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Trends of this Generation: Waggling with motion controls

Feb 11 // Daniel Starkey
I started thinking about all of this a few weeks ago, wondering what trends and innovations would be influential for gaming. What will forever change the face of this industry as we know it? After some discussions with the rest of the staff here, we’ve got it down to a list of a few things whose impact will probably be with us for some time to come.   Motion Controls The Wii, Kinect and Move. If there’s one development that could really sum-up this generation, motion controls might be it. It started back in ’06 with the release of Nintendo’s Wii. Instead of trying to keep up with the graphical race between Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo chose to use an innovative control mechanism, banking on the idea that developers would use it to create games that were compelling enough to draw in casual gamers and the core crowd alike. It worked, more or less. At just under 100 million units, the Wii is still *technically* the most successful console from this generation. I say technically, because Wii sales have been largely stagnant for a couple of years, giving both the PS3 and 360 quite some time to catch up. Early on, however, no one knew how the whole thing would play out. Initially, the Wii was selling so fast that it looked like it was a real contender to surpass the PlayStation 2. The other two companies, realizing the mass appeal of motion controls, Microsoft and Sony moved to produce peripherals that would give their respective consoles functionality that rivaled that of the Wii. At E3 2009, Kinect and Move were shown for the first time. While each unit was met with different levels of success, they were indicative of something more -- a desire to simplify, to cut back on the growing complexity of traditional console controls. For all of its imperfections, motion controls allowed easy translation of subtle, nuanced movement between player and the screen. Games like Wii Sports and Dance Central rode the wave of popularity and saw pretty substantial success. Kinect showed, for the first time, that a peripheral not initially bundled with a console could not only be financially viable, but see incredible mainstream acceptance, selling over 8 million units in the first 60 days and setting a world record for the fastest selling consumer electronics device ever released. While it’s not certain whether the "Nextbox" or the PS4 will keep up with the motion control standard, but the Wii U, the first console of the 8th generation, has already taken the legacy of its predecessor and built upon it. Microsoft has also been unusually dedicated to Kinect, and I honestly don’t see them dropping that support anytime soon. This is perhaps one of the most pernicious and frustrating new bits of tech I’ve seen in some time. I’ve written before about the need for games that are open and accessible to people who may be differently abled, and that sentiment hasn’t changed. Motion controls, indeed, can be very helpful for some individuals, but it seems that more often than not it is a restriction. Playing the Wii for example can be tiring, even if it just means holding your arm in one specific place for extended periods of time. Motion controls, more often than not place an additional barrier between the player and the game.  Standard console controls have been fine-tuned for years and it’s pretty rare to see even the worst games completely screw them up. Anytime a new Kinect or Move game comes out, however, the first and most important discussion that’s had is whether or not the controls are even competently implemented. The simple act of not screwing something up is now seen as an exceptional accomplishment because just being okay is the new bar. Maybe I’m wrong, but within the past few years I haven’t seen anything pull off new control schemes quite as well as games like Wii Sports or Dance Central, and they are meant for very general audiences and are very liberal with what kinds of movements they will accept as being correct. This tech isn't really ready for prime time and probably won’t be for a while- not to the degree required to justify the cost. When I was young, my mom told me that eventually all games would be controlled with the whole body. Even back then, I knew that was a bad idea. I’m not necessarily against change in the abstract, but at no point have I seen anything that justifies two expensive add-ons and an entire console that’s a generation behind. Creativity on the part of the developers brings innovation. Messing with the most fundamental aspect of a machine (its interface) undoes everything people have learned since gaming has… been. People can say what they like, but this is one shift that gives me a lot more stress, physical pain, and hours of frustration than it should have. At the end of the day, ask yourself- do you want Red Steel or do you want Portal? [image courtesy of SlamDunk! Studios , I'm a Gamer Too, and Kotaku Australia]
Motion Controls photo
Many embarassing Facebook images later
If current estimations are to be believed, the current console generation will be the longest we’ve seen in the history of gaming. As of right now, just a little less than one-third of my life fits between November 16, ...

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Sins of a Dark Age

First video of Ironclad's new game Sins of a Dark Age


It's good, not great
Jan 28
// Daniel Starkey
Ironclad, the folks behind critical darling Sins of a Solar Empire, have been hard at work on what they claim will be a reinvention of the MOBA as we know it. Last year I got a chance to take a look at a few early builds...
ME3 DLC tease? photo
ME3 DLC tease?

Mass Effect 3 downloadable content teased, I think


Let's hope it's better than Omega
Jan 28
// Daniel Starkey
The fact that BioWare isn't quite done with Mass Effect 3 has been known for some time. Today however, we have our first set of screenshots which include a casino, apparently on the Citadel, and a krogan with what looks to be...
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Majora's Mask Remix album set to launch as the world ends


You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?
Dec 20
// Daniel Starkey
If you've been even tangentially connected with anything resembling internet culture within the past... I dunno several years, then you're probably aware of the fact that there's a decent chunk of society that thinks that the...

