OCMS News March 2008

Homie Rollerz Reviewed (Nintendo DS)
Monday, March 31, 2008
Homie Rollerz is an interesting game. I think it’s the weird mix of Mario Kart + Chicano + Zombies + Gangstas.Another thing is that I can’t tell if this game is making fun of itself or not… with the exaggerated gangsta talk, stereotype perpetuating, and outrageous characters, it seems that Homie Rollerz may be trying too hard.

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend this game to kids. How this game got away with an E for Everyone rating is amazing. I wouldn’t let my five or even ten year old play this game with all of the trash talking, innuendo, or adult themes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude. If you’re the type of parent that lets their kids watch soap operas and MTV all day long, then you’ll be okay. Adults and teens might have a good laugh with this game, but I think the overall themes of the game are too adult for little kids.

Fix Vista’s Wasteful Shadow Copy
Sunday, March 30, 2008
As storage has gotten more expansive, Microsoft has gotten very good at unnecessarially using up this extra space. One of the biggest storage hogs is System Restore, which was rather easy to modify in Windows XP. In Windows Vista, there is no easy way to change the amount of space that System Restore uses, so Vista is likely keeping the restore point from the time you wiped your butt with a new roll of TP.

In Windows Vista, the storage problem has gotten even worse, because Vista now has found a way to bloat even System Restore. The new feature is called Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), which enhances System Restore by making backup copies of deleted or changed files. Most of these “shadow copies” cannot be deleted: they just take up space for no reason whatsoever.

Fortunately, there is a command line utility that will allow you change the amount of space Windows Vista uses for Restore Points and Shadow Copies, and is called the vssadmin.exe (Volume Shadow Copy Service Admin).

Spitfire Heroes: Tales of the Royal Air Force (Nintendo DS)
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Compared to the games I’ve been playing lately, Spitfire Heroes: Tales of the Royal Air Force is easy – too easy.

Destineer delivers a game that could be picked up easily, but putting it down is another story. It’s about time. It’s 1940 and the RAF is in the early stages of World War II. You have volunteered your life to the Royal Air Force, and now it’s time to put yourself against the Germans in an all-out dogfight. Several missions give you (the recruit) a chance to shine. Will your rickety plane survive the mess to come? Or will you outsmart your well-trained adversaries?

OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB Flash Drive Review
Friday, March 28, 2008
USB flash drives are almost standard issue amongst IT professionals, and are useful for students and pretty much anyone who uses more than one computer. The capacities of today’s flash drives allow us to carry many gigabytes of personal data, so the write performance must also increase to fill the drive in a timely manner. It was only two years ago when a good flash drive could read at a rate of 10 Megabytes per second, and today’s Memory Monsters are expected to reach 25MB or more.

Due to the nature of flash memory, it cannot be written to in the same way as volotile memory (like your computer’s DDR2 RAM), so a clever way to increase throughput is to make it dual-channel (as most motherboards have implemented to increase performance).

OCZ addresses the performance shortcomings of other USB flash drives with their Rally2 Turbo USB drive, which features dual-channel technology coupled with faster non-volitile memory, which should theoretically enable faster read and write throughput.

Razer Destructor Mousepad Review
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Razer has themed their products after the world’s deadliest snakes, fish, and spiders… so what deadly animal can they slap on their latest mousepad? An ant? I’d love to be in the boardroom when the Marketing department was meeting about this one. Not everyone watches the Discovery channel, so most civilized people haven’t witnessed how a swarm of these insect can strip a small animal in mere minutes.

If ants really were the icon of Destruction then they’d be used as a metaphor at LAN parties much more often. I can hear the trash talk now…. “Yeah, buddy, I’m gonna dominate you like an ant on your backside. I’m gonna bite your ass, and you’ll have mild discomfort and probably have some swelling and skin discoloration. You’ll have to go to the doctor for some topical cream, boi…”

Regardless of the Destructor’s misguided animal icon, it is a high-quality mousepad, designed to register precise movement with today’s optical and laser mice, and do it without slowing down the gamer.

God of War: Chains of Olympus Walkthrough
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
As far as this game, it’s short, and I would have thought it shorter had I not been writing this guide while playing, among other things that interrupted playing time. You get six hours, seven hours tops, but that should not be a knock against this game. Just like Call of Duty 4, this game cuts out the filler and delivers solid gameplay from start to finish. Just think of it this way: if you like condensed, more solid gameplay that is short, you’ll not feel cheated at all, and if you prefer as much playing time as possible with as much repitition as can be tolerated, go grab Mass Effect or Assassin’s Creed (yeah, those games are great, but not perfect).

This game is way smooth for visuals – something about maxing out the processor or something like that. It’s got great graphics, sounds awesome, good enough story that even ties into the other two titles, and the combat is pure fun. If you got a PSP, no reason to pass this up.

