Youtube Roundup – 29th June: More Post E3 vibes

Another week, another quick roundup of some new videos I’ve been watching during the week. Here we go…

Did You Know Gaming – Playstation 3

Despite its few issues over the consoles lifespan, the Playstation 3 remains my choice of console from last generation. The guys over at DYKG let us in on a few fact we may have missed about the PS3.

Gametrailers – The Final Bossman E3 2015 vibes

E3 may be over for another year, but the coverage is still coming. I enjoy The Final Bossman’s rants, and here he takes us through the E3 booths to give us a look at the E3 a livestream can’t cover.

Metal Jesus Rocks – How important is Good Audio for gaming?

Another MJR video, but he is really good at imparting some great knowledge about game collecting and game room setups – as an audio producer myself, I value a decent audio setup for anything, including gaming.

Nintendo Collecting – Building the New Nintendo Room Update #9

Lithium is coming along well with building his Nintendo room – something I’d love to do when I get a place of my own. This will be a handy reference for when that time comes.

You Gotta Love The 80’s

Lionel Richie – Dancing On The Ceiling

Something a little bit pop for this week. An oldie but a goodie.

And that’s it for this week, I still have my PC build blog coming along, which will be up soon.

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YouTube Roundup 21/6 – What I’ve been watching this week.

Time for this weeks quick round up of my favorite YouTube clips this week – some new, some old. Of course with all the E3 action most of my YouTube viewing has been tied up with press coverage, however a few favorites have been at work with some entertaining content.

Metal Jesus Rocks – PS2 Buying Guide & Best Games

MJR and his pal Kinzie give us a good rundown on getting started collecting for the PS2. A great intro video for those wanting to get into collecting for the system – some games in there I don’t have too.

Nintendo World Championships 2015

I mentioned this during the week, but here is the Championships in full – a really fun event, and I think Nintendo should look at doing this more than once a year.

Nintendo Collecting – Building The New Nintendo Room #8

Lithium has a great collection dedicated to Nintendo – and having recently moved, has taken the opportunity document setting up his new room.

TheEMUreview – Amiibo Hunters Episode 3

I haven’t yet ventured down the rabbit hole that is the Amiibo collecting train – but Jason Heine and his girlfriend sure have, and are hot on the trail of some new releases.

You Gotta Love The 80’s

This weeks 80’s track comes from Glasgow – “Alive and Kicking” from the Simple Minds. One of the better bands of the 80’s.

E3 2015 – Day 3 Australian Time – Uh, what was that Nintendo?

With yesterdays slew of fan-pleasing announcements from Sony and a solid conference from the likes of Microsoft, EA, Bethesda and Ubisoft, you would think the remaining players of today would be able to keep up such a hype-train momentum.

But day 3 of E3 felt like a massive comedown, almost like switching from a sports channel to the politics channel.

Let’s start with Nintendo who, after a promising start with the Nintendo World Championships looked to set the overall atmosphere Nintendo would bring to the event, delivered to us a digital event that overall was pretty mediocre. The show started with Nintendo figureheads Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fills-amie and Shigeru Miyamoto  shown as muppet characters, which was a cool concept, but not as funny as last years effort by the Robot Chicken guys. Nintendo started with their most anticipated game – Star Fox Zero for Wii U.

While I can’t say I’ve played previous Star Fox entries, this installment looked alright visually, but I’m not sure if I would be interested enough for it to hold my attention.

Skylanders SuperChargers was next, which seems to have joined up with Nintendo to bring out a few exclusive figures, Bowser and Donkey Kong, with the ability to interchange between being a Skylanders figure or an Amiibo. Should be interesting to see if any more are brought out.

While there was no news reguarding Zelda on the Wii U, we were shown a spin off of the Zelda franchise for the 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes.

Personally I’m interested in this one, some of the puzzle mechanics and multiplayer aspects look rather clever.

The trailers kept coming, and although there were a few promising ones, like Fire Emblem Fates, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem, and Xenblade X (granted those are JRPG’s that, if I do pick them up, will probably never finish,) other announcements for Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (although the other Animal Crossing for 3DS, Happy Home Designer, was a highlight) really left the overall digital event a tad disappointing for Nintendo fans.

The only real goal kicker for Nintendo seemed to be Super Mario Maker, with a release date set for the 11th of September. Having already given a good showcase of what the title can do at the NWC though, finishing with that one still left Nintendo with a spark, but not the sizzle.

Square Enix fared a little better with their conference, although it still lacked the atmospheric punch that covered the previous days round of press conferences.

Favorites such as Just Cause 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided were on board, and had some impressive moments.

A surprise came in the form of a new installment for Nier Next Project. One I’ll definitely be adding to the anticipated list.

