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Something different ... my 'fav' video game (worth a look!)
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geoffrey
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Something different ... my 'fav' video game (worth a look!) Reply with quote

This may seem an odd thing to recommend on a writers' forum as it's not a book, a film, a play or a piece of music. I hope you won't be tempted to just 'dis' the idea however as I think anyone who does is possible missing an (if not exactly 'the') experience of a lifetime!

I just thought I'd spend a few minutes raving about the Tombraider games on Playstation One (PS 1). I 'discovered' them must be around five or six ears ago now. I now have them all (there are five ... The original - just called Tombraider, Tombraider 2, Tombraider 3, Tombraider Chronicles and Tombraider - 'The Last Revelation').

I started with the original Tombraider and taught myself to control the game's main character, Lara Croft, by doing the tutorial excersises. Having (more or less) mastered most of these I found the game itself to be sheer adventure, adventure, adventure right from the outset.

There are literally dozens and dozens of settings (i.e. landscapes) where she can explore every nook and cranny of the most amazing buildings, mysterious valleys (some with dinosaurs), underwater passages, egyptian temples etc. etc. She is also called upon to make precipitous climbs, do dangerous (possibly fatal) jumps, descend into horrendously deep and labyrinthine pits, jump over molten lava flows, slide irreversibly down long, treacherous slopes.

All those places she must negotiate along with fending off or killing the occasional lion, bear, bat, wolf, small dinosaur, huge tyrranosaur, monkey and (in the later levels) fantastical creature or lethally armed robot!

Then there's stuff to collect. 'Secrets' (though not finding those doesn't seem to matter as far as being able to continue the game is concerned), useful weapons and/or tools, and various other items (e.g. keys, amulets, missing parts of machinery.)

I could go on and on and on just about the original! But I do assure you that the others in the series (for PS 1 at any ratre) are all equally absorbing whilst at the same time being very different from each other. (I have recently aquired 'Tombraider - Angel of Darkness' for PS 2 - but to me it simply doesn't have anything like the 'magic' of the earlier games.)

I don't think, either, that these are just games for the boys. I know at least one little girl (who's now a young lady of fourteen but who was around ten when we used to take turns to play the games) who used to love pitting her skills against the beasts, the traps and the many other hazards - as well as having to solve some infuriatingly baffling puzzles!

And it needn't cost a fortune. PS 1 consoles (second hand) can be had for around £20. A new memory card (essential) costs about £5. And the games themselves can be found (again second hand) from around £3 to £6. (£50 - and a bit of searching around - could get you the lot!)

One final word of caution - I've bought literally dozens of other games for PS 1 (and various other consoles) hoping they would be as good as Tombraider - but, quite frankly, for me these are the ONLY games worth bothering with! (I even wrote a poem once dedicated to Tombraider. So you see ... video games can actually 'inspire creativity'!)

O.K. Rave over! Wake up! Cool
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GaryH
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't start a thread on computer games or you'll have the Pixie on about her little elflings again...

G
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GaryH
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS I played the original Tombraider on the PS1 & thought it was superb. Can't say I was that impressed by the others though...
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Missy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spyro.
Embarassed
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Bebbet



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the original Tomb Raider games (from the first through to 'Last Revelation'), and obviously looked forward to 'Angel of Darkness' on the PS2. The animation of Lara Croft was superb, otherwise the game was heap of donkey turd. Half the size of the originals with an appauling control set-up and the single most enfuriating game camera it's ever been my misfortune to come across Evil or Very Mad

They claim to have gone back to the drawing board with the up-coming Tomb Raider: Legend and made a game worthy of the originals - and the trailer does look impressive - but I'm not setting my hopes too high...
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Bebbet



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really choose an absolute 'fav' video game as my favourites cover the genres.

For RPG it's Final Fantasy VII. Tons of atmosphere, wonderful cast of characters, superb plot and HUGE!

When VIII was released, they'd improved on the graphics, but had gotten overly fancy with the upgrade system, the plot was iffy and the characters was dull. Plus it lacked any of the atmosphere of VII. IX restored some of the old magic, but didn't quite make it. And X was more akin to VIII (yet to play X:2), with the subsiquent games not appealing to me at all.

Burnout 3 is my top racing game. Though the Burnouts are no where near as realistic as the likes of Gran Tourismo, they're masses more fun!

