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Review: Logitech G400
January 21, 2013 at 21:46  / 

This review is about the Logitech G400. However, I’ll start talking about a different mouse. Back in mid-2011, I reviewed the Razer Deathadder. This was my main mouse for around 18 months, until it started suffering from the dreaded double click of doom – the left mouse button started treating most clicks as a double click. The mouse was deemed irreparable by Razer and my money was returned. Being in the market for a new mouse, I decided to go for something new.

After some time browsing on-line reviews, forum posts, blog posts and other miscellaneous tidbits of information, I decided to go for what Logitech calls “the new MX518”: the G400. Its predecessor is one of the most trusted gaming mice in the market, being sturdy and efficient. The G400 is supposed to retain those characteristics and improve on them. I’ve ordered it on Amazon for €30. This makes it considerably cheaper than the Deathadder, which can be good news for gamers on a budget… if the G400 lives up to its expectations.

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Humble THQ Bundle
November 29, 2012 at 18:34  / 

Whooooa! The gaming web has just been rocked by the confirmation of the Humble THQ Bundle. For the minimum amount of 1 dollar, you will get one Steam key that will unlock the following games: Darksiders, Metro 2033, Red Faction Armageddon, Company of Heroes, Company of Heroes Opposting Fronts and Company of Heroes Tales of Valor. If you beat the average, they’ll throw in a Steam key for Saints Row III. Everybody knows that things are bad at THQ, and this bundle seems to confirm it. Humble Bundle is known for aiding charity organizations but, as some have (jokingly) said, this time THQ is the charity organization that needs your help.

You can buy your copy at humblebundle.com during the next 13 days.

Match engine update for FM2013 released
November 21, 2012 at 15:15  / 

The much anticipated update for Football Manager 2013′s match engine was released last night. I still haven’t played much with it, having gone through only 3 matches, so I’ll provide a more thorough analysis later on. However, this new update didn’t have the best of starts. In those 3 matches, I had two extremely weird injuries. The first one featured one of my players getting injured on the second half kick-off. The player kicking off the ball passed it to him and he dropped to the floor right after passing it to a third player. The second weird injury event happened with an opponent’s striker, who got injured after heading a ball towards goal – with no defenders near him. I’m not sure if these are related to the match engine, though, or if it’s just a damn weird coincidence.

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Fix list for Football Manager 2013
November 15, 2012 at 18:25  / 

An element belonging to the Sports Interactive team posted a list of fixes that they are implementing for the next patch. They’re hoping to get it released next week.

The full list has a fair amount of important fixes, but it raises a few concerns. Browsing through the list, it’s easy to spot several items described with “some minor fixes”, “some refinements”, “some fine tuning”… personally, as you can guess if you’ve read my review, I don’t think that the game needs just minor tweaks. Major changes on the match engine are required and, although some fixing is already a nice start, I doubt that it will be enough.

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Review: Football Manager 2013
November 14, 2012 at 20:28  / 

I’ve been playing Football Manager since it was called Championship Manager. I started out with Championship Manager 2, in the mid-90s, back when each league had its own edition. I don’t recall ever skipping an edition from Championship Manager 3 onwards. When Eidos and SI split, I remained faithful to the “true” series and moved to Football Manager. So, as with so many FM fans out there, October and November usually have one highlight for me: the new Football Manager edition. Let’s face it, other than that – and unless you’re a kid living in a country that celebrates Halloween – October and November are mainly known for the return of crappy things, like cold weather and damn shorter days.

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Starcraft 2 fans have received mixed news today. On the bright side, there’s finally an official release date for “Heart of the Swarm”: 12th of March, 2013 (this is shortly after my birthday *wink, wink*). What could spoil such good news? Well, the price. “Heart of the Swarm” will cost €39.99 on its standard edition and €54.99 on the deluxe edition. Considering that we’re looking at something more in the realm of an expansion, rather than a full game (20 new missions, a few new multiplayer units and some minor on-line additions), seems rather overpriced. Had it been half that price and I would have pre-ordered it before writing this text. However, if the price isn’t high enough to stop you from pre-ordering it, you can get it at the Blizzard store.

