RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Dec 29th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (wildbil52)
Posted under Games, PC Gaming, Steam


PC gamers and console gamers have always been at odds, to put it nicely.  Could the Steam Link help with the unification of these two long feuding groups?


Continue reading Could the Steam Link be the Missing Link?



Posted on Oct 27th 2010 at 07:27:40 PM by (Marriott_Guy)
Posted under MGs Game Take, MGs Gaming Take, PC Gaming

Gaming Flashback
Vintage PC Gaming & Memory Management

 
After enduring countless badgering sessions from my lady friend, I finally relented this past weekend and agreed to clean up her computer.  Mind you I am not a selfish person, but she is rather "download" happy and I was relatively sure this stint was not going to be a quick enema of the Startup menu.  Sad to say, I was not disappointed.

After adjusting her desk chair for normal human use (she is only 5' tall), I proceeded to fire up her PC and was greeted (after 5 minutes of boot time) with a plethora of system tray icons - 18 in total!  Her system was so crippled and memory starved that ToolTips displayed after a 20 second delay.  Needless to say I was disgusted by this mess, but at the same time rather invigorated by the challenge of freeing up precious RAM for this abused Compaq Presario.  The task at hand reminded me of the old days when memory management and PC gaming went hand-in-hand.
 

 
I bought my first personal computer back in 1989, an IBM PC compatible Packard Bell 386. This set me back $1,689 and truly had me living on white bread and generic peanut butter for the entire 12 month financing period. I didn't care - PC Gaming (at that time) blew away anything that was available on the consoles. I assumed that software for this new device would be basically like their console counterparts (plug-n-play), just with vastly superior graphics and game play.  I dove into this technological pool head first with eager anticipation.  My exuberance quickly changed to one of confusion after installing my first game, Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero.  Upon typing in the executable command (there were no menus back then), I was greeted with the DOS text message: "Insufficient memory to perform requested operation", quickly followed by:

Just like a blank Word document is to an author with writer's block, this flashing prompt was intimidating to say the least.  To this computing nubile, this was the modern day equivalent of the Windows Blue Screen of Death.  I had no idea how to respond to that relentless blinking cursor.  A lesson was quickly learned while I blankly stared at the monochrome display: a certain proficiency in the abstruse DOS language would be required if I wanted to partake in PC Gaming.

You have to remember that Windows (or Mac/Linux/etc.) was not a standard in 1989 - it was basically DOS. There were no memory optimization programs at the time. You were left to your own devices to configure the allocation of this precious resource known as RAM.  There was but one method available to monitor this critical component - the beloved MEM command (sample shown below).

The key for early PC Gaming was to free as much Conventional Memory as possible, while ensuring that you still loaded your various device drivers (mouse, CD drive, sound card, etc.).  This was accomplished by the editing of two critical system files - Autoexec.bat and Config.sys.  Let me tell you, this was not an easy task and was basically a trial and error procedure.  I won't bore you with the details, but for nostalgic purposes and as a tribute to us old farts here is a sample screen shot.

Basically it became a game of Tetris while you juggled various commands/drivers into the High Memory Area to relieve the strain on the core resources of the system for applications.  This "Quest for Memory" became almost an obsession during the era of vintage PC gaming.  I vividly remember the first time I was able to get my Conventional Memory above the magical 600KB threshold - man was I stoked!!

Though it is true that managing RAM is just as important in today's modern age of PC Gaming, I can't really say that I received the same level of satisfaction once I got done lobotomizing my lady friend's computer.  Sure, I was happy with the end result but it did not resonate the pure joy that accompanied like accomplishments back in the day.

After this past weekend, I am glad that this mundane task is not as arduous as it once was.  That being said, the pure adrenaline rush that I experienced in finally being able to fire up Quest for Glory will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Thanks for taking a trip down the PC Gaming memory lane with me.


 
 

What are your fond memories of vintage PC Gaming?





Posted on Dec 14th 2007 at 04:32:36 PM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, PC Gaming, Tony Not Getting His Features Done on Time

Since I was busy having a social life last night, I was unable to do my regularly scheduled underrated/overlooked feature on time, however I found a somewhat (Sony biased to a certain degree) related feature on GamesRadar looking at the biggest games of the year that we all seemed to forget about. Kind of an intersting take on some of the top games of the year, but an important one nonetheless. Anyways, here's what they came up with (in the order they were presented):

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (PSP): Whoa wait what?! There was an MGS on PSP this year? I had no idea. Dang, add that to the reasons for me to get a PSP...

Heavenly Sword (PS3): YES! That is a great game, but very short though, which is why people probably forgot about it. What's more shocking about this is that the article said it's been outsold by freaking Lair, and isn't even in the top 20 selling PS3 games list this week. Amazing.

