Wednesday, 28 May 2014 00:00

HOT TOYS 1/6 Scale ED-209 ( 2014 ) Review

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HOT TOYS ED 209

It has been a while since I published on uryaen.com. I wanted to take a moment to explain. I didn't die, retire, or otherwise drop out of the game, but I'm only ONE person, and I operate in several industries simultaneously. 

Over the last year, I designed and launched the Kickstarter for a full scale CCG game: Nightmare™ - The Trading Card Game, which was 100% designed and ready to go, and filmed and launched two videos for it. That project commanded several months of dedication. The game didn't fund, but I'll be revisiting it next year after some further PR building. 

I have written and planned a short film: MONITOR, which has yet to be shot, but is seeking support. 

I am in the process of a new project even BIGGER than Nightmare™, but that's a secret for now. 

So you can see, I've been rather busy. 

So when I was contacted by Omni Consumer Products recently to look at their new law enforcement platform, how could I NOT drop everything and take a look. 

You would too. 

Thursday, 25 July 2013 07:18

Shadowrun Returns First Look

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Shadowrun Returns

I only had two days to look at Shadowrun Returns, and thus, this isn’t a “full review” in the same scope as something like my Pandaria or Dishonored reviews. I’ll call it a “First Look” because even with a comparatively modest included “main quest”, the fact that this game is built from the ground up to encourage user content to the degree that one can launch the editor from IN game and that said editor is every bit as intuitive and easy to use as the game tells me that we’re in for more content ( of varying quality of course ) than any 10 other games.

Shadowrun Returns

I am a longtime Shadowrunner. I had the original RPG ( up to third edition I believe ), the SNES game, the Genesis game, which I didn’t care for, the novels, you name it. Yeah guys, I caught the novel references from Charrette’s books ( No, I won’t spoil it beyond that! ).

Sunday, 05 May 2013 06:08

OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 480GB Review

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OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 480GB Review

Anyone who's been reading this site since the early days will remember my scathing review of the OCZ RevoDrive 80GB. That thing gave me so many issues, that I literally had nothing good to say about it, and combined with an unfortunate run of additional failed OCZ products, I couldn't recommend anything they made for a long time, but a LOT has happened since then, it's all ancient history, and I then had a string of successes starting with the Vertex 3 through the Vertex 4, the Synapse, and now the RevoDrive 3. There was one snag in this process that gave me some pause, and I decided to let it ride for a few extra months of 24/7 uptime and now I feel like this piece is solid enough to render the final verdict. 

You will also remember how immensely long some of my reviews used to be. I'm standardizing on a more "to the point" format that assumes some pre-knowledge on the part of the reader, and most of the tech reviews will be 1200-1500 words, and most game reviews will stay at around 2500-2800. I'll let you know when I need to deviate from this. 

So what of this new gen Revo?

RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB

The RevoDrive 3 X2 is a PCI-E x4 class SSD meant for workstation class systems, and while it has quirks, it's amazingly fast, lightweight, runs cool, and will make your HDDs obsolete. 

It looks like this. Pretty hot stuff. 

Friday, 03 May 2013 04:47

Game Dev Tycoon Review

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Game Dev Tycoon Review 

For those of you wondering, I haven't died, I'm developing a game. When I saw this gem though, I had to review it. 

You might have seen the controversy around the fact that Greenheart uploaded a "special" version of the game to torrent sites and let the pirates complain about how their game studios were failing due to piracy. This was too juicy to ignore, and Uryaen loves meta stuff, so I figured I'd buy it and throw down a quick review. 

The game isn't very long, and is an indie casual game, which I have not reviewed here on uryaen.com but we'll take a quick look. 

Game Dev Tycoon

 

Thursday, 28 February 2013 00:00

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Review ( 5.1 )

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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Review ( 5.1 )

8 years and four expansions in the making, the World of Warcraft of today is quite a different place than it was at release. It’s still the biggest, most immersive MMO ever, and even though it’s “fashionable” to trash it, it’s still the King.

Pandaria at first glance might feel like a letdown after the events of Cataclysm, but after spending the last two and a half months exploring it, it’s hard NOT to call this the BIGGEST expansion yet to the biggest MMO yet.

This review will come in stages, unlike previous reviews, and will NOT serve as an introduction to my book. The book will have all unique content, and is not a “review book”.

Today we’re going to look at the expansion up to patch 5.1 even though 5.2 is set to drop in a matter of days.

