Switched to nVidia

“Now you’re playing with power”

Up until last Friday I had never owned an nVidia graphics card, never. It’s not that I was committed to ATI or anything, I just couldn’t afford to buy an nVidia before.

Well, the one I bought is a couple of years old, but to me it’s a lot better than what I had and I need the CUDA cores for video and 3D rendering.

Of course I also want to play and record games in 3D so that was goal number 1 after checking out how fast my video would render now and other general speed tests.

So nVidia has drivers included for 3D Vision which is their shutter glasses system but I have a passive polarized monitor so I wasn’t sure I could use the 3D Vision drivers.

When I switched from ATI to nVidia I lost my ability to use my Tridef 3D drivers until Tridef emailed me a new code so I was trying to get 3D Vision to work with my monitor when I came across blogs that showed how to trick the nVidia drivers into thinking your monitor or TV is a certain model Acer or Zalman monitor.

The Acer one did not work for my monitor so I tried the Zalman and sure enough, 3D Vision would play my games in 3D now!

I tried out Just Cause 2 first, why, I know what you’re thinking but I’ll resist the temptation to use that cliched joke.

The reason I chose JC2 is because it’s supposed to be a showcase game for nVidia.

Well, it was 3D, but it had strange looking artifacts around the edges of Rico, the main character in the game and the ground had sort of a checkerboard look to it sometimes, weird for a game that’s supposed to be a showcase!

On top of that the movement was stuttering like mad!

JC2 was great on my little ATI 6670 and Tridef 3D why would it be like this on my new “super card”?

When I got my Tridef code I tried JC2 and it crashed at startup when using the Tridef 3D drivers, hmm.

I guess the 3D Vision and Tridef don’t like to play nice together. I uninstalled 3D Vision and bing, JC2 was back to great 3D, but there was still that nasty stutter!

So I looked online and found that the nVidia cards have a power saving mode that keeps throttling the card’s speed up and down, causing stutter.

I turned off the power saving in the nVidia control panel and NOW JC2 is looking and running great!

 

PCs in Chaos – The return of The Chaos Engine

Today an Amiga classic, The Chaos Engine, returns!

TCEThe Chaos Engine appeared on the Commodore Amiga in the early 1990s and was such a hit that it was immediately ported to the Sega Genesis!

It probably wasn’t that hard to do since at the time Genesis games were often developed on Amiga computers because the Amiga and Genesis both had the same Motorola 68000 processor (or at least the same family of CPUs, the Amiga later had 68020, 68030, etc.).

One of the most innovative features of The Chaos Engine was the AI second player! If you didn’t have a buddy to help you through the game, the computer could control player 2 and it was pretty good at it too!

The game reminded me of the arcade game Gauntlet, overhead perspective, multiple players, mazes, monsters, treasure, keys, etc.

Funny thing was after The Chaos Engine came out on the Amiga, almost every game that had an overhead perspective was compared to The Chaos Engine!

The game controls have had an overhaul on the new PC version, on the Amiga you could hold down the joystick button (there was only 1 for many years) and move the stick around to fire in a circle. Only drawback to this was your character could not move while you were holding down the button, to move and fire you had to tap the button repeatedly like most arcade games.

You could also fire off special weapons by holding the button down and not moving, I think, I could never really figure out how those worked.

The Chaos Engine has been on PC before in a VGA DOS version but the music was pretty sad and there was no voice like the Amiga version had.

You can check out the Amiga version in action on my YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D4mdVlWEVc&feature=share&list=UUhop_tO6tu3dY5s6qbXPPOA

The new version boasts better gamepad support, enhanced graphics, classic Amiga mode and maybe online multiplayer. I say maybe because the developers state that online multiplayer is going to be on the Steam version, but so far Steam is not listing this feature and GOG.com reported the game as having online MP but retracted the statement.

TCE_GOG

3D Blu-ray Rental

Really great folks and it’s a great value, too!

3DBlurayRental

Ever since I got the equipment to view them I’ve wished that Netflix or Blockbuster would rent 3D Blurays.

The big 2 don’t (yet), but I found a company that does!

3D Blu-ray Rental is a company in California that will rent 3D discs 1 at-a-time, 2 at-a-time or 3 at-a-time monthly!

I had been renting discs from them for a while and one day I got an email saying that they were trying new subscription plans (for a trial period only).

For $15.99 a month I could rent up to 5 discs 1 at-a-time!

AND, when you put them in the mailbox you can notify 3D Blu-ray Rental online and they will send the next disc right away so you don’t have to wait for them to receive the other first!

With 3D movies in the theater costing $15 and up that was a great value!

And it still is, because they kept the subscription plans active after the trial run was apparently very successful!

Another thing that 3D Blu-ray Rental is doing that’s new is if you would like to keep the rented disc they will sell it to you for as little as $5!

I am not getting paid or getting any discounts or free stuff from them to say these things, I just wanted to let you know about a company that you can trust and that delivers a great service to 3D fans!

So take a look at: http://stores.3d-blurayrental.com

 

 

Steam Trading Cards

I guess you could call me a professional gamer now!

SteamTradingCards

Steam started giving out trading cards recently, you get them while playing some games.

The cards are also given for achieving certain things in those games that support it.

