After several hours upon hours of use, and various devices used, how does the Turtle Beach EARFORCE SHADOW headset fair? Is it ‘the’ headset for the gamer in your family?
Read on to find out!
After several hours upon hours of use, and various devices used, how does the Turtle Beach EARFORCE SHADOW headset fair? Is it ‘the’ headset for the gamer in your family?
Read on to find out!
The Pokemon Visual Companion
By: DK & BradyGames
Reviewed by: Aaron Matthew Holmes
From DK and BradyGames comes the Pokemon Visual Companion, a book that is jam packed full of information from the Pokemon animated series. Do you remember Ash’s first day as a Trainer? Do you remember what his first Pokemon would’ve been had he actually not slept in late? This book is made for those who need a refresher, or who may want to catch up on what’s gone on in the series over the years.
The art in this book features many screencaps from the series, and visually stunning looks at equipment such as the series of Pokeballs or the variants of the Pokedex, the book even includes the way Ash has evolved in appearance over the years, brilliant pictures of Pokemon, legendary and non, alike.
From 1998 – 2013, the Visual Companion covers several regions where Ash and his companions have traveled, and a majority of the people he has met. What I really like about this book is not just the fact that it’s filled with so much information, it’s the smaller sub-sections that surprise me and pique my interest.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Pokemon was a reality, and that our world revolved around the little creatures? Have you ever wanted to be a Pokemon Breeder? A Pokemon Trainer? A Gym Leader? And what about all the equipment that’s necessary for a journey, do you wonder or do you already know everything that you need?
The Visual Companion offers information on everything I’ve mentioned above and more! This book makes for a great fan of the television series and the video game series. While the book doesn’t touch base on every single Pokemon, nor does it tell you how to pronounce every Pokemon’s name, this book covers a variety of the legendaries and covers Ash’s journey from the beginning it also covers where Pokemon can be found throughout the various regions.
From Ash’s lost battle to his epic wins, and even covering the Pokemon who evolve with Ash. The Visual Companion is well worth buying for that one person in your family who loves the show and the video games!
Optimus Reports is proud to announce that we have made arrangements with Turtle Beach, the leaders of gaming headsets, for additional product reviews for our website.
At our company, we thoroughly test headsets on various devices and for over 100 hours to see how these headsets stand up with a hardcore gamer who puts over 50h a week into gaming.
We primarily look at comfort, durability, sound quality, and device compatibility. Even if a headset is designed for a particular device, if it’s possible to use with others, we will run the headset through those and attempt to compare the feel with each device.
Turtle Beach has also offered Optimus Reports a headset to keep for all our future game reviews as a way to start off the partnership between our two companies.
We’re please to bring you this news and will keep you up to date on when we receive our first review headsets from Turtle Beach and let you know what you should grab this holiday season!
Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia
It’s been 30 years since Capcom was first founded in 1983, and over the years, Capcom has become one of the recognizable names in gaming history. Any gamer has probably owned at least one game from Capcom at some point in their life, and has enjoyed what Capcom has produced. From Avengers to Resident Evil, to Darkstalkers, Streetfighter, and more, Capcom has continued to deliver memorable titles and characters to the world.
I am very pleased to announce that I’ve received my copy of the “Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia” from BradyGames, to express my thoughts on, and to even to share information on characters, and even games that may or may not be all that well known.
Single Appearance Characters
Starting with the first “Only Appearance” character on page 7, Agrippa can be found in the game “Shadow of Rome” which was on the PC and PS2 in 2005. Agrippa is just one of 50 characters that appear only once in any one Capcom title. While I won’t come even close to covering all 50 characters, I will at least list off some characters from various series, such as Agrippa.
Battle Circuit (Cast) 1997
Featuring Alien Green, Cyber Blue, Captain Silver, Pink Ostrich & Pola, and Yellow Iris on page28, these characters were featured in the side-scrolling ‘beat em up’ title “Battle Circuit”, released in 1997 on the CPS-2 Arcade Hardware for Japan and Europe.
Appearing on page 37, and in the game Varth: Operation, Casber Rublan, and Feiry (not pictured) are airplane pilots that must fight against an evil spiritually controlled “Delta-7″ computer with a robot army, bent on killing the human civilization. Varth: Operation, released in 1992 on Arcade machines, and is currently playable on: Capcom Classics Collection (2006) for the PS2, PSP, and Xbox.
