Just a few years ago, multiplayer gaming was just a “+1” for each game that supported such a gameplay mode; other than that, almost nobody cared about whether or not the title he wanted to buy supported a multiplayer mode.
Well, a few years have passed since then. As years pass, things tend to change; as things change, trends of the past become, as the word suggests: something that belongs to the past. Nowadays, it’s almost inconceivable that a new title doesn’t support some kind of multiplayer mode. Developers will throw in multiplayer elements in each and every way possible; after all, multiplayer gaming is the hottest gaming trend for the moment, why shouldn’t they? Let’s have a look at how this all began.
Although there where quite a few other multiplayer games available at the time, the real heat began when id software released the blockbuster title DOOM during the third quarter of 1993. Doom was a revolutionary first person shooter that shook the whole gaming world. Never before had the gaming society witnessed such a lifelike gaming environment and such an advanced multiplayer gameplay. DOOM was a real revolution; but this, was just the beginning! In the following years, id software released numerous sequels of the title; needless to say, all sequels had a great success.
As years passed, multiplayer gaming began to gain more and more popularity. In 1996, the same guys that did DOOM released a new smash title, Quake. Just a year after that, Quake II shook the whole gaming world for a second time; the time for hardware accelerated graphics processing had reached and Quake II was the only FPS multiplayer game to take advantage of this technology at the moment. Millions of gamers started to play Quake II online and countless multiplayer MODs (modifications of the original game rules) where released.
Finally, one of the last milestones in online gaming is Valve’s Half-Life. This is probably the most popular and successful game of the last decade; in fact, millions of fans are playing it’s extremely popular MODs (Counter-Strike, Call of Duty etc.) at any given moment, even now!
Following those great games, nowadays there are numerous blockbuster titles that boast an extreme multiplayer experience. New multiplayer titles are released every day but the most dominant ones for the moment are games such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life2, Lineage, Warcraft3, WoW, DOOM3, QuakeIV etc.
Call of Duty: Black Ops ll. Assassin's Creed 3. Tomb Raider. FIFA 13.
What do these video games have in common, hardcore gamers?
Yes, games such as these are hugely popular.
But to really enjoy playing these games, one needs a good video console. There are three consoles that have dominated the market in recent years – the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) and the Nintendo Wii. The question is, which of these consoles is most suited to your gaming delight?
Firstly, we can talk about the Nintendo Wii briefly, and I say briefly because that console, along with its games, are mostly geared towards the under 12 year olds.
The games are generally cartoony (Mario Brothers for example) and many are really family oriented, such as the Wii Sports Resort, with all the popular basketball, bowling, cycling, tennis etc. Not to mention the Zumba 2 Fitness Wii and the popular TV game show – The Cube. If ever you are trying to decide on your first console for your young kid, choose the Wii.
Moving on to the hardcore gaming arena, it's basically a toss up between the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Both carry the popular games, some of which are mentioned at the beginning of this article. So which one should you buy? Well, both consoles have good points and bad points.
Xbox games are a lot more fun. They are more popular with 12-17 year olds. This is not to say that 18 year old gamers do not find the Xbox 360 entertaining, but most older gamers tend to play on the PS3.
The Xbox has the Kinect – a brilliant piece of hardware for hands-free motion gaming.
It also has excellent online facilities, for everything from better servers to party / private chat, which means, if you want to, you can talk to anyone regardless of whether they are on your team, the opposition or not even playing the same game ( or playing at all). Its not free, but you get what you subscribe and pay for – excellent online facilities.
The PS3 has better graphics. It is more popular with the 18 and over crowd.
The PS3 has some amazing exclusives which alone makes the console worth buying. It can play Blu-Ray DVDs. The PS3 is the more powerful machine and you can see it in the graphics of its exclusives. Online multiplayer is free. But because it is free, the funds are not available to maintain the same high level of online services as the Xbox. Online multiplayer can be laggy and temperamental at times.
But wait, this year is proving to be an exciting year for gamers because we are all looking forward to Sony and Microsoft's next generation console releases, the PS4 and Xbox 720 respectively, later this year.
