New website Reactor-Core.com

8 08 2012

Greetings, I would like redirect viewers to my new website http://www.reactor-core.com. I will not be updating this blog in the foreseeable future.  The new website will contain the same content, computer modding, tech./game info and reviews among other things.

Hope to see you there…





Diablo III Beta mini-review

30 04 2012

Will Diablo 3 live up to old-skewl Diablo fans expectations and welcome new players to the Diablo gaming franchise?

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BACKGROUND

Back in ’96, yeah, way back then, I fell in love with an impressive looking dungeon crawler/RPG game with a rather dark and malefic name of “Diablo.” From the first ominous game cutscene to the epic final boss fight of Diablo himself I was completely spellbound by the game. Diablo II arrived a few years later in 2000 and continued its undying grasp on me by improving the game play and storyline.

For close to eleven odd years I have waited for another rendition of the game to be developed bringing it with it up-to-date, modern improvements in graphics, gameplay, experience and storyline. On May 15, 2012 new and old Diablo fans will finally get to sink their claws into Diablo III.

Based on playing the Diablo III Beta here’s a glimpse of what new and old Diablo fans can expect…

GRAPHICS

Probably the most significant change to Diablo III is the updated graphics engine. The game still uses a top down 45-degree angle view but now uses a modern 3D engine to dramatically improve the games backdrop, interactive-environment, characters detail along with their gear and fighting effects.

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One part I really enjoyed about the new graphics capabilities was the inclusion of a  interactive-destructible environment and damage effects. Buildings, walls and other in-game items can be used and destroyed depending on what the player is doing, using and types of spells or damage output they are generating. All I can say it’s really fun to see some mobs being destroyed and body parts go flying all around the screen.

SOUND

The music scores and ambient sound effects and dialog are as immersive and impressive as ever. Blizzard has done a fine job updating theme music and ambient sounds which will bewitch the player and transport them deep into the world of Sanctuary where old Diablo fans can call home again.

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GAMEPLAY

Diablo III stays pretty true to the past in keeping with easy and simple one mouse control playability. The UI is exceptionally familiar to old-school players while new Diablo’ers will find it very easy and quick to pick up.

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The leveling and skill system has been completly revamped and streamlined. In my opinion this is a welcome change from past Diablo games where if your characters particular build did not turn out how you were expecting it to you were pretty much stuck with it /frown or had to create a new character from scratch all over again. The new skill system does provide you with a little hand-holding in the beginning but you have complete control or what skill-sets you want to use at any given time and can change them at any point too, which is a huge welcome for this Diablo-geek.

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One aspect of Diablo III I will be exceptionally intrigued to use is the inclusion of a  “real money” in-game auction house where players can sell and buy in game goods and wares using their hard earned dollars. I remember back in the day playing Diablo II and finding out all kinds of upgraded gear on ebay I could bid on for my character and some items/gear selling in upwards of several hundreds of dollars! So this will be very interesting to see how this evolves. Can you say hello to “Bank of Diablo.” Of course you can still use in game gold you accuired to purchase wares also just like in the past as well.

Yea yea, soo what Charters are the best to play in Diablo III? Well, I played all of the characters in the Beta: Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Witch Doctor and Demon Hunter. And the absolute best character which totally kicks-ass and I enjoyed the most is…

All of them if you can believe it. Pfft I know right? I normally lean towards a strong melee class but I had a blast playing them all. Blizzard has done a remarkable job in making it rather difficult for me to unanimously have me easily pick one character over the others. They all have very unique talents and skills in allowing you to crushing your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamination of your girl/boyfriend asking if you’re finally done playing now? I will most likely level all the classes since they were all a blast to play and level.

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I didn’t play to much in multiplayer only but just a few levels with one other player on one of my characters. It was easy to group and up and one change/aspect of multiplayer I really really liked was all the loot which drops from mobs, chests is yours and your alone, nice. You don’t have to fight with other players on loot drops anymore, you can still trade if someone loots something that would better suit the other player/character as well.

GAME PERFORMANCE

I played Diablo III Beta on an iMac with a 3.4GHz Core i7, 16GB RAM and a AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1GB graphics. Game play was very smooth overall, around 60-FPS and load/transition screens taking only a few seconds. Since this was only the Beta i’m sure game performance will only increase when the final “optimized” version is released.

