OCMS News July 2009

Datel WildFire Wireless PS3 Controller Review
Friday, July 31, 2009
Third-party controllers are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. Some are awesome, some are passable, and some are a total waste of money. Datel’s PS3 Wildfire ranks between passable and awesome, depending on whether you find its features useful and/or if you like having a ton of extra AA batteries around…

At first glance, the Wildfire looks cool enough. It has a rubber grip, but the D-Pad and face buttons look like… gasp… the Xbox 360 controller!? Ugh. The L1 and R1 buttons are slightly more accessible than the DualShock controller, and the L2 and R2 trigger buttons are more triangular and slim… also… like the Xbox 360 controller!! Hrm…

GELID Wing 12 120mm UV Fan Review
Monday, July 27, 2009
Remember when UV first became popular? I must have spent my entire McDonald’s salary tricking out my case with every UV light I could get my hands on. My PC glowed like a street racer. It was in its own movie. I eventually moved out of the UV phase and into the LED era, where I remain even today. It seems a little more conserved to me. But UV is still popular, and today’s review is living proof. But this fan is much more than just a glow recipient.

It’s called the Wing 12 from Gelid. Here is the down low:

NCAA Football 10 Review
Sunday, July 26, 2009
With Fall on the horizon, it will soon be time for collegiates all over the nation to gear up for fierce gridiron combat. In NCAA Football 10 by EA Sports, fans can get into the action in style. Playing on my Playstation 3 with the Dual Shock 3 control, I was easily able to setup and start the game. Off the bat I knew this was different from previous versions as I was given a live update feed of ESPN news as I setup the game. The menu was easy to navigate and offered plenty of choices once I picked the team that I was going to assign to be my team, which was the University of Washington.

Evercool Defender Cooler for PS3 Review
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Sony’s Playstation 3 is well known for being loud and hot. Unfortunately, those are not qualities that most people look for in electronics, especially when it comes to gaming systems. One of the most highly recommended accessories for the PS3 or Xbox 360 are cooling fans, and Evercool has produced the Defender Turbo Cooling Fan to meet all of the hype.

So what role does this fan play in the life of your dear PS3? Well, it makes the PS3 louder, less hot, and takes up one of the valuable USB inputs. Is a fan really needed for the PS3? I’ve never recommended them, but if you’re one of the types that needs some heavy petting to soothe your nerves, the Defender Turbo Cooling Fan is the one to do it.

GELID GC-1 Thermal Compound Review
Friday, July 24, 2009
I remember when I first discovered thermal compound. I had no idea that working on computers could be as messy a job as changing the oil in an old Nissan. My mentor told me, and I quote, “There is no better paste than this right here.” He said this as he handed me a tube of Arctic Silver and a broken piece of a Big Lots gift card to apply the paste with. He then fell asleep playing his 27th straight hour of Everquest 2 and left me to put the computer we had taken apart back together myself.

Thing was, even in his sleepless stupor, he had been right. Arctic Silver really had no contenders back then. It was THE thermal paste, and no one argued with the fact. But over the last few years, a few other challengers have stepped into the ring, determined to take Arctic down a peg or two. Today, I’m reviewing one of those contenders. Gelid has delivered the GC1 High Performance Thermal Compound. No, really. They delivered it. I saw the birth certificate.

Mountain Dew World of Warcraft Game Fuel Review
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Everyone on this planet is guilty of brand buying. You, me, your Uncle Lester, even your granny wouldn’t buy anything but Pet Milk. It’s human nature, we buy things just because they are familiar, no matter what the outcome may be. So of course, when I heard that Mountain Dew was coming out with World of Warcraft Game Fuel, my first instinct was to buy as much of it as I could get my hands on. Because just like Pepsi Josta, it won’t be around for long…

What I’m reviewing today is the Alliance version, the Wild Fruit Punch flavor. I’m going to treat this like any other review. I’m going to describe what comes in the package, the packaging itself, the taste, and the results. So first, let’s get a little background information on the newest sugar-laced tooth rot to hit the shelves of a store near you.

Otterbox iPod Touch Defender Case Review
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
For those that need some review: the Otterbox Armor Case is meant to protect against scratches, dust, sand/dirt, and drops. It is also waterproof for depths up to three feet. The screen is covered by a thin membrane and the rest of the case is made from tough impact-absorbing rubber. The case has a headphone jack coming from the bottom of it and a tight belt clip that doesn’t let go easily.

