Teh Bias

Teh Bias

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Messages - Geese

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Forum Rules, Feedback, and Suggestions / Re: Happy Birthday TehBias!
« on: January 30, 2014, 08:13:32 AM »
Look at you, TehBias. All grown up.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: November 25, 2013, 08:41:14 AM »
XboxOne first weekend impressions.

The quick and dirty - I'm very happy with the unit, although it's not perfect.

And I'll complain about the bad stuff first:

Kinect 2.0 *audio* recognition is ok. It's better than Kinect 1.0 but still not the perfect specimen we all saw in the 12-minute video from MS. I'd say it recognizes and correctly processes my speech approx 70% of the time. It's good - but I wouldn't want a doctor using it to vocally automate surgery.  Although, "XBOX ON" works flawlessly. It has yet to fail to recognize that one.

Maybe it's just because it's new - but the dashboard is cluttered, IMHO. I think they really want you to use Kinect voice to navigate, because some things don't seem to have a dedicated menu slot, like Upload Studio, which is their clip editing/upload app.

And related, the store, even though there's not a ton there yet, was hard to find stuff that wasn't "featured". I didn't even think there was a way to browse "new items" until I complained about it to a friend, and he showed me the little "..." at the bottom of the dash that means "more", which has the browse ability.

And I think that's it for the bad.

Now for the good stuff:

I realize as time goes on, things may slow down...but the network is blazing fast right now. The day one update went really quick. I didn't time it, but I'd say it took less than 15 minutes to download and install around 5pm Eastern this past Friday.

For an example of the speed of the network - when you go into the store and browse a title such as Dead Rising 3 - there will be "Game Clips" that you can click on. Within 3 seconds, a full screen clip from another user plays, usually having been recorded sometime in the past hour.

The clips aren't full 1080p, (well, they are...but they're compressed - so there's a little artifacting). But these clips load FAST. I spent a good amount of time watching clips in the store. Forza 5 looks beautiful - but NFS Rivals looks a whole lot more fun :)  I also saw a clip someone had titled "crazy flying dead guy" for BF4. It was hilarious. Someone was running around in MP, and you hear a far-off explosion, and a body just goes flying in a perfect arc over the horizon. I never played BF3 MP, but watching all the BF4 MP clips has me more interested in it.

Recording clips is super easy, and as marketed. Just say "XBOX RECORD THAT" (this is another command that has yet to fail to recognize) and in about 10 or so seconds, you get a notification that a clip has been saved. The clip will be the 30 seconds exactly prior to you issuing the command.

Editing the clips is easy too, using Upload Studio. They give you tools needed to do basic trimming, and have templates to add skins, as well as having the ability to do audio voice-overs and visual PnP using Kinect. You can even make montages stringing up to 5 clips - and then you can take a bunch of 5-clip montages and string them together...rinse and repeate to hearts content. Once you save your edited clip it's uploaded (really fast) and available for all to view. Which brings me to my next point...

The multitasking of the XB1 is great. This is the scenario that happened to me:   Playing Dead Rising 3. I say "XBOX RECORD THAT". It notifies me the clip has been created. I hold the XBOX button when the notification comes up to zoom to the item. I watch the clip in the generic player, and then tell it I want to edit it. It takes me to the store and says "you need to install UPLOAD STUDIO" to do this. So I click install. About 20 seconds later its done and I'm in the studio editing the clip. Once done and uploaded, I go back to the dash and find DR3 in a square on the bottom and I click it, and instantly I'm back to playing DR3 where I had left it.

Similarily, when I put DR3 in the drive the first time, it asked me if I wanted to download and install a required update for it (I did, of course), so it started downloading the update and installing the game from the disc. It did all this in the background while I was doing other stuff like browsing the store, watching clips, and even watching Netflix. There were no obtrusive notifications like the 360s "I stopped downloading ABC because you're using the network for other stuff, etc". A little while later, I simply got a notice that DR3 was done installing.

You can now use Kinect to redeem your DLC codes, provided they come in QR format. (The ones with DR3 and Ryse did). Worked like a charm.

Skype worked great, with a nice full screen view that digitally pans when the subject moves around. You do have to use your existing (or set up) Skype ID.

Dead Rising 3 co-op is great fun. And whichever review said "DR3 looks visually as good as DR2, just with more zombies" is smoking crack. It looks a WHOLE lot better, and it's amazing to see hundreds of zombies on screen, coupled with amazing draw distances in the open world. Co-op is straight up just the main campaign, and you don't have to stay together. We were on opposite sides of the city at one point just engaging in zombie killing fun.