God of War 2 (PS2): I was tempted to include this on my overlooked games of the year list, because really, have you heard much about the game since it came out last February. I sure haven't. Probably because it was released on a last-gen system early on in the year and got overshadowed by all the other next-gen games that came out later in the year. Make sure you do not forget this game as it is one of the 10 best PS2 games ever made.

Motorstorm (PS3): This was actually a very very good game that for some reason isn't mentioned very much any more...outside of the monthly downloadable content additions to the game on the Playstation Store.

SSX Blur (Wii): I admit, I've never played SSX Blur, but I've heard nothing but good comments about it. It seems odd that an SSX game is forgotten about so quickly though.

Stranglehold (360, PS3): I've only played the demo, but I don't know that Stranglehold exactly qualifies as one of the best of the year. It's certainly a very fun game with many imaginative features that really make you feel like your in a big hollywood action movie, but the thing is that the game is not extraordinary. I would pay $20 for it, but not the next-gen price of $60.

Crysis (PC): I think the only reason this game is on the list is because 90% of gamers don't have a PC good enough to run it, thus forgot about the game. However, when I get a computer that can actually run the game decently (in 8 years or so knowing me), I'll definitely give it a shot. But the game was published by EA, so chances are there will be a port for 360 and PS3 (that is if EA can get their head out of their asses when it comes to programming for that system)

Project Gotham Racing 4 (360): Now, I recall this one coming out and doing fairly well, but I haven't heard much about it after the amazing fall season the 360 had. It's a shame because PGR has been a great series.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3): Yes. Yes. FREAKING YES! Now, it's well known to PS3 owners but who else cares about it? No one really, especially Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, who's never heard of it.

So, RFGen, what are some of your favorite huge games of the year that you just don't hear mentioned any more?



Posted on Nov 14th 2007 at 08:01:14 PM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Free Game of the Week, PC Gaming, Independent Gaming, Telltale Games, Sam and Max

Sweet mother of double jeopardy backstroking in butterscotch! In celebration of Season Two of their critically acclaimed Sam & Max episodic game series, Telltale Games has released Episode 4 from last season, Abe Lincoln Must Die!, for free! That's right, FREE!

The game continues the adventures of the Freelance Police: Sam, a detective dog, and Max, a "hyperkinetic rabbity thing". This time, they must travel to Washington DC and take care of the President who is enacting federally mandated group hugs before sporting events, putting an embargo on pudding, and requiring mandatory gun registration! Along the way, you will encounter many hilarious situations, such as Max becoming president of the United States, an incredible musical number, and the Soda Poppers becoming the Governors of North Dakota, South Dakota, and West Dakota (newly formed).

This game is a must play for it's sharp writing and intelligent humor, both of which are very rare to find in gaming (or any other media) these days. You can download the game direct from Telltale Games for free. If you like this episode, be sure to buy Sam & Max Season One from Telltale ($30 for a download of all six episodes, plus a free bonus DVD with the episodes and a ton of bonus features) or the boxed retail version from The Adventure Company/Dreamcatcher Interactive ($30 as well, but you don't get as many extras). Also, remember to check out Season Two, which just started on both Gametap and Telltale's website.

Seriously guys. This is by far one of the best games out there right now. I urge each and every one of you to try it out and see what you think.



Posted on Oct 27th 2007 at 07:11:01 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Free Games, PC gaming, Web games, Flash games

I know I've been slacking lately, but the thing is that I've been so busy with school and everything else that I haven't had time to post any of these articles. However, starting now, I'm going make this an actual weekly feature. I may not write as much about each game as I did before, but I will still give you a good overview of the game and share my thoughts on it.

Anyways, the theme for this week is free episodic games. Episodic games have been a controversial subject in the games world. Many people argue that it costs more for the average gamer, while others argue that episodic games are better because developers can release many episodes in the same length it takes to release a full game. Regardless of where you stand on commercial episodic games, there are many great free games on the internet that have new content added often.

The first game featured this week is a web-based adaptation of the popular PC quiz show game, You Don't Know Jack. If you've never played You Don't Know Jack before, you're in for a treat. YDKJ is a quiz show video game franchise that appeared on PC, Mac, Playstation, in book form, and had a short-lived ABC TV series (hosted by Pee-Wee Herman himself, Paul Reubens) in which you were asked questions in which "high culture and pop culture collide". The game remains unchanged in the web version, however, new episodes consisting of five normal questions, one Dis or Dat, and of course, a Jack Attack, are released every single Monday. In addition to the weekly episodes, a new Dis or Dat question is added every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So, no matter what day of the week you go to the site, there will always be something new for you to play. A far cry from the hundreds of questions in one of the CD-ROM games, but still, it's enough to keep you busy for a few minutes a day. Also, before you go, I should warn you that YDKJ "contains mature content, including suggestive sexual references, language and font treatments that may not be suitable for children. Besides, they won't get it anyways."