I don’t know what it is with me and RPG’s – I love the look and style of a lot of them, especially the JRPG’s (being an Anime fan), I do find though I’ve rarely finished one. Still fun to play though.

My highlight from Square though would be more of a reveal with Kingdom Hearts 3.

The final show in the list of press events for E3 2015 was the PC Gaming Show. This was a great idea in principle, as PC often gets overlooked during E3 in favor of console hype, with the platform being tacked on as an after thought with most announcements. So a dedicated show seemed destined to excite PC fans.

If only it hadn’t been so, well, boring.

The host did his best, Sean “Day(9)” Plott, however only a few small announcements seem to be of any value within the sea of waffle. If it wasn’t the show sponsor AMD giving a 20 minute commercial for their new video cards (the omission of competitors Nvidia and Intel was more than noticed, and made it odd being a PC-centric event,) it was a host of developers and publishers coming out to say something that really could have been relegated to a quick web video on the show floor. And what was with that intro video?

A few announcements of note (that I could pick up anyway) is a new Starcraft expansion, Whispers of the void, a new dual-gpu card from AMD, and a new expansion for Guild Wars 2. I’ll be honest, though, it was rather hard to follow along without feeling like drifting off. Not something an E3 show should be doing. The absence of Valve (probably to avoid all the “Half Life 3” pestering) was also a glaring commission. The thing that makes events from that of Sony and Microsoft work is the thing of keeping it brief and tight – while some PC fans are probably into the absolute tech details, you can lose a general audience by wallowing in the details. I’d be surprised to see this part of E3 back next year.

So as the final day of press conferences wraps up, looking ahead towards 2015/2016 overall it is an exciting time to be a gamer. I think most developers have finally let go of the previous generation and embraced both the Xbox One and PS4. The quality of titles coming is astounding, and whatever your tastes may be, there is something for everyone.

As far as the Wii U is concerned I think there’ll be a few more releases, but I daresay Nintendo is quietly letting the console die down, as they turn their attention to the NX. I am looking forward to the Zelda installment that Nintendo assures us is still coming, plus Fatal Frame 5 is a must for me. But overall the Wii U is coming to the end of it’s cycle. Which is a shame, as it is a decent system. Nintendo fans will be hard to win back though – hopefully whatever the company has up it’s sleeve, it can win back the market.

E3 2015 – Day 2 Australian Time – Sony Press Conference to end them all

(Here is a collection of thoughts I had while watching the various press conferences today. Because I wasn’t that keen on rising from slumber at 2.30 in the morning (be honest, who is?), let’s pretend for this post’s sake I watched all conferences in order.)

So the Internet blew up today.

Day 1 (US time) of E3 began like any other E3…

There was Microsoft, all ready to start the day. “It’s all about the games, Brah” comes the catch cry from Phil Spencer. Well he wasn’t lying…There’s Halo 5: Guardians…one of their pillars of Xbox. A new IP, Recore…

Backwards Compatibility. Well there you go. Selected Xbox 360 games will be playable on Xbox One. Do we need to see gameplay as proof guys? Oh, to show off the Xbox One functions still usable with 360 titles. ‘I’ll see you on Xbox live…’ trust me, he rehearsed that line at least one hundred times…ok, customizable controller. Sleek stuff. Still, If I had the spare cash I’d be picking up an Xbox One at some point…especially with that Rare Replay collection reveal.

And Tomb Raider looks amazing too. Hopefully that makes its way to PC at least sooner, rather than later.

I admit, I am a bit impartial to Gears Of War as well, the forth installment looks a bit alright.

EA up next… a new Mass Effect game. That reminds me, I got the trilogy pack for PC as part of a EB Games mystery box a while back, I should crack it out.

Bit of a confession – not a big Star Wars fan. I can sit through the movies, but I’m not crazy about the franchise, a blasphemy against the geek community, I know. So I can’t really say that either Battlefront or The Old Republic expansion did that much for me. Use the sauce, Luke.

Unravel looks cutesy. Gotta hand it to the guy doing the preso – it must be nerve-racking to be up on stage in front of a packed theater and a internet crowd trying to sell such a unique new concept. But Unravel looks beautiful, and that piano soundtrack – makes you nearly shed a tear, man.

Freakin’ hell, EA…way to ruin a very humble atmosphere with “HIIIIGHWAYYY…TOOOO….THE….DANGERZONEEE!!”, that was like a scene straight out of Family Guy.

Okay, guess Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is on the way. Wish I was in the room so I could heckle ‘BRING BACK THE LITTLE WOOLLY GUY!!’.

This demo is dragging on a bit…

…seriously, that little woolly guy was cute.

