Checkpoint: Vengeance Edition

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Good news! My new PC woes are behind me. The Corsair Vengeance LPX were installed and the PC booted without a fuss — I even activated XMP mode without issue. I finished installing drivers and updates but without a storage drive (my old Western Digital Black 1TB doesn’t fit the case), there’s not much I can do. I guess I could play StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and the countless other titles in my Steam catalog

I’m also waiting for NVIDIA’s Pascal GPU to make its debut which will really open up the gaming possibilities.

Dailies. That’s not something I thought I would be partaking in but everyday my brother and I put in an hour or so to complete the daily missions in The Division. It’s really unfortunate that Ubisoft aren’t able to maintain The Division’s momentum. Now glitches, repetitive daily missions and inflated crafting requirements have blemished an otherwise strong start.

The Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst closed beta is happening right now. I played through the tutorial and while it wasn’t the consistent performer that I would like, I was impressed with the combat improvements and style. There’s an open world element which I have yet to try but I suspect I’ll be fine with it. I enjoyed the original Mirror’s Edge but I enjoyed it for its style and parkour, not because it was linear affair.

Announcements Ahoy, Mon Capitan

OS X El Capitan

This year’s OS X release isn’t going to be the overhaul like Yosemite was. El Capitan will offer fixes, refinements and other nice but not so sexy changes.

I welcome it. I welcome features like Expose side-by-side so I can stop using BetterTouchTool for the sole purpose of including Windows Snap.

I look forward to Metal, Apple’s low-level API, improving rendering performance across the board. I don’t play graphically intensive games on my MacBook Air but hopefully this gives the user base fewer reasons to switch over to Windows just to play games.

I’m hoping OS X El Capitan breathes new life into my MacBook Air like Mavericks did with its power optimizations.

iOS 9

Unsurprisingly, iOS 9 looks to follow El Capitan’s lead and focus on refinements and improvements to performance, battery life, security and usability.

I use Siri regularly for sports and weather updates. On occasion, I ask her to figure out the name of a song or some trivia but her accuracy remains so suspect that I tend to stick to the basic inquiries. Apple promises to address accuracy and capabilties but I’ll believe it when I see it. The day, I don’t feel the need to launch Google Search for reliable voice inquiries is the day I’ll consider Siri a dependable digital assistant.

Apple continues its trend of adopting popular ideas into its own apps and gently pushing out competition. Notes and News apps were their latest efforts. They gave Notes additional word processing capabilities for simple note taking and News (rebranded Newsstand) is now a Flipboard clone.

My favorite iOS device isn’t the iPhone. It’s the iPad and Apple finally gave it some love with the addition of multi-tasking and a new shortcut bar that sits on-top of the keyboard. Fortunately, I have an iPad Air 2 which supports the new multi-tasking functionality. But if I was an iPad Air user, I’d feel a little miffed knowing that a key feature like multi-tasking won’t be making back to mine. I understand the limitations (the Air 2 has 2GB of RAM) but not everyone will.

And the Rest

WatchOS 2 is coming as well and I know exactly one person who’s excited by that announcement. The native app support is a step in the right direction. I’m curious what developers will come up with in that space. I doubt they can make the thing appealing to me though.

Apple Music is now a thing. If the likes of Spotify, Rdio and other music streaming services aren’t to your liking, maybe give Apple Music a try? They’ve hired humans to make a 24/7 radio station a reality. No idea how that radio station will fare Apple promises it’ll be better than having algorithms select the music.

I didn’t know what to expect from Apple Music but it wasn’t whatever they announced. Jimmy Iovine started by pointing out all the streaming services available and how it’s fragmented. I thought that was going to a segue into a Wallet (they renamed Passbook) or News app amalgamation app but for music. That would have been a logistical nightmare but that would have been nice.

Pre-E3 Announcements Continues

  • 1TB Xbox One Console will take over at $399.99 USD
  • New Xbox One controller revision features wireless updates, 3.5mm audio jack & minor refinements. Costs $64.99 USD
  • Xbox One wireless adapter for Windows will be available in autumn. Will cost $24.99 USD
  • Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst will see the light of day in Q1 2016
  • Halo 5: Guardians will have 20 maps at launch & 15 free maps by June 2016
  • Dark Souls 3 will be available in early 2016
  • Marshawn Lynch will be in Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  • Call of Duty lives for another year on PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360

Thought of the Day

As soon as I saw what 2015’s OS X release was called El Capitan, I thought of Q and Captain Picard.

Frostbite 3 & selling the next generation

posted in: Game News | 0

If anyone needs convincing on what the next generation of consoles can bring in terms of visual fidelity, tell them to check out this Frostbite 3 video.

It isn’t an accurate representation of what the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 can muster but it is certainly more feasible on the new hardware than on the hardware of old. Could you imagine what the next Mass Effect or Mirror’s Edge game would look like with this engine?

Also what’s up with that Command and Conquer game? I completely forgot it was even in development.

E3 2013 Day 3 Impressions

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

It took me a few days to digest and examine the gameplay videos for Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division but I was finally persuaded into a pre-order. I also added a handful of additional titles that were no brainers to me.

Here are today’s additions:

  • Final Fantasy Versus XIII XV  It will either be the best Final Fantasy in years or the last Final Fantasy game that Nomura will ever lead.
  • Metal Gear Solid V – Horse based stealth mechanics & Keifer Sutherland
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division – I’ve always wanted to visit Manhattan without the crowds.
  • Mirror’s Edge 2 – I was going to wait for the eventual Origin sale but I decided to reward DICE & EA for giving this cult classic another go.

Other Notables

  • I urge anyone looking for a recap or an enlightening behind the scenes look at how media covers E3, check out GiantBomb’s 50 minute video.
  • I checked out PlayStation Home for the first time since the launch of the service. Sony have this virtual E3 booth setup and while it’s neat from afar, it continues to be weird and bewildering. Still, I thought it was worth visiting for the 30 day free trial of PlayStation Plus.
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