Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:29 am

{{This is cool- Unreal Engines latest tech- Andy Serkis does some Shakespeare whilst a computer rendered alien mimics- whats really impressive here over previous motion capture is that it does it in real time with the actors performance }}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:51 am

Well I liked his line reading. A little too manic for me, but still fun. The alien creature's facial expressions were pretty difficult to read though. Rather a poor demonstration overall as I don't much see the point of real-time rendering.

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:55 am

{{ I can- Unreal Engine is open source- I have long wanted to do a Forumshire animation- but the sheer time it would take to animate characters on my own is to huge to contemplate. With this tech I can animate the characters based on my own or friends performance in real time with instant results. What could be days of work happens instead in the same amount of time it takes to perform and without a lot of complicated scripting for lipsynching. }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:32 am

{{{ Skyrim VR on oculus- initial impressions.

Lets get the bad out the way first- its Bethseida, its Skyrim so its just as bug prone as any other version of Skyrim, only with a few new VR specific ones thrown in- nothing game-breaking so far but a few minor issues. If your on oculus one of the issues is controllers- which were clearly based around the vive controls more- it works fine on oculus but you need to mentaly adjust to what the controls do as they are not as intuitive as normal oculus dedicated titles- but once you've got your head round them and worked out what does what it falls into place fairly well.
Most of the rest of the minor issues simply stem from the fact its a non-VR game converted to VR- so some mechanics and controls would just not be the way they are had it been a dedicated VR project from the ground up. But they are more niggles and occasional annoyances than they are fundamental issues.
And there are some interesting play options regards control- for example you can sneak the same way as in normal Skyrim by pressing a button to crouch and you'll go into sneak mode and your view will lower- or you can set it to 'realistic' in which case you have to physically crouch, and when you do it automatically detects you're in sneak mode. Similar with swimming- you can swim by traditional means of the movement controls- or you can actually use your arms to do the breaststroke and swim that way. When you combine swinging weapons about, firing off magic ect it can be quite a work out!

Ive only played so far as reaching Bleakfalls Barrow - the first main quest story after you reach Whiterun. So I have limited experience of combat so far in VR- though swinging a sword about and firing bows is fun, its magic where being in VR excels as its literally a case of point your hands where you want the magic to go and job done, and also means if you have a spell in each hand, unlike normal Skyrim you can target two different opponents coming from two different directions at the same time- which to be honest with fire and lighting pouring in a stream from your fingertips feels awesome.

But the main thing to take away so far is Skyrim is huge- now we've always known it's a big game but I mean huge, as in when your in the gameworld it suddenly seems immense- it is one thing to look at the game on a 2d screen and notice that the Throat of the World is the tallest mountain there- its quite another to stand below it and have to actually physically crane your neck to look up high enough to see the top!

Despite Skyrims creaking engine, dodgy textures and general age its still the single most impressive VR world so far just for its scale alone. And if you are already a Skyrim fan then finding yourself standing in Whiterun, or Bleakfalls Barrow is simply thrilling in and of itself.

So far motion sickness has been pretty low- I can play comfortably for an hour or so before I need to think about having a break- and the game is pretty good on options to help if you suffer motion sickness- as well as traditional movement and turning there is teleportation, snap turning ect if you want it, as well as a sort of filter that comes round the edges of the screen when you move to keep only the thing immediately in front focused- bit like a horses blinkers-I dont use it myself but apparently it helps if you are suffering (I've found my tolerance for free movement in VR has steadily grown the more I use it so where 10 minutes on a game like Alien Isolation used to make me queasy and hour now in Skyrm is a breeze).

Overall first impressions therefore are good- still buggy but that is not exactly unexpected but for a complete world to wander in Skyrim on VR is currently top of the pack and just being 'in' the game as opposed to outside looking in is kind of worth it on its own. When you add in hundreds of hours of gameplay to the mix its a pretty impressive package.

Oh and apples are HUGE in Skyrim, I swear was looking a bowl of apples the damn things were about the size of my head- that's a lot of apple!

Fuller review to follow sometime when Ive clocked up some more hours in game. }}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:03 pm

{{{
The Problem With Modern Games


Gaming is in a weird space. Today for example a mobile game that runs on IOS announced they were raking in approx two million dollars, per day. How? You may well ask, well for those not clued into the gaming world its all about the business model.

