Monday, 6 May 2013

We've moved!!

That's right ladies and gents, TCXS has officially left the building.. This one at least. You can find us on our new site where we're bigger, prettier and better than ever before! 2 new writers, new features, a forum - check it out - We'll see you on the other side!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Metal Gear 25th Anniversary

Few games hold that much sway or have so much success that they get to celebrate 10 or even 20th anniversaries and still go strong, but Metal Gear Solid is celebrating it's 25th! This magnificent series will always hold the title (personally of course) for most influential, successful, enjoyable and downright amazing game series I've ever played, or even that I know of. To celebrate Metal Gear turning 25years young - fans were treated to something a little bit special..

Today, I had the extraordinary pleasure of shaking the hand of one of my great inspirations and heroes, Hideo Kojima. Hideo, along with renowned Metal Gear Solid artist Yoji Shinkawa made an appearance at the Uniqlo t-shirt store located on Oxford Street in London to promote the new t-shirt range being released in celebration for Metal Gear Solid's 25th anniversary. I'd known about the t-shirts for a little while already as I follow Kojima, Konami and Uniqlo on twitter (and you should too!) but not until a few days ago did I find out about Kojima and Shinkawa's involvement - needless to say, the train tickets to London were booked before you could shout SNAKE!!!! The t-shirts themselves I have to say are actually gorgeous, theyre very well presented and look very attractive. A lot of gaming related apparal can seem tacky or even just fan made in a printing shop but after looking at and buying several, not only can I confirm they LOOK awesome but theyre of outstanding quality. If you don't live local to London but still want to get your hands on some Metal Gear goodies you can order the t-shirts from the Uniqlo website here

Its me!
As is to be expected for such high brow guests, the demand for both the Metal Gear Solid legends was massive, with well over a hundred queuing at the store's door in the freezing temperatures at the ungodly hour of 6am (myself included) when the shop itself did not open until 9. As well as being able to see Metal Gear Solid's creator in the flesh, fans were able to bring along one piece of merchandise for both Kojima and Shinkawa to sign, and there was certainly no shortage of wondrous loot. Ranging from simple Metal Gear Solid PS1 covers, to 20th anniversary boxes to my own Premium Limited Edition Metal Gear Solid box, it was obvious that there was no shortage of fandom in the building and some very dedicated fans with undeniably impressive Metal Gear collections.

This kind of event is always nice for gamers as its almost as if those behind it are giving something back. Hardcore gaming fans and even those who just buy games and enjoy them are giving creators, developers, artists etc their money, time and care and it is nice to know that some care enough to give back in the form of signings and the like. The cynics amongst you will say that they only made appearances to sell more t-shirts and undoubtedly that will have played in a part in the decision, but Kojima and Shinkawa did not have to sit and sign over 200 individual piece of fan merchandise. Nor did they have to give out special prizes to some lucky fans but hey - they did.

This kind of event is also a chance for gamers to branch out and meet others they may otherwise not have the chance to - a chance to meet and share the passion which they may once have thought only they had. Or ya know, could just be an excuse to get dressed up and have a laugh! Regardless, the event was an amazing opportunity and experience and I'm grateful that I had the chance to go and meet one of my personal inspirations while also buying some nice gaming loot!

On a personal note I would like to thank the Uniqlo store and staff members for their patience, friendliness and for setting up the event in teh first place. Many thanks also go to Konami and of course Kojima-San and Shinkawa-San for making appearances, you made a LOT of people happy; myself definitely included. Thanks to all of you, I now have  what is undoubtedly my most prized possession.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

GAME over.

Even I have to admit that title is PUNbelievable. Ok, I'll stop that. The past few weeks have presented some very troubling news for both retailers and gamers alike. In today's blog post we'll be going over these events and what they could mean for the future of gaming.