Review: Designears

Dec 14 // Daniel Starkey
There’s a rabid individualism that sort-of pervades modern western culture. I can’t be said to be against it, because I totally get it. I’m an egotistical ass sometimes. I love my stuff and I’m prone to being more than a little obnoxious about it. I wear a lot of clothing with logos, I have a Dtoid sticker on nearly everything I possess, etc. So I definitely understand why people might want to loudly declare dedication to one thing or another and as an avid lover of all things audio, I have a dozen sets of circumaural beasts that I use almost constantly. That in mind, Designears seem almost tailored to me. The selling point here is the ability to slap whatever image or logo you want on a pair of headphones, so when you’re strolling around, going about your day, everyone can see that you’re into cupcakes and green robots. The “design” part of Designears is totally fine. The image they print is covered with a rubbery plastic which feels higher-quality than I expected and is resistant to scuffs and scratches. Mr. Destructoid’s face wasn’t pixelated or washed out at all, and presumably that same attention to detail will be pretty consistent.  Unfortunately, my praise ends there. Wait… no… the carrying case is actually really nice. Yeah, now I’m done. When you pick up the set, Designears’ biggest problem is immediately apparent -- they are cheaply made. It’s something I would expect from a tweaking pack of five-year-olds given a year’s supply of paste and Popsicle sticks. It’s bad. Made entirely of plastic, the phones creak and strain when any significant force is applied. The set has no weight, either.  When holding them with one finger, they still feel so completely insubstantial that I’m honestly left wondering how they work at all. Putting them on is an even bigger disappointment. Designears are halfway between being supra aural and circum, and they come off as a poorly constructed unholy hybrid of the two. They isolate no outside noise and they leak worse than any set I’ve ever heard. On the inside of the earcup there’s this foam-like… thing that hits the top arch and ridges of my ears. Its scratchy and horribly uncomfortable for any length of time. The leatherette cups aren’t much better, and they rotate freely, not at all properly connected to the base. The frame and connecting pieces aren’t up to snuff, either. Most adjustable headphones have a kind of light locking mechanism that keeps the piece from sliding around too much. Again, Designears fails as the cheap plastic pieces are incredibly stiff and a pain in the ass to move or adjust at all. Similarly, the frame doesn’t have much give in the coronal plane, meaning that wider-headed folks like me are almost squeezed by the plastic trying to return to their natural shape. But as stiff as they are, I’m afraid to apply any real force to them for fear that they’d shatter in my hands. The foam underside of the headband is also held on with a very cheap, very weak double-sided tape. As I checked to see if the cord was user-replaceable, I discovered what the most offensive fault in these headphones is, to me. The cable runs out of a small hole on the left ear cup -- pretty standard for these things. On the right cup, though, the exact same hole is in the same spot. The manufacturers were so lazy that they simply didn’t make more than one kind of cup. Build quality matters. It does. Especially when consumers start dropping some real money. If you’re going to put cash down, then the product should be able to last for a while. When people make shoddy hardware and charge above what they are clearly worth, it shows a profound lack of respect from the customer. If the piece sounded incredible (I mean ridiculously awesome) then most of these things could be forgiven. But, as you’ve probably already guessed -- they simply don’t. Somehow, they are bass-heavy without any of the crisp definition that I’ve come to expect. Everything is muddled and quiet, without any of the pop or life media deserves. And it should be more than a little indicative that this is all I can think to say about it. Here’s the bottom line -- if you’re vain enough that all you need from these things is a pretty picture of your choosing and you happen to have $70 lying around, then you’re good. Go buy them and be on your merry way. Otherwise, just find a place to print out your own stickers and plaster them on whatever it is you’re using to listen to Taylor Swift, the Ting Tings, or whatever.
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Customization can only get you so far
It’s not very often that I get a chance to review something bad. It’s even rarer for me to come across headphones that I just hate. Truth is, most things that you spend $50 or more on are pretty good. Mediocrity c...

Review: Mass Effect 3: Omega

Dec 07 // Daniel Starkey
Mass Effect 3: Omega (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed], PC)Developer: BioWarePublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: November 27, 2012MSRP: $15.00 / 1200 Microsoft Points Regardless of how you feel about the Mass Effect 3 ending or anything that’s happened since, it’s hard not to acknowledge the incredibly vocal fan base that the series has picked up over the past few years and the apparently very dedicated development team that does its best to keep active lines of communication going between the two. It really is a fascinating dynamic that doesn’t have a parallel. As a member of that rabid fan base, Omega puts me in an uncomfortable position. It would be easy of me to say “If you liked ME3, then you’ll like this because it’s more of the same” and just walk away. But, I don’t really think that’s fair. Omega is like bacon -- its biggest weakness is trying to enjoy it by itself. It needs to be a part of larger whole that helps highlight the delicious smoky flavor and reduce that feeling of fatty grossness. See, Mass Effect is a series that distinguishes itself through narrative and character development. Its combat, while competent, was never spectacular. The meat and potatoes is the subtle ways in which all of the characters interact, being able to take squad mates with you to interesting locales, hear their input, and watch how they interacted with other members of your crew and the people around you. These small touches give the characters believability and relatability that they otherwise wouldn’t have. [embed]239330:45899[/embed] Everything within the Mass Effect universe is iterative. To fully appreciate Mass Effect 3, you need to have played Mass Effect 2 and the same could be said for ME2 and ME1. Those of you who played Mass Effect and then completed ME2 and its expansion, Lair of the Shadow Broker, will understand exactly what I mean. Without the previous experience with the Shadow Broker as a mysterious entity, and without the experience of having Liara T’soni with you, the entire plot of LotSB would lose some of its meaning. The other two bits of DLC with Kasumi and Zaeed fall short specifically because they haven’t been established. That’s Omega’s failing. The DLC opens with Aria T’loak, something of a president of the lawless, asking Commander Shepard to help retake the city-asteroid Omega from a rogue militant faction called Cerberus. If any of this is more than a refresher bit for you, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this and might want to consider turning back. Aria is a somewhat established character (more so if you’ve read the books), but she never accompanied Shepard, never got the steady development that your other squad mates have. Add to that the fact Aria’s completely unlikable and this leads to a relatively bland narrative arc. Unfortunately, the gameplay itself can’t be said to be too much better. To be fair, I’m coming into Omega after spending entirely too much time sipping the metaphorical kool-aid of the annual, autumnal wave of vapid-though-polished modern shooters. I feel that has colored my expectations a bit more than I’d otherwise like to admit.  Back in March, when ME3 was the only shooter-esque thing vying for my attention, I didn’t really have any recent action-heavy titles to compare it to. It was an improvement upon its predecessor and that was, at the time, all I needed. Now, I worry that the controls aren’t as precise and tight as they could be, and that maybe, the only really innovative part of Mass Effect 3’s action sequences are the various powers available to Shepard and her squad mates. For those that aren’t at all bothered by the slightly mediocre gunplay, there are a few new enemies that are fun twists on creatures with which we are already familiar. It’s enough to keep the feeling that we’ve seen it all before at bay, but not much more. Coming away from Omega, I see so much missed potential. For me, the city was easily one of the most interesting locales explored in the series. It represented a loose, but functional collection of the galaxy’s lost and lawless -- y’know, the kind of people that make life fun. There’s also brief, half-baked drama between Aria and an old friend of hers that will be almost completely lost on anyone who hasn’t kept up with the Mass Effect books. Given that it’s the single best reason to grab the expansion, I can’t honestly recommend Omega to anyone but the most hardcore of the Mass Effect fan base. 
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Maybe we shouldn't take this back
Omega is the second of the “post-Extended Cut” bits of single-player DLC for Mass Effect 3. The series and the community that has been built up around it have been taken on a wild ride over the past several months. There’s been a lot of exciting bits and a few disappointments. Unfortunately, Omega can take its place among the latter.

