OCMS News September 2009

Star Wars the Clone Wars Republic Heroes Interview
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Recently I spoke with Cris “Soup” Lee, assistant producer on the new Star Wars Game The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes. I want to thank Cris and Christopher for setting up the interview and answering my questions.

GVK: What is the background and setting for the game?

The game picks up at the end of Season 1 of the television series, where our heroes are on the planet Ryloth. As the story develops it bridges the gap on to Season 2; the Jedi also encounter a mysterious new villain named “Kul Teska.”

GVK: What

Ulti-Mat Breathe F-X3 Mousepad Review
Friday, September 25, 2009
Nearly a decade ago, Tony Montana and computer mice had one thing in common: they were judged by the quality of their balls. Thicker, heavier balls were better at tracking on your desk, but most people had to use cloth mousepads to get the most grip out of their mice.

Many plastic mousepads have several unfortunate properties: they make your hand sweat like a Brazillian prostitute and they tend to have a sharp edge (amazingly also like many Brazillian prostitutes). Cloth mousepads can be more comfortable because not only do they track well, but they have “more cushion for the pushin’”. Since the pad is just cloth and rubber (I’ve run out of innuendos), there is no sharp edge that can push into your wrist.

Freezepop: Interview Part Deux
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Last year we had the privilege of speaking with all three members of Freezepop at PAX 08. Although the interview was great, we still had a lot of unanswered questions, so we wanted to sit down with them again and get the straight scoop about what has been going on in the past year.

I had a chance to sit down with Jussi Gamache of Freezepop to talk about their 2009 tour, changes in the band, their continued success, and even some hair care tips.

Last year I went over some of the typical questions that you have probably been asked a million times, so now I’m just going to jump right in to the hard stuff.

AGF Precision HSD iPhone Case Review
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Different people have different tastes. Some people like PCs and some like Macs. Some like pie, and some people like cake. Pi or Phi.

The same is true with how people prefer to carry their iPhone with them. Some people prefer to keep the device in their pocket, while others prefer to keep their phone naked but use a hip holster. For the holster people, there are only a few choices, but one of them is the AGF Precision HSD iPhone Case.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Walkthrough and Mega-Guide
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This guide will take you from the opening moments of this engrossing adventure all the way to its final credits. Once you’ve had a first run through under your belt, be sure to check out the comprehensive walkthrough that will help you pick off each of the Riddler’s 240 challenges .On top of that, I’ve thrown in a detailed Trophy/Achievement guide in there as well.

I know the excellent staff at OCmodshop will continue to add to their rich database of quality gaming content, and I am very happy to contribute to that with this little guide. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this HTML enhanced version of my Batman: Arkham Asylum guide.

Nyko Wand Core Pak for Wii Review
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Nice third-party peripherals are few and far between, which is why I let out a sigh of relief when I opened Nyko’s Wand Core Pak for the Wii. The Core Pak includes Nyko’s Wand remote and wired Kama controller, which are replacements for Nintendo’s Wiimote and Nunchuk, respectively.

I was surprised at how similar the Nyko controllers look to their Nintendo counterparts. Both remotes are very similar in size. The buttons have similar placement, but Nyko chose to use a square shape for the A, 1, 2, and Home buttons, as well as enlarge them slightly. The B button textured and the battery compartment piece is covered with a rubber-like material, presumably to prevent…

PAX 09: Review and Grade
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The 2009 installment of PAX has come and gone. As the show seems to get larger and larger, so do the lines, the swag, and of course, the games.

Before I go into my review, I want to state right now to the general public that for 50 dollars (not counting parking) you’re getting a hell of a deal. Most concerts are more than that for a cruddy seat and this event is three long days. If you’re a gamer, there really isn’t anything else like it. That’s not what this review is for, this is my general impression of PAX as a show…as only I can look at it.

The Babes of PAX 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Everyone is saying how PAX is the new E3. PAX has grown so large over the past few years that the actually sold out of badges. PAX is now so huge that there will be two events per year: at Boston in March and Seattle in August. Many new vendors have signed up, including many PC hardware vendors.

