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Archive for the ‘Entertrainment’ Category

CoD Tritton Headset

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

When Black Ops first came out, there was a glaring problem with the sound mixing in the game: your own footsteps were highly audible while you couldn’t hear any other player’s movement. However, recent patching has virtually fixed this problem (Ninja Pro helps) and the practice of ‘soundwhoring’, or using a headset to locate your enemies based on the noise they make, is once again possible. There are many models of headsets up to the task, but in particular, I’m reviewing the Tritton – Call of Duty: Black Ops Dolby Digital True 5.1 Gaming Headset for Xbox and PS3.

The headset is decked out in Black Ops emblems and has interchangeable leather or terrycloth ear pads. A Dolby Digital decoder box converts the standard in-game sound into surround sound. All cabling is braided and all connectors are gold plated and are of a high quality. An in-line control allows you to adjust either in-game or chat volume and you can independently mute either. You can also attach a flexible microphone to the headset to allow for in-game communication and chat. The whole thing requires its own power supply via an AC adapter and along with the relatively short cable, you’ll most likely have to be close to your television. This, along with the multitude of required cables, made installation a bit of a pain in the ass, but it’s not a huge problem. The whole set can be stored in a hard carrying case, also decked out with Black Ops graphics. Still, components mean squat if the headset doesn’t perform well.

I am happy to say that the headset does run as good as it looks, but to be honest I found it to be a little disorienting at first. The size and weight of the headset coupled with having surround sound right next to my ear caused me to take them off more than once. However, this quickly passed and now I find it somewhat difficult to play online without them. There’s plenty of satisfaction in hearing that one guy (or guys, as is common) running Ghost with a suppressed weapon, stomping after you just for you to hear them coming and headshot them. They also work great with other games, and not having to rely on your television’s sound system for in-game audio is a nice bonus if being quiet while you game is preferred.

Only one question remains: To buy or not to buy? It’s a really good, solidly built headset, but at $250 this honestly boils down to a fanboy product. For a similar headset at a cheaper price, go for the Tritton AX Pro. It’s almost the same headset without the Black Ops graphics, and as a result, you save about $100. If you like the CoD license but still want to save some cash, there’s also the Black Ops Dolby Digital Surround Sound Gaming Headset. It’s virtual 5.1 instead of true 5.1, not too much of a difference honestly. It’s also $50 cheaper.

-Tactical Fanboy

Bad Company 2 Vietnam Expansion

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Just a quick reminder that BC2: Vietnam is coming out on Tuesday, December 21st for consoles and was already available for PC via the EA Store on the 18th. It costs $14.99 or 1200 microsoft points.

-Tactical Fanboy

Panteao Productions Launches Facebook Page

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Panteao Productions, producers of the new Make Ready series of instructional videos has just launched their Facebook page. They have included a few stills from the upcoming lineup. Be sure to check it out.

NSFW – Trashtalking Doesn’t Work in Real Life It Seems

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Rooster Teeth, creators of the popular Machinima franchise Red Vs. Blue has recently started a new series they call Immersion, where they introduce video game-related situations to real life scenarios. In one video, they introduce ‘Shane’, a 13 year special operations veteran, who proceeds to fire ten rounds at a target 100 yards out. Afterward, he repeats this exercise, but with the addition of simulated multiplayer trashtalking and all the swearing, name calling, and general annoyance that comes with it, courtesy of the Mega 64 crew.

It’s hilarious stuff, but if the title didn’t give it away, it’s not something you’ll want to view in the work place or near those with sensitive ears. Click at your own risk: Immersion: Online Gaming Distractions

-Tactical Fanboy

Team Fortress 2 Sentry Gun

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

WETA workshop is no stranger to props based on popular videogames, and this level 1 sentry gun from the class-based multiplayer game Team Fortress 2 continues this trend. Featuring a motion sensor and full audio, it now stands guard at Valve’s lobby, tracking every visitor with its deadly (non-functional) cannon. I’ll admit it’s a very cool prop, but it doesn’t satisfy the ultimate Valve-based question: ‘When the hell’s the next Half-Life game coming out?’

