Archive for the ‘PS3’ Category

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Cruiser P3210 PS3/PS4/PC Gaming Headset

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
p3210 Manufacturer: GamesterGear Current Retail Price: $109.99 US These days you can't toss an SD card in an electronics store without hitting seven or eight gaming headsets of varying prices and quality. Whether they claim to have virtual surround sound, true surround sound, or enough bass to permanently damage the hearing of three generations of your ancestors, they all have a gimmick or two between their earpads. One particular feature missing from our expansive collection of gaming headsets has been really powerful bass, so we were very interested to test out GamesterGear's P3210s when they showed up on our doorstep. Spouting "Bass Quake" technology that is meant to let you "physically experience audio while gaming" and "feel vibrations or changes in the environment", the P3210 headset sounded like it would perfectly fill the heavy bass void that was existing in our gaming lives. Did the P3210s rock our world? Read on to find out. At first glance the P3210s are decently striking with nice metallic-looking grills and blue accents on each ear, but once you handle them the unfortunate reality of the cheap plastic their main frame is comprised of becomes immediately apparent. This is not a headset that could stand being tossed in rage or being sat on by anyone larger than, say, Danny DeVito. If you're someone who is even moderately rough with their gaming hardware, don't be surprised if you accidentally bifurcate them in the course of your gaming. Putting on the P3210s is a decidedly more pleasant story. Their "cloth ear pads", coupled with the pad on the headband and the lightness of the unit's plastic structure combine to make a very comfortable headset indeed. Once you start climbing in price, headsets of both the gaming and non-gaming variety often start to get bulky until you push through the $1000 barrier, after which you can get headphones that basically do everything shy of making you breakfast, but the questionable plastic of the P3210s in this case happily make them lighter than many of their direct competitors and can often feel like you're not even wearing them at all. The P3210's cable ended up being a bit different from what I was expecting. From the very end featuring the split USB and 3.5mm headphone jack it goes into a surprisingly thick flattened cable until it hits the inline sound controls (whose features are basically standard for this kind of headset: Mic on/off, game volume, chat volume, and bass level) whereupon it turns into a more traditional cord for a couple of feet until it reaches the unit-proper. When running the cord across a living room, the extra heft afforded by the flattened length of the cord can often get in the way of placing it properly because it can't hang from the edge of a sofa in the same way a lighter cord would. When using the headset in a PC gaming setup, though, the cord's extra bulk matters little and is a non-issue during use unless your PC is unusually far away from you for some reason. Connectivity for the P3210s is an interesting story. While they naturally function fine with all of their proscribed devices (PS4, PS3, and PC) (with the notable exception that the PS4/PS3 compatibility relies on the arcane method of requiring AV cables to be hooked up to the systems and an adapter to be attached to the red/white audio cables to provide you with your audio), they can also be used (minus full chat/microphone compatibility) with any device that has a way to get audio to a 3.5mm jack and a USB port to power them.  With this in mind, I ended up primarily using the P3210s with our surround sound receiver, utilizing the USB port meant for connecting devices with media to play to power them and a 3.5mm to ¼ inch adapter plug (see picture below). With the exception of the questionable console connectivity method, the P3210s performed admirably in every scenario I threw at them. P3210-receiver Sound quality, arguably the most important aspect of any audio product, is generally above-average with the P3210s. Featuring a 50mm primary driver and a dedicated 30mm bass driver in each ear provides a notable boost in audio clarity, immediacy, and volume over most headsets with smaller or singular drivers, but only just. While I enjoyed the quality of the sound coming from the P3210s, it seemed like any advantages it had over more expensive 40mm driver headsets came only from the fact that the driver was larger, not that it was better quality or more finely engineered. I feel that there is a lot more potential for performance in a 50mm/30mm dual-driver setup that is not realized through the P3210s, but as they are they are still an improvement any way you look at them. For a headset with dedicated bass drivers and much-touted "Bass Quake" technology, I found that the P3210s were still underwhelming on the bass front. With the bass dial turned up all the way, the headset's bass production lacks presence and character in all but the most bass-heavy media. Playing games like Mario Kart 8 and listening to 80's and electronic music on my Macbook Pro I was beginning to think that the Bass Quake feature was broken in the headset I was given. It wasn't until I tried watching some extreme action movies and playing games like Watch Dogs and Far Cry 3 that the headset started to rumble a bit. At its best the rumble was an ear-tickling distraction and at its worst it actually interfered with the bass reproduction more than it helped. I found that if I backed the bass dial off to about 85% instead of full blast I got the best compromise between head-buzzing and actual half-decent low sound.  Compared to other popular headphones like Sony's Pulse Elite, the Creative Aurvana Live!, and Tritton's Pro+ I really can't say that the P3210s outperform or even match the levels of bass reproduction in competing products.  All of the others I listed are also capable of producing a similar, if somewhat less distracting, "rumble" effect when maxed-out. All in all, the P3210s are an extremely comfortable and very good sounding headset if you're prepared for the inconvenience of hooking them up to a PS4/PS3's AV cables or forego the chat functionality in favour of a much more convenient connection.  The difference an extra 10mm on the primary driver and an additional large bass driver make on audio quality is considerable, even if the P3210s don't use this extra power as well as they could. [taq_review] A review unit was provided to us by its manufacturers.

