Search This Blog, Linked From Here, or The Web

Friday, May 31, 2013

Warframe PC Review - 7.9/10

For the first time, I really actually have a hard time reviewing a game, and there's a few reasons why. First off, this game is AWESOME... but that doesn't necessarily make it good. You see where I'm getting with this? If you didn't know, this is a free to play game on Steam... which is partly why it's so hard to review. Let's not kid ourselves here. Not every free to play game is going to be good... in fact it's sometimes the opposite. Once and a while there are gems but for the most part, you'll be stuck with something mediocre or something with game busting flaws that make you see why the game was never released for money. This... doesn't really fall into any category. In fact it's hard to place it anywhere to begin with other than a shooter with some badass-ery moments.

The Good:
The graphics are really great and convey a sense of polished-ness or just a unique art style. Things glow and glimmer very nicely and though a lot of the levels repeat themselves, it's not always the same experience, visually speaking.
If you saw this game, you'd think the RAM and video card space would be pretty large. Couple that with actual gameplay and you'd think this thing could only run on a custom made tower built specifically for fast gameplay and great visuals. I was surprised to see it wasn't. The game actually runs on only 2 gigs of RAM. I won't go into the specifics of the video card or anything but let's just say I was playing at medium settings and the game ran almost perfectly. I hardly noticed any clipping or cutting, or even drop in frame rate. And this game needs to run fast or else you'll die, so the game is playable for most people I'm happy to say.
The music is spot on. I always felt like a samurai cutting through enemies when the sounds of hollow bamboo against wood with the subtle pounding of drums in the distance. It makes for tense and exciting combat.
Using weapons through the levels and killing enemies will level up your suit, melee weapon, main weapon and side arm. Why don't people do this more!? I love leveling up stuff! You can also add mods to your armor and as you level up, the amount of mods you can add increases. Adding mods costs nothing, however, combining two of the same mod to create an even more powerful mod costs a bit, but not too much. When mods are stronger, they have a certain 'cost' for armor and weapons. The best mods have a higher amount say about 5-6 to put on a mod. I have to decide if this is good, or to put a bunch of low leveled mods on it instead. As you level up, the number count for mods increases on your suit. This is a fantastic idea. Not only are two characters not alike, but they also add a bit of equations for me to crunch out, trying to make the best warrior I can. You don't have stats per say, but you can add things like shield capacity upgrade, shield recharge and stuff like that. I'll talk more about this down below.
Enemies are intelligent... for the most part. They take cover and often will do their best to flank you. Its nice to see intelligent enemies... but we'll also get to that part later. After that, enemies will alert your presence as well as lock doors behind you.

The Bad:
You know how in MMOs they curb the experience points gain system, fundamentally forcing you deal with it or pay through the nose to get a bit better? Ya, this is nothing like that. It's much worse. While your armor does level up, which is nice, you're constantly under powered. That's good... right? Enemies are almost as strong as you. As long as you take missions intelligently, you should have no problem dealing with them, the key word here being 'should'. Enemies are relentless at times. That's not a bad thing, but it becomes one. There was one mission where I had to fight a boss... and he wasn't that bad. He took a lot of hits and was relentless. The problem was I went through an entire shooting gallery to get there only to find I was almost completely out of ammo. And after the guy was dead, they still had a multitude of bad guys that took a lot of bullets to take down. Where the xp comes in is I have no idea. You have like a recruit level which is more of a reputation system. The higher you get, the more stuff that apparently becomes available to you. However, you still have to buy them in the end and it takes forever to get up to the next level. I've been playing since 3 today and I'm still only on the first level. To put it in perspective, I think there are only three levels. So, it must be an uphill climb really because if it's that little, you know they aren't just going to help you get there soon.
A lot of the weapons are for sale with regular credits. The problem is, credits don't just drop out of the sky. In fact, the lowest amount for guns is 15,000 and I just barely got up to that. I'm not saying lower the price, I'm saying maybe make more money drop every once and a while.
Your going to hit a wall very early on. See the tutorial they give you isn't bad, but it doesn't explain certain crucial things like rolling or even crouching which can save your life. I'm not even sure if there are any key bindings, I just had to find those two out on my own (double click shift = roll, Ctrl = crouch).

The Meh:
I do like the idea of not being forced to play with other people, as my connection is crap today. However, its pretty much implied you need others as I've said the game is pretty difficult. The sometimes endless shooting galleries should be best spent praying one of the enemies locks the door so you can kill the remaining people in the room to take a breather. Having a second person along would really help but as I've said, my connection is crap.
There's a lot of weapons you simply don't have. I chose the Loki 'class' because of the stealth, however, it comes down to disappointment when I can't have a bow and arrow first off. Sure I have my silent sword but I would like a stealth weapon to go along with my stealth character. You don't really have classes either, just suits with different abilities. To get more suits, you need to either buy some schematics (or find them) and craft them which will take at least half a day to finish, or buy them using "hey, these are our special coins you need to spend real money to get more" currency everyone uses. As far as I remember, you can't buy them with in game credits you find lying around. Then again, the credit drop is so awful that it probably wouldn't matter anyway.

