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Your Guide To Video Games This Christmas

Your Guide To Video Games This Christmas

Video games are a massive market, especially at Christmas. Now you may not know this already but we've seen the release of two big consoles in the last month; the PS4 and the Xbox One. They both do very similar things, they allow you to play the latest games, but they come with a hefty price tag. What options do you have this Christmas, what avenues can you go down to get a video gaming fix while maybe not spending an arm and a leg.

The Latest Generation

It's easier to get hold of diamonds the size of a baby's fist this Christmas, they are very difficult to get hold of due to their recent release. Not impossible, but you'll have to be on your toes to get either console, especially before the 25th. Both the PS4 and the Xbox One allow you to play blu-rays, go on the internet, watch TV and make you breakfast. (I think) Now these consoles tick all of the boxes and ring all of the bells; they are graphically amazing and you'd hope so too with what you'll end up paying.

The Previous Generation

Now if you're happy to get a video game console that will still allow you to play hundreds of games and at a much lower price then maybe check out something from this category. All three of these have been out for years, so availability isn't an issue and you can get some amazing deals if your happy to look, including some second hand offers as well. Your choices are, the PS3, (The predecessor of the PS4) the Xbox 360 (The predecessor of the Xbox One) and the Wii. Now you may have well heard of some of these, the wii being the biggest selling console in this generation, it being the console that see's you waving a motion controller around to play tennis and go bowling while in your living room.


If a full blown console isn't what your looking for then why not try a handheld console, they allow you to game on the move and though the graphics aren't as good they usually make up for that with really good gameplay. Popular models at the moment for example are the Nintendo 3DS and the PS Vita and you can pick those up again with some good deals at all good gaming retailers.

The Past

Now if your like me then a console from the past isn't really a bad option, it's now classed as 'Retro' I think, but in my opinion you can get a really fun gaming experience with something like a Nintendo 64, a Sega Genesis or a Nintendo Gamecube any of these are great consoles to go for. Now it may take a little work to find some of these, as they will all be second hand, but you can usually find something quite cheap if you look carefully.


So if your buying a console for yourself, your family or your kids then have a quick look into what you need it for. For the latest releases try one of the later generations; but if your happy with having a look at gaming past and where some of the later games matured from then have a look at a retro console or two. So if your budget is limited this Christmas then try a console from the previous generation, they still allow you to play some fantastic games and they don't look to shabby either; and if you spend a lot of time travelling or want to keep the kids quiet while in the car then go for a handheld system.

If you want any personal recommendations then feel free to leave a comment or send me a message..


About the author: Andy Relf is a Music Technology Graduate and freelance writer from Bournemouth.


The above article was produced by Andy Relf. It does not necessarily represent the views of LearnByCam.

Is There More To Board Games Than Passing Go Or Colonel Mustard

Is There More To Board Games Than Passing Go Or Colonel Mustard

The following article, 'Is There More To Board Games Than Passing Go Or Colonel Mustard' was written by Andy Relf.

Welcome to the world of board games.

Now to start I'm going to do a little experiment...

Think of a board game!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you may have thought of Monopoly, Cluedo, Risk, Scrabble or something along those lines. Something from your childhood; all afternoon spent playing games that lasted far too long and stopped being fun about halfway through. Was I right?

Whether I was right or not (I was right though) there is definitely more to board games than these family classics. In the world today there are thousands upon thousands of board games and card games that you've not heard of, I know that because there are thousands of games that I've not heard of. But the good thing is their readily available, amazing fun to play and they don't last all afternoon.

They are called strategy games, games that give you more choices than whether you want to accuse professor plum in the kitchen. They allow you make so many decisions, make plans, schemes and  generally they focus more on scoring points to determine the victor.

Now when I said that games don't last afternoon that is technically not true, games vary in so many ways; I have spent an entire afternoon playing the same game and there are games that last 8, 9, 10 hours or more, games that are so engaging that it needs that long to see through to fruition. One the other side of the coin, I've recently discovered a game that plays in 1 minute plus time to score you points. So if you want a game to match the time you have available there is always one out there you just have to go and find it.

