Xbox

April 18, 2013

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall – Now Available

Dishonored DLC image

Take on the role of Daud, the legendary assassin who killed the Empress. This second add-on pack for the award-winning first person action game from Arkane Studios gives you a new perspective on Daud, and access to his weapons, gadgets, allies and supernatural abilities.http://bethsoft.com/en-gb/games/knife_of_dunwall

April 14, 2013

Penguin United Xbox 360 Keyboard Mouse Converter

Old habits die hard and one hardest ones for me to attempt to ditch in an attempt to play with some of my XBL brethren was the Keyboard and Mouse setup that I’ve become accustomed to on the PC over the past 17 years.

Some of you may be asking “Why would you lower yourself to playing games like Battlefield 3 on a console when you can play it on a PC at five times the visuals and speed?” the answer to that question is… I have friends who refuse to convert.  So in attempt to keep those friendships intact I’ve purchased games that I normally wouldn’t purchase on systems I normally wouldn’t play.  Primarily Battlefield 3(which I love) and Call of Duty: Black Ops II (which I can’t stand).

Obviously my biggest complaint with consoles is the lack of KB/M support and forcing me to play with, what I consider to be, an inferior control interface.  I gave it a good attempt on Battlefield 3 and the best scores, on rush, that I could come up with where 5/18 or around that on a fairly consistent basis and I would place last if not close to last every other game.  I gave this a go for about a month before I finally got fed up and started to look for a solution that would allow my old school gaming habits to function on ‘modern’ gaming consoles.

The solution came in the form of Penguin United’s Eagle-Eye Keyboard and Mouse Converter.  I decided to pick this up after I looked around the net for a solution and honestly when one of my friends *Xbox fantatic* told me to buy it.

So is it any good?  In short… yes but it does have some drawbacks.  Let’s start with the negatives:

The Bad:

This was confusing to configure even for an experienced System Architect like myself.  I eventually figured it out but it did take me about 6 hours from the moment I bought it to the point where I was playing.  There were several things about it that were hard to figure out but once I got it was smooth sailing from then one.  The biggest complaints I had were this:

You have to have a wired Xbox *official* controller otherwise you won’t be able to get the EagleEye to sync with your Xbox.  Yes you have to plug in the wired controller into your converter every time you start your xbox and connect it.  Connecting it, from what I can deduce, allows it to steal the licensing from the controller and emulate it on the controller.  Once it’s connected you’ll be fine until the next time you turn off your Xbox 360.

Sensitivity can be annoying.  I’m used to high sensitivity on the PC and on the console I was forced to pump the sensitivity all the way up to get it to the point where I could be competitive in games.  It’s still not what I would like but it’s far better than the alternative.

This complaint is specific to Battlefield 3 so I cannot speak to other games as the only two games I’ve played with this are Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Battlefield 3.  It’s hard to use any vehicles outside of the tank and even then it can be a challenge as it is VERY slow to turn turrets.  It’s hard to explain until you’ve used it but once you have you’ll understand.  Don’t even try flying a jet or a helicopter.

Finally the last complaint I had is having the right hardware.  This device only functions with specific hardware.  Do yourself a favor and do your research before you purchase this and purchase it with the proper Keyboard and Mouse combo.  I’ll do an article later on showing what I did to make it work.

The Good:

While there are… what some would consider a lot of negatives, there are a good number of positives as well, especially once you get everything configured the way you like it.

The biggest question is will this making playing an FPS on a console better?  Yes it will and by a good margin.  Yes graphics will still suck like they always do on consoles but at least from a controls perspective things will be much better.  I went from being 5/18 and near last on the team playing rush to going 35/5 on a fairly consistent basis and getting MVP 1 -3.  You can tell right off the bat that you have a pretty big advantage from other players by just the nature of controls.  Having said all that BF3 and COD: BO II don’t play the same on Xbox as they do on PC, they are much slower.

EagleEye comes with some pretty slick controller software.  It allows you to fully customize your keys on your controller to their keyboard and mouse equivalents.  Yes there are some that can’t translate over quite the way I’d like but it’s still much better than using a controller.  The biggest part is just memorizing what those are as you’ll still have to memorize what keys you’ve mapped to what controller buttons.  You’ll need to know these for navigating menus and such.  Once you’ve memorized those it’s smooth as butter.

Conclusion:

Would I recommend this?  Yes… once you get past some of the quirks with go along with this product it’s a pretty slick product.  When you finally get it functioning it works really well aside from having to initialize it every time I start my Xbox.  Having said that it’s a price I’ll gladly pay to not have to deal with clumsy controls.  While this product does need some improvements in the form of ease of use it still gets TGB’s stamp of approval.  Anyone else had experience with this product?  What did you think?

You can check out Penguin Uniteds site here.  If you’d like to purchase it you can buy it at Amazon.com here. You can also purchase a PS3 version.

