My PC, revamped.

So my pc started to age when I first built it. Here were its parts at the time of conception 
 
My computer's nick name is: BEEFY

2006
MSI 975x Platinum Power up Edition (Supported P4, PD, and Core 2 Duo)
2gb of RAM, DRR2 533 (G.Skill)
ATI Radeon X1900XT
Hitachi Hard Drive, 250gb
LG DVD/CD R RW Drive
Pentium D 3.2ghz Processor
500 Watt Rosewill PSU 
Creative Sound Card (Audigy 7.1) 
 Arctic 7 Aftermarket heatsink and fan 
APEVIA X-plorer Case
 
2007
Upgrades: 
Antec 900 Case 
New ram, 2gb of Crucial Ballsitix at DDR 533 
ATI Radeon 3870 
Core 2 Duo 2.13ghz @ 3.2ghz
Western Digital 150gb Hard Drive 
new PSU, 750 Watt Corsair PSU modular
 
2008 
Upgrades:  
ATI Radeon 4870 
TV Tuner card
new ram, 2gb of Corsair Xtreme DDR2 800
a third hard drive, Western Digital 250gb
 
2009
Upgrades:
Core i7, AsRock X58 Extreme Edition
6gb of DDR3 1600 OCZ Platinum RAM
Core i7 2.6ghz @ 4.2ghz  
Cooler Master Hyper N520 Heatsink and fan
 
So my current system is as follows:
Antec 900 Case
750 Watt Corsair PSU
2 Hard Drives: *1 Hitachi 150gb Drive, 1 WD 250gb Drive 
*LG DVD/CD Burner Drive
ATI Radeon HD 4870
6gb of DDR3 1600 OCZ Platinum RAM 
AsRock X58 Extreme Edition  
Core i7 2.6ghz @ 4.2ghz     
Cooler Master Hyper N520 Heatsink and fan 
 
 *Means they surived from my original build back in 2006
 
As you can see my computer has changed a lot over the years, part of this is because i love playing with new hardware the other is because of just some bad decisions on my part. I can finally say I have a computer that i am happy with, I will upgrades the graphics but I hope for most of these parts to survive my overclocking (hence why so much RAM had to be replaced). And aside from mountaing my heatsink and fan wrong on the proc (I will remount it so the air flow is correct at a later date, temps aren't to bad), this final build of BEEFY has turned out well.
 
It now lives as BEEFY Mark 2.

9 Comments

Top Ten Games To Watch

I still hold the opinion that 2009 was an abysmal year for the video game industry. So what do we have coming up in 2010? Well we have a slew of sequels and original IPs that are coming out that are sure to make anyone's eyes sparkle. So what are my top ten games to look forward to in 2010, well as a pc gamer and a college student i become rather picky because of the limited money  have to spend on video games, especially considering a lot of money goes towards books, penciles, food, etc... So here are my top ten games to look forward to in 2010. 
 
*I know this is basically a list, but just read and enjoy.
 

#10- Brink

Not much is known about this game, all i can say is that developer Splash Damage and publisher Bethesda clearly know what they are doing. With it's stylized and gritty art style and fast paced game play one has to wonder. Perhaps this is what Mirror's Edge should have been all along. Either way, for sheer brillance in art direction and kinetic fighting to rival the original F.E.A.R. this is a game to look forward to. 
 
 
 

#9- R.U.S.E.

I love RTS games. Now I'm not thirty years old, so my first RTS, well the first one i ever sank time into was Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. And soon i ventured into oldies such as Warcraft where i learned to hone my tactical skills. No with some of RELIC's most recent RTS/RPG hybrids i've been a little disappointed, and I'm looking to R.U.S.E. to bring something new to the table, deception, while maintaining the old glory of RTS games that is large scale battles that aren't too overwhelming.  
 
 
 

#8- Alan Wake/Crysis 2

Now you may be wondering why a pc gamer put Alan Wake on their list of top ten games to look forward to in 2010. (that's twenty-ten, no two thousand and ten). I am scratching my head a little as well, while REMEDY may not be fully transparent as to whether or not it's a 360 exclusive or not I still have hopes that they will release this amazing horror-adventure game on both platforms. With that said Crysis 2 also gets # 8 because, well, i found Crysis to be a one trick pony and Crysis 2 will replace Alan Wake if  Alan Wake indeed doesn't come out on the PC. Crysis 2, let's hope you bring more than just guns and pretty beaches to the firefight.  