…I bet they’ll make a fortune with the merchandising…

…whew, that’s over, what’s next EA? Yay, sport! Oh, sorry…*ahem*…SPORT, BRO.

ICE HOCKEY, BRO!

BASKETBALL, BRO!

I think I just spontaneously sprouted a beard from all that manly sporty action.

Time to hype the mobile market next. Such mobility! Such innovation! Such paywall!

(Gotta love those Minions though.)

More sport. MY BEARD JUST CAME BACK, BRO.

(Let’s just skip the EA conference a little, shall we?)

Well there you go, Mirrors Edge, looks like a promising sequel.

OH GAWD, EA – MORE SPORT? (Skip a little further there….)

Again, not a big Star Wars fan, but if I was, I could see the appeal of Battlefront, featuring all the hallmarks of the Star Wars franchise, the gameplay looks a treat. The ability to play as either Rebels or the Imperials is cool.

You can fly an X wing! I know that’s gotta be a cool thing.

…Maybe I should get a bit more into the Star Wars universe…

…Wait, you can play as Luke Skywalker?

And that was EA, good to see an Aussie front an E3 conference, that’s gotta say something about the industry here in Australia.

Hey look, it’s Ubisoft, rolling out their 56th installments of Assassins Creed, Tom Clancy, and you bet your sweet awkward two left-footed arse we need another Just Dance…oh, a new South Park Game…that’s cool…

(I feel like an idiot – I tweeted one of the hosts of Good Game because I thought he said the name wrong – then I re-watched the trailer.)

On a serious note, I’m not a big Assassins Creed fan. I enjoyed the first one, and got halfway though the second before snapping my controller. It’s unfortunate that Ubisoft have chosen to roll out yearly installments of this franchise – I did enjoy the concept of the story from the earlier games, and would have rather have had some closure on that. My other issue is that I can’t stand stealth in games (especially when it’s forced upon you,) which I may elaborate on in a future post.

But anyway, onto Sony.

There had been a few leaks leading up to the Sony conference, however there were a few surprises up their sleeve that I don’t think anyone saw coming – three surprises, in fact.

First up was a game that many had considered delegated to development hell. The Last Guardian is famous for being follow up from the creators of two gems from the PS2 era, ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus. After many years of speculation, you can imagine the surprise of both the theater and the internet when The Last Guardian was revealed as Sony’s opening game.

Next was a visually stunning new IP in the form of Horizon: Zero Dawn, a post-apocalyptic world that’s a cross between The hunger Games and Terminator. 

A few new looks a some titles, including No Man’s Sky, Street Fighter 5, and a new IP called Dreams. We also got a look at a new installment of the Hitman franchise.

Surprise #2 – We were first teased with a trailer for a new Final Fantasy game, World of Final Fantasy…

It seemed like another case of trolling from Square Enix, but then the second trailer was revealed…

The long asked for remake of final Fantasy VII. Not just given a new paintjob and a audio remix, but a full blown re-do from the ground up.

Surprise #3 – Well, I’ll let the guys from Gametrailers do the reaction…

Shenmue 3 was announced as a kickstarter, and as at the time of writing, had surpassed it’s 2 million dollar goal.

And that was that. The internet blew up. Well, not really, there was further announcements of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3, a trailer for Arkham Knight that’s out next week, and then Sony went out with Uncharted 4 gameplay.

But I think by that time Sony had given the gaming world a collective orgasm. The hype is real people, all you gotta do is believe.

Your move, Nintendo.

E3 2015 – Day 1 Australian Time – Bethesda Press Conference

Onto the Next Big Thing At E3. This year sees a few new players in the press conference lineup – Square Enix, Bethesda and a special PC Gaming show.

Bethesda have good reason to host their own show this year, with a slew of new entries to add to their repertoire. I think the buzz and anticipation could easily be attributed to their recent announcement of Fallout 4.

First up we were treated to some gameplay footage of Doom in all it’s ultra-gory, hyper-violent nature.

While it looks spectacular, I can’t help but feel like it’s falling a little into the generic shooter style that’s tried and tested. Bethesda did manage to introduce the ability to create your own maps in multiplayer, however it will be interesting to see what Doom brings to the table that’s a little different.

Bethesda then took the opportunity to show off their new online service Bethesda.net, similar to Blizzards Battle.net, bringing together all their IP’s under one umbrella. This was then used to showcase their new MOBA Battlecry, a new IP that Bethesda are accepting sign ups for the Beta version later in the year. 

Next up was a taste of Dishonored 2. I never played the first game, but the sequel looks…okay. The first game was also announced as a definitive edition for Xbox One, and PS4, to be released later this year.

