Tag - pc gaming

Corsair Launches ML Magnetic Levitation PC Case Fans

FREMONT, CA –July 11th 2016 – CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, PC hardware and components today announced the launch of its new range of ultimate, high-performance cooling fans, the ML Series. Equipped with a revolutionary new Magnetic Levitation Bearing and custom rotor design, the ML Series redefines fan performance to deliver higher airflow, lower noise and better cooling, whatever the requirement.

When powered, the magnetic levitation bearing completely suspends the fan blades from the motor housing, delivering almost frictionless operation. The huge reduction in friction, in comparison to all conventional physical contact bearings, allows the ML Series to offer lower noise at higher RPMs giving PC Enthusiasts a true no-compromise fan.

Offered in ten different variants, the new ML Series is available in a full range of colors and multiple sizes, letting you customize both your build and your performance. Launching in standard ML, ML PRO and ML PRO LED models and in both 120mm and 140mm sizes, there’s an ML fan to suit almost any performance PC cooling requirement.

All ML fans offer a huge PWM range, giving users total control over how their fans perform. Value silence above all else? At their lowest speed of 400 RPM, the ML Series will push more airflow at near silent 16 dBA (decibel A-weighting). Performance junkie? ML Series fans push up to 97 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air. Be it a low noise case, high density radiator or anywhere in-between, the ML Series delivers best-in-class performance.

ML Series also provides next-level fan customization. ML PRO fans feature removable color co-coordinated corners fitted to the fan’s vibration dampening rubber grommets, allowing easy color matching to accent your build’s color scheme. ML PRO LED goes even further, mounting four ultra-bright LEDs into the central fan hub to radiate vibrant, even lighting through the fan’s frosted blades.

“We built the ML Series to be the ultimate fan, offering exceptionally low noise levels to those who value silence and insane airflow for those who demand it” said Michael Hooper, Product Manager for Cooling at CORSAIR. “With the use of the Magnetic Levitation Bearing and custom rotor, we’re able to create a single fan that lets the user choose their perfect balance between airflow, static pressure and noise with no compromises.”

Specifications:

Magnetic Levitation Bearing: Harnesses Magnetic Levitation technology to provide lower noise, higher performance, and a longer lifespan.

Custom Rotor Design: Delivers the perfect balance between high static pressure and high airflow, operating flawlessly in the most challenging environments.

Extensive Control Range: A 2,000 RPM control range gives you total control between low noise and absolute performance. At 400 RPM ML Series 120mm fans provide 12 CFM of airflow at just 16 dBA for near silent running. At 2,400 RPM, the same fans offer a huge 75 CFM of airflow, at an un-intrusive 37dBa. You choose the balance between silence and performance, and the ML Series delivers.

Color Customization: Replaceable corners mounted to anti-vibration rubber dampers allow you to match your fans with the rest of your build while delivering quiet operation at higher speeds.

Bold LED’s: ML120 PRO LED and ML140 PRO LED are available in Red, White or Blue, with ultra-bright LEDs mounted to the center rotor, outputting a vivid blast of light and color.

Pricing, Availability, and Warranty

All ML Series fans are backed by a comprehensive five year warranty and are available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers. ML Series fans are available in ten different variants in both 120mm and 140mm sizes. Please refer to the below grid for MSRP. Prices are Exc. Tax.

ML120

ML120 PRO

ML120 PRO LED White

ML120 PRO LED Red

ML120 PRO LED Blue

Pack Quantity

2

1

1

1

1

Rubber Corners

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Corner Color

None

Black

White

Red

Blue

LED Lit

No

No

Yes – White

Yes – Red

Yes – Blue

RPM

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

CFM

12 – 75

12 – 75

12 – 75

12 – 75

12 – 75

Static Pressure

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

Noise (dBA)

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

MSRP ($)

$34.99

$24.99

$27.99

$27.99

$27.99

 

ML140

ML140 PRO

ML140 PRO LED White

ML140 PRO LED Red

ML140 PRO LED Blue

Pack Quantity

2

1

1

1

1

Rubber Corners

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Corner Color

None

Black

White

Red

Blue

LED Lit

No

No

Yes – White

Yes – Red

Yes – Blue

RPM

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

CFM

17 – 97

17 – 97

17 – 97

17 – 97

17 – 97

Static Pressure

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

Noise (dBA)

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

MSRP ($)

$39.99

$28.99

$30.99

30.99

$30.99

 

To learn more about CORSAIR ML Series fans please visit:

http://www.corsair.com/mlseries

Bloody ML160 Commander Laser Gaming Mouse – A Review

bloody-ml60-3

For about the last week, I have change out my normal mouse for the new Bloody ML160 Commander Laser Gaming Mouse from Bloody.  These types of reviews always take a little longer than a game review, since really for the first day or two you are just getting used to the configuration and the feel of the new mouse.  So, putting my Roccat Lua into the drawer of my desk, I connected the ML160 to my desktop and took it for a spin through a week of normal computer use, that featured some MMORPGs, FPS, and normal PC use such as web browsing and writing.

