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Welcome Back to the West
By oneshotstop
Posted on 08/01/16
The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop...

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THE REASONS FALLOUT 4 FALLS SHORT
Posted on Monday, November 30 2015 @ 16:58:04 PST

So I've beaten Fallout 4.   Despite having to run my business and not having a lot of time to play on a daily basis - I used the Thanksgiving holiday to grind through the game - completely ignoring my girlfriend's physiological and emotional needs and "beat the game". 

I chose the Brotherhood of Steel path -  killed everyone in the Railroad and blew up the Institute's underground HQ.


I felt saddened, not so much for blowing up a terminally-ill Shaun, but, honestly, for destroying the beautiful laboratory and all the scientific progress the Institute was making. 
That's ultimately what Fallout does right:  it made me feel connected to some of the characters and their plight. I hesitated, for example, to execute Danse because after having fought besides him so long, I felt a connection to him that I didn't want to break. Granted I could reload a save point from a bit earlier and effectively bring him "back to life" - he left me no choice but to kill him since I hadn't leveled up my charisma enough to give him the option of going into hiding and handing me his dogtags to present as "proof" I'd killed him.  Putting two bullets in his head was the emotional equivalent of abruptly hanging up a phone on a telemarketer for me or putting-down a sickly, old dog. 


I never played the original Fallout or its sequel and my first experience with the Fallout universe was Fallout 3 on Xbox 360. The game's desolate ruins of the Capital Wasteland were instantly addictive once I was able to make it through the learning curve and escape Vault 101.  From that point on, hours of my life flew by as day became night and I grinded through the world in search of weapons and caps. 


Fallout 4 feels like more of the same old Fallout 3 only with better graphics and a building system to construct  settlements. 


Unfortunately, the same old problems which were passable on the Xbox 360 rear their ugly heads again. 


#1 The load times are too long.  No matter which system or PC setup you have, the load times are long. This becomes extremely annoying when you have to lighten your load by selling weapons or materials and must fast travel to a spot just to meet a vendor.  Vendors run out of money, forcing you to meet multiple vendors to sell your items without a loss. 
 
#2 There are some bugs - which can freeze the game solid - requiring a restart. 
 
#3 The Power Armor's requirement of Fusion Cores makes them expensive just to use, since the Fusion Cores are not very plentiful - even in the Brother Hood of Steel's base. Makes no sense to force soldiers to "pay money" to afford their armor or ammo.  Once you ally with the BOS, this stuff should be free. Or at least cheaper...

 

#4 Dialogue is glitchy (worse than Fallout 3) and I can't easily order my companions into and out of Power Armor. 
 
 
 
THE SETTLEMENT BUILDING SYSTEM deserves an entire diatribe. It's poorly explained and it's not implemented well. 


#1 Before you can truly "do anything" you must level up, which means you might as well leave settlement builds for after you beat the game.  You'll need Charisma level 6 and the Local Leader perks just to allow you to build stores for merchants. 


#2 You'll need the Local Leader perk before you can establish a "supply line" to allow you to share
resources from individual settlements to your main settlement - which will probably be in Sanctuary. Till then, you'll have to physically carry items back and forth between settlements - which due to the mass caps means you'll likely be extremely frustrated. 

 
#3 In older games such as Command and Conquer, you could build generators without being forced to "wire them".  It doesn't take a huge leap of faith to believe that power lines are "buried" underground. Yet this game demands you build pylons, wiring and conduits/switches to wire buildings together. This requires extra resources that shouldn't be necessary and can be a massive headache if objects get in the way. 


#4  The Building system is necessary to construct a teleporter - in order to progress in the game. The problems of the building system - including wiring individual devices together - become more apparent here when you are told "everything must be on the same "grid" (whatever that means) and you find yourself going mad trying to wire things together which already appear to be "connected". 
I felt tremendous anxiety just preparing to approach this project and even feel that anxiety days later - after beating the game. Why?  It's a poor design decision to force the player to do things that aren't implemented well. Even a piece of carpet can interrupt the building site process - and this isn't explained at all. 
 

 

Overall, Fallout is a very well done game - with massive appeal. Once you finally understand how certain aspects of the game work - you'll love it. Unfortunately, there is a STEEP learning curve before you'll be able to take advantage of many features of the game. Hopefully DLC will patch some of the problems and keep us playing into 2016. 
 



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Election 2016: THE REASON THE CANDIDATES SUCK
Posted on Sunday, August 16 2015 @ 05:05:14 PST

I made this video as a joke,  and I'm trying to promote it.  What do you think?
 
ELECTION 2016

 

youtube.com/watch?v=jTo86ChBC2Q



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The reason I bought the TITAN X instead of the 980Ti
Posted on Saturday, August 15 2015 @ 14:02:32 PST

EQUIPMENT I TESTED ON:
HP ENVY tower with Intel Core i7 5960x, 32GB RAM, 1500w power supply, 7200RPM HDD,   Three HP LA1905wg monitors @ 1440x900p (home)    and  three 34” AOC IPS LED  at 3440x1440p (office)



There is a debate online as to whether the Titan X and its whopping 12GB of GDDR5 makes sense at the current $1000 price point when the newer, less expensive GTX 980ti could be had for around $400 less.

As a personal practice, I prefer to purchase as much as I possibly can at the point of sale so I needn’t suffer sleepless nights thinking about possible upgrades.  My computer originally came with 16GB of RAM. Not soon after I’d set it up I was on Ebay ordering up another 16 to max out the ports.  The thought of a power surge or outage hurting my baby had me right back to Microcenter for an APC Battery Backup.  

