There Is Still Nothing Out Like ‘Crysis’

Crysis is an FPS game and I’m still begging for a sequel…but much like my love of parachute pants…probably never will.

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First off, I’m only discussing the first three games that were available on the Xbox 360. They were legendary…and some of the greatest first person shooters I ever played. The games brought something new to the table, and did I mention they were legendary?

The first game started off on Ling Shan, a chain of tropical islands in the North Pacific and stars a squad of elite US soldiers equipped with high-tech ‘Nanosuits’. Nanosuits are powerful and extremely versatile tactical combat armor. They grant the wearer superhuman abilities, like running super fast, destroying people with a single punch, and one of my favorites, turning invisible with ‘cloaking’. The villains are the North Koreans who have occupied an island and kidnapped a team of archaeologists who made a discovery that will “change the world.”

The game was tough but rewarding. The first Crysis game in the series released on Xbox 360 on October 4, 2011, and came as a downloadable ‘Arcade Game’. I had a 3D TV at the time and it was mind-blowingly awesome, and still one of the best 3D games I’ve ever played. Even though it had released on PC on November 16, 2007, and the graphics were a little weaker, it was still awesome.

 

The second and third games followed and even though the stories weren’t very in depth, the gameplay is where it excelled. I know it won’t happen, but a new storyline with current graphics on the upcoming Xbox One X and the Playstation 4 Pro would be epic. Crysis has stood the test of time, and if you want to try something new then you definitely have to play this series…but for now you will have to play it on the Xbox 360 because none of them are currently backward-compatible as of yet. And vote yes on bringing back parachute pants…I’ve used this before…but it still fits.

Comparing The Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro vs. Nintendo Switch

The next mid-shift in console gaming is here…mostly anyway. Gamers have plenty of choices with the new consoles and now you may be asking yourself, “Which one will work best for me?”

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With Sony’s PS4 Pro, the Nintendo Switch, and now the Xbox One X coming this November, you can play games at the highest graphics possible on your console of choice. The premium Xbox One X will compete with the PS4 Pro and Nintendo Switch for your gaming bucks, but how do the three major consoles stack up against each other?

Here’s a rundown of these three awesome video gaming machines…and here….we…go…

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CPU

Microsoft has delivered on its promise with the Xbox One X. The new machine will be the most powerful console available when it’s released this fall. The Xbox One X outperforms the PS4 Pro and Nintendo Switch with its CPU.

Each of the consoles is built around an octa-core processor, but the clock speeds of the three machines are very different. The Xbox One X is clocked at 2.3GHz, with the PS4 Pro processor speed being 2.1GHz. The Nintendo Switch processor clocks in at 1.02GHz.

GPU

The Xbox One X has the most powerful GPU setup of the three consoles. The new Microsoft console is a whopping 6 tflop’s, and significantly more than the 4.2 tflop of the existing PS4 Pro. The Nintendo Switch delivers 1.31 tflop.

RAM

The Xbox One has 12GB of RAM at 326GB/s. The PS4 Pro features 8GB at 218GB/s, while the Nintendo Switch has just 4GB at 25.6GB/s.

Storage

The Xbox One X and PS4 Pro deliver 1TB of storage. The Nintendo Switch went with a flash system with cartridges and has 32GB of storage.

Optical Drive

The Xbox One X includes a 4K Blu-ray drive, where the PS4 Pro has a standard Blu-ray drive. So if you have some 4K movies at home that you are wanting to watch on your fancy new TV, the Xbox One X would be a smart choice.

Nintendo decided not to include a disk drive at all and went with cartridge-based gaming for the Nintendo Switch. You can still stream other media, which to be fair is what most people are doing nowadays.

4K Gaming support

The Nintendo Switch cannot deliver 4K gaming, it just wasn’t built for that purpose. The Xbox One X will be able to provide true 4K gaming, with the PS4 Pro reaching near 4K gaming using its upscaling software.

HDR Support

Both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro deliver full HDR support. The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have this feature.

VR Support

Sony is the only one of these three manufacturers to currently provide virtual reality support. The PlayStation VR headset announced new titles at the E3 trade show.

The Xbox One X has the technologically capable of delivering virtual reality, but no official word on this feature has been given by Microsoft. The Nintendo Switch does not offer any VR support.

