Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Madden 17, No Man's Sky

​Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

  • If you enjoyed the last Deus Ex game then you should be satisfied with this game as it feels quite a bit like the last game but with some refinements. 
  • I played a bit of the last game a week before the release and the biggest improvement I noticed right away was the movement in and out of cover.  In the past game it felt a bit clunky but now it's smooth and I'm not making any accidental moves that take me out of cover.
  • The graphics are more colorful as they moved away from all the gold and black theme which I kind of miss. 
  • There are a few new augments to use that seem like the developers played some Dishonored.  Blink.  
  • Everything else feels about the same.  You can either go in stealthy or guns blazing and they give you the tools to do both rather well. The hacking mini-game hasn't changed which is a shame I wish they could have made that a bit more technical.  
  • I've put about 9 hours in and only played about 6 main missions.  The town is fully explore-able and the side missions are interesting so there is a lot of game there. 

Madden 17

  • Another year another Madden and another year thinking this might be the time the game is good.  ​
  • My biggest gripe of the past games has been atrocious blocking and they appear to have it fixed.  Sometimes there are blown assignments which is expected but overall the blocking seems great and the blockers will actually block the defenders.
  • The better blocking also increases the effectiveness of the running game making it a valid play style for some teams.  The AI can also mount a decent run game with some impressive numbers which usually never happened before. 
  • Playing defense also feels better as I can see the hole opening and then rush in to stop the runner or play safety and stop a long pass play.  They also fixed the sack issue from last year where you could get 7 or 8 sacks a game. 
  • The presentation is also vastly improved.  The overlays look great and the new announcers actually sound enthused as they are reading their lines.  They are also updating the commentary weekly so you will hear new things each week of the season which is a nice touch.  Although I really don't want to hear them say Romo is out for 10 weeks when I fire up the game.   
  • They still need to work on the halftime and end game shows as they are very plain and only show your game.  I really liked how NFL2k5 would give updates on all the games that week in the halftime show as it really helped immerse you in a season.  
  • There are still things they can improve on but finally Madden feels like it finally made the upgrade to the new generation too bad it took them 3 years.  

No Man's Sky

  • I actually did play a bit more last week that brought my total play time to about 18 hours which was a little unexpected.  
  • The game can have a nice chill factor to it as you explore, which can be a bit calming after a hurried day.
  • I hope they can add more substance to the game in the future that will bring me back in as the game does have potential.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

No Man's SKy, Madden 17 Deal

No Man's Sky (PC)

The much hyped and long awaited game finally released last week.  Is it worth your $60?

  • This is a tough question for me to answer.
  • Initially I thought the game was amazing but after 8 hours my interest is starting to fade, but there is still a part of me that wants to keep playing.  
  • The game boasts a huge procedural generated world with a quadrillion or more unique planets to explore which is an impressive technological feat.
  • Even though each planet is "unique" so far they have all felt the same. The atmosphere, plants, and animals are all different looking, but since they are generated they all pull from a repository and that repository isn't as varied as it needs to be.  
  • As an example the creatures look like they came out of the game Spore.  In Spore you could create some cool characters but after awhile the novelty wore off as you would see the base parts just moved around in different positions.  
  • So what do you actually do in the game?  That is the most asked questions and the answer is relatively simple.  
  • You mine for resources to build parts so that you can go to the next planet and repeat.  It's basically a resource management sim. 
  • For many hours I was fine with this loop, but after awhile it hit me that I'm not sure I enjoy it anymore.
  • The tasks that I'm performing on each planet are not varied, I've done the same thing on the 20th planet that I did on the first one maybe just a bit faster since I have better items.  
  • There are NPC's on each planet but they are basically vendors that will sell or give you items.  They do speak in a language that you don't understand at first, but you can learn their language one word at a time by finding pillars.  
  • There are no quests to undertake other than upgrading your items, you won't be asked to go kill 10 animals or anything like that. 
  • You have a limited amount of inventory slots in the beginning so I spent a major chunk of time mining gold so that I could buy a new spaceship with 5 more slots. 
  • You can name any planet, animal, or plant which is uploaded to a database so anytime another player explores your planet they will see the name which is awesome.  The problem is there are so many to name that you will quit naming them after an hour.  
  • I did mention that there was a part of me that want's to keep playing and since I've only played 8 hours there is always a nagging feeling that the next solar system will be amazing and could totally change my viewpoint. 
  • So I'm not sure if I'm going to keep playing or not.  I may wait and see if they are planning to add any extra content to the game, but with Deus Ex and Madden releasing next week my playtime will be limited to the rest of this week if any.  
  • So is the game worth $60?  I've read many user posts and they are all varied, some have the same views as mine and others can't get enough of the game.  If you like to create your own fun and want to explore and don't mind repetitive tasks then this game could keep you busy forever. 

