Author - Jerry Paxton

The Thing at The Great Horror Movie Night

I had heard about the Great Horror Movie night from a newsletter that went out from Ten Thirtyone Productions, the company behind the LA Haunted Hayride and Great Horror Campout events. While the idea of going out to Griffith Park’s Old Zoo and watching a classic horror flick on a big screen sounded like a lot of fun, my schedule just never permitted getting out to LA on a Friday evening. Then it happened: Friday, March 3 was free and the folks at the Great Horror Movie night invited us to come out to see what it was all about. The best part of the screening was that it was a screening of John Carpenter’s seminal horror classic, The Thing!

We drove out to LA in the late afternoon/early evening and arrived at the designated parking areas about 5:45 PM. The “doors” (remember, it’s a park) open at 6:00 PM, so we were right on time to camp out a good sitting spot. the area designated for seating is spacious and at an incline so that no matter where you sit, you have a very clear view of the large, inflatable projector screen. We were lucky enough to get tickets for the reserved seating area right in front, but would have been completely happy even if we were in the back. Seating is on a lawn and you should definitely bring some blankets, pillows, or small chairs to sit upon. There are chair requirements for everyone’s viewing enjoyment. Chairs can’t be taller than 21 inches at the seat back and a maximum of 6 inches off the ground at the seat. Taller chairs are not prohibited outright, but you would be asked to move them to the side of the viewing area so you don’t block anyone’s vantage.

Click for Fullsize

At 7:30 PM, the movie was set to start and, about that time, the headmaster (who is a character from the Great Horror Campout) came out in front of the screen and entertained the crowd with some trivia games and prize giveaways. Prizes included candy, other snacks, and even free tickets to upcoming Great Horror Movie Nights! After introducing the movie, the lighting was dimmed and the movie began with some original, campy trailers (showing the upcoming films of the Great Horror Movie Night). After the screening, the headmaster came back out and thanked everyone for coming out.

Snacks and other concessions were available at the old zoo’s “caves” which, a long time ago, used to house animals for the enjoyment of zoo guests. Concessions were decent, and I would recommend supporting the event by purchasing them on-site. For those of you nervous about being out in the Old Zoo after dark, the event made sure to have security and other staff on-site to keep everything running smoothly.

Every Great Horror Movie Night also features something a little special – it could be a scare, an activity, maybe both! For The Thing, the Great Horror Movie Night had a pop up tent in which a small team of scientists performed DNA tests to see who was infected by a strange new alien organism… And those that were still human. Fortunately, I was human, but there were many “things” out there that were not!

The Great Horror Movie Night is an extremely fun and rewarding time if you are a fan of horror movies. Sitting with hundreds of fellow horror fans in the dark, watching a scary movie, and eating some popcorn while monsters periodically roam the crowds is amazing. Tickets are $17 dollars per movie online and $25 dollars at the door. If you want to jump in the deep end, $89 dollars will wrangle you a season pass! You can check out all the details at the Great Horror Movie Night’s official website. Oh – you might want to bring a flash light as, while there is some lighting put out, the trail leading up to the Old Zoo seating area is a bit dark. A flash light is always a smart move!

NieR: Automata 27 Minutes of Gameplay

LOS ANGELES (Mar. 1, 2017) – To help players get ready for the upcoming release of NieR: Automata, SQUARE ENIX® released a new video that showcases various role playing game (RPG) elements. Titled “Exploring Earth’s Distant Future – 30 Minutes of Uninterrupted Gameplay,” the video highlights several gameplay systems, skills and features that provide depth to the game’s fast-paced action.