Traditionally in gaming it went like this- a company, the publisher, pays a programmer (in the early days) or a games studio full of programmers (in current times) to develop and make a game, it is marketed and sold by the publisher. If its successful it might get some sort of additional add-on or expansion sold separately later (old days) or will get DLC -down loadable content- released for it (modern times).
To give some examples- old days- Populous- and its expansion disk sold later New Worlds. Modern(ish) Skyrim- Dragonborn DLC sold later.
Once the game was finished the company would release the game and consumers would buy it from a shop (old days) or download it from a digital seller like Steam (modern). Its a one time sale barring expansion packs or DLC. Once your game is released, like a film its out in the wild and you wait and see how it sells and if the people like it or not.

But this has all changed in the last couple of years because of the business model developed for mobile gaming. And herein lies the problem because that business model relies on milking the user continually.
In short the game is never complete, to get all the content to get all the requirements to see all the levels, the player is encouraged to pay a small amount of extra money to get those in game features/items/levels ect- these are known as micro-transactions.
This model overall is called 'games as services' and utterly changes the concept of the old model of you make a game sell the game and its a one time hit- in the games as services model there is always new content to be unlocked or bought, and the process to unlock it for free by the traditional method of just playing the game is made so time consuming, arduous or boring (usually called by players 'grinding' as a result) that the player is encouraged to say 'bugger this' and pay up the cash for the unlockable content. And for as long as the  game survives and is being sold the content will never end, you will always be striving to to get the next thing, and always be encouraged to just shell out a bit more to get it.

The gameplay mechanics which underline this model are also basically the same as those underlying gambling. Its quick play quick endorphin releases, but the big prizes are always dangled just out your reach till you put that next coin in the slot and see if you get it.

But the biggest problem with this model is that it works- it's hugely successful.
The idea that you don't just sell a game once, but just sell a bit of it once then keep selling the rest of it in bits for as long as you can get people too keep playing, is exactly how you can create a mobile game that earns 2 million a day every day in pure profit for your company.

Now on the non-mobile platforms of traditional gaming- computers and consoles the old model was still largely in place- DLC had replaced expansion packs but that was largely the only shift in the basic business model.

The initial effect however of companies noticing all the money being made in the games as service model was for companies to start butchering their own games and selling them piecemeal.
So in the past where a game might let a player customize their characters look and dress, collect armour and weapons as they naturally progress through the game and unlock new areas of the game as they progress- now companies said, well why not take out the customization, then sell the different outfits to the player separately later after release, and why have them get all the weapons as they go when we can charge them money for extra weapons, and instead of unlocking that new area, lets just take it out and then sell it as DLC a month after release?

It was neither good for the consumer who was now paying several times over for what they used to get all in one, and it was not good for the games themselves which suffered from being chopped up for sales purposes.

But still the games as services kept raking in the cash elsewhere- so how to get it into console and pc gaming?

Well the chop the game up sell it piecemeal model still persists- despite always generating negative feedback from consumers.
The most recent example of this is Sea of Thieves- not that's it is a bad game, by all accounts its a beautifully made, fun experience- what there is of it, because its ridiculously shallow and repetitive- quests are just the same thing over and over, the landscape of islands, even at opposite ends of the game world are all the same, there is no progression either of character or equipment or narrative- its all missing. And again it got huge negative feedback and now the developers say they are listening to feedback and adjusting their future model for the game- in other-words we will add all this content that should have been there- but they wont do it for free. The consumer will in the end through micro-transactions, updates,dlc ect end up shelling out for the content which should have been there in the game they paid full price for from the beginning.

But the other model that reared its head was 'loot crates' or 'loot boxes'- these are basically out all out ingame gambling- as the contents of the box once bought are random and you might not get what you want- meaning you have to buy another one and see if you get lucky this time.
These loot boxes can contain anything from cosmetic items like new costumes to actual game advancing ones like super powered weapons.
This is coupled with the old trick of making getting the items freely by just playing the game and wining them honestly being made such a boring grind that you end up rather just paying and saving yourself the hassle.

The best modern example of this atrocious system is Star Wars Battlefront- this took the loot box gambling, making you grind model to such an extreme there was player backlash- people simply did not buy the game- knocking a hefty whack off the company (EA) shares as a result and leading legislative bodies in several countries to begin proceedings looking into whether 'loot crates' were actually a form of gambling and should be under gambling laws to sell.
EA in response, after badly handling things and claiming it was all good for everyone and it had to be that way, capitulated when their stocks got hit and governments took an interest and removed loot boxes from the game and readjusted the balance so you could get the stuff as you should by actually playing and having fun.

And the gaming world cheered at the victory over the evil corporate beast.

But those cheers are way too soon, because it doesn't address the fundamental reason companies have turned to loot boxes and the the other models of making games as service in the first place- and that is profit v time and costs.