 

#7- Bioshock 2

Bioshock holds a very special place in my heart. It says philosophical intrigue all over it and yet managed to ruin the story in the last thirty minutes. With that mentioned, Bioshock will still be a hard game to follow up and I just hope that Bioshock 2 delivers. The Big Daddy looks impressive and Rapture is as art deco as ever, so here is a toast to a good singleplayer campaign from 2K and an abysmal multiplayer.  



 

#6- RAGE

You know what games are mediocre but fun? ID games. You know what game is looking to break that spell? RAGE. This game has me excited on multiple levels, one is that it looks to finally be pushing that outdate engine used by ID and it has outside racing. Sure a lot of people told me Borderlands was like MAD MAX, however I beg to differ, RAGE is offering a story, a huge enviroment, and its built by a tried and proven developer, so look for this game, it will definitely be one to have.  
 

#5- Mass Effect 2

 I don't remember a lot about Mass Effect. I played it one my 360, when I had one and for the most part it didn't seem very memorable. So why did i buy it on STEAM the other day for $5. Well other than the price being right all the hype and love surrounding Mass Effect 2, and my friends that love Mass Effect, have pushed me into giving this franchise another try, so here's to hoping it's a bit more memorable. 
 

#4- Metro 2033

Let me tell you something, the Russian language is very hard to learn, but well worth it. STALKER games are hard to play, hard on your computer, but fun and rewarding. Cryostasis is the sleeper hit from the Eastern Block and I think Metro 2033 will be as well. It's set in an apocalyptic world and is a linear story. It's Half-Life 2, but more cynical, a bit more grotesque, and very RUSSIAN! All of these are reasons for me to want this game and why it gets to be #4.
  
  

#3- S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

The STALKER series is one of those games that is so flawed, so ugly, that you can't help but love it. Now while i've read CoP doesn't have the atmosphere of the first game, and is a lot less shorter than the second game, Call of Pripyat looks to stand on it's own merits has more of an expansion than anything else. If you have a pc that handled the other two games, or Crysis, I would say you owe it to yourself to play this game. To me it has some of the best story telling in the world and is just, well i get very giddy thinking about a new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game.  



 

#2- Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Do you remember Battlefield 2? I sure do. Remember the decent story from Battlefield: Bad Company, I do. Add these two together, publish it on every platform and you have a game worthy of the Battlefield franchise. Personally I hope this game dominates the multiplayer scene on the pc because Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is already old. 
 
 
 

#1- Starcraft II

 I don't think i need to say anything.
 
   

Honorable Mentions (unsure of a 2010 release date):
Guild Wars 2
Diablo III 
Half-Life 2: Episode 3
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 
 
So tell me what games you all are looking for and i may update this blog with my impressions. Also, check my previous blogs i've made some updates.
27 Comments

Finishing out the year

Ok so i've been a bit bored lately. I'm 8 levels away from 70 in Cod: MW 2 and really don't plan on doing prestige because I'm kind of bored. On another note I do plan on beating Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II before I have to go back to college (hoping to repeat what I did first semester: straight As while still having a blast). So what does one do to curb boredom? Play mods and buy cheap games on STEAM!.
 
Mod: Research and Development for HL2
This really is an awesome puzzle game. I would say it doesn't last more than five hours, however it's very clever and fun. It was an intellectual work out, really enjoyed it. It also has some of the best visuals I've seen in a mod. Check it out: 
http://www.moddb.com/mods/research-and-development   
 

 

 
Game: Mirror's Edge (bought when it was $5)
This game is a lot of fun, however it is also frustrating and painful at times. I love the simple color palette and the way the city becomes more of a character than you, the protagonist. With that said the story is sparse and the game unforgiving when you mess up. Either way for $5 it wasn't a bad deal and took me 10 hours to beat.
 
Isn't it's simplicity grand!
So you all should check them out (only Mirror's Edge if the price is right). There are also some other mods I may try and may update my blog with my impressions. 
 
*Note i beat Mirror's Edge in 10 Hours, will put a quick review up before i go back to school.
*Also I finished out the year with Dragon Age: Origins, and i'm close to beating it, but not done.
2 Comments

The Best of 2009...from a pc gamer's perspective

Let me start off by saying that 2009 has been a rather disappointing year for the games industry. Many studios died and or have been bitching about the industry; Pandemic and Midway closed/were bought out and Gearbox complained about STEAM and Valve being one in the same while Silicon Knights just complained about everything in general. Either way, like everyone else I have compiled a "Best of 2009," although it will indeed include some major gripes/disappointments with games released this year as a whole.
 