The cards are used by folks to make badges to show off in the forums, buy special online game equipment, etc.

I Don’t have a use for them so I sell them to those who do! When I sell them money is added to my Steam wallet so I can buy more games! Sweet!

 

DuckTales Remastered

It’s no’ Stereoscopic 3D lads, sorry!

DuckTalesRemastered1

DuckTales Remastered looks like it should be capable of 3D, but I tried it with the Tridef 3D driver yesterday and no joy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvtZfDVI4_I&feature=share&list=UUhop_tO6tu3dY5s6qbXPPOA

Despite it’s non-stereoability, the game is a great remix of the old NES game! It feels very much like the same challenge as the original when I played it on medium difficulty.

If you lose all your lives you have to start the level all over from scratch and the enemies even re-spawn when you scroll the screen!  (Oldschool!)

DuckTalesRemastered3 DuckTalesRemastered2

There are a lot of cutscene type interactions between characters that kind of slow the game down, but you can skip them by pausing the game and selecting “skip cinematic”.

In the Amazon, for instance, Scrooge calls up Launchpad on a walkie-talkie almost every time he finds a special coin (you need to find all 8)!

The original voice actors do the voices including Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck) who is over 90 years old!

The musical scores are great and they are modern remakes of the original NES songs.

If you liked the original, you will like this one! If you haven’t played the original and you’re a fan of Disney cartoons then try it on “Easy”, there are checkpoints so you won’t have to restart the levels!

DuckTalesRemastered4

So get ready to step into the spats of Scrooge McDuck 15 years after he first appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System!

Commander Keno

It was funny, on August 1st, Commander Keen was listed on Steam as 89.99 until you went to the game page then it was on sale for just over a dollar! (US Version of Steam)

CommanderKeen

I know many people LOVE The Keen but I missed that period in PC gaming history because in the 90s I no longer owned a PC, I was rocking a Commodore Amiga!

At the low price Steam was offering on this compilation I almost bought it but I have such a backup of things to play and show on my YouTube show “WH Game Hideout”, that I gave it a pass.

There are still so many Amiga games I want to play.

I really need to find the fountain of youth…maybe I’ll move to North Florida and take a look around!

Spelunky coming to GOG.com Aug 8!

The random-generated cave exploration that your XBOX friends warned you about!gog_Spelunky1

What can you say about the rogue-like cave exploration game known as Spelunky (or sometimes that @$&*% game!) that hasn’t been said before?

Maybe, “Please bring it out on PC”. Ok, maybe that has been said before.

gog_Spelunky2

Spelunky actually started it’s life on the PC, you can download the original for free.

The original version seems to have been made with an early version of YoYoGame’s Game Maker and suffers from the big problem with screen scaling.

If you run it as-is the game is in a very tiny window, if you adjust it  to fill your screen most of the view is cut off making it unplayable!

gog_Spelunky4gog_Spelunky3

The new version coming to gog.com Aug. 8th looks to be the same one enjoyed by XBOX 360 owners so I’m very excited to get it ASAP!

Star Wars Pinball on PS Plus Free in August

Pinball, Star Wars & Stereo 3D for free?! Sign my up!

If you have a PS3 and you’ve been eying Zen Pinball 2′s Star Wars tables you may want to sign up for Playstation Plus because members can get Star Wars pinball for free in August!

StarwarsPinballAnaglyph

Above is a screen grab in anaglyphic (red/cyan glasses) 3D

My “review” of Star Wars Pinball in 3D: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71qcWftLDsA&feature=share&list=UUhop_tO6tu3dY5s6qbXPPOA

Remember, you can watch my videos in 2D by clicking the 3D button on YouTube and turning the 3D off.

Or, if you have a 3D TV or monitor you can watch the videos in style by clicking the 3D button and choosing line interlaced, side-by-side, over-under or other 3D type!

The Star Wars tables include The Empire Strikes Back, Clone Wars Animated and Bobba Fett!

Cheap 3D Camera

If you just want a taste of what stereoscopic 3D is like and don’t mind anaglyph red/cyan glasses, grab a Vivicam 3D

T135a._1333374095.8379

$22 bucks?

http://www.amazon.com/Vivitar-Vivicam-12-1MP-Digital-Camera/dp/B005FH3X1G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375723594&sr=8-1&keywords=vivitar+3d

This 12MP 3D camera seems to be fairly reasonable for 3D picture-taking, it has a good bit of separation between lenses, unlike a lot of 3D pocket cameras.

I’ve never used the Vivicam 3D, but it is about $22 and 3D!

But what’s that catch? Well, it’s 3D is anaglyph only, meaning you need to use red/cyan glasses to view the results and it’s not compatible with modern 3D TVs and monitors.

I’ve seen some software that can separate the red from the cyan and give a pretty good side-by-side picture that you can use on a 3D TV, but it’s not going the be anything like the picture from a Fuji 3D camera or even my Sony Bloggie 3D which ARE compatible with 3D TVs!

http://www.craveonline.com/lifestyle/reviews/183219-the-vivicam-t135-3d-camera41YwJR4kNcL._SY300_

So if you just want a faint taste of 3D or just don’t want to mess around with a lot of fancy 3D tech you can get the Vivitar Vivicam 3D cheaply and it comes with a nice pair of glasses!