Hidden classics on the Playstation 2

Hidden classics on the Playstation 2

With over 155 million units sold the Playstation 2 is easily the best selling console of all time. Launching with a DVD player, a major selling point at the time, it quickly grew to deserve its place in the tomes of videogame legend. Giving life to so many beloved titles (from Jak and Daxter to Tekken), most don’t realise just how vast the PS2’s library really is. Home to over 1800 games it’s understandable that some would slip through the cracks. That’s why I’ve decided to run down some of the best, most interesting or most obscure hidden classics on the Playstation 2.

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Kengo: Master of Bushido

Starting as I mean to go on with Kengo, a game I’ve never actually heard another person mention. Though it may not be very well known, every person I’ve ever played it with has been blown away by this intricate, complex sword fighting game. The games multiplayer mode alone is, I’d argue, enough to warrant buying. With a number of possible fighters to choose from, you and one opponent are immediately dropped into an unfamiliar setting with nothing but the blade in your hands. I’ve found going in blind really improves the whole experience. As you and a friend learn the ropes of this fighter you’ll find (as I have many times) that hours will fade away without realising. A complex and challenging single player campaign will keep your passion for this game alive while alone. Kengo: Master of Bushido truly is a must have for any Playstation fan.

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Ben 10: Protector of Earth

Maybe it’s not as obscure; so much as most people aren’t likely to play it with it being based on a cartoon. Once you get passed that however you find a beat em up that’s incredibly fun, with a surprising amount of depth. Ben 10 represents the perfect kind of show to get a game, with its vast number of supporting characters and variety of alien forms; it easily develops into a varied experience from start to finish. If you’re looking for a fun game, that’s really easy to pick up and play, Ben 10: Protector of Earth is the perfect game for you.

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Kuri Kuri Mix

Known as the adventures of cookie and cream in the USA, Kuri Kuri mix is one of the most interesting multiplayer games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. An action-adventure puzzle game, this represents the pinnacle of teamwork. Pick up a copy and you’ll quickly find you and a friend are completely absorbed by this games colourful world, catchy music and vibrant themes.

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Trapt

When I originally found this game I wasn’t sure quite exactly what I’d stumbled across. A strange blend of horror, puzzle, strategy and action with a completely bizarre story about a possessed princess and all Japanese dialogue, Trapt truly is a sight to be seen. If that all sounds a bit too confusing to you, believe me it did to me as well, but as you get into it you’ll find yourself enthralled by this dark, fun, challenging game. More than anything else, I’d recommend Trapt just for the experience of witnessing it, a game so strange you’ll leave it a changed person.

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Fighting Fury

Fighting Fury was published by Midas interactive, a low budget European publisher. Any of you who’ve had any experience of Midas are probably now shaking your heads in disgust. I will admit this doesn’t fit into the category of “hidden gem” quite like the others. This game is undeniably terrible in nearly every aspect, from controls, to visuals, to completely baffling auditory choices it is genuinely one of the worst games I’ve ever played. A lot like most of Midas’ games library however, Fighting Fury has a certain charm to it. There’s just something about a game this bad that’s weirdly appealing, and I’d definitely recommend it to anybody looking for the absolute pinnacle of a “so bad it’s good” game.

By Alberto Statti

Latest Games – Games of Thrones: Episode 2

Games of Thrones: Episode 2

Alberto Statti

The Lost Lords opens with Asher Forrester, the second-eldest son of the house and currently exiled to Yunkai. This is a perfect place to start. In the first episode they focused entirely on the Forrester family. The Lost Lords takes it further.

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The Lost Lords introduces others that are connected to the Forrester family. Two young women from other northern houses come to comfort the grieving family. Of the two women Beskha is the most vivid addition to the story. She is boisterous and engages in dirty talking. She jokes about the loose women and bounties with Asher. She is a strong addition to the story.

Some of the best moments of episode two take place at the beginning. They profoundly affect the overall plot, but cannot be told because it will give away too much of the story. Many of the same literary tricks of the books and films can be found here and are more pronounced in episode two then in episode one.