Who Disabled my Task Manager?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Task Manager is usually disabled using a Group Policy, so if you’re a home user and cannot run Task Manager by any means, then you may be the victim of a trojan virus. Companies may implement a domain policy that prevents execution of the Task Manager (else you could discover all of the Big Brother software they’re using on you), so check with your IT department if you experience this on a work computer. One way to test this is to login to your local machine account rather than the domain and see how much access is restricted.

If Task Manager is disabled, then you will not be able to access it by any means. It will be “greyed out” on your taskbar, the option to run Task Manager will disappear when you press “Ctrl+Alt+Del”, and will refuse to run by typing “taskman” in a Run dialog box.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Review
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is the heavily anticipated follow-up to one of the most successful shooters on a next-gen console. Does it follow in its predecessors footsteps? Yes, and in some ways, delivers even more…

Vegas 2 takes place before, during, and after the events in Vegas 1. You begin your game five years before the events in the previous games, and then fast-forward to the present. Vegas 2 has a new protagonist: Bishop, and continues to take place in Sin City, although offering more daytime and outdoor missions. There are a few other new features to the game as well…

Rainbow Six Vegas 2 Walkthrough
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Well, it didn’t take long for this series to wrap it up, after the “cliff hanger” of an ending for the last game. But to be perfectly honest, I have no clue what the story of the last game was about. Something about Irena, and then someone that betrayed us, probably Gabe. But I didn’t quite see the connections in the plot, probably because I don’t have the story of the first game down.

But other than the plot holes in my mind, and the obviously cheese for a plot of this game anyway, the actual gameplay is nothing new. It’s basically an expansion pack for the last game, as nothing new is done and it just seems like more of the same. Granted, this and the last game are great at what they do, which is tactical, squad-based shooting.

Game Informer says it best. Something like “you don’t stop eating your favorite food because it’s the same.” That’s what you will feel like after you play this game. Tastes great, but it’s nothing new.

Sega Superstars Tennis Review (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, DS)
Monday, March 24, 2008
Wii players have been crossing their fingers that Sega Superstars Tennis would be the answer to our tennis itch. A fun, interactive, accurate tennis game would be to die for. Does Sega Superstars fill the void? Eh… kinda.

Sega Superstars Tennis is essentially Mario Tennis with Sega characters and more mini games. Unfortunately for me, I hardly know any Sega characters except for Sonic, Tails, and Monkey Ball dude (see I don’t even know his name….Sega loser). It’s not that I’m a Nintendo snob; it’s just that Sega characters aren’t as well known to the average gamer. The fact that this game has “Sega” in the title probably doesn’t bring it any more attention.

Zalman ZM-RS6F USB Theater Surround Headphones Review
Saturday, March 22, 2008
If you’ve ever wanted to look as geeky as humanly possible, Zalman has come to the rescue. The Zalman ZM-RS6F USB Headphones are not only freaking awesome, but they are huge and simply using them screams “nerd alert!” at any LAN party or plane ride.

The Zalman USB headphones are some of the best you can buy for your gaming or video-watching pleasure. The surround sound that the headphones provide while watching DVDs is pretty good when compared to the best home sound system set-up. Not to mention, you can have the same quality of sound while listening your coveted WOW character cyber, or while enjoying a little Beethoven from your iTunes.

Guitar Hero on Nintendo DS!
Friday, March 21, 2008
For the first time, handheld gamers will have the freedom to unleash their inner rock star anywhere, anytime with Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) upcoming Guitar Hero®: On Tour for Nintendo DSTM. The game will deliver a unique Guitar Hero® experience by challenging handheld gamers to rock out and prove their shredding skills on the most diverse set list of master tracks ever offered in a Guitar Hero game, including classic rock, alternative and pop favorites such as Nirvana, OK Go and No Doubt.

The game will be packaged with a revolutionary Guitar HeroTM Guitar GripTM peripheral that fits snugly into the DS and a unique Guitar Hero pick-stylus that brings a new dimension to handheld gaming and the core gameplay that defines Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero: On Tour has been designed specifically for the DS platform and will offer the DS audience an all-new compelling music experience.

DRM Protection: Treating Consumers Like Thieves
Friday, March 21, 2008
While the music industry has almost totally abandon DRM (Digital Rights Management) as have audio books, Hollywood stands by their encryption even though it was cracked by a bunch of Doom 9ers. Once we have a fresh set of BD movies, the code kids will probably crack it as well…

Hey it’s their form of entertainment! While CE/PC folks all agree that the consumer is entitled to some level of consumer copying, the “good guys” still aren’t sure. After all if you want the movie in another form why not just buy it? You know made for theater…made for TV…made for disc…made for iPod…made for phone.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Unlockables Posted
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Unlockable Samus Suit, Stage Builder Parts, All-Star Mode, Sheik, Boss Battle Mods, Hidden Characters, unlockable stages and more revealed in this guide. Here’s a snip:

After choosing your character on the character select screen, you can mess around with the characters, which most people know. You can select varying colors for each character and the like. However, there are two characters who have more important character selection options — Princess Zelda and Pokémon Trainer. For these two characters, you can do more than just select colors. For Zelda, you can choose to start as Zelda or Shiek (simply press one or the other). For Pokémon Trainer, you can select which of his three Pokémon he’ll start the battle with.

