Tuesday, 24 April 2012

New Game Journalism

Video game journalism 

is a branch of journalism concern with reporting and discussion of video games. It is typically based on a core reveals/ previews/ reviews cycles. There has been a recent grown in online publications and blogs. So New Game Journalism is a only an term that coined in 2004 by journalist such as Kieron Gillen, which he personal anecdotes, reference to other media and creative analyses are used to explore game design, play and culture. It is model of New Journalism applied to video game journalism.

When I was younger that was more of a time I brought magazines, but not many really. It was more for 'cheat codes' where the internet didn't exist with them. Yeah I did look at what up coming games, but I didn't constantly read magazine for a fix of what coming out.

I did enjoy some articles giving information on some games I was interested or it was nice stumbling games that was in development and as well other range of articles. Though I generally just was fascinated by the images, art and features then reviews of the games

.I wasn't a serious game buyer, I had a few I like and only really brought other games if friends suggested or I played them and I came to a summery I like it or not, main reason because I was young and I didn't have money to go out and buy and try games.
(as well my parents didn't want me and my brother playing games all the time loll)

However I know a few people who was more serious in gaming then I was. So they were the people who brought the magazines often and read the reviews like its democracy. So yeah, reviews of games and it's rating they trust the reviewers writing a bout their thoughts on the given game  a lot more serious.

I always enjoyed looking up game rating for the interest on how they were rating in the spectrum. Though may times I say to my self, "How is that an 7.5? it deserve  a lot more then that and ranting to my self saying "it's awesome, because of this and that." and then giving it a un consious review to myself. So I do not take them serious one bit anyway, but take it into an account and actually as I said makes me reflect on the game.

Now with the creation of the internet and companies such as Gametrailers, Ign, Gamespot, which are websites surrounding a bout Gaming information, so millions of people view there information and articles and a step forward on which magazines can't give, is video and a lot more of a database is kept and stored there and it's free and easily accessible, however company like IGN has been slated to be an awful game reviewers not all but some, as few commentors on youtube says IGN are IGNorant* which is pretty funny, however even normal folks like us nowadays do there own video game journalist.

 Which at times be a lot more open and fair view to the public people. Sometimes when bigger titles comes out, too much clutter of advertisements all around gives you a sense of they just been paid to do that, without an actual care of the product and us to give a truth description if it's 'yey' or ney' and so then when they review or preview their titles, they overlook a lot of flaws that any other smaller game they nip-pick it like anything.

What I do like is Game rating, sometimes it can give you a some what summary of the game from your thoughts and views whether you agree on or not. Can be a good guideline for reviewers, so you know what your reading/ watching is aspect of the game they are rating and then given it an 'overall'.
However the bad side of this is, it can be very off putting as in, if you saw a game you quite enjoyed and thought it's reasonably well or seeing a game coming out, that looks interesting and it scored something from a miserable 6.0 then that can normally put you off that game you was looking forward to.
Again I think video evidence and review of the game can make it some what a better judgement on your own behalf and to others, because you get to analyse and agree or disagree with the reviewer and you can learn how to analyse a game or even rate it yourself because you probably wouldn't of notice those things.

The end all is in my opinion, yeah just don't take it too much serious, but enough to be passive with the information you are looking at.

Game Review : Killing Floor

The game I am going to review is .....

Killing Floor is a cooperative first person shooter video game
developed and published by Tripwire Interactive.
It was released on May 14, 2009 for Windows and for Macs on May 5, 2010.

So please enjoy and read what type of game Killing floor is.

 Killing Floor is an first person shooter, which Gameplay consist of a single game type, in which the player fights waves of zombie-like specimens, with each wave becoming successively more difficult, untill it concludes with a battle with a 'boss' specimen called the Patriarch.

This is the Patriarch
Annoying when you grind your way to the last round and
your wiped out by him!

So the players earn in-game money for each kill, as well as for surviving to the end of a wave.

                                 "Lots of Money!!!

