Review by Swordlord

Reviewed: 12/26/03

Meet the machine that can be a money-sucking parasite, or your best friend... or both!

Some time ago, I submitted a review for the PC hardware. I don't know if it got lost or if the owner of this site hated it, but it's good that it wasn't posted because I was way too harsh in that review and the time that passed has opened my eyes. As everyone knows, the PC is the most versatile machine in existence and, among many other things, it runs games. However, only if you're willing to invest most of your available time and quite a lot of your money in it will you get maximum efficiency. If you just want to play the latest games with no hassle, it's better to just go with the latest systems on the market than with the personal computer. Buying all the latest consoles during the course of your gaming life will definitely cost less time and money than constantly upgrading your PC along the same period.

1)Software: Since the PC has been around for a long, long time, all types of games have been, at some point, made available for it. From the text-adventure games like 'Wizard and the Princess' to the millions-of-polygons, recreating-reality games of these days like, say, 'The Getaway', the PC has seen it all. 2-D and 3-D action and adventure, animated interactive cartoons, racing, puzzle, card-based games, RPGs, strategy, sports, 2-D and 3-D fighting, (2.5-D) beat'em-ups, simulation and even erotic games can be purchased for the PC. There are tons more PC games not listed on this site. (For instance, don't think there were only 2 TMNT games released for the PC.) But the vast amount of PC games is greatly increased by the creation of emulators. Provided that one finds the image files and the right emulators, one can play almost all of the games of many other systems. The PC is so great in this department that I really wish I could give more than forty percent of the final mark here. 40% out of 40%

2)Aspect: A saying goes: ''The more you see of an ugly thing, the prettier it becomes.'' Well, that's definitely not the case with the PC. (No offense to people who actually like the appearance of a personal computer.) My father bought a snow-white computer in March 2001 and now, after not even 3 years, it has the same colour as the upper part of an American NES. I guess it's probably to make it clear to people when it's time to buy a new one. (Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to buy a new PC every 3 years.) 0% out of 6%

3)Power: Apparently, with the right tools, a computer can outdo even the latest console. But it costs a ridiculous amount of money. I don't understand people who spend hundreds of dollars, maybe more, to ''beat'' the PlayStation 2 or the Xbox. The differences between console performances these days are hardly visible in my opinion anyway. But a regular PC, that a regular person buys, does not single-handedly beat the latest gaming systems without fancy additions, that's for sure. So, I can't give maximum marks to the PC in this aspect. 14% out of 15%

4)Fidelity: Why is this category so important to me? Well, who wants to constantly have to go to the store and buy upgrade after upgrade and empty his pockets and still not be completely satisfied? It's not funny with the NES, but it's even worse with the PC. Aside from the fact that new PCs are constantly made, with improvements which make one's PC old news pretty soon after its purchase, you can never be too sure that a game will work on your PC. Yes, you can buy a PC game and find out that it doesn't work well with your operating system, or you need a special type of controller, or your sound card isn't compatible. And one doesn't know what to do about it. At least with gaming companies that are known for toying with their customers, like Nintendo, they tell people what they should do; but a PC representative never knows anything after he sells you something, he just knows how to re-set everything and suck you dry... of money, of course! Thanks to the Internet, though, PC gaming greatly improved. Some emulators, especially the Genesis, NES, SNES and MAME32 (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator -- for Windows) ones, are very easy to use and work almost perfectly. I think it's quite safe to say that, on any computer, one can play more Genesis or NES or SNES or arcade games than PC games. And that's just what saves the personal computer from being a lousy platform. 10% out of 30%

5)Accessories: There are more accessories out there for the PC than for any other system. But, just like the games, they might or might not do the job; it's a gamble really. It gets very frustrating when your third-party controller is only recognized by half of the applications that you intended to use it for. But, on the other hand, features like netplay and ability for a whole bunch of people to play the same game simultaneously are advantages to be considered. 5% out of 9%

Total: 69% out of 100%. On this system, everything's possible as long as you can come up with the money for it. But I wouldn't buy a PC with the intent to play PC games; I would rather use it to play all the NES games ever created. Yup, it's possible. From Swordlord, 2 swords up!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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