| Subcribe via RSS

Game Genres

January 20th, 2016 | Comments Off on Game Genres | Posted in Guides

Action – In this genre there is a major emphasis on reaction times and responding to threats to the character on screen. These are the typical fighting or platform jumping type games such as Mario. They sprang up from the early arcade machine days of video games and are what many think of first when they think of video games. These used to be some of the highest selling games and even today, they do well, though games with higher production values and more story elements have come to take precedent.

Shooter – This is a more recent genre that began with Wolfenstein 3D in the First Person Shooter genre, but there are also other types of shooters such as Asteroids. These games emphasize the shooting of enemies, usually in a military type setting for first person shooters and for those similar to as Asteroids and arcade-style shooters, they are generally set either in outer space dealing with a space ship or a fictional aircraft of some sort.

Adventure – These games generally involve a single player character which is more developed than in many other types of games. They emphasize the story that the characters must go through, almost as if the player were taking on the lead role in a movie. The emphasis of play is on solving quests, puzzles and other challenges within the game as the story progresses. They are normally single player rather than multi player.

Construction/Management – Often, games in this genre are considered simulations because they tend to be closer to real world settings such as the stock market or the building of historical civilizations, but they can also involve worlds of total fantasy. The goal here is to helm a large group of characters and manage the resources in the game. The emphasis is on the proper creation and allocation of resources to obtain a goal of dominance in some form or other. These can be single or multi player.

Life Simulation –  The Sims is a prime example of this type of game because players will be in full control over the life of a character or small group of characters. Realistic play is paramount in this genre, but there are sometimes story elements in with the simulation of reality. Pets, plants and other things can be simulated in this genre, as long as they are life forms.

Role Playing – One of the largest and most popular genres today thanks to the ability to play online with and against other players around the world, RPGs are a huge segment of the gaming hobby. In these games, which differ from games in the adventure genre, players will take on the role of a character that they have created specifically for the game by giving them a unique name, appearance, traits, skills and abilities. These games generally involve quests and advancing a character to a hero or villain status.

Strategy – Similar to games of construction and management, these are generally war games though they can involve other settings. The goal here is to out strategize one’s opponent, whether they be human or computer, and take control of the game world by strategic use of resources.

Vehicle Simulation/Racing – These games are all about the racing of vehicles, be they cars, planes, boats or other types of transportation. They involve varying levels of realism with some games allowing for complete customization of the vehicles and offering real physics while other games are more arcade style in nature. This is an enormously popular genre.

Music/Party Games – These games are a fairly recent genre in terms of development and they focus on the fun of the gaming experience rather than obtaining specific goals, for the most part. With music games, players use special controllers to recreate the beats and melodies of songs and these are often played to the party gaming crowd, but there are also party specific games aimed at this audience which are simple and meant for group involvement with non-traditional gamers.

Puzzle Games – These games involve exactly what their name implies: puzzles. They may be along the lines of Tetris with geometric puzzles to be solved, but there are three dimensional and other games in this genre such as Portal which is a highly complex and more recent addition to this genre.

Trivia, Board & Card Games – These games evolved from pre-video game roots and are simply the digitized versions of traditional games that are played in this format. The can be played either solo such as the world famous Solitaire which came installed on Windows machines or can be played online against a host of other players.

Sports – There are video games in this genre for all of the major sports ranging from football to the Olympics, but there are also less common sports which are covered, too. These games can be both arcade style or simulation, depending upon the specific title. They almost always offer multiplayer capacity. 

Educational – These come in a range of different styles and with a huge array of different themes, but the purpose of this genre is to not only educate, but to entertain. They are usually market to parents with children.

Exercise Games – These are a more recent form of game that involve players performing physical actions as a way to win points or simply for the sake of doing an interactive work out that keeps their minds busy.

