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Review: Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Gaming Mouse

Dec 05 // Victoria Medina
Product: Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Laser Gaming MouseManufacturer: ThermaltakeInput: USB MSRP: $99.99  Although the Level 10 M looks strange, and takes some getting used to, it was not an uncomfortable transition from my previous mouse. The transition was also made easier by the fact that I could adjust the height of the back of the mouse up or down as well as to right or left angles. It might take some fiddling, but being able to adjust how your hand rests on the mouse is a nice feature.  There are several features of the Level 10 M that make it more comfortable or easier to handle, such as the rubber grips on the bottom to limit resistance against whatever surface your mouse is resting on. There is also a cradle in the front that holds its cord (this is not wireless) so that it doesn't drag on your desk or get snagged against anything. Other features touted for the the device are an aluminum base, laser sensor, programmable colors, and "air-through ventilation" which basically means your hands shouldn't get all sweaty. I never had much of a problem with sweaty palms to begin with, so I can't tell you if this actually works, but man oh man, it sure does look cool. As far as buttons go, it has the usual left and right mouse buttons and mouse wheel, as well as two buttons on the right side and three on the left. The buttons on the left are dedicated forward and back buttons, with the third being solely for changing your DPI settings and profiles. Button placement is a bit awkward and took some getting used; despite this layout, accidental changes to DPI levels and profiles happened quite often for a while, and usually at the worst possible times. As for the buttons on the right side, they are very awkward and difficult to press, considering that I would have to click them with my pinky. The DPI default setting caps at 5000, but can be raised to 8200 by tinkering with the software, though I never went above 3200; handling and control are smooth. If you ever forget what you have the DPI set to, there's an indicator on the right mouse button that lights up to tell you which level it is at. There is also no resistance or friction due to the rubber pads on the bottom, and if you tend to pick your mouse up while playing, there is also a setting to change how high off the desk you can raise it before the sensors stop registering. In addition to changing the DPI and lift off sensitivity, you can also adjust the double click, cursor, and scroll speeds as well as the polling rate. Additionally, you can change the colors and switch between normal mode and "battle mode," with battle mode changing the colors on the Level 10 M based on how much you click. That's it. Other software options open to you include five different profiles, macros, and the ability to assign each mouse button whichever function you want. While some of the features offered on the Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Gaming Mouse are useful and quite nice, I can't say that it's been a vast improvement over my generic Microsoft mouse. The extra buttons and increased mouse sensitivity are great, but there seems to be a lot of extra 'stuff' that looks nice without actually doing much to enhance your gaming experience or make gaming easier. As cool as the Level 10 M looks, and as well as it works, there are probably other, less expensive options out there for you that will do just as well.
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If a Transformer became a gaming mouse
Up until recently, my experience with mice was limited to a trackball and basic mouse with no bells or whistles. My basic mouse was enough, and while it may not have enhanced my gaming experience, I didn't feel that it was ta...

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ESA Foundation awards $90,000 in scholarships


Giving money to deserving youth
Oct 17
// Victoria Medina
30 lucky students were awarded $3,000 each for the 2012-2013 academic year by the Entertainment Software Association Foundation to help them become amazing innovators in the entertainment software industry. The winning studen...
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PAX: Zen Studios reveals Plants vs Zombies pinball


Aug 31
// Victoria Medina
Zen Pinball 2's mystery table has been unveiled as Plants v Zombies. Awesome? Yes. Just like this trailer that announces it. As a friendly reminder, the game is playable at Zen Studio's PAX Prime booth.  Those silly wizards and their silly magic.

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Double Fine's double awesome Happy Action Theater


Aug 20
// Victoria Medina
Giant Bomb got to preview Double Fine's Happy Action Theater sequel recently and this is it, in all of its goofy glory. The entire interview is rather long, so if you just want to see a little of each mini-game shown yo...
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Green Day is jumping on the Angry Birds bandwagon


Aug 20
// Victoria Medina
Because Angry Birds has to have it's hand in everything, or maybe because everyone wants to be part of this ever-expanding franchise, Green Day is now teaming up with Rovio to add band themed levels to the hit game. Thes...
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New Little King's Story screens are full of cuteness


Jul 15
// Victoria Medina
New screenshots have been released for Konami's New Little King's Story, which is scheduled to come out later this summer. For those of you who can't be at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, here are some adorable pictures of the little king being cute. I don't have a Vita yet, but this is just one more reason why I should buy one. Is anyone else looking forward to this new title?
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Secret World's first content update announced


Jul 13
// Victoria Medina
Set to go live July 31st, The Secret World's first content update, Unleashed, (referred to as Issue #1) has been revealed, with promises of more issues coming every month. This first round of content will contain se...
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A game for bronies is finally coming


