You know those things that promise rewards for basic things like surveys or offers? I found a legit one, for reals. You’ve got all that plus a wheel like thing you can try 10 times a day. So far I have gotten a ton of points, $10 amazon gift card and $25 target card, and that’s just off the wheel alone. Give it a shot, sign up, spin the wheel. Keep going if you like but otherwise there’s no commitment and always a chance to download an app or something else for some extra points redeemable for all sorts of things.

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Give it a shot (link goes to sign up)

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The other side of Elder Scrolls Online

Horses and catapults and castles. It’s always been my dream since I was little. I had Legos to build the castles and countless battles on their walls. Entire stories would unfold on that coffee table. It is only now why I realize it couldn’t just stay set up there all the time.

I have enjoyed the knights and castles games of previous yore, experienced the endless grind of WoW and played anything that smelled of questing. Oblivion won me over with it’s expanse, it’s lore. The story is told nowhere else other than though the game, many games, which all fit into the history of this fictional land with the depth that only an interactive medium could provide.

I enjoy the character aspect as well, primarily the development. I create the Armour I want to help me survive the environment and get through quests, learn the right enchantments to keep me alive or concentrate on my best abilities. Your character is so very personal,  your character grows with time, adapts skills based on experience and chooses to turn all their loot to gold or invest in their crafting. There are so many combinations it is not often I see two of the same.

The promise of Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) was almost too good to be true, the expansive Tamriel Universe with new content, with other players (adventurers). Not only that but you would have fierce PVP battles between factions in a designated area with keeps, resources, and bonuses to those in control of the areas. The vision was hundreds of characters riding in on horses, and exploding into a giant battle of swords, staffs and as psychedelic display of magic. The actuality does not disappoint.

The greatest feeling is Breaking out the siege equipment to hold back the surge or break the defenses. Pummeling the walls until they give, providing a point of entry. Trying to rush in and take out any remaining on the walls above. All while they’re dropping hot oil, shooting down on you from the walls. It’s exhilarating.

I just finished a major PVP campaign for the second night in a row in ESO. It has to be the most fun I have had in a multiplayer game, I would compare it to the best possible experience in Battlefield where everyone communicated, filled their role, worked as a team.

I can say after the past couple nights that promise of ESO has been realized and it’s so much more. It is true that the real game starts once you reach the end. The bosses are bigger,  enemies faster and trickier in their abilities. You haven’t seen hard until you need a full group of Vets to take down a single beast.

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Hierarchy [ 2014, games, graphics, MMO, review, screenshot, Uncategorized ]
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XBOX 360 PC Wireless Gaming Receiver – Drivers for knockoff

This is a picture of the knockoff

Hey, they don’t sell the official one anymore.

I bought the thing on ebay, exactly like this guy did.

Essentially here are the steps:
- (optional) I already had it installed because I’m replacing the legit receiver but you can:
Install the official software: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/d/xbox-360-wireless-controller-for-windows
- Start -> Search for “Device Manager” -> Open it
- Find the “Unknown Device” -> right click -> properties
- Driver -> Update driver -> Browse my computer -> Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
- Double click “All devices” -> Search for “Microsoft” in the left pane and select it -> Search for “XBox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows Version: 2.1xxx”
- Choose “Next” and complete the install

At that point the light turned on on the receiver, I pressed both the button on the receiver and the synch button on the controller, quick dip dip and it was up and running. The difference is I guess they didn’t include the driver with the version from 2011. I had a CD but my drive is dead in this computer and my secondary machine which I normally use the CD Drive over the network doesn’t like the hot weather.

Hierarchy [ 2014, games, games for windows, hardware ]
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Hazamum

I used to have time… Oh so much time. It may yet return but just totally found a phenomenal review on GOG… It was written by me, I was nodding and yes yes yesing to 2012 me, which I saw once I got to the end.

I noticed I hadn’t really posted lately and there is a ton to elaborate on. New coding both for work and home with projects like using visual studio for web design with aspx. I got a little into Leap programming (got it to connect) and need to try some more coding for glass. I’m not even sure I have anything much on here related to Glass.

In any case I shall post some more stuff, been collecting ESO screenshots as they have steadily improved it since launch.

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How Much Fun is Goat Simulator? A Troughful.

So I bought into Goat Simulator in the early days where it only loved in our hearts and minds (and a gameplay video). The Internet demanded it, and it was brought forth, the only bugs fixed were those that made it crash. It was briefly touched, packaged and sent out into the world.

