Axiom Verge - PC Review

This homage to Metroid does not just respect the formula - it improves it

Order of Battle: Pacific - PC Review

Surprise - but this is one of the best strategy games of 2015 so far

Gratuitous Space Battles II - PC Review

Get ready for lots of strategic space combat - your time will be well spent

MLB 15: The Show - PS4 Review

It is still the best game of baseball on the market, though the improvements from last year are minimal

Sayonara UmiharaKawase + - PS Vita Review

A challenging platforming title that gets an update for the Vita - but has it aged well?

Friday, September 9, 2011

PlayStation 3 Call of Duty: Black Ops PrecisionAIM Controller Review

PlayStation 3 Call of Duty: Black Ops PrecisionAIM Controller by Madcatz was a controller my dad found used and in perfect condition at Gamestop the other day for $25. Why was he looking for a new controller? Not because he's big into FPS games - in fact he doesn't play those at all. He wanted it for Marvel Pinball. *pauses as you take that in*

Thing is, my dad broke his wrist playing basketball with me, my best friend and his dad over a decade ago, and sometimes it still bothers him - especially when playing video games when he's gripping it too tightly. The form factor and angle of the Sony Dualshock controller just bothers him after awhile, so we have been looking for a new controller for him and after a lot of looking, found one that looks like it is a winner for him.

The features:

The grips have a rubbery feel to them (with some cool Black Ops design to them) that he feels is much better than the Dualshock controller - and he picked up a rubbery skin for one of his controllers recently and he likes this one's grip better as well.

Combat/precision aim - there are new buttons on the underside of the controller that can replace the need to press down on the left/right sticks (sprint/melee) and can be 'flipped' over to precision aim to slow your aim and try to make you more accurate.

'Quick fire triggers' - the top shoulder buttons are a bit 'squishier' than the typical controller and are designed to 'shoot' just a bit more quickly.

2.4 GHz wireless

Red backlights to the analog sticks

Rechargeable internal battery

So, what were our thoughts on the controller?

- My dad: he likes the grip a lot better - the texture is more to his liking and the rubberized texture feels better to him as well.

- My son: he likes the glowing backlights to the analog sticks and the appearance of the controller, but he did not feel it was as responsive as a Dualshock

- Now, my full thoughts:

* Pros:

- I really liked the combat/quick buttons on the bottom, though I used them for sprint/melee only - I did not find it convenient to simply switch it back and forth between those and the aim feature. Still, those under buttons are far better than having to click down on the right-left sticks.

- It is a very cool-looking controller. I like the art on it, and the backlit sticks look neat in the dark.

- The rubberized texture feels really good in my hands and the analog sticks seem very responsive - I didn't noticed any dead zone on them.

- The wireless worked well and I didn't experience any lag with it.

* Cons:

- The directional pad doesn't seem quite as good as the Dualshock one in my opinion.

- Not a fan of how the start/select buttons are laid out as they are set up on top of and under the PS button, instead of the right/left of

- You need to keep something of a direct line of sight to the USB dongle. It's way too easy to get it out of 'range' and have it drop signal. It works great in my den where the PS3 is a few feet away, and that's the room I use it in most, but in the other rooms you can sometimes lose connection.

* Other notes:

- The trigger buttons bugged my son, but they didn't bother me at all. They were a bit 'squishy' feeling, but they were very responsive, which is the key.

- The analog sticks are rounded on the top - I prefer a concave design myself as it's a bit more comfortable/less likely to slip, but their texture worked fine - I never actually slid off of the nubs.

- Seems to hold a good long charge - I played about four hours straight with it and never had to recharge it during that time.

Final thoughts:

I need a new controller as my youngest accidentally broke the shoulder buttons on one of my Dualshocks by dropping it on the kitchen floor recently, and this one rings in just a shade cheaper than the Dualshock. I will probably consider picking this controller up as it suits my needs, but I'd love to catch it used like my dad did or onsale for $10 less - something along those lines. I'd score this controller a 7 out of 10. It's good, but not perfect.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gaming Thoughts... 9/6/11

I've been slowly chugging through a pretty large backlog of games, not only in terms of playing the games, but blogging about them. I've been trying to keep up a pace of posting about every 3 days. Aside from all of the reviews and newer stuff I've posted about, I have plenty of other games I've been revisiting as well.

I recently got my wife a Sony Bloggie and got a PSN $20 card with it, so I got my grubby mitts on Heroes of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes - which has been a fun little puzzle/rpg hybrid. I've also recently downloaded and started to replay Record of Agarest War on the PSN (this was one of my earliest reviews on here, for the 360, and I had said I enjoyed the game despite its many technical shortcomings) - and I have to say I think I'm enjoying my current go-round more than my original one. At $30 you get a lot of gameplay out of it if you enjoy the formula, and now that I have a newer PS3 with more HD space, I can actually download more games to my drive.

Speaking of purchases for my wife that has benefits for me, I got her a new HP computer about a week and a half ago, and it came with a free Xbox 360 slim. I also had access to a cheap 250 GB hard drive for the slim, which is going to give me to opportunity to play and purchase more stuff for my 360 soon - my old 20 gig HD on my 360 was completely full (like 40 mbs left full) - I have some designs to get some more play time w/ DLC for Dragon Age and Mass Effect games, so I'm hoping to post on those.

Another side-project I had started was breaking down a lot of the PS Home content after the PSN came back up early this summer - but I read an article recently that said Sony's going to completely redo Home, so I never bothered finishing that project. I'll post my thoughts on it very soon, but I never got to complete it.

With my dad up and visiting, I've been playing some games I haven't touched quite as much of late like Peggle and FX/Marvel Pinball. That's going to lead me to another review here soon as well - my next post actually.

Neat trick on Peggle. I've gone to #1 in the world on one board and #2 in a couple of others, top 20 on a few - using the Rabbit. What's my trick? Well, it involves a ton of luck, but I'll share it. I realized that the last orange peg when you finish a map is worth a ton of points, so I try to leave 1 or both green pegs for right at the end, and then hope I hit the triple score. Then, whatever you get for the orange pegs plus the final 'point bucket' gets tripled. On my final shot on the map I took #1 on, I got over 350,000 points on that last shot as a result. There's a lot of factors that go into it, but I am up on 2nd place by more than 100,000 points. Cool trick I learned, figured I'd share.