And this is why I’ve always hated PC GAMING.    It’s an endless cycle of  expensive upgrades, especially when you try to go cheap and purchase less-expensive products that need to work together harmoniously to accomplish the job of a single, newer, more expensive product. 


New games such as The Witcher 3 Demand more than 6GB of RAM to run in the highest settings at 4K resolutions.  With Fallout 4 on the way, I didn’t even bother considering the 980ti simply because I would need at least two of them to get the equivalent monitor performance of just one Titan X.



If you do decide to max out your credit card and go with the Titan, the first thing you’re going to want to do is purchase a sufficient power supply if you haven’t already. The Titan X demands nothing less than a 600W power supply, but when you are running multiple Hard Drives, or optical drives along with this card at the minimum requirements, you run the risk of underpowering the card and forcing it to step down (or crash) when peak-power usage occurs.   EVGA offers its own line of power supplies and I ended up returning an 850W to upgrade to the 1500W - so future upgrades will come easily and I won’t find myself trying to backtrack for new parts.


Installation is simple. You just open access to your PCIe3.0 slot and pop the card in. It’s relatively simple compared to my first upgrade experience on my HP Pavilion 8570c (Pentium III, 96MB RAM, 20GB HDD) when I upgraded to a Voodoo 3 3000 (16MB RAM) and had to figure out how to disable motherboard jumpers to activate the AGP slot.

The Titan’s size in and of itself is comical. It looks like it could be a computer in and of itself.  Many custom computer builders have had to come up with special cases to handle the spacing and cooling requirements of multiple Titan cards. Alienware’s new Area 51, for example is half the size of a man and  has enough interior volume to fit two Xbox Ones.

I’m not going to bore you by telling you about CUDA cores and ROPS and TMUS and Texture filler rates and other sh!t that you won’t understand unless you have a PhD in computer engineering. Suffice to say that this card can easily handle any game on the entire market in its highest settings when coupled with any recent Intel Core i7 and just 8GB of RAM.   Using Witcher 3 as a benchmark, you’d be advised to have nothing less than an Intel Core i7 3770 3.4 GHz and a GTX 770 or Radeon R9 290 and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.  The average Core i7 desktop being sold nowadays is a 4790 and comes with between 12GB and 16GB of DDR3 RAM.  There’s no game on the market that demands DDR4 yet.


The TITAN X is easily the fastest gaming video card you can currently buy and has a shitload of memory which makes it literally untouchable by anything else on the market at current. A one-card solution that can only be bested by multiple cards working together.  While some consider the 12GB of GDDR5 to be “overkill”, I consider it to be “future-proofing”…at least for the next few years as 4K and 5K monitors become affordable to Main Street.  When the price of the Titan decreases, I can get another or perhaps 2 more.


ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS…

The case for the ridiculously expensive Titan X becomes even more apparent when you consider all the stuff I didn’t need to buy.   Two GTX 980Ti’s, by the way, isn’t cheap. That’s still around $1300 - even with my tax exemptions. No overclocking necessary. No water cooling setups. No heat monitors.  No special fan setups.

Just one badass card that runs smoothly and silently under just about whatever load you can throw at it.
Even when the explosions start to rock my Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 during sessions of Crysis 3 that would have normally dropped frame rates…the Titan will maintain framerates of 60 or better.  Pushing it to the limits only happens at 4K.  On my three 1440x900 monitors or 1080p office monitors, the card maintains total composure at frames per second the human eye can’t even perceive – well beyond 60.

Because the Titan X and the GTX 980Ti  are roughly the same card sans the extra 6GB memory buffer and  256 CUDA cores, both run about the same in terms of noise (they have virtually the same fan design)  – even while playing with settings turned way up on Far Cry 4 and Witcher 3.  


The one thing that truly annoyed me about the Titan X was the inclusion of only 3 display ports.
The card supports resolutions up to 3840x2160 at 30Hz over HDMI, but when you plug in the display port cables, you can push those numbers up to 3840x2160 and even 4096x2160 at 60Hz.  That’s pretty damned impressive for a single video card running 3 monitors.   Titan X supports up to 4 monitors which can be expanded up to 12 by purchasing two more of these $1000 beasts and connecting them together.   The average gamer is only using 3 monitors, so for many of them, this wouldn’t be an issue.    I have a 4th monitor sitting there lonely because I can’t bring myself to connect it via the lowly HDMI and I don’t want to purchase another $1000 video card just to plug it into a display port.


For fear of damaging the card, I would never even consider overclocking.  I prefer it to simply be an unseen, unheard entity that just quietly does its job and never needs any sort of management whatsoever.


In conclusion, the Titan X is the card to buy provided you have the money.   
Use your credit card if you have to.  Finance it if you have to.   

Can I honestly say that I see a major difference between Direct X 11 and Direct X 12 on Windows 10?  NOPE!

Can I sleep well at night knowing my computer can run anything I can throw at it?   YUP

Psychological obsolescence and upgrade cycles are a b!tch but it feels awesome to check CANYOURUNIT and see that you're in the 100th percentile on every game's optimal specs.



 

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TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CONSOLE WARS
Posted on Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 19:43:09 PST

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE "CONSOLE WARS"  - by BIGTRUCKSERIESREVIEW



'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
The sounds of gunfire - with each click of the mouse
The s...   read more...

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WHO THE F*** IS BIGTRUCKSERIES?
Posted on Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 07:26:45 PST

WHO IS BIGTRUCKSERIES?
 

Bigtruckseriesreview (AKA Bigtruckseries  on websites that don't give you enough characters for your profile name) is a Youtube personality and 24/7 internet troll who believes that his ...   read more...

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