Review: Derrick the Deathfin

Dec 03 // Daniel Starkey
Derrick the Deathfin (PS3)Developer: Different TunaPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: October 10, 2012MSRP: $7.99D the D opens with a short cutscene showing the death of Derrick’s parents. That’s right up there with a kidnapped lover among the most common motivations for a hero. The culprits in the case are the non-too-subtle “M.E.A.N. Corporation” that gives rise to a huge pile of tongue-in-cheek political and social satire. As the eponymous cardboard shark you’ll be blowing up oil rigs and ships carrying toxic waste in a blind rampage against the corporation, though it always seems like you’re doing more harm than good, regardless of intention. In Derrick’s quest to avenge the meat-ification of his parents, he traverses the oceans surround several continents. In each area there’s also one or two “bosses” which consist of a unique, albeit very easy puzzle that typically results in the destruction of some kind of heavy industrial equipment.[embed]239681:45961[/embed] Each area of the world has a theme that subtly and roughly represents the aquatic life of its respective continent. For example, there are tons of crocodiles in the oceans surrounding Africa as well as squid near Asia. It’s a light-hearted and vaguely logical mechanism to introduce different enemies and foodstuffs for the young shark to eat. Friendly and inviting, nearly everything in the environments is personified with awkward or hilarious faces that clearly indicate someone’s been smokin’ da ganja. Its charm is remarkably saccharine, despite the subversive message behind it all. Initially I thought that Derrick was just graphically impressive, but while looking for screenshots and artwork to include in this piece, I learned that the game is papercraft. Not just inspired by one of the more popular nerd hobbies these days -- the characters environments, and effects are all made by people taking actual pictures of folded-paper analogues. It's pretty awesome stuff and definitely impressive to see that kind of care and effort put into the title. With that, Derrick’s visual style feels very much inspired by a fusion of earlier cel-shaded titles like Viewtiful Joe and Yoshi’s Story. The world is bright and colorful with a smattering of “BLAM!”, “CRUNCH!” and “SNAP!” for effect. Speaking of which, Derrick, being a shark, eats fish, lobsters, crabs, and the like for health – which quickly depletes automatically as you move through a course. In many cases, there will be a very clear trail of fish to follow through the course, but some levels amount to little more than a giant, confusing maze. You’re left to wander aimlessly, and because health is directly tied to the food available, I died a few dozen times simply because I took some wrong forks in a path. Progress is almost never based on the skills you’ve acquired and applied so much as it is simple knowledge of the map. None of my deaths ever felt fair. I came away from each with a mild annoyance at some of the more misleading paths.  Thankfully, these moments, while frustrating, weren't too common. That said, they are compounded by a very loose control scheme. Super Meat Boy this ain't. To a degree, I can understand the design choice. Derrick drifts slightly around corners and always slides just a bit past where you intend to stop. It definitely gives the feeling that you’re piloting a super-fast shark through tight quarters, but it can lead to a few really annoying mistakes that cost valuable time – especially when you’re already running low and frantically looking for something to eat. In hindsight, I don’t feel like I was any better at Derrick when I finished than I was when I started. I feel like that can be forgiven, though. I enjoyed the music, the aesthetic and the ability to munch on wandering divers. I could also see fans of the 2D Sonic games really getting into this as it definitely has a lot in common with the Sega Genesis titles. It’s pretty short overall, but will take players quite a while to figure out the perfect path to take to guarantee a gold medal in each world. I milked about 4 hours from the thing – pretty middle-of-the-road for a downloadable title, but I could see it lasting someone else much longer. Ultimately, Derrick’s lifespan as an entry on your “currently playing” list will depend directly upon how much of a completionist you are. Derrick the Deathfin is an easy recommendation for anyone who likes their platformers with a unique flare. Its self-referential humor and topical environmental humor are more than enough to give it a personality that you won’t find outside Banjo-Kazooie.  
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I didnít know eating people could be so satisfying
So… have you ever wanted to be a cardboard shark hellbent on taking down “the man” and all his dirty, environment-destroying machines? Yeah it’s not something I ever really thought about eit...

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The Daily Hotness: WOOP WOOP


Check out everything Destructoid did today
Nov 16
// Daniel Starkey
So... I did a feature that I thought was pretty fantastic, and our staff played against SOE in Planetside 2... sooo yeah we're basically the most awesome people ever. Destructoid Original: Podtoid 227: Dr. Mario with a B...