Flashback is my top platformer. Prince of Persia was the first of 'realistic' platformers in that, rather than simply bouncing from ledge to ledge and jumping on the enemy's head, the character would grab the ledge and scramble up onto it, would die if he fell too far and had to find a sword with which to take on the enemy. Flashback was the futuristic version of this with better character animation, a better plot and gun replacing the sword. Without these games, Tomb Raider wouldn't exist.

Spider-man 2 is my favourite 'free-roaming' game. I'm a great fan of the Grand Theft Autos (3 was the best of the bunch in my opinion), but nothing beats climbing to the top of the blimp-tether on the Empire State Building, diving off and shooting out a web at the last second, swinging at high speed through the streets of Manhattan. Ultimate Spider-man may have had better graphics with more detail to the buildings, but slow swing speed, cartoony setting and cumbersome controls made it a lot less fun.

Finally, Doom may be the standard-bearer for first-person shooters, but Halo reigns supreme for me for the simple fact of being so much more fun to play Very Happy
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Anlaas
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favourite games on the PS2 are the Dancemat and the Karaoke. Embarassed
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Bebbet



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anlaas wrote:
My favourite games on the PS2 are the Dancemat and the Karaoke. Embarassed


At least with Dancemat you're having fun while fighting obesity. The youth of today (and, let's face it, the adults too) could learn a lesson there Wink
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geoffrey
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems it's time I came back to this thread with some of my own input.

I'll have to put GTA (Grand Theft Auto) 3 and Final Fantasy VII on my shopping list Bebbet. We've already got GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas and GTA Liberty City Stories and Final Fantasy VIII - all of which have become firm favourites among my 12 year old son and his friends - most especially San Andreas.

Our two dance mats received plenty of punishment about a year ago when they were all the rage but - because I live in a predominantly male environment with my son and his friends who are (at present) for the most part boys - it's not often I get asked to rave them out!

Just out of interest here's the poem I wrote soon after I'd discovered (and fallen head over heels in love with) Lara Croft ...

Fantasy World

I speak of a toy widely known ‘cross the world
By the trade-name ‘Playstation’ indeed.
Refrain, I beseech you, leave your mocking ‘unhurled’
Listen on, for you may yet concede ...

I, like you, had never tried,
(Neither thought it had any potential),
What soon was to tempt me, to ‘draw me aside’,
And ‘throw a spanner’ in my differential.

Our son would be eight in a few days time
So with fatherly zeal I was filled.
‘Something special’ was needed and this might be fine
"I too may enjoy it!" I thrilled.

I’d pondered and faced the usual doubts,
(As would you in my place, don’t you think?)
Over what I’d ‘committed’ to getting.
I ‘mulled things over’ (while having a drink).

Yes, the joy of a child’s ne’er a bad thing
(Though there’s a negative side to most pleasures)
And a child not having a sibling
Needs more toys in commensurate measures.

The purchase once made, I homeward did tread.
On and over the carpet the wires I did thread.
‘Til at last and in minutes the ‘foresaid ‘Playstation’,
It’s new home had found, and I paused in elation.

The gadget I’d bought was, thankfully, small
(Fitted snugly beneath our TV set.)
I figured the cables and sockets and all
Of the ‘gift’ my son expected to get.

To say I was ‘somewhat impressed’ by his toy
s very much short of the truth,
And many more marvels will enter my tale.
I offer them next as my proof.

The months did pass by and my fears did allay
This new ‘hobby’ I sought to augment.
So at browsing the playstation’s software array
Many minutes and hours were spent.

I noticed, pictured, amongst all the rest
A girl with more ‘spunk’ than the norm.
With lovely pink thighs (and a prominent chest).
And a slenderly waisted form.

To the counter I went, having made up my mind.
With this purchase my fate was now sealed.
Once at home, the cellophane wrap I’d unwind.
Then my T.V. her ‘talents’ revealed.

To her father’s mansion I was first invited.
To be instructed on button control.
How to walk, to run and to jump her excited
Both the kid and the man at my soul.

Then into the fray with trepidation we passed.
Down a cave in some Tibetan hill.
We outran the gauntlet of spears, save the last.
Though ‘bloodied’ I laughed at the thrill.

The cave opened out to a vast rocky vault
Where wolves, bats and bears lurked I believed.
With her pistols I despatched every one without fault
We were safe! The first level I’d achieved!

These beasts were as nothing it should be said.
Neither worse were the pirrhanas and lions.
Of which we knew nothing as we pressed ahead.
In search of the three missing ‘scions’.

And the name of my heroine’s Lara Croft.
She’s not like the girl next door.
She’s a synthesized girl, pixelated, not soft.
With a complex algorithm at her core.

