Diablo 3 Steelseries mouse review

Steelseries is a well renowned company for their gaming gear, and for good reason, their stuff is good! And this gaming mouse is no different!

Let me start out by saying that this is -through and through- a gaming mouse, NOT an everyday use mouse, and I’ll be explaining why later through the review. The mouse has a nice matte feeling to it, giving it a pretty nice grip, they also went for lefty and righty with the mouse, so whichever one you are, you’ll be able to use it normally. It has seven configurable buttons, two under your thumb (or ring finger), two under your ring finger (or thumb), a left and right mouse click, and a wheel, there’s also a button to switch between CPIs ranging between 100 and 5700 CPI which would work splendidly not just for Diablo, but for FPS games as well.

Onto the driver for the mouse, it’s not included with the packaging so you have to download it from the Steelseries website, it has a really nice Diablo 3 theme to it, and allows you to configure each single button on the mouse with action slots in Diablo, and even set macros to the buttons, which is pretty neat. Now why this mouse isn’t really a good candidate for day to day use? In a nutshell, after you configure it through the driver, any accidental click on any of the side buttons will execute the macro or action button you mapped it to, can get pretty annoying though.

I did come across some problems, when I first plugged it into my Macbook Pro, the computer crashed, after installing the driver, the computer crashed, after first removing it, the computer… Well, it crashed again, but after that it worked -almost- flawlessly, the one button that doesn’t seem to work is the CPI switch button, not sure why though, could be something with the driver, other than that, it works perfectly.

Let me know if you folks have used this, or other gaming mice, and let me know what you think of them!

PlayStation Vita review

So I went to GameStop last week and got myself a little treat, actually, it was a treat with a marvelous 5 inch OLED screen, and I can’t stress that enough, but I’ll keep rambling about it some more in the review here, I got myself a PSVita!


First off, I bought the Wifi only version, though let me assure you, by the time I’m writing this article, the launch edition is still available for sale, or at least the box was still up for preview in all GameStops I went to, for those of you that don’t know what the launch bundle is, it’s basically a 3G/Wifi vita + an 8GB memory card + a month of free 3G from AT&T I think, and a free PSN game, though a little research will show you that the free 3G month is only redeemable after you pay for your first 3G month, and the PSN game is redeemable after a month of activating the card, all of that was for $300, which is the price of the 3G/Wifi alone, now I don’t know what possessed me and kept me from buying that one, but I just didn’t, the Wifi only version costs $250, though how can it be Sony’s without some hidden charges here and there! Well, my dear readers, those charges are well present, you NEED to buy a memory card since apparently Sony cheaped out and didn’t implement a small amount of memory on the device for game saves, which is very stupid in my book, but anyway, I bought the 4GB card for $26 I think, a starter kit, which comes with a carrying pouch for your vita, a case for your games which can carry up to 32 game cartridges, a screen protector, and a tissue to wipe the screen with, I also bought the Mad Catz Armor Shell, which is really nice, albeit being a bit of a snug fit, as well as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Rayman Origins.

The first thing you notice when taking out the Vita from its box is how big it is, but it’s not inconveniently big, just big enough to have you notice it, the screen responds very well, the new operating system is really nice and intuitive, Sony decided to take a step back from the PSP’s and the PS3’s XMB and go with a bubble based OS (not literally, I just can’t think of a better description off the top of my head), but it suits the whole “Touch screen” theme so well, oh, and you can only use the front touch pannel while navigating through the menu, it’s annoying, but you get used to it. Another interesting thing that Sony did was making a few applications for normal PSN functions, like for example, to view your friends list, you have to launch the friends app, to send a message, the messaging app, to see your trophies, you have to go jump through three hoops of spike and fire whilst singing killing me softly well, you get where this is going. You can’t be playing a game, pause it, and open your browser, it won’t work, the multitasking works mainly with group chatting and gaming, not all games though, if I understand this well enough, Uncharted won’t allow it, since Uncharted is one of the few Vita games (not that there’s many right now anyway) that closes all network connections while being played, saves more resources for the game, but I’m not complaining, the game looks phenomenal on the 5 inch screen.