‘The Conduit’ Review (Wii)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This is not to say the Wii is a bad system, rather more mature gamers need to be more selective about what they play, as many times, there are better versions of games out for the next gen consoles and PC which are not limited by the hardware spec s of the Wii or the reduced multiplay the system offers.

Thankfully, there seem to be many good titles on the horizon for the Wii and if the release of The Conduit is any indication, the best is yet to come.

9 Tips on How to Mess with Ebay Buyers
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Everyone knows that Ebay is a great way to live the American Dream and get rich quick… but it’s also an excellent source of entertainment!

An Ebay seller is usually a disgruntled sort, because they are already selling a product for half its retail value. On top of this, they get additional ass-rapeage in the form of Ebay and Paypal fees. Still, they’re Corporate Fat Cats who don’t deserve the money for their work, and must be dealt with.

Here are some sure-fire tips on ways to piss on an Ebay seller… Because hey, they deserve it!

NZXT Beta Case Review
Monday, July 20, 2009
Remember when Batman Begins came out? He was having to run across the city and was getting his ass kicked by every building he scrambled down. And then… that tank thing came along. The best piece of butt-kickery to grace a superhero with no powers. How awesome would it be to run around the city in something that looks like that? Well, there’s not a flaming chance of you getting to sit behind the wheel of that tank, but at least you can have a case that looks just as hardcore.

NZXT, those moguls of awesomeness, have delivered unto us the Beta Steel Mid Tower. No wussified mini-ATX case here, this thing is a titan. The best thing to me is that even though it’s a budget gamer case, priced at under $50, it still offers so much more than many of the cases that cost twice as much. Here’s a little information to get us started in showing what this thing is really made of. You know, steel. It says so right in the name.

NZXT Avatar 2600dpi Gaming Mouse Review
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
NZXT has burst onto the PC modding scene with several innovative products, like their Tempest Gamer Case, Sentry LX Fan controller and other cases and peripherals. NZXT is not only known for providing great design and quality, but also for their great value. Other peripheral manufacturers have dipped their toes into the pool of gaming mice, so why not take a slice of the big Gaming Pie? (or is that Pi)?

With their release of the Avatar gaming mouse, NZXT has staked its claim of the gaming frontier. This optical mouse not only has the looks to compete, but offers seven buttons, adjustable resolution all the way up to 2600dpi, and an ambidextrous design.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Movie Review
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
It has been nearly two years since fans last witnessed Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), battle the evil Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). At long last, J.K. Rowling’s beloved saga continues with “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. The film picks up a year after the events of the previous film with the evil Death Eaters wreaking havoc in both the magica and Muggle (non-wizard) world. Their wave of terror is so complete that parents are afraid to send their students back to Hogwarts to complete their studies.

As Harry waits to return to school, he is visited by his headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), who takes Harry to meet an old friend named Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent). Professor Slughorn is reluctant to return to Hogwarts, wanting to keep a low profile like most of the Wizarding world, to avoid the unwanted attention of Voldemort’s legions Despite his reservations, Slughorn agrees to travel to Hogwarts, intrigued by the notion of adding Harry, the prophesized “Chosen One” to his collection of prominent former students.

Zalman ZM-NC1500 Ultra-Quiet Notebook Cooler Review
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Notebook computer pack an awful lot of electronics into a small space. As notebooks get more powerful, so does their heat output, and people who use their notebooks as a “desktop replacement” feel all of that power on their legs (please no dirty jokes).

Zalman has unleashed their latest notebook cooler to help alleviate our pain, dubbed the ZM-NC1500 Ultra Quiet Notebook Cooler. Like many of the other notebook coolers we’ve reviewed over the years, this one elevates the notebook from your work surface, offers additional ventilation and airflow. This edition not only comes with extra fans, but an extra USB port, as well. It is also large enough to accomodate today’s large 17″ laptops.

Enermax Twister Case Fans Review
Monday, July 13, 2009
There are numerous options out there for cooling your case. The last I checked everyone and their mother had a fan that was meant to “optimize” the effective cooling by having different blade shapes, or floating magnetic movement opposed to ball bearing movement. And then there are sizes… LOTS of sizes. Everyone’s fan is better than anyone else’s, and the world of cooling has been revolutionized by simply changing the shape of a plastic blade and punching a few holes here and there. Kind of makes you wonder what, if anything, is changed about such minor alterations.