Pandaria

Pandaria brings a new continent, named Pandaria ( so that we don’t forget what this is all about ), and a new race, the first playable demon race, the . . . of course not, it’s Pandas.

LONG rumored as an eventual player race, and even once the subject of a Blizzard April Fools joke, the Pandaren are finally here, for better or worse. Some have complained that their campy appearance and lore was further dumbing down the already a little shy of “edgy” game world, but the whole thing is handled with more depth than you expect, especially since the Pandaren come with a dark, terrible secret called Sha.

Friday, 18 January 2013 00:23

HOT TOYS 1/6 Scale DX06 Jack Sparrow Review

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HOT TOYS Jack Sparrow

If you’re reading this, you are most likely here because you already know HOT TOYS. If not, they are a vendor of ultra-high end collectible figures based in Hong Kong. They are distributed in the USA by Sideshow Collectibles, and the figures are available either direct from Sideshow, or from a variety of online resellers.

Thus begins my second feature for this group, and it's a very special one. 

When I published the first review from this pair, I wasn't hugely on Sideshow's radar, but if recent traffic is any indication, they're going to be watching this one closely. Let's start with an awesome image:

Thursday, 25 October 2012 16:11

Dishonored Review

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Dishonored Review 

Dishonored didn't have a huge marketing campaign, certainly not comparatively. It was quietly worked on in the background while other games took the spotlight this year. It arrived fairly quietly, as if to encourage the style of play it holds most dear, and that's just the way I like it. Some people absorb every last spoiler and detail they can about a media product, and that defeats a lot of the purpose of that product, and the experience you get with it.

In the interest of that very thing, I will keep this review fairly spoiler free. I'll show you the pretty pictures, and give my impressions of mechanics, but I won't do much discussion about the specific story. I'm going to be shortening my intial reviews of games which have DLC set to drop shortly after release, as this will give the developers time to iron out the game, and give me a chance to explore it in more than one way.

Dishonored

I'm so over the "Silent Protagonist" thing. It's been done, it severely limits story telling and to me accomplishes the opposite of what is intended. They do it to draw the player into the character, so that the player feels that they ARE the character, but then they give that character a finite gender, name, and force them to do a lot of things that the player might not do. Just let the character speak already! The Wikipedia Entry was even written with this slant in mind.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:42

Razer Naga Epic MMORPG Wireless Mouse Review

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Razer Naga Epic MMORPG Wireless Mouse Review

Today we finally bring Razer to uryaen.com. I've been through quite a bit to get them here so behave yourselves. I bought the first Naga mouse myself, and it lived for almost three years of daily use. I have some feedback on the support of Razer product but we'll get more into that as time goes on. For now, I'm taking a look at the wireless version, the Naga Epic.

STATS of review

Item acquired direct from Razer for this review. 

Video Review

I'm posting a complete standalone video review as well, but make sure you look at both the article and video, as they have separate content. As the video covers most of what you need to know, I won't repeat all of it here, so this article will be a bit shorter than it would be otherwise. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOWa8I1KUPc

Overview

See the video for the unboxing. All Razer products come in very premium packaging worthy of storing or displaying the item itself. Razer seems to be taking it's cue from high end collector markets ( I just released a review of such a product ) in that they feature "collector friendly" packaging. The definition of collector friendly is that the package can be opened without destroying it. This preserves the integrity of the presentation, and it works beautifully here. 

ENTERBAY Bruce Lee

As far as I can tell, this is the WORLD EXCLUSIVE FIRST FULL REVIEW of this figure, so enjoy!

Video Review coming soon.

1/6 scale Figure reviews are heating up on uryaen.com! First up was HOT TOYS Babydoll, then ENTERBAY Che Guevara. Today we're going to see the WORLD FIRST REVIEW of ENTERBAY Bruce Lee 1/6 Black Label. 

Figure acquired Direct from ENTERBAY for this review. 

Bruce Lee

Many of you know this, but I have a martial arts background myself. I was a very well respected full contact fighter, trained in Muay Thai and Ninjutsu. I didn't follow Lee as obsessively as many in the community, and I didn't model my fighting style after his. I modeled it more after what he TAUGHT us to do, which was to take what works, improve it, master it, and use it exclusively. 

20 years ago this year, I was near fatally injured, suffering a spinal injury that forever forced me into retirement, and I suffer every moment of every day for it. Seeing something like this is partially a reminder of that life, and what could have been, and also a chance to reflect on Lee himself, and what we as a world lost so tragically. 

