GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog

A New Start

Posted: 01 Mar 2016 03:23 AM PST

A new start for MyGamerXP

Some of you who follow my mad ramblings on twitter may already be aware that as of today, I am now 100% self employed. What has this got to do with ANYTHING?!?! Well, let me explain...A new start for MyGamerXPDon't worry, I haven't gone mad and decided to become a full-time YouTuber, relying on ad revenue and Patreon backers - although obviously that all helps and I am extremely grateful for the support! Whilst it is a dream of mine to do this full time, I understand that there is a long way to go to make that happen (if it is at all possible?), so for now making retro game videos will continue to be just a hobby I am very passionate about.I've had to pour hours into building a foundation for the challenges ahead. This has meant working a lot of late nights and weekends! I hope this explains why lately I've not been able to work on as many videos and articles as I'd have liked to. I haven't been able to play as many games or given the whole "MyGamerXP" thing as much attention as I've wanted to.What is does mean is that either now or in the near future, I should be able to devote more time to creating more videos and articles. I've already started a monthly newsletter and I'd love to build a more regular schedule for uploads. It may take a little while, but I hope you can be patient enough with me in the meantime.Also for transparency I'd just like to point out that any money raised for MyGamerXP will continue to be invested back into it. I've used funds raised through Patreon so far to go towards new lighting equipment (which was used in my last video!) and there are plenty more things I want to improve on. So don't worry, none of it will go towards a coffee, my lunch or anything like that. Haha!If all goes well I should be able to use evenings and weekends to work on new videos, articles, stream on twitch, go to events and much more!Fingers crossed, eh? Wish me luck!

10 Sega Dreamcast Facts by onaretrotip

Posted: 24 Feb 2016 04:27 AM PST

10 Sega Dreamcast Facts

Pete (onaretrotip) has some fantastic content on his YouTube channel, featuring a number factual videos such as this for one of my all time favourite consoles; 10 facts about the Sega Dreamcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSQZxM9x-UUNow I know there's a lot of "top 10" and factual videos out there, but with onaretrotip I always learn at least a couple of new interesting things! The presentation is also really good and I highly recommend subscribing to his channel!Some other highlights I've watched include: Give them a watch and let me know what you think of this recommendation in the comments below. I'm always looking out for new and talented YouTubers who deserve more views/subscribers/exposure.If you have a recommendation yourself or would like to let me know about your own videos, you can get in touch with me via the contact form or on twitter

Sega Classics Collection Review (PS2)

Posted: 15 Feb 2016 04:28 AM PST

Sega Classics Collection Review for PS2

Back in 2005 Sega released the "Sega Classics Collection" in America for the PlayStation 2 (PS2); a compilation of arcade hits such as Space Harrier and OutRun, remade in 3D!These were originally developed in Japan as individual releases as part of the "Sega Ages 2500" series. Unfortunately we didn't receive all the games they worked on such as After Burner 2 and in Europe they even removed Alien Syndrome from the collection and we had to wait an extra year later for the privilege, but there's still 8 games available to choose from. Are they any good? Well, let's take a look, shall we?Starting off with Golden Axe was a pretty bad decision. Excited by the idea of a "graphical upgrade" for this game, I stupidly jumped in with high expectations. I mean, how could you possibly screw up such a classic and simple game? Well... here is a perfect example.The controls are clunkier than ever, the movement feels awkward and the graphics are drab, dull and just plain awful. There is the option for 2 player co-op, but frankly you won't have any friends left if you invite them round to play this. No amount of nostalgia or love for the original can save this version of the game, so just don't get your hopes up like I did.Whilst we're at it, let's get all the dead weight out of the way; Bonanza Bros is a waste of time, Columns somehow looks a bit worse than the original and Monaco GP is not to be confused with Super Monaco GP. Yes, they went for a top-down perspective racing game and I don't really understand the point of it when you have Virtua Racing on there. Monaco GP can be fun for short bursts, but ultimately it's frustrating to play as it's hard to avoid colliding with other cars and exploding.Moving onto the mediocre we have the previously mentioned Virtua Racing. Whilst I was impressed by the technical achievement of this on the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive, it does little more than re-create the basic game with what appears to be a a few more polygons and slightly smoother frame rate. I found it borderline enjoyable for a few minutes, but I had just played the awful Golden Axe revamp, so make of that what you will.Most Sega fans would have lost the will to live at this point, but you may have noticed I haven't covered OutRun or Space Harrier yet. Well... we have just one more game to talk about first.Fantasy Zone is a wonderful little arcade shoot-em-up which was ported to the Master System in the late 1980's. A lot of old Sega fans will be quite familiar with this game and Opa-Opa (the little space ship) who was kind of an early mascot attempt before the likes of Alex Kidd and Sonic the Hedgehog.I quite like what they did here with the 2.5D visuals. The graphics are still bright and cartoony and they've added in some nice little extra touches. I hadn't played much of the original, but I did enjoy this and if you're a fan of these games I'm sure you will enjoy this little remake.Okay so now it's time for OutRun which is one of my all time favourite arcade games. I'm definitely going to cover this in a "Gaming Memories" episode in the future.So... I have mixed feelings about this "Classics Collection" remake. On one hand they've kept the controls and speed feeling very authentic. Infact it literally feels as though they've got 3D graphics slapped on over the original game engine, and I also enjoy the new "arranged" music tracks.The main problem I have with this version of OutRun is that the graphics aren't very good. Now I understand this is an old PS2 game, but that's not really a valid excuse here. I know the PS2 can do a lot better than this and in some of the later tracks it can look really washed out and bare, making it really hard to see where the road is.The 3D graphics also make the car look a little awkward when it moves. I guess it was a hard balance between keeping the original feel and making it look right, but they just didn't do a great job of it here in my opinion.Whilst this may sound negative, I did still get some enjoyment from playing this, but I think the original arcade version looks much better.. If you want to play OutRun in 3D, check out some of the games on the PS2 and original Xbox. Unfortunately the Xbox Live and PlayStation Network HD remasters aren't available anymore, which is a shame as that was pretty damn good.Phew, okay, so we're onto our last game now... "Get Ready!"Space Harrier is another classic game that I enjoyed playing in the arcades when I was younger. I also played it in Shenmue's "You Arcade" on the Sega Dreamcast.The promise of this, Golden Axe and OutRun are basically what got me to try out this collection and whilst most games on here have been fairly disappointing, I got a lot of enjoyment out of this! All the stages are here with bosses at the end and it feels familiar yet refreshing. The controls are solid enough and the graphics aren't too bad. They're not amazing, but they get the job done.Again, the original arcade game wins over this for me, but it was still a pretty good remake. The Sega Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 can be picked up fairly cheaply. My copy only cost me a few pounds and for that I'd say it was worth the price. Don't get your hopes up like I did as you're likely to be bitterly disappointed, but there are a few games that may keep a retro Sega fan happy. 