The other game of the week is the aptly titled Platform. You guessed it, it's a platformer game! However, Platform is far from your typical platform game. What's unique about this one is that you have to play two characters and get both of them to the exit of each screen, many times using different routes for each character or using both characters to solve puzzles. This mix of puzzle solving and platforming makes for a very fun game and something worth checking out every Sunday, which is when new episodes are added.

So, now you have a new game to play every day of the week except Saturday! All without paying a single cent. Well, except for internet access, but that's besides the point. Make sure you give these games a try.



Posted on Aug 30th 2007 at 07:41:37 PM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, PC Gaming, Independent Games, GameTap

Telltale Games has released the trailer for its upcoming second season of the Sam and Max episodic series. For those of you unaware, the episodic series is a continuation of the adventures of Steve Purcell's comic book characters Sam, a 6 foot tall dog, and Max, a "hyperkinetic rabbity thing". Sam and Max have been featured in comic books, an animated tv series, and a LucasArts game. The series got its start after LucasArts cancelled a planned sequel to Sam and Max Hit The Road in 2004 due to "market place realities and underlying economic considerations" (read: people don't like adventure games any more). After LucasArts cancelled the sequel, the employees working on that title left the company and went on to make Telltale Games, an independent game development company. In 2005, LucasArts let the license to Sam and Max expire, and Steve Purcell approached Telltale and asked them to work on a new game. This eventually led to the decision to make it episodic and the financial backing of Turner's GameTap service.

This trailer premiered at Penny Arcade Expo last weekend, and I must say that it's looking just as good and funny as the first season was.

   

Sam and Max Season Two hits both GameTap and TelltaleGames.com this fall.



Posted on Aug 29th 2007 at 03:03:51 PM by (Tondog)
Posted under Free Games, Independent Games, Nifflas, Knytt, Within A Deep Forest, PC Gaming

This is the article that would be going up on Thursday, but Knytt Stories was released early, so I put it up now.

Nifflas. Who is Nifflas? Nifflas is the nickname of Nicklas Nygren, a 24 year old independent game developer and musician from Sweden who is responsible for a few of my favorite games of this decade. Today, he released his latest work, Knytt Stories, the sequel the critically acclaimed freeware game, Knytt, released last year. Like its predecessor, Knytt Stories is a 2D platformer with a focus on simple gameplay, atmosphere and exploration rather than having a large amount of enemies and very complex gameplay. Your goal is to roam this large world in search for a few items.



However, instead of simply recommending Knytt Stories, I want to dig a little deeper into his games. So, I am going to give an overview of all ten games he has released, along with links for you to download them. So, hit the jump for more on the games of Nicklas Nygren.



Continue reading Free Games Of The Week: Nifflas Special Edition



Posted on Aug 20th 2007 at 02:14:54 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Free Games, Independent gaming, PC gaming, Web games, Flash games

Another week, another great set of free games for you to download! This week, I've got an addictive mathematical action puzzle game, a fun destructive game, and a platformer that will drive you insane.

First up this week is one of the most addictive puzzle games I've played in my entire life. It's called Blocksum and it's by a small studio based out of Japan named Circle Infotech. The premise is extremely simple, clear all of the numbered blocks by linking together blocks of the same sum. For example, if you have a block with the number 5 in it, you need to use the blocks adjacent to it to make a sum equal to 5. You could do this by using a 3 just to the right of the 5 and a 2 above the 5. That would make an L shaped block that is equivalent to 5. Now, you must find 4 other ways to make 5 adjacent to either the 5 block you started with or the L shaped one you just made. It's hard to describe in words, but once you try it, it's simple. The game starts out simple enough, however, it gets a lot more difficult when the numbers in the blocks get larger and come faster.

Here's a hint for you. Try and go for large combos of large numbers. For example, try and clear all the blocks by making sums of 4 or 5, you get a multiplier for each additional sequence you make.

Sound confusing? As I said, just go download it. A word of warning for those of you with slower connections, the download is 32 megabytes.

Next game up this week is Death Worm. The game is simple, but oh so fun. You play a killer worm, and all you have to do is eat humans, animals, and cause general destruction while not getting shot by soldiers or hitting mines. Very simple concept, but very addictive! Download it at the Game Maker Community forums (3.5 mb).