2012 is now well under way and the past few weeks have been BIG for gaming. With things like the Assassin's Creed III trailer hitting the web and massive blockbusters Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter x Tekken being released, the year is finally starting to live up to 2011 already. However, no doubt at least some of you will have noticed that UK gaming store giant the GAMEgroup (owners of GAME and Gamestation) stocked neither Mario Party 9, Mass Effect 3, Street Fighter x Tekken and since it's release on Friday, this weeks hotly anticipated title Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Why? Unfortunately lads and ladettes, the reason is: GAME(station) will soon be gone.

Upon hearing this news I was extraordinarily disheartened, countless times I've wandered into Gamestation for a browse, had some friendly banter with staff, even competed in small local tournaments there. It'll be sad to see it go. On the flip-side however, as the company desperately attempts to snatch up some much needed funds, prices on games, consoles and accessories already have and are bound to continue plummeting, so get yourself down to your local store to grab some bargains! 

But the story doesn't end there..This could be a real reflection of things to come. HMV, Gamestation..  High street retailers are going out of fashion right now - just think of how much easier and even cheaper it is to order a game from amazon as opposed to going to the shop and picking it up. So if they re dying off even now, what does that say about the future? We are in a digital age people, its not long until traditional ships will be gone as we know them. With technology the way it is now and with the undoubted advances to come, how long until gaming goes completely digital? 

Well, you can already download full games from both PSN and XBLA- so it may not come as a surprise to wonder whether or not ALL game sales will one day soon become digital. This would change the way games are bought forever - no more lending, trading, buying ore-owned games.. No doubt the companies would benefit, but us as gamers would undoubtedly suffer for it. But when have companies ever really taken that into account? 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

To all the mums out there

Dedicated to: Joy Shell
Happy mothers day.

I know it's a tiny bit too late but in light of mothers day; This is just a quick one for all the mums out there.
Its always important to know where you want to go in life. But equally, it's as important not only to know where you are, but also where you've come from. I know that right now I've a massive passion for video games. I know that this is only the case because of where I've come from. Growing up my siblings and I never wanted for much. I had a SEGA, Gamegear, Gameboy, SNES, Playstation, PS2 - and as the years went on and new consoles were released; I got them in the form of birthday or Christmas presents, and there's one person in particular to thank for that - mum. But even having the consoles didn't build my key interest into what it was today.

Some of my fondest gaming memories come from my childhood, whether they be ps1 gaming marathons or playing Dragonball Z with my brother, but some stand tall even further back than that. A few days ago I brought back Sonic Generations (another gift from mum) to my house and hooked it up to the main television in my front room. My mum happened to wander in and her eyes lit up at the sight of the spiky blue speed freak hedgehog.
When I was barely old or big enough to get my hands around a SEGA Megadrive controller, we'd sit for hours and hours together me and her playing through various levels of sonic and seeing her that happy at a game in turn made me feel happy. It was great to see her so enthralled with a game again and brought back heavy nostalgia. I cant remember the last time we bonded properly over a videogame and it occurred to me, her sitting with me and playing through sonic with me for all those hours definitely shaped my gaming passion into what it is today - and for that I can only say thank you.

So gamers, even if it is just once in a blue moon, remember one of the most important people in your life - who brought you into the world, fuelled your gaming addiction for years and probably, like mine, still funds and fuels it now.

Have a happy mothers day Mums, we appreciate you!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Gamer Girls part 2

Ok, before we get down to the main issue here; let me start by saying I don't mean to offend anyone by this article - it's simply my response to the emails I've had! As I'm sure most of you have read the last blog on girl gamers, (if not, go now!) and it seems there's certainly no shortage of opinions on the matter!

I was actually quite shocked at the level of reply that the article generated, initially from the girls who showed both appreciation and agreement (glad you liked it lasses!) but then I was more surprised to find a massive number of emails and comments from the other side, from lads. So let's get down to what you think..
How gamers feel when this kind of gamer girl comes along
Reading through all the responses I got and even the 2 or 3 blog posts that my article inspired, there seems to be one resounding conclusion from the lads - they're all fine with gamer girls.. Or at least some of them. It seems that the fellas can take getting whooped by a girl in gaming, so long as they don't emphasise the fact that it happened or is so shocking because they're a girl. Now I can actually see where everyone is coming from with this. I've no problem with girl gamers (as you all know) but I admit that it shouldn't actually make a difference that they're girls that are playing.