Four things I'd like to see in Halo 5

Nov 16 // Daniel Starkey
That seems so long ago now. After finishing Halo 4, I must admit -- I was very impressed. The art direction is beyond stunning, the characters are stronger and better written, and the tone has shifted from that of glorified destruction to something more poignant and personal. While still far from perfect, its improvements are substantive enough to give me hope for the next installment. As such, I've come up with four things that I think 343 might want to try for Halo 5. HUGE SPOILER WARNING, PROCEED WITH CAUTION 1. Keep asking relevant questions For over a decade, we’ve guided Master Chief through untold legions of enemies. Throughout all of that, he’s barely shown anything resembling an emotional response. Halo 4’s opening offers some brief insight into the apparent sociopathy of our iconic hero. Halsey, architect of the Spartan super soldier program which spawned the Chief, is seen discussing the near total lack of humanity in her subjects. The audience learns that the UNSC seeks to expand the program, creating more “soulless” Spartans. This scene begs a very interesting question: will genetic engineering, the modification of ourselves, inexorably lead to a loss of our own humanity? It is by no means a novel concept, but within the context of the Halo series, it gives players additional background for the character of Master Chief. It also allows the audience to question whether or not the actions of Halsey are justified, whether there are circumstances under which the horrendously violent ends justify the means. When faced with the potential eradication of every person ever, I can’t say what I would do. It’s a tough question, and while it might feed into the right-wing pro-military narrative, it isn’t necessarily without value, especially if the rest of the story directs the audience to question its own moral stance on the issue. 2. Darker, more psychological story After seeing the trailer for Halo 4 and witnessing some of Cortana’s “episodes,” I began expecting a psychologically driven science-fiction narrative reminiscent of 1960s- and '70s-era film. Admittedly, that might be a bit of a leap on my part, but I thought it would be an incredible new direction for the series. Unfortunately, her mental breakdown was somewhat exaggerated in the trailer. I never got the sense of extreme isolation or the genuine fear that I had hoped would be the core of the new game. Instead, we are only ever given a few outbursts and some forced, if heartfelt dialogue about the consequences of her gradual breakdown. At the end of the campaign, Cortana inadvertently sacrifices herself to help Master Chief survive. In so doing, any hopes of seeing the psychological horror story which I gleefully anticipated were dashed. Briefly. As I began reflecting upon the epilogue, I started wondering if Cortana’s death might begin to weigh on Master Chief. After all that has happened -- after all the destruction and death the Chief has caused -- it would be fascinating for the future of the series if, for once, he didn’t emerge from a challenge totally unaffected. 3. Narrative balance Critics have often accused Halo and pals of promoting the military industrial complex, of fomenting subconscious support for the expansion of the United States’ already robust military program. I’m not here to debate the legitimacy of that claim, but I do think that many modern shooters have neglected to accurately portray the horrors of violence. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was an incredible departure from this trend. Many players will never forget the haunting post-nuke scene about halfway through the game. In it, the player is suddenly given control of a dying soldier and presumed protagonist, as he (i.e. the player) crawls around a burning, irradiated city. This scene is not only emotionally affecting, but it also gives context to the rest of the piece. The post-nuke chapter of the narrative frames the actions of all of the other characters in relation to the restoration of the geopolitical landscape. Halo 4 takes a few steps towards a proper theme, but stops short of delivering on its own promises. Unlike its predecessors, 343 attempts to capitalize on its established characters instead of forcing a melodramatic story about the defense of humanity. Master Chief’s primary goal -- at least for most of the game -- is restoration of Cortana, his partner. Their experiences together follow a theme of mutual trust and cooperation. For those who have played the previous games, the connection between Master Chief and Cortana is already understood, through both the mechanics and the narrative of each title. As such, when the player learns that she is danger, the writers are drawing upon an established relationship. This gives the conflict genuine weight for the player. Regrettably, around two thirds of the way through, the focus shifts from helping Cortana after all of the assistance she’s provided, to stopping a nigh omnipotent being from attacking Earth. The theme returns to incessant, high-stakes action, moving away from the more affecting story of Master Chief helping his partner. For Halo 5, I’d love to see a strong, character-driven story. I, as the Chief, have already saved humanity more times than I’d care to count, and that kind of grandiose adventure has lost its impact. 4. An emotionally vulnerable Chief As I mentioned earlier, Halo 4 has started asking bigger questions. “Is it moral to create people just for the sake of warfare?” “What does it mean to be human?” These questions, while important and valuable are, at times, incongruous with the gameplay itself. If we, the audience, begin reflecting upon the content, upon the narrative, and conclude that the actions the developers want us to take are not in line with our choices, we have no recourse. Halo’s gameplay in its current state can only be one thing -- reckless and violent. The argument could be made that up until this point -- Master Chief has never had any reason to question who he is, or why he acts in the manner that he does. Going forward, however, we know that simply isn’t the case. In the epilogue, Thomas Lasky directly asks Master Chief how he is handling the whole situation. If he remains unaffected, if he doesn’t change over time, then he either remains an inhuman, violent monster, or 343 will be passing up an excellent opportunity to use the universe they’ve inherited to accomplish something truly memorable. Ultimately, I’m glad to admit that I was wrong about the series. Halo 4 doesn’t fulfill every expectation, but if 343 uses it as a starting point, and continues to ask tough questions of its audience, I don’t doubt that the series will take several bold steps into truly subversive territory.
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And other reflections on the relationship of Chief and Cortana
I haven’t been a fan of Halo for years. By the time we were asked to “finish the fight,” I had grown sick of the monotony. Reach barely managed to hold my interest past the first half-hour. Everywhere I look...

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The Daily Hotness: Skyfall!


Check out everything Destructoid did today
Nov 08
// Daniel Starkey
So Skyfall comes out tonight... by the time you guys see this, I'll be watching that... so yeah... In other news y'all should totally check out the feature Chad put out earlier today. It's absolutely fantastic and really hear...

Check out these gaming blogs and discover happiness

Nov 05 // Daniel Starkey
Our Special Selections These are the sites that we think are particularly excellent for one reason or another. Critical Distance and Dire CriticKris Ligman contributes to both of these sites on a regular basis. The first, Critical Distance, is a blog dedicated to highlighting other independent blogs. The latter is Kris' personal site and it is fantastic all-around. Nightmare ModeThose of you disillusioned with the growing bond between many game journos and PR folks might be interested in Nightmare Mode. Run by former Dtoider Patricia Hernandez, the site is personal and honest, which is a lot more than can be said for many other sites these days. Awesome Out of 10Several former Dtoiders and their pals contribute to this blog regularly. It seeks to turn the whole notion of numbered scores for games on its head by boiling each game down to a word or phrase... out of ten. Geekdom Venus PatrolVenus Patrol focuses on the visual and aesthetic beauty produced by the games industry. Concept art, screens, and side projects all get a fantastic showcase here. Die Gute FabrikThese guys represent a game studio in Copenhagen. Their team attempts to translate the mechanics of physical games into something new with 21st-century technology. UnwinnableWow... just... wow... The scope of Unwinnable is somewhat ridiculous. There's so much content covering so many different aspects of geek culture you are guaranteed to find something you like here. DorkismsDeeply personal and heavy on the swears, Dorkisms is just as the name implies -- a dorky place with dorky things. General Gaming Brainy GamerAre you a scholarly gamer? Do you enjoy your frag fests with a piping hot cup of the finest herbal tea? Brainy gamer might be your place. They try to look past the superficial and get into the meat of games, criticism, and the culture that surrounds them. Attract ModeA "videogame collective" of artists, designers, journalists, and the like, Attract Mode is best described as a mini Gamasutra with a much more attractive website. TwinfiniteWhen I see the Twinfinite people at conferences, I think of a very young Destructoid. These folks are dedicated and they deserve your clicks. Action ButtonTim Rogers is a person. And this is his blog. Operating without a standard review format, Tim and friends post some of the more engaging pieces of legitimate criticism I've ever read. Great stuff. Rock Solid AudioRun by a former game journo, Rock Solid Audio is a fantastic blog from one Nick Suttner. Beeps and BloopsNot updated very often, Beeps and Bloops is focused on "informed criticism," something that our industry is definitely lacking. GrantlandI'm going to preface this by saying that if you haven't read Tom Bissell's Extra Lives, you should probably go take care of that. This man is a brilliant journalist who happens to be a gamer. His content is fantastic and you need it in your life. Electron DanceIf you like well-thought, intelligent discussions about videojuegos, then this another site you can add to your list of daily bits. Good Games WritingThis isn't so much a news or reviews blog in the traditional sense as it is a place to highlight the best in games journalism. It gave me a smidge of hope amidst the recent Geoff Keighly insanity. It's good to know there are people being awesome all the time, everywhere. Quarter to ThreeQtT is rather close to my heart a website that acknowledges the apparently chronic insomnia of the people who game. Among the sites listed here, this is among the most active and has a relatively high post/day count, so you'll get quite a bit to keep your eyes busy. Themed websites Indie GamesIt follows that some indie game blogs would be about indie games, right? Well this is one of the best. Give it some lovin'. Free Indie GamesThe title says it all. Tiny CartridgeAre you passionately in love with all things DS? Are you sick and tired of not getting all the DS coverage you feel you deserve? Tiny Cartridge has you covered. HookShot Inc.HookShot Inc. is all about cheap, small downloadable games that run $15 or less. If you're a gamer on a budget, or just love PSN and XBLA, this might be your jam. Dead End ThrillsDuncan Harris uses heavily modded games and a pretty solid gaming rig to squeeze all the visually beauty he can from games... then he takes pics. Seriously, if you ever want to see just how pretty some games can get, you should check this guy out. Rockman Corner & The Mega Man NetworkThese blogs are all about Mega Man. I mean EVERYTHING Mega Man. From fan art to music to modern film, these people have an obsession. Our very own Mr. Tony Ponce swears by both, and Destructoid editors are never wrong. We sincerely hope that you'll take a look at some of these sites and give them the traffic and recognition they deserve. If you don't like one, don't worry there's plenty here to keep you occupied for a long time to come.
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Earning our karma
I came across Destructoid back in 2006. At the time, it was barely a blip on the industry's radar. It was just a pack of dedicated bloggers with a rebellious streak. Now, this site has seen at least a dozen of its own graduat...

