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Thread: New to gaming

  1. #1

    New to gaming

    Hi guys!

    I just want to give you a little intro about myself. My friend had recommended me to go on this site to learn more about good games and getting into gaming. I never really had too much money growing up (also lived in a horribly poor neighborhood), and consequentially could not afford games growing up.
    Fortunately my father recently got an amazing job offer, and we were able to move elsewhere. Now that we're better off and my family has some money (and I have some of my own, I managed to find a job here at the local Dairy Queen), I figured its time for me to explore gaming on my own (being a high school junior, I'd like to get some gaming in before college). I'd like to play some of the good single player games to get away from my old game boy and the multiplayer games i'd play at my friends house.

    Which brings me to my question: What should I invest in? A lot of people told me to get a Wii or 360, others were telling me to get some kind of program called Steam on my computer. I always thought the Playstation 3 had really good graphics and a lot of games look like a lot of fun on it. What are the pros and cons of games on the computer and games on things like the Wii and 360?

    Thanks a lot for your responses!

  2. #2
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    The majority of people on this website are going to tell you PC is the best (and I'd wholeheartedly agree with them) but chances are you aren't already in possession of a gaming computer. If you could find out the specs on you current computer and post them then people would be able to give you some suggestions.

    Pros of PC gaming:
    Much more customization in your games - Most games feature customizable graphics options and mod support which can greatly improve the experience.
    Dirt cheap games - through programs like steam (which is a must have for a PC gamer. You can find it here) you can purchase games for pocket changes and begin downloading them immediately.
    Control - The mouse and keyboard is a much better control mechanism for precise actions (like aim in first person game or giving orders in a strategy game) but for the few games that it doesn't work with, you can more often than not plug in some form of controller.
    The most games - The PC doesn't change every couple years (besides operating systems). Very rarely do games become unplayable due to software updates so as a result, games from the very beginning are playable. The PC has a game library several times as large as the closest console library.
    emulation - It is possible to emulate several different operating systems and game consoles to expand your games library even further.

    Cons of PC:
    Technical knowledge - It does require a minute amount of technical knowledge if you want to REALLY invest in PC gaming. This includes troubleshooting older games or console ports that may not work. A lot of the great features of PC gaming (like modding) aren't available to people who have little knowledge or experience with computers.
    Initial Price - While the dirt cheap games definitely off set this, If you want the ability to play all games available on PC you are gonna need to dish anywhere from 500-100 dollars for a rig. The 500 applies to those who know how build budget computers from hardware sites like NewEgg.com or TigerDirect.com.


    Console Pros:
    No technical knowledge required - You put the disk in and play
    Some exclusive games - PS3 has games like Resistance, Killzone, and Uncharted, the 360 has games like Halo and Gears of War, and the Wii has your stand by Marios and Zeldas. These are not available on PC.
    Game trad ins - you can trade games in for a fraction of the price you bought them for at games like Game Stop

    Console Cons:
    Limited Control - Because the consoles are pigeon holed into using the controller, a lot of more complex genres like strategy games, simply become impossible to produce on them.
    Expensive games - Games for consoles don't drop in price nearly as fast as they do on PC and sell for more at release.



    Sorry... I typed that pretty darn fast so my sentence structure and what-not is probably gross. If you notice something odd that doesn't make sense, don't be afraid to comment.

  3. #3
    Network Hub KauhuK's Avatar
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    You need a decent computer for PC-gaming. PS3 has some pretty good exclusives. You say you want single player games. Do you have certain genres you are interested in? Would be easier to recommend games.

  4. #4
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    I'm assuming you are asking about this in multiple forums, because you are likely going to get a very biased opinion here, what with it being an exclusively PC gaming website. Many on here will game on multiple systems, but the vast majority will herald the PC as the king of all. Personally, I'm PC exclusive, although not from having zero desire for any of the consoles. So, it is pretty obvious which way I'm going.

    To answer your question, you should go with the PC (with and without Steam.) The only real pro gaming on a console has is that you have the instant gratification of putting the game in the drive and playing. Older consoles also had the benefit of being great for groups of people to gather around, but with the advent of internet on the consoles and the demand to push graphics harder out of the weedy computer bobbins used within, split screen multiplayer seems to be dying out in the current generation. The only exception to this is the Wii, but these seem to mostly for gimmicky "party" games, that will not hold your interest for too long.
    There are also a couple of myths that some console exclusive gamers always raise when the debate crops up. Firstly, the cost. In reality, gaming on a PC is more expensive initially, but not as significantly as some would have you believe. For 400, you can buy a computer that will run pretty much everything on maximum settings for a about a year. You will probably be running some, but still not the majority, of games on medium a little after this. This will still look better than on the consoles. The games are also a lot cheaper, as publishers need to pay the console makers. In UK terms, this means the full price of a brand new game on PC is usually 30, but on consoles it will be 40. Big name games are usually a little higher than this for both platforms. Then you also get Steam sales (as well as other digital download sites,) where you can get a whole stack of games for hardly anything. You also do not need to factor in the cost of an HD television to get the most out of a console, nor do you have to worry about additional internet charges, as you do on the 360.

