Original Hand Made Gaming Products by FanFit Gaming

by George 7. August 2017 11:40

 

The Toronto-based company FanFit gaming has come out with it’s unique hand-bent neon lights inspired by videogames.  The original gaming merchandise is for people who want to take their gaming experience beyond the screen and into the rest of their home.  With the growing phenomenon of E-Sports, FanFit Gaming is filling a niche.

“We celebrate the best of gaming design and aesthetic through our exclusive line of unique apparel, merchandise, and our signature neon lights,” said Rob Green, owner of FanFit Gaming.


Each piece of merchandise celebrates a character or iconic image from games.
“We strive to capture the love for some of our favorite gaming moments and experiences through our products,” Green said.

 

FanFit Gaming opened Febuary 1st, 2017 - but has already been hitting the spotlight including mentions in VentureBeat.

There are currently 9 Neonlights available, focusing on Overwatch, with 10 original felt penannts.  FanFit also carries other fun accessories.  They plan on coming out with a gaming-themed apparel line in early September to let your geek flag fly.

This is all to say that FanFit has a modest selection of merchandise designed in-house by gamers with a good selection of third-party products, which comes together for a great gaming shopping experience.


Visit us on fanfitgaming.com

 

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Tomb Raider

by George 6. August 2017 05:21

Tomb Raider is an incredibly popular game that has inspired a movie starring Angelina Jolie. The game was first developed between 1993 and 1998, with it originally being sold in 1996.

Different to other games, Tomb Raider follows the journey of Lara Croft who is travelling the world to collect rare and valuable collectables. She must overcome a number of obstacles in order to do this. She has to travel through ancient tombs and through water.

Although it sounds simple and different to other games, it’s not. She must still overpower the bad guys and the villians. If she doesn’t then she won’t progress forward or be able to collect the items she’s seeking. The idea is that she has powers such as the ability to swim, which she must constantly use.

She does have her weaknesses though like characters in all video games. Despite being able to swim, she can still drown. She can also be burned, electrocuted, stabbed on spikes or she can fall from a height.

Since the original version here have been 17 versions of the game made, with 11 being created in the new series. The most recent was made in 2013.

There is also a handheld series with four options available, and the Lara Croft series has four games.

The most popular games within the series are probably the Lara Croft spinoffs. It could be assumed that they became popular because of the movies starring Angelina Jolie. The original Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie hit cinemas in 2001 and although it grossed $274 million, it was heavily criticised by movie reviewers who said the storyline was boring and bland. Reviewers have said that Angelina Jolie is the best thing about the movie, but not even she can make the movie good, when the plotline is so bad. The movie, just like the games focus on Lara’s backstory which has included her father, her mother and her butler, so it’s safe to say that she comes from a wealthy family. Throughout the course of the movie, she regularly receives communications from her father who gives her advice on how she can get the items she needs to.

Unlike other video games, the Tomb Raider games are very character driven and let the player really get to know Lara and where she’s coming from.

The games released since the movie have been in one of four categories: the original series, the second era, the third era and the spinoffs.

The major difference between Tomb Raider and other games is that the main character is a female which, although it’s becoming more common in video games is still fairly uncommon. That makes it a bit of a novelty.

Overall the game has been fairly popular despite its poor reviews. 7.5 million copies of the game have been sold around the world. The games have been available on different formats including PC, Xbox, Playstation, PSP, Android and iOS so people can play no matter what device they have or where they are.

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Plarium Improves Mobile Strategy Prowess With Growing Library of Titles

by George 27. July 2017 10:50

Source: Plarium - Social Gaming via Facebook

Israel-based developer Plarium might have started with a simple farming simulator, but after seven years of creating MMO strategy games, the company has become known for putting out quality war games of the genre.

One of the strategy games developer's more notable titles, Throne: Kingdom of War, encapsulates what Plarium strives for with each game as the player is tasked with building a town, creating a military base and then going to war. It's a basic concept but one that's been praised by MMO Reviews for its simplicity, giving it a spot toward the top of the list of mobile strategy games. Throne was also given a specific mention for its graphics which were considered unparalleled.

