You don’t get the show 1: We’re like school on Saturday…no class


Brand new show we open by finding out just how long it takes for Ignacio to use the bathroom before our recordings and it’s all downhill from there.

J.A. talks about the lady in League of Legends who was totally down with a three-way with him and his girlfriend sight unseen because “Love don’t got no eyes.”

We also learn that you can find real legitimate gameplay video on sexy sites which not only confused J.A. but wait till you hear why he was on those sexy sites to begin with.

Now the show isn’t complete without “normal” gaming news so the guys talked about Blizzards meeting with Nostalrius the group behind the WOW legacy servers.

You can check out their official website.

We also answered questions from our Facebook Group page.

So not bad for a first show of what is pretty much the anti-Obsolete Gamer Show and if you like it please comment, upvote and visit all our links and stuff including following us on our Twitter page.

And if you really like us we are on Patreon so you can send us your hard earned dollars so we can finally get Ignacio a bedroom organizer.

And if you didn’t like it or got offended, you don’t get the show.

Mech Commander 2 Review & Strategy Guide

Mech Commander 2 Review & Strategy Guide by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“The greatest RTS game ever made for Battletech.”

Overall Score:
7 out of 10

Mechcommander 2 box art cover
Mechcommander 2 box art cover

Overview:

Think of this game as a more modernized version of BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk’s Inception and BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks’ Revenge except without all the RPG aspect. You play the role of a commander for a mercenary outfit that got hired and got put in the middle of a civil war that just started between House Davion and House Steiner. On top of that House Liao is also trying to take over the planet that you’re on, in middle of the ongoing chaos.

Although this game now is pretty old, since it came out in 2001, it still captures all the charm of the Battletech universe. It might not have every Battlemech ever made but it does have some of the original best mechs and it introduces some newer mechs that are from the most recent storyline for the Battletech universe.

Mech Commander 2 Unit Selection Screen
Mech Commander 2 Unit Selection Screen

Controls & Gameplay & Fun Factor:

The controls are pretty archaic as far as an RTS game goes. They by default only use the left mouse button and the only other key that you really need is to press the space bar while giving out move orders to make your mechs run. The game uses the classic convention of being able to group units with CTRL + number convention. Controls get a score of 6 out of 10. They’re really primitive and are actually obsolete.

As far as RTS games go, the gameplay feels really dated. Sure it’s fun to see a lance of Atlas running around blowing the living crap out of everything. I do think that the Mechwarrior games are much better though, although they are a completely different kind of game. Gameplay gets a score of 7 out of 10.

This game was fun for me although it doesn’t have the fast pace of a modern RTS game. A lot of times a mission requires having a lot of patience. The game will make you wait for the enemy to attack. Sure, you can go out and get them but that defeats the point sometimes of fighting inside a fort that has turrets supporting you. Compared to some newer RTS games such as League of Legends, Battleforge, or Dawn of War 2, the game can be pretty boring. Since I grew up playing tabletop Battletech, this game was a blast from the past that an old gamer like me needed! I give fun factor a score of 6 out of 10. I wish they’d make sequel for this but there’s always lawsuits going on for the Battletech franchise. At least Mechwarrior Online is supposed to come out 2012 so we’ll see.

Mech Commander 2 Atlas fighting
Mech Commander 2 Atlas fighting

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility & Replayability:

This is where I have a problem with the game. If you play it on Veteran, the default 2 out of 4 difficulty then the game will be realistic as far as your weapons go as far as damage and accuracy BUT if you put it on the harder difficulties the game becomes bullshit and nearly impossible to beat. If you put it on 3+ difficulty then you will see shit like a hovercraft owning your mechs like nothing. This is where the game FAILS.

For that overall the Difficulty gets a score of 4 out of 10. Some of the missions even on regular difficulty were really challenging. The last mission was so damn easy though. 🙁

Difficulty Versatility gets a 1 out of 10. Super fail in this. Because of this the game has no replayability for me almost except playing it once every couple of years when you get the urgue to play something Battletech related.

Value:

How you go about getting this game really depends how much of a computer person you are or what format you want it in. If you want the original, you can ebay the CD for it. The cost will be whatever the market will bear. Microsoft released the source code for this game in 2006 and you can download it here. If you can make it run, there you go, enjoy it!

Sound:

The sounds for all the battle sounds were pretty realistic. It made me think of lot of the older Battletech games and that’s always a good thing. The lasers sound like they should, so do the PPCs, Gauss cannons, Auto Cannons, etc. The feedback from the Mechwarrior pilot was also pretty great, along with the digitized video of them getting shot up inside their mechs as well as your field assistant giving you updates on the status of your mission. Great job and we don’t see a lot of games that have this kind of banter anymore. The video acting was great too. A lot better than the ones in the Command & Conquer games, which is outright B movie grade. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Music:

Although the music is not as good as the music from Mechwarrior 2, the music does make you feel like you are playing a real Battletech game. I still love this soundtrack though.

I give the music a score of 7 out of 10. Click here to listen to more music from the Mech Commander 2 soundtrack.

Stability/Reliability:

On my modern PC running Windows 7 and doing ALT TAB like crazy, the game never ever crashed. I’m usually doing a million things while gaming so this game is rock solid. That’s to be expected by a game good enough to be published by Microsoft. This deserves a score of 10 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

The graphics are really dated and haven’t aged well. They are Direct3D for a really old version of DirectX and no matter what parts you have the textures will look ugly by today’s standards. Oh well, at least the mechs look like what they should though. I give the graphics a score of 4 out of 10.

This game runs like a beast even on the worst computer I own. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10. It would fly even on a non-gaming PC.

Conclusion of Review:

If you are a hardcore Battletech fan and you’ve never played this, go out and play it NOW. If you want to play an RTS game that requires patience, you will like this game too. I don’t think they’ll ever make another game in the Mech Commander series again, which is a real shame. We’ll see though… If MechWarrior Online starts to do well when it does come out, there is hope. It’s nice to see that Battletech is not entirely dead. It has a special place in my heart alongside Warhammer 40k.