Best Online Shooter: 
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. As a pc gamer this was a tough choice, but in the end, even though IWnet has effectively recreated the closed network s of Xbox Live and PSN, it is still fun to play with friends. Also when you get a group of people that aren't hacking it cane be just as good as Call of Duty 4.    
 
Best Co-Op Game: 
Left 4 Dead 2. This game, bar none, is still pushing the expectations of what one desires out of a co-op game. You want something competitive yet genuinely

 Coach, our big Black Friend!
inspires team work. Sure some of my friends are incapable of being team players, but in the end we still spend nights playing Left 4 Dead 2 in campaign and versus mode. Plus the new additions such as Scavenger and Hardcore (Reality) mode are great additions to the still young series.
 
Best RTS:
Warhammer: Dawn of War II. Currently I am working playthrough two, and again with a friend in co-op mode. We never did beat it on the highest difficulty, but our heroes Jack Daniels was a motherfucker when it came to tanking the tryanid. While the larger battles of Warhammer are gone, and we do miss them the co-op campaign, skirmish, and last stand modes aren't a laughing matter for an RTS that still out sells and out performs everything else.
 
Best RPG: 
Originally I wasn't going to include this, if for the main reason being that I don't play a lot of RPGs, only a few do I take on. However, my friends have informed me i should give this to Dragon Age: Origins. So Dragon Age: Origins you get this reward from me because all my friends say you were the best.
 
Biggest Disappointment/Best Attitude(style): 
Borderlands. I had so many dreams when you came out. I wanted you to be the new IP that I followed like a religion. However you proved me wrong, while your presentation was almost flawless about halfway through you became a practice in patience and tedium, not because of your difficulty but because of Gearbox's
 Shes Pretty, but her story is...
inability to keep your style's momentum fresh. Your ending was horrible. And now the DLC adds nothing else but trivial/shallow entertainment. Maybe that's what you were supposed to be: trivial entertainment.
 
Best Indie Title:
Zeno Clash. I wish you had a longer story arc. I wish you gave me a reason to replay you, however you are the best Indie title I have ever played. You had a rather salvidor-dali esque presentation and bad voice acting; and after playing STALKER that doesn't really bother me. You were charming and fun. Brutal and a little bit of a read-headed step child, but in the end well worth the $20.  
 
Best Free Game: 
League of Legends is like DOTA, which a lot PC gamers play in their free time. It's fun fast paced and requires skill; something I'm still trying to acquire in that game, regardless its a great game to play with friends.  
 
Best LAN games: 
It's a tie between Halo 3 ODST and Left 4 Dead 2. These two games are played the most when I have a gathering of 8 or more people over for MANS night at my place. Other nights women come over and we watch movies, etc...do things they may enjoy, but for man's night we end up playing these two games a lot. And
 Just make something...new
honorable mention goes to the games: League of Legends and Tower Defense for Warcraft 3. 
 
Game Still Played in 2009:
Team Fortress 2. On the PC you're supported by Valve and this current WAR campaign is reason enough for while you're still played to this various day. When i get bored of Warhammer or IWnet isn't working correctly i default to you and try to contribute to the WAR. The Scottish couldn't be more proud.

 
Best PC Game:
Dragon Age: Origins
 

 
 
 
Best 360 Game: 

(chosen by my friends)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
 
 
 
 
Best PS3 Game:

(chosen by my friends)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
 
 
 
 
 
A College Student's Regret (for not picking up):
  • Assassin's Creed 2: Sure I would have to get the PC edition and sure I found the first one rather tedious, but mark my words if I had the money for you I would have bought you.
  • Batman Arkham Asylum: Somehow I think your sequel will be flawed. However I played you on a friend's 360 and thought it would be great if I bought you on the pc, however because I had to do laundry that week, you never did come to fruition.
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin: One of these days if you're cheap and I have some spare cash I'll buy you. F.E.A.R. was great, it's expansions sucked, but I just want the story to continue, and I don't think I'd regret purchasing you.