FINAL THOUGHTS

For most all die-hard fans of the Diablo franchise and newcomers to Diablo III will find it’s a game well worth waiting for. It will bring back all the fun evil dark memories of past Diablo games and should have no problems creating new insidious yet exceptionally fond experiences for the foreseeable Diablo future.

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Diablo 3, Ready, Set and almost Go… Blizzard officially releases evil on May 15, 2012

15 03 2012
Diablo 3 launches May 15, 2012.

Diablo 3 launches May 15, 2012.

Blizzard has announced the official release date of Diablo 3, May 15, 2012. I logged into my battle net account, since I have the free version of Diablo 3 if I subscribe to an annual pass for World of Warcraft, and started the pre-download. If you don’t have the Warcraft annual pass for the free Diablo 3 then you can pre-purchase Diablo 3 today as well for $60 or throw down $100 smackers for the collectors addition.

I’m currently logged into my battle.net account and downloading 7.6GB of pure evil as I type :D Hope to see most of you in back in Tristram soon kicking some prime-evil butt. Man, it has been a long time…





Rift game first impressions and experiences playing in headstart

25 02 2011

Rift game defiants logo

After the beta 7 of Rift I decided to pull the trigger and pre-order Rift and jump right into playing headstart before the official March 1st release of the game.

When I first tried to login to Rift after the initial server list was up for seven hours it took about 30 min. This was of course trying Wolfbane shard first which supposedly had a eight hour que, nah think i’ll hit up another Shard lol. I then tried my second choice Shard named Greybriar and it had a two hour que so I gave it a whirl which turn out good cause I was able to login within 30 min.

After logging I and creating my Defiant Cleric it was pretty much smooth sailing from there, only a few 2 or 3 second lag/latency spikes at first but once I finally got out of the starting area it was smooth sailing from then on.

My initial impressions from beta 7 is it looks like Trion may have tweaking the graphics and performance capabilities of the game slightly, I seemed to notice better frame rates from 30-40 in beta 7 to 40 to 50 in the headstart release with my current graphics/video setup and overall smoothness of the game and playability seemed pretty much on par.

So thats pretty much it, nothing but fun from here on out looks like, just plain “Technomagic”. See you in the Rift…





Can I run Rift MMO game on my Mac? Why yes Timmy, you can!

22 02 2011
Play Rift on your Mac

Play Rift on your Mac

K, just a headsup for all you Mac users out there asking about possibly playing Rift. Yes there does seem to be a fair amount of interest at least from what I see on the gaming forums about this. Trion makers of the MMO Rift currently do not have a Mac OS version planned but I remember reading somewhere they will reconsider sometime in the future maybe.

So what’s the best way to enjoy Rift on your Mac. Very simple, install Boot Camp which comes with every Intel/Leopard Mac system. Here are my quick steps to get Rift playing within an hour or two on yer Mac. You’ll also need a install disk of Windows, Windows 7 should offer you the best compatible experience.

Step 1. Go into your utilities folder and fire up Boot Camp Assistant.

Step 2. Go through the steps to partition your drive, I would recommend maybe a couple of hundred gigs, come’on everyone has terabyte drives now and you know yer gonna install tons more games anyway ;)

Step 3. Boot Camp will partition your disk and ask for a Windows install disk, I used Win. 7 Ultimate.

Step 4. You’ll go through the whole Win. 7 system install process,  installing drivers etc. and probably will need to do a few restarts too. If you accidentally boot into Mac OS just do a shutdown and boot up with your option key which lets you select which OS you want to use.

Step 5. If all goes well you should be running Windows flavored OS on your Mac now. If you have any problems this page will probably help you: http://klauskjeldsen.dk/boot-camp-imac-error-fix-black-screen/

Step 6. Now that you’re all good, go to Trion’s site to grab a copy of Rift, riftgame.com, set up an account, install Rift and splatter dah cybermatter :)

My overall experience playing Rift on my iMac via Boot Camp and Win. 7 is pretty damn sweet. I’m running Rift on an iMac 27″, i5, 4GB RAM, 4850/512MB ATi, via Boot Camp and Win. 7 Ultimate. I grinded through beta 7 with no problems to speak of. I have built my share of “Gaming PCs” too boot and this is pretty much the same. On the plus side I don’t have to have two puter rigs hogging up my desk now. I was getting around 40fps with various medium video settings and around 100ms latency coming from the So. Cal. area.