Making a AAA game for console and pc takes time, often several years, a lot of people and a lot of money (GTA 5 cost a reputed $265 million to produce) and so if it doesn't do well a single game can bring down a company.
Conversely get a hit on your hands and it can keep your company afloat for years (see Skyrim, the VR version of which just topped Steams sales charts, seven years after Skyrim was released for pc).

But Skyrim's and GTA's are rarer than the failures, and the cost of making a modern game is so high that so too is the risk now.
As gamers demand ever better graphics, ever more detailed worlds, ever more things to do in games so too the cost of making all those things and developing the game engines to do them in also goes up. But the price of games rarely does.
In the UK a full price game is £39.99 on release, in the early 80's a full price game was either £19.99 or sometimes £29.99.
In the same time period milk has gone up five fold and petrol four fold. With the difference that game content has exceptionally rose with technology.

For those in the US at a later time, 1990's- a top game cartridge back then for the N64 would have cost  $70, which is about $100 dollars worth now- yet a top game in the US will currently sell for $60- despite the amount of people, time and work required having grown massively. A game effectively costs less now.

This is the root of the problem- the console market in particular is reliant on a stream of games to sell the consoles. Consoles that die usually do so due to a lack of game support (see the Atari Jaguar for an example). Increase game costs and if people won't bite and games still come out from smaller independent companies with lower costs at the old pricing level, then the old model can collapse. This worked in the past because the cost of making a game was not yet so high or such a risk, the technology of the day meant your game did not need 40 professional voice actors and an orchestral score or motion capture technology on top of just making the game to be taken seriously in the market. Costs could be kept down and games made quicker with a much higher turn over of releases, minimizing exposure if a single game failed. As a result of this constant turnover of games it fed the market of the consoles creating the cycle of keeping games cheap and selling consoles often at a loss with the profit coming solely from games sales, and the console companies themselves were reliant upon there being a large library of games being produced by the publishers in a steady yearly stream.

Current games companies faced with their ever increasing costs to make a game, longer and longer development times and therefore fewer releases per year, and ever increasing financial risk if a single game fails therefore cant ignore a model of selling games that generates huge profits, long after a game has been released.

Those cheering EA's defeat and the seeming demise of the loot box system of exploiting cash are failing to see that the problem has not gone away. Consumers have rejected a solution to the problem games companies presented. But all that does is force the company back to the same problem.
How do you make a modern game with all the bells and whistles and huge associated cost and risk and turn a profit reliably?
Push up the price of games you risk ruining the console-games loop that keeps that industry going, break up the game into bits or add loot crates to get extra ongoing cash out of players and you meet resistance from the consumer and take a possibly big hit on reputation leading to a loss of stock value, as with EA.

Yet the cost of making games continues to rise, the risk for investors continues to rise and mobile gaming is way more profitable for a company than producing a risky hugely expensive triple AAA title for console and pc you only get to sell once.

Unfortunately the only solution to this dilemma I see is that games have to go up in price if we don't want to see the games as service model become the only profitable means for companies to do their business.

To give an example- if I go to the cinema I can expect to at least pay ten quid for my entertainment, most modern films are between 2-3 hours in length- so that works out at between 3-5 quid an hour.

I've played over 500 hours of Skyrim in the last 7 years easily I reckon- if I paid for that entertainment which is also interactive, at the same rate as I did cinema Skyrim would have cost me a minimum of (at 3 quid an hour) $1,500.
Now no-one is going to pay that for a game- but then its hard to say its only worth 40 quid too in comparison to other entertainment and media costs -you can pay 20 quid for a newly released film on bluray yet only double that for a game with many more hours of interactive content.

Much as I really don't want to have to pay more than £40 for a new game, the truth is its under-priced. Both in comparison to the price of games in the past versus work required to make them, and in terms of competition with other media sources.
Perhaps if gamers paid £60 for a game- but got the whole thing not sold to them later piecemeal- it might just work out without companies like EA becoming the embodiment of the capitalist devil at its worst and without gamers being left feeling that they are being used as cash cows to be consistently milked for product they thought they had already bought. We can but dream! }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:26 pm

Interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing!

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:39 am

{{Cheers Forest, I appreciate you taking the time to read such a lengthy post and I never know if any of these sort of posts will interest anyone much, but the crabbit must find its way out somewhere! }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:51 am

{{Decided seeing as ED has had a bit of a graphics face-lift to play it pancake so I can take some screenshots at higher resolution and with all the graphics maxed out.

So come, join me, Commander Pettytyrant, aboard the Buckie Barrel, Registration PT-101 as I take a simple journey from a planet surface to a nearby star system and take in the sights along the way.

