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Hello all. I don't know about you, but it seems like time has flown by quickly during this current generation of consoles. The Microsoft Xbox 360 is preparing to have its 5th birthday already, with the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 not far behind. It seems like just yesterday that I strolled into GameStop to purchase my first 'next-gen' system. Time truly does fly by at times, which is not necessarily welcomed by this vintage gamer. With these anniversaries quickly approaching, I thought it might be fun to have our next installment of The RFG Pulse focus on a very simple question: Which of the current generation consoles is your favorite? Each system has its redeeming qualities as well as its faults - that is a given. I imagine this will be a rather tight race.
Which console is your favorite? Microsoft Xbox 360 Nintendo Wii Sony Playstation 3 Vote and Share your thoughts with the community!
Accessory Snapshot Monoprice 8X1 Enhanced Powered HDMI Switcher High Def Switching Station I jumped on the HDTV bandwagon relatively early with the purchase of my Toshiba 52HM84 DLP television set back in 2004. At that time, the war for a standardized digital input was still raging and HDMI was not yet an industry standard. Not willing to sink a great deal of money into a fledgling format, my set came equipped with just one (1) HDMI port. With today's gaming systems (and other HD devices) fully embracing High Definition technology, I am once again begging for more television inputs. The Monoprice 8X1 Enhanced Powered HDMI Switcher ( Monoprice 8X1) was the answer I was looking for. This externally powered device features a robust eight HDMI 1.2 compliant inputs. This easily accommodates my current set up ( Xbox 360, PS3, Cable Box), but more importantly allows plenty of room for growth. The unit is self-aware and will automatically switch to the active HDMI device (a definite plus). I have not experienced any freezing of images when switching (manually or device driven) between connected systems, though there is around a 5 second delay for the Monoprice 8X1 to determine/display the correct source. The performance is exceptional - the quality of picture and sound is unaffected by the use of this switcher. A RS-232 serial interface is also provided for controlling this device from your computer. I have not messed around at all with this feature ( RS-232) so I can not comment at all on its ease of use or performance in this area. The black matte, solid steel casing of the Monoprice 8X1 is exceptionally sturdy. It is packaged with mounting brackets to easily place this switcher within your existing A/V cabinet. The front facing is elegant and simple, but the red and green LED lights to indicate the active device are truly abrasive. They are so bright that it is rather bothersome when you are in a gaming session. When all HDMI devices are inactive, the LED board is fully alit (pictured below) and so luminous that I could actually read the manual in an otherwise completely dark room. Now if this isn't overkill, I don't know what is. The Monoprice 8X1 also is accompanied with a bank of various electrical convertors, which enhances this product's attractiveness to those outside North America. The plug itself is mounted on a convenient swiveled pedestal allowing you to customize the electrical connection (a.k.a. squeezing it into your surge protector). Installation and set up is a breeze - plug it in and you are all set to go. This unit does come with a small remote, but I have yet had the need to use it due to the HDMI auto-sensing capabilities of this device. Prior to purchasing this unit, I did a great deal of research on HDMI Switches. The general consensus was that, as of today, all of these are basically toasters - the brand doesn't really matter for basic HDMI switching. One has to be aware of potential compatibility issues, signal "freezes" and ease of RS-232 support, but price overall is the determining factor in one's purchasing decision. Similar Monoprice products had been rated well by CNET and other independent review sources, especially when evaluating the value quotient. I purchased this unit around four months ago (July, 2010) and have been very pleased thus far with its performance.