XBOX Fitness is a cool built in Fitness suite that of course, uses the Kinect. It essentially felt like browsing a video store with a bunch of workout videos. Some were free, some were pay, but even the pay ones had free content. I did a 10-minute workout, and not only was it a good workout, but having Kinect know how hard I was working, and putting a score multipler on the screen based on it was very cool.

Oh and finally, while the Kinect audio recognition is hit and miss, the visual recognition is amazing. Kinect visual sign in works great There was never even a visual calibration for me personally. After I entered my login credentials, it just showed a video feed and said "Is this you?" With my gamertag following my head.

And not that I care to play "arm-flailing-games" - but I did try out Kinect Sports Rivals. It's a simple wave racer game where you move your fists towards and away the screen like you are holding handlebars. Not up and down, but towards and away - and the kinect was flawlessly able to detect the depth change - even with 2 players at the same time.

And then it all worked flawlessly again - in the dark. I got up Saturday morning at 6am, and the only light in the room came from the TV itself. The Kinect's IR ability meant the game played as flawlessly as it had the day before in good light. Even in the dark, I never once felt like I had lost control.

I haven't mentioned TV, since I don't have cable - but I did hook up my Apple TV (I love using Apple TV to stream pics from my iPhone to the screen saver) and it worked fine.

So, like I said, all in all, very satisfied with the XB1 so far.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: November 22, 2013, 08:32:08 AM »
I'm sure many of the problems can be mitigated with patches and practice, but as a signature service, on launch day it looks to be a negative.

That's a bummer. I figured the 12 minute marketing video was probably a little too good to be true.

It's going to supplant game reviews for me. Why take the word of a reviewer when I can just watch someone play the game? And unfortunately for XB1, MS says it won't be available until 2014.

Oh wow. Until you just mentioned it - I had never thought of it in that way. I just figured it would be something cool for people to have for tournaments - but I couldn't think why I'd just want to watch someone play. Makes sense now.

And now I'm bummed it's not available at launch.   Thanks!   :P

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: November 08, 2013, 02:12:07 PM »
I assume since the Kinect is now "always on," that is why it doesn't react oddly to them gesturing while speaking or when they simply refer to the "Xbox." Right now, if I do either of those, my Kinect 1 switches modes and it's really annoying.

Agreed. Hope it works as well as they showed. I had to cover up my Kinect when watching a UFC PPV with a bunch of friends. Every few minutes the "hand" would pop up randomly over the screen.

The skyping looked really cool, especially with the Kinect tracking, and full widescreen video. The video editing looks like it will be really cool for videopodcasters.

Technology / Re: My Guitars
« on: July 24, 2013, 07:22:44 AM »
Very nice!

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: June 26, 2013, 07:39:00 AM »
MS did help themselves by changing their policies, but it felt like a spouse who cheated on another only to come back and say..."no, baby... I never meant to hurt you.  I don't really love those used game fees.  DRM don't mean nothin' to me baby"  ;)

To be fair, the used game fees weren't going to MS. They were going to the publisher of the game.

And I feel like a bride who was proposed to based on a promise of going on an overseas honeymoon, only to be presented with "let's just stay here in town for the honeymoon!" after I accepted the engagement.

I liked that both companies were offering completely different experiences. Then the internet outraged, MS blinked, and now we have two very similar systems - and let's be honest - not talking the "hardcore gamers" here - but the majority of people that will get a next-gen system are probably not getting both, at least not at launch.

But to answer your question, my deciding factor was that the Xbox LIVE experience was so much better for me than anything Sony had offered, even since the vanilla Xbox. Sony has yet to deliver an enjoyable online experience for me. Whether it's bluetooth headsets that don't sound great, to huge game patches that take me much longer (and often multiple tries) to download, to an online marketplace that gives me nowhere near as much content to trial as the LIVE arcade marketplace.

Simple answer - MS has served me well, Sony has not. I don't have a good reason to assume anything would change with that situation, at least not solely based on a PR presentation at E3.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: June 19, 2013, 07:02:47 PM »
My understanding about the 'family' sharing is that only one family member, other than yourself, can play at the same time.  Still, I see the appeal.

Yep, that's what Phil Spencer said. But it's a moot point now. I was also hoping that the DRM policy (which was essentially the same as Steams, with the added advantage of family share) would encourage bigger digital "sales" (as in 'this week, 75% off!!!') like are the case on Steam all the time.  Hopefully that's still a possibility since every title is supposed to be available digitally.

Oh well.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: June 19, 2013, 06:36:24 PM »
Yeah, but we also lose this:

"But gone now is the ability to share a game library among up to 10 family members, Whitten said. Gone too is the ability to roam, popping into a friend's house without a copy of your game and simply downloading it from the cloud to play. While games will still have to be installed, the disc will have to be in the tray for the game to function, a system which verifies a gamer owns the title they're playing."

