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Sony Gold Headset Review

 

As I’ve stated before I wouldn’t have been able to do practically any gaming when my daughter was first born without getting a headset. One of three things would happen, I could hear the game well from the comfort of my couch and a firefight would wake her up, I’d have it muted so I couldn’t hear anything, or i would turn the volume very very low and pull up a dining room chair and sit so close to the TV that my eyes would melt like a Nazi in Raiders, so believe me when I say I have a very special place in my heart for headsets. So naturally when I saw the Sony was releasing their own branded Gold wireless headset, I knew it would be mine, for review purposes of course.

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Sony’s Gold wireless headset is a 7.1 virtual surround sound dream. It flawlessly connects wirelessly via a usb dongle to your PS4, PS3, or to your Vita via audio jack, not bad for only a $100 price point ($80 for sale on Amazon right now). Once you turn on the headset audio output immediately switches from you TV to your headset with no need to press mute or the volume button on the remote. The sound quality is amazing, you feel as if shell casings are dropped to the ground with each pull of the trigger and footsteps of would be assassins are crystal clear allowing for a decent edge in multiplayer games. The chat capability comes across with clear quality and has a built in noise reducing feature so only your voice comes across so no one else will hear someone asking what you want for dinner or that you’re out of TP. If you enjoy a bass boost just simply reach up where you first turned it on and flip the switch to “2″ the built in bass boost mode. You could also install the app and select from various different audio settings to maximize the sound performance for whatever type of game you’ll be playing.

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The Gold headset is sturdy and comfortable. The head strap and ear pieces are both adorned with thick padding and are fully adjustable. The material used is thicker as well and feels extremely durable. The only downside to this construction is that it makes it a bit weighty, fine for teens and adults but may be strenuous for long stretches on kids. All your volume, mute, and chat controls can be easily reached as they are featured on the ear piece sides, it’s simply a matter of reaching your hand up. For your first time you will have to charge it for upwards to three hours via usb. The battery life is good, but like the Dualshocks of this generation, leaves a lot to be desired. If you have a wall charger adapter for any sort of phone, your best bet is to just plug it in after every other use or so.

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Overall I can’t express how much I love this headset, especially when you compare it to the other available headsets on the market. Just to get anywhere near this quality and function your spending almost double for Turtle Beach or settling for 5.1 and spending $106. If you have the means, do yourself (and probably your household) a favor and pick up a pair of these, you wont regret it.

 

Later Gamers,

Nick

 

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Destiny Beta Review

I was lucky enough to be part of the short but sweet Destiny Alpha, now that the Destiny beta is in full swing I’ve gotten to spend more time guarding the last of humanity and I am blown away. With the beta comes more campaign missions, four to be exact, a tease of the Moon map and a limited Crucible mode, Iron Banner,  where level advantages are in full effect. Bungie also opened the flood gates on the social, MMO portion of the game for the beta build. This was one of the more disappointing points in the Alpha but now the tower is a hive of players dancing, saluting, and buying massive guns and ships. Crossing paths with various levels of players is fun but nothing compares to stumbling upon a group of players trying to take down a Devil Walker and joining the fight.

All my time with the beta so far has been devoted to my male exo warlock, currently sitting at level 8. The entire upgrade experience isn’t confined to just your character. Upgrades can be earned for armor and weapons that not only boost some attributes but add specific actions that can reduce cool downs on various abilities. For example I have a level 8 shotgun with fire damage that every time I score damage with reduces the time it takes my absorbing melee to recharge, once I use my absorbing melee, it takes time of my grenade recharge and so on, everything is connected. Armor can be purchased or upgraded to be able to hold more ammo for certain weapons as well as stat increase.

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An extended beta means I’ve been able to really explore more of the world, as a level 4 I followed a level 8 to an area full of higher level enemies and quickly died, when I can back several level ups later for revenge I continued just wondering, and wondering, and wondering. I ended up in a decaying building I had no other reason to be other than I was curious and I could with no load times and when I was done I simply called down my vehicle and rode all the way back to where I originally spawned. This game is simply massive.

