Gamestyle Wikipedia Page

Thanks to Rogue Soul for the heads up on the Gamestyle Wikipedia page. This was a useful resource to track the history of the website and the team involved – especially the early days. Technically its gone from Wikipedia for whatever reason they want to quote (they’ve lost my pending donation)  and any future support.

However we do have the images of the page and I’ll copy the text beneath as well. That’s what an archive is all about.

gamestyle_wikipedia_1 gamestyle_wikipedia_2 gamestyle_wikipedia_3 gamestyle_wikipedia_4 gamestyle_wikipedia_5

Gamestyle is a UK-based independent computer and video gaming website that was launched in 1999 by Dean Swain, under the name Dreamers128.

Gamestyle covers video game software reviews, previews, news, and other information. After starting out on its own, Gamestyle was linked with a small American media network called FanGen. Later, Gamestyle broke free of FanGen and merged with fellow independent site GameHub.

To date, Gamestyle remains independently operated.

History

Launched in 1999 by Dean Swain, the site focused exclusively on Dreamcast games, under the guise Dreamers128. Approximately a month after launch, the site rebranded to Gamestyle.co.uk, became a multi-format site, and began to cover all console systems – though coverage of other consoles was restricted to previews alone.

With sites of this stature somewhat of a rarity, Gamestyle was quickly tied to a small American media network named FanGen who covered running costs of the website. Under FanGen, Gamestyle turned to become a more humorous, ‘punky’ website which displayed images of semi-nude women on the front page.

The FanGen link remained until Gamestyle merged with another UK independent, GameHub. This merger saw an increase in visitors to the site, due to the popularity of GameHub. With each newer build of the website, Gamestyle progressively lost its attitude and tamed the humour in written articles.

To date, the site runs primarily on gamestyle.com and is now funded by Dean Swain, Dave Carlson, Matthew Cox and Jason Julier.

Main site

Gamestyle’s main page displays the latest news, reviews, previews, and links to areas for the following platforms: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance. Visiting each console section shows a list of the latest articles, the most popular games on that console, and an index method for users to track down games of interest as quickly as possible.

The new version of Gamestyle launched on 11 April 2010. The main page was launched a few days earlier but the final release updated the review and preview hubs, allowing further searches and the highlighting of top scoring articles and random pieces from the archives.

Reviews and rating system

Gamestyle has a strict review policy and they themselves believe their reviews to be trustworthy and unbiased, granting a fair review score. While none of the writing team are professionals, Gamestyle delivers new content daily on weekdays and also at weekends.

Though in articles, Gamestyle refers itself in third person, staff writers are also credited. Reviews are also listed on GameRankings,[2] Metacritic,[3] Rotten Tomatoes,[4] andMobyGames.

Their reviews were considered highly enough to be included alongside IGN and Electronic Gaming Monthly on Nintendo‘s UK marketing print campaign for Metroid Prime. These adverts were printed in numerous gaming magazines, on advertising hoardings across UK towns and cities and also online.[citation needed]

Developments

Gamestyle is constantly looking to evolve and improve the site. In March 2007 a new feature was launched that connected any posted news story, with a related topic in the forum. This allowed users to discuss events and offer opinions on breaking news in the world of videogames.

2008 version

January 2 saw the launch of the latest version of the Gamestyle site. Then new modern, white look was a dramatic change from its predecessor.

Blog

On June 22, 2008 Gamestyle introduced its own blog. The aim of this extension was to attract new regulars to the site and provide an outlet for the whole team to provide extra comments on their reviews or gaming news. The blog is an open forum for staff members to post about anything from films to their latest review.

2010 Version

Arguably the best version of Gamestyle so far. The 2010 edition incorporated comment functions for the first time in years, allowing users of Facebook & Twitter to give their opinions on articles.

2010 Upgrade

As of 1 November 2010, Gamestyle started coverage of mobile phone releases with Fruit Ninja being the first review. This date also marked its arrival on the Opera portal. The front end and forum were matched under the same banner design, allowing greater ease of navigation.

Retro Gamer Magazine Website Of The Month

In issue 60 of the popular Retro Gamer magazine, Gamestyle received their website of the month award.

