NeowinCAST Gaming - Episode #5

Neowin.net & PowerUser.TV present the NeowinCAST Gamers Edition for the week of February 12th, 2007. This week our panel consists of Todd (LOC) and DirtyLarry (Larry). The guys spend time this go round reviewing several Xbox 360 games, an Xbox Live! Arcade game, and some gaming news thrown in as well. The topics discussed this week include:

  • Call of Duty 3 Review
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas Review (360)
  • Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Review
  • Xbox Live Arcade: Heavy Weapon Review
  • Half-Life 2 Episode 2 delay, Unreal Tournament 3 rumors, the Halo 3 beta, Killzone 2 beta??, and some other stuff
Hopefully you guys will enjoy it, and feel free to leave comments telling us how much we suck. Of course positive comments are welcome as well! The file size is about 50 mb, and the runtime is around 55 minutes.

Download: NeowinCAST Gamers Edition Feb 12th (Right click, save as)

I'd also like to remind you guys, this podcast was put together at the "last" minute so to speak, so audio quality may not be that great. Bangbang and Rob had already done the NeowinCAST News podcast, and as such Bangbang was not available to record this obviously. We will endeavor to improve the audio quality of this podcast as we have done with the News edition over the months. Thank you and enjoy.

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19 Comments

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Enjoyed your podcast. I'm new to neowin but had no idea you would show this much love for the 360. Totally unexpected. I thought you were going to roast those 360 titles. I played all three and liked them very much. Sounds like the Xbox is finally starting to gain some street credit. Thanks again.

Welcome to Neowin!

I wouldn't say we are showing "love" for the 360, just love for some good games. I am a hardcore PC gamer, and when I enjoy a game, I enjoy it regardless what platform it is on.

Not that I'm downing anything, but have you guys paid attention to Call of Duty 3?
It didn't seem like you knew a whole lot on it.
I say this not to insult, but to point out that you guys were questioning the teams. You said that you didn't think the Americans were in the game at first, then the other guy said I thought they were? They were in the game, you go back and forth from the Americans to British to the French Resistance and to the Polish Underground.
And then on multiplayer you said there were just the British and the Americans weren't in there. It is in fact, the other way around. In no point in the MP part of the game, do you become British. If you pay attention to the game models of the characters when you are picking your side and what type of soldier you are, it will clearly be an American soldier. Also the accent on the soldiers when you kill people or throw a grenade out, will clearly indicate an American accent. Just trying to clear that up, I wouldn't have said anything if you guys weren't doing a review.

I like the game, don't get me wrong... But there are some things that makes me just put the game down. One thing you guys didn't really mention, was the lag. It is so obvious there's lag. It makes the game unenjoyable. The sprint is also a nice feature as you guys said, but in 99% of the matches, when you are trying to get to cover, you will most likely die due to the lag. You will be sprinting around a corner, and when you are around it and think you are safe, you will die, because on the other persons screen they killed you. This mixed with the 1-2 shots of an American rifle makes it most unpleasant. I have seen the German side win maybe 1/10 times.
I have found it to be not a problem when I am being a host however (of course) :P

The frame rate also stutters for me. I don't know if it's the display and resolution I'm on (22" widescreen LCD @ 1360x768 via VGA), but it will stutter for me, and will do it during a battle as well. I don't know if other people are having that problem, but it's there for me.

Again, no disrespect to you guys, I enjoyed the show and hope to hear more, but please can you guys go into more depth next time? I noticed that during the R6: Vegas you guys were trying to hurry up... Not that I'm expecting you to explain your quirks that you've had like the one's that I have posted... But atleast get the facts straight.

Oh, and also.. I beat R6: Vegas on Realistic. It get's pretty easy once you get past the first half of the game. You know how to basically read the game, and it becomes very repetetive. Move up, plan really quickly, clear a room, move up, etc..

But yeah, keep up the good work guys! You guys should bring on random people to the show (not sure how you conduct the podcast, via TeamSpeak, phone.. etc.) but if it's do-able it would be cool to see what other people think of the games that you review as well.
*edit* Nevermind, I read LOC's reply above and it said Skype. Then it should easily be do-able.

SillyHalfMexican said,
The frame rate also stutters for me. I don't know if it's the display and resolution I'm on (22" widescreen LCD @ 1360x768 via VGA), but it will stutter for me, and will do it during a battle as well. I don't know if other people are having that problem, but it's there for me.