Right first all I have to do is get a bit of height from this planetary base, trickier than it looks when your trying to fly and open a bottle of buckie wedged between your knees Mad



Right now, should be high enough to avoid bumping into shit, that's a technical term, right- this away-ish towards the sun, shouldn't be able to miss it at least! drunken

 

Not an exact likeness (there isn't a version of that hairstyle with an expanding baldy spot Mad ) but I did try to convey a life of wearied crabbit buckie drinking in Cmdr Petty's appearance.

 

Blimey planets are big, takes a while to get clear of one, fortunately that's why I bring along a supply of buckie drunken This is taking longer than usual though-- ah bollocks I forgot to point AWAY from the planet, I'm going round it! Mad

 

Ok now I've remembered which way is up I can finally get going. Better just open another bottle...blimey that sun looks a bit lively Shocked

 

Got to watch cabin temperatures very closely at tricky times likes this- mainly cause it'll boil my buckie! No

 

Right a quick Hyperjump later and... jeez why do you always come out of a jump so close to a fecking star!!! Nearly spilt my buckie!! Mad

 

Still nice system- gob-stopper world and a gas giant with rings.



Think I might go check those rings out, just a gentle cruise by for the view.



Funny, seem like tiny delicate hoops from a distant, up close bloody huge!!



Pretty mind you...



God, I feel so small!!! I need a drink to cope with all this scale! drunken

 

Ah bugger- was too busy sightseeing, got a bit close to the rings!! Um, probably not the best place to be flying drunk! affraid pale

 


Ok stay calm, its just rocks, huge pulverizing spinning rocks, I can get out of this! I can't see over my hood! pale

 

I think I'm lost Mad



Ok had enough of that system! Having finally weaved my drunken way out of the asteroids another quick jump and I reach my destination system! All I have to do is find the bloody space station now. Mad
Ooh another pretty ring world.



Actually no, bugger that, learned my lesson last time- onwards! Nod

 

Aha, this station is around an earth like world, this looks pretty earth like- and I've arrived in time for the sun coming up- excellent the bars should be just opening! drunken

 


Oh come on where's the bloody station? Its in orbit round here somewhere! Mad

 

Ah, I seem to have found it- I was looking out the wrong window Embarassed

 

Damn it which ends the doors at? Mad



Ah of course, the other bloody end! If I miss happy hour because of this I'm going to be very crabbit indeed! Evil or Very Mad
 


Ok, made it, now just ask for permission to dock and wait...




What do you mean submit to a breathalyser test!!! Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad I was not flying erratically Officer- I always fly like this!!


 

Ah finally docked- well impounded, much the same thing! Now what was I here for again? scratch drunken drunken  }}}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:59 am

{{Been playing Kingdom Come Deliverance (its on pc, xbox and playstation too) and very impressed so far.
Basically if you dont know its an RPG with the big difference that unlike most which are set in some fantasy world (see Skyrim ect) this one is set in medieval Europe and is painstakingly based on historic evidence, maps, town plans ect and the plot concerns the events of the time period.
And because it all based in reality it has an incredibly authentic feel about it, the layout of villages and towns, the positioning of forts and castles all makes instant sense and feels right and believable. Clothing, tools, equipment ect are equally researched to the time. And combat is more of a strategic affair where button mashing will get you dead and is based on actual fighting techniques and styles of the day.
There is no magic, no supernatural elements, its just the drama of actual history and works very well becuase of it.
The menus are a bit clunky and old skool rpg- good for the hardcore rpg fan but somewhat daunting if your not, there are still a few occasional bugs though most have been patched out by now, and some of the instructions about what some of your stats actually do can seem clear as mud at first glance.
But overall a highly recommended experience. }}}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:18 pm

ED does look quite spectacular at times!

Need to freeze myself soon so I can do some if that kind if exploring once they build the tech to do it.
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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:04 pm

{{{It can indeed be awsome Lance, especially in VR just for the sheer enormity of it all.

And in that vein join me, Cmnd Pettytyrant as I embark on a probably foolhardly quest to use some highly expensive and highly experimental scanning equipment. Come on the journey with me as I set off for the Maia system in the Pleidies nebula where I hope to track down some alien Thargoids and get a sneaky scan of their ships before they reduce me to atoms!

