Seeing in 2009 with a cautious BANG

31 12 2008

happy_new_year_fireworks

by Matthew Moore

Allow me to start off with a big thank you to the MLG Collective!

With the community input, be it keeping us entertained with wit and banter or keeping us informed with some great writing, it’s always a great place to be and we look forward to the growth of the community in 2009.

So lets take a good look back at 2008 which gave us the expected titles “Metal Gear Solid 4”, “Gears of War 2”, “Fallout 3”, “Fable 2” and “Little Big Planet “.  Oh and not forgetting the social experiment “Home” which was finally released to the public.

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The Death of the PSP.

30 12 2008
psp_slim_003A games platform will always live or die by the software that is available to it, so what is to become of my beloved Playstation Portable.  I recently read a statistic that claimed that Sony’s portable multi-media device only had 100 games developed for it this year, whereas it’s closest rival, the Nintendo DS, gets 100 games every few months. The PS3 sold fewer units this holiday season than they did last year and a standalone Blu-Ray player is now only £150.  These are worrying times for Sony, as well as for me.

I was not an early adopter of the PSP.  Its weak battery life, large size and ridiculous disc based media (the Universal Media Disc or UMD), made it a laughable entry into the portable gaming market.  I could never deny that it was an amazing piece of technology, but just not suited to my needs.  Watch films, listen to music, access to the internet and play games.  It sounds like a dream come true, but when I have other devices that do the same things, only better, why would I need a PSP?

So when, and why, did I have the change of heart?

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4 years in the making, 6 months of waiting, 10 hours of playing and I can’t stand Metal Gear Solid 4

30 12 2008

metal-gear-solid-4-20050915072840184

by Matthew Moore

Yeah its been about 4 years in the making at least. It was first shown at E3 2005, so perhaps longer even than that.

The game was released in June 2008, so yes about 6 months its taken me to finally play this game.

10 hours of gameplay, some might say more than enough time to put into a game that your not all too sure about.

Oh yes you know i’ve done my homework on this one – Good old Wikipedia!!

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ESRB or Common Sense?

21 12 2008

Father and Son gaming

by Matthew Moore

The Electronic Software Rating Board have been assigning age ratings to video games since 1994.  Over that time, they have rated over 50,000 titles over a number of platforms.


Lets start by taking a look at their classifications and descriptions for each.


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Turning Japanese, I Think I’m Turning Japanese (or why I can’t play Call of Duty)

16 12 2008

by Wayne Shayler

japan

I like to think that I have a varied games collection, but as my hair gets greyer, my gaming tastes seem to be changing.

When the technical leap was made, from 2 dimensions to 3 dimensions, there was no longer any need to be able to see the character that I was playing.  We had arrived at the stage known as ‘First Person’ gaming where you saw through your character’s eyes. 

I had become the hero and I loved it.

It gave me a sense of immersion that I’d never had before.  Doom, Quake, Half-Life and of course, Goldeneye.  All classic ‘First Person Shooters’ that redefined what video games could be and are all quite rightly, highly revered forms of the genre.

The Japanese have always had a problem with shooters, especially the first person style, which is why Halo hasn’t taken off as a franchise in the Far East. They’ve always preferred third person games where you can see, and identify with your character.  I’ve never quite understood that philosophy, until now.

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The Way of Nintendo

13 12 2008

by Wayne Shayler

nintendo_gamecube_silver

These days, it is widely accepted that Nintendo has a licence to print money, but that hasn’t always been the case.  Even they couldn’t have been this optimistic with their sales forecasts for the Wii and DS.  After the Gamecube ‘failure’ of the last generation, which was a machine that I loved, I would want to wish them every success in this generation’s campaign.

Except they don’t need my good wishes.  They don’t need me to add to my massive collection of Gameboys, in every iteration.

In sales figures alone they have chewed up the opposition, spat them out and left them to survive on scraps by the wayside, and we may be approaching the third Christmas in a row with Wii shortages.  That amount of dominance is unheard of.  If anyone does deserves it though, it is my beloved Nintendo.  We have been through so much together.

So why do  I feel so down about it? 

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Xbox Live Charts for first week in December

9 12 2008

by Daren Baldock

xbox_360_liveIt’s about time we got to see some data from Microsoft concerning Xbox Live activity. Looks like Major Nelson will be posting these stats on his blog on a regular basis now. It’s also helpful to see what community games are being purchased. While it’s great that these independantly produced ‘homebrew’ getting added at a reasonably steady pace, the eventual depth of choice will leave real gems hidden without some sort of public barometer. Thankfully we now have a better way of sorting the wheat from the chaff!

Full charty goodness after the break…

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