Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Monday, 6 June 2011
- Microsoft Press Conference | 9:30am
- Electronic Arts Press Conference | 12:30pm
- Ubisoft Press Conference | 2:20pm
- Sony Press Conference | 5:00pm
- Nintendo Press Conference | 9:00am
- Mass Effect 3 | 1:00pm
- Battlefield 3 | 1:30pm
- Batman: Arkham City | 2:00pm
- Resistance 3 | 3:00pm
- Starhawk | 3:20pm
- Twisted Metal | 3:40pm
- NGP Demos | 4:00pm
- Journey | 4:20pm
- Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception | 4:40pm
- Gears of War 3 (Campaign) | 5:00pm
- Forza Motorsports 4 | 5:20pm
- Super Secret Remake | 5:40pm
- Ms. 'Splosion Man | 6:00pm
- Modern Warfare 3 | 6:30pm
- Spider-Man: Edge of Time | 11:00am
- Dead Island | 11:20am
- Gears of War 3 (Horde Mode) | 11:40am
- Rage | Noon
- Prey 2 | 12:20pm
- Shinobi | 12:40pm
- Saints Row III | 1:00pm
- Lord of the Rings: War in the North | 1:30pm
- Ninja Gaiden III | 2:00pm
- The Darkness II | 3:00pm
- Street Fighter X Tekken | 3:20pm
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City | 3:40pm
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution | 4:00pm
- Tomb Raider | 4:20pm
- Super Secret Sequel #1 | 4:40pm
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | 5:00pm
- WWE 12 | 5:20pm
- Super Secret Sequel #2 | 5:40pm
- Prototype 2 | 6:00pm
- BioShock Infinite | 6:30pm
- Star Wars: The Old Republic | 11:00am
- Dark Souls | 11:20am
- Inversion | 11:40am
- Warhammer 40k: Space Marine | Noon
- X-Men: Destiny | 12:20pm
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning | 12:40pm
- Jurassic Park: The Game | 1:00pm
- Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 | 1:30pm
- Bastion | 2:20pm
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations | 3:00pm
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier | 3:20pm
- Rayman Origins | 3:40pm
- Sonic Generations | 4:00pm
- Catherine | 4:20pm
- Need For Speed: The Run | 4:40pm
- SSX | 5:00pm
- Madden 12 | 5:20pm
- FIFA 12 | 5:40pm
Saturday, 16 April 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Thursday, 3 March 2011
So, because their are so many superb tracks that spring to mind, the other day (for laughs!) I decided to challenge a colleague and myself into coming up with a tracklist, a 15 strong 'Ultimate Video Game Soundtrack' any game, any system the only rule being NO covers or remixes. I also asked the fellow Gainboy community on facebook to contribute, so thanks one and all for your suggestions. It was really hard to chose so don't be to mad at me if you don't agree on the finished list. Each to his own etc...
Ok, here we go may i present to you, in no particular order (this is an album, not a top 15) Dr Lucian Sanchez's 'Ultimate Video Game Soundtrack' :-
Track 1. Area 5 (fear is a mind killer) by Adam Freeland - Rez.
Amazing track, a great walking song and 'that' sample .... epic!
Track 2. Tour of Venice by Jesper Kyd - Assassins Creed 2
First time i heard this, escaping from a rooftop chase, i found myself on top of a church looking out onto the beautiful Italian vista the song hit its soaring peak at 1:30 (clink the link) Wow, needless to say i had a moment...still one most moving games I've played.
Track 3. MegaMan 2 title theme by Takashi Tateishi - MegaMan 2
A brilliant little ditty that encapsulates the feeling of pixel perfect jumping and charging headlong into robotic battle. The tune also sounds great as the notoriously hard game's protagonist stands aloft a building, hair blowing in the wind. A classic action-hero pose!
Track 4. Mass Effect main theme and intro by Sam Hulick and Jack Wall - Mass Effect
As a 'noob' to Mass Effect (having never finished the first game OR even touched the sequel) I'm not well versed in the full spectrum of the score. I do know, however, from the moment the title card fades in, Joker's voice coming through the Comm system and Shepard stepping onto the deck of the Normandy... BOOM! done, quality game moment.
