Saturday, October 9, 2010

In need of a videocard

So a few days ago the videocard on my PC up and died on me, (explaining my lack of a blog lately) and I am in need of a new one, any suggestions? The PC had an Nvidia Geforce 8300 GS, it was ok, could run F.E.A.R. on normal settings, I'm looking for something thats similar to what I had but don't want to spend more than $75 as I am not really into computer gaming as I used to be, but still want the capability.



UPDATE: I ended up going with an Nvidia 8400GS, its twice as powerful as my last one and it cost $40 bucks, not bad, the only issue was I had to upgrade the PSU to be able to run it, old PSU was 250 watts (dismal I know), the 8400GS required at least 300 watts, picked up a Thermaltake 430 watt PSU. I don't really have any intention of doing any hardcore gaming so I didn't spend too much on the PSU, just enough to get me by. So far the 8400 and Thermaltake are both great units for someone like me who just browses the internet and I'd recommend them both to anyone looking to do the same.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Looks like we're gaining some momentum here

Thanks to twitter and my increased popularity on youtube it seems that this blog is finally catching on, now I have more of a reason to update it, mainly because with the blog I can go into more detail about whatever it is I am reviewing as youtube has a video length limit so I can't go through EVERYTHING, but here I can, so I'm going to continue posting reviews and any other cool things I find interesting both here and on youtube. Thanks to all who enjoy my posts and videos, keep checking back for new and interesting content!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How To Turn Your Favorite Songs Into 8 Bit Files!

Hey guys, check out this video I just posted about making 8 Bit versions of almost any song. Pretty cool actually, I need to find a place to use this in one of my videos. (click the video title to watch it on youtube, much better quality)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

UPDATE: HTC Aria Issues

On September 26th, the touch screen on my 22 day old HTC Aria stopped responding for no apparent reason, all apps running in the background continued to work perfectly fine, the clock continued to work, just no touch screen function. The very next day I took it to the AT&T store I bought the phone at and they duplicated the issue and found the phone to be defective and I was given a new phone under their policy of if a phone is found defective within 30 days of its purchase, a brand new replacement will be issued at no cost to the customer. No third party apps were installed on the phone, only apps approved by AT&T. I have seen multiple forum posts regarding the Aria about the touch screen failing so this seems to be quite a common issue. If you are in the market for an Aria, you have been warned, it is a great phone but beware of this issue.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blur Review

Click Here To See My Video Review Of Blur


Pros-

Great solid arcade racing game
Extremely fun to play, its like Mario Kart for adults
Lots of cars to choose from
Fun tracks from around the world

Cons-
Rival challenges can be a little too hard for some players
Very short story mode, I would like to see a little more backstory
Not enough race modes


Verdict:

Overall, Blur is a very good, very basic racing game that is suprisingly entertaining and fun to play, I wasn't too sure what to expect after playing the demo, but I can say that I'm pleasantly suprised, Blur is fun to play both on and offline and is definately worth taking a look at

Grade: B

Thursday, September 16, 2010

HTC Aria Review

The Android operating system has been very quickly gaining popularity ever since its release and now I can see why! I recently purchased an HTC Aria (AT&T) as a replacement for my old Samsung Eternity and all I can say is WOW! This phone does everything! A few friends of mine were going to a car show out in the middle of nowhere and we weren't sure which highway to take, so I busted out my Aria and did a search on Google Maps and within seconds we had Garmin quality turn by turn navigation to guide us there! Thats not all this phone can do, lets say you're out stargazing with your favorite girlfriend, and she asks "what constellation is that?" You can use the Aria's GPS function along with Google Sky Map and tell her "thats Orion's Belt!" But its not all smiles and sunshine with the Aria, there are a few things I am not a fan of. For example, the volume rocker feels very flimsy, and to be honest, it scares me, every time I touch it, it feels like its about to break. This is due to the way the phone is constructed, the battery cover makes up the entire outside of the phone, so when it is detached the volume control rocker comes off with it, this design causes the rocker to feel very cheap. Also, call volume isn't the greatest, even when using the speakerphone function it can be very hard to hear the person on the other line in some situations; Call quality is very good on the other hand. There is a vast amount of apps to choose from from the Android Market, even though you are not allowed to download third-party apps onto the Aria, there is still alot of great apps to be found in the Market, some may be silly, but most are just downright cool! The touch function of the Aria is right up there with the iPhone, as is the 5 Megapixel camera. Picture quality is excellent for a phone that doesn't have a built in flash, as is video quality, my only complaint with the video camera is that in certain loud situations, the built in microphone can get overloaded easily, but only in very select situations. With the iPhone as one of its only competitors, the Android developers really had to hit it out of the park to even come close to the grand daddy of smart phones. And they hit a grand slam with the Aria! I highly recommend this phone for anyone who is looking for a smartphone that is comparable to the iPhone.