I was totally stoked about the family game library.  Bummer.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: June 17, 2013, 07:57:41 AM »
Preordered my XB1 last week. I can see possibly getting a PS4 late next year, assuming I hear good things from my local friends and those here who are getting one.

Can I live without playing next gen Halo?

Probably. I kinda wish they would let the franchise hibernate for a while.  Halo 3 coming out 3 years after H2 was a big deal. I was ready.
The Master Chief reveal at E3 this year was more like "Oh hey, that's that game I played late last year."

I didn't preorder any titles yet, but Dead Rising 3 is high on my list, followed by Ryse and Watchdogs.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: June 11, 2013, 07:33:26 AM »
They kept true to their word and focused on the games. I think every game shown was either full gameplay, or at least real-time rendered cut-scenes, with the exception being Sunset Overdrive. They didn't really say the nature of the video, but it really looked like a trailer more than gameplay.

Killer Instinct was a fun surprise, as well as using it to show game-DVR ability to edit and upload a clip of something you just played and would like to save.

Ryse definintely looked great, even if it was MS's "Hey, we've got a cinematic-style God of War game now too!"  (I kinda hope this is a launch title)

Project Spark looked great, even if it was MS's "Hey, we've got a Little Big Planet 2 game now too!"   (it's use of smartglass looked really cool, as well)

Titanfall was just...wow. I mean, WOW.  (things like this are what really makes me go...ok, this is unquestionably next-gen stuff)

Agreed that $500 was a little of a surprise/bummer. I could try to defend it all day, but the reality is that it's going to be tough, especially if Sony manages since Sony managed to get the PS4 into users hands at the $400 level.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: XBOX One Impressions and Discussion
« on: May 24, 2013, 07:33:02 AM »
If it works as advertised, I'm looking forward to being able to hot-swap between games and apps and TV.  Mandatory installs that result in no disc being needed is also a plus in my book. I already use the Kinect (via voice) for navigating the dashboard - so the prospect of having quicker and more robust navigation makes me happy.

Also, after having several heated discussions with a friend of mine, I think I've now accepted that the "no-used-games" era that may be upon us. Remembering that since the early/mid 90's - the PC world has almost universally been operating in a "no-used-software" scenario makes it a little easier to swallow. (of course - the used-games issue is a completely different discussion - while I'm not technically 'happy' about it - I'm ok with it)

Definitely like what I saw, but with my limited gaming time, I probably don't see myself getting one till the first "must have" game releases.

Yeah - as much as I'm looking forward to the next-gen (both Xbox One and PS4), I'm just hoping to get a solid pre-order on the ONE. I have no plans to camp out a Best Buy like I did for the 360.

Microsoft Console Gaming / Re: Xbox 360 Impressions & Discussion
« on: April 08, 2013, 07:30:40 AM »
My personal speculation is that it will end up being much closer to Steam in application. Connection required to start the game, but no constant monitor, unless online specific services are being used by the game. If that were the case, I wouldn't think twice about picking up the Durango.

However, if Microsoft admits the situation is as Kotaku describes, then I'd need a lot more information before making the purchase (what will games cost, will I be able to trade/sell games, will there be a healthy amount of sales on content, what happens to my current library of LIVE Arcade games, etc...)

General Gaming Discussion / Re: Kinghts of Pen & Paper (iOS)
« on: March 11, 2013, 07:29:15 AM »
Looks like it's (Knights of Pen & Paper) free right now...

General Gaming Discussion / Kinghts of Pen & Paper (iOS)
« on: March 07, 2013, 09:00:47 AM »
Knights of Pen & Paper (iOS - universal - $1.99) is a great combination of jRPG set in a DnD-style implementation (players sitting around a table listening to a Dungeon Master).

Very simple jRPG combat, and a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor. I've put about 2 hours into it, and my party is around level 10, and the map shows areas up to level 40. So there seems to be plenty of content. You can even customize the gaming room you play in...every customizable item offering buffs for your party.

There is a freemium-style aspect to it...you can purchase in-game cash for real money, although it's not necessary. Also, as of right now, the blacksmith won't craft weapons for me until I provide him a "grindstone". Ha. Get it? You can only get them in dungeons (which I haven't encountered yet...or purchase them).

Anyhow - I'm sure there are youtube videos if you want to see it in action - but I've had fun with it so far. I even played some while waiting for my work PC to reboot this morning. :)

General Gaming Discussion / Re: Game Price Drops & Deals (2010/2011)
« on: March 06, 2013, 07:33:41 AM »
Sorry no link - but as of last night - Worms Armageddon for iOS (universal) is $0.99.

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