Category Archives: Games

PS3 Controller Problems

One of the most common complaints of the PS3 console is the problems with its controller. A malfunctioning controller will prevent you from carrying out any activity on the console, and this is a problem that you need to solve immediately.

Owning a Sony PlayStation 3 means that you have to deal with certain issues from time to time, and problems with the controller are some of the most commonly heard and frustrating ones that gamers have to deal with. A dysfunctional controller can prevent you from carrying out even the most basic tasks on the console, and this is something that you would need to fix as soon as possible.

The SIXAXIS controller was the one that was originally shipped with the earlier versions of the console, and since 2008, Sony started supplying the Dualshock 3 controller. The advantage of the Dualshock 3 controller is that the gamer can feel enhanced vibrations while playing games, and this has been a welcome move all around the world. Some people even use some third party controllers, out of which the Logitech Driving Force GT and the Logitech Cordless Precision Controller are the most famous.

Today almost all PS3 controllers are wireless and they work on Bluetooth technology. This gives the gamers more freedom to move around, and it also gives one the opportunity to involve more gamers at the same time, with the maximum limit on the number of gamers being seven. But like with all other electronic devices, problems do arise with these controllers from time to time, and in addition to other PS3 problems, and learning how to troubleshoot a PS3 controller is knowledge that will serve you well.

Fixing Your PS3 Controller

There are a number of issues that arise with these controllers, the most common of which are the following.

  • Problems with the intensity and the timing of the vibration that is felt on the controller.
  • Problems with the charging, even after connecting it to the console using the USB cable that is included in the box.
  • Problems with the synchronization and the powering up of the controller. This is something that is carried out by pressing the PlayStation logo button that is present on the middle of the controller.
  • Problems with resetting the controller. This is something that is carried out by pressing the button that is present at the back of the controller.

Some of the most common PS3 wireless controller problems occur because of the accumulation of dust on the console when you leave it lying around. In order to avoid this from happening, you must remember to keep your console in a cabinet or at least cover it up with a cloth when it is not being used. This is not a problem that will surface immediately, but the dust will eventually add up and cause some serious troubles later. Overheating is also a problem that many people have to deal with, and in such a scenario, it is advisable to simply turn off the console and stop playing for a few hours. This will give the controller some time to cool down. Overheating is one of the main causes of PS3 and PS3 Slim problems. You can also prevent this by playing in a room that is air conditioned. With the right knowledge and experience, you can fix most of the problems right from your home without paying any money to an expert.

Most problems are also fixed by carrying out the following procedure.

  • Connect the controller to the console using the USB cable.
  • Now press the PS button that is located in the middle of the controller.
  • Now remove the USB cable from the console.
  • Now press the PS button once more.

Most PS3 controller charging problems, PS3 controller connection problems, and PS3 controller Bluetooth problems can be solved with the help of this method. Many people have also reported that they notice 4 blinking red lights on the controller, and this is a sign that you need to reset the controller and re-synchronize it with the console. The method mentioned above should solve this problem, unless there is a serious problem with the hardware and circuitry inside the controller itself. Other solutions for these problems include making use of some detailed repair guides that you find online (this is applicable for people who have in depth technical knowledge about the working of the controller), or giving the controller for repair to a store or to the retailer you bought the console from. If none of these methods work, then maybe it is time to simply replace the controller and buy a new one. This will set you back by about $50, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the future. This solution is especially useful for people who complain that the controller won’t turn on.

You must accept the fact that all pieces of technology are prone to damage and malfunction from time to time, and there really is no way to either predict these occurrences, or to prevent them completely. Controller problems with the PS3 can be quite frustrating, but with the right method, you can soon get to the bottom of the problem.

Xbox 360 Elite Problems

The Xbox 360 Elite was an advanced version of the Xbox 360 console, but this does not mean that it did not have its drawbacks. This article tells you about the Xbox 360 Elite problems that Microsoft totally ignored.

The Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite was released in North America in April 2007, about 2 years after the release of theXbox 360. Problems with the former have been noted since then, as is the case with pretty much all video game consoles, as sooner or later some issues are bound to crop up. The advantage of the Xbox 360 Elite over its predecessor was that it contained a 120 GB capacity of memory, which made it possible to store more games and data on the hard drive of the console.

Today, the Xbox 360 Elite has also become obsolete because now you can purchase the console with a memory of 250 GB. The price dropped to $249 (from $449) after the release of subsequent models, and Microsoft said it would sell the models till stocks last. Like many other Xbox 360 models, Elite also eventually stopped being produced completely.

Even though the model is not produced anymore, people who already own it, have registered some problems which are known to be synonymous with this model alone. Some of these were solved instantaneously, whereas some unfortunate gamers had to deal with some issues which would resurface on a regular basis.

Problems with Xbox 360 Elite

The most common problem that was noted was of the console simply freezing up and not responding to any commands. This may have been caused by a system overheat, and this can be attribute to the fact that the early models were manufactured with more memory than their processors could handle. The first few Elite models contained the Zephyr motherboard, which was taken directly from the original Xbox 360 console. As a result of this, the system would overheat. Later models avoided this problem by coming manufactured with the Falcon 65 nm chipset motherboard. This new and advanced motherboard solved the problem of overheating while playing video games.

If you are facing a system freeze where your console does not respond at all, you need to shut it down for about 24 hours and then try using it the next day after blowing through all the vents and holes to remove any dust that may have settled. This should get rid of the problem that you are facing.