Fiona and Hewie
Featured on page 62, Fiona and Hewie the German Shepherd, appear in the game Haunting Ground for the PS2 from 2005.Haunting Ground is a puzzle-solving survival game where Fiona’s only real defense comes in the form of Hewie, who’ll protect Fiona from attackers, and solving puzzles to help her escape!
Finishing up with the “Only Appearance” characters on page 202, we have Yasha, from the game Asura’s Wrath for the PS3 and Xbox 360, released in 2012. Yasha is another of the protagonists in the game and is said to be “The yin to Asura’s furious yang.”.
The Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia is full of many more single appearance characters and beautiful artwork with each page turn. The full character encyclopedia can be bought off amazon here for 16.99 +Tax, Shipping, and Handling.
Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment for game consoles, PCs, handheld and wireless devices. Founded in 1983, the company has created hundreds of games, including best-selling franchises Resident Evil®, Street Fighter®, Mega Man® and Devil May Cry®. Capcom maintains operations in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Korea, with corporate headquarters located in Osaka, Japan. More information about Capcom and its products can be found at http://www.capcom.com or http://www.capcom-unity.com.
DK is the bestselling and award-winning publisher known for informing, entertaining, and educating global audiences through beautifully designed content. DK also publishes the Eyewitness series for children and Eyewitness Travel Guides. BradyGames, Alpha Books, and Rough Guides are also available from DK, a division of Penguin Group. http://us.dk.com
An Information Database
BradyGames has taken the time to go through and give the reader extensive detail on Bioshock Infinite, starting off with the weapons. Detailing 13 weapons that can be found and used throughout the game, BradyGames has broken down the weapons to go over information such as minimum damage, maximum, rounds per minute, critical multiplier, magazine capacity, reserve capacity, and helpful notes on the weapon. BradyGames even goes so far as to detail the upgrades each and every weapon can obtain, and how much the upgrades cost.
Vigorously testing the waters
All 8 Vigors covered in great detail. From stats to combos and even upgrades, BradyGames covers the most used and most powerful powers throughout the game. There’s even a chart to show what enemies are weak, or immune to when using vigors against them.
What’s really helpful for both the Vigors and the Weapons section, is the “strategy” section for each weapon or vigor. The strategy section covers how to use each weapon/vigor under different scenarios and situations. While the Vigors are not given significant detail for strategy in the early pages, BradyGames covers this later on in their guide.
Did I make the wrong choice?
One of the key features of Bioshock that has remained throughout the series is the “choice” system, which may or may not result, is good things for the player later on in the game. Choices are an important factor in the Bioshock series and BradyGames helps the player understand their choices and how those choices could potentially affect them later on in the game. This can be something minor and cosmetic, or a major choice that greatly determines an outcome.
This gear blows [me away]!
A new feature to Bioshock is the Gear system which allows players to wear up to 4 different pieces of clothing in order to improve the performance or stealth of Booker. BradyGames details each individual piece and even some great starting combinations of gear to help you on your way through the game and the enemies that you may encounter! With 39 pieces of gear to pick up in the game, BradyGames has all information and even guaranteed locations for all of the equipment throughout the game!
Games in a game, what nonsense is this?
Bioshock Infinite also features some minigames at the beginning of the game to introduce the player to a different array of weapons and aiming, BradyGames covers these games and their prizes!
But wait, there’s more!
With a whopping 270 pages, BradyGames has the entire game covered from front to back. Beautiful artwork graces the pages within this strategy guide and brings life to this guide that helps players through the game.
The guide features locations of all Voxaphones, telescopes, Kinetescopes, and Infusions!
BradyGames has combed through all the fine details of this guide, and provided an excellent walkthrough for the average player. While BradyGames has provided a great experience in their guide, they have made a small mistake that I personally see from my own perspective, and that’s the maps that they provide.
BradyGames has provided maps with locations of items, but they are placed in a such a way that it’s inconvenient and has the player flipping back and forth through the pages to see where things are. There are descriptions within the walkthrough of where items can be located, but it’s easier to have the maps of floors/areas on the same page(s) matching that of the walkthrough area they are currently describing.
My final rating for the Bioshock Infinite Strategy Guide by BradyGames is: 4/5
This guide is definitely worth the buy. The beautiful artwork throughout the guide is something you just can’t admire in a digital format, or F.A.Q. you find online.
Guild Wars 2 Strategy Guide
Reviewed by: Aaron Matthew Holmes
The most informative, and historical version of a strategy guide, to date. The Guild Wars 2 Strategy Guide from BradyGames helps guide and direct even the newest of new players through the game with help at every flip of the page.