Strategy Guide:

Not much to it. Always use as heavy a mech as possible. Save every Atlas you ever salvage. Salvage every single battlemech on the field, even if you have no money left as you can sell them back for more money in the outfit and refit screen. Outfit every Atlas you have with as much armor as possible then load it up with as many Clan ER Medium Lasers as possible. That’s the optimal mech for the entire game.

Gaming PC Benchmarking Guide August 2011

Gaming PC Benchmarking stopwatch

It’s been a couple of months since I last wrote a benchmarking guide and since then the video card of my old machine started to fail more eventually leading to me replacing it, not being happy with the performance and last month building a nearly state of the art gaming system.

All the theory I talked about in my original benchmarking guide still applies but my new system is able to run all modern games with every setting super maxed out. Since everybody will not have a super new computer, I will keep my recommended benchmarking settings high but still reasonable so you can compare new systems to legacy systems.

The specifications for my new main gaming PC, which I built, now are:

OS: 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 3.7 Ghz per core 6 MB L3 cache AM3+ socket processor
Video Card: Sapphire ATI 6870 1 GB
Memory: Kingston HyperX 16 GB (4 X 4 GB) 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Quad Channel Kit non-ECC unbuffered CAS 9 1.65V RAM
Sound Card: onboard sound via a Realtek ALC889 chipset
Storage: Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS 3 TB 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache SATA 6.0 Gb/s 3.5″ internal hard drive OEM
Case: Thermaltake Xaser III LANFire VM2000A Case
Power Supply: hec X-Power 780W (peak) 600W (mean) ATX12V v2.3/EPS 12V v2.91 SLI nVidia Hybrid-SLI Certified CrossFire power supply
Peripherals: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner

Again, this benchmarking guide consists ONLY of things you can download for free. Everybody can test with these free tools so it requires no spending on your part, just time and patience.

Let’s see what programs now got added, and why, and which ones got removed and why:

The RealStorm Benchmark 2006 test has been removed. This is rather unfortunate as this IS the ultimate single core CPU performance test I’ve ever used. The reason for the removal is that the real storm website was permanently taken offline and there are no plans for it to be brought back online in the future. If you can still find it somehow, I recommend using it. I might post it in the future for download and I can give you a copy via Skype or chat if you really need it. Just ask.

The Battleforge 1024×768 test has been removed as this resolution is too low and most people won’t use it to game anymore. I usually just run every game these days at a minimum 1280X1024. Yeah, my system can run stuff at much higher but I’d rather get 200 FPS than 120 FPS just to get more eyecandy. I’m more concerned with the smoothness of the graphics such as anti-aliasing options being turned on and high framerates. Like always, LAG is a killer.

Battleforge is a FANTASTIC free-mmo-rts that has kind of been abandoned by EA but it’s still free and many, many people still play it. I have mastered everything in the game and my friends are now all bored of it but I will play it once in a while. You can check my original review of the game here as well as check out my first strategy guide here for doing Battlegrounds as well as my second strategy guide for Battleforge here that shows you how to farm the mission Raven’s End by yourself.

Anyways, this full game is FREE and it includes a built in benchmarking tool. The way to use it is to login first to the game and then not login to your character, instead hit back, and select options, and go to the graphics screen and select to run the benchmark.

Again, if you never checked out the game, I encourage you to do so, especially if you are a massive RTS player. I like this game and benchmark because it taxes your CPU, RAM, and GPU. Every unit in the game moves and attacks in a complex way and it’s a great example of showing how well your system performs playing a real time war game with a ton of units.

The updated criteria for benchmarking with Battleforge is the following:

Shadow Quality: Very High
Resolution: 1280×1024
Texture Quality: High
Fullscreen: On
Shader Quality: High
Anti-Aliasing: 8x
SSAO: Off
MultiThread Rendering: Auto-Detect
FX Quality: Very High
VSynch: Off
Cloud Shadows: Off
Glow: Off

Download the Battleforge benchmark and full game from: http://www.battleforge.com/

Some of the options in this benchmark and others to come are either off or set not to max because the benchmarks are too picky and unless you have a 700 dollar video card, it will not let you run them. I’d rather everybody be able to test. The faster systems will yield insane numbers anyway.

My new PC got an average of 78.5 FPS, a minimum FPS of 7.1, and a maximum FPS of 182.7. You can compare that respectively to my old computer’s 6.8 FPS, 0.5 FPS, 53.5 FPS. It just blows it out of the water.

The Dirt 2 benchmark test still stays because it’s still a modern game engine and DiRT 3 is almost the same thing. That one was added too to the list as we’ll see below.

Dirt 2 Test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024
Refresh Rate: 60
Multisampling: 8x MSAA
Vsync: Off
Aspect Ratio: Normal
Gamma: 1.0
Night Lighting: High
Shadows: High
Particles: High
Mirrors: Ultra
Crowd: Ultra
Ground Cover: High
Drivers: Ultra
Distant Vehicles: Ultra
Objects: Ultra
Trees: Ultra
Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: Ultra
Post Process: Medium (this setting is annoying and usually defaults to this)
Skidmarks: On
Ambient Occlusion: High
Cloth: High

Download from: http://download.cnet.com/DiRT-2-demo/3000-7513_4-10977053.html

Codemasters games are pure unadulturated eye candy, especially Dirt 2, GRID, and F1 2010. The games keep getting prettier and still run very efficiently despite the graphic quality increase. These games are also system killers because of how great they simulate the physics needed to create a realistic racing and driving experience.

My current gaming machine yielded an average framerate of 105.5 FPS and a minimum framerate of 85.7 FPS versus my old machine’s 15.7 FPS and 13.4 FPS.

Moving on to a newer game we are now using the DiRT 3 game to benchmark as well. It’s the same as DiRT 2 but the game engine is tweaked a little more. The game is usually bundled often with most current video cards so either get it from there or download the demo for testing. You can check out my review for DiRT 3 here.