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The Daily Hotness: Halo seems legit


Check out everything Destructoid did today
Nov 01
// Daniel Starkey
So yeah... Halo 4 is probably pretty good. If you disagree, you're probably wrong because you haven't played. When you have, you are totally entitled to say whatever you want. I'll admit I was incredibly skeptical. I've hated...
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The Daily Hotness: Insert Coin(s)


Check out everything Destructoid did today
Oct 25
// Daniel Starkey
Earlier this week I got a chance to check out the new video game barcade /nightclub here in Minneapolis -- Insert Coins.  This place has pretty much every system, a ton of arcade cabinets and some pretty fantastic specia...

Destructoid's 2012 budget desktop guide

Oct 23 // Daniel Starkey
I'd like to start off by saying that the approach taken with this build is just one of potentially many you could take depending on your individual preferences and budget. I've included some options for components that people might want to switch out for something else to give the list some added flexibility. These builds presume that you already have a monitor, but not a case or a valid copy of Windows. If you do, then you can either put that money toward upgrades here and there, or you can just save a few bucks.  If you've never built a new system before, there are plenty of resources you can use to help guide you through the process. Depending upon your specific needs, however, gaming builds will run much better for longer than the stuff you can get from Dell, HP, and pals. Plus, you have the advantage of knowing more about your system than pretty much anyone else. With that in mind, let's dig in. CPU - Intel Core i5-3550 Quad-Core Processor 3.3 GHz We'll start with the CPU, the brain of your new machine. As the description implies, it is one of the most important parts of the system, and it will dictate a lot of the other decisions you have to make about which parts you will be using. Namely, it can affect the motherboard and RAM, which, in turn, can dictate your selection of video card, hard drives, case, etc. Because of its importance, for this build, we went with the latest generation of quad-core Intel Core i5 processors. Running at 3.3GHz, it's kind of a beast. It'll chew through anything on the market and leaves plenty of wiggle room for upcoming titles. After Market CPU Cooler - Rosewill RCX-Z90-CP As any system builder will tell you, heat is the biggest enemy of computers. Modern PCs throw out positively stupid amounts of heat, and while the heatsink and fan provided by the manufacturer is pretty good, after-market solutions are usually your best bet. Thankfully, aftermarket coolers can be very inexpensive. As long as you pick out a decent brand and it fits within your budget, the exact product doesn't matter too much.  Here we went with a cheap, but reliable option. Motherboard - MSI LGA1155 B75MA-E33 Okay, so now that we have the brain sorted, let's move on to the skeleton, the core of your system: the motherboard.  Everything else from the CPU to your graphics card communicates with every other piece of the system through the motherboard. A bad choice here can bottleneck the rest of your system. More expensive boards have a lot of extra features that can save you some headaches in the long run. Unfortunately, for this setup, we don't have that option. Instead, we'll be balancing price and performance. Like I said before, the motherboard determines what other parts you can use in your system. Now, for this budget build, we selected an MSI Micro ATX.  Memory - Corsair 16GB (CMV16GX3M2A1333C9) Memory is what your computer uses to store programs and documents that it's actively using so it doesn't have to keep pulling all of that information from the much slower hard drive. The more RAM you have, the less your system has to waste time looking for the data you need.  Unlike last year's build, which only had 4GB, we chose to step it up to 16GB. The downside here is that the sticks we selected run a tad bit slower than last year's build.  I've included a faster option with a bit less space if you prefer that route instead.  Storage - OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2 / Seagate Barracuda Green 1TB  The cost of solid state drives has come down quite a bit. Enough that we can reasonably include it in a budget system. We'll be using an OCZ Vertex 30GB. It's a 2.5" drive, so you might need to be a bit careful when installing it in the case, but for our purposes, it will work just fine.  The addition of the SSD is completely optional, but will give you a pretty significant speed boost for booting up your PC and loading whatever programs you choose to install on it. Next, we went with a Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD. At only 5900RPM, it's definitely on the slow side, and if you swap anything out, I would recommend ditching the SSD for a higher RPM HDD. Video Card - MSI Radeon HD 7770 In terms of gaming, your video card will be doing almost all of the heavy lifting. There are two primary companies that make the graphics processors that are built into video cards: AMD and NVIDIA.  The former is generally better on a dollar-for-dollar comparison, while the latter typically heads up the absolute top-of-the-line products. For our purposes, AMD's current-generation 7000 series will be perfectly acceptable. It's one of the faster cards currently available -- especially at that price level. Case - Rosewill Dual Fans MicroATX For a budget build, the only thing we really need to be concerned with for the case is that the size of the motherboard matches. If you wanted to spend a bit more, you could get larger cases that have better airflow, tool-less entry, and a smattering of other handy features that will help you keep your PC in good operating condition.  Power Supply - OCZ ZT Series 550W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Our power supply is going to take the alternating current from your wall outlet and convert it into a smooth direct current. Because the components in a computer are so sensitive, cheaping out here is one of the worst ideas you can have. Not for performance reasons, but for your-PC-will-die reasons (I know from experience). Keeping that in mind, we went with a known brand, OCZ, and opted for one with 80 PLUS certification. That reduces the likelihood that the power supply will wig out and kill your machine, and the 80+ certification means you won't be wasting too much money on inefficiency. Optical Drive - LiteOn IHAS124-04 While this piece is really important, it's not terribly critical which brand you get. If you want, this could be upgraded to a Blu-ray drive, but most people won't need it. As long as you can install all your OS and get on Steam or GoG, you should be good to go.  Operating System - Windows 7 Home Premium Last but not least we have the operating system. As of right now, you're cheapest gaming-focused option is Windows 7. There are other choices, like Windows 8 (which launches on the 26th of this month) and Linux (which has the advantage of being free), but the former will run you a little bit more and the latter almost certainly won't have the same kind of software support you'll want and/or need on your new system.  Full part list and price breakdown: Intel Core i5-3550 Quad-Core Processor 3.3 GHz - $209.99Rosewill RCX-Z90-CP - $9.99MSI LGA1155 B75MA-E33 - $59.98Corsair 16GB (CMV16GX3M2A1333C9) - $65.99OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2 - $49.99Seagate Barracuda Green 1TB  - $69.99MSI Radeon HD 7770 - $124.99Rosewill Dual Fans MicroATX - $29.99OCZ ZT Series 550W Fully-Modular 80PLUS - $84.98LiteOn IHAS124-04  - $19.00Windows 7 Home Premium - $91.99 Sub-total: $816.88Rebates:  $-40.00Grand total (w/ options): $776.88Grand total (w/o options): $610.90 (excludes SSD, 8 GB of RAM, and Windows) 
Build a budget gaming PC photo
Build a respectable gaming PC for under $650
Last year, in preparation for Battlefield 3, Alex Bout created a basic part list that could run the game with moderate settings and a solid frame rate. This year, I wanted to see how much further we could push the specs on more or less the same budget. I was pretty surprised by what I found.