Track 5. Sewer Surfin' by Masahiro Ikariko - TMNT Hyperstone Heist
Yay childhood, i remember playing this over and over again on the megadrive, messing with the various BGM's on offer in the option screen. It fits the feel of the level so well, in fact when i play it now i can still hear the muffled digitized voices of Michelangelo exclaiming 'Pizza time' whenever i'd run over health.
Track 6. The Moon by Yoshihiro Sakaguchi - Ducktales
Starting with a few notes that perfectly capture space and the surrounding lenvironment of the level this track (apart from the AWESOME title song) is the standout melody for Ducktales. Hey Capcom you've done it again!
Track 7. Metropolis Zone by Matsato Nakamura - Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Probably one of hardest choices i had to make when sorting the list, it's well known (if your a geek) that the Sonic series had a tonne of excellent songs. Marble Garden, Greenhill and Chemical Plant all had brilliant bits to them, but i needed something that had it all...
Metropolis HAS. The scratch effect, the 'guitar' sections, mad synth notes and the best drum pattern in any sonic level. Yeah, this had to be on the my album.
Track 8. Evil Destroyer by Toshiharu Yamanishi, Takeshi Yoshida and Tomomi Ootani.- Thunder Force 4
The Metal runs deep in my soul....Amazingly epic boss fights over 16 bit music was the best recipe for HOURS of level re-try's on TF4. Some great remixes of the originals can be found on Youtube also. J-Rock at it's best.
Track 9. International Karate theme by Rob Hubbard - IK+
Now hear this, you can keep your street fighter's and your Marvels, the real battles lie in this Commodore 64 fighting gem. There is only one track in the game that loops every 10 mins but wow those 10 minutes get filled with all sorts of Sid player goodness. Trust me, it goes all over the shop.
Track 10. Downstream by Shira Kammen - Braid
A genuinely moving and brilliantly arranged piece of music that can't help but move me every time i hear it. The combination of the story and the artwork in Braid married with this track, oh it gets me every time. Perfect !
Track 11. Under Logic by Yuzo Koshiro - Streets of Rage 2
On a list like this you must have a track from S.O.R 2, the greatest side scrolling beat'em up ever. FACT! This song in particular i always thought was a sound-alike to Shamen's 'Move any Mountain' honestly, have a listen = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzbUPISS6gw ... see!
A great slice of 16bit heaven.
Track 12. The Necromancer Theme by John Guy , original title Simple Sight - Castle Crashers
A great game needs great music, look no further than this mental piece. Hyperactive as fuck and unrelentless to boot! I dont think it matches with the boss of the level too well, but it's still a superb piece of tunage. It's that penetrating double drum kick pattern that cements this as one of the best. The soaring synth middlepart deserves an honorable mention also.
Track 13. Mute City by Taro Bando and Hajime Wakai - F-Zero X
There are several versions of this track, earlier mute city songs on the older F-Zero games were good but i think this one is the best. Heavier sounding with a better arrangement this adrenaline fueled powerhouse really makes me feel like I'm going at 300mph when I'm bombing through Mute City.
Track 14. Bubble Bobble theme by Tim Follin - Bubble Bobble
A pure classic in every sense, released in 1986 and available then (and now) on 26 systems! Its the tune you hear when you'd walk into an arcade and scramble to get that 20p from your pocket. It's dream like feel and light touch never really intrudes into the game, and its a simple enough tune that you'll be humming it for hours after your last bubble has been popped!
Track 15. Loops of Fury by The Chemical Brothers - Wipeout XL
Boom, and a banging track to go out on. This somes up everything about Wipeout for me, the moment the extra beats kick in on the 0:42 second mark i can feel the speed of these machines rip through the course. Playing this gives me a similar feel to when i play F-Zero and the song i chose for that. They blend so well, the pace of the track and mood of the race. Great stuff!! Oh, and it's the Chemical Brothers so, yeah its gotta be on the list somewhere !