DiRT 3 test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1028
Refresh Rate: 60
Multisampling: 8 x MSAA
VSync: Off
Aspect Ratio: Auto
Gamma: 1.0
Night Lightning: High
Shadows: Ultra
Particles: High
Mirrors: Ultra
Characters: Ultra
Ground Cover: High
Distant Vehicles: High
Objects: Ultra
Trees: Ultra
Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: High
Post Process: Medium (again this loves to set itself to this over and over so just leave it like that)
Skidmarks: On
Ambient Occlusion: Ultra
Cloth: High

I couldn’t find a direct download link for the demo because Codemasters is crazy enough that they don’t really have a main website anymore. I recommend getting the demo from Steam. Having a demo not be available would proabably encourage piracy but since this game is now being bundled with everything you’d probably find a product key easily with any AMD or ATI purchase at this moment.

With all the added graphic features to DiRT 3, my system got lower framerates with this one compared to DiRT 2. It yielded 66.39 FPS average, and 55.74 minimum FPS in this test. The game looks amazing.

I was considering adding the HAWX 2 benchmark to this guide but since the demo even includes the draconian Ubisoft you-must-be-online-and-make-an-account-like-an-mmo copy protection SCHEME then I refuse to. Sure, the game looks amazing but I don’t want to subject people to Ubisoft’s bullshit. Let’s stick to the original HAWX, which is still a great benchmark and doesn’t require all that drama to run.

Tom Clancy’s HAWX test settings:

Game version: DirectX 9 for legacy compatibility purposes
Screen Resolution: 1280×1024
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Antialiasing: 8x
VSync: Off
Full Screen: On
View Distance: High
Forest: High
Environment: High
Texture Quality: High
HDR: On
Engine Heat: On
DOF: On

Download from: http://www.gamershell.com/download_40308.shtml

If you never play this game, I recommend it still, and you can read my Tom Clancy’s HAWX review here.

My new computer gets an average framerate of 163 FPS and a maximum framerate of 392 FPS… WOW. My old system got an average framerate of 23 fps and a maximum framerate of 127 fps. What a difference!

The X3 Terran Conflict benchmark demo continues to be an amazing testing tool not just for performance but for system stability. This IS the benchmark I use the most to either make or break a system.

X3 Terran Conflict benchmark test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024 Fullscreen
Antialiasing: 8x
Ansitropic Texture Filtering: On
Anisotropic Texture Filtering: 16x
Glow enabled: On
Texture Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
More Dynamic Light Sources: On
Ship Colour Variations: On

Download from: http://www.egosoft.com/download/x3tc/demos_en.php

This game engine will rock the socks of your CPU, RAM, and GPU. I couldn’t believe my eyes as to how detailed the final part of the benchmark was when I saw the massive, super-detailed space station being rendered as it was, on my old gaming PC. Even on my new gaming PC, this benchmark will bring your system down to its knees and make it cry like a little girl.

This benchmark is old but it even comes with a built in warning that it WILL really ABUSE your video card.

My new computer got a score of 91.303 FPS. There were some parts in the benchmark when performance dropped to about 22 FPS, like the warnings said. My old machine used to get 17.012 FPS.

Trackmania Nations, free as always and still a solid full game with a simple benchmark feature built in.

Trackmania Nations test Settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024
Antialiasing: 16 samples
Shadows: Complex
Shader Quality: PC3 High
Texture Quality: High
Max Filtering: Anisotropic 16x
Geometry Details: Normal
PostProcess FXs: On
Force Dynamic Colors: On
Force Motion Blur: On
Force Bloom: On
Water Geometry: On
Stadium Water Geometry: On
Trees Always High Quality: On

Download from: http://trackmaniaforever.com/nations/

This benchmark now yields a 69.7 FPS on my new machine versus the 31.8 FPS I used to get from my old system. It’s much more enjoyable to play this again with everything on.

***

There is the updated list! I moved on from Windows XP especially since 32-bit Operating Systems have both RAM and hard drive allocation limitations. Windows 7 is okay but I’m surprised as to how few games have pure real DirectX 11 support. Only super megacorp insane-budget titles seem to have this so far, so I’m disappointed.

Share your benchmark numbers with us either as a comment below, on our facebook page, or forums. Stay tuned for more hardware reviews and articles.

WarFactory PCs’ The Sentinel PC January 2011 model Review

Cooler Master HAF 912 caseThese days there are many manufacturers which make custom or prebuilt gaming PCs, but which one is the right one for one to choose? There are many factors to take into account such as price, choice of parts, real world performance numbers, the reliability of the system, the quality of construction and assembly, the availability of support as well as the duration and quality of the warranty, and especially these days whether or not the company will be around during the life of the product to be able to help you with or help repair the system. There are many brands and companies to choose from whether big or small, such as Alienware, Dell, OriginPC, IBuyPower, LanSlide PCs, WarFactory PCs, and many others. I’ve seen many companies come and go so most people will usually only want to purchase from a bigger company but even some of those are starting to disappear. It’s important to choose the right brand. Today, we will be looking at The Sentinel, the model offered around January 2011 by the manufacturer WarFactory PCs. I will discuss its real world performance, how I found the construction and finish to be, and talk about what I thought about WarFactory PCs based on my interactions with them.

What are the specifications of the Sentinel – January 2011 model?

Price As Configured: $1238
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
PROCESSOR: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T BE 3.2GHz stepping: AACAC AC, CACAC AC
GRAPHICS PROCESSOR: ATI 5870 1 GB
MEMORY: G.Skill 4GB DDR3 1600MHz
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS M4A89TD/USB3
STORAGE: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB
CASE: Cooler Master HAF 912
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650 Watt
PERIPHERALS: Asus DVD Burner

Performance benchmark tests:

The criteria used for my gaming PC benchmarking is shown in my Gaming PC Benchmarking Guide February 2011 article.

