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Archive for November, 2007

Play-Asia: How does an import store work and how do I get my games shipped to me?

November 28, 2007 4 comments

 

For a month, I’ve been trying out this online store by buying some stuff. Initially, I bought a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics for the PSP (I recommend this title!) and had it sent to me via AIR MAIL (Par-Avion, Snail Mail) because they ship it for FREE (yes no shipping charges!). Well since it was free, the trade – off was that I had to wait for 1 whole month before it arrived. *update* I’ve ordered

But then again, it’s the local postal service that will decide if the item does arrive on time. And besides the shipment’s for free, I couldn’t complain for more though.

Now off to the actual site. Play-Asia has an organized website that lists the various products they sell.

play-asia-main

On the front page, they listed down the latest releases and their promo games. Of course, in order to learn more about the site, we have to get into the actual main sections. The site is divided into the various gaming systems. From Playstation 1/2/3, XBOX/X360, Gamecube, Wii, NDS, and PSP to the classic ones. Aside from games, they also cater toys, DVD movies, and books, all related to games or Anime.

Each section, take for example PC & Mac games, have their own front page that lists down the latest games in the middle, and a navigation panel on the left that lets us browse through other items in the store.

play-asia-pcplay-asia-cartplay-asia-order

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right now, let’s say, I’ll be purchasing Crysis Collector’s edition as an early Christmas and Birthday present for myself. I will just click on the link of the game’s title to send me over to the game’s own page.  Now inside the shopping cart are two sections: the main shopping cart and a ‘save for later’ cart. The main shopping cart lists the items we’re intending to order. We can forward the order for checkout, or add in more items from the save for later list.

Once the order’s been made, we fill up the necessary details such as credit card number, paypal account, cash remittance service like Western Union, shipping location, and of course, the all important shipping method: air mail, which is FREE (under 1kg), expedited shipping (UPS or FedEx) which will cost around Php 500.00 (yes it’ll be quite expensive for 1 item, but cheaper if we add in more light items).

Now in some cases, there’d be some orders that aren’t worked on yet, that’s where customer service comes in. Previously I ordered MGS: Portable Ops for my PSP as well as a hard case for it.  However, the store ran out of the type of hard case that I want. I was wondering why for two weeks counting, my order hasn’t arrived yet. I used the site’s help functionality to contact them regarding my order. I just filled in an inquiry as to why this order hasn’t arrived yet. And within 24 hours, Play-Asia replied to me regarding one of my items for ordering has run out of stock and is currently waiting new ones from the maker. I’m also given options to replace the product with a similar valued product (or of another color). But circumstances dictate me that I should ride it out for the time being.

[update] I decided to go and have the item changed for a different color and instantly, the order is shipped via UPS. The downside is, it seems I would have to ask the courier themselves the status of my order. The store didn’t provide the tracking number of the order.

So if you’d like to get games at a relatively lower price (in exchange for a slightly longer delivery time) drop by Play-Asia.com and get one, or buy it from the store.

Play-Asia.com – Your One-Stop-Shop for Asian Entertainment

Categories: Uncategorized

Gears of War for Windows the Review

November 19, 2007 Leave a comment

clip_image002

Emergence day, the Locust Horde came from below the ground and began their conquest of the world above. The human defenders, Gears as they are called stood and did battle, however; because of the Locust Horde’s large numbers felled the defenders. What remained of the humans have vacated to the last Human Refuge, Jacinto Plateau. Now their numbers dwindled, the humans seek to combat the locust with every last of their number – the old, the young, the sick and the incarcerated… Now Marcus Fenix, a former soldier convicted for leaving his mission is once again back to fight the Locust and rid their planet of its kind.

Gears of War, the game of the year in 2006 has been ported over to Windows by Epic under the Games for Windows banner. In this review, we look at the aspects in Gears of War that have been improved over from clip_image003the XBOX 360 Version.

Graphics – If we’ve seen the X360 version’s very sharp and detailed graphics, well, the PC version tried to notch it up on a higher note. Even on the medium settings, the game looks great and of course, once the settings have been cranked up to high, we see some subtle sharpening of the game’s graphics, an improved depth of field whenever the player switches to manual aiming. However, that’s all that I could see and the DX10 improvements are not that many, or noticeable. But still, the graphics did not disappoint. However, there’s a catch, in order to play the game, it will require a hefty video card in the form of NVIDIA 7600s or ATI 1600s (I wouldn’t believe the box requirements for video cards). Still the conversion of the graphics from X360 to the PC is quite impressive

Score: 4.5/5.0

Sound – The game’s sound is well orchestrated, from the sound of the lancer rifle firing, to the grunts of the locust swarm, and the game’s soundtrack mixes in pretty well. Given a decent sound card, the sound is very crisp and sound hints (of enemies) can be an aid in learning their location (especially the Berserkers). And yes, Marcus’ side comments are still there quite intact, so don’t worry.

Score: 4.0/5.0

Control - To those who’re used to playing on keyboards will really feel right at home with the keyboard and mouse set-up for Gears of War in Windows. Aiming has been far easier than before, and the spacebar fits perfectly for the role in making your Gear hide, go around corners and obstacles, or roll on the ground. But for the Gears of War purists, the XBOX360 controller can still be used (since it’s a Games for Windows item, it should be able to play with a XBOX360 Controller).