Other Problems

Another common issue is that of disc scratching, which means that the disc being played in the console gets scratched while being played. This is a problem that has been synonymous with all Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles, and cannot be included in a list of these problems alone. Along with this issue, the notorious ‘red ring of death’ also rears its ugly head with the Elite. This is a problem that most gamers thought Microsoft would have fixed by now, but sadly, that is not the case. This red ring of death (RROD) is one of the biggest video problems around, and ruins the gaming experience entirely. If you’re lucky, you won’t suffer some permanent damage to your console in addition to this. RROD is a permanent hardware problem that plagues this console, and it is a major defect in the design of the machine that Microsoft has been unable to get to the bottom of.

Apart from these, there are some other common problems as well that plague users. The controller is essential to all Xbox 360 games, and people have been facing some problems with that too. This can severely limit the use of the console, and frustrate the living daylights out of an individual.

As users of many different machines, we understand that there are bound to be some problems with this hardware sooner or later. This is normal and perfectly acceptable. But when the same problems keep arising in all subsequent models of the same device, we begin to get angry. Microsoft should look into these problems as soon as possible, and ensure that none of their new models suffer from the same problems again.

Tips to Backup Xbox 360 Games on DVDs

If you wish to make a copy of your favorite Xbox 360 game(s), the standard disk burning software on your PC might not be of much help. You will need some special tools to get this job done.

Nowadays, there are a variety of gaming and entertainment devices available in the market. One such device is the Xbox 360, which is manufactured by Microsoft Corporation, and has a wide user base worldwide. This highly advanced gaming console is a tough competitor to Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii. Along with entertaining users with games having high-end graphics, it can also be used as a music and video player to watch TV shows, view photos, and other similar applications.

When it comes to advanced consoles such as the Xbox 360, gaming is the most prominent aspect. The games are usually available on disks, which is a very convenient method of distribution. However, using these disks again and again causes significant wear and tear on them, ultimately rendering them unreadable. It is therefore better to make a backup copy in order to avoid having to repurchase the same game again.

However, making a copy is easier said than done. If you try to burn Xbox 360 games using a standard DVD burning application, it won’t serve the purpose at all. This is because, these specialized game discs have ‘copyright protection’ active, which does not allow one to directly make a copy. But there is a way around this, which lets you make backup copies of your favorite games.

Burning Xbox 360 Games

Those wanting to burn Xbox 360 games should do it for the sole purpose of taking a backup of the game. Remember, distributing copyright protected game discs for profit is illegal, and doing so can have you facing legal penalties.

If you want to burn backup copies of Xbox 360 games, you will necessarily have to purchase and download a game copying software from the Internet. You also have the option of getting a licensed application from your local computer store that would do the job. These software are designed to recognize copyright protected data, copy it, and burn it on an empty disk.

There are many different game duplication software available online as well as in computer stores. If you download/purchase a good one, you will not only be able to burn Xbox 360 games, but also games for Nintendo Wii, PSP, PlayStation, PC games, and other advanced gaming consoles.

Good Game Copying Software

The following are a few popular software programs that you can download from the Internet to make copies of your Xbox 360 game disks.

  • Slysoft CloneCD
  • Easy Backup Wizard
  • BlindWrite
  • Game-Cloner
  • Game Copy Monster
  • Game Copy Wizard

How to Burn Xbox 360 Games

Burning Xbox 360 games is actually quite simple and straightforward. Most of these software function in a very standard manner, much similar to a DVD burning application.

After downloading one from the web, or purchasing one from your local computer store, you need to install it on your computer system. After the installation is complete, open its interface. If you have any difficulties regarding the working of the software, you can refer to the help file on the interface.

Now, put the Xbox game disc in the DVD drive, after which it will be recognized, and a duplicate copy will be made. Once this process is complete, remove the original game disc and insert a blank DVD in the drive. It is advisable to use a dual layer blank DVD.

After the blank DVD is inserted, the game copying application will burn an image of the game on it. When the burning process is complete, you will have a copy of the original Xbox 360 game. You can burn all your favorite games in this manner.

Be it any kind of game of any gaming console, to burn a copy you will inevitably require a game copying application that will recognize copyright protected data from original game disc. Again, remember that duplicated game DVDs are only for personal use and not for redistribution.

Tips to Clean an Xbox 360 Disc

Learn how to clean an Xbox 360 disc that has suffered from scratches, by going through the following article. This will help you save your disc, if possible, before you invest in a new game disc.

Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try, your Xbox 360 disc is bound to get scratched. These scratches appear after a heavy use and when it changes hands after you share it with your friends. Even while the disc is being rotated in the console during a game, it can get scratched. This often renders the disc unreadable and unplayable.

If you pick up your disc and observe closely, you will find that it is full of smudges and dirt along with scratches. There are a few simple maintenance tricks that you can easily try at home without having to invest in expensive disc cleaning kits. These tips and tricks that help you learn how to clean an Xbox 360 at home are discussed below.

Tips to Clean an Xbox 360 Disc at Home

The smudges, oil, dirt and scratches over the Xbox 360 disc, prevent the console from reading the information within it. This often renders the disc unplayable. Many people face this annoying problem and look for solutions that help them to learn how to go about cleaning an Xbox 360 disc that is unreadable. Just follow the simple steps that may help fix scratched Xbox 360 disc.

Step 1
Take a clean paintbrush and use it to clear off any dust on the disk. Then, take a eyeglass polishing cloth and polish the disc. Remember to use only vertical motions. This means that you should wipe from the center to the periphery (edges). Do not use circular motions or you will end up with more scratches.

Step 2
Add a few drops of glass cleaner solution or alcohol on the polishing cloth. Now, polish the disc with the cloth using only the vertical strokes. Allow the disc to dry off from the solution/ alcohol.