Features

The ML160 has a nice set of features.  The obvious feature right out of the box is the replacement of the right mouse button for a 9-key number pad for mmo games.  Out of all the features, this was the one that I had to work my brain around since I have never used a mouse like this before.  The 5 key acts as your right mouse for everyday use, but when played in an mmo game, the number pad really shines.  The key response for all the mouse buttons, not just the number pad, is measured at less then .2 ms.  Truth be told, I could really feel that response speed when clicking the buttons.  Games felt much more responsive when using the ML160 versus my old Roccat.

Other features of the Bloody ML160 include 17 buttons overall that perform different actions (two on the side, left mouse, middle mouse wheel, 9 key pad buttons,  and 4 profile buttons), metal pro mouse boots for smoother gliding on the desktop, an infrared mouse wheel, adjustable resolution, and 4 weapon profiles.  After my adjustment time with the ML160, I have to say it is the most responsive mouse I have ever used.  I never felt any type of delay between the button press on the mouse and the action in game.

bloody-ml60-1

Aesthetic

The ML160 has a nice aesthetic to it.  The mouse is large enough to fit in my hands and I never feel like I struggle with the over all design of the mouse. The only design issue I had is with the lack of a right mouse button for every day computer use.  Even as I type this and need to make corrections, my brain has to register where my finger is on the number pad.  What would have been idealistic would have been a slightly more raised 5 key, or some sort of nodule on the 5 key for finger placement.

The ML160’s buttons are backlit in red, which really makes the Bloody hand print logo show up nicely on the mouse.  The mouse wheel is also red when using the first weapon profile, then will switch to green, yellow or blue depending on the next profile you use.  Through the software, you can adjust these colors if you like. The cord for the mouse is a nice braided cord that is a great length when connecting the mouse to the back of your computer.  I never feel like I have less cord then I need.

Performance and Specifications

The ML160 performed fantastically during my week of using it for all of my gaming and computing needs.  Overlooking the right mouse button I mentioned earlier, the 9 key pad set up was great for running my mmo games.  I was able to use abilities without key strokes, and the abilities would fire off almost immediately.  Bringing my middle finger back to the 5 key as the home position was still problematic in high stress situations, but one I can live with.

The weapon profiles were fun to play with.  Each profile is designed to be used with a particular style of gun, so if you have a 3-burst weapon you would want to set your mouse to profile 3.  This feature will help keep your shots accurate and on target.  The ML160 also had 6 sniper modes that also helps increase your accuracy by adjusting your mouse movements and sensitivity to your weapon.  I have no idea if the ML160 made me a better gamer in my fps games, but it felt better to play these games.  I felt that I had the drop on people when we would meet due to the responsiveness of the ML160.

Sensor AVAGO A9800 Laser
Buttons 17
Connector USB 2.0 / 3.0
Cable length 1.8 meters
Size 126 x 81 x 40 mm
Weight 153 grams
System requirements Windows (all versions)

bloody-ml60-2

Final Thoughts

The Bloody ML160 is a great gaming mouse, not only for mmorpgs but also for fps games.  Excluding the minor issue of finding the home key on the number pad quickly when needed, the ML160 feels superior when it comes to responsiveness and accuracy for my game playing.  I found the ML160 light in my hands while I played and easy to move around the desk.  The mouse felt great and comfortable while I played, and even with just every day computer use.  If you solely play fps style games, then the ML160 may not be the perfect fit, but if you have any mmorpgs in your game rotation, then I highly recommend the Bloody ML160 as a great gaming mouse.  The Bloody ML160 is available now for $79.99.

Bloody ML160 Commander Gaming Mouse Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

Corpse Party – A Review (PC)

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Independent games have always been hit or miss with me.  For everyone that I find just beautiful and fun to play, there are twenty that I could not ever see myself playing another minute and that is only thinking about what is released in the United States.  Japan’s independent game scene is a little bit different then ours, many dojin software creators make the games more for fun then profit.  The industry isn’t driven by profit or exposure, but more about making a fun game that the developer wanted to play.  Dojin software games, therefore, have a tendency to be more polished and more fun to play, since they are not rushed out to make a profit.  Developer Team GrisGris and publisher Marvelous USA have released one such product in Corpse Party, a Japanese role playing game that was originally released in 1996.  Corpse Party went on to be a big success for Team GrisGris, spawning six games in the series, multiple manga series, anime, and a live action film.  This version of Corpse Party is, follow me on this, is a re-release of the re-make of the original game.

