Grandia 2 Removed from GOG.com!

I recently learned that one of my favourite Dreamcast-PC ports was removed from the only legal DRM Free store. The game is still available on Steam along with the first part for $19 a game. Despite the game still being available legally online, this is another example of a Digital only grim future.

Grandia HD On Steam

People who want an offline, DRM Free game has two choices; buy an old PS1 version of eBay or pirate the offline version. The first choice involves looking for an old, expensive copy, having a functional system and hoping that your modern TV won’t distort the image too much. The other route while illegal will provide you with a fully functional copy that can be played offline without any DRM. Of course, the days of boxed PC games are sadly long gone. There is the switch version, but we are talking about the PC port and not every digital game gets released physically on consoles. Not to mention that you still need to install day one patches on newer console games. rendering the whole DRM free feeling obsolete.

I personally buy two versions of most of the games I really enjoy. A console physical version and a Steam release. But with newer games needing to be activated via patches, I think I will just stick to Steam and GOG.com. Overall, another sad day to game collectors and DRM Free fans. Hope the games make it back to GOG sooner than later despite me owning Grandia 2 Anniversary Edition when GOG still offered it.

The Evil Within 2 PC port Review

The first Evil Within PC port was questionable for many PC gamers as it had some issues surrounding performance mainly frame rates and stutter. Even on higher systems, the game simply wasn’t able to hit a solid 60 frames. I was able to complete the game with mix settings hitting around 30 frames in most parts on my old rig.

The following was my experience with The Evil Within 2. For starters, my rig consists of i7-3770, 8 GB of Ram and Nvidia GTX 980. Everything was set to high with vsync targeting 60 frames at 1080p resolution. I realize I could get away with a few settings on ultra but for the sake of consistency, I set decided to go with high.

There are a lot of graphical settings to change which is always a good thing since lowering a few of them may help stabilize the game for some. Besides PC gaming is all about options and this port feels like a proper PC game. Some are experiencing unstable frame rates with higher PC specs than mine when playing on 4K or 1440p so keep that in mind if your planning to gaming on those resolutions.

I played the game using the Xbox 360 wired controller that worked perfectly out of the box and recommend playing the game this way if you can.

Once the game booted, I was greeted with amazing visuals. Not surprising since this time the game was made to run on next-gen systems in mind. The frame rate throughout the whole game was around 57/60 stutter free even in the middle of the action. The lowest it dropped was around 45 in very rare occasions. Overall, the game performed well and was stable throughout my whole run. Keep in mind though I was running everything on high and consider my system specs.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the game itself. Like I said, the visuals look way better than the first one which was created with the ps3 in mind. This time, the game runs and feels like a next-gen game. The atmosphere is less creepy than the first one but the story and settings to make up for that.

You start in a town called Union. A calm place it was until things went south and all hell broke loose. With Union falling apart, you were brought in and sent inside to find the core which also happens to be your daughter. As you progress, you learn more about union through interactions and hidden files progressing through little by little but enough to keep you coming back for more. There are a few Easter Eggs about another horror game but I will leave it at that. The town atmosphere adds the element of an open world game but does restrict you in ways of story progress. Think of it as the first Silent Hill game on the PSone.

And just like the first game, you do have the option to upgrade your weapons and abilities which includes new takedowns and better character handling. The upgrade part may be little confusing at first since character improvements and weapons upgrade are done from two different locations. The first can only be done in Sebastian’s office while the later can be accessed anytime in your inventory as well as at Sebastian’s office and safe houses.

Speaking of Safe Houses, a few locations allows you to regroup by saving your game and gather useful items inside. You can also access character and weapons upgrade. Such locations are marked on your map once you visit them once. You will know you are entering a safe house as its door will have a special marking. Basically, they are Save rooms from the earlier Resident Evil games.

There aren’t a lot of weapons to find but just enough to keep you going each with its upgrades and best use scenarios. As with the first game, try aiming at the head. You can also use the environment to your advantage like oil drums to give you an edge when facing a lot of enemies. Of course, I prefer sneak kills as they don’t use any ammo which is not hard to find but can be used quickly when not aiming at the head. Once spotted, you better run fast and try to hide out of view until the alarm meter disappears. You can attract enemies by sound or walk into their line of sight. Stay crouched while near these creators and wait for your opportunity before attacking. Sometimes its nearly impossible to sneak in and this is where you have to lure one of them and perform a stealth kill. Save your ammo for tough spots

The game is kinda relaxed at boss fights so don’t expect anything crazy. That’s not to say the ones that you do encounter are not fun as they are and do add to the atmosphere.

