Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hue Lights, Last of Us Remastered, Gears of War 3

Phillips HUE Lights

Finally decided to pick up these lights even though they are very expensive.  The kit comes with 3 lights and a base station and that's $200, since i had 4 sconces I had to buy an extra light at $60.  The base can control up to 50 lights so I should only have to have one of those.  The lights themselves are LED and can change into 16 million different colors and can be controlled by your phone or my remote control.  It was easy to setup, plug the base into your router, install the lights, and then start up the app and press the button on the base and you are all set.

The IOS app works pretty well, it let's you set scenes which is basically a grouping of the lights with different color settings for each light.  You can take a picture then import it and set each light to a color on that picture which is cool, so you can really set the mood to the room if you take the time.  My Logitech remote can control the lights as well but it has minimal features, you can set about 6 colors and also set the dimness.  If you use the app in conjunction with the remote it works much better so you can set the lights how you want them with the app then assign that setting to a current activity on the remote and it will change appropriately, it all worked well once you get the pattern correct.

The lights themselves produce a bright light in their basic form.  If the lights are set to a color scheme a simple off and on of the light switch will reset the lights back to normal lights.  I setup my lights to come on when I get home and turn off when I leave the house or at midnight to
remind me it's time for bed.

I bought the Hue Disco app for $2 and it's well worth it. When I play Rock Band I turn on the disco mode and it randomly changes the lights based on the beat of the music so it adds a cool effect while playing which really makes the whole purchase worth it.

Last of Us Remastered (PS4)

I was able to trade in the PS3 version for $25 which made the new version half off and the DLC that I never bought is $15 so for $10 I get the refreshed game which wasn't that bad.  The game does look much better at 1080p and smoother since it runs at 60fps.  They added a photo mode so at any time you can pause the action and then you have full control of the camera and can add effects and take some really cool pictures.  There are a lot of options to it so you should be seeing some great pics from the game.  60fps really does make a difference in the feel of the game, all the actions have a nice and smooth transition and I wish the three Uncharted games would receive a remastered edition.
If you've never played the game and have a PS4 then this is a must have.

Gears of War 3(360)

I bought the game when it first came out, a couple of years ago, and didn't play it much even though I beat the other 2 GOW games at least 3 times a piece with different people.  It took about 4 days to finish the game and it was very enjoyable.  I still think 2 had the best story and some of the best set pieces of the series, the lava level, the rain sequence, and the brumack riding come to mind.  They tried once again to be dramatic in the story and it was ok I guess, for a game about shooting things they wanted you to think on things a little bit.

New Releases - Some good new releases this week.  Rouge Legacy on Vita and Last of US on PS4 my picks.


The Room (download) - Pretty good IOS game not sure how it translates to PC.
Firefall (download)
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (download) - Older Gamecube RPG coming to PC.

PlayStation 4

The Last of Us: Remastered - Traded in my PS3 copy which cut the cost to half price which is almost the price of the DLC I never got to play.
Rogue Legacy (download) - Great great game.
Pure Pool (download)

Xbox One

Pinball FX 2 (download)

PlayStation 3

Rogue Legacy (download)
WRC 4 FIA Rally Championship (download)

Wii U

Mega Man Battle Network (download)
XType Plus (download)

PlayStation Vita

Ratchet & Clank Collection - Tempted
LEGO Ninjago Nindroids
Rogue Legacy (download) - Perfect platform for this excellent game.  It is a great game.
WRC 4 FIA Rally Championship (download) - Got the PC version disappointed so far.

Nintendo 3DS

LEGO Ninjago Nindroids

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Destiny Beta, Game Collection, Pinnacle Speakers, Sale

Destiny Beta (PS4)

I got into the beta for being an IGN Prime member and I spent a couple of hours in the beta and really enjoyed what I played.  I leveled my character to level 4 which is half way of what the full beta provides and I want to go back and play some more but I'm holding off since I don't want to spoil the full game. 