Step 3
Add a few drops of car wax on the polishing cloth and clean the disc using vertical strokes. The wax is very useful in filling up any of the spaces left by the scratches in the Xbox 360 disc. Keep in mind that the disc should be clean and dry. Do not allow even a little bit of moisture to remain on the disc or else it may cause further damage to your precious game disc.

Other Methods to Clean an Xbox 360 Disc

Many people ask a question how to clean an Xbox 360 with toothpaste. Some even want to know if banana could help in cleaning an Xbox 360 that is unreadable. These methods too have been proven to help clear off the scratches to some extent. Let us go into the details of these tricks that help clean a gaming disc.

  • Add a few drops of Brasso on a polishing cloth. Use this cloth to polish off the disc in vertical motion. This will help remove the scratches on the disc.
  • You can apply a little bit of toothpaste on the scratched surface of the disc. Use a non-abrasive cloth to polish off the scratches from the center hole, outwards.
  • Application of Vaseline and peanut butter and polishing off with a non-abrasive cloth is also said to be very useful.
  • You can clean your Xbox 360 disc using a banana. All you need to do is take a small piece of a ripe banana and rub it on the surface. Then, take the banana peel and rub it gently on the surface. Take a soft cloth and clean off the disc.

Once you are done, play your disc in the console. If you are lucky, you will be able to play the disc without any trouble. However, if your disc is damaged beyond repair, you will be left with no choice but to discard it. Take good care of your disc and see that you do not carelessly place the disc on any rough or unclean surface. This will avoid dirt, oil, grime and scratches from damaging your disc. Hope the above methods help you revive your disc from scratch damage.

Tips to Look for Before Buying a Used PS3

The PlayStation 3 is one of the hottest-selling products in the used-console market. This Buzzle article lists some of the things to look for before buying a used PS3.

Sony PlayStation, once again, staked claim to the title of the ultimate gaming console, with the release of their latest variant, the PS4, in November 2013. The PlayStation 4 has since gone on to create waves in the gaming world, selling more than 4.2 million units by the end of the year. The ultramodern console, however, will set you back by a hand and a leg. Not all is lost though, if you haven’t inherited your family’s fortune or don’t want to overspend on a gaming console. The PS4, as technologically advanced as it may be, is not exactly light years ahead of its predecessor, the PlayStation 3. In fact, with the release of the next-gen gaming console, the price of the extremely popular PS3 has plummeted. This has brought about a wave of happiness amongst wannabe gamers the world over, who can finally get a PlayStation, and get transported to an entirely different gaming dimension.

The best bargains though, await those who opt for a used PlayStation 3. With the current market situation, you can get away with an absolute steal on a used or refurbished PS3. So, if you too are an avid game enthusiast and the idea of picking up a used PS3 sounds alluring to you, then look no further. This Buzzle article provides with some very handy tips for buying a used PS3.

Is it Safe to Buy a Used PlayStation 3?
Absolutely! Provided, of course, you keep a few basic things in mind.

Buy from a trusted source
As basic as this may seem, this is a factor that most people often tend to overlook. There are plenty of fraudsters out there, but then again, there are plenty of great bargains that go a-begging as well. Recently, there was an instance of a guy from Nottingham, U.K., who got fooled into buying a photo of the Xbox One for £450 (740 USD). To make sure that you don’t get conned too, always remember to read (and re-read) the description and other details of the advert carefully. Some of the best sites to buy a used PS3 are eBay, Amazon, OLX, etc. Craigslist too has some real good deals, but it is a lot harder to verify the authenticity of the source on this site.

If you intend to pick up the console in person, stick with someone you come across through a reference. Also, insist on the original bill receipt and warranty of the machine.

Test the Console
When buying a used PS3 in person, always test it and make sure it is functioning fine. Start the console, and try a game on it. Ensure that the controller responds well, and all the button clicks are detected. Also, test the thumbsticks to see if they are working fine, as these tend to wear out faster than the other buttons. Another thing to look out for is the vibration feedback of the controller. The vibration motors often die out; while this might not be a deal breaker, it certainly is a point you can use while bargaining. Check the peripherals and connecting wires of the console, and ensure that nothing comes out loose.

While making a purchase online, ask as many questions as you need, to verify the condition of the console. Check for the seller’s return policy, and whether the console is covered under warranty.

Look for other freebies
Once you’ve verified and ensured that the console is in good working condition, you could turn your attention to the freebies on offer. The PlayStation 3 ships with one controller. Most gamers buy an additional controller to play multiplayer games. When bargaining for your console, look to get an additional controller thrown in for the same price. The PlayStation Move controller is also a good addition to the PS3, and it uses motion sensing to make game play even more interesting. Most recent PlayStation 3s were shipped with this controller bundled along. Apart from these, game CDs too can make the deal sweeter for you.

Should I opt for a used or refurbished PS3?
If you have a choice between a used and refurbished PS3, we would suggest you go in for the latter. This is because, more often than not, refurbished consoles come with a warranty. Make sure though, that it is refurbished by Sony, or some other reputed dealer, and not by the seller himself. Refurbished consoles also give you the as-good-as-new feel as they usually are kept in a good condition.

PS4 Problems and their Solutions

The PlayStation 4 is a gamer’s delight, but one that comes with its own set of bugs.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 sure is creating waves in the gaming industry. They say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, well then, there are just about 4.2 million (as of December 2013) people out there who would be willing to vouch for this amazing game console. It is not just about the numbers, Sony’s next-gen gaming console has a spec sheet that would get any gamer drooling over it.