Sony E3 2014 Conference Summary

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
sony-e3-2014 Sony, with their usual advantage of going second and knowing precisely what Microsoft had to offer, once again blew Microsoft clean out of the water.  At a break-neck pace for about 85% of the presentation's rather lengthy 2 hours, Sony kept the big announcements and exciting game demonstrations coming.  Among my favourite news was the Destiny alpha happening this weekend exclusively on the PS4 that can be applied for here by entering your PSN ID, the PS Vita TV launching in North America for $99 this fall, Playstation Now entering public beta on July 31st, an exclusive HD remake of Grim Fandango, the ability to play Far Cry 4 multiplayer on PS3/PS4 even with friends who don't own the game and the preview shown of the upcoming theatrical Ratchet & Clank movie.  Sony definitely brought the thunder this year and is poised to "win" E3 in the eyes of people who are discounting Nintendo's E3 presence due to their pre-recorded presentation airing at 9:30am today.  Nintendo could still blow everyone out of the water with their guaranteed Zelda Wii U announcement coupled by some much-anticipated final character information for the swiftly approaching Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U games, but time will tell if that's enough for them to knock Sony off of their very high perch.  See after the jump for the official Sony PR summary of their many announcements and showcases. At its annual E3 Media & Business Summit press conference today, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) unveiled a line-up of premiere content for the PlayStation®4 (PS4™) computer entertainment system, including Destiny from Bungie & Activision, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End from Naughty Dog, Far Cry™ 4 from Ubisoft, Batman: Arkham Knight from Rocksteady & Warner Bros Interactive, The Order: 1886™ from Ready at Dawn, the highly anticipated No Man's Sky by Hello Games, and many more. PlayStation®4 Only on PlayStation Since the biggest console launch in history back in November, PS4 momentum continues with more than 7 million units sold worldwide. SCEA will strengthen its robust software portfolio with new game announcements revealed live on stage at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Featured titles included The Order:1886; Bloodbourne™, a new IP from critically acclaimed game director, Hidetaka Miyazaki; Little Big Planet™ 3; inFAMOUS First Light; and Entwined, a new IP from Pixelopus, a small team within San Mateo Studio composed of recent graduates from various academic programs, such as Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center and San Jose State's Animation Program. Entwined was immediately made available for PS4 via PlayStation Store for $9.99. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and The Last of Us™ Remastered, by acclaimed developer Naughty Dog, rounded out the press conference demonstrations from SCE Worldwide Studios. Play it First, Play it Better SCEA also debuted some of the biggest and best partner titles including Far Cry 4, which was demonstrated live for the first time in co-op mode. PlayStation gamers who buy Far Cry 4 at launch this November on either PlayStation®3 (PS3) or PS4 can invite some of their PSN friends to play with them even if they don't own the game. In addition, SCEA announced that starting this Thursday and lasting through the weekend, PS4 owners around the world will get a chance to play the Destiny First Look Alpha by visiting PlayStation gamers will also get their hands on the Destiny Beta first, starting July 17. The Destiny experience on PlayStation features an incredible amount of exclusive in-game content for PS4 and PS3, including weapons, armor sets, ships, an entire strike and multiplayer map. At the press conference, first gameplay of key franchises Dead Island 2 and Mortal Kombat X were unveiled, along with a new partnership with Disney Infinity that includes an exclusive Disney Infinity 2 collector's edition for PS3 and PS4 where the Incredible Hulk will only be available at launch on PlayStation. Other partnerships announced include Grim Fandango remastered exclusively for both PS4 and PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita), Let it Die exclusively for PS4 by creator Suda 51, the console debut of Giant Squid Studios' Abzu on PS4, and a gorgeous demo of No Man's Sky by Hello Games that will launch first on consoles on PS4. A new trailer from Battlefield: Hardline showcased the console exclusive Beta that's now live on PS4. Partnerships with both Devolver Digital and Paradox Interactive revealed the exclusive console debuts of great franchises like Broforce, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Not a Hero, Titan Souls, The Talos Principle, and the sequel to the multi-million selling PC game, Magicka 2. Another key announcement featured Grand Theft Auto V coming to PS4 with the ability to transfer progress from Xbox 360 and PS3 directly to PS4. Batman: Arkham Knight from acclaimed studio Rocksteady helped close the press conference with a breathtaking gameplay demo and an introduction to the Scarecrow Nightmare Missions that will only be available on PlayStation. In all, the content illustrated how PlayStation delivers the best place to play now and in the months to come. Brian Michael Bendis, executive producer of "Powers" unveiled on stage the first details of the PlayStation original content series, which will be available in the United States this December with every PSN user in the United States receiving the first episode for free. The entire series will be available for free to all U.S. PlayStation Plus members. PlayStation TV SCEA also announced PS TV for the North American market, an entertainment system that will enable users to easily enjoy a variety of PlayStation game content on their TV at home. Players will be able to download select PS Vita games PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) games and PlayStation® games from PS One classic through PlayStation Store, stream select PS3 games to the device via PS Now, and play PS4 games from a PS4 system in their home over local Wi-Fi through Remote Play. Select PS Vita games will also be playable on PS TV via PS Vita cards. PS TV also offers entertainment content, with movies, TV shows, and music available to buy, rent, or stream from PlayStation Store. This incredibly small device, with dimensions of approximately 2.5 in. x 4.1 in., fits perfectly next to living room TVs, while also being portable enough to let gamers move it easily to other TVs in their home. PlayStationNow SCEA also announced new details about PS Now, SCE's streaming game service that leverages cloud-based technology, which will become available in the continental United States and parts of Canada this summer. Starting July 31, SCEA will introduce an open beta where gamers located in supported areas will be able to rent over a hundred PS3 titles. During the open beta SCEA will test multiple pricing tiers and rental durations, from short periods to a month or longer, allowing users to play a game at their own individual pace. PlayStation®Vita and PlayStation Bundles With the recent launch of a new slimmer, lighter model of PS Vita in May, momentum has never been stronger for the sleek handheld device that gamers can play anywhere. The strength of the PS Vita software lineup is unparalleled with more than 1,000 games currently available from PS Vita native games to classic titles from other PlayStation platforms, making PS Vita the ultimate gamer's companion. This year, more than 100 games are anticipated to be released, including Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Tales of Hearts R, Minecraft, Helldivers, Hohokum, and Guns Up!, a free to play side-scroller action strategy title. Gamers who own both PS Vita and PS4 also benefit from a growing library of PS4 titles, nearly all of which can be streamed to their portable system via Remote Play. Later this year PS Vita will receive PS Now compatibility, bringing full-streamed PS3 titles to the portable platform. Holiday bundles were also announced including:
  • Destiny Limited Edition Glacier White PS4 Bundle, available on September 9 for $449.99 MSRP, includes a 500GB white PS4 chassis, Activision and Bungie's Destiny and a 30-day memberships to PlayStation®Plus.
  • Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes PlayStation®3 12GB bundle, available this Fall for $249 (SRP), includes PlayStation®3 System 12GB, DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes for PlayStation®3 Avengers-Themed Play Set, Two Power Discs, Infinity Base, Thor Figurine, Iron Man Figurine, Black Widow Figurine.
  • PlayStation TV bundle will be available this Fall for $139 (SRP), and includes a DUALSHOCK 3, an 8GB memory card, an HDMI cable, and a digital voucher for Lego: The Movie.

