Monday, March 30, 2015

Special PS4 DISCOUNT Code Offer ends today

There is a special PlayStation Store Discount for 10% off for the weekend and this sale ends today. The sale originally started on March 26th, 2015.

This PlayStation discount code enables you to receive 10% off one transaction made on the PlayStation Store on either the PS3, PS4 OR the online store at
This code will NOT apply to purchases made on the PS Vita, PlayStation TV, PSP or for purchases made in-game.

They will however apply on new games, old games or games already on sale, obviously some exclusions apply, but it should work for most games.

Again this code is only for the US, CANADA or Latin America regions. I mean if you are in Europe you can give it a try but it probably won’t work for you.

I understand that 10% isn’t the greatest discount ever but on a game that costs $69.99 that will give you savings of $6.99 which is STILL better than nothing. So if you have been waiting to buy a new game that you really want or you are just looking for a reason to spend money on the PlayStation Store then use this code.

BUT hurry as this code expires today March 30th, 2015 at 12:00 noon PDT. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Best PS4 System Update - Yukimura

So the new System Update 2.50 was released today for the PS4. With a cool name like Yukimura and even cooler features, it might be the best update for the PS4 yet.

Probably one of the best features and most anticipated features of this update will include the Suspend/Resume for PS4 games. This feature lets you jump in and out of games by pressing the PS button as well as being able to quickly switch from Rest Mode to powered-up while being able to pick up where you left off.

If you are one of those gamers who needs to constantly pause the game for whatever reason because of IRL interruptions, this feature will be extremely useful for you.

Mom demands that you do the chores or homework before further gaming? No problem just hit the PS button, put your console to sleep and come back when you are ready.

Another neat feature of the Yukimura update lets you back-up and restore data from your HDD to a USB. This includes screenshots, saved data, user setting and games. This might be the next best feature after the Suspend/Resume feature as I find I am constantly running out of space on my Hard Drives.

There are plenty of other features, both new and improvements on existing features, in this update to enhance the gaming experience on the PS4. For a full list please check out the PlayStation website. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

What is Metal Gear without Kojima

There have been lots of rumors and such concerning the fate of the Metal Gear Solid Series and Hideo Kojima’s role in it all.

For those of you who don’t know who Kojima is, think of him as the father of the highly successful Metal Gear series. He is the creator, director and writer of Metal Gear even though he was originally employed at Konami.

So the latest rumors all indicate a split between Konami and Kojima for unknown reasons. This leaves fans of the MGS series wondering what the fate of the game and series will be, including the up and coming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

So far Konami stated that MGS V will be released as planned in September of 2015 and Kojima will still play a major role in its creation and release. BUT just the way both Konami and Kojima released their respective, statements sounds to me like after the release of MGS V they plan on splitting up and going their own separate ways.

This is all well and good but leaves a daunting question in the minds of the fans: what is the future of MGS after MGS V?

Well according to Konami they plan to release more Metal Gear games AFTER the Phantom Pain, the catch is I don’t think Kojima will play a part in these new releases.

This will be somewhat interesting in my opinion as, what is metal gear solid without Kojima ? What new direction will Konami take the series in, and what about the original timeline and continuity?

I have a feeling Konami might just make all further games fresh and unrelated, but this is just my opinion. I also don’t know how well that will sit with the fans of the franchise as almost every Metal Gear game released to date was very well received.

Kojima claims The Phantom Pain will be his greatest game yet, so I guess I am just going to have to go out and buy it when it is released especially if it is the last Metal Gear Solid that Kojima works on. 

Day’s Alive counter on a website / Blog

I saw an interesting gadget or widget or whatever you want to call it while I was randomly browsing the internet today.

A website had a unique counter on its site that displayed Days: Months: Hours: Minutes. This was to track how long the website had been up or ‘active’ on the internet for, I have no idea how this counter works or what the criteria for it is, because a website can be ‘live’on the internet but in a parked state with no recent updates to it in a very long time.

Regardless I thought the idea was very unique and interesting. I thought that I might one day like to implement something like that on this site / Blog of mine. As I mentioned before that I tend to give up on things quite easily, which is why I had made this Blog in the first place, so having something like that counter would be a constant reminder of the commitment that I made to myself and it would drive me to not quit the Blog as well. I think the author or owner of that website was probably thinking along the same lines when he/she decided to implement such a gadget on their site.

This brought me to another realization, that there are probably tons of other people out there who are giving up too early on their dreams for whatever reason and just not seeing things through. Often times when I tell people this or my reason for giving up (yet again) I get a response like “just do it” Now this might work for NIKE but it clearly doesn’t seem to work for me. I think it’s much more complicated than that and there are often various underlining factors for why people give up.