Jun 21
// Victoria Medina
Gameloft, with Hasbro, will be releasing two mobile games, one based on My Little Pony and another for The Littlest Petshop before the end of 2012. Both games will be compatible with multipe mobile de...
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Wii U Miiverse posts to be screened by Nintendo employees


Jun 07
// Victoria Medina
The Wii U's social network, Miiverse, will have a filter to block spoilers and adult language. In addition, each post will be read by a Nintendo employee -- screened, in essence -- to make sure it is appropriate for...
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StarCraft II is on sale for a limited time


Jun 07
// Victoria Medina
In celebration of the StarCraft World Championship Series North American Finals, Blizzard is taking 33% off the price of StarCraft II. Until June 13, anyone who buys a direct-download copy of the title from Blizzard's store w...
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Humble Bundle V adds Braid, Super Meat Boy, Lone Survivor


Jun 07
// Victoria Medina
The most recent Humble Bundle, which has already done incredibly well, now gives you even more reason to throw money at them. Braid, Super Meat Boy and Lone Survivor can now be unlocked by spending more than the average, whic...
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E3: Here's our Nintendo conference video recap


Jun 05
// Victoria Medina
In addition to our Nintendo story round-up, Max and Tara have kindly done their own Nintendo recap. They have thoughts and opinions, which you can hear in this video. I missed the Nintendo conference this year, but this was a good way to get a quick overview of everything. Pikmin 3 and Lego City. Got it.
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Internet Explorer for Xbox 360: 18 months in the making


Jun 05
// Victoria Medina
The title says it all. Internet Explorer for the 360 has been in development for over a year, according to a Twitter post made by Xbox 360 developer Joshua Brokaw. I'm not entirely sure anyone actually uses IE anymore. Consid...
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E3: Lego City trailer looks Lego-licious


Jun 05
// Victoria Medina
This proves one thing: you can make a LEGO game out of anything. I am not complaining, mind you, and am a huge fan of previous LEGO titles. The footage that's come out of E3 for Lego City looks solid and I expect another entertaining, fun game. Too bad I'm still not convinced I want a Wii U.
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E3: Samsung slides under Gaikai's bedsheets


Jun 05
// Victoria Medina
It looks as if LG isn't the only electronics provider getting chummy with Gaikai as Samsung announced today that some of their TVs will also incorporate cloud gaming.The Samsung LED 7000 series and up will all allow owners to...
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E3: More details on EA's SimCity Social


Jun 04
// Victoria Medina
As reported earlier, EA has brought out the white glove on Zynga with SimCity Social for Facebook. This isn't just a rehash of any well-known farming games, though. Players will get to watch their cities evolve based on ...
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E3: Nike + Kinect Training for great fitness


Jun 04
// Victoria Medina
Here's something new for all of you health-conscious Kinect owners. Coming this holiday season, Nike and Microsoft are teaming up to present Nike + Kinect Training. This new title will not just bring you an interactive and pe...
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This fragrance will make people like you more


May 23
// Victoria Medina
Every so often a marketing idea will come along to gear their product toward 'gamers' or 'geeks', and sometimes those products aren't terrible. Or you get something like Erox, a unisex fragrance targeted at the aforementioned...
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The Secret World talks combat and skills


May 18
// Victoria Medina
As the time draws near for the release of The Secret World more information is coming out, like this video which details combat abilities and skills. At eight minutes this is quite the detailed video, but if you're curious a...
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BioWare and Dark Horse are doing more Dragon Age comics


May 01
// Victoria Medina
BioWare and Dark Horse announced today that they will be releasing a new three-part comic titled Dragon Age: Those Who Speak with the first issue available August 22nd. The mini-series will follow King Alistair, Var...
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Nintendo digital update will probably not make your day


Apr 26
// Victoria Medina
It is time once again, boys and girls, for the weekly Nintendo eShop update announcement. This week's offerings include a system update, Block Factory, and the I Fight Dragons video premiere ...

