Hidden classics on the Playstation 2

Hidden classics on the Playstation 2

With over 155 million units sold the Playstation 2 is easily the best selling console of all time. Launching with a DVD player, a major selling point at the time, it quickly grew to deserve its place in the tomes of videogame legend. Giving life to so many beloved titles (from Jak and Daxter to Tekken), most don’t realise just how vast the PS2’s library really is. Home to over 1800 games it’s understandable that some would slip through the cracks. That’s why I’ve decided to run down some of the best, most interesting or most obscure hidden classics on the Playstation 2.

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Kengo: Master of Bushido

Starting as I mean to go on with Kengo, a game I’ve never actually heard another person mention. Though it may not be very well known, every person I’ve ever played it with has been blown away by this intricate, complex sword fighting game. The games multiplayer mode alone is, I’d argue, enough to warrant buying. With a number of possible fighters to choose from, you and one opponent are immediately dropped into an unfamiliar setting with nothing but the blade in your hands. I’ve found going in blind really improves the whole experience. As you and a friend learn the ropes of this fighter you’ll find (as I have many times) that hours will fade away without realising. A complex and challenging single player campaign will keep your passion for this game alive while alone. Kengo: Master of Bushido truly is a must have for any Playstation fan.

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Ben 10: Protector of Earth

Maybe it’s not as obscure; so much as most people aren’t likely to play it with it being based on a cartoon. Once you get passed that however you find a beat em up that’s incredibly fun, with a surprising amount of depth. Ben 10 represents the perfect kind of show to get a game, with its vast number of supporting characters and variety of alien forms; it easily develops into a varied experience from start to finish. If you’re looking for a fun game, that’s really easy to pick up and play, Ben 10: Protector of Earth is the perfect game for you.

Image result for Kuri Kuri Mix

Kuri Kuri Mix

Known as the adventures of cookie and cream in the USA, Kuri Kuri mix is one of the most interesting multiplayer games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. An action-adventure puzzle game, this represents the pinnacle of teamwork. Pick up a copy and you’ll quickly find you and a friend are completely absorbed by this games colourful world, catchy music and vibrant themes.

Image result for Trapt game

Trapt

When I originally found this game I wasn’t sure quite exactly what I’d stumbled across. A strange blend of horror, puzzle, strategy and action with a completely bizarre story about a possessed princess and all Japanese dialogue, Trapt truly is a sight to be seen. If that all sounds a bit too confusing to you, believe me it did to me as well, but as you get into it you’ll find yourself enthralled by this dark, fun, challenging game. More than anything else, I’d recommend Trapt just for the experience of witnessing it, a game so strange you’ll leave it a changed person.

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Fighting Fury

Fighting Fury was published by Midas interactive, a low budget European publisher. Any of you who’ve had any experience of Midas are probably now shaking your heads in disgust. I will admit this doesn’t fit into the category of “hidden gem” quite like the others. This game is undeniably terrible in nearly every aspect, from controls, to visuals, to completely baffling auditory choices it is genuinely one of the worst games I’ve ever played. A lot like most of Midas’ games library however, Fighting Fury has a certain charm to it. There’s just something about a game this bad that’s weirdly appealing, and I’d definitely recommend it to anybody looking for the absolute pinnacle of a “so bad it’s good” game.

By Alberto Statti

A Gamers review by Alberto Statti

Fairyland on Facebook

Fairyland is a free to play virtual farming simulation and collection game. You only need a Facebook account to sign up, and from there it’s easy to get started.

Spend some time reading the ‘how to’ guides before you get stuck in (there’s really helpful newbies forums and general ‘how to’ game guides available) and, if you like collection games that reward you by building on levels and new releases as you go, then this is an addictive game that’s easy to pick up and will soon have you hooked.

Once you enter Fairyland, you begin planning your own garden to attract various wildlife; which you can also spot by watering plants in other gardens. The thrill is in the chase, so they say, and you will soon become hooked on ‘colouring in’ your spotter’s guide to wildlife as you attract and then spot in other gardens.

Different combinations of plants and food attract different animals, so this is a ‘learning’ game that rewards you for taking time and paying attention to the guides.

Don’t try this game if you’re all about the action – as a farming simulation and collection game it’s far more suited to the type of person who will happily spend many hours ‘building’ or ‘collecting’ to gain levels and rewards from their online games.

It’s a cute little game – from the neat wildlife graphics through to the actual garden and plant graphics, everything is cute, visually pleasing, and easy on the eye.

And it has real world rewards too: Play and Connect Ltd (game developers) make contributions towards the Amazon Rainforest preservation in real world terms for all their players. So even if you don’t buy gold (which of course there’s the option to), every plant you harvest in your own garden attracts a contribution from Play and Connect Ltd towards the protection of the rainforest. Some experienced Fairyland players have gardens which have bought (via Play & Connect Ltd’s contributions) hundreds of hectares of rainforest – meaning you can enjoy getting sucked into the game without feeling too guilty as it offers real world rewards too!