So there you have it the 15 track Album complete with links for your listening pleasure, no doubt i'll do a Vol.2 at some point so keep commenting and posting on mine and Gainboy's Facebook and our forum on P-Town.
Hope you do enjoy the tunes and i apologise if your 'fav' isn't on the list. It was difficult narrowing down from a list of 30 odd songs.
Until next time boys and gals
Dr Lucian Sanchez
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Firstly, a quick apology on taking so long to follow up my previous article.
In the last article I touched on how I was of the belief that 'Fighting Games' as a genre just didn't have what it takes in terms of depth and staying power, in comparison to other games I owned. I also know for a fact some people reading this will probably have nodded there head along with that statement in agreement, because it really takes something special to motivate you into playing Fighting Games for you to uncover the beauty within them.
Now. Even though I had yet to uncover the depth and endless replay value a good fighting game can provide...I was still arbitrarily buying them, in fact let me go over some of the ones off the top of my head I've bought over the years;
Street Fighter Alpha (series) [PS1], Tekken 1, 2, and 3 [PS1], Soul Blade [PS1], Street Fighter ex plus a [PS1], Clayfighter 63 1/3 [N64], Super Smash Bros [N64], Fighters Destiny [N64], Tekken 4 [PS2], Super Street Fighter II Turbo [GBA], Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks [PS2], Mortal Kombat Armageddon [Wii], Primal Rage [SNES], Bloody Roar [PS1], Virtua Fighter 3tb [Dreamcast], Hyper Street Fighter II [PS2], Smash Bros Melee [GameCube], Soul Calibur 2 [GameCube], Capcom vs SNK 2eo [GameCube] Dead or Alive 3 [XBOX], Smash Bros Brawl [Wii], (plus re-purchasing of some classic Snes fighting games on the virtual console), SSFIIT HD Remix [XBLA] Garou: Mark of the Wolves [XBLA], not to mention Street Fighter III as well as plenty of other great Capcom, and SNK fighting games on the Dreamcast...
When I heard of Street Fighter IV coming out, I was definitely excited to see what it would be like. For the most part Street Fighter IV was expected to mainly just be a visual improvement over the previous Street Fighter games, although personally I was excited to see an actual new entry in the Street Fighter series after a number of years of not having anything original released. Now, again...at this time I hadn't really uncovered any of the true depth within fighting games, it just happened to be a big franchise that hadn't been fresh in a long time, and the nostalgia of the series led me to pre-order the limited edition, which I received a day earlier than it’s release date (internet shopping ftw).
When I finally popped it in, I was immediately loving it on a visual level. Straight away I dove into arcade mode with “Ken”, scraped through on “easy” by mashing out the special moves I knew from previous Street Fighter games, and was loving that it had a familiarfeel to it of the great Street Fighter games of the past in terms of controls.
I played about with other characters and used the internet to get move lists handy, so that I would at least know how to do each characters special attacks. Played some VS mode when I had friends round, partly to show them that the new Street Fighter game was cool, and partly to show off anything I had learnt from my time playing it.
Now...here’s where my eyes on fighting games slowly started to become much more open. I occasionally dabbled in the online mode on Street Fighter IV, most of the time getting my ass handed to me by people that would just overwhelm me... similar to how the computer would do on one of the harder difficulties. For a while I just sat with the thought “they’re well good” and just leave it at that.
Eventually though (through more playing), I started to grow more aware. It started with some really close matches online against people on a similar skill level to me. I’d have some narrow defeats where I would actually ask myself...”what do I need to do to beat [insert character name]/ [insert specific move I was always getting hit by]?”, and through playing more and more, I would learn little tactics that seemed to have a high percentage of working for me, as well as getting an idea of what other people would do with different characters, a.k.a. getting match up experience!