 In the time between each waves, players can visit a trader to buy and sell ammo, armor and additional weapons; the traders location on the level varies at the end of each wave, which it discourage players from camping in one location. Weapons may also be found randomly across the level. 

Players are also encourage and it's a must really to work together; by trading items and dropping money and as well healing is more effective on others players then yourself and the team can also strategically weld doors shut to provide temporary barrier from the oncoming horde which then you can create tactics by funnelling creatures to specific areas.

One of my favourite maps, The Biotics Lab. Good example of funnelling enemies down the 

corridor for a good ownage.

That edge that gives Killing Floor good playable and long lasting factor is The perk system which players select one of six perks at the start of a match andbetween rounds. The perks, sililar to the idea of a character classes, which prodives bonuses towards certain weapon types, armor, movement and other factors. Players can level up each perk to increase the benefits it offers.

The great thing a bout this is for example the "Sharpshooter" perk, which provides accuracy benefits when using scoped rifles, can be raised in level by completing a number of head shots with specific weapons. The player does not need to play with that perk to raise it level; just like if  I was a Field Medic perk which requires the player to heal which gives numerous  of points to then level up, but this can be done while playing any of the other perks.

So in Killing Floor, if you die during a wave, you have to sit out and then spectate the existing players that are alive. It can be frustrating if you die early on and wait, but it can also be quite exciting where if there is one of your friends survived and your watching his survival. If all players is wiped out, the game ends and have to restart.

So here is an screenshot of one of the matches I played. Yeah he was nearly dead but my team wasn't that good and it was only me doing the damage, he totally destroyed me.
He may won this battle but not the war!


So each game can be configured to alter the length and the difficulty of the various waves. The game is quite fair and it's based on the numbers of players that join in the game increases the numbers of enemies spawning in the wave.

The cool feature on this game is "zed time" which from particular gory kills, such as headshots that it goes all matrix style and slow-motion. As on certain perks the duration can last longer and you can have a volly of zed time from other players and yourself achieving those gorykills. It can really be a life saver.

The good thing a bout this game to make it fresh each time is the online multilayer, you can really be in an awesome team or a terrible team which can ruin your experience of play. The game can be a fun grind because of the perks system and unlocking achievements.

 The one thing I like to mention is the music and sounds which sounds like brute/ metal? Well the sounding that works well for this survival horror game. With headphones and playing in the dark it can get quite creepy with the sounds of the environment and the zombies can really scare you when you get off it early hours in the morning and going to bed, visualising it all which the music can be blamed for this, I swear gets your adrenaline going lol.

It's also so funny as the voice commands in this game is classic British accent.

Enjoy, so funny..

Well as for the graphics, It's probably not 'next-gen' but it's really still good and to be fair it fits the game. As well as being on Game Art course most stuff you can compare to the stuff were creating in 3D max, can give you some good ideas. 

 It's totally different to Left 4 Dead and other zombie horror games, but if your just looking for a good wave wipe out killing, with a lot of fun factor with awesome perks (classes) fun voice acting, good music and weapons selection. Then I recommend picking it up on Steam for cheap. It still come out with updates with new downloadable content. It's a killer price!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Elements of Game Design part three: Character

Well I think character design can be quite important, but it's not only the design of the character it's the qualities and personality that the character portrays. When I think back to my favourite characters from TV shows, movies, game characters, thats is one of the main attraction for me, because I like something better where the character can relate to me, on who I am or like to shape to be. Such as many people in real life, characters from such genres can also be massive inspiring idols. Which can give you a sense of structure, morals, educations, personality and so on. You get a sense of connection that really can't be explained and to what a 'fictional character'? Yet in some way it feels so real?

I believe without these such fictional characters the world be a wrong and boring place to be in, because it's a good way to see many different personality traits expressed in different formats, from books to film to games and obviously this then leads to visual design. There is also a lot to consider if it's in the entertainment industry, because the right voice acting and personality to be true to such character say based from a book, can be a tough thing to get right.