One of the major factors, even though it is hard for me to admit is peoples approval. Not just any people, mind you, I mean people closest to you such as family, friends or a significant other. I am often worried about what people will think when I tell them that I like writing or any of my other hobbies, wonder if they will consider it ‘weird’ or ‘odd’. Another reason is IF I have already told someone and they think that my idea is just plain dumb and will not work out, this can be disheartening and while it might not affect me immediately, the thought will linger in my mind for quite some time.

I just have to remind myself that I really don’t need other people’s approval to do the things that I enjoy and more importantly the things that I WANT to do. I know this all sounds easy enough to do but take it from me, someone who failed a few times, that having people criticize the things you are passionate about can play a huge part in whether you decide to see things through or give up. This is why I think everyone needs to try and find at least one person who will be supportive of their ideas and thoughts.

I know I went off topic a bit, but my point is something simple yet unique such as this days alive counter can be a helpful ‘tool’ to serve as a reminder or driving force to keep going.

At the moment I have no idea how to even implement such a counter or where on my Blog I would put it as I am still learning the basics of blogging and web development and such. But maybe once my skills have evolved sufficiently, I would like to try and add something similar on my site.

If I had such a counter on this site currently, I think the count would be close to a month which is a good start. J

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bloodborne release on March 24th, 2015 – PS4 exclusive

I had initially seen Bloodborne gameplay a while ago and it got my attention right away as the game just looked awesome. The game has a very cool hack and slash - 
steam-punk feel to it, which looks like a lot of fun to play. The graphics seem well polished and the surroundings seem to emulate a very olden-times era feeling to it. The game reminds me of Van Helsing for some reason.

The game has both single player and multiplayer (co-op) modes which I think is pretty cool. I absolutely love games that have the co-op feature because there is nothing better than playing a really good game with a friend.

Bloodborne is a descendant of Demon’s Souls and Dark souls released by From Software and has the similar action role-playing elements in it. Admittedly this is something that bothers me, as I have heard that Dark souls was a very ‘challenging’ and somewhat frustrating game to play which heavily punishes dying both offline and online. I myself have never played either of the previous games so there is not much more i can say about them other than, I hope that this element of the game is not as bad as it was in its predecessors. I have nothing against ridiculously hard games; it is just not my cup of tea. I would much prefer running around slashing things up with spectacular weapons.

So although I am excited for the game and it looks extremely fun to play, I’ll have to hold off on purchasing the game till I get some initial feedback and reviews of the game. But if this looks like the game for you, you might want to make a note that it is being released on March 24th, 2015 in North America. The Europe release date is March 25th followed by Japan on the 26th and UK on the 27th. This game is exclusive to Sony’s PS4.

Just bought Borderlands 2 GOTY edition on Steam for 80% off – initial thoughts.

Like the title says I just bought Borderlands 2 because it was on sale and I've always wanted to play this game. I know I‘m late to the party as the game was initially released in 2012; ONLY about 3 years late.

I like buying the GOTY editions of games because they always seem to contain some ‘fun’ extras as well as most of the DLC content released  for the game, all in one tidy package.Borderlands 2 GOTY edition is no different, as it contains numerous DLC’s that have special maps and levels to play but more importantly the GOTY edition contains the Psycho Pack and the Mechromancer Pack.

I had looked at the various classes online and the GOTY edition has 2 extra playable classes called the Psycho and Mechromancer, which I was extremely interested in trying. These characters are not part of the regular edition which has 4 standard characters, and one would normally have to buy these packs separately in order to play them in game.

The total price for the GOTY edition would have been about $40 regularly, but because of the ridiculous 80% off, the bundle cost me $8.79. I think the price was well worth it as it included the full Borderlands 2 Game, Vault Hunters Upgrade pack, Collector’s Edition Pack, Psycho Pack, Mecromancer Pack and about 5 other extra DLC levels/missions to play through. This makes the price well worth it and although I admit that Borderlands 2 has been out for 3 years now, I still think this was a great buy.

For anyone interested in still buying this pack, it is still on sale for another 20 hours or so as part of the 10th anniversary 2K sale on Steam.

So the first thing I did after buying this awesome pack, was to download and install it of course as I eagerly wanted to try out the game. I had bought the game in the hopes of playing the 4 player co-op story that the game is well known for. I think this is an awesome feature of the game and I just couldn't wait to try it out and so I convinced three other friends to buy it along with me. This wasn't hard to do as the game is on sale for a ridiculously cheap price and the game got stunning reviews as well, a 89 on Metacritic I think.