It's what you expect from the makers of Halo, a sci-fi fps shooter, but it's mixed with an MMO, so maybe it's the MMO I've been wanting to play. In the areas I played there were about 6 other people around but we didn't interact except we shot a few common enemies.   What I liked best about the combat was the enemy AI, I was able to flank the AI, they didn't have magnetic eyes that follow you around and through obstacles. The enemies also used cover effectively which is what I want to see in this new console generation.    There is a ton of weapon and armor upgrades and you can take raw materials to a certain person and he will create a new piece of equipment for you. 

You have a companion cube that leads you around who is narrated by Tywin Lannister, he is like Cortana from Halo.  Once you've completed a couple of story missions in an area you can go back and complete other generic quests that felt like other general MMO quests.   There are hidden areas in the environment that has some great loot so you do want to explore your surroundings.  There is a main town hub that you can visit that has all the vendors and I saw about 5 people in a circle dancing.  You got to missions in an spacecraft but it's from a 3rd person view and you don't control it, not sure if that's just a beta thing or not. 

I had a great time playing the beta and it got me to pre-order the game which is what a good beta should do. 

Here are 2 beta codes for the PS4 beta.  First come first serve.


Game Collection

Spent basically the entire weekend putting up shelves in my downstairs closet.  It took 5 trips to 4 different Home Depots to get enough shelves to hold all my games.  Thanks to my girlfriend for alphabetizing all the games it took a couple of hours, but it was worth it, and it shows that I have a game addiction problem. 

 Pinnacle Speakers

Hopefully my last major purchase for my media room is complete and I can start enjoying my room without nagging questions about my setup.  I had the Klipsch Icon line of speakers that did great for my smaller room upstairs but once I moved them downstairs they couldn't fill the larger room with sound the way that I wanted.  I'd been looking for speakers for awhile and wasn't sure what I wanted. There isn't a good place that I found to test out different speakers and for the money I was spending that wasn't ideal,  but It did work out for my sub woofer.  I was looking at Woot and saw they had some Pinnacle speakers on sale and some major discounted prices, the ultimate tower speaker had an MSRP of $4000/ speaker.  I looked for reviews but really couldn't find any, I read they sold most of their speakers to pro installers and rarely sold to consumers.  There was one review in Sound & Vision that gave a great review but it wasn't the exact speakers. I passed that first week of sales because there wasn't a center channel on sale but the next week they followed with everything that I needed so I took the plunge.  Shipping was $5 so why not. 

They shipped extremely fast and I had them within 2 days or ordering.  The towers were around 50lb and the center and surround speakers where heave as well which is a good sign for a speaker.  They have a glossy piano black exterior which looks nice provided you don't touch them.  They look great and once I was able to calibrate my setup I was ready for the sound test, I was so tired though from other stuff I had to do that day that I really didn't get to do much, just listen to a couple of songs and a bit of a movie.  I wasn't floored though so I was a little worried. 

I didn't really get to test them out till Friday night and I watched Dredd in 3D and was blown away.  The whole movie experience was one of the best times I've ever had watching a movie.  The 3D was cool and the sound was amazing with the soundtrack thumping away and the surround sounds zooming from the left and right, I felt like I was actually in the action. It was just awesome. 

I still need to do some tweaking but I'm very happy with my new purchase. 
Speaker Sale

Really???  I'm trying to sell my old speakers after raving about the new ones?   These are still great speakers but just can't fill up a large room. So if you are in the market or know someone who wants a full 5.1 setup let me know. 

I'd like to sell these together since they are the same family of speakers and go well together.  They are about 3 years old  and in like new condition and I think I have all the original boxes..