Many characters from the Marvel and DC comics, are pretty much a bible in a way, it can teach people a lot of things;
Superman for instant is a pure-hearted being that shows to people empathy and passion, also how the right and moral thing to do. Which by this can inspire people and some one to look up to.
and people also take liking to villains, but in reality, most people wouldn't do so, but it's a strange one that people take a liking to villains, is it the general style of how they portray or the cleverness or certain things  again gives the peers emotional and mental attachment and sympathize with.

For example the Joker, people find him fascinating, bad ass, mysterious and so on. Yet his down right a murderous, psycho, reptile traits of a person which 9/10 people would like to see him lock up and so on, if he was real. Though it's strange people get a different sense and so a 'bad person' because an idol as well to many people.

As in most things you can have 'side characters' but in games these can be classed as NPC ( none-playable-character) which interact with the main hero/villain that help fill with the story etc.

 Alot of games these days focus a lot of development and interaction with an avatar that you personally customize and create yourself and follow a story that been set, which a nice addition of features that you create and personalize on your avatar you created.

Saint Row - The Third

It's pretty awesome that you can have options to create your character male or female, many features and clothing and option to customize to a good potential or even create other existing characters with the tools there. Then by unlocking new stuff, this can also add more dramtic style and feeling to the game, you can get very trapped in customizing your character to look like you or something ' cool ' which you can get very picky in decided what jeans to wear with this jacket. This can attract the consumer because it's always fun to play a game that resembles a essance of you.

However a game which is just like Saint Row in terms of gameplay and genre; 
Grand Theft Auto 4

That you play as the main character called Niko Bellic, a thirty year old veteran of an unnamed war in Eastern Europe and so on. So already we have got a plot and ethnic background to go from, that his main location is the west to Liberty City to pursue the American Dream.

So even knowing that amount you can expand from this and his design of the character gives you a sense of a military kind of guy and foreign with a troublesome past, with only knowing anything but the visuals. I believe it can be more rewarding depends on the circumstance, that can give you like or dislike getting to know a character as you unravel the story in which the universe the character is placed in. To just create your own avatar and play though a linear storyline can sometimes lose it's seriousness but for such genres like this and having an option of creating a character of choice with some identification and story, can be a good thing, but having a main character which you know so little and want to know more, you feel that the adventure of finding out make it a lot better playthrough.

In first person games, sometimes the main character isn't as memorable that what you play and see in a 3rd person view. Though such First person shooters games where your only visual is your hand and the gun of your character, that the main attraction is the NPC's which is the attraction you play a long side with and through the story, which your character is only a simple vehicle with not much personality, but in this way you feel still engaged and a good sense of adventure because there are other characters of interest which seems more important and your satisfied in that.
Video games with online ability can strive and become a lot more long lasting and addictive that the designers persade you on still playing by updating with unlockables which can be weapons or attributes but in this case having a character customisation feature. Customising your avatar even if it's a default character that you can customize on top, or better if ones you can shape and create yourself, can make the gaming experience online better, because unlike in offline storymode in games, when your online and you competing with real people around the world that you all play through a virtual interface, which your avatar us representing you.

Elements of Game Design part 2: Art Direction

Ha, in ways we all take roles as 'directors' some part of our life, but what I am going to discuss here, is Art Directors, for games, moves and others in the entertainment industry. The general role and job description for such person is that various artist may create or develop specific parts of an art piece or scene but it is the charge of the sole art director to supervise and unify the vision. The director is controller of the overall visual appearance and how it communicates appeals to a target audience.

We watch in one of our critical studies lesson, the development of Black Hawk Down, it shown how Ridley Scott who was the Art director of the film, contrasted well with the artist not because they were on same level playing field, but on how Ridley expressed his ideas.

 The awesome thing was that, through out the interview they were showing thumbnails concepts of each sequence, which Ridley scott stayed true to each thumbnails of the storyboard.