The Sentinel will be compared to my old gaming PC that I built in 2007. At the time it had all the parts needed to run anything and it still can run just about every game out there. That system has the following specs:

OS: Windows XP Professional (Corporate)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770-DS3
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ 2.8 Ghz
Video Card: Sapphire ATI 3870 512 MB
Memory: G. Skill 4 GB DDR2 800 Mhz (limited to 3.4 GB by the 32-bit OS)
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster Live Platinum
Storage: Western Digital 750 GB 7200 RPM HD
Case: generic black case from newegg.com
Power Supply: generic 480 Watt
Peripherals: NEC DVD burner

Onto benchmarks…

Following the order of my benchmarking guide first we will see how well the systems compare in the RealStorm Global Illumination Bench 2006 test.

If you remember my benchmarking guide you will remember that this test shows a real world analysis of single core raw processing power. In this test The Sentinel is 43.79% faster than my machine. That means that each core is that percent faster per CPU core. This is important because not every program one uses is multi-threaded (supports multi-core processing).

The average performance in this test showed that The Sentinel is about 44.06% faster than my gaming PC in this single-core CPU test.

In this same test, this shows that at the bare minimum frames per second rendered, The Sentinel was 39.41% faster than my system. Minimum FPS tests are usually very important tests because this is when you notice the lag the most.

At their peak performance, we see a performance difference of The Sentinel being 47.35% faster than my gaming PC. Max fps is not as important as other benchmarks but I include it in my tests simply to see as high as peak performance goes.

Battleforge 1024x768 average fps

Battleforge is a free RTS MMO that I used to play a lot of and it still looks pretty amazing and is a great benchmarking tool for testing how good your system is at running a modern war game. I usually run my Battleforge settings to display 1024×768 so I wanted to benchmark it like that, as well as at a higher resolution. At 1024×768, The Sentinel performed on an average 757.60% faster than my old gaming PC. This is the proof I needed to remind myself to get a new gaming PC! The game supports all the latest graphic technologies for modern video cards as well as has modern multi-core support.

Battleforge 1024x768 minimum fps

Again, this is where a PC fails and we notice lag, which ruins the gaming experience. In this test, The Sentinel is 311.76% faster than my system. It put out 14 Frames Per Second, which is still under the desired 30 Frames Per Second that most of us would want, but then again this is with every option on, so a smart move would be to turn down some of the options before playing.

Battleforge 1024x768 max fps

In this test we see that The Sentinel is 240.61% faster than my machine. The game is obviously much smoother on The Sentinel system.

Battleforge 1280x1024 average fps

The Battleforge test gets more brutal as the resolution gets bumped up to 1280×1024 with everything on. The limitations of my own system are more obvious now and even The Sentinel has a hard time, but it’s still 845.58% faster in this test.

Battleforge 1280x1024 minimum fps

11.1 Frames Per Second are still not desirable so again, I recommend lowering the graphic settings. Still, it’s nice to bring systems down to their knees. Although in this test, The Sentinel does shame my old machine by being 2120% faster than it… Yeah…

Battleforge 1280x1024 max fps

This again is the fastest each system can run the benchmark. The Sentinel flies again, yielding performance 215.51% faster than my old gaming rig.

Dirt 2 1280x1024 max settings average fps

Like I mention in my guide, Dirt 2 is simply brutal and overall the best benchmark I recommend for testing the real gaming capability of a system since racing games require so much to run right. Lag is most unforgiving in racing games out of all games because one wrong move and you crash, so you need peak performance always. This test shows that The Sentinel is 280.25% faster than my machine. I will have to get a new machine before playing the next Codemasters racing game, although I do love how efficient they code them.

Dirt 2 1280x1024 max settings minimum fps

This is where we see that my system can no longer handle modern racing games. The Sentinel is 273.88% percent faster than mine. It’s Frame Rate at 50.1 is much higher than the 30 fps minimum we all need. This does make it a great gaming machine for modern gaming.

HAWX 1280x1024 max highest fps

Tom Clancy’s HAWX is still one of my favorite action flying games out there and it does showcase some of the best graphics I’ve seen come out in the past 2-3 years. The efficiency of this game engine makes me smile and the built-in benchmark tool does too. At peak output, which this test shows, The Sentinel is 181.88% faster than my machine.

HAWX 1280x1024 max average fps

Again, in this test The Sentinel shames my system by being 582.60% faster than mine. Its 157 Frames Per Second put my 23 fps to shame utterly.

X3 Terran Conflict 1280x1024 max average fps

This game is filled with super eye-candy and you really want to be able to run this game on a system that is totally up to par with the scalability of the game’s graphics engine. In this benchmark, The Sentinel was 397.80% as faster than my machine. The average FPS is at 84.686 which is way higher than the fabled 60 FPS that most people desire.

Trackmania Nations average fps

This test shows what a legacy game that still requires a good system to run will yield. The window closes a little but The Sentinel still beats the crap out of my system being 107.86% faster than it.

Performance Conclusion and Parts Analysis:

In the performance department, The Sentinel is sufficient enough of a gaming PC to be able to run any modern game at pretty much max settings, staying reasonably realistic.

The processor it comes with is great for both gaming and running heavy applications. It’s great for multitasking and multi-threaded programs and applications as well.

The video card has 1 GB of memory on it which is really important for rendering high resolutions. 1 GB of video memory is usually enough for most gaming needs unless you are one of those people that wants to set the resolution as high as your display can handle for every single game you play. It also has a strong GPU which keeps your framerates high while minimizing minimum framerates.

The RAM is quick but 4 GB is starting be a low number for modern PCs. It’s still enough to run anything, don’t get me wrong but this is probably one of the first areas that one will want to improve on if you are like me and run 10 applications WHILE running a game at once and alt-tabbing. The motherboard supports 16 GB of RAM max so it’s very future-proof and that’s a really great thing to have.

The hard drive only has 500 GB of space, which is not high compared to some other gaming machines but it does have enough speed to be able to load games up quickly. Anyways, I wouldn’t probably use the machine to store much on if you want it straight up for gaming and if you do want to store a lot, I would recommend adding a multi-TB hard drive for storage and using the main drive for applications and gaming. That’s a no-brainer. ;]

The case is a Cooler Master HAF 912 which looks both great in its jet black color and could pose well not only as a gaming machine but a professional server or business computer. Not many cases have such prestige to be able to pull that off. Great pick, WarFactory PCs on such an amazing case. The design of the case inside is so well done that it’s easy to install and remove components. This is highly desirable. All wiring came neatly assembled and tucked-in correctly as well.