There are other scenes that will remind you of the books and films as well. Unlike the other Game of Throne stories that basically set the scene telling you important facts, such as the Fire and Ice episode that shared who is dead, who is alive and who is unaccounted for. The Lost Lords ties all of the previous episodes together in a nice bow, although the bow is not neatly tied. Would you have expected anything different? It was well worth the wait according.

As with all previous episodes the action scenes do not disappoint. You artfully must dodge swords, stab opponents and duck to avoid being hit with flying furniture. Be aware that the battle scenes are much bloodier and more violent than in previous episodes. With that in mind, it should be noted that in the episodes you could die much quicker than in the past. But do not let that deter you, the game automatically saves every few moves and put you right back in the action with little progress lost. The Lost Lords is more forgiving of mistakes and minimizes your hardships. This makes the chance of success and advancement much more attainable and fun.

There are also sequences where you have what they call have Gared training for a spot on the Night’s Watch. During this training you carry barrels across a yard, perform basic sword moves against other trainees and shoot straw dummies with arrows. This is a string of moments that brings you to an area of black cloaks and other characters. It may not be as exciting as the action scenes, but consider it a kind of breaking in the action that once again will not disappoint as the game progresses.

In The Lost Lords you are presented with the possibility of choosing your own path during your journey. Each path you choose impacts future events during your journey and the journey of the family members involved. Throughout your journey there are many paths you can choose. The politics of The Games of Thrones can be very stressful, which can evoke feelings of urgency throughout the game. Surprisingly, The Lost Lords is very entertaining, which leaves the frustration to be just an afterthought. The game is full of intrigue and surprises.

Before you take on the adventure of The Lost Lords remind yourself of the skills needed to conquer all from the previous episodes. Also remember that throughout your journey in the Lost Lords every decision you make affects members of the family involved, much like real life. Throughout the game you must stay alert and on your toes, always wondering who you can trust and realizing that every move you make affects the next one.

Written by Alberto Statti

Is the Gaming Industry Paying Attention

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You may be surprised to learn that 52% of women are gamers. With all the action packed, blood spewing video games out today the main audience has to be male, right? Wrong.

I was shocked when reading these facts:

Based on interviews with 4,000 UK residents, the researchers found that women now account for 52 percent of the gaming audience, which is up from 49 percent three years ago. The study, which was commissioned by the Internet Advertising Bureau, also revealed there are now more people over 44 years old playing games than children or teenagers. The gamer audience reportedly stands at 33.5 million Britons, which is 69 percent of the population.

This surge of women becoming gamers and staying gamers can be explained by the popularity of the smartphone. The smartphone has made gains more readily available to everyone. This could be due to the smartphones ease-of-use.

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One scenario that comes to mind is when women are waiting for their children to be done at appointments. While sitting in the waiting room playing a game on their smartphone to pass the time is very desirable. That is one example, but women will play whenever possible, very intently as well.

During the interview women shared that puzzle games were their go to games. The study also showed that women are also interested in disc type games by a large margin. So that discredits the stereotype that women only enjoy smartphone games. It’s a wonder if the future of game design will change in the future now that studies are showing that a quarter of all gamers are now over 45-years-old.

Another interesting thing to consider is, if women make up the majority of the gaming audience why is the number of women working in the game industry so low? Wouldn’t the people who play the game the most have the most to offer when it comes to game development and other aspects of the industry? Only 12 percent of game designers in Britain are women and 3 percent of all programmers are women. Also, the number of women speaking at gaming conferences and events is minute. These shocking numbers are not because women are not interested in working in the industry it’s just how the present industry is constructed. It’s interesting to ponder how the game industry would change if more jobs were available to women.