Section 1 – History
On page 16 of the Guide, as seen above, BradyGames includes a very in-depth look at the history of Guild Wars, recounting the events that lead up to the first Guild Wars game and even through Prophecies, Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North. All of this, leading up to the Guild Wars 2 storyline. This is a great addition to any strategy guide to bring out the history of a game and allowing the player to fully understand the exposition.
Section 2 – Icon Legend
BradyGames also brings forth every minimap icon within the game to help the player understand what they’re seeing every second within the game. This section also goes into detail about Waypoints, Asura Gates, and entering different regions, what their expected level range is, and even points of interest.
Section 3 – First Experiences
On page 122, is the “First Experiences” section, which greatly details each race individually. It not only does so, but it goes over the very first quest you are challenged with.
Section 4 – Skills
Worth the Buy: 4/5
The guide by BradyGames goes into tremendous detail on each individual quest, group quest, skills, and maps throughout the entire Guild Wars world. While strategy guides, such as this, are immediately out of date due to in-game patches and updates, the guide still provides the right strategy for defeating quests as necessary for any new player who picks up the game.
The artwork featured throughout this guide is also well worth the cost, as it features artwork that you’d see either in a game or in an Artbook, but features game facts, information for new MMO players, and more!
Las Vegas, 8 January 2013 – Sennheiser announces the rebirth of two truly legendary gaming headsets. The sought after PC 350 and PC 360 have been reengineered to feature optimized comfort, design and virtual 7.1 surround sound. Both will be officially launching this week at CES, the World’s Largest Consumer Electronics Show.
Published by: Brady Games
Reviewed By: Aaron Holmes
An amazingly detailed guide that provides in-depth information for even the most seasoned of Diablo fans!
The Diablo III guide by BradyGames is a thorough piece of art. The images throughout the guide are absolutely amazing, the detail that BradyGames goes into about the game is very impressive, and provides excellent strategies for taking down the hardest of bosses, Diablo included!
The guide is filled with information on each and every mission throughout the game, giving advice on side quests (not normally mentioned), and hidden quests that will appear from time to time.
At this point on, and throughout the review, I will cover certain aspects of the guide that I feel are really useful. This review will cover only a small portion of the guide itself, as the basic strategy guide is filled with over 400 pages.
One of the first, and most useful features of the entire guide, is the detailed information for each individual class, and all the skills that they learn; at what level the skills are learned, and the runes/passive abilities that are obtained throughout the characters’ 60 levels.
Another helpful amount of information that the guide provides, is the information on the Followers that can join the player’s party. While the player can have only one follower at any given time, it is possible to have two followers during certain parts of the game (this is end-game content only!).
The Followers are fairly useful characters, as they can provide healing and some useful buffs to the player’s character, however, don’t rely on Followers to deal massive amount of damage. The player can change and update their equipment to make them more powerful, but they are far weaker than the character used by the player, and can only provide so much support. In other words, don’t rely on the Followers when playing a hardcore character!
Two of the most important things that can mean life or death of the player’s character, are the Armor and Weapons that they wield. While the BradyGames guide cannot provide details on every possible item and armor piece out there, as there would be well over a thousand unique possibilities, BradyGames is able to at least provide some detailed images of the weapons and armor that can be obtained for each character and class.
Armor is, however, very unique, in that it can be exchanged between all characters on the player’s account, but it will change its appearance depending on the class that equips it. So that “awesome helm” that was just found for a Barbarian will appear completely different on a character class, such as the Witch Doctor.
Next, from the pages of the guide, is the information that BradyGames details about every single creature, miniboss, and boss throughout the entire game. Every single variation of monsters out there is well-detailed through this guide, even going so far as to detail the amount of HP that a boss has in each individual difficulty, the XP point bonus that they provide, their resistances, and their approximate level within each difficulty.
Finally, the Diablo III Strategy Guide from BradyGames provides thorough information on each Act within the game. This includes information on the quests, the side quests, and different areas that the player plays through.
This guide is a Must-Have for any Diablo III player, as it really comes in handy, and is a much quicker resource of information than going online and asking for help from others as to where to go or what to do next.
The Diablo III Strategy Guide from BradyGames is one of the most highly-detailed guides out there, and provides the most useful information for any player.