Story

The story for Corpse Party begins in a high school in Japan, where Mayu Suzumoto is preparing to transfer to a new high school, away from a sizable group of friends.  On the eve of her last day, the group of friends are helping clean up after class, when Ayumi suggests performing a ritual called “Sachiko Ever After” to bind all of the friends together to keep them from growing apart.  Any fan of the horror genre already will know that this ritual does not go as planned, and the group of students finds themselves transported to the decrepit remains of the Heavenly Host Elementary school, a school that once stood where the high school is today.  Heavenly Host Elementary played host to a series of ghastly murders years earlier, before being demolished.  The only way for the students to survive is to uncover the details surrounding these murders and to help free the ghosts that still wander the halls of Heavenly Host Elementary, before the students themselves met an ugly end.

corpse-party-2

The story for Corpse Party is, by far, the best thing about this game.  The story is gripping, intriguing, and makes you want to uncover what had happened years before to these poor students.  Corpse Party drips with atmosphere, which helps keep the story and the player on the edge of their seat.  The story is also broken up into five chapters, each with multiple endings and detailing different sections of the overall story.  Corpse Party also adds in four bonus chapters, including a retelling of “Tooth” from Corpse Party:  Book of Shadows.  I felt that the game did a great job in pacing the tension and balancing the overall feeling of the story, but that dialogue….

Japanese games have had a lot of issues in the past with translation over into English.  No one will forget just how popular “All your base are belong to us” became from Zero Wing.  Well, I think Corpse Party gives that one a run with “I’m gonna butter up my pooper with it real good!”.  No, seriously, that is a line from Chapter 1.  While lines like this do remove me from the tension that the game was building so expertly, I have to forgive it because I understand the tricks and traps of translating between the two languages.  However, yeah, I have to knock a few points off just for that line.

Game Play

Corpse Party plays like a very traditional Japanese role playing game, for the most part.  You begin the game with two students that travel around the elementary school in a line.  As you explore the Heavenly Host Elementary School, you will discover dead ends, hard to reach paths, and corpses, lots of corpses.  Your quest is to collect the information that is littered around the school to discover who these corpses were and what exactly had happened here decades before.

What isn’t so traditional about Corpse Party is that there is no combat, no stats, and no inventory per se.  Sure, you collect names tags and pieces of lumber to help you explore, but no inventory in the sense we are used to for a jrpg.  Since there isn’t any combat, death will usually come as a surprise to you, and usually because you did something out of order, or turned down the wrong hall, or explored a dead end that you were not supposed to explore.  This will lead to a lot of reloading of a previous save.  As a friend of mine put it, “the story is fantastic, but the game is a total dick”.

Your actions and choices will help determine what story ending you get.  There are multiple ways and paths to explore the Heavenly Host Elementary School, so you never feel railroaded into a particular path, but unless you are a veteran at this type of game, it can feel a wee bit overwhelming.  Corpse Party will not hold your hand through the story, nor does it really particularly like you.  If you can live with this uncertainty and dislike, you are in for a treat.

corpse-party-4

Aesthetics

Corpse Party is rendered in a retro 2D graphic style that helps recreate the original game from 1996.  From an aesthetic point of view, this is a fantastic design decision, however, I did have a hard time in telling what items were.  It took my almost a half an hour just to discover a plank of wood that I could use to get over a whole in the floor to get out of the first classroom.  Many items you will never guess what they are until you interact with them and get a description from the game.  I am always for retro gaming aesthetics, but with the technology we have today, designers should at least make the items look like they are supposed to.  Still, I felt that the overall visual aesthetic worked real well for Corpse Party.

The original Japanese voice cast is used for Corpse Party.  With over 5,000 lines of spoken dialogue in the original Japanese, Corpse Party delivers the original gaming experience that was released in 1996.  Since the acting is in Japanese, it is impossible for me to tell how well the dialogue is performed.  I mean, it sounds good and all, but I can’t tell if they are over-acting, under-acting, or just giving us a shopping list.

Final Thoughts

Corpse Party is a great retro-style Japanese role playing game story that is almost completely ruined by the game play.  I love the story, the atmosphere, and the tension that Corpse Party delivers to the player, but the game play is one that almost borders on frustrating due to the absolute lack of any direction.  In some cases, I love this freedom, but for some reason it was a negative for me in Corpse Party.  By no means negative enough for me not to recommend Corpse Party, but one that I feel I need to mention.  Corpse Party is a great game, and a great example of what the Japanese independent game industry is capable of.  If you are a fan of creepy Japanese rpgs, then Corpse Party is an absolute must for you.  For everyone else, this is a solid game to pick up and play for about ten hours.  Corpse Party is available now on Steam.

