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  • Xbox 360 News

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:19
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Tony Hawk's Project 8
    Publisher: Neversoft Entertainment
    Developer: Activision
    Genre: Sports
    Players: 1-4
    Reviewed on Xbox 360 by gdf

    Over time, it is inevitable that a series will get tired and run out of ideas; especially if it happens to be an annually updated sports game. After a while change is demanded and has to be put in place for the survival and continuation of the franchise, but it can be difficult to make massive overhauls without changing the core experience. This is where the last couple of Hawk games have struggled. 2003's THUG was a natural expansion of the gameplay offered in games 1 to 4 and opened up the world to fans of the series. The sequel, THUG 2, ended up recreating the humour of Jackass with its stupid stunts and rocket powered Segway-riding midgets. After that, it was demanded that the series deviate from this before it became overly tired, but the result was a bit uglier than expected. THAW attempted to be a jack of all trades, but ended as a pathetic loser of most. The skating was put on the back foot as you could nip around the supposedly load free world (loading screens were disguised as suspiciously bland alleys and tunnels linking parts of the world) in a car or BMX; a rather bad idea considering the only consistent name in the series' titles is Tony Hawk, y'know, only the most well known skater on the planet. THAW turned out to be a mini disaster area and there were some doubts over the series' future. Happily, all the wrongs have been righted thanks to THP8, the lastest from Activision.


    From the off it appears a much more skateboardy experience. The environments in the free roaming city are choc full of trick oppourtunities, and much of the joy can be found from simply crusing around, grinding and flipping away. At the beginning of career you create your character, and straight after that it's off to skate. The plot goes like this: Tony is building up a team of the best 8 amatuer skaters he can find (see what they've done there) and he has stopped off in your town. It's up to you to climb from number 200 to the team and this can be done in numerous ways.

    The great thing is that you can go at your own pace and pick and choose what you want to do. There are some missions and competitions which will improve your ranking a good few places and there are also the rather excellent spot challenges, addictive little nuggets of rank boosting fun. They can be activated when you are going about and are just graffitied words on the ground like "grind" or "Jump". The further, higher, or whatever, you go, the better grade you get ("Am", "Pro" or "Sick") and the more rank spots you will gain. the beauty is that even if you fail you can just carry on to your destination or restart quickly. Spot challenges can be tough but great fun at the same time and goals like "break 15 bones" are always welcome.


    This brings me on to the next point of the gameplay: New features. Thankfully, THP8 is bursting at the seams with great new introductions to the series. Most noteworty are the bails, focus mode and the awesome "Nail the trick" er...trick. Bails have been overhauled and you are now able to direct the fall of your skater, bounce him (or her) off the ground and get up quickly. There are some moments of absolute joy when your protagonist goes flying and gets totally smashed up (complete with wince-inducing bone crunch sounds). Focus mode is a more serious but nonetheless useful addition. When the bar at the top left of the screen fills up, you click in the left stick to slow time down, very useful for tricky grinds and manuals or sustaining a combo. To stay in slow motion, you have to keep the bar filled by doing more tricks, so the more skilled you are, the easier a long combo gets. Also, it looks very cool grinding round a level 6 times and landing a million point combo at a snail's pace. The final large addition is the much lauded "Nail the Trick". At any time during play, you click in both sticks to slow time down, but this is different. Instead of keeping control of the skater's body, the camera zooms to his feet, and each stick controls its respective foot. Yet again this is very cool, but good timing and skill are required to land anything more than a one or two trick combo. Most of the time this feature produces some decent points, especially when used as part of a larger combo or in conjunction with focus. These features are great to have and make the skating both more enjoyable and realistic.


    The game's soundtrack is also surprisingly good, with great bands such as Wolfmother, Kasabian and Klaxons all featuring. THP8 also has very tidy visuals and, for a cross-platform title, looks fairly next gen on the 360. Overall, THP8 really takes the series ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 15:46
    1. Categories:
    2. PS3 News,
    3. Xbox 360 News,
    4. DCEmu Reviews
    Article Preview

    XCM HDMI/DVI Crossover Selector
    Manufacturer: XCM
    Site: Buy from Play-Asia / Buy from Divineo US / Buy from Divineo China / Buy from Goldenshop
    Price: $49.00-$69.99


    Overview : A 5 in 1 video selector: 4 HDMI and 1 DVI input with 1 HDMI and 1 DVI output. Also features a unique extra audio plug and socket to connect to a loudspeaker.

    Play any HDMI or DVI source at 1080p on your compatible TV or PC with this plug and play selector with unique features like being able to connect to an amplifier and extra speakers for perfect sound matching the quality of the image, or the included DVI-HDMI converter.

    Features :
    • Input: 4 * HDMI, 1 * DVI
    • Output: 1 * HDMI, 1 * DVI
    • DVI-HDMI converter included
    • Easy to set up
    • Compatible with HD Televisions
    • Compatible with VGA/PC screens
    • Audio socket to connect to amplifier/extra speakers
    • 1080p resolution
    Quality/Usability : The XCM HDMI/DVI Crossover Selector is designed to allow you to toggle between four (4) HDMI and one (1) DVI. If you havent noticed, as more and more devices such as HDTV's, HD cable, satellite boxes, DVD players (Blu-Ray and HD-DVD), they are now incorporating HDMI and DVI. As more people get into high def, they will have more and more devices but are only limited to a certain amount of inputs on their devices.