There are a few side missions which consist of mostly finding ammo and items as well as doing a small favor for others. Use your map and radio to find them.

Overall, the creepy town atmosphere combined with great engine makes this an enjoyable ride. So I guess the final question is; is this game worth 60 bucks? Yes if your a horror fan and liked the first game. Defiantly grab it once discounted on sale.

So that was it for my PC version review. Check out my performance test video on my other channel Adam3k3 Plays.

Latest PC Pickup

Another day another eBay pickup. I just can’t get enough of Retro Nostalgia and for a good reason. Games back then while not as advanced as now had more personal depth and felt alive as developers did their best. Nowadays, it seems every game is just a clone of some other game. Exceptions, of course, must be made but I’m more drawn toward the past than the present. Some may say I’m living in the past but so be it. Anyway, I just managed to score the bellow as I was browsing for my next fix.

tony_hawks_american_wastland

Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland for the PC! I love Tony Hawk’s games but the series went downhill after American Wasteland. Yes, Project 8 and Proving Ground which I liked were ok but other games are garbage. It’s a shame since I was looking forward to THPS 5 and even bought the remastered version of the first on both the Xbox 360 and PC as well as X on the original Xbox.

I’m not sure if the game will run native on Windows 10 but there is no such a thing as impossible on the PC. Plus I will be Able to run the game on max and even spice it up with graphical Mods if I can find any. The only thing I’m worried about is setting up the game to work with the Xbox 360 wired controller which I tend to use to play most of my PC games including FPS. Crazy I know.

My next target (after completing some of the games I have) is to hunt down the Tomb Raider series. I know that I can get the trilogy cheap on GOG.com but I like having the big box versions even if they take allot space. There is a special feel to the physical media hence why I love to collect and play the actual disk games.

tomb_raider_trilogy

If you been following me for some time you wold know that I tend to order a lot of games which resulted in a huge backlog. To combat this, I’m on a strict diet of completing my older titles one by one and so far I managed to clear a few games like sonic Generation and Rayman Origins which I 100%. Whats the use of buying stuff if you never gonna use them?

Have great one folks.

Quantum Break PC version is Windows 10 store only!

qb

In case you haven’t heard, the anticipated Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break is now coming to the PC. The bad news, it’s a Windows 10 store exclusive.

I don’t know how Microsoft works on the inside or who is running the show but I do know that releasing your first cross platform (game after admitting past mistakes and the promise of taking a better approach toward PC gamers) on only Windows 10 new store is how you piss people off. Look mate, I’m currently running a legit version of Windows 10 home edition so it’s not that I’m hating on the windows or anything, it’s just the untrusted Windows 10 store that I have a problem with!

Don’t blame me if I’m not a fan of buying things from an OS store especially after the Games for windows fail that I supported back in the day. With Stea it’s clear, you buy the game and can install it on as many PCs as you like and even have an offline mode. Windows 10 store, not so much. Not releasing your biggest game on the most popular distribution platform is basically making sure that the game won’t sell well.

But I know whats going on, it’s a sad trap to lure in user to upgrade and use Windows 10. About a good chunk of gamers are still on Windows 7 and for a good reason. Spying issues, the open door to disable and monitor what you do on your PC and the list goes on. Why do you think Microsoft is basically giving away Windows 10 for free to 7/8 owners?

Why do I care? I was planning to run this game on my newly ordered 980 GTX but seeing all this now I think I will be happier playing on my Xbox One. Who knows how long this great Windows 10 store is gonna last?!

Microsoft, if you want to capitalize on PC Gaming then stop playing tricks with us. PC gamers unlikely console folks will not accept bullshit just because the company said so. Look at Arkham Knight. I for one hope that Microsft realize the huge mistake before it’s too late and give us options. A physical version won’t hurt as well.

Steam and Digital are hurting the gaming industry long term

steam_digital_gaming

Whats going on? We thought you love Steam? Relax, I still do and I have over 50+ games but that’s about to change. Conspiracy theories aside, the digital age is taking the entertainment industry by storm and there is little that can be done at this point. Getting the game to download while you’re browsing the internet hassle free is something that many got used to. Fantastic sales throughout the year, what’s not to like?