My initial thoughts on the game:

So I made my character and customized it a bit and as I said I went with the Mechromancer as it can summon a cool robot sidekick, who doesn't want that honestly. The game is very unique in terms of graphics as it has a cell shaded look, very different from the other mainstream graphics intensive games. This is another thing that I like about this game, because I am for the time being, forced to play on a spare video card instead of my regular one which happened to break a few months ago. I have not found a replacement yet which is why I have this unique opportunity to try out older games that I missed playing in the past.

This doesn't mean that the graphics in Borderlands 2 looks bad in anyway, quite the opposite in fact I think it adds a very unique element to the game and I like the overall look and feel of the game so far.

The mechanics for the game look to be more ‘fun’ based rather than skill based as shooting doesn't really require you to aim all that well or accurately and you can still get ‘critical’ shots on your enemy.

The semi-open world concept is nice which prevents the game from being too linear and leaves lots of areas for exploration. Some areas contain hidden chests that have loot or money or other gear, another thing I liked about this game so far. Loot drops seem to be limitless and every mob you kill drops some loot and I have already collected enough guns to fill my backpack so I had to unfortunately throw some away. The backpack sadly has only 12 slots to begin with but I think this can be upgraded later on in the game.

So far I find the game really awesome and fun to play, there is even some hilarious dialogue from a smart-ass robot named Claptrap who seems to follow you everywhere in game. Even your enemies yell weird things at you all while trying to blow your head off.

Keep in mind that these thoughts are based solely on my initial experience with the game as I have only logged about 10 hours of game time. I just wanted to get a ‘feel’ for the game and its mechanics as well as test out my shiny new character that I got in the GOTY edition. I will probably do a detailed post about the overall game once I get more than half way or further in the game.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My thoughts on VR (Virtual Reality)

So when everyone (myself included) first heard about the Oculus Rift – a virtual reality head-mounted display that was announced a few years ago, there was a lot of excitement and Buzz around this new technology that people have been dreaming of virtually forever - see what I did there ;)

But I am a realist (mostly) and I knew that It would probably take a few years before this product became mainstream, but as an avid gamer I was still extremely excited at the prospect of a virtual reality gaming experience.

Fast forward a few years and Sony announces its own take on VR – called Project Morpheus. Now that is an awesome sounding name for any piece of tech, but especially fitting for a VR device. Sony claims that they can release Project Morpheus to the public as early as 2016 and will be compatible with the PS4 and PS Vita. A prototype version of their device has already been on display a few times.

The consumer version of the Oculus Rift was initially rumored to be released in 2015, but the representatives of Oculus are adamant that there has been no definitive release date set. Facebook buying out Oculus might have something to do with the delay in release, maybe not?

But the good news is that with Sony’s announcement as well as other VR developments, there is an increased chance of at least one VR device being released in 2016. I know I am getting really excited again but that is just a single year away. What was once Sci-fi material is very close to becoming reality – or rather Virtual Reality. HA! Just let that sink in for a bit.

If we are only a year or 2 away from being able to game via virtual reality, then the possibilities of this technology remain endless. Imagine being able to browse the web, check your email or stream video through Virtual Reality.

While the possibilities ARE endless and the entertainment factor remains high, I do worry about some potential negatives. Like with any new leap in technology, once our familiarity with it becomes the ‘norm’ so does our reliance on the technology. I still remember a time when smart phones didn't exist and people managed just fine. These days I often hear “Omg my phones about to die” like it’s the end of the world. The same was true for the internet, personal computers and so on.

What if one day we wake up and we are simply “plugged in” to a virtual environment the majority of the time except for when we eat or sleep or even worse find a way to remain constantly plugged in like the matrix, after all Sony’s new VR device IS named Project Morpheus.

But I am sure I am just over thinking things and we are a long way off from VR becoming truly mainstream anyway, besides Skynet hasn't even been activated yet ;)

But technology does expand at an exponential rate and I am fairly certain we will see VR go from being for the enthusiast to mainstream sooner than later, as something everyone must have and can’t live without.

Nevertheless I am anxiously looking forward to Sony’s project Morpheus release as I currently game on the PS4; I just hope the price tag isn't too extraordinary. Add in the Virtual reality treadmill and I can virtually exercise while gaming. J

Also as a related side note who remembers this movie.

It certainly looks like Arnold is having a blast using VR for virtual tourism and creating the perfect woman and other such things.

Giant Steam Sale on 2K Games - 10th anniversary

There is currently another Big Steam Sale on a lot of 2K games for PC. This sale is in honor of their 10th anniversary publisher sale. There are more than 30 items on sale, some of which include DLC’s and mini-games. Some of the honorable mentions include NBA 2K15, EVOLVE, Borderlands, Bioshock 1, 2, and infinite, Mafia II Civilization and Duke Nukem forever. This sale includes some titles up to 80% off. While not all of the titles are 80%, most are still reasonably discounted between 50% -75% off. The 2k 10th anniversary bundle has more than 14 games for a total of $53.60 discounted at 87% off.