 Watching this, really opened my 3rd eye, because it gives me a new perspective to other job roles in the industry. It' totally important role to be able to visualise and pitch your ideas, direction to yourself and most importantly to your team. A plus factor to Ridley Scott is his  background by which is an artistic background, he knew the fundamentals of art,  which he merged and used that knowledge with his films that gives most effect and emotion. He also communicate an extra step to other artist through the creative draft of problem solving through drawing, that many other directions probably haven't got that acquire skill/ talent.

You can watch the video here you will inspired.

Black Hawk Down : Featurette - Storyboards

(Link should show up)

Film Art Director

A film art director carries out the movies artistic vision as defined  by the production designer. An Art director is in charge of the drafts men who design the sets and the construction manager who physically builds the sets. The art director also works with the set decorator and prop masters to make sure all of the elements mesh and he or she is contact for the special effects team. Plus, the art director is in touch with accountants and producers to make sure everything used on the sets is within the budget. and yet so much more.

Being an director doesn't mean you have to have the top notch skills in drawing and painting. An art director consist of much more. The direction is more of a visionary and it's not a bout knowing the software or programs but have that exploration of observing other areas in movies, games, comics, paintings etc and by this, your able to come up with original and unique ideas/ styles. Which then you'll be Guru.

Game Art Director 

The direction of the Game Art Director is in ways similar to the Film Art Director. Which they both work with teams, have their ideas pitch and they direct, both very visually creative and overseas and maintained stability within the product they are creating. There are some significant difference such as, elements which games consist, that in film you do not need to do.

Elements of Game Design part one: Game Designers

Thinking back now, when I was younger I always used to chat about games to friends and we always say what is missing in games that were playing and why the 'game creators' don't put certain content obviously that another topic and to do with business.

 However we used to come up with good concepts and designs of the next game or new things that be cool on that title and even when I was in year Eight, we had to do this jobs thing on the computer back school (forgot what it was called, a lot of rubbish really) However I remember back then I wanted to do something with Games and it's funny from all the decisions and paths I have experience, I am now on the path of being a artist but more so an Game Artist and on a course called Game Art Design.

Before this course I didn't quite understand how much hard work, commitment, effort and the responsibilities in producing a game and from the subset game development, on the pre-production stage from certain individuals or teams that will create and design content and rules within gameplay, environment, storyline and characters.

It's funny really but game design has a massive impact on its consumers, especially from their childhood. Everyone who describes a 'game from the past' always describes and remembers the memory of the game, from its awesome design concept.

"Ah I remember that game, it had some awesome art style, or the design of the game was so scary and bloody"

and you feel empowered when you play an awesome game, it stays with you for life, it goes into your memory bank and even when you’re sleeping you have dreams of the games, that when you have been certainly inspired.
Many games I have played previously, still to this present day, still inspire me and in a weird way formed me and my ideas and who I am, in a direction because of being exposed to those designs elements when I was younger and even now, because of new technology that can pursuit more expansion of unique and original designs.

Here I like to introduce and talk about certain Game designers; from previous games I have experience that these guys forever deliver exciting games.

Hideo Kojima

Is one of my favourite game designer and many other occupation titles he holds.

His Japanese and was originally employed at Konami. He is currently the director of Kojima Productions and was promoted to Vice President of Konami Digital Entertainment in the early 2011

He is the creator and director of a number of successful video games and the most inspiring one are the Metal Gear Solid Series.

The if you never played the game, it's only a must' because the story, game-play, visuals and everything else, is so compelling and depth and a privilege of playing those games.

Here watch the trailer and even from this you would get shivers down your spine and obviously the music composer also bring the game more to life.
In the 1980's Kojima tried joining the game business but was unable to do so at first. His game design ideas were rejected but he never gave up and eventually he was accepted. Kojima's gameplay ideas were often overlooked initially and due to his lack of familiarity with programming was repeatedly snubbed for his failures in his initial years at Konami. At even one point  Kojima considered leaving the company, but like a true person he hung on.