Showcased elements include:

  • “Reliquary” System – Players can return to where their characters were defeated to gain additional buffs, or even gain an ally to assist in their battle against the fearsome machines.
  • 17 Different Pod Skills – Using “Pods,” your mini-robot companions, players can not only temporarily hover or be thrown distances to access additional areas, but each Pod can be programmed with a variety of offensive and defense skills, including lasers, hammers, and more. By using up to three Pods at the same time, players can also charge their skills to make them up to three times stronger.
  • “Plug-in-Chip” System – By installing chips into your android body, players can increase damage and add skills to help survive against enemies.
  • Riding System – Players can ride boars and other wildlife for quicker travel, while also using them to attack.
  • Quest Hub – As players immerse themselves in the desolate world, they can take on a variety of sub-quests from multiple Quest Hubs scattered throughout.
  • Fishing Minigame Players can catch a variety of fish through this mini-game to sell or gain temporary beneficial status effect.

The new extended video is available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/nsvI8ND4D98.*

NieR: Automata, developed by SQUARE ENIX and PlatinumGames Inc., will release in North America on March 7 for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and for Steam® in 2017. Players can download a free demo for the PlayStation®4 system from the PlayStation®Store at: http://bit.ly/NieRDemo.

The 2017 Oscars All Access Live Stream

Looks like The Oscars are pushing their complimentary all-access live stream this year, promising even more backstage access, etc. You can check out the all-access live stream at their official Facebook page as well as official Oscars website. The streaming experience is meant to be ran alongside the television broadcast of the actual show. The Oscars all-access live stream begins at 7:00 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PT.

Dying: Reborn Gets PlayStation VR Release Date

BEIJING – (February 24, 2017) – After an impressive end of 2016 that saw the release of three diverse PlayStation®VR games, Oasis Games Ltd, a leading independent Chinese publisher, today announced that its room escape horror game, DYING: Reborn, will launch on February 28 for the PlayStation®VR and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. The release date for the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system will be announced at a later time.

DYING: Reborn is a dark, horror-themed puzzle game that creates a unique first-person room escape experience. Players will play as Mathew, a distraught young man on a mission to find his missing sister. After receiving a mysterious note from his sister, Mathew finds himself trapped in a strange and eerie hostel with no recollection of how he landed there. To escape the hostel and solve the mystery, Mathew must solve a variety of creative puzzles while exploring each spooky room in the building for clues. Scattered throughout the environment are items he will collect and use to piece together what happened while trying to find his sister.

Players who solve all of the mysteries in DYING: Reborn will discover a rich, overarching story—and just possibly, a shocking revelation. Can you help Mathew find his sister and escape safely? We’re DYING to find out!

The PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®Vita games consists of six chapters of riveting gameplay, while PlayStation®VR has three immersive chapters for a shorter but even more intense experience. Developed by NEKCOM Entertainment and published by Oasis Games for PlayStation®VR, PS4™ and “PS Vita” system, DYING: Reborn will be available on February 28 for the PS VR and PS4™ on the PlayStation®Store. The titles are available on PS VR for $9.99 and PS4™ for $19.99. This game has been rated “M for Mature” by the ESRB.

Stay up to date on all of the PS VR titles from Oasis Games by liking us on Facebook at fb.me/OasisGamesConsole and following on Twitter at OAS_Games and Instagram at @OasisGamesOfficial. Get more information on all Oasis Games titles here: http://en.console.oasgames.com.

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Boysenberry Festival Returns to Knott’s this Spring

Buena Park, CA (Feb 2017) – This spring, join Knott’s as it celebrates the flavorful berry that started it all, the boysenberry, during the much anticipated Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. For the first time ever, the mouthwatering festival is expanding to three weeks, April 1–April 23, with delectable food and drinks, and festive live entertainment. The 23-day food festival features over 70 one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired dishes, drinks and more, plus foot-stompin’ entertainment, Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden, featuring boysenberry and wine, and family fun that everyone will love!  For festival goers with a hankerin’ for some live entertainment, the options are endless with live music throughout the park, a nighttime dance party, and brand new shows like, Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree at the Calico Mine Stage. Calico Park in Ghost Town is home to a good ol’ fashion hootenanny featuring pie eating contests, line dancing and country fair festivities with the local Ghost Town townsfolk. The limited-time festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm.