So, is the Sony PS4 the ultimate gaming machine? Well, not just yet. Nope, we aren’t talking about opting for the offering from the rival camp. We simply mean to say that the console is currently plagued by a few issues that can make life rather miserable for the users. Chances are, if you are a PS4 user, you’ve already come across some of these issues. These may not be a deal breaker, but certainly can be quite frustrating. The good news is that most of these problems have rather simple solutions which fix them for good. You don’t need to be a techie, nor do you need to wait in endless lines to get most of these resolved. So, without further ado, here’s a look at some of the most common PS4 problems and their probable solutions.

The blue indicator light on my PS4 keeps blinking.

Probable cause: Hardware/software issues

Possible solution:

Firmware update for your TV – This would help fix any compatibility issues of the hardware and also resets the HDMI settings of the television, which affect the signal on the PS4.

Inspect the power supply – Switch off the console, and check its electrical connections. Detach the power chord, and check its connectors for faults.

Inspect the HDMI ports – Check to see if the HDMI cable has any issue. You could try changing the HDMI cable to see if it helps.

Inspect the hard drive – Switch off the console, and remove all the cables connected to it. Slide out the HDD bay cover, and ensure that the HDD is secured firmly in its bay.

The red indicator light on my PS4 keeps blinking.

Probable cause: Hardware malfunction

Possible solution:

Let the console cool down – Switch off the console for a while, and let it cool down for at least half an hour before powering it back on.

Ensure proper ventilation – Make sure to place the console in a well-ventilated area with ample space around it for the console to breathe.

There’s a problem with audio/video on the PS4.

Probable cause: Damaged HDMI cable

Possible solution:

Check the HDMI cable – Make sure that the cable is not damaged. If the connecting pins of the cable are bent, you could try and put it back in place with a pin. Be careful not to use too much force though.

Use a different HDMI cable – Swap the old cable with a new one.

My PS4 does not connect/keeps getting disconnected from the network.

Probable cause: PlayStation Network servers overloaded

Possible solution:

Try again – Wait for a while and then connect again.

Choose an alternate source – Download the firmware from an alternative source. A lot of options are listed on Sony’s support site. You can also choose to download the 1.50 firmware on a USB storage device, and install it onto the console later.

My PS4 freezes/crashes often.

Probable cause: Overheating/network issues/firmware problem

Possible solution:

Wait for a while – Wait for sometime as the console usually works fine after a while. Avoid hard resetting your PS4 as it can adversely affect the console. Check the company’s support site for a possible patch to fix the bug.

My PS4’s game disc auto ejects/does not eject.

Probable cause: Malfunctioning optical drive

Possible solution:

Make the console stand – You could try to place the PS4 vertically using a stand. This would, however, block access to some of the ports on the console.

Manually eject the disc – Resort to this only if all other methods fail. You can refer to Sony’s support site for a step-by-step guide to help you along the way.

Much like all major hardware releases, the PlayStation 4 is also faced by teething trouble. Sony is constantly working towards fixing these issues as and when they surface. Always upgrade you console’s firmware as this brings in a lot of bug fixes, speed improvements, and security patches to ensure that PS4 is running at its optimum best. The latest PlayStation is already a winner, and there is little doubt that it will go on to be amongst the best gaming consoles of all time, quashing all the problems that come along.

Best Xbox 360 RPG

The emergence of role playing video games has redefined gaming once for all. Let’s take a look at the best Xbox 360 RPG and find out what makes them stand apart from the rest!

We’ve all played role playing games sometime or the other, whether on our gaming consoles or on plain old pen and paper! Xbox brings you some intensely exciting role playing games, both single as well as multiplayer ones, which are sure to keep you glued to your remote control for long periods of time! RPGs are a great way to have fun while being involved in the plot at the same time! Also, the fact that you have the power to alter the course of the plot of most of these games means you are the master here – the game proceeds the way you want it to and not the other way round! Let us take a tour of some of the best RPG for Xbox 360 and find out what makes their claim of excellence valid!

Top Xbox 360 Role-playing Games

Check out the following top Xbox 360 role-playing games of all time and read along to find out what makes them so special. Please note that the year of released, mentioned against each game title, corresponds to the time of their release in the North American market and may slightly vary for Asian and European markets. Also, the following games are mentioned in no specific order.

Lost Odyssey (2008) – USD 41*
Set against the background of a magic industrial revolution, this game is a sure shot winner among all RPG’s till date, qualifying even as Xbox’s answer to Final Fantasy! Great graphics, amazing music and astounding dream sequences give this RPG a permanent place among the best RPG ever!

Tales of Vesperia (2008) – USD 26*
An awesome JRPG for Xbox 360, the plot of Tales of Vesperia is set against the backdrop of a fictitious planet, Terca Lumireis. The plot incorporates many strong characters such as a prominent hero figure, a mage, a healer and a fighter. This RPG comes complete with phenomenal sound effects and great dialogs, besides relevant characters and has several enjoyable combat situations and fight sequences. All in all, a worthy inclusion in any gamer’s collection!

Mass Effect 2 (2010) – USD 15*
Mass Effect 2 takes up from the year 2183, several weeks ahead of where Mass Effect 1 ended. This single-player sci-fi RPG requires the player to assume the role of Commander Shepard, the chief protagonist of the game plot, and take decisions which are for the greater good. Shepard’s character and personality totally depends upon the individual player and different players can take the plot in a different direction based upon individual decision-making pattern! A great story coupled with awesome sound and graphics makes this RPG a trailblazer of sorts as well as rank among best Xbox 360 games of all time!