This isn't a bad game. It's actually kind of fun, but there are some horrible things I just can't get over. This game is not for everyone, but if you enjoy a challenge then you'll find something to like here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Perhaps I Was A Bit Too Hasty... Microsoft Reflection

You may or may not have read one of my previous posts saying how I would not buy the new Xbox One. After some thought and watching some videos I've come to a conclusion: Microsoft, you rushed the future. So, I've been getting into PC a lot more since last Christmas. I've found everything to be superior to consoles. "Oh, he must be a PC fanboy now" is not the correct response. You see, PC has a lot more benefits. Just to name two: Steam and Humble Bundle. You probably already know what Steam is but for those who the concept of technology has escaped you, Steam is a program in which I throw money at the screen and it gives me awesome games. All joking aside, I pay for games with this program, which are then tied to my account forever. That means a game I bought ten years ago is still available to me (pending nothing happened via lawsuits etc) at any time I have a working internet connection. I'll get back to Steam later. For now there's Humble Bundle. 'Pay what you want for awesome games, for charity' is the tag line they use. And... it's true. Right now I have about 3 bucks in my bank account. Not much I can do with that, I can't even take it out of the bank from an ATM. What I can do is pay a dollar for a bunch of games which alternate every so often. Right now two sales are going on, one with Telltale Games and another on it's own. From here, I can distribute how much I want to go to the developers, to charity and a small tip to the company who lets me know when these games are up on the site as well as lets me purchase them. I'll come back to HB as well.
Now PC has almost completely abolished used games already, and it's for the better. Because now we have things like Steam and Humble Bundle, which make so much sense. Steam essentially makes it so I 1) know every single thing I've purchased with a click of a button, 2) makes it easy for me to purchase new games, old games and even redownload anything I've purchased again, and 3) gives me sales everyday for games, whether significantly marked down or just slightly. With HB, I can get some cool games for pennies on the dollar and it goes to something I actually care about. So here's my question... why don't consoles have this? Admittedly, HB would be a bit difficult. Though they could simply do codes that tie to your account, but that's beside the point. I was rather peeved when I bought two games on LIVE a while ago and they simply disappeared. I never got any reason why, no notification as to why they were taken off or warning me they were taken off, not even a refund. In fact, I have no idea what I've bought on LIVE period. Why isn't there a simple list I can easily access and see what I've bought and redownload should I please?
Why does Steam work so well? Well it cuts out the middle man. All I need is an internet connection, a PC and that's it. Money of course for the majority of the games, but semantics. See, what you're really buying when you buy a game is first the retailer, the commercials, then the shipping costs and then finally the developer. Square Enix, a company who has made some fantastic games in the past and currently, is not doing so well. It is a shame we don't live in a future where quality is praised and rewarded.
Microsoft, you introduced something that is already here. You just did it in a very bad way. I'm not mad that your charging me for used games, I'm just a little disappointed you thought we needed this now. We do need this now, but you did it in an unappealing way. We really need to reflect on why this feels like we've been betrayed, because we haven't been. Perhaps it wasn't the smartest idea, but it was a step in the right direction. I look forward to the day when I literally have everything I need in gaming at my fingertips. Where its user and customer friendly, and where I can have more of a friendship with these companies rather than a competition. We need to see eye to eye more often. Make things that benefit both parties.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thomas Was Alone PC Review - 9.8/10

Is it possible to make a perfect game? Logic tells me this is impossible. But my inner child, my gamer, looks to the future with a brightly lit sense of self esteem. Often I see games take the route most run (aka using amazing graphics and little else). While amazing graphics aren't bad, as I've said before, they do little to heighten the game. I predict Watch Dogs will be one of the most amazing games to come out this year. But what to say of the story? Or the characters? Sure the gameplay will be the most unique I've ever seen, especially in a triple A title, but in the end it's the story, the ending and the characters that really make me remember a game. This game comes as close to perfection as I've seen yet.