This sale will only be around for 4 more days, so if you have been thinking about getting any of these games on the list, now would be a good chance to get it at a discounted rate. I myself am thinking about getting The Bioshock Triple Pack.

I previously enjoyed playing Bioshock 1 and infinite but never managed to complete either game. I have also never played Bioshock 2. This would be a good chance to add them to my ever expanding Steam library of games.
This sale ends on March 23rd, 2015.

My problem with “Copyright” music / audio on YouTube

I am not going to go in depth into the whole of YouTube’s Copyright policy, because that is something too complicated for my understanding and I’m not even sure the folks at YouTube themselves understand it fully.

This post is mainly going to be focusing on the use of audio or songs created by other people to compliment videos created by new or aspiring content creators on YouTube (such as myself).
So if you tried to post a video recently that contains any popular song or any song that you think would be appropriate for your video, you are sure to run into the YouTube police for committing a heinous crime. At least that is the way they make it sound whenever they issue you a ‘copyright claim’ on one of your videos.

Now I can understand that artists and singers are keen to stop people from plagiarizing their songs and works they created, after all it is something unique (mostly) that they spent a lot of time and effort into publishing. No one likes to see their work copied regardless of what field we are talking about.

For YouTube videos that you are NOT planning on monetizing, this is not that big a deal, but if you are planning on or are already monetizing a video that contains these audio tracks, you will probably be asked to take these videos down or YouTube will do it for you. Now of course YouTube has a way you can dispute these copyright claims and so on but if you are found ‘guilty’ then not only do you have to take the video down but you also get a copyright strike on your account which is a very severe punishment.

Three of these copyright strikes and you can say goodbye to your YouTube account/YouTube channel. This seems to be a strategy employed by YouTube to save their own ass from any legal implications, and who can blame them as there have been numerous counts of people fighting YouTube legally on many copyright claims.

For the MOST part I agree with their policy and anyone who claims someone else’s work SHOULD be penalized. So for example if a video has only the audio of a song created by someone else and no other content, no enhancements, commentary or credit has been given to the original creator AND the video is monetized meaning the person uploading someone else’s work is now ALSO getting paid for it, is most definitely a serious crime and should be punished as such.

The issue I have with the policy is when trying to use only a part of a song or work ALONGSIDE other content whether it be a video montage, commentary or anything similar. I believe that if credit IS given to the original creator and the person creating this new video clearly claims that they in fact do not own the rights for the piece they “borrowed” then all should be well. And in the case that this new video has also been monetized, then, there should be a system in place to possibly share the revenue or pay some royalties in proportion to the amount of the material that is used or borrowed.

This seems like a logical and fair system that benefits both parties. The person using the borrowed song or audio piece has now created something new and unique and creative and the person whose original work was used is getting credit as well as free publicity for their work essentially.
Instead the current system is such that it, even users who plan to use the piece under “fair use” terms gets punished the majority of the time and what I think this does is stifles the ultimate creativity of new content that could potentially have been really good but is now just mediocre or non-existent(extreme case.)

I have come across this problem quite often these past few days while trying to create a new video and it is indeed very frustrating. There is a certain song that I think would go along VERY well with my gameplay video and / or commentary but it can’t be used because of the copyright issue. Using something else, let alone YouTube’s free music just isn't the same and the original creativity and idea just seems to die.

It is something, I hope that YouTube as well as Copyright holders think about more in the future so that a new (improved) system is implemented in place that everyone can benefit from.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Next Gen Nvidea GPU – Titan X with 12GB VRAM

So as I have mentioned many times before I have broken my video card in my main Gaming PC.
As I was constantly scouring the internet for a potential replacement, I came across this BEAST, known as the Titan X, a seemingly fitting name for a graphics card. This is the latest and greatest in the Nvidea line up of GPU's. The Nvidea Titan X which is supposed to go on sale tomorrow (March 18th 2015) is rumored to cost $999. Now there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this price tag and that is its beefed up specs including the utilization of the GM200 core, but more importantly, 12GB of VRAM. YUP! You read that correctly, I re-read it myself about 10 times. That seems like an insane amount of memory dedicated to just the graphics card. My whole computer has a total of 16GB RAM which seems to be more than enough for most things. I have no idea if that price tag is actually worth all the specs the card has to offer; only time will tell I suppose. I also don’t think this card is marketed towards mainstream gamers, rather the hard-core enthusiasts, of which I am most definitely not. So with that in mind the search for my replacement GPU continues. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Steam Sale on Ubisoft titles