Be that as it may she’s real for me
While this heart beats within my vest.
She’ll never grow old, it’s plain to see.
Of virtual girls she’s the best.

It's hard to remember what life was like without console games, computers and the internet. We must have managed somehow! Shocked

Thanks guys and gals.
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GaryH
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been wasting my time on something called Dungeon Siege. I really should be doing something more constructive with my time...To make things worse Uwe Bollocks is doing a film on it next year with Jason Statham and Burt Reynolds starring in it.
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santhere
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dungeon Siege is just another one of those games that try to pass as an RPG but in reality is mindless hack'n'slash with a crap story.
Yes I have played it too Laughing

For RPGs I think the sadly closed Black Isle(a pox on ye, Interplay!) were the best, games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale really are the best RPGs there is. Along with the Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Outcast. On the other hand I dislike japanese style RPGs, too goofy and too turn-based for my liking. Especially stuff like Zelda. The only turn based RPG I have enjoyed was Anachronox but it was more adventure than RPG. Which leads me to adventure games where of course greats like Monkey Island etc. are the best. Eternal Darkness, which is a part of the Cthulhu mythos, on Gamecube is also quite good.

I have wasted a lot of time on GTA on pc and playstation, as well as on mindless shooters like Soldiers of Fortune and Halo.
I enjoyed it though Laughing
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Bebbet



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

santhere wrote:
Along with the Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Outcast.


I couldn't get into Knights of the Old Republic, as much as I was interested in the story. I came into it off the back of Jedi Acadamy and missed having full control over the character in the fights. Only managed five minutes of Jedi Outkast. Thought the character movement was too messy.

Has anyone else played True Crime: New York City yet? If so, what did you think?
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santhere
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first Knights of the Old Republic had one fatal flaw, they began reusing surroundings! That annoyed me to no end.
I mean you expect to see something new once you are on a different planet eh Laughing
I haven't played Jedi Academy save for the demo, which is a shame. On True Crime, Gamespot hates it and despite all their other flaws, they are usually right.
Having said that I haven't actually played it so I don't know, but my gut feeling tells me it's a GTA ripoff Neutral
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Bebbet



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

santhere wrote:
On True Crime, Gamespot hates it and despite all their other flaws, they are usually right.
Having said that I haven't actually played it so I don't know, but my gut feeling tells me it's a GTA ripoff Neutral


This is the review I put on Amazon:

"The major problem with True Crime: Streets of L.A. was the developers were out of their depth - trying to be clever by covering all bases. It was billed as a free-roaming shooting game, fighting game and driving game, but each individual element was poorly executed.

Fortunately, time has moved on, technology has improved and games like GTA: San Andreas have proved all this can be achieved - within limits (there's a reason the graphics are kept basic). Unfortunately, Activision weren't told this and have improved on NOTHING (in fact, the shooting element's WORSE)!

The shooting's bog-standard - hold L1 to lock-on and tap R1 repeatedly 'til everyone falls down - with a fleating attempt at some 'Hollywood-style' diving around, which is laughable. The fighting's cumbersome, and near-impossible if you're attacked by more than one person. And the driving is a joke. Rating bars display the differences between the various vehicles, but every one of them is slow to respond to any control input (and you'll marvel at the distance covered by a parked car when you glance it at moderate speed).

The controls are the major problem affecting everything. They are badly set-out (with no option of changing them) and slugish, making everything you do, however you do it, a chore.

However, I have to give this 2 stars purely for the map. The recreation of Manhattan is stunning! In a fast car, covering the island from north to south can take well over 10 minutes (assuming you're skilled enough to weave through the traffic without incident), everything you'd expect to find in the real city is there to be found and the inclusion of the useable subway is a nice touch (especially considering the scale). The map also evolves depending on how you play the game - solve crimes and the citizens will be affable, litter scarce and buildings clean; ignore crimes and the citizens will be testy, the streets litter-strewn and the buildings covered in grafitti.

Unfortunately this also creates another problem. Being a fan of Spider-Man 2, all I wanted to do was climb to the top of a building, jump off and swing through the streets, exploring, but since you're stuck to ground level, it never feels like you're fully appreciating the city.

Like its predecessor, True Crime: New York City looked great on paper - essentially GTA in a real city and from a cop's perspective - but, like its predecessor, the execution is pathetic."
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babsue



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son has loads of different consule machines and literally hundreds of different computer games. some he got from other countries.

At the moment he is at a Youth Conference in Prague, his college paid for most of it.

babs
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