-Tactical FanBoy

Spartan Race

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

The “Death Race” we recently wrote about is presented by Spartan Race who holds several events every year. In fact, their next event is tomorrow, December 12th in Malibu, California. The new Spartan Sprint events serve as a form of a bracket system to qualify for bigger, and more important races culminating in the Death Race at the end of the racing season. Each of the Spartan Sprint 3 mile (5k) race courses are strewn with imposing walls, muddy gullies, spear throws, barbed wire crawls, flaring brush fires, and grimacing gladiators bearing mercifully padded dueling sticks. These will qualify racers for the seven mid-level Super Spartan events which will be more rugged, muddier, obstacle packed and five miles (8k) longer than the Sprints.

One thing we are really jazzed about is that Spartan Race supports Homes for our Troops. Since 2004 Homes for Troops has built 100 custom homes for severely injured veterans. We aren’t talking Mcmansions here but rather the types of modifications needed to allow a home to accommodate a wounded vet. A very worthy cause indeed.

For full details on race locations and times, go to

Review for H.A.W.X. 2

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade flight game. Unlike a simulator, which tries to replicate the realities of flight, the arcade flight genre simplifies the process to make it more enjoyable for a wider audience. Luckily, this is the way I prefer it. Who needs reality slapping them in the face while shooting down enemy craft or doing multiple barrel rolls at 1400+ miles per hour? Not me, and it makes for quite the action packed experience.

There are several modes available in H.A.W.X 2: Story, Free Flight, Survival, Arcade, and Multiplayer.

Story mode takes place in the near future and is told from the perspective of pilots from three countries: USA, UK, and Russia, and their involvement in quelling insurgent and Russian Ultranationalist activities across the globe. This is somewhat familiar territory for recent military-based games, but it still works. The inclusion of Ghost Recon and references to other Clancy games is also a nice touch. Most missions involve dogfighting in fighter planes, but the occasional UAV, recon, bombing, or AC-130 mission adds a bit of variety. After completing the entire story, you can play custom versions of the missions using any unlocked planes and loadouts you have. It’s pretty fun to tear through earlier missions in an F-22 Raptor or A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Free Flight is simply a threat-free way to try out your new planes in any of the game’s environments.

Survival is, what else, a survival mode. You pick your plane and fight off waves of increasingly difficult enemies until you finally lose. It’s a good way to gauge a plane’s abilities in combat situations.

Arcade is one of the more interesting modes. Every story mission is represented, but also has a certain restriction placed on it. This can be anything from being allowed only your cannon to being forced to play an entire mission in assistance OFF mode. These missions then become either fairly simple or frustratingly difficult.

Finally, multiplayer allows for other players to face off in matches. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find a match online, so I can’t properly review this portion of the game.

In-game environments look incredible. Thanks to GeoEye, every location is highly detailed and are a real treat to view, especially in HD. Planes are also equally detailed, but the human models and non aerial vehicles leave a bit to be desired. Of course, the main focus in the game is the planes, so detailed people and ground forces may be asking a bit too much.

The controls are simple enough. There are buttons for acceleration and breaking, yaw, flare release, target acquisition, and your weapons. There is also assistance OFF mode, which removes the game’s limitations on plane movement, allowing you to perform impressive maneuvers at a greater risk of stall. In this mode the camera also zooms way out. When paired with the increased maneuverability, this can make combat a bit more difficult. Difficulty, of which there are three levels, also affects plane movement.

The game features a rewards system. Defeating enemies and completing missions nets you experience points which raise your in-game level. Certain actions also complete challenges, which often reward you with additional experience. You can use points earned while leveling up to purchase new weapons packs, planes, and overall upgrades. Continuously using a plane will also raise the mastery of that plane, which allows for greater levels of customization.

So, to buy or not to buy? I say go for it. I found it to be enjoyable, and the multiple modes and unlocks can keep you busy for a while. Plus, F-22 Raptors! ‘Nuff said.

[Review was done using the Xbox 360 version]

-Tactical FanBoy

Solution To The .50 William Tell

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Lately we’ve been getting a few e-mails asking about the authenticity of the infamous .50 cal William Tell video. Well, after seeing it was done by Youtube special effects guru freddiew, whose Time Crisis video I posted a while back, I knew it was nothing more than the clever use of special effects. It doesn’t even take that much digging to prove as much, as he posted the behind the scenes vid on his alternate channel.

Just goes to show how far you can go with a little special effects.

-Tactical FanBoy