Compared to my systems The Sentinel is relatively quiet. The fans barely make any noise even when under heavy load.

The Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650 Watt power supply is more than enough to handle the power requirements of the system and leaves enough free power for reliable operation as well as adding more parts and faster parts in the future.

Warfactory PCs emblemSupport and Warranty Information:
The basic price and system include a limited lifetime warranty. This means that you get a one year warranty on the actual parts, a three year labor warranty, and a lifetime of general support. Since there are manufacturers out there that will not provide any sort of support whatsoever for an out of warranty machine, WarFactory PCs beats them in with their lifetime general support warranty. At the time of this writing, support is available through a phone system at the number 708-667-5375 as well as through AOL Instant Messenger under the screen name WarFactoryPCs and email. It’s important to be able to call a company in the instance that the system is your only system and you have no way to get online to contact support. WarFactory PCs addresses this criteria with their phone system support channel.

My Impressions of WarFactory PCs:

They were very attentive to my many, many annoying questions that I used for formulating this review as well as asking them questions that showed me that they are a reliable and trustworthy company worth buying products from. If you guys know how annoying I am and how little life I have, you very well know that I am the kind of person that will contact a company in the middle of the night when normals are sleeping or having dinner. Gamers don’t rest! WarFactory PCs understand this.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a gaming PC machine right now that DOES have a manufacturer warranty and is set at a reasonable price, I would recommend The Sentinel to be among the systems you look at before making a purchase or build decision. Some manufacturers which I will not name right now (or yet) offer really shitty entry-level gaming PC solutions, but this is not the case with The Sentinel. Even the basic configuration is worth getting as it will be able to run every modern game. You can’t go wrong with a system like that for only $1238. This recommendation is coming from someone that only builds his own systems and never buys any built PCs. It might totally be worth the difference of spending 100-200 dollars more knowing that you have the manufacturer’s expertise to help you out when something goes wrong.

***

This review was done on a Sentinel PC lent to me by WarFactory PCs solely for review purposes. Stand by for upcoming reviews by other gaming PC manufacturers. Once I get a good list of reviews going and more data for my benchmarking database, stand by for a competition to see who is the best bang for the buck out of these gaming PC manufacturers!

Games Coming Out In January 2011 For PC

Games Coming Out In January 2011 For PC by Honorabili

Great! Finally some games I have been looking forward to are coming out! This 2011 *might* be a good year!

DC Universe Online, January 11 2011

This MMO might be really fun based on all the teasers and videos I saw of developers giving us details about it, but let’s see how it really is when it is live. I’ll probably wait for my friends to get this (Umar, ahem) and tell me how shitty or great it is. Still, it looks fun, so it might be worth it for you if you love the DC Universe, even if the game is just okay. I actually got excited about this one when the first teasers leaked and I don’t care too much about most MMOs that come out.

Venetica, January 11 2011

Something about this game, just based on the trailer makes me think it probably won’t do that well unless it has something really unique to it.

Spellforce 2: Faith in Destiny, January 12 2011

These RPG-RTS games are pretty good. Although this expansion is not made by Phenomic who make one of my favorite games Battleforge, this is still made by Jowood who makes a ton of sleeper games that are actually very, very good.

Dead Space 2 Box
Dead Space 2 Box

Deadspace 2, January 25 2011

The first Deadspace was scary and brilliant. It was the total spiritually real successor to System Shock 2. Although Bioshock copies its formula every single freaking time from System Shock 2, Deadspace actually added a whole new level of horror and gruesomeness to the desolation and hopelessness of being stuck alone in a ship full of raving things that want to kill you, chop you up into a thousand pieces, and eat you.

Two Worlds 2, January 25 2011

Part one for Two Worlds was a fun game, although many people said it was pretty generic. I found the combat in the first one actually a LOT more fun than Oblivion, a game a lot of people always compare this one to. Yeah, it was generic but if the gameplay is fun, what’s the problem? Let’s see if Two Worlds 2 caters more to the hipster fanboys that hated the first one. ;]

Facebook Gaming vs Real Games aka anything else

Facebook Gaming vs Real Games

As an experiment of sorts I installed a bunch of Facebook games to my profile to see why people play those games. I quickly saw that these games are merely made so that you can waste your time faster at a dead-end job (maybe a real job) rather than at the usual braindead rate.

Life is strife. Life is challenge. Most of the FB games I found (like 99% of them) don’t have any death penalty. What’s the point of doing anything if you’re immortal? Like seriously, even Tic Tac Toe is more hardcore. Even Pong is insanely more punishing than the typical FB game.

Tic Tac Toe
Yeah, even this little girl is more hardcore than Farmville!

I found a pattern with most of these games. The typical game will let you do a certain amount of actions or so per hour or per day, regenerating your ability to do more if you wait or if you pay real life money or facebook money. I guess this appeals to people who always thought video games were retarded but now they’re addicted to the most base form of “video games”.

FB games are basically blatant ripoffs on concepts taken from old school BBS door games. There’s a ton that involve having land, building an army, and attacking other players for resources. Of course, all these games now involve “leveling up” which sometimes doesn’t even give you anything but just goes to show how much of a loser you are for playing the game for longer than 2 minutes.

I actually found one FB game which does have death and losing but pretty much nobody plays it. The game is called Verdonia and it plays a lot like an MMO version of Defender of the Crown. The game consists of building up your country and conquering land from NPC and other player nations. Most other games are about trains or zombies or farms or dumb shit. It’s just a bunch of pointless fucking grinding that makes even the worst play-for-free MMO look like a work of art.

I guess these games appeal to the basic gaming addict that just want their level to go up with no point or skill needed. Here, just click on this button a bunch of times and level up your farm/zombie herd/etc.