    The selector is made of durable plastic. The top of the Crossover Selector has five switches (4-HDMI, 1-DVI). On the right and left side is a HDMI IN and Left and Right Audio IN. The front has two HDMI IN and L & R Audio IN as well as a DVI IN and L & R Audio IN. The back has a DC IN to plug the AC adapter into and a HDMI OUT and L & R Audio OUT. This is connected to your TV/monitor.

    Setup is plug-and-play. Simply plug in the cables, select the port and you're good to go! If you have more than one device that uses DVI, you can also use those DVI devices so as long you use the appropriate adapter. If your monitor uses DVI, the Crossover Selector comes with a DVI to HDMI adapter so you can connect it to the device. When a device is in use, an LED is lit up to let you know which one is in use.

    Testing with a Sony PlayStation 3, XBox 360 Elite and HD-DVD Player and a Dell PC that uses DVI, all devices switched without a problem. I did not notice any quality downgrade. Even upconverted DVDs worked without a problem. What makes the Crossover Selector stand out from some of the HDMI selectors is that you are able to connect audio cables to the selector.

    Connecting to TV
    http://www.youtube.com/v/QhKOIBD0ql0" width="425" height="350"

    Connecting to monitor
    http://www.youtube.com/v/irdoe_SG__Q" width="425" height="350"

    Conclusion : Overall, the XCM HDMI/DVI Crossover Selector worked flawlessly. The ability to connect audio cables to the selector and to a home theater system is a big plus in our books. It would have been nice if it included a remote that lets you switch between the devices instead of having to manually switch to the device you want to use. Those who live in the US or outside of Europe will need to power adapter converter that will fit their outlet. The included power plug has three prongs.

    Images via comments ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 15:23
    1. Categories:
    2. PS3 News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Xbox 360 News,
    5. DCEmu Games Reviews

    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    Game of the Year Edition
    Review


    Developer: Bethesda Softworks
    Publisher: Bethesda Softworks/ZeniMax | 2k Games





    =========================================

    Intro:

    Here we have the fourth installment of the Elder Scrolls Saga, and probably one of the most anticipated and biggest one to date.
    The game of the year edition of Oblivion which I purchased for $59 (USD) which was a bargain compared to buying all the expansion that come with it alone.

    Ive got the 360 version but all versions should be the exact same no matter what.

    ==========================================

    Notable Awards:
    • 2006 PC Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2006 Xbox 360 Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2006 RPG Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2006 Overall Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2007 PS3 RPG Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2007 RPG Game of the Year (Shivering Isles)
    • 2007 Best DLC Xbox 360 (Shivering Isles)


    =========================================

    Genre:

    It is a First Person Role Playing Game (no thats not a joke , it pulls it off very well )

    =========================================

    Players:

    The game is 1 player only (no multiplayer doesnt hurt this game)

    =========================================

    This edition comes with:
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (main game)
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine (exp pak)
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles (exp pak)


    =========================================

    Overview:

    You begin the game in a cell and for some reason there is a secret escape way in your cell in which the emperor of all the land comes to use it to escape assassins (mythic dawn) and for some reason he lets you come along for the ride [I dont know what crimes the original character committed beforehand but you were gonna rot in the cell until you die...]

    Anyway the emperor gets asasignatied along the way and now before his last breath he entrusts you with the Amulet of Kings to give to the next heir, you are omitted of all your crimes and set free.

    Now out of jail and can virtually go anywhere, do anything, explore, hunt, go on a killing spree, join clans, do side missions, help out people, be a thief, ect... (I spent over 110hrs just doing side missions O_O )

    The amount of customization of also very huge.
    You will be able to select your race, birth sign, as well as change how your face looks and how your stats are (each race has its own abilities choose wisely...)

    =====================================

    Gameplay:

    The Game Play is very smooth, no lag which is surprising for how big the outside world is (like GTA:SA)
    The FP controls also handle very well (you can also switch to third person, but its better with 1st person imo)

    =========================================

    Graphics:

    The Graphics are Superb:
    I mean look at these and tell me there not...?









    if you still dont get it
    it looks amazing, especially for an RPG

    More pics can be found here:
    http://plume.dk/oblivion.html

    ==========================================

    Audio / Sfx:

    The audio is also very good featuring a very rich classical score , that you really dont get bored off.

    Other sfx are also very well done and sound realistic from swords bouncing off a metal shield to animal noises and well as monster sounds, and voice acting, not the rinky dink acting we usually get from games that they just took people off the street walking by and paid them like $50 to do it. You can tell a lot of time and effort was put into the audio and sfx for this game.

    ==========================================

    Replay Value:

    I dont think anyone can actually finish the game to replay, though you might be interested if you chose another race and made different choices...

    ===========================================

    Conclusion:

    Overall this game is amazing, its huge, and just plain epic
    From every little detail, including gfx, sounds, missions, items, quests, ect...
    (I have plugged in over 180hrs and still havnt beat the main quest (I did finish one of the expansion packs, Nights of the Nine which was very good)

    ============================================

    Pros:
    • Amazing graphics
    • Excellent Voice Acting
    • Open Ended Story
    • Includes 2 Expansion paks adding 200+ hrs to game play
    • Customization
    • Miles and miles of explorable area
    • Breathtaking landscapes


    Cons:
    • May not be for everybody
    • A couple of the other small expansions could have been included
    • Some weird glitches tend to occur sometimes ruining the whole game (must start a new game)


    ============================================

    Final Score: