wannabe culture just doesn't do it for me. So, when I learnt that EA Games had invited us to see the latest title in a long line of Need for Speed games that are traditionally a bit tongue in cheek when it comes to realistic driving, I was pretty underwhelmed.

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Series 3, Episode 7 - OnLive, Game Testing and Team Fortress 2

Posted on 7th Sep 2009 at 17:36 by Podcast with 15 comments

Podcast
In the third gaming-only CustomPC and bit-tech podcast we talk about the theory behind OnLive, Sony's new PlayStation 3 reality TV show 'The Tester' and the controversies that have broken out around Valve's new anti-cheat measures in Team Fortress 2.

Moving on from that we recap on what we've all been up to lately, from playing with the Novint Falcon to taking a look at the much-delayed Battlefield 2 patch.

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Games to play with your children

Posted on 3rd Sep 2009 at 15:16 by Joe Martin with 36 comments

Joe Martin
I don’t have children, but I do have a lot of younger siblings and nephews and nieces, and we've played a lot of computer games together. A lot of the experiences we’ve shared have been through the medium of joysticks and mouse clicks.

Looking back on that recently I’ve come to think that parents should definitely play computer games with their kids, even though a lot of parents are of the opinion that "games are bad for you" and "all games are violent". Absolute rubbish, every word of it.

Of course, some games are violent and there’s a huge amount of games out there which aren’t at all suitable for children – but violence, if handled responsibly, isn’t always bad and there are a lot of games that are good for kids. My parents had an inkling of this and I spent a lot of time playing either with my Dad or talking about it with him. It’s something I plan to do with my children too, heaven forbid, and something I reflect on every time I go into a shop and see a parent blindly buying Grand Theft Auto for their seven year old. Grrr.

This isn’t new thinking obviously – any number of child-rearing programs or handbooks will tell you it’s important to get involved and find experiences you can share with your children. The problem though is that if you’re not someone who’s ‘into PCs’ and your kid is then it can be hard going. Thus, here are some recommendations for games that are suitable for most children and which open themselves up to this kind of activity.

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Dirt 2 Demo Impressions

Posted on 27th Aug 2009 at 08:23 by Alex Watson with 8 comments

Alex Watson
After the disappointment of Fuel – which was about as dull and exciting as the coarse fabric pants you could expect to win if you triumphed driving one of its leaden, fart-coloured racers through a fart-coloured post-apocalyptic landscape – I had to admit I approached the demo of Codemasters’ next racer, Dirt 2, with some trepidation.

Fortunately, the recently released demo reveals that we’re mostly back on safe ground, and despite the name it’s not even that brown. That’s because while Fuel was developed by an external studio, Dirt 2 is an inhouse game, and you can tell: Dirt 2 is basically Grid for off-road racing.

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Feedback on Custom PC's new games pages

Posted on 20th Aug 2009 at 08:29 by Joe Martin with 8 comments

Joe Martin
This blogpost was supposed to be about my adventures in Baldur’s Gate as a completionist wizard, but that plan was ruined by the fact that my copy of Throne of Bhaal has yet to arrive because of various mail-related issues and my refusal to start until I’ve got the entire collection. And also you might have noticed I'm in Cologne, Germany for the big GamesCom 2009 show.

So, instead I thought it would be a good chance to get some feedback on a little change I’ve introduced to the latest issue of Custom PC and which, if it goes down well, I’ll keep going. If you’ve got Issue 73 to hand (it's out in the shops today) then you can see what I’m talking about on pages 26 and 27 – the ‘Games Etc’ spread.

Basically, I’ve replaced the usual batch of four or five gaming news items with a hand-picked of really good free games from the last month which we think people will like. There’s some free flash adventure games there, some mods and some downloadable indie games – something for everyone and I’d like to do this every month instead of using that space for gaming news.

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Addictive flash games #2: The Space Game

Posted on 19th Aug 2009 at 08:25 by Richard Swinburne with 8 comments

Richard Swinburne
In my current casual gaming binge I've stumbled across The Space Game. It's simply titled but vastly addictive. Just as if I tell you that you will now have "The Final Countdown" stuck in your head -

Do-do-do-DOOOOooooooooo... do-do-do-d-do!

- The Space Game won't leave you alone.

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Games I Own: Atmosfear The Video Board Game

Posted on 18th May 2009 at 10:29 by Joe Martin with 17 comments

Joe Martin
The usual joke computer game journalists make about board games is that it’s good to have a few around in case there’s a power cut and your handheld is out of battery, but other than that why bother? It’s a joke I’ve made before when the topic has come up, but the reality is that I love board games. It isn’t cool to say so, but board games are cool.