This is part one in which I embark on my journey, drunkenly pilot from space dock and head out on several jumps covering the first half of my journey to the nebula. }}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:44 pm

{{ Part two of my trip to Maia in which Cmndr Pettytyant stumbles across a deep space science station and nicks its data, visits some asteroids miners in a planetary ring system and stops at the last bar on the frontiers of inhabited space, which turns out to be run by pirates! }}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:46 am

{{No idea if anyone's watching these but here's pt 3 anyway. In which your intrepid and ceaselessly drunk Cmnd Pettytyrant and the trusty Buckie Barrel finally make it to Maia, stopping only along the way to grab a sandwich- sadly from what turns out to be a deep space penal colony and they dont sell sandwiches- before being rudely dragged from hyperpace by a pirate in a much larger and fiercer ship!- but not to fear the Buckie Barrel may look like a deep space skip but is equipped to defend its buckie stores at all costs!! }}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:39 pm

Thinking maybe I'll have to fill the fridge and take out a few vacation days when this finally comes



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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Tue May 01, 2018 1:31 am

Is it like Grand Theft Auto, but in the Wild West?

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by chris63 on Tue May 01, 2018 2:13 am

Still never played on a ps3 or ps4 or even an Xbox. Don't even have a phone, so i don't play games on that either.

Must say thou, some games look brilliant. Great visually.

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 01, 2018 2:19 am

{{Forest- The first one had a lot of surface similarities to GTA games: it's an open world with a mission structure that as you do them progresses a narrative and unlocks new areas of the map to go explore. There are side quests, random events and stuff you can do that doesn't effect the story but is fun or boosts your stats- gambling in various ways, races, hunting ect.
So in that sense it follows the GTA template. And it is also making social commentary and satire like GTA, but I would say it does this in a more mature, less childish way than GTA does.
It's set at an interesting time, the end of the Old West and the birth of modern America and the story often lets you see both sides and tends to conclude they are as bad as each other in their own ways.
But mostly, and unusually for a game, it has an excellent sense of place and time and strong well written memorable characters. If you like Westerns at all there has never been a better Western game.
I think the opening cutscene sets up the mood very nicely-



and this scene is an excellent example of the way the social commentary is handled as well as how the characters are written- }}



{{and if you want to watch all the cutscenes like a movie here you go (even without the game bits should be able to follow it- its a good story too- }}



Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 01, 2018 2:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by chris63 on Tue May 01, 2018 2:30 am

You on the nightshift Petty?

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 01, 2018 2:35 am

{{I was Chris, but I'm off but still got my body clock arse to elbow! Mad }}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by chris63 on Tue May 01, 2018 2:43 am

lol!

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 01, 2018 5:23 pm

{{{ This is part of my retro games stuff I bung up here occasionally.
I'll be putting up a series of vids, hopefully, covering arcade games I reckon are still worth playing today and each vid will cover a different category of game.

To join the fun all you need do is pop along here-

https://www.emuparadise.me/M.A.M.E._-_Multiple_Arcade_Machine_Emulator_Emulators/7

(includes Mac version)

and that will get you MAME- the arcade emulator.

All the games covered you can play yourself by downloading the relevant roms from here-

https://www.emuparadise.me/M.A.M.E._-_Multiple_Arcade_Machine_Emulator_ROMs/7

Any issues on installing or running games just ask and I'll see if I can help.
There will be time listings given below for each game, as well as in the vid description on youtube.



Right thats the technical stuff out the way- now onto the excuses!

To stop vids being excessively long and to keep it interesting, I have restricted myself, come what may and as somewhat of a challenge- to one credit a game- a mere 20p a go- usually thats three lives, or till you run out of time/health ect. No continues or restarts.

This does mean however how much you see of a game depends rather on how well I do at it.
But if I do badly at any given game and think it doesn't show what the game has to offer I will mention that in the brief description of each game below.
Also when it comes to my performance, um, all I can say is these are arcade games, designed to gobble up your spare change- they are often cruelly unfair, have a difficulty curve thats not so much steep as vertical and in general try to persuade you to part with just another 20p to keep going.
If you've played any home versions of any of the following you will find they are considerably easier- one of the things common to home ports of arcade games is the difficluty curve being smoothed out and the 'throw everything instantly at the player' mentality reduced to something more palatable.
Its a matter of aims- arcade games were designed to keep a steady stream of customers putting their money in, even if you were good enough to theortically beat a game on one credit most arcade games are only 10-20 minutes long to complete, so you wouldnt be there that long and the next punter will soon step up. Diffiuclty levels kept the coins coming so you got a continue and didn't have to start from the beginning again, and masked how short the games often were.
Games made for the home are doing the opposite, they are trying to give you enough game and a fun non-frustrating experience to convince you the money you have already spent buying it was worth it and you'll buy their next game.

Most arcade games therefore are not games you will want to spend hours playing, that's not what they were designed for, rather they are for fun quick blasts of gaming, in bursts of 10-20 minutes a game at most and that is how they are best enjoyed still. Its a different gaming sensiblitly to modern gaming ethos where progression was often second to getting your name at the top of the high score table.