I played these games for a bunch of days and then I fired up even some games that I had been sick of playing and here is what happened. OMFG, is this what fun feels like? Like, I’m sick of playing certain games that I play all the time with my friends like Dawn of War 1 and 2, Battleforge, GRID, etc but Jesus H Christ, even grinding these games that don’t even give me any gratification anymore is much more entertaining than even the best FB game. I found that my skill in playing games that require practice degraded a lot and I had to repractice to get my skills up to par.

Let’s talk about specific games:

Lucky Train: Build trains, board them, click to send them, repeat over and over and over and over and over (kill yourself)
Office & Co: Simulates pointless office jobs, the best part of the game being when you fight your boss and you play rock, paper, scissors with the chance of losing, only to repeat it again. You can’t get fired unlike in real life, for playing this game at work and getting caught.
BRAAAINS: Cute graphics but that doesn’t make up for a game where you can’t die. Build up a zombie army and keep doing it over and over as you fight random strangers in an uncontrolled pvp animated match.
Mobsters 2: Vendetta: Kind of neat to see the different missions that you can do but essentially, you read it once and who cares after you click on the mission again for the 40th time.
Castle Age: “rpg” fantasy game where you do quests that are just you clicking the quest button over and over and then you fight bosses and pvp other players, with no real death penalty. Pointless.
OfficeWorld: Tired of your pointless job in real life? Go be an asshole in a virtual office in this game. Click on people and deal with office drama, again without being able to get fired.
TrainStation: Similar to LuckyTrain, except not as cute.
CarTown: Game for people who wish they were 6 years old again and could play Micro Machines.
NightClub City: One of the neater games, again you can’t lose. Cool thing about it is that it plays samples from real musicians which I guess it’s a way for you to buy their singles online.
RomanTaxi: You run a taxi service in Ancient Rome… Yeah…
Mercenaries of War: Create a band of warriors and fight NPCs and other players, and even though they just shot you with assault rifles, you can never lose to the point of having to make a new character. What fucking bullshit is that?
BrainBuddies: Harder than the other games I just mentioned. You get to do little brain teasers to see how clever you are, or just how many times you did these quizzes and memorized what you had to do.
City of Wonder: Civilization rip off in which you attack random people and build up your city with again little consequence of chance of dying.
Tetris Friends: At least this is modeled after a real game. How can you fuck up Tetris?

Okay, I’m going to go punch a wall and play some hangman on paper with some elementary school kids because at least I can die in that game. Makes me want to fire up some Hello Kitty Online for Slaneesh’s sake!

Slaneesh demotivational poster
Slaneesh, worship him/her or Chaos will RAPE you

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

PVP vs non-pvp PVE
PVP vs non-pvp PVE

Player versus Player and Player versus Environment was the topic for this week’s show. We were happy to have our good friend Edwin in the studio with us and had a great conversation via Skype with longtime Obsolete Gamer fan, Liz Poisonkiss.

We started off with a recap of last week’s show which featured MMO’s and then moved into our Facebook fanpage question of the week which asked which our fans preferred to play PVE or PVP type games. From there we talked about our Insider Discussion question of the week which asked our panel which had a bigger impact on PC gaming RTS or FPS games.

From there we dove right into the main topic discussing the differences between a FPS mindset playing games such as Quake 2 and the strategy side of RTS games such as the original Warcraft game. Edwin also talked about his online Street Fighter games and said that he preferred to play again a human which we all agreed.

We premiered a new feature on OGS called Skype with a fan where we talk with people who have participated on our Facebook page and Forums and our first guest was longtime fan Liz. Who shared her thoughts on being a gamer girl, fps versus rts and pvp versus pve.

In our final segment Ignacio, Edwin and I discussed our various experiences in PVP from MMO’s to X-box live to arcades. Overall we had a good discussion about an important subject in the world of gaming. So give us a listen and we will be back next week with a brand new show.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 6

MMO collection
MMO collection

Love it or hate it massive multiplayer online role playing games or MMORPG’s for short have played a big role in gaming and this week on OGS we wanted to talk about some of our favorite times and memories involving games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest. In addition during our research for a review on the documentary Second Skin I discovered a good friend of mine was featured along with her guild in the film.

This was our first show using Skype and we wanted to bring some of our longtime fans and friends on the show that either currently or in the past played MMO’s. First we talked with Edgar who gave us his take on World of Warcraft from him fighting off the addictive nature of MMO’s to how the gameplay had to be modified to accommodate new players who may not have the experience of more seasoned gamers.

MMO logos
MMO logos

Next we spoke with an officer from the World of Warcraft guild Amber Knights. Candice is also a good friend of mine and fan of Obsolete Gamer and we spoke to her about running a guild made up of friends and how it can differ from being in a guild of strangers. In addition we talked about her maintaining a happy marriage with her husband and fellow gamer Felipe and finally we chatted about being a gamer girl in a gaming world dominated by men.

Our last Skype interview was with Javier aka Vigo from the World of Warcraft guild Decent. Both Ignacio and I worked with Javier at Alienware (along with Edgar by the way) when World of Warcraft was released and we talked about how we all decided to play it and the choice to either PVE or PVP. The connection was a little bit off for this one, but it was still a good conversation and we were happy to be able to have a good discussion with our fans.

Ignacio/honorabili talks about his best experiences with Auto Assault, Global Agenda, Warhammer Online, and Battleforge. His most memorable memory from Auto Assault is running an elite guild and meeting a group of old gamers that have been playing together since Mechwarrior Online.

Throughout the show we played clips from my interview with Sairys who was one of the couples featured in the documentary Second Skin. We talked about how she got introduced to the Second Skin guys and how she first joined her guild (also profiled in the film) The Syndicate. She told us a heart filled story about how members of the guild helped each other even in the saddest of times and recounted hers and Ebony’s (he boyfriend) fondest memory in a MMO.

All in all a great show and we hope you enjoy it as well and as always leave us feedback and tell us how we did.