If your looking for a more in-depth Boot Camp install guide take a gander at: http://gizmodo.com/#!5387353/how-to-survive-boot-camp-and-run-win-7-on-a-mac

So there you go, hope to see all you MacHeads turning into RiftHeads :)





Time to kick some As… er, Rift!

22 02 2011
Well THE day has finally come, I feel my WoW addiction has run its course and now the curtain must be slowly lowered and while my toons take their final bows, wait, awe heck, lemme que real fast for a Heroic, pull the first boss and ninja log one last time :p

I was totally hooked in Burning Crusade. Excelled in Wrath and for some reason slowly came to a slow steady halt in Cata. Why? Not sure. Don’t think it was one major issue I had with the game, really wanted the warm fuzzy feelings of fun and accomplishment to continue. Rather I think it was many very small things I started to experience in game like dungeon grieving, re-specing my toons playstyle every patch since 4.0.xx and just plain old boring stuff to do.

The overall fun was starting to become a dull lifeless grind, more specifically, a boring, stale, frustrating mess. I don’t blame Blizzard as much as I may blame myself for possibly not adapting fast enough, then again, maybe there was no blame at all. Maybe the TIME had come to just… move on. Thank you Blizz and Warcrafters for all the fun we have shared, I may visit from time to time but thinks it’s about time to hit that dusty road…

And what will my cyber-grubby hands do to satisfy my next gaming addiction? (In Tony Montana’s voice) “Say hello to my little Rift!” Err, I mean Big, Bad-Ass Rift with tons of evil goodness spewing forth in my direction. I won’t go on and on and on about all the delights I have discovered in this wonderful new MMO, i’ll just reiterate… Rift is one Bad-Ass game… period and exclamation point! To drive the point home, It just f-in feels right man.

Not to bore you with more of my salivating drivel… Here are some Vids. and resource links regarding all things Rift. If you have some kewl and otherwise informative links please feel free to share :)

Video host and MMO reviewer Mike B. aka Fony, or the more humorous demeanor “Ball On Point!” does a humorous/fast paced overview of topics related to Tripping the new Rift MMO, they are worth a view and nice quality too boot, (Also checkout some of his UI arrangements in some of the videos :)

(The Zam Video links are on blip.tv/games if you have Netflix :)

Video: Rift Overview, 7 min. video
http://www.zam.com/bffreport.html?bffreport=52

Video: RIFT (Dungeon Guide) 9 min. video
http://www.zam.com/bffreport.html?bffreport=56

Video: Rift PVP Warfronts overview, 6.5 min.
http://www.zam.com/bffreport.html?bffreport=54

Site: Rift Server status
(Note: Not sure if this will update correctly with the new live servers but hopefully the site will.)
http://www.riftstatus.com/

Site: Rift slash commands
http://rift.incgamers.com/guides/Rift_slash_commands

Site: Rift IncGamers
http://rift.incgamers.com/

Site: Rift Network
http://riftnetwork.com/

Site: Zam’s Rift portal
http://rift.zam.com/

I’ve played the Beta, pre-ordered some Collector’s Edition goodness and waiting with bated breath for the head-start to kick in. How bout you? Got Rift?

 





Low Mac FPS issues with WoW 4.01 update and possible fix

18 10 2010

Low Mac FPS issues with WoW 4.01 update and possible fix

I have been out of playing WoW for close to 4 months and heard recently of Warcraft being updated to 4.01 which includes new graphics, talent trees and other pre Cataclysm goodness.

So I renewed my WoW account,  installed the huge 4.01 update and jumped back into the World of Warcraft. When I first logged in I was very disappointed to find my frame rates on my i5Mac dropped from upwards of 150fps to anywhere from 5 to 30fps. Certain areas like major towns and Dalaran were almost unplayable due to graphics lag and low frame rates. I dumped all my addons, trashed the config/WTF files etc. all to no avail.