While Plarium does continue this formula of build, train, battle, each game receives a mechanical or aesthetic design tweak that distinguishes it from the rest. Terminator Genisys: Future War, the most recent addition to the developer's portfolio, might offer largely the same gameplay elements, but it changed the setting in which the game takes place as we see the more futuristic, dystopian world of the Terminator series - a long way off from the medieval world of Throne. Future War also lets players choose a side in the conflict. While it only affects the look of the player's base and the types of units they can recruit, the change is large enough to show the developer is making small steps to improve and evolve their formula with each title. After all, there are so many different ways to play a strategy game when you think about it and Plarium stated they are well aware of that fact. It's just nice that they can showcase that understanding as they grow.

Source: Megan Fox via Facebook

But for as much change as we see, one corenerstone for Plarium always seems to be there: supporting a community. We can look at the seafaring Pirates: Tides of Fortune, the 300-inspired Sparta: War of Empires or any of the developer's titles and every time being able to work with or against others is the central focus - the true sign of a modern mobile game. It's no wonder either considering how important being able to support a community is for so many mobile games.

It's in this merging of players to accomplish a bigger goal that Plarium seems to create a game around and a big reason so many flock to the developer. If we look back at Vikings, for example, we can see that each kingdom in the game holds about 45,000 players and by the end of 2016 there were more than 270 kingdoms. That's just one game. Support of this magnitude goes out to so many of their titles, but Plarium keeps putting a variety of titles to grab players with varying tastes. From Vikings, knights and pirates to Terminator robots and even characters from Alien vs. Predator, Plarium is constantly making sure to give plenty of options to the players looking to get together with other like-minded strategists.

Source: PocketFullOfApps via Facebook

While their games certainly aren't for everyone and some of the tasks demanded of you might seem redundant, on-the-go strategy lovers should certainly keep their eyes out for the next creation coming from Plarium. If the past two years are anything to go off of (Plarium released three games in both 2016 and 2015) we should at the very least see one more title out of the strategy games company before the end of the year. With all the hype surrounding Game of Thrones, maybe we'll see the bloody HBO show get the mobile treatment before too long.

 

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Bringing Back The Experience Of Old School MS-DOS Game Music

by Jessica Kane 26. July 2017 04:41

To this day, I am an advocate that MS-DOS games produced some of the best music in video game industry. A head scratcher of a statement mostly from younger games who never got to experience gaming before the year 2000.

But when those smooth, midi sounds are compared to game scores of today, you'll find a glaring difference (aside from the 16bit sound)--one that may not be obvious at first, and that's theme. Game soundtracks today sound awfully familiar to movie soundtracks. That's not necessarily a problem, but most movie soundtracks aren't personal. Nine times out of 10, a movie's soundtrack won't be remembered unless it plays a heavy role in the movie itself.

Movie soundtracks are about adding a layer of emotion, simulating feels and setting a mood. Today's gaming soundtracks are now about atmosphere and simulation of pivotal moments in games that are meant to strike a chord in the player. It's something we can all get around, sure. But are they memorable? Often times not.

Other vital missing components are style and dare it be said, substance. It's the equivalent of recognizing the Star Wars theme when you randomly hear it. The Harry Potter theme is another. If you're into MMOs, you will undoubtedly have the World of Warcraft theme memorized. These are sounds easily distinguishable. But if one were to pull music out of a random game created in the last few years, how many would recognize it? How many games nowadays produce something "hummable?" Not many. They've followed the Hollywood format--make them sound like a "blockbuster."

That can't be said about old school MS DOS games. For those of us who played in that era, if Total Carnage played, you'd know it. Or at least search your brain with effort trying to wonder why that sounds familiar. MS-DOS game music was memorable. How about Rayman? Veil of Darkness? Prince of Persia? Super Street Fighter II Turbo? Duke Nukem or Doom II? And why is that? How can something of lower sound quality stand the test of time?

In fact, id's 2016 release of the latest in their Doom franchise was heavily applauded for its soundtrack. No, the latest Doom game isn't midi music. However, it aimed to capture the feel of the original soundtrack, a choice loved by fans all over. Thinking about this and listening to the original Doom II soundtrack, it made me quite nostalgic for some old MOS-DOS midi music.