I primarily stuck with the character “Ken” for a while, although this was beneficial as through doing so I got fairly good with him. I was no longer simply mashing out move inputs hoping for the move to come out, I knew what I was doing with each button press. I was fully in control of my own actions. Fighting online meant I got to fight a variety of different people using different characters, and not only that but I’d see how different people I played online actually usedcharacters differently. For instance you could get “rush down” type players who will be in your face and be all out offensive, or you could get “turtles”, which are people who sit back, and look for opportunities to punish unsafe moves etc that you have thrown out, there are more types of player than that, but those are just 2 common examples.
Anyway, no longer was I mashing buttons, and hoping for the best.Each match was becoming a mind game. If I won, I felt great for it. If I lost, I would try to recap what I was doing that was getting punished. Clutch matches (when it’s really close) became on par with one of the most intense ‘edge of your seat’ moments I’d ever experienced as a gamer (and on a much more common basis than say...narrowly beating the final boss on Sonic 2 with no rings left).
It was around this point, whilst I was getting more and more interested in getting better at Street Fighter IV that I came across “I Got Next”. It’s basically a documentary on the fighting game community of Street Fighter IV (as well as giving you an insight to the Fighting Game scene as a whole).
I Got Next is free to download via a legal torrent distributed on the official site, a longer and more updated DVD version of the film will be available in late 2011. >>Click here to go to the official site<<
This was a massive eye opener for me on just how intense and how serious fighting games where, and it made me even more hungry to get better and learn more. It was somewhere around this time that I dragged one of my local friends into Street Fighter IV too. I showed him “I Got Next” and it really pushed him into appreciating the depth to Fighting Games, and the drive to become a great player. This was somewhat a blessing to me too, as thanks to this I had someone local I could play on a regular basis, and if I improved, he improved, and vice versa.
I’ve come a long way with fighting games over the past 24 months... To a point where Fighting Games have become like a sport to me. Thanks to a rise in internet streams over the past 2 years, I get access to watching some of the worlds greatest fighting game players going against each other in tournaments with money and respect as the motivation to win. I’ve found myself staying up late into the early hours (due to time zone difference) watching some of these streams as the intensity and hype is equal to that of a major sporting event. Plus at the same time...I can learn things from seeing how high level players use or abuse specific characters.
The infamous Street Fighter III Daigo vs Justin Wong "Parry Video"
From "EVO" 2004
Personally, my main game right now is Super Street Fighter IV. I have sunk more hours into SSFIV in the past year than I have any other game (and I'm an avid gamer, I've put 180 hours+ in Pokémon Heart Gold [released March 2010] and SSFIV easily beats that on time played). I've grown much more fond of a lot of the older fighting games I never really understood growing up either, through playing a game for a few hours as well as reading up on them, you can really see what makes a truly great fighting game (as well as what makes a truly awful one).
I also would really love to go to Las Vegas to attend "EVO" one year too. Evo is basically a big 3 day fighting game tournament held annually, where a lot of the worlds best players all meet to battle it out through a double-eliminator tournament bracket to prove there skills at a game.
Last year Daigo Umehara from Japan took 1st place in Super Street Fighter IV, along with roughly $20,000 in prize money for doing so.
Amazing EVO 2010 montage.
If/ when I go, I’m not expecting to go over there and be a threat to the big name players I admire, I will definitely train hard building up to it when I do go though, and do my very best. Although just being at Evo itself will be an amazing experience, meeting some great people, getting some great photo’s as well as doing some Vegas holiday/ tourism stuff once the tournament is over, naturally.
It’s safe to say that I will never look at fighting games as simple shallow time killers any more. Even the fighting games I suck at, I know that if I invested the time into them, I would see a return for it.
To try and break it down simply. You should try and think of fighting games in a similar way to how the mainstream FPS games are these days... In which although these FPS's have solo modes chucked in, the real meat is generally in the multi-player!
It's awesome that online gaming is so commonplace these days, and that all the new fighting games include online modes in them, meaning you can always find real opponents to play with, as well as the internet speeds and netcode to keep up with fighting games online.
