Steve Burke

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

You know it for being one of the most controversial titles in gaming, you know it for the hot coffee scandal, you even know it for just being a wicked game - and now it's on the PSP.  Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was announced today by Rockstar: Leeds, and is said to be available for the PSP sometime this fall. 

Rockstar Games noted that the game will have new story missions and graphics, but has held back any screenshot evidence of this.  Rockstar, we dare you to release some screenshots!  The developer says Chinatown Wars will be available both on disc and for direct download. Chinatown Wars was the highest-ever rated game on the DS so far, and now it is being ported to a platform that is likely more suited to the fast-paced action the GTA series has come known for.

We've previewed the upcoming game Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, a game where players develop a fantasy kingdom and hire adventurers to defend it.  Complete customization of the kingdom, a strong Guild and Hero system, and plenty o' Dragons n' Giants to slay make this game promising!  See what we had to say about it here!

guildHeroes lay claim to generous bounty to defend your town, dragons lay claim to heroes, and you lay claim to the responsibility of defending your Fantasy Kingdom.  It's the perfect economy, and one that has been proven time and again by successes such as the original Dungeons & Dragons, Stronghold, and other RTS-styled fantasy simulators.  Majesty 2 monopolizes on this system, where players can build towers, smithies, and marketplaces in which distant heroes, who are recruited by your locally established guilds, may come to spend their wealth... and gain fame!

Razer eXactMat X Mousepad

Friday, 19 June 2009

How many gamers can honestly say they have a mousepad worthy of their presence?  I'd wager my reserved copy of StarCraft 2 that more than 70% of you own either a $3 or a $20 pad (apparently a block of foam/gel costs $17).  Brace yourself, and your wallet, because the Razer eXactMat X does not only dominate the letter X, but also the tens and twenties - it's $30.

Contrary to many user reviews, the gel pad logo no longer rubs off
I hunt for gaming gear that will give me an advantage like EA hunts for new companies: Mice, keyboards, surround/3D sound systems, even chairs - but never did I consider a mousepad.  Before Razer's eXactMat X, my only requirements for a mousepad to meet were: must be flat, must have gel pad.  Pretty low-standards.  The eXactMat is made of abrasion-resistant anodized aluminum, lending itself to very accurate mouse movements and extended life.  I've noticed throughout my use that the mousepad even feels cold like the underside of a pillow, so I guess that's an added bonus for those with sweaty hands.  This mat, unlike almost all others, actually has two sides to it, in theory doubling its life, but in practice adding practical gaming surfaces for different types of gamers.  Headshot-maniacs will find interest in the rough-textured and bumpy "Control" side, effectively slowing your mouse down to a more controllable level, but not enough where it worsens swivel and reaction time.  This surface also seems to have polished the teflon feet on my G5 to the point where it slides a bit smoother.  Run-n-Gunners, read on!  eXactMat also comes with a flawlessly smooth "Speed" side, enabling the mouse to glide effortlessly across the surface.  Both sides work exactly as they are advertised, though the control side is a bit easier for aiming, I still recommend the speed side to runners and RTS über micro-ers.

 

The Speed side, without Gel attachment

The Gel Pad for many gamers is a primary concern, as it reduces chance of repeated stress injury, and the eXactMat's gel pad forms to fit your wrist precisely.  Unlike a few non-name brands that we've tested here at GN, Razer's wristrest does not seem to degrade and turn hard (like your inflamed tendons) overtime. Razer sells replacement gel strips for $6, so if it gets torn up you can always replace it. The pad is attached to a strip of rubber, which is placed underneath the mousing surface, making for easy replacement and movement.  Unfortunately, the major downside on the Razer eXactMat X, other than the randomly capitalized letters in its name, is its size.  Get ready to clear some of the soda cans off of your desk, because this wide load wants the room - it's 13" x 10.5".  Yeah, a whole freakin' foot wide, that is some serious real estate.  Once you find the room though, the mousepad is certainly worth it.

That's just the interior packaging - the shipping package is even worse!

I've actually seen an increase in my ability to play games in two aspects: comfortability, letting me frag longer without wrist pains, also I've seen an increase in my micro/K:D (when I decide to play seriously, and turn down Lonely Island's latest album).  No, I'm not saying you'll be OMGFATAL1TY!1! if you buy this pad, I'm just saying it has helped me play better. A good choice for any gamer that is health-conscious, and any gamer who might be looking for a score booster!

The Good:
Finally! A mousing surface that is worthy of the title "Gaming Grade", for a price that isn't too much of a punch. Smooth, efficient, double-sided, comes with gel pad, bears the Razer emblem for your bragging rights - this mousepad is a high-end replacement for your "piece of blue fabric with rubber underneath". It may sound funny, but the mousepad seems to work with the G5 easily, detecting the lazer more accurately than other so-dubbed "lazer-sensative mousepads". Rubber-footing on the bottom prevents the surface from moving while you whip your mouse around the desk in intense situations.

The Bad: $30, and since you will likely have to buy it remotely, add in another $5 or $10 for shipping. Yeah, I paid $10 for shipping. The box was big enough to fit a bike in it. Mousepad is somewhat large in comparison to other pads, but it is worth making room in your gaming arsenal. Too many X's, it feels like we're playing tic-tac-toe. Would you name a mousepad MOuseSpOt O? Seriously, we get it.

Overall: Razer has once again established themselves as a truly unique gaming company, offering more than just mice and keyboards. If you're desperate to move on from your deteriorating surface, or just desperate for a score booster, give the eXactMat X a try.

Bet you didn't know that Gamers Nexus is giving away a Dual-Dual Core, 12GB of RAM behemoth!  That's right, to get our brand new forums pumping with action, we've decided to give you incentive.  This machine has a GTX 285, ECC Memory, and no owner to lay claim... but that can change very quickly.  Want to know how to win?

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