Sign up to the New MyGamerXP Monthly Newsletter

Posted: 08 Feb 2016 08:14 AM PST

Sign up to the New MyGamerXP Monthly Newsletter

"Read all about it!"Keep informed about new retro game reviews, videos, blog articles, community content, upcoming events and so much more! As I don't have a very regular schedule at the moment, I've heard from a lot of you that it can be hard to know when I've published a new video or article. There's also loads going on in the background and unless you're a Patreon supporter or lucky enough to be around at the right time when I post something on twitter, it can get lost in all the noise.This year I hope to improve the site even more and my relationship with all the great people I've met so far through this hobby, so I wanted to create this new monthly newsletter to help keep you updated with everything that's going on.My aim is to expand on the "community content" area of the site, helping other people who love games as much as I do to get more exposure for their articles, websites and videos. I also want to give you notice of any expos or meet-ups I'll be attending, plus give a summary of any new videos or posts I've made that month.To sign up, simply click here or fill in the big blue subscription box on this page or the MyGamerXP home page.

Road Rash Review (Sega Genesis / Mega Drive)

Posted: 25 Jan 2016 09:47 AM PST

Road Rash 1 Sega Review

In 1991 Electronic Arts released Road Rash; an alternative and gritty racing game where you could punch, kick and club your way to victory!This was exactly the kind of title Sega wanted in their library, offering a more shocking, controversial and therefore tempting experience for teenagers and strengthening their argument for "Genesis does what Nintendon't".Road Rash is all about earning money and winning races through whatever means possible. You must avoid the police, take risks and knock your opponents off their bikes as you work your way through to the finish line. It was fun back then and it still holds up well today!In terms of music there appears to be a few mixed opinions. Whilst the intro theme is generally considered to be fantastic, the soundtrack for each level has its ups and downs. There seems to be an emphasis on the use of an effect that I guess tries to mimic a guitar,but doesn't do the best job in the world. Personally, I still enjoy a few of these because I'm incredibly nostalgic, but there is the option to turn it off if it don't suit your tastes.Graphically it doesn't look quite as impressive as Super Hang-On which came out the year before, but I don't think it needed to be. It's not as fast and looks a little "choppy", but it does the job well in its own style. Remember this game came out the same year as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and is meant to be gritty and alternative, so it doesn't really matter if it's a little rough around the edges. If anything it adds to the game and gives it character.Road Rash is set in California and features five tracks to choose from which get progressively longer and more difficult as you progress through the main campaign. In each race you have 14 opponents to go up against, along with the odd police officer you must avoid from getting busted. Crashing into a car, tree or building near them will result in you having to pay a fine. Your bike can also only take a certain amount of damage before the race is over and you need to invest in repairs, so be careful out there!Coming first or even in the top 3 for each race will earn you money which you can then invest in newer and faster bikes. You'll need to do this to progress through the later stages and keep up with your opponents. Thankfully, there is a password system in place to save your progress.Whilst there is technically a two-player mode, it basically consists of playing through the career mode one at a time, taking it in turns. They addressed this with a split-screen competitive mode in Road Rash 2, but there's still plenty of fun to be had in playing this version.The original Road Rash for the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive is an incredibly enjoyable racing game that is full of character and as playable today as it was back in 1991. For me it feels like an important part of gaming history, moving away from the more traditional and innocent racers and inspiring future franchises such as Carmageddon and Grand Theft Auto, pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in this form of media and how far we've come. Nowadays this game feels almost "cheeky" whereas back then it was quite shocking.Even so, I believe you will have a lot of fun with this or Road Rash 2 and they definitely deserve to be played and added to your collection.