So if you like building, learning, cute wildlife critters and collecting items to build on levels then go along to Fairyland on Facebook to sign up and get playing!

by Alberto Statti

Top 5 Wireless Headsets 2017

Buying wireless headphones these days is like learning another language. There are so many wireless headphones from so many different manufacturers that in the end, they all do the same thing, just a little bit differently for a big premium! In the end though, this is competition which is very good for us, the consumer. It means we get the best prices those manufacturers are willing to drop their prices to in order to compete.

I will start off by going onto the lower end prices of the “high-end” wireless headphones and work my way up to the most costly.

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

The Bose is a great set of headphones, but really should be called earphones because they go into your ears. If you are the type of person who also listens to podcasts in bed then these would be perfect as they wont get in the way and feel clunky on your head while its on the cushion.

They have a great battery which lasts up to 6 hours per charge. They also have quick charge so if you forgot to charge them, plugging them in for 15 minutes will get you 1 hours worth of listening time.

There is a little clip on the cable that connect the earphones which you can connect to your t-shirt or coat so that if they fall out of your ears during a run, they wont fall onto the floor.

The cable also has controls attached so you can change volume, skip tracks, take calls and initiate voice commands.

These earphones come in at £129.99 with prime from Amazon

Plantronics Backbeat Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones with Mic

plantronics-backbeat-pro-wireless-noise-cancelling-headphones-with-mic

Of all the headphones on this list, these are my favourite looking are my pick for value too.

Features:

  • These headphones provide up to 24 hours continuous wireless streaming which is far more than anyone will need unless you are on a plane to Australia or do 24 hour streaming sessions on Twitch.
  • If you take a lot of breaks and listen to music, this headset has automatic music play/pause when headphones are put on/removed (can be disabled)
  • The headset has a DeepSleep mode which can put your headphones into hibernation, when away from device, extending battery life up to 6 months
  • If you have a class 1 Bluetooth receiver, the range of the headset is up to a staggering 100 meters range from Class 1 Bluetooth device
  • The headset On-demand Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)
  • There are status alerts for things such as battery level etc
  • You have the option to have the headset as wired or wireless.

The price is very reasonable at £150.77 from Amazon

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones

bose-quietcomfort-35-wireless-headphones

This headphone undoubtedly is extremely comfy, just looking at it puts me into a state of comfort.

Features:

  • Noise cancellation
  • EQ based o nthe your volume for more balanced audio
  • Wireless with easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing aided by voice prompts
  • 20 hours battery life when wireless and 40 hours in wired mode per charge
  • Noise-cancelling with dual-microphone system, allowing for clearer calls especially in very windy weather
  • The weight is only 235g which is insane considering the quality of the headset

The price comes in at £279 from Amazon which is on the expensive side considering its differences to the Plantronics which is basically looks and placement of controls which is all personal preference.

Sony MDR-1000X

sony-mdr-1000x

We are now moving into the next price bracket of headphones.

It features:

  • Exceptional noise cancelling with reduced ambient noise for perfect silence
  • Comfortable around ear fitting with 20 hour battery life
  • Smart technologies – Ambient sound mode, Touch Sensor operation, Quick Attention mode
  • First ever DSEE HX headphones upscaling your existing music to near High-Resolution Audio quality
  • Carrying case included

Okay, some notable improvements over the lower bracket of pricing:

  • Placing a hand on a headphone will reduce music so you can hear whats going on around you
  • Noise cancelling has its own button and looks to be improved over the other cheaper headphones as it has a microphone inside the headset and outside so it can ensure no sound is getting in.
  • The DSEE HX works by increasing depth of sound, clarity and vividness for all sounds played through the headset.
  • Touch sensor operation for changing tracks and volume by swiping in the appropriate direction

Pricing as you can expect, is higher than the previous  headset but has few added extras so you decide if the cost outweights the benefit. £329 at Amazon with prime

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Around Ear Wireless Headset

sennheiser-momentum-2-0-around-ear-wireless-headset

Now we are moving onto the elite of headphones. With great hardware, come a great cost.

Its main features consist of:

  • Comes in on-ear and around ear configurations
  • Very small package considering its wireless
  • Very sturdy design considering size
  • Has NFC connectivity
  • Wired and Wireless mode
  • 22 hours battery life
  • Connect to 2 devices separately

What separates these headphones from the rest to me would be the minimalist design while retaining that battery life, the metal makes it look great and the buttons are in a convenient location.

The cost comes in at £379.95

Conclusion

In my opinion, any headset over the cost of the Plantronics headset is only for people looking for design over anything else. All thse headphones do 99% of the same stuff, with the main differences being how they do it. The other 1% is looks. If you want to spend an extra just for design then go ahead, that’s your choice. Either way, these headphones listed are the best ones in their price range.