It’s good to note that with these new announcements no mention has been made about PS3 or X360 editions. I hope this will be a trend over the course of E3, with publishers making the effort to move away from last gen.

A trailer was then shown for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, Bethesda’s new MMO that was released this past week. While I don’t really get the time to invest in an MMO (I’ve been meaning to get back to World Of Warcaft for months now,) the game looks spectacular. On top of that was the announcement of The Elder Scrolls Legends, a strategy card game set for release on PC and iPad.

After Bethesda’s attempt at trolling a packed Hollywood theater, they then brought out Fallout game director Todd Howard, who seemed like a lovely chap, who then took us through the hypetrain that is Fallout 4…

The studio has really focused on developing the best quality game they could make – every little detail seems to have been tirelessly worked on and improved, the artwork looks amazing, and a few new features took the crowd by surprise (jetpacks and helicopters, oh my!)

The environment, guns, and apparel can be completely customized to your taste, and can even create your own settlements. It looks like an amazing open world experience that Bethesda has clearly put their best work into, and the kicker at the end was the announcement of a release date of November 10 this year. A collectors edition was also announced, featuring a full sized Pip Boy, which you can put an iPhone into, and will even have its own app.

One final thing announced that was small compared to the main event (but just as exciting) was a new mobile game in the Fallout franchise – Fallout Shelter. The gameplay style is similar to that of mobile games such as Tiny tower, and also has a little bit of The Sims influence, where you are in charge of creating and maintaining your very own vault.

You can even give your Vault a number – sorry, Metal fans, this one is already taken…

Fallout Shelter was available immediately after the conference on the iOS App Store, with an Android version being made available further down the track. It’s a nice little game, one to widdle away whilst on a train ride – the good news is it doesn’t need an internet connection, and the micro transactions are minimal, not affecting the gameplay in any way.

So that was Bethesda’s conference, and at the end all those streaming the event at home were made to feel incredibly jealous, with the company giving all attendees at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood a set of Amiibo-style figures on the way out. Sadly, some of these are already up on eBay for around $400 Australian dollars a set.

Oh well, I guess the vibe that Bethesda set for the whole of E3 will be enough for those watching. No, really.

E3 2015 – Day 1 Australian Time – Nintendo World Championship

Happy E3 all!

The Electronic Entertainment Expo for 2015 has kicked off in style, with Nintendo hosting for the first time in 25 years the “Nintendo World Championships.” This was an event that was held during the NES days in America, and is probably best know for that infamous Gold NWC cart, that had a stage from Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer and Tetris.

Obviously today’s show was a tad more modern, presenting a unique opportunity for Nintendo to showcase not only some current hits and a few classics, but the chance to showcase a few upcoming releases.

So far the event has been exciting , with 16 players competing in several rounds, including the recently released “Splatoon” (a game I may have to pick up soon), Super Metroid, Smash Bros for Wii U, Mario Kart 8, and an old classic from the NES era by the name of “Balloon Trip.”
 

During the tournament a few Nintendo announcements were made, Blast Ball for 3DS and Earthbound Beginnings for the Wii U Virtual Console – the latter being available for download immediately.

The highlight of the Smash Bros round was the epic showdown between Nintendo of America president Reggie Fills-Amie and last year’s winner of the Smash Bros Tournament, Hungrybox. Hbox won with Jigglypuff against Reggie’s Ryu from Streetfighter (character recently announced as a DLC.) The smack talk was high from Hbox, but quickly burnt by Reggie calmly reminding him that he spends 16 hours a day running a company.

The real highlight of the NWC for 2015 would have to be the final round, with the game being the upcoming “Super Mario Maker.”

The game gives the player the opportunity to create their own Mario levels, with the ability to upload them to share with other players on line, similar to Sony’s “Little Big Planet.”

And boy, did Nintendo Treehouse pull some punches with their levels…

The final round came down to two players, Cosmo and John Numbers. It was a very intense round between the two of them, but John Numbers came out the winner, and was surprised with a special appearance from the man himself – Shiguru Miyamoto.

Both Cosmo and John Numbers got a signed 3DS from the godfather of Nintendo, but the trophy presented to John Numbers would have to be the most gorgeous thing I’ve seen.

What an event, I wish I had got up slightly earlier to catch the start of it. (Yes, I slept in. Sue me.)

Great job, Nintendo. Welcome to E3 2015.

Youtube Roundup 13/06/15 – Did someone say Beer?

Here’s a new regular thing I’d like to do, I spend a fair chunk of my spare time nowadays on You Tube – not so much for the cat videos, but for the magnitude of talented creators and channels related to anything which may partake your interest, be it cooking or carpet cleaning.