How Game Developers Are Dealing with Piracy

December 24th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Guides

Piracy is a major issue in video gaming and some game developers have had enough. Piracy is the act of owning and using a video game without actually paying for it. There have been many versions of video game piracy over the years and they are all technically illegal. The digital age has led to many technological advances and unfortunately for the video game industry, people have learned many ways to steal video game content and play those games without paying. The gaming industry however, has come up with an answer and many game developers are putting that answer into effect.

In an attempt to weed out piracy, some developers have come up with ingenious ways of stopping pirates from playing or at least keeping them from enjoying their games. The developers of the popular game Operation Flashpoint Cold War Crisis have come up with a great way to deter would-be pirates. During game play, the pirate will begin the game with weapons that work normally. Throughout the game however and as they advance to higher levels, those seemingly normal weapons begin to be less effective and the player will begin to take on higher and more fatal levels of damage.

In Grand Theft Auto 4, another very popular game, developer Rockstar has implemented a very simple method for teaching pirates a lesson. Whenever a copy is determined to have been pirated, the camera in the game will begin to wobble after just a few moments of beginning the game and will not stop which makes it virtually impossible for the player to continue. Rocksteady, developers of Batman Arkham Asylum have made it impossible for pirates to play as well. When a pirated copy is detected in this popular game, Batman is unable to use his cape which means he cannot glide. This makes it very difficult for players to win the game because there are many sections that require Batman to glide using his cape.

In Serious Sam 3, pirates will find themselves face to face with an immortal enemy when they pick up the gun in the first level. If they do manage to outwit the red scorpion and continue on with the game, they will have only a couple more levels before the camera will lock completely into a position that has their characters spending the remainder of game play running in circles without actually going anywhere.

And finally, EarthBound’s developers, Starmen.net, have copy protected their games from piracy by making enemy encounters much more frequent and difficult in the game, which makes it nearly impossible to complete. If a pirate does manage to get through the slower than average game to the end, it will freeze in the last few minutes and delete the entire file.

These are just a few examples of how game developers are beginning to fight back against piracy. There are other developers that are doing similar things to ensure that their games are purchased legally as they should be in order to be played.

OnLive vs Gaikai

September 4th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Guides

OnLive was the first game streaming service to really impress the gaming community, paving the way for cloud based gaming. Offering a huge array of games at a low monthly cost, gamers can stream games directly over the internet, meaning you don’t need an expensive computer to run the latest titles.
Until recently, OnLive dominated the market, but a new competitor has emerged on the scene. Gaikai has begun to offer services which are set to shake up the market. So is one better than the other? Here’s our verdict on how the services compare.
Round 1: Titles
With over 300 titles available to play in full, OnLive has an extensive library for those willing to subscribe to the service, costing a mere £6.99.
Gaikai only offers demo trials of games but does this at no cost to gamers. There are plans to roll out full game support but as of yet there have been no announcements. The number of titles on offer is limited at the moment but with ever-growing partnerships and the recent buyout by Sony, expect big things to come.
Winner: OnLive
Round 2: Graphics
On launch, OnLive promised better than console performance, though in reality this is far from true. The graphics quality is actually quite poor, looking quite blocky at times. OnLive doesn’t allow for graphic setting alterations, meaning we are unsure of the exact hardware being used at their end.
Gaikai offers much more flexibility in the graphics department, allowing users to change graphic settings on some titles. The terminals running the games are using a GeForce 560Ti graphics card, which is a more than capable graphics card. This comes of little surprise when you look at the screen, the performance is significantly better than most consoles, with smoother lines and clearer view of field.
Winner: Gaikai
Round 3: FPS
Despite its low quality graphics, the gaming experience found on OnLive is impressive, never dropping below 60fps, making for a silky smooth gaming. It’s clear that the people at OnLive have prioritised frame rate over graphical performance, which makes sense when playing games over the internet.
The games on Gaikai may look beautiful but, when you crank the settings, you can feel a noticeable difference, with strange frame rate drops and unresponsive moments making for a far-from-smooth gaming experience. By having double the graphical power of OnLive, Gaikai have essentially halved their frame rate to make up for it, giving users on average 30fps.
Winner: OnLive
So, despite its weaker graphical performance, OnLive still offers the best overall cloud based gaming service. You still need to have a good internet connection so be sure to look around for the cheapest broadband service to get the best deals.