 
Games I'm Better Off Without:
  • Halo 3 ODST: you're more of the same and firefight is like survival mode in Left 4 Dead or Last Stand in Warhammer Dawn of War II, plus you would have been another trade in seeing as I sold my 360.
  • Red Faction Guerrilla: You're a one trick pony that should probably be shot in the head.
  • Ghostbusters: I don't think I'll even qualify you with an explanation.
  • Brutal Legend: Tim Schaffer you should probably stick with games such as Psyhonauts and never hire Jack Black again. He has a few okay movies, and well I could have predicted bad retail sales for this game.
  • Resident Evil 5: I never understood your mass appeal, I played your demo on the pc and didn't find it all that enjoyable. Often I felt like i was lumbering around awkwardly like a crippled red-headed step child.
  • Empire Total War: You're just overwhelming.
  • Halo Wars: RTS games do not work very well on consoles.




 
On January 1st I will post a blog detailing 2010 and my high expectations. 
 Oh I almost forgot to mention what my game of the year is....There isn't one. This year was truly horrible for the video game industry. Nothing really stands out as even deserving a monologue to protect why I would name it game of the year.
 
*Note that I updated my pc game of the year.
10 Comments

Guild Wars 2 & Finals

Ok so I'm finishing up my 1st semester of College, so far straight As, just need to keep the momentum through the next week and two days and i'll be solid. Anyways, because i only have my gaming pc at the dorm in the middle of the semester (not the beginning or end, that's when i establish momentum) i have been browsing the web to keep my video game addiction sated. Anyways, i found LoL, otherwise known as League of Legends and my little laptop is currently downloading it. It's like DoTa and it looks like it uses the same game engine as warcraft, but it also looks like a lot of fun. So in the late late hours of this coming week or so, when i've exhausted my desire to study my dorm mate and i will be playing this lovely game, hopefully it's a gem.
 
Now to the real reason why i typed this up, i want to make everyone aware of the fact that Shacknews has a new GW2 video and interview that outlines a lot of cool tidbits for us Guild War players:  

(Tell me what you all think!)
 http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/61484 
 

5 Comments

Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 Etiquette


  1. DUCK! If you’re going to jump out and take point then duck, I can’t stress this enough. (This applies to both gun and melee equipped players. This way you avoid friendly fire and you create a nice sweeping motion across the map.
  2. INFORM people of your motives. If you’re going for an achievement, tell the group, that way they can either tell you 1) we aren't doing achievements or 2) agree to help.
  3. COMMUNICATE! If someone is telling you that you are too far behind, too far ahead, or just in general not being a good team player, do not make excuses. Take it as constructive criticism and adjust, no one likes to play with someone where the constant discussion is:

-Why did you go up there without help?
-Because I wanted to see what was up there.
-And now you’re dead.

Some random notes:

  • Feel free to use melee weapons, but to be honest when more than two people have melee weapons it’s annoying.
  • Use pistols or your melee weapon until you really need to use your more powerful weapon (ie: when there are any special infected or uncommon infected. This conserves ammo).
  • Make use of explosive and such; don’t always wait for someone to tell you to use it. Intuition is a key to survival.
  • REMEMBER: Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 are not Halo do not spam obscenities or immature remarks (or noises) over the mic, some people may find it’s funny, but I can guarantee in a real Zombie Apocalypse I bet they would kill you and just claim you were infected.
  • STRESSED NOTE: DIC! Duck, Inform, Communicate. When it comes down to it if you’re not communicating your team is probably going to fuck up badly. Take all criticism, it’s all probably true. Play the game and survive.
 
--------------------------
Feel free to suggest any additions and or edits i should make.
--------------------------
You can find this guide and links to other more in-depth guides here: 
http://www.giantbomb.com/guides/how-to-survive-the-apocalypse/1461/
17 Comments

The Paradox of being a Video Gamer

 
Paradox:  any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.
-----------Thank you Dictionary.com------------------
 
So what is this blog post all about? Well I want to bring two things to light: 1) is the very much overblown yet important issue of dedicated servers on Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and 2) the issue of being a gamer and why we are at each others throats.
 
1) We all know that dedicated servers are important to the PC Gaming community, which may not be large, but is rather boisterous (i being one of them). I bought our new Call of Duty game knowing full well the lack of dedicated server support. I knew this and bought it hoping to Infinity Ward to deliver on IWnet, what I found was a great singleplayer game a great multiplayer game overlayed by IWnet a sad excuse for online gaming. Note I insulted IWnet, not the game itself. I have provided below some helpful links to explain the Dedicated server issue:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy1-8efNdpQ&feature=related
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDF2CQNSTzI&feature=related 
 
Ok, so there you have it, a well thought out explanation concerning PC Gamers and Dedicated servers, albeit biased because the youtube video creator is indeed a pc gamer.
 