Fallout 3 (2008) – USD 18*
Set against a post apocalyptic Washington D.C., parts of Virginia and Maryland, this RPG takes you to the year 2277, which is two hundred years post a world war over resources, concluding in a nuclear holocaust in 2077. The current game scenario makes it clear that the characters either stay in special vaults to escape the lethal radiations of the war-torn wasteland or perish on venturing out! The plot setting is amazing coupled with huge scope for exploration. The V.A.T.S combats are absolutely exciting and near-perfect sounds and graphics guarantee to keep you hooked for a number of hours! No wonder this one shows up as a staple in all top Xbox 360 games lists!

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006) – USD 17*
The plot for this game opens on the arrival of Uriel Septim VII, accompanied by “the Blades”, to the Imperial City prison, in a quest to flee the Mythic Dawn assassins. Oblivion is not a direct take off from where Morrowind ended but carries allusions to the events of the latter. This one’s a massive game which gives you a lot of options to explore the game topography as well as create individual characters. It also gives the player the option to play the game in either first or third person. The combat sequences are grandiose and perfectly executed and it’s absolutely thrilling to earn new weapons during the course of the fights! The quests are intriguing and exciting, which will guarantee to engage you for hours together!

Dark Souls (2011) – USD 22*
The most striking feature of this game is its duality – the plot is very basic and does not contain too many technical details while the difficulty level of the gameplay is pretty high. It is actually this combination of simple storyline and challenging gameplay that makes Dark Souls one of the most interesting role playing games ever. Clearing the hard levels by figuring out the implicit mechanics of the game makes playing it an extremely satisfying experience. If you’re a fan of the old school gaming tradition, where not every step is spoon-fed to the player(s), Dark Souls is just the game for you! Also, the audio-visual quality and effects of this game are great, giving a highly satisfying gaming experience as the player explores its vast universe.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2012) – USD 47*
The second installment starts off right from where the first part ends. Such continuity makes it easy for those who have played the first part to move ahead with the plot of the second one. As Geralt, the Witcher, proceeds on his mission to clear himself of the regicide charge, the player gets to explore the game universe, fight various monstrous entities and gain power by drinking magic potions throughout his quest. This game requires the player to take strategic decisions, as Geralt, at various points and these decisions decide the course of the game. Although the visual effects of the Xbox version doesn’t match up to those of the PC version of this game, Witcher 2 is still worth having in your collection.

Infinite Undiscovery (2008) – USD 16*
A full-on action RPG, Infinite Undiscovery hasn’t garnered the kind of attention that the others in this list have. However, that doesn’t go on to say that it is a bad game. However, it could have been a lot more gripping, in terms of plot progression and gameplay, than it actually is. The reason why I am including Infinite Undiscovery among the top 10 Xbox 360 RPGs is because it has a very interesting storyline which, albeit covering the conventional “aimless do-gooder finds a mission, kicks some serious ass on his/her way to victory” premises, has a somewhat fresh take on the way the characters shape up and step up to their roles. Since it is a role-playing game, the player needs to take decisions at key levels of the game which determine the direction it takes. The story and characters, alone, are reasons enough to give this game a try!

Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009) – USD 14*
Awesome graphics and engaging cutscenes are the highlights of this game, along with an interesting storyline. This is a Japanese RPG and it is available in versions with English voice acting. However, the voice-over work is not stellar by any means and this, in a way, becomes a sore spot in the entire gaming experience. Apart from this, the game itself is well worth the player’s time and efforts as the plot progresses at a decent pace and the game universe offers the player a lot of action-packed moments.

Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning (2012) – USD 32*
Different players would have different degrees of inclination towards this game’s storyline – while some would find it highly entertaining and engaging, others may be put off by some bumps and seams along the flow of the narrative. However, as far as the gameplay is concerned, the incredibly pleasant audio-visual appeal of the magnificent game environment and the masterfully crafted combat sequences have been applauded unanimously by the Xbox gaming community. This game is an ambitious attempt towards raising the bar for game designing and art direction and is, as such, definitely worth having in your collection.

These are the best of the best RPGs that have ever existed in the Xbox gaming scene. Other honorable mentions include Eternal Sonata, Fable II, Blue Dragon, Resonance of Fate, Arcania: Gothic 4, Dragon Age: Origins, Two Worlds II, Infinite Undiscovery, Final Fantasy XIII, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Magna Carta 2, The Last Remnant, Bastion, Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment, Torchlight, Dungeon Siege III, Enchanted Arms and Robert Ludlum’s: The Bourne Conspiracy among others. Do check these out if you haven’t yet!

Best Real-time Strategy Games for PC

Real-time strategy are some of the most popular games in the market. The very popularity of this genre has led to several distinct games. Here are the best real-time strategy games for PC.

Real-time strategy is a hugely popular genre of PC games. Broadly speaking, it consists of the player controlling a particular community, gathering various resources, forming armies for defense and attack, and eventually reigning supreme according to the conditions of the particular game. It is one of the few genres that is actually claimed to benefit those who play it, by enhancing their decision-making skills and quick thinking.

In an age of shrinking influence of PCs, real-time strategy, or RTS games requires gamers to own a PC. While there have been several attempts to shift the world of RTS gaming away from the mouse and towards the controller, virtually all of them have been unmitigated disasters, since the particular UI of RTS games just doesn’t work with controllers. Here’s a list of the best RTS games that make owning a PC worthwhile.