The thing is, that as minor as these changes are to those who don’t design fans for a living, simply changing the shape of the blades could easily add much more airflow, reducing the need for the blades to spin faster, thus creating a quieter PC for us all. That’s what Enermax did. They got their brilliant monstrous brains together and came up with a fan that could keep our cases cold while providing much less noise in the mix. They called it the Twister, which I thought was a silly name for a fan. But you know, who cares if their naming skills suck? They designed one hell of a cool fan. Here are some details on it:

Darkest of Days Info Straight from the Developers
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Antietam . . . Little Big Horn . . . Pompeii, these are certainly some of humanity’s “Darkest of Days”. When time travel is first invented by a company called KronoteK, research teams are sent back to further document these events. While there, they discover individuals that are dying that were never meant to (how they know this is explained in the game). KronoteK does not know why, but it’s evident that history has been tampered with, and they set out to change history back to the way it was meant to be. You, as the player, are tasked with finding these individuals, saving them, and trying to set History right.

Who are you? Your name is Alexander Morris, and you are a new attachment to General Custer’s Army. You arrive a few days early landing you at Little Big Horn. Seconds before you meet your demise, you are saved by a time-travel agent and are whisked away to the future. You find out you are the newest recruit in a time-agent army comprised of MIA’s snagged all throughout history.

Razer Salmosa 3G Gaming Mouse Review
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Never mind that it’s name is closer to Salmon than any of us care to acknowledge, because for the low price, anyone can have quality gaming gear that won’t put you in debt with the bank that is probably getting foreclosed by our government. And Xoxide was kind enough to hook us up with one to see how it stacks up against other noob-level gaming gear on the market today. While we contact our lawyers and see how long our own bank will be open before Obama takes it, check out the details on this mouse:

Pete Hines Interview about Id Merger: Future of Quake and Doom
Friday, July 10, 2009
Pete Hines of Bethesda Softworks comments on the merger of Id Software with ZeniMax media, and answers the following questions and more:

What effect will this have on future ID releases such as Rage and Quake 5?

Will we see future Doom games?

Will Id move away from PC games towards consoles?

Will there be any changes to Quake Con?

GELID Systems Silent Spirit CPU Heatsink Review
Friday, July 10, 2009
The word heatsink has always been one of those unusual words that doesn’t quite fit what it actually is. Let’s break it down. Heat is a form of energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules and capable of being transmitted through solid and fluid media by conduction, convection or radiation. To sink is to fall or drop to a lower level, especially to go down in stages, or to make weaker or less forceful. Hmmm… I guess heatsink does work after all.

Regardless of my lame attempt to fill an introductory paragraph, there are many many vendors of CPU coolers (aka heatsinks). Most of them do an adequate job, but only a fine few are worthy of being in a PC enthusiast’s rig. Enthusiasts (such as the fine readers of OCmodshop) want a cooler that performs beyond the call of duty, because they are usually overclocking their rigs, pushing them to the thermal breaking point.

Enermax Aeolus CP001 Notebook Cooler Review
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Notebook computers tend to get hot. Some are even considered to be “desktop replacements” because of all the advanced hardware thrown into such a small space. With desktop systems, we have the luxury of adding large and advanced heatsinks with fancy LED fans, but laptops pretty much have to rely on the OEM cooling that the manufactuer has decided is “good enough”.

Enermax says “nay” to this philosophy and introduces the Aeolus CP001 notebook cooler, which is made from all aluminum, and has a large 250mm fan to blow a lot of air to the underside of your notebook and remain silent while doing it. The fan is also equipped with blue LEDs to produce a nice glow in your man-cave. Aeolus is the god of the winds, in Greek Mythology, so Enermax apparently thinks highly of this product.

Enermax Liberty Eco 400W PSU Review
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
We have LED bulbs, low-flow shower heads, and even meters that plug into an outlet in your house and tell you how much electricity you are wasting each and every day (check prices on Kill-a-Watt meters). And lately it seems that the people leading the way for us nerds to get in on the Eco-action are the PSU manufacturers.

Enermax has delivered us the Liberty Eco line of power supplies to help us stay on Earth’s good side. Available in 400W, 500W, and 620W, these PSUs will ensure that you are actually using more electricity than you are wasting. Today I’ll be testing the 400W PSU and see how it stands up to other Eco-friendly supplies on the market today, as well as its efficiency compared to other power supplies that haven’t been branded “Eco-friendly”. Before we get started, take a look at some of the perks of owning this particular power supply:

Women are Taking Over the Internet!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
According to a Pew Research study 43 percent of the women in the U.S. call the shots. A male/female study by Synovate turned up the fact that 60 percent of women in 12 countries felt they were more financially responsible. Only 40 percent of the men agreed but then they haven’t answered any other surveys. Some executives have long understood the importance of the woman in the buying decision. After all most men are “a little slow,” not stupid!