You will love it, and even if you only play it once you could still be spending your $10 on worse things, like a live goat for example.

It is so simple, it’s a world set to go, to explore, as a goat. There are buildings and props, people, cars, things that explode, places you should(n’t) break into… You can do anything and everything, as a goat,

Go rag doll! Lick things and watch your tongue stretch to great lengths as you.pull objects many time your size and weight. There is even a secret surprise or two. Explore and you too may know the comfort and pleasure of a goat.

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Aparato!

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Review – South Park: The Stick of Truth

So the stick of truth will be out on Tuesday. I’m stupidly excited for it. I have always appreciated South Park, as they are. Potty humor, downright gross humor, it enables them to bring an otherwise unobtainable method down to a very simplistic, but not dissimilar metaphor. As the years have progressed and they’ve gotten better with the digital it’s just been a matter of time that it would translate into a video game. It would have been especially cool if the episode timed for the game’s release actually occurred as intended and the game elaborated on a touched on plot.
I am excited more for the interaction and experience of the town then the game itself, but that should not disappoint either. True Final Fantasy type gameplay that I want to play. The concept is there, basic RPG they say, but it’s so loosely coupled with the actual abilities and story surrounding, it’s going to be a dream come true to wander around South Park.

3/20/2014 So it’s been a couple weeks now and I played it pretty steadily for the first week or so. I haven’t been back to it since, but not because it is bad. I know what to expect and certainly will be back to it, but it is a definite type that I have to be in the mood for.

It did not disappoint from a humor standpoint, I find myself laughing out loud when playing. There are many tie ins cameos and running gags from the show, so where you may enjoy it, you my not get as much of a kick from it if you haven’t seen a lot of South Park. I have probably seen them all, and some of the jokes go WAY back.

The character development is cool, I like how they did it and it is unique from other games. It is not just the equipment and spells as those are quite novel in themselves but it is how they are implemented. The quest, buffs, items, equipment… All of it is unique and awesome. I just wish there was a way to share it better since it is only a single player game and you can make some pretty ha kairos options. I guess I will just have to take more screenshots.

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Battlefield 4: Second Strike

So I don’t think I really got into the China Rising pack but here I have some observations on Second Strike

Second Strike was released on Tuesday for Premium members on PC – this was the “XBOX Exclusive” level that was released first instead of China Rising. It contains 4 levels from previous versions and they’re ridiculously detailed.

Operation Firestorm
Operation Metro
Gulf of Oman
Caspian Border

There is something to be said for adding a few bushes and rocks to otherwise familiar levels. In Operation Firestorm it turns the sandy expanse of open killing ground into a much more playable section. There is more ground cover, higher walls – vehicle placement changes, extra alcoves (G has a stairway underneath the building) and the addition of the new gunships. Operation Metro has some tweaks to the subway cars, and most importantly an elevator at C throwing a third method of attack into the otherwise stalemate-heavy level. I don’t believe I got to see Gulf of Oman the other night, but I’ll update once I do. Caspian Border has to be my favorite version. I was a big fan of the original because it was often played as part of the “air maps” selection. There was a big air dependency, especially with the attack choppers, with the planes keeping the choppers in check. It is much easier to destroy as a jet because the area is much smaller, noticeably smaller but at the cost of maneuverability – so on one side you have more direct dog fighting, you also have less room to properly approach. The walls are no longer chain link – they’re stone and tough. There is a massive checkpoint gate – no foolin around, this time it’s a major bottleneck and it prevents unlimited shelling from the hill. There’s stairs up the tower now, though it falls like a stick in a toilet – the animation is rather simple and doesn’t even do the previous version justice. However all the areas inbetween are thick with bush and cover. This is a much more lush environment, much more difficult to see through, preventing inevitable sniping from the highest points – the towers. There’s also a bunker under the tower on the hill, similar to the one in Operation Firestorm.

All in all I enjoy playing on the maps I know, with their obvious weaknesses addressed.

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Emulation Nation

After the thread change, runs full speed

PS2: Sled Storm – Emulator with DX11 HW Accelleration    2X quality plus smoothing (no FXAA, no AA yet)

I spent much of today scouring the internet (it wasn’t that hard) for ROMs.  I have NES and SNES on lockdown, I believe I have 99% of the NES and maybe 85% of the SNES.  Choice Genesys, 32X and during my last ROM run a few months prior I even found Dreamcast and PSX.  I have all these systems, but they’re in storage, all nicely tucked away not taking up any actual room.  I’ve been wanting to play some older stuff but they’re so low bit being blown up to modern TV size doesn’t really make it any more visible.  We had to use our imaginations a lot back then, and low / fuzzy res kept that in check.  Having it all clear as day is pretty glaring.