Of course, a good chunk of these channels are dedicated to gaming, PC and tech. Sure, you have a megaton of Let’s Plays, Walkthrough’s and news updates from the likes of IGN and Gamespot, however there is an equal amount of other creative content such as documentaries, parodies, tech bloggers, and other talented content creators, many of whom are putting out material rivaling that of Network Television (admittedly, there’s also a lot of mediocre videos as well.)

So I’d like to share with you a small selection of You Tube gems I’ve come across during the week. Half of these videos will be regular channels I watch, while other videos will be something I’ve come across during the week that I loved or found funny, that may or may not have been already watched by half a million people two years ago. I won’t be doing viral or ‘compilation’ videos however – my picks will be more about shows and original, creative and informative content.

So enough rambling, here are this weeks picks.

Retro Liberty – The NES Pursuit – Episode 62

Love these guys – Shows like this and The Game Chasers have defined a new genre of ‘Retro Hunting’ – a reality TV style show based on mainstream A&E shows like ‘American Pickers’ and ‘Pawn Stars”, and have helped to bring Retro Gaming to a broader audience. Aaron and Ricky have been doing their thing for a good few years now, refining their craft with each episode.

Metal Jesus Rocks – Drinking Quest Party

While MJR usually imparts some great gaming knowledge such as hidden PS3 gems and making us all jealous of his insanely giant game room, he occasionally puts up the results of some great parties he’s had the pleasure of hosting that give off an incredibly fun vibe (look up his ‘I hate You’ videos.)

The Final Bossman – E3 Dos and Don’ts

Gametrailers.com have recently started putting their regular scheduled content straight up on You Tube, instead of just up on their website. Here The Final Bossman gets us ready for E3 with a few tips for the publishers holding their press conference for the first time.

Brewing TV – Brewing with Wil Wheaton Part 1

I’ve become a bit of a fan of Wil Wheaton lately – everyones favorite geek, Wil not only produces content for Geek and Sundry, between regular appearances on “The Big Bang Theory” , writing his own books, lending his voice for numerous video games, and even creating his own Tabletop RPG, he even finds time to brew his own beer. Who says geeks don’t get outdoors?

You Gotta Love The 80’s

 This will be a weekly thing where I’ll leave a good 80’s track to go into the weekend – this week, one from Queen.

Have a good weekend – next week, I’ll have my PC Build that I did, plus some E3 updates.

Update on the game of life

I know, it’s been a few months since my last post. It’s been a very hectic start to the year – for one thing, I moved interstate.

Let’s go back to November – PAX Australia seems so long ago now, but it was a blast, and I managed to film a little bit, even if that footage looks a tad like the next installment of The Blair Witch Project. I put it up on You Tube a little while ago.

It’s not much, just a highlights video, hopefully I’ll get better with the filming and editing. PAX was possibly the best convention experience of 2014, although I did enjoy being on the crew for Supanova in Sydney and SMASH, and would recommend volunteering for those kinds of conventions – not just for the free entry, but the people you meet and that added bonus of checking out what goes on behind the scenes at such a big event as Supanova. EB Expo was a great experience, however, as with 2013, I find that you need a little more than one day with such a huge lineup that EB had.

Eh, what the heck – here are a few pics from PAX that I managed to snap…

The thing that I loved about PAX was it's vibe - it did it's best to make you feel that you were part of a bigger family.

The thing that I loved about PAX was it’s vibe – it did it’s best to make you feel that you were part of a bigger family.

The guys from Weird and Retro put together a great Retro Section.

The guys from Weird and Retro put together a great Retro Section. Also had the pleasure of meeting a few You Tubers, including Gregg from Arcade Impossible, and Wood and Chris from Beat ‘Em Ups.

The Indie section was huge!

The Indie section was huge!

You're not doing a con right if you don't get home with a sack full of flyers and cards.

You’re not doing a con right if you don’t get home with a sack full of flyers and cards.

I need to get better at photo taking, but I’m finding the Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t as good a camera as it paints itself out to be. Or maybe I just suck at Android devices.

As far as this year goes, things haven’t exactly gone as I would have liked. What started optimistic as a move to Melbourne for a new challenge has unraveled into a retreat back to my hometown of Bendigo to wait for the next gig in my main career. I guess though the spare time I have will be handy for working on my You Tube channel, as well as getting some of my backlog of games finished.

Tomb-Raider-2013

Speaking of gaming, in addition to finally picking up a PS4, the last few months I’ve been going through a few titles that I haven’t played before. I ended up building my main PC, which I’ll detail a bit more in another blog post, but my first game to break in the new machine was the Tomb Raider reboot, a game that I regrettably missed in it’s initial run. I’m actually think of doing a series of videos reviewing modern games that I missed playing when they first came out. Fallout 3 is another game I could do a review on, as I’ve recently decided to give it a good run due to the Fallout 4 announcement.

fallout4kjpg-64b4f3

With E3 just around the corner, I’m hoping to cover that a little with a few posts on new announcements and the presentations from the big groups. I’m looking forward to seeing what both Bethesda and Square Enix bring to their presentations (hopefully news on Kingdom Hearts 3 from Square,) plus the Sony, Nintendo and the PC Gaming Show.

