GWJ Conference Call Episode Eleven

Conference Call

Assault Heroes, Madden Wii, Pirates Online, Elysium Hates The Wii, Our Best Personal Gaming Moments of 2006 and more!

In our last show of 2006, we dig deep into our memories and find our favorite game-related moments of 2006. Elysium dislikes the Wii, dislikes Christmas, yet still likes Final Fantasy XII. Go figure! Thread of the Week, your emails, some delightful instrumental Christmas music and more!

If anyone would like to submit some original music for the show, read on for a link to contact us! Also read on for show notes.

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

The Links
Assault Heroes
Pirates Online
Madden Wii
Tritton AX360 Headset

Thread of the Week: What Publishers Do You Respect? (Parallax Abstraction)

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" - Six String Christmas - www.feelslikechristmas.com - 0:21:06
"Carol of the Bells" - Jennifer Haines - Christmas Magic - www.feelslikechristmas.com - 0:44:06
"Carol of the Bells" - Jennifer Haines - Christmas Magic - www.feelslikechristmas.com - 0:55:48
"Deck The Halls" - John Morgan - Seasonings - www.feelslikechristmas.com - 1:01:42

Comments

Elysium hates the Wii? That's it. The terrorists win.

Tritton AX360

Did I mention they ROCK.

When you hate the Wii, a little white puppy dies in the jaws of a woodchipper.

Did I mention they ROCK.

I haven't gotten that far yet. Anything that drowns out the voices in my head is good by me though.

I agree that Sean Bean is a detriment to Oblivion. If they hadn't spent a zillion dollars to hire him, that horse armor would be free.

Good show. I like the music selection...

Speaking of 5.1 Headsets... are there any good wireless 5.1 headsets?

LobsterMobster wrote:

I agree that Patrick Stewart is a detriment to Oblivion. If they hadn't spent a zillion dollars to hire him, that horse armor would be free.

Fixed.

rabbit wrote:

Tritton AX360

Did I mention they ROCK.

Bought. They should be here in time for Luna to use them in your fancy Gears tournament. You can thank me when she chainsaws the dude that was sneaking up behind you.

I'll echo Certis on the moment you step out of the sewers in Oblivion. That was definitely a highlight of the year for me. Also: Bought a new television, so that's pretty swell. Then I got Gears of War, which blew my mind. Good year all around I think.

zeroKFE wrote:
rabbit wrote:

Tritton AX360

Did I mention they ROCK.

Bought. They should be here in time for Luna to use them in your fancy Gears tournament. You can thank me when she chainsaws the dude was sneaking up behind you.

Thanks, babe! You rock.

Thanks, babe! You rock.

Shhh ... not in front of Zero.

I finally got the button done up so those of you without itunes, the desire to futz with RSS feeds or download can listen to the show through your browser. Who needs work?

lunabean wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:
rabbit wrote:

Tritton AX360

Did I mention they ROCK.

Bought. They should be here in time for Luna to use them in your fancy Gears tournament. You can thank me when she chainsaws the dude was sneaking up behind you.

Thanks, babe! You rock.

The Lunatics are gonna rock!

I hope you like 'em as much as I do.

There are wireless 5.1s from Pioneer. They are something like 400 bucks and don't have a mic.

Bah, we're not afraid of a few wires. Even if they weren't 5.1 and were just an integrated headphone/headset that plugs directly into the 360's audio out, they would still be an improvement over the current setup she uses. Basically, we have a pair of large can headphones that she wears half over the headset, so she really only gets audio from the game on one side, which is not in any way, shape or form optimal. The fact that they provide a surround sound experience is icing on an already delicious cake.

Edit: Oh, I just thought of a somewhat important question: does it have a switch to mute the mic, or otherwise stop the transmission of voice while still recieving voice from other players?

Nope, no mute, I just flip it up over my head and as far as I can see, i can talk on the phoen or whatever and it doesn't pick it up enough to trigger the mic.

rabbit wrote:

Tritton AX360

rabbit wrote:

There are wireless 5.1s from Pioneer. They are something like 400 bucks and don't have a mic.

I have Sony's wireless headset and love the sound but they have no mic. It's not true 5.1 sound and did cost like 350 bucks for the MDR-DS5100 series off of eBay but they do work very well. The cost is high because of the high end audio possessor that comes with it. The closes I can find right now are the Sony MDR-DS3000 Infrared Wireless Digital Surround Headphones

on amazon.com for 164.00 which look like they would sound about the same just have less extra's to plug into.

