Updates and more Gameplay

So, Tonight’s the night. I’m going to go see Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Although from reviews that I trust, its going to be a murder spree with a lack of a decent plot. Though, until I post a review for it, and give my thoughts on it, here is some gameplay I streamed. I’ve been using Restream lately to mirror everything to Twitch, Youtube and Hitbox. So I’ll have to start updating my images again to contain both hitbox and Twitch. My friend Rob, also known as Johnny Roughneck on Twitch, Youtube and Hitbox and I played some GTA V.

 

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Updates and a Video

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I feel I should apologize to those who still read my blogs, I just haven’t had the drive to do much with my blog site for a while. I have since upgraded to Windows 10 on my desktop. Before it was just my laptop, and it runs just peachy on there. So far on my desktop its running good, its just a few issues I have to sort out with the permissions on folders, so I can edit and write to them. Then after I have work or school to help fund my hardware, upgrade the motherboard to something actually modern, since Asus hasn’t made any new advancements in their hardware. So MSI it is for that. Then maybe an 8GB video card. So far I’ve upgraded to 16 GB of DDR3 1600 series ram and the PC is happier than simply running 8GB.

I’ll see about posting more gameplay videos. Here is my archive/highlighted video from Twitch. If you want, you can even check me out on http://twitch.tv/coljonsquall1, or if I’m with my friend Drake, over on his stream at http://twitch.tv/gamerguydrake. Here’s the 4 hour stream we did tonight in GTA V.

Note: Due to WordPress wanting me to buy into them, just to embed Twitch videos, all I can do is post the link.

http://www.twitch.tv/coljonsquall1/v/45343211

Windows 10 and some updates

Yes, I’m back and recharged. Sorry I’ve been away for so long. Things have been catching up with me, as I ramp up for school. I know, after 8 years, I’m going back to school. So with new beginnings, I decided to take the plunge and get Windows 10.

Thoughts after working with it for a day

So far, my thoughts on it are that it is better than Windows 8, which is something that was in dire need of improvement. Windows 8 had so many random problems. It was considered the Ball of Randomness, as somethings would work, and some wouldn’t. All the problems, at least so far, have been immediately addressed in Windows 10 and corrected. However, as people have reported, not all issues have been addressed. As with previous iterations, there is one minor issue that is affecting those with small displays with high DPI resolutions.

Previously in laptops and monitors, Pixels were relatively the same size in all of them, and the more you have, the more real estate for optimization on your desktop or home screens for various operating systems. That being said, a recent trend has begun, where with the advent of the smart phone, screens are getting smaller, and as such the pixels within the screens are shrinking with them, allowing for more pixels to be integrated. However, the last OS to really utilize the newer pixel density is Windows. You may encounter this with your high DPI/resolution laptops that have a small screen. Where Windows measures the height of the screen by pixel count, and inputs a resolution that fits the size. However, it does not take into account individual pixel size.

So, when you install Windows 10 on a laptop with a 10 inch screen, that is loaded with the newer micropixels. So your resolution would be like 2560 by 1440, which is cool, but with the way Windows sets itself up, your GUI will think its on a desktop or large screen laptop, where Scale isn’t a factor. On laptops with high DPI/resolution, scale matters, big time. So that fantastic looking screen has the task bar really tiny along with the insanely tiny tray icons.

Windows does have a tool to fix such things, but it was a band-aid measure instituted in Windows 8, and it really only is effective in Microsoft’s apps, and nothing else. Luckily, I don’t have this problem, however a good chunk of the laptop market does. As you may find in a review by Chris Mills of Gizmodo, whom had this with his Dell XPS 13. (Link below).

http://reviews.gizmodo.com/microsoft-forgot-to-fix-one-major-thing-in-windows-10-1720783550

The only issue I found in the copy I secured, was the main one affecting everyone; Cortana. It is still new, however the voice recognition does not work properly, and much like most, you end up with a one-sided screaming match with your device. Personally I find voice recognition only really works in a tablet or smart phone. In a desktop or laptop setting, it’s a really minor thing to have in your ecosystem. Although it does take a large amount of real estate on your taskbar. I tried it for an hour, and it would not recognize my voice, despite going through the voice trainer a few times. So I immediately shut it off.

Now if you’re going to use Cortana on a daily basis, there is some concern to using her/him. Remember how everyone has been up in arms the last few years with Google and its data practices? Well Microsoft has decided to take a page out of their book, by making it a requirement to bind your Microsoft account into the OS, along with turning on all the share happy settings in order to use Cortana. As such, you will have to use your email and its password to log into Windows, instead of your easy default password or no password to access your desktop environment.

