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    YouTube Goes 3D? Duke Nukem Forever Sweepstakes? Yes, Please!

    May 28th, 2011

    Written by Josh “JP” Perault

    According to a recent NVIDIA press release, “users can easily share and enjoy high-quality, stereoscopic 3D videos on YouTube with their NVIDIA 3D Vision PCs.”  YouTube now has HTML5 and WebM support, which Mozilla Firefox and NVIDIA 3D Vision use to support 3D videos.  In order to view the 3D technology, one must have a NVIDIA 3D Vision computer with the latest version of Mozilla Firefox.  Consumers can use this new YouTube function to share 3D videos captured with various new 3D video cameras from companies like JVC, Sony, and others.  In addition, with the use of NVIDIA 3DTV Play software, these videos may be viewed on the user’s 3D HDTV for personal viewing, sharing with the family, or entertainment.  As of this press release, “3D Vision PC users can enjoy over 525 games, YouTube videos and photos in theater-quality, full resolution 3D,” as per Phil Eisler, general manager of 3D Vision at NVIDIA.


    To get ready for the release of Duke Nukemon June 11th , it looks like NVIDIA is pulling out all the stops and launching a huge sweepstakes for Nukem fans.  Read ahead for more info.


    Win a VIP Trip to the Official Duke Nukem Forever Launch Event, Rub Elbows with the Gearbox and NVIDIA Crews, and Raise Some Hell in Texas!

    Sure to be one of the coolest – and maybe the rowdiest – parties of the summer (it’s a Duke party, after all!), the Gearbox Community Day/Duke Nukem Launch Event will blow into Dallas Texas at the Palladium Ballroom.  If you’re deemed worthy enough to hang with the King and his court, here’s some of the cool stuff you’re in for:

    • Test your metal playing Duke Nukem Forever alongside the Gearbox crew
    • Rub elbows with the Gearbox and NVIDIA development teams
    • Party at an exclusive NVIDIA reception before the launch event (Monday, June 10)
    • Hear from the people behind some of Gearbox’s biggest games:  Duke Nukem ForeverBorderlandsAliens: Colonial MarinesBrothers in Arms, and more
    • Get exclusive sneak-peeks at new, never-before-seen Gearbox materials
    • Join the partying and mayhem

    Do you think you’ve got what it takes to party with Duke?  If so, what are you waiting for?  Christmas?  Go to right now to enter!

    Oh yea, one thing…you need to be 21 years old to party with Duke.  That’s just how he rolls.  Sorry kids!

    By the way, be sure your PC system is cranked up and ready for Duke.  To help, NVIDIA and EVGA have teamed up to bring you Duke’s “Fully Loaded Package,”  a special edition Duke Nukem Forever bundle that includes a full PC copy of Duke Nukem Forever for the PC, an EVGA GeForce® GTX 560 graphic card, a limited edition DNF art book and mouse pad, and a custom Duke Nukem “Radioactive” belt buckle.

    That should complete your arsenal, giving you everything you’ll need to wipe out aliens that have been stealing Earth’s women and drinking Duke’s beer.

    Get Duke’s Fully Loaded Package now:

    But wait, there’s one more thing….

    As NVIDIA’s special guest, you’ll be one of the first gamers on the planet to see the unveiling of the brand new, official Duke Nukem Forever mod.  This bad boy packs more NVIDIA® GeForce ® GTX power than a Devastator, features a mind-blowing Duke-themed chassis, and will show Duke in all his glory in breathtaking 3D with NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ technology.   You haven’t seen a mod like this before…anywhere!


    This looks like its going to be a swinging time guys.   What are you waiting for?  Enter to win now!!

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    Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll Review

    April 1st, 2011

    Japanese Action RPG’s always scare me before I play them because they are really hit or miss.  Suffice to say, picking up Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll to review left me wondering what I would find, since I never even heard of the game.  I didn’t want to think too much into it and ruin the gaming experience, so I powered on my Playstation 3, popped in the game, and played for hours to get a good feel for the game, what it had to offer, and capture enough data for a good overall review.  Let’s start from the top.