So I love old games, I do — and there is no question they all play wonderful but a lot of them I have played, the newer ones I usually had one system out of the generation. For instance, I recently picked up an N64 last year at a tag sale.  It had all the best games — plus the expansion pack that was needed for a better looking Rebel Assault.  It plays not too shabby and I had never played many of the games.  It was impressive for what they could do.  I figured I’d explore a little more so grabbed some of those this time too to see if the emulator would do any better than the analog RCA video plug. Those don’t translate too bad to the screen, they’re at least visible polygons but you can really see what a difference the textures make when you get a look at a sub 100mb N64 game.

What really blew me away were the options available for the PSX emulator.  It completely transformed the graphics, rendering them with actual hardware 3D.  You can take rather low textures and play them out at modern resolutions, all smoothed and playing fast as can be, with smart aspect ratio scaling to 16:9 stretch or no.    Not only that but you don’t have to use a ROM/ISO it will play it direct from the original disc!

PSX got me curious so I had to try PS2 — even more impressive.  I’ll just start right from there with one of my forgotten favorites: Sled Storm.  I love racing, and EA Big was a golden time for them — SSX Tricky started it off and they followed up with Sled Storm.

So here is the emulator, the video settings I was using (I took everything off for performance, I couldn’t figure what was wrong but it was using a single thread for rendering.  I set the rendering to only 4 additional threads and it ran like buttah — no problem, graphical glitches were gone and everything looked superb.

 

Hierarchy [ 2014, games, graphics, image, nostalgia, screenshot, snow, technology ]
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Titanfall not so much of a Titan.