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (PS3)

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Namco Tales Studio
Genre: RPG
Players: Symphonia 1-4, Dawn of the New World 1-2
Console: PlayStation 3
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Launch Price: $39.99 (both games on a physical disc) or $19.99 (each on the PSN store)
Progress: 9 hours of playtime in Symphonia, 6 hours of playtime in Dawn of the New World (Previously beat both original GameCube and Wii versions)

Namco Bandai have recently been showing a lot of love to their North American fan base and the new Tales of Symphonia Chronicles release on the PlayStation 3 is a great example of that. The release includes both Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World for $39.99 on a single disc. These games are also offered individually on the PSN for $19.99 each. There is also a Collector’s Edition for $99.99 (whose features I discuss later) though I am not sure if much stock for it is still available.

When you first start up the game you are taken to a screen where you can access either of the included games. The first time playing either will require an install on your system. It took me roughly 10 minutes total to install both games.

This game is an HD collection of the two older Tales games included, which originally came out in 2003 and 2008 respectively. The Symphonia included here is a remake of the PlayStation 2 version (not the GameCube version) and Dawn of the New World (DotNW) is a remake of the Wii version. The one problem this brings is that the PS2 version of Symphonia ran at only 30 fps instead of the 60 fps on the GameCube. This is definitely noticeable when playing the game, especially for someone like me who was used to the GameCube version. If you haven’t played either of the originals it wouldn’t be too obvious, but to people more attuned to noticing things like that it could be picked up on fairly easily. Some portions of the game are affected by this FPS difference in minor ways, but nothing too major to note.