In the Retro department, while since moving to Melbourne I’ve been busy, I have spent a few weekends combing a few retro hotspots, in particular the Coburg Trash and Treasure markets, where I managed to pick up the an original Xbox and a handful of games for $30. It is a bit hit and miss like anywhere else though – while a handful of Cash Converters I’ve visited have been full of some gems, the prices are equivalent to eBay. I also seem to not have as much luck with Garage Sales than other Retrophiles do.

magic-the-gathering

I’m not sure if I’ve touched on this, but mid last year I decided to try the trading card game Magic The Gathering and, although mostly loosing every match I’ve played so far, I did start to get the general idea of it. It is rather a black hole where money goes – in the short time I played last  year, I’ve amassed a few hundred cards. Unfortunately as I’ve been busy since getting to Melbourne I haven’t been able to get back to playing. As such I’ve promptly forgotten a chunk of how it works, however I want to get back into it, and we may even see a few MTG posts in time.

While my You Tube channel is a little in the wilderness right now, however I wish to get back to creating something new – possibly a mixture of retro gaming, modern gaming, and some PC/Tech coverage. I’m thinking the presentation will be a mix of vlog-style videos, while some will be put together in a more ‘documentary’ format. I’m also considering starting from scratch – mainly due to the fact Google won’t let you change the URL, so I’m stuck with a username I came up with several years ago that has nothing to do with my channel. It’s a tad frustrating as – although I only have 10 subscribers – I’ve built up subscriptions and a profile, having to start from scratch on a new channel because of a URL I’m unable to change is rather frustrating. I have been finding a few new channels to watch though such as Geek and Sundry, as well as enjoying the ones I’ve been a subscriber of for a while like Metal Jesus – I think I’ll cobble these together in a regular weekly post. Might make it a weekend thing.

That’s all for now, but to finish up I’d like to set up some routine for this blog, and hopefully incorporate the You Tube channel on an alternate night. Like I mentioned, I’d like to do a bit of a You Tube roundup, most likely on a Saturday afternoon Melbourne time. I’d like to have a main post up on a Monday night. Of course, with E3 coming up, and an extra bit of time on my hands, we might see a few more regular posts from now on. (I kind of feel if I write it, it will be law.) So stay tuned!

The dielema – PC or Console…

Which one of these am I? I'm not entirely sure yet...

Which one of these am I? I’m not entirely sure yet…

Disclaimer: I don’t consider my self in any way a ‘fanboy’. I dislike fanboys. Although I do have a few favorite or preferred ‘brands’, I tend to look at all brands equally.

Mid last year I wrote about how I wasn’t sure if I was quite ready to make the leap to a next gen console, the main reason being the amount of releases (or lack thereof) scheduled for the future. While we’ve seen that improve over the last 12 months, many would argue the quality of console releases has been a rather mixed bag. Hyped titles such as Titanfall and Destiny have left players slightly underwhelmed, while other games such as The Evil Within have been massive successes. I also find the trend of ‘remastering’ recent last gen hits to be a tad lazy on the publishers part – while it will be interesting to see Grand Theft Auto 5 get a next gen upgrade, on the other hand I feel as if the publishers/developers are just ‘padding’ – trying to buy some time from the consumer, as if they weren’t quite ready for a Next Gen world. And when Sony and Microsoft hit ‘go’, it was like being left on live TV without a cue card, and what resulted is the equivalent of the Publishers/Developers filling their pants.

As far as a new console goes, I also managed to pick up a Wii U a few months back, and overall it’s been quite impressive. Games such as Mario Kart 8, Wind Waker HD and Earthbound on the Virtual Console have given some awesome gaming experiences. However, while upcoming games such as Smash Brothers Wii U and, of course, Zelda U look promising, I am at the moment slightly miffed with Nintendo at the moment. This is due to their handling of one of my favorite survival horror series, Fatal Frame, and Nintendo’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge that it has a decent fanbase in the west, thus denying it an English release.

The excitement of a new Fatal Frame installment was quickly followed by the disappointing realization Ninty had no intention of releasing it in the west.

The excitement of a new Fatal Frame installment was quickly followed by the disappointing realization Nintendo had no intention of making money releasing it in the west.

My qualms with Nintendo aside, nearly 18 months on from the release of the two other big consoles, I’m still finding myself struggling to justify the purchase of a next-gen/current-gen console.

