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An anonymous reader writes "Patrick Wyatt, one of the developers behind the original Warcraft and StarCraft games, as well as Diablo and Guild Wars, has a post about some of the bug hunting he's done throughout his career. He covers familiar topics — crunch time leading to stupid mistakes and finding bugs in compilers rather than game code — and shares a story about finding a way to diagnose hardware failure for players of Guild Wars. Quoting: '[Mike O'Brien] wrote a module ("OsStress") which would allocate a block of memory, perform calculations in that memory block, and then compare the results of the calculation to a table of known answers. He encoded this stress-test into the main game loop so that the computer would perform this verification step about 30-50 times per second. On a properly functioning computer this stress test should never fail, but surprisingly we discovered that on about 1% of the computers being used to play Guild Wars it did fail! One percent might not sound like a big deal, but when one million gamers play the game on any given day that means 10,000 would have at least one crash bug. Our programming team could spend weeks researching the bugs for just one day at that rate!'"

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In an industry that at times seems constantly obsessed with the Next Big Thing, it's no wonder there's always so much hype that swirls around the introduction of a new generation of video game consoles. Console gamers don't have the same geek luxury as, say, Apple fanatics, who get a couple shiny new devices every year. Typically, it's only once every several years that a major new home video game console launches. That's a long ...

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A small analysis I did for GameBeholder.com on the criticism of Japanese games, current trends and seeming absolute notion that japan needs to stop being japanese to succeed. Why do we have this idea so firmly set in our heads?

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Tenshin Kaisen

Title : Tenshin Kaisen
Publisher : Meldac
Game Type : Shooter
Console : GameBoyOriginal

Price : £12.99

A similar title to Kikikaikai with its scrolling shooting action, Shinto priestess and many references to Japan of old in lanterns, Oni bosses and hopping, one eyed umbrellas. In the GB game however the action is force scrolled along, but this is a fine little blast for fans of a Japanese flavoured broth with many varied ingredients thrown into the stock.

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Akumajo Densetsu (Cart Only)

Title : Akumajo Densetsu (Cart Only)
Publisher : Konami
Game Type : Platform
Console : FamicomCart

Price : £17.99

Forced scrolling with chain mechanisms in the background, collapsing platforms forcing players to get a whip wiggle on, pendulum like swinging ball and chains to leap between, scrolling around mutating bosses on rotating platforms: it is all in here as Konami sets the mould for platformers in this epoch defining title.

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Captain Ed (Cart Only)

Title : Captain Ed (Cart Only)
Publisher : Sony
Game Type : Platform
Console : FamicomCart

Price : £8.99

Unusual vertically scrolling shooter set on a background of ever changing coloured panels as players pummel opposing vessels to gain valuable dollars to spend on upgrading the ship and all important fuel. Unusual in the fact that players must keep scoring in order to keep the money coming in to progress.

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Recent rumour-mongering that both Sony and Microsoft would be announcing next-gen hardware at this year's E3 has brought into sharp focus the oft-repeated claim that both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were designed with "ten-year lifecycles" in mind.

"Andy (House) is absolutely right in that we are not making any announcements at E3. I've always said a 10-year life cycle for PS3, and there is no reason to go away from that," Sony CEO Kaz Hirai told the Wall Street Journal during CES in response to the latest round of rumours. Hirai was referencing an earlier denial that SCE president Andrew House delivered to CVG.

"I don't think we're contemplating talking about anything to do with future console iterations at this point," House said.


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 Eloquent Fist (New)

Title : Eloquent Fist (New)
Publisher : Marvelous
Game Type : One on One Beat Em Up
Console : PSP

Price : £27.99

Akihabaras influence is hard to miss in this girl on girl collaboration of cos play inspired fighters with maid uniforms, kokosei and even the obligatory eye patch. Further eye candy is provided by the luscious cel shaded graphics that work like a dream on the PSPs screen. Inter spliced into the action are an array of pyrotechnics which really give a satisfying feel of welly behind the specials. A dream otaku title for those proud to wear their anime T shirts.

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