2x Klipsch KF-26 Floor Standing 
Klipsch KF-25 Center Channel   
2x Klipsch KF_14 Surround Sound 
Klipsch SW-450 Sub-woofer     

​New Releases​ - A couple of games coming out this week.   My pick is Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, a remake of the great first Oddworld game.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 4 (download - $25) - Waiting for all episodes to be released.
OlliOlli (download) - Bought on the Vita, cool game.
Gods Will Be Watching (download)
Data Hacker: Initiation (download)
Freedom Planet (download)
Halfway (download)
Unrest (download)

PlayStation 4

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty (download - $30)

Xbox 360
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 4 (download - $25)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Training Lair (download)

PlayStation 3

The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 4 (download - $25)

Wii U

Wii Sports Club
Wooden Sen'SeY (download)
Master Reboot (download)

PlayStation Vita

The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 4 (download - $25)

Nintendo 3DS

Siesta Fiesta (download)


Hearthstone Expansion

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wolf Among Us, Lightening Storm, Game Room

The Wolf Among Us (Steam)

A Tell Tale game similar to the Walking Dead but in the Fable(not the Lionhead games) universe.  I don't read comics so I wasn't familiar with the Fable universe.  Basically all the fairy tale characters are living in New York and they use glamours(magic) to make themselves take human form so they can live among us.  The main character is Bigby, the big bad wolf, the sheriff of the town and has to try to maintain peace among the fable characters so they won't be noticed by real people. 

The final chapter released last week and I waited until all 5 were available before I started playing.  I've finished the game last night and I really enjoyed it.  The game is an adventure game that relies heavily on story and dialog choices, each choice is supposed to have some lasting effects later in the story.  The game looks great and the voice work is excellent.  The actual game play is limited to walking around and
for action sequences they use some cool quick time events which are very enjoyable and actually make the fights intense.  The game has some good extra material that gives you more information about each character and progresses as the story moves along. 

The final episode did refer back to a lot of the choices i made in the earlier episodes and the ending was satisfying once i got it working.  The game's final scene bugged out on me but it took me awhile to figure that out, I thought that it was a dream sequence or something, dialog boxes with no choice and floating heads in one scene.  I restarted the game and it worked fine. 

If you liked the Walking Dead Tell Tale game you should give this a shot.  I can't wait for the Game of Thrones Tell Tale game. 

Lightening Storm

A neighbor's tree about 20 yards from my house was hit by lightening last night while I was watching TV and I lost some equipment.  I thought it had hit my house at first, it was a weird sensation followed by a huge thump and the ground shaking.  I didn't know the tree was hit until an hour later once the rain stopped and I could go outside. One of the neighbors said she saw a huge fireball.  My fire alarm started beeping for about 5 minutes afterward. 

Here is what I lost:
Mac-Mini - Won't power up so hopefully just the power supply. 
Receiver can output one signal to two sources and I lost the 2nd source that I was watching. I bought an Hdmi switcher that should work until I can get it fixed.
The HDMI cable that was running to my TV and receiver.  It had a special chip to help the signal with the long cable length which probably is why it broke my receiver. 
Network Switch - Have 7 devices connected and all of them appear to be working once I replaced this with my backup.

Game Room

Got some heavy use this weekend.  I had a party of 8 on Saturday and they played darts, ping pong, pinball, and did some racing and everything worked without any major issues which isn't normal.  I had 11 people over last night and they danced and watched a movie, two people spent about 3 hours just racing.  I did have an issue with the racing rig, for some reason the pedals do not register if I leave them plugged in and the PC goes to sleep so I have to reset them, I'm not sure if it's the pedals or the usb hub.  I finally had some challenge at the ping pong table and actually lost 3 games to 2, we had some great rallies and I won one game off a ceiling shot, house rules are cool. 

​New Releases - Not much this week.


Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut (download - $15) - Re-re-release of a good game.
Wayward Manor (download)
Abyss Odyssey (download - $15) - Looks interesting.  A procedurely generated rouge-like mixed with fighting games like Street Fighter.
Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers (download - $10) -  I think you can actually build some decks in this version.
Light (download)
Aperture Gun: The Paintball Testing Initiative (download, Portal 2 required)

PlayStation 4

Crimsonland (download) - Crazy co-op game where you kill tons of things.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Divinity: Original Sin, Shovel Knight, LG 34UM95

Divinity: Original Sin (Steam)

Reminds me of the original Baldur's Gate games of old which is a good thing, an isometric RPG with turn based combat.  The game is the 3rd in a series of Divine Divinity games, the other 2 games were real time combat like Diablo but the team always wanted to do a turn based version but the publisher would never let them.  So after a successful kick starter campaign they were finally able to create the game they always wanted and it's really good. 