Sonic 1 Review (Sega Genesis / Mega Drive)

Posted: 17 Dec 2015 05:57 AM PST

Sonic 1 Review for Sega Genesis and Mega Drive

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most iconic characters in video game history, replacing Alex Kidd as SEGA's official mascot back in 1991 to compete with Nintendo's Super Mario, playing a significant role in the early console wars.He's had a bit of a rough time these past few years with the transition to 3D and been the victim of some arguably bad decisions, but his early 16-bit games are some of the best 2D platformers of all time, which still hold up well today.Now you may be wondering why I've chosen to review such a well known game as chances are you've already played it? With Sonic being such a huge influence in what got me into gaming, I just had to cover this at some point. I can only hope I do it justice.The story behind the game is pretty simple; a mad scientist by the name of Dr Robotnik has been stealing animals and turning them into robots for his evil plans, so it's up to Sonic to save the day!The game opens in Green Hill Zone and features detailed colourful graphics, catchy music, some nice parallax scrolling and smooth fast movement speed. One of the things that makes these early Sonic games so great is the freedom to play two ways; you can explore the levels, learning the various paths and secrets or try to blitz through them in as fast a time as possible. Personally, I used to go for the slower approach as I love discovering secrets, but the two approaches offer a lot of replay value.Each area is known as a zone which is mostly split up into 3 levels known as "acts". If you collect over 50 rings before reaching the end of the first 2 acts, you have the chance to acquire a Chaos Emerald in a special stage. Most people seem to have mixed opinions on these, but I enjoy them. They can be a little frustrating at times, but if you manage to collect all 6 Chaos Emeralds, you get a slightly different ending.At the end of the third act for each zone you get to fight Dr Robotnik in one of his crazy inventions. I love these and the music here is brilliant, much like Darth Vader's Imperial March. The attack patterns are fairly simple to work out and the only frustrating exception is at the end of the Labyrinth Zone. Infact, that whole zone can be pretty annoying at times with the slow movement and terrifying drowning music.As Sonic it's important to pick up as many rings as possible. As mentioned previously, collecting 50 before the end of the first 2 acts of each zone grants access to the special stage, but collecting 100 gives you an extra life. These rings also let you take damage. Getting hit does result in you dropping all your rings, but getting hit with zero makes you lose a life. Just try to keep hold of at least 1 ring at all times.There's a few power-ups you can collect along the way which are the bubble shield, running shoes and invincibility. You can also pick-up extra lives and rings too. The bubble shield is great as it allows you to get hit once without losing any rings and the running shoes make you run incredibly fast. The theme tune for the invincibility power-up is also extremely catchy, much like the star in Super Mario games.The controls in this game are incredibly smooth and responsive. They even built in physics for angles and momentum. Running downhill is a lot faster than running uphill and if you jump from a hill you go in that direction. It's quite subtle and not something I really picked up on or appreciated until later on in life. It's these little touches that really add to the quality of the controls.As I've hinted about a couple of times already, the music in Sonic 1 is superb. The sound effects are great and the themes for each zone will be in your head for days or even years! My personal favourites are Green Hill Zone (obviously), Spring Yard Zone and Star Light Zone. Everytime I hear them I can't help but smile.The only real downside to this game is the pacing can feel a bit off if you love to rush through each level in the fastest time possible. The Marble and Labyrinth zones require more patience and don't really allow you to dash through them. This didn't bother me too much as I enjoy exploring at my own pace, but I know this frustrates and divides a lot of people.

Gaming Memories: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic 1)

Posted: 04 Dec 2015 04:41 AM PST

Gaming Memories Sonic 1

Sonic the Hedgehog is the first game I ever owned, alongside Michael Jackson's Moonwalker with my Sega Mega Drive back in the early 90's. Sonic has been a huge influence in what got me into gaming, so I thought I'd share some of my early memories with you.This video is actually part of my "Gaming Memories" video series, of which there are only two episodes at the moment, but I will cover a lot more games and consoles in the future!If you enjoyed this video, please click on the like button and subscribe. I'd really love to hear what your memories are of the game or the first game you ever owned/played, so let me know in the comments below or on the YouTube page.

