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Random Encounters => Podcasts => Topic started by: Met on February 15, 2008, 05:34:45 pm

Title: Gaming Steve Episode 69 - 02.15.2008
Post by: Met on February 15, 2008, 05:34:45 pm
Gaming Steve Episode 69 Program

    * 00:07:19 Game News:
          o Spore is coming! Spore is coming! Lots and lots of Spore-related news!
          o Blizzard surprises people by announcing their cancelled games?
          o Banjo Kazooie 3 to appear in 2008, hopefully.
          o ESRB reports lower percentage of Mature games.
          o Puzzle Quest sequel coming in 2008.
          o Ubisoft smacks Bratz for $13 million. You go girl!
          o Mass Effect PC-bound this May, nobody is surprised.
          o EA Sports extends their NFL monopoly until 2013, nobody is surprised.
          o Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is announced for the PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and is nearly complete, everyone is surprised!
          o Cryptic Studios is bringing Champions Online to PCs and consoles, everyone is surprised!
    * 00:40:24 Review: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for the PlayStation 3.
    * 00:47:06 Name That Game: A new contest and new rules!
    * 00:51:25 Show Mail: I answer your audio and text questions.
    * 01:23:11 Final Thoughts: I'm getting ready for next week's GDC, and the unthinkable happens to my Wii! The horror!

Just finishing off the podcast now. I must say, I've been excited about Spore for ages... But probably my favorite bit of news about upcoming release was Banjo Kazooie 3. I love the first one on the Nintendo 64. I was eight when it first came out. Man, that was simply a great game.

Was playing RuneScape when he mentioned it. Had to salute the air there.
Title: Re: Gaming Steve Episode 69 - 02.15.2008
Post by: Yokto on February 16, 2008, 07:03:00 am
Well a pretty good podcast.

My personal option about Troikas failure was that Troikas never had the business contacts needed. There games had a great core but they where never teamed with a publish that could help them out. The bugs there games stuffer is a good testament to this showing that the extra polish there games needed was never given. In there latest game VTM:Bloodlines this is very clear. This game was delayed a lot because of valves problem with HL2. But rather then polishing the game up and wait a few months after the release of HL2 they decided on basically wait and then release it just after HL2. A bad move if you ask me. I do not blame it on Troika but the publisher. But hay this is how Publishers act. It is there nature. Activation did this to make a quick buck i am sure. Not to build a new franchise. What Troika needed was someone that could sell there products to the publishers and help them get the backing they needed.

That being said Troika still made 3 games and that is not that bad. They also decided to stop there business when they saw they could not get the support they needed rather then risking it all. Something i think was a sound idea.

I also loved Arcanum. This game had so much fun things you could do. One of my must funny characters was a Frankenstein's Bride Mage :D (I do not recommend it however as you will have problems with some of the dialog choices :( ) One of the few games that let you really try out weird stuff. If you like Fallout give this game a try.

BTW: Fallout was developed by Black Isle. Some of the core members of the did work on Fallout however.
Title: Re: Gaming Steve Episode 69 - 02.15.2008
Post by: Gorman Conall on February 17, 2008, 02:24:16 am
I gotta disagree on something.

Just because a game is not rated M does not mean it was actually made for kids. Its just means the game is not so full of gore and boobies that a kid shouldn't play it. A game does not have to be full of gore and boobies to be made for adults  :P.

I love the podcasts though.

Title: Re: Gaming Steve Episode 69 - 02.15.2008
Post by: Yokto on February 17, 2008, 10:00:39 am
I did get a E rated game today. Guess what. It is Hearts of Iron 2. A game about World War 2. But because all the genocide is only shown in numbers it gets a E rating. :D
Title: Re: Gaming Steve Episode 69 - 02.15.2008
Post by: Little on February 17, 2008, 10:49:43 am
I did get a E rated game today. Guess what. It is Hearts of Iron 2. A game about World War 2. But because all the genocide is only shown in numbers it gets a E rating. :D

Wouldn't it be worse because if they couldn't see the genocide, they might think it's harmless and go out to try it for themselves? Call Jack Thompson!