I've got the PS2 version, and I get frame rate problems aswell. I assumed it was just because the PS2 is obviously less powerful, but it seems it happens on the 360 aswell.

Well like I said in the review itself (unless it was edited out, dunno) I didn't finish the single player portion of the game, and it had been quite awhile since I touched it actually. This podcast was thrown together at the last minute, and trust me if I would have had a few days to go before, I would have played a little of the single player to get more of my bearings when it came to the armies involved. Needless to say as with most games I play, I normally ignore single player and focus on MP portion.

As for the slow down, I saw no slow down whatsoever on my crappy regular res TV, except maybe when there was some major smoke on screen (and by major I mean like 5 or 6 guys throwing smoke nades).

As for the rushing we did, that was my fault. I thought we were WAY WAY over an hour at that point in the show, so I was speeding things up towards the end there. Not that I think a 90 minute show would be horrible for you guys, hell some of you might enjoy a longer show, but an hour seems to be the "magic" point so to speak.

LOC said,
Well like I said in the review itself (unless it was edited out, dunno) I didn't finish the single player portion of the game, and it had been quite awhile since I touched it actually. This podcast was thrown together at the last minute, and trust me if I would have had a few days to go before, I would have played a little of the single player to get more of my bearings when it came to the armies involved. Needless to say as with most games I play, I normally ignore single player and focus on MP portion.

As for the slow down, I saw no slow down whatsoever on my crappy regular res TV, except maybe when there was some major smoke on screen (and by major I mean like 5 or 6 guys throwing smoke nades).

As for the rushing we did, that was my fault. I thought we were WAY WAY over an hour at that point in the show, so I was speeding things up towards the end there. Not that I think a 90 minute show would be horrible for you guys, hell some of you might enjoy a longer show, but an hour seems to be the "magic" point so to speak.

Make it as long as you wish really, it wouldn't bother me in any way. Only thing you guys have to question is, size quality and bandwidth. If that isn't an issue for you guys, go for it! :P The quality of the audio was fine also. You probably could have brought the bitrate down to 96 or something as well, it would have still sounded fine for just audio.

I noticed that the frame rate stutter did go away on a regular TV. But once it went past 720p it stuttered at times. Don't know if it's my XBox or what. Could Larry perhaps comment on this as well? I haven't really heard from people if the frame rate on the 360 version stutters for them as well.

SillyHalfMexican said,
I noticed that the frame rate stutter did go away on a regular TV. But once it went past 720p it stuttered at times. Don't know if it's my XBox or what. Could Larry perhaps comment on this as well? I haven't really heard from people if the frame rate on the 360 version stutters for them as well.

Honestly, no frame rate issues at all on my end, and I played the game at 720P on a Samsung 40" LCD TV. It may have slowed down with some really, really, really intense scenes, but nothing I ever thought to myself this is an issue.

And I admit, we had a little confusion there with the American Army, and I tried to clear it up. This was my first official podcast, and I was nervous as silly as it may sound, so I was focusing more on saying things correctly than anything else, and it was an issue. If you notice I say the thing about the American forces definitely being part of the campaign at least 20 seconds after he said it, as it just kind of "registered" with me. LOL

In regards to the lag online. I truly have never, ever have seen it. Believe me if I did, I would have pointed it out in a heartbeat. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer saying I pay my ISP extra per month for their best package of 30 Down and 4 UP, so that definitely could be a factor in online play for myself.

Believe me if I saw issues with lag or frame rate, I would be the first person to point it out. I pull no punches on the forums, and I would not do so on the Podcast either. If something is an issue, I will gladly point it out and take pleasure in doing so.

And I was the one who did the Editing with the Audio. Since it was Skype and we used a program that recorded it through Skype and it was my first time using both Apps, I did it all on my Windows Comp, problem is I am mainly a Mac person. So this was a learning experience so to speak as although I am familiar with the Audio Editing software I was doing it on a Windows Computer, so as times goes on there are plenty of things that can be fine tuned. Like as you said, I agree the bitrate next time could be taken down.

Thanks for all the feedback though man. It is without a doubt definitely appreciated.

DirtyLarry said,

Honestly, no frame rate issues at all on my end, and I played the game at 720P on a Samsung 40" LCD TV. It may have slowed down with some really, really, really intense scenes, but nothing I ever thought to myself this is an issue.

