Custom Playstation DualShock 4 Thumb Sticks

I stumbled across this video the other day and thought this was a neat idea.

In the face of the first gen plastic peeling and tearing issues finding an alternative stick seemed like a great idea. Plus different colors would look cool. So I decided to go out and give this a shot myself. Below you’ll find instructions and photos to help you do this yourself as this video leaves out a little bit of information. Continue reading “Custom Playstation DualShock 4 Thumb Sticks”

Battlefield Hardline Beta So Far

I’m sure there are going to be hundreds of reviews of the Battlefield Hardline Beta now that it’s in the open. I wanted to share a perspective that is a little bit different. I had the displeasure of taking part in the Alpha or Private Beta. I don’t recall which it was but I’m going to go with Alpha and you’ll see why below. This allows me to do a little then and now analysis. Lets dive in shall we?

The Battlefield Hardline Alpha, to put it bluntly was an ugly mess. It looked like they used the older Frostbite 2 engine instead of 3. The cops and robbers character models and cars looked like they were bought cheap off of Turbo Squid or some other cheap pre-fab site. The weapons were copy/paste out of BF3 or 4 and frankly so were the game modes for the most part. The only saving grace of that experience was the new game mode, who’s name I don’t recall, added where each team had an armored car on each side of the map and it was a game of attack and defense to see who had the most cash in their truck at the end of the game. I’m sure you can imagine that over all I wasn’t thrilled.

So this brings us to today and the now open beta of Battlefield Hardline.

Continue reading “Battlefield Hardline Beta So Far”

Defiance Update – Bait and Switch

Defiance-GameplayFor those who read the blog you’ve seen I’ve been checking out Defiance. An MMO in the universe of SyFy’s new show coming out soon. You’ll see that my time with Defiance hasn’t been very intriguing or interesting. I just got an additional piece of information that may or may not play in to your view and decision to play Deviance so I wanted to share it to give you a complete view of the situation.  In an e-mail sent out on 28 March Defiance VP of Development let slip that, as I mentioned in a previous post found here http://brockh.at/YRdxNd, that what they gave console gamer’s was in fact old code. That means that what you saw is not representative of the game at that time. You can have a look at the message that went out over e-mail.  http://brockh.at/YRfvx9. Take away from this what you will.

Defiance Beta Playstation 3 Extended Look

As promised I spent some more time with the Defiance beta on PlayStation 3. For those who may not know Defiance is a Third Person Shooter MMO on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game is part of some form of over arching story/universe being constructed to go along with Syfy’s (pronounced “sifee”?) television show of the same name.

In my last post on the subject I hadn’t had a very good experience with the game. This time around it’s gotten a bit better. You eventually work your way out in to the open world as you tend to do with most MMOs. This helped the situation greatly. Several quest lines opened up, some items like an ATV were handed over and the game got a bit more entertaining. Sadly the voice acting and facial animations through out extend not a hint of humanity or serve to draw you in emotionally. The game is not terrible but it’s not great. It’s what most would call mediocre. The shooting mechanics are pretty solid and there seem to be plenty of challenges, objectives and creatures dotting the landscape to keep you busy. Thats really about the extent of it. If there weren’t better MMOs available this game would be just fine. But as it is it has to contend with the likes of WoW, Guild Wars 2 and PlanetSide 2. I don’t see this game going any where unless they manage to slap a thick layer of polish on whats in this beta or the TV show is able to draw people deeply in to the universe it’s trying to create.

I think this video sums up the experience nicely.

My 10 Minutes With The Defiance Beta

Defiance BetaI might be breaking some kind of embargo by talking about this. If there was something telling me I couldn’t talk about this I apparently dropped it in the TL;DR bucket and clicked right past it. So if I have to take this down at some point, to my readers, I apologize in advance.

Take this whole thing with a grain of salt. I only made it about 10 minutes before deciding to quit playing. Now don’t read to far in to this. It was late and I had been unloading a pretty large quantity of housing goods at my new place so I was extremely tired. Even so the initial experience wasn’t one of wanting to stay up, despite being tired, to keep playing. First impressions are important. Thank goodness it’s a beta. So lets hit the key points.

The story pics up on a giant ship flying over the golden gate bridge. A fairly generic military, very UN peace keeper looking, officer barks some orders.  There are words exchanged, a brief reason for your non-military presence is given and then BAM! True to Sci-Fi, or should I say SyFy, we start the story in the same way as almost every other science fiction story ever. Waking in a flaming wreck with little idea where we’re at or what the state of things are.  That is probably the first fault I saw and sadly probably not one that can be remedied since it’s story and not a technical problem. I was bored right off the bat.