The day he got asked to take over the project Metal Gear, that was a good day :)

The next designer I like to mention a bout is

Hideki Kamiya

Is a video game design formerly employed by Capcom and Clover Studio. Kamiya is currently working with former Clover Studio members at Platinum Games.

 Kamiya applied for jobs at various game developers. He was turned down by Sega but was accepted by Namco.
Strangely Namco wanted him to be an artist rather than his desire to be a game designer, Though he joined Capcom as a designer in 1994 and his early works such as Resident Evil 1 and 2 and then director of the both Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe and other titles after.

One of my favourite games is one of his that he directed which is Devil May Cry, which to me is just like how the Metal Gear Solid games appeal to me, inspiring, revolutionary type of game/ style and everything else in that package.

Which again must watch, still to this day the game has aged well and still better then most games to date. The design direction and most things, was obviously inspired from Resident Evil his previous games he had apart from, which really suited this Gothic, devilish, 3rd person hack and slash game, which was one of the first in this genre. The boss battles, game play, environment, cut scenes and even the design of the character, that Dante is one of the most famous game character to date.

People love the design of Dante that much, the series of Devil May Cry having a reboot by Ninja Theory and Capcom, that they totally changed pretty much  everything from it's original history, to something more up-to-date, yet thousands of fans are complaining of his new design and petition to boycott this reboot and stop it.

Yeah, I dislike the new Dante model and the new reboot, because the game got up to 4 sequels and had so much to offer, however this new direction of this reboot, I kinder started to like it now and getting over the fact of the new model and realise there so much more to look at from the 'design and art direction' of the new game really is something different and looks really awesome. 

Game designer, is a tough job and you really got not only have the ideas and talent, but the passion of keep on going and specially in this industry. Just like Kojima many times he felt like he wanted to quit but still 'hung in there' and so look where he is now by not giving up and how many people he had inspired.

It's a bit ironic that Kojima now is working on his new title and new direction spin-off from the Metal Gear Solid series called Metal Gear Rising, which goes into a storyline from one of the main characters in the series.
However, it's also being produce by the same team that created Bayonetta which is one of  Kamiya works. So this will be very terminating to see how this will work out.

A history of computer games, part four: my personal gaming history

It was September 13th 1990, two Super SaiYans was born with power levels over 9000s

Well I say 'two' because I am an Twin. So growing up with not only a brother but your other self, was fantastic. Yeah we had our moments of fighting, who's turn to play, but the best moments when we worked together in single-play or even in multi-play. Two heads better then one, they say, no? Yeah, being a twin, I must say is a privileged to experience in this reality, we do both have the same interests in pretty much everything, maybe one of us has slightly more in others, but over all, we respect each other and that.

 The best part is where one surpasses, in a humble way, you reflect that on ones self and think, how, what , where , he got or did this from? So this makes either one of us, want to reach beyond that, so it's an endless pulling along of each other, to the top and over. Even to this date, as we gone our separate ways and into more our chosen paths, when we unite and share our knowledge, wisdom and experience, we just evolve ever more.

Well I can really chat on a bout my history and be a book long, however this will be a 'lite' version, more of a linear pattern of myself growing up and certain things that even still this day, puts a good feeling in me, remembering those times.

So here is a  tale of my personal gaming history...

So far as I remember, I was quite young and was given my first console.

The Sega Megadrive
Must say my dad had used the force-well
on this one.

What I like to mention, in my experience growing up in the 1990's, people either prefered Nintendo with Mario or Sega with Sonic. I for one, was for Sonic.

Me and my brother was a big fan of Sonic, massive inspiration to us, we used to joke and say "which one of us was, Sonic or Tales", since I was the older, I did normally dominated slightly (this happened a lot in cartoon shows, characters or whatever).

 That said we had a nice collection of Sonic The Hedgehog games and even comics for that matter  (when we were around 11, we had a friend who was a pretty good drawer and so we always contently draw Sonic in that period) Fan art right there folks!!!