So, in an effort to relive the old days and listen to some of my favorite old school MS-DOS tunes, I went through an interesting process that took some time, but was ultimately worth it.

I recently attempted to nab arguably one of the best MS-DOS game soundtracks ever. And to do that was a technical feat on its own. First, it takes a computer able to run MS-DOS, which means acquiring an old computer. Not the hardest thing in the world, unless you're wanting to acquire one that actually works. The reason is because it's not a simple matter of just using a desktop recording program like Audacity and hooking up a mic. The problem lies in mics recording everything; all the space around you, the sounds outside your house. With a mic too powerful, it can pick up even the lightest noise. All we want is the music itself.

It's a bit of a convoluted process, true. But while this sounds like it requires technical prowess, the hardest part is obtaining the equipment. If that's not doable, one can be built on the cheap.

What was used was a Sound Blaster 16 sound card, a very old card from 1992. It was placed inside an old MS-DOS appropriate computer. In this case the Pentium MMX. Another great choice would be the Sound Blaster AWE32 CT2760 model. That gem is loaded with features perfect for midis. That was then hooked up straight to a VHS VCR Panasonic NV-HD100. It's hard to find, and once it's found it's pricey. But it can easily fit itself into the music quality sounds of today, even if there isn't a general use for it. It's also great for recording things like vinyl or producing analog sound. Once it was recorded, it was all transferred to a modern computer through a VHS/DVD converter.

It was an absolute blast to go through MS-DOS game music. For those of you who miss that refreshing midi music, try it. Nothing beats playing old school game music on your smartphone.

Jessica Kane is a writer for SoundStage Direct, the number one online source for the best vinyl records and turntables.

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Diablo II

by George 25. July 2017 06:17

Diablo 2 returns to the video game development style of requiring the player to overpower the bad guy or monster at the end of each round, so it offers more challenges than other games on the market that were developed in the 1990s.

The game is similar to a movie, or television show in that there are chapters, or acts as they are known. Each act follows a structure, similar to the three act structure that movies and plays follow. That’s not to say the game is without mystery because it isn’t. There are some random events in each round.

The player must pass each round, which is set at the end of Diablo. To pass each round the player must kill the demons before they can cause havoc and damage the world, leaving behind only a path of destruction.

Similar to real life though, the player must find the source of evil and destroy it. The way to do that is to beat the bad guys and move to a new level.

It sounds really interesting, and it’s fun to play. Players can find themselves really immersed in the storyline.

Act 1 requires the player to overpower the villain meanwhile act 2 is set in a desert where the player must prevent the Dark Wanderer from becoming a demon. Act 3 is closer to Hell and the player is at risk of the good guys being dragged into it. Finally in Act 4, the player must overpower Diablo himself.

One really interesting thing about games made in the 1990s is that they were all centred around missions and the fight between good and evil. It’s not enough to collect gold or get to the promised land. The real satisfaction comes from overpowering evil, which could be likened to the real life political spectrum where the West tries to overpower the East, and vice versa, with neither of them winning, and lots of people getting killed along the way. In a way, players are able to live vicariously through the video games. They may find themselves going to a fictional war, when they would not go to a war in real life. They could also find themselves at the brink of destruction when there is no way back.

Technically, the game is quite different to Diablo, with many of its design elements completely different to the previous game. That’s because the developers deviated from the previous design plans.

As you’d expect from a video game, the music matches the mood, so in the creepier scenes or moments, the music will be creepier which will add to the atmosphere of the game and help them really get into the moment.

The game has been extremely popular over the years, so if you find that you’ve completed Diablo and you’ve completed Diablo 2 then you can purchase Diablo 3 which is a continuation of the game and includes patches.

The only real downside with these games is that they are only available on PC computers. They’re not available on Mac computers.