Then to be more mobile friendly, they also have a pin you can use. I find it’s all pointless in a normal laptop or desktop anyway. Most of your input with the device will always be faster and more adept with a simple keyboard and mouse setup. It’s not like you’re taking your desktop to a conference and setting it up next to a wall outlet and putting in dictation notes. So I wouldn’t be using it, especially when the only modern mobile device I have is my Nexus 4 from Google, and its voice recognition is almost perfect. If I were to get a Surface Pro or a touch display laptop, I’d consider Cortana, but not in a desktop or traditional laptop setting.

Functionality

Holy hell did they really overhaul the functionality tools. A lot of what made Windows 8 a mess to use, was its tools. The other annoying thing, which did somewhat make the leap to 10, is the duplication of settings in the OS. It’s nice to see the Windows 7 style settings and control panel in Windows 10, but what’s the point of having it there, when you have the new default settings app, which does the same thing. Although you can get more customization out of the old style control panel and its settings than the new one. So there’s this divide between the two.

Along with the functionality upgrades, the new start menu is awesome. They really listened to the community and made a best of both worlds and made a mouse friendly start menu again. Windows 8’s set up was much more catered to a tablet or touchscreen market, than it ever was to the desktop and regular laptop market. Which is why sales suffered immensely. Although with 10 being free and a lot of people having the option for an entire year to upgrade will help in speeding up the app development process, to force an evolutionary change from the Windows 7 applications to the modern age.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Windows 7, and I’m still using it on my desktop, but for my laptop, I barely used it after rebuilding my desktop a couple of years ago. So putting Windows 10 on it, definitely helps me get used to the new environment, while giving new life to my laptop. Which will be needed in the coming school term. Now all I have to do is replace the laptop’s keyboard and onboard fan. Then it should be back at 100% effectiveness.

Anyways, I’ve been rambling on. With Windows 10, it should definitely bring people up to pace, but there are a few things most will have to do in the first set up, to ensure they can remain secure with their data. When prompted to use share-happy services, you have the option before loading the desktop the first time, to turn them on or off. If you don’t want to use Cortana for your desktop, you can turn them off. If you don’t want to log into your email to log into windows, you can turn that off too.

The upgrade process is almost without fault. There will be some issues for early adopters, not all of your files will migrate over, so you may have an error or two pop up when you first load in to the desktop environment. The easy fix is to go into your Windows.old/system32 folder, grab the necessary file, and move it to the new System32 folder. In my case, it was a simple .dll file that prevented my aftermarket sound from working properly. In computers containing Nvidia cards, you may get a bigger error, where Windows will auto install a bad driver, it happens. The fix is one of two options, wait until Microsoft fixes it with a patch, or force it to use the correct driver from Nvidia directly.

The really annoying feature that Microsoft decided to push is for mandatory automatic updates. You cannot opt out of them, which is proving to be shooting them in the foot with this bad Nvidia driver they’re pushing right now. However, if you do not want Windows to auto-restart after finishing updates, and prompt you instead, you do have a setting to do that. Simply go into the new settings in your start menu, go to the updates panel and in the menus, change the Automatic Updates from Automatic to Prompt. This way, if you’re gaming or working on something important, Windows won’t restart you in the middle of it.

I’ll post more updates on Windows 10, after using it for a while longer.

On a side note, I’ll be posting more often, including more reviews and gameplay videos, provided I remember to post the footage. Also more Twitch streaming, and I’ll do what I can to post links on the site, so people can watch.  With that, I’ll sign off and go through the list of reviews yet to come out and start posting them.

Top 5 Most Anticipated Games Of 2015

I know we’re already almost 5 months in, but I feel I can knock this out now, and still be classified as a most anticipated list.

Phantom Pain

Number 5 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

This would be higher on the list, but due to Guns Of The Patriots being such a chore with its odd install choices and days worth of exposition told only in cinematic, I don’t have as high of hopes as many do. Not to mention Ground Zeroes being a glorified demo being sold at near triple A game prices, is sickening. So what if you sit there and go after collectibles for hours on end, if the main story is barely 2 hours long, it’s not worth the price tag. If I wanted something that short, I’d go for an indie title, with stories being shorter, graphics being good and more substance to them overall. Even though Kojima and Konami have promised it will be more open world and less movie, I still don’t believe it will be as good as everyone is hoping.

The Division

Number 4 – Tom Clancy’s The Division

Even though the post-apocalyptic world has been done to death, this game looks very interesting, combining squad based tactics of Tom Clancy games, in a new setting for the franchise, dealing with survival being the primary key. Sure the trailers have pre-loaded actors talking, it still a great atmosphere to get immersed in. Not to mention I tend to enjoy most of the Tom Clancy games out there, so it has that going for it.

