OCMS News January 2007

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What is Windows Vista? (Part 2)
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Criticisms of Windows Vista include protracted development time, more restrictive licensing terms, the inclusion of a number of technologies aimed at restricting the copying of protected digital media, and the usability of the new User Account Control security technology. Reviewers have also noted similarities between Vista’s Aero interface and that of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, particularly around the use of transition effects. Moreover, some concerns have been raised about many PCs meeting “Vista Premium Ready” hardware requirements and Vista’s pricing.

What is Windows Vista? (part 1)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
According to Microsoft, Windows Vista contains hundreds of new features; some of the most significant include an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Windows Aero, improved searching features, new multimedia creation tools such as Windows DVD Maker, and completely redesigned networking, audio, print, and display sub-systems. Vista also aims to increase the level of communication between machines on a home network using peer-to-peer technology, making it easier to share files and digital media between computers and devices. For developers, Vista introduces version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, which aims to make it significantly easier for developers to write high-quality applications than with the traditional Windows API.

Vizo’s 32-in-1 Card Reader for the Extreme Card Collector
Monday, January 29, 2007
I love VIZO! This company makes all these cool little gadgets that actually are made well and help scratch that itch I have… You know the itch, the one that constantly scratches and irritates you because of your overwhelming need to have more gizmos and electronic devices. It’s one of those things that I have just accepted. I kid you not, I have the following items within reach right at this moment, Two I-pods, a Zen media player, three PSPs, four Nintendo DSs, a digital camera, a digital camcorder, multiple USB ports, two different bluetooth accesories and now a brand new card reader appropriately titled the Mirrorbox.

Zelda: Twilight Princess Walkthrough (Chapters 7-12)
Monday, January 29, 2007
Swim forward through the corridor. Dodge the jellyfish that approach, as you can’t successfully attack them right now.

You’ll arrive on dry land inside the temple. Chests nearby contain extra arrows and bombs if you’re low. If you have an empty bottle, you can defeat the red Chus and collect their jelly, which acts as health-restoring potion.

Sam & Max Episode 3 Review (The Mole, The Mob, and the Meatball)
Sunday, January 28, 2007
If you’ve never heard of Sam & Max, you’ve missed out on one of the craziest dynamic duos there is. Working as “freelance police”, cartoon dog Sam and his decidedly weird bunny sidekick Max live in a world devoid of logic, plausibility and responsibility, yet it all comes together in razor-sharp satire that works beautifully once you’ve let go of all common sense.

The game is structured like an old-school adventure along the lines of Space Quest, Zak McKracken, Maniac Mansion and others, where you point-and-click your character around to interact with objects, talk to people and so on. It should take a complete novice about 20 seconds to get the hang of the controls, less for someone who has actually played a game since the Atari 2600 days.

Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit Review
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wireless really is the only way to go if you’re a serious gamer. Gamers wishing to harness the full power of the Xbox 360 will have a large high-definition display, and must sit 6 to 8 feet away to game comfortably. Even though the wired controllers have long USB cables, they drape down from your home theater rack, begging to be pulled out by the cat, dog, or wandering toddlers.

Zelda: Twilight Princess Walkthrough Part 1 (Chapters 1-6)
Thursday, January 25, 2007
The adventure begins here. Link will be instructed to get his horse Epona and head to the ranch. As soon as you have control, run to the path behind Link’s house. Enter the next area and run over to the pool to meet Ilia. Speak with her and she’ll want you to get some grass to whistle and call Epona. A tuft of grass is directly behind you, so go up and press A to grab it, then A again to whistle for Epona. Hop on Epona’s back and take yourselves all the way south through the village and finally up to the Ranch.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 Review (Nintendo DS)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
You are Kyle Hyde, an ex-cop with a hell of a lot of baggage. Kyle and his partner, Brian Bradley, used to rule to roost in New York City. However, a few years ago Brian decided to hand over some top secret information to the bad guys. So what did Kyle do? He hunted him down and shot him like the dirty two-faced dog he really was. Brian fell into the river and was never found. Kyle turned in his badge to become a door-to-door salesman with a secret: every once in awhile his boss sends him on a search for people who don’t really want to be found… Kyle wants to find out what happened to Brian, and so he is led to Hotel Dusk. The rest of the mystery-solving is left in your hands.

War Rock Review: A “Free” MMOFPS
Monday, January 22, 2007
Yup, it’s another MMOFPS. You know the drill – join a team, pick one of the usual classes and head off to kill the other team and/or capture their bases. The concept is far from new, and with proven competitors like Counter-Strike: Source, the Battlefield series and other success stories, how can you make a new entry stand out?