The year was 1920 when Walter and Cordelia Knott moved to the community of Buena Park Calif. to farm 20 acres of rented land which included harvesting, and selling the first boysenberry, a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry, and named the new berry after its originator, Rudolph Boysen. Today, all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm.

For 2017, the mouthwatering line-up of boysenberry inspired dishes will feature irresistible boysenberry pizza made with arugula and goat cheese, the unforgettable and delicious newravioli dish packed with boysenberry flavors, freshly-baked boysenberry fry bread and lip-smacking corn on the cob with boysenberry butter and mayo, each dish will leave guests wanting for more.  Other must try items include crispy deep fried alligator bites paired with farm-made zesty boysenberry aioli, finger-lickin boysenberry BBQ wings, savory boysenberry meatballs, sweet boysenberry cream soda, creamy chocolate covered boysenberry cheesecake on a stick and many more delicious treats. Additional fee for tastings.Guests who want to take home the exquisite Boysenberry BBQ sauce, Boysenberry Butter, Boysenberry Dressing and Boysenberry Chipotle Sauce can do so by stopping by the Berry Market located in the California MarketPlace and General Store located in Ghost Town. Select items are available on the online Berry Market store.

Guests can purchase boysenberry inspired products throughout the winding streets of the Old West at the Crafts Fair. This year’s boysenberry products include boysenberry soap, lip balm and the devilishly good rock candy. Festivalgoers can also watch special demonstrations including a chainsaw wood sculpting, glass blowing and blacksmithing.  From day to night, Ghost Town has never looked so lively.

This year, in honor of the famous berry, Ghost Town’s Town Hall will feature a fascinating film which shares the story of how Walter and Cordelia Knott settled here in Buena Park and helped the world discover the amazing boysenberry. Guests can pull up a seat and catch a 10-minute showing of the historic film offered exclusively during the festival.

The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival also features an extensive line up of live entertainment. Join Snoopy, Charlie and the entire Peanuts gang as they present an all new interactive, musical revue called Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree! at the Calico Mine Stage. This new show will have families singing, dancing, and playing along with the beloved Peanuts characters and talented performers during the whimsical, high energy celebration of springtime. Country music and the aroma of deliciously good food will fill the air as the Ghost Town Miners take the stage in a fun, musical performance at the Firemen’s BBQ stage. Just across the Fireman’s stage, the Legendary Bird Cage Theatre pays tribute to Knott’s past; for the first time in over 20 years, the theatre will be the home of musical comedy melodrama, with a special presentation of the Old Time Melodrama. America’s longest running Melodrama returns with an original, interactive, comedy with a surprising boysenberry twist! In the evening, a group of krazy talented performers will have guests kicking up their heels with vine dancing, a down home jug band and dueling fiddlers and banjos!  At the Wagon Camp stage, get krazy when Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies mount their toe tappin’, knee-slappin’, gut-bustin’ country comedy show that will have audiences clamoring for more!

The fun continues with new additions exclusively for the Boysenberry Festival. Brand new this season, The Old MacDonald Petting Zoo pays tribute to one of Knott’s original attractions. Young ones and young at heart are invited to cozy up to the cutest critters on the farm including horses, sheep, goats and other furry friends.

Springtime fun has also taken root in Camp Snoopy and Fiesta Village. During the limited-time event, the whole family can meet the Easter Beagle at his Camp Snoopy home, blooming with colorful springtime décor. The meet and greet location is the perfect place for shareable moments with the boisterous beagle and his friends – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally, and Linus. Camp Snoopy Theatre will showcase the PEANUTS pals singing, dancing, and sharing stories for all to enjoy. Everyone in the family can join in the Camp Snoopy activities.  The theater will be filled with the sweet sound of little ones as they singing-along to the cheerful tunes! Guests don’t have to be experts at dancing to enjoy a nighttime Fiesta with DJ Cruz in Fiesta Village. The night comes alive with music and dance as everyone will be sure to take to the floor and dance to the rhythmic beat of popular music.