Preview: Flex your mind muscles in Resonance

Apr 22 // Victoria Medina
Resonance (PC)Developer: XII Games / Wadjet Eye GamesPublisher: Wadjet Eye GamesRelease: May 2012  Resonance opens with a mystery, showing news of a terrible, world-wide event. Twelve locations across the planet have been attacked, and there is no real information on what happened. The most you get are shots of various locations with sections removed from them. You are then taken back 60 hours and introduced to Ed, a young-ish mathematician who works for a Dr. Morales. After a phone call from Morales in which he expresses concern over his research on Resonance, fear of being followed, and intent to destroy all of his work, you are taken to a screen showing four time pieces with different times on each. In the very first introductory segment, you are given the chance to familiarize yourself with some of the game mechanics (and there aren't many, though the adage "quality over quantity" comes to mind). The left mouse button allows you to interact with people and objects as well as to move, while the right mouse button is used to examine your environment. So far, everything is typical point-and-click fare, but here's where it gets interesting. Instead of having just an inventory to hold items (and maybe your notebook for notes and clues), you also have STM and LTM, which stand for short- and long-term memory. STM is useful for using the environment in conversation. You get three slots in this section, and anything you can examine can be placed in a slot. During conversation with another character, you have the chance to click on any item in your STM and bring it up in dialogue. Not all items in your short-term memory can be used during a conversation with every person, but there are some points where you will need to use STM items to progress in the story. LTM is similar in that you can recall something from your long-term memory during a conversation. You don't need to drag and drop anything into your LTM, however. Items or events of note will be placed in there automatically during your adventures and cannot be removed. Not only can they be recalled during conversation, by clicking on them at any time, you are given a sort of mini-flashback that allows you to go over certain key pieces of information, in case you missed anything before. This brief explanation of short- and long-term memory doesn't do them justice, but it seems to be a huge mechanic in the game. After the initial introduction to each of the four characters (Ed, Anna, Detective Bennet, and Ray), you will get a chance to control more than one, switching between them via a panel at the top left of the screen. During the demo, only Ed and Detective Bennet were controllable at the same time, but each one brought different strengths and weaknesses to the table. The Detective is more brawny and did some of the heavy lifting, while Ed was smaller and could fit into tight spaces that Bennet, with his larger girth, could not. Each also had a different way of approaching other characters, and it was amusing to watch how each of them handled the same conversation with the same person. With Ed, you are given the chance to move the conversation along or let the person ramble, but with Bennet, no such option is presented. He keeps the person on topic and to the point. One last thing that should be noted is the point value system. Finding information, exploring, and solving puzzles get you points; dying loses points. In the demo alone, there were three places where death was a possibility, and once you reach zero points, it's game over. One of the deaths was completely avoidable (and dying there took the most points), but two of them were less easily dodged. For those, not many points were deducted, and once the points were, the option to rewind to redo that part was presented, instead of having to start over from the beginning of that section. The demo for Resonance promises some pretty incredible storytelling and gameplay, and I am eager to see if the rest of the adventure will be as much of a thrill as the first three chapters. Between the suspense, mystery, and puzzles, this should be quite the tale. Everything so far serves to draw you into the story, from the expressive voice acting to the mood-setting music and even to the environments (which were downright creepy at times). Anyone who enjoys this genre should be looking forward to Resonance, since I think XII and Wadjet Eye have a real gem here.
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Point-and-click adventures are one of my favorite genres, simply because they usually expect you to think about what you're doing instead of just plodding along from point A to B. Resonance doesn't seem to be an exceptio...

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Holmes plays Theatrhythm like a pro


Apr 12
// Victoria Medina
Jonathan Holmes got a chance to demo Theatrhythm during PAX East, and was kind enough to film it for those of us who weren't there. If you enjoy rhythm games and love Final Fantasy, I'm not sure why you wouldn't bu...
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Max Payne 3's bullet time explained


Apr 12
// Victoria Medina
Max Payne has bullet time, this is known. The above video wants to make sure of that though, and will fill you in on some of the improvements that have been made to the combat mode. It may also help you get pumped for the pe...
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Have some media from Mass Effect 3's multiplayer DLC


Apr 10
// Victoria Medina
EA has released a video and some screenshots of the new multiplayer DLC Resurgence Pack for Mass Effect 3. Just a friendly reminder from your benevolent corporate overlords that there is new content for the mu...
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College Humor does Doctor Who


Apr 03
// Victoria Medina
College Humor, responsible for other amusing videos, has put together a Doctor Who retro RPG video. Be aware that this contains spoilers to the Matt Smith seasons of the show, so don't watch it and then cry about how so...
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Secret World is now accepting your pre-orders


Apr 03
// Victoria Medina
The Secret World launch date is steadily approaching, and to get ready for that, pre-orders have been announced. Should you choose to put down money for the game before it's release, you'll get a few things in return, the mos...
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Wakfu gets a content update and new zones


Mar 28
// Victoria Medina
Wakfu has some new content out, for those of you who play. Most notable in the Global Alliance update are the two new zones, the Lands of Kelba and Sadida Kingdom, which are available now for higher l...
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OMGPop founder and Zynga have some history


Mar 27
// Victoria Medina
Last week we learned that Zynga gobbled up OMGPop and it turns out that the founder of the latter actually turned down a job offer from the former in 2008. Charles Forman, after starting up OMGPop and a dating site,...
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Dragon's Lair is on another platform: Xbox 360


Mar 20
// Victoria Medina
In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Dragon's Lair is finally making the move to the Xbox 360 via the Live Arcade. On top of that, it will also have Kinect support, so you can fail with a control or by moving aroun...

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