When you get done punishing humans and animals, punish yourself with the aptly titled platformer, Punishment. This is an extremely hard game but not because the jumps are hard, but because the game plays tricks with your mind. Levels rotate as you move, touching an eye icon will screw around with your mind, touching the Democrat/Republican will do something that will just make you scream in anger, and of course the pixilated backgrounds that become clear as you get to the top of the level are distracting as well. You will hate this game with every last ounce of your being...however, you won't be able to stop playing. Also, notice the special guest appearance in the second screen (the one you start on). I think many of you will recognize who it is.



If you think that's all the punishment there is, you'd be wrong...dead wrong, because Messhof Games just released the sequel, Punishment: The Punishing, last week. The sequel does not play as many tricks on your mind, but it has its fair share of mind trickery (just wait until you get to the third screen in the game). Oh, and this game has one added twist that drive you up the wall more than ANYTHING in the first game. I can't say what it is because I want you to scream out obscenities when you discover it. Again, this game will drive you insane, but it's so addictive.





So, that's it for this week. Comment on the article with your thoughts on the games, high scores you wish to share, or total frustration with Punishment.

One more thing before I go. Mark August 30 on your calendar because I have an extremely special article planned for that day, and you will not want to miss it. It's so special that I'm going to start working on it this week.

Until next time, keep it on channel 3!



Posted on Aug 6th 2007 at 02:49:55 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Free Games, Independent gaming, PC gaming, Web games, Flash games

The internet. In addition to being a great resource for funny videos, email pyramid schemes, and pr0n, is a great place to find games. This series will feature the best in free and independent games from all over the web, and bring you up to date on indie studios who are bringing their work to consoles.

The first free game of the week is called 3D Logic by Alex Matveev, and can be found at this site. The object of the game is to link together every pair colored squares on the cube. For example, in the screenshot, you have to link orange to orange, purple to purple, blue to blue, and so on. Sounds simple right? WRONG! Later levels will require you to think outside of the box and use very indirect ways of linking them together. I've been able to reach level 18, but after that I get stumped. Thank God for the continue feature.



Our next game this week is Amberial by OddGoo, a rather fun platformer with very simplistic controls. All you need to do in this game is move left and right to reach the goal. However, you must use your ability to bounce to help you reach your destination and avoid obstacles. This is one of the most enjoyable Flash games I've played in a while. It's not entirely original since there are a billion platformers on the net, but this one is different because you must actually use your environment and the objects in it in order to reach the end of the level. There is also added challenge if you try and collect all the Ace symbols. I must caution you however, this game is addictive as crack, so make sure you have some time you can easily waste before playing this.

The internet is full of clones of other, more famous games. Flash Flash Revolution is one of the most well-known and well-regarded clones on the internet. As you could figure out, it is a clone of Konami's Dance Dance Revolution series, developed in flash. There are three different versions of FFR on the site, and all of them have something different to offer. Try fooling around with all three of them, and make an account if you want. With an account, you can keep track of the scores you get and buy songs using credits you earn in the FFR store. The only downside of the game is that many of the players have crazy skills, and a lot of the site is kind of geared towards them. However, for us who will never be as good as this guy, there are a bunch of easier songs to get you used to playing. Check out the Arcade section of songs in the first FFR version on the site for a bunch of fun game remixes to play. I'm signed up on the site as tondog38. If you sign up, shoot me a message there and we can set up challenges or something.

In honor of 300 coming out on DVD, Blu Ray, and HD DVD last week, the final game of the week is the aptly titled SPAAARTA!!! It's not the best game in the world, but it's cool if you're a fan of 300, mainly so you can kick some Persians into the hole and scream THIS IS SPAAAARRRTAAAA! The controls are simple, move around with the arrow keys, kick some ass with the S key, and do a little dance with the A key. All you need to do: kick the Persians into the hole and inform them that THIS IS SPAAAARTA all while not kicking your fellow Spartans.

Keep it on channel 3 for more fun, free games next week. Until next time, have fun.



Posted on Jun 20th 2007 at 12:43:18 AM by (Tondog)
Posted under Modern Gaming, PC Gaming, Will Wright, Maxis, Delays, EA, Game Informer, Vaporware

According to Kotaku via the latest issue of Game Informer, Will Wright's life simulation, Spore, has been "delayed indefinitely." Kotaku reached EA for comment, and they responded that the article is true in saying Spore was delayed, but they pushed it to fiscal 09 instead of fiscal 08.

What could be some reasons for this delay? I bet Will Wright (or EA for that matter) wants to release it on all the consoles on the same day as the PC version.

Regardless, I'm kind of getting tired of all these delays. I just hope the final game is worth all the delays.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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