The Good:
'Thomas... was alone.' These first three words spoken in the game set the whole piece out. You start off by looking at Thomas, who is a red rectangle. He is not our main character, but one of a few others. You won't hear much in the game other than a bit of music and a lone man (voiced by Danny Wallace who I think was the best choice for a narrator). With his British accent and the writing given to him, Mr. Wallace does an amazing job of replicating human feelings and attitudes when all we see are colors and shapes. The characters are well played out. Thomas is an observant sort who is afraid of being left alone. John is a slender, taller rectangle than Thomas, can jump higher and is proud of said fact. Claire is a large blue rectangle, depressed until she finds out she can do something the others can't and vows to be a superhero. It may seem weird, but all these characters (including more) did more for me than any triple A game ever did. Writing is somewhat of a lost art in gaming. If the writing is bad, who cares as long as the gameplay is good. If the gameplay sucks but the writing is amazing, it's unplayable. Its how I find myself when I'm playing The Old Republic: I play it just to see how every story plays out.
Do you like puzzles? Well there's puzzles galore! You've got simple puzzles, complicated puzzles and all in between. I personally don't like puzzles. I find them irritating because they're usually there simple to pad out a game. When it's puzzle-centric, I find it difficult because I play games to unwind rather than a brain teaser. However, the puzzles here are helped along very simply. Claire can jump in water without being killed as well as carry others across it, however, she can only jump so high. Thomas can jump fairly far and high as well as has a smaller frame, which makes him able to slide through certain areas. John is the best jumper and can jump large clearings, however, he is far too tall for certain situations. By a simple 'Q' or 'E' button press, I can switch between either of them at any given time to get them to their goal. With a simple waiting, patience and observation just about any puzzle can be overcome. Simply put, each character has a specific ability and its easy to see what and remember when puzzles get trickier.
The overall tone is very nice. Wallace does an excellent job of narrating as I've said, and the writing coupled with him and the visuals really lay out how things are going. When something is ominous, Wallace's voice changes moods to show that. The music takes a darker turn and the writing reflects how things are going. The story does get a bit ominous and it really takes this lighthearted game with a splash of dry humor nicely, showing more depths than just having geometrical shapes in peril (such words will never be spoken again I assure you).

The Bad:
This is most definitely a puzzle game. Don't like puzzles like me? Then you'll have the same experience I have with The Old Republic. Sure there's always Youtube, but that just feels like cheating to me.

Perfect? No. Amazing experience I won't soon forget? Most definitely. I want to see more games like this. Put the writing first and craft an exceptional gameplay to compliment it. Games like Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row don't have much in writing, but they sure are a joy to play. Work on the atmosphere to make it mirror the game's themes and you've got a good game. What we as gamers want most is to be enthralled. Whenever someone belittles me for playing games, I use this argument: "I play video games because I am disconnected from this world. With all the horrible things going on, the only escape I have is into my own mind. Within a video game I can be the hero, the villain, the protagonist or even just a simple person. I've fought countless fiends, traversed vast plains, rescued prince and princess alike, gained god-like powers and saved the world and reality more times than I can count. You have only one world. I have a billion, and a billion more roles to fill."

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Here at WIFLI, we salute our veterans both living and deceased all days of the year. We take this special day to remember our fallen heroes but also those who are still living. I realize that WIFLI is becoming an international blog, but we still observe American holidays.

We truly thank our men and women who have given their lives to protect us regardless what I may think of the politics behind it. Without them, I wouldn't be able to live in a free country where I can discuss and discover the cool new stuff coming out. I truly thank them and owe them so much.

Thank you.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

PlayStation Jailbreaking

I've been stuck on a firmware above 3.55 for some time. All PS3 owners who want or understand jailbreak terms know what 3.55 means.

3.55 is the last version that was cracked by the dev community. I believe that the latest version is 4.41 and it has yet to be hacked as well as any other version before it. My particular console has been stuck on 4.21 for some time and the only way to jailbreak it at this point was to get a hardware mod.

Basically, 3.55 was the last time anyone could jailbreak a PlayStation 3 console with software. Beyond that requires additional hardware mods or physical tampering of the system. It can be risky and is guaranteed to void your warranty with Sony.

Thanks to a guy from Craigslist, I found someone who was able to hardmod my PS3 and give me access to jailbreak features. And it is as good as I thought it would be.

For me, I didn't want a jailbreak so I could download "free" games. Quite the contrary. I wanted to be able to buy more games and play more and more on my PS3. Sony fails to see how it can benefit anyone in a non-pirating way. In Sony's defense, they did only start cracking down when they saw a decline in sales and a huge presence of cheaters in one particular Call of Duty game. While that still doesn't completely justify their actions, it seems more reasonable that they'd react in the way they are. However, credit must be given where credit is due and Sony fails to do so with the dev community.

So let me start off by listing at least two of the pros that I've seen from jailbreaking.

Does everyone remember before the Vita came out and Sony, quite literally, promised gamers that they'd be able to play PS3 games on their PlayStation Vita? Needless to say, in the year that the PS Vita has been out, it has not once officially been given permission to run full PS3 titles. Not even PS2 titles. But that all changed with MultiMan.

MultiMan is an application designed for the PlayStation to allow the save of games on to the PlayStation 3's HDD or an external HD device. These games play through MultiMan and trick the PlayStation 3 into thinking that these games are being played via a Blu-Ray disc like all PS3 games play.

