January’s Xbox 360 Shopping

IMG_20140126_000225Thanks to the ongoing sales, I have managed to find some nice Xbox 360 games for a good price yesterday:

  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Warhammer 40.000 Space Marine
  • Forza Motorsport 4

The first three of the list are preowned. I paid 99p each for Gears of War and Gears of War 2, £5 for Warhammer 40.000 Space Marine and £15 for Forza Motorsport 4 (not preowned).

Of these, I had already played Gears of War, but for 99p I thought it was worth buying 🙂 I also know that I will spend countless hours on Forza Motorsport 4. That is, when my girlfriend will stop playing with Warhammer.

Why Is Changing Country Settings Such a Big Deal?

World mapI have recently tried to change my country setting on the PSN, only to find out that it is not possible to do so. And it doesn’t look like I am the only one who wants to do that either. Users opened posts about this topic back in the 2010 and, as far as I know, nobody has ever gotten any feedback from Sony. The only thing is a short page saying that the country cannot be changed for security reasons.

Nintendo is doing the same thing.  In this case, I haven’t found any explanation for this choice.

But if it is such a big deal for Sony and Nintendo, why does Microsoft allow users to change their region? Are there no security issues for Microsoft? Or are there some weird reasons for Sony and Nintendo not to enable this feature?

This, to me, looks like a very poor decision, not to mention a very big fail by Sony and Nintendo. I understand that many people don’t care about this, and this might be the reason why not many gamers are complaining about this, but this is an important thing in my opinion. People move, and not realizing this is either extremely stupid or extremely arrogant.

Buying From Alienware? I Don’t Think So

Alienware logoEvery PC gamer knows Alienware. It’s that company that is supposed to offer great gaming PCs (laptops and desktops) which can be customized to become insanely powerful. Plus, all those lights on the desktops look super geekcool.

So, long story short, I now need to build a gaming machine. I personally would have preferred a desktop machine due to its higher level of customization, but my girlfriend would prefer a laptop, therefore the desktop is not an option anymore 😀 She has a point though, the laptop can be moved around the house and be also used as a media center if there is the need to do so.

So, since this is not going to be a desktop and I cannot buy the parts by myself, the first thing I though was: “OK, the time has finally arrived to buy an Alienware machine”. The summary if the following: horrible experience. Read on to find out what happened.

I went to their website and chose the Alienware 17. Before shelling out that huge amount of money though, I wanted to have a chat with an Alienware representative to ask a few questions about warranty, financing, discounts etc. So I went to the Alienware UK Support Page only to find a completely broken page, with missing images and broken links. From here, contacting support was impossible.

So I googled around a bit until I found another support page. The page says that customer support is open until 19:00. So at about 18:00 I called and I was told that the lines closed at 17:00. Ok, still not much of a problem. I googled around a little bit more and I found a contact form through which you could request a call back. I filled it in requesting a call back (or an email reply, whichever worked best for them) the following day.

Two or three days passed and I didn’t receive any phone call. Very good sales department I must say. So I decide to contact Dell chat support asking if they had received my request (after all, I thought that my email could have gone lost). The chat representative didn’t answer this question and asked me my phone number again saying that I was going to receive a call the following day in the morning. This was on Wednesday. Today is Saturday and I haven’t heard back from Alienware. Needless to say, I am not going to buy from them.

So I decided to see if other people have had any problems with Alienware or if I have been simply not lucky. Oh my, what did I find out. Negative reviews about Alienware abound everywhere on the net, especially about the build quality of the machines. I have read reviews about machine shipped with the wrong components, about Alienware refusing to honor the warranty, about components failing mere days after shipping (if they were not already faulty when shipped). You name it. The amazon.com page of the Alienware 17 contains other interesting 1 star reviews for your reading pleasure.

Overall, I must thank Alienware for not getting back to me ever. It looks like they spared me a lot of hassles with their crappy laptops and customer/tech support.

Have you had any experience with Alienware? If so, please share your opinions in the comments. If they are as bad as they seem to be, let’s spread out the word and help other fellow gamers not to make the mistake of buying from them!

Razer Nabu – Improving Something Useless?

Razer NabuI have recently stumbled upon an article on GameInformer about a new accessory by Razer. Yes, the company that defines itself as “For Gamers. By Gamers”. I like their accessories, I have two of their mousepads, a normal one and a portable one, which I find amazing, and I will probably get a Deathstalker keyboard soon after getting a new gaming PC. This time, though, it feels like they are drifting away from their usual style offering the Nabu.

The Nabu is basically yet another version of the smartwatch/wristband thing which is apparently getting some interest. It allows you to receive notifications from your phone and it also allows you to track your physical activities. Also, in my opinion it is the most stylish device of this kind that I have seen so far (it still looks horrible when somebody is wearing it, but it’s less horrible than the others).