    Story: The main character Areus’s grandfather, the emperor Balor, discovered that his offspring would one day destroy him.  Balor discovered that his son, Areus’s father, had a hidden family with elven kind.  In response to this blasphemy, Balor set out and killed his son.  Unfortunately for Balor, Areus survived the attack and now fights in an arena.  While at the arena, he takes missions from the Arena Guild to help out citizens of the world, gain experience, items, and two partners along the way.  He trains so that he can eventually set out and destroy his murderous grandfather. The game reminded me of Oedipus, but not as messed up (the whole unknowingly killing his father and sleeping with his mother part was left out).

    I had a rough time with how the game introduced the story because it started with a fight scene from the end of the game, went into an arena fight a year earlier, and then displayed the title and continued game play.  I am perfectly fine with the Tarantino effect, but I feel it disconnected me from the story with the quick time lapses.  Later on into the game, I felt like Areus’s story became mine, but the beginning of the game threw me off. Although the concept of the game is not really an original concept, I still enjoyed it.  Revenge, dead fathers, bastard grandfathers?  I can dig it.  It seemed to work for the game, and the way they designed the characters definitely helped support the story.  Areus is understandably very distant and a loner, while a partner you find along the way is a large, hearty man with a lot of spirit.  It really gives a good balance and they bounce off of each other quite well, especially with the help of voice acting.  The voice work truly gave life to the characters and I enjoyed listening to them.

    Gameplay: No matter the story, the game needs to have good gameplay mechanics to back it up.  What sets this game apart from the rest?  What is unique and new to the world of gaming?  Unfortunately, nothing much really popped out at me.  I felt like I played this game already when I played Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core on PSP in the sense that you go out on missions, grinding through enemies in a level, completing the mission, and getting a reward.  The problem I have with this is that it gets boring after a little while.  Granted, you get experience, items, skills, and upgrades along the way, but even with the upgrades, it feels like the same thing for hours.Another game I can compare this to is the MMO Vindictus because you start in a town, go out on missions to a set area with no exploration, complete the missions, get rewards, and repeat.  Where is the immersion into the game world?  When can I feel like I am a part of this world set before me and I can see how it flows?  To even further set me apart from the world, the town isn’t even available to walk around in.  Instead, the town is a screen asking you which building you want to enter, such as the tavern or arena.  It turns out that the only way to walk around is to go on a mission and walk around in that level.  This setup may be better for the impatient gamer who doesn’t care about the immersion into the world and only wants to play it for the action, but for those who enjoyed games like Dragon Age or Oblivion, it just doesn’t cut it.

    Combat: The combat is fun, however.  As repetitive as it is, being able to select between one of three characters with distinct fighting styles gives it a different kind of feel.  Instead of just having the two partners follow you, you can actually switch out your usable character with a tap of a button and use brute force instead of magic, speed instead of strength, and the like.  Also, through leveling and scrolls, the characters learn different abilities unique to them.  For example, Areus uses his sword and magic abilities in various combos, taking advantage of enemy weaknesses.  One enemy may be weak against fire, so you may use a fireball.  Another enemy may be weak against lightning, so you must change your available character and use lightning based ram attacks.  Every enemy is not the same, which is one fact about this game that I was very happy about.  Who wants to use just one move on everything?  That gets incredibly boring. In addition, the enemies you attack may not always show you right away what their weakness is so it is up to you to discover.  This gives the game a little bit of a challenge when you are in an epic boss battle, low on health, and have absolutely no idea what to do to kill it.  It is not as complicated as say Shadow of the Colossus, but gives a challenge nonetheless and trial and error is your only tool.