Although local offline multi-player is truly where it's at if you have the chance to experience that (hence the reason I've tried to round up local fighting game players where I live).
Seriously though, with fighting games...if you play people on a similar level to you, if you enjoy the game you're playing, and if you enjoy levelling up your skills at it, then you'll find yourself wrapped up in one of the most rewarding video game experiences you'll ever find.
I haven't even started and I digress. Let's outline what I'm about to talk about, the subject of modification. Before you get all "Microsoft ban you for that shiz", I'm referring to PC games primarily, and the ability to modify, improve upon and add content to games.
So, why did I decide to descend this article on you guys now? Because it interests me, and through my interest, I think perhaps I might inspire some others to try it out, and explore the vast world of content that other fans have created.
Let's start off with a fairly obvious example, Counter-Strike (CS). What started out as a team of a few guys making a mod for the Half-Life engine, with modern weapons and some nifty game modes, turned into a phenomenom, which in turn led to some of those guys getting paid some big bucks from Valve, who bought out the idea and have been working on it, refining it and making it their own ever since. Funny to think such a polished product, with achievements, worldwide leagues and tournaments started out with a couple guys in their spare time huh? Alright, CS is a bit of an exception, but it's a great success story for the modding community.
So what is there these days? Well, sticking with Valve products, there's a whole wealth of mods for the source engine, from cyberpunk team shooter, Dystopia (below), complete with it's tron-esque data hacking sections, to everyone's favourite sandbox playtime game, Garry's Mod, a single-player or co-op "tool" that alows you to go crazy with the source engine's various functions, building combine soldier catapults or ridiculous rube goldberg machines.
Mods such as these are usually large projects, with separate communities of their own, dedicated websites and teams of people working on them, for a first step into modification, mods like this are a great way to get going, being easy to get hold of and install and with the dedicated community, it's easy to find help if something's going wrong.
So, what if you feel like going deeper? Good question, and one I'm happy to go into more detail about. The humble RPG (most prominently western RPGs) generally has a large community behind it, wether the game is online based or not. Mods come from the community, and by and large, the community continues long after the credits roll because of it. One major example is Bethesda's TES4:Oblivion, by no means a game lacking in content to begin with, but with the passion, dedication and tlc of it's community, it transforms into a world with next to no limits. When Bethesda released the Construction Set in the months after release, the community went mod crazy, and still is today. Anything ranging from custom weapons and armour, to entire gameplay and graphical overhauls, with new lands, quests and dungeons somewhere inbetween. After a few minutes browsing one of the most popular sites dedicated to modding TESNexus, it's apparent that there's something for anyone to improve their Oblivion experience in some way.
graphical effects, custom armour and a custom character race.
The last example of modification I want to give is though a little program called TexMod, which is a handy tool for replacing texture files in games, it allows you to boot up the game and browse through currently rendered textures, then save them as editable files. After you've edited them, you can then package them up with TexMod and fire up the game with what you've done. There's a wealth of games it's compatible with, including Mass Effect and popular online RPG Guild Wars.
using TexMod to edit the texture file.
Existing mods that use TexMod are limited, sadly, at least with the games I've used it for, so it falls to you to do it yourself, for the most part. This kind of modding is a first step into making your own mods, albeit quite simple, limited to changing textures in game. Nevertheless, it's rewarding seeing the results in game, the efforts of your work, as part of the game you're playing.
So what does it all mean, really? For some, it's a way to extend the life of a beloved game, by creating extra content. For others, it's a way to get experience in working with different forms of game development, which, to a degree, it is. The best part of it all, is that by and large, people choose to share their work with others, for free.
As an afterthought, if all this interests you, one good place to start is the Mod Database, which is something of a library of mods both released and in development, take a look around, there's a lot.
Over to you, then. Maybe I've quirked someone's interest, maybe not. Talking about stuff we're passionate about is the Gainboy way, and this is certainly something that's eating up my time these days. If you've got some recommendations, let us know, I for one would love to check out your recommendations, so long as I don't have to spend any money, of course ;)