Corpse Party Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

Kalypso Media Announces Urban Empire

Ridgewood, NJ – March 10, 2016 – Kalypso Media today announces the new IP Urban Empire, to be shown for the first time at GDC 2016 – Ever looked out at your town or city and thought about what you’d do if you were in charge? Of course you have, but running a city involves far more than building a few roads and buildings, right? Well forget about city builders, because Kalypso Media is thrilled to announce its brand-new city ruler – Urban Empire, developed by Fragment Productions.

Urban Empire is the pioneer of a new breed of strategy games that combines city builder features with political scheming and adds 200 years of historical progress into the mix, creating a whole new gameplay experience where players must employ strategic planning and political savvy to successfully grow their cities in their role as Mayor.

Take control of a mayoral dynasty at the start of the Industrial Age. Establish infrastructures, plan city districts, debate political decisions at the town council, bribe or blackmail your opponents, empower the democratic rights of your people or ignore them and reign supremely by yourself – the decision is yours! Master the challenges of 200 years of societal changes: face political struggles, experience world-changing events and pioneering inventions, and eventually, Be a Mayor Player and create your very own Urban Empire!

To celebrate the announcement, Kalypso Media has prepared a teaser trailer, and is currently taking appointments for the game’s full debut at the Games Developers Conference 2016 from March 14-18 in San Francisco, CA. Kalypso Media would like to invite members of the press to see the game first-hand and to speak with the game’s producer to learn all about the how this new strategy title will change the way you look at city simulation games.

Features of Urban Empire

  • City Ruler, not City Builder: Urban Empire offers a unique combination of classic city building and political management gameplay. Take on the role of a mayor, be a political mastermind and prove your skills by prevailing against opposing parties and guiding your city through technological evolutions and ideological revolutions
  • Choose from 4 ruling families with 5 characters each, like the equal rights and social justice advocates the Kilgannons, or the Sant’Elias, who focus on scientific progress and the pursuit of knowledge
  • Create and manage city districts on a large scale and fulfil your citizens’ needs – such as happiness, safety, and public services
  • Introduce new ideas and technologies, like the electric tram, antibiotics or video games and use your power to convince the city council of your political agenda
  • Up to 800 dynamic events represent the twists and turns of urban life: make and influence decisions on issues such as women’s rights, the hippie movement, and child labor

Urban Empire is slated for release on PC in Q3 2016, with its public debut set for the Games Developers Conference 2016 in San Francisco, CA. To make an appointment for GDC please contact Kalypso PR USA as soon as possible to secure a time slot. Appointments are for registered GDC attendees only.

Punch Club – A Review (PC)

punch-club-1

Unlike that other fighting club, we are not breaking any rules by reviewing and discussing Lazy Bear Games’ newest creation, Punch Club.  Punch Club is a life management role playing game, where you take control of every aspect of your fighter’s life, from what he eats to how much he trains.  The only time you don’t control your fighter’s every action is when he actually has to fight.  The fights are completely run by the game’s artificial intelligence, based on the tactics pre-selected by the player and the stats that your fighter possesses.  Is Punch Club any good?  Let’s take a closer look.

Story

Punch Club’s story line begins as many stories do, with the brutal murder of your father before your eyes.  In order to discover your father’s killer, you must rise in the ranks of fighters, choosing different paths that are open to you along the way.  Along the way, you will have to juggle all of life’s varied obstacles, including friendships, love life, training, work, and recreation.  Finding that fine balance in Punch Club is what the game is all about.

Punch Club is full of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia bits, and the story line fits that feel perfectly.  Punch Club feels like a martial arts movie from the late 80’s:  murdered father, training montages, working your way up through the ranks of generic bad guys, finding love along the way and finally ending with a boss fight to gain vengeance.  Lazy Bear Games went for a nostalgia piece, and it works just fine.  While it’s not perfect in any sense of the word, with some of the humor just feeling forced or off a bit, Punch Club’s story line is great and fits the feeling that the developers were aiming for.

punch-club-2

Game Play

I called Punch Club a “life management role playing game” in the intro, and that description fits the game perfectly.  In Punch Club, you have to manage your fighter’s daily life and choose what to focus on during the time you have each day.  In the beginning, that’s fairly simple.  If you hungry, eat.  If you don’t have any money, go to work.  However, just like life, the game gets more complicated when you have more obligations to manage.  Do you spend time with your friends or your love?  You need money to go out, but you haven’t eaten in a while.  To make these choices even more crucial, your states will deplete if you are not training enough, so you constantly have to maintain what you have worked on.

When you train, you will get to focus on one of three stats:  strength, stamina, or agility.  Some exercises will increase small amounts of two stats, but it isn’t very efficient when you factor in your time management.  You pretty much need to focus on one stat as a primary then one as a secondary, leaving the third stat almost untouched.  So you have to decide what type of fighter will you be?  Punches rely on strength, defense rely on agility, and stamina keeps you up and moving longer.

