More Stream Information

First, I want to point out the Twitch Schedule off to the side. No, to the right. No, a little lower. It says, “Twitch Schedule.” There ya go. Glad you found it. Anyways, I posted times that I am most likely to be streaming, as well as what I am currently streaming, and any future games that I will stream. Currently, I am playing Saints Row IV. I didn’t want to stream it. I wanted to bask in all of it’s glory. It was a good choice.

Which brings me to my second topic. It’s a lot of work to do a stream, especially if you have a second box like I do. I’m pretty happy that I figured out a way to not use the 3.5mm audio jack on the capture card. This forced me down to stereo, with no sub woofer for audio. I could use my normal 5.1 surround sound setup, but audio would be cut off in the stream if any audio went to any of the other speakers. My new idea, which just uses the HDMI port for audio, allows me to not use the 3.5mm, but it still makes me use 2.1 audio. It’s a step up for me, and I don’t really care too much about the rear satellite speakers.

Thirdly, I just wanted to let you know that I did finish the story for Saints Row IV. It was awesome. I don’t know if I’ll do a review of it. I do highly recommend the game. If I do a review, I’ll let you know why. I do want to grab all the achievements for the game. I don’t have too many left, so it shouldn’t take too long to do. I say that, even though one achievement is do 5 hours of coop… so I have at least that much time left. Probably more.

Lastly, I’ll start streaming next week. I’ve got stuff going on this weekend, so don’t expect anything from me.

DMC: Devil May Cry Review

DMC: Devil May Cry gets a lot of flack that it doesn’t deserve. I’m not seeing why fans of the series would NOT like it. There’s a lot here that I think is pushing the series forward. Maybe I don’t know better; I’ve only played the first Devil May Cry and it has been a long time. Let’s see how this series has progressed.

I think the main gripe that DMC gets is the main character, Dante. I don’t remember much from Devil May Cry PS2, but I’m pretty sure he was a wise ass. In DMC, he’s still sassy. The new look was also mentioned by fans. Apparently he looks like an emo… I wouldn’t go that far, but it does fit his attitude. He looks like a smart ass, and that is what he is.

Dante

Look at this smart ass.

The story of the game is a reboot of the franchise, so no knowledge of the previous Devil May Cry games is required. Basically, you are Dante, and you fight demons. Pretty simple. One day you wake up and you are ripped into Limbo. You must fight some demons. You escape only with the help of a human, Kat. Kat is part of a “terrorist” group that is rebelling against the demons. The demons are led by Bob Barbas, a news anchor, who is also a demon. The rebellion is led by Vergil. Dante agrees to help out, in his own snarky way.

Bob Barbas. Just doin'gGod's work.

God’s work requires you to turn into a red, giant head.

There’s some interesting points in the story; I don’t want to spoil it for anybody, so I won’t go into detail. The characters are great. The animations make the characters come to life, and the voice acting is top notch. It’s to be expected from a Ninja Theory game.

More Bob

That comb over. It’s glorious!

Story was fairly good, but what’s important is the combat. I absolutely loved the combat in this game. It gently introduced you to the combat. At first you are like “What!? Only one button to attack!?” But then it starts slowly introducing you to other moves, like launching enemies, and shooting them with your guns. Also, timing your button presses is important to creating combos.

Shooting Gun

My gun go off!

Pretty soon you are acquiring new weapons. Switching between these weapons is easy and seamless. Just attack normally if you want to attack normally (duh). For demon weapons, just hold down right trigger while attacking. Demon weapons attack more slowly, but do more damage. To attack with angel weapons, you hold down left trigger. Angel weapons don’t do as much damage, but they are quick, and have a greater area-of-effect damage. You also acquire more sub weapons for your angel, demon, and gun weapons. A quick click on the d-pad for the weapon you want to switch, changes it. You can see it in the above screenshot, in the bottom left. Yes, Ebony and Ivory are your first guns, so don’t fret because I posted a screen shot of a shotgun… it was just my most badass screenshot.

Me being a badass

In this one, I’m being a badass, but it’s hard to tell…

At the end of each level, you get a rating based on style, time, and completion. As you string together combos, you get a combat rating. Watching your combo go from “D” to “SS” makes it all worth it. Completion is basically finding everything. There are collectibles, but it’s similar to Metroid. You will have to replay levels to collect everything. Luckily, the game makes it easy to do this, because you can do a level select, and pick whatever difficulty you want when you do it. Another thing I like about the game is that it has shorter levels. Most levels can be beaten in under a half an hour, which feels about right. It was nice to be able to come home after work, play one or two levels, and feel pretty satisfied.