Pros Significantly increased High Def ports on your TV by providing eight HDMI connections for your gaming systems Auto-sensing capabilities basically eliminates the need for further interaction once you have all of your HD devices connected Cons The LED indicator lights are abnormally intense and somewhat distracting when gaming Externally powered by an included AC adaptor, so you will need to free up a spot on that surge protector for this unit What HDMI Switcher Do You Utilize? Share Your Thoughts & Suggestions with the RFG Community!! Coming up next on the Accessory Snapshot: The Logitech Cordless Action Controller
Accessory Snapshot Energizer Power & Play Charging Station For the Sony Playstation 3 Keeping your controllers fully charged is obviously important in today's age of wireless gaming. Of equal importance is having an organized, spot-on display within my Room of Doom. The Energizer Power & Play Charging Station was just what the doctor ordered for this gamer. I have never been a big fan of the USB method utilized by Sony to charge standard issue controllers and certain peripherals. Though thoroughly effective, it is not the most convenient process known to man. The Energizer Power & Play Charging Station eases this process considerably. This handy, compact device can simultaneously charge up to four (4) standard DualShock 3 or Sixaxis controllers in around 2.5 hours. Two are easily docked directly into the station while two additional USB ports provide access to charge other peripheral accessories (i.e. microphone). The station alerts you to the charging status or each via the not so subtle lighting display (red = charging; green = complete). The performance is outstanding - I have not experienced any decrease in game play time as compared to controllers charged through conventional means. This excellence is also reflected in its overall design. The oval, classic black chassis of the Energizer Power & Play Charging Station is nicely accented with a mirrored-silver front nameplate. The lighting indicators are extremely vibrant but not to the point of being offensive. The end result is an extremely clean, modern look that will not only compliment your Playstation 3 system, but will enhance your general display. Overall the Energizer Power & Play Charging Station truly delivers on all accounts by providing exceptional functionality in a sleek, contemporary presentation.
Pros Reliably charges up to four (4) USB devices at once Compact yet stylish design compliments any Room of Doom Cleans up that mess of mini USB cables hanging off your PS3 like umbilical cords Cons Plastic construction feels a little fragile The base could be a bit heavier to provide better stability when docking a controller Externally powered by an included AC adaptor, so you will need to free up a spot on that surge protector for this unit Coming up next on the Accessory Snapshot: The Pelican System Selector Pro
OH GOD! SOUND THE FANBOY ALARMS! Insomniac Games, longtime developer of exclusive Sony properties like Spyro (before it got sold to Universal), Ratchet and Clank, and Resistance have sold their souls to the devil! They are teaming up with EA Partners and making a new IP that will appear on PS3 and 360! This is the first time Insomniac has made a game for anything other than a Sony platform, and Sony fanboys are going absolutely apeshit with negativity over the announcement. "RATCHET AND RESISTANCE ARE GOING TO EA! THEY SOLD THEMSELVES OUT TO THE DEVIL! THE WORLD'S ENDING! HAVING A GAME ON ANOTHER SYSTEM ONLY SPELLS DOOM!" hahaha no.
Insomniac has been never owned by anyone. They're independent and will remain so, but they still have strong ties to Sony. Sony still owns the big franchises, AND Insomniac is going to be doing further games in those series exclusively for Sony. As Insomniac's CEO Ted Price said,
they will continue working on games with Sony
. It's just this new IP that's going to be done with EA that will be on 360. However, some Sony fans can't really understand that and throwing huge fits about it. They just see the words "Insomniac making a 360 game" and go into instarage mode.
no see you just took a huge shit on sony so no-one who has a ps3 will like you no excuses sell outs
You money grabbing tossers. Im telling you now, if Ratchet and Clank standards continue to slip, and us PS3 owners get a WORSE game to conform to XBOX mechanics, i will never buy another Insomniac Game again.
i just wanted to say !!WHAT THE F***!! joining with EA that's one of the dumbest shit i ever heard in my gaming history. EA is going to f*** you over so bad i can't wait to see your faces and what you guys have to say. GOOD LUCK. the only thing that doesn't bother me is at least it's not with Activision and that it's going multiplatform.
you guys just lost alot of fans and respect for going multi!!! you aren't getting any money from me anymore jackass and trust me LOYALTY and RESPECT goes along way so f*** you Insomniac games!
Couldn't care less right now. I feel like your any other game studio out there and it's all about the $$$.
I will never buy an insomniac game ever again and I own every single one you have ever made. Congrates, your fan base that you have built on for over a decade is now gone and all the respect with it, have fun with those 360 fanboys
This deal is kinda unique though. As
said, there's never been a situation like this before. It's not really like Rare because Rare was owned by Nintendo then got sold to MS. Not really like Bungie because they still appear to be loyal to Sony and are willing to work on the franchises that made them a big name in the first place. It's not like Square because they aren't leaving one company to go to another (like they did with Nintendo to Sony). Not like Factor 5 or Sega either. It's a pretty unique deal and I'm excited to see what comes of it.