The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 6

gog.com sale: Special RPG Promo, 50% off

Spellforce
Spellforce

gog.com sale: Special RPG Promo, 50% off

This weekend Good Old Games has 4 RPGs on sale at 50% off: Sacred Gold edition, Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator, Spellforce Platinum edition, and Stonekeep.

Sacred is similar to Diablo and Morrowind. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (21 pages), hi-res wallpapers (6), quick-start guide, original soundtrack, Underworld soundtrack, a map of Ancaria, and avatars, as well as the expansion Sacred Underworld.

Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator an underdog of japanese sci-fi RPGs. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (36 pages), hi-res wallpapers, artworks, maps, and avatars.

Spellforce Platinum edition is both an RPG and RTS. Made by the creators of BattleForge. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (49 pages), hi-res wallpapers, hi-res wallpaper (second pack), characters making of animation, artworks, game editor, and avatars. The bundle includes the original SpellForce: The Order of Dawn as well as the expansions SpellForce: The Breath of Winter and SpellForce: Shadow of the Phoenix.

Stonekeep is a first person RPG with more doom-like 3D but it’s the same kind of game as the Eye of the Beholder games. This version includes the manual.

Click here to go to the sale!

Strategy Guide – Battleforge: Battlegrounds

Bloodhorn from Battleforge
Bloodhorn from Battleforge

Strategy Guide – Battleforge: Battlegrounds by Honorabili

In order to get the most upgrades one should do as high a difficulty as possible in the battlegrounds (I’ll refer to it as bg) with a guaranteed win. If you try to do a bg of one more difficulty than your deck/skill can safely conquer and you win only half the time, you’re pretty much wasting your time. Although you might get some gold, bg is not entended to give gold, merely tokens, so you pretty much just wasted your time.

I think that bg’s were made harder lately in the latest patch/update so I am writing a few tips that I always use and that always net me a victory. They mainly made the bg’s harder by lowering the time limit and “correcting” the spawn rate of enemy waves.

I see a lot of people playing and they don’t really know how to follow the map in the correct kill/aggro order. Although the maps are “randomly” generated, all that is random is the placement of buildings and units, the maps are pretty much templates that repeat. Sometimes they mirror or are inverted, sometimes they have a slight variation but pretty much they are the same every time. The strategy I found is to simply attack whatever it closest to your first orb, perpendicular to it. Usually the enemies will be sorted by increasing difficulty with the stuff closest to you being the weakest. Take them out in the correct order.

Talking about aggro, it’s always a good idea to keep your finger on the E key, especially if you have a bunch of swift melee units that want to fight everything and will tend to aggro the whole freaking map. I recommend having these swift melee units to help you take out the production buildings (tents, coffins, whatever) that will be particularly annoying in the T1-T3 phase or a ton of missile units that will focus on taking out the production building. I usually play shadow or nature hybrid decks to do bg’s and I recommend just mainly going to the production building especially in the higher difficulties. Once your archers/troops are within the enemy base and they are getting raped by all those melee troops just keep running in there and spamming foot soldiers or shock troops closer and closer to the production building. Take it out ASAP; if you don’t you (and your team mates) will regret it. It’s not necessarily that the bg’s are hard (unless you play 9 or 10 all the time) but it is a problem that you will run out of time most of the time. It’s important to have spells that neutralize your enemies for a few seconds such as Curse of Oink.

Once you get to the part where you are fighting bosses, I found the best tactic is to get near that base and kite them out of the base and fight outside, preferably outside of the range of their turrets/mortal tower buildings. Once there have most of your units take him our or his liutenants and it will be a piece of cake from there. As far as T4 sieges, I personally like using Bloodhorns or similar troops that have the stampede/charge ability. Just active, point in a direction and every building in that direction basically shatters. A lot of the bg’s now have flying units that paralyze your units so they are to be a priority as well. I also make a ton of flying units that focus on solely going for the production building. I use damage resistance spells such as Unholy Power or Unity or the use of the most overpowered building in the game, Wheel of Gifts (multiple ones built and triggered at the same time.

On the point of killing turrets, most of them suck. You can just ignore them except when you are using small units, where they will rape you. The only other real problem with turrets is that they will get in the way of the line of fire for the production building. Take that specific one out and then snipe, snipe, snipe.

Some people also make specific decks towards the Map of the Week, which you can use to farm over and over for tokens.

Enjoy and go collect those tokens!

Battleforge

Battleforge Logo
Battleforge Logo

Battleforge Review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:

“The lovechild of Warcraft 2/3 on crack mixed with Magic the Gathering.”

Overall Score:

9 out of 10

Overview:

This is an RTS MMO by Phenomic and it is run by/published by Electronic Arts. The player takes the role of a Sky Lord, which is basically like a minor god mage that manifests units, buildings, and spells in the mortal realm. Every action in the game takes form of a card to represent the icon for the unit/building/spell which is played in real time whenever the player builds up enough power (mana) to cast/summon it. There are four disciplines of magic: Shadow, Fire, Frost, and Nature. You can make up your army of any mixture of disciplines. There are only two resources during battles, power wells which make power (mana) and monuments (orbs) which are your units/building/spell tier tech levels. Cards are bought using real money which buys one BFPs (battleforge points) either from EA or by buying the game. Trade in game is also possible so it’s not really necessary to buy the game at all if one wants to put in the time instead. The game is divided up into PVP and PVE. The PVP is divided up into unranked (practice), collection (any cards go) 1vs1 and 2vs2 (ranked), and tome (specific to cards bought that month in a random collection) 1vs1 and 2vs2 (ranked). The PVE takes the form of premade missions that are either single player, 2 player, 4 player, or 12 player. A new game mode has been added in Nov 2009 which adds random pve maps from 1-4 players and adds the reward system of the PVP system. As far as rewards go, missions give the player in game money (gold) and upgrades for unit/building/spell cards the player may or may not already own. The goal of the game is up to you, whether to own every card in the game, get all upgrades for them, or dominate the pvp ladders. The initial launch of the game in the US seems to have failed (as far as I know) and it’s relatively cheap to play it here vs the rest of the world. There is no monthly subscription fee and the game is “Play4Free.”