When I use Remote Play on my Vita and PS3 over a private network, I can use this MultiMan application and select the game that I want to play. I tried it and it works almost flawlessly from room to room.

I tried playing Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The game opened up, just like it does on my PS3, and I began playing with my Vita controls. The sound even came out of my Vita speakers. For those wondering, L2, R2, and thumbstick controls are done so by using combos like Select + R = R2. I even got up and walked out of the room and continued playing. Simply incredible. For a few seconds, the game did lag a slight bit but no more than an online Call of Duty game would.

One of the more legitimate reasons why I wanted jailbreak for so long was because I'm tired of loafing around a PS3 and a case full of games. I have plenty of room on my PS3 for extra storage, and if I don't, I just delete.

I realize that Sony allows people to buy games on their store, but that's such a waste when I already own the game. Plus, if I bought the $60 game, why can I not be allowed to play it on multiple devices in my own home? I'm not talking about lending it to all of my friends to try, I'm saying that I'd like to give a copy of Test Drive 2 to my brother so he can play with me sometimes. Why must I be forced into buying a whole new game just to do that? It's not my fault that the company behind the game didn't include local multiplayer.

The other reason that I like saving games on the HD is because I hate scratched games. I'd like to keep my game in my house and never have to touch it ever again unless I want to. I can't begin to tell you how I loathe my friends coming over and using my games and then they destroy them because they don't take care of them like I do. I'd rather give them the controller and let them play the games they want without them bothering me or risking my game disc.

I also don't like solely digital copies because what if the game is bad? Then you can't take it back to the store or sell it to someone who would enjoy it. What a waste.

Sony could learn a lot from these hackers but refuse to do so. It's sad considering how neat these features are. The guy who jailbroke my PS3 owned all of the games that he had on his PS3 as do I. I left my copy of RSV2 in the PS3 by mistake and he didn't copy it because he said that he didn't own the game. And there are many more people like he and I out there who won't use games that they haven't purchased. Not because some company tells me we can't but because we know it's morally wrong.

The one and only time that I would use a game that I did not own was to simply try it out. Say for instance, the new Halo came out and I wanted to get it but was unsure because of the company change. Why should I risk $60 for a game that could turn out to be utter crap? Honestly, most of the games that I have played, I liked and owned them. There were very few that were complete crap to me. I feel sorry for all those who purchased games like Call of Juarez: The Cartel or Bomberman for lots of money only to be disappointed. Why couldn't they be allowed to test the game before they bought it? Why did they have to purchase it to try it?

I agree that people shouldn't steal or download things that they do not own or without permission. But sometimes these companies go too far. And sometimes these companies get so arrogant that they forget that games are meant to be enjoyed and not solely a way of profit. I have yet to meet anyone who went into the gaming industry because they wanted to make money. Most want to be apart of great games and great projects, and in the process make some money. But I don't think any of them had the intention of screwing with any great features.

I apologize for going on a rant that's near off-topic. I just find these features so cool and really despise Sony for blocking these features because they lump us all in the same group.

Trust me when I say that a jailbroken PS3 is definitely the way to go especially if you want the things I mentioned and own a PS Vita.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Goodbye, Xbox. You shall be missed.