Army of Two Tips and Achievements
Thursday, March 20, 2008
An easy way to get this achievement is to shoot while you are dropping down by parachute. Purchase the RPG, and play the mission where you are trying to land on the Navy ship. At the bottom you will see three guards. Shoot at them as soon as you can and before they disperse. Once you kill them, restart from the last checkpoint. Repeat killing the enemies until you get the achievement.

How to Generate a Blue Screen of Death in Vista (on purpose)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Microsoft claims that Windows Vista is the most stable version of their OS yet… so stable that you may not ever see the dreaded BSOD (or Blue Screen of Death). Some of the development staff may have been so nostalgic over their lost Blue Friend that they included a hidden way to raise it from the depths.

Before you begin thinking that this is an awesome trick to play on your co-workers (and it is), there actually is a legitimate use for this “feature”. Developers can use this trick to artificially creat a memory dump for testing purposes. But it’s much more fun for Linux and Mac evangelists to “demonstrate” how fragile Windows can be.

Once you enable this feature, you’ll be able to create a BSOD at any time by pressing a certain key combination on your keyboard.

How to Install CPU and Memory
Monday, March 17, 2008
Ever since computers have invaded all of our homes the one thing that might have always daunted the normal user is “I want to upgrade my processor but I don’t know how.” Many people’s initial reaction is to call a friend or run it past the local computer store (and might lose it for a few days if they’re busy)… But trust me when I say you can do this yourself.

This tutorial isn’t for the advanced users, but for those who are interested in hardware who might just lack that little extra information on how to swap components. In this following small tutorial you will see how to remove a stock cooler from a LGA 775 Socket with an Intel Core2 Duo E6600. We also show you how to install DDR2 memory, not that it should be needed since it’s as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but you never know =]

Cyberlink DVD Suite Ultra 6 Review
Friday, March 14, 2008
With Toshiba finally leaving the next generation DVD battlefield and moving on to more profitable ventures such as solid state and hard drive storage, we can safely purchase a new computer with a blu-ray disc (BD) burner/player.

The challenge though comes in finding software that will provide superior BD high definition playback as well as the ability to produce video content people will want to watch on the new high capacity (25GB single sided) discs.

In our search of the internet we were able to find only one software package that would support both writing and playback of BD-Video – CyberLink’s DVD Suite 6 Ultra.

Get a list of Vista’s Drivers from the Command Prompt
Friday, March 14, 2008
Even if you have a “semi-closed” system like a laptop, there are many drivers that get installed for even the simplest of “add-on” devices. Have you noticed that plugging in a USB drive prompts Windows to find the proper drivers? For general hardware like USB and hard drives, the OS uses Microsoft’s default drivers that ship with the OS, so this usually isn’t a problem. But you may have noticed that if you plug the same USB drive into a different USB port that Windows may “reinstall” the driver?

Fortunately you can compile a list of all the drivers installed on your system (including drivers not in use and “signed” drivers). This list will even give you the driver’s files, name, description, version, and tons of other useful information. You can even export the data in nearly any raw format, such as a comma-delimited file (CSV), table, or a simple list. You can even extract this information from other computers on your network (provided you have access rights). This tool can be invaluable not only to the IT professional, but home users as well.

Unleash the Full Potential of Vista’s Address Bar
Thursday, March 13, 2008
If you’re a power-user, then you like to execute tasks in the quickest way possible. One of Vista’s tools that is greatly under-used is the Address bar, and it can do alot more than just search Indexed locations. It can be used as a Run dialog, Search, as well as a browser.

If you have a high-resolution display (and who doesn’t nowadays), then you can make full use of this multi-purpose tool, and it can take up as much or as little desktop space as you want. Having it always available saves you from having to click on the Start button, and you can browse through your history of previous web pages, searches, and commands.

The Search for the Holy Grail of Storage
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sometimes you wonder if Indie’s search for the storage Holy Grail will ever end. With BD Sony found the royalty stream. Toshiba turned its attention on the bigger market – HD and chip memory. The company seems to think that the big bucks will be unearthed by making bigger, faster, more versatile, cheaper bit buckets.

There’s some pretty good logic. After all:

We’re creating more content than ever before, We’re copying it everywhere, We’re sharing it like never before, We’re storing it everywhere, We want/expect it everywhere/anywhere/anytime.

