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podcast | 01/07/06 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val checks out the biggest gaming news of the last couple weeks, catching us up on any news we missed while we were stuffing our gullets on stuffing and gullets. She also checks out reviews of PoPoLoCrois for PSP, Kosumi for PC, and Call of Duty 2 for Xbox 360 and PC. After all that, she serves up a tasty preview of Chromehounds, coming soon to Xbox 360 from the makers of the legendary Armored Core series. Get the latest podcasty goodness from your pals at GF!


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feature | 12/29/05 | Aaron Stanton
The Asia Game Show & DEE Asia 2005 had some interesting items on display, but the only gem was a student design project tucked in the back corner. Pebble, designed by Addi Lam, uses a controller that's very similar to the Revolution. Only it was built months before Nintendo announced anything about the Revolution's nifty control approach. This project was developed entirely independent of Nintendo. For a brief moment at the AGSDEE Asia, lucky visitors had a chance to see what Nintendo's been talking about.


comic | 12/27/05 | Aaron Stanton
When half your comic team disappears overseas for the holidays, it's hard to keep things running smoothly at a game comic. That doesn't explain all of TP Comics recent venture into the bizarrely inconsistent, but it explains a good portion of it. Now that the Xbox 360 is resting next to piles of used wrapping paper and a Christmas tree suffering from dehydration, it's easier to find the time to make fun of things. Hopefully that means we'll get back into a pattern again here after the new year. Take a look at this week's TwoPlayer comic, FingerBang, the "banned" ad commercial.

Twoplayer game comics are published kinda, sorta weekly at http://comics.gamesfirst.com.


feature | happening | 12/25/05 | Aaron Stanton
As the first days of the 4th Asia Game Show and Digital Entertainment Expo Asia 2005 get underway, it's interesting to see the differences between this Hong Kong exposition and what we normally see at E3. Designed much more to be a one day event than a multi-day outing for the average attendee, there's still enough to keep even the most casual technophiles interested. From cell phones to TV's, Editor Aaron Stanton describes the expo after the first two days, including what he saw behind that intriguing PlayStation 3 sign he spotted going up before the show opened.


podcast | 12/23/05 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val takes a look at a bunch of the reviews we couldn't fit into other podcasts. We rundown some of the best games of the season, including the wild-west adventure game GUN, the vehicular mayhem of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the stylish Project Gotham Racing 3, alien warfare in Quake 4, and the handheld racing action of Mario Kart DS. We're cutting the crap and getting right to the goods. Check it out.


feature | happening | 12/23/05 | Aaron Stanton
The 4th Asian Game Show & Digital Entertainment Expo Asia 2005 in Hong Kong might not be showing off anything cool from Microsoft, but they've certainly got something from Sony. GamesFirst editor Aaron Stanton takes a quick peek at the show floor the day before the expo opens to the public, and reports on the warm fuzzy feelings he got at seeing the PlayStation 3 logo being raised above Sony's booth. AGSDEE might not be as well known in the west as E3 or CES, but it's an opportunity to see hands-on what Sony plans to offer. You'll want to keep an eye open as the four day exposition kicks off.


podcast | 12/16/05 | Val Townsend
Val Townsend, the Atomic Goddess, is back again with lucky podcast number 13. This week, we take a look at the latest news, including speculation on Nintendo's recently hinted "secret" regarding the upcoming Revolution console, as well as Clinton and Lieberman's Family Entertainment Protection Act. We also have reviews of Perfect Dark Zero and King Kong. Finally, we take a look at Dreamcatcher Interactive's cult-hit Painkiller, coming to an Xbox near you in January. Download the latest audio offering from your pals at GF! right here.


feature | 12/15/05 | Aaron Stanton
The launch of the Xbox 360 was marked by a series of rather strange advertisements on TV. Kids playing jump-rope. Kids playing with water balloons. Is it just counter-culture advertising, or is there something deeper to these ads? Simply, something deeper. There are subtle differences between the original, uncut versions of the Xbox 360 ads online compared to the shortened ones you see on TV. Gunfire in the water balloon fight? Is this innocent portrayal of children playing with water balloons actually a representation of Ghost Recon 3? The extra sound effects of gunfire and explosions, cut from the TV spot, add a dark and sinister atmosphere that are simply missing when you only hear about bears going on a picnic.


feature | 12/12/05 | Aaron Stanton
Last week, we here at GamesFirst published a side-by-side comparison of King Kong on the Xbox and Xbox 360. By looking at nearly identical games, it's interesting to see the graphical differences between the two. However, the Xbox 360's major differences are in the ability to render dynamic lighting and environmental effects, which are difficult to see in static screenshots. As a result, we've redone the article using side-by-side video capture from each system. The differences are both more obvious, in the cases when a difference is visible, and more underwhelming, when certain key scenes are difficult to distinguish between the two. Take a look, and decide for yourself.


editorial | 12/09/05 | Aaron Stanton
The gaming industry has grown large; Hollywood large. This means that while we can expect to find more and more gamers in the general population, we can also expect large companies to milk that success for all it's worth. If you think the images shown in game ads are accurate, think again; the people you see in video game ads tend to be more telling about the demographic they're targeting than about the current audience. Someone is trying to make video games cool, and it cramps our style.


editorial | 12/08/05 | Laurie Taylor
Ted Rueter's editorial trashing game studies and game design programs in colleges and universities has really gotten the dander up around the GF! offices. One of our resident gaming academics, Laurie Taylor, who is finishing her PhD in English studying games, responds to Rueter's criticisms in the best possible way: refutation and redirection. Laurie points out the wonderfully sensible fact that if people want less violent, better games, then they had better study games in order to find out how to create those new experiences.


editorial | 12/07/05 | Shawn Rider
Jack Thompson jokes wearing thin? We understand. After all the coverage Thompson has gotten, we're pretty bored with his ranting. But the game world needs a new hysterical voice to mock and deride, which is why we are happy to present Ted Rueter, Assistant Professor of Political Science at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana. Professor Rueter has written an editorial in College News against colleges adopting game design courses and degrees of study, which, he says, "kidnap American education." Needless to say, we disagree.


feature | 12/05/05 | Shawn Rider
It might be heresy, but let's consider for a moment the Xbox 360 as a media hub: The gaming features are "extras" and the media features are primary. We want to use the Xbox 360 mainly to stream music, images and video from the home computer. How does the Xbox 360 stack up to other media hubs like the D-Link DSM-320 or the Phillips Streamium? Shawn takes a look at some of the key reasons why the $299 Xbox 360 Core System is a good choice for users who might be more interested in media than videogames.


feature | 12/04/05 | Matt James
This week in the Mailbag, we've got all kinds of media-centric inquiries, ranging from the Xbox 360's media features to getting media onto the PSP and a few more tips to help you find an HDTV that will be compatible with the PlayStation 3. As usual, Matt James has put all of the best letters of the week together for your reading pleasure.


feature | happening | 12/03/05 | Aaron Stanton
The Xbox 360 has been disappearing off store shelves, both in reality and online where the shelves are much less tangible. In in article we posted last week, we pointed out that eBay's Xbox 360 listings have dropped nearly 3,000 units a day, and we predicted that - if trends continued - eBay would be sold out by December 1st. Well, it's now December 3rd, and the question is... did they? Are prices on the rise again? Will Microsoft's claim of impending shipments manage to help reduce the online price gouging we're experiencing moving into Christmas?


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