There is currently a Huge Steam Sale on most if not all Ubisoft Items for PC. There are more than 70+ items on sale which include full games, DLC’s and mini-games. Some of the honorable mentions include Watch Dogs, The Crew, Farcry, Assassins Creed and Splinter Cell. This was part of Ubisoft weekend sale that included some titles up to 75% off. While not all of the titles are 75%, most are still reasonably discounted between 50% -75% off. The Ubisoft Prime package has 8 decent games for $80.47 with an average of 65% off. This sale will only be around for less than 24 hours, so if you have been thinking about getting any of these games on the list, now would be a good chance to get it at a discounted rate. I myself am thinking about getting The Crew, the only thing stopping me at the moment is my broken Video Card unfortunately. 

This sale ends on March 16th, 2015 at 10am PST.

Gaming News

I have decided to add a NEWS section to my Blog. This section will contain strictly Gaming News updates or snippets instead of full posts or articles. They will probably be less than half the size of my regular posts which are usually around 500-800 words. These can be related to console gaming, PC gaming or just gaming in general. The reason I won’t write full posts here is that if it is BIG news most gaming sites will have full write-ups on the topic anyways, written by much more experienced individuals in the gaming industry than myself. If however I feel strongly enough about the topic to write a full post or article on it, then I will just publish it in my Gaming section of the Blog. This section unlike my other section will also be more fact based as compared to my other sections which are mostly opinion based.

I will probably try and post here on a regular basis. Don’t worry I am not aiming to be a gaming journalist or anything of that sort, I just thought that it would be a useful section to keep not for only myself, but other people who read this Blog, updated on the latest and greatest happenings of the Gaming World.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why I hate starting ULTIMATE TEAM from scratch

The one thing I don’t like about starting ULTIMATE TEAM year after year is the fact that you start off with nothing but bronze players. This becomes much worse especially if you start playing Fifa late in the year (couple of months AFTER its release) like I have done this year. Because by this time practically everyone has a gold team and when you go play online, even though your team is bronze there is a very high chance you get matched up with an opponent who has a full gold team. I think that EA should let people get some decent gold players right of the bat if you start off comparatively late, say Jan or Feb for example, it would make things a lot easier in my opinion. I know that Fifa usually gives you a few extra starter packs as part of its “Welcome back” thing if it recognizes you have played a previous version of Fifa but that just doesn't seem to be enough.

I also know that the original point of ULTIMATE TEAM is to start off with a crappy bronze team and then slowly work your way up to a gold team and it is setup that way on purpose. The fact remains that it takes a REALLY long time to get any decent amount of fifa coins to buy even a relatively decent gold player, forget about the super rare players like Messi or Ronaldo or even team of the year players.

In theory this system works well, except for that fact that each game you win yields only 300-500 fifa coins. So say for example you would like to buy a half decent player that costs around 50k fifa coins. Following this model, you would have to play over a hundred games to have the required amount of fifa coins.

Now there are other ways of getting coins, which is winning tournaments both offline and online where the prize money is much greater, but even that is a max of about 1000-3000 fifa coins. Playing the seasons mode in UT yields a slightly better amount for winning the season like 3000-5000 fifa coins.

This model in general though benefits EA the most, because what happens is most people do not have the patience to grind out games and save up coins so they look towards alternative methods such as relying on buying packs or heaven forbid buying fifa coins which I believe is illegal now.

I think that EA have set up this deliberate frustration of having people work their way up and therefore try and have ‘luck’ play a part so they can get an awesome player in a pack that costs only 5000-7500 fifa coins. Even the odds of these Gold Player packs are stacked against you and it is very rare that you will get a highly sought after player, after opening only a few gold packs and so you keep opening more packs in the hopes of getting one and on and on the cycle continues.

The alternative is to play fifa games each day till your eyes bleed and meticulously save up enough fifa coins to buy the players you want.

Of course there is trading which can be awesome if done correctly but even that methods takes time and the dedication of learning the market which by the way is usually in constant state of flux and could potentially crash at any moment given the new influx of coin sellers on the internet.

So the point is that I understand the model EA have set up and it clearly works very well in their favor, but I wish that I didn’t have to start over each and every year. There should maybe be a new system in place where you get to keep at least one player from your previous years ULTIAMTE Team for 3-4 consecutive years or something along those lines.

I know that this idea is flawed as well as anyone who had a Ronaldo or Messi or Bale the previous year would have a ridiculous starting advantage and so all I can do is *SIGH*, grit my teeth and go back to the grind, trying to play as many games as possible in the hopes of building my dream ULTIMATE TEAM.