We had majority of the Sonic games, 1,2,3 SnK, S3D. The biggest one really that impacted us and the world for that matter, it was Sonic at his complete peak. 
Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles

This adapter cartrid was amazing, you was able to use this with Sonic 2 also and have knuckles play on that game. The massive thing a bout this, was the extended and contiunious play-through, Sonic 3 to Sonic and Knuckles and to the end. It wa a thrill adventure and the challenge was fair.
 The addition to having them connecting was like a little expansion, you had some soundtrack change, bonus modes, Knuckles levels and play through and others, but it had one great addition that were....

Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles & Super Tails

This was beyond one of the coolest creation ever been put into thought and into a video game. So Sonic to me, really impacted a lot. It had it all. Speed, fun, challenge, depth, soundtrack, story, characters and overall, memorable forever.

To which I find it strange but people from an early age, grown up playing either The Nintendo Franchise or Sega, seem to differentiated the child in later life.
 (I don't know might be chatting rubbish) 

Though we had many other titles on the Megadrive and we even had an polish upgrade Megadrive 2. As far as I remember we had  like: Sonic games, Toe Jam, and Earl, Shinobi, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombact, Streets of Rage, Zero Wing, Lemming, Micro Machines, Batman many others.

With that, I also had great memories as well playing the SNES, at my cousins house, just like in many house holds, the adults watch the television and the kids go play computer games it was a perfect recipe, It was great because since my cousin was a lot older they weren't much into video games like me and my brother. So we had great fun playing Super Mario Brothers and other titles.

As all gamers growing up, we always had a really good friend among many who was into the same thing. My friend Shaun always had pretty much every console, game and the lastest gadget. Yeah maybe, it was for showing off or something but that didn't matter to me, because it was always a pleasure to play different games / consoles and some one to have fun and play games with.

Through out my childhood 1990s, playing varied of games and consoles, like we had 

The Nintendo Gameboy, (the brick). The handheld that still even to this day is legendary. Many games and titles me and my brother had and (amount of batteries we used) it was also fun using the multi-link wire. Specially games like Warioblast and Pokemon. Pokemon and the games is another blog in it's own, like millions of children, we were sucked in it's franchise, however they always delivered really good quality games and specially on the handheld.

We also got an Phillips CD-i
Yeah not many people might have had a chance to own this console or even played it. It was CD base and had some nice touches to it and the little games, we had few games, but as far from I remember, we had Pinball, some action click games, Tetris but the main game me and my brother had differ cult with was Flashback: The quest for identity which was suppose to be an enhancement from the Amiga version, thought from what I read, It wasn't really enhanced or superior version. It was a slow pace game, but it was quite tactical. Does now, reminds me of the style-play of Abe's Odyssey. We didn't complete it, but it was one of those trouble games we had from our childhood.

Wish to know a bout the CD-i, The Nintendo Nerd, did a review of it, though his reviews are aimed on how bad it was, it's still interested to know the console.

There were many other consoles and games that I had the experience to play on, like The Sega Saturn, Sega Gamegear, Tiger Games.com, eventually leading to the next generation of consoles which I was given
 The Playstation.

To be fair, the Playstation was a great console it had a tight library of games and to me it really bridge that cap, that it was a correct step forward for CD base systems. The CD-i was a miserable failure but the Playstation got it right. It had memory card case system, simple effective controls, CD-player that was pretty useful.

Many great titles that even still this day has squeals years on. Tons of games I played on the Playstation, few I remember, were Final Fantasy, Tekken, Abes Oddessy, Crash Team Racing,  DragonBall Z, GTA and many more.

The game that really did Playstation proud, in my opinion, was

Metal Gear Solid, surely this image will bring nostalgic feelings.
Yeah this game was the bomb, truly was a step forward in video games. The style, storytelling, cinematic, music, characters, designs, dramas, visuals, blown people away back then. In that period game magazines was mainly your source of information, so it made going shopping with your parents, a pleasure not a chore.