More into tech specs now, we’ve covered the 5 inch OLED, though not HD, but rather qHD, same as the iPhone’s resolution (960×544), an ARM Cortex A9 4 core processor, a SGX543MP4+ GPU which is roughly 4 times as powerful as the iPad 2’s SGX535 (I think, just taking a swing here, correct me if I’m wrong), 512 MBs of RAM with 128MB of VRAM which makes it handle the whole “multitasking” nicely, and of course either Wifi or 3G and Wifi capabilities.

Now as far as how the handling of the handheld goes, the rear touch pad gets in the way, a lot, but I personally haven’t had any issues except for some mild discomforts while zooming in/out in Uncharted, but the place where you’re supposed to keep your hand doesn’t really help, I found my hand slipping to cover up the entire back of the vita as I was playing, thankfully, Uncharted offers traditional controls alongside touch ones, since I’m not the biggest fan of touch screens (or 3D for that matter, way too much of a gimmick in my opinion).

To all of you who have already bought a Vita, what do you guys think of it? do you think it’s worth the current price tag? and for all of you wanting to buy a Vita, I (personal opinion here, not trolling) would suggest you guys wait a bit for a price drop, or if a new vita comes out with onboard memory, though this won’t be happening anytime soon, since Sony usually gets out the “Slim” version of their consoles in like 4-6 years. If you can’t wait to play the new Uncharted, it IS a console seller, that you can be sure of, also Rayman is epic.

Infamous: Festival of blood (PS3) Review: It’s so electrifying, it’ll suck your blood dry!

Infamous: Festival of blood is Sucker Punch’s newest entry to the Infamous series, set somewhere in an alternate reality version of Infamous 2, where Cole is a vampire, yep, you read that right.

Festival of blood starts off with Zeke talking up a nice looking lady in a bar, trying to get her to stay with him a little, as he then mentions Cole Mcgrath, and she sits in disbelief that a man like Zeke, could really be friends with the demon of Empire city, he then continues on to tell her about the time he save Cole, and his adventures with him on the night of the Festival of blood.

The story here is of Bloody Mary, here she is depicted as a vampire who was resurrected by Cole’s blood, after Cole being overpowered by a bunch of vampires and dragged to her lair. Cole, being the powerful conduit he is, resurrected Mary with a few drops of his blood, where she sat up, bit him, and started to drain him of his blood. Later on, Cole finds himself craving blood himself and realizes that he has become a vampire himself, and has only until sunrise to reverse the process, else he’ll stay a vampire for good.

Gone is the karma system for this mini-game,  you play as infamous Cole with his evil powers unlocked one by one after completing some tasks (killing a few vampires, draining some civilians of their blood, etc..), the karmic system is now replaced with a blood meter which Cole fills after either draining a civilian of his/her blood, or finishing off vampires. Cole gets an array of cool new powers, one of which enables Cole to transform into a swarm of bats, and scale the entire city extremely fast, another is “Vampire Vision”, Vampire vision is this state where Cole can detect normal civilians from vampires, or “new borns” in disguise, and give them a one hit kill with his new cross stake. Instead of power shards, you destroy blood urns to increase your blood meter and giving you more bat time.

The game is of a decent length for its price of $10, it’s almost a 3 hour game, with an online component, just like Infamous 2’s (The UGC). While there is absolutely no side missions to the game, the random encounters of vampire packs almost make up for it, but the addition of side quests wasn’t really expected at my end since it’s a mini game after all.

Graphically, the game is identical to Infamous 2, which is amazingly good for a $10 title. The music throughout the game is also very good, dark and heavy, which suits the whole “Vampire” them well.

