Archive for June, 2010
As you may have read in the previous post I have pre-ordered Medal of Honor, with that came access to the beta. Now I, myself had been wondering what to do with this game, it’s made by 2 studios, each focussing on a different aspect and even using a different engine for it. Now I’m a fan of Battlefield Bad Company 2, which is made by DICE, who also are making the multiplayer for Medal of Honor.
So what does the beta offer? It has 2 maps and 2 modes, 1 map per mode. There are 2 teams, US Forces and the Taliban as it’s set in Afghanistan. Furthermore there are 3 classes which have different focusses. There’s the rifleman who is a straight up fighter with assault rifles and 40mm grenades(which aren’t as powerful as in BC2 or ‘noobtubes’ in MW2), the engineer class with a lighter submachine gun and a rocket launcher and finally a sniper, who’s focus should be pretty self-explanatory.
When you kill another player you’ll get points(standard 10), with bonuses for knife kills, defensive kills etcetera. At 40points, you’ll get access to a killstreak, the interesting thing is that there’s 2 kinds: Offensive and Defensive killstreaks, these seem to be given randomly as an offensive is mostly a kind of airstrike of which I’ve seen Mortar Strike, Mobile Rocket Strikes and even Missile Strikes. The defensive ones are much more interesting as they will offer your entire team a bonus, for example a UAV to show enemy locations, ammunition resupplies, flak jackets etcetera. This way you don’t know what you will get and you’ll have to consider the options given the current situation.
I’ll give a brief example of how these killstreaks can work out, I was on the taliban team and the goal was to defend an AA-station which was getting assaulted by an M3 Bradley APC and about to get overrun as someone had activated the UAV so I could see the amount of enemies rushing forward. I popped up from cover and quickly sniped 2 guys down with 4 shots, which gave me enough points for a killstreak, I got a missile Strike which I immediately pointed at the APC as we didn’t have anybody to take it out. It managed to destroy it and in the process take down 1 or 2 soldiers standing around it, this gave me enough points for another killstreak which was a mobile rocket strike, which does less damage but over a bigger area(or so I believe) so I threw it down around a big rock that’s part of the assaulting team’s cover and managed to kill 4 guys, giving me another killstreak by which time I got another killstreak and my team had taken positions again so I got a nice Flak Jackets for my team to make them survive longer and I ran forward to get into a better position where I got great cover from my team and managed to snipe down another 6 players who were running towards the goal. It’s moments like that which make you love a game, such perfect storms are rare but mindblowing.
About the modes, there’s a direct team deathmatch in which it’s just all about score. The other mode resembles Rush from Bad Company 2 where one team is rushing for objectives, be it blowing up a barricade, disabling Anti-Aircraft stations or holding a village. I’ve played roughly 2hours of each so I think I have a decent idea by now. I’m quite curious what else they could be adding to the game, I’m expecting a Conquest mode(Holding territory to gain points) and a Capture the Flag-type of mode.
What’s my impression then? As others have previously reported it’s quite a mix between Modern Warfare 2 and Bad Company 2, but to me it’s mostly the engine as it’s the same as Bad Company 2. It doesn’t have the swiftness of MW2, but it feels like it’s doing it’s own thing, which is positive. Now what can I say about the visuals? It looks really good, believe me. it’s also not as demanding as Bad Company 2, while looking better. But the most important aspect, how does it feel to play? It feels really good, much to my surprise. The action is a ton of fun and the AK-47/74 and M4/16 are really precise, which makes it awesome for ranged kills, you can literally just sit down, aim and throw out 3 short bursts and the person’d be dead.
That brings me to the next point, don’t expect to survive much in this game. If someone spots you in the open – you’re pretty much dead. Weapons are really accurate as I said and you don’t take much punishment at all. What this causes is really quick action where you both have to be alert and careful. The only thing that can bring this game down is bad support, lack of maps, weapons and unlocks in general. Another little part that I don’t like is the look of the red dot sight, the acog sight is quite alright. But it’s probably something I have yet to get used to.
