The Xbox 720?

By Published June 26, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Project Phoenix, Microsoft's anti-PS3 weapon?  

Microsoft became king of cliche when they discovered the letter X, dubbing their square BOX the X-Box, and they're at it again with Project Phoenix.

Empire: Total War DLC Out - Pay Up!

By Published June 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm

SEGA has jumped aboard Microsoft's golden money-for-DLC bandwagon, and they extend their hand to you for cash.  Empire: Total War, a game that has a solid count of fundamental flaws that have the ability to 'borify' a game, has finally come out with Downloadable Content. 

Battlefield Heroes Preview

By Published June 23, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Article contributed to GN by "Tiberius"

Are you tired of the REAL LIFE Battlefield Games? Tired of all those dolphin-diving, over-proning noobs all over Wake Island? Or just in general the blatant remakes other Battlefield Games? I know I was - and thanks to my trusty friend, Google, I discovered the cartoony Battlefield Heroes.

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.

Majesty 2: Fantasy Kingdom Sim Preview

By Published June 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm
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!

Majesty 2: Fantasy Kingdom Sim Preview

By Published June 21, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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!

June, 09 - Budget Gamer PC - $474

By Published June 19, 2009 at 11:39 pm

The grossly expensive Monthly Monster for this month might as well have been solid gold. We decided that gamers need a good selection of gaming rigs, thus we have created the $474 Budget Gamer PC.  GN Staff was given a $500 budget to build the opposite end of the spectrum, a budget gamer's dream machine.  We did it with $26 to spare!  Check it out, and then replace your rusting, dusting crapbox with it!

The Macro:


ASUS M3A76-CM Motherboard
nVidia 8800GTS (G92) 512MB
AMD Athlon X2 7850 2.8GHz Black Edition Kuma CPU
OCZ Platinum 4GB DDR 1066 (PC2 8500) Memory
Raidmax Hybrid 530W PSU


Sony Optiarc 24x CD/DVD Burner
Western Digital Caviar 320GB 7200RPM HDD


Raidmax Tornado Mid-Tower Case

The Micro:


ASUS M3A76-CM Motherboard Link


With this budget build, we went for a motherboard that had the bare essentials: PCI-Express 2.0 (1), PCI-Express x8, plenty of USB, dual or quad core support, room for up to 8gb of DDR2 1066, onboard audio, and enough SATA ports to hook up multiple drives if there is a need for more gigs later. ASUS delivered all of this to us for a generous $65, earning this motherboard a spot on our budget build.

Video Card:

Nvidia 8800 GTS 512MB (G92) Link

$110 - $20 Rebate

This card, while dubbed to be part of the 8 series, sports the same core as nVidia's 9 series, turning the 8800 GTS card into a beastly competitor in the budget market. This card will be able to run any game you throw at it with the highest or high graphics settings (I am looking at you, Crysis). All this at a reasonable $110 means the 8800 wins the best choice for budget gamers award once again.


AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz Link


Intel is putting up a fierce fight, and since competition is such a compelling force, AMD has renewed their price-reduction strategy for many products, allowing gamers access to speedy and reliable CPUs and GPUs at stellar prices. This dual core shows its swagga with a bling-worthy 2.8GHz - before overclocking - and can be bumped up a few notches thanks to it being the black edition processor.  Boasting a 2 x 512KB L2 Cache and a 2MB L3 Cache, this processor will perform admirably in any games you currently own for a low $70.


OCZ Platinum 4GB DDR2 1066 PC2 8500 Link


No true gaming computer is complete without a minimum of 4GBs of RAM, so we threw in this OCZ RAM running at 1066 MHz with cas timings of 5-5-5-18 AND platinum heatspreaders to keep your cooling factor up at a cost of $55.


Power Supply:

Raidmax Hybrid 530W PSU Link

$55 - $15 Rebate

Good brand, good power, good price. GET IT!

Optical drive:

Sony Optiarc DVD/CD burner Link




With standard and above par speeds this drive made our build instantly. The speeds are listed below.

Write: DVD+R 24x, DVD+RW 8x, DVD-R 24x, DVD-RW 6x, CD-r 48x, CD-RW 32x, DVD+R DL 12x, DVD-R DL 12x, DVD-RAM 12x
Read: DVD-ROM 16x, CD-ROM 48x

Hard Drive:

Western Digital Caviar 320GB 7200 RPM HDD Link




A 320GB capacity will handle all the games a budget gamer needs to worry about, and it still retains a strong operating speed of 7200 RPM.  For the price of $50, this HDD easily beats out the competition to make it onto our budget build.


Raidmax Tornado Midtower Case Link

$40 - $10 Rebate

Rocking a pair of USB 2.0 slots, two 80mm fans, and one 120mm fan, this case will keep your computer running cool and quick without putting a lot of heat on your wallet for $40.

Grand Total:

A strong CPU, RAM, and GPU mean you will be owning at a high FPS for a low cost.  We highly recommend this build for anybody looking to upgrade an older machine for cheap, or at all for that matter.  Have a higher budget?  Stick around for our upcoming Hardcore Gamer build, featuring all the hottest equipment for about $1500.

Comment on the rig below or in the forums!

Like the Budget Gaming Rig?  Buy it directly from our public wishlist here: 


~Brant "Bob" Armstrong

Razer eXactMat X Mousepad

By Published June 19, 2009 at 12:40 am

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.

Why drop $1500 on a crisp gaming rig when you can get something for 1/3 the price and similar power? This machine will last gamers a minimum of two years, and after that, you can always drop another 6GB of memory on it and a new GPU.

I hate this game sometimes...

By Published June 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm

It was a lovely day, I had been playing with some friends some CoD 4. The map was Creek, and as I didn't really know how to play that map, I followed a friend. After getting sniped, knifed, and T-bagged numerous times, I saw somebody in a house atop a hill.  Being the rager that I am, I said, "ZOMG, KILLLLL!!!1!"

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