The guide does have the downside of not providing information on every single item and armor piece, and their stats, but due to the fact Diablo III randomly generates items of all stats, this would mean adding possibly thousands of items and their possible stats into a guide that is already over 400 pages long.
I highly recommend this guide for anyone who is looking to have a quick-reference guide at their fingertips for various forms of information. It is well-worth the money spent, be it on the paperback version or the mobile/.pdf version of the guide.
The headset’s soft earpads are mounted on CircleFlex™ Earcups, a new Sennheiser innovation, which ensures the ear pads can rotate around their base, and instantly adjust to the ears. “It gets pretty intense in the heat of the game. Having a headset which helps keep my ears and head cool makes a big difference. It helps me win,” says Andre “nooky” Utesch from e-sport team mTw.
The extra comfort and performance is a combination of ergonomics, use of softer materials and new technology. Research into human listening behavior has also given the engineers the idea to move the primary controls away from the cord, and into the ear cup. This means the volume can be controlled via a simple touch on the ear cup. “It is natural human behavior to move our hands up to our ears when we need to hear better. Therefore the ear cup is a natural location for the most vital sound controls,” says Christian Ern, Product Manager at Sennheiser Communications.
A side view of the PC 320
The PC 320 is part of the Sennheiser Gaming Series, which has been developed to provide gamers with a sound so detailed that they are able to hear even footsteps of other players in-game, just like in real life. The PC 320 also features a pro noise-canceling microphone, which ensures that only words spoken by the gamer are sent back over the microphone, while most background noise from the room is cancelled out.
Over the coming weeks during my review, I will be using the PC 320 Headset daily for over 8 hours per day. This continuous use will give me the proper impression about the headset.
I will be looking at the following aspects of the headset itself: Comfort, quality, longevity and the microphone quality, usefulness, and placement as well.
The SennheiserUSA PC 320 Headset is an amazing piece of hardware, perfect for delivering high-quality sound, and comfort that lasts for hours. I highly recommend this headset for anyone who’s looking for great headphones that aren’t too expensive.
At a cost of 120$, the headset is well worth the cost and looks well-made and designed.
Once again, I’d like to state my comparison, with other headsets I’ve used. I would prefer to pay 120$ for 1 well-made headset, than to spend 25$ every few weeks on a headset that will eventually just stop working.
Finally, before my final rating regarding this headset, I would like to mention that while there are a lot of pros to this product, there is one con. This headset cannot be used with iPod Touch 2.0, or potentially any other iPod device. The headphone slot on the iPod devices is too small to accommodate the headset jack that plugs into everything else.
OVERALL RATING: 4.0
The sound quality provided through this headset is clean and crystal clear.
The slight downside is that, unlike other headsets, it does not support added bass.
Overall, though, the PC320 Headset provides great sounds and quality for all the games for which a gamer would want them!
After wearing these for well over 100 hours of constant use, the PC320 Headset is one of the most comfortable headsets that I’ve used in my lifetime. My ears never got sweaty, and were able to have proper air flow at all times. For those who have glasses, however, it will take a little time for these to feel comfortable, but will still be the best headset anyone can buy.
This headset is compatible with all devices that have headphone jacks, however, for devices like the iPod Touch 2.0, the headset proves incompatible. iPod device headphone jacks require a much smaller jack, those similar to the ear buds provided with the purchase of any iPod.
About Sennheiser Communications
Sennheiser Communications A/S is a joint venture between the electro acoustics specialist Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG and the hearing healthcare specialist William Demant Holding Group. The company manufactures wireless and wired headsets for mobile phones, Call Centres, Offices and Unified Communications, as well as PC and Mac computer headsets for VoIP, entertainment and gaming. Sennheiser Communications offers both single and double sided headsets to suit individual needs and has a wide range of solutions. For more information please visit www.senncom.com
Incgamers – Freelance Journalist
Strategy Guide Impression
I received the Batman: Arkham City strategy guide from BradyGames recently, and at first glance the strategy guide appears to look like a large hardback artbook, with Batman on the front. The art style on just the cover alone is beautiful, and really shows that the artist who created this spent a lot of time working on it. He put in as much detail as possible, right down to the pores on Batman’s chin.
I opened up the strategy guide, and on the inside cover appears more beautiful, yet dark, artwork. This time, it features two gun toting men, and a mysterious man wearing glasses who appears to have some importance. He is, possibly, the villain around whom the game’s story circumventilates. I turn a couple of pages to the first real page with information, and it covers what has happened in the resultant year following the Arkham Asylum incident. It states that the slums of Gotham have become the haven for “Arkham City”.