It will be interesting to see future studies to see if this popular trend continues. If it does, I wonder if there will be industry changes in the future.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – Alberto Statti

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

With the ever encroaching release of the series newest instalment of Tekken 7 into the home market, now seems like a golden opportunity to talk about one of the series most recent instalments, Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Once the poster child of the Playstation brand, the series has since branched out to reach all corners of the home console market, Tekken 7 represents the series first foray into PC gaming.

Story

Tekken screenshot 1.jpg Much like the game it’s a direct sequel to, Tekken Tag Tournament 2’s story, represented in the game’s Arcade mode, allowing you to play through 9 stages of battles with its rich character roster, followed by a small cut scene. Though a number of these cut scenes are fun, it’s exceedingly difficult not to see this mode as lacking, especially for fans of a series as renowned for its complex (and arguably ridiculous) plots as Tekken. However, being only a “non-canon” spin off of the main series, I can understand the purpose of these cut scenes are only as a small reward, with the Game play being the absolute focus of the game.

Gameplay and Mechanics

It is therefore, understandably, through the game play that TTT2 really shines, boasting an enormous 59 unique playable characters. TTT2 never fails to be an exciting, intense and varied experience from start to finish. Making use of both “pick up and playability” and a rich, intricate combo system the developers were clearly aiming to capture both the casual and the serious, competitive players alike. At this, they succeed tremendously; while playing Tekken Tag Tournament 2 you will never for a moment feel like you have nowhere to improve or like you are absolutely finished with the game.

Tekken screenshot 2.jpg The tag team mechanic, for which it is made, also adds new depths to the game play above that of the main series; allowing for a player to gain the upper hand on their opponent. This adds an overall aura of unpredictability, keeping the player on their toes knowing they can never be sure they’ve won a round even at the very last second.

Art Style

The games bright, vivid art style also goes along well with the huge variety in stages to create an absolutely stunning visual experience.

Overall, with a huge variety of modes, playable characters and move combinations, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is truly an experience to be had, though fans of the series may find the lack of much story disappointing, the game more than makes up for it with its tremendous game play and breathtaking visuals. I recommend anyone, new or old to the series, play this game if they want a real understanding of the heights that fighting games can reach before the release of Tekken 7.

by Alberto Statti

Can we make playing games our profession

Can we make playing games our profession?

By Alberto Statti

Since we were kids we all love playing games. It is relaxing, funny; it takes your mind away from problems and everyday routines. Playing games with your loved ones can even make you feel closer together and it can develop a special relationship. But can you turn playing games into a profession so you can also enjoy gaming while you’re working?

When it comes to computer games, they are so popular and everybody loves them so much, that anyone who wants to create new games has a huge area to make his ideas come true. That is, of course, if he has great imagination. With nowadays technology, you can design anything you want – any given situation or a whole world. Creating a computer game that would sell is no different than writing books. You need to know what is popular and what could trigger young people’s minds. It is important to always have bright ideas so new things can appear all the time in the game to make it intriguing and worth playing. People, who create games, presenting a new different world or let you create an alternative personality, living a completely different life, make millions every year, because people want to buy products that truly manage to delete reality and draw a better one.

Another tool to both have fun and pay the bills is poker. Poker has a bad name, because many consider it gambling and they are right as much as it depends on the person whether he would apply strategy or just play with his luck. Online poker can make people very rich, but only if they know how to play the game both safe and profitable. Becoming a master in this game takes not only knowing the rules, but also great understanding of statistics, mathematics and human psychology. Playing poker is similar to solving Rubick’s cube, where you need to know how to apply some basic algorithms – you can manage to succeed without thinking, depending on your luck, but you cannot keep on succeeding every time just by luck. Same way poker gamers create strategies and algorithms so they can guess other people’s cards by watching how the game is played so far. Even very experienced brilliant poker gamers lose money all the time. Their key is to always keep loses lower than profits so the end result will be in advantage. That itself involves strong nerves and calm nature.

Yes, you can turn playing games into something you make your living with, but like the examples clearly show; this is not as easy as it sounds. Games might be fun and entertaining, but their creation and their use for profit can be incredibly hard.