Posts Tagged ‘ pc ’

Golems of Amgarrak: A Dragon Age DLC

BioWare | Dragon Age: Origins | Game Addons

Dragon Age : Origins – Golems of Amgarrak DLC Trailer

So far we’ve returned to Ostagar, listened to Leliana’s Song, became the darkspawn and now we’ll return to the Deep Roads in search of Golems. Unlike the the last 2 DLC, you once again get to use your character as you search for the secrets of the Golems.

I can’t get into more details without spoiling it for those who haven’t completed the original game but it’s quite refreshing that we shall once again get to play our characters either after Awakenings or Origins. If not, you can always create a new character but where’s the fun in that?

DLC to be released for the PC, Xbox360, and PS3 on August 10.

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Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty (no spoilers)

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – Cinematic Trailer

It’s finally out! The much awaited sequel to Starcraft which came out more than 10 years ago is finally here. It should be declared a holiday in South Korea for the games’ release. I too picked up the game on launch day and after finishing the campaign in two days, it was worth the wait.

We’ve seen the trailers and apparently, all the pre-rendered cutscenes are almost all the cutscenes in the game but that’s for later. Let’s start with the install.

You buy the physical disc from your favorite videogame retailer or download the client online and buy the access code. This is a great feature which allows you to buy a copy of the game without having to line up for the game.

The game takes up 12GB to install. It installs the entire game on the computer so there’s no need for discs after the install. The South East Asian version comes with the game code as well as two guest passes for Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft. Once installed and running, it asks you to log in to battle.net which takes you to the Blizzard website to register your game. This was pretty straightforward and once that’s over, you’re good to go.

Starting the game will launch the updater and will immediately update your game. Once the game starts you can then choose your poison, single player or multi-player. For the purposes of this entry I will refer to the single player experience as my friends pick up the game in weeks to come. I have an aversion to playing online with strangers but that’s a another story.

The single player experience now includes the difficulty of “casual”. This is great for beginners who are new to the RTS (real time strategy) genre and have no idea on how to play. This makes the game more accessible and thus enjoyable. You are bombarded by tutorial after tutorial and a few missions to set you at ease. You can skip the tutorials if you’ve played the previous games. This game will only set you on the path of the Terran campaign. We’ll have to wait hopefully not long for the Zerg and the Protoss expansions which are coming. Once that’s done and over on to the rest.

Blizzard has included “challenges” which tests your RTS skills with short missions designed to make you into a better gamer and hopefully survive the online ranked matches. A new addition to the game is the inclusion of achievements. You can now earn points and brag to your friends how far or how bad ass you are in Starcraft 2 by your achievement points. I learned early on that you cannot earn achievements by playing “casual” on the campaign. You’ll have to start off with “normal” difficulty.

Even though this is the Terran campaign, you can still play all three races in multiplayer mode or against the A.I. The downside of this is that you spent most of the entire game playing terran and when you come face to face with the zerg or protoss controls it’s a brand new learning curve. Not all of the shortcuts are the same for the races or even from the last game so they’ll take some getting used to before I try to test my skills out there.

Speaking of out there, you can now find your friends via Facebook who are also playing this game. This is good but that’s about it. Blizzard promises further integration in the future much like what World of Warcraft has started. Maybe something like posting every time I get an achievement would be nice.

The races are more or less balanced out now. It’s not so much as the all powerful zerg anymore. The nukes are now separate from the command center and pretty much else has stayed the same.

Now for the not so good surprises.

There is no map creator so don’t bother peeking around. I looked. Worst of all, there’s no offline gaming or LAN capability. THIS MEANS YOU CANNOT PLAY THIS GAME WITHOUT IT CALLING HOME TO BLIZZARD. I had to type that last sentence in frustration because it is. I can understand the no LAN capability with trying to keep the game free of cheaters and all but the single player?? Come on!?! I do quite a bit of traveling and I bring my computer along and what do I do on a boring long haul flight? Play stuff on it. Yes, PvZ has become my companion on these flights and I was hoping to replace zombies with some zergs. But the game will not let me. Everytime I start up the game, it wants to call home and make sure that I’m the owner. WHAT!!?

Sure it only needs to call home when the game starts and then afterward you can get disconnected but that won’t help me playing in the middle of nowhere or better yet, 39,000 feet in the air.

I already gave my details, first born child and money to play this game and it still won’t trust me with it? I felt like I bought an MMO. Which I can understand why it needs to always be connected online but this is getting out of hand. I’ve read comments over the internet that it is possible to play offline via “guest” mode. Guess what? It only lets me play with first mission. Maybe it has something to do with the South East Asian version, but I highly doubt that.

Couldn’t they have made the DRM serialized to the computer, dial home, then you can play on or offline and when the system detects a similar serial, the current game is shut down. Isn’t that the way other software makers do it? This online thing is really bothering me.

This is the most expensive Blizzard game I’ve ever paid. Yes this game costs just as much as a current generation console game or even more. I was shocked at the sticker price when I pre-ordered the game and to think this is just 1/3 of the whole game. When Warcraft 3 was released here, it cost half the price to what Starcraft 2 is charging. Even Diablo II didn’t cost this much.

This game is almost everything that it promised to be. But the technical shortcomings prevent it from being a runaway hit. See all the 1 star reviews on Amazon and irate customers to see I’m not the only one disappointed about this one. I really like the game. Although I will not be playing professionally anytime soon. I look forward to the expansion and I just hope that Blizzard fix these shortcomings especially when they still have 2 more Starcraft games coming out and Diablo isn’t that far away.

This caught me by surprise

While I was looking for new books to put on my Kindle, I came across this. Square-Enix hasn’t exactly been exact with their release dates. We just usually just wait and wait and wait and wait until it actually comes out.