Review: Dynaflo Liquid-Armor

Oct 22 // Daniel Starkey
Included in an order of this strange acetone-scented magic-juice is a microfiber cloth to both clean and help apply the substance, as well as a small spray container about the size of a bottle of breath spray.  To apply, you use one side of the cloth to clear the screen of fingerprints and dust, then spray across the entire surface. Before it dries, spread the liquid with the reverse side of the cloth, wait about ten minutes, and then wipe down with the first side again.  If you finish that process correctly, Dynaflo claims that your screen will be twice as scratch resistant as it would be using a standard screen protector. Allegedly, the coating also helps prevent the build-up of dust and finger prints for up to six months. While I obviously didn't have six months to test this stuff, I did allow my electronics to sit around for a few weeks without their daily dusting, and it seemed to work pretty well. Two televisions that were left side by side showed substantive differences between their respective dust buildups. Fingerprint tests yielded similar results. While it didn't make those annoying ridges on the case of my glossy black tech totally disappear, their severity was noticeably reduced. Testing claims of scratch-resistance was a bit more difficult. I didn't have two identical devices I could try this out on. Instead, I just went about my daily life and waited for the inevitable collision between my phone and the planet.  Thankfully, unlike the last time I dropped my poor Galaxy Nexus, the phone picked up no scratches, and seemed to be completely fine -- despite hitting some fairly coarse concrete. I'll count that as a win. While it may be a bit odd, it does seem that Liquid Armor lives up to the manufacturer's big words. As I mentioned earlier, as screen protectors go, it is on the expensive side, but the bottle had enough solution to coat three laptops, two televisions (24"), the aforementioned Galaxy Nexus, and a Nintendo DS. So it's certainly possible to get your money's worth, on top of the flexibility of applying it to more than one kind of screen. Overall, I'd definitely give it a recommendation if you're a stickler for electronic cleanliness, or are really paranoid and have a dozen or so smartphones. Either way, if you pick this up, you likely won't be disappointed. 
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Do you have liquid protection?
Our electronic world, for all of the new abilities it can give us, is infinitely more fragile than it once was. Some modern devices literally shatter when dropped a few feet. Hell, even the more robust devices in our silicon ...

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The Daily Hotness: I'm gonna pop some tags


Check out Everything Destructoid did today
Oct 18
// Daniel Starkey
If you follow me on any of my social media bits, you're probably well-aware that I am currently obsessed with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Thrift Shop. It's kinda, sorta, totally amazing.Destructoid Original:Podtoid 223: Str...
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The Daily Hotness: Cupcakes


Check out everything Destructoid did today
Oct 11
// Daniel Starkey
And I love them dearly. Destructoid OriginalCommunitoid 001: It BeginsImpressions: New Super Mario Bros. 2 DLCPodtoid 222: Weird Hairless Chicken-babiesIt Came from Japan! Splatterhouse: Wanpaku GraffitiLive show: Worms: Revo...
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The Daily Hotness: I <3 Pokemon Music


Oct 04
// Daniel Starkey
So... earlier today my Pokemon Black and White 2 review went up. I wasn't super kind, but I wasn't super mean either. Anyway... somehow Pokemon music entered the conversation, and that made me want to highlight one ...