Leading up to the beta, Bungie also released the Guardian companion App. This free app is packed with useful information that might make your wireless provider cringe if you aren’t on wifi. From the app you can check on your current bounties progress, recent Crucible stats, inventory, and every kill you have made in the game and when. You can also view the all your unlocked Grimoire cards, maps, even find and join groups for fire team fun.

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If I can find any faults in Destiny so far it’s that one, It doesn’t come out till September and two, I waited an extra day after the announcement of the Ghost edition, which is now currently sold out…everywhere. Every time I step foot into the virtual old Russia I grow more and more impatient for the full release. Based on everything I have seen and played this is easily earning its title as the biggest game ever.

Till later Guardians, I’ve got more Fallen to kill,

 

Nick

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With the family away…

Recently my wife took our daughter on a five day four night getaway with several other moms and kids. This was the first time I had been alone in the house for more than a few hours in almost four years. This is what happens when the family is away.

Monday

4:50 am My wife asks if I have a knife she can have. Apparently she had a dream where she got “funny gamed” and is scared to stay where she is going to be staying in a few short hours

5:40 am Take a peek at my daughter and leave for work

6:06 am Arrive at work

5:30 pm arrive home from work, pick up the remnants of another life, toys, toddler bowls with partially eaten snacks, coffee cup with half drunk coffee

5:45 pm turn on Xbox and hop into my buddies session of Borderlands 2 and leech off his xp, I will leave this on for 2 hours

5:50 pm start clearing out what was my office to get ready to paint

6:20 pm after losing contact with my wife since 9 am I am informed that they arrived and will call when things have settled down

6:50 pm I order my first meal as a free man

7:20 pm arrive back at home with food, sit down on the couch with food and beer and watch a show I could never watch with the wife or daughter around, Burn Notice

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Behold a feast of Chinese extravagance

7:40 pm my food is demolished

7:45 pm I put layer one, of paint for a special side project in the basement

8:05 pm play Watchdogs

8:10 pm wife calls and I talk to her and read Goodnight Moon over the phone

8:15 pm resume Watchdogs

10:00 pm bring beer upstairs and fall asleep sprawled out in the middle of a queen sized bed watching south park

Tuesday

4:40 am wake up laying diagonally across the bed, I will lay like that for 20 more minutes…

5:40 am almost forget that I have to feed the animals before leaving

5:41 am go back inside the house and feed the animals

7:52 am Text received from wife about how she already misses me, I respond with my beard is stinky and tell her I love her

11:55 am I eat my mountain of leftover rice from the night before

3:36 pm leave work and head to home depot (my 3rd trip in 4 days)

5:09 pm open my first beer of the evening

5:30 pm Buddy arrives to help

5:40 pm open 5 pack of steak from Costco, massage olive oil into them like I was going to be inside it later and not the other way around, season, and let sit.

5:45 pm start measuring, cutting, installing shoe molding

6:00 pm turn on grill continue shoe molding (beer #2)

6:10 pm place sexy looking steaks on grill and continue to work

Man Fuel

Man Fuel

6:15 pm flip and continue

6:20 pm plate up and devour delicious red meat

6:30 pm plate up the remix

6:45 pm sit in food coma

7:30 pm start painting (beer 4)

8:00 pm work break to read Good Night Moon over the phone

8:45 pm painting is finished in the nursery

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8:50 pm apply second coat of paint for project in the basement

9:00 pm Sit down to play Marvel vs. Capcom 2, things get heated

9:45 pm after a stunning victory I give my buddy (defeated and sad) a ride back to his house

10:10 pm I decide that I did not punish myself enough today and go to Taco Bell

10:30 pm Arrive home and grab beer 5 and head to bed with my bag of tacos

11:30 pm decide it is time to go to sleep

Wednesday

5:30 am decide to get out of bed after several snooze attempts, today will be rough