In some ways, War Rock does bring some new ideas to the table. Unlike other games in the genre, you don’t pay a dime for the product. It’s a free download with no monthly subscription fees.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Preview
Monday, January 22, 2007
Over the years PC RPGs slowly rolled forward, every once in a while getting little improvements.

Starting from Diablo with online play and an awesome game engine, then came along games like Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind with an engine design anf game world that blew our minds. Next came MMORPGs (Massive/Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) like EverQuest, World of Warcraft, UltimaOnline, and my recent favorite Ashron’s Call: each dumping us into a massive world where players can all play side by side (or head to head as the case may be). Now we get to play a game that rolls the aspects of single player only games (like Morrowind and Oblivion), in with the good things from MMOs, I present to you Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Thermalright HR-05 Northbridge Heatsink Review : How much is your performance worth?
Friday, January 19, 2007
Even if you don’t mess with your computer very much, you should still be worried about this installation. If your motherboard is vertically mounted, then gravity will surely pull on the heavy heatsink, creating torque, which will pull the pushpins out of their sockets. This very thing happened to me, my computer suddenly crashed from overheating, and a little investigation revealed that one of the pushpins came loose, and the HR-05 was half-cocked.

Lost Planet Multiplayer FAQ
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Players compete in a free-for-all deathmatch-style game. Players compete for points. Match ends when time runs out or a single player’s points reach 0. The person with the most points at the end of the match wins. Points and ranking are displayed in real-time beneath the health and T-ENG meters, with the player’s own name and point total displayed in yellow, with opponents in white.

Earn points by killing opponents, destroying Vital Suits, and activating Data Posts. Lose points for getting killed.

The post-match results screen shows the player’s individual ranking, individual performance and points, with a ranking of all players based on performance and point totals.

Warioware: Smooth Moves Review (Wii)
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I have to admit that I was skeptical of Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. The demo looked stupid, the box looked stupid, and the art looked stupid too. In case you get my drift, the whole game looked completely rediculous and I wasn’t sure why I even wanted to check it out. Within moments of popping in the game – I found out.

WoW, You Guys are Nuts! Burning Crusade Launch Party
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Many of you know that my other undercover job is at a local gaming store. As my luck would have it, I was scheduled to work the WoW: Burning Crusade launch last night at midnight. But, that means that all of our readers will get an inside look into the biggest midnight launch since Halo 2. Here is one sales associate/OCMS journalist’s take on one damn crazy evening…

Lost Planet Walkthrough
Saturday, January 13, 2007
OCmodshop has published a brand-spanking new walkthrough for the single-player campaign of Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions. We take you through all twelve missions, from the training level and see you through to the glorious end.

Your first mission isn’t really a mission, but a brief tutorial of game. Through several on-screen instructions, you’ll learn what your character, Wayne, is all about: you’ll learn how to manage his health, use his special Bionic Commando-like move, and perform rudimentary evasive moves. Follow Commander Garrett around the city, shooting the flying Akrids and collecting their energy cells. Remember, don’t let your ever-decreasing health bar drop to zero…otherwise you’ll drop dead. Look for a Delta Post to refill your health, or pick up the energy cells dropped by a fallen enemy.

Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions Review (Xbox 360)
Friday, January 12, 2007
Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions is the most hyped game on the Xbox 360 since Gears of War. Both seem to have a lot in common: GoW and Lost Planet advertise wonderful graphics, original gameplay, and one can’t help but notice the correlation between both games’ storylines… it’s us versus the aliens once again. So what exactly makes Lost Planet different from Gears of War?

Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions has an interesting set up. Wayne must find thermal energy to stay alive, and most of this energy is harvested from data points or Akrid. The meter is constantly running out, and you must continue to fill Wayne’s energy meter. If the meter gets down to zero, Wayne will begin to die…… and it is no slow and painful death. Running from your enemies is not an option, as you need to kill them to stay alive.

Why Do We Use a 5-Point Rating System?
Friday, January 12, 2007
In the early days, OCmodshop used to have a subjective 10-point rating system, and we found that horrible products were rated higher than they really deserved. One of the worst products I’ve ever reviewed was the Waffer Aircon PC air conditioner, which originally received a subjective 4 out of 10 (because I was trying to be nice and figured that making a product was worth a few points). This should have received a 1 out of 5 to truly identify the waste-of-plastic that it is.

