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Keeping Up Appearances

Written by Mark Betts

The Begining
============

In the begining of time there was... well, rocks! And a lot of them. But who cares about rocks? No one. In the begining came 2D games: those lovable classics that we all could run on our brand new 386 machines. This was fine in those days for the hardcore gamer, but this brought about a desire for progression.

The Middle
==========

The middle is a time of 3D Graphics and the never ending struggle to keep your computer up to date. Each new generation of games brings out the need for more graphics processing power and more memory. I find myself, like many, of those people always buying new bits for my PC. Since I brought it under one year ago I have brought 3 new graphics cards (all 3DFX cards of course), 3 new processors, 64 megs of ram, and this for that and that for this. Don't the manufacturers and game producers think that its time to stop the incessant need for upgrading that dull beige box on my desk that is my underpowered computer? But what can they do? They are only there to get the hard earned money form our pockets!

One word: Optimise. It apears to me like light through a crystal glass that if my 33Mhz playstation can run soulreaver as well as it does, my PC could do a even better job of it. But what do I get for my extra money spent on luxury PC hardware? SLOWDOWN! This is the enemy of all computer gamers. So what do I find myself doing? Spending money. The never ending circle of upgraiding has pulled me in and made me poor. Why do we bother? Well, if a game does 32 bit texture mapped real time lighting textures and displays 8 Million Polygons a second we want to be playing the game in its intended glory dont we? Not tacky 16 bit textures with a 20 Fps job with everything realtime turned into bland nothingness.

The future
==========

So what do we look for in the future? Well PS2 games that run like Silk, PC games that run a little slower on the same spec machine (and therefore the need to buy the Voodoo 6). And more upgrading for me, I suppose. Ironic.

A rating representing our need to upgrade to keep up with appearances: 10/10

Because we want the power and the glory of tommorows technlogy and games today!

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