Even with the HD improvements the age of the graphics still shows through. The most notable improvements come from the anime cut scenes that look even more gorgeous than they did on their original lower-resolution systems. The character models have also been spruced up slightly and look more defined. Other than that I could not notice much difference between the HD remaster and the originals. One qualm I do have is that in Symphonia the monster models on the world map are still the black blobs from the original, it would have been nice to see them turn into full-fledged enemy models even though it doesn’t really affect gameplay.

Comparing the two games, DotNW definitely has better graphics and better technical gameplay in terms of the combat. Both are still extremely fun, but understandably DotNW had five years and new console hardware to use to improve on things. The story remains stronger in Symphonia though, as there are more characters to get to know and the plot is more weighty and exciting than that of DotNW. One thing that does stand out is that in both games your party has four characters. In Symphonia this means that four people can play the game together and each control a separate character, but in DotNW two of the four slots are taken up by monsters (which you collect and add who do add a fairly fun collecting and leveling up/class changing mechanic to the mix) leaving only 2 spots for actual players as monsters cannot be directly controlled. Both games are still naturally really fun and have fantastic gameplay in spite of their combat system differences.

The main attraction of the Tales Of series of games is its Action RPG style of gameplay. It is very role-playing heavy, but the combat is very action oriented in that buttons are set to do certain moves instantly  and you control the character directly during battle. Defending yourself, dodging, attacking, casting spells, using items, etc. feel very natural and controlling the characters is easy and intuitive to learn but can be hard to master. Another good aspect is that you have multiple characters to pick from and use in battle and are not limited to only using the main person (though most times they are the most natural-feeling characters).

The music of the series, and of these two games in general, is absolutely fantastic. These aural masterpieces are great to listen to in and out of the game. The game also does a great job of cycling through different pieces so I rarely found that I was growing tired of the music during gameplay.  Along with the music comes great sound effects, and though they aren’t completely needed in the games they add a nice touch to them.

If I compare this game to newer entries in the Tales series such as Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2 the most noticeable differences are that the newer ones have better graphics and a much more advanced combat system. Having said that, Tales of Symphonia and DotNW definitely stand the test of time, especially Symphonia whose story still stands among the best of the entire Tales series.

So, should you pick up this game or not? If you’re an avid fan of the Tales series and have never played these games before I would 100% recommend buying this new HD collection. If you’re a newcomer to the series this is definitely a great game to get started on and the fact that you get two games for only $39.99 is a real boon. Even if you are a fan who has played these games before, if you feel like playing them again and seeing Lloyd and gang in higher definition and on a new console I’d definitely say to look into picking it up too. If you’re hesitant, you could always try out one of them on PSN, see if you like it, then invest in the other if your interest was piqued.

In addition to the games themselves the Collector’s Edition has a lot extra to offer the more dedicated Tales Of gamers. It all comes in one big box that has some great artwork on the side of it. Inside you’ll find the game in a regular case, an empty steel book case which you can place your game into, an art book (which contains a code for a free PS3 theme), a novella of the “Tales of Symphonia Successors of Hope” story, a 4-disc soundtrack with a total of 98 songs from both games, and 4 little chibi figurines of game characters (Lloyd, Collete, Emil, and Marta with Tenebrae). This is a pretty worthwhile Collector’s edition if you love these games, and everything included is of particularly high quality and well packaged.



Call of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer (PS3) – PART 2 – Game Usagi Plays

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Yeah, yeah. Thanks tiny child. Go to bed, it's late.

Like/comment/subscribe, especially if you think that tiny children shouldn't be playing Call of Duty.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer (PS3) – PART 1 – Game Usagi Plays

Sunday, November 17th, 2013
Logan goes it solo with Call of Duty: Ghosts and ends up doing better than usual. We're going to start recording the game audio and the voice audio separately so that we don't run into volume issues like this again. Sorry for the audio issues this time around. *cough*likecommentsubscribe*cough*

Puppeteer (PS3) – FINAL – Game Usagi Plays

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Now you can play the harpsichord! What?!

Thanks for watching our first act playthrough of Puppeteer, like/comment/subscribe and check out our other Let's Play series.

Puppeteer (PS3) – PART 5 – Game Usagi Plays

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

It's not really making out when you're making out with yourself.

Can't cut hot dogs in half anymore? It's okay, just like/comment/subscribe.

Puppeteer (PS3) – PART 4 – Game Usagi Plays

Friday, October 11th, 2013
Oh, no! This guy's a pony! We might share our myoonbarf with you if you like/comment/subscribe.
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