Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Personal Gaming History - The 2000's

Moon-Haven 2010

Myself and my brother, enjoyed the Playstation for many years, in fact I didn't buy a Playstation 2 when they were initially released in 2000. 

Mainly due to the fact that you couldn't get your hands on one :) 

We both had reservations about the '128-bit SEGA Dreamcast', released earlier in 1999 (09/09/09)
because of the deluge of confusing consoles they had excreted previously. 

(I genuinely regret this decision, having acquired a second-hand Dreamcast around 2005, I discovered it's awesome power, I confess, all too late)

It was the first 'Sixth Generation' console to make 'online' gaming available via a built-in Modem using dedicated servers.  
Though, I personally, never had the opportunity to use this feature :(

I recently was surprised to discover that the Operating System was co-developed with Microsoft! 

I assumed that the Microsoft Brand on the front of the console had something to do with web browsing. But the Dreamcast, uses a real-time operating system, directly from the game disc. 

D'oh! We were wrong! "I'm sorry SEGA"
A few select titles I had a blast with - 

So, instead we were enticed by the newest Nintendo console - The 'GAMECUBE' 
Nintendo had made the transition from Cartridge to DVD (the new format for video games) except they were miniDVD. (A total capacity of 1.5GB).

Which meant that, once again, developers had storage constraints and eventually jumped ship to SONY. (Supporting 8.5GB Dual-Layer DVD).
But for a brief time, we enjoyed this plucky little console. 

'Star Wars: ROGUE SQUADRON II' was an accomplished venture into the Star Wars galaxy. 
It was great to play through all the original Star Wars titles from the pilots perspective. 

'RESIDENT EVIL' this game had a complete overall. Both game-play and graphics were greatly improved and the game was extended by a couple more nail-biting hours!


An impressive man-fountain!

"Aim for the head, you dolt!"
I still regularly play on this game. 
The button layout on the Gamecube is more natural, in my opinion, to the PS2 version. 
And, I find it impressive that 'CAPCOM' managed to produce such splendid graphics on the Gamecube, despite its limitations.
Yes, I must confess that I bought ALL of the Resident Evil games released on the Gamecube. 
I guess I just like shooting zombies \{ó,ó}/

'The Legend of Zelda: TWILIGHT PRINCESS' one of the last titles produced for the Gamecube. 
And the first for the Nintendo 'Wii'.
A real visual treat. I prefer this incarnation of 'Link' to the many others that preceded him. 
This game was a real adventure in terms of game-play and storyline.  

Unfortunately, the choice of games became very limited, I had no choice but to buy a PS2! 

May 26th 2004 to be exact :)

The PS2 Time Bandits  - 
 - Games I Spent/Wasted The Most Time Playing - 

Shadow of The Colossus - 
The game has such a rich and immersive setting. 
The horizon just went on forever! 

The minimal, almost austere, beginnings really set up an incredible introduction of the colossi. 

It is hard to put into words just how impressive and enjoyable a game this is. 
Being able to scale and bring down such enormous foes, is so damn satisfying! 

'Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy' 

'Telekinesis' is one of the many abilities you posses
in this amusing adventure.

Man Fountain!!!! MK II

Another game I played with my friend Matt. 
We were constantly trying to see who could kill someone, in the most absurd and ridiculous manner. 
Immolation, Possession or Telekinesis? The physics in this game extended the gameplay for hours of endless tomfoolery. 
It also featured a level, where you were psychologically attacked by an antagonist, forcing you to face the sins of your past. 
It was quite freaky. 
Essentially it was like navigating a labyrinth, partially blinded, with random people jumping out in surprise. 
This, again, was aided by my friends overreaction to any fright scenes. It was great!
Writing this, I actually feel like playing the game again :)

'X-MEN Legends, X-MEN Legends II' 
Hello my name is Craig and I am a massive Marvel Comics fan-boy! 
"Duh! I loves me Supa-Heroes"

Yes, any marvel game, I bought or at least played, to see if it passed my scrupulous inspections. 

Both 'X-MEN' games were an absolute joy to play! 

It was 'Gauntlet', with Super-Powers! Who wouldn't enjoy this?

The characters could all be 'Upgraded', not just with accessories, their own Mutant abilities could be 'Maxed-Out' to give them an advantages in battle. 
Each character could also unlock a selection of different costumes, representational of their evolution through the years, which in turn gave them additional abilities. 

For fan-boys, there was a Trivia game located in each Base or HQ which, when answered correctly, awarded the player with enormous amounts of points to spend on your party.

The sequel was essentially the same game with a few tweaks here and there but, it was still a great game to play through. 
This format was also used for 'MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE', which is good, but not as fun as the X-MEN titles. 

And for the record, I hate the Yellow and Blue Spandex costumes. They were instantly swapped out for each characters distinct, superior outfit. 
Also, you got confused who you were looking at! They all looked the same :(

Around 2007, when I suffered a severe back injury at work and was subsequently house bound for nearly four months. "Woe is me!" \{~o~}/
I became best friends with amazon.co.uk, stocked up on PS2 games and waited for the healing to commence :D

To aid this, I finally got around to playing 'Final Fantasy XII', which I had purchased earlier in the year, but couldn't find the time to explore fully.

An epic game indeed! 
To be honest I still haven't completed it! 
I got better....and...well....had to go back to work. 