The Boysenberry Festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, additional cost for food tasting experiences within the event, which also offers a full day of thrilling coasters and family fun rides.  Knott’s will have extended hours, 10am to 10pm, from April 1 –  April 23, allowing guests extra time to take advantage of all of the limited-time offerings.

Join the conversation and share your day of boysenberry fun by using #BoysenberryFestival on Twitter and Instagram. For information about the day you plan to visit and available discounts, visit www.knotts.com, or download the newly updated Knott’s Berry Farm mobile app for your smartphone.

Belko VR – The Escape Room Experience Gets A Trailer

Los Angeles – “Belko VR – The Escape Room Experience” is being released for free, for one day only, March 3, 2017 in celebration of “National Employee Appreciation Day”. The game was inspired by the upcoming horror thriller, Orion Pictures’ THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, to be released in theaters by BH Tilt, on March 17, 2017.

Belko VR – The Escape Room Experience, created by filmmakers David Yarovesky and Dan Clifton, will be available to play on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets through the Steam Platform.
Exploring the themes in THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, the Belko VR – Escape Room Experience provokes the question: “What does it take to survive at work?” Players are prompted to solve a series of challenging puzzles in order to escape from their office before a microchip in their head explodes.

“We felt that we had a unique opportunity to do something a little crazy by taking the core idea of being trapped in the Belko Industries building and distilling that down to a Roomscale experience,” states Dan Clifton, who co-produced the film and also developed the game. “Players will become a Belko employee and be immersed into a fight for survival. It’s fun, at times threatening and scary and fully interactive.”

“Because I was there for the shoot in Bogota, Colombia and worked extensively with director Greg McLean and the cast and crew, it felt very natural for us to extend the experience and story into a VR game. The film leaves you with the question, “What would I do?” and we knew we could have some fun building that into a VR experience.”

David Yarovesky, who also served as a post-production consultant on the film, is the co-creator of the game. “Having been an extremely early adopter of Vive, I was thrilled that Orion Pictures and BH Tilt were bold enough to allow Dan and I to run with this idea. Other films have done 360 Video experiences, but this is a truly interactive standalone playable game set in the extreme Belko universe.”

Yarovesky added, “We were tired of VR experiences that felt like tech demos. We wanted to make something that was fun and engaging and set a new bar for how VR and film can work together.”

James Gunn said, “The Belko VR – Escape Room Experience is scary as hell with lots of insane puzzles and moral choices. As an active gamer, I’m so excited about where VR is going, and this is a step in the right direction. David Yarovesky and Dan Clifton did an amazing job capturing the film’s unique tone and the game is just as twisted and fun as the movie.”

John Hegeman, President of Marketing of BH Tilt noted, “The Belko VR – The Escape Room Experience is complete insanity and to have the game available for free on Employee Appreciation Day is an incredible treat.”

To bring their vision to life, Clifton and Yarovesky partnered with developers Paper Crane Games out of Los Angeles, CA, who recently developed the Call of Duty Jackal Assault VR Experience for Playstation VR.

Clifton and Yarovesky previously collaborated on The Exorcist 360 Experience for 20th Century Fox Television in the fall of 2016.

Presented by Orion Pictures, an arm of MGM, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT is directed by Greg McLean (The Darkness, Wolf Creek), written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and produced by Peter Safran (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and Gunn. The film stars John Gallagher, Jr. (“The Newsroom,” 10 Cloverfield Lane), Tony Goldwyn (“Scandal”) and Adria Arjona (“True Detective”), John C. McGinley (“Stan Against Evil,””Scrubs”), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station), Josh Brener (“Silicon Valley”) and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy). Director of Photography is Luis Sansans, A.M.C. (“Narcos”). Production designer is Carlos Osorio (“Homeland,” “24”). Costume designer is Camila Olarte Suárez (The Wind Journeys).