You have total control of your fighter, that is until it is fight time.  You get to select a few fight tactics that your fighter can use before the match begins, but once those are in place and you start the fight, then the a.i. takes over completely.  Whether you win or lose will be dependent on your tactics and your stats that you have trained in.  As you fail, and you will, then you have to decide what other stat or tactic would work better in that situation.

For the first few hours, I really enjoyed Punch Club’s game play.  I thought the life management game play was fun, and it was satisfying to see my hard work pay off.  The problem with Punch Club comes a little later, when you find yourself grinding for hours on end just to win one fight.  This makes the game absolutely no fun to play anymore and can lead to feelings of frustration and bitterness as you loose time and time again.  The shine and enjoyment that I felt in the beginning of Punch Club did not last throughout my time with the game.

Aesthetics

Because the developers were going for a retro style 80’s nostalgia piece, the game looks like it came out of that era as well, though much more defined graphically.  Punch Club has pixelated graphics that reinforce the feeling of nostalgia, without actually looking like an 80’s game.  I felt that the aesthetics of Punch Club fit the vibe of the game perfectly and did everything right, even down to the small little nods to popular culture you will find throughout the game.

Final Thoughts

Punch Club is a great game for the first few hours, then it turns into a complete grind fest that will try even the most die hard gamer.  In the beginning, your fighter’s life is easy to manage, and the fights are easy to train for.  As the game progresses, your life becomes a chaotic mess and the fights are brutal slug-fests that you are not prepared for.  My life is complicated as it is, I don’t really need to play a game that replicates that complexity.  I would still recommend the game for anyone who is looking for a game like Punch Club, because what is there is really well done.  Just be prepared to grind through the middle of the game.  Punch Club is available now through Steam for your PC.

 

Punch Club Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider Windows 10 and Steam Release Date

rise-of-the-tomb-raider-screenshot

REDWOOD CITY (January 5, 2016) – Following Rise of the Tomb Raider’s highly successful release exclusively for Xbox One and Xbox 360, Square Enix® today announced that the game will be available for Windows 10 and Steam on January 28, 2016.

Bringing the game’s thrilling narrative and perilous environments to PC in stunning new detail, developers Crystal Dynamics® and Nixxes Software added numerous features, including Windows 10 support and 4K resolution. Rise of the Tomb Raider® was nominated for Best Action/Adventure for The Game Awards and follows the critically acclaimed, award-winning Tomb Raider®.

“The PC release of Rise of the Tomb Raider continues the positive momentum from our highly successful partnership and collaboration with Microsoft for the launch on Xbox One and Xbox 360,” said Scot Amos co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics.

PC players are a passionate, devoted audience and we know they’ll embrace the version created for their systems,” said Ron Rosenberg, co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics.

After uncovering an ancient mystery, Lara must explore the most treacherous and remote regions of Siberia to find the secret of immortality before a ruthless organization known as Trinity. Lara must use her wits and survival skills, form new alliances, and ultimately embrace her destiny as the Tomb Raider. Experience high-octane action moments, conquer beautifully hostile environments, engage in brutal guerilla combat, and explore awe-inspiring deadly tombs in the evolution of survival action. In “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” Lara becomes more than a survivor as she embarks on her first Tomb Raiding expedition.

The PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider will be available as a digital download via Steam®, the Windows Store, Amazon™, the Square Enix e-store and other major retailers – both in-store and online. Standard edition pricing is $59.99. The Digital Deluxe edition is $89.99 and includes a Season Pass to nearly all current and future DLC.

A Collector’s Edition, which includes the Digital Deluxe version of the game, a 12-inch Lara Croft® statue, replicas of Lara’s journal and jade necklace, and a steel case, will also be available from the Square Enix e-store for $149.99.

To learn more about Rise of the Tomb Raider, please visit the official website and follow the game on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Links
Official Homepage: www.TOMBRAIDER.com
Official Twitter: @TOMBRAIDER
Official Facebook page: http://facebook.com/TOMBRAIDER
Official Tumblr: http://officialTOMBRAIDERblog.tumblr.com/
Official YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/TOMBRAIDER

Mad Catz C.T.R.L. R Mobile Gamepad – A Review

MCB32266-CTRLR-001-BLK-lg

MCB32266-CTRLR-003-BLK-md

The C.T.R.L. R Mobile Game Pad by Mad Catz is a fitting way to complete my trilogy of mobile gaming reviews. Unlike my other two mobile gaming reviews, the C.T.R.L. R took a little more convincing for me to see the positives that it brings to mobile gaming. The C.T.R.L. R is not a bad product by any stretch, but just does not feel necessary, or even helpful at times when it comes to mobile gaming.