    Graphics and Audio: I was very satisfied with the graphics and the audio in the game.  It wasn’t anything earth shattering and completely new, but it wasn’t as if the artists designed it blindfolded.  Visually, the game is crisp, clean, and doesn’t leave you wanting much more.  There have been some games that released on these next gen systems that really cause me to ask why they even bothered releasing the game looking as it did, but Trinity is definitely not in that category. I truly enjoyed the way that the game was layered with graphics.  Depending on where you are, the graphic scheme changes slightly.  When you are in the main town picking which building to go into, it is more of a brief beautiful view of the town in a menu setting.  After you pick somewhere to enter, it shows a beautiful, artistically styled backdrop of the inside of the entered area while the characters are in still motion shots, conveying their conversation through text and poses.  This style is incredibly similar to the previously mentioned Vindictus as well as Guild Wars 2, for anyone who checked out the videos posted from the recent PAX East event in Boston.  Thirdly, while in an area battling, it is a well made, phenomenal looking environment.  Instead of concentrating on making an entire integrated world, each area looks different than the next, making it completely unique and recognizable as its own place. As mentioned earlier, the voice acting truly brought the characters to life, but the environmental music gives life to the environment.  The music makes sense and feels that if what you were doing had a soundtrack, it would sound exactly like the music playing.  Audio and graphical integration is quite important because if the music doesn’t fit, it won’t matter what the game looks like because you will feel distant from the world you are in.  It is like going to an IMAX movie and the speakers suck.  It just doesn’t work out well.

    Overall Reaction: Taking the game as a whole, it is fun for a few hours, if that.  It is a beautiful game with an unfortunately clichéd storyline that is just too repetitive to hold any interest for an extended period of time.  For anyone who enjoys just hack and slashing through a game, you will probably enjoy it, but anyone that really wants an engaging new story with a complete immersive experience into a new virtual world, I feel you will b severely disappointed.  Definitely good for a borrow or a rental, but not worth the buy.

    Our copy of Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll was provided for reviewing purposes.


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    MSI – Taking a Step Forward in PC Gaming

    March 15th, 2011

    Anyone who has ever built a computer has probably heard the company MSI mentioned a time or two.  For those of who you have not, I am here to educate you in the ways of making your PC good to go for gaming.  Step number one would be the motherboard, and MSI has just the right ones for you.

    Think hard and think long about the days of manually overclocking your computer and potentially ruining hardware.  Fun but possibly sad memories, depending on how much you tried to push your PC.  What if I informed you that you could overclock your computer with the press of only one button?  There is no need to call shenanigans on me or talk to your local computer repair place about how much this can’t possibly be happening because the truth is that this has become a reality.  MSI has added the ability to overclock your computer with just one press of a button.  All those headaches and troubles have now been cast out the window.  Thank you MSI, but I’ve got a question for you: what if I’m not a computer technician or computer guru and I can’t build a computer from scratch?  Can I still have access to the same amazing gaming experiences that comes with these easy-to-use boards?  Damn straight.

    MSI decided to go down the path of making gaming laptops.  These laptops range anywhere from $800 to around $1500, being anything from a basic gaming model to some of the sickest gaming PC laptops known to man, woman, Jedi Knight, or Sith Lord.  These models are very affordable compared to gaming models of competing companies, offer a phenomenal gaming experience (I saw what it can do and it conquered my brain), and allow better cooling and higher overclocking.  As an ex-sales associate and computer tech for a major electronic retailer, I can honestly say that finding similar qualities in a unit for such a low price is very rare.  MSI presents a great deal and one that gamers who fancy laptops may want to take a look into.

    Being a computer tech that builds computers most of the week, I can attest to the fact that MSI really holds their own, whether they are built into beast gaming towers or simple desktops for normal, everyday use.  Thinking about making a new desktop or buying a new laptop and want it to be beautiful for gaming?  I hope your decision is now easier for you.


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    Guild Wars 2: An MMORPG for the Ages – Pax East 2011

    March 12th, 2011

    Written by Josh “JP” Perault

    Briefly, let us recap the original Guild Wars.  ArenaNet released Guild Wars in 2005, sold about seven million copies, and (my favorite part) it is completely free to play. Guild Wars 2 Title That being said, ArenaNet decided to release a second Guild Wars and DAMN it looks phenomenal.  The way that this game runs and looks is absolutely amazing in every way.  Let’s break it down mates.

    ArenaNet wanted to “put the RPG back in MMORPG.”  According to the ArenaNet team, they did not want Guild Wars 2 to play like any other run of the mill MMO.  Where is the creativity and uniqueness in creating another game that you walk to an NPC, read a block of text about something completely random (that face it, rarely anyone cares to read), and then complete some mundane task for XP.  Do you ever feel like it mattered to you as the player and did it ever feel like it made your character grow?  The main aspect of an RPG is to build on your legend, your custom made character, and define who you are in that game world.  In order to drive this point home, Guild Wars 2 questions you during character creation that defines some key points in who you are.  Are you cunning?  Guild Wars 2Did you get drunk in a bar and pass out?  Do you fight for anything?  Each of these questions directly changes the course of the game, from basic conversations to where you need to go in your game play.  What if you said you fought for glory, but yet you play as a coward?  ArenaNet designed a system that changes your game play according to your actions, but not on a good or evil scale.  Pretty nifty if I do say so myself.  In addition, your friends can join in on your own personal story, and you theirs.
    Guild Wars 2 implemented a dynamic event system which has been seen in different games across the board, but none that I can think of in this particular magnitude.  Paraphrasing the Guild Wars 2 team, how exciting is it finding out that you need to save someone’s farm and walk out onto the farm seeing the enemies just walking around waiting to be slain?  Not too exciting right?  This is where dynamic events come into play.  Imagine the same scenario: farm, fire, enemies, save it, XP!  Guild Wars 2This time, however, when you walk out into the field, the enemies are ACTUALLY burning it down.  Much better, I say.  Now take it one step further.  What if you don’t feel like stopping the enemies?  In any other game usually, it won’t mean a thing.  You can just do the quest later, no worries.  Or abandon the quest, that works as well.  In Guild Wars 2, instead of it not mattering, those enemies may end up on another’s farm, burning it to the ground.  Whoa wait, why are they there?  Because you decided to tell the other farmer he wasn’t good enough to save.  Innovative?  Creative?  Glad we are on the same page.

    The combat system has been evolved as well.  You can now dodge and use movement skills.  What this means for you is that when you run around an enemy and try to roll out of the way, you don’t necessarily get hit by default.  The environment can also be used as a weapon, which gives the player so many new options to vanquish his or her foes.  Oh, and on a particular side note that thrilled me thoroughly, you cannot steal anyone’s loot.  Anyone who took a part in the kill gets experience and has access to loot. Guild Wars 2 No more kill stealing!  This side note is actually a main point that ArenaNet wanted to put across, and that is the idea of teamwork and to have everyone working together.  To add on to this, ArenaNet even went as far as making everyone able to heal and resurrect each other and themselves.  The creation of groups will go quite smoothly in comparison because the need for a healer has been shot to hell.

    The game has five races and two new classes, including the Guardian and Thief, similar to paladins and rogues.  Each class possesses different abilities that even base themselves on what weapons you equip.  Guild Wars 2 really goes above and beyond the idea of an MMO and truly injects the RPG element back into the experience.  Practically the entire team has agreed that this is close to the best gaming experience we have seen this weekend, if not the best.  I highly recommend taking a look into the game and apologizing to WoW now because I believe it will start to feel like a neglected child.


    City of Heroes: Issue 20 – PAX East 2011

    March 12th, 2011

    Written by Josh “JP” Perault

    City of Heroes Title

    Alright City of Heroes players, your next issue is on the way! Issue #20: Incarnates seems to have a little bit for everybody and promotes some intergalactic diplomacy.City of Heroes Well, intercontinental diplomacy at least. With this new issue, the European and American servers will merge together. And there will be peace…unless you are a villain, then screw peace. Now you can just terrorize more people. Enter maniacal laughter here.