I'm also closely related to Robert Wall on my mom's side ( any long time Lee fan will know who that is ), and if you're out there, shoot me an email, and we'll catch up. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 19:00

OCZ Vertex 4 Review

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OCZ Vertex 4 Review

OCZ is really on a roll lately, putting out quality and reliable product like crazy, and improving upon it with regular firmware updates. 

I wasn't in on the initial batch of V4 reviews. Sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm not, so I don't have in house numbers on pre-1.5 firmware. If you read some of the initial reviews, this particular SSD evidently had some issues with living up to performance expectations, but that's all settled now, and I can look at the current form.

The Vertex 4 is more than a numbered evolution of the Vertex 3. Of course the form factor and most properties are the same, but the controller this time is the Indilinx, showing fruits of OCZ acquiring Indilinx back in 2011. News sources elsewhere report that there is some confusion over who made the controller itself, but the firmware is in fact OCZ. I'm not going to get into all that, I'm going to focus on performance, and some of my suggested uses for such a product. 

Unlike the previous review, I was only sent one V4. This means I had to go back and do some fresh benches of various configurations of Vertex drives. This one is a 256GB drive however, and due to the increase in space, I have a few suggestions of what you might do with a drive like this, rather than simply screw it into a desktop to be a boot drive. This also gave me a chance to phase out some older benchmarks, and phase in AS-SSD, and Windows 8. 

Monday, 02 July 2012 14:53

ENTERBAY 1/6 Scale Che Guevara Review

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ENTERBAY Che Guevara

UPDATE: As Enterbay has so kindly linked to this review on their Facebook page, I have decided to expand my coverage of Che. Look for exclusive images to come either during or after Comic Con. I promise they'll be amazing!

See the new video review embedded at the bottom.

1/6 scale Figure reviews are new to uryaen.com but are a staple of content moving forward. First I released Babydoll last week, and now ENTERBAY weighs in with Che Guevara. 

Figure acquired Direct from ENTERBAY for this review. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 18:12

HOT TOYS 1/6 Scale Sucker Punch Babydoll Review

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HOT TOYS Babydoll

UPDATE: See the exclusive Facebook images here. 

If you’re reading this, you are most likely here because you already know HOT TOYS. If not, they are a vendor of ultra-high end collectible figures based in Hong Kong. They are distributed in the USA by Sideshow Collectibles, and the figures are available either direct from Sideshow, or from a variety of online resellers.

I’ll say it up front. I’m a big fan of Sucker Punch. I see the movie as one of those intelligent movies that intelligent people love. If you love Fight Club, Memento, and Inception, it’s highly likely you’re going to love this tragic tale.

I could go on to write an entire treatise on the movie and its thematic elements, but I don’t want to spoil it in case you haven’t seen it. Just check it out. The movie centers on, but does not necessarily revolve around a girl who tragically lost her mind a little. We only know her as “Babydoll”. Her world is a “dream within a dream” and her only allies are four other girls who all are in an impossible situation facing impossible odds.

Hot Toys has only produced two of the five girls. Sadly this is a bad habit with 1/6 scale makers. They’ll do 14 different Iron Mans, but never complete a collection from a different movie. One can argue that this stems from demand, but it’s still something that has been going on the entire time. We’re still waiting for the rest of the LOTR Fellowship. If they ever release the other three girls, I’ll be all over that.

I’m planning a full scale Sucker Punch cosplay shoot. Some of that will involve the figures that they have released, and most of it is just for fun. Be sure to check out the FB page for that shoot here.

Monday, 18 June 2012 07:57

OCZ Synapse 128GB Review

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OCZ Synapse 128GB Review

Today we're launching the first full review in the post "uryaen.com 3.0" era. Another speedy bit of SSD storage from OCZ. 

This time instead of your average SSD drive, we're looking at what they call an SSD cache drive. What does this mean? To put it simply; imagine that the 64MB or so of cache that your HDD has could be extended all the way out to 128GB ( or more accurately 64GB but we'll get to that ). By using an optimized drive and special software, OCZ can turn your full 2TB drive into a 2TB SSD. The idea being that not every last bit and byte on your HDD requires being loaded ultra quickly. Lots of system files, your media files, even your games really do not benefit from being on the SSD. Stuff like boot files, applications, personal or work files you use often, that stuff does. So instead of having to choose where to place everything, the included Dataplex software analyzes your storage habits and moves things around for you. The end result being that the files and folders you use most are loaded with all the speed that an SSD can muster, and the stuff you don't use as often stays on the HDD. 