“Gamestyle has been around now for a staggering ten years and remains one of the most entertaining non-corporate gaming websites around. Featuring a thriving community, Gamestyle prides itself on its well-written and non-biased reviews and covers everything from the latest 360 and PS3 releases to the classics like Metroid and Football Manager.

Indeed, one of Gamestyle’s greatest strengths is that it’s able to offer something for everyone and as a result is a true gamer’s website, with polite and enthusiastic forum members and a small core team of talented writers. Oh and if you fancy a giggle then look for the Project Zero/Fatal Frame review in their massive archive.”

2012 Hack and Rebuild

In 2012 Gamestyle was the victim of an attack and had to rebuild from the very bottom again. Despite losing everything, the current team has pushed on to keep the Gamestyle name running. The focus has shifted somewhat with more reviews based around ‘Indie’ titles and has seen the site build up a solid relationship with indie developers over the months. The team is much smaller now, but by no means any less dedicated.

The reviews are still coming and the site has undergone another redesign.

2013 Back To Social Media

In 2013 Gamestyle decided to get back into the social media space. The Facebook page has become active again along with our Twitter account. All articles will be found on both and the team encourage users to interact.

Gamestyle Offline

Gamestyle also creates and hosts a downloadable PDF magazine. Now published on an infrequent basis, Gamestyle Offline[5] is intended for the visitor to print their own copy for ‘on-the-go’. Gamestyle maintains that download figures of each issue are promising, and are known to have worked with video game publishers such as Vivendi Universal to create special editions.

At the close of 2006 there are eleven issues of the magazine, three of which are special editions. Each issue contained content that one may not typically find on the main site, such as interviews with developers and features on specific subjects. Gamestyle has been known to publish reviews of various titles in Gamestyle Offline, before publishing them online, as a selling point of the PDF magazine.

As of January 9, 2008, Gamestyle began a five-part series called ‘Gamestyle Offline: The Missing Issue’. This brought together the five remaining unpublished features that were intended for Issue 10 which was put together at the end of 2005 with the intention of releasing a new issue in early 2006. Number 10 was meant to represent a new start for the series, with a new look and a new issue editor but unfortunately the project never saw the light of day.

Gamestyle Live podcast

The spirit of the Offline magazine has been carried onto a new format, the podcast. The show covers all the latest news, site developments, reviews, releases and some opinions. It is available via the website or one can subscribe with iTunes.

Community

The Gamestyle forum now has over 1000 members, many who are regular visitors. While this number is smaller than other communities, it enables a more personal level of interaction between members, many of whom take part in meet ups to share their love of video games.

Staff

Owner: Dean Swain

Development: Matthew Cox (design) and Dave Carlson (implementation)

Editor: Jason Julier

PR Contact: Bradley Marsh

Writers: Bradley Marsh, Ben Gleisner-Cooke, Mark Ford, Gareth Chappell, Stef Snell, Adam Gulliver, Simon Farrow

Previous Staff: Andrew Revell, Andy Lucas, Anna Ghislaine, Colin Whiteside, Dan Gill, Daniel James, Gareth Chappell, Garry Webber, Gopinath Chandran, Hanley, Tom Knowles, Usman Zia, Richard Meerman, Drew Middlemas

Other previous staff writers for Gamestyle have gone onto further their career, include Garnett Lee of 1UP.com,[6] Ollie Barder of The Guardian and Darren Jones, retro editor ofgamesTM and Retro Gamer.

Webarchive: http://web.archive.org/web/20151218121356/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamestyle

PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour

Gamestyle Archive intro: a Playstation 3 review from 2010. This one is interesting as the top of the review has a tagline that would be incorporated into the site itself.

Writer: CT

Format: Playstation 3

Published: November 2010

PDC darts PS3

PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour excellently recreates the atmosphere of the marvellously over-the-top sport. All the stars are present, as are all the venues. The only thing missing is a decent control system.

Words by Chris Thornton , playing on a Sony PlayStation 3.

The presentation of PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour is done well. Although the graphics look dated at times, the atmosphere during the matches cannot be faulted. Most of the work has been done by the Professional Darts Corporation, who have managed to take an essentially dull game, and added the theatrics of a WWE wrestling match to make it watchable. The game captures this perfectly, and the various venues that you will play at are highly entertaining.