JMM Reviews: Metal Gear Solid Tribute

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 02:36 AM PST

JMM Reviews Metal Gear Solid Tribute

I've been friends with JMM Reviews for a few months now on twitter. With the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, he decided to make a tribute video to the original which I think is absolutely superb!This is a quality video and clearly a lot of time and effort went into it. I find that his voice suits these types of videos really well, making them quite relaxing to watch and listen to.If you're a fan of Metal Gear Solid, I urge you to check out his video below. You can also subscribe to him on YouTube, where he does a lot of speed runs on Perfect Dark (N64)!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dqzQKEGjS0

500 YouTube Subscribers – Thank You!

Posted: 09 Nov 2015 04:28 AM PST

MyGamerXP 500 YouTube Subscribers Special Thank You

On Sunday the 1st of November 2015, I reached 500 subscribers on my YouTube channel. With this milestone I wanted to use the opportunity to thank a lot of people for helping me get to his point by sending me feedback, nice messages, watching my videos, liking them, sharing them, giving me shout-outs on twitter and more.It's been an enjoyable journey so far and I have a lot planned with videos for the future. Thanks to all of you who have helped support me with this enjoyable hobby! Please watch the video if you haven't already for my full message. 

Splatterhouse 2 Review (Sega Genesis / Mega Drive)

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 04:12 AM PDT

Splatterhouse 2 Review

Before the likes of Silent Hill, Resident Evil and even Doom, we had Splatterhouse. Well, the first game existed in the Arcades and on the Turbo Grafx 16, but Sega Genesis and Mega Drive owners were able to get their hands on the sequel back in 1992.Released by Namco, this brutal and gory side-scrolling beat-em-up was much more extreme than what you'd see in most games from around that time. You certainly wouldn't find this on a Nintendo console! In the early 90's, this was the closest thing to experiencing those famous horror films of the late 70's and 80's.

"Go Back to the House..."

In the first game you played as Rick who took refuge in a creepy house with his girlfriend Jennifer during a storm. She screams as the door shuts behind you and you wake up with a mask attached to your face that grants super-human strength and it's basically up to you to save her.I haven't played the first game, but I've heard the ending causes confusion with the story for the western release of Splatterhouse 2. I don't want to give any spoilers, but basically it was down to some odd choices with translation. You're not returning to the same house this time, you actually walk through the remains of it during the first level. So hopefully that clears things up a little. No? Well don't worry, the story isn't too important here anyway.As far as gameplay goes, Splatterhouse 2 is a pretty standard game; you move through the levels from left to right, avoiding traps and killing enemies before reaching a boss. Along the way you can pick-up weapons that allow you to kill things in interesting ways, such as splatting them on walls and smashing them into the ground. They often get dropped as you transition between stages though, leaving you to just jumps, kicks and punches for the most part.

"She Doesn't Have to Die, Rick..."

This game can be extremely tough in places. Those of you with a high level of tolerance and patience would be able to learn the patterns and breeze through it in well under an hour. For the rest of us… well… let's just say it may take a little longer, if you're able to finish it at all.There is a password system to help you continue progress, but I feel the difficulty isn't just down to your skill level (that's my excuse anyway!). The movement and controls feel a bit slow and sluggish, and the hit detection feels off in places. This is nowhere near as tight and responsive as Streets of Rage.Whilst the game does feel slow, it does kind of make sense when you think about it. If the movement speed was faster I think it would lose that creepy vibe and increase the difficulty for reaction speed. I still hate the jumping though as Rick never seems to jump quite far enough for my liking, leaving you right on the edge of most obstacles and pitfalls.The graphics and music in Splatterhouse 2 do a great job of capturing the mood and atmosphere. Personally I love the intro theme tune and since doing this review it's been stuck in my head for days! The background music for each of the stages however aren't particularly memorable, but they serve their purpose well.

"You Need Me"

Some of the enemies in this game look absolutely disgusting and the bosses look even worse! If you're into horror, guts and gore, you'll love what they've done here. There may be a few people that find the third bosses disturbing, which is understandable as it caused a lot of outrage back when this was originally released.Splatterhouse 2 can be punishingly hard at times, seeming unfair and unresponsive. Often the trick is to learn enemy patterns, time your jumps and mash the attack button. That worked for me anyway. I'm not a pro at this at all, infact I've not been able to finish it yet, I just don't have the patience. However, this game can be fun to play, especially around Halloween with friends taking turns. It's tough, but it's certainly not unbeatable.
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