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The Lost Vikings: Get them out of alien prison

by George 25. July 2017 06:11

The Lost Vikings is a puzzle game in which player controls three Vikings who are in need of help to come out of the alien prison. Each of the Vikings has different abilities that help them in crisis. All the three were abducted by an alien ship which has them as its prisoners. The game was developed by Silicon & Synapse, now called as the Blizzard entertainment. The game studio Silicon & Synapse was a third party game developer for game machines like the Super Nintendo. Later on, it went on to give finest games like the Warcraft. The instant success of the game owed to the originality and the innovation in the game.

The three Vikings have unique like qualities which make them the best when they are united. The three have escaped the airlock of the spaceship and now are in search of the way home which would be unlocked through various levels. Each of the levels would host different puzzles which make use of the puzzles, keys, switches and traps with enemies. Each of the Viking has to do his own battle and win over to get to his fellows. You can control one Viking at a time, you need to make sure of your plan of not letting any of the Viking killed in the process of helping other survive. Apart from the puzzles that need to be solved, it is your instinct and intellect that would help them survive.

There are 37 levels in the game each with varied difficulties and traps. In most of the times the characters in to be aligned in a particular order to solve the puzzle.The unique abilities of the main characters of the game Erik, Baleog, and Olaf are

Erik: A fast runner than other two and can go smashing through the walls because of his helmet.

Baleog : A skilful Viking in handling the bow and sword.

Olaf : The shield man, blocking enemies He also helps Erik with the shield to jump to heights.

The company originally worked as a third party game developer. This work was initially developed for Nintendo.Later it was developed to other platforms like Amiga, MS-DOS etc. Because of the loyal fan following even after a decade, to make this game accessible it was added as a free download that can run through DOSBox platform.

After two years of the release of this game in 1992, there was a sequel called The Lost Vikings 2

The Lost Vikings is the best fun filled puzzle old DOS game. It gained the love of the gamers because of the characters in the game. The puzzles and challenges you face would increase the thirst of solving puzzles. The best part is that there is no game-over, you can have infinite attempts to get the challenge completed. Although the puzzles would seem to be tedious at times it makes the games more interesting.

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SimCity 2000 - Real Challenge of Building And Managing a City

by George 25. July 2017 06:06

How many of you remember that extremely engaging PC DOS game that involved managing a hustling and bustling metropolis? Yes, I am talking about SimCity 2000. I really enjoyed playing this game, which is actually the second installment of the game SimCity that Maxis released on 1994.

What I like about SimCity 2000 is its simplicity in creating and increasing the size of the city. Of course, there are various chances to destroy as you get to destruct using air crashes, earthquake and bulldozers with just simple mouse clicks. However, the real challenge is of course building than destroying. I loved that fact that dreams, hope and lives of millions of Sims are in my hands.

The Power Plant Variety
In SimCity 2000, the varieties of power plants are as much as nine. These are: Natural gas, Oil, Coal, Wind turbines, Nuclear, Satellite microwave, Solar, Futuristic fusion power and Hydroelectric dams.

I enjoyed building highways in the neighboring cities that helped in increasing the population and trade. Also, it is quite challenging to rebuild the power plants as these come with limited life span.

News to Keep You Informed
You can find news related to the city in the form of newspaper articles that you could subscribe yearly or daily. This newspaper option comes with numerous relevant stories and also several humorous ones. I took special interest on the relevant stories as those stories kept me informed about the city problems through opinion polls, recent disasters in the city, introduction of new technology and warnings about the aging power plants. I had to constantly look for the relevant news headlines, as there were many headlines with no purpose of serving the game, and kept the interest factor active.

Brainstorming activities
Unlike many other video games that are merely designed as a stress buster or for sheer fun, SimCity 2000. Indeed involves a lot of brainstorming activities. You have to prepare strategies for everything so that things can be maintained in right order. It involves a whole lot of things to make the city grow and for that you have to deal with education, health issues and crime rates, etc. It keeps you on your toes to strategically place schools, hospitals and police stations.

At the same time, you also have to add bus stops, airports, sea ports, stadiums, parks along with managing traffic, budget, face public wrath and much more. You really need to play this game and experience yourself. It gives a great overview about the tasks needed to build and manage a city properly in the form of fun. Go for it!