So if PAX is bigger than E3, why were there so few booth babes? Many of the ones that were there weren’t very impressive: in originality or hotness.

Lost Planet 2 Preview
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Capcom was on hand at PAX09, and one of their hottest previews was definitely Lost Planet 2. We had a chance to play one of the co-op missions with one of the Capcom employees, who gave us a walkthrough of the mission.

Like the previous game , Lost Planet 2 is a science fiction third-person shooter with some RPG elements. Lost Planet 2 will be running on the MT-Framework 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in several Capcom-developed games.

In the previous game (Lost Planet: Extreme Condition), the world was completely covered with snow and ice, which required the use of Thermal Energy to survive. Lost Planet 2 takes place 10 years after the previous installment. The planet has been terraformed, and is now green and has flowing rivers and streams.

Resident Evil 5 for PC Hands-On: How It’s Different
Saturday, September 12, 2009
There were several vendors at PAX 09 that were showing off Resident Evil 5 for the PC. Of course, the Capcom booth was featuring the latest zombie shooter, and nVidia was showing how it worked with their exclusive 3d technology. I spoke with the Microsoft rep at the Games for Windows section about how the zombie shooter differs from the console version.

Microsoft claims that the framerate is much smoother than the Xbox 360 on adequate hardware… but requires hardware that costs much more than an Xbox 360. Although the minimum system requirements is modest (Windows XP with 1GB of RAM and GeForce 6800), it will run much better using the recommended requirements, which consists of:

Peregrine USB PC Game Controller Glove
Saturday, September 12, 2009
We have seen a host of funky contraptions for PC gamers. We have seen force-feedback flak jackets, custom keyboards, gyroscopic 3d joysticks and 3d glasses. Never before have I encountered a gaming gadget like the Peregrine USB glove.

That’s right… a USB glove. It’s a new way to control PC games that you wear on your hand, and the company claims it makes complex tasks easy in real-time strategy, MMOs, and even first-person shooter games.

You can have quick access to 30 additional controls by completing gestures with your hand, which can be pre-programmed through software.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Review
Saturday, September 12, 2009
As far as video games are concerned, Batman hasn’t been very lucky. With the exception of a great NES game based on the first Tim Burton movie, all efforts to make a game with Batman have been below average or just mediocre. It’s not for lack of trying, some games had you beating up hordes of goons while others had you using stealth gameplay to uncover the game. Unfortunately, none of it worked.

Developer Rocksteady decided to don the cape and cowl and try once again to recreate the Dark Knight’s world. Rather than do a straight up action game or stealth based game, Rocksteady decided to just throw everything together from games past. The end result is a game that lets you truly feel like Batman.

Turtle Beach EarForce p21 Gaming Headset Impressions
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
There was no shortage of gaming headphone vendors at PAX 09. Not only were Astro, Dolby and Tritton there, but Turtle Beach was showing off some of their headsets designed for gamers.

The one PC headset they had was the EarForce p21. This headset offers high fidelity and is incredibly lightweight for an “around the ear” headset. The headset works with PC and the Playtation 3.

Tekken 6 Hands-On Preview
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tekken 6 is essentially done, been out in Japan for a while, and will hit American shores within weeks.

With all that said, we had to get our hands on the new fighter at PAX.

The first thing you’ll notice is the character roster is even larger than the one in Tekken 5. Just about every move set from every game is incorporated in some shape or form, even if it’s not with the same character who started it (kinda like Asuka Kazama was copy of Jun Kazama in Tekken 5).

SteelSeries Xai Laser Gaming Mouse Preview
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
SteelSeries was on hand at PAX 09 to show off their new gaming mice , the Kinzu optical mouse and Xai laser mouse. These mice are superior to the Ikari in some respects, but some users will still prefer the Ikari for its comfortable shape.