Nintendo have kicked off the next-gen console cycle early with its Wii U.
The Wii U is good for casual gaming, date night, and bored teenagers and of course, a hit for the young kids and families, but the core crowd is clearly waiting for a more immersive console gaming experience that the Xbox 720 and PS4 are touted to offer – both in terms of hardware and big-name franchises.
So which shall it be? The Wii (or Wii U) to gel the young family together; The PS3 (or PS4) for better graphics and more power, or the Xbox 360 (or Xbox 720) for better games and a better online experience?
R4 cards are adapters that are used with handheld devices that they are compatible with. They allow your device to operate with a larger memory thus creating more features for you to use such as a video player, MP3 player, web browser, word processor, as well as allowing you to store pictures and videos and play games. There are two main types of R4 card; the standard R4 memory card and the R4i card. The R4 card works with the Nintendo DS and the R4i card works with the Nintendo DSi device.
There are also further variations of R4 memory cards such as the R4DS Upgrade-II, R4 Advance, R4DS III, New R4, R4 Deluxe, R4 Pro, R4 SDHC and R4 Ultra. These all work in the same way and are still R4 memory cards, with the difference being they have different names.
The R4 memory fits into the slot in your Nintendo DS device, where the standard Nintendo card normally goes. The R4 card is exactly the same size as the original Nintendo card. The R4 adapter will accept Micro SD cards up to 16GB though this will depend on which version you have.
The R4i card which is compatible with the Nintendo DS can hold on average anything from 1 to 60 games at one time. This of course depends on the size of the game but these devices must only be used to back up games you have purchased and hold a legal license for.
The beauty and benefit of having an R4 card is that it allows you to have access to a video player, MP3 player, web browser and games, all at one time. You can also back up your games, pictures, music and videos on the Micro SD card meaning your device becomes super portable and is a great gadget to take away on holiday for example.
There is a slight difference to the two versions of the basic R4 memory cards. The first version of the R4 card was created with a spring loaded into the Micro SD slot. These springs were subsequently removed from the Micro SD slot after they were found to be unreliable and so the R4 card version 2 was launched. The above mentioned variations of the R4 memory cards all work in the same manner except some have a much larger memory and so can hold more data. These do however, require the use of different software.
Valthirian Arc is a complicated RPG type game, in which you must control a small school of magical students and train them to help defeat evil creatures.
You are introduced to the basic concept of the game, and eased into each of the different features by a step by step tutorial showing how to manage your students, view your statistics, quests available and your current achievements. The main objective is to complete quests, in turn this will grant you more gold which you can use to improve your academy.
Each student is different. Their skills vary and their aspirations determine the outcome.You must oversee their training and provide them with different exams so that they become qualified in different skill areas, then you can graduate them to increase the fame of your academy and fulfill the king’s expectations. Each students fame is determined by their stats and exams they’ve passed. Don’t get rid of all your best ones however…
Some quests require you to kill monster or bandits. You must take control of your group of students and navigate them around the map, defeating any enemies in sight. If things become to tricky you may use the teacher intervention to aid you along your mission. If you do fail it however, there won’t be any punishments and you’ll still earn LP for what you did accomplish.
There are two different types of game modes, sandbox mode and official arc. During sandbox arc, the game is infinite. The king will pose no expectations, leaving you to play at your own pace and will. However, in official arc, your decisions have to be much more precise, and you must think about every choice you make. If you fail to meet the king’s optimistic expectations at the end of the month it’s game over. Don’t be alarmed though, it automatically saves, you may continue your progress at another time if it becomes too much of a burden.
I won’t lie to you, Valthirian Arc is a complicated game. It takes a minimum of fifteen minutes to fully understand your goals and objectives, especially during a more relaxed version of the sandbox mode. However, with a huge list of achievements to be unlocked and a vast range of skills that you can teach your students, this game, like all addictive RPGs can prove to be very enjoyable and provide many, many hours of fun.