The Monopoly

Monopolies are bad, that much is agreed on. They kill the competition which in turn kill the motivation to improve and innovate. Why do you think Steam is not considered with its poor customer service? Because there is no real alternative. Sure EA Origins is catching on as well as the fantastic GOG.com, but Valve is the pioneer to PC digital games distribution and judging from how things are, they will likely stay at the top for many years to come unless something tragic happens.

Steam machines are failing and the Steam OS is a joke and yet Valve is not even concerned the slightest, why? Because they are on top and can afford to screw up. Where will people go? Basically, the people have a choice to either accept any changes Valve may see fit or move to a smaller platform with the many features that they got used to are missing.

One might argue that once the new platform gathers a large crowd, the features and games will start coming in. Not true as catching up to large competitors is not as easy as the normal consumer thinks it is, just ask Microsoft’s Xbox division.

In short: No competition, no creativity.

Killing the Creativity

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I’m sorry but hard, a physical material will always be Superior to soft copy. From the amazing box designs to the smell of a new item and placing it on your shelve or in a dedicated collection corner, all of these things make physical copies what they are. Sure, all your games will be gone once your house catches a fire but having your entire house burned has a way less chance than the digital company going out of business or changing the policies (see next section).

Physical media has and always will have a special feel of ownership. No matter how flexible the digital provider may be, it will never beat the feeling or owning an item you can touch.

You are NOT in control of your own games

Valve can at any time deny you access to your own games or simply take away specific game with or without a reason. Don’t believe me? Google it. Once Valve goes down so will your games. Yes, Valve unofficially promised that in the unlikely event that they go under you will have a chance to download your games. Good luck downloading over 1 TB worth of games in the short amount of time they will give you supposedly they stay true to their word in the first place.

Playing games offline is also a problem to many as Steam offline mode is as reliable as your new politician. In short, a game can be pulled off your library with or without refund for many reasons including copyright expiration or simply the refusal to renew a yearly contract. Anything can happen and you can’t do anything about it because you own nothing. On the other hand, I’m still playing Need for Speed Road Challenge years after it discontinued without any problems. Good luck finding this gem digital legally.

. . .

There is hope, GOG.com demonstrated that it is possible for DRM free games to sell well and Witcher 3 is a fine example. Downloading digital DRM free games is a considerable alternative to owning physical copies as I can print my own covers from the likes of VHBOXART. Take a look at this beautiful fan created master peace.

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Digital distribution is taking over, at least in the USA. If you are like me, support GOG.com or buy PC games from Amazon UK unless the game requires Steam to activate. Steam is not the devil and Valve is not the New World Order yet so I will continue to use it for the cheap price and what not but if I get the choice between Steam and a DRM-free physical version aka the Witcher 3, you know which one I choose.

It’s time to stop treating PC Gamers like thieves

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I think we can all agree that it’s time to stop calling PC Gamers thieves and more importantly, stop treating them like one. Articles like this dominated the general uneducated public mainly greedy developers and ignorant console fanboys for years.

It’s funny because Ubisoft claimed that 95% Of PC Gamers Are Pirates in previous statements only to announce that PC division is bringing in about 20% of total revenue behind the PS4’s 27%. Strange world, if everyone is a pirate or better yet as some console fanboys try to put it: Nobody plays on PC than who is buying?

PC Gaming was and always will be profitable. The problem is, developers don’t seem to understand it.

Drop the DRM

Digital Rights Management was invented to combat piracy. What it did instead is punished legit customers while leaving the pirates with a better copy. GOG.com made it clear; people buy the games once they feelsecure. Drop the DRM at least for the single player. Witcher 3 shipped DRM free on the PC and is doing well. That’s a triple A game right there.

Stop pushing out broken console ports

I remember the days when consoles got PC ports and not the other way around. Everyone was happy. Now that greed has taken over and games became commercialized as opposite to art broken console ports are overtaking the industry. Don’t blame the players when your product is broken. Batman Arkham Knight.

Optimize and embrace PC gaming features

Use the PC exclusive features like Moding, configuring and power to make the best port possible. We PC gamers want the game to feel like a PC game and not a console Rom running on an emulator. Few developers used to strip the game down when porting it to PC removing the basic configuration settings. Car manufacturers customize their cars for each region, so must the developers. Make the best port for each platform.

Use the existing Marketplace

Many developers are trying to push their version of Steam. Everyone wants a peace of the pie. Use the biggest market of all to sell your game instead of pushing your unfinished restricted platform namely uPlay. Competition is good and what not but not when its against the consumer.

