Covering (but not limited to) all of my thoughts on the PC gaming scene.
Phazon88's Articles In PC Gaming
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...
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3ws1bPYfWg

 

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 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 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...
May 10, 2008 by Phazon88
Another case of the customer knows best. Recently you may have heard about how a intrusive form of copy protection was going to be included with Mass Effect and Spore that constantly connected to the internet (at the rate of every 10 days) just to check your serial was valid (with no check = no play).

There was a huge uproar as a consequence, with many potential buyers saying that they would just simply not buy their title (or even pirate it on purpose) just to get rid of this major intrusion...
May 1, 2008 by Phazon88
 

As fantastic as Company of Heroes is, one must always be on the lookout for modifications which provide a different or even more fun experience.

 

 

A squad of fallschrimjager move up the road covered by armour and artillery. Normandy 44 is one such mod. It has been around for quite sometime now (with previous releases on the original Company of Heroes). The latest version for Opposing Fronts incorporates the new game elements as well as being a slight redesign ...
April 24, 2008 by Phazon88
I've never been one for serious racing games. I guess its mainly because its hard to enjoy them using a keyboard on a PC, and the console systems I own are all Nintendo which means I don't really have a chance to play them there either.

Then for some reason I had the desire to try and play some more racing games. Starting with Trackmania Nations Forever, I soon desired to try something a little more realistic. Soon after purchasing my X360 wireless controller for windows (since I had some exp...
April 17, 2008 by Phazon88
Recently I noticed that there was a new release for Trackmania Nations (the free version of Trackmania that people all over the world play). This new version is supposedly new and improved, and integrates Trackmania United (the retail release) and Trackmania Nations (the free release) into one.


First of all, you might ask what is this game? Trackmania is a game that involves you driving cars on surreal tracks (kinda like slot car racing except you can steer). Your car travels quite fast, an...
April 15, 2008 by Phazon88
Lately something has been bothering me immensly with Company of Heroes (expansion Opposing Fronts included). What is wrong you might ask?


Well as you probably already know, Company of Heroes is a real-time strategy game set in WWII developed by Relic Entertainment. It features highly-realistic graphics and some really nice tactical gameplay (including a dynamic cover system for infantry, and different pentration ratings for vehicles).

The game has a really decent campaign with some nice ...
April 14, 2008 by Phazon88
Just thought I'd let everyone know of my little weekend project I have. Its called Realmod, a modification I have been developing for the past few months that has been enjoying reasonable success on the World in Conflict modding forums.


This modification basically aims to improve the depth of the gameplay featured within World in Conflict, along with visual and aural tweaks I have made to make the game look and sound even more impressive.

During my time developing the mod I have incorpor...
April 13, 2008 by Phazon88
An interesting thought occured to me today.

I have noticed that recently, there seems to be a interesting relationship between the system requirements of a game and its sales and success.

If we have a brief look at some of the more recent, highly successful games (Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty 4, World of Warcraft, Sins of a Solar Empire and World in Conflict - games I just happen to own) we can see that there is a possible relationship between their success and their system requirements. ...