Case study: Several review sites gave PS3’s Mobile Suit Gundam (the worst piece of shovelware on any system) a 3.1 to 3.9 out of 10 points. Do you really need to know that a game is a 3.2 of 10 or 38% to know it should be avoided like warm fish off a truck? Using the 1 out of 5 scale is a simpler way of stating that this game is terrible.

Buttload of Screenshots Added to OCMS Gallery
Friday, January 12, 2007
A ton of new screenshots have been added to the OCMS Image Gallery.

Screenshots for the PC, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS, and Xbox 360 cover great games such as Halo 3, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Resistance: Fall of Man, Lost Planet, Gears of War, Madden 07, Warcraft 3, War Rock, Rayman Raving Rabbids and many more games!

Vantec Piano 101 – Ultimate laptop dock?
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Let’s take a look a Vantec’s new laptop station: the Piano 101. Piano? I am a veteran pianist, but what do speakers, fans, and ports have to do with a classical instrument? Perhaps the great sound? I dunno. Ponder the qualifications yourselves and see what you come up with. Even if the Piano 101 has nothing to do with a box shaped instrument with a keyboard, Vantec is onto something here……

Gears of War Review (Xbox 360)
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The graphics aren’t just awesome, they are beyond awesome. As you watch cutscenes or even the in-game action, the little things are sooooo vivid. The tattoos on the arms of the soldiers in your unit, the damage on the armor from previous battles the gristle and goo from the damage an enemy takes. It’s all so clear and sharp looking. When you look at a soldier, I kid you not, you can see the tattoo on his arm, some soot and dirt, the glistening of sweat and then the striations of the muscles in his arms. It’s un-frickin believeable, this is a leap forward in graphics, people are calling it the first “true” next generation title out there. The Locust Horde themselves, look so mean, their overly large mouths filled with these “real” looking vicious teeth. If ever there was an army of boogeymen who sprang out from under the beds of children, these are they, and they are mean and nasty.

CES 2007 Day Two
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
CES still has plenty of surprises in store. Alot more Home Theater equipment was announced today by Klipsch, MicroDisplay and Dell. Not to be outdone by AMD again, Intel showed off their new eight-core motherboard. Other gadget makers also unveiled their “Zune killers” while Apple announced the highly anticipated iPod Phone, or iPhone.

WizCom introduced an “intelligent highlighter”, TechWell showed off their in-car LCD displays, and Delphi had some new XM satelite radio products.

OCmodshop’s CES 2007 Coverage
Monday, January 08, 2007
We got all the info you need about CES, with more content added every few hours. We keep you in the know about all the newest gadgets, games, home theater, and computer equipment being shown at CES this year.

Since 1967, CES has been the launch pad of technology, and this upcoming show promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Over the past four decades, the International CES has grown eight-fold and now hosts 2,700 exhibitors showcasing their latest products and services to more than 150,000 attendees.

Rayman Raving Rabbids Review (Nintendo Wii)
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Rayman was a launch title for the Wii, and many of us are wondering, “what is keeping this game competitive with Zelda!?!?!” Rayman Raving Rabbids is a constant best-seller, and has been increasingly difficult to find on the shelf lately. The few new copies sell out usually within a day, and for what reason? Because we like to hit crazed rabbits with plungers? Evidently so….

Rayman has taken a break from his platforming adventures. Sitting quietly one day with his frog-like buddies, he becomes aware that something just isn’t right. When a psychotic looking bunny with a slob of drool on his face peers up at him from a hole in the ground, Rayman knows things are definitely not normal. Suddenly, a giant robotic bunny appears and drags Rayman off to an arena mimicking the Roman Coliseum. Rayman must beat the bunnies at their own game to get his friends back!

DVD Formats Explained
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The name Blu-ray Disc is derived from the blue-violet laser used to read and write this type of disc. Because of this shorter wavelength (405 nm), substantially more data can be stored on a Blu-ray Disc than on the common DVD format, which uses a red, 650 nm laser. In comparison to HD DVD, which also uses a blue laser, Blu-ray Disc has more information capacity per layer (currently 25 GB, but test media is up to 33 GB). Several manufacturers have released 50 GB recordable BDs and rewritable discs. All supporting studios have either already released or have announced release of movies on 50GB discs.

In comparison to its main competitor, Blu-ray Disc, HD DVD has less information capacity per layer (15 gigabytes instead of Blu-ray Disc’s 25). HD DVD shares the same basic disc structure as a standard DVD: back-to-back bonding of two 0.6 mm thick, 120 mm diameter substrates.