Pages 7-11 of the guide describe all the different actions, and even some of the different modes throughout the game. This helps both new, and veteran players get used to the controls of Arkham City, especially with the game’s additional features! Page 15 of the guide is probably the best place in the guide to put the glossary of terms used throughout the guide. Most glossary pages are put at the end of the book, but BradyGames placed it at just the right point, a little into the guide, but before the story, missions and side-quests are explained.
Pages 22-24 explain some of the weapons you discover throughout the game. Explained are how they can be used, and what their leveled-up version does! Pages 25-29 explain several machinations about the game, including Predator Mode and Detective Mode. Tthey also give hints about different enemy scenarios throughout the game, what to do, whom to take down, and how!
Page 29 is detailed solely on Catwoman and her moves, toys, and upgrades. The Catwoman missions are optional downloadable content. While most games carry the code inside, BradyGames has put in the extra effort to include her missions, skills and all other important information throughout the guide.
Pages 30-57 explain in detail every major character, and the role of each throughout Arkham City, including beautifully detailed images of said characters.
After some more coverage on the game, the weapons, and a bit more on Catwoman DLC, the Walkthrough portion of the guide has been reached. Now first off, I’ll mention that I really love the layout of the walkthrough, and all the numerous hints and advice that they offer throughout.
The maps they have are quite useful, however, my one complaint so far is in regard to the maps. While the maps show basic information, that’s all they show. The maps do not cover where the Riddler statues are, nor do the maps show (later on) the location of some important mechanical devices needed to recreate a video.
The maps, later on in the “Spoilers” section of the guide, cover where everything from Riddler Trophies to Harely statues are, in their respective maps/locations. Personally, I feel that if this information is to be shown to the reader, it should be shown much earlier, when they’re actually going through that section of the game and using the guide. So as not to miss it, and then discover later in the guide it was 5 ft. from where they were standing!
Other than that minor annoyance, so far the guide has been very detailed and thorough in the description of all the content.
Now I’m on to bringing up the “Spoilers” section of the guide, which covers all the side-quests, and how to complete them. It details the location of every single item, and even the downloadable content for Catwoman, and all the items she can collect.
The information provided in this section of the guide is absolutely invaluable, and is definitely worth reading if you’re aiming for 100% completion in the first, if not second, playthrough of Arkham City.
I won’t reveal anything about the side-quests/missions, or what Catwoman’s content covers, but I will say that the information in this section covers several new boss fights, people to rescue, and a very long, complicated series of puzzles that require the additional hints and advice that this guide offers!
I am now finished sharing my initial thoughts on my readthrough of the guide without playing Batman:Arkham City. My next section will cover use of the guide in correspondence with playing the game, and how useful all the information proves to be for the typical player. I will avoid spoilers at all costs.
Using the Strategy Guide
Continuing on to actually using the strategy guide, I was able to obtain Arkham City shortly after I received the strategy guide. As I used the strategy guide with Arkham City, the information within the guide helped out immensely in getting all the side quests completed. Taking the advice of BradyGames I was able to focus on critical strikes over body armor at the beginning of the game. The strategy guide tells in detail how to take on numerous different situations and scenarios within each mission and side quest.
Also detailed throughout the guide is information on where Riddler Trophies, Harley Quinn statues, and even security cameras are located, though the exact locations can be found at the end of the guide. At least knowing there are items in the general vicinity of your character is quite helpful!
What’s really useful about this guide, is that it breaks down some of the more difficult missions that I encountered, and made the most difficult of task really understandable, and easy to complete. There were several times when I couldn’t always accomplish my objective without having died, or set off an alert to the guards, but that was mostly my fault, not the guide’s.
While there isn’t a whole lot that I can really comment on about this guide without going into details, and potentially spoiling the game, BradyGames has actually created a very distinguished guide. It is great for finding everything in the game, and even obtaining 100% game completion! I have very little to complain about regarding the guide, other than the actual item locations being at the back of the guide. Some of the side quests that are also in that section should’ve been included much earlier in the guide.
There are a couple of side quests that can only be completed at certain points in the game, but because of their location within the guide they are easily missed, and most likely makes someone playing the game have to go through New Game Plus, in order to get a full 100% game completion. It is mentioned in the guide that numerous playthroughs would be necessary for accomplishing everything. It’s not really forced upon someone to actually go through a second time, in order to reach full game completion.
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