Review: Pokemon Black and White 2

Oct 04 // Daniel Starkey
Pokémon Black and White 2 (Nintendo DS)Developer: Game FreakPublisher: NintendoRelease: October 7, 2012MSRP: $34.99 Playing a new Pokémon game for many people tends to be a war with their own nostalgia. Every time a new title in the core series of games is released, fans of the originals become rabid children and flock to the new game in a desperate attempt to "Catch 'em all" -- a task which gets exponentially more difficult with each generation. It's a roller coaster of sentimentality that messed with my head a bit. For the first few hours, I went back and forth between belting the Pokémon show theme song and practically yelling at the DS for not telling me what to do and where to go. BW2 needs some kind of recap feature or journal or something. NPCs will often mention to go find certain things, but it never explicitly tells me where they are. There are so many random buildings and people wandering around everywhere that it's impossible to know at first glance what is and isn't important. Important names are only in the last lines of the dialogue with NPCs and never mentioned again. I have no way to look it up, no way to find a hint, no way to get some kind of reminder, even. Every now and then, people just walk up to me and hand me items without any explanation or context. No one tells me what I need to get through which area or how, or even the general direction I should be going. Black and White had a fairly linear path. This sequel, on the other hand, seems to just send you off with all of your options apparently available, but not really showing you where you can and cannot go until you try. [embed]235932:45277[/embed] I've also noticed that it's harder to use only one Pokémon in this game. It's the first time I've ever had problems with that strategy. I'm being forced to pick up other Pokémon and use them because I simply don't have the ability to learn any decent moves.  While initially frustrating, this actually makes me glad in a way. For years I've been playing this game in a really cheap, easy, shortcut-y way and this is the first time I've seen some real effort to balance the trainer and wild Pokémon distribution in such a way that my old, rather boring strategy is totally unusable. Kudos, Game Freak. You did something right. Conniving bastards. Sucking me in again... Despite these extensive, nagging complaints, I'm really surprised at how well the core Pokémon formula continues to hold up. With minor tweaks, the basic game becomes exponentially more complex over time while simultaneously being simple enough that children can get into it and appreciate the basics. The entire game is centered around the core theme of growth and gradual maturity as well, reinforcing the appeal to younger audiences. Most people started playing Pokémon when they were young and had little agency in the world, but by tapping the dream of growing up and being more and more important within a relatively small time frame is a powerful appeal to kids. It seems then, as the Pokémon generation ages, the nostalgia is reinforced by this longing to fulfill those same childhood dreams that were planted in our minds back in the '90s. Wow. This has to be some really sick, decade-long marketing scheme ... it's genius. Maybe Nintendo and Game Freak are actually Team Rocket. If so, they've managed to create another compelling installment in the long-running franchise. Pokémon embodies the maxim "easy to learn, hard to master." Even after 15 years, I still only know a small portion of what I potentially could. While I don't have the time or the patience to dedicate to that endeavor, it's comforting to know that even in what is, ostensibly, a children's game, that if I chose to take that leap, I would have something substantive on which to land. Unfortunately, that same level of refinement and care cannot be found in the narrative. Black and White attempted to tackle several legitimate moral issues with their plot -- and they were, more or less, the first games in the series to do so. They posed a question which any legitimately moral individual inhabiting the world of Pokémon would eventually have to ask themselves: is it okay to capture small animals and force them to fight one another for sport? For most, the answer is a resounding "no." However, Black and White backed away from the implications of the very question they raised, and I'm sad to say that their sequels are no different in that regard. Normally, I could forgive Pokémon for so poorly handling a fairly legitimate moral issue, but the plot has been so deeply integrated, and spans such a large portion of the game that I really can't let it go. It feels like I have been tantalized with a potentially subversive, thought-provoking game that never appears. In that sense, Black and White 2 are clearly the products of Nintendo. The paired titles hint at so much more than they are, that when the whole journey is over, I'm left wanting what could have been. Most people won't care, though, and for those folks, Black and White 2 represent a perfectly adequate, even addictive sequel that falls a bit short short of its full potential. Then again, at some point, a giant, flying, solar-powered pirate ship shows up and freezes whole cities with an ice laser. So... take the good with the bad.
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Pokémon is practically a cultural institution. Every true child of the '90s knows every word to the theme song, lost a lot of their parents' money on the trading card game, and spent many dozens of hours testing playgr...

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The voice of the Twin Cities


Sep 30
// Daniel Starkey
While pretty much everyone these days games, it still seems that most of the best events always hit the bigger cities. When I was growing up I longed to visit the Pokemon Center in New York or E3 in Los Angeles. There were no...
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The Daily Hotness: Learnin' some stuff


Sep 27
// Daniel Starkey
I dunno if this is the right audience, but I really enjoy documentaries and educational things. Recently on YouTube a bunch of people have created some pretty interesting content that really boils dow...
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Super smexy Need For Speed: Most Wanted trailer


Sep 25
// Daniel Starkey
So ... Burnout is awesome. Always has been, always will be. And while it is true that we haven't seen a true game from that franchise in a while, Criterion has been doing its best to bring all of the insane, anarchic fun we ...

Review: Palo Alto Cubik

Sep 24 // Daniel Starkey
Product: CubikManufacturer: Palo AltoInput: USBOutput: 2.2MSRP: $199.95 The first and most obvious trait that you’ll probably notice is the rather futuristic shape. Each piece is shaped like a cube with divots on its sides. The back panel, as one might expect, has all of the connectors and ports for power and input. On one face of the “cube,” there is also a small hole for the built-in, miniature subwoofer. All together, it’s an aggressively modern aesthetic. Not so much sleek and clean, but more of an allusion to a dystopian parallel world. Weather or not you personally prefer the look is obviously up to you but, sitting beside my Asus G73 and my Alienware M15x, I thought they fit in nicely. As stylish as they may be, if they don’t sound any better than an average set, they’re largely pointless, especially at that price point. Thankfully, they do perform extremely well at normal volume levels. Mids are nice and clean, highs are crisp and playful, and the bass has a significantly higher fidelity than what you can get from standard laptop speakers. That said, their most attractive quality isn’t quite as easy to articulate. Most audio equipment has really stark directionality; rotating your head or moving around a room will quickly demonstrate that. Cubik, on the other hand, has a very large, open soundscape. They create an aural bubble within which everything sounds roughly the same from any given position. It’s really an odd thing to hear, and I had several of my friends come in to try it just so I could prove to myself that I wasn’t crazy. This bubble of sound is probably caused by the the mini-subwoofers on the back and the two tweeters that point directly up at the listener’s ears. In that sense, they are engineered much better than your average desktop stereo setup. Unfortunately, the generally solid performance and wow-factor cannot make up for a few key frustrations. While at moderate volume, Cubik performs admirably, but if you have some friends over and want to watch an action flick, or need some oomph for a room party, you will be sorely disappointed. Cubik lacks that tight, low-end bass that you get from larger, dedicated subs, and at higher volumes, even the included mini-subwoofers simply cannot keep up. Explosions and gunshots will either come off as dull and flat or cause the audio to tear a bit. Either way, for a set that costs $200, that isn’t really something I can forgive. Additionally, while it’s great that the option for USB input is included, the fact that nothing is supported -- no TOSLink, no 3.5mm, etc. -- is really underwhelming. Versatility is highly important and the option to use this set with any source could have made it a much stronger contender. Beyond that, all cables are either proprietary or not user-replaceable. Again, a few simple design oversights dramatically limit the long-term viability and utility of this set is capped far lower than it should be. At this price level, consumers should expect more. If the design alone is enough to win you over, then I highly recommend them. If not, you should probably look at a more powerful system from someone else.
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If you haven’t been able to tell by the fairly large number of headphone reviews I’ve done for this site, I have a thing for audio equipment. It's probably the single biggest investment I make beyond my daily caff...