Let me know your opinions and what you bought in the comments below.

 

Best Wall Mountable PC Speakers

Wall Mounted Speakers

Last Updated: 24th October 2016

Buying speakers for your computer is a relatively simple process, determine your budget, find speakers in that budget then narrow them down based on features and preference. In 2016, you would expect Googleing wall mounted speakers for your computer would give a nice up to date list of speakers systems for you to match against your budget and preference. That is not the case. The first thing on the search is a direct link to Ebays own sales in the “wall mounted speakers” section.

Fear not, we have a …..solution. Not only will this solution prove to be perfect, it allows you to use any speaker systems! First things first, follow our best speaker brand guide to find the brand for you. Next determine your budget and required features.

Now that we have gotten the list of potential speakers down to at least 3 or 4, we will be needing a more in depth look at the speakers themselves. We will be mounting them using Wall Mounting brackets or Universal Speaker Brackets if they fit right so go through your speakers and see if the cheaper options work for any of the speaker systems you chose. Using the first link, the most cost effective ones are the Btech BT332 which screw to the wall and into the speaker system. This type of wall mount will require a speaker system that either has a hole to screw into or at the very least a speaker that is square and wooden. (Imagine wall mounting this with screws)

Alberto Statti
Logitech X230

If you speaker is square but is made of plastic and you aren’t particularly interest in screwing holes into your speakers, Velcro to the rescue! I will assume you know what Velcro is and how to use it. You best course of action is to use quite a bit of Velcro as you don’t want it loosening over time then suddenly dropping off the wall.

Velcro
Velcro

Now, I know that speakers that aren’t designed to be wall mounted wont have long enough wires, that is why we will now look at extension wires. The ones linked are extremely long so you could probably measure the extra you need and go to a local store and pick some up for cheaper. If you want the extra wire and ease of purchase provided by amazon, go for that one.

So you have your speakers, they are mounted on the walls using extension wires, now what? Cable trunking! Cabling is always a problem so the trunking can be used not only on your PC speakers but on your other component cables. In my case, I bought the smallest ones for the PC speakers, then bought the thickest one and attached it  to the back of my desk which custom drilled holes for cables to go into it and to my PC.

cabling - Alberto Statti
Cable management

Written by Alberto Statti

What are the best audio speaker brands?

The Best Speaker Brand For You

by Alberto Statti

Last Updated: 24th October 2016

Purchasing speakers for your computer isn’t just a simple “click and pay” anymore not only because there are now a huge variation of brands but there are also a huge variation of models within those brands. Thorough research needs to be done because if you are like me, you will want to be using these speakers for as long as possible (my current speakers have lasted 10 years and are so old I cant find a picture of them on Google).

First things first, lets create a list of all the noteworthy brands currently out there:

  • Bose
  • Corsair
  • Creative
  • Edifier
  • Genius
  • Logitech
  • Microlab
  • Altec Lansing
  • Philips

There are many many more brands out there but these are the best of the bunch when considering 99% of the population with speakers will have one of the brand above.

What determines a good brand?

Hearing about certain brands is good for them but not many people talk about why they are good or the best. This question can be simplified into four main reasons:

  1. The brand has great products
  2. The brands products perform better than their counterparts
  3. The brand has a great pricing scheme in place
  4. The brand has great warranty just in case you are the unlucky 0.01%

So which to choose?

All of the above brands have products that fall within those four reasons, but what determines the best brand is the one that offers the most cost effective product in your price range if all else is equal.

I can’t pick one brand and say its the best overall because not only could you live in a different part of the world which would skew the pricing, but the warranty each brand offers can be vastly different in each area of the world.

Here is how to decide which brand to choose:

  • Determine your price bracket and the max amount you are willing to spend.
  • Look at each manufacturers warranty for where you live.
  • Go to your favourite computer accessories website and sort all speakers by your price bracket and brands with the best warranty.
  • Determine which of the speakers listed fit what you need (2.1, 5.1, Bluetooth, wireless etc)
  • Once you have narrowed your list down to 2 or 3 speaker systems, check the reviews for each one.
  • Now that you know which speakers you want, double check other websites in case it is cheaper elsewhere.
  • Buy
  • Enjoy

Now what?

That’s it. Set up your system when it arrives and enjoy your new speakers. Revel in the fact that you made the most informed decision you could and it anything goes wrong, you chose the best brand with the best warranty.

Personally, Logitech have always been my brand of choice not only for the warranty but I just like their speaker systems more. Especially the ones with the small dial for the volume/bass etc.

Next up I will be writing about which are the best speakers to mount on your wall, these will be especially great if you have double or triple monitors so you can mount them above the monitors.