 

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Ultra Violent Worlds: A Nostalgic Journey

by George 24. July 2017 06:47

The idea of “retro gaming,” or playing older limited function video games, continues to excite established players and draw new players into the mix. These older games provided the player with quick accumulation of points and winnable games. With the advancements in gaming, many players saw a diminution in the purity of the old games which relied on gaming for its own sake. As games became more sophisticated, the older Command Line Interfaces and Low-Resolution RGB games lost their appeal. This brief is written to remind more experienced players of the purity driven game and its place in the gaming world.

Ultra Violent Worlds is a game involving shooting against a single enemy. There is no indecipherable playbook or complex control system necessary to play the game.

The saga begins in the year 2305. By this time, Earth had developed a healthy level of prosperity. However, early in the twenty-first century, some threats to this tiring development of economic development emerged. An alien species called the Zamaxians arrived on Earth with only violence on their minds. Very quickly, a new colony on the planet Mars was attacked by enemy forces. Earth’s only orbiting space station was destroyed. The Zamaxians then approached Earth itself. Formations of Zamaxian spaceships overwhelmed the scattered and largely ineffectivedefense forces and destroyed any signs of life. However, there were survivors in vast sections of Earth that were not attacked. One effect the presence of the Zamaxian invasion was that their larger ships created their own gravitational pull drawing the Moon closer to earth. The remaining Earth resistance has to vanquish the Zamaxian enemy and liberate those remaining on Mars and Earth.

 Developer: Vorlon Software

Publisher: Vorlon Software

Category: Shooter

More Details: MobyGames

Game Added By: MrFlibble

Part of Group: Vertical scrolling shooter games

DOSBox: Supported

 

The use of Emulators

An emulator is a piece of software that replaces the computer console and allows the player to participate in many old games. In addition, ROM (a copy of what is contained on the disk drive or cartridge) or ISO software (for players who use optical media) must be added to a current PC in order to play the game. The advantages of emulation are:

Ease of Access. The player has only to open the emulator with a click and load the ROM to begin playing the game.

Since using an emulator allows the player to play favorite old games, there is no need to go to an arcade.

Low cost. In an arcade, the player has to spend more money to advance in the game. This cost is eliminated by the emulator.

There are many online players working to preserve and improve old DOS games so players at all skill levels can play some of the classic games of the past or visit Platinum Play.

While there is a decided advantage to playing old games in an arcade as opposed to at home, many choose either option or both for pure enjoyment of the game. The arcade environment allows players to immediately interact with one another and strategize on how to win a particular game or group of games. Others enjoy the solitude of being at home and playing with online opponents to generate a specific intimate connection to the game and other players.

 

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Pinball Arcades in the US Worth Visiting

by Jessica Kane 18. July 2017 03:08

For a pinball enthusiast, nothing is more enjoyable than watching the steel ball bounce off of the bumpers in a chaotic fashion while you try to regain control and keep it in play. The game as we know it originated in the early 1900s, but in 1940, it became illegal in several states. It wasn’t until 1976 that the ban on this was lifted, proving that the game was based on skill and not the luck of the player.

The game was still not that popular in the country until the early 2000s, which is when pinball parlors started opening and private pinball collections were opened to the public in pinball museums. If you like playing pinball, here are some of the places where you can check out dozens of pinball machines under one roof.

Pinball Hall of Fame

The first pinball palace that you will want to see for yourself is in fabulous Las Vegas. It is a warehouse that is located right off of the Vegas Strip that is filled with over 200 pinball machines. The Pinball Hall of Fame first opened during the year 2009, and today locals and visitors alike come to the Hall of Fame to see the flashing lights and hear the buzzing bells.

Most of the games that are available to play cost a quarter, but you can find a few rare antiques that only cost 10 cents to play. What a treat! In addition, the Pinball Hall of Fame also has some of the newest pinball machines that can be played for 50 cents a game.

Pennsylvania Coin Operated Gaming Hall of Fame and Museum

The next place where you can enjoy playing pinball machines of the past is located in Hopewell, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Coin Operated Gaming Hall of Fame and Museum was once a dollar store that the locals enjoyed, but now it is game central for many locals as well as pinball enthusiasts looking for rare pinball machines.

