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11:03 AM on 05.16.2010

My Gaming Setup Revisited

Hi all! It's me again, Larktenchi (PSN/360: x5977632110x)!

Recently, the all-seeing Hamza front-paged my Gaming Setup I was really happy about it, and thanks to all of you guys out there who thought that it was cool. Now though, my gaming setup is a bit different than the last time that I blogged about it, (That was months ago.) If you won't mind, I took the liberty of tooking some new photos to share to you guys.

It's just a minor upgrade overhaul though, nothing major.

Take note that it is a small gaming room, but that's the thing. Its more like a personal space/area; for 1-4 persons only. I guess my hope is that I can be able to make a cool gaming area, regardless of the size of the room.

I hope, as before, that you liked it and maybe, even be inspired to think about new setups for your own gaming rooms. Enjoy!

BTW, a very BIG Shout-out to my man, Artemus!!! You're the coolest bro! Pick up his wicked shirts at NOW! I'm sure I will!

Again, if you wanna see my last Gaming Setup blog, go directly here.

Now, Let's Start!

My New and Improved Gaming Room!

Lights on

Lights off

I fixed up the place, removed some collectibles while adding new ones. Acquired some new controllers, games and a Harman Kardon amplifier for Dolby and DTS surround sound. Installed some new seats (for those of you who will comment about the seats not having a support to lean on, trust me it's comfortable enough. Besides, arcade chairs also don't have seats to lean on.)
I also removed my limited edition game boxes (Fallout 3, Arkham etc.) because they REALLY take up a lot of space (although I displayed 2 collectible boxes cause they're cool. The boxes I mean.)

What else? I've upgraded my PS3, because I felt that my PS3 Phat desperately needs to retire, although I've set it up on to the living room.

So now, lets go through some more detailed pics:

Here's my Wii, PS3 Slim and Xbox 360

Limited Edition FFXIII 250 gig PS3 Slim
(can now support Dolby and DTS TruHD!)

My updated game library

And my 2 new Tournament Edition Street Fighter IV Round 2 FightSticks

On to the collectibles:

Halo 3 Kotobukiya Master Chief Bubble Shield

Neca Kratos God of War II 12'' and 6''

Mcfarlane Twisted Land of Oz Dorothy

Hasbro Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader ForceFX

and Darth Maul The Phantom Menace ForceFX Lightsabers

Hot Toys DX-01 The Joker

Hot Toys DX-02 Batman

Lastly, put up the Fightsticks at the living area table for those gaming sessions when friends and buddies come over. (SSF4 on my PS3 Phat)

That's it guys! Hope by the end of the year, if someone's still interested, I can post a new Gaming Setup update by then!

Cheers!   read

2:01 AM on 03.04.2010

My Gaming Setup

(Update:: Some of you asked what kind of chairs I am using in playing, I uploaded new pics 'bout it.)
Hi all, I'm Larktenchi, and I've just posted my first Gaming Setup blog here at Destructoid, hope you all enjoy.

A brief overview: I am a relatively long-time Destructoid reader (2 years I think), and I've contributed a bit of gaming-related blogs here and there, although most of the time, I only read and comment on Destructoid's posts. It has been a long wish of mine to post my gaming setup, which many Destructoid fans share in their own blogs. This gaming setup was created just recently; finished fixing the room these couple of days.

Although, I started gaming since the 90's when I was a kid, having owned and played NES and Sega games, I don't literally collect them, mainly because 1.) I was a child back then, and 2.) we're always moving houses; so saving and collecting my old games was hard. Sadly, I either gave them all up to friends or relatives, or my mom did. The pain.

Now, I'm in my 20's, and I can happily say that I can now start my gaming collection. I started playing seriously on the year 2007 (PS3 was my first 7th gen console), so now, I think I have a respectable collection of games to be proud of. Although, I know old-school gamers have way better collection than mine, I'm still proud of having this setup, mainly because I'm a home theater enthusiast, and I love playing, watching and listening to games on a great, if not good, home theater setup.

To start, I'll show you 3 parts of my setup:
First is my Gaming Room
Next is my PC Station
and Last, my Living Room

1.) So now, lets roll:

First Up: My Gaming Room!


This is my sweet, little gaming room. It's mostly my personal space, although it can accommodate the missus and 2 friends, often playing 4-coop like MW2.

With plush seats, 34-inch Sony LCD flush-mounted, a kick-ass, 5.1 surround sound, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and some great props to lighten up the room, this is my favorite spot to play games.

I love playing in the dark, mainly because it focuses you to the screen itself, and I like playing close to the LCD when I'm all by myself.