Top 10 RTS Games

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings

Ensemble Studio’s Age of Empires, first launched in 1997, has attained legendary status among fans of the RTS genre. The 1999 sequel, The Age of Kings (and its expansion pack, Age of Conquerors), ironed out the obvious flaws in the first edition of AoE, and its unit designs, iconic background score and voice work, and―lest we forget―cheat codes made it an irresistible package for every teen in the world (yes, yes, including yours truly). Many of these teens would still swear by this game as the one that gave rise to the gamer in them. This game was also notable for having a veritable encyclopedia about various medieval subjects, such as specific civilizations and units. Though the technical limitations of this game would probably not appeal to budding gamers, it remains a prized game for the 1990s generation.

Age of Empires III

Yes, it’s a bit unfair to include two titles from the same series, but the radically changed graphics in the third edition of AoE definitely warrant a place on its own. Whereas Age of Kings dealt with the medieval ages in general, the third AoE game, released in 2005, focused on the European colonization of the Americas. The main bonus in the new edition was the hugely improved 3D graphics. The battle scenes and, though it may seem grim and sadistic, the explosions, were a notch above anything else anybody else could deliver. Though the campaigns in this version were criticized (as they were in Age of Kings), the gameplay remains more alluring than ever.

Rise of Nations

Still one of the best exponents of the RTS genre to combine the characteristics of turn-based strategy games (such as ‘Risk’) with the tactics of military games, Rise of Nations is a gaming legend. The visuals and audio score were praised by several game reviewers, as was the gameplay. There are numerous campaigns to play, including one where you try to lead the nation of your choice to world domination. In contrast to Age of Empires, which only charted the development of human civilization from the dark ages to the medieval times, Rise of Nations lets you advance to the modern age and offers advanced units such as elite special forces and stealth bombers. An important feature of this game is that sources of all six resources are infinite; however, many consider this a drawback, since this takes away the urgent need to attack other players, unlike in Age of Empires, where the natural occurrence of each resource is limited and exhaustible. Despite this, this is one RTS game that is worth spending hours on end―I certainly do!

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

The, as yet, last RTS offering from Blizzard Entertainment’s epic Warcraft series (discounting its expansion packs), Reign of Chaos is a wildly popular and universally praised RTS game. Warcraft has always garnered praise for its gameplay, and the third title, released in 2002, keeps up with the tradition. In contrast to most other RTS games (for instance, the three games listed above), where the opening sequences are basically a race to progress through the ‘ages’, Reign of Chaos was particularly praised for its engrossing initial sequences. Minor changes to the gameplay, such as the addition of a day-night cycle, also enhanced the gaming experience. In the words of IGN, “There’s not a ton that’s new to RTS buffs out there, but it’s done well enough that you either won’t notice or won’t care”; we, at Buzzle, concur!

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

A much-anticipated and overdue follow-up to the 1998 game StarCraft, this 2010 title gained fame for the same strengths as its predecessor: Its excellently woven and told storyline and new, innovative gameplay features. It became the fastest selling RTS game of all time at the time of its release.

Command & Conquer: Generals

Another popular RTS game series, Command & Conquer: Generals presents a storyline involving the USA and China as the two global superpowers, and a Global Liberation Army intent on destroying them both. The user can play as any of the three factions. Like Rise of Nations, Command & Conquer allows you to control modern and advanced machinery such as nuclear missiles and attack helicopters.

Age of Mythology

Based on the same concept of army-building and resource management as its parent series Age of Empires, this 2002 spin-off spiced things up thanks to its emphasis on mythological storylines and figures from Greek, Nordic, and Egyptian mythologies. The gameplay is virtually the same as the first two editions of Age of Empires, but divine powers are now available to the players in the form of mythical units and the power to cause disasters, such as earthquakes and devastating meteor showers, in their enemy’s territory.

Company of Heroes

Released in 2006, this relatively modern game has gained countless admirers for its brilliant graphics. Utilizing the Essence Engine and the Havok physics engines, this game features dynamic lighting and extremely realistic battle conditions, including tanks that can drive through certain walls, and smoke that is influenced by the prevailing wind conditions! Set during the Second World War, this game allows you to control specific companies in order to gain as much territory as you can and push back the Wehrmacht.

Empire Earth

Created by Stainless Steel Studios. which was formed by the co-founder of Ensemble Studios, Rick Goodman, this 2001 RTS game is supposedly what Goodman had in mind when he designed Age of Empires. It is can be crudely described as a cross between AoE and Rise of Nations, with a gameplay similar to Age of Empire, consisting of resources that need to be gathered in order to build cities and raise armies, allied with a timeline similar to Rise of Nations, spanning several thousand years of human development from the dark ages to the ‘nano age’.

Total War: Shogun 2

The Total War series is famous for its blend of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics, and nowhere is the blend more enjoyable than the 2011 release, Shogun 2. Deviating from the recent Total War locations around Europe, this journey into the Land of the Rising Sun allows you to control one of eight factions and lead them to rule the whole of Japan.

Types of Xbox 360

This article provides information about the types of Xbox 360 gaming consoles, which have been launched since the start of the last decade. These gadgets make this brand, one of the most successful ones all over the globe.

The Microsoft Xbox 360 is the successor to the original Xbox. The different types of gaming consoles of this brand have taken the video gaming experience to a whole new level. The high standard of graphics and many associated interactive features, have made this brand very popular in the market of video game consoles, all around the world. Direct competitors of the Xbox 360 include Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

More than 45 million units of the Xbox 360 have been sold since its first launch in May 2005, as a successor to the Microsoft Xbox. The reason for its popularity are the vast number of video game titles that are available for the platform, and also the ability to download game demos, music videos, movie trailers, and other entertainment related content from the online store called Xbox Live Marketplace (XLBM). This is the single biggest advantage over the other rivals; the market allows the user to download and purchase numerous games, videos, and other multimedia content, which results in the user having a profound new experience in the world of gaming.