And I admit, we had a little confusion there with the American Army, and I tried to clear it up. This was my first official podcast, and I was nervous as silly as it may sound, so I was focusing more on saying things correctly than anything else, and it was an issue. If you notice I say the thing about the American forces definitely being part of the campaign at least 20 seconds after he said it, as it just kind of "registered" with me. LOL

In regards to the lag online. I truly have never, ever have seen it. Believe me if I did, I would have pointed it out in a heartbeat. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer saying I pay my ISP extra per month for their best package of 30 Down and 4 UP, so that definitely could be a factor in online play for myself.

Believe me if I saw issues with lag or frame rate, I would be the first person to point it out. I pull no punches on the forums, and I would not do so on the Podcast either. If something is an issue, I will gladly point it out and take pleasure in doing so.

And I was the one who did the Editing with the Audio. Since it was Skype and we used a program that recorded it through Skype and it was my first time using both Apps, I did it all on my Windows Comp, problem is I am mainly a Mac person. So this was a learning experience so to speak as although I am familiar with the Audio Editing software I was doing it on a Windows Computer, so as times goes on there are plenty of things that can be fine tuned. Like as you said, I agree the bitrate next time could be taken down.

Thanks for all the feedback though man. It is without a doubt definitely appreciated.

Well I do recall playing the game on my brother in laws 50" tv @ 1080i, and it did seem to run smooth.
It might just be because it's at an odd resolution through vga or something. Who knows. But when I basically turn around in the game it seemed to have dropped down to 0 FPS for a split second. And it also stuttered from time to time.

The lag issue could be because I have Comcast and it doesn't have the best speeds. You could be defaulting to the host most of the time, I don't know how the game determines who the host is...

And yeah I do recall you saying that the Americans are in there.
Oh well, atleast that's taken care of lol. Pretty lengthy discussion on Call of Duty 3.

I don't mean to be a nag though, hopefully it will improve future podcasts as well.
And also, like I suggested, it would be also a neat feature to hear opinions from other experienced gamers. After listening to the podcast, I came to the conclusion that you guys are also PC gamers (it's my main gaming platform as well) and have issues with the controllers. It would be interesting to hear from the console guys as well. Because it seemed that you guys had a lot of issues with R6 Vegas on the "Normal" mode. I didn't have as many issues with it as you guys might have had. I'm not the best controller guy, I definately prefer a kb/mouse as well. So for others who are console only, they probably didn't have the issues as you guys did. I definately feel your frustration for Vegas. When I was trying to beat some of those missions on "Realistic" (such a joke for "realistic") I would just sit there and get frustrated as hell on some of the missions. I know there was a mission at a Dam where you had to protect the one guy while he was trying to stop the Dam from falling apart. I did that mission so many times, I sat there for 45 minutes trying to beat just that one part (I was late for class because of it lol). I eventually beat it and did the same for other parts of the game as well.

A lot of people don't like how I view a lot of games though, they think I rate the game too high and have too high of expectations. I always find something wrong with a game as well. No game is perfect, and don't be afraid to point them out. Some people might find your issue non-existant. Others might share the same opinion with you. You can't please them all.

The audio wasn't bad at all really, I had no issues understanding what was being said or anything, so because of that, you could bring the bitrate down a bit to save on bandwidth and such.

Again, sorry if I'm coming off as a nag. I just wanted to point some things out and hopefully improve upon things.

#4.1 Posted by LOC on 11 Feb 2007 - 10:57
Sigh, don't ask.

You guys will get a present today or Monday though

:eek: I knew you wouldn't let us down Todd

LOL bring on the realistic mode once i can play RS: vegas on PS3 rofl

Just quick Q do either of you guys have a ps3 or have one on your to buy list ? or any of them that will be able to do in depth reviews over podcast ?

It is definitely on my To Buy list one of these days. If it appears one of those days is actually much later than sooner, I am hoping we can get someone on staff who does have one to participate.
Believe me, I would have loved to do a review of Resistance.

DirtyLarry said,
It is definitely on my To Buy list one of these days. If it appears one of those days is actually much later than sooner, I am hoping we can get someone on staff who does have one to participate.
Believe me, I would have loved to do a review of Resistance. :)

ah yeah cool would just be good to get in depth reviews like in that one you did with 360 with ps3.

Thanks guys, hope you like it. I know the audio isn't so hot, but we are talking about two guys on Skype here, and for some reason I've had more problems with my X-Fi than I ever had with any other soundcard. GG Creative.