Video Game Platforms

March 25th, 2015 | Comments Off on Video Game Platforms | Posted in Guides

Arcade Games – These were the first types of games that were developed for the general public. They are normally operated by inserting coins into the machine for a chance to play. There are many different styles of arcade games ranging from twitch style games such as Asteroids to shooters like T2: Judgement Day. These are featured out side department stores, in restaurants and in arcades – which are disappearing rapidly these days. This platform is expensive so it is normally a type of game that is owned by a business rather than featured in the home, although certain gamers will buy these machines for home use.

Console Games – These types of games are played on a machine that is connected to a television set and featured in homes. They began with early units such as the Atari 2600 and have progressed to today’s XBox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii. These games have various types of media format that they accept ranging from old school cartridge based systems to the modern DVD and downloadable content games. They are usually longer in terms of play and are operated by a controller that mimics the controller set up on an arcade game machine, with the exception of the Wii which uses a remote style controller. There are literally hundreds of games across all genres for console systems and they are the preferred choice of the majority of the world’s gamers today.

Handheld Games – These are similar to console gaming systems, but they are substantially smaller to make them easily held with two hands and completely portable. Many of the titles available on a console system are ported to portable systems, but there are also games made just for these systems. Since they cost less than a console, many gamers prefer to have a handheld unit they can take with them. The disadvantages are the smaller screen size and also the fact that the require charging or replacing the batteries on a regular basis.

Massively Multiplayer Online Games – These are games which have been designed to be played with either a computer or a console video game wherein players will be working cooperatively or challenging one another in the same vast game world. These games are usually subscription based and usually allow players to create just one profile with many characters. The rise of the internet made these popular for PC gamers, but broadband cable internet has made them popular for consoles now, as well.

Mobile Games – With the arrival of today’s smart phones, consumers can now download and play games on their mobile phones with or without a constant internet connection. These games, called apps on the iPhone, are generally very simple to play, but they are now growing in complexity as the technology improves. Most of these games are not yet multi player.

Online Games – These games played over the web as their name implies, but they are not always about interacting with other players in a shared world. Sometimes they are slots or bingo style games that are more traditional in nature or even card games such as Magic: The Gathering Online. There are as many types of online games as there are genres and styles of games themselves.

Personal Computer Games – These games are played on home computers such as a PC or a Mac and they are generally far more complex than those offered on consoles. The games are generally able to feature high powered graphics, sound and other capabilities that exceed the ability of console games. Since PCs can hook up easily to the net, many of these games feature online capacity. Special gaming computers are also developed these days just for gamers.

Making The Choice With Online Bingo

December 8th, 2014 | 2 Comments | Posted in Guides

If playing bingo is one of your pastimes then you will know just how fun and exhilarating it can be however the effort of actually having to physically travel to a bingo hall can sometimes put people off; especially during the winter months when it gets dark early and the weather is generally awful at best. However this does not mean that you have to miss out and with the advent of modern technology you can enjoy all the thrills of bingo in your own home with the large variety of online bingo sites that have popped up in recent years.

On these bingo websites you can play a very diverse range of bingo games and, aside from the usual 75 or 90 ball bingo there will usually be many theme bingo games as well that can provide an extra challenge and another incentive to play; these normally involve having to make up certain patterns of get enough numbers to achieve a specified goal within the bingo card itself. Furthermore, you do not have to miss out on the interaction either. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that some people play bingo is to interact with the other players in the hall and even though it does require a certain level of concentration – to make sure that you tick the numbers off etc… – it can be a great social game.

On the online sites there will be chat boxes where you can actually talk to the other players so you do not really lose any social contact by playing at home and most sites with have regional or localized ‘rooms’ so you can play with people from your own area, county or country or, if you are feeling more adventurous, play and interact with people from all over the world.