Easy, right?

There are some tricky caveats involved of course, but by and large, it could not be easier to speed up your computer than to toss this blue bullet in there. 

NOTE to Readers: The Intel Architecture artcles and videos are by far my most popular content, but in order to keep presenting my unique take on this subject, I would appreciate if you would all take a moment to "like" this page, or "share" it with your social circles. Also look at other content I've produced, including the feature articles listed at the top, and this will encourage more people to visit.  I'm making preperations to relaunch this site with new branding and an entirely new take on tech review, and building some momentum will encourage that development as well. Don't be afraid to leave me a comment or suggestion, but bear in mind that I do regulate all public comments on this site and on the YouTube Channel. Thank you for helping to grow uryaen.com.

Sandy Bridge vs. Ivy Bridge Benchmark Comparison and Review of Intel 3770K

It's hard to believe that yet another year has come and gone. Intel has come a long way as well. Today's CPUs are more capable than anything we could have imagined ten years ago. The Intel i7 "Ivy Bridge" CPU even includes the new Intel HD 4000 Graphics, which we'll be taking a look at in both benches and real world games. 

Can it play Skyrim? We'll find out. 

CPUs aquired - Direct from Intel. CPUs are "prerelease" material. My CPUs from Intel always are, but I have no reason to believe that they perform any different from a retail release. 

Monday, 02 April 2012 10:52

OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Review

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OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS Review

What a long, windy road THIS has been. After a disastrous start, OCZ is back on uryaen.com and this time, we have something I can say truly nothing negative about.

Instead of dwelling on the past, let’s just dive into what we have here:

Today we have a twin pair of OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPSs for evaluation. These are ultra light, ultra fast SSDs to replace your HDDS with. This review is going to be comparatively brief, and keep focus on the video content.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 07:20

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Comprehensive Review

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Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Comprehensive Review 

The following is my comprehensive look at a game which really needs no introduction. Bethesda not only makes rocking RPG’s, they do PR RIGHT!!! Anyway, today Skyrim is under the microscope, and while you might argue that any further review of such a game, which everyone is going to buy anyway, is moot, we're going to see if we can add something to the world of Skyrim review.  My evaluations tend to focus on what can be improved in a game, and that’s what we’re going to really explore.

Skryim – Comprehensive Evaluation

The following review format is based on the review for FNV. I will look at a large number of relevant game aspects, and when appropriate, list the positive commentary on each and then look at where that area could use improvement. I did greatly enjoy the game, and wish to see its sequels and patches greatly improved, and less reliant on hobbled console conventions. I have put more than 300 hours into this game so far, and anticipate many more. 

So that there is no confusion: I do like this game, and because I have to, in order to be listed on meta review sites, I will give it a numerical score at the bottom, but as has been my philosophy for more than a year and a half ( certain other review sites JUST NOW coming to the same conclusion ) I don’t believe in numerical scores, as they are highly misleading, and reading the review will garner the reader much more value. That said:

skryim - 186

 Fallout New Vegas PC with All DLC: Comprehensive Review Updated 10.15.11!

The following is my comprehensive look at a massive game and even then I have a hard time NOT saying more, as I could go on for many more pages. In addition to the following, I have over 60 hours of full HD video recorded, and almost 20,000 Screen shots, so you just know there will be some awesome stuff. Big thank you to Bethesda for providing the materials for these reviews, as well as RAGE and SKYRIM, which will be coming soon as well. Bethesda not only makes rocking RPG’s, they do PR RIGHT!!! Everyone else in the soft side of the industry should take notice, and be embarrassed for doing it so poorly in comparison.

Thursday, 14 July 2011 09:19

Gulftown vs. Sandy Bridge - Benchmark Comparison

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Gulftown vs. Sandy Bridge - Benchmark Comparison 

It's here: Sandy Bridge vs. Ivy Bridge!

Instead of the usual "review" style article, today we're going to look at "Gulftown vs. Sandy Bridge" from one particular perspective, and one that I think isn't properly represented on most sites, and that's "multi-tasking". 

Thus, this article will encompass the complete "reviews" of both the Intel Core i7 970, and the Intel Core i5 2500K. The 970 will be tested at 4.2GHz, and the 2500K at stock clocks? Why? A - Because I can, but more importantly B - because it shows that NO amount of overclocking the six core will create an advantage where there would not otherwise be one due to having more cores. That's important. 

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