Marketing guys really aren’t slow in this industry. While Apple has perhaps turned appealing to female prospects into a science, the rest of us got the message. When marketing execs were asked about their most important demographics, women were way up the list for us.

Red Faction: Guerilla Review (Xbox 360, PS3)
Monday, July 06, 2009
Volition and THQ have scored with the high enjoyable third chapter in the Red Faction series, Red Faction Guerrilla. The game wisely ignores the very disappointing second game in the series and returns the game to it’s’ roots on Mars. Picking up years after the events of the first game, players take on the role of Alec Mason; a minor recently arrived on Mars who is looking to reconnect with his brother.

When his brother is killed for being a suspected insurgent by the Earth Defense Force (EDF), Alec narrowly averts being killed himself and finds himself as the newest member of the Red Faction resistance.

Datel Edge Nunchuck Controller for Wii
Monday, July 06, 2009
Third-party manufacturers sure do like to cash in on game systems. There are plenty of manufacturers, the most notable one being Nyko, but a new British company has been churning out new products that have begun to turn some heads. Datel’s products stand out from the crowd because they actually don’t suck, and are reasonably priced.

Datel has produced a third-party Nunchuck controller for the Nintendo Wii called the Edge. Here’s some of the marketing poop straight from those limey bastards:

10 Benefits of Video Games
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Gaming both video and computer has become more than a fad, it is a part of life. First generation video game players have now become adult and carry their passion to adulthood. Parents and teachers worry about games having negative effects on children and a great deal has been written about games leading to violent behavior and addiction. However, all is not negative about gaming, studies by leading researchers have shown that video and computer games have many benefits:

‘Section 8’ Questions Answered by Developers
Friday, July 03, 2009
Section 8 is an intense sci-fi shooter set in the future when humans have begun colonizing alien worlds in the far reaches of the Milky Way galaxy. While it is set in the distant future, we wanted to make it feel realistic and relatable to the player. You will not find something like lasers or teleportation in this universe; everything is very mechanical.

Players will be able to battle on everything from lush, green planets to barren desert planets in Section 8. Each map in the game is absolutely enormous in size and has a very unique feel for a memorable battle experience each and every time.

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Review (PSP)
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Since we have already published an official review of IJatSoK for the Wii (read it here), I decided to publish my thoughts on the PSP version of the game.

I’m glad to see a lot more Indiana Jones around, because there was such a drought of content between the third and fourth movies. I’ll just chalk this up as poor judgement on George Lucas’ part… since he hasn’t had a 5 out of 5 hit since the original Star Wars movie (Empire and Jedi were actually directed by David Cronenberg).

Nyko Charge Station for Wii Review
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Most other game manufacturers have discovered that rechargable controllers is the way to go. The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have rechargable gamepads. Even Nintendo’s own DS has a built-in rechargable battery. With everyone getting on the “green” bandwagon, it doesn’t make sense to suck up a set of AA batteries every 15-20 hours.

Nyko is again, at our rescue, and delivers not only rechargable batteries for the Nintendo Wii’s Wiimotes, but supplies an attractive stand as well. Here’s the marketing spiel from the Nykettes:

Nyko Metal Drum Pedal Review
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
What do you call a person who pretends to be a musician?

A drummer.

In all seriousness, not everyone can be as awesome as me while playing a little guitar controller for Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Thanks to Rock Band and Guitar Hero World Tour, those people can play the drums. Playing these toy drums feel more like playing real instruments than the little guitar controllers. Until the cheap foot pedal breaks, reminding you just how much of a toy these thing can be.

If you need a better replacement foot pedal or just want to pretend to be Lars Ulrich (of Metallica fame), then you might consider getting a new drum pedal for your musical gaming rig.

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Movie Review
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Scrat and the gang are back, and this time in stunning 3D in the new “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”. The third chapter in the popular series once again follows the adventures of the unusual mix of friends, in their frozen home.

As the film opens, Manny (Ray Romano), is a nervous wreck as Ellie (Queen Latifah), is expecting their first child. Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), is ecstatic over the pending arrival, while Diego the tiger, (Dennis Leary), believes he has lost his edge and is no longer needed in a family environment.