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The Daily Hotness: Friggin' Pikmin


Sep 20
// Daniel Starkey
Pikmin is just fantastic. I mean... we all kinda know it, because it's Pikmin, but my roommate powered through the first one again a couple of days ago, and now he's working on Pikmin 2. It's just... so great. Oh yeah, the To...

Review: Astro A50

Sep 17 // Daniel Starkey
Wireless headphones -- hell, wireless products in general -- suffer from lower response times, battery hassles, and generally inferior ... everything. To a degree, this reputation is certainly deserved. In the same way that laptops will always be inferior to desktops in every way but one, so too have peripherals paid the price of convenience. It’s unfortunate, too, because the headphones, especially those meant for home theaters, do not at all lend themselves well to a perpetually tethered environment. For the best comfort, for the best experience, wireless is arguably the ultimate goal. The A50s are incredible in their ability to assuage my general trepidation towards the cordless world. The A50s have a number of design changes over Astro’s bread-and-butter A40 set. The most striking of these is the primarily metal frame. It gives the set an excellent feeling of quality and strength that the plastic-framed A40s lack. Even the Creative Tactics can’t measure up. The cups are lined with a soft, velvet-like fabric -- a welcome change from the leatherette standard. The headstrap is also lined with this material, coating the padding. The microphone sits on the left side, activated only when pulled down in front of the user's face. The other controls, including volume, power, a switch for three different listening modes, and a basic equalizer are jammed into the the outer edge of the right cup. The proximity of each can be a bit confusing at times. So much packed so closely together -- and the simple fact that while gaming, you can’t see any of the components -- can make selecting the wrong setting or bumping something unintentionally an occasional annoyance. Aurally, the A50 is a phenomenal set, packed with rich, booming base, soothingly smooth midtones and crisp highs. The soundscape is huge and open, not unlike Sennheiser HD 650 -- a pair that retails for nearly twice as much. The effect is so notable that I actually had to ask whether they were closed or open-back. My only gripe here is the inability of the set to handle higher volumes. Don’t get me wrong, they sound spectacular at anything that even remotely resembles “safe,” but it is a bit disconcerting to hear their fail conditions. Wireless sets, unlike their tethered relatives, don’t have to cope with amps or absurd amounts of power streaming in because some idiot 20-something wants to be deaf in five years. The positive side of that fickle coin is that, in contrast to the Creative Tactics, you will never encounter a situation where the volume level of the source limits you to to quiet and muted tones -- it will always get louder. Microphone reception and quality is prismatic. Everyone I asked online said I came through very clear without any issues in understanding me. As mentioned before, the mic boom can be flipped up and away from the face to mute -- a simple yet brilliant feature that makes the whole system just a bit more user-friendly. If you’ve used the A40, then you are familiar with the Mixamp, Astro’s term for the base station. It includes a USB port to charge the headset itself as well a a few basic controls to turn the system on and off. Provided with the station is a small plastic tower that acts as both a tray for the station and a rack to set the headphones on when not in use. Unfortunately, for inputs, the system only accepts optical. The set is largely console-focused and both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 natively support TOSLink. If you’re a PC user, you’d be hard pressed to find a cheap, consumer-grade card that would be compatible, but for everyone else, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The final effect, however, is definitely worth the trouble. Because the set only takes optical, Astro thought it would be absurd to compress the the audio stream to the headset as most other wireless sets do. To accomplish this, they used the 5.8 Ghz band, which has the added benefit of being largely free from any form of electromagnetic interference. Astro has been in the business of creating high-end gaming headsets for some time now; building inroads with MLG and other competitive communities has secured their spot as a respected manufacturer. In my experience, however, their products have suffered from lackluster build-quality and a juvenile, ostentatious design. That trend seemed a bit true when they released the A*, a slick, modern reinterpretation of a cell-phone headset. My pair, for example, has survived everything from door jams to being put through a washer and dryer at full heat. While I can’t say with any certainty that the A50s will endure the same punishment, they have given me a bit more confidence in the design and engineering of Astro’s products. At $300, they run on the high-end, but they at least seem to be in the same class as their price would suggest. Gone on are the days of cheap, plastic-y $200 boondoggles. From those ashes have risen a respectable, clean vision of the future of high-end gaming peripherals.
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It doesn't take much to really improve the gaming experience. Better seating, better lighting, better company, etc. are sometimes all it takes to go from an utterly insufferable trek through your simulated world of ...

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The Daily Hotness: Wiinter is coming


Sep 13
// Daniel Starkey
Over the past 24 hours we've been utterly BOMBARDED with Wii U news. Fifty launch titles, $350 for the top model, coming November 18th, etc. etc. So... stuff's intense and we should be seeing Msoft and Sony pick-up their...
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The Daily Hotness: Coop Native Amber


Sep 06
// Daniel Starkey
It's been awhile, folks, but now I'm back with more beer reviews along with your daily recap. Today's beer comes from home state of Oklahoma. I picked it up around New Year's Day, and just never got around to trying it. I was...
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The Daily Hotness: Yeah, SimCity's pretty baller


Aug 16
// Daniel Starkey
So... Dale was bragging that he got to play SimCity at gamescom. That's pretty awesome. It was my personal game of show for E3, and the stuff I saw there was impressive. After the exceptional disappointment that&nbs...
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The Daily Hotness: Home Brew IPA


Aug 09
// Daniel Starkey
Last Friday, one of my coworkers brought in a homemade IPA. Now I realize that this is kind of a BS review because no one else will be able to pick it up… like ever. Still, I thought drinking boss-approved-beer at work...
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The Daily Hotness: Moos Joos Oatmeal Milk Stout


Aug 02
// Daniel Starkey
There was a huge sale going down at my local liquor store and I thought it'd be a great time to pick up some local microbrews. After looking around a bit, I settled on a case of "Moo Joos Oatmeal Milk Stout". Head was a ...

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