This arcade is home to over 400 vintage machines, and the collection even includes the extremely rare pinball machine called Thunderball. Only 10 of these beauties were manufactured, and out of the four remaining models that are still around today, the one at this location is the only one that is in working condition.

Pacific Pinball Museum

Moving on to the West Coast, The Pacific Pinball Museum, which is located in Alameda, California, is another great spot for playing on some vintage pinball machines. It has over 90 different machines available for play, all of which have the buzzer and the bells that pinball players have nostalgia for. Behind the scenes at this pinball machine museum, you can find an additional 400 machines that are not available for pinball enthusiasts to play. Though the place is often crowded, it is definitely worth visiting.

Museum of Pinball

Another great pinball location to visit is also located in California, but this time it is located in the town of Banning. The Museum of Pinball was opened in 2013, and it is actually one of the largest arcades dedicated to pinball machines in the world. Displaying over 600 pinball machines on the arcade floor, there are a large number of favorites that pinball enthusiasts will love to get their hands on.

If you are heading to California, then check into the events at the Museum of Pinball. It is not open to tourists who want to just drop in for a visit, but there are a number of events throughout the year where you can see the pinball wizards of today compete.

Silverball Museum Arcade

The final pinball arcade that will be featured on this list is located in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The Silverball Museum Arcade can be found right off of the boardwalk in Ashbury Park. Once inside, you will find nearly 200 different pinball machines from throughout the ages. If you have nostalgia for pinball games from the 1970s, then you will be able to find games with mechanical buzzers that you will enjoy as well as more recent machines that have brighter, shinier lights.

As you search for some of the best pinball machines in the country, you will come across vintage pinball machines, restored machines, and rare gems. If you want to see some extremely talented pinball players go head-to-head, there is a tournament that is held in Pittsburg Pennsylvania twice a year. If you have the skills, you may even be crowned the next “World Pinball Champion.”

Jessica Kane is a writer for The Pinball Company, the best online source for new, used, and refurbished pinball machines, arcade cabinets, and more!

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Age of the Empires 2

by George 13. July 2017 13:37

Age of Empires 2 was published by one of the largest tech companies in the world, Microsoft so you would expect it to be quite successful. The company has the best producers and developers at its disposable meaning it can be picky with what it makes, and it also means that it can invest more time and resources in creating high quality products. A smaller firm may only have a small budget. Finances have definitely helped Age of Empires, which has sold millions of copies around the world and been labelled as the tenth best PC game of all time according to a poll in 2007.

Similar to other games, the game is focused in a society setting, where the player must overpower their opponent and then advance through a number of ages in a political setting. The political setting is divided into two parts – the economic and the military, both of which serve different purposes. There are various civilisations and the idea is for the player to build their civilisation and overpower the others that they are competing against. As the player performs well, they can progress to a new age. When they progress to the next age they will receive rewards such as gold or wood. If they want to eat food then they must hunt animals just like they would in the real world. And just like in the real world, they can train characters in their unit.

The one downside to the game is that players must purchase upgrades. They don’t necessarily need to use credit card to do so. Because the game is based online, players can communicate with other players and gain the resources that way. Not everyone would want to spend money or trade in a game. This is one thing that has substantially changed between games that were developed in the early 90s and earlier. When players wanted to progress they would simply have to defeat an opponent. That’s not the case anymore. To a certain extent that takes away the skill that a player needs. Anyone can earn more resources in a game or use their credit card, but not everyone can beat their opponent at the end of a round. Or if they do, it will take them several attempts. The lack of a requirement to beat an opponent takes away some of the mystery and it takes away some of the fun from the game. It means it’s just based on money and resources.

The good thing though about being able to buy resources such as gold from other players is that a community begins to develop around the game. In previous years, players would be rather isolated but that’s not the case at all now. Instead, players can contact other players and become friends outside of the game.

Due to the game’s popularity, sequels have been developed, so too have expansions and HD versions to match new technology. The most recent HD version was released in 2016 and offers four new civilisations, giving the player a more challenging experience which can make it more fun.

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