    You also apparently have to keep all your drivers and software up to date. This is partly true, but your computer is unlikely to struggle that much if you don't. The occasional game might work best on the latest drivers, but usually only eking out an additional few frames a second. The odd game does come along that will have numerous problems (e.g Rage recently,) but these are few and far between in reality. Things can go wrong with a PC, but as long as you keep drivers up to date (Steam allows you to check these,) and games up to date (again, Steam does this by itself,) then the problems are usually minor. You may occasionally have to enter an error message into Google, but it is rare. Consoles are also becoming closer to PCs in this regard, with first day patches being not out of the ordinary and numerous hardware failures.

    As a newcomer, PCs will also offer you a massive back-catalogue of games to play. Your best bet for these is probably the website GOG (Good Old Games,) who ensure the games will work on modern systems and sell them for a fairly cheap price. Steam also have a fair number of older games, whilst, if you are UKer, you can find quite a few classics in Game's 3 for 10 deal, although these are without the guarantee of working on older systems (they usually do, but there might be some tweaking required - look on the Internet beforehand.) Meanwhile, in Console Land, they seem to be adamant on getting away from backwards compatibility, cutting down on the number of games on offer massively (I probably would have picked up a PS3 ages ago, if I could play PS2 games on it.) There is also a massive range of genres on offer.

    Couple of questions to help us answer your question, as well as to let us give some suggestions for games you might like, what spec computer do you currently own? Also, what kind of games were you interested in playing?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Hello!

    First of all, remember that a lot of us regulars here are very, very biased - a lot of people who play games have this idea that you have to pick a platform or a genre or a control method or whatever and cling obsessively to it, hissing and scowling at everything else. So whatever advice you get, take it with a pinch of salt, as we're all likely to be a little kinder to the PC as a platform than normal people.

    As for what machine to get, it kind of depends on what sort of games you like or think you'll like. Generalising massively, the Wii is great for party games and having a laugh, but it tends to get a bit old as too many of its games rely on the controller gimmick, and it has a higher proportion of shovelware (lazy, hastily made crap to make a quick buck) than the other consoles. The 360 and Playstation are these days on roughly level footing. The PS3 has superior technical specs so tends to be a bit prettier, and it also offers free online multiplayer. However, the PS3 controllers are pretty crap and uncomfortable, and Sony has dropped the ball in a big way too many times for some.

    I personally favour the 360 over the PS3, as I've found it easier to get cheap games, the controller is almost perfect, and I've no great interest in online multiplayer, so I don't really care that I can't play online for free. I also adore Crackdown, which can't be bought on anything else, whereas the PS3 exclusives I've played range from the atrocious (MGS4) to the good and gorgeous, but not really amazing (Uncharted). Exclusive games aren't generally a massive deal these days though, as cross-platform makes more sense for most developers. It's completely pointless getting tribal about consoles though, as they're not as different to each other as their more shouty fans like to make out. What your friends have will probably be a big factor here, really, if you want to be playing them.

    If you have a PC already, you may as well give some PC games a go. PC games can be found vastly cheaper than any consoles, and they offer more variety and an enormous back catalogue. PC games can sometimes be modded, too - you can go into the game's files and change some settings, or download files pre-made by other people to change certain things about the game. It depends on the game here, as some are a nightmare to mod and not worth it, while others are built to be customised easily and have thousands of freely available mods out there.

    The potential downsides are compatibility - unless you drop an enormous pile of money on it, you won't be able to run some new games well or at all, and many older games will not run on a newer PC without a lot of faffing about (although sites like gog.com are doing their best with that). It helps to know a bit about computers to get on with PC gaming. The PC is also less suited to proper multiplayer - having your mates round for a game - as almost all multiplayer games now are online only, and several major publishers are currently in the process of experimenting with some anti-piracy measures that are very divisive. That may not be a concern to you at all, though.

    If you're not sure what games and so on you'd like, I'd suggest starting with the PC for now, as you can get more and more varied games for cheaper. Oh, and it's not necessary to have a good internet connection for PC games, but it helps a lot as most good deals will be downloadable.

