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I had been considering buying a new computer for some time, I spotted an ad for aria in a magazine so checked them out.
I decided on one of the OC bundles they offer (Gladiator Core I3 540 bundle to be exact.). These deals include a CPU, Motherboard, RAM and a performance cooler (not the stock one).
The prices were very good and they have some great offers on, for a while my bundle was £30 cheaper than advertised, these offers appear to come very regular, as checking a few days later it was back again.
Ordering was easy enough, if you register you can save up aria bytes which can be used to claim rewards like System fans or USB memory sticks and the like.
The OC bundles are Stress tested to ensure maximum stability.
Item arrived within 5 days (these do take upto 10days as they are built to order) and packaging was excellent.
All in all i would go back, looking to purchase more hardware soon and aria will be my first stop.
This game involves you building a kingdom for some people known as keflings. You are a giant (you can use your own avatar which is good) and you do all the heavy lifting and basically show the keflings what to do.
To create buildings you need various resources, these are harvested by your keflings, you can tell the keflings what to harvest by picking one up and taking to a resource, then you take said kefling back to the building needing the resource and he will automatically gather said resource and take to the workshop.
You then produce components at these workshops which you can then place in a specific arrangement to then create a new building. You start with the first building to enable you to make more.
This is basiaclly the game, you keep making buildings which get more advanced, with the end goal creating a castle for the keflings to live in.
The game is easy to learn hard to master and is mostly supply line management, you have to sacrifice some keflings to run certain buildings, resources moved between buildings etc. But throufgh hard work its nice to see your kingdom take shape.
It would be better if there was someway of seeing how many keflings are doing what etc, the only way is to actually watch what keflings are doing what, which can get frustrating.
Overall its a nice game to while away some hours, as it takes a while to build up resources at the later stages.
I got fallout 3 shortly after it came out, I was always a fan of the first two games and the story and theme of the fallout series. I'm going to try writing this review in a different way.
You play the son/daughter of the Doctor from vault 101, a vault sealed after a Nuclear War which devastated the American capital, Washington DC. Without wanting to give too much away the story starts with some flashpoints of you growing up in the vault, this forms part of the setting up of your character, using the S.P.E.C.I.A.L system - Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. Each affecting different aspects of skills or weapons items etc.
After a turn of events within the vault you end up in the wasteland that was Washington attempting to find your father!
The story is well written I think, with some tough choices to be made during it.
The main quests are always there for you to go through with no time limits as such, each being well made and help the story along, with some nice writing.
There is a huge amount of side quests to keep you entertained also, talk to everyone to find all sorts of smaller quests with rewards being cash or items...or sometimes just a boost to your karma rating! This is a game which can reward you for exploring! Not always but mostly.
Well, wandering if you like, I strongly advise anyone with this game to explore, wander the map and you can find all sorts of things. Once you find a major landmark you can instantly warp there later saving a lot of travelling time.
There are loads of small towns and locations to find and not all marked on the map, these contain rubbish or some cash ammo or weapons, but a lot of these small ones tucked away have some black humour involved, for example there is a locked room with a Skeleton inside, a book on lock picking and some lock picks!
Good, it plays well as a FPS but the best part is when you activate the V.A.T.S mode, this pauses the game and allows you to aim at specific parts of the enemy with a cinematic view of your character taking the shots. The AI at first seems kind of dumb but as you get higher up levels or take on generally smarter enemies they have intelligence to retreat when not winning, taking cover and throwing grenades.
Very good, if you have a machine that can handle it full power it is very good, if not you can turn settings down and the game can still be quite playable, I have to play with most settings low but the game does not suffer due to this.
I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the Fallout series, an excellent and long awaited comeback.
You can play all the main quests to complete the game in a relatively ok length of time, or spend hours upon ours doing all the quests and exploring everywhere!!
A very enjoyable game and a recommend to anyone who is a fan of this type of game.
Borderlands sells it's self as the first FPSRPG hybrid, combining a proper FPS environment with RPG elements also.