I wish the best of luck to Insomniac with their new IP, and hope it's a huge hit. They really deserve it. In the meantime, let's just laugh at all the fanboy hilarity that this move has generated.
Stupid decision Insomniac, Hope your new project fails!!!
Hey, remember this little game by the name of Portal? It came out just over two years ago to massive critical acclaim and gained tons of awards all the while
all over the internet? Have you played that game yet? If not, what's wrong with you? Like really, you're missing out big time, buddy.
However, now's your chance to correct this issue. In celebration of Steam coming to the Mac after all these years as a Windows only affair, Valve has decided to offer up the full uncut version of their game Portal on both Windows and Mac as a gift to the masses (until May 24).
If you haven't played Portal, now's the time. It's a fairly short game (about 3 hours or so), but it's one of the more satisfying games I've ever played. It never overstays its welcome and is excellently paced. And of course, once you're done playing Portal, there are oodles of fan-made mods that you can partake in, such as
, maps from
Portal: The Flash Version
So my only question is, what are you waiting for?
DOWNLOAD IT NOW
Hey you, yeah you, want some free DLC for LittleBigPlanet? Of course you do. All you gotta do is go to this website
, click the big green redeem button and you'll get a code that will net you a free download of the Nose Mythology Pack. The pack includes a few costumes and a bunch a bunch of create mode goodies. If the code doesn't work for you, try clearing your web browser's cookies and generating a new code, or just using a different browser. It took me two times to get a code that worked.
Enjoy your free DLC!
Today at the
convention in Cologne, Germany, Sony finally confirmed
all the rumors
of the PS3 Slim. The new unit will be 33% smaller and 36% lighter than the existing models. Most importantly, it will launch on September 1st for $299. Can't wait that long? All PS3 systems are now $299, effective tomorrow.
Here's SCEI CEO Kaz Hari unveiling the new PS3 model at the gamescom press conference. It also gives you an idea just how much smaller it is when he holds the system in his hands.
It's been about a month since I started moving my game room, and well, it's done. For the most part anyway. I wanted to have my game room moved within a week, but the carpet store we got the new carpet from had a hard time scheduling the installation, so I had to wait much longer than I wanted to. However, the carpet store didn't tell the carpet installers that they were supposed to do the hallway as well, so they didn't have a piece to do the closet so Room of Doom 3.0 isn't quite ready yet, so no "after"pictures quite yet. Those should be ready next week or so.
But for now, I'll give a final look at Room of Doom 2.5 via a video tour and a sneak peak of what Room of Doom 3.0 will look like.
Continue reading The Adventures of Moving a Game Room Part 2
It looks like it's finally going to happen. I'm finally going to move my game room again. Ironically, it's going to the same room it was originally. So, I thought I might as well do a blog on what's going on with the move and how it's working out.
But first, I'm going to give a little background on the history of my game collection and how it got to be where it is today.
Continue reading The Adventures of Moving a Game Room
Hey you, random PlayStation 3 owner! I see you out there with your Dualshock 3 in hand thinking, "Hey I want a new game to play on here, but I'm cheap". Well, the good folks and Sony and Sprint have heard you and have decided to give you a FREE game for one week only.
Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic
is free for all US Playstation Network members for this week. Why is it free? I guess it's because Sprint is sponsoring it.
If you feel bad for missing out on this because you don't have a US PSN account, well, there is a way you can make one if you live in another country, just Google around. Or what if you don't have a PS3 but want to add it to your collection, I'm sure there are people out there (HINT HINT) who might give you a helping hand in adding it to an account for future use.
Oh and, did I mention the game has trophies? So download it for free trophies!
I'm pretty sure most of us here have played that NES classic, Contra. What better way to celebrate its legacy than to turn it into a series of LittleBigPlanet levels? Well, that's what a bunch of people from the NeoGAF forums thought of, and they decided to make it a reality in a collaborative effort called
. Using a lot of assets (including the paint gun) from the Metal Gear Solid DLC, they've managed to make a near perfect conversion of the original game.