    As for specific games, Portal is a good start - on PC or 360. That's a puzzle game that's from first person perspective, so controls a lot like typical shooting games. It's quite short, but very well made and clever and fun. Fallout 3 is a bit more complicated, but a great game set in the post-apocalypse, about wandering around shooting mutants and going off on adventures. It's also got bajillions of mods as well, if you decide to get into that scene further down the line. Hostile Waters is a sort of action strategy game that i'd recommend - quite old now, but very underrated and a good introduction to strategy games, which can be hard to get into. Civlisation 4 is a few years old now, but the best in a deservedly famous series of strategy games where you pick a historical nation and take them from stone age dirt-poking to world domination.

    Steam's a good start - that's a programme that allows you to buy and play tonnes of games, and comes with built in chat and multiplayer organising systems. They have regular sales, including the annual Christmas sale, which typically includes tonnes of games for ridiculously cheap - genuinely great games for 1.50 - 5, that kind of thing. It has its detractors who have problems with the company who run it (Valve, who I personally consider one of the least evil companies in the world, and I have a great deal of respect for them), or who don't like having to run steam to play their games, or who've run afoul of (very rare) technical problems, but those people are very much in the minority.

    I'd recommend looking on steam, gog.com and gamersgate.com and seeing what's available and what sounds interesting, even if you plan to buy a console, as the big name games in particular are likely to be available on the 360 and/or PS3 too. You can also get some cracking deals that way - you could conceivably play great games from four or five different genres for about 20 altogether.

    You might also want to look into the DS and/or iphone gaming. I got a DS for 50 and there are lots of great games for them. Handy if you're on the go. I don't have an iphone, but they're reportedly excellent gaming devices, offering loads of innovative games that can cost as little as a quid.

    Oh, and important: If you decide to get a 360, get the newest model you can. Early model 360s were notoriously unreliable and would break down irreparably about 30% of the time. Don't get a second hand one if you can avoid it.
    Last edited by sinister agent; 12-10-2011 at 08:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    It all depends on what you really like I geuss. All the good strategy games are on PC. Try Age of Empires, for example. Indeed, ALL the stratagy games are practically on the PC, due to its keyboard and mouse control. If you like shooters, all the platforms have them. Call of Duty 4 or Half Life 2 are good bets in that section, I've also heard good things about Halo, but its an Xbox exclusive. If you like racing games, I suggest that you buy a PS3, since Gran Turismo is apperently the best racing game out there, although Codemasters (Dirt, Grid) is quite strong on the PC too. Racing with the keyboard is a bit harder to get used to for some, although I've been doing it all my life!

    Since you obviously already have a PC, you might just want to stick with that and try some of the games I mentioned (GRID, DIRT, Age of Empires, Call of Duty 4 (CoD4 is mainly a multiplayer affair, now that I think of it), Half Life 2). All of those games should run quite good on any recent computer (except mabye Dirt 3), and most of them have demos, so you can try them before you buy. I actually recommend you do that. I did just mention the most 'standard' high profile releases, there's also quite a lot of other games many people like you can try (almost all of the below games are multiplatform, released on atleast two the 'Big Three' - Playstation, Xbox, and PC)...
    If your PC happens to be shared (Also pretty likely), you might be better of buying a console, and plugging it into the TV, or even buy another cheap TV. Its a bit cheaper then PC gaming, and far less complicated. Also, many console games have split screen functionality (PC's had it, but replaced it with LAN functionality, now that is gone and split screen never came back), so you can invite your friends over.

    Fallout (A bit buggy but awesome RPG series)
    Oblivion (I myself did not really like it, but many people love the open world series. Its creators are responsible for Fallout 3, and partly for New Vegas as well)
    Bioshock (Apperently one of the best shooters)
    Driver: San Francisco (Look it up on RPS!)
    Metro 2033 (I liked this shooter, its a beautifull post apocalyptic shooter)
    Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Comes highly recommended by just about everybody!)
    The Total War series (A very nice strategy game series)
    Mirror's Edge (First person platformer)
    Mass Effect (One of the most popular RPG series being made right now, highly recommended by yours truly)
    Dragon Age (The above game's medieval niece)

    that sorta thing. If you can get and install 'steam' on your computer, you can use it's online store (its whole point of existence is the online store) to arrange a list of games based on costs and metacritic rating, which should also guide you.

    With PC games, it is highly recommended to check what your computer can do. Many PC games have 'Minimum requirements'. Check that your computer is better then those minimum requirements and you should have no trouble.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    I, too, am PC exclusive, but here's why I'd herald the PC:

    1) You probably already have one, and you most certainly will when you go to college. No need to buy another machine; just use the one you have.