Design

The design of the C.T.R.L. R is much like your standard Xbox 360 controller. The game pad has a pair of analog sticks, four main face buttons, and a direction pad on the face. There are two shoulder pads and two triggers in the same places as they are on the standard Xbox 360 controller, with a Start, Select, and power buttons in the center of the face. The placement of all of these features are precisely in the same positions and spots as they are on the Xbox 360 controller, so those of you that are used to Microsoft’s controller layout will feel right at home.

The differences that the C.T.R.L. R has over the Xbox 360 controller are significant. First, this is a strictly wireless controller. The small, micro USB port on the front is only used to update the game pad’s firmware, not to connect the game pad to a device. The C.T.R.L. R connects via Blue Tooth to your mobile or pc devices. The biggest difference in design between the C.T.R.L. R and the Xbox 360 controller is the mobile device holder. This holder screws into the controller between the shoulder bumpers, and holds your mobile device in place. The calipers slide open and then closed by using a spring for tension, to hold your device in place securely. The mobile device mount unscrews with ease, to return the C.T.R.L. R back to the standard controller configuration.

The C.T.R.L. R also features a few more buttons that are not found on your standard controller. A row of media remote buttons sit above the power button, which includes Play/Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind, Volume Up, and Volume Down. There is also a three-way switch on the bottom edge of the controller that switches the C.T.R.L. R to work with different devices, such as your mobile device or your PC.

MCB32266-CTRLR-001-BLK-lg

Performance

The C.T.R.L. R Gamepad can be used in three different ways; as a mobile game pad, as a mouse controller, or as a PC game pad. Most of my testing was done as a mobile game pad with my Samsung Galaxy S4 device, but I did test it on my Windows Laptop as a mouse controller and a game pad.

As a mobile game pad, the C.T.R.L. R worked wonderfully well. The phone fit into the mount well with no fear of slippage or droppage at all. The C.T.R.L. R paired right up with my phone in a matter of seconds and was very responsive in game. I don’t have too many games that the C.T.R.L. R would work with on my phone, but the ones that it would work with played just like I was on my Xbox.

As a PC game pad controller, the C.T.R.L. R didn’t fare as well in my testing. First, since it will only connect via blue tooth and cannot be wired, I could not use the C.T.R.L. R with my desktop. I did not have the capability to connect blue tooth devices, so the C.T.R.L. R would have been useless in that department, except that I have a new laptop that is blue tooth capable. Again, connecting the C.T.R.L. R was a piece of cake, and the mouse mode of the C.T.R.L. R worked great. However, the game pad mode did not work as well as it could, and I experienced connection issues with many games that I tried to use the C.T.R.L. R with. Using the free Mad Catz app, unfortunately, did not fix the issue. I feel that too many developers out there are expecting PC users to just use a 360 controller these days, and have programmed their games to work just fine with that particular one.

Final Thoughts

The C.T.R.L. R Gamepad is a solid controller that works very well with your mobile device. The functionality and performance of the C.T.R.L. R met and exceeded any expectations I had for a mobile game pad. My issue with the C.T.R.L. R isn’t with its design or performance, it’s with the necessity of the game pad. For me, having a controller for my phone just does not make sense. The types of games that I play on my phone are designed to be played in small increments, and without having to lug a full size controller around. Mobile gaming has to be just that, mobile. The C.T.R.L. R game pad is just too large and unwieldy to be mobile. For the C.T.R.L. R to really become necessary in my life, it would have to double as a PC controller, and it could not do that. If the C.T.R.L. R could hook up to my desktop and play my games without issue, then I would love this product. But since it cannot connect to my desktop, nor even work well enough with my laptop games, the C.T.R.L. R just becomes a well-working novelty piece that I cannot see myself using in the future. If you need a mobile gaming device controller, then I can recommend the C.T.R.L. R, but at the price of roughly $40 the game pad is a little expensive for what it can be used for effectively. Otherwise, I would steer clear of the device, especially if you were looking for a universal game pad to use with multiple devices.

Official Store Page

Mad Catz C.T.R.L. R Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

Rainbow Six Siege PC Specs Released

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Ubisoft has released the minimum, and recommended PC specs needed to run the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege, which will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on December 1.

MINIMUM

  • Supported OS
    • Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64bit versions required)
  • Processor
    • Intel Core i3 560 @ 3.3 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 945 @ 3.0 GHz
  • RAM
    • 6GB
  • Video Card
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon HD 5870 (DirectX-11 compliant with 1GB of VRAM) [See list of supported video cards down below]
  • DVD ROM Drive
    • DVD-ROM Dual Layer
  • Sound
    • DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers
  • Hard Drive
    • 30GB
  • Multiplayer
    • Broadband connection with 256kbps upstream or faster