Madden 17 Deal
  • You can trade in your 2016 copy of Madden at Best Buy and get $15 for the game and a $10 coupon towards the purchase of Madden 17.
  • If you are a Game Club member that means you can get the game for around $25.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Headphone Extravaganza, Witcher 3, Diablo 3

Witcher 3 (Steam)
  • I finally beat the main campaign after 145 hours so now off to play the DLC which is another 30-40. 
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls(Xbone)
  • Been playing this on the Xbox one with Angel and Mitch and having a great time.
  • The game is still a blast to play and they are still adding more and more to this game with a new patch hitting very soon.
  • Yes I bought a copy for each platform, it's just that good.  


I've been trying to find the perfect headphone for work and I've tried quite a few of them and I think I've finally found the one for me.  At first I was looking at headphones that included a mic so that I could also take work calls along with listening to music.  The only issue was that most of those headsets weren't that great at playing music.  I tried headphones with the inline mic in the cord but could never get them to work with my laptop.  I finally tried the ModMic which is a separate mic that you can attach to any headset using magnets, and it's the perfect solution. A mic that is easily removable and has great sound.  Highly Recommended. 

Below is a list of headphones that I tried and a mini review of each.  All but the gaming headphones were tested using a usb DAC/AMP, the Mayflower 02 which is a great neutral amp that works without drivers on any windows PC.  

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H6 Second Generation

  • After a couple of years looking I finally found the best headphone for work along with the ModMic.
  • The design looks really nice and the ear pads are comfortable out of the box.
  • The sound is amazing and the bass is tuned perfectly.  
  • These are the best closed back headphones that I've ever tried.  
  • Each little detail of the music is brought out making listening through my music collection a new experience.  
  • I'm not a hardcore Audiophile but once you hear music with these on you will do a double take as you hear parts of songs that you've never heard before and it's an amazing experience.  
  • The included cord which has an inline mic with phone controls is not that great of quaility so I did upgrade the cord for about $4. 
AKG 712 Pro
  • These are open-backed headphones so they leak out sound if you crank them up so not useful in an office setting.  
  • They are extremely comfortable with huge memory foam ear pads.  
  • They do require an amp to get the full sound experience, the bass is not as pronounced just using an iPhone.  
  • These are my preferred headphones while at home when I can really crank them. 
Bose QuietComfort 25
  • The best noise cancelling headphones, I can mow with these things on and not have to blast the music to extreme levels.
  • Requires a AAA battery to power the noise cancellation and the battery life is around 30 hours.  It won't auto turn off if you stop playing music so if you forget to turn off the noise cancellation the battery will run out.  
  • They are very very comfortable and fit well around my ears so that I can barely tell that they are on.
  • The sound is great when you have the noise cancellation engaged but as soon as you turn it off the sound is very diminished and loses it's punch so you constantly need to have it on.  Which was an issue for me.  
  • The noise cancellation causes pressure on my ears so after awhile it becomes bothersome.  
  • If you travel a lot or work in a noisy office then you should invest in these but do be aware you will have people walk up on you without noticing and may give you a bit of a startle.  
Turtle Beach 240X
  • Wireless Xbox and PC headphones with a mic.
  • I use these at home when playing mutil-player games.
  • The sound is pretty good and the mic works very well.
  • The default ear pads are uncomfortable so I did buy some larger pads and it helped quite a bit so I can wear them for about 4-5 hours without discomfort.  
Audio Technica - M50X
  • These are highly recommended as the starting Audiophile headphones and they don't disappoint.  
  • The sound is amazing and packs quite a bit of bass punch  
  • The only drawback for me was that they are not very comfortable.  The stock pads did not go fully over my ears even though they are supposed to.  I did buy some larger ear pads but they took away quite a bit of the bass and they didn't quite sound the same so I took them off.
Harman Kardon 
  • Bluetooth headphones that can also  be used wired as well.   
  • The ear pads are rectangle shaped and really don't fit my ears very well so it would get uncomfortable after 30 minutes.  
  • The outer material of the cans are made out of metal so anytime my cord would brush against it I could hear it even while playing music.
  • The sound was very good though and there wasn't much of a loss when wireless.  
VModa 100
  • Really cool looking headphones and built extremely well. 
  • These are "bass head" headphones and you really do feel your music while listening to them.  
  • Most of the music I listen to is Rock Guitar Instrumentals and some classical pieces so the bass was a bit too much for my tastes.
  • They were also not that comfortable,you can buy some larger pads made directly by the company for $20 but I thought at the price they should both be included or at least be able to pick which version you want. 
Sony Pulse Elite Headphones 
  • Works with PS4 and PC wireless with a dongle. 
  • The mic is inside the headphone, but it still works great.
  • The default ear pads are again uncomfortable.  
  • When using on PS4 some games have special settings that you download to the headphones which is a cool idea and they do make the sound much different.