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Guest Post

The Future of Gaming: How Much Further Will It Go?

Think back to the first PC game you ever played. Or, dredge up memories of your first gaming console. Now, consider the equipment and gear that you play on today. You don’t need to be told that gaming technology has come a long way from where it started.

So with all these advancements in devices and technology, you might wonder what the future holds for this particular sector. To get a better understanding of how gaming may proceed over the next few years, let’s take a look at some of the corresponding factors. Here are the elements that will be most responsible for these future changes.

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Video Game Review: Planet Coaster

In the midst of the Steam January sale, I spotted a gem that I’d been keeping my eye on, waiting for the day it hit the sale rack. Planet Coaster is an exciting, roller coaster/theme park simulation game. I had been dithering over whether to buy it or not, I absolutely loved Theme Park back in the day, so this was exciting to say the least.

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Guy to Gyaru: A Journey into Cosplay, Crossplay and New Adventures

Cosplay has been a passion area in my life for quite some time, from gushing over cosplay pictures online to meeting cosplayers at conventions and expressing my compliments to them in person.

Before this experience; I had only done one cosplay. A Team Magma Grunt from Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald. A fairly simple design with minimal bells and whistles attached. So, the next phase from this is obviously going for a busty gyaru type character, right?

Join me in this adventure of new experiences, mildly annoying struggles, and pant-soiling excitement – as I put together a cosplay of Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

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Marvel’s Secret Empire (Part 2)

The continuation of our guest post from Ed Brown of last week which has had to be split into two parts, in which Ed explores Marvels major story-arc, the Secret Empire. We left mid-discussion about Captain America switching sides to H.Y.D.R.A and the fact that it put a lot of people off…


Super-hero Segregation

You’re a man with a shield, enhanced strength and agility, and some of your friends can fly real fast, have strength vastly surpassing your own, and have a nasty tendency to do things like beating Tony Stark into a coma while walking away completely scot-free. While he’s wearing Hulkbuster armour. Yeah. That happened.

So of course, you need a plan. And at the very start of Secret Empire, you get to see one exceptionally hastily constructed plot point that freezes New York and its population of crimefighters out of the equation, and one more carefully developed plot point that walls of Earth from outside influence while most of the galactic-powered characters are up in space. Inhumans are corralled into a prison in their own ‘city’ of New Attilan, and Mutants are expelled from the USA and forced into an independent province on the west coast. There’s more to all of that, which was explained in individual books, but the set-up, in all honesty, was compelling. (more…)


Marvel’s Secret Empire (Part 1)

Or How to Alienate Your Readers with a Great Storyline

We’re heading towards October, the time of year where the Marvel Universe receives its annual shake-up at the climax of a 5-month long universe-spanning crossover that involves every hero with TV or silver screen time (planned or actual) and nearly every support character they’ve ever worked with.

Yes, this year is no different – as a longstanding Marvel fan I have now been conditioned to prepare myself and my bank account for a relentless onslaught from May onwards, and I have even reached the stage where I’ve accepted the fact that I can either choose between rent or being able to read every chapter of the story.

As the dust is now preparing to settle on the latest summer blockbuster, I felt that now would be an outstanding time to share my thoughts with some fellow geeks on this year’s offering, along with a healthy smattering of completely unsolicited comics on both the storylines that led into it and summer blockbusters in general. (more…)


Gaming Genres: Multiplayer (with Friends)

The title does seem a bit generic, so I’ll clarify.

When I’m talking about a ‘multiplayer (with friends)’ game, I’m talking about a game that can be played as a single player game quite easily — It’s designed in such a way that one person can progress normally. But the design is also in place to make the experience infinitely enhanced with the addition of your friends playing with you, either as allies, enemies or neutral parties (Read: Potential backstabbers).

So how about starting with a game where a friend can go through all three of those positions?

Sid Meier’s Civilization V (or Civ 5 for short) is a 4X strategy game1 where the end goal is “to build a civilisation that will stand the test of time”. You do this through various means — Researching new technology, developing your culture to build social policies and, when it comes to it, nuking the ever loving hell out of anyone who wrongs you.

Playing Civ 5 with friends is an interesting experience, to say the least. You can act amicable at first, sharing embassies, helping each other out through simple trade and maybe killing some barbarians, with the threats being only very vague and passive-aggressive in nature…

…then you’ve declared war on every AI player and your friend, just so you can say you’re at war with everyone.

Those are just the two far points of the spectrum of evil deeds during multiplayer in Civ 5 — You’ve also got imposing taxes on your friends to use your borders, or giving salt after a brutal war to, well, rub salt in the wound and — possibly the most brutal act your friends can commit — of nuking your capital city into the dirt when you’re playing as Venice, so that the only city you have left standing is a little city state that has nothing in it.

Salty? Me? No.

As much as I’d like to ramble on about when you get backstabbed by an ally, even during all-out war, I still have this element of joy flowing through me. Thinking about what move my friend will make next; what soldiers may be coming out from behind the frontlines; are the frontlines just a ploy to distract me? Combining that with all the previously mentioned elements, Civ 5 is a multiplayer game that can consume literal hours with a group of good people.

And now, to give my editor flashbacks.

Ahh… only a few people are going to get that, and that makes me happy.

Terraria should be familiar to quite a few people reading this, due to its similarities to Minecraft and how both games shared a good amount of popularity during 2011.