When the game first loads you get a nice intro giving you the basic story and you pick your character, I cannot recall exact names but basically, all round guns guys, a ranger guy, a close range brawler guy and a stealthy girl.
I choose the soldier guy as i prefer to shoot stuff :-P.
So the shooting element does seem to work well, with headshots causing critical and targeting arms and legs causing enemies to stumble etc. AI seems intelligent enough, with berserker units running towards you (sometimes on fire) and the brutes who slowly walk towards you with a machine gun constantly shooting. The general enemies are smart enough to take cover and shout for help etc.
As you hit enemies there are damage indicators to show the damage, you can do more damage the more you use a weapon.
Killing enemies and doing the missions also grants experience, when u level up you get a skill point to put into a stat that can improve attack defence or your special ability.
Each class has special ability, as a soldier I can put down a turret with cover for you to hide from, this is handy if you are caught in the open with enemies in front. I cannot recall the other classes abilities unfortunately.
Most of the missions are the go here and find this, usually killing everyone in the way some missions involve going to cave of sorts to collect certain items and to be honest they become samey very quickly.
The much hyped gazillion weapons system seems a nice idea, but I don't think its very great in action, it all boils down to sniper, shotgun, assault rife, smg, handguns, launchers, revolvers and alien. But they all feel a bit samey to me, some of the weapons do have things like exploding bullets and it feels it could have been better, I was expecting the weapons to be drastically different, not just a few stat changes.
The story involves looking for a mythical vault which barely comes into it.
This game try's to create its own genre but it seems to make a half assed attempt at both RPG and Shooter sides. It feels the only RPG elements are the stats and missions really. The game is probably average at best. If you like cel shading graphics is good and the sound is pretty good also. IF you are looking for a game of this sort I would take Fallout 3 or Mass Effect over this both seem superior in most if not all areas. The only thing Borderlands appears to have over these two is the multiplayer, you and a friend can roam around doing the missions etc, the mobs tend to have better loot drops this way, but it needs to be a buddy as casual players dropping in and out doesn't work too well.
Achievements are balanced well.
Overall i nice try but could have been better.
I actually got Endwar as part of a magazine subscription, but I was looking to obtain this game anyway.
Of Course to enjoy this game you need a headset, so with it plugged in I fired up the game, first thing you do is go through the voice tutorial, this shows you the basics of how to give the commands. I found this a good introduction to the commands, it would be nice to actually do this on the battlefield and its not clear if this tutorial is actually sampling your voice or if it is just a tutorial?
Voice commands are simple enough, you pull the right trigger and state which unit, what command, then where. For Example, "Unit 1 attack hostile 2" will instruct unit 2 to attack hostile 2. Simply Changing "attack" to "move" will istruct the unit to move to the hostile. Most of the commands are simple enough like this.
The story involves 3 factions, which are basically, Europe, USA and Russia. The story appears to be something to do with the Russians turning the EU vs the US then for Russia to strike both, to be honest i cant really remember it dosent really come into the game.
The first missions are a prelude to the war which kind of show how the factions came to war, this eases you into the game and helps show how to use the cover and unit abilites etc.
When in the game you pick your faction to fight for and which army unit, the army units allow you to specialize in certain tanks or aircraft for example. The difference between factions appears to be just the look of the units.
The gameplay itself is good, the voice command system is great for ordering units, within a few seconds you can have 3 different units doing 3 different tasks. Most of the missions involve capturing more control points that your opponent and holding them until a timer runs out, or you can destroy your opponent by killing all his units plus reinforcements.
Some missions involve destroying a few buildings to win, or holding off an enemy assault.
You need to strike a balance with your forces as most units are best against other units, for example, tanks are great at taking out transports which are great for taking out helicopters which are great at taking out tanks. This means you cant order in a load of tanks and expect to win, you need to be smart with you units and above all keep them alive.
Your units get experience (albeit slowly) which means they can use upgrades you can purchase between battles. Unfortunatley if your unit is killed you will obtain a fresh unit and have to work it up again which is very frustrating.