So, start of the holidays and steam has a big 10-day sale which you just have to love. Great games for next to nothing in some cases. So what is new so far?
I re-bought Trine and you may be wondering, didn’t you already let’s play it? Yup, I certainly did. However I still love that game and now I have a bigger screen with bigger resolution and they have added another level since then, plus.. I’d like to support those guys since that game’s amazing. I also have some games I’d be interested in still and hell, I’ll mainly watch what daily offers will pop up. I’ll update this post if I do get any more games as well.
So I also decided to get Medal of Honor 2010, why? I was hardly sure myself but I had faith in DICE for the multiplayer part and giving them smaller maps for a more action/closequarters-oriented approach? It could be very cool, I’ve not played too much of the beta yet but it does give me hope for sure. It seems like a bunch of fun, running around a corner and killing 3-4enemies within some seconds? How can that not be fun? Plus the issues you hear are mostly for the PS3 it seems as frankly it runs pretty well. using high settings, 1920×1200, 4xAA, 8xAF. So pretty much maxed out.
Also at the time of writing it’s one night’s rest away from All Points Bulletin’s early access event. I can’t wait to play a character and actually keep it after these beta’s.
- Uncharted 2
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Medal of Honor
- Dawn of War 2 – Gold Edition
So recently a certain decently hyped shooter released and to my surprise it plays amazingly smooth while looking awesome, I actually expected it to be one of those really tough to run games and was really surprised by it. After playing a little and even seeing just the intro I immediately got absorbed into it and.. well, I wanted to keep playing it. But I think it’d make for an awesome let’s play, at least judging from the first half hour.
That brings me to my next subject, the sheer amount of games I want to (let’s) play. I actually have a list of games that I want to let’s play, as I can’t remember them all and that’s not even including upcoming games! It currently contains 9 games and that’s probably excluding some that occasionally jump in my head but I promptly forget about. So it’s pretty tough to decide a game to let’s play. It’s actually eating away at me because I can’t play these games I want to play because I want to be able to let’s play them later.
Hell, I am even drowning in games I still want to play for myself, since I keep on buying more. Like right now for instance I have the following games I want to play and have installed now:
- All Points Bulletin: The pre-order access starts next week and I’m entirely stoked for it, I loved every moment of the beta’s.
- Lord of the Rings Online: I still play this for some random hours, it’s fun to this day and the Lifetime subscription paid off.
- Sam and Max: Yes, I actually gave this another shot and.. it’s giving me a better impression than it did before. Enjoying it.
- Yu-gi-oh Online: Another game that is just fun every once in a while, despire the awfully powerful decks that are around.
- Bad Company 2: It’s simply a great shooter, why would I not want to play it?
- Mount & Blade – Warband: Hard to explain Mount and Blade really, rpg with realtime action battles? It’s great.
- Napoleon – Total War: Does it even need an explanation? Especially now with the Peninsular campaign.
- Puzzle Dimension: Just saw this on Steam and.. it’s a fun puzzler. I just love indie games too much.
- Infamous: Yes, I still have infamous to play through on my PS3
- Episodes from Liberty City: I think I’m only about a quarter in, if even that.
- Ratchet and Clank Tools of Destruction: From what I’ve played, it was fun, although simple.
The good news being that I will actually have time for said games as my holiday has just begun. 3 weeks of no work(Not that I can really complain being a part-timer and all).
So I was reading slashdot.org and stumbled upon this article, which interested me.
I have just finished watching the pilot for Pioneer One and I must say that I’m intrigued, they did a great job especially considering what budget they were on. If I didn’t know they were on such a low budget I’d not really noticed much. I feel like I should chime in on the donating but considering the crazy amounts of money I’ve been spending on games lately.. I dunno, I’ll probably end up throwing in 5 or 10bucks. Innovation and a good story, sign me up.
In unrelated news, I have my holidays coming up so expect slightly more videos in the upcoming weeks. I can’t really go crazy with it as frankly, rendering and uploading these sets takes some real time. I also ordered Uncharted 2 for the PS3 so I can play through that in the holiday, very excited for that one. And I might have something special coming up, but I can’t say what it is just yet.