 

March 17, 2013

New game arrivals in the next 3 months

Bioshock Infinite

The third installment in the Bioshock series is a first person shooter set in 1912. Players assume the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt on a rescue mission to save a young woman named Elizabeth. During their escape, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond – together they fight their way through a storyline packed with twists and turns.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 26th March 2013

Defiance

Defiance is a science-fiction MMO shooter from Trion Worlds. Players are enlisted as Ark Hunters to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area in search of advanced alien technology after a massive world-wide event led to the the fall of plant and animal species and the rise to new species. Futhermore, several alien species came to Earth which led to war, further devastating the planet.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 2nd April 2013

Star Trek

This is a third-person action-adventure game, developed by Digital Extremes and co-published by Namco Bandai Games and Paramount Pictures. Players can assume either the role of Captain Kirk or Spock, the two characters are intended to show different gameplay techniques, with Kirk being the more typical shooter while Spock has stealth techniques – but each are armed with weapons to reflect their gameplay style.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 26th April 2013

Grid 2

A racing video game developed by Codemasters, Grid 2 is the sequel to Race Driver: Grid. It includes real world locations such as Abu Dhabi, Paris and US states to name a few and lets you choose cars spanning four decades. Check out the trailer below, there are some seriously sexy rides going on.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 31st May 2013

October 18, 2012

Elite Services for CoD Black Ops 2 will be Free

Activision Blizzard have announced that the Call of Duty Elite Services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be made free. Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg said in a statement “What we have realized is that several of the Call of Duty Elite services which are currently only available to our premium members for Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 are things that would further unite, engage and delight our player community. So we are going to make them free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”

As a free service for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the Call of Duty Elite platform includes new and enhanced features such as:

Player HQ
Clan HQ
Zombies Support
Call of Duty Elite TV
Social Sharing and Notifications

The worldwide launch is set to be the 13th November 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Fans can find more information at http://www.callofduty.com/blackops2, on facebook at www.facebook.com/codblackops or on Twitter by following @Treyarch.

October 10, 2012

Risen 2: Dark Waters Giveaway

To coincide with our interview with Björn Pankratz, Project Director at Piranha Bytes, our friends at Koch Media have given us 5 Xbox and PS3 promo copies of Risen 2: Dark Waters to giveaway!

Now you’ve earned command of your very own pirate ship, the question is, what are you going to call her? All you have to do is tell us what you would call your pirate ship in the comments section below. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 31st October. Won a prize from us before? No problem! You can play and win as many times as you like! To qualify for the contest do the following:

1. Register for an account (if you’ve already done so go to step 2)

2. Like us on Facebook (if you’ve already done so go to step 3)

3. Tell us your pirate ship name and your preferred platform, Xbox or PS3

That’s it! You’ve qualified!

Good luck and game on!

October 10, 2012

Björn Pankratz, Project Director at Piranha Bytes

The Gamescom exhibition in Cologne has announced a number of the games that we know and love and the second installation in the Risen series, Risen 2: Dark Waters, was one of them. Announced at Gamescom 2010, the single-player action RPG was released earlier this year for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Curious as ever and intrigued by the process that goes into game development, we asked Björn Pankratz, Project Director at Piranha Bytes about the making of Risen 2.

Björn Pankratz, Project Director at Piranha Bytes1. What was the initial concept behind Risen? Was it a concept that you came up with at a drawing board meeting or something that was in the making over the years?

Building a game like Risen is a process. There are many relevant factors to it. At the beginning of the design phase, everyone is free to contribute their ideas and several meetings eventually lead to the creation of a rough concept. Ideas are one of the things we never lack – also, there is plenty of inspiration in movies, books and the question “what are the things we always wanted to see in a game?”

2. As a developer what factors do you consider when choosing a platform from which to launch your games such as PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 and furthermore how do you decide which graphical technologies to take advantage of i.e DirectX 9 or 11?

We have been a PC developer from the very beginning, so the PC remains our main platform. With the Xbox 360 being very similar to the PC, considering a console version of Risen was an obvious choice. Many players now prefer to play our games on consoles, which is why we decided to make Risen 2 available for the PS3 as well. In both cases, the console version was created by an external team, since our own expertise is concentrated on PC development.
As for new technologies, we always need to consider whether they can be implemented at a realistic cost and time, and whether they are worth the investment. For each project there generally are some innovations we decide to implement and a few we have to drop.

3. The choices in Risen do not follow the traditional good and bad methodology, in fact much of the time the player is forced to make a choice that falls into a moral gray area, much like ‘The Witcher’. What influenced this decision?

We designed the decisions in Risen – especially those made during dialogue – based on situations one would encounter in real life. We think about what the player in front of the screen themselves would possibly like to respond, and offer them that possibility.
An anti-hero with clear vices and virtues can be a strong means of identification for the player, as opposed to a clichéd shining hero or an implausible villain.

4. Do you have any plans to release any expansions for Risen 2?

We can’t yet talk about what will be next.

6. When designing the landscapes, weapons and characters of the game where do you draw your inspiration from?

Our inspiration is basically taken from everywhere. Older and newer movies as well as classics, comics, the internet and even just chats with colleagues and other artists come together to form a foundation. We then discuss those ideas to agree on a style and color palette, for example for a certain guild, and weave that style into characters, items, clothes and architecture.