The advantages of Terraria come in the form of more of a set structure, with more armour tiers to advance through, biomes becoming harder as the game progresses and an incredibly diverse selection of boss fights.

As someone who has spent a small time…

…playing Terraria, I can vouch that the game has a veritable gold mine of possibilities for multiplayer.

Of course you can progress normally by gathering materials and building a large castle, all to slowly carve your way up to the Moon Lord, the Cthulhu inspired final boss.

However there are also options for PvP modes, with plenty of maps available online to download for these purposes, alongside inventory/character editors so all your friends are as powerful as each other, regardless of whether you use a mage, fighter or ranger build.

A random game to play in multiplayer that I made up involves mining. You get a Spelunker Potion (which reveals ores and treasures with a glow for a brief time), a Teleportation Potion (which teleports the player character randomly once around the map) and a high level pickaxe/drill.

The objective? Mine as much as you can before the Spelunker potion runs out. The person with the most ores and treasure wins. Simple, yet surprisingly competitive.

With the previous two games, the amount of players in a single session can go up to sixteen and even higher. The next game is a bit smaller by contrast, on a scale as grand as the starry sky.

Source: Nintendo UK

Get it?

Being one of the more obscure multiplayer titles to pick, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky, is a JRPG developed by Level-5 and released for the Nintendo DS. The game follows the classic four person party composed of different classes with different abilities, going through a large open world completing quests, delving into dungeons and battling giant spear wielding cucumbers.

Yes… This is called a Cruelcumber.

The difference here is that the four-person party doesn’t have to be party members recruited at a tavern. They can be your friends in local multiplayer (recruiting these at a tavern is optional).

DQ:IX handled multiplayer through a drop-in, drop-out system. In the main hub tavern of the game, there is a portal which you use to start connection with nearby DS systems, either opening your world to other players or trying to find the world of your friends.

This system is downright amazing — and honestly I believe it’s the best way to play the game, even during the campaign.

Sure, it is possible to soft sequence break your own world, by going into a friends world with more towns open and buying the better equipment there.

But that ignores how ridiculously fun and satisfying it can get exploring the world as an actual party; the conversation you share in real life being the snarky comments actual adventurers would have in the face of monsters.

Martial Artist, Armamentalist, Luminary and a healer character from that persons own party made up my band of adventurers, meeting up on the weekends to take on the harder bosses…

…only to take up a lot of turn time using an attack with a pointlessly long animation, which, at the end of the day, didn’t even do that much better damage than a regular attack.

That’s been my summary of a few multiplayer games I’ve enjoyed over my life. I’ll admit, I don’t play these with other people much these days, so a lot of my thoughts and ideas are from pure memory.

But that’s the point of playing games with your friends; creating the memories that last.

Be it sitting in a living room, making sure not to move too far away so the DS infrared connection doesn’t break, sitting in bed as suggesting Terraria as a game night idea goes horribly wrong, even to the people who prefer tabletop, gathered round a table playing Magic and D&D for hours on end.

We’re all geeks here, building a community around these sorts of things is why we’re here.

14X strategy game is a genre with the goals all having the second letter “X”, they are “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate”

Thanks for reading, this was a good article to write because it reminded me of a lot of good times in my life, if you’re one of those people who I shared that time with, thank you. Got any multiplayer stories you’d like to tell? Or maybe you’ve got a game in mind which is just perfect for this kind of multiplayer? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.


Spider-Man Homecoming: A Missed Opportunity

What happens when a Spider-fan, of almost three decades, walks into the most eagerly anticipated Spider-Man film since Spider-Man films were a thing? Well, they do so with a lot of expectation! They carry with them memories of the best bits of five previous Spider-films, a fantastic cameo in Civil War, the 90s Spider-Man cartoon (and its AWESOME theme tune) and a shed load of comic book knowledge. Any fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is aware that you can’t get too precious about any of that – there will be changes and you should expect things to be different.

But not like this.

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Top 10 Awkward Armours

GeekOut Top 10s

Battlelines are drawn, it’s time to get suited into my gear built for war. On goes these boots, which are ten sizes too large; then on goes my helmet, which is too thick to see out of. It doesn’t matter how big and bulky my armour is though, for you see this is my armour which I wear proudly to combat. I don’t know what I can barely move my arms around in this kit, all that matters is that it’s me and my iron suit out there, wreaking havoc!

Of course, that’s all well said and done, but media really is filled with the most awkward armour known. From ladies armour which barely counts as armour, through to oversized suits which you can barely see out of, all that matters is that the armour must be awkward, either by size, weight or strange designs. Join us this week for another Top 10, where we inspect this armoury as critically as we can.

Before we start, we’d like to say a special thanks to Kevin Kutlesa from The Mental Attic, for his contributions to this week’s Top 10. (more…)


Gaming Genres: Roguelikes

What is a roguelike?

Well, it’s a game like Rogue. (Obviously).

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Gunpla Resources

Last time I wrote for GeekOut South-West I spoke of my new favourite hobby, Gunpla aka Gundam Plastic Models. Since then, I’ve built several models and even completely customised another, which I’m presenting to Timlah at some point in the future as a gift for, well, everything.

  • Timlah’s notes: Thanks Kev! It looks awesome!!

But I realised that something was missing from the primer I wrote last time, some additional information on the resources you can use if you’re diving into the world of Gundam model kits, how useful they are and my own recommendations. So that’s what we’ll focus on for today.

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