Posts Tagged ‘guide’

It’s Hard Out Here on a Mac

As we come towards the end of another guest week, storied tech enthusiast jonwestenberg touches on a very familiar topic for many.

—Written by jonwestenberg—

—Edited/formatted by Vagrantesque—

There’s a long established tradition that any kind of gaming is almost impossible when using what the kids (from the late 70’s) call an Apple Mackintosh Personal Computer. You’d be hard pressed to find any new release games that debut on Mac as well as for Windows PCs. The reasons for this are pretty varied; partly, it’s due to the wide spread dominance of Windows machines in the 90’s as the open platform was widely adopted by third party manufacturers, making the install base so much wider. Another reason is Apple’s walled garden that prevents users from upgrading or modifying their computers.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a history of Mac games development. If you’re a Halo user who hasn’t played the Bungie classic Marathon series, you’re missing out on an integral part of Halo’s development history, which is deeply rooted in that early, groundbreaking sci-fi shooter. However, it’s been a long time since Mac was a platform that supported real gaming.

As a gamer and a Mac user, I’ve been keeping an eye on Mac gaming over the past few years, and while it’s not as bleak as it once was, you’ll find that there are still enough obstacles to Mac gaming that it’s not entirely worth your while.

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So you finally got yourself a Wii U, huh?

The World Cup is over and my sleep patterns are more or less back to normal – let’s get back into this!

Yes, it’s another post about the Wii U. It’s fun to write about, alright?

So, you did it. You finally plonked down some hard-earned cash on Nintendo’s newest home console, thanks to the much-too-long-awaited second wave of hype that currently envelops it. Maybe it was the look and feel of Mario Kart 8 that made you do it, or maybe it was Nintendo’s strong showing at E3 this year. Perhaps you’re just sick of waiting through the appalling current drought of Triple-A releases on your PS4 or Xbox One and want something a little different to fill the gap. Maybe you are just too excited about the prospect of a new Smash Bros game this year, like how Hyrule Warriors is shaping up, or are a part of the Bayonetta series’ passionate following. It’s probably a combination of the above. Whatever your motivation, relax. Ignore the vocal haters on the internet – you’ve made a good call. Allow me to step in and help you get the most out of your new console. You may just find yourself surprised by how much enjoyment you can get out of it if you know where to look.


1. Set up the console with two different power points

First things first – the physical console set-up. With your average home console this means finding a single wall socket and a spare HDMI port, but with the Wii U there’s the additional concern of finding another power point for the gamepad’s own charger (plus the sensor bar setup if you’ll be playing Wii Remote-compatible titles). Though this may initially seem like an annoyance that could have been avoided in design, you may actually find that it improves the usability of the Wii U as long as you’re willing to put a bit of effort into initial setup. If you can find a way to plug the charger in next to your lounge/couch/chair/bed rather than near the TV, you’ll rarely ever need to get up and turn on your console/television.

The Best Thing.

This is because during your first boot-up, the Wii U will prompt you to set the gamepad up as a TV remote. Don’t skip this part – it’s actually really fast and it will mean that anytime you want to use your Wii U in the future, all you’ll need to do is take a seat, pick up the gamepad next to you, turn on your TV from the menu there, adjust the input and volume if necessary, then turn on your actual console and get started. When combined with the recent streamlining of the console’s operating system and the new gamepad-based “quick start” menu, you may just find that the Wii U gets you playing the games you want faster and easier than any other dedicated games device you own. And of course, you don’t even need a TV to play most Wii U games, because the vast majority of them support off-TV, gamepad-only play. Just make sure to remember to plug the gamepad into the charger after every use – it’s battery life is quite bad (see the 9th point on this article for more on that).


2. Download that initial update

This may seem obvious to some, but it really is worth stressing. If you’re planning to go out somewhere after you pick up your Wii U, at least do the setup first, because there’s a big day one update coming. While I’m not entirely sure how large the update is on the newest batch of Wii Us, I know it took a couple of hours to download on my launch console, so keep that in mind. While this update is not mandatory, it does enable many of the features I’m about to talk about. Don’t get blindsided by it.

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

We kick off the first Vagrant Rant guest writing week with a guide piece written by ZaonTheFirst, a JRPG afficianado with a taste for the grind. Having played over six hours of the new Monster Hunter myself, I can tell you that the game is hella confusing for newcomers and these tips have already helped me immensely.

—Written by ZaonTheFirst—

—Edited/formatted by Vagrantesque—

So, you’ve just picked up your copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on 3DS or Wii U. You’ve jumped into your first boss monster quest and immediately you think “HOW THE *^@!$ DO I PLAY THIS GAME?!”… If this is you, don’t worry. I used to be like that too… many years ago…

ANYWAY, you’re in luck because because this is a list of tips on “How newcomers can make the most of their Monster Hunter playthrough”.

1. Have the correct mindset.

This is arguably the single most important tip. If you charge into even the lower rank boss monster quests with the God of War, Devil May Cry, generic-hack’n’slash-game mindset, I GUARANTEE you will have a bad time. Unlike the aforementioned games, you’ll be focusing on something a lot more than actually attacking. What is that, you may ask? See below.
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The VR K-Pop Starter’s Guide

So we are now a week and a half into the Year of the Snake (the year in which I was born, incidentally). To celebrate the Lunar New Year I thought I’d post something with an East Asian flavour and I had this in the pipeline for a while, so here goes. Took me way too long to compile, this one.

So you’re aware of this whole K-Pop thing. You’ve seen Gangnam Style a hundred times and maybe you think there’s something you might enjoy in the genre. Perhaps you have a friend who listens to the stuff and you’re interested in what the fuss is about. Or, perchance, you’ve read my own reasoning for being a fan (a guy can dream) and it has piqued your interest. Regardless, you might be wondering where to start. Well, look no further.


Before you read anything else, watch these clips.

Gee – Girls’ Generation

WHY IT’S A BIG DEAL: This 2009 mega-hit was the most viewed K-Pop video on Youtube before PSY decided to riff on the Korean elite. It was partially responsible for the whole phenomenon of easily accessible Youtube K-Pop, plus it was the first K-Pop song to make any significant impact on the Japanese charts (the second-biggest music market in the world, apparently). It established Girls’ Generation (also known as SNSD) as a group at the very forefront of Korean pop music. Suffice to say they haven’t looked back.
LIKE IT? Check out some of Girls’ Generation’s other hits, such as Genie, Run Devil Run and Hoot. If you like the cutesy style of the clip, well, welcome to like a third of all K-Pop. You’ll be right at home.

I am the Best – 2NE1

WHY IT’S A BIG DEAL: Just compare this to the previous video. 2NE1 are K-Pop’s most successful “attitude girls”, going for a look and style that inspired a shift in girl group presentation back when they debuted in 2009. This is their biggest hit thus far, released in 2011, and its meticulously crafted swagger is truly something to behold.
LIKE IT? For more 2NE1 ‘tude, have a look at Fire and Hate You. If you’re after more of this kind of devil-may-care style, head the way of Miss A and GLAM.

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