Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

December 2016

You are browsing the archive for December 2016.

Braven 405 Speaker Review: Deceptively Small

December 28, 2016

Looking at the Braven 405 speaker, one of which Braven via our friends at the Max Borges Agency sent out for review, it would be easy to write this off as a feeble entry into the field. Though it doesn't have the same girth as some of its contemporaries, what it lacks in mass and density it makes up for in a surprisingly rich sound experience.

The Braven 405 speaker system is a wireless speaker system, allowing for connection via both Bluetooth and a 3.5 mm speaker jack for a more conventional wired connection. It offers a 2100 mAh battery, allowing it to serve as a recharge mechanism for mobile devices as well. It derives its power readily from a USB connection, making it easy to charge via several different platforms.

Moreover, the Braven 405 is actually waterproof.

Braven BRV-1M Speaker Review: Tiny Portable Powerhouse

December 27, 2016

When it comes to speakers, Braven has delivered some exciting audio gear in the past, and it doesn't look like there's any sign of stopping now. For even better news, the folks at the Max Borges Agency sent out a Braven BRV-1M speaker for us to review, and if you're looking for a portable powerhouse that will run the show, you'll have all you need right here.

The Braven BRV-1M speaker is a ruggedized portable speaker that comes with a variety of points to deliver sound at almost staggering levels. It's sufficiently ruggedized, in fact, to boast IPX7 level waterproofing, allowing it to withstand one meter of water  to make it easily stand up to rain or wave spray. Throw in a crush-resistant frame and it will stand up to a lot of the worst pitfalls portability can generate.

Pyle Announces New Wi-Fi Bluetooth Sound Bar

December 22, 2016

An exciting new twist recently emerged for gamers out there who want a new level of experience in their gaming, no matter what the platform. More specifically, it's the Pyle Wi-Fi Bluetooth Sound Bar, and this could be a real champ for most any gaming level.

Pyle's new Wi-Fi Bluetooth Sound Bar offers two one-inch tweeters, a built-in FM stereo receiver with 20 presets, and an included remote. It can connect to systems remotely with Bluetooth access, and also offers a 3.5 mm jack to let it hook to most anything with a headphone jack.

Admittedly, I've never heard Pyle speakers before, so I can't speak to their audio quality. But a system that's able to take a 3.5 mm jack means a lot of versatility on the hoof.

Sansar: Linden's Attempt to Revamp Virtual Worlds

December 20, 2016

There's no doubt that Linden Labs has done some amazing things when it comes to the virtual world concept. In many ways, Second Life was one of the first big virtual worlds around, and though it's not as popular as it once was, it's still got the world's imagination in tow. Now, Linden Labs is set to try again with its new advance: Project Sansar.

So what is Project Sansar? Based on what the early word suggests, Project Sansar is a spectacularly ambitious project that features virtual reality operations to take what was already a surprisingly immersive world and make it even more so.

Nintendo Switch to Boast VR Capability?

December 19, 2016

You have to give Nintendo credit for being full of surprises; no more the hidebound also-ran, Nintendo is coming back from the disaster that was the Wii U in a big way, and the Nintendo Switch is leading the charge. How? There are new reports that suggest it may have a virtual reality-style headset to come with its oddly modular design.

The Switch already delivered some unusual design choices, with its strange mix of stationary and portable concepts, but now, reports showed off the complete Switch patent, including a kind of headset that could be used for VR applications.

It's referred to as a "head-mounted display" in the patent applications, which means it may not actually be VR related, but it certainly could be. Some have even projected it could be similar in design to the various smartphone-based devices on the market like the Samsung Gear VR.

The idea of a virtual reality system included in the Switch isn't impossible, but it does seem unlikely.

Could Nintendo Have Beaten Notch to the Minecraft Punch?

December 14, 2016

Minecraft is well known as one of the biggest names in construction kit games out there, and ever since, there have been a multitude of imitators and homages as Minecraft-style elements have even been added to some major triple-A titles like Fallout 4, in a sense. If gaming history had taken a different path, however, reports suggest that Nintendo might be the great creative force behind Minecraft, not Mojang.

The reports from Glixel revealed that Shigeru Miyamoto had actually been working on "experiments that were similar to that back in the N64 days, and we had some designs that were very similar." So if Nintendo could have had a Minecraft, why didn't it? Simple; Miyamoto noted "It's really impressive to me to see how they've been able to take that idea and turn it into a product."

If Miyamoto, therefore, was impressed by Mojang's development and overall product, it stands to reason that Nintendo couldn't match the job. Why be impressed by something that could have been done in-house?

Back to Willamette with Dead Rising 4

December 13, 2016

This weekend was quite a welcome treat, as I had the opportunity to enjoy Dead Rising 4. Thought it wasn't exactly what I expected when it came out of the box, so to speak--it was a digital purchase, after all--it was still the kind of thing I could get used to, and did ultimately enjoy.

The early changes were grating to say the least. Why Frank West suddenly sounded like James Belushi was beyond me, and an infuriating choice at that. Surely the original voice actor wasn't so demanding, and it seems I'm not the only one dismayed about the loss of Terence J. Rotolo.

Mujjo Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves Review: Welcome For Winter

December 12, 2016

If the last couple of days haven't driven the point home yet, the point will be driven home conclusively over much of the United States in the next few days. That point is that it's winter in full swing, despite the fact that the calendar insists it's still fall and will be for the next several days. That means some new habits, and some new clothes. Good news: there's a whole new option in gloves that will let you continue to use your touchscreen mobile devices--whether for gaming or anything else--and it's the Mujjo Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves, a pair of which the folks at Mujjo sent out for us to review.

The Mujjo Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves were actually developed as a result of requests from users in colder climates--and let's be honest, given that I'm in Michigan, that makes me one of those users--which led to some changes over current developments.

Sony Makes a Push for the Past in PS4

December 7, 2016

There's been a lot made of backward compatibility lately, particularly as it relates to Microsoft. With good reason, too; people don't want to stop playing old games just because the console generation changed. With signs console generations may be changing faster than ever thanks to things like Project Scorpio, this might be a particularly valid concern. Word from Sony, though, suggests that this lesson isn't lost on the company, and several titles are poised to make a comeback on PS4.

The titles, meamwhile, feature some impressive older names.

Checking Out Final Fantasy XV

December 6, 2016

So even though I had to take care of the action with the Video Game Awards first, I spent most of the previous weekend trying out Final Fantasy XV, a game that featured enough ambition for any three games. It didn't always go according to Hoyle, but you've got to give a game like that credit for its sheer staggering effort.

First, I was shocked at the scope of it all. The game took almost 60 gigs to install, and then demanded a roughly 10 gig day one patch. Game sizes are getting positively ludicrous, though it means better games, so I'm not complaining on that point overmuch.

Then I actually tucked into the gameplay itself and discovered that this game was stuffed full of things to do.

Trailer Flood Emerges from Game Awards

December 5, 2016

The Game Awards are seen by many as the last major shot of gaming news of any given year, and this year's version was no exception. In fact, this year's version came out with several major trailer releases, and though there will be plenty of sequels and updates, there will also be some noteworthy original fodder to check out.

Updates, sequels and translations were big at this event. Rocket League was set to get an update called Starbase ARC, that included a new car and training feature, among other features. Bulletstorm came back with Bulletstorm: Full Clip, which gives the cult classic a chance to hit a new audience, and this time, inexplicably featuring Duke Nukem.

Featured Events