Mass Effect 2

Standard

The first Mass Effect was one of my all-time favorite games. It has a compelling science fiction story, amazingly realistic characters, and uncountable nods to some of the best science fiction movies and stories.

Within the week that Mass Effect 2 was released I purchased a copy. So far I may have played a total of about 14 hours. Once again, it’s hard to describe. Everything seems to have been improved including the inventory management (all but gone, but it’s not a bad thing).

You Can Play Xbox 360 and PS3 on Your LCD Monitor (with DVI)

Standard

Yep. It’s possible. It’s not as good as using an HDTV with HDMI input but it will work if your LCD monitor has a DVI connection. I came across this on accident when I needed to connect my work laptop to an external display (but I forgot my DVI adapter).

All you need is a DVI to HDMI cable. Monoprice has some great prices.

Just connect the HDMI end of the cable to your console and then connect the DVI end to the monitor.

I never tried this in the past because I had always assumed there were electronics involved that would only support the connection one-way. However, it appears that HDMI truly is nothing more than DVI with audio and a different connector.

I don’t have a true widescreen monitor so I don’t know if it will work better on one. My screen is between a standard widescreen and a standard fullscreen display, oddly. When I’m playing on the Xbox 360 I see the typical black bars above and below the screen that you would expect. However, there is some minor distortion – everything is slightly narrower than normal. It’s actually not very obvious and is easy to get used to.

I haven’t experienced any artifacts, the smell of burning plastic, etc. So far, it’s worked great.

There is one problem, though. I don’t know if it’s specific to older monitors or something that can’t be transmitted over DVI but the Xbox 360 does not receive the digital rights management information that it expects (yes, DRM here to ruin the fun once again). This means that Netflix streaming and probably any other video rentals or purchases will not work.

I haven’t tried this with my PS3 but I would be surprised to learn that it does not work the same way.

On GameFly and GameStop

Standard

Last summer I signed up for the single game subscription via GameFly. It’s the same concept as Netflix but for console games instead of movies. So far I’ve been very satisfied with the service. I have the same problems as with Netflix, but they’re not problems with the services themselves. My most common problem is simply not being able to devote a lot of time to gaming (much like movie watching) so I’ll often have the same game sitting at home for a couple of months.

Continue reading