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GRID 2: Review – Codemasters Falls Inbetween

The latest and most anticipated simulation racer from the Codemasters stables falls flat on building the single-player career but makes up for it with some fast multiplayer action.  
44350_screenshots_2013-06-18_00016 When Codemasters first teased us with Grid 2 back in September 2012, I had only just wrapped up playing the original Grid and couldn’t wait for a sequel. Fast forward to the present day, and I am left somewhat disappointed. Grid 2 starts off with Patrick Callaghan, an eccentric millionaire looking to start his own racing series by hiring a novice driver (you), and nurturing him to stardom. Pretty good start I figured, but down the line there is no story, no competition and it simply gets boring. Sure, it features “rivals” and if you manage to navigate correctly through the labyrinth of menus, it even gives you a few tasks to accomplish. But it’s nothing challenging compared to the previous game. What’s happened to the teammate feature? Where’s the intense competition that they created between you and an AI driver, that’s right, AI.   44350_screenshots_2013-06-22_00007Sure, it features some intricate visuals and stunningly real crashes, but what makes a good game is the AI. Grid falters here. The AI challenge is half baked and almost always drives a good clean race void of mistakes. There’s no distinct racing style, no aggression, nothing that reminds you of the AI driver after a race or two. Remember Dirt? I still remember my races against Md. Bin Sulayem and coming out at the end thinking of him as a good guy who does good clean racing. And don’t even get me started on the missing cockpit view. The saving grace of this game comes in the form of multiplayer. Unlike the previous game, it’s been updated to prevent players from cutting corners and crashing into one another. Cutting corners attracts a 5-sec penalty and the new Impact Rating system which categorizes players based on how rough they play, have all contributed to a good MP experience. Endurance races and constantly changing tracks add a nice challenge to top it off.

Sports Center integrated into the game to give it a bit of that “league” effect.

Codemasters choosing to create their own tracks (yeah, no Nurburgring) initially disappointed me, but after a while of racing these tracks begin to grow on you. The Yas Marina, Indianapolis and Red Bull Racing Circuit all have brought in their own distinct flavour of racing to the game. A sleuth of cars spread over four tiers only unlocked by earning experience points (by racing and beating rivals) adds to the excitement.  



TL;DR — All in all, beautiful graphics, excellent multiplayer racing; you can give this one a pass if you’re not going to be playing it over the Internet.

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How To: Make ANY Analog Controller to an Xbox 360 Controller

So you may or may not know this, but a number of PC games require that you own an Xbox 360 controller if you want to play them using a gamepad. Guess what? They cost a bomb! Yeah, thank you Micro$oft. If you do however own a regular analog gamepad (that’s the one with the two sticks that go all around like an owl’s head, yeah, that one), then you could “convert” it into an Xbox 360 controller. Technically, you just fool the game into thinking it’s an Xbox 360 controller. I could write another couple of paragraphs here on how to convert your analog gamepad into an Xbox 360 controller, but I’ll make it simpler on myself and embed this little video here. Yesterday, I wrote about the Enter E-GPV as a dirt cheap alternative to the Xbox 360 controller but did not explain how. If you own one, well, don’t bother watching that video. Download the zip file mentioned at the end, uncompress it and put it in the game’s directory. There’s an app called X-Padder that lets you customize what each key of your gamepad does when pressed. This can be useful for older games, games which do not have Xbox 360 controller support built-in, or if you simply choose not to emulate an Xbox 360 controller and choose to instead customize every key of your gamepad. Keep in mind, this will not let you play games that require ONLY an Xbox 360 controller. You can find the download link below. Resources:

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Enter E-GPV – Dirt Cheap Alternative to an Xbox 360 Controller

Kept off buying an Xbox 360 controller because it’s too expensive? So did I. I mean, 1900 bucks for a controller is a little steep, right? Especially when it’s got a wire attached to it. I’ve kept off playing PC games since I bought was gifted an Xbox 360 Slim a few months ago mainly because the Xbox 360’s controller is so damn good that it makes you never want to use a keyboard again. The cost of Xbox 360 games though is a huge factor, and so it set off my search for a PC controller/gamepad. I already have a racing wheel with a gamepad on it but wanted an analog gamepad since most games almost require that. I tried out Logitech and some smaller lesser-known companies’ gamepads but none of them were quite like the Xbox 360 experience nor were they any less costly than the Xbox 360 controller itself. Enter the Enter E-GPV gamepad. Yeah, it’s from a company called Enter. It’s too much plastic and it isn’t wireless either. So why this? Because it costs 270 bucks! HAH! And that makes it a pleasant compromise. Features:
  • USB Port
  • Built-in Motors
  • Twin Vibration Pad
  • 12 Fire Buttons
I got mine off of SnapDeal for 190 bucks using a discount coupon. Took them ages to deliver it. Any who, the point is — it costs less than a pizza, works pretty damn well, feels okay, and as an added bonus the two analog sticks can be used as an extra pair of D-pad. Did I mention its cost? Oh… Enter E-GPV Gamepad (Flipkart).

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Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood Mobile Game

This has got to be one of the best mobile games I’ve played. It’s quite short, but the graphics and the game play will surely keep you hooked.

Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood

Compatibility: S60 n70, n72, etc. Size: 1.10 MB Download: Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood S60 N70 N72 (right click, Save As..)

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