The Sudden Realizations of a Returning PC Gamer

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Last week I said some things about what my gaming regimen would look like after building my new PC. I believe I said something to the effect of "I won't stop playing my console games, but I expect I'll spend more time on the PC." Well, I've gotten the new beastie up and running (I'm actually typing this article from it) and after running a few games on it and using it for my normal browsing, I have a bit more perspective on the matter. I haven't used my consoles in about a week now and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

Cooler Master MasterCase 5 Review: The perfect shelter for my new PC

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

While walking the show floor at PAX Prime last year, I spotted a booth set up by Cooler Master that looked more like a workshop than a demo booth. Indeed, they had set up a small maker space in the expo hall to show off their new case, the MasterCase 5. Wesley and I talked to Nathan Almond, the product manager for the master case and were very impressed with the very moddable, user friendly case he showed us. We resolved that our next PC would have to be housed in a MasterCase 5. I kept that promise with my new build and it has not disappointed at all.

[Pathfinder] Advanced Class Guide

Monday, February 22, 2016

So, Paizo's Advanced Class Guide.... I struggle with this one, I really do. Truthfully, this gets a 3 star rating because I want to rate some parts of it 5 and some parts 1, so we're splitting the difference. If you're new to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, I suggest you not start your collection with this book. Aside from deserving the "Advanced" in the title, there are some fairly glaring issues that may create an unfair perception of the quality of work that Paizo puts out. If you're familiar with the game, read on...

Kingston Hyper X Cloud II Review: MY New Favorite Sound Hat

Thursday, February 18, 2016
This post, much like all of my posts is a bit overdue. At PAX Prime in 2015 I spoke to some representatives from Kingston who set me up with a pair of their Cloud II headsets. When it comes to hardware I prefer to put my items through a bit of a durability test before going ahead and writing about them, and not only has the Kingston Cloud II (in a very stylish pink and white) has not only succeeded, but prevailed!

Kingston Cloud II boasts foam cushions over the ears which re modular and you can switch between the soft leather and plush material.  It also features a detachable microphone, adjustable earphones, and  a USB "remote control" that I highly recommend using . All this and Dolby 7.1 digital in a $100 package? Yes, please!

Razer Nabu, or Just Boo?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

At PAX Prime 2015 you may recall my excitement over the Nabu X and Nabu by Razer.  I do have to say I retain my excitement for the Nabu X!

Unfortunately I can't say the same for the 2015 Nabu.  When I received it, I was so excited. Even though it was not officially compatible with the iPhone 4s it ran beautifully, with only an occasional app crash, and missed bluetooth communication. It was easily forgivable in those rare moments and was invaluable for those short stints when I needed to get up from my desk.  Not to mention the alarm on it made waking up a little easier and less disturbing for my husband. Despite my love of the device's features, my elation wouldn't last long.

XCOM 2 Review, Part 2: Global Guerrilla Warfare

Thursday, February 11, 2016

In the first part of my review I covered XCOM 2's combat system at length. From the frantic pace of timed missions, the deadly new enemies, to the sweet, sweet sugar that is a well coordinated ambush, I found every aspect rewarding and appropriately merciless. XCOM 2's combat feels even more a natural evolution of the series than its 2012 predecessor. As we've covered that aspect in depth, I'd like to turn my attention to the greater campaign. There are a number of new mechanics within the base-building and income management side that significantly impact the experience and it would be unfair to leave them out.

XCOM 2 Review, Part 1: XCOM 2 is Punishing, Perfectly Difficult

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

We veterans of the XCOM series are no strangers to defeat. We do not cringe at the loss of a soldier, we accept it as an inevitability. With the release of XCOM 2, the Internet has been alight with the complaints of many players claiming that the game is too hard; soldiers miss too often, timed missions are unfair, the odds are stacked too much against the player. We haggard few who remember UFO Defense, and Terror From the Deep find all of this chatter a bit funny. For us, XCOM was always about overcoming seemingly impossible odds through careful tactical choices and calculated decisions. Decisions that meant sacrifice, sometimes of an entire squad. I knew this going into XCOM 2 and I was still surprised by the merciless enemy I faced.

We (Mostly) Built a Tiny Retro Gaming Console!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

As an anniversary present to one another, Wesley and I bought a Raspberry Pi 2. We werent' sure what we wanted to do with it at first, not surprising given the ridiculous versatility of the little board. People have used the Pi 2 to control their stereos, made smart beer fridges out of it, even made functioning phones from them. While all of those projects sound awesome, they were also a touch daunting. What did we settle on instead? What else, but a retro gaming machine.

Playing The Witness is Like Walking Through a Dream

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wesley surprised me today with a copy of Johnathan Blow's The Witness for the PS4. I'd heard a little about it about the internets. The only description I read mentioned exploring an island, which is apt but about as vague as possible. I'm perplexed by The Witness. I expected something like Dear Esther, but so far it is more like a mix of Myst and The Room. Some dismiss the puzzles in the game to be mere mazes, but I'd argue such a description is far too narrow.