So heres what is in the vid.

This first vid is dedicated to one of the simplest most straight-forward types of game- the Light Gun game.

Now the most obvious difference between playing these at home on a pc or mac and in the arcade is that you dont have a gun- instead the most common control method to emulate the gun is your mouse.
In essence all light-gun games have the same base mechanics- move a crosshair over targets and shoot them, usually you have some sort of limited secondary fire too and your movement through the game world is predetermined and done without your direct input- you just aim, shoot, reload and shoot some more!




So starting with an old classic- Point Blank- 0.00 -inspired by shooting galleries at the fair its basically a collection of shooting challenges- shoot x amount of objects within a time limit, shoot a single moving object with only one shot- that kind of thing. Fun for a blast with some games working better than others, good party game to see who can beat who.


This next one is a bit of an odd one- Lethal Enforcers II - 03.31- its got lousy production values, poorly digitised characters with very limited animation frames and a stupid title that does nothing to indicate its Wild West setting. But I really enjoy it.
And this is one where I do so badly in the vid you see very little of it- so I should say that one of the reasons I enjoy it is it's very imaginative, with stage coach heists and indian raids and the like in later levels. And the production values, rather than detract from it just make it feel more fun. Its all so hammy. And rather than feeling like you are in a real western it feels more like you are in one of those western shows, with out of work stunt actors throwing themselves off balconies pretending to have been shot. And it is suprisingly fun. But tough- made especially so as it requires you to shoot off screen to reload- which you cant do with a mouse, and only firing at certain parts of the side of the screen will reload the gun.


Next up we have arguably the grandaddy of the light gun arcade game- Operation Wolf- 04.29 -not because it was the first but because it was the first to really make its mark. And this was in no small part down to the fact if you had one in your local arcade it was hard to miss- it had a cabinet mounted uzi to play with and booming stereo sound and voice samples.
From the era of Rambo and the like its a mindless 80's macho shooter against hordes of enemy soldiers and captures the spirit of that era well, and damn hard to boot!


Its quickly followed by its sequel- Operation Thunderbolt- 07.51 - This added going into the screen shooting with scaling sprites (a technique first pioneered for racing games such as Outrun and Chase HQ) as well as the traditional horizontal scrolling sections and an even more impresive arcade cabinet, with not one but two cabinet mounted uzi's this time. This one had a two player co-op mode- and this makes it ridiculously hard, even compared to the original, when played solo, as you really need someone covering each side of the screen.
Also of note that Wolf's unspecified rather nondescript mercenary style army you faced is now explicitly a bunch of terrorists with hostages, and from their atire its not hard to see what part of the world they are imagined to be from!


Next up we have the terribly named Mechanized Attack- 10.46 -an Operation Wolf clone really, though one of the better ones. But if you cant get enough of the high octane Wolf style action this is more of the same in different setttings and a few new things thrown in- mainly you are in water- why I have no idea, or if your shootng from a raft a boat or just bobbing about! You decide!


Time to take the light gun into scifi territory with Space Gun- 13.13 - An Aliens inspired romp. One of the touches I enjoy about it is that if you shoot the aliens in the face you can temporarily knock them back and take the chance to blast their limbs off, reducing their attacks when they do strike even if you dont kill them. It adds a simple little bit of stategy to your shooting antics. Hard but fun.


Next up a trip into horror- well B-movie horror at least with Zombie Raid- 15.07 - Oddly named as its actually more concerend with werewolves and the only two character sprites it seems to have who populate the first level don't look like zombies and have guns!
But it does have a great sense of fun, its levels are inventive and it has that 'just one more go' feel to it. Nice presentation too despite the limited number of character spirtes and animations- the cartoon styling works well for it.


Ah Aliens 3 the Gun- 19.49 - I would say this takes severe liberties with the film its named after- for one its a gun game based on a film with no guns in it- but thats just the start of its liberty taking yet I can't say much because I've played Alien 3 the side scrolling shooter- and it makes this look like a faithful adaptation.
Its Aliens, more or less, with lots of extra alien types made up and thrown in and you have a gun. Its set across a variety of stages taken at liberty and in any order seemingly at random from the first three films in the franchise. That is pretty much all you need to know.


This next one was a big arcade hit and home ports to all sorts of systems quickly followed, as did a sequel. Still well loved to this day by fans, Time Crisis- 24.29 - which introduced a nice duck and cover mechanism which adds a nice lair of strategy and timing to your shooting mayhem. Tight time limits though. But its fast paced, high octane, big explosive stuff.


