Covering (but not limited to) all of my thoughts on the PC gaming scene.
Phazon88's Articles
October 26, 2008 by Phazon88
Welcome to my PC gaming pet peeves series. My aim here is to highlight some of the more annoying aspects and trends that have been haunting modern PC gaming. First up is widescreen support.

Widescreens are the standard in today's day and age. I don't think I've ever seen a new LCD or Plasma screen that was anything less that didn't use a 16:9 or 16:10 ratio. The same can be said for PC monitors, where the benefits of having a widescreen are even more numerous than that of a widescreen TV with...
September 10, 2008 by Phazon88
As of today, all "non-essential" employees at Ensemble Studios were laid off. Those still remaining are finishing work on the Halo Wars RTS for the 360.

Ensemble Studios is probably best known for the Age of *insert name here* line of RTS games, indeed its the only range of titles the company has made during its lifetime. Its funny to see when the company decides (or forced) to do something remotely different, they end up being axed by their parent company.

I supposed the Microsoft execs w...
September 10, 2008 by Phazon88
If there is one skill I have that I take for granted, it is the level of computer literacy I have. I was exposed to computers at an early age, and quickly learnt as much as I could at that age. Having to type various commands in DOS at to get a game booted up was probably one of the encouraging factors back then.

Nowadays I find my computer skills indispensable. While most people's knowledge just extend to the extent of being able to use a word processor or send a email, mine goes further. I ...
August 31, 2008 by Phazon88
My first real introduction to the Warhammer 40k universe was with the Dawn of War series of real-time strategy games by Relic Entertainment. From that moment I really enjoyed the 40k universe, and the variety of races that populated it. I enjoyed their representation in Dawn of War so much I couldn't resist getting some of the W40k minatures.

In particular I really got attached to the Orks, a brutish civilisation (if you can even call it that) that loves nothing but to fight and wage war agai...
July 30, 2008 by Phazon88
For those who haven't had a chance to try the Space Siege demo yet, I've done the hard work for you.

Video walkthrough / review of the demo by me:


First time I've done something like this, I normally type these things but figured I'd have a crack at using my voice for once.
July 29, 2008 by Phazon88
This is sad news. Activision is trimming the so called fat with its newly acquired studios that came with the Vivendi merger. If you read the article some of these studios are responsible for the upcoming Ghostbusters game as well as World in Conflict (by Massive Entertainment). Activision has stated it will not be publishing these games, leaving the studios in limbo as Activision plans to sell them off.

I've specifically singled out Massive Entertainment because I know that they are a grea...
July 20, 2008 by Phazon88
Now I'm a 20 year old gamer of all kinds. I have had console and handheld systems over the years and I am priveldged to own some real gems in the gaming world that are masterpieces of their time. However there is one system that keeps me coming back, and there is one system that truely drives my love for computerised gaming.

That system is the PC. The PC was one of my first introductions to the world of gaming (alongside the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES) way back in the year of 1992. ...
July 1, 2008 by Phazon88

Now here's an interesting discussion for all you strategy fans (and game designers too!). I refer to RTS games mostly in this article but it can be applied to other types of strategy games as well.

In most traditional strategy games, the player can recruit / build "units" for the purpose of getting closer to the goal of winning with the selected unit taking a place within a player's strategy. Normally there is some sort resource requirement to stop the game from degenerating into mindless spamming (and to give the player a reason to fight for resources in the first place) as well as serve as a balancing tool (powerful units are expensive etc). This is a common formula for most strategy games out there.

However that's where the similarities usually end. You see there is some different design philosophies that can be adopted in order for a game designer to further control unit production.

June 27, 2008 by Phazon88
Most of you know Company of Heroes was one of the first "next-gen" RTS titles to come out in recent times. It brought RTS gameplay we all have come to know and love along with cool other elements such as dynamic cover (including destructibles), intelligent squad AI and havok physics. The game's level of detail rivalled that of FPS games.

The game has had a pretty good life so far, although it hasn't been without its balance niggles and bugs. However overall the game has been a good title and ...
June 24, 2008 by Phazon88
Just recently Valve unleashed their latest update to Team Fortress 2. Last time the focus was on the Medic class which while very valuable to the meta-game within Team Fortress 2, was underappreciated by players because of its simple nature and lack of combat options.

This time the focus is on the Pyro class. Until the release of this update, the Pyro had a number of fundamental flaws (both gameplay and bug related) that made the class more difficult to play than he really should be. The upda...
June 22, 2008 by Phazon88
Time here is currently 12:04pm. My uni exam starts at 2:10pm.

Oh wait, no it doesn't. It started at 8:30am earlier today.

Thats basically what I found out when I reread my timetable and had a brainsnap. I was looking at the exam length (which was marked as 2:10) which was underneath the exam time.

Ah well, I'm an easy going guy and I don't like getting stressed over stupid things. I just accepted it and consoled myself in the fact I probably would've failed it anyway (it was the se...
June 22, 2008 by Phazon88
ATI has been hard at work on their next series of graphic cards. After the excellent HD38xx release, things are looking better for ATI since the release of the HD2xxx series which didn't go down too well at the time.

The HD48xx series of cards are armed with ATI's new RV770 chipset, built using 55nm production. The card also sports 512MB of GDDR3 memory. It is extremely powerful for its size (with the stock HD4850 being a single-slot product), price (launch price for HD4850 is only&n...
June 13, 2008 by Phazon88
I just recently started using Diskeeper (after I decided that Defraggler wasn't really anything over the default Windows Defrag apart from better performance). Now I know Diskeeper were the ones who licensed the current Windows defrag program to Microsoft, but that one just has the basics.

At the moment I am using a trial of Diskeeper 2008 Pro Premier. Apart from the normal manual defrag tasks, it also has quite a few automated features such as real-time defragging (which takes place when y...
June 8, 2008 by Phazon88
Yesterday while I was at the Sydney Gaming League, EA was there and setup several Xbox 360s with the new Battlefield: Bad Company game on display. I think it was the demo that was recently released or the full version of the game - I really wasn't sure.

Anyway, here's my impressions of the game as I saw it. Keep in mind I don't actually own a Xbox 360 (my experience with it is really only the controller as I have the windows varient for my PC), but I am a Battlefield veteran (since the origin...
June 8, 2008 by Phazon88
Yesterday I went to the Sydney Gaming League event. Its basically a big LAN event where people from all over the Sydney region get together with their PCs and have a good time.

The sad truth of this event is, nearly 90% of attendees were not interested in gaming at all. Instead, they all fired up DC++ ( a file sharing program) and shared files (you can guess what kind) with each other. The other 10% (the TRUE PC gamers) were having fun playing games with each other or just playing their fav...