pc-gaming Archive - Matt Brett

31 articles

When Expectations Are Exceeded: Valve

Last week, EA held their big summer press event. When I saw the coverage start pouring in I turned a blind eye. EA, along with Microsoft are in my shit books and I really didn't care to hear about their list of sequels that are coming out this holiday season. That is, until I saw Valve mentioned in one of the headlines. I had forgotten that Half-Life 2 is now published by EA and with Episode 2 on the horizon, I had to check in to see if there was any exciting news. What followed can only be described as a bombardment of awesomeness.

The Blackness Cometh

Judging by the amount of emails I've received over the past couple days asking "you're playing Black? how is it?", I'm assuming people actually check out my Currently Playing section. So, how is Black you ask? It's just as rad as you were hoping it would be! Criterion have taken their desire for extremely fast paced action with tons of shit blowing up that made the Burnout series so great and applied it to a first person shooter. I was fully expecting this game to be pure run-and-gun, but it's not entirely. There's actually a strategic element to it where you're forced to use cover to get around well hidden enemies. It's very tough at times as just about everything in the environment can be destroyed. So that concrete wall you're hiding behind might not be there in 5 seconds.

Widescreen Gaming Woes

Man, was I ever stoked when I brought home my 21" 16:10 LCD monitor. Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last as long as I had hoped. It seems there's several issues which hamper widescreen gaming that aren't exactly common knowledge. Even after doing hours of research into pros and cons of having a widescreen LCD, I was met with many challenges and frustrating roadblocks that prevented me from jumping into the games I had been playing on my old 19" CRT. With the growing popularity of widescreen monitors and LCDs quickly taking over the monitor market share, I thought it would be a good idea to share my experiences and hopefully cut down the hours you might spend troubleshooting should you pick up a widescreen LCD. First thing's first. There's some terminology you need to know and understand...

The Importance of Proper Cooling in a Gaming PC

Over the past couple weeks, I've barely played any games at all. I got back into F.E.A.R. and have almost finished it, but my system has not being running so hot lately - actually, it's been running very hot, which brings me to the topic of this post. Over the past year I've replaced just about every piece of hardware. I started with the motherboard and worked my way out. Most recently replacing my 266MHz memory with a pair of 512MB, 400MHz Corsair XMS ProSeries RAM. Since my CPU has a front side bus of 800MHz, I was looking forward to a pretty significant performance increase. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case at all. After installing the RAM, I noticed no increase at all. Still the same hiccups and lags remained. It was time to do some serious troubleshooting - having dropped so much cash on my machine over the past year, I wasn't ready to give up on it just yet. I knew there had to be a cause for the slowdowns and poor performance I'm seeing.

Configuring Your Xbox 360 Controller For Windows

Last week I wrote about my recent purchase of the Xbox 360 controller for Windows, most notably, the lack of support from Microsoft and the inability to tweak it. Not that this should come as a surprise to any Windows user. But still quite disappointing. Since then, I've received quite a few hits from people searching phrases like "xbox 360 controller deadzone", "configure xbox 360 controller for windows", "xbox 360 controller for windows mapping", etc. Needless to say, I'm not the only one been who's looking for a solution. Luckily, thanks to a few (very lengthy) anonymous tips, that solution has been found!

Xbox 360 Controller For Windows: Review

I may be able to wait to drop a few hundred on an Xbox 360, but I couldn't resist picking up a controller to use on my PC. They don't come cheap - I paid close to $60 (CDN) and I almost wish I hadn't. For whatever reason, there hasn't been a whole lot of chatter on this topic. Which is why I was so eager to pick one up. I have a couple Logitech gamepads, but they're nowhere near as good as the Xbox controller. Since the first time I squeezed those triggers, I've never looked back. Best game controller design ever! Especially for racing games. With most gamepads, it's all or nothing. With an Xbox controller, the triggers act as a third axis (z) allowing you to apply as much or little pressure as desired. Since I've been playing Need For Speed Most Wanted a lot these days, I was itching for those triggers and picked up a 360 controller on release day.