    'Course, that said, make sure it has the hardware capable of the games you want. That isn't so hard now, because the PC's gone so far ahead of consoles in terms of power that, since most games are multi-platform, so long as you've bought your PC in the last three to four years (and didn't totally scrimp on the parts on one of those HP "sales"), it can pretty much handle anything you throw at it. Keeping your PC up to date with drivers and game updates et al is easy now with Windows 7 and Steam, as they do all that automatically in the background.

    2) Steam specials. Up to 75% off good games every weekend, 'nuff said.

    3) Good Old Games specials. Ridiculous backlog going back decades for chump change. I mean, c'mon.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    4) Daikatana.

    Edit: I'm glad you made this topic, by the way =) I was planning on making a hypothetical "Computer Games 101" thread about what you'd tell / give to a person who had never played them. Granted in my example it was going to be some kind of space barbarian from the past who traveled here and was all like "what's these video games?" Having a real person who can ask a legitimate question about it is much more...legitimate. =) So thanks ^_^

    P.S. I don't think not playing games makes you a space barbarian from the past.
    Last edited by Berzee; 12-10-2011 at 08:22 PM.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    It's tricky. I'm reminded of working in libraries and being asked to recommend a book. I'm quite sure I scared the crap out of the guy asking by blathering on for about ten minutes and practically filling a shopping trolley with books, banging on about why I like them and why you might not like them and how this is actually a bit slow but stick with it and it's a lot like that other one except I always thought it was more like this one, which you might also like and while you're reading that try this...

  10. #10
    You don't need all that powerful a pc to game. Chances are, the PC you are on right now is meaty enough to give yourself a nice taster to see if it's your kinda thing or not.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    It's tricky. I'm reminded of working in libraries and being asked to recommend a book. I'm quite sure I scared the crap out of the guy asking by blathering on for about ten minutes and practically filling a shopping trolley with books, banging on about why I like them and why you might not like them and how this is actually a bit slow but stick with it and it's a lot like that other one except I always thought it was more like this one, which you might also like and while you're reading that try this...
    Yeah...this happens to me too with both books and games. Liking things too much always creates a risk of sounding like a loon.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    It's tricky. I'm reminded of working in libraries and being asked to recommend a book. I'm quite sure I scared the crap out of the guy asking by blathering on for about ten minutes and practically filling a shopping trolley with books, banging on about why I like them and why you might not like them and how this is actually a bit slow but stick with it and it's a lot like that other one except I always thought it was more like this one, which you might also like and while you're reading that try this...
    Do what I do when people want a suggestion as to a "nice restaurant" in a city with more than twenty thousand pretty fucking good ones. Ask him what kind of food he wants, what he's willing to pay for it, and how far he wants to walk.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    What kind of library book do you want, how much are you willing to pay for it, and how far do you want to walk, mister?

  14. #14
    Unless you're a Nintnedo fanboy, I'd stay away from a Wii. The best games on there are excellent, but the vast, vast majority of them are first-party Nintendo titles and it is quite hard to find the better game amidst all of the shovelware and terrible ports.

    It all really depends on how much you have to spend, but a good gaming PC will have much more longevity, as the current console cycle looks like it'll be coming to an end in the next two or three years. The consoles do have good exclusives, but most of them are first or third-person shooters, which you can get plenty of on PC anyway, and the PC market in general is much more varied in terms of genre and gameplay styles, especially in regards to indie games. If you can afford a good PC, get one and you'll be pretty much guaranteed to find a genre you'll enjoy.

  15. #15
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
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    Man I was pretty poor when I grew up but that didn't stop me from gaming, piracy helped back then.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    Man I was pretty poor when I grew up but that didn't stop me from gaming, piracy helped back then.
    Which is about as taboo to mention nowadays as pointing out that a lot of musicians' popularity came from bootleg mixtapes.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  17. #17
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    Whichever platform you use, you'll want to keep an eye on Savygamer http://savygamer.co.uk/

    Also, any chance you could find us the specification of the computer you are posting this from - so we can give you an estimate of the gaming capabilities.

  18. #18
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Which is about as taboo to mention nowadays as pointing out that a lot of musicians' popularity came from bootleg mixtapes.
    Lol piracy made me buy DXHR.

  19. #19
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    Buy Beyond Good and Evil! Chances are whatever you posted your comment on can play it and by god it's good.
    Last edited by arienette; 12-10-2011 at 11:50 PM. Reason: grammar
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  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spider Jerusalem's Avatar
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    don't do it. run away.

    gaming is the disease that will eat your soul.

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