7. Are there any parts of Risen or Risen 2 that particularly stand out for you? What are your best bits?

The gnomes are extremely popular. They have become exactly what we wanted them to be in terms of design and implementation. As for memorable moments – I am sure each player will find their own!

To coin­cide with our inter­view with Björn Pankratz, Project Direc­tor at Piranha Bytes, our friends at Koch Media have given us 5 Xbox and PS3 promo copies of Risen 2: Dark Waters to giveaway! Please click here for your chance to win!

June 24, 2012

Skyrim Dawnguard DLC

The new Skyrim DLC is coming soon.  Are you ready?  Have you said goodbye to your loved ones?  Because if you haven’t you will soon.  The new DLC for Skyrim ‘Dawnguard’ comes out on June 26th.  That being said Xbox 360 users will be getting first dibs.  PC and PS3 players will sadly have to wait for a later date. 

 

Dawnguard is the first add-on in the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim, players are asked to join the vampire hunters called Dawnguard or accept the Vampire Lord  Hakron’s invitation to become a vampire and take out the sun.  Those deciding to join the Dawnguard will be granted a slow but powerful Crossbow. 

 

There are some other key features that will be included with the DLC such as:

 

– The ability to do combat on horseback

– Ability to customize Dragonbone weaponse by collecting Dragonbone resources throughout the players Journey.  The player can craft swords, bows, daggers, axes, and greatswords.

– New Dragonshouts

– New Enemies  such as Bonemen, Boneyard Keepers, Death Hounds, Wrathmen, Trolls, and Gargoyles.

– Werewolf skill tree which includes Savage Feeding, Totem of the Moon, Animal Vigor,  and much more.

 

The expansion sounds pretty indepth and adds considerable content and customizability.  I’m sure to be purchasing it when it comes out and sinking yet another unfathomable amount of time into the world of Skryim.  Who else will be picking this up when it comes out?

December 6, 2011

Xbox Live Update Kills Connection, Despite Delays

Microsoft finally rolled out its massive update to Xbox Live today, and it looks great. The problem, however, is that it has disrupted many users’ connections to Xbox Live, citing a “connection error”. This error is implied to be user end by the error message, though when I tested my connection, the only stage that failed was to Xbox Live– my console connected to the internet just fine. There’s been no work-around supplied yet by Microsoft, though I know the problem to be at least as widespread as the other side of my homestate, Colorado, courtesy of facebook updates from similarly frustrated friends. Once a fix becomes available, I will certainly post instructions for anyone else experiencing this anomaly. How about the rest of you? Can anyone else weigh in on how far this problem spreads?

Image from Game Informer

October 24, 2011

Battlefield 3 Release Date Pushed Up

According to the realase date checker on Origin, Battlefield 3 will now be unlocked at 10 PM Mountain standard time.  This is fantastic news for those who were wanting to play the game before they had to go to work the next morning.  I’ve already predownloaded BF3 and am waiting anxiously for the unlock.  Stay tuned to TGB for the review!

Battlefield 3 was originally set to unlock at on October 25th at 1 AM on EA’s Origin.  The game will now unlock at October 24 at 10PM.  See you all on the Battlefield!

September 30, 2011

Video Awesomeness: Battlefield Edition

 

To kick off the open Beta for the highly anticipated release (BY ME!) of Battlefield 3, I thought it would be cool to visit the Lineage that the Battlefield series has brought to the gaming community from PC to console this is a strategic thinking man’s shooter! So instead of me rambling on about the past here’s Adam Sessler (one of the only good things G4 TV has to offer). He basically sums up the series through Battlefield 1943 in three minutes:

When Battlefield: Bad Company came along I totally got into the series (sorry PC guys Dice mussed up not putting this one out for you!) The story was a modern day version of Kelly’s Heroes, one of my favorite World War II movies from back in the day, which added comedy and an entertaining campaign to this almost exclusive Multiplayer only series adding to its allure.
When Battlefield: Bad Company 2 released you could tell Dice was listening (as always) and released BC2 on ALL platforms with better controls leading to an even more amazing multiplayer experience!

Oh did I forget….FROSTBITE and DISTRUCTION 2.0 this is the engine that brought us destructible environments!

I know there is so much in the Battlefield series that I didn’t point out, but we’re here for some Battlefield 3! Now I had early access to the beta on the Xbox (if you bought MOH Limited Ed. you should have been there too) and for all its short comings (I’m in total belief that EA gave us the Alpha just to shut us up!) this is going to be a great addition to the franchise. That being said looks like Dice has made up a campaign that might be as good as the multiplayer end…..
Here’s some of the story that you will experience:


Yes there are vehicles!….

I can’t believe this is off the Xbox!…

Now that we’ve seen the campaign, how about some multiplayer being that we all will be losing sleep at the end of October! There will be 24 players on the consoles and 64 for the PC! Ground as well as Air yes there will be jets!!!!!! The combat looks intense as ever so b e ready to drop so time into Battlefield 3!

 

Pixel Enemy had some exclusive extended footage from the demo above, here it is!

 

You know if ya got 99 problems……play BF3! See you all on the Battlefield I’ll be the one arming the M-COM!

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