Battlefield 1942 available for free!
November 6, 2012 at 00:52  / 

EA released Battlefield 1942 for free on the Origin Store! Even though it’s on the Demos section, it’s the full game. They also did something awesome and decided not to mess with it. This means that the graphics are dated and that the maximum available resolution is below my current one, but it also means that the things that make recent games annoying aren’t there (like the purchaseable “all weapons” unlock codes – or cheats, as I prefer to call’em).

Does the game still hold up after 10 years? Surprisingly for some, not so surprisingly if you played it back in the day, yes. You will notice some annoying details on the control system, the game’s pace is a bit slower than more modern games and the maps lack the detail level we’re becoming used to, but it’s still quite fun to play. In quite a few ways, it’s a better game than BF3. The planes, in particular, were a lot more awesome in BF 1942. The flying physics offers a higher realism and difficulty, but still remaining arcade enough to be easy to play. On top of it, in some of the maps you can fly the monstruous B-17, which is what the C-130 in BF3 should have been – instead of that annoying path-following crap.

Although this version is incompatible with the servers from the old one, there are already a few thousand players on-line and this number should keep growing. Let’s just hope that EA doesn’t decide to ruin everything by screwing this game trying to get some extra profit from it (yes, micropayments, I’m looking at you).

Moved to WordPress!
October 22, 2012 at 18:30  / 

The tech-savvy among you probably already noticed I’ve converted my website to WordPress. WordPress, when self-hosted, is a lot more powerful platform than Blogger, featuring a fair amount of flexibility and a template system miles ahead of the one used on Google’s blogging system. This allowed me to easily create my own template and keep a consistent look among all pages.

I will soon be moving here the most important posts from my Blogger account. And, hopefully, update this blog more often. :p

Review: Tritton PC510 HDA
August 17, 2011 at 22:36  / 

The Tritton PC510 HDA headset promises a true surround sound, with 4 speakers in each ear cup, capable of giving you an advantage in gaming according to Tritton’s marketing claims. Priced between €100 and €120, they’re also somewhat expensive. There aren’t many reviews around – and the ones that I could find were by sponsored clans, making them clearly partial – so I hope this is useful.

The PC510 are bundled in an easy to open box, which follows the current trend of having a “viewing window” with velcro locks. Not much comes with the headphones, just the manuals, the headphones themselves and the control unit. I think that, for its price, it wouldn’t hurt if it came with alternative ear pads.

Once out of the box, the first look is positive: they seem quite solid. However, their first problem is also clearly visible: the control unit is too close to the headphones. The cord is divided in two, with a very short first segment attached to the headphones and a long second one containing the control unit in one end and the 5 connections in the other: 3 for the 5.1 audio, one for the microphone and one USB for power. Once you get everything set up, you’ll notice there’s no comfortable position for the heavy control unit. If you place it on the desk, it forces you to remain still or it’ll slip. If you don’t, it’ll dangle at your side in an uncomfortable way. You can also try placing it on your lap, but it’ll end up slipping from there due to its weight. One easy way to fix this would have been to simply place the control unit further down the cord, so you could have it sit on your desk – like most other similar headsets do.

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Review: SteelSeries Qck Mass
July 30, 2011 at 20:14  / 

A few days ago I posted a review on the Razer Deathadder, the mouse I’ve been using for the past two months. Now it’s time for the review on the mouse pad I’m using with it, the SteelSeries Qck Mass. It has been through the same usage conditions – I’ve used it on my main system for the past couple of months, around 6 to 12 hours every day.

The Qck Mass comes rolled up inside a tube-like box, with a cardboard back and a transparent plastic cover around it. You’ll have to tear the cardboard to take it out, so the box will be pretty much destroyed once you open it. On the bright side, at least it’s quite easy to open, so you won’t need any scissors, like usually happens in similar blister-style packages.

Since it came rolled up, I was afraid that there’d be marks or creases once I laid it on the desk. However, this didn’t happen, it was perfectly flat – no “place a heavy book on it all night” tricks were required. This may be related to its size and thickness. With a 32cm width and 28 cm height, the Mass is within the regular size for a gaming mat, but it’ll look gigantic if you’re moving from a standard mouse pad – it has about three times the area of my previous pad. At 6mm, it’s also a lot thicker and heavier than most pads.

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