The podcast was good, though. Made me jump when it suddenly started!  :D
Title: Re: Gaming Steve Episode 69 - 02.15.2008
Post by: Yokto on February 17, 2008, 11:55:32 am
Who knows. We better ask Jack. He is a expert on these things after all.  ::)
Title: Re: Gaming Steve Episode 69 - 02.15.2008 - Minor Quibble and Switching Info
Post by: cool_moe_dee_345 on February 20, 2008, 10:32:05 am
Okay, now, not to quibble with Steve, but jumping straight to Zektor for your component switching needs is putting the cart before the horse to a great extent.  For one thing, if you have any legacy gaming equipment you like to keep hooked up or external devices (for instance, my TV is currently plugged into a Dreamcast, an Xbox original, an Xbox360, a Playstation 3, a GameCube, a DVD player, a PC, and, until recently, a cable receiver), quickly becomes prohibitively expensive.  While I will agree that Zektor's offer very little interference, the fact is that some of that interference they're eliminating is virtually invisible to the average viewer.

For my part, I use a somewhat older Pelican switch that's out of production now, but can be modded to incorporate an IR remote and up to 7-way optical audio switching, which is important, since for reasons I will never understand, that became the standard ahead of coaxial digital.  If you can find one and are okay with doing some home soldering, that's the way to go.

However, here are some rules for buying a switch you can live with that don't involve pogo-sticking blindfolded into the realm of mostly unnecessary high-end audio equipment:

1.  Use your surround receiver.  You should have one, and it should have a lot of holes in the back.  It's almost impossible to find a receiver that supports, you know, ten different video inputs with surround sound, but you should remember to count what you can get out of your receiver (for example, mine will switch two different HD video/audio feeds) when you do a wiring diagram.

2.  Speaking of which, DO A WIRING DIAGRAM.  It doesn't have to be complicated, but draw a picture with all of your boxes, all of the wires coming out of them, and where you're going to put them or need to put them.  This will be IMMENSELY helpful during setup.

3.  Know your television.  Specifically, know how your television processes audio.  The easiest way to get video and audio out of anything with one cable is an HDMI port.  If you don't have a pretty-expensive receiver, however, you can't send the signal to the receiver for the audio and the television for the video, but instead need to do the video processing first, to avoid problems with some flags that make your television not show anything (has to do with copy protection).  As a result, a typical approach would be to run the HDMI back to your television, let it strip out the audio, and run a wire from your television's audio output to the receiver.  THIS ONLY WORKS, HOWEVER, IF YOUR TELEVISION SENDS SURROUND AUDIO TO THAT PLUG FROM NON-ANTENNA SOURCES.  I'm yelling about that because this is a problem I've run into a lot.  Quite a number of televisions, and particularly older ones, don't bother to send the 5.1 or 7.1 signal that they receive over HDMI over to the audio output jack that they have hooked up to their signal receivers, and, as such, you can't get surround sound out of your television if you do it that way.

4.  Once you know how many inputs and of what type you need to switch that you can't get out of your receiver, it's time to start shopping for switches.  Generally speaking, the folks over at the AVS Forums will give you a reasonable review of how each product performs, though they also tend to be a bit snobbish (they will also, for instance, tell you that Zektor is entry level, which is a blatant lie), in addition to letting you know about other things you might be able to do with your device, like the way I could modify my Pelican switch.

5.  Important things to consider in a switch include the following:
a.  Signal Loss - signal loss is what happens when you put the wires in one end and what comes out the other is quieter.  This happens whenever you pass anything through anything.  Most powered switches don't have a problem with this, but unpowered switches (less common, but still available) can be criminally horrible.
b.  Interference - the ugly wavy line was interference.  This is what happens when the manufacturer uses crappy internal circuitry that either can't handle the signal, doesn't process it correctly, or, in one remarkable case I had to deal with, doesn't properly shield the inputs from one another.  This is the killer.
c.  Remote Control - this is very important if you use a universal remote.  The one annoyance for me about my current switching setup is that I have to get up from my recliner to manually switch between the 360 and the PS3 because I haven't modded an IR receiver onto my Pelican.  If you don't use a universal remote, this is probably not as big of a concern.
d.  Input Count - how many and what kind.  This is important, and this is why you have your wiring diagram.  You need to know, for example, if you need component, DVI (almost unheard of any more), VGA, or HDMI for the video and digital coaxial, analog R/L, individual component, optical digital, or HDMI for the audio.  For example, my Pelican can switch up to 8 HD sources (meaning component video in - the three plugs), but only three optical audio streams without modification, which means that most of those sources aren't that useful, since you WANT digital audio with your HD visuals.

If I can get hold of one of my friends today, I'll pop back in and give a recommendation for a remote control switch that he and another friend of mine use that's safely under $200, high enough visual quality that they don't see any problems, remote controllable, and available at some big box stores.  Otherwise, while Zektor is nice to have and will certainly work, it's certainly the expensive solution to the problem.