Found this old unpublished post and wanted to get it out there.
I did end up getting the full game for,y birthday after it came out because my son wanted to watch me play.

~~~~~~~~

Pre:release thoughts on the beta:
I don’t feel like I was as impressed with Titanfall as I should have been. I think people are still going gaga for it, I haven’t checked in again to even see if the beta is still up and running. I played it a bit, I wanted to give it a fair shake but it really felt far too COD to me. Arcady physics, particularly balstics oriented. The small space and rampant running around was reminiscent of Quake or UT deathmatch. The addition of the Titan did make it different, it added another flavor to it, but it wasn’t enough to flesh out an otherwise cookie cutter run around and shooter.
The bullets went straight, seemingly through objects and the collision detection was off as well – from a person perspective, mech perspective, and ballistics. From the second I touched down (and I didn’t do too badly) I knew this was not my thing.
Technically it wasn’t all that impressive either. I’m sure beta and all but the detail wasn’t there. Rubble abounded, but there wasn’t anything alive about it. It was a rock with a different texture. No pieces hanging, jutting out – a la Battlefield Metro where there is rubble but it’s in chunks, as if it was actually made above and then broken and what resulted is what they kept as the level.
I think I would have had more fun if the levels were bigger, if there were more soldiers. They had 8 v 8 and they filled in the lack of enemies that would otherwise plague it with “bots” – team members that are actually robots who attack. They’re not dumb, but they’re no supporting cast. The best you can hope for is they’ll distract the titan long enough so you can pull out your big gung and blast it before it knows where you are.
I would say the levels are even smaller than Hawken, and that felt cramped to me. I like the idea of being dropped into a city, but let that happen – let there be a city and the mechs destroy it through movement and battle, it makes sense to me. I don’t really feel the connection to an already destroyed rubble pile. At least in Battlefield the building can be broken in such a way that you can use it strategically. In Titanfall you have your buildings with the same windows, same levels, same broken walls all the time. It’s pretty easy to know where they may pop up, or if someone is on the ground where they are headed to hide.
Mech Warrior has probably the most expansive levels, but they have always been more of an open field war than a city. They had probably about the same number of mechs in battle but the levels just feel bigger. There wasn’t much detail last time I played (it was a while ago) but trees and such littered the waterfront. It was certainly designed with Mechs in mind and Titanfall has open spaces with tight hiding spots in-between keeping the non-titan people in mind.
All in all I would still probably rate Mech Warrior at the top of the “mech game” genre. Titanfall doesn’t quite fit though because it’s not all about the giant robots. Just the fact that you can get out and back in makes for some basic differences so they can’t really be compared, but Hawken is similar from a level design perspective. I’d put Hawken at number two. It was the same fast paced blasting you see in Titanfall, but again – no running around sans-mech.

Hierarchy [ 2014, games, Giant Robots, review ]
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When Next Gen Is Missing the Next

which witch is which

XBox One VS PS4

Detail, polygons, shaders… all very important.  What I find most important are textures.  Artistic and accurate textures can bring life to anything, even simplistic character models and environments.  Water looking good — that’s a decent feat, trees with individual leaves, fire, rain, all these things are important little details — like the flipflops flipping in GTA V.  They add to the immersion and life of a game.

I can not fathom how these next gen consoles are coming out and not supporting 1080p across the board.  It seems ludicrous that it wouldn’t be the driving force.  My 4 year old motherboard, chip, and memory and year old lower-midrange video card have been running my games at 1920×1080 60hz since early this year.

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Hierarchy [ 2013, commentary, consumerism, games, graphics, lament ]
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Battle Report – Battlelog / Battlefield 4

Battle Report – Battlelog / Battlefield 4.

 

Bomb mode — demolition?  destruction?  annaliation? I think that’s right, has some serious balance issues.  2.5 hours for that round because no one could get the bomb to the target without getting dead.  Plus the bomb would jump like 2000 feet in the air and no one could get it so it would reset to the next position.

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Review: Battlefield 4

This gallery contains 4 photos.

I hit up the servers for a little test run before work today. I was able to hop right in thanks to the beta.  It was mostly the full game this time instead of the mess that was Battlefield 3. … Full story

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Link: Regain some control over your YouTube: YePpHa/YouTubeCenter Wiki · GitHub

With this extension you can do everything from disable ads to change the buffering settings. Remember the old days when you could let the movie load? Unfortunately to get that back you’d need this extension on every device.

For Chrome:

Click the mirror download for the Opera/Chrome hybrid (.crx)

Check the box for “developer mode” in the top right of your extensions page. Download the .crx file and drag it to your open extensions page. Once you say OK to permissions it’ll load.

Home · YePpHa/YouTubeCenter Wiki · GitHub.

Hierarchy [ 2013, link, youtube ]
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Nail’d PC Fix For The Game Crashing – Steam / Retail

Got Nail’d PC for $0.01 ($3.99 shipping) and was DOA even with hard to find patch.

Easy fix for the game crashing. – Page 2 – Steam Users Forums.

Reposted files here

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Article: Six Reasons the PC is winning E3 2013 – PCGamer.com

 

 

Battlefield-41

The future of console gaming, today.

If you saw the two Battlefield 4 conference demos, you may have noticed the telling little backspace key prompt in the top right corner. They were running on PC. Of course they were.

You don’t have to imagine what the next generation will look like. You can see it right now. You can playit right now. Find a gaming PC made in the last couple of years, get Crysis 2, then install the MaLDoHD Texture Pack.
Actually, no. The next-gen consoles almost certainly won’t look that good.

The next generation isn’t about forging ahead. It’s about catching up. At times, literally. PlanetSide 2 is making it’s way to the PlayStation 4. For that system, the mix of sci-fi visual flair and epic scale is the next generation. For PC owners, it’s just a game that they can play. Right now.