Nyko Charger Grip Lite for Nintendo DS Review
Sunday, March 09, 2008
The Nintendo DS Lite is a pretty compact portable gaming system, and has decent battery life for the amount of enjoyment you get out of it. The DS lite also isn’t the most ergonomic thing in the world: it is kinda boxy, and doesn’t contour to your hands like modern console controllers. What if there was a way to enhance the shape of the DS while providing additional battery life?…

Nyko comes to the rescue again with their Nyko Charger Grip Lite. This grip snugly secures your portable console, and integrates into the charger port to provide up to 8 extra hours of battery life. For those of you not paying attention, that means that your DS can remain portable for nearly 12 hours (since the internal battery lasts around 4 hours). Additionally, the new grip makes the DS more comfortable to hold with two hands, and feels more like a console controller.

Sam & Max: Night of the Raving Dead WALKTHROUGH
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Perhaps the shortest game and guide I’ve ever played and made. Got an early copy. OOOOO, I’m really climbing the ladder here huh? Cool anyway, and this is one slippery slope I’ll take on head first.

Good game, and funnier than I expected, especially since I’ve never played any of the previous ones. I can tell there is a lot of fan service here, but it’s easy to get into. If you’ve got a free afternoon, and don’t mind the price, feel free. Now I almost want to play the other episodes, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money.

This guide was quick to write up and I almost wanted to make a pure FAQ, but a walkthrough was just as easy, if not easier, so I did it as I always do. Some of the puzzles are quite tough, and you may not figure them out if you don’t have the hints option turned up to max, Sam & Max.

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin Walkthrough
Friday, March 07, 2008
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is a great game, so were the last ones, etc., blah blah. It’s all good. Game has a good story, not great, but good – had to throw that in there.

What I want to say in this foreword is just a love letter to all my readers. I appreciate all the people who use my guides, and even the people that just use bits and pieces of them – don’t care for the ones that just use the email address if the answer they search for is in the guide, but oh well. And I especially love the people that visit my website, and I hope to expand it in the near future. I really love those that have used multiple guides from me; like, almost in THAT WAY!

Razer Lachesis 4000dpi Laser Mouse Review
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Razer has been making gaming peripherals that cater to the serious and professional PC gamer. Serious gamers will tell you that a high-DPI gaming mouse is practically required to seriously compete in today’s virtual sports, as they deliver accurate and precise control, which digitally translates the gamer’s skill (or lack thereof) to the Frag-fest of choice. Or so they say…

Razer has had good success with their previous line of gaming mice and keyboards, and now they’ve developed a new laser sensor (dubbed the 3G), and wrapped a brand-spanking new professional mouse around it – the Razer Lachesis.

Clean up ID from your Command Prompt or Batch File
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
There’s lots of little files accumulating on your computer… like bacteria. Every time you browse the interenet, little bits of data are saved onto your hard drive.

Every browser has an interface to clean up all of these files, but you have to go to several differnent places to clean them all up… which is very tedious if you like to clear this out frequently. Fortunately, all of these functions are available via the command line, which means you can automate all of these tasks. You can integrate this batch file with your existing logon or logoff scripts, or just have the file on your desktop for one-click cleanup!

FullMetal Alchemist: TCG for Nintendo DS Review
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
It seems like card battle games have been popping up over the past decade or so. In the mid 90s Wizards of the Coast had a smash hit with their “Magic: The Gathering” franchise, but didn’t seem to catch on with the pre-teens. Since then, every anime-inspired series has had a card battle game with similar rules — from Yu-Gi-Oh to Bleach (and even Naruto).

One of my personal favorite anime series is FullMetal Alchemist, and even they have a card battle game. If you’re one of the two people in the world playing this card battle game, then you’ll be relieved to know that you no longer have to carry around a paper deck… you can duke it out on your Nintendo DS.

Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax dies at 69
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
The man who co-created the game Dungeons & Dragons and helped start the role-playing phenomenon is dead.

Gary Gygax (GEYE’-gaks) died this morning at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, about 55 miles southwest of Milwaukee.

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Walkthrough
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Ah yes, my old friend is back, Half-Life 2. Back again and as short as the last outing. That is beef with these episodes, they’re short. But I myself am starting to see the shine and luster of this point A to point B style of gaming get old. Perhaps it’s just that the first game, Half-Life 2, did so much. I could still stand to play that game over and over. But for all the new additions from these episodes, neither one seems like a game to play more than a few times, if even that.

Now, yes, this is done off the Orange Box, so I don’t know if I need to cover all the other four games or what. I suppose I could knock out a HL2 and an Episode One guide in the near future, and after I have some time with Portal, maybe I’ll do something with that too. The problem is TF2, which is something I know is not my forte. Perhaps later I will make a complete Orange Box guide, but that will take time.