 I feel the need of game magazines are lost these days, with the invention of the internet though they still have there values. I really can't fault this game, to me it had it all. I love all the bosses, characters, voice acting, the music, even sad moments like when  Meryl was snipe down. The "one on one, hand to hand combat" with Grey Fox and for his death, I did shear a tear and there is much more. There were only one thing that was frustrating, it's where on most games X is confirm and O is back. It's the other way round on this game. So when you finish the game, past the credits, right near the end, you get an option to 'Save Game' this will then allow you restart the game on new differculty etc. However many times, I fallen to self programming of pressing X instead of O, so I would painkillingly, have to redo all of the last boss fights with his twin brother Liquid and then wait for the cut scenes and that. I did this so many times it's so laughable.

So the playstation to me was getting a bit dull. I wasn't the kind of person who goes out buy and try, my friend Shaun was, though didn't really see the need, I only get other games if the ones I played at his was really appealing, or few ones that got drawn to me anyway.

To me, this is one of the best potential console and really evolutionary that ever hit the market and it was the 
Sega Dream Cast.

As from a young age and even to this day, my love for Sega, even after there history of trash games they have made. I do admire there will and power to carry on specially with the Sonic Franchise and they always deliver great art direction, soundtrack, visuals even if the games weren't that good. Again, first stumbled this playing at Shaun house (predicable)  He had some fantastic titles that to this day is one of my favorite games to me.

And many more.

 I did kinder missed out on Shenmue,  however I am glad I didn't miss out on a game.

(one of the best game existed)

Yeah, this game was fantastic, I would like to review this game in another blog, although I like to express a small passage here. I believe this was the first ever online game, that you had to use a phone line to connect to, through the dreamcast. My friend, ranked up a lot of cost to play this online, lol on that. I later played this game and got into it a lot more on the Gamecube/ PC version. 

However, this spun the interest to this game. To me this is truly is one of the best game ever existed. Offers great art direction, controls/ mechanics, soundtracks, classes, visuals, and even a addictive grind and hunt for the best assets. This game had offline solo/ multiplay, and then an online feature. The Dreamcast version had it's problems and really was a good beta for the game Gamecube version that was an dramatically good enhance version. New addition content etc. Playing online is where the long lasting play of this game lies at.

 Later on the Phantasy Star Franchise, has had it's up and downs mainly due to the support and added content towards the Europeans and the US, the Japanese after the Gamecube version wasn't linked with the rest of the world anymore. They had there own servers, so they always had everything first and better things more frequently or even some events/ missions that didn't come to us in the west. This also carried on through the next line up series. Phantasy Star Universe and so on. The game always had been PaytoPlay, which when your younger it was costly but it was worth your pocket money on. Though the addition of the game going from Dreamcast > Gamecube > PC. Which added more content and was generally better. Always been a delight from then and now, being a fan of the series. The game released new expansion and series of it self.  Phantasy star Universe, which went on to the PC and next generation consoles, though it was silly for them to put it on the Playstation 2 >.> Held it back. However, the game was kinder successful and lasted years and had expansions but the servers did come to the end in the west. Though the handheld versions are perfect.

So even from the 2000's and to now, I always still generally kept to playing games and getting consoles from Playstation 2, Gamecube, CBA, DS's, PSP, Wii, PS3 that over time be brought. Such games that really still stuck with like; Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid, DragonBall Z, Tekken, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, GTA and more others. I went from console gamer to a PC gamer was the best thing, because it got me playing more varied games/ online and learning keyskills and computer programms/ software, the internet, forums, communities, much more. This got me more so to label my self a 'gamer' kinder of person. Though obviously I did many others things in my childhood other then games but they were there as a sort of education, inspiration, morals, freedom, the dreams of wishing reality was just like this, in some way it can be, because look at where I am now, I can make it happen.

Strange though, when I was younger I used to draw now and again but took more interest, only since college and properly getting into practice now in University. So I am a late start, nether less, however I enjoy each experience of it, because I have  lot of material and imagenation to work off that has formed a good foundation for me that I just need to know how to work it.

Hope it been a educational and interesting read.

Thanks :D