Games Collection:

My games collection, mostly PS3, then Wii, 360, PS2 and PC games.
(with the Rock Band 2 Guitar and an Arkham Asylum Limited Edition PS3)

My Limited Edition Bioshock 2 and Fallout 3 Lunchbox

Various controllers and PSP Go (flop)

Rock Band 2 PS3 Drums With an Alienware Laptop Backpack

I have to admit, I want to "collect" collectibles. Things that influence me, (mainly pop culture) movies, games etc. I do believe really well-made collectibles are worth your investment mainly because they will really make your room much grander than you might imagine.

Vader action pose, Civil War Spidey and my Obi Wan TPM Lightsaber

Iron Man Bowen Designs and The Matrix Mcfarlane Toys

"Darth Maul's Bane" (Obi-Wan TPM Hasbro)

Some assorted collectibles, mostly Marvel though.

Next up: Posters!

I love Posters. Although space is an issue, I still love putting them up for all to see. These are a mix of pop culture though, not just games.

Mass Effect 2

Bioshock 2
(take note the delayed release date, it was released here in my country 1 day late)

Dark Pheonix (Greg Land)

Wolverine (the late, great Michael Turner)

The Dark Knight Movie Posters (RIP Heath)

2.) PC Station!
Although the title is misleading, because I don't have a PC station per se, cause I game on a laptop. Still, I think my laptop is also worth showing.

This is my (our) Alienware m15x 15" gaming Laptop. Performs relatively well, plays Crysis at 1360x768 at 60 fps, or Mass Effect 2 at 1080p at 30 fps. This is the only reason I got Mass Effect 2 for the PC and not on the 360.

That's a Razer Orochi wireless mouse with Kabuto pad, can't game without those two.

3.) Lastly, I want to show you the Living Room. This is my place to mostly watch new movies, and to play some games worth seeing on a home theater.

A 54" Panasonic VIERA S Series Plasma TV is still the best TV to game with in my opinion, with its deep blacks, fast pixel response and great contrast ratio, I love this plasma TV. Although newer models are being released this year, I am still happy with this one's performance. Also included are:
Denon pre-amp, Paradigm Tower and Center Speakers, Panasonic Blu-ray Player, Bay-Audio subs and 2 Terabytes of storage space, for movies, TV series and other stuff.

"Plush seats"

Blu-ray collections:

"Game On!"

1080p Mass Effect 2 shots from the living room

From the intro movie

Game screenshot

Game screenshot (close)

That's It!!

In time, when improvements are made, I'll post an update, although I won't when no one is interested to see gaming setups here at Destructoid.

Still, hope you like it folks! Take care.   read

12:47 AM on 11.07.2009

My Modern Warfare 2 Early Review

Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2 for the PS3 just came out yesterday (Nov 6 09) in my country. I planned on sharing detailed facts about the game to you, the destructoid community, to help you if you are planning to buy this game or if you are still indecisive in getting this particular sequel to one of the best selling games of 2007.

Now this article will try to go through all the game's new features, both singleplayer and multiplayer, (almost all is offline though), splitscreen coop and 4 player multiplayer. Also, the article will share some light spoilers regarding the single player campaign. It will also tackle the single most heated controversy regarding the game: the "Airport Massacre".

So, to start, let's get to the basics.

Modern Warfare 2 is Region 1, trophy enabled, dual shock 3 enabled and up to 4 players offline.The cover art is good, although a bit like its predecessor, just with refined fonts and a new artwork. You can see that Infinity Ward almost tried to drop the Call of Duty logo, and replaced it with the Modern Warfare one. It's as if Modern Warfare 2 is now a new IP in Infinity Ward's games. The back cover is basically just pictures with quotations from reviews (I guess) from other gaming sites regarding the game itself. That bothers me, because I haven't seen a single review out for the game, and yet, these quotations from Gamespot for example, are used in Modern Warfare 2's back cover. Did they have an advanced review copy of the game? If yes, why?

Early Reviews?

Now, when you start the game, a Main Menu will greet you with 3 branching features. One is the single player campaign named "For the Record", with the subtitle "Pick up the story where Modern Warfare ended and continue the single player experience". The next branching option to the left is the Special Ops, which is basically a coop experience meant for 2 players offline or online. The last one to the right is the Multiplayer option, with te subtitle of: [i]"Rank up, Unlock New Weapons, perks, killstreaks and much more online and locally."

These are the new features of Modern Warfare 2. This article will try to go through the 3 features in a detailed fashion so that potential gamers who are planing of procuring the game can know what to expect of it when they have it. Also, the article will emphasize the coop and 4 player offline experience of the game, mainly because I am a true believer that a game in our generation that does not leave out offline game play for those who love playing with a friend or loved one is a good game in my book.