Apparently this has affected a wide variety of Mac WoW gamers.

What worked for me…
I basically did two things.
1. Launch WoW and go into ingame video settings and disable Sunshafts and set Liquid Detail to Low.

2. While in game type “/console SET gxAPI OpenGL” and hit return, exit WOW, login again and the fix will be in effect, or you can open the Config.wtf file with TextEdit and add a new line at the end of the file, type: SET gxAPI “OpenGL”

By making the above simple changes I went from 20-ish fps to upwards of 60 to 160 fps! My set-up is an iMac 27-inch i5, 4GB RAM and ATi 4850 512MB graphics card.

So i’m back to normal with regards to very playable frame rates, now, anyone have a good rotation for an Arcane Mage and Frost DK? Lol, playing WoW with the new update and overhauled talent trees feels like I’m kinda staring all over again. At least I hope this helps anyone who might be having crappy frame rates.





Duke Nukem Forever Demo Coming in 2011 for most platforms, PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3, Apple Macintosh and Linux not yet confirmed

11 10 2010

 

Duke Nukem Forver in 2011

Duke Nukem Forever plans to be released in 2011

 

Gearbox software has announced a Duke Nukem Demo will be released in 2011 as well as the full game. So far Gearbox mentions DNF will run on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms. No word on Apple Macintosh or Linux versions… yet.

Check out the Duke Nukem Forever official Site here.





Mini-Review: Onlive gaming service for Macs and PCs ditches monthly subscription fees

6 10 2010

What is Onlive?
If you’re not familiar with Onlive’s gaming service it’s basically a cloud computer gaming service. If you have a Mac running OS X 10.6 or a PC running a recent Windows flavor you can create an account for free and play a multitude of games all without downloading or installing the actual games onto your hard drive. Onlive originally had planned to offer their gaming service for around $15 buck per month plus game prices but announced yesterday there will be no monthly fee to play games using the Onlive service. You will still have to purchase games you want to play with several options available. Many games offer a free timed demo, discounted 3 to 5-day game-play passes or full purchases of the games for unlimited play. Onlive even offers a very interesting feature of letting you become a game voyeur allowing to watch other gamers in which you can gage if the game perks your interest or even pick up some playing style tips from them as well.

My Onlive test drive
I signed up, downloaded a small 10MB app and ran some games in demo mode on my iMac i5 and was pleasantly impressed with how fast I could access the games with lag-less game play and quality of the graphics and sound overall. You basically play the game in HD, 720p so you’re not gonna get, in my case, true 2560 x 1,440 resolution but very excellent graphics considering you are essentially streaming the entire game. My whole Onlive experience was pretty much flawless with nothing stalling or delaying me from getting to the games with regards to my initial registering and clicking on a game to play.

This opens up the doors to many wanna-be gamers or budget students whose computer systems are simply lacking in processor power, a pixel-crunching graphics card or limited storage space. I have heard some netbook users having a pretty good experience as well. Currently they offer close to 30 game titles with more being added soon and titles are varied including titles like: Assassin’s Creed II, Borderlands, Darksiders, Batman: Arkham Asylum, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, NBA 2K11 just to name a few.

Overall
I think Onlive offers a great service giving budget or wanna-be gamers a pretty easy way to test and play a variety of games on their non-gaming and gaming systems. I think it also gives hardcore gamers a sweet avenue to easily squeeze in more game time without having to download demos or trek down to a store. It also seems like Onlive is sincerely listening to gamers who are using their service and striving to accommodate their requests which is always welcome.

So there’s really not to much stopping any potential gamers out there from checking it out and getting their game on.

Mini-Review: Onlive Mac and PC gaming service


Mini-Review: Onlive Mac and PC gaming service 5 out of 5 stars
Product:
Onlive.com gaming service
Version:
Small 10MB App. download to play all the games, version: 246.61376
Cost: Service is free, you just pay for the games you want play
My take: "Drop dead easy way to get your game on!" -RiscX
Onlive login screen

Onlive login screen

Onlive sceen in spectator mode view gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive sceen in spectator mode view gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive screen shot in spectator mode watching a gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive screen shot in spectator mode watching a gamer playing Mafia II








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