Portable Gaming

The Nintendo Switch is console-king when it comes to portable gaming. You can take the Switch wherever you want to go and yet, the living-room functionality is fun for the entire family. The Xbox One X and PS4 Pro don’t offer portable gameplay or support, so in this category, Nintendo Switch for the win.

Price

The Xbox One X is launching with a price tag at $499, which makes it $100 more than the PS4 Pro, and $200 more than the Nintendo Switch (basic-edition). For Microsoft, it has to convince players that the Xbox One X is worth the extra money for its 4K features and power.

If you look at the specs above you can find which system will work better for you. One thing for sure, it couldn’t be a better time to be a gamer. I know for me personally, we’ll have all three come November because each of them offers different playstyles. Plus, I’m incredibly spoiled…just saying.

DAYS GONE IS AN OPEN-WORLD ZOMBIE MASTERPIECE

Bend Studio’s new open-world game Days Gone is one of my most anticipated games, and not just for the hordes of uncountable zombies, although it didn’t hurt it any.

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In this version of the undead apocalypse, the zombies are called Freakers, which fits, because those gameplay videos freak me out. Not only do you have to worry about endless undead waves of zombies but they’ve added a new danger, ‘zombie-wildlife’.

Bears, wolves, and other wildlife are just as likely to become zombies as humans, great, as if you didn’t already have enough to worry about. You’ll play as Deacon, who is just trying to survive in a world that’s been devastated by the outbreak. It should be fairly easy in an open world game surrounded by the undead, zombie wildlife, and humans who are trying to kill you at every turn, right?

Sony’s E3 2017 demo of “Days Gone” showed off the variability of gameplay. First off, Freakers are everywhere in this huge and dangerous world and sound can be your enemy, or your friend when you’re playing. You can use it to your advantage and blow a hole in part of the fence surrounding an enemy camp, and the dead will rush to it and start taking care of your enemies for you.

The developers at Sony Computer Entertainment Bend Studios also showed how you can approach the same mission in a completely different fashion. Are you a fan of more stealthy attacks? You can have Deacon quietly infiltrate the encampment and take out enemies using close-quarters combat.

If you’re anything like me, ‘quiet’ may not be ‘your style’. But be warned, once the gunfire starts, enemies are alerted as well as anything in that area. You can even pick up and reposition traps and lure enemies to them, or unchain captured freakers to cause a distraction or to get away.

Days Gone reminds me a lot of Daryl from The Walking Dead, out on his own in this open-world genre, and armed only with his chopper and a few weapons. I love the fact that the chopper requires fuel, and that if the bike runs out of gas you are stuck and on foot until Deacon finds some. Bend Studios said the bike would remain wherever it’s left, so you don’t have to run and ‘Get to the Chopper!”

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Another great feature is that there are day and night cycles in this world as well as its own weather systems. This game is a fresh new look…looking thru the eyes of the living, looking into the many eyes of the dead. Days Gone will be exclusive to the PS4 and PS4 Pro, and no release date has been set as of yet. If you are a zombie fan this game has to be at the top of your list when it does get a street date, and I’ll tease you with one last thing…”zombie-bear”.

 

 

 

 

There’s A Good Market For The New Xbox One X

Despite what some people are saying about Microsoft’s new Xbox One X, there are gamers that are willing to pay for the huge upgrade in both power and graphics, and I am definitely one of them.

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I know what you’re thinking, “He’s an Xbox Fan Boy, so no surprise.” I personally review and own both the Xbox One S and the PS4 Pro, so let’s just stop all that before it starts. I cover both systems and everytime a new console comes out the ‘opposite side’ starts screaming the same tired thing again, and again…and…you get the point.

I can’t imagine anyone ever saying that if a newer, more powerful console came out that they wouldn’t at least want to get it. When a new iPhone or Droid phone comes out no one ever thinks twice about upgrading the first chance they get, so why be so hard on gaming upgrades?

A lot of players bought the original Xbox One or Xbox One S and won’t be upgrading to the new $500 console anytime soon, and Microsoft knows it. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox operations, said in a recent interview with Business Insider:

“We’re gonna sell more Xbox One S consoles next year than we will Xbox One X,” he said.

Despite that, Microsoft is pretty certain there’s a good market for its new Xbox One X game machine, even with its higher price point. l have been waiting for this and will pre-order one as soon as that is an option…yes, I just checked…again…still no…guilty, I just checked again.

To be fair, many PlayStation gamers haven’t jumped onto the new PS4 Pro train right away as well.  But, players with 4K TV’s that are wanting to play games at the very best level that they can on that platform have…and again…guilty.