There’s a reason the Xbox and PS4 are shifting to a more PC-based architecture. It’s because PC-based architecture is really good. A PC doesn’t just guarantee you graphics that will match what the next-gen can handle – it’s already delivering them. And where those consoles are stuck with the same level of technical performance for the rest of their lifespan, the PC has room to grow.

[ read more @ PCGamer.com ]

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Crazy texture pack for Crysis 2 skuffaws (skoff/guffaw) the official “HD Texture pack” 

MaLDo Blog: MaLDoHD 4.0 Final version

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Battlefield 4 – E3 2013 Livestream – hours and hours of live gameplay

Watch live video from BATTLEFIELD on www.twitch.tv

via Battlefield.

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Review: BioShock Infinite

The world forms around you. You enter a familiar place but it is still very new, dropped into a preloaded consciousness. You had a job, you knew why you were here, simply follow the instruction and the goal will be complete. You’re lifted into this futuristic utopia high in the clouds,  where so many are so happy to go about their day but there is a dark brooding, uneasiness to it all. It can’t be that perfect, a distrust. There are sins too foul to wash away.

You explore, hearing much about the status quo and the rebellion trying to gain traction. Rights, choices, and the desire to live without restrictions. The story is uncovered over many areas, a hint here, discussion there, code books, flashbacks all come together in one giant dataset that just needs to be analyzed. The one side saying all should be be free, the ones in charge are for the preservation of only those who are pure of spirit and white of skin. The factories disagree, you should be working! They may say you’re not worth anything, but down here you can provide for your families. Two different strategies, both to the end result.

You learn about the Prophet, you learn about the Resistance but that just doesn’t seem right either. Daisy leads the resistance in a very totalitarian way. You rescue the girl, but that only complicates things. Universes start opening to parallel dimensions of here, times, constants and variables — all different, with all the things that have happened, are happening, and that will happened. You tear between them to get what you need, but to truly find your way home it’s all about finding the right sequence of events, you have to get to the beginning, where it all started and change things once and for all.
Ending (no spoilers)


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Video: BioShock Infinite – False Shepherd Trailer and PC Graphics

False Shepherd TrailerBioShockI-preview

It’s cute they use the console graphics for the trailer, just makes me whet even more for it on PC. I relish a good story, good graphics, mechanics, and voice acting and await this game with baited breath.

Chris Kline technical director at Irrational Games:

“Playing the PC version on Medium settings is fairly close to the console version, though higher quality in a few areas. As you go up from there to the High, Very High, and Ultra settings the difference is enormous.

The PC version ships on three discs, as opposed to one for consoles, to accommodate the higher-resolution content we provide for the PC. This really stands out when you play on the higher detail settings and higher resolutions that the PC allows. Irrational Games is known for all the detail we put into our worlds and the higher detail settings available on PC give us even more to work with.

Higher-end PC settings also activate on higher-quality versions of many of our core rendering features. For example, we show more objects and particles at longer distances and greater detail. We use a higher-precision color buffer for improved scene quality. Textures stream in more quickly, and we use higher quality texture filtering. More objects cast shadows, shadows are higher-resolution and blend more smoothly into the scene.

Though you only need DX10 hardware to play, if you have DX11 hardware you’ll be able to turn on high-end PC-only features like Contact Hardening Shadows, High Definition Ambient Occlusion, and Diffusion Depth of Field. In particular, the HDAO and DDoF will take full advantage of the DX11 Compute Shader capability in high-end hardware, and our FXAA implementation is optimized for Shader Model 5.”

…and I’ll leave you with this interview with Bill Gardner for some graphics previews and tech info:

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Battlefield 3: End Game live now for PC!

Motorbikes are fun, shift to pull a wheelie – fly over most things. They’re like the ATVs except you can lean, and jump… so they’re fun. I was about to outmaneuver a heli for 4 missle loads, doing jumps and circles around the flag – so if you’re aware and deft with the fingers you can be quite wily.

I do think including 2 of the levels from Aftermath was a bit of a cop-out – but they’re good levels. So far I’ve seen the railyard, snowy pipeline area, and maybe one other capture the flag map. Not bad, though the 1 I got to play was tiny. I’ll see how things go once the servers populate a bit.

End Game live now for PC and X360 Premium members – News – Battlelog / Battlefield 3.

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Movie Review: Flight

Hubris.

It describes the protagonist, the antagonist, the obstacle and the resolution. Ok – so maybe not the resolution.

I was not a fan of the secular point of view, primarily because I could identify with it. I’m familiar with the perspective. The perspective of someone receiving religious comments, even advice. I felt those words as if they were directly to me. They collided inside my head from both sides with a metallic clang, and then to the floor with another.

Catharsis is thick, and since that’s one of the only English words I remember… it must be it. “A feeling of change – for bad or good” which isn’t true. It’s got to be good. I can’t see experiences waking a person up, only to come to the realization they haven’t done enough wrong.

Just listen...

Just listen…

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Video: Tomb Raider – First Look

Now feast your eyes on the lovely, the transcendent intro quays of…
the Tomb Raider

Square Enix has blown away my expectations. Consoles ain’t got shit on this.

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LA Times – Boehner: Time for Senate to get to work and stop sequester

http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-74581703/

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Tomb Raider: Review (Kotaku)

I’m excited for Tomb Raider – but it’s unfortunate that I’m almost done playing through Far Cry 3 – it sounds very very similar. Complete with the very real, visceral agony and endurance needed to be an action hero:

Tomb Raider: The Kotaku Review.

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