11:55 am I manage to stay somewhat conscious all the way to lunch where I reheat leftover steak (yes surprisingly I had leftovers) side note: If you bring steak to work just go ahead and bring a steak knife too

5:30 pm leave work

6:08 pm arrive home to change and feed the pets then it’s off to play Titanfall

6:20 pm arrive at buddies house for weekly Titanfall mandate

7:15 pm a few disappointing matches in and we decide to pick up some bbq from a local place, I will feel like I wasted a meal with this decision

8:00 pm wife calls so I can read bedtime story over the phone

9:15 pm my last match of the evening is a hearty improvement over the rest but still nothing to write home about

9:20 pm arrive home and tend to my project in the basement

9:40 pm head to bed and fall asleep to south park

Thursday

5:30 am no left overs from last night so I decide to make a pb and j sandwich for lunch, the bread is in the freezer so I choose a bagel and yogurt instead

10 am this day is dragging

11:55 am I supplement my poorly planned lunch with a vending machine purchase of beef jerky and somewhere a lumberjack gets its flannel

5:06 pm work is over and I head home.

5:45 pm I burst through the door with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning and start prepping my dinner for the evening

6:10 pm dinner is done

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Grilled cheese hamburger buns

6:20 pm I’m getting a bit hot so I decide to take my pants off while I eat

6:30 pm I sit and just stare at the TV

7:00 pm When my body allows me to move again I start downloading the Destiny Beta

7:05 pm I should have started it while I was eating

7:15 pm apply last coat of paint for my surprise project in the basement and remove tape

7:30 pm I use the downstairs bathroom to do natures business (I have to use the upstairs bathroom so everyone else doesn’t have to smell my shame) and I do it with the door open

7:35 pm  grab another beer and set up a Twitch.TV account

7:40 pm finally finished downloading and I get comfortable

7:42 pm wife calls for the nightly reading of the bed time story (I think she must have some sort of super power to always know when key moments are happening in games)

7:48 pm my daughter is chatty tonight

7:55 pm Destiny…it’s glorious

9:30 pm jump in the shower and go to bed

Friday

5:30 am I went to bed early-ish why the hell is it so hard to get out of bed

4:45 pm Text from wife “Half way-ish home”

5:06 pm Leave work

5:45 pm Hurry up and cut and piece some molding together

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6:00 pm Jump on and play some Destiny with a fellow dad.

6:45 pm Text from wife “Please tell me food is ready”

6:46 pm I get in the car to pick up a pizza

7:15 pm They pull into the drive way and I go outside to meet them. I’m greeted with a wall of lavender scent the second I open the car door. I pick up my daughter who is wet and sticky and snotty and head inside the house as my wife speed waddles to the bathroom

7:20 pm I change my first diaper in 5 days

7:25 pm we sit down to a lovingly made dinner

8:00 pm Turns out my daughter is teething and has an ear infection, bed time is fun

8:30 pm Attempt to play Destiny

8:45 pm my wife takes a bath

9:15 pm Daughter passes out

9:30 pm Go upstairs where I rub my wife’s feet and back…she passes out shortly after

Weekend Update: I have watched Frozen 3 times already…

Later Gamers/Dads,

Nick

camping meme

Killcams: Did they kill campers?

Not too long ago I remember living in a world full of terror and unknowingness. A world in which you could be going about your day blissfully riding around in a ghost or warthog when all of a sudden BAM!!! Sniped in the head and on your way to respawn, never getting a chance to say goodbye or see the face of your killer. Your second shot at life comes around and you vow to not squander it this time, to get out there and do something that matters and as you set out into the world full of purpose and cautious optimism you approach the spot where you wasted your first BAM!!!!! Sniped again and just like last time no sign of the killer. Campers ruled the multiplayer world, taking advantage of corners, ditches and overlooks, preying on anyone who walks into their crosshairs. Then, like fire and the wheel before it, Killcam came along and changed everything.