The new upcoming Microsoft console is capable of outputting games in true 4K resolution, offering gamers a premium experience. The company won’t even be making any money from selling the Xbox One X, due to the price of the components to provide that kind of graphics.

The bottom line, if you have the extra cash to spend and have a 4K TV, then why wouldn’t you want the Xbox One X or the PS4 Pro? Who plays video games and ever says, “Wow, I don’t care about graphics and power when it comes to my console.” Short answer: No gamer-ever.

Only time will tell how the new console will sell. But, for the first time ever in this current-gen, the Xbox is pulling ahead as far as graphic and power. The line up of games they have looks amazing and run in true 4K (on the games made for 4K).

Anyone calling out predictions of the console failing before it’s even available for sale should probably stick to just reporting the facts. I gotta run, I’m still exploring every inch of Horizon Zero Dawn, it’s just the right thing to do.

 

 

PS4 Pro vs PS4: Should You Upgrade?

Sony launched two new versions of the PS4 in 2016. The PS4 Pro represents a more powerful unit that delivers better performance and capable of near 4K gaming and HDR.

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The other new console known as the PS4 Slim offers the same basic functionality as the launch model but is sleeker and refined for both performance and efficiency.

Here are some of the biggest questions asked when comparing the PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim:

  • Is the PS4 Pro more powerful?
  • Is there a graphic difference?
  • Is a 4K HDR TV worth it?
  • Does the PS4 Pro work better with PlayStation VR?

The simple and quickest answer if you already have a 4K TV is: Yes…to all of them. The graphics processor (GPU) in the PS4 Pro is just over two times as powerful as that in the PS4. The Pro also has an upgraded processor, which handles things like physics and artificial intelligence in games. The new PS4 Pro runs at 4.2 teraflops, compared to the 1.84 teraflops of the original PS4.

Although the PS4 Pro has the same amount of memory as the original PS4 – 8GB GDDR5 – it runs at a higher speed to improve performance and has an extra 1GB of memory for non-gaming applications, like Netflix and Amazon.

Developers can use the extra power and improve the quality of textures and lighting effects, leading to more realistic graphics and smoother performance with fewer slowdowns. All the PS4 games will work on the Pro, and of course vice-versa. So, no one is left behind no matter which system you decide to buy.

Take Horizon Zero Dawn, the graphics, and lighting difference between the PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro when playing on a 4K TV with HDR is jaw dropping. The Pro’s environment is much more colorful, such as extra plants, grass, and vines. The PS4 Slim still looks great, but after we played on the Slim first for ten hours, and then the Pro for ten hours, it was almost impossible to go back to the Slim.

 

But, I’ve heard that the PS4 Pro won’t run games in full 4K? Well, that is technically true. Some games will run at a native 4K Ultra HD resolution which is 3,840 by 2,160 lines pixels, but the most demanding games won’t. Many games will run at a resolution close to 4K, and then be upscaled to 4K.

If you don’t already have a PS4 then strongly consider getting the Pro. If you already have a PS4 and a 1080p TV and don’t plan on going 4K right now, then I wouldn’t suggest upgrading until you add 4K to your arsenal. But, if you have a 4K TV (hopefully with HDR) and you want to play games at the very best level offered on PlayStation, the PS4 Pro is worth the investment.

The only downside to the Pro is that for whatever reason (and I’m assuming for cost issues) they didn’t add a 4K HD player. So, if you have some 4K movie titles you’re wanting to watch on your shiny new PS4 Pro, sadly, it’s not going to happen. But, as far as gaming goes, the graphics and lighting are worth going with the Pro.

I spend a lot of time just looking around at the lighting and detail when I’m playing Horizon Zero Dawn, and I think I’m better off for it…I’m not sure how, but that’s what I tell myself anyway.

Battlefield 1: Still Dominating My Console

I have a ton of reviews to finish, deadlines to meet, one more chapter to write, and a ton of videos to edit…maybe after one more Battlefield 1 round…four hours later…

I don’t like hitting another guy in the face with a shovel or taking down a behemoth…said no-gamer…ever. Let’s face it, there’s no other game like Battlefield.

The decision for the Battlefield franchise to go with the World War 1 setting was simply brilliant. The futuristic shooter-styles that most games have gone to was fun for a while, but it’s also why I kept going back to Battlefield for MP.