2) What my post is really about: The Paradox of Being a Video Gamer. This whole issue involving dedicated servers has brought something to light, PS3 gamers, Xbox 360 gamers, Wii Gamers, and PC Gamers don't give a shit about each other. It's like hardcore religious zealots, I'm Catholic so i hate Baptists. I'm Protestant so i despise so and so, but in the end we all believe in a god (if you're christian). In the case of video gamers, we all live and breathe the same obsession. We all enjoy playing them and we all enjoy Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. So let me ask this? Why, non-pc gamers do you get mad at us when we get mad at Infinity ward? And why pc-gamers do you blame the console gamer, and not the nature of the console, for the consolization of pc games? In the end it's because we all are sitting on a different side, and all of think that our side is the best. So everyone should really quit calling Pc gamers elitist, and pc gamers should really quit calling everyone else inferior. 
 
So what is my point? 
 
That one, when pc gamers have an issue everyone should listen. That when a 360, ps3, or wii gamer has a problem us pc gamers should listen. The point is that dedicated servers are important to pc gamers. 360 players....how would you feel if you couldn't do local lans anymore? In other words, how would you feel if you couldn't get together and hook up your 360s for local halo competitions? Or if you had to pay for it? (Just a theoretical situation). So we just all need to support each other in making sure that developers keep everyone, every gamer happy. I'll be honest, i'm tired of migrating host and horrible lag, give pc gamers dedicated servers and for the love of any and everything.....all other gamers support us and we'll support you (so long as you quit proclaiming pc gaming is dead)
 
So what inspired this blog post:
 http://kotaku.com/5410518/then-vs-now-infinity-ward-on-dedicated-servers-mods-in-2007
 
Read through the comments and you may fine the one that sparked this blog post.

5 Comments

IWNet

Ok, so after reading many a site there seems to a gap in understanding what IWNet means for pc gamers, so let's look at the facts:

  • We are used to playing on dedicated servers, which are infinitely customizable.
  • We can own these servers, which means the community, in reality, makes the rules.
  • These servers can run custom mods.
  • These servers can run custom maps.
  • We can implement third party cheat detection software, server side.
  • The communities that evolve around servers are essentially two things: A community like Giantbomb. A business.
Facts about IWNet
  • Matchmaking, which essentially means that the software will supposedly chose a server for you with the best latency.
  • Matchmaking groups, ie: create a party and join a server.
  • Private matches (clans, friends, etc...)
  • Friends List
  • Cheat/Hack free games
 
The idea behind IWnet from what i can tell is to allow people, not inclined to pay for/setup/ and run a game server to do so, with no money and little to know technical know how. Now let's look how this adversely affects the pc gaming community:
  • While you may provide us with customizable options for servers etc....essentially that's a finite number of options as established by IW, therefore some of our control has been removed from the game. 
  • Matchmaking isn't full proof (ie: could still be put on a server with bad pings or a bad community), and most of us have favorite dedicated servers we play on. ie: Lotus Clan.
 
Ok, so in conclusion, there aren't too many cons to the new system, and most would argue there are a lot of cons to the old system. However let's look at the main issue. For years pc gamers have been used to controlling their games from release day. Valve and all other game companies have for the most part let us control servers and etc...it really isn't something we hate doing. So our issue is the following: we feel like we are being treated like console gamers. We feel like we are being forced to accept a new system we necessarily didn't want or ask for. 
 
So the solution: Keep IWnet, except, give us a browser option paired with the other IWnet systems, that way we can keep or amazing community of CoD players. Also let's acknowledge IWnet for what it really is, it is a way, to subvert piraters, or atleast a way to make the number of them smaller. No one can deny that, any company that has created a new online system (steam, Iwnet, WFL) are designed with that goal in mind, always. I'm not saying its bad, but they shouldn't hide that.
 
*Also i apologize if i came off as an elitist, but people fail to understand that by gaining such a new system we will be losing a lot of CoD communities and infinite customization that the pc crowd as come to love, regardless of it's short comings. Also i feel that websites, even Giantbomb, need to hire someone that is biased towards the pc, i'm tired of gaming websites giving it's two cents as, "i just don't understand the issue here."
3 Comments

Disappointment

There is something i've learned in my years of gaming, I will always buy games that I will never finish, because in the end it gets old or it's not fun. Just to list a few: 

Far Cry 2
Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway
Any Need for Speed Series
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II (tear)
 
So how many of you have games that you've yet to beat because it got old or just wasn't fun. To be honest most of these games started out strong then i just got tired of the constant frustration.

16 Comments