Through Xbox Live, you can create an online avatar of yourself, and play a wide variety of multiplayer games through the online medium. You can also play these games against fellow gamers from any corner of the world. The exclusivity and integration of this feature is an awesome quality that stands out over all its peers.

Xbox 360 Console Types

Every year, at the E3 presentation (Electronic Entertainment Expo), Microsoft releases some new update or development regarding different Xbox 360 types. In June 2010, at the same expo, the new Xbox 360 S was released. Today, this is the only model that is in production, and all the earlier ones have been stopped. 360 S is slimmer than the previous designs, and it also makes lesser noise, which was a major drawback of the older consoles.

The Xbox 360 Core
This was an entry-level video game console, which was launched in the last decade, and it was responsible for changing the entire scenario of gaming. This 360 series model was touted as the successor to the original Xbox device. It allowed the gamer a 1080i HDTV output, when coupled with an external HDMI cable. Pretty soon, 1080p resolution was also supported, and this console is recognizable due to the wired controller, and an external hard drive that was available with it. This device came with 512 MB of RAM and 20 GB of hard drive capacity. It also had the popular Faceplate feature. In later versions, a hard drive had to be separately purchased for this model, and high-definition features (HD) also had to be added separately. The production of this model was slowly stopped due to rising popularity of the successive revolutionary gaming consoles.

The Xbox 360 Pro
Also known as the Xbox 360 Premium, this console came with a lot of changes and new features in 2007. The biggest upgrade over earlier types of Xbox 360 was the hard drive, which was now expanded to 60 GB, over the previous 20 GB. Powered by three powerful core processors, and having a 16:9 aspect ratio, the Pro or Premium version was quite popular, and people touted it to be better than the previously launched Core model. It had almost the same features as of the Core model. A very important addition included the hybrid cable that substituted its AV counterpart. This cable showed both composite, as well as component features. The processor also saw an upgrade from the ‘Zephyr’ to the ‘Falcon’. Other improvements consisted of the wireless controllers and Xbox Live headsets, compatibility regarding the original Xbox games (the older version), and addition of the Ethernet cable. The Pro version was also sold in 2005 along with the Core version, but soon, all other models were discontinued tills stocks lasted, and only the former was left with its 60 GB hard drive upgrade.

The Xbox 360 Elite
The Elite model was also released in 2007, and it was available in a matte black finish, compared to the matte white finish of the earlier models. The hard drive was upgraded again, and it came with 120 GB space. This was further extended in 2009 to 250 GB, and this version came to be known as the Xbox 360 Super Elite. Equipped with an Xbox Live headset and a wireless controller (30 feet range), this model came with the previously seen matte white finish, and had a battery life of about 30 hours. Other features include 16:9 aspect ratio, three powerful core processors, child security in the family settings, full surround sound, etc. A lot of limited editions of Elite along with some notable games were released in the year 2009. Another major change was in the power supply to the console, which enabled it to cool down faster. In 2009, the Jasper chipset was introduced in this model, which increased its popularity. After the launch of the Xbox 360 S 250 GB version, the Elite console experienced a drastic drop in sales, followed by its complete discontinuation.

The Xbox 360 Arcade
The Arcade was released in 2007, and it was merely a continuation of the entry-level Xbox 360 Core. The difference was that there was no external hard drive, and only an internal flash memory was included, along with the famous wireless controllers. The reason for this change was that the console was much cheaper than the other models, which came with additional storage space, and hence, the gadgets could only be used for playing Xbox Live Arcade games. Equipped with a HDMI output 1.2, composite AV cable, triple-core 3.2 GHz processor, and 256 MB internal memory (upgradable to 512 MB), this model was a good option for non-hardcore gamers. It provided limited entertainment, and was basically referred to as an interim model that was launched before the subsequent feature-rich versions. When it was launched, five online arcade games were included in its pack, along with several demos and trailers. In 2010, with the launching of the Xbox 360 S version, the Arcade model suffered considerable dip in sales, and ultimately, its production stopped. This console is produced even today under the name Xbox 360 S Arcade, and is available with 4 GB internal flash memory.

The Xbox 360 S
It comes with a matte black finish, and a much slimmer design than before. Integrated Wi-Fi connectivity is another added feature, and this makes online gaming all the more fun. Other changes like additional USB ports, an integrated hard disk, one large cooling fan (compared to two smaller ones in the earlier models), touch sensitive buttons, and compatibility with Microsoft Kinect (the new motion sensing platform) are some of the features. With an integrated Valhalla motherboard and a new XCGPU (Xenon processor), this console is much faster than its previous versions with additional 30% space. There is no need for external adapters while using this design, as it comes with a TOSLINK S/PDIF audio connector, which enables the user to experience an optical audio surround feel while gaming. The requirement for a branded hard drive specifically for the new model is not present, as was the case with the previous gadget types. This gadget was available in three different variants: 4 GB, 250 GB, and 350 GB models.

The Xbox 360 E
On June 10, 2013, the latest version of Xbox 360 series was released, which showed quite some similar features to the recent Xbox One. It has the similar glossy appearance and matte finish as compared to the previous versions. The HDMI connection remains, but the multi-AV, as well as the USB ports are absent in this model. There are three subtypes of this console: 4GB, 4GB Kinect Bundle, and 250 GB. According to specifications, these subtypes only differ in case of viewing quality and external storage features. Some of the previous characteristics like touch control and power buttons, and optical audio-out, have been discontinued. Surround sound output is only possible from the HDMI connections. Some features that are retained from the previous models include infrared port, Kinect port, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, replaceable hard drive, etc. This device is said to be much quieter than the previous designs, though it is still not preferred over the immensely popular 360 S version.