RECOMMENDED

  • Supported OS
    • Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64bit versions required)
  • Processor
    • Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz or better or AMD FX-8120 @ 3.1 Ghz or better
  • RAM
    • 8GB
  • Video Card
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (or GTX 760 / GTX 960) or AMD Radeon HD 7970 (or R9 280x [2GB VRAM] / R9 380 / Fury X) [See list of supported video cards down below]
  • DVD ROM Drive
    • DVD-ROM Dual Layer
  • Sound
    • DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card 5.1 with latest drivers
  • Hard Drive
    • 47GB
  • Multiplayer
    • Broadband connection with 512kbps upstream or faster

SUPPORTED VIDEO CARDS AT TIME OF RELEASE

  • NVIDIA
    • GeForce GTX 460 or better, GTX 560 or better, GTX 650 or better, GTX 750 or better, or any card from the GT900 and Titan Series
  • AMD
    • Radeon HD5870 or better, HD6870 or better, HD7770 or better, R7 260X or better, or any card from the R-300 series and Fury X

Laptop models of these cards may work but are not supported. These chipsets are the only ones that will run this game. Additional chipsets may be supported after release. For an up-to-date list of supported chipsets, please visit the FAQ for this game on our support website: http://support.ubi.com

H1Z1 – A Preview (PC)

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The video game industry has a tendency to get into trends when it comes to video game themes or choosing a default bad guy. The industry has seen massive waves of games that featured aliens, vampires, mutants, and Nazis. Well, we are currently seeing this trend again, but this time it is with zombies. Zombies have become the default bad guy of recent years, with many games being released that features the walking dead. Games like Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, DayZ, 7 Days to Die, and Call of Duty have shown the industry that zombie games sell, and now everyone wants a bite of the action. Today, I look at yet another zombie game by Daybreak Games (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) that is currently on Early Access on Steam called H1Z1.

H1Z1 is set in a post-zombie-apocalyptic world where you play as a survivor, trying to make it through a changed world. The story of H1Z1 is mostly created by the players. There isn’t any dialogue, quests, or city hubs. You are placed with just the clothes on your back, into the middle of a zombie rich environment and set out to survive. It would be very hard to play H1Z1 without making comparisons to DayZ, since they both have very similar styles. You will spend the first part of any game running from everything that might cause you harm, while searching for weapons, ammo, and other supplies so you can survive your first night.

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There are no safe zones in H1Z1, your life is constantly being threatened. It’s not only the zombies that are out to get you either, it’s the other players that are on the server. H1Z1 is an open world PvP game. Everyone you meet could possibly kill you at any moment, or help you if you approach them nicely. But let’s be real here, this is the internet. Just assume EVERY player is out to kill you and you might actually live a day or two in H1Z1. The only people that band together are the ones that set out to play together. I have yet to meet another player that didn’t try to kill me at first sight.

H1Z1 is heavy on items. Weapons, clothing, equipment, crafting materials, and vehicles can be found throughout the open world. There will also be air drops that will appear during game play, but these end up being huge kill zones for PvP action, where “to the winner goes the spoils” is the only rule. The crafting system is pretty deep and you can make a ton of items that will help you increase your ability to stay alive. Anything from tools, weapons, animal traps, even water collectors can be crafted to help make your stay in the zombie apocalypse a comfortable one. H1Z1 also features base building, so if you do happen to find some people that don’t immediately rip your face clean off, you can work together towards building a base that you can barricade yourself inside of. Don’t get your hopes up though, the face ripping community of H1Z1 is much stronger and more numerous than the base building community.

Currently, there is one other game mode that can be played in H1Z1, and that is Battle Royale. Battle Royale is very similar to the game mode that was introduced in Arma 3, where a large group of players are placed into the environment via parachute and commence to kill each other until only one remains. Prizes are given out to the top ten competitors, and this game mode is extremely popular with the streaming community. There is also now a Hardcore Battle Royale mode that includes environment dangers, such as bears and zombies. This game mode removes all pretense of working together that the normal version of H1Z1 tries to have. Throughout the game, gas will be dropped that makes the playable area smaller and smaller, so players must stay within the game zone in order to continue fighting. Staying in the gas for too long means you will die and your game will be cut short. This is a one death type of game, so be prepared to have many games cut short if you can’t get the right drops early on.

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H1Z1 is still in Early Access, so there are still bugs that the developers are dealing with. Frame rate issues, hackers, and glitches can be plentiful at times, but the core game is solid. The real questions comes down to whether H1Z1 is better than DayZ in the end, and that’s going to be a tough one to call at this point. I see positives and negatives to both titles. DayZ has a better aesthetic and visuals to it right now, but I like H1Z1’s crafting system. Zombies, for both games, are an ancillary threat compared to the player community. The player community is out for your head in both games, so that’s a tie. H1Z1 does have the Battle Royale game mode, but if you have Arma 3 then you have already played the hell out of that mode.

H1Z1 will be free to play once released, but is currently $19.99 for the Early Access privilege. H1Z1 will be released on the PC and the PlayStation 4 once it is all done and looks extremely promising. While I am personally over the whole zombie genre in video games, H1Z1 and DayZ have both been my go to games for my zombie fix. It will be great to see how both these products turn out at their full release.