I originally did have a PS4 purchase in mind. This was due to two major titles – Final Fantasy 15 and Kingdom Hearts 3 – however these don’t look to be released until well late in 2015, possibly even 2016. Also, for the sake of balance, a few of the releases on the Xbox One front look equally intriguing, having dabbled in the Halo franchise in the past the Halo Master Chief Collection looks interesting, as well as Sunset Overdrive (which admittedly is on the 360 anyway.)

The thing is, lately I’ve found myself being persuaded into the PC master race camp. Most of the big ‘Next Gen’ releases are also getting a PC release, although at first I was finding it difficult trying to justify a (possibly) complete Intel i7 upgrade against the (relatively) more inexpensive PS4 console, and kept delegating a PC upgrade to the ‘too hard’ basket. “After all” I thought, “while my current PC has seen better days, it’s doing fine at the moment. What with it’s rattling fan, bursting HDD’s and increasingly outdating CPU…” – If you close your eyes and listen closely you can probably hear my PC wheezing again.

All the same, it was a spark that grew gradually over time. Just as I was trying to move away from the idea of throwing cash into the big black hole that is PC Tech, I found myself more and more on websites such as PC Partpicker, starting to piece together what CPU would fit into what Motherboard, and what PSU would be enough to power the entire population of Adelaide. Looking at different YouTube channels such as TekSyndicate and LinusTechTips probably didn’t help to squash the bug (also lucky I don’t have a wife…wait, that’s not a good thing…) who, amongst providing some great advice and demonstrations, often provided videos on building a ‘console killer’ PC, and making some pretty convincing cases as to why PC gaming would be the way to go, and why goatees are totally not a hipster thing.

It’s not like I’ve never been a PC gamer though. Although I have been predominantly a console player, I have managed to gather a growing steam library, as well as a good handful of physical PC games. While the majority of these probably get filed away and forgotten, I do find myself undertaking a decent PC marathon whenever I have family staying (I do talk to them. For at least 5 minutes.) I’m also rather proud to say that every computer I’ve personally owned I’ve assembled and put together myself. So it’s not as though I’ve shunned PC gaming, more rather I’ve been a console person first and foremost, whilst dabbling in the deep pool of the PC Master Race here and there. Such has been the pattern for every console generation in my adult life.

May or May not have been my first attempt at building my own PC.

May or May not have been my first attempt at building my own PC.

This time has been rather different though. Traditionally for a PC upgrade I usually follow the pattern of hastily researching the cheapest parts, possibly being ripped off at the dodgiest computer market (you know – the ones that are stuck in an age where they’re preparing you for Y2K,) or even (for my last effort) driving to a suburb of Sydney that I’ve never been too (and haven’t since) for the cheapest part,  banging together a trailer park excuse for a PC, and then promptly forgetting any and all tech trends that precede or follow my poor excuse of a rig.

This time, I’ve found myself taking the time to research things. Utilizing the power of YouTube, I’ve been re-learning the tech from the ground up, just like some Pro-golfers go back to basics before a tour season. I’ve also found myself getting into it more, joining tech forums, observing the brutality of the AMD vs Intel war, and drooling over PC Builds like they were the latest Playboy pictorial. Heck, lately I’ve even been looking at water cooling.

This will be enough to cool my CPU, right?

This will be enough to cool my CPU, right?

I think the point where I decided to commit my self to the PC Master Race was at EB Expo, when a 5 minute session in front of a gaming PC resulted in the discovery that a decent PC will restart to the windows screen faster than the lifespan of a Dim Sim in Clive Palmer’s lunch. It was at that particular moment I decided to make the commitment to build a decent PC from the ground up.

There are other factors, of course. Twitch is a big thing – building a decent Twitch channel would be great to compliment both this blog, and my own YouTube channel, which is also another big reason to put the effort into doing a decent build. Plus my day job as a Audio Producer might call for somewhat of a decent system to handle the many pies I have my finger in.

Plus, after seeing stuff like this at PAX Australia, it’s hard not to get a tad inspired.

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So I guess the final question is – am I done with Console Gaming?

I think, at this moment in time, my lounge is just fine without a brand spanking new PS4 or Xbox One on the shelf. That may change in the future as prices come down and we see more of what ‘Next Gen’ has to offer without the aid of a last gen hit or PC being offered as the other option.

I should add as a final note – I’m still collecting for Playstation on a semi-regular basis, including PS1, PS2 and PS3, which is proving both easy and expensive at the same time. While the current crop of PS3 titles look to be a cheap price for the time being, there are still some rare gems across the Playstation brand that, if I’m interested, will more than likely demand a higher price tag. I guess at the moment the collecting may have to go on hold, until the PC project is completed.