To win the game you must either capture a certain amount of territory, or capture the 2 opponents capital cities.
Online nowadays seems hard to find an oppenent and is not something i was on much.
Overall the game is good fun, however once you have finished the game (ending is not any good) there is nothing to do really apart from try on harder difficulty or another faction. The game has paved the way for voice commands and i think something better could have came for this, if you enjoy a different form of RTS game then give it a shot.
I bought this card a year or so ago in a sale. It Includes the card, Driver disk and a Cable for HD televisions (its where you have the extra yellow red green ones)
Note this card will need a power cable inside the computer and you will also need 2 of the spaces for expansions in the back of your case as the fan needs room. Also this does not have a VGA port at the back its one of the newer types so u may need a convertor.
I was looking to upgrade my performance of my GFX and this card has peformed admirably.
Installation was easy enough, the card is quite large so i had to jiggle cables out the way but it slotted into the MOBO easily enough.
The performance of the card is very good, the increase in my games looks and performance only limited by my lacking in power processor! (something i will be resolving soon).
The driver disk included some of Palits own software, which i quickly took off again, the interface on this was quite horrible and the only useful tool i could see was the overclocking utility which i dont think worked very well. The Nvdia controls included in thier drivers seem much easier and user friendly.
I have used the PC through my HD television via the HDMI port, I had a problem as the display did not fit correctly but the nvidia tools have an option to manually adjust the size so it can fit, i played HD movies and the quality was superb.
I did attempt to overclock the card but this caused the system to crash as soon as you pushed it at all, I used a 3rd party software to do this (a reputable one) so this card may not be for overclocking fans.
Overall this is a good performance upgrade for a medium range machine, however you would probably be better saving that bit more and getting one of the newer cards around as the 8600 is showing its age compared to newer cards.
If you see it on the cheap and for general purpose gaming then i recommend.
After playing the first game and enjoying it, i was looking forward to Mass Effect 2 greatly. So for fathers day my son got me this. :)
Firstly if you have not played the first I highly recommend you do first of all, not only does this mean you will understand the game better, but you can also transfer characters from Mass Effect 1 into this game, some of the choices you made in first game show up in Mass Effect 2. You also get a bonus to research materials when you do this.
The FPS element of Mass Effect is greatly improved, it now feels like an actual shooter, the squad command interface has been greatly improved along with the AI. Your squad mates are intelligent and take cover as needed. The enemy also flank or rush forcing you to break cover.
Now you can research new weapons and upgrades using research, instead of going down to a planet you scan the surface launching probes to gather resources. These resources are then used to create new weapons, upgrades and upgrades to the ship. Gone are the days of running about in a mako for a little XP or Credits, it now is a bit more work but much better rewards in scanning.
Inventory is gone, you pick which weapon you want at the start of a mission, not what type but just which brand, for example you can choose between a shotgun with high damage but low range and shots or one with low damage but longer range and greater rate of fire.
The Story is good, the characters actualy seem to have a bit of life in them now when you talk, instead of standing like a statue they can become agitated or angry during the course of the conversation.
I feel this was superior to the original in many ways and anyone who enjoyed the first will love this one! It has improved in every level and i cannot wait until the 3rd game! When i got this I sat at it solid for a week! (40hrs of game time and more than one play through is recommended.)
I recently purchased this monitor at a sale. And have to say im impressed at it, setup is easy as pie, and the included driver disk makes sure windows knows it has the right display.
Very bright display and the screen is nice and big. I was surprised how light this monitor is but it appears to be very good. The buttons to control it are a little finiky but that could be me!
It has an application with it that allows you to setup the monitors settings via an on-screen program, but it kept saying i did not have a plug and play monitor?
Overall this was well worth the money, although there are better ones out there if you need a 22 inch display this is a good find.
The USB hub needs a special cable which is not supplied, not informed of this anywhere on the box.
Other than that i would reccomend! :)