Ok, let’s quickly go through the positive things of the Nabu: it’s two devices in one, which might make it appealing for people looking for both a smartwatch and an activity tracker, and it might not be extremely expensive in the (Razer are currently selling Nabus to developers for $49).

And now to my favourite part: the not so good things. This doesn’t look very game-related. I can see that it might be used in some interesting ways in the gaming world, but I must say that it mostly looks like a business item, and I would much prefer it if Razer continued to focus on gaming accessories. After all, that’s what they can do well.

Most importantly, this whole idea of smartwatches is uncanny for me: I can’t help feeling that it is just another thing that makes getting a break from work increasingly difficult. We already have smartphones which are definitely not making us smart and which make us take our jobs everywhere we go. Why would I want to have something that would make this situation even worse by being always on me, probably even more than a smartphone?

On the Nabu website, in the Notifications section, there is a sentence that gives me a wry smile:

From client meetings to a romantic candlelit dinner, there are moments when pulling out your smartphone is just not the right call. With just a quick glance at the Razer Nabu on your wrist, stay updated without being rude.

Now the question is: if I am in the middle of a client meeting or a romantic candlelit dinner, am I not supposed to focus on that? Do I really need to be distracted from other things? If I am in the middle of a dinner with my girlfriend and I keep looking at my notifications, wherever they might come from, I can easily see myself being single after a while. In that case yes, the Nabu and similar devices might come in handy, because I would have lots of free time to waste looking at notifications.

What are your thought on this? Do you think that devices like the Nabu will become what smartphones are today? Do you already have a smartwatch? Please share your opinions in the comments.

Steam Christmas Sale 2013 – Let’s Recap

Steam Christmas Sale 2013 website headerHere we are, another Steam Christmas Sale is over. I love this sale, it makes me feel like Christmas even more and, every time it ends, all I am left with is a plethora of new games, much less money and, usually a new badge.

This year I thought that I wasn’t going to buy many games, maybe just one or two, or maybe not even those. In fact, in last year’s summer sale, I just bought one game (The Walking Dead), so I thought that the same thing would have happened in the next sale. How wrong I was 😀

Steam Snow Globe Badge 2013 Level 2

I also earned the Snow Globe Level 2 Badge in this year’s Christmas sale. Well, as you can see from this post, that was totally deserved! 😀

So, to recap, here are the games that I bought in the Steam Christmas Sale 2013 (in order of purchase):

  • F1 2013 Complete Edition
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition
    • Skyrim
    • Dawnguard DLC
    • Dragonborn DLC
    • Hearthfire DLC
  • World of Goo
  • DiRT 3
  • Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail
  • Assassin’s Creed III Deluxe Edition
    • Assassin’s Creed III
    • The Hidden Secrets Pack DLC
    • The Battle Hardened Pack DLC
    • Tyranny of King Washington: The Infamy DLC
    • Tyranny of King Washington: The Betrayal DLC
    • Tyranny of King Washington: The Redemption DLC
    • 4 bonus single-player missions
    • The official Assassin’s Creed III soundtrack
    • George Washington’s notebook
  • Pixeljunk Eden + Soundtrack
  • The Swapper
  • Metro Franchise Pack
    • Metro 2033
    • Metro: Last Light
    • Metro: Last Light – Ranger Mode DLC
    • Metro: Last Light – RPK DLC
  • Sang-Froid – Tales of Werewolves
  • Grand Theft Auto Complete Pack
    • Grand Theft Auto III
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    • Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition (which includes Episodes from Liberty City)

I also got Left 4 Dead 2 for free when it was offered by Valve as a Christmas gift.

In addition to these games, which I got for myself, I also purchased some games as a gift for my girlfriend:

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  • Deadlight
  • Bioshock Infinite + Season pass

I guess you can say that I have been pretty active on Steam this Christmas. Oh well, the discounts were often amazing, and now I have enough games to play with while I wait for the next sale 🙂

What about you guys? What did you get on Steam this Christmas? Did you get anything at all? Please leave your shopping list in the comments below!

Happy New Year from True Gaming Life! (With New Year’s Resolutions)

I wanted to wish a  Happy New Year to everbody! I really hope that this year will be great for you all!

Last year this blog was born and, almost one year later, it’s still alive so who knows what might happen in the future. I enjoy writing here and I hope I will continue to do so. I also wanted to share with you some of my new year’s resolutions (related to this blog of course 😛 ), just some ideas about things I would like to do in the following months.

In order of importance:

  1. Do my best to blog as much as possible
  2. Custom domain (no more .wordpress.com)
  3. New theme
  4. More videos
  5. Twitch.tv account so that you can watch me kick ass in racing games and platformers 🙂
  6. Facebook page

If there is anything else you would like to see covered, please drop a comment below. I enjoy your feedback and I will consider every suggestion.

Again, a very Happy New Year to you all!