Anyway, let's go through the single player experience first.

The single player campaign is composed of 3 acts, with an undefined number of missions per act (As of this writing, I am at the 4th mission of the first act). Unlike what we previously believed, the controversial level of Modern Warfare 2 will not take place at the start, it is at the 4th level of the first act, named "No Russian" (more on that later).

The single player campaign starts with a new introduction video. Its basically a modified version of the loading graphics of the game, but much better looking. The introduction video focuses on the key plot instances that happened from the first game, basically a flashback video. I especially liked the score, although it's a bit like a Michael Bay movie, it still pumps you up in playing the game although Im still not certain if this sequel's score is still composed by Harry Gregson-Willams, famed for composing the Metal Gear Solid 2,3 and 4's score and Modern Warfare 1 itself.

After that, the game sets itself 5 years after the first one, and it throws the player on a new tutorial level, which is much faster than the last Modern Warfare. It will just refresh your memory on the controls (it's still the same), and will instantaneously throw you to a new course made up of made up cartons of enemy soldiers and civilians. This challenge course, like its predecessor, will gauge your skills by how much time it takes for you to finish the course itself, and based on the time it took you to reach the end line, the game will automatically adjust the difficulty for your benefit.

Same old, same old...

One major thing that I have a big gripe is the Graphics itself.
Simply put, the graphics engine did not age well. Although some new graphical enhancements were integrated (like motion blur, HDR lighting etc), it still looks dated compared to the new game releases for this year. It feels like Infinity Ward did not put that much focus on the graphics, they just reused the old one and have not improved it that much, ALTHOUGH the new levels really look awesome compared to the last one, they're much bigger, better looking and better developed than the last, it still bothers me that the graphics pretty much looks the same. It felt like I was playing an expansion pack, although a Good one.

Do I look good guys?

Now on to much anticipated level of Modern Warfare 2, the "No Russian" level.
Before playing the level, the game asks you if you want to skip this one due to its sensitive nature. Now, if you ask me, the level itself is not critical to the story of the game. Infinity Ward can just show it as an introductory level, without any interactions to the player, but only as a witness, because frankly, the level itself is bland gameplay-wise. after the "shooting the innocents" (it needs to be noted that the innocents in question are not done well graphically. Its funny because after the antagonists gunned them down, you can see that there were so many civilians who have the SAME shirt and pants. that was really funny, losing the immersion of the act itself) you will fight on the swat teams in the airport, and the waypoint that you have to go through, crisscrossing parked planes and baggages are a pain to play. Its weird though, because when I was on that level, I died alot, simply because I did not know where to go next.

Its worth noting that the end of that level is the only saving grace of that specific act. Its a twist that is well done story-wise, but still, in regards to the act of killing innocent civilians, its not an integral part of the story. Basically, its not that important enough,story-wise, to be disturbing in my opinion.

The Multiplayer component is where the game really shines. Modern Warfare 2 offers a coop campaign that 2 players online or offline can play with. Its objective based, wherein doing the objectives as best as possible earns you stars. Its similar to Arkham Asylum's challenge modes, the only difference is that you can play it with 2 players.

Coop Rules!

Having the option on playing it splitscreen is really a great move by Infinity Ward. The developers built a new feature that 2 players can play side by side;even if the coop is not in the main campaign, the mission-based offerings are really good and really adds to the replayability factor of the game.

One big thing that the developers included in the new features specifically 4 player deathmatch (or other multiplayer types), is that thank God, you can now have an offline profile to be used to upgrade and level up your offline avatar for fighting with your buddies! To simplify, you can now do the online multiplayer upgrading, changing and earning new perks, obtaining new killstreaks (and the new deathstreaks) and personalizing your soldier Locally. Before jumping to the 4 player deathmatch, the game asks you to create an offline profile, where you will save all your level up perks weapon unlocks etc. To level up, scores obtained from your wins after the matches are your experience points.

Level up offline!

It needs to be noted that the offline profile and online profile you use in playing at PSN is different. You cannot level up locally then play it online. It just only demolishes the older option of just having to choose presets of classes when playing with buddies locally. Now, its much more in depth and good to level up when winning on your matches.

Whoa, snow...

Modern Warfare 2 is a great game. Its much refined, has better features, has much new weapons,
better maps and has one of the best multiplayer gameplay. Although I haven't finished yet the single player campaign, I can safely say that it's much more intense compared to the first one. Other gamers might look at it as the same as before, but still, its a refined, much more explosive, highly replayable, gut-wrenching experience of a game.

In spite of its so-so graphics.

