Saturday, 30 March 2013

Thoughts: Corsair M65 Mouse.

A Manually Operated User Selection Equipment, or a Mouse as its more commonly known is 50% of the way you interact with everything you do on a desktop computer (don't start with me about touch) so it is important (for me at least) to get an even build quality and experience in each hand. There's nothing worse than a great mouse in one hand and a £2 keyboard under the other or the reverse.

And so, After recently buying a Ducky 9087 keyboard I quickly realised just how plasticy (that's a word I'm sure) my Razer Lachesis was. I had also had a few problems with it occasionally 'stopping' and needing to be unplugged and reconnected to bring it back to an operational state. With it being pay-day I figured it was time for a change.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The tale of Crazy Joe

Hex has been getting back into Diablo 3, so last night I joined him, me playing my Witch Doctor and him his Wizard, both about level 35 playing nightmare difficultly. We get the point where you meet the Scoundrel, a recruitable henchman, who is trying to fleece a farmers daughter of a prized artefact  We are set about by bandits, which we deal with quickly, including their boss. It is at this point that I notice a lone bandit was stood there, stabbing me, fairly ineffectually, with his little knife. So I hit him with a couple of firebombs, and he kept standing there stabbing me, seemingly unfazed.

I think I have a problem

Ever since the Sony PS4 reveal, I have been tempted to pick up a PS Vita. I was pretty impressed with the remote play and it was enough nudge the Vita into the "I want one." section of my brain. And then yesterday I see that HMV are selling Wii U premium for £200 with Zombie U, and again my brain interrupts with constant chants of "Want one". I am force to look at this practically. I have dozens of pc games I haven't even scratched, I am barely half way through Ni No Kuni and Dragons Dogma. And here I am looking at buying more games machines, one with nothing I especially want to play (the vita) and one with literally 3 interesting titles (Zombie U, Monster Hunter and Lego City).

What is wrong with me, I have loads of cool stuff to play, yet I am always looking at new stuff, like it is somehow better. I know it is not, and yet this doesn't stop me from wanting it. If I played each game that I haven't even touched yet for 5 hours each, then I probably looking at 50 odd hours. Maybe I am just hard wired to go after the shiny new stuff, not sure that this is a good thing.

A Rant about PC gamers.

After a somewhat intense You-tube based evening I stumbled across this video from a man who calls himself  'BaldAtGames' he basically bashed PC gamers who use Steam for being 'soft' and claims that some how his gaming time is more relevant than other because he used to download patches from websites and presumably remembers Frontier: Elite 2.

This is a single video that aptly covers a certain opinion that I keep running into as I wonder around the internet aimlessly. There seems to be quite a few console gamers coming to PC at the moment. This happens whenever there is a large gap in the release cycles of consoles. Many gamers simply gravitate to the the PC for better graphics and when they begin to immerse themselves in PC communities they begin to get 'told off' for being a new comer to the platform. People appear to resent them because they have good rigs and no idea how to use them.

Lara could use a little less raiding

Given my last post about which was, in part, inspired by the writer of Tomb Raider (the 2013 one), now seemed to be an excellent time to talk about that game. As one of the very few game series featuring a lead female character (the only other franchises I could think of with more than a couple of titles to their name was Metroid, and she is in an armour suit most of the time). Lara Croft has been through many adventures and the games have all been at least pretty decent (except the terrible mis-step of Angel of Darkness). So how does this stack up?

It is an odd game, as there is the game that it thinks it is, and the game it actually is. It starts out being pretty damn harrowing. Lara is alone, injured and freezing on a mysterious island following a shipwreck, and it turns out that the island has plenty of people on it that would happily kill her. This is a young Lara that has not yet explored tombs and gunned down thousands of animals and men alike. She is has never had to be violent in any way, and at the beginning she finds a bow and kills a deer so she can eat and survive. It soon becomes clear that there are bad man who are out to get and this culminates in a scene where she has to kill or be killed (not raped as you may have heard).

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A keyboard with a Duck on it.

For those who don't know, the keyboard you are using on your PC is probably using a rubber membrane with individual keys on top. Even if its a gaming keyboard there is a pretty good chance that its one of these membrane keyboards. The elegant alternative to this rather squishy style is a mechanical keyboard. A mechanical keyboard uses individual switches for each key giving a very solid typing experience.

I decided I wanted a mechanical keyboard after using an old buckling spring keyboard at work. I also wanted something a little smaller on my desk, finally, as the back light on my G19 was very washed out looking I figured it was time to spend some pounds. 

Looking for a mechanical keyboard in the UK is a pain in the proverbial posterior. You can't go anywhere to try one (outside of some pretty high end stores in London as far as I can tell) and when you do find a place that will even sell you one you have to wait because they don't keep them in stock at all, maybe the mechanical craze has not yet hit our fair tea drinking nation. 

I went with for my order. I knew that I wanted MX Blue keys (I love clicks damn it!) and I wanted a blue back light (to match the theme of my gaming hole) after some browsing I realised that the Ducky brand made solid and reliable keyboards, there were other options obviously but it was the Ducky that had had the most positive reviews overall (100% mechanical design, very good build quality, bright light, high quality plastics on the keys) - I opted for a TKL ('tenkeyless', that's a keyboard with no number pad) to save on desk space as well as have a more portable board in case I get hooked on blues and have to take the little fella everywhere with me... also, and lets be honest who uses the number pad on a home PC? - not me. 

Moments after placing my order I received an e-mail telling me that I would be in for a wait because they don't keep them in stock (hummm) they did offer me a board with Blue keys and a pink backlight... oddly, being a 32 year old man with an all black and blue rig I decided to wait for my ideal board. 

After what seems like a lifetime of waiting (it was a month just about) my board finally arrived. 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS, and pictures follow.... 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Male gamers aren't nice (except me of course)

Lately I have been feeling a little ashamed of being a gamer, not because I play games, but because I am a man. There have been a fair number of high profile news stories lately that have lead to very negative reaction from my fellow gamers. I am talking about sexist asshats who seem to react to anything that suggests women have been put upon or overlooked in the games industry as unworthy of attention.

There have been backlash of comments on various news articles regarding anything that shows women in video games as a positive. A prime example is the twitter hashtag #1reasontobe, started off by the Tomb Raider scribe Rhianna Pratchett. This was created following some examples on twitter turning up of women in the games industry being treated pretty badly. The fact that women seem to not get equal treatment in the games industry is bad enough, but what really makes me ashamed of being a male gamer is my fellow gamers reaction. Go to any major games website and do a search for this new story. Find it and scroll down to the comments sections. In my case read the comments and find yourself having a sense of revulsion and shame that these commenters are my gaming compatriots.