……….

PC Gaming is growing and attracting more players than ever. Take it serious and your games will sell.

15 GB Mortal Kombat X deletes your save file, what the?!

So wait, downloading giant patches is a thing now? First Halo the masterchief collection and now this? So releasing broken games with a promise that future updates will make it more playable is slowing becoming the norm, just ask assassin’s creed unity.

Rage aside, the latest Mortal Kombat X Steam update simply deletes your whole save file along with statistics and progress. Do developers test their games anymore? It is very sad that players who progressed and worked hard for game statistics are getting back to zero to start all over again with no future guaranties that this wont happen again. Sad indeed.

On another note, why downloading 10 GB+ patches is becoming the norm? Its like downloading the whole game again. Not everyone has fiber optics internet speed and most don’t want to wait days to finis the download. I understand that game breaking bugs are discovered after release but putting more testing in place is the key, NOT pushing out broken games.

Back in my days Sega Saturn games had zero patches and was playable since day one. Developers: Please take your job more serious or else don’t cry when you end up like Capcom.

Steam chat blocks Torrent links

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STEAM Chat is now blocking most Torrent links shared. What surprises me is that why would any one share pirated software links while on legit download service?!

I understand that they may have Steam running with no games but that would be an over kill for a chat client, but then again there is no good client for desktop anyway.

Of course not all links get blocked and that is natural as the blocking falters get updated over time. My question is; Why bother? I know that Valve is trying to reduce piracy but wouldn’t it be better to spend the time and resource on something more useful, like a recording option?

Let me know what you all think.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue PC specs reviled

Assassins_Creed_Rogue

The Last Gen Assassin’s Creed will be available on march with the following PC specs requirements:

Supported OS:
Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8/8.1 (64bit versions only)
Processor:
Minimum & Recommended: Intel Core2Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6
Recommended: Intel Core2Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6
RAM:
Minimum: 2GB
Recommended: 2GB
Video Card:
Minimum: nVidia GeForce GTS450 or AMD Radeon HD5670 (1024MB VRAM)
Recommended: nVidia GeForce GTS450 or AMD Radeon HD5670 (1024MB VRAM)
DirectX:
DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
Sound Card:
DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest driver
DVD-ROM Drive:
Only required for the Disk installation ( 1 Dual Layer DVD )
Hard Drive Space:
11.4 GB available space
Peripherals Supported:
Xbox 360 controller, Tobii EyeX controller
Multiplayer:
Not Available
*Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 or better, GeForce 500, 600, 700, 900 series;
AMD Radeon HD 5670 or better, Radeon HD 6000, 7000, R7, R9 series;
Intel HD4600, HD5200

Keep in mind that it is not yet clear if these are the minimum or the recommended but judging by what we have it should be no big deal to almost everyone that has a PC from the last 10 years.

The game is not exactly graphically impressive but not bad either. PC players will have the option to play the last Gen installment along with the new Unity and more options is always a good thing. I may pick this up for the right price as I’m not a huge fan yet but it is available for the ones that want it.

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Mortal Kombat X System Requirements

mortal-kombat-xThe PC System Requirement were announced and I have a mixed feeling. Lets look at the requirements before going any further:

MINIMUM:
    • OS: 64-bit: Vista, Win 7, Win 8
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 | AMD Radeon HD 5850
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 25 GB available space
RECOMMENDED:
    • OS: 64-bit: Win 7, Win 8
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz | AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 | AMD Radeon HD 7950
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 40 GB available space

As seen, the minimum requirements aren’t that bad or high except maybe for the i5 CPU but overall are more than manageable for anyone with a PC from 3-8 years ago. I do think though that the recommended are a bit over the top. i7 and 8 GB Ram? The standard amount of Ram these days is 4-6 so giving 8 GB is a bit over. I also think that i7 is unnecessary and with a good optimization the game should require less.

Now I know that this is the next gen and so on but even then, this is bit over. Of course I will need to test the game to confirm as this may turn out to be another The Evil Within where they recommended insane specs only for the game to run max at much lower specs. Guess we will have to wait and see.

Regardless of all, the game uses a new engine and looks great. Judging from the videos we saw, it also plays great and smooth so I’m not surprised the recommended specs are high. Im still unsure if I will be picking this up on the PC or Xbox One but I am glad that another Mortal Kombat is making its way to the PC thanks to Steam.

You can preorder the game on Steam and get the free DLC with it for $59.99.

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