Tag Archives: Console

Let’s Talk About the Alienware Alpha

Image by Flickr user Pierre Lecourt (CC)

Talk of getting a gaming PC has lingering in our house for years. It usually resurfaces in the fall when many of last year’s electronic goodies hit the sale tables, and the discussion has usually taken the same turns. We look at all the pre-made gaming PCs for sale, talk about exactly what games to run on them, determine that we can’t afford the really awesome PCs, and then determine what we can afford just isn’t good enough, and then decide we should just build our own. And that’s where the conversation usually ends, because although we are somewhat mechanically-inclined, what kills the mood is the thought of sifting through website after website to find not only the all the proper pieces, but all the proper pieces at the right prices. Not only that, we have a host of gaming consoles to keep us busy, and frankly, we each have PCs that will run games just fine. (I’ve been using my laptop for Steam games for a couple years now, and I have no complaints.)

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The Xbox One: Strike Two

Image by Evan-Amos (Wikimedia Commons)
Xbox One Console Set By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Eighty days ago, less than three months, the Titanfall Xbox One bundle arrived in our house. After going through quite the ordeal to get the thing set up and online, off into the world of next-gen we sailed on a digital ship. Yes, digital. Digital-only. For eighty days we explored a world of games through a download code and the almighty cloud: Titanfall (digital download), Trials Fusion (bought from the Xbox Store), the new Killer Instinct (free through the Xbox Store), a trials of Project Spark and Kinect Sports Rivals (free through the Xbox store). Sure, there were plenty (Some? Eh, a few.) on-disc games that we could have enjoyed, but with so many games in the house to play, buying physical copies of Xbox One games just wasn’t a priority. Plus, with our Gamefly membership, we knew that there would be a few good rentable titles down the road, like Wolfenstein: The New Order, which arrived in the mail last week.

Excited by the notion of seeing the Xbox One takes its true form as game console immersed in physical media, we popped in the Wolfenstein game disc, the first physical disc our console had ever seen, and were greeted with:

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The Eighth Console Generation: Will the Duck Buy…the PlayStation 4?

Hello, everyone, and a soon to be happy New Year’s!  Ahem, after discussing the Wii U and the XBox One, it only stands to reason that the Duck will now be discussing the successor to the PlayStation 3.  Can you guess what it’s called?  Yes, that’s right, the PlayStation 4 (talk about creative titles…).  I heard a lot of rumors about this console, just as I did with the XBox One, and it led me to believe this console didn’t focus a lot on games and may very well have the same upsetting features the XBox One did away with (such as having to log in daily and not allowing us to play used games).  But, after reading about this console (information was found on Wikipedia), I am pleasantly surprised.

For one thing, don’t worry, you can indeed play used games on the PS4.  And as far as I can tell, you don’t have to connect to the Internet to install a game, either, like you need to with the XBox One.  They also made some pretty cool changes to this console.  For one thing, apparently the PS4 does updates and installs games in the background, allowing you to play without having to watch those boring screens where the console downloads stuff you didn’t really even want to begin with (yes, I’ll sit here for several minutes while you hide my trophies in a more difficult to find location; like I believe for a second “Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix” is unplayable without such a change).  You can apparently try out games for free, too, to see if they’re any good before you buy them, which is pretty neat.  Hopefully, that will prevent certain purchases I later regretted (“Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault”).  And just a random detail, this console lets you replace the hard dive with a bigger one when you want to.  The XBox One, however, does not.  Good to know if my hard drive fills up, I don’t need to erase stuff or buy a new console.  Unlike…the XBox One… Continue reading The Eighth Console Generation: Will the Duck Buy…the PlayStation 4?

The Eighth Console Generation: Will the Duck Buy…the XBox One?

I’ve already discussed the Wii U, and now I will be going over my thoughts on the successor to the XBox 360, the XBox One (they need to get their numbers straight).  I heard a lot of rumors about things Microsoft was planning to do, such as requiring people to connect to the Internet in order to play games and no longer allowing people to play used games, which were all things that made me worry a bit about the future of gaming.  This also made me decide, if these things weren’t changed, there was a good chance I wasn’t going to be buying this particular console.  Well, after reading more about it (information found on Wikipedia), some of my worries were eased, while others were not.

As I mentioned in my post about the Wii U, when I heard about this generation of consoles, it seemed these consoles were not so much about games anymore.  It seemed that game consoles were now about everything else they can do, and this suspicion remained when I read about all the things the XBox One was capable of in relation to videoconferencing and watching TV and other such non-game-related features.  In fact, most of the intro on this particular console was dedicated to all these features, with gaming almost as an afterthought at the end.  Many people will be glad, I suppose, that this console can do so many things, but when I buy a video game console, I want gaming to be the main emphasis, just as I don’t want to buy a DVD player (yes, I still use those) that does everything besides play DVD’s. Continue reading The Eighth Console Generation: Will the Duck Buy…the XBox One?

A Demon In Our Midst

Dlc, if you have dabbled in gaming at all during this generation you know what this is. This is the 40-80 dollars you spend after your initial purchase of a video game. We may hate ourselves for it, but we get excited when it’s announced, froth at the mouth and ready our wallets for it’s beautiful release. A forbidden pleasure.
What is dlc really? In some cases, I’m sure it is probably exactly what they tell us it is, added content to expand our enjoyment of the original game. I don’t believe for a second, though, that this is always the case. In most cases, especially in day one dlc, or dlc released within the first week, It is just a way for game producers to milk us a tad more for a game we just bought. I can’t blame them completely, I know as well as anyone that video games are a business as well as a pastime, but I feel like there should be a limit or a basic set of rules to how they can do this.
I remember the old days, before consoles were connected to the internet. Games back then were complete the day you bought them, they didn’t need dlc. When you bought a game it was either a deep and compelling game that was worthy of your investment, or it was a horrible waste of your time, and you used it for target practice. There was no dlc, you got what you payed for, and you knew what you were buying yourself into. Games back then it seemed like were just made better than the games of today.
Nowadays, I feel like games are released incomplete on purpose. Sure, you can complete the story, save the damsel in distress, whatever. The games, though, don’t always feel complete without the dlc. Honestly, I’d rather just pay an extra amount on my initial purchase and feel like I bought a completed game. Dlc is an infection, and we the consumers (myself included) continue to buy into it. The worst kind of dlc isn’t even the expansion style dlc, which some is totally worth your money, It’s weapon skins and character outfits, this dlc is truly money-grubbing and just plain stupid.
I think the moral to my story here, is that we as gamers should evaluate the content we decide to pay extra money for. If it’s an expansion that you will blow through in 3 hours, don’t buy it, because that’s exactly what they want from us. The only exception to this, is if they offer you a bacon weapon skin, in that case you should buy it because bacon is amazing. Anyways happy nerding, hope to hear back from you guys!