No Mans Sky

Number 3 – No Man’s Sky

This game I’m really interested in, even though we only know that it may come out this year. With the game’s procedurally generated worlds and seamless transitions between the surface of one world, into the atmosphere, and into space, before finding another world and setting down. Whether or not it proves to be a huge seller, remains to be seen, but I for one am still willing to see what its like when it launches.

Mortal Kombat X

Number 2 – Mortal Kombat X

I know what you’re thinking, “Why is MKX on here, it’s already out!?” Well yes, it is out, but I have not yet picked it up for monetary reasons. That and I’m waiting for Goro to be released as DLC and the first Kombat Pack to arrive with Predator and the Dillon/Carl Weathers Skin for Jax. I’m getting it on PS4, as I’ve seen the game played on it and really want the game. For me, when it comes to fighting games, I prefer a controller, and the ability to have local multiplayer. As PC versions tends to strip that out. Not to mention PC MKX is totally broken right now, even though it is being fixed.

Batman Arkham Knight - Batmobile

Number 1 – Batman: Arkham Knight

Being a huge Batman and Arkham game fan, how am I not going to get excited for this game? It’s going to be one hell of a ride, being Rocksteady’s final game for Batman in their Trilogy. Keywords there “Their Trilogy.” Some may get confused and think “Wait, there’s 3 other Arkham games out, so this is 4…” Well yes, Origins is in the series, however it has nothing to do with the Rocksteady games, other than the map is being re-used from Arkham City. Arkham Origins was developed internally at Warner Brothers, and not by Rocksteady. Hence why it was underwhelming for some, including me. Sure there are some stand out performances from Deathstroke and The Joker, the game feels incomplete in areas and the early launch glitches broke the game for some.

I ended up picking it up on sale on steam and found it riddled with glitches, from Batman’s cape wrapping itself around his head, to enemies falling through the map. Something that Rocksteady did their utmost to keep out of Arkham Asylum and City. Sure some people did find the odd bug, but Origins has a lot more. However it only gives me hope after seeing the Officer Down trailer for Arkham Knight, that the new one will not only push the graphics to an almost PC level, but give us the Batmobile, as promised by Rocksteady. Also I’m eagerly awaiting a new trailer that’s been listed as being put up this week.

Honorable Mentions: 

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Grand Theft Auto V PC 

Being that I’ve been advocating a PC version for sometime, I pre-ordered the game, something that is considered a Taboo in 2015. I did not regret it, after getting the Day 1 patch, I was able to get the game up and running smoothly, and enjoying all the new goodies in the game. As I also have the PS3 version, which feels stripped out compared to the PC version. Not to mention 1.5 million of in-game currency helps. I’m able to heist now, and have gotten a supercar in the game. As such, I may post a few videos on it over the coming weeks/month.

dragon-ball-xenoverse1

Dragon Ball Xenoverse

This came as a surprise hit for many, and I really want it, but again money isn’t easy to come by in this giant hole everyone is in. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the game played and really want to get it, and it’s definitely worth the wait, as the servers for multiplayer are slowly being patched. Although it’ll be a PC game for me, as the PC version is the most stable, and a lot of my friends already have the PC version.

With that I’ll sign off, look for the Furious Seven review tomorrow, or maybe later tonight. It depends on how much I feel like writing it tonight.

Movie Mania Part 1

Sorry for the 2 month hiatus, been sorting things out offline and online. As such, I’m back with some movie reviews and a little news. I’ll be posting more videos, primarily of gameplay and streaming more on my twitch channel and maybe hitbox. I also had worked for a bit, so I picked up a PS4, so expect a game review or two. Also, I’m splitting these reviews in two, just because there’s 18 movies on this list I want to cover.

As expected with that many movies, they all are very different, so here we go.

Birdman

I loved this movie, granted I am a Michael Keaton fan, but as mentioned in the Robocop 2014 review, I don’t always enjoy the movies he’s in. This is one of the good ones, go see this movie, either rent it or Netflix it. It is worth the watch, Keaton probably should have won the oscar this year, but I can see the others were deserving as well. From start to finish, this movie is complex, dealing with the inner workings of a man torn between what the actors and critics tell him what to do, and what he wants to do. The war between the artistic and intellectual vs the fun and exciting. With an excellent cast, awesome score and fantastic camera work, making the movie with as minimal of cuts as possible. Go see this movie.

The Lego Movie

This movie is great, from the music, the animation, the voice acting and double performances from Will Ferrell, this movie is awesome for both kids and adults. It brings out that creativity and imagination from our childhoods, of picking up those plastic blocks and putting them together in ways the kits didn’t show. I usually would build robots and cars and various things out of Lego. This movie celebrates what its like to be a kid and use their imagination to bring worlds to life. This is a movie worth watching for everyone.