Let's put it a different way, does this sound familiar? 'Yeah that's right, I'm a GIRL and I play games, SO WHAT, BIG DEAL I bet I could beat any of you guys. How does it feel to get your ass beat by a GIRL? Bet you're pretty shocked to see a girl who actually likes to play videogames, well I do so don't be sexist...' and the list of stereotypical, general nonsense spoutings could go on forever - we've heard them all. What makes it worse is that said female culprit then acts so surprised, shocked and upset when told to shut up or more likely, get back in the kitchen by the male players she's angered with her nonsense. (Not my words, everyone knows this is the most common response!) 
If you're still confused this picture should explain all - the difference between a gamer girl (BAD.) and a Girl Gamer (good!)

Now, a lot of female gamers are perfectly fine and don't do this BUT we all know that there are those who do. You know who you are, and stop it. You are giving your gender a bad name and only promoting the annoying stereotype.

So that about covers both sides of the debate now, I'd love to hear a girls response to this maybe? The only sensible and accurate conclusion I can draw from this is that both genders are fine with female gamers, just not the ones that make a spectacle out of it because of the fact they've got some lovely lady lumps - Just like these ones here..
sexy gamer girls 4 Hot gamer girls fulfill my fantasy (18 Photos)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Gamer Girl

Not literally, domestic abuse ain't cool.
Stereotypes are rife in gaming. The average gamer used to be typecast as a male, teenage shut in with little - no social interaction at all and with all the perks that come with such a lifestyle(weight, spots, etc). Now, there are no stereotypes - or at least there shouldn't be. Now games are aimed at all kinds of demographics. I've seen children as people ranging from 5-65 playing games in recent years, but above all, one stereotype reigns supreme.. The gamer girl.

Yes, the gamer girl. This often thought fictitious creature is the object of many a man's desire but is so rarely found it remains just that, a desire. But why? Why are there so few girls picking up and playing as opposed to their male counterparts? Well, perhaps its reverse stereotyping. I asked a few of my friends who are girls (yes I have real life friends too..) who DON'T play games and they said it was classed more as a guy thing and that they had no interest in it. When I pursued this further it's because they classed all games as 'Fifa' or 'CoD'. Ladies; let's get one thing straight. There are millions of games out there, they don't all revolve around kicking a ball round a field or pointing a gun at someone. Though I would be willing to play a game where the character points a gun at people kicking a ball round a field for a living, but I digress.. The point is, there are games out there for everyone, all interests and play styles and now more than ever you are likely to find something to suit you if you just give it a try.

But as we all know, there are Twoface(s) to every coin (If you get it, good for you). Just as there are girls who don't play games, there are girls that do. A few close girl friends of mine (No really, I DO have friends!) and even my girlfriend actively enjoy gaming. Sure my girlfriend pretty much just plays the Sims, but so what? Its a game and she plays it, she doesn't have to be playing 24/7. But again, there are girls who are really heavily involved in their games, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's why it's nice to see groups like [GIRL]'s of PS3 popping up, actively attempting to get the girl gamers out there for the world to see. Its something that everyone should be proud to do, if you enjoy something why not let everyone know about it? What we do helps define us, and you never know - you might even meet new people and make some good friends because of it. So if you are a girl, go ahead and give them a twitter add

Except if you're into like hardcore S+M, or peeing on people while they sleep.. Keep that to yourself.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Branching out!

A cop out, maybe! But worry not valued readers, I shall be giving you a proper and full blog post tonight / tomorrow :) In the mean time, be good little minions and go and like / follow our Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr pages! I'll give you many kisses if you do.