Board games were a huge part of my childhood. I come from a family of seven and my mum worked nights, which meant we often had to be quiet during the day; of course board games were a significant part of my childhood. My dad would even make up little alternate reality games where we’d run around in the woods, solve ancient riddles and search for ‘hidden’ things, with the final ‘treasure’ usually being a board game for us all.

I can still remember fighting my brother, who was wearing a huge papier machie helmet to make him look like a centaur, with a wooden broadsword over a ‘treasure chest’ containing The Legend of Zagor boardgame. That particular ARG went on throughout all the summer holidays…but now I’m getting off track.

The point is: one of my favourite board games growing up was Atmosfear: The Video Board Game. It was a horror-themed game for up to six people where players had to go round a graveyard collecting keys as fast as possible. The game came with an accompanying VHS video, so you played in front of a TV which had a clock counting down on it and you’d collect Time cards that told you to do certain things at certain times. You had one hour to get six keys and escape the cemetery or the Gatekeeper would claim your soul.

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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 bit-tech.net 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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I played Diablo 2 and I hated it

Posted on 5th May 2009 at 10:14 by Joe Martin with 32 comments

Joe Martin
So, I played Diablo 2, just as you asked me to. True to my word I got bit-tech developer Jamie to lend me his copy and I gave it a good ol’ go - by which I mean I played it until I didn't want to play it any more, then tried to persevere for another hour before giving up.

I was utterly underwhelmed by Diablo 2. It appealed to me even less than the very similar Titan Quest – and that’s saying something, considering how I enjoyed that game about as much as I’d enjoy passing a cupful of kidney stones all at once. I hated Diablo 2 because there seemed to be absolutely no need for me to be there. I actually felt that the game would play itself better if I just wasn’t there, as the entire role of the player is to click-click-click-click their character along a pseudo-random, utterly linear path that offers no real chance for exploration or involvement.

Playing Diablo 2 I was left with the impression that it didn’t matter what I did in the game, as fundamentally everything I did only ever had one logical outcome, so I may as well not do anything. I was stifled by the utter lack of room for player expression. You could level the same complaint against almost any FPS where players are funnelled through linear levels too, but at least those games are usually fast paced and full of explosions and a sense of interaction and puzzle solving. Diablo 2 didn’t feel that way to me.

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Killing is Fun

Posted on 21st Apr 2009 at 18:41 by Alex Watson with 12 comments

Konami’s recently announced Six Days in Fallujah rolls into town at the head of a of convoy of outrage over the fact it’s based on a very real and very contemporary battle of an ongoing war.

In a well-weighted editorial on Eurogamer, Rob Fahey nails why this outrage is nonsensical, and why it’s particularly unpalatable when it comes from the tabloid press:

“It's not just the fact that the [Daily] Mail and others are essentially calling for the worst form of censorship, the blocking off of an entire event and saying ‘this is off limits, and may not be portrayed’ - something which would stab to the very heart of the freedom of expression our media should be championing... the thing that rankles most about this situation is the fact that this is a tabloid newspaper telling another medium that the way in which it's handling current events is insensitive. I won't need to remind any reader who walks past a news stand on the way to work, or flicks on Sky News or CNN in the evening, just how ‘sensitive’ the news media is in its coverage of war.”

The whole piece is worth a read as it eloquently defends the right of games to portray reality. Fahey’s defence of games isn’t totally blind though – indeed, he challenges those making games such as Six Days in Fallujah to engage more fully with their subject material:

“If a game like Six Days in Fallujah is to have any value, it must come from adding something to that discussion [of the war]. This isn't about taking a pro-war or an anti-war stance - although both are valid starting points, there are countless others. It's about making people think, informing them through their entertainment experiences, and commenting, as creators, on the media we create and the events we portray.”

Killing is Fun

Games based on real combat aren’t uncommon – the Call of Duty series has been at it for longer than the duration of World War 2 – and Call of Duty 4 is the most notable depiction of combat in Iraq gaming has seen so far (although, bless its little corporate socks, Activision has decided to tell players it was actually set it in unnamed MiddleEastistan). What makes Six Days in Fallujah interesting is that unlike other ‘real war’ games, it’s not an FPS, or an RTS. Instead, it’s a third person ‘action’ game.

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Asus Open Overclocking Cup 2014 Final: Summary and Interviews

Asus Open Overclocking Cup 2014 Final: Summary and Interviews

We take you through the proceedings at this weekend's AOOC 2014 final,...
Mod of the Month October 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month October 2014 in association with Corsair

Six up and coming modding projects straight from our forum

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