Kill The Messenger

Based on the true story of reporter Gary Webb, as he uncovers reports from various sources into the secret mission of the CIA with rebels in Nicaragua, where the CIA knowingly took drugs and money from the rebels in exchange for weapons to fight their own government. Then turning around and using a middle man to work with drug dealers in various locations in the US to sell to the people. This movie may have been criticized as loosening on the facts in favor of adding Dramatic Tension. So far they haven’t given meaning to their statements. The movie is worth the watch to those that enjoy drama on the screen. With a star-studded cast, delivering great performances across the board. Jeremy Renner gives an awesome performance on-screen. Sure, He maybe Hawkeye in Marvel’s movies, but this is the kind of movie that shows off Renner’s talents as an actor.

The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies

The movie I saw over the holidays, man was it rough. It’s good, but not as good as the previous two. From the start, this book should have been one, three-hour movie, or two of them, but not three. A lot of the scenes feel like filler, even more so than the first movie. They tried to go big with the action in this movie, like they did with Return Of The King. However, it feels like they were banking on the scene to be more epic. It feels like they tried building it too much. A lot of the choices made feel like rehashing of elements from the Lord Of the Rings trilogy. I may actually check out some of the fan edits that cut the fat of the movies, and maybe I’ll enjoy them better. This one just doesn’t deliver, and I can see why. It just didn’t need to be tree movies. There just wasn’t enough meat on the bone to warrant it. Considering its a short novel to begin with.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

A great action movie, even though its source material is of Jack Ryan Jr. As all the previous Tom Clancy movies, featuring Jack Ryan, are all Jack Sr. This one, being based on Jr’s source material, but being given to Sr, is meh in concept, but in practice, turned out pretty well. Chris Pine and Keira Knightley work out great in the movie, along with Kenneth Branagh as the villain. Good popcorn action flick for those that are fans of the Tom Clancy novels and movies. Although the origin story should have been Jr’s instead of Sr’s. I thought Sr’s origin being told in The Sum Of All Fears worked out better in that regard. Although this one works as a standalone. Definitely worth a watch on Netflix or rental.

John Wick

Keanu Reeves is back in the action movie scene with a lot of his crew member friends from the Matrix movies. As the special effects and choreography teams come back to make a hell of a movie. The cast is awesome in the movie too, . including Daniel Bernhardt and Randall Duk Kim, whom had supporting roles in the Matrix Sequels (Bernhardt was the Upgraded Agent that Morpheus fought on the semi truck and Randall Duk Kim was the Keymaker). We also have quite a few guest stars of various TV shows, including Lance Reddick of Fringe, Adrianne Palicki of Agents Of Shield, Bridget Regan of Agent Carter, and Alfie Allen of Game Of Thrones. The movie is a great action movie, with complex and great fight choreography and gun play. Keanu Reeves is a bad ass in this movie, granted the catalyst for his character’s revenge is a bit odd. Although I understand the meaning behind it, some may not. Still a good movie to watch.

Into The Woods

Yes, I watched a musical, even though I’m not always a fan of them. I was curious, as it was a rental my mom wanted to see, so we watched it with my dad over dinner. Although I think he may have passed out watching it. The movie feels a bit too long, and the intertwining storylines work up until a point. The whole giant revenge plot could have been cut from the movie and it would have worked out just as well. Granted it is based on a stage musical, I don’t know if it worked out as an adaptation. Meryl Streep, while a fantastic actress, really felt to me as if she was intentionally hamming up her singing voice for the sake of “Why am I in this Disney movie?” If you like musicals, you can probably watch it and enjoy it. Its something to turn your brain off to as not much thought is needed to watch, much less enjoy this movie. I just didn’t care for it in the end.

Foxcatcher

Definitely worth a watch, if you’re into true stories. Involving wrestler Mark Schultz, (not the stylized wrestling one sees on tv, the sport that is performed at the olympics). It details Mark and his brother, David’s story of meeting with Team Foxcatcher coach, Jon du Pont and working with du Pont, while trying to get into the next olympics and just after. Steve Carrell as John du Pont is chilling, between the effects make up and his performance, makes it scary. As you see a man who wants to be a coach for wrestling, while not knowing very much about it, go from attaining his dream, to fear of losing it. With great performances by Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum, this movie is worth the watch.

A Walk Among The Tombstones

Adapting from the book of the same name by Lawrence Block, tells the tale of private investigator Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson), as he uncovers the truth behind the kidnapping and death of a drug dealer’s wife. It’s a good movie, a nice crime drama to watch. Neeson does good work being the investigator, with a good blend of action and drama. Worth a rent or Netflix watch. Interesting choice for music in the credits, a cover of Sound Garden’s Black Hole Sun. Although not the best cover, but I get what they were going for with a soft piano tune.

with that I’ll wrap this up for now, stay tuned for tomorrow. I’ll post the second half tomorrow