Friday, April 16, 2010

REVIEW: Forza Motorsport 3 Vs. Need For Speed Shift

The latest and greatest from two of the biggest racing game franchises are back to do battle again. Those being Forza Motorsport 3 and Need For Speed Shift. Both of these games boast amazing graphics that surpass their predecessors by leaps and bounds. Need For Speed provides the ultimate feeling of driving a real race car, from the shaking of the camera after hitting a bump in the road, to blurred vision and disorientation after hitting a wall or another car. Forza Motorsport 3 brings a massive amount of tracks and cars to play with, not to mention unlimited customization options through the new "Storefront" option, which allows players to buy and sell paint jobs, tuning setups, in game photos and much much more with the whole gaming community.

Over the last few years the Need For Speed franchise has been severely lacking in the fun factor, many players will argue that Need For Speed: Most Wanted was the last good NFS game, which was released over 5 years ago! So the NFS crew really had to hit it out of the park with this game. They accomplished just that, they took the failed concept of their last game, Need For Speed: Pro Street, and completely revamped it, adding everything that Pro Street should have had. But by no means is this a re-badged copy of Pro Street! Shift brings a lot more to the table with new cars, tracks, and realism that will suck you out of your chair and right into the racing experience!

The first installment of Forza Motorsport was developer Turn 10's first entry into the gaming market, and they did it flawlessly, and as many new developers fail in their first attempts, Turn 10 really stepped up! And they did not disappoint with their Sophomore effort, Forza Motorsport 2, which completely turned the racing genre on its head. But with Forza Motorsport 3 Turn 10 unleashed the floodgates with new features, tracks, and cars. In fact there were so many cars and tracks a second disc had to be shipped with the game which allowed the player to unlock every car and track. Turn 10 also changed how the custom paint job was made by creating the "Storefront" option. Think of it as Walmart for cars, you can buy almost anything from the storefront, from custom paint jobs, to custom tunes and game replays. This is by far their best work to date, and by many is considered to be better than the daddy of all simulators, Gran Tursimo.

Now, the question of the day is, which one is best? Well, as with any comparison, both have their strong and weak points, so I have made this list which covers all the high and low spots of each game, I have also included a video review of both games that you may watch to get a feel for both games. ENJOY!

Forza Motorsport 3 

Pros-


-Extremely vivid and solid gameplay
-Ridiculous amount of cars and tracks
-Fun customization
-In car view is one of the best I've seen
-8 player drifting on Fujimi Kaido is the most fun you'll ever have
-Flawless presentation
-Awesome damage effects
-Getting to use a clutch is awesome! (clutch kick FTW!!)
-Storefront??? YES!!!
-Driver shifting animations were added through an Xbox Live update

-Cons


-Medium difficulty A.I. is too easy and hard is too difficult, there is no decent middle ground between the two
-Achievements are a little too easy

Need For Speed: Shift


-Pros
-Awesome capturing of the real racing experience
-Driver duels are a great addition
-It feels like each A.I. character has its own personality
-Speed blur is very cool

Cons-
-Not enough cars
-Repetitive gameplay
-Glitchy (I had a problem with the speedometer needle disappearing, and in drift events there would be no sound unless I restarted the race)
-Choppy frame rate at times
-Vinyl editor is downright annoying!!!!!
-Very basic customization
-Speed blur and crash effects get tiresome after about 30 minutes

Final Verdict:

For the average racing fan, or fan of racing simulators, I would recommend Forza 3 over Need For Speed. Its sheer number of cars and tracks makes Need For Speed almost invisible, and its gameplay provides a more enjoyable experience. I would only recommend NFS for someone who is really into professional racing, otherwise, just rent it, trust me!

Overall Grade:

Forza Motorsport 3: A-
Need For Speed: Shift: B-