You know I've been with Xbox my whole life. It was my first real invested console I had. The hardware was nice and amazing were the games. Then the new Xbox 360 came out. It was the hot new thing but even then I still cared about old little guy. When I finally got my hands on the 360 I never really hated it nor loved it. It was the games that really made it what it was. The graphics were nice and only got better. New and amazing titles plowed in and I was overwhelmed. I would shake my fist to Sony for their blatant amount of exclusives, further hindering my gaming experience with amazing games like Resistance and Journey only being on the PS3. However, I stuck to my 360.
New and used games I played many of them. I've had plenty of good and bad times with the games, but in the end I had fun. Now I say goodbye to Xbox, because of their new announcement. I debated whether or not to hold a poll to ask you guys which console I would buy: the new Xbox or PS4. But after hearing what they plan to do with used games, I'll keep my 360 and opt for a PS4 instead. Seriously what the hell? I thought Sony was disconnected with gamers. Having updates that could take an entire day and an unusual menu as well as some other minor gripes with the PS3. But it seems Sony came out on top, making sure not to alienate gamers from playing used games (maybe, they've been real hush hush about that whole thing, but for now Sony seems most sane). Thought GameStop was bad? Well it's going to get even worse. Used games don't cost considerably less than new games, but those few bucks sometimes makes all the difference when it comes to whether or not I should buy a game. It seems now I will have to pay to be able to play used games on the new Xbox (I will not call it the Xbox One because A: that is a stupid name and B: the 'Xbox One' is just the original Xbox). While they dressed it up in an intelligent way, making it so those games are available to me all the time, they forgot one thing: the internet. Surprisingly, despite them making computers, Microsoft clearly doesn't spend enough time on the internet, because if they did, they'd know we were stressing about this above all. I don't give a crap about specs, I don't care what new games you'll have on it. What I care about is will I be able to play games the same way as before, better or worse. Do you want to pay for games indefinitely? Of course not. That's why we have GameStop so we can trade in games we don't like. You may say it doesn't hinder me being able to play a game but yes it does. You see, I have to pay an extra fee to play a game I just bought. This is worse than those dumb online codes because this makes it so I can't play a game period until I buy something.
How will this effect GameStop? A: they need to make games (used) cheaper to even make a slight profit because in the end you're not paying 20 for a used game, you're paying 20 plus a random number. B: people will be less likely to buy used games because now we don't want to take in account that extra bit of money we need to pay. There are a few things going through my mind when I buy a game. Do I have enough money? Can I afford this? Do I want it? One and two are similar but having enough is not the same as if I can afford it. I am an adult and I have adult things to pay for like cat food, food for me, gas etc. I don't want to have to add an extra number to that equation I had ingrained since I was a child going to EB Games/GameStop when I was younger.
Your decision was not only ignorant, Microsoft, it was plain thoughtless. You forgot who actually buys your game system. You forgot the little person. Perhaps not your entire company, but surely the gaming portion did screw up. You know what I often run into when buying a used game? Sometimes it doesn't work. Does that mean I will have to pay your extra fee to find out a game doesn't work and repeat the process thereby giving you 300% of what I actually paid for the game to begin with? No. I won't be a party to that. You have a duty to your customer and you failed my expectations. I urge people to boycott the new Xbox until they change this ridiculous policy.
Sony, you aren't much better either. I've always disliked you for your constant use of exclusivity of games, but in the end I can't complain. You haven't said definitively whether or not you'll allow me to use used games like before. Just say it and that's it. Don't beat around the bush with this topic, because if you take the same route I will boycott your system as well.
And finally I would like to say thank you to Nintendo. I have no qualms against you. Time and time again you have been the good guy of gaming, favoring your fans over the money and you have been generously rewarded for doing so. Maybe it's because you've been around for so long or maybe it's something else. In any case, I'd like to thank you for being a stand up company and remembering who buys your product. If Sony decides to go the same route as Microsoft, I will line up to buy your console because I know that supporting you is a sane decision and I will be rewarded for the experience, and in turn I will reward you as well with my money and gratitude.
Thank you for reading. Happy gaming.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The New Xbox

Microsoft announced, a few days ago, that May 21, 2013 would be a treat for Xbox fans. On Tuesday the company finally unveiled their newest project set to release sometime in the 2013 Fall - 2014 Spring. Microsoft announced the Xbox One.

Not too many details were given on the nature of the new device. Microsoft release computer generated pictures of the console, the new controller, and the new Kinect designs to the public boasting of a more modern look. You can see for yourself in the image below.

The above device is said to be the new Kinect design. The middle device is the new console design. And the bottom object in the picture is of the new controller design.

Not too much has changed between the latest Xbox 360 design and the newer design. The newer designs are more straighter whereas the 360 designs had been more all over the place with edges every which way. The controller appears to have the same buttons as before. The Kinect looks completely different; however, I should point out the odd place for the camera. We can probably expect to see a design change on the Kinect camera and possibly some minor changes to the console. I don't believe Microsoft will change the look of the controller too much.

Microsoft had stated that they have enhanced the Kinect experience more in this newer Xbox model. I believe the company as this will be the first time where they have a chance to develop the console around the Kinect whereas before they were introducing the Kinect much later after the Xbox 360 had been released. We can expect to see more and more games taking advantage of this new sensor in different ways than before.

The computer giant also stated that the Xbox will center around people's social life as the Xbox 360 has done with its evolution these past seven years. The Xbox One will feature the same features as before such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Live TV, gaming (of course), and all the other features that are currently usable on 360 systems. Microsoft has said that Skype will be added to the device to allow video messaging between Skype users.

It's still up for debate as to what will happen with the backwards compatibility and our old Xbox systems. Microsoft has stated that Xbox Live Gold members will be able to use their subscription on the 360 as well as the new One device. There is still no official word on what Microsoft will do when it comes to using used games. Most speculation has centered around Microsoft preventing gamers from using used games as has been the norm since the beginning of video gaming; however, news continues to change as we grow closer to the official release date.

Overall, the console looks great, in my opinion. I can't wait to see more of the device as the year goes along and hopefully hear more news that's friendly towards us in the Xbox community. I worry about the rumors that are going around which causes me to not want to jump too fast onto the wagon when this device ships. I wonder if I should keep my Xbox 360 or sell it if I do decide to get the newer console. I was highly disappointed when I found that I couldn't play many of my favorite Xbox original titles on my new Xbox 360 when it first came out. But time will tell.