These last two some might not be considered tradtionally to be light gun games for the very good reason that in the arcade neither had a gun involved.
However I have included them here becuase playing them on an emulator, using a mouse, makes the experience the same as if it were a light gun game- in that you are moving a crosshair about and shooting stuff.

First up is Starblade- 26.53 -this is unashamedly a Star Wars rip off- not inspired by just plain ripping off- the plot involves a 'mechanised' planet that can blow up other planets and happens to look exactly like the Death Star, and the game ends with you going down over its surface to shoot towers before descending into a trench run to blow it up via an exhaust port. Hard though.

And lastly the game of the film Starblade was emulating- Star Wars the arcade game- 29.22 - Now this was not by far the first arcade game to use vector graphics for a 3d effect- but boy was it first to get the whole package right.
Firstly there was the arcade cabinet- there were two types, a traditional version and a wow factor sit in cabinet, which if you were lucky enough to have one in your local arcade was a must play.



The other thing it got right was presentation and sound- using computer renditions of the films iconic music and, most impressively for the time, sampled voices lifted directly from the films.
The gameplay is simple, shoot the tie fighters and their sparkly laser shots, shoot towers on the surface, survive the trench run (to this day I still duck and bob in front of my tv when playing the trench run bit!) and then blow up the Death Star- and then immediatly do it all again only harder.
And I do mean harder-this game is a perfect example of an arcade games idea of difficulty curve- I took medium, but as soon as I complete the first run the next time round its gone straight to hard, and the difference between medium and hard is huge- with hard being a non stop barrage of enemy fire.
Love the computer music renditions of SW tunes though.

Oh and incidently you may notice on high score tables I put in JAS- this is a nod to my misspent youth- arcade game high score tables nearly always had a three letter limit so that was my 3 letter signature.


Times and Games

1. Point Blank 0.00
2. Lethal Enforcers II 03.31
3. Operation Wolf 04.29
4. Operation Thunderbolt 07.51
5. Mechanized Attack 10.46
6. Space Gun 13.13
7. Zombie Raid 15.07
8. Alien III 19.49
9. Time Crisis 24.29
10. Starblade 26.53
11. Star Wars Arcade 29.22    }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Tue May 01, 2018 8:42 pm

Will watch when I get some time. Will say I had lots of arcade fun with Time Crisis 2 though!
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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 01, 2018 9:00 pm

{{Yeah Time Crisis 2 is a great sequel. Only reason its not on my list is I am taking into consideration how well the emulated MAME version works- and I have never been able to get Time Crisis 2 to work properly (slow down, missing textures or objects, glitchy sound ect) so went with the first one which is still great fun to play and if anyone wants to download and play it should work fine out the box.

Got another vid uploading now but so slow probably be at least an hour till its done- slightly shorter one this time about 15 mins- not sure what that says about my gaming skills!}}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue May 01, 2018 11:50 pm

{{{ Ok onto vid 2.

For ease I will include the links to emulators and roms at the start of each of these posts-

https://www.emuparadise.me/M.A.M.E._-_Multiple_Arcade_Machine_Emulator_Emulators/7

That will get you MAME- the arcade emulator.
Relevant game roms from here-

https://www.emuparadise.me/M.A.M.E._-_Multiple_Arcade_Machine_Emulator_ROMs/7

This time out its the turn of driving games. Same rules apply- 1 credit no restarts or continues.
Now this is an odd one as you might think there is not much an old racing game has to offer. After all in an age when you can recreate a race track down to every blade of grass and offer real world cars that are near photo-realistic with simulated physics models, why would you go back to old skool sprite based racers where they have to make the road stripey just to convince you its moving?
And for the most part you would be right. But in a way that's what makes these games more interesting than many- driving games were changed utterly by the advancing technology in how they were fundamentally made and presented. They crossed a technological threshold and never looked back.
Sprites are a thing of the past for driving games yet once they were the only way you could make them and the new at the time technique of 'scaled sprites' (simply being able to make a sprite bigger or smaller on the fly giving the impression it was closer or further away than before) was the breakthrough that allowed for them at all. And because of this, of all the arcade genres, advancements in graphics, game mechanics and AI have effected driving games the most in terms of how many are left which are still relevant to play today.

But there are some exceptions.
The main thing sprite based driving games offer is something the majority of modern driving games have lost- pure simple uncluttered fast paced driving fun. Most are in some fashion or another a beat the clock race not the opposition- get to the checkpoint to extend your time- run out of time game over. This very much makes the track and its obstacles your enemy and learning the tracks is crucial to success. But what marks the following games out is playability.
Control in all these games is precise and responsive, the road effect, well effective, and the gameplay tight- even with the strict time limits.
Mainly though they offer pure stripped down driving fun- there are no championships to worry about, side issues like sponsorship deals or racing teams vying for your signature, no spare parts to buy or tamper with- its just you, a road, a car and a clock to beat. Its a style of gameplay that no longer really exists in the racing genre which is a shame as its a lot of fun when done well. And these are all examples of it done well.