I replayed it from the start earlier this year, with more skill, but got fed up grinding and grinding away for hours on end! 
This game hangs around my neck like an albatross! 

(I thought I'd interject that I have recently bought ODIN SPHERE for PS2. Originally released in 2007, it is a great side-scrolling 2D Hack 'n' Slash RPG. The art style creates such depth within the 2D world, truly amazing)

(If you can be bothered, I encourage you to watch the videos for Odin Sphere!)

Luckily it was over the Christmas period, so it didn't affect work too much. 
But I was still limited in my movements and couldn't get about without causing myself a great deal of pain. :(
So, rest, rest, rest! And Xbox 360
'HALO 3 Special Edition Xbox 360'

This was a joint Christmas present from my Parents and Brother, I think to cheer me up. 

Although it may seem, reading my Blog, that I have spent tremendous amounts of money on Video Games and consoles, barring a few exceptions, I actually rarely bought a game when it was first released. 
Preferring to wait until it was a reasonable price (what a tight-wad!)

So when I was first playing my Xbox 360, I wasn't too impressed with the graphics. 
Realising this was probably due to my CRT Television, I decided to treat myself to an 32" LCD TV. 

What a difference! I could actually read the text now! 
If anyone has ever played DEAD SPACE on a CRT TV, you will know what I'm talking about. 
You can not read any on-screen instructions. It is pointless.

My favourite first Xbox 360 game. 
I loved every minute of it! The cities felt alive. 
So many (mostly annoying) NPC's! 
A lot of people criticized this game, but if you master your skills and movements you can make your actions as fluid as water. 
An essence of gameplay that took me back to TENCHU on the Playstation. 
You had to measure every single movement in that game to achieve 'GRAND-MASTER'. 
And ASSASSIN'S CREED followed this similar system (or creed, ha ha! See what I did.........................................tumbleweed drifts slowly by). 

The horse riding aspect of the game was a joy too. 
Nothing quite like running some poor bugger down at full speed. 
Or engaging in combat on horse-back!

"You shall not best me.......AAARRGGHH! Damned Hoodies!"
"Bloody Menace!" 

I bumped into this poor fellow.
He proceeded to bury himself, sideways, into his friend. 
Man, this was so funny!
He really looked panicked :)
Appears like he actually paused for the camera :D


An interesting Steam-punk First-person Shooter 'with powers'. 
I'm quite taken with the style of Steam-punk, so I grabbed a copy straight away. 
The setting is great. Claustrophobic, dark and corrupted. 

'HALO 3'
I'm somewhat of a 'HALO Heathen' as I have never played the first two games :s
Suffice to say, I blazed through this chapter of the HALO franchise without much thought. 
(Except that I found it very cinematic and ambitious for an FPS)
I enjoyed it at the time, but had no idea what was going on regarding the story "Who the hell are the Flood?", "What happened to the other Spartans?"
It wasn't until all my house-mates got copies of the game that this really became THE household favourite. 
We had a LAN set-up for the whole house! 
It was so awesome! 
Its mostly peoples reactions, that make this game great. :)
I can't even repeat some of the dialogue we had going on between us! It was coarse ;p
When you all get to the same level of skill, it can be epic. 

Earlier this year (2010) I got my hands on a Nintendo Wii (2nd hand refurbished) in the hope that myself and my brother could play 'Monster Hunter Tri' with our cousin in Canada. 

Unfortunately, USA, EUROPE AND ASIA are all on separate servers. 
An expensive mistake :'(
But, I've enjoyed my Wii so far! (Great sentence!) 
It's been very nostalgic having a Nintendo console again. 
I'd like to get some Mario titles just to see how the old plumber is getting on :D

As an additional bonus, all my Gamecube games are compatible with the new console \{*u*}/

First week of the course..........I finally bought a PS3! 

It is a refurbished model. Absolutely perfect. It just couldn't be sold at it's original price. 
Awesome news to me!
I haven't played anything seriously, yet! 
It will be my treat when things are going right :D
At the moment it's used for mainly research, honest ;P

Downloadable Content
I thought now would be a good time to mention DLC. 
Having missed out on the online features of the PS2, Gamecube and Dreamcast, I really cannot comment on their content or performance. 
From what I've read, I haven't missed much. The only successful console to begin to dominate this new realm, was the Xbox. No surprise really, with Microsoft's history. 

The first 4 downloadable Map Packs for Halo 2

This has been the most impressive example, to me, of the real potential for DLC games. 
I had a blast playing through this game. It harks back to great titles like Castlevania and Metroid with its side-scrolling design, yet is masterfully rendered in 3D. 

The game just kept giving more and more. The challenge of mastering the environment to subdue and dispatch your enemies, with the addition of upgrades for your weapons and armour, was so rewarding. 
The first time you face off against the 'Spider-Tank' feels like you've been transported to a 'Ghost In The Shell' Manga. 
Something I've been dreaming of since I first read them. 

Shadow Complex also features the voice talents of Nolan North, who seems to represent the unwilling protagonist in a lot of recent releases, which was a nice touch :D 

Jason Fleming/Nolan North

Nathan Drake/Nolan North

Nolan North as Nolan North - The Voice of the Protagonist
More Personal Gaming insights to follow....