Ninja Edit: I just updated my iPhone to the iOS 4 and… my screen is just zooming in for some reason. A tap on the screen is supposed to make it go away but.. it isn’t. Neat…. I guess I’ll google a bit more, as for now it’s unworkable. Ninja Edit 2: The Zoom function in the Accessibility menu got turned on by the update, weird bug I’d say.
As a bonus I just have to share this concept art for “Demon Elaine” on Tales of Monkey Island, click for full size.
So, for those who’ve watched E3, I’m very curious on your opinion.
I really liked Sony’s and Nintendo’s conferences, EA would take the third spot. There has been some great titles announced and shown off and boy, do I want to play them! The problem with that actually is is that there’s simply that many, it’s easy to forget a huge title. Let’s go over the stuff that I liked in the conferences, starting from the one I liked least. I also won’t notice Ubisoft’s as… frankly I didn’t care about anything so I didn’t watch it and from what I’ve heard, it was a good decision. The only thing I could’ve cared about would be Beyond Good and Evil 2, but there was nothing.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops – It…. is Call of Duty. I think I’m really just done with that for a while.
- Fable 3 – This didn’t actually look that good, I was actually expecting a great looking cool game but I was sorely dissapointed, but there’s time to improve obviously.
- Kinect – So everything else pretty much was Kinect (new name for Project Natal) and it just didn’t look good. I also really don’t care about the whole motion deal but it still looked laggy.
- 360 Slim – It’s smaller, cooler and costs the same. Good deal if you’re going to get a 360, for sure.
- Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit – Many people seemed to love this but it looked really boring from the demo, it’s just bumping into eachother.
- Dead Space 2 – Dead Space 1 was a ton of fun to play, and dead space 2 looked like more of the same, except more action oriented.
- Medal of Honor – Seen Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2? This is both, but seemingly without that extra edge.
- Crysis 2 – Underwhelmed, I can’t really say I remember too much from this, that’s how underwhelming it was to me. It seemed to add nothing.
- Bulletstorm – Looks like a fun game, extremely arcadey version of Necrovision with the crazy kicked up another level!
- Star Wars: The Old Republic – I heard it was good but I didn’t get to see it at the show due to it being streamed late.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Despite the awkward moment on the conference, it actually plays really well. It looks interesting but also very gimmicky on the “You now have to slash vertical/horizontal” thing.
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn – Hard to judge this from a trailer but if it’s anything like Golden Sun 1 & 2 – Awesome! I LOVED those games.
- Goldeneye 007 – A Remake or reimagining of the N64 classic. Do I think it’ll be good? No… it’ll be failed nostalgia most likely.
- Disney’s Epic Mickey – A good Mickey Mouse game? Doubt it. But it looked decent at least.
- Dragon Quest 9 – Good rpg’s for the DS? Yes Please!
- Donkey Kong Country Remake – I loved the Donkey Kong Country games for the SNES and thus this looked very much like that, great!
- Kid Icarus: Uprising – This seemed like a huge deal, a new kid icarus game since the NES one, which seemed…. to lack something.
- Nintendo 3DS – A new DS, this time with 3d screens. From what I’ve heard it seems to be decent. The 3d still seems imperfect but it’s early.
- Killzone 3 – Looked like.. a shooter. This didn’t do anything for me as I didn’t play the first 2 but maybe I should at some point.
- Sorcery – A Playstation Move game that seems to make excellent use of it, I really digged the combining of spells.
- Infamous 2 – Infamous + giant monsters and ice powers? I’unno, we’ll just have to see.
- Little Big Adventure 2 – They showed what you can do with the game, and that looked like a ton of fun! Crazy stuff there.
- Portal 2 – So portal on PS3.. good, the bigger news though is that it’ll have Steamworks and Steam Cloud opening up Valve stuff in general.