A gaming Blogger and his Gaming Blog

So I have been scouring the internet and I have found out that I am not unique in my situation of where I like playing games AND like Blogging about them. This has both interested and inspired me to keep writing articles in my Blog. I have found some very interesting sites that are essentially gaming blogs; some are more opinion based but still very good, while others are more serious and focus on proper game reviews.

I know there are some Big gaming blogs such as Kotaku and Joystiq, but these sites have quite a few writers who posts dozens of articles a day. The more single-writer, opinion based niche is where I fit into I think. These are the kind of Blogs I was talking about when I mentioned I recently discovered OTHER gaming blogs.

I obviously can’t write dozens of posts a day myself, neither can I afford to play every single game that hits the market as my current budget just does not allow it (sadly). Hopefully one day I will be able to buy most if not all big games that I want to play and have the freedom and time to write many posts a week if not daily. I KNOW, I know, a guy can dream though can’t he?

When I started this Blog not only did I think there were no others out there who shared the same dual interest I had (which in retrospect is kind of silly since there are literally Billions of people on this planet) but from what I have seen most seem to enjoy the fact that they game and get to write about it as well. I saw many different kinds of blogs that focused on gaming in general or a certain genre of games or even a single game.

I had also never considered doing any official reviews of games on this Blog but it is something I may consider doing once I get a bit more experienced at writing and this Blog is past its infancy. I really just want to focus on the writing aspect of my Blog at the moment. I think if I start doing too many things at once, it just won’t work out so well. I haven’t written as much since high school and I feel that even my basic writing skills are a bit lacking at the moment. Once I am satisfied with the improvement in my writing, I think then I can start to focus on other things such as design or reviews or something else.

My point is that I am not alone in my interests and it is always nice or comforting to see like-minded people sharing the same interests as you.

So starting today I am hereby naming myself (mostly because I can) a Gaming Blogger and whether or not other people agree with me is well entirely their opinion, which they are entitled to of course.

I hope to continue being a Gaming Blogger posting articles on my Gaming Blog for some time to come. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starting a Fifa Channel and ULTIMATE TEAM in Fifa 15

I finally posted my first video on Ultimate Team in Fifa 15 on my main YouTube channel a couple of days ago. Although the video is just an introduction to my channel, just the fact that I managed to post it was weirdly satisfying. I know I know, it’s not the world's greatest accomplishment, BUT it is something I am striving for, to make videos and post them to YouTube on a regular basis.

In all honesty I thoroughly enjoy making videos and editing them. The problem arises when it is time to post them online to my channel. It’s like my work is on display for the whole world to see, the fact that I barely get any views at all on my videos completely escapes me. The sudden fear that anyone and everyone can now watch my video and potentially criticize my creation is a very REAL fear of mine. I know that to most people that sounds a little ridiculous, and I guess it actually is, but that doesn't make it any easier. I have made about 5-6 videos that I made BEFORE I made this fifa one that haven’t even seen the light of day. They currently reside on one of my Hard drives where they will probably remain for all eternity. I am not necessarily embarrassed of the videos I created, as I am mostly just goofing around, but I am still very picky when it comes time to uploading them.

It is just that a long time ago (couple of years ago actaully) I had created my first video and was very proud of it. I had spent a few hours editing it and picking just the right background music to play at just the right time. When I had finally finished it I had uploaded it to YouTube, mostly so that I could easily show it off to some of my friends. While most of my friends thought that it was pretty impressive that I managed to create and edit a video at the time, there was one person’s response that really got to me.

I promptly told this person that I had created a video and to check it out as soon as possible, with all the excitement of a grade school-er who just completed his first art project and thinks it is a masterpiece. That was exactly how I felt at the time. So my friend watches the video and then tells me, cool I made a video but what was the purpose of it? And I respond, “Well, because I can and it was something I wanted to try out, which also turned out to be a lot of fun.” He then responded by saying that it was all well and good but he just didn't see the point in my video and that it was a giant waste of time, because the video didn't have any real meaning to it.

Now I understand the video I created was a montage of me playing a game, and not everyone would understand or even like it because not everyone plays games or even that specific game, but to go so far as to call it a complete waste of time was a little harsh I thought. Anyways a few days went by and I thought I’d make another video because I had recorded some great moments in game that I thought would be awesome to share with my firends, and I was actually really excited as I started to make my second video, until I remembered what a certain person had said about my previous video. Needless to say I never ended up making a new video and decided to stop making videos altogether shortly after.