But not today! A firm release date of September 29, 2010 has been announced as the release date for the PC version of Final Fantasy XIV, the next MMORPG from Square-Enix.

Sadly for PS3 fans,

Next year!?!?! That’s not a release date, it’s a prison sentence!?! Wait! Wrong analogy. That prison sentence statement should actually be attached to Gran Turismo but that’s for another post. But 6 months after the release date? That’s a long time. I may be forced to buy a PC before that happens. And even sadder for those are used to playing Final Fantasy XI on their Xbox360 for the past four years since there is no mention of the game to appear on the console (yet) but that wait could be even longer.

If only Square-Enix could release their other games sooner but thank you for this pleasant surprise.

How crazy is it gong to be in the next few weeks?

Why can’t videogame publishers release their games in a more timely manner?

Here are the games to be released in the next few weeks.

January 25
MAG (PS3)
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (Wii)
Mass Effect 2 (Xbox360, PC)

February 1
White Knight Chronicles International Edition (PS3)

February 8
Bioshock 2 (PS3, Xbox360)
Dante’s Inferno (PS3, Xbox360)
Star Ocean 4 International Edition (PS3)

February 15
Aliens vs. Predator (PS3, Xbox360)
Dynasty Warriors (PS3, Xbox360)

February 22
Heavy Rain (PS3)
Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii)

March 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PS3, Xbox360)

March 9
Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Xbox360)
Yakuza 3 (PS3)

March 16
Dragon Age Origins: Awakenings (PS3, Xbox360, PC)

March 31
God of War 3 (PS3)
Super Street Fighter IV (PS3, Xbox360)

Freeware PS3 Media Server

ps3mediaserver – Project Hosting on Google Code

If you’re like me who doesn’t own a PC to stream media to the PS3 then this free alternative is a good idea. It runs on macs, PCs and Linux and developed on the Java platform.

It’s fairly simple to use if you know your way around media servers but to put it simply, it gets the job done. I’m using my mac mini  ( not the latest but the first generation intel Mac mini with 2 GB of RAM to do this. It automatically sets up the DNLA protocols necessary to communicate with the PS3 and automatically sets the movie folder in your home folder as the default source for the media. You can add additional folders as well.

But what makes this piece of software great is the transcoding. Up until now, we’ve always been dependent on the formats that the consoles supported and it hasn’t been easy. Not all avi files would play, incompatible condec and so on that it’s been quite a challenge to play anything off a home media server to the PS3 but it all changes with this software and it’s built in transcoder.

Yes folks it has a built in transcoder which will allow you to transcode in almost faster than real time any format to make it PS3 friendly.  That means all your mkv, avi, ogg, and so on will be transcoded in almost real time. Note that I stress almost real time. This is because results may vary on the processor, RAM and so on of your computer and may either be faster or slower.

Sound transmitted supports dolby digital or whatever audio encoding is in your files. Scrubbing through the movie may prove to be difficult for some formats since I’ve stated above that it may or may not be transcoding. This means that if the file is being transcoded, chances are you can’t skip any further than what has already been transcoded. So be warned. A mild inconvenience but nothing that should seriously affect the overall experience.

The PS3 automatically detects the presence of the media server and everything can be accessed from there. The one amazing thing I’m very very much impressed here is tha ability to select language. Yes I do mean the audio language of the file. The file format mkv is used mostly if there are multiple languages in the file. It’s like the DVD language menu option but can usually only be controlled or watched on a PC. PS3 Media Server ia able to dissect through the language options and send that information to the PS3 which will allow you to select your desired language.

The best part of this, it’s free. Yes, click on the link above to bring you to the developer’s page and download away. I do hope that they continue to develop and support this important piece of software and keep it free.

I thought UMPCs were supposed to be "affordable"

It’s interesting where a little heart can go.

Originally the OLPC (one laptop per child) wanted give poor countries access to computers to bring them up to speed with the rest. Of course it’s a bright idea so other PC manufacturers went off and made their own.

It’s been almost a year since the Asus eeeeeepc came out are they any cheaper?

The 701 came out and was pretty much a hit. Even I was tempted. But with the impending release of the 1000 and the 901 the rumored street price in about $500-700. Is still still the cheap laptop that everyone would buy?

Sure it’s a lot cheaper than the mac book air but the prices are about to reach the selling rate of regular laptops. So is it still worth it to buy these UMPCs?

Dell, HP, Asus, MSI and so on are building their own version all at relatively the same price range. The Asus 901 eepc alone has specs to drool for. It’s an ideal mobile computer in my opinion. Do you think I can install a “hackintosh” in it?

I’m not really a windows fan nor a linux. I may go for windows just to use some of my apps that I use that are exclusively on windows. Would it be enough for a road warrior like myself? Can it take my raw pictures from my digital camera and upload to my flickr and blog and twitter and travel around the world? Can I live that long without touching my mac? Or can my phone do it all?

If prices of these UMPCs drop to the $300 range with XP in it. I’m sold! I’m buying one. But the $500? Forget it. I can get a pretty good Lenovo for that kind of money.

The Return of PC Gaming

Macworld | Blizzcon 2008 to bring together Blizzard game fans

October 2008 will mark the entry of a PC game that’s not Scrabble or an MMO but still has the name Blizzard. Yes, fans it’s Blizzcon 08.

The two most anticipated PC games are expected to be shown if not playable! Diablo III and Starcraft II. Two franchises that drove me into many a sleepless nights whipping through the Zerg and the Undead. My Australian vacation turned into a marathon of leveling through Diablo.

I predict this event to be sold out very soon and if you’re in North America, grab a Southwest flight that lands near Anaheim and you’ll be on your way. I wish the FFXI would hold another fan fest this year.