GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


Tomb Raider 20th Anniversary Celebration at PLAY Expo 2016

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 07:34 AM PDT

Tomb Raider 20th Anniversary Celebration at PLAY Expo 2016

I'm happy to announce that I'll be attending PLAY Expo in Manchester again later this year (8th-9th October 2016), making this my 3rd year running!I've thoroughly enjoyed PLAY Expo in the past and this year looks to be bigger and better than ever, thanks in part to a 20th anniversary celebration of Tomb Raider; a series I absolutely love, featuring one of the most iconic video game characters of all time.Tomb Raider 20th Anniversary Celebration at PLAY Expo 2016In tribute to gaming's first lady of adventure, the party starts with what is set to be the largest Tomb Raider panel ever assembled! Hosted by Sky Sports eSports commentator Matt Andrews, and with a host of famous names throughout the history of the franchise, fans will be able to engage in a Q&A with the panel as well as hear untold stories from the development of the series. With more names yet to announce, confirmed guests include:
  • Ian Livingstone CBE: Former CEO of Eidos® Interactive
  • Natalie Cook: Lara Croftoriginal model for Tomb Raider
  • Richard Morton: Lead Game Designer / Level Designer / Environmental Artist - Tomb Raider IITomb Raider IIITomb Raider: The Last RevelationTomb Raider ChroniclesTomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
  • Gavin Rummery: Programmer for Tomb Raider - Tomb Raider II - Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness / Head of Core® Design
  • Heather Gibson: Level Designer for Tomb Raider / Tomb Raider II
  • Andy Sandham: Level Designer / Artist / Script Writer - Tomb Raider III - Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - Tomb Raider Chronicles
  • Murti Schofield: Lead Writer / Casting - Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
  • Nathan McCree: Composer - Tomb Raider - Tomb Raider II - Tomb Raider III
With so many cast and development members' together at last, no reunion on this scale would be complete without the opportunity to capture the moment, and a Tomb Raider themed photo shoot will be the perfect place stand shoulder-to-shoulder with gaming's greatest heroes!In a feat worthy of Lara herself, PLAY Expo Manchester has scoured the globe unearthing the rarest of Tomb Raider collectibles, merchandise and memorabilia, on show in a specially designed display. Respecting the ground-breaking gameplay that has defined the series for two decades, PLAY Expo Manchester journeys through time, with every single Tomb Raider game throughout the ages on display and ready to play!You can read about my previous experiences of PLAY Expo here: You can also find out more about PLAY Expo Manchester, including purchasing tickets for the event on their official website: www.playexpomanchester.com 

GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


Sonic 2 HD [Quick Play]

Posted: 12 Aug 2016 04:12 AM PDT

Sonic 2 HD Gameplay Video

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 HD is a fan-made game by a small group of talented people who wanted to re-create Sega and Sonic Team's classic game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, with high definition graphics and music whilst preserving the original gameplay.This is essentially my first video in the "Quick Play" series, something I hope will be an interesting, informative and entertaining addition to the reviews, top 5 / top 10's, and gaming memories videos.For future episodes, I aim to include funny gameplay with friends, unique challenges and new discoveries, to help make these a little different to the usual "gameplay with commentary" style that saturate YouTube. So... it's something familiar, but with a bit of a twist. So I hope you'll enjoy them.Sonic 2 HD is planned to include new features after the original is recreated, such as online multiplayer modes, extra levels, and Knuckles as a playable character.You can read more about the Sonic 2 HD project here: http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_2_HDPlus, you can also keep up to date on development in their project blog here: http://sonic2hd.blogspot.co.uk

GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


Micro Machines Review (Sega Genesis / Mega Drive)

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 02:10 AM PDT

Micro Machines 1 Sega Review

Codemasters released Micro Machines on various consoles back in 1991, but the version I played and loved was for the Sega Mega Drive. Being such a huge fan of the toys when I was a kid, when I saw this on the shelves at my local video games store I couldn't wait to get it. Good job I had all that birthday money saved up!Micro Machines was a racing game for up to two players in its original release and came in its very own uniquely shaped cartridge. Later sequels were adapted to allow two controllers to be plugged directly into the cartridge, which I always thought was pretty cool.The game features cartoony visuals and is played from a "top-down" perspective giving you a great view of the level designs which are full of character and themed obstacles. You get to drive a range of miniature vehicles on breakfast tables, the beach, on school desks, in bathtubs and on my personal favourite; the pool tables. I love the use of playing cards for ramps, pockets you drive down and the ability to knock your opponent off the table with a looney tunes style puff of smoke as they fall to their death.In single player you have two modes to choose from which are "Head to Head" and "Challenge". The first offers a simple one-on-one gameplay style where you must beat your opponent to the edge of the screen. Doing so rewards you with a point, until one of you wins by filling them all in your colour. It's quite different to the usual rules in racing games of winning laps and the "stop-start" style of this mode may not be to everyone's tastes. It can take a little bit of getting used to and for single player, this isn't my preferred choice.In challenge mode things feel a little bit more familiar where you complete laps and must finish in first or second place to qualify for the next race. Coming in third or fourth means you lose a chance and have to try again. As you only start the game with 3 chances, if you lose them all it's game over.The game starts off fairly easy and get progressively harder as you would expect. However, each opponent has a different driving style, with some being easier to beat than others, so you do have a chance for some tactical advantage if you're familiar with the game and its characters.Coming in first place for each race in a round also allows you to partake in a bonus stage which grants you an extra chance (which is essentially a continue) if you manage to complete it within the time limit.This is all very nice, but where this game really shines is in its multiplayer! Remember the part where I told you about the head-to-head mode that possibly sounded a little bit boring? Well, not if that opponent is your friend! For a quick pick-up-and-play competitive game with friends, Micro Machines is some of the best fun I've had on the Mega Drive. In fact, whilst recording this gameplay footage with my friend Kev, we were in tears of laughter as we cheekily nudged each other into obstacles or off the track entirely to our doom! There are plenty of opportunities for foul play here which can make this game hilarious.One thing to note here though is we did encounter a few glitches where the better player who was on the track sometimes lost a point to the other person way off, but with a few beers and a good attitude, this just added to the laughs we had.In terms of music there isn't much to talk about here beyond the introductory theme tune, as during the races there's only the engine noises and sound effects to listen to. This didn't matter too much as to be honest, I didn't really notice the absence of music, but I felt it was worth noting.If you find it cheap, I'd say it's definitely worth picking up and keeping an eye out for the other games in the series. They also released Micro Machines v3 on the PlayStation 1 and v4 on the PS2 which are great fun as well and I'll no doubt cover these in the future.

GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


Sonic’s 25th Anniversary Stream (with Prizes!)

Posted: 22 Jun 2016 03:15 AM PDT

Sonic 25th Anniversary

Sonic 25th AnniversaryHello everyone!I just thought I'd give you a quick heads-up that tomorrow (23rd June) I will be doing a special Sonic stream to celebrate this occasion, with a few prizes to give out.You'll have the chance to win these games:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode 1
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode 2
  • Sonic Adventure DX
  • Sonic Adventure 2
  • Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
  • Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed
  • Sonic Generations
  • Sonic Lost World
The stream starts at 8pm  (UK time /GMT+1 BST) on https://www.twitch.tv/mygamerxpYou can keep up to date with all info at https://twitter.com/MyGamerXPI look forward to seeing you there! :-)

GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


Theme Park Review (Sega Genesis / Mega Drive)

Posted: 09 Jun 2016 01:37 AM PDT

Theme Park Game Review

Theme Park is a management simulator developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts for the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive back in 1995. The game made its way to many systems such as the Amiga, Super Nintendo and Sega Saturn, with the best version arguably being on PC or the PlayStation 1 thanks to a few enhancements like the ability to walk around your park in 3D.This port in particular is the one I played growing up. I only had the cartridge with no manual unfortunately as I purchased it pre-owned, so for me the learning curve was pretty steep! I still got a lot of enjoyment from it though, which I'll go into more in this review.You start the game in the United Kingdom with just a small handful of rides and shops to choose from. Over time, investing in research allows you to build more exciting attractions, meaning you can jack up the price and hopefully make a substantial profit.Don't let the cute and cartoony visuals fool you! Theme Park isn't about making the most wonderful place on Earth, oh no. It's about making as much money as you possibly can!One common example that illustrates this well is with the french fries and cola stands. If you increase the quantity of salt in the fries it will make your visitors thirsty, causing them to buy a drink. You can increase the prices of these and put more ice in your cola too.This game is full of simple micro management opportunities to fine-tune your park; such as adjusting the speed and duration of attractions, reducing the chances of winning prizes, and increasing the amount of sugar and caffeine in products to cause your visitors to zip round faster, run out of money, and get more people in through the gates. There's also strategies with the placement of shops and "one way" systems to maximise sales.There is of course the freedom to play Theme Park the way you want to. I always used to focus on visitor happiness and a great layout back when I younger, but always ended up in debt. However, that could just be because I wasn't very good at the game. Personally now I try to strike a bit of a balance between making a good profit, getting the price of admission just right and keeping a clean and tidy park. I do hire a lot of staff to keep things running smoothly and with this method I've managed to make progress.During gameplay you will receive plenty of tips along the bottom of the screen to help you with your pricing and let you know how well you're doing. There's also a happiness meter and various graphs to help delve deeper into financials and borrow more money if you need to. Every now and then you'll also play a small mini-game where you must negotiate supply costs or staff wages before the biscuits run out.The Mega Drive and Genesis version of Theme Park is slightly more simplified when compared to the PC MS-DOS original. I feel they did an excellent job though with the limitations of the system. A few of the rides and features are missing plus the graphics are different, but I actually really like the art style! The music on the other hand isn't the greatest. I can tolerate and enjoy a few of the tracks, but it seems most people I've spoken to don't feel the same. I guess it can get quite repetitive.In terms of controls and user interface, they did a pretty good job here. It's mostly easy to use and understand even without the manual. The only real problem for me was when it came to laying down the tracks for water tubing and the roller coasters. This was a nightmare to work out!For those wondering, you bring up the menu and press "B" on the rides instead of "A", then you select the water tube and only then does it allow you to place the track instead of the entrance.One other slightly frustrating issue is when you've researched something only a light bulb appears in the bottom left of the screen and you have to cycle through the rides, shops and additional features to find out what you actually have. It would have been nicer to receive a text alert alongside it to tell me what new thing I could add to my park.

GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


The 15 Most Influential RPGs of the 1980s

Posted: 16 May 2016 04:56 AM PDT

The 15 Most Influential RPGs of the 1980s

Daria Plays RPGs is a new YouTube channel I discovered recently through this particular video, which I was extremely impressed by.The topic grabbed my attention as whilst I'm a fan of old turn-based RPGs, I haven't played many of them from the 80s. I'm really interested in the history of video games and feel that even if you're not into RPGs, this is still a video worth watching!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spwVRZ63pQkAfter watching this, I must say I'm really looking forward to the 1990's video. You can tell a LOT of time and effort went into making this. Capturing all that footage, writing the script, the editing and presentation. It's crazy that Daria has under 1000 subscribers, so if you enjoyed this video, please be sure to subscribe to her channel.Check out her other videos too such as retro RPG reviews for games like Landstalker on the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive (another game I need to add to my own collection!).

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