All the above described Xbox console types have an interesting story behind them, and each subsequent model brought something new to the market, in the form of hardware and video game titles. In today’s world, the types of Xbox 360 consoles are synonymous with high-end gaming, and this easily is one of the most recognizable brands in the extremely lucrative and steadily growing gaming market segment.

Reasons to Buy a Sony PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 is Sony’s next-gen game console that promises to blow your mind. However, if you’re still not sold on buying the PS4, this Buzzle article gives you 8 reasons to grab the Sony PlayStation 4 now!

Sony took the veil off its new generation game console, the PlayStation 4, on 15th November 2013. Even before its launch, expectations were sky high from the PS4, as it was set to fill in the humongous shoes of its predecessor, the PlayStation 3. The PS3 was, and is, one of the most popular game consoles of all time, and the PS4 with its amazing gaming prowess is determined to showcase its pedigree. Going by numbers alone, Sony has revealed that it sold a whopping 4.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles by December 28, 2013. According to popular tech site VentureBeat, in January 2014, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One by a 2-to-1 margin. It has been an absolute mad frenzy with gamers thronging Sony stores to get their hands on the PS4.

For most people, just these should be reason enough to go grab themselves a PS4 right this instant. If, however, you are amongst the doubting Thomases out there who aren’t quite swayed by all the numbers, here’s a look at some of the top features of the PlayStation 4 that make it a must buy for all gamers out there.

Why Buy the PS4?

Powerful hardware
The PS4 packs probably the most powerful hardware to ever have graced a game console. For those interested in the tech specs, the console is powered by a single-chip custom processor, a low power x86-64 AMD “Jaguar” CPU with 8 cores. It also has a 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon Graphics Core Next engine GPU. Throw 8 GB GDDR5 RAM into the mix, and we have an absolute beast on our hands. Although the console doesn’t currently support 4K resolution, it certainly has all the hardware in place. A simple software update should enable this feature in the future. This is a true next-gen trooper which should keep you company for at least the next decade.

New and improved controller
There is no denying that the DualShock 3 controller on the PS3 was absolutely wicked and made for a gaming experience like no other. Sony decided to up the ante with the new DualShock 4 controller, which has got gamers drooling over it. The controller has shed some weight and feels real solid in the hand. All the keys too feel great to use and have a good tactile feedback. We must admit that we’ve been big fans of the controller on the Xbox 360, which the PS4 controller draws a lot of inspiration from. The result is a good controller made even better. The controller has another neat trick up its sleeve. It features a real cool light bar that, apart from change color for the usual notifications, will also indicate your character’s health level while playing a game. The controller can also be paired via Bluetooth with your PC to play games on it. Sony surely hit the ball right out of the park with this one.

Great games in the offing
A game console is just as good as the games on it. Don’t you worry, Sony has got this covered. The Japanese conglomerate has tie-ups with major game developers, and there are some great exclusive games in the offing. According to popular tech site ExtremeTech, there are about 140 games currently in development for the platform, with about 40 of them promising to deliver an out-of-the-world experience exclusively for PS4 users. Besides these, most popular game series from the major developers are bound to have support for the PlayStation 4. Game on, guys!

Fantastic support for upcoming game developers
Another wonderful thing about the PlayStation platform is the fact that it has great support for indie developers. Budding developers will now have a developer kit available, to develop games that can harness the true potential of the PlayStation 4. We can expect to have some great games in the market from independent developers as well.

The best value for money next-gen console in the market
It’s all about the money, so they say. Sony played an absolute masterstroke with this one. The company got the pricing of the PS4 just right. Don’t expect to find a ‘Going Cheap’ sign by the side of one of these. Retailing for USD 399 at launch, it is not cheap by any stretch. The thing is, the console is priced a good USD 100 below the Xbox One. This augurs well for gamers, especially first-time buyers.

Share game info on social media
The PlayStation 4 boasts of some real cool social networking tricks. The console comes with a dedicated ‘Share’ button that lets users share their game screenshots and gaming videos on PSN, Facebook, Twitter, Ustream, and Twitch. You can even share your game screen with your friends, and chat with them as you play the games. Now, this is one real social bee.

PSN is great
Sony’s PlayStation Network is your portal to a whole new dimension of gaming. PSN allows you to interact with other gamers from across the globe, and also lets you be part of communities of gamers with similar interests. You can play multiplayer games on the network, and stand a chance to win bragging rights to being the sharpest gamer on the block. There are also plenty of free-to-play games available here. Of course, it goes unsaid that you need to have a subscription to enter this gaming paradise.

Remote Play is a great addition
PlayStation 4 brings in a novel feature called Remote Play. What it essentially does is, it lets you continue your PS4 game on a PS Vita. Never again would you miss out on another moment of your gaming. Just think of this as your PS4 on the go. This feature may appear rather gimmicky to some. Hardcore gamers, on the other hand, might find this to be an absolute blessing. There’s also the PS4 app that lets you use your smartphone as a second screen for the console to manage all your content.

Convinced yet? The PlayStation 4 is one incredible game machine that takes gaming to a whole new level. Also, what is assuring to know is that if you do encounter some issues with your PS4, there are some rather simple fixes for them. So, pick your jaw up from the floor, hop onto the PS4 wagon, and get ready for one heck of ride. Next stop, gaming haven! Like Sony says, ‘Greatness Awaits’. Cheers.