Themes are important, board games are normally themed, and there is a divide between two styles of games, the first and oldest are what are called 'Euro' games, named due to the fact that these sort of games originated in Germany, these games are normally heavy on strategy and mechanics maybe slightly lacking in theme. The other style of games are know as 'Ameritrash' I know it sounds bad but it's not, it basically means that game is normally dripping with theme and maybe lacking in the mechanics behind it. Neither of these styles are bad and they normally cater to a different audience, some people prefer a good theme, while others like the mechanics of the game. (The mechanics of a game are like the mechanics of a car, the bit in the background that goes on without you noticing, hopefully, you'll always notice bad mechanics)

There are numerous ways to get into playing board and card games, one of the best websites to check out would be board game geek, your one stop shop to everything you'll ever need, ill level with you now, the website is a little difficult to decipher at first but there are loads of people who are more than happy to give you some hints and tips. I cannot guarantee this, but there should be a gaming group in your local area, sometimes two. They meet up each week, month and play games; again they are nice people so don't be afraid to say hello.

So is there more to board game than passing go and colonel mustard? Yes, yes there is. There is an entire world of games that is poking its head into the public knowledge, some of the bigger shops in the UK and the US are stocking these sort of game now too.

Now I don't think that these games will ever outsell monopoly or cluedo, they are family classics, most houses I know have a copy of either most likely both that get carted out on a rainy Sunday afternoon or a Christmas with the family. But as the hobby grows more and more and hundreds of new games are released each year it won't be too long until you've heard of some of these strategy games and see them make their way to your table.


The above article was produced by Andy Relf. It does not necessarily represent the views of LearnByCam.

Bioshock Infinite Game Review

Bioshock Infinite Game Review

The following article, 'Bioshock Infinite Game Review', was written by Ruairi Mcfarland.

What a roller coaster of a ride Bioshock infinite was, I initially avoided reviewing this game for a few weeks, as Bioshock isn’t your usual game, it's the type of game that you want to try to approach intellectually and logically, but recently I have decided to give it a second play through.  It is obvious that Bioshock infinite wants you to have your fun and it is easy to delve yourself in the world of Columbia a floating city in the skies that decided one day that they were better off alone and seceded from the union of the United States Of America. 

On the surface Bioshock Infinite is a Game about Shooting enemies in the face, clubbing them over the head, electrocuting them to death, throwing them into walls and in the most fiendish case, kicking them to kingdom come. Fans of the original Bioshock game can rejoice, the combat is similar to the original Bioshock series, with enemies that have weird genetic powers and old 18th century revolvers, guns and often over the top weapons.

Over and over the game would hurl a handful of enemies from the sky-hook above, often to disorientate you and force you to change your tactics rather rapidly.  Often, my tactic throughout the game remained the same, go in guns blazing and use the possession skill to turn a turret against the enemy and kill all the baddies.

The setting makes this game perfect, Bioshock is set within a flying city, where they worship the founding fathers as idols and worship a man named Comstock, who has self fashioned himself as a prophet.  It is always fun to spend the first 15 minutes of the game wondering the streets of Columbia and taking in the beautiful scenes of a colorful city in the skies.

As you delve deeper into Columbia, The darker side comes out, like the original Bioshock series, there are undermining themes of racism, jingoism and generally religious superiority.  Often you would see separate bathrooms for Black people, Irish and a new bathroom for ‘The people of Columbia’. 

Big Daddies are back, but not in the same from the original drillers that were in the first Bioshock.  The new replacement is perhaps a older version a ‘ Mechanical Patriot’ in the from of a colonial hero often George Washington, yelling patriotic phrases to give you a wee chuckle when you are trying to kill him. 

The plot comes into force when you are sent to a tower, to save a damsel in distress perhaps influenced by a fairytale, with probably one of the most intellectual stories a game has, Bioshock really makes you want to play it again just to understand the pivotal ending which left me in awe.

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