The Amazing Evolution Of Video Games

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Games |

image-1Many gamers who are currently involved in battling their way through a first-person shooter game or have problems solving a complicated mission in an adventure-based video game, may have problems imagining what the first video games looked like.

Even though only half a century has passed since the invention of the first games, the technology and the quality of video games has improved so much that the differences are astonishing.

However, the progress of gaming can be traced through some of the most important events that happened over the years, and fast as it may be – the evolution of gaming can still be “dissected” into small pieces.

The ancestors of gaming consoles and video games did not resemble the machines and software that we have today, not even a little bit, but the basic concept was the same – to provide entertainment and to “kill some free time”. Admittedly, the first computers were solely focused on research, but creative minds have found a way around this, and the games started to appear in the 1950s and 60s.

This period saw the rise of computer technology, and the machines that were once rare and giant could now be found in universities, corporations, and research facilities. As a matter of fact, a “guy” from MIT, called Steve Russell, created one of the first commercial video games ever, and his game called “Space war!” appeared in 1962.

However, gaming could not prosper and thrive if it wasn’t available to millions of people in their homes, and things started to move in this direction in the late 1960s. Ralph Baer created the first gaming system for home use, and this machine was first known as “Brown Box”, but later the name was changed to “Magnavox Odyssey.”

Ping-pong and some similar style games could be played on these gaming consoles, but the foundation of Atari in 1972 was another step forward in the evolution of electronic gaming. Nolan Bushnell founded the company, and games like “Pong” or “Space Invaders” became a symbol of American culture of the 1970s and 80s.

Arcade gaming was tremendously popular at that time, and the boom in popularity saw the birth of well-known gaming magazines and publications as well.

image-2The availability of personal computers was the next big step forward, and video games experienced a giant increase in popularity when machines like Commodore 64 or Apple II appeared on the market.

Nintendo and Sega were also highly influential in the late 80s and during the 90s, but Windows95 and the Internet revolution changed the face of gaming forever. Multiplayer games added another dimension to playing video games, and the excitement and entertainment levels were boosted to the max.

Popular titles from the late 90s and the start of the 2000s, such as Quake or Doom, perfectly illustrate the trend of that time, i.e. the desire to be connected with friends and play video games together but not by being in the same room. Mobile gaming is the next step, and we just have to wait and see what kind of changes will this new revolution bring to the world of video games.

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Twisted Metal Black Game Review

Twisted Metal Black Game Review

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Games |

image 2Twisted Metal was a large part of my childhood. I remember that I had a black case filled with PlayStation games and every once in a while I would take a look and play them.

I had the classic games like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Rayman, but I also had Twisted Metal. In retrospect, I can look back and honestly say that the first Twisted Metal wasn’t exactly the best.

I’ll be honest with you, the nostalgia of them and the imagination I apparently once had is what made the first installment playable. I went ahead and bought Twisted Metal 2 and three as well, and I can tell you that they aren’t anything worth jumping up and down about either.

I think it was all about what they meant to me and the idea of them that interested me. I don’t think it had anything to do with them being tremendous experiences as video-games but because of their interesting visuals and the colorful characters. 

Twisted Metal: Black was the first installment in the franchise that I would full-heartedly refer to as a solid video-game overall. The characters were enticing, and the cut-scenes were some of the most impressionable aspects of the franchise for me.

When I finally bit the bullet and bought a PlayStation 3 after having a Xbox 360 for a couple of years, one of the first games I decided to buy was Twisted Metal for the PlayStation 3. I suppose I wanted to have new experiences with the killer clown Sweet Tooth and friends but with enhanced graphics and hopefully a more focused narrative.

image 3This installment marks a lot of changes in the franchise and a lot of improvements if you ask me. Besides some of the more immediate elements such as graphical enhancement, Twisted Metal PS3 offers up many more options to choose from.

Previous installments kept with the roots and nothing more whereas the latest installment offers up tracks for races to allow a much needed occasional detour to the regular shooting, explosions and so on.

Racing is often a lot of fun with Twisted Metal, especially with some of the more vibrant tracks and it allows many more dimensions for the gaming experience as a whole. I will say though that it isn’t anywhere near where it needs to be to completely succeed. Specifically, some of the races offer too much difficulty.

A lot of the difficulty has to do with the controls which can be extremely awkward at times, this has always been one of the issues with Twisted Metal, however, and like with previous installments, I think they can eventually be learned over time.

I know myself that I eventually became confident with them, but I understand that some might dislike the idea of having controls that feel so awkward that they need to be “gotten used to.” Graphics are drastically improved in this installment as I think everybody expected. After all, Twisted Metal: Head-On was released around seven years earlier on the PlayStation Portable, and remade on the PlayStation 2, both of which are inferior graphically to the PlayStation 3.

The storylines are fun and outlandish, whilst at the same time carrying a certain horror element to them, visuals are at an all-time high, and through the inclusion of racing and the overall improvement of battling itself, the installment has a whole lot more to do. It isn’t completely perfect, but it’s a strong title in the franchise and leaves me wanting more from it.

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Tomb Raider – A new face in town

Tomb Raider – A new face in town

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Games |

top imageLara Croft Tomb Raider: it’s a name we’ve been hearing for a long time. I first fell in love when I saw Angelina Jolie Ricocheting bullets off of cave walls and diving off cliffs in the Cradle of Life.

Of course others know the Tomb Raider series from the popular video games that had a major hand in making the Playstation popular in the 90s.

Since then the series has gone through two reboots after the disastrous Angel of Darkness installment and the need to redefine the character as a whole.

The new game series beginning with a title simply called “Tomb Raider” portrays Lara as different to the original one as possible. She isn’t the fearless, agile master of martial arts she was shown to be before.

She’s vulnerable, afraid and acts more out of necessity and desperation for survival rather than a sense of duty or her own goals. Last year on the 10th November, the sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, was released and showed more of what we’ve come to expect from the reboot.

Instead of relying on her stellar combat skills and intense survival training, this Lara is out on a limb, literally. The gameplay reveal trailer shown her climbing a mountain that reminded me of the climb to Caradhras in Lord of the Rings.

There was thunder crackling, avalanches and intense cold, almost as if Saruman was commanding the wind to impede Lara’s journey.

This version of Lara Croft seems more Assassin’s Creed 3 than God of War 3. She’s surviving a vicious terrain, scouting for food, setting traps and running for her life.

There’s none of the old gun slinging acrobat we’ve come to know and love. However, as the trailer progresses, we see her realizing her purpose and feeling that she’s now sure of what she has to do.

img twoThe shorts and the ponytail and the sex appeal also don’t appear to the be the focus of the games anymore, though they are still present because of their trademark appeal.It’s more about a sense of desperation, fear and survival rather than being a badass.

This version of Lara seems more natural and real than her predecessor because she’s shown to slowly be coming in to her own rather than being born a badass.

Also, the survival activities such as foraging for food and setting traps for enemies and traversing a perilous terrain adds more to the experience than clearing a room full of bad guys.

The Rise of the Tomb Raider was released for the Xbox on November 10, 2015 as a timed exclusive. The game was also released for PC and many people confirmed that a PC version is much better than XBOX version (and PS4 also).

The reason is probably because they had time to fix the bugs that were present in the initial version. Thus, the overall gaming experience is a lot better on PC than on the consoles.

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