ABOUT ORION
Orion, an arm of MGM, is focused on distributing films across multiple platforms.

Watch Dogs 2 Human Conditions PS4 Launch Trailer

SAN FRANCISCO — February 20, 2017 Today, Ubisoft® announced that Human Conditions, the second add-on content pack for Watch_Dogs® 2, will be available tomorrow, February 21 on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. Human Conditions is also part of the Season Pass content and will be available on Xbox One and Windows PC on March 23, 2017.

In Human Conditions, biotech takes center stage as players uncover three story-driven DedSec operations set within the vibrant city of San Francisco, investigate a disturbing gang conflict in co-op* with new Elite co-op challenges and face a new enemy type with enhanced tech, the Jammer.  The pack contains more than five hours of new content and challenges to enhance the overall game experience.

The three new DedSec operations introduce some of the Bay’s most outrageous scientific and technological storylines:

  • Automata revolves around Nudle’s new smart car, the CyruX, which uses biometric data both as a security measure and to adapt itself to the driver. But is that really all it does with a user’s personal information? DedSec sees the potential for abuse right away and sets out to expose it.
  • Bad Medicine follows the trail of a dangerous ransomware that has crippled the city’s hospitals; as Marcus and his crew dig deeper to stop this menace, they will cross paths with deadly hitman Jordi Chin and form an unlikely alliance against the Russian mafia.
  • Caustic Progress unveils a strange new company called RenSense that is experimenting with dangerous nanotech on the Bay Area’s homeless. It has caught the attention of bio-hacker Lenni, who claims that their mobile clinics for the homeless hide very troubling human experiments. With her help, DedSec sets out to stop this madness.

Additionally, new Elite co-op challenges will enhance the co-op experience with advanced challenges to test players’ stealth and combat skills. Elite co-op challenges will require the completion of various objectives in multiple locations with bigger layouts and a couple of surprises to spice things up.

Players will also be confronted with a new enemy type, the Jammer, a deadly opponent carrying an anti-hacking device disabling all hacking options in a radius around him. DedSec members must carefully adapt their strategy to deal with this exceptional threat, temporarily disabling his device from afar or manually turning it off after taking the Jammer down.

In Watch_Dogs 2, players explore the birthplace of the tech revolution as Marcus Holloway, a brilliant young hacker who has fallen victim to ctOS 2.0’s predictive algorithms and accused of a crime he did not commit. In Marcus’s quest to shut down ctOS 2.0 for good, hacking is the ultimate weapon. Players can not only hack into the San Francisco Bay Area’s infrastructure but also every person and any connected device they possess to trigger unpredictable chains of events in this vast open world.

For more information about Watch_Dogs 2, please visit watchdogs.com.

*Multiplayer access requires a PlayStation®Plus or Xbox Live Gold membership.

Razer Unveils New Blade Laptop

IRVINE, Calif. – Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the new Razer Blade 14-inch gaming laptop. This latest version of Razer’s award-winning laptop offers an updated CPU, faster memory and a new 4K UHD screen option. The result is a laptop with a perfect balance of power, mobility and durability with the characteristically elegant Razer Blade profile.

The latest generation of 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 quad-core processor in the new Razer Blade is more powerful and more efficient than last year’s model, the “Best Portable Gaming Laptop” on the market according to Digital Trends (November 2016). The powerful CPU of the new Razer Blade achieves double-digit increases in productivity benchmarks and is paired with NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 graphics to deliver the best frame rates available in an ultra-thin laptop. The performance of the new Razer Blade is matched by its light weight and durability. Measuring only 0.70 inches thin, it weighs a little more than four pounds and is housed in a unibody CNC aluminum chassis.

A Full HD panel comes standard on the new Razer Blade, while a new 4K UHD touchscreen option will be available for the first time on Razer’s 14-inch model. Razer Blade users can enjoy extraordinarily clear visuals and intense frame rates in games with the Full HD display, or step up to the clarity of 4K for ultimate picture quality and the convenience of a touchscreen interface.