Here's a look at what you can expect:
To locate the levels in LittleBigPlanet, search for the creator's PSN names. I've listed all 8 levels below in this order, "Level Name: PSN Name"
Jungle: Leonidas2123 Base 1: SaitoHalifax Waterfall: RyanardoDavinci Base 2: SaitoHalifax Snowfield: NinjaMicWZ Energy Zone: El_Beefo Hangar: Jaeyden Alien's Lair: gevurah22
I've played through first two levels so far, and I must say that I am very impressed with their creative skills. I glanced at the others briefly, and they seem just as brilliant as the two I've already played. The only weak spot are the base levels. Remember how those were a 3D perspective in the original? Well, they tried to replicate it, and the results are decent at best. However, considering the circumstances and the limitations LittleBigPlanet placed on the level creators, I'm rather impressed. If you have a PS3 and LBP, you must seek out these levels as they are some of the best examples of what can be done with LittleBigPlanet's creation tools
Oh yeah, the Konami Code is most definitely in these levels.
It's a weird feeling, sort of like you'd envision the Mafia to work. Just when you thought you had removed yourself from being a hardcore gamer, some game
you back in. Such is my new addiction.
When I am not being a good little Site Director and
coding the site
, I find that I have an addiction. This game has me so engrossed that it just isn't funny anymore. When the weather outside is bad, this is the game that keeps me glued in front of the TV. What game is it? Why, it's Rock Band 2.
It's funny though, because this game was the second of the two band games that I bought. See, I bought Guitar Hero: World Tour first because I thought it would have the better instruments since Red Octane was originally a hardware manufacturer. So, I had higher respect for their workmanship. Looking back, it wasn't a bad choice based on limited data, but, it's as though the future has set ablaze to that notion. I've now RMA'ed by PS3 Guitar twice and Drum Set once. It's.... ridiculous. I'd complain more if it wasn't for the fact that their RMA process has been really good, and I get free batteries out of it. I just hope that these new instruments actually continue to work as intended, but hey, right now the drum set works and I am addicted.
Why is it that I like Rock Band so damn much? Well, I like the drums, and I like them a lot. It's probably the closest analog of an instrument that any rhythm game has, and I find that great. To me, it feels as though I am
playing the drums, and that feeling completely engrosses me, much more than playing the plastic guitar ever will. This feeling, coupled with the amazing track list of the Rock Band franchise (Radiohead and Talking Heads YEAH!) keeps me addicted.
Now, you might be asking why I like Rock Band 2 more than Guitar Hero: World Tour. That's a fair question, and I'll give you my spin. Rock Band takes the Band Experience and does it well. While World Tour makes you move from stage to stage, Rock Band does it with more pizazz. I love that although I play by myself the game treats my play through as a band. So, regardless of venue, my band's always the same members of Valley Junction. Guitar Hero, as far as I know, does not do that if I select Drums, and perhaps I should have delved into the band option, but at this point it seems like a moot point. Rock Band has won my heart. Not only does it keep my band intact, but it also makes you feel like you're in a rising band better than Guitar Hero ever will. Hire a staff, take risks, make fans, Band World Tour in Rock Band 2 is a treat and I love it. Perhaps you love it too.
So, such is my addiction. Any of you out there also addicted to this game? I know I am, and to a certain extent it drives me crazy... in a good way.
Note: Yes, I own the PS3 version... why don't
you submit an image scan for the game?
There's a reason why I haven't done this in three weeks, you'll see why. Here's the release list for the last three weeks.
Playstation 3 Xbox 360 Nintendo Wii • Lord of the Rings: Conquest • Lord of the Rings: Conquest • Deal Or No Deal • Fishing Master World Tour • Hotel for Dogs • Neighborhood Games • Paws and Claws Pet Resort PSP Nintendo DS Playstation 2 NOTHING PC • Cartoon Network Universe: Fusion Fall • Delta Force 10th Anniversary Collection • Lord of the Rings: Conquest • Mirror's Edge • Bigfoot: Collision Course • Elebits: The Adventures of Kai & Zero • Hotel for Dogs • Inkheart • Jumble Madness • Lord of the Rings: Conquest • Moon • Paws and Claws Pampered Pets • Personal Trainer: Math NOTHING
Very exciting for not doing it in such a long time, I know. First thing worth mentioning is Mirror's Edge on the PC. If you have a good gaming PC and haven't experienced the game yet, please do so. Mirror's Edge is easily one of the five best games of last year. Yeah, the game is technically "short", but it never feels short. The pacing and length feels perfect. After you beat the game, there's plenty more to do, such as speedruns on all the game's levels and trying to beat your friend's scores on the online leaderboards. Please, don't skip this game. Give EA your support by buying the game. Let them know that they are truly headed down the right direction with innovative, original titles like Mirror's Edge.