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In its early form, the killcam showed what the player was doing a few seconds before bringing down your kill/death ratio. Other iterations show their location at the time off death and a few moments after. Either way you get a sense of where the other player was, if they had been there for awhile and if they are going to be there for you to get a little bit of revenge. Camping as it was known lessoned to a wonderful degree. There was still a few brave/crazy/good enough to get away with it for awhile, but the time of finding a good spot and waiting was over.

People are smart and they will find a way to adapt. Instead of the sit and wait campers a new crop of players soon started popping up. Ones that not only control a finite area of a map but do so using the killcam as a tool not a hinderance. Knowing full well the urge to extract revenge on the player that just so easily stood there, or crouched for that matter, and increased his stats while decreasing yours, a savy player can use this as a strength. Players find a small area of the map that is either easily defendable or with plenty of hiding spots and simply wait for that first kill. The killee watches their shame unfold on the killcam and vows to come back and knife the camper, but while the killee is making his way back, the killer has moved to another spot, close by and with a view, or has set up a trap and boom, chalk up one more kill. This is the killcam camping strategy born out of something designed to end camping and yes I am guilty.

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In some ways this new beast is worse, at least with the corner crouchers of yester year you could easily avoid the area all together and they would end the match with a nice little kill/death ratio but nothing record breaking, but these monsters (again, I’m guilty of this) play on your basic human emotions while taunting you into endless amounts of death. In other ways, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is just the natural progression of skill and tactics and anything is better than people lying in wait for an opportunistic kill. Would you rather tread lightly around corners and rooftops? If you see someone take control of an area, does it light some primal urge in you to digitally wipe that smug (probably) look off their face no matter the cost? Does it not even matter because fuck tactics and the like? What do you guys think of Campers and killcams in general? Let us know

 

Later Gamers,

 NIck

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The Must Plays Part One:NES

 

If we don’t know our gaming history how will we know our gaming future. I’m going to be listing the must plays that defined each console generation and how they place in video game must play spectrum. Up first NES

 Nintendo Entertainment System while not the first available home console, is the grand daddy of the video game boom. Released in 1985, it racked up a total of over 800 games when it was finally discontinued in 1996. So what should you play:

BattleToads (1991): If you’re a masochist then you will love this game plain and simple, it goes from satisfyingly smashing enemies into the screen to testing your reflexes and pattern memorization in a mere 3 levels

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Super Mario Bro Series: Looping all three into one seems like a good idea so I’m gonna do it. All three games came packaged with a Nintendo at one point so if you had a NES chances are you had one of these games. The original was the perfect example of what a game should be at the time, simple and fun. The second, although not really a Mario game, had added some fun new mechanics like throwing turnips and eggs. Three was really the pinnacle of the series with new costumes (Flying Raccoon wins all of video gamedom) fun mini games and the ability to pick your path to the castles.

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Legend of Zelda (1987): This is the game that started all adventure games in my opinion. You could spend hours walking around the map finding new weapons and power ups and be no closer to beating the game than when you first started.

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Contra (1988): Even if youve never heard of this game you’ve heard its cheat code up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start

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Metroid (1986): Bounty hunter, check, space pirates, check, brainy looking monster, check, various ending endings based on how you play, check. If you’ve already played Mario and Zelda, this game combines the two perfectly

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Paperboy (1988): who doesn’t want to live the life of a newspaper delivery boy, dodging dogs and spare tires, stopping robberies and breaking windows of people who do not want your service. There is a reason this game was ported from arcade to every home console known to man, it was pure fun.

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Mike Tyson’s Punch Out (1987): From the thrill of breaking “Glass Joe” to the agony of Doc telling you to train harder after you get pummeled by “King Hippo,” this game was basically a series of boss battles. It had you studying patterns and weaknesses for each boxer so you could get the right to take on the champ.

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So from over 800 down to 9, what do you think? Does the exclusion of a game have you stumped? Angered? Let me know what your NES must play is…

Later Gamers,

Nick