If you already know the game but would like my tips, click here to read my strategy guide on how to do battlegrounds properly.

Fun Factor:

It’s been 2 months since I started playing it and I am still lured back to the game. I hate MMOs in general but for what this is, the usual biweekly updates keep me coming back for more. It’s a lot of fun setting the difficulty higher each time to level up my real life micromanagement skills and I really enjoy sometimes being able to hold out 6-7 fronts throughout different parts of the battlefield all at once. I’ll give the fun factor score for Battleforge a 9 out of 10.

Difficulty Versatility:

There have been times that I have been doing a mission with a friend for an hour on the max difficulties only to fail for not paying attention for about a minute or two. The difficulties for the missions scale very fast as there are 3 difficulties (Standard, Advanced, Expert) at the time of this writing. Let’s just say you better be good to play Expert. 😀 For the Random PVE maps, they implemented a bar that slides from 1 to 10 so it’s a lot more customizable and the game earns a lot of points in this category for that. For PVP, people have researched the living crap out of the game by now so there are pvp guides out there for people who just want to stick to other people’s strategies. I have myself countered some of the instawin bullshit strategies so I think the game has a lot to offer. I give the difficulty versatility a 10 out of 10.

Value:

Since the game is free, the game has a great Value score. You can download the full game from the main Battleforge website. With the Play4Free account one gets a limited amount of cards but it’s still possible to pretty much do everything in the game with them, although it will very hard to do so if just using these free cards as many basic cards are missing from the free account. To solve that one can trade gold for cards (risky because of the nature of the trade system in game) or if one wanted to be really cheap one can spend the bare minimum real money and add $5 through the EA website to their Battleforge account. That basically translates to one cent is one BFP and with those assets one can either buy two booster packs in game (which I don’t recommend) or buy a lot of cheap 2 cent cards in the auction house and then build up one’s army slowly. Those 500 bfps can also be used to farm the auction house and slowly start earning bfps through one’s buying out of and reselling in the auction house. It’s up to you if you want to put in the time and this can be a game in itself. I myself are notorious for my AH buyouts. (evil grin) If you opt out and buy the full game for $20, you get almost every basic card in the game automatically and 3000 bfps which you can use to buy boosters/tomes/cards in AH, etc. In the long run this is the best value for the in game economy of your character. Since the game has no subscription fee and it’s only $7 or $20 for many, many days/weeks/months of entertainment the game gets a 10 out of 10 in this category from me.

You can get the game from Direct2Drive or Steam for $20 or for close to 7 dollars on Amazon since the game is not as popular as they anticipated. This is by far the best value way to get the game.

Replayability:

The number of missions is limited but since there are three difficulties for each and each difficulty is completely different, these missions will offer at least a whole month worth of entertainment until you grow tired of them. The random pve can be a lot of fun since you pick whatever custom difficulty you want and it’s a random map/enemy every time. They can be extremely challenging. For PVP you can spend endless hours trying to fight your way up the ladder system. It’s up to you what your goals will be and you can always invent new ones. 😀 I’ll give the replayability an 8 out of 10. I do hope that they keep adding more content for this game if not this score will drop.

Sound:

The sound of the explosions and swords rattling is great. The voice actors they picked do a nice job as every unit has their own sounds, some which are funny, some which are generic. Overall I give the sound category a 7 out of 10.

Music:

Each discipline of magic has its own music score which sounds great, except to me the nature music which is kind of annoying (reminds me of the Lion King). My favorites are the music for Shadow (sounds like something out of Gladiator mixed with music from the Dawn of War games) and Fire (sounds like a mix of Assassin’s Creed music). The music can get repetitive, well if you play the game like I do (100 missions in a row, etc). Overall I still think they put a great effort on the soundscore and I reward this game a 7 out of 10 for the music.

Graphics:

The graphics for this game are simply beautiful! To my knowledge this is one of the first games to embrace DX11 and it’s sponsored directly by AMD/ATI (even gets promoted directly on their website and I saw the add for it when updating to the latest ATI video drivers). Each card in the game has its own custom icon which is very pleasing considering this is an RTS game. Special versions of cards (promotion cards) have an even more custom avatar for the units with a special skin and/or better graphics. I think this is one of the better looking RTS games out there and the graphics remind me a lot of Guild Wars and Age of Wonders 2, which as far as graphics go are a great thing! Graphics gets a 9 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

Overall the game is stable but…there are drops in connection/desynch when you least expect it. This might be because of latency issues between people playing far away but I had been playing this game with my brother which lives in the same house as I do and one of my best friends which lives blocks from my house and the match ends because of a desynch issue. This doesn’t happen all the time but I do want to bring it up because for an online game this is a deal breaker. As far as server up time, the servers are up 99.9% of the time with the only times I saw them down being for an update to the game which took about 30-50 minutes and one time for general maintenance. Compared to WoW or Eve Online, EA really does a much better job for quality of service. I give Stability/Reliability a score of 6 out of 10.

Controls:

The game implements the WASD scroll which is great and now makes other RTS games controls seem clumsy. Most hotkeys for commands of units are the same key which simplies micromanagement even further. I give Controls a 10 out of 10.

Performance:

I don’t run the latest hardware and the game runs like a champ on an AMD Athlon X2 5400 CPU and an ATI Radeon 3870 512 PCI Express MB video card. My brother is running the game playable on an AMD Athlon 64 3000 CPU and an ATI X800 AGP video card. Most gamers will be able to run this games on any modern gaming PC. I give it a score of 9 out of 10 for performance.

My history with this game:

I downloaded the demo for this game and I wanted it so suck so much but instead it was enough fun that I stopped playing most other games for a good month or two. I got most of my friends addicted to playing it, even those who hardly ever buy new games bought multiple copies of the game and we got a lot of members added to out gaming clan because of this game. I’ve been playing for two months and I have still a way to go before completing my card/army collection. Probably by the time this will happen another expansion will come out (there has already been one made) so that will keep me even more interested.