What are your thoughts on the new console?

It's Almost Here!

The Nvidia SHIELD has been officially announced! Via Nvidia's website, you can now pre-order the hottest new portable gaming console. As of May 20th, 2013, you can also pre-order at stores such as GameStop according to Nvidia's website.

It's such exciting news to report as I've been waiting for this moment since this was announced a few months ago. It's about time that we get some more open, user-friendly devices running OSes like Android. This portable gaming system has it all. But there are some concerns...

At the announcement, Nvidia announced that the system would run a full Android version (currently said to be Android's Jelly Bean OS) and be able to wirelessly connect to a computer to play PC games directly onto the console. But now, the official pre-order page says that this feature will be in beta and that this will only work on certain PCs. According to the website, notebooks are excluded. It also appears that you will only be able to use Steam purchased games as well. While you will be able to play hot titles like Dishonored and Borderlands 2, you will only be able to play these if you have bought them through Steam. If you have gotten these games from anywhere else such as a CD from the store or downloaded from another website such as EA or Bethesda's websites, you will not be able to play these games on your SHIELD. The website has not said whether or not this will be changed in the future.

Even though many gamers, like myself, who do not own a desktop computer or purchase all games through Steam will not be able to use the PC function at launch, Nvidia has made the system to run on Android. This will allow gamers to buy pretty much any game that can be used on any 5 inch Android tablet and play these on the go.

The system certainly does not disappoint in other areas where gamers have been crying out such as including an HDMI-out port for playing over the big screen. Nvidia has also included high quality speakers, familiar gaming buttons, and much more into this neat little device that will please many gamers.

However, while this is all good and all, I'm highly skeptical. Seeing as this is Nvidia's first gaming console and  the part about this not being officially supported to run all PC games puts me on the edge. For $349, I expected a little more. While this is about $100 more than other portable gaming devices like the PS Vita, it still doesn't grab me enough. Android is a good operating system and it gives me hope knowing that Nvidia has not made it hacker-unfriendly but it just isn't enough. For that same price, I can purchase an Android tablet or even an iPad and do just as much.

The best thing about this is yet to be seen. Who knows what the community has in store for this device? Hackers may be able to make this device do some really awesome things that even the company who made it never thought possible. They may even be able to perfect the device and make it so that it can run all PC games. Who knows? Only time will tell. I'm a little worried about putting so much money into such a piece of equipment seeing as it is their first system.

Has anyone pre-ordered the console yet?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reus PC Review - 8/10

Reus is a new game that popped up on Steam a while ago. I had a few bucks and so I thought I'd give it a whirl.
This is a game where apparently the world has become barren. Life is gone (so to speak) and you as the world apparently must raise it back to life. You have four giants with you (Forest, Ocean, Rock and Swamp) to help you create life and prosperity. Each with their own unique abilities.

The Good:
You ever had that friend who never really got Civilization? That person who just felt it was a waste of time? This is a game you'd give to them or to a child you want to be a huge Civ fan. This can be best described as 'Baby's First Civilization', and that's not bad. For an introduction into the genre it's very easy. Not too hard and there's plenty of help pop ups. Rather than controlling one state or in Civ 5's sense a whole nation spread across the map, you control these four giants. These giants have their own unique abilities and looks. The ocean giant raises oceans (duh) and the others do exactly what they sound they would do. The land is barren so you must raise oceans to make it fertile. I'll pick up on that later.
There's not much to say in graphics wise. Though it is very pretty. Something that if I had a kid I wouldn't mind them playing. It's just the right amount of cartoony.
Your main goal is going to be to raise food and animals as well as minerals and herbs to bolster these randomly popping up communities. Humans populate where it is plentiful and where they can survive. Over the course, you will be able to upgrade them as you gain Ambassadors. This is where the game does something new. Ambassadors spring up in their own select biomes (swamp ambassador, forest etc). These guys will ride on top of the giants and give them new abilities. Its different, and I like it. Rather than focusing on one or a multitude, you're really going to be making sure everyone is happy and well fed. The people scavenge themselves and pretty much are self reliant. The way you get ambassadors is by having plants and minerals for science. They in turn, make special buildings. It gets progressively harder to obtain ambassadors and certain ones based on their biome will give you certain abilities.
There's not much in the music department but where it shines is in the biomes. You are on a 2D view point and can zoom in from a planet size view to looking at the people themselves. When you're in a specific biome, you can hear sounds that would be in there. Its a nice touch and I'm glad I noticed.