Blood Bowl 2 – A Review (PC)

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My experience with Blood Bowl began in 1988, when my gaming group in high school really discovered everything made by Games Workshop. We would spend weekends playing 40k, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and then started to set up our very own Blood Bowl Leagues. Even as I am typing this review, I can see my Second Edition set sitting on my board game shelf, remembering the time I went 0-10 with a Snotling team. The first Blood Bowl video game by Cyanide Studios felt good, but it was also missing some pieces. Blood Bowl 2 fills in those missing pieces to make the best video game simulation of the board game that I grew up with.

Story

The single player story campaign puts the player into the position of coach of the famous Reikland Reavers. Gone are the days of the dominant dynasty of Griff Oberwald and Zug, the Reavers are sitting at the bottom of the entire league, just having fired everyone that had to do with the team. Your job, as new Head Coach, is to hire a whole new team from Blood Bowl hopefuls, mold them into a terrifying team, and win the Blood Bowl Cup. You begin the campaign by selecting your team from different positions, customizing your players, then off to some friendly games to earn sponsors and more gold.

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Jim and Bob, two sports commentators who just happen to be an ogre and a vampire, will offer color commentary and analysis in between games. They also act as a plot device, helping the story along by telling the player what is happening around the league. While I felt that some of these segments went on for a little longer than they should have, Jim and Bob are a very entertaining duo of sports commentators that really add to the flavor of Blood Bowl 2.

The story itself isn’t anything special in terms of uniqueness or complexity, but serves as a great way to offer a structure to the single player campaign. My only gripe is the bonus objectives that were mandatory in some of the matches. Some of these objectives were extremely difficult to pull off due to the randomness of the game (more on that later). Other then some of these objectives, the campaign moved along very smoothly and was absolutely fun to play.

Game Play

Blood Bowl 2 offers a few ways to play the game, campaign mode, single player vs AI and some multiplayer modes. While the single player mode is great to play, it isn’t the best option for the long run. Creating your league with up to 128 teams is where you will get the most mileage for your dollar in Blood Bowl 2. These leagues are highly customizable and can be set up rather quickly.

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Blood Bowl 2 offers a wide variety of ways to build your own team also, including different races, customizable team jerseys, and you can even customize your own stadium to fit your team. The races available are among the classic Warhammer Fantasy races, such as Humans, Orks, Skaven and Dark Elves. With Blood Bowl 2, the Brittonians have been added to the mix. You can also create your roster from the different positions available for your race, such as Blitzer, Linemen, or Catcher. Each position has strengths and weaknesses that will come out during game play. And not all races have each position available, and that fits in with the original Blood Bowl feel. Dwarves just don’t make great throwers due to their height and Elves just are not as rough and tumble due to their delicate constitutions.

Blood Bowl 2 is a turn based sports simulation game, when it all comes down to it. The coin toss will determine who starts the half off with the ball, then you position all of your players during your turn to move the ball down field to score. During your turn, you will set up as many blocks as you can, with the success of each block coming down to a throw of 2 dice. If you happen to become knocked over as the attacker, your turn will end right then and there, so a little luck and planning are needed to get through a turn. There are no downs like regular American Football, but if the player that has the ball is tackled, he will drop it. The ball then can be picked up by anyone and moved down the field. Each half is timed at sixteen turns, and the team with the most touchdowns at the end of the game wins.

During a campaign, each player will gain experience from each game. This will lead to some of your players rising to the ranks of a Star Player and earning extra abilities, but will also be demanding more money to stay on your team. Other not so fortunate players can become permanently injured, or even killed during a match. Replacing these players in between games becomes standard practice for some teams, mine included.

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Aesthetics

Blood Bowl 2 looks and sounds amazing! I love the overall design and aesthetics of the races and stadiums. The designers really made the game looks like it comes right out of the colorful world of Warhammer Fantasy. Each races has their own specific style and look to them, as does each stadium. Especially during your own leagues, with the customizable jerseys and stadiums. The voice acting for Blood Bowl 2 is just as top notch as the visuals. Jim and Bob are voiced very well, and the commentary during the games is much easier to listen to then Madden or the NHL games from EA.

Final Thoughts

I liked Blood Bowl, but I like Blood Bowl 2 even more! Blood Bowl 2 feels far more polished and much more of a finished product than Blood Bowl was. The single player campaign is great, but it won’t be where you spend most of your time. It really is the custom league that shines here in Blood Bowl 2, and that is how it should be. Just like the original board game, Blood Bowl 2 truly shines when a group of people get together to schedule weekly games using their own customized teams, jerseys, and stadiums. Blood Bowl 2 is available now on Steam.

Blood Bowl 2 Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com