The game has some gorgeous visuals and I'm really digging the soundtrack.  I've bought a couple of soundtracks recently and I"ll have some impressions on those later this week, game music is getting really good.  You can control a group of adventurers or you could  play the entire campaign in co-op mode which I would like to try at some point.  The RPG aspects of the game are on par with other current RPG's and the story has been decent. The dialog has been funny at times and since I've gotten the Pet Pal perk which allows you to talk to animals sometimes it's hilarious, the dialog with the dog in the elementary was really good.

The world is full of environmental puzzles and obstacles which also come into play in the combat.  The combat is turn based which gives you a lot of time to plan a tactical assault.  You could shoot a water barrel that covers the area with water then do a freeze spell so that any person trying to walk over that area will slip and fall.  There are so many different ways to approach combat  that turn based was the only way to go. 

So far I've put about 7 hours into it and I'm still in the first city.  The areas outside the city are pretty tough so I need to complete a couple of more town quests before I venture out again.  I've really liked what I've played so far and they have released an editor so I hope to see some cool mods after I've finished the game.  If you long for the RPG's of the early 2000's then you should give this game a chance.

Shovel Knight (3DS)

Made my way through a couple of more bosses so I"m a bit over halfway through.  The game is still awesome but it is getting a bit tougher and my progress has slowed some.  I need to go back to the earlier levels and see if there is any gold that I missed, the problem is the over world map is populated by mini-bosses  and they are usually blocking my path and they've been really tough to defeat.  I'm still enjoying the music and 3D for $15 this is a must buy.

LG 34UM95

One of the best monitors that I've ever used and the only thing that could make it better is if it was curved.  The monitor is a massive 34 inches wide and has an aspect ration of 21:9.  It's like the other monitor that I purchased a couple of months ago, but the resolution is 3440x1440 which is perfect for this size of screen.  I'm using this monitor on my Obutto so I'm probably not going back to using 3 monitors.  The monitor is wide enough that it gives me enough peripheral vision that I really don't need the other 2 monitors.  If I only used the computer for racing games then I might have stuck with the 3 monitors but since I play other types of games there the bigger monitor is the best choice.  The problem with 3 screens is that the two side monitors are not full resolution so they are distorted, as long as you don't focus on them you don't notice, so on racing games it doesn't matter. 

I really like the resolution, I thought about 4K, but there are a couple of issues with that many pixels.  The graphics power needed to run at 4k is even more than my single Titan can handle and maybe even 2 of them.  The other issue is that at that resolution the text in windows is pretty small so I'd have to use the Magnifier tool which I had to use when I tried the surface pro and did not like that feature.  The tech world isn't really ready for 4K yet but the monitor and TV people want to push that to sell new devices.  Sony was working on OLED screens which are awesome and can be curved easily but they put that on the back burner because of 4K.

New Releases - Quite a few PC games but not much on the consoles.  The Wolf Among Us final episode comes out this week so I'll finally start playing that game.  Also Another World is out on PS4/vita one of my all time favorite games.


The Wolf Among Us - Episode 5 (download - $25) - Gotten decent reviews.
Super Comboman (download)
Q*bert (download) - Not sure what this is.
Retrobooster (download)
Three Dead Zed (download)
Claire (download)
Whispering Willows (download)
The Terrian Saga: KR-17 (download)
4PM (download)
Super Lemonade Factory (download)
Stained (download)

PlayStation 4

Another World (download)

Xbox 360

The Wolf Among Us - Episode 5 (download - $25)

PlayStation 3

One Piece: Unlimited World Red
The Wolf Among Us - Episode 5 (download - $25)
Another World (download)
Sacra Terra: Kiss of Death (download)


Another World (download)

Nintendo 3DS

One Piece: Unlimited World Red