To this day I have no idea why a single person’s comment meant so much at the time, maybe it had something to do with the fact that I considered this person my friend and valued his opinion so if he said my video was a waste of time, then surely must have been. I was wrong of course and I think no matter what people think about your creativity, if you are inspired to do something, you should just go ahead and do it. I came to this realization a few years too late I’m afraid, but I think someone important also once said “it is NEVER too late” and so I have decided to start making videos again, and this time I think I am just going to make them and post them up regardless of what anyone (friend or stranger) has to say about them.

Anyway I know I rambled on quite a bit in this post, but I thought it was important for you guys to know some of the back story. So back to me uploading my first Fifa 15 ULTIMATE TEAM video to YouTube because what good is a post about my first Fifa 15 video if there is no actual video to show you guys, so here it is: 

Please feel free to tell me how making this video was a complete was of my time, not that It will do you any good I’m afraid, as I have already uploaded the video and don’t really care ;)

BUT on the off chance that you sort of like it, consider “liking” the video and even subscribing here, so you can see some more of my future videos. J

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Initial thoughts and review on the Elgato HD60 Video Capture card

In December when I bought my PS4, I had already planned to start and grow a YouTube gaming channel. I was on the lookout for a capture card that would work well with my PS4. After some research my 2 choices were narrowed down to either the HD PVR or the Elgato HD 60. I ended up choosing the Elgato HD 60 mainly because of all the positive feedback and user reviews I had read about this device. Another important factor could have been that I knew someone personally who had one and they had nothing bad to say about it.

So my mind made up I began the hunt for deals like any sensible person would do and realized that I had JUST missed a big sale on the device at the big retailers BEST BUY and FUTURESHOP where the device was being sold for $159 instead of its regular price of $189. Unfortunately I found out about this sale too late (maybe like a day late) and most places were already sold out and out of stock.
Disheartened I decided to just wait it out for another sale and buy it then. A month goes by and absolutely nothing to be found. I decided to wait another month and still no sales on the Elgato HD 60 to be found anywhere. Finally with my growing impatience I reluctantly ordered the Elgato at its full price of $189 and had it shipped to my house. Let me tell you that while having a deal on this expensive toy would have been great, it is definitely worth even the full price.

I read the piece of paper that comes with the Elgato and it tells me to download the software from its site which I did. I then plugged in the device and I’m instantly in business. The device had no problems when first plugged in and I was able to record video from my PS4 right away. The software seems ok, nothing too great but not bad either, it is very intuitive and fairly easy to use in my opinion.

Recording a video is as simple as hitting a big red record button when you want to start recording and hitting the same big red button when you want to stop recording. The device has a feature that lets you record footage even if you accidently forgot to hit the big red button and it can go back a few hours apparently. I have personally not tried this feature yet but I am sure it’ll come in handy quite a few times down the road.

The only problem I have at the moment is when I get the video that I recorded in mp4 format and use my editing software (not the Elgato one) to edit the video and then render it, the quality of the final video seems to be lacking a bit. I am not sure what the source of the problem is at the moment, whether I need to tweak the settings on the Elgato or my editing software before I render the video. It just seems to me that the final video doesn’t look as good or as sharp as it did on my TV. I have a feeling this has more to do with the editing software because WHILE recording the playback screen on the software shows an almost identical quality to my TV. I am not 100% sure of this, which is why I will have to further investigate this issue.

To illustrate what I am talking about below are 2 Test videos I recorded with my Elgato HD 60.

This one is a cinematic from the game INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US

This one is FIFA 15 Gameplay

To me even though I set the Elgato settings to record in 1080p and 60fps with the “Best” quality setting, I feel for some reason that the video is somewhat lacking in overall quality and ‘sharpness’.

Other than this minor annoyance which I’m sure is more my fault than anything, the Elgato performed really well as I recorded over 20 videos already and had no problems with it so far.

Learning to Play Counter Strike: Global Offensive

So back in December when my main Video card (the nVIDEA GTX 465) broke I had to replace it with a spare video card I had lying around who’s performance was quite a bit worse than the 465. To put this into perspective the nVIDEA 465 is already around 5+ years old and the card I replaced it with was much older I believe. I couldn’t really spend the money to buy a new decent card because I had just bought a PS4 and an Elgato HD 60 all within a 2 month span.

So one of the few games that I could play relatively well without too many graphics issues or a huge drop in FPS was Counter Strike: GO. I did have some previous experience playing both Counter Strike Source as well as Counter Strike 1.6 both of which I enjoyed quite a bit mainly because I used to play it with friends quite often.

However I was never really good at it and therefore haven’t played it in quite some time. So when my video card died and CS: GO went on sale on steam, I saw it as a good opportunity to try out the new counter-strike since I evidently enjoyed the previous ones quite a bit.