Score: 4.0/5.0

Gameplay - Now the experience drastically changes for the Windows version. GoW for Windows has all the latest maps from the XBOX360 port, it supports Games for Windows Live, though it lacks the support for cross playing the game with the XBOX. But that’s not all. Aside from the maps and online multiplayer support, it includes a full game level editor, which enables the player to create his or her own  game scenario and have your friends play it out. So just having a level editor will prolong the playing time for this game. Also one nice bonus is that the game (original copy of course) will have one month free XBOX Live Gold Account.

Also, through the use of Games for Windows Live, the player will earn achievement points as he/she plays the game which could be used for downloading content from Microsoft (Demos, new maps, movies, etc), since a Games for Windows Live account is in fact an Xbox Live account.

Score: 5.0/5.0 (even if it lacked cross playing support, it got back with the Game Editor)

clip_image005Technical Specs:

OS: Windows XP/Vista (32 and 64 bit)
Processor: Intel 2.4 Ghz or Better (Dual Cores Recommended)
Hard Disk Space: 12 GB
RAM: 1GB (2GB or greater Recommended)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or ATI X700 (Higher models recommended, NVIDIA GeForce 8 series in order for DX10 mode to run on Vista)
Network: Broadband for Games for Windows Live

Categories: Uncategorized

More Snazzy Game Downloads!!

November 4, 2007 Leave a comment

The holiday season is really fast approaching now, 5:30 PM is already dark, Christmas music’s being played in the malls, and the climate’s becoming cooler.

But not only that, there’s a slew of new games popping out. Based on my last post, I mentioned a couple of Games for Windows games (that will run on both XP and Vista, mind you). But in this edition, I’ll be adding some more demos that came out just recently. And here they are!

Crysis_Boxart_Final Crysis – (as my YM status says) North of the Philippines, there’s some sh!t going on. Yeah lots of other gaming websites out there post news about the neat stuff the game has. Well in this download, we’re presented with the first section of the game – infiltrating the island, encountering some North Koreans (and having some time to work out the kinks of the Nanotech Suit), and of course, the first encounter with the aliens. Not listeningI think I gave too much info here hehehe.

Download: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/crysis/download.html?sid=6181835&om_act=convert&om_clk=dlmostpop&tag=mostpopular;title;1

 

Hellgate_London_Box Hellgate London - Diablo 2 Fans, as I’ve heard were waiting for this one. This is a fantasy hack-en-slash game in 1st Person based in London. I haven’t played the Demo yet (but I have it with me, been pre-occupied by other downloads). But I hear it’ll be friendly for Multiplayer!

Download: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/hellgatelondon/download.html?sid=6181264&om_act=convert&om_clk=dlmostpop&tag=mostpopular;title;5

 

 

Nfsps-cover Need for Speed: ProStreet – Some things do change, and in this installment of the Need for Speed franchise, EA hung up on the underground tuning/racing world and moves to the street legal world of closed circuit racing (tuning and body modification is still included), but I hear there’s no more free exploration like before.

Now with Crysis and Hellgate being GFW titles, I honestly wonder why this game isn’t one…. or is it? (That’s the same thing that I’d ask for the sports titles)

Download: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/hellgatelondon/download.html?sid=6181264&om_act=convert&om_clk=dlmostpop&tag=mostpopular;title;5

Ut3cov21 Unreal Tournament 3 – Well, I have to post this one (my office-mate kept bugging me on this one). The third installment of the known Unreal Tournament franchise, hey who (gamer) doesn’t know about this? Now updated with the Unreal Engine 3 graphics engine…. which coincidentally is powered also on Gears of War(….) for the XBOX360. I wonder, where’s the demo for Gears of War for Windows? Thinking One thing I love is that there’s support for BOTS in the game for practice.

Download: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/unrealtournament2007/download.html?sid=6180879

Tad_boxAge of Empires 3 : The Asian Dynasties – I have the game, but I haven’t played it yet because of one thing…. I forgot to buy the game! (I’ll have to drop by the store to get the original game later) But, I was surprised to see a demo for this and I’ll post it here, for those who’d like to try it out.

The game continues from AOE3 where this time, the focus switches over to the East Side, Asia. Where Europeans are hitting it up with the major Asian countries of the period: Chinese, Indians and the Japanese. Now what’s so different with this from the same countries in AOE2? Well they now have their own storyline as nations expanding (not by their rulers as what AOE2 focused on).

Download: http://www.ageofempires3.com/asiandynasties/

Cod4_Box Call of Duty 4 – Now this I almost forgot to add in. DohNow back to the PCs (where it should belong), Infinity Ward (the guys who made Call of Duty, is back on the helm and this time around, they’re leaving World War 2 behind and will cover the modern battlefield, with fully automatic assault rifles (bye bye M1 Garands, hello M4A1′s!). However, this demo lacked the Multiplayer goodies Infinity Ward made better in this release (might even beat Counter-Strike in gameplay)

Download: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/callofduty4modernwarfare/download.html?sid=6180837

Categories: Uncategorized
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