“The Razer Blade sets the benchmark for performance in thin laptops,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “More users embraced this flagship computer model in 2016 than ever before, and we are excited to make it even more available worldwide this year. Beyond gaming, it has been really gratifying to see people enjoying the power and portability of the Blade for video editing, music creation and software development.”

The Razer Blade comes standard with 16 GB of DDR4 dual-channel memory running at 2400 MHz, Killer Wireless-AC and Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity. The system offers PCIe SSD storage options up to 1 TB, providing fast data transfer speeds. Other features include a comfortable and accurate anti-ghosting keyboard that is powered by Razer Chroma™. This technology unlocks a color palette of 16.8 million colors and a virtually endless array of keyboard lighting effects that can be customized and synchronized to display in-game events.

Razer is one of the most awarded laptop manufacturers in recent history. Its 12.5-inch Blade Stealth Ultrabook won more than 20 awards in 2016, while the 2016 Blade and redesigned 17.3-inch Blade Pro received lauds of their own from the editorial and gaming community. Razer’s Project Valerie laptop concept debuted at CES 2017 and took home more than 30 accolades at the world’s biggest technology show.

The new Razer Blade Full HD systems are available now in North America and Europe at RazerStore.com and in-person at RazerStore San Francisco, as well as other select retailers and etailers. The 4K UHD model is expected to be available in Q2. For more information, visit Razerzone.com/blade.

STARTING PRICE: US$1,899 / C$2,749 / €2.149 / £1.799

AVAILABILITY:

United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and France:

Razerzone.com – February 13, 2017

Select Retailers – February 20, 2017

Worldwide – March 2017

PRODUCT FEATURES:

  • Intel® Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core Processor (2.8 GHz / 3.8 GHz)
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5 VRAM)
  • 16 GB System Memory (DDR4, 2400 MHz)
  • Windows® 10 64-bit
  • 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB SSD (PCIe M.2) options
  • 14-in. IPS Full HD Matte (1920 x 1080) / 14-in. 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) capacitive multi-touch options
  • Anti-ghosting keyboard with per-key lighting powered by Razer Chroma
  • Killer™ Wireless-AC 1535 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth® 4.1)
  • Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C™)
  • USB 3.0 port x3 (SuperSpeed)
  • HDMI 2.0 video and audio output
  • 3.5 mm headphone/microphone combo port
  • Built-in webcam (2.0 MP)
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Array microphone
  • Dolby® Digital Plus Home Theater Edition
  • 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip embedded
  • Razer Synapse enabled with programmable keyboard, trackpad, backlighting, and fan control
  • Kensington™ security slot
  • Compact 165 W power adapter
  • Built-in 70 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
  • Approx. Size: 0.70 in. / 17.9 mm (Height) x 13.6 in. / 345 mm (Width) x 9.3 in. / 235 mm (Depth)
  • Approx. Weight (Full HD): 4.10 lbs. / 1.86 kg
  • Approx. Weight (UHD): 4.30 lbs. / 1.95 kg

Sound BlasterX Pro Gamer Weapons Crate Review

Creative Labs has released the first gaming keyboard and mouse in their Sound BlasterX Pro Gamer line. These offerings consist of the the Siege M04 RGB gaming mouse and the Vanguard K08 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. While you could purchase the two products separately and be perfectly happy, Creative Labs has released the very limited Sound BlasterX Weapons Crate edition bundle. This “weapons crate” contains both the Vanguard K08 and Siege M04 as well as the nifty Alphapad mouse pad, all in a heavy duty carrying case that looks like it should be carrying actual weapons. Each crate comes with a unique serial number.

Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08

The Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 mechanical gaming keyboard is a beautifully-designed peripheral which exudes style and good looks. RGB lighting systems have become all the rage in peripherals these days and is well executed on the Vanguard. Using the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Connect software, you can configure a number of eye popping patterns to oogle during play. It also allows you to customize 109 of its keys with macros and a lot more!

The real standout feature of the Vanguard, however, is its PRES mechanical key switches. PRES, or, Perceive-React-Execute Switches are specially designed by Creative Labs and OMRON to activate 25% faster than standard mechanical switches. This is thanks, in part, to the keys reduced travel time. Furthering the remarkability of the keys is that each PRES key has two connectors hiding inside. This means that even if one connector gets coated in dust or grime, the other one can still fire off a signal to your computer. This redundancy means PRES keys are extremely reliable in a multitude of conditions. The keyboard even boasts 26-key rollover technology, which should be plenty for any gamer – no matter how many actions you need to perform.

Rounding out some of the cool features of the Vanguard is a soft braided cable as well as a USB 2.0 pass through port for convenient attachment of a gaming mouse – such as the Siege M04. Speaking of which…

Sound BlasterX Siege M04

The Sound BlasterX Siege M04 RGB gaming mouse features a stylish, sleek black body with rubberized side areas for increased grip during play. Of course, much like the Vanguard we already touched on, the Siege M04 features a 16.8 million color RGB lighting system that is completely cool and eye catching. You can configure the lighting system within the Sound Blaster Connect software suite.

Under the hood, the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 features a PixArt PMW3360 IR LED gaming grade sensor. This sensor provides up to 12,000 dpi and 1,000 Hz polling rates as well as customizeable lift off distance of either 2 or 3mm.

Further harnessing the power of this remarkable mouse sensor is a 32-bit microprocessor. The Siege M04 is very good at promoting its lack of mouse prediction and acceleration and, while you might think NOT having features would be a negative, those are two huge problems for serious gamers out there. Acceleration and prediction can be a real detriment in tournament play and not having those is a terrific thing to tout (the more you know!).

The Siege M04 features a soft braided cable and a cool thumb button which puts the mouse into sniper mode. This is great for those of you who play shooter titles and I loved using it in my Battlefield 1 sniper rifles. It brings the DPI down to a predetermined level that makes minor corrections much more achievable. The hope is that it allows you to be a more effective sniper and, for the most part, it succeeds!

Alphapad Mouse Pad

Admittedly, the weakest part of the Sound BlasterX Pro Gamer Weapons Case is the Alphapad. It is a flexible mouse pad which boasts the Sound BlasterX logo. While I say this is the weakest part of the weapons crate, it isn’t so much that the Alphapad does not function as a mouse pad – it’s fine. It just doesn’t have the same wow factor as the Vanguard or Siege – the true stars of the crate. The Alpha pad features a decent size mouse pad surface but does not have any kind of wrist rest. The pad itself is rather hard on the skin, so I would recommend a wrist pad of some sort if you are doing some marathon game sessions.

Conclusion

I am hard pressed to believe that the Vanguard and Siege peripherals are Creative Labs first forays into the mice and keyboard markets. They are each so well-designed and made so durable that they exude the style, performance, and look of a company that has been crafting them for years. Whether you purchase them together, in the weapons crate, or separately you will not be disappointed with the rewards they will provide both your gaming and general computing needs. If you are looking to transport your peripherals to e-sports tournaments or just a friend’s house, you might consider the limited edition Weapons Crate as it comes in a super rugged case with form fitted foam to keep everything from rattling around – really cool bundle!

The Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Pro Gamer Weapons Crate retails for $299.99 while the Vanguard K08 mechanical gaming keyboard has an MSRP of $179.99 and the Siege M04 RGB gaming keyboard retails for $79.99. You can find them at Creative Labs official website as well as online retailers like Amazon.com.


Sound BlasterX Weapons Crate Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)

Sound BlasterX Vanguard Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)

Sound BlasterX Siege Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)

Sound BlasterX Alphapad Review Score

 (3 out of 5 stars)