The Bad:
This game is very linear and straight forward. As a guy who does play Civ, that's really boring. There's not much to do other than bolster what you already have. Making for a game that doesn't end and has no end goals. I'm sure there's something after you collect all the abilities for your giants, but that could take hours. And this game cannot hold my attention that long.
You need to create oceans in order to create the other three biomes. That's right, three. Wastelands do nothing, can grow nothing and have nothing. An ocean takes up about 10 spaces while the other three take up about 10-15 spaces each. You are on this tiny planet and have to conserve your space, while at the same time making it so people can actually live in these spaces. I'm sure there's a mathematical equation which fixes this, but I am playing a game. I use games to get away from math. Anyways, oceans are practically useless in the terms of helping people after their built. Sure they can have food but then again, I have food on land and the water is too big for them to get all of the food as well as make it useful enough to even justify having it in the long run. I don't know why, but it appears simulation game creators have a problem with their civilizations being on all three planes (earth, water and sky). It would be nice to see them have on the water or even under the water homes which would be cool and useful.
There's not much endgame anything. In fact, it's pretty non linear. You're finished and... that's it! Nothing more to do I guess. I hope they add some new content to justify my 9 dollars spent.

The Meh:
The game also adds greed to the situation... which sounds awesome but fails. When you give one place a bit too much wealth, they get greedy and start warring (I know it doesn't make any sense to me either). You are then encouraged to smite them. While this is interesting, it fails on the moral endgame implications. I literally picked up an ambassador from a city, never moved another step, and crushed said city. Yet the ambassador just did not care at all. I also haven't seen them do anything with the warring thing. They don't get boats to go over land and attack others as far as I've seen. It could have been better used is what I'm saying.
9 bucks is a bit expensive for a game like this. Would have wanted a bit more content, but its not infuriating considering that's like the cost of a sandwhich. I really hope new content is added. Maybe even a bigger world or maybe the civilizations could advance with the age and explore the stars. Sounds cool but it probably won't be done.

I suppose I could have spent my money better but whatever. The game wasn't terrible, but it's just a meh experience to me in the end. It just reminds me of all the qualms I have with modern and past sim games and hope I can make one myself in the future the way I want it. Pick it up for that friend you want to get into civilization games or just a kid who likes this kind of stuff. It's on a deal right now till May 23rd if you really want it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Did Facebook Restrict You for No Reason?

Have you received this notification on Facebook yet?

"Our automated systems have restricted you from accessing certain features on Facebook."

Apparently many users are experiencing this problem when using Facebook. Facebook has put a 2 week hold on my account, without reason and proof, as to why I am restricted.

Here's what it looks like on my account as of today.

Facebook no longer allows me to comment to pages. Has this happened to anyone else? What was your solution? Facebook refuses to listen to users like me who are being mistreated by its system.

I was taken off of restriction after the 2 weeks just as was promised but was never given an exact reason for my restriction.

It seems that many more users are having this issue. Feel free to use the comments, below, to discuss your issue and feel free to respond to other users regarding their issues. Facebook isn't very accepting of allowing us to voice our concerns on their website even though it's a huge problem, but I'm willing to do so with my blog here.

*A note to future readers. As of early 2014, I have completely deleted my Facebook account and am unable to help with issues that may arise in the future as Facebook continuously changes its look and feel. I'll try to help, but I cannot guarantee that I can help with your specific issue due to this reason.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

How to Sign-in to Xbox Live Offline

Chances are you've added tons of Xbox Live friends onto your friends' list but sometimes you don't want to be bothered with their annoying invites to games or chats. Sometimes you just want to log on and watch some Netflix in peace. That's completely understandable. In this post, I'll show you how to sign into your Xbox and sign in so that no one can see that you're online.

Before I begin, I must admit that this isn't some tutorial to show you a hidden or recently added feature. This is a process that you will have to follow every single time that you want to log in without everyone knowing that you're online.

I used to love allowing my Xbox to sign me in right when I would turn it on. No longer will you be able to do this if you'd like to sign in anonymously. Sorry.

First step is to disable your account from signing in automatically. Either make it so that no account signs in automatically or allow another account to sign in automatically. Once this is done, now you are ready to sign in invisibly whenever you'd like!

Next time you turn on your console and want to sign in anonymously, you will simply turn on your console as before.

- If you have decided to not log any account in, follow these directions: Once your console has finished starting up, you should be at a screen to choose which gamertag you want to sign on as. Once you've reached the screen, click the Xbox button in the center of your controller. This will pull up your Xbox Guide. Scroll over to the far right hand side until you get to Preferences. Select Preferences. Choose Online Status, and then choose "Appear Offline". You can also choose to allow Messenger to sign in offline which may be useful too. Now exit the Xbox Guide. Sign into your profile and BAM! You've just signed into your Xbox Live gamertag without anyone noticing.