I tried the turtle beach wired Ear Force AXT headphones that plug into your Stereo inputs.It has a converter that is creating simulated surround sound but they sound hollow and very fake.Turtle Beach Ear Force AXT

Then last week I did try the ONLY other headset with a mic, the Tritton AX360's and I couldn't get the sound right because of all the speaks in the headset all had different volumes for each one. I played with the settings for about an hour but got frustrated with how different each little change made to the sound and took them back. They are a step in the right direction but I rather use my Sony wireless ones with less fuss.

I'm going to try and order another pair of my Sony headphones this week because the ear piece cushions are wore out from 5 years of use. I can hear where a person is coming from and even with my Xbox mic in one side. I use the balance on the head phones to equal out the sound and that only takes a second. The battery life is about 30 to 40 hours on 2 AA batteries which is great. The only down side is no mic so as long as I don't play more then 6 hours straight the xbox mic pressure on my ear doesn't hurt to bad.

They do have cheaper ones like the Sony gaming headset MDR-DS1000 for 130.00 from sony's website but they have a cord and it looks like a cheaper audio possessor.
Corded Gaming MDR-DS1000

They have a wide slection on Sony's site for cordless and corded headsets.

Today my toilet sang to me. It cried for blood. Sabbath blood. Certis blood.

When is the toss?

I'd say Christmas Eve toilet toss, but I'm sure our numbers would be thin...

Embarassing disclosure: I still haven't played anything competitively on Live. I have a good feeling that if I join up in this game, I'll get "sawdomized" repeatedly. Thus I say go for Christmas Eve, because I'll be busy with family and not tempted to play.

Obscure Looney Tunes reference, for the win!

Rat Boy wrote:

Obscure Looney Tunes reference, for the win!

Back in the day, my "secret potion" was labeled "Old No. 7". These days it might be more of "add attribute bonus to luck" or, otherwise, the "luck" feat for scoundrels in d20 Star Wars. ...And I don't play tabletops anymore. :\

I hadn't heard anyone mention Pirates of the Burning Sea in a long time. For a second there I thought you were saying it's out and you'd played it. I wonder what's up PotBS these days.

Another great show guys.

In the gaming moments category, I'll second finally kicking Guitar Hero (though my personal bane was Bark at the Moon).

Having my kids go over to the Crypt (what they call my CD rack) and start digging through it looking for some of the songs after playing them so they could listen was a close second, though. Anything that makes a teenager appreciate B.B. King is FTW.

Runners Up:

-- Watching one of my daughters stat-max until she could finally beat Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts II with no input from me and earn her own playing of the secret trailer for the next one. She'd already seen it on my game, but she just had to earn it for herself. They grow up so fast.

-- Watching my other daughter whomp the holy living you-guessed-it out of her boyfriend and his best friend playing Naruto right out of the box. Then when the scorched ego got too bad, they switched to Soul Caliber II and she did it again. He's still her boyfriend, but the best friend won't talk to her anymore.

-- Going out to the prize car at PAX when my younger son was playing Halo with another guy in the back seat and when he got in a tight spot he got a tank and handed me the controller to help him out in front of a bunch of people. Huge cred points for me, and for him with the other Enforcer who was his opponent. Or I should say, with the drifting cloud of tank round debris that was the representation of the Enforcer one shot later. He had Robert ceremoniously announce over the Enforcer radio network that I'm no longer allowed in the tank. I didn't touch the game for two weeks after that. After burning kharma like that it didn't seem prudent. I figured I'd probably shoot myself in the foot with the Brute Shot or run myself over repeatedly or something.

-- The boys and I working our way up that train last night on Extreme. Grubs were splattered, and we were victorious.

Braehole wrote:

Lot's of good stuff about headsets.

There's no question there's a significant "dialing in" process with the AX. It requires setting the volume right on the box (pretty high) and then twiddling the controlls. I found that the best sound was when the "right" volume for the cord controls was about 4-5 and then adjusted the box volume to make it all nice. I found what are essentially the right settings for me for center, rear and bass, and basically never touch them, and just tweak the volume of the fronts (where most of the sound is normally) for things that are quieter/softer.