The close-up graphics of the dart boards are superb, and it looks particularly realistic. Unfortunately, having the other half of the screen taken up with a particularly unrealistic version of Phil “the Power” Taylor (or any of the other big names of darts), ruins the effect, but there are a variety of different views to choose. With full commentary from Sid Waddell and John Gwynne, there is a great feel to playing matches, and when you hear your first “Onnnnnne Hundred and Eiiiiiiiiighty” declared to the whoops and cheers of the audience, you get a real sense of satisfaction.

The career mode is the main game mode, and it offers a good deal of depth. You can create your own player, customising appearance, clothing, darts, throwing style, and even giving them a suitable nickname. You are then able to progress through the tour calendar, competing in such events as the UK Open, Las Vegas Desert Classic, and the Grand Slam of Darts. Prize money is awarded for finishing well in the tournaments, and your rank and rating increases. It may not be perfect, and Gamestyle would have liked more detailed customisation and levelling up systems, but with a good variety in the tournaments, it’s sure to keep you occupied for countless hours.

Pro Tour is let down by its controls, however, and this proves to be a fatal flaw. There are two stages to throwing a dart; first you aim, guiding a target reticule to the right spot on the dartboard, locking it in place with the shoulder button, and then you pull back the right analogue, flicking it forward to launch the dart, simultaneously releasing the shoulder button. The speed in which you flick the analogue stick determines the power, and the horizontal accuracy is determined by how straight you flicked the stick forward.

Gamestyle found that due to the position of your thumbs, however, it was nearly impossible to flick the stick “straight”, which seemed to be vertical. It’s awkward, and thanks to the pesky knuckle and angle of the thumb as you hold the controller, straight for us was more at an angle, meaning that the darts invariably went to the left. This can be rectified by aiming to take this into consideration, but the actual launching of the dart is far too random to be able to to this with any confidence.

If you don’t release the shoulder button, you can take a practice throw, which can help determine the power before you throw. Gamestyle found that it seemed like only millimetres between throwing a dart that fell short, and a dart that went wildly over. You can take as many practice shorts as you like, but it won’t make a blind bit of difference, as each thrown is completely different to the next.

There are two options of aim assistance, but even on the maximum setting, Gamestyle found their darts missing their targets, particularly frustrating when trying to get that all important double to win. There is a practice mode, which allows you to throw darts in a non-competitive surrounding, and this seems to have a different throwing system. In this, there is a tiny window just after you have flicked the analogue stick, which lets you seem the power and accuracy before your release the shoulder button. It’s useful, as you throw more accurate darts, and its unknown why this isn’t available in the actual game. As it stands, you have you release the shoulder button almost before you’ve set the power, which makes the whole thing a bit of a lottery.

Pro Tour offers Move compatibility, but this too is wholly inadequate. Firstly, holding the Move controller like a dart is awkward, with the accessory being too large and bulky to be comfortable. It also suffers from the same problem as the control pad; you release the Move button to let go of the dart, but then you have no way of knowing the power of accuracy, relying on the physical action of moving the controller through the air. As you invariably snap your arm back, after you’ve gone through the throwing motion, if you don’t let go of the button at the correct point, it registers the pull-back, and reduces the power of your shot.

Gamestyle understands that there is a need to make the throwing system a challenge, so that getting a nine dart finish is the rare achievement it should be, but the method employed in Pro Tour just isn’t consistent enough. As a result, it’s a slog to progress through the career mode. The random nature of the throw means that you can never master it, and games often become those of chance rather than skill. The matches themselves take long enough (and you inexplicably get punished for suspending one, should you not want to play it out in the full hour sitting it will take!), but it isn’t helped by having to take multiple practice throws before you chuck your dart in anger.

It’s a real shame, because Pro Tour offers so much. The career mode is accompanied with a party mode, which has a plethora of dart-based games to play. These include Round the Clock, Killer, and Cricket, and are far more entertaining that the traditional game. It’s a crime that these are only available to be played with friends, and you can’t take on the CPU. The same can be said of the online multiplayer, which only allows you to play the traditional games.

PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour is a near perfect example of a good game that is completely undone by its controls. The content would probably appeal to both hardcore and casual dart fans alike, but the fiddly and inconsistent throwing mechanics are enough to put anyone off playing.

Overall 4/10