One word comes to mind at my first time playing CS: GO online and that is ‘frustration’ utter and sheer frustration at the fact that I was not able to get more than a single kill if I remember correctly.
For some reason the shooting mechanics in Counter-Strike is unlike any other First person shooter game that I have played. Now I have played quite a few FPS games in the past, even the ever popular Call of Duty. Comparing Counter strike to call of duty is not very fair because my time spent in call of duty was quite brief and while I was playing the game I found that it took little to no skill to get kills in Call of Duty. No, this assessment might not be completely fair as I was playing Call of Duty on my PS3 and Counter strike on my PC.

But let’s take another FPS (Battlefield Bad Company 2) I enjoyed quite a bit which I ALSO played on the PC, so I think this will be a more valid comparison. A few years ago I played Battlefield Bad Company 2 quite extensively both online and offline and thoroughly enjoyed my time playing this game. The maps were fun, the game modes even more so and the vehicles were an absolute BLAST!

Now I feel that Bad Company 2 took a bit more skill than Call of Duty and you couldn't just aim your gun in the general direction and hope for the best. This is what separated it from other FPS games at the time ESPECIALLY Call of Duty. People that tried to switch from Call of Duty to battlefield usually (not always) had a hard time in doing so.

While I wasn't the BEST Battlefield player ever, I often managed to do quite well on any given game mode or map, often ranking in the top 2-3 people for our team in both kills and points. I am not bragging, just trying to make a point. The point is while I know that they are different games, I thought the general rules that I used in Battlefield or any other FPS games that I played would apply to Counter Strike as well.

That is THE BIGGEST MISTAKE any newcomer to the game can make I believe.  My general experiences with FPS games indicate that if you aim for the head, burst fire (and not spray) and generally shoot faster you will fair quite well.

This does not seem to be the case while playing Counter Strike AT ALL, at least this has been my experience so far. I aim for the head but the bullets seem to go anywhere but at the person’s head. People generally seem to know where I am even around corners and shoot me before they have even come into full view which is something I find very odd and annoying at times. I just cannot seem to get the hang of the mechanics of the game and while I think I HAVE improved overall in the last 2 months, the game still seems to be a struggle for me.

This is one of the games that truly tests my patience and while I still enjoy playing it with friends, the game can be utterly frustrating at times.

I do play counter strike on a regular basis (couple times a week) and I would like to improve at the game, therefore I think I will record myself playing a few matches and upload them to see if I can get some positive feedback from some of the more experienced players of the game.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Thoughts on starting a YouTube Channel

Since I recently made a commitment to starting a YouTube channel, specifically a Gaming channel, things haven’t being going as smoothly as I had hoped. Starting a YouTube channel seems to be a daunting task when you take a step back and look at all the things involved in creating one. Of course I am not aiming to be the next pewdiepie or anything of that sort, but it would be nice if the videos I spent time creating could be watched and appreciated.

This all sounds quite simple, but I assure you that this is not the case and these days everyone and their grandmother has a YouTube channel meaning that the market is somewhat saturated. The number of Gaming channels has also increased exponentially since the fame of YouTubers like pewdiepie, markiplier, ksi, ali-a and many others. Since there are so many existing YouTube users as well as daily new users (I think over 1 billion YouTube users in total), creating a channel is all well and good, but getting the exposure and a strong fan base seems to be a real struggle.

I think that anyone thinking about creating a YouTube channel or anyone the recently created one may be a little late to the party and as such it is more than likely that the new channel will get buried under the billion or so existing channels.

BUT, I have not lost faith (yet), I still believe the tried and true method that creating genuinely interesting content alongside consistent uploads will pave the way for a successful channel.
I am determined to not let a few road bumps prevent me from uploading the videos that I want to share with the world.

Although I will admit that having uploaded a video that I genuinely thought was ‘pretty cool’ or that I spent quite some time editing and seeing that it received little to no views is a little disheartening. This can then sometimes deter me from creating or uploading my next video. Hence the challenge to constantly create and upload new and interesting content on a regular basis.

I think a good way for me to be consistent regardless of the number of views I get on my videos is to upload videos of games that I enjoy playing or I actually want to talk about. I think that doing this over time will be beneficial to my channel in the long run. I have also started this Blog as a complimentary tool to my channel to keep a track of how things go, as I think this will also be quite useful. I can look back on the things that worked well and the things that didn't work so well and use that to improve my channel slowly over time.

I often tend to look at all the more successful channels and psych myself out the majority of the time thinking that I can’t be like them. The funny thing is I really don’t have to be like them at all and no matter how big a person’s channel is even they had to start somewhere. I just have to give it a shot and commit to learning and improving on a regular basis and I am sure everything will be JUST fine, or at least I hope so.