First up is Super Hang-on- 0.00 - Now this was one of those games whose fame is in no small part down to its arcade cabinet- which in this case had a full scale motorbike to sit on- not only that you went round corners not just by turning the handles but by leaning right over till you were almost horizontal.



Sadly short of dangerously throwing yourself about in your chair this aspect is lost to the home version- and this being an early racer the lack of roadside objects is quite obvious. However the control is tight, bike games are rare even today for some reason, and the tracks are challenging without being horribly unfair. Its a simple beat the clock affair- the other bikes are just there to give you something to try not to crash into. Early entry in sprite based racers, solid and a good introduction to this arcade racing genre as its by far the easiest of the games here.

Next up is a classic that even if you've never played it you've probably played one of its sequels or at least heard of it- its Outrun - 03.08
Another beat the clock racer what Outrun brought to the table were large colourful roadside sprites and plenty of them, fast tracks and cool- which is harder to define but Outrun had it- from its sun-kissed beaches and your Ferrari plus hot blonde 80's chick to its excellent music tracks that fitted the driving perfectly. Combine that with tight responsive controls and a new concept- choice of routes -and you had a winner.
Unlike previous racing games in Outrun every track splits at the end letting you go either right or left, offering not just different graphics to gawp at (and those huge screen filling sprites hurtling about really were impressive in their day) but different difficulty levels of challenge. This was supplemented by no breaks or screens between stages, the graphics change around you as you cross into a new level without the game stopping once- another impressive feature that other games would follow.


Very much taking the Outrun formula of timed checkpoints and splitting tracks and running with it we have Chase HQ- 05.54 -this added a turbo button to boost your car speed for a brief duration, you get three per level, and made you a cop in the Crockett and Tubbs Miami Vice style. It also embarks on the common in arcade games by now fad of digitised voices. Its all 80's sharp pastel suits, quips and cool cars.
But the main thing Chase HQ brought to the racing table was giving you an aim besides beating the clock- now you are in high speed pursuit of evil doers and must bash them into submission until their car catches fire at which point you can arrest them. This was something which would be influential in future racing games.
Notoriously tight time limits in this however, even worse than Outrun's already tight time limits.


Now we move onto APB Cop- a futuristic racer putting you on a sort of bike thing with very strange controls I could not entirely work out (as you'll see- its been ages since I last played it!) there doesn't seem to be a straight forward accelerator so much as a weird boost thing that sends you flying into the air.
But its one of the latter day sprite based racers and retains all the hallmarks of the genre- its got Outruns colourful and plentiful sprites and time limits mixed with Chase HQ's pursuit and destroy gameplay. By this point they had really got the hang of chucking those sprites about the screen- and compared to where we started with the now barren looking Super Hang-on you can see how far sprite racers came in a short few years in the arcades.

The final racing game is one of the last I would say of that pure arcade style racing game, and the only one here not to be sprite based. Instead we now move into the world of polygon racing- still dominant to this day.
This is Rage Racer- 12.41 - the sequel to Ridge Racer one of the first big hit polygon racing games that came on a wave following Sega's early polygon driving hits- I choose Rage Racer simply because it's very similar to its predecessor, it includes Ridge Racers tracks in it and most importantly the emulated version runs better than Ridge Racer.
They stick pretty traditionally to the old skool racing gameplay, its another beat the clock game though this time with a racing element thrown in (hinting at the direction polygon racers would take in the future) you have to finish top 3 to progress or game over.

The main addition besides the revolutionary polygon graphics was 'drifting'- skidding your car round corners- its quite fun and satisfying to do when playing even if it does feel completely unrealistic. In fact that sums up the game experience really- its fun and solid gameplay if not terribly real feeling leaning instead back to the old skool sprite-based arcade racer style still, we are a long way yet from the racing simulators of today.
Sadly the wow factor of the shift from sprite to polygon is probably lost unless you were there at the time to stare in wonder like I was in my local arcade.
But this marked the end of the classic arcade racing game of scaling sprite technology and paved the way for our polygonal future!

Games and Times-

Super Hang-On 00.00
Outrun  03.08
Chase HQ 05.54
APB Cop 09.32
Rage Racer 12.41  }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Wed May 02, 2018 7:48 am

Again... Will watch the videos when I get the chance but I object to Dayton USA being left out!

That is what I always played down the arcades!
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