Huh?   read

2:21 PM on 03.24.2009

Im Being Manwiched By Japs At RE5 Mercenaries


I know they are the demi-gods at skill-based games, but how the Hell do they get a Highscore of 500,000+ mark at Solo in Public Assembly RE5 Mercenaries!!

Fuck, I wanna know how they do this!!

Now, my leaderboard rank is at the 300+ mark, but last week, that was at the 200+! They keep on upping the ceiling!! I dont know how they do that!

Being Manwiched by japanese players..

Seriously, the top20 leaders all use Wesker Midnight. Last 2 weeks, that was Wesker STARS. It is also the character im using. With its powerful HYDRA Shotty, and its Eagle Magnum, you can defeat all foes at PA, all you have to do is built a high combo streak, discard your pistol so all ammos will be shotty and magnum, use the fast reload technique (reload at the menu), take all the time bonuses, move from region to region and you can have a hundred thou score. But, I don't have a freaking Idea how they use Wesker Midnight as their top scorer.

Somebody make friends with Kurono...

Maybe they use the Handcannon exclusively. Maybe they have a different strategy. maybe.. I dont know...

Are these guys the RE5 testers or something? or are they the developers themselves? do they know some technique that we don't know in gettin a highscore like that?

Guys, share your thoughts. the Leaderboards are full of japanese. Let's help one another in breaking the cultural barrier shall we?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

NOTE: In duo at Public Assembly, the character of choice is Jill Batlesuit. In trying to guess why, I think they use the "Melee+Time" Technique.You can find some great videos of some great guys doin it. But still, the top 20 Leaders in duo are all japanese..

F*cking Demi-gods. Japs are so good at this... Congratulations. :)

SHOUTOUT At MexiKingiCon. He's the first non-japanese player who broke in (USA). Congrats also.   read

4:40 AM on 03.19.2009

The "not-so-hidden" PS3 alternate art cover sleeves

Did you ever take notice the art behind the case of your favorite PS3 games?

I did. And on one slow afternoon, I took up all my PS3 games, inspect whatever games I possess that has an alternate cover art behind them, and Reversed them so much as the Alt Art are now my Front covers.

Here's some of them: (all are in Region 1)

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover

Devil May Cry 4

Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover

Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction

Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover


Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover

Gran Turismo 5: Prologue

Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover

Resistance 2

Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover

Little Big Planet

Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover

Killzone 2

Boring Front Cover

EXCITING Alt Front Cover

It really looks cool and UNIQUE in my opinion. One of the great thing is, some of these art are some of the original concept art of the said game.

Really looks Cool.

One thing to demand about is that the publishers should make this a standard in all of the newly released games, especially the AAA titles. Fallout 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil 5 (although it has, but mine's Region 3, and the alt cover's only a japanese version of the front one) are some of the AAA title's that don't have these functionality. Killzone2, beat them to it.

One disadvantage:

There is no Game Name on the side cover. So if you place your games sideways like mine, then you have to remember the sideart of it, rather than looking for the names.

Oh well, the price to pay for art. :)

BTW: if you are going to reverse yours, then take into consideration the front clear plastic cover of your PS3 case, because it is too prone to crimping (and scratches). Always Irritating, when your newly-bought PS3 game already have a deformed front cover plastic.

What do you think?
What other games that you have that also has an alternate cover, and you prefer that one other than front cover?
Do you also reverse your game sleeves in your games collection?
What other games has this sort of alternate cover art (either from different or retro systems) that you remember?

[b]Share your thoughts and pics.   read

2:08 PM on 12.28.2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 Wins Best 2008 Game at Gamespot

I just want to congratulate Gamespot in choosing my Game of the Year for 2008

Props to Gamespot on this one.. After the Gerstman Shenanigan, I stopped taking Gamespot that seriously, often finding their adjusted taste a bit out of proportion. But now, I totally Agree to them on this one...


From the Microwave splitscreen, to its perfected controls, outstanding graphics, seamless cutscene-to-gameplay integration, great storytelling, superb fightscenes, MEMORY CARD MOMENT Last Boss Fight (, Metal Gear Solid 4 is hands-down the best game of 2008 in my opinion.

Others chose Left 4 Dead [destructoid!!! WHY A CO-OP GAME AS GAME OF THE YEAR??! There's no "Memory Card" worth writing on that game!! :(] ...

some want Fallout 3 to win (Fallout 3 is a great game no doubt; has great quests, great weapon selection and a very large world to play in)...

almost all chose GTA4 (Which I disagree with, Niko Bellic and Roman are great characters and the game is a big jump from GTA3, but the wonky controls, non-linear play, and not so memorable set pieces [Excluding the bank heist scene, which is Great] does not make it Game of the year for me)...

but Gamespot chose my Game of the year..

Props to them...   read

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