One of the biggest claims that mouse manufacturers have today is that their mice are “completely driverless.” Steelseries makes this claim for the Ikari, and it is true, but you still can’t get full functionality of the mouse without installing the included software. The horizontal tracking, profile switching, and several other key features must be toggled using software.

These issues are resolved starting with the new mice from SteelSeries. The Kinzu optical and Xai laser have a smaller, ambidextrous form factor, but the electronics are greatly improved over the Ikari.

Starcraft 2 Hands On!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Fresh off Blizzcon, Starcraft II was available for a 20 minute play-through at PAX. After years we finally have a chance to play a sequel to the beloved real time strategy released back in 1998.

If you’re looking for something that reinvents the genre much like Warcraft III did a few years then ago-keep looking. Starcraft II seems to not be offering much in terms of innovative ideas. What it does offer though is the tight RTS gameplay that Blizzard is known for. The story seems interesting, the control/combat is fluid and you really can’t ask for much more.

God of War 3: Hands-On Preview
Saturday, September 05, 2009
After the eternity that the gods of Olympus lived, we broke through the line and got to play God of War III.

If you didn’t like God of War (yes, all three of you) then you probably won’t find anything here to like in the third installment. The game plays just the same as the first two. Kratos moves with the same tight controls, kills with the same swords and is in the same huge environments as the first game, and it’s still damn fun.

Dante’s Inferno Preview
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Play God of War? Then you have a good idea of what we saw when we played Dante’s Inferno for the Playstation 3. The games are virtually identical in gameplay and control structure.

If you’ve read “The Divine Comedy” then you know what to expect here. The game follows Dante as he heads through hell following his loved one Beatrice. In our build we encountered Virgil (Dante’s hero and mentor from the book) King Minos, among other villains.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Preview
Friday, September 04, 2009
Nintendo’s booth had a slew of 1st party titles coming for the DS and the Wii, but none were more effective at re-imagining old school NES games than New Super Mario Brothers. Once a sole DS title, the game has now made a Wii incarnation and it’s every bit as fun as its predecessor.

The demo we played had a handful of levels to mess around in. One was a re-imagining of the very first stage from the NES original others involved typical swimming, running through fortresses etc.

Red Dead Redemption First Look
Friday, September 04, 2009
OCmodshop was first in line to get a glimpse of Red Dead Redemption; the sequel to 2005’s critically mixed Red Dead Revolver. Keep in mind, Rockstar was very tight about security breaches. No pictures could be taken, videos recorded etc. So we have only what we saw.

The game takes place around 1910 in the Wild West. You are thrust into the shoes of John Marston. Marston is a former outlaw who grew out of the lifestyle and started a family. When the F.B.I. forms however (from the Bureau from what it originally was called), they blackmail Marston into bringing in his former outlaw comrades.

Darkest of Days Hands-On Preview
Friday, September 04, 2009
What ties all of these disasters from different time periods together is the game’s sci-fi twist. Far in the future, a company called Krontek developed time travel for research, and noticed that timelines have been altered significantly by past world events, such as the Titanic and 9-11.

You play as Alexander Morris, who is a soldier from Little Big Horn who was considered MIA. During the end of Custer’s Last Stand, a time bubble opens up and a solider brings you to the future. Once there, you are tasked with travelling through time, correcting things that went wrong in the past.

TMNT: Smash-Up Hands-On Preview
Friday, September 04, 2009
With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters as the only game worth remembering as a licensed fighting game , in the TMNT universe or otherwise. TMNT: Smash-Up aims to change just that.

If that’s the case, it has a long way to go.

IntensaFire Xbox 360 Controller Mod
Friday, September 04, 2009
BGRMods was at PAX 09, and was showing off their Intensafire mod. This product is essentially a pre-printed circuit board that is installed into any wireless Xbox 360 controller to give it enhanced fire abilities.

Unlike other modding products, the Intensafire was designed to be installed quickly without any soldering or glue. Coy Christmas (yes that’s his real name) didn’t have any open controllers to show me, but explained how the installation is performed.