    With the new issue, there will be a new task force and strike force. For heroes, they will have access to the Admiral Sutter Task Force, set between levels 20 and 40. NCsoft did not just want higher level characters to benefit, so why not throw something in for the little guys? In the same line, villains received the Mortimer Kal Strike Force, also set between levels 20 and 40.

    City of Heroes 2City of Heroes also implemented a raid that will require a league to run, or in other words,more than just five or six people. Think more like 40. For the heroes, they will receive the Behavioral Adjustment Facility and the villains will receive the Lambda Sector.  The Keyes Island Reactors and Underground Pretoria, which are three stage boss fights, were also added.

    Lastly, new incarnate slots were put into the game, which are Judgment, Destiny, Lore, and Interface. These incarnate slots are for level 50’s and will effect different abilities. For example, Judgment has an effect on area of effect (AOE) skills while Lore has an effect on pets.

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    An Update for Aion: PAX East 2011

    March 12th, 2011

    Written by Josh “JP” Perault

    As far as MMORPG’s go, it would be quite hard to disagree with the fact that Aion has a stunning, beautiful environment to run around in.  According to NCSoft, the game is going to look even better because they updated the graphics engine.  In a side by side look between present game play and how the game will look in a few months, it is a very obvious contrast. AION 1The new environment looks brighter, more alive, and holds a noticeable amount of dynamic shadowing and detail.  In short, it’s beautiful.  Is there going to be anything else with this update?  Um, yes!  Legion features, along with pet functionality, the map system, and instances are all going to go through a couple changes.

    The legion system, for those who have never played Aion, is a version of the guild format.  After the update occurs, the legions will be able to customize their cloaks, have a greater ability to delegate roles and positions within the legion, and also be able to have more members (90 to be exact).  NCSoft stated that their users were looking for these qualities, so what better way to show their players that they care and love them so much than doing what they want.

    Pet functionality also increased considerably.  What good is a pet that follows you around only looking cute?  Well, besides looking cute, that is about it.  Oh, and to show others their cuteness.  Anyway, why not make them do stuff for you and, more specifically, make them your pet slaves?  For example, your slaves, I mean pets, will now be able to loot for you and also hold consumable items.  Thank you NCSoft for making the useless useful, even more the little things!  Another tidbit they are changing around is the map. Instead of looking hand drawn, they made it an overhead terrain view, making it easier to navigate. You may also zoom in and out while looking for specific items on the map.  To me, I feel like they finally adapted the WoW map and I am not complaining in the slightest.
    Enough with the minor changes Josh.  What are the big, heavy duty announcements for the new update? There are none.  I kid, I kid. AION 2NCsoft added a large instance called Drana Esoterrace and a nifty multi-stage instance called Empyrean Crucible.  What is a multi-stage instance you ask?  Well, I was also curious, and quite happy with what I saw.  A multistage instance is, in a sense, an instance with survival mode turned on.  You and your group need to battle through the instance and get as far through it as possible.  The further you get, the higher the reward.  The tremendous difference between a multi-stage instance and a regular instance is that you normally can navigate and traverse through the instance.  This is not the case in multi-stage.  Instead of traversing yourself, you are in a closed off arena and to give you the impression that you are exploring the instance, the arena itself moves and you fight at different locations along the way.  It’s a unique idea to MMORPG’s that I think gives an arcade kind of experience to the game.  I always look for new, innovative ideas that make MMO’s different and this seems like one from Aion.
    All in all, the updates look promising for Aion and shows that the game is making headway into the MMO field.

    With competition NCsoft’s own game Guild Wars,NCSOFT or needless to say WoW, it is not an easy task to get a solid foundation with gamers when they are already hooked on something else.  However, anyone looking to hop into the Aion world may be pleasantly surprised on what they will find.

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