- Gran Turismo 5 – Is it actually coming? It looked absolutely mindblowing and it’s Gran Turismo, it’ll be great. But.. no European Release Date!? Come On!
- Playstation Move – This is by far my favorite motion control thing, it seems to really work and many reviewers agree with this. But… the price.
- Playstation Plus – So.. paying for Online stuff, that isn’t good… but if that includes “free” DLC and mappacks etc. It might be worth it.
All-in-all, Sony and Nintendo kicked ass here really, I especially enjoyed Sony’s even though it might not be apparent from what I typed here. It was just really amusing to watch, nice speed of announcements and good tempo all throughout.
So writing about Go brought up Hikaru No Go which had a nice opening. That brought me to think about how many anime actually have really nice opening songs. Going through those videos to find the links made me realize just how many great openings there really are. The frightening thing is that I’m likely forgetting the majority of them!
This song actually made me really dig M.o.v.e, they’re a really diverse and unique band.
This song is just so incredibly catchy, even though I don’t understand a word.
One Piece is without a doubt my favorite anime and this song gives me goosebumps to this day, it’s pure magic. I can still sing along with most of it.
This opening is also etched into my brain.
I can totally sing this along, but that’s probably because this is a lot newer and has more english in it.
This song is an absolute classic and it just blows your mind if you listen to it on high quality(aka, not youtube).
This intro made me get completely into the band, gotta love J-Rock.
Soul Eater – Opening #1
This song made me watch this anime, which I didn’t like at first, but I grew to love it. I have this song to thank for that!
As a special mention I have to link to this opening, Major- Opening #4. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with it, I don’t like the voice but still it gives me goosebumps every time.
To conclude this link-heavy post I bring you the cutest thing you’ll ever hear/see:
So how’s that for completely different subjects eh?
Since the Non-Disclosure-Agreement on the APB Beta has just been dropped, I may now say that I have previously been playing the beta. At first I wasn’t very enthustiastic as the performance was really terrible, but knowing that performance is the last thing that gets improved upon in software writing, I didn’t write the game off just yet. So what is this game? For those who don’t know: You’ve probably heard of Grand Theft Auto, imagine that with multiplayer on a grand scale. It’s essentially a world of cops and robbers and the game offers some truly out of this world customization options for your character, your clothing, weapons, skills, your cars.. name it and it’s pretty much fully customizable. It’s pretty overwhelming really. You can even make your own songs and themes in the game that others can hear. So recently they updated their client for a new big beta (Key To The City-event, which are at moment of writing available at eurogamer.net), so I figured I should check it out and… what do you know? Settings turned up, 1920×1200 and 30-50fps! This blew my mind and I just finished pre-ordering the game, I’m really stoked for this as I know it’s a ton of fun.
On to the second subject then; Go. I’ve been absolutely fascinated by Go for several years at this point, it all started with the anime series Hikaru No Go(with a really nice opening) and the manga afterwards, and since then it’s always been lingering around in my mind. I’ve read up a bunch on it but never really committed to it, I’ve done the interactive guides found here and here and they’ve given me a very basic understanding of the game. I then bought a book which then just showed me that I hadn’t fully grasped some aspects and proved to be very helpful. So I then recently decided I really want to learn more and actually ordered a series of books and an actual goban(Board) to help with visualizing. The board hasn’t arrived yet but it will in some days. Some very good times ahead, these books should keep me busy for many months.
So, Friday I decided it was time to grab those couple of updates windows update had amassed over the last couple of weeks. This because I absolutely hate it nagging me for any message related to it, I’ll decide for myself thank you. But that is a whole different matter. So Aeterna… what happened then?
Well, let me explain. The way PC let’s playing works is that you essentially play the game and have a program(FRAPS/Hypercam, etc) capture the screens that are being sent to the monitor and is writing them away on your harddisk. Now this requires a lot of work from your processor and harddrive. This is why you realistically never want to play the game from and record to the same harddisk, especially if you’re doing it at 1080p like I am. It really is stressful on the harddrive and you’ll wear it out rapidly. So it’s very important to maintain good writing speeds on the harddisks, keep that in mind.
