You already knew that one, but I got to check it out live at the Best Buy demo nearby which was pretty cool. The units on display were showcasing the features of the unit minus that of the browser. I was able to listen to extremely clear HD radio signals with nice range across the board, not a lot of clipping as I moved around which seems to indicate the antenna is pretty strong. I think the biggest thing here is the clarity and the fact that if one doesn’t have a receiver for HD Radio they can get it on the spot via the Zune HD in their home or car.
The unit itself is sleek and slim, it takes about 2 units to equal the width of a first gen model, the construction is pretty rigid and comes in two flavors right now for the consumers, the onyx black 16GB model and the platinum silver 32 model. In person the silver model is really impressive, more-so than the onyx with the brushed look and nice contrast on the side profile of the Zune. The screen is vibrant for color and the OLED display is very bright even from sharper viewing angles. Overall during video playback everything was smooth and very well rendered, colors on the screen didn’t face patching or gradients although really much of that depends on the source material.
The unit was also plugged into a TV using the AV dock and HDMI, the playback on screen was great although thumbnails were a bit low resolution being extremely blurred in large scale, the dock seemed to work but there was an audio issue with the display system at Best Buy, so if it was a store issue or a device problem we don’t know. Chances are the HDMI audio works fine and it was just the HTiB setup they were using, they were trying to figure out how to use the standard stereo cables but I never saw any progress from there. The unit seems to deliver on all fronts, 720p playback over HDMI, high contrast brilliant color from the OLED screen and new features as well. Those familiar with the original AV system can rest assured that the functions haven’t changed and the remote handles things just the same.
Overall the unit is sexy, slim and powerful to say the least given that’s powered by NVIDIA. Hopefully we get to check out the unit, we were on the list early back in May 2009 and now Microsoft’s PR division has taken to giving us the run around about how demand is so high now for review units and we should have gotten in touch earlier (WE DID, BACK IN MAY 2009). Hopefully their team doesn’t fail horribly, it would be a shame to intentionally botch their review units to those who acted fast.
Atlus dropped word that their puzzle game Droplitz on Steam has hit 1.99 for the weekend. The game is much like Pipe Dream in a sense, players guide the drops coming from the top section to the appropriate containers and earn chains of points from there. Nothing too complex and something easily worth a few dollars. If you have the means and the desire I’d suggest picking it up, casual games always have had a place with the community and this is just an example of how something simple can pass some time without causing a brain hemorage.
Nothing like cool clips from the latest hot games. Check out our mini gallery of Dragon Age: Origins videos from Gamescom 2009. Some story on the City of Haven is provided by the folks at BioWare:
Some years ago, a lone traveler paid a visit to a tavern in Denerim, and after imbibing a great quantity of ale related a tale of his travels to the tavern-keeper. The traveler claimed to have stumbled upon a strange village high in the Frostback Mountains. The village was peaceful, he said, and the villagers polite, if a little aloof. They fed him and watered his horse, and then urged him to be on his way. When he lingered too long, suddenly their mood changed. Their faces grew cold and knives appeared, and the traveler was told that what was to happen next “was done in Andraste’s name and for the good of all.” He fled in a panic and could not afterwards retrace his path. The traveler took a room at the tavern and yet never slept there. He disappeared that night and was not heard from again.
DLC is always a sketchy thing for Rock Band, sometimes a player gets some great artists and other times it makes you regret even looking. This week a few personal favorites arrived on the DLC slated for next week.
· Billy Idol – “Mony Mony”
· Billy Idol – “Rebel Yell”
· Fleetwood Mac – “Don’t Stop”
· Fleetwood Mac – “World Turning”
· Jet – “She’s a Genius”
· Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down”
· Tom Petty – “Runnin’ Down a Dream”
Billy Idol is great and the fact that I can destroy my vocal chords trying to sing like him in any capacity is just a good time waiting to happen. 😀 Look for these tracks next Tuesday in the Rock Band Store.
Always cool when companies come out with shell designs that catch the eye. WaSaBi sent a letter out with their latest updates to their line this year. DSi, DS Lite and PSP owners can rejoice as the company brings high quality hard and soft cases to the masses.
Cases are available immediately on WaSaBi’s website [link] personally I’m liking the Kamon hand wrap case seen here.
It’s a bit hard to review movies, often is it that people go from weighing everything for what it is to putting up benchmarks for everything. I can appreciate a dramatic movie if I’m in the mood for one, watching the scenes and the script flow with grace. I wouldn’t use that piece as a benchmark for expectations and probably never will. With that gem lets jump into G.I. Joe.
The 2009 movie brings a toy series and television show to life using big action sequences, one-liners and plenty of CG to take us into that surreal world that is G.I. Joe. For me the movie played well for what it was, we got a modern feel with nano-technology gone awry in the hands of Cobra. Cobra soldiers and nano-warheads launched into the fray pushing the Joes to their limit, attacks taking place all around the world through the power of Cobra. As with many movies the enemy equipped themselves with the most powerful of weapons and simply through training and execution were the Joes able take on Cobra through each battle that came across their path.
I thought the movie was a decent showing, I saw it and digested it and I didn’t want those hours of my life back. I liked the way they handled the scenarios and the actors weren’t too cheese-ball in how they played the story out. I think the biggest technical frustration was in the application CG. Normally CG can get bad but post-production makes it digestible, some of the early sequences of the movie seemed just poorly handled and broke the immersion.
In the end I would say go and check out the movie at a matinee price if you’re still not sure still. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad movie and it is a decent way to spend a few hours of your day. Just don’t come in expecting some breathtaking story line because if you do you clearly forgot your crazy pills.
Marvel seems to be tightening up their belt a lot this year, reducing interest in movie adaptations, rebooting existing properties and now taking a step back in the gaming realm by doing QA on the games that arrive to market. The quote from Ira Rubenstein was “Actually, wait … we are not doing crappy movie-based games anymore. You can quote me on that.”
Word is that Marvel has been actively watching over Iron Man 2 for development and hopes to raise the bar to levels like with Wolverine, maybe in less of a movie tie-in capacity but still to that action and damage factor. Iron Man for the consoles and pc ended up being a complete nightmare, having a polished horrible handling title for the 360 and PS3 and a PS2 port for the Wii and PC was a complete nightmare that went completely unexplained especially when it came to packaging.
Hopefully Marvel does turn it around, it would be nice to get Super Hero based games that don’t make me want to throw the disc into a fire pit. If we’ll ever get a dedicated BAMFAS review for one is another story, I think our Marvel fan blood might keep us out of the running for now.
DiRT 2 is coming soon to the PC and I’m giddy as heck about it. The series since the original has packed a unique technical flare that games like Gran Turismo haven’t come close to touching, although Forza is pretty nuts and has some great mechanics coming up in their 3rd gen title.
Anywaayy. The point is they have a short video of gameplay from the DX11 engine for DiRT 2 and it looks amazing. If we can link up a review of the game with the Logitech G27 you might lose me for a decade.
Update: It seems the guys at PC Per either had too much traffic or caught flack for posting this up without permission. The file is nuked on Vimeo and on their website as well. :/ if it comes back up I’ll repost it.
Update 2: It’s back online, hosted through Youtube