The first technical problem I noticed was the character animation. Mouths moved like poorly timed muppets and expression was no where to be found. It felt like something from the mid 90s. I have high hopes that this is just some polish that needs to be done and by launch we’ll have some characters to at least begin to care about.

Building your character is simplistic with only a very few number of options and there doesn’t seem to be enough options  to let you make a truly distinguishable character. Hopefully quickly in the game you’ll get some unique armor options and/or the ability to color and customize things to give your character a unique look. Obviously I didn’t make it far enough to see if this is the route they went.

Once you’re on the ground the game looks pretty good over all. You don’t get close up on faces like the initial cut scene so character interactions aren’t nearly as grating. There were some issues with the subtitling that was on by default. The text provided is white and one of the characters is also white and large in the foreground. That’s easy enough to fix so I presume we’ll see that corrected.

The final thing was just how dark some of the areas were and the enemies were and how tall the grass was. I found myself frequently just looking for the enemy title to pop up above where the enemy was and then aiming until the reticle turned red and firing. I wasn’t seeing enemies much unless I was almost on top of them. While it’s playable it’s certainly analogis to using a fly by instruments situation only in a first person shooter and it’s not very fun.

As you can see Defiance can still use some work. True to what a beta is it’s pretty rough but it looks like a ton of work still to be done for what is supposed to be an April 2nd release. Lets hope they are just toying with us by feeding us an old build so that when the full game hits we’ll all be surprised and impressed with what a giant leap they made in such a short period of time.

Rest assured this is just a first glimpse or a brief taste. I plan to put a good amount more time in to this in the hopes that the epic battle scenes depicted in the screen shots and promo material are enough to overcome the immediately apparent issues mentioned above. Keep an eye out for a more extensive look at the beta some time in the near future!

PlayStation 4’s Backward Compatibility

PS4 Press ConferenceAs I’m sure most of you who searched this post out have heard the backwards compatibility for PlayStation 4 is in question. While I don’t have any inside information I do have some observations based on my long time experience with technology. First is the fact that the PlayStation 4 is going to be x86 based. The PlayStation 3 is cell processor based so backwards compatibility must be impossible! To that I would say, sort of. One thing to keep in mind is that many of the 3rd party games were actually cross platform. That means despite there being a PS3 version there’s also an x86 PC version hanging out out there. This means it should be, mostly, trivial for developers to port their game back to the PS4 from their PC code. So it’s not likely we’ll see Sony first party games coming back on to the PS4 but we’ll almost certainly see third party titles coming back.

The other piece to the puzzle is that Sony now owns Gaikai. Certain podcasters and media have made comments to the effect that it’s impossible for Sony to run PS3 games over Gaikai citing things similar to the above processor difference but in order to support the Gaikai components that would be needed to make it happen. I’d like to remind those folks that Sony originally supported Linux on the PS3 and those PS3’s were used in things like super computer clusters. Much like the ones used on the back end of cloud services. I have a feeling part of the reason for that is that the PS3 is Linux based at it’s core and that it’s actually going to be quite easy for Sony to extend PlayStation 3 games into that sort of online cloud delivery environment.

I guess what I’m getting at is that even though you might not be able to play those PlayStation 3 games off your old disc’s on day one those games will come back around and make an appearance on the new console in some form.

The Gaming Appendix Episode 3 – Ratchet & Clank HD Collection and Crusader Kings 2

The Gaming Appendix has released Episode 3. This time around we re-visit the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 single player campaign. We talk about the gorgeous textures available in the Ratchet & Clank HD Collection. Finally Crusader Kings 2 goes real time and seems to be an epic play. Watch the video or go to The Gaming Appendix website for the audio version and RSS feed.

The Gaming Appendix – Episode 1

This week marks a potentially historic day for the internet. Today I’m releasing the very first episode of “The Gaming Appendix” podcast who’s aim it is to talk about games past and what they turned out to be post patches, DLC and general reception. The first episode is actually covering more recent games Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 along with board games Settlers of Catan and Small World. Hit up the libsyn.com page for now to subscribe to the podcast. I plan to do it bi-monthly currently and will post when I work out the exact schedule.

The Gaming Appendix LibSyn Website

In case you want to give it a listen before subscribing here is a direct link to the mp3.

Listen Now!

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