I’ve needed a new laptop for quite sometime now. I’ve been using my MacBook for 3 years without a problem, but unfortunately it just isn’t up for any real gaming due to the Intel Integrated Graphics Chipset. They suck, they can’t really be described as anything else but sucky! I was very close to purchasing a new MacBook Pro and going all out with the Core i7 processors, however I decided against it last minute and changed my order to an Alienware M11x.
Alienware specislise in gaming machines, both laptops and desktops. The hardcore gamer will most likely say that they are overpriced machines as they are branded, but there’s no denying that the Alienware M11x is something special. Fitting in some high end specs into such a small form factor, which is still portable is quite the feat. Here’s the spec that I’ve gone for:
- Processor: Intel Core i7 640UM (4M Cache, 1.20 GHz)
- Memory: 4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
- Video Card: 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M
- Hard Drive: 250GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
- Microsoft Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
So for a form factor of 11 inches, it’s quite the high end laptop. I look forward to giving it a try with many games on Steam.
I’m a huge fan of the Mass Effect series and have completed both iterations so far. I’m anxiously waiting for the final instalment of the game, but in the mean time to keep me indulged in all things Mass Effect, I’ve been reading the books. I pretty much picked up the first two books (Revelation and then Ascension) when they came out. Revelation takes place prior to the first game, while Ascension takes place between the first and second. Now, Retribution takes place between the second and third.
For those who haven’t read any of the Mass Effect books, it’s not advisable to pick up a book out of order as they don’t directly relate to the characters in the game. They use the setting and general events in the game to tell a semi-independent story, which are pretty continuous between all three books.
So far, I’m fairly early into Retribution, but there are strong links to Mass Effect 2 and the second book, Ascension. It definitely adds an extra dimension to the Mass Effect universe, much like what the Star Wars novels do for its universe. Pretty interesting stuff! And very entertaining for Mass Effect fans too.
Another busy period of time for me, as always, has limited my gaming experiences significantly. However, I do plan to get back into things with Christmas coming up. I’ve got quite the list of games to get through now: BioShock 2, The Saboteur, Fallout: New Vegas and let’s see what else the holiday period brings.
One game that I’ve finally jumped aboard is Plants vs Zombies. Not the PC/Mac version however, but rather the iPhone version. I saw that PopCap had a bit of a sale around Halloween and took advantage of it, snapping up PvZ as well as Angry Birds: Halloween Edition and The Sims. Each of them were 59p, so I couldn’t complain!
I played Angry Birds a bit, and haven’t really touched The Sims, mainly because I’ve been addicted to PvZ. I’m not too much into tower defence type games, however the unique take on PvZ and the great concept makes it highly addictive! For those who aren’t aware, zombies are attacked your home through your front yard and garden, and you have to set up your plants which can attack them to defend your home.
To plant your plants, you have to collect sunflower seeds, which either drop randomly or you can acquire by planting sunflowers. What makes the game fun is that there are a wide variety of flowers that you unlock as you complete levels, and new zombies are introduced as the game goes on making you change your tactics constantly to adapt to the new threat.
It’s a highly addictive game that I’d definitely recommend. Luckily it was on sale when I picked it up, but I have a sneaky feeling that the price may have gone back up now. If you play games on your iPhone or iPod Touch, definitely give PvZ a try!