All in all, it was a bold move from Sucker Punch to bring out an alternate reality version of Infamous, especially since the ending for Infamous 2 was somewhat ambiguous. Let me know if you’ve enjoyed Festival of blood or not, and what you wished Sucker Punch would have done different.


Gadget showdown! Move vs. Kinect vs. The Wiimote.

While it is certainly clear to everyone who reads this blog that I’m a die hard (no, not the one with Bruce Willis) PlayStation fan, I do have certain points of view concerning the gadgets that have been outed a year or two ago (or in Nintendo’s case, 5 years ago).

Let’s start with the Wii.

Oh the humanity!!!

My sister got a Wii on her birthday 3 or 2 years ago, and it was the first “Next Gen” Console in the house for a while, and since this is not a console review, but merely a motion sensing review, I will refrain from saying my opinion about the console itself, the sensor bar that came with the Wii works on infrared (yeah, it still exists) emitted from the Wiimote, as well as an accelerometer for the Wiimote itself, now how could this combination go wrong, you ask? Well, it’s not as accurate as you may have hoped, but of course, most gamers at one point or another have seen for themselves that the Wii isn’t the best motion sensing console out there, and evidence of that is Nintendo releasing a small gadget called The Wii Motion Plus that “enhances” the motion tracking of the sensor bar and the Wiimote, apparently. And as far as the games are concerned, playing Call Of Duty on the Wii was a pain, but that goes for basically any FPS game without a camera control stick, you’ll have to drag the Wiimote all the way to the side of the screen in order to turn, in other words, if someone has a classic controller, you’re screwed, but COD isn’t what Nintendo are famous for! They’re famous for Mario and Zelda! I’m not a Zelda fan, so I won’t be commenting on this front, but as far as Mario Galaxy went, it wasn’t very bad, but the controls were a bit uncomfortable.

Microsoft however, took a different approach to the motion sensing technology, introducing the world’s first controller-less motion tracking device, the Kinect (or as it was previously referred to, Project Nathal)

It's a webcam! WITH AN EXTRA LENS!!! ZOMG!

While the technology behind Kinect is nothing short of amazing, the games that accompanied it so far are, well, meh-inducing to say the least. How Kinect works is (not applicable to non white Americans without a perfect grasp of the American English accent) that you need a well lit room, and a tremendous amount of space, so yeah, you’ll need to throw that couch away… However accurate the Kinect maybe, it lags a bit, not too much, but you can tell that your actions aren’t carried out in real time. I was only able to play Child Of Eden on Kinect when I was in Game, in England, well, I only got as far as the menu until I gave up, for some reason (it’s cause I’m not white, damned racist camera!), the Kinect wouldn’t pick up my motions anymore. Though in last year’s E3, when Future Soldier was demoed, it was pretty impressive, with the voice controls, and the dis assembly and re assembly of weapons with hand gestures, it was pretty neat, as well as the voice commands in Mass Effect 3.

Now how Sony decided to counter the two companies’ efforts was to (yep, you guessed it) merge the technologies! Creating the PlayStation Move

It's not what you think, no.

Since we all know that the idea behind Kinect originally came from the PlayStation Eye, released initially for the PlayStation 2, the Move uses the Eye, as well as the Wiimote technology, but instead of infrared tracking, the big ball on top lights up, and the eye picks up the movement of the light, and the Move itself has six axis functionality, just like the regular DualShock 3 controller, while it is FAR more accurate than the Wiimote, and faster than the Kinect, the game selection is still not the best, so far, the only Move only game I’ve enjoyed was The Fight: Light’s Out, and you’ll need another one of those light bulbed sticks to be able to enjoy the game, and play it as it was meant to be played, however more and more games are having Move functionality, like Killzone 3, MAG, and Heavy Rain, to name a few.

Kinect and Move are still new gadgets that need more time to stand on their own, and I think we might be seeing impressive games in the future that will use these technologies to their fullest potential, until then though, I suggest you all save your money.