So that’s my take on the whole ‘Next Gen Console vs PC’ debate. I think as time goes on I plan to have a few more ‘PC/Tech’ based posts on here, including updates on building the new ‘Big Rig’. I also hope soon to integrate my YouTube channel with the blog a bit more, providing video content to accompany articles and vice versa.  Stay tuned…

It’s PAX Week!

PAX 2Great news (for all 3 of you who read this blog,) PAX Australia has finally arrived! Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre is sold out, and set to explode this weekend with all kinds of Gaming goodness. I’m heading down there all ready for a great time. Hopefully this time I’ll do a better effort than I did for EB Expo and take plenty more photos and even some videos for my YouTube channel.

I thought to get warmed up it would be great to pick out a few highlights over the weekend that I plan to check out, of which there are many. The real challenge for the weekend will obviously be weighing up what one wants to see more – that provocative panel about politics in gaming, or that Tabletop comp for My Little Pony.

Hopefully we’ll see a good chunk of the panels crop up on YouTube at some point, as there are some cracking good sessions to check out. I’m also sure at the end of the day most people will have only seen a quarter of what they want to see (them queues, man.) So here’s at least an eighth of what I think will be interesting.

I should add – Although I’m not going on the Friday (I’d like to, but Baz is doing an exceptional bathroom reno on ‘The Living Room’,) I thought I’d include a few things I would have like to have seen, and maybe whoever reads this (and is also going) might like to check them out.

Friday


Owning Your Geek – Galah Theatre, 10.30am

Featuring guests including comedian Lawrence Leung and the awesome cosplayer/model Eve Beauregard, this panel looks at those who have taken the geek lifestyle and celebrated it, even making their hobby into a career.

 

Penny arcade Q and A – Main Theatre, 11.30

The guys from Penny Arcade, Gabe and Tycho, take random questions, most likely about if they’ve tried Tim Tams and Vegemite. Moderated by Tony Jones and complete with live twitter feeds. (Okay I made that up)

 

Halloween Horror Games Panel – Dropbear Theatre, 7.30pm

Getting into the spirit of things, members from Gamespot, Bethesda, IRL Shooter and Pixelpickle Games take a look at all things horror.

 

Tripod and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra “This Gaming Life” – Main Theatre, 8.30

Kinda cut I’m missing this one, Musical trio Tripod are one of the comedy gems of Melbourne, and are true geeks at heart. Hence why they got the MSO and not, say, INXS to accompany them. The great news is if you miss them on Friday they’re doing the show again in April next year.

 

Saturday


The best [retro] video games you’ve [probably] never played – Kookaburra Theatre, 11am

The guys from Retrospekt, Retro domination and AusRetroGamer know as much about Obscure retro games as I do about obscure Seattle grunge bands, and bring to PAX not just a great panel on obscure titles,but a complete section in the expo dedicated to Retro Gaming. The guys from Weird and Retro are also giving us the opportunity on Sunday to bring in a rare gaming item for a bit of ‘Show and Tell’.

BATTLECRY: Welcome to the WarZone – Wombat Theatre, 2pm

Plenty of the big guys are down in Melbourne to show off their new wares, including Gearbox and BioWare. Bethesda are also on deck to show off Battlecry, a new team action combat game.

 

Geek as a Cultural Identity: Do Fake Geeks exist? – Fruitbat Theatre, 3.30pm

This will be an interesting panel to see, as I’m sure the debate will heat up on whether or not there is such a thing as a fake geek.

Super Video Game Trivia Challenge – Fruitbat Theatre, 8pm

Nothing beats a Video Game Trivia comp, especially if the participants come up with some entertaining answers. This is apparently a show from the Adelaide Fringe festival, so should be worth a look.

 

Sunday


Inside Gearbox Software – Main Theatre, 10.30am

A behind the scenes look at the studios behind Borderlands and the upcoming Battleborn, I’m sure Gearbox will have some exclusives to reveal for the occasion.

The Changing Face of Games Journalism, featuring GameSpot – Dropbear Theatre, 1.30pm

A good look at how the gaming journalism biz is changing, featuring the good folk at Gamespot.

 


 

Of course there’s not just the panels. Plenty of the action is on the main floor, and also expands out onto the Promenade, with Indie devs, Console, Handheld and PC freeplay areas, League Of Legends is on show, and the various bars and cafes around MECC and the CBD getting into the PAX spirit.

I’m also planing on heading to the Beta Bar on the Sunday, who are keeping the party going with the PAX after party all weekend.

So I’ll see you after PAX, with a full review, complete with photos and, hopefully, some videos for my YouTube channel.