- If you have decided to allow your Xbox to log in a different account, follow these directions: Once your console has booted up and is at the Xbox dashboard for the other user, click the center Xbox button on your controller to bring up the Xbox Guide. Scroll over to the far right hand side until you get to Preferences. Select Preferences which should be beneath Profile. Choose Online Status, and then choose "Appear Offline". You can also choose to allow Messenger to sign in offline which may be useful too. Now exit the Xbox Guide. Sign into your profile and BAM! You've just signed into your Xbox Live gamertag without anyone noticing.

This is a bit of work to simply sign in without anyone noticing. Lots of other online social services allow for signing in anonymously including many other Microsoft services like the former MSN Messenger! Hopefully one day Microsoft will give us a simple option to sign in anonymously. For now, we'll have to stick to this tedious method.

Let's say that one day, you don't feel like going through all of this and you just want to sign in, but you're worried that that one annoying person is online and will annoy you once you sign on. But if they're not online, you couldn't care less about signing offline or online. In these circumstances, I use an app on my mobile phone (both Android and iOS devices have many apps that can be used) to find out which of my Xbox Live friends are online at the moment. Most of these apps do not sign you into your Xbox Live gamertag so you don't have anything to worry about in terms of them noticing if you've popped up online or not. If this person is online and you want to avoid them, use the above method to sign in offline. If not, then sign in as available!

How to Turn Off Auto-Renew on Xbox Live Membership

Everyone loves the Xbox Live service that, unfortunately, costs money unlike its competitor, the PlayStation Network that's free. But with that price comes an extremely annoying auto feature designed to wipe your bank account dry.

You may or may not have noticed, but Microsoft forces everyone, once paying for a new month/year/etc. via credit/debit card, to automatically renew the membership once it expires. This is bad for multiple reasons. Regardless your particular reason, you didn't come here to hear me trash-talk Microsoft for implementing such an inconvenient feature; you've come to find out how to disable this "feature".

It's simple. Make sure that you are signed into and then click this link. Once you've reached that page, you should be able to turn off that pesky auto-renew crap that Microsoft forced you into. Microsoft makes it extremely difficult to find this link so make sure you bookmark this blog post (or that link directly) if you ever need to use it again.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Antichamber PC Review - 9/10

There comes along a game that is great. It makes me think about my surroundings and then changes my perspective of the world around me. That game for me... was Portal. When Portal 2 came out, it was a good game, but I never got that first feeling of "this is something truly new" that Portal gave me. I had given up hope that something would make me feel the same way I did about Portal (in a lot of ways). This game came as close as I think I'll ever see again.

The Good:
I've talked a lot about simplicity. Having your game speak volumes while simultaneously doing the best you can, forgoing amazing graphics for depth rather than pretty that most game devs go for these days. While it's not an anti thing, often times what you receive from the game is simply impressing visuals, which as I've said everyone seems to favor nowadays. However, game does both (kinda). The visuals are crisp and have a less than realistic feel about it, while at the same time looking like an MC Escher world. It looks noticeably cartoony which is a nice touch. I'm trying to pin down the style actually. I'm leaning towards cell shading, like my last review of the latest Naruto Shippuden game.
Looking at screenshots of this game, you wouldn't think this was on the Unreal Engine, but it sure is. When I saw the symbol, I immediately became pissed knowing I wouldn't be able to play it, and if I could the frame rate would chop like a mother. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. By the Steam page, to play this all you need is 2 gigs of RAM, a single gig of hard drive space and an NVIDIA 8000 or better. Simple terms meaning this game can be played on most computers and even a console version could work. It's nice as well, considering the gameplay thrives, as well as demands, a smooth playthrough. In lay-men's terms, this game will work on your PC, as long as you haven't upgraded since the first iPhone was announced.
There's a canvas of colors in this game, though you will be seeing white primarily. These colors are like markers to show you where you're going and where you want to go. Say I see some purple walls. I walk and come to another purple wall. The game then shows me this is the same wall, as the game is mindbending in that way. When I said it was like an MC Escher world, I meant it. This game defies the laws of physics and reason in only a way a painting could do before this game. Never does it feel like a chore though. With a simple click of the ESC button, I am back in this black box where I can choose just about any place I've been before and start back there immediately.

The Bad:
Again, with good games like this, it's the small things I'm worried about rather than complaining about. I haven't finished the game (though I don't know if there is an end game), but if I do finish it, I don't see much replayability. There's these little messages that are scattered about in plain sight that can give me insight like a sort of faux tutorial and they appear on the black box's wall. But if that's the extent of extended play, there's not much to look forward to.

The Meh:
This really is a game that isn't a 'play til dawn and keep playing' game. More of a pick up every once and a while. Not bad for me, but some may find it to be.

All in all, it's not a bad game. For twenty bucks, I am satisfied. This game runs smoothly and is intelligently played out. It's mysterious and unsettling, just how I felt about Portal. While it doesn't have the jokes that Portal does, it still is mind bending and an interesting little world, just like Portal.

Blog Archive