That brings me to length. You can probably beat the game in under 10 hours. I clocked in at a little over nine. However, the collectibles give you reason to replay levels. If collectibles aren’t your thing, then DMC unlocks more difficulty settings. From the beginning, Human (easy), Devil Hunter (medium), and Nephilim (hard) are unlocked. I played on Devil Hunter and rarely died. It was too easy, and I recommend that if you are comfortable with Devil May Cry games, start on Nephilim. If you’ve played all the games, even this mode will be too easy for you. With that said, beating the game once will unlock Son of Sparta mode, which makes the enemies more difficult AND remixes the enemies. There’s three more difficulty settings to unlock, so there’s ample reason to replay the game. However, I feel that they should have just unlocked the four additional difficulty settings after the first play through to keep veterans of the series entertained. Replaying over and over like that could be tedious, but it also extends the game’s length. I know I’ll probably play through a couple times to collect everything and test out Son of Sparta mode. The other modes don’t appeal to me too much.

The audio in this game is great. There are satisfying sound effects for each slice of your blade, each contact made on an enemy, etc. The music is noteworthy. Heavy metal music will be playing as you’re slicing and dicing your way through hordes of demons. Its oddly cathartic.

The combat animations, as well as the cut scene animation, look awesome. The game runs at 60 fps on the PC, which is great. I highly suggest you buy it on the PC if you have a PC that can run it. It looks great as well. The level design of Limbo is awesome and interesting. Here’s some screenshots to speak for the game.

Interesting Graffiti

Here’s some interesting Graffiti.

Before Limbo

Before entering Limbo

After Limbo

After entering Limbo

Corporate Limbo

Corporate Limbo. The writing on the wall is Bob demanding stuff.

Overall, I really enjoyed the game. The story was decent enough to keep me interested. What really pulls everything together is the music, sound engineering, combat animations, the style rating, and the simple, but effective, controls. I highly recommend you buy this game. I bought it on Steam for 25 bucks, and I would have paid more for it. I’m looking forward to a few more play-throughs. And with that, I leave you with this:

Terabytes of Sensitive Data

That look on his face tells me that it’s porn… only porn.

Capture and Streaming

Update 2: Stream has ended. Keep an eye on the sidebar for future streams.

UPDATE: Stream will start at 1:00 p.m. central time.

You may have noticed that my Twitch Channel had some activity yesterday. I sted out a few games. I began testing some Torchlight 2. Streamed flawlessly. Did some Far Cry 3, which is more intensive. No problems. Was able to play the game at my native resolution (1680×1050) and stream them at 720p. I can up the streaming resolution if I wanted to, but people with crappy internet wouldn’t be able to watch without stuttering.

I was able to stream some God of War collection on the PS3 as well. That’s interesting because the PS3 has a blueray player, so there’s some encoding on it forbidding you from streaming or capturing. Luckily, there is a way around it, so I’ll be able to stream PS3 games with no issues. There’s probably a minor quality downgrade from just streaming from PC, but not noticeable for the viewer.

Just want to give you a little bit of detail of the setup. I wanted a dedicated machine to handle the encoding and streaming. This would allow me to play the game with no performance issues. I built a dedicated PC with a nice i5 processor, and an AMD Radeon HD 7850. I don’t think the graphics card was necessary, but I did it anyways. I also go a mid sized case, just to make it more portable because I will have to move it between my consoles and PC. The center piece of the rig is the Avermedia Live Gamer HD. This card allows me to capture the stream from any external HDMI device, which includes my PC, PS3, and 360. This thing is a beast, and the software that comes with it is very easy to use.

One more thing. I have a stream scheduled today. Sometime this afternoon. I’m thinking about 3:00 central time. The game will be DMC: Devil May Cry on the PC. I hope you can join me.

Streaming

Look to your right… what do you see? Is that a Twitch Channel for Royfuss?! Why, yes it is! I don’t know how much it’ll be used, but I do have some plans for it. I invested heavily in a second PC that has a super rad capture/streaming card in it. In theory, this will allow me to play my games without stressing my PC any further, while streaming to Twitch, or just capturing data. That PC should be here by the end of the week, so you’ll probably see me do some testing. I’ll announce ahead of time when I do some official streams.

Twitch Logo

I’ve got a few games planned. I recently rebought Dishonored on PC, so I’ll probably stream a No Kill/No Detection walkthrough. I’ve also got a Super Mario World idea kicking around. I’m thinking of booting the game into an emulator, and setting the speed at 2 or 4 times… its fairly fun, and difficult, to play that way, and should provide entertainment to an audience. A Torchlight 2 stream will happen. Probably some Starcraft 2 or Borderlands 2 when I play with some friends. Usually get intoxicated when we do that, so that should be entertaining.

I also want to use it to capture media, mostly screenshots and some video. I use the internet to grab screenshots for video game posts, and I’d much rather do my own. Sometimes I want very specific pictures from games, but can’t find them from a quick Google search. Yeah, PC games I’m usually good, but console games… not so much. I was trying to find the perfect God of War screenshot, and settled for a “good enough” screenshot.

I think I said this once, but I’ll say it again: I’m really digging this WordPress theme. It’s called Mantra. Its very customizable, and it did everything I wanted it to do, with very little effort on my part. Enough of me promoting stuff that I don’t need to. I’m out.