The other title worth talking about is Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero for the DS. In case you don't know, I'm like one of two people that actually bought and enjoyed the first Elebits game on the Wii, so I was intrigued when I heard there was a DS version coming. A few weeks ago, I downloaded the demo to my DS from the Nintendo Channel on the Wii and played through it. I thought it was pretty fun, but repetitive and nowhere near as good as the original. What's different about the DS version is that it's structured more like an RPG/Adventure rather than a puzzle game. I'm not really sure what else to say about it. It's merely a decent game that's kinda fun. I certainly wouldn't rush out and buy it right now, but maybe when it hits $10 or so in a few months.
Check back very soon for this week's releases!
Random Review: Dead Rising
My last review was a Famicom game, this one is 20 years newer and a totally different experience, but still a blast. Dead Rising was released August 8th 2006 for the Xbox 360 and at the time, was an exclusive for that system. It has since been announced that it will be coming to the Wii as "Dead Rising: Chop 'til You Drop". This game is huge and as my reviewing skills are not top notch yet, I probably will be excluding portions, but I'm trying more for a overall experience review anyway.
The plot of the game is essentially: you (an independent photojournalist, Frank West) come to a small isolated town via helicopter and after the US military forces your pilot to drop you off on the roof of the mall, you soon realize the town is infested with zombies. All you know is that you want to cover the story and the helicopter will return in 3 days. Through the game, you will uncover the mystery of the zombie outbreak if you do everything correctly, but if you don't finish a mission in time, the facts will be lost to you (and the rest of the world) forever. But, you can still finish the game and get a sub-par ending that inevitably ends in the destruction of the world. In addition to the regular missions, you can embark on numerous "side quests" rescuing survivors and killing psychopaths.
The gameplay is simple; finish the missions and kill as many of the seemingly infinite zombies as you can before your 72 hours is up. But, there are a few aspects of the game that make it unique. The first is the RPG elements the game uses. As you gain "Prestige Points" in the game (by killing zombies, taking photos, killing psychopaths, rescuing survivors, or the other numerous ways) you gain abilities like increased health capacity, increased storage capacity and new fighting moves. These gained abilities are kept once you finish the game and start again, so you can go through the 72 hour mode as many times as you need to get the abilities to finish with the best ending.
The second feature that sets Dead Rising apart, is the weapons. Of course, there is the standard handgun, rifle and shotgun of any good zombie game, but there are also items like Molotov cocktails, katanas, swords and battle axes. But, that's not all, basically anything you can pick up is a weapon, whether it's a trash can, potted plant, 2' x 4', lead pipe or one of the other 250 items in the mall. Using everyday items to kill zombies is a blast, there's nothing like slicing a zombie down the middle with one fell swoop of your Katana or using a hole digger to skewer and zombie and use his spinning body to kill more zombies. This is definitely the best part of the game for me, on my first playthrough I didn't bother with the missions, I was having too much fun slamming faucets into zombies and watching them bleed out through it and cutting up hoards of them with chainsaws and lawn mowers.
Sound and Graphics:
The sound effects of the game are top notch. Zombies groans and moans seem to be all around you and the screams of distant survivors make it seem more real. The weapons all have their own sounds and they all sound pretty realistic.
This was my first Xbox 360 game, so the graphics blew me away at first, but after playing more games on the system, the graphics are pretty standard. Nothing super awesome, but everything is smooth and I didn't notice any kind of glitches in the game. There are numerous zombies which is nice (especially if you compare it to a game like RE4 where it seems there are only 5 different "zombies") and at first you may think they are all unique, but after a few hours into the game you'll start recognizing zombies by their appearance.
In conclusion, this is a very, very fun game and is definitely worth a pick up. I got my copy for $20 and it was well worth it. For me, it got a little boring and redundant after my 2nd playthrough, but I can see myself coming back to the game after a while.
I'm giving this game a 95% as it really is worth the money and if you've got a 360, you really do need this game. It's not a game you'll devote your life to playing, but it's good for many hours of play time.