Forza 5 – Benchmarking the P1

Thought I would try out the Xbox One’s GameDVR and Upload Studio facility whilst going for the ‘Benchmarking the P1’ challenge in Forza 5…

Anyone interested in getting this challenge/achievement should purchase the McLaren P1 and head over to the Old Mulsanne Le Mans Circuit. The challenge requires you to hit 245mph – this is easily achievable on the long straight. I was able to briefly hit 246mph with a fair amount of straight track left ahead. I did this under the ‘test drive’ facility so there wouldn’t be any traffic in the way. The challenge didn’t actually ‘pop’ until I quit the test drive so don’t expect it to pop as soon as you hit 245mph.

Anyway here’s the video – it’s come straight from Upload Studio via SkyDrive and hasn’t been re-edited in any way. The quality is pretty decent but it’s heavily compressed which makes the resulting video appear sub-HD. No match for the Elgato capture card then, but for speed and convenience it’s hard to beat.

Forza 5 ‘Zeotrope’

Just watched this and it really captured my imagination. As a PR stunt they guys at Turn 10 have setup hundreds, if not thousands of static photos from Forza 5 around the outside of a racetrack… then hurtled a McLaren 12c supercar around it at 120mph with a camera on the back. What happens then is that these static images become animated at high speed – bit like when you drew little match-stick men in different poses on the corner of the pages of your school books and then thumbed quickly through them to make them ‘move’. The result is a video of Forza 5 in action – but viewed from a moving vehicle with real world scenery zooming past in the background creating quite a surreal effect.

It’s easier to understand, and much more entertaining, to just watch the video…

First look at XBox One Dashboard in action!

Don’t know how long this video will be available for as I’m pretty sure Microsoft won’t be impressed when they see it – guy has probably broken his NDA to show it.

Anyway it’s a video showing the XBox One dashboard and briefly displays Ryse being launched and the dashboard being brought up whilst the game still carries on running in a window.  Looks pretty sweet to me.

XBox One Launch Day Confirmed 22nd November 2013!!!

Really excited today after Microsoft have finally announced the official world-wide launch date for the XBox One!

It’s Friday 22.11.13 so I know exactly what I’ll be doing all of that weekend now!

Not only that but they have also announced that the CPU in the production version will be running 150Mhz (10%) faster than previously reported, clocking in at 1.75Ghz instead of 1.6Ghz. This is on top of the 6% GPU improvement announced a short while ago.

Finally to really make my day I’ve just discovered that Amazon and Game are offering free copies of Forza 5 (instead of Fifa 14) with pre-orders! I got my pre-order in months ago in my local Game store so I just hope I’ll be eligible for the Forza 5 version as I hate Fifa!

Now all I need to do is decide whether I’m going to go ‘all digital’ with my game purchases this XBox generation????

XBox One Forza 5 bundle

XBox One Forza 5 bundle

Moga Pro Review – PS Vita killer?

Moga Pro Box

Moga Pro Box

Today I finally received my Moga Pro pre-order from Game and I’m very happy to say it was worth the wait!

Just in case you’re not aware of what one is – it’s a bluetooth hardware gamepad that works with Android phones and tablets to give you a more ‘console like’ experience and overcome the problems of using touch screens to play.

Moga Pro Box (flap open)

Moga Pro Box (flap open)

The devices retails for £40 and comes in a very attractive retail box with a fold out magnetic front flap that shows the device in action with phones, tablets and even a TV. Inside the box you get the pad itself, a plastic tablet stand, USB charging cable, instruction booklet, quick-start guide, QR code to download the driver for your device and a code to download a free copy of N.O.V.A. 3 from the Gameloft’s own store.

Moga Pro Box (back)

Moga Pro Box (back)

First thing you need to do is charge the pad up as it is powered by an internal rechargeable battery. An LED flashes yellow to indicate the unit is charging and extinguishes when fully charged. While the pad is charging you can scan the QR code with your phone which will take you straight to the MOGA Pivot app which you need to install on your phone or tablet.

Moga Pro Gamepad

Moga Pro Gamepad

Once the gamepad is fully charged you can move onto the next stage which just involves running the Pivot app and following the simple on-screen instructions to pair the pad with your phone. It will also give you an opportunity to get a free copy of Pacman*, redeem your Nova 3* game code and register for updates.  I received an email a few minutes after registering with instruction on how to actually get the game. The whole process couldn’t be simpler and my pad paired and worked first time with no issues at all. As well as letting you setup your pad the Pivot app also acts as a central hub where you can see all of your installed Moga Pro compatible games and also browse and download new ones.