When you think of WW1, you imagine long drawn out trench battles, poison gas, enemies everywhere you turn, and heavy fog and indiscriminate artillery fire. You can’t rely on modern technology or running on walls to get you through it. That’s what makes this game so awesome, it’s man vs. man (and sometimes hand to hand) combat.

They added what soldiers had available to them, early tanks, zeppelins, biplanes, flamethrowers, original rifles and guns, and the brutal reality of melee combat, which has made me cringe several times being on the giving and receiving side of it.

Battlefield 1 keeps things simple, and also makes you appreciate what soldiers had to go through on a daily basis. It was bloody, brutal, and horrifying, with death around every trench corner, and Battlefield captured just that. When I’m playing it makes me think of how long I would have lasted in something like that…short answer…not long. It is the most realistic MP I’ve ever played and leaves me stressed at the end of every match.

I’m still shocked every time I see someone running on fire and screaming as bullets and grenades are going off all around me. The crazy part is, that’s what I play when I’m trying to relax and just have some Gary time, I mean, the guy works hard, he deserves it.

If you haven’t played this game before then you should really give it a try. And, if you’re a Medic please for the love of everything drop a freaking med pack…or if you have ammo, please drop some instead of me running around in front of you screaming, “I need ammo!”

This is hands down my favorite all time MP game. I’m really hoping that Call of Duty can capture the WW2 era in a way they did back in the day as well. I’m off to play some Battlefield…I mean, edit some videos…I totally meant edit videos…hey, look over there…

Do You Have Video Game Collectibles?

Do you collect video game merchandise like a hoarder? Just look at it like it’s actual ‘real-life’ trophies or achievements…I saw you smile just then.

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These pictures may, or not be (but they are), just a few pictures of our collection that have moved their way to our living room from my office. Yes, I said living room. My office desk is spilling over with game stuff. For some reason, they think I’m supposed to make room to use that MacBook for like, work…I know, right?

When people come to the house and walk into the living room they do get a strange look on their face, and they usually ask the same question, “So, you’re still doing that, video game thing…huh?” Does it make me want to put on Corvo’s mask and stealth…wait, to dark?

Yes, we have so many ‘achievements’ that they have taken over our living room, and we’re running out of house. But, that’s OK, we’re looking at buying a new one. We know that it must have a huge basement (or at least a big, and I mean big split living room) because we’re making the most epic game room of…game rooms. It will be our Justice League, our Spartan Base, our Bat Cave…you get the point.

We have boxed up so much stuff that I’m not even sure what we have now. My wife is a huge gamer too so that makes life much easier. Guys (and Gals), one important thing you need to look for in that special person is that they enjoy playing games as much as you do.

I make no apologies that a lot of pictures have been replaced with Master Chief, Bethesda figures, and Minecraft swords…I mean, I know the people, I know what they look like. Not many wives let their living rooms appear like GameStop and ThinkGeek had a baby, and shacked up with you in the main living area, she is a special lady.

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We have more than enough stuff already to fill a massive game room, along with a green screen for taking pictures and videos with all the merchandise (and a Director’s chair, just because). I still want to make a video-movie with our three Granddaughters and soon to be Grandson. We’ll have a popcorn maker, a Keurig brewer, and a soda fountain machine for all your gaming needs, I mean, we’ll have to have the basics.

I know people who just collect the metal video game cases, they don’t keep the game, just the cases. I also know people who collect just the statues that come with Special Editions. ThinkGeek has really tuned into a huge market demand that was honestly pretty hard to find before they came along. There is nothing wrong with collecting gaming merchandise, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself…but I know me, so it has to be right.

What about the pictures of the family? We can just move those into the hall and hang them up there, right? Batman and Pip Boy have priority and that should just go without saying…but if you need me to say it out loud…you may not like what you hear.

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All kidding aside, what do you do with your gaming collectibles (AKA. Toys as I’m regularly told)? Is that something you’re even into? Or, is just playing the game enough for you? There is no wrong answer to these questions. There is no doubt when you come to my house that I’m a gamer, even though a guy did come in once and didn’t know what any of this stuff was…yeah, he hasn’t been back since.

Well, it’s Friday and I’ve shown you just a few of the items that we have out and frankly, I’m really craving a Krispy Kreme donut and a Starbucks. So, have a great weekend and remember, actually I forgot where I was going with this…so just pretend I said something really funny here and we’ll all laugh together, HA-HA-HA…that Gary, he’s a funny.