Very nice music selection this time around, guys.

And, as always, good show and nice banter.

I still miss the GWJ Radio, though. And what happened to Escapist Radio? It's dead.

momgamer wrote:

Memories about kids and gaming.

Those are awesome, momgamer.

Great show, guys. A very nice trip down memory lane. And those Triton headphones are very tempting...I did not need to hear that review.

Stylez wrote:

I'd say Christmas Eve toilet toss, but I'm sure our numbers would be thin...

I'm down for some toilet tossing - but who am I kidding, I probably won't be doing any tossing. I think the family is doing Christmas dinner on the eve, but I should be able to make it, albeit a bit late.

Yeah I don't think Toilet Toss on the Eve is something I can do. We usually have a big family get together that lasts all night.

I could definitely get into some Toilet Toss action soon though.

Gaald wrote:

Yeah I don't think Toilet Toss on the Eve is something I can do. We usually have a big family get together that lasts all night.

I could definitely get into some Toilet Toss action soon though.

First Sunday after the holidays are over? That work for everyone?

New Year's Eve, or the first Sunday in January?

rabbit wrote:
Braehole wrote:

Lot's of good stuff about headsets.

There's no question there's a significant "dialing in" process with the AX. It requires setting the volume right on the box (pretty high) and then twiddling the controlls. I found that the best sound was when the "right" volume for the cord controls was about 4-5 and then adjusted the box volume to make it all nice. I found what are essentially the right settings for me for center, rear and bass, and basically never touch them, and just tweak the volume of the fronts (where most of the sound is normally) for things that are quieter/softer.

I'm this close (imagine me holding two fingers really close together) to ordering a set but I'm really wondering about frequency response. They certainly look high quality in the images but I can't help but worry about sound quality from a company I've never heard of before. Do they compete well with a mid-range set of Sennheiser/AKG/BeyerDynamic headphones? Or perhaps a better question would be have you ever used a nice set of headphones from any of those companies before so you can make a direct comparison?

My worry comes from this comment from a review:

Just like the majority of headphone sets, the bass reproduction of the Tritton AX360 Surround Sound Headphones is a bit underwhelming. Even with the DRC activated, it's hard to replicate those low frequencies with the same 30mm driver used for the rest of the channels.

I'd love to have a nice night-time solution that would still allow me to hear the game and chat too. I've tried cramming the Live headset in under my headphones before but that's just about the most insanely uncomfortable solution possible. My ear hurts after about thirty seconds. I considered picking up an Etymotic Research Ety-Com cellphone headset that uses an in-ear monitor instead of the usual ear clip or whatever but it would still result in the mic part being uncomfortably pinned to the side of my face. That and I'm completely unsure if it would work with the 360 controller. I know a lot of people had success using cellphone headsets to replace broken live headsets with the original Xbox but I haven't been able to find much about whether or not that's still a potential solution.

Right now I turn on Dynamic Range compression on my receiver and while it does quiet things down while keeping most game sounds audible it makes picking out positional audio almost impossible. The AX360 headset certainly seems like the perfect solution to me but I've become a teeny bit of an audio snob ever since I picked up my Senneheiser HD-280 Pro's for my computer and a set of Sennheiser CX300 earbuds for my mp3 player. I did try using the CX300's once and just having them in and then using the Live headset on top of them. The problem with that is the earbuds are designed to block at least a fair amount of outside noise. The end result is that it becomes far too hard to hear people speaking in the headset over the game sound. It was at least comfortable that way, it just wasn't a practical solution to the problem.

If I were to buy these things for the very high asking price of $130 ($99 at Tigerdirect with a rebate though) I really wouldn't be happy if the sound was anything less than excellent.

And one last important question: How long is the fiber-optic cable that comes with the headset? It would need to be at least 10 to 12ft long for me to be comfortable running it to the back of my 360. Any less and it might be pulled taught, eventually causing a short right near the connector that's plugged into the back of the cable on the system itself. None of the reviews I found showed pictures of the package contents so it's hard to get an idea just how much flexibility they give you with what's in there. Does the little blue box just sit in the entertainment center and you use a reguler headphone cable from that? Any kind of enlightenment on just exactly how it's setup once you get everything hooked up and ready to go would be great.

I'm with Thin_J on that question about how long the fiber