So after the windows updates I tell it to bugger off after wanting me to reboot and I start recording to my Samsung harddrive. So on the saturday I want to record the 2nd set for the week and direct FRAPS to the appropriate folder. I start up Audacity, do a check, all is well. I set it to record, start up the game and watch FRAPS fps on my G15 display, turns out.. that wasn’t necessary. It was obviously hitching and giving me very unstable fps while record, about 7-24. Frankly I was really confused as to what caused this. Figured it was windows grabbing unnecessary memory or running some indexing in the background, so I reboot the pc and try again. Same result however. So I decide to try my samsung drive again and it works flawlessly, so I decide to simply record to that drive, although that limits me timewise as both these sets are currently taking up 550GB of space.
So today I decide to troubleshoot what’s going wrong, I first check if it’s still giving me issues, indeed it is. Next step? Check the writing speeds of my harddrive. I used Crystal Disk Mark for this purpose and ran the benchmarks and what do you know.. my writing speeds dropped by about 50%! No wonder it performed so poorly, it simply couldn’t keep up. So I saw my other drive was fine. So the next step was to look at the drivers for these drives, especially the sata controllers. I noticed that the driver had been changed at the time of the windows update.. Didn’t expect that one. So I uninstalled the old drivers and restarted to fall back on windows default drivers.
I checked the performance after the reboot and sadly, they were the same, a most curious result really. I figured I’d grab the latest chipset drivers for my motherboard again(The same as I had been using previously) and grab a Bios update to boot, it had been a year since the previous update. So after updating both the drivers and bios and returning to windows, I ran the benchmark again and Surprise, it worked as expected! I literally just did the in-game testing again and can say that Penumbra – Black Plague now records just fine in 1080p.
So the topic name kind of says most of it, it’s something that has been crossing my mind since I got my PS3.
It would give me the opportunity to let’s play some great games. However the problem with that is though that there is the necessity of the hardware that’s required for it.
Now some of you might be thinking “Well just get a dazzle or something”. To answer to that: You should know better! I wouldn’t want poor quality, if I’d be doing it I’d want to do it right.
So to mind comes the Hauppage HD PVR as that’s the de facto standard as it’s all-around solid. However it does have a price tag of about 200euro. Now that frankly seems quite steep to me for just console playthroughs. I must admit that I haven’t spend too much time even looking around for alternatives but I can’t see a quality product being too much cheaper.
Plus I should probably decide sometime soonish before I actually start playing said good games, infamous,uncharted,ratchet and clank and the many others.
What do you guys think?
A question I’ve been frequently asked is what mods I’ve been using for Oblivion so I figured the best way to do so would be on this blog as frankly I can update it and link nicely to the mods’ pages.
That would otherwise be hard to do on a video. So it seems a blog can serve it’s purpose.
I’m actually using the Oblivion Mod Manager as that makes the adding of mods surprisingly easy. You can simply download the mod, click “Create” in the mod manager and add the archive you just downloaded. Then it’ll sort out the rest for you. Note that you should read the mod’s requirements as some for example need Oblivion Script Extender installed. Afterwards all you have to do is active it in the list. So here goes the list with links:
- Unofficial patch – Overal fixes.
- Unofficial patch supplemental – More fixes after author dropped the unofficial patch.
- Unofficial DLC patch – Fixes for the official DLC.
- Unofficial Shivering Isles patch – Fixes for Shivering isles expansion.
- Cyrodiil Economic Overhaul – A whole different economy system, many changes there.
- Cyrodiil Terrain Color Map – Coloured map of Cyrodiil.
- DarNified UI – Re-done UI.
- Drop Lit Torches in Combat – Pretty much as the name implies.
- Keychain – Adds a keychain so you won’t have a million keys in your inventory.
- Realistic Fatigue – Tweaks to the Fatigue system.
- Realistic Leveling – Makes changes to the leveling system.
- Quest Award Leveller.