*In order to install both of these games you have to allow installs from Unknown sources on your phone. The option can be found in Settings>Security>Unknown sources. This is because the apps are being downloaded from outside the Google Play store.

Moga Pro Box Contents

Moga Pro Box Contents

The build quality seems to be first-rate and the design has clearly been based on the XBox 360 pad as the dimensions, stick layouts, triggers and buttons are all virtually identical, even the XYAB letters on the buttons are same! This is fine by me – the 360 pad is by far the best I’ve ever used on any system and the Moga Pro is just as comfortable and precise to use. Where it differs from the 360 pad is that it incorporates a flip out spring-loaded arm which holds your phone in place securely while you game. The arm dimensions are extremely generous so don’t worry about your phone fitting – I have a Galaxy Note 2 and it fitted comfortably even with the phone in a Spigen case! It feels perfectly balanced once the phone is in place and very little effort is required to hold the whole thing steady. It could easily have been top-heavy and tiring to hold but it’s obvious a fair bit of thought gone in to the placement of the arm and it works well.

Moga Pro with Galaxy Note 2

Moga Pro with Galaxy Note 2

I tested the game with a copy of Gameloft’s Modern Warfare Combat 4: Zero Hour. This is a Moga Pro enhanced game which basically means it fully supports all the features of the Gamepad. The Modern Combat games have always looked and sounded the part but been seriously let down in the control department with the virtual sticks and touch screen controls being awkward at best and a downright hindrance at worst. Not to mention that you’ve got your thumbs obscuring a good chunk of the screen. The Moga Pro was a revelation – before I knew it an hour had passed and I was really enjoying myself. The sticks are really responsive, dead-zones almost non-existent  and lining up head shots quickly became second nature. Familiar Call of Duty console button configurations also helped too, with bumpers launching grenades, X to reload, Y to switch weapons and so on.

Moga Pro phone holder arm

Moga Pro phone holder arm

I have a Playstation Vita which is a really great handheld system, the best I have ever owned in fact. However having experienced the Moga Pro coupled with my Galaxy Note 2 I’d have to say it’s a better gaming experience than the Vita. The screen is bigger, the whole thing is easier and much more comfortable to hold and the full-size pad and analogue sticks really are of console quality. The final kicker is that at just £4.99 the Gameloft COD clone is a darn sight cheaper than Black Ops DeClassified too!

Some more images…

Moga Pro with Galaxy Note 2 - close-up of phone holding grip

Moga Pro with Galaxy Note 2 – close-up of phone holding grip

Moga Pivot app - viewing installed games

Moga Pivot app – viewing installed games

Moga Pivot app - Congratulations!

Moga Pivot app – Congratulations!

Moga Pro & XBox 360 Gamepad Comparison

Moga Pro & XBox 360 Gamepad Comparison

Moga Pivot app - browsing for new games

Moga Pivot app – browsing for new games

Moga Pro - Modern Combat Control Layout

Moga Pro – Modern Combat Control Layout

Defiance: 2 More Pursuits Completed

Finished getting an SMG up to level 5 to get my “Going Commando 2” pursuit done today. Also completed my 5th Scrapper Arkfall to tick off the “Ark Hunting as a Way of Life 2” pursuit. I had previously been avoiding the scrapper events as they were causing my Arkfall kill total to get reset to zero all the time!

Unfortunately a lot of the remaining weapon pursuits are going to involve using weapons that I really don’t like such as the infector, pistols and BMG. Will probably go back to using my Assault Rifles for now as I only need 2 more levels to reach 20 and hopefully complete another pursuit and get that achievement too.

Going Commando 2

Going Commando 2

Ark Hunting as a Way of Life 2

Ark Hunting as a Way of Life 2

 

Defiance: Nerfed cars – not cool Trion

Was trying to get my gold medal in the new Dodge High-Speed Challenge race in Madera when a Monarch spawned in front of me. I didn’t even hit it but I was close enough for my car to explode in a ball of flame. This never used to happen and I can only assume it’s because of the recent nerf Trion have made to vehicle hit-points. This isn’t an isolated occurrence either, I ran into (literally) a hellbug emergency – normally you can mow down the warriors no problem – but not now, my car was destroyed after running into a couple of these guys.

I really love this game but stuff like this is starting to really irk me – one of the simplest pleasures in the game was driving through a bunch of bugs in the road and squashing them and now I can’t even do that. They need to put the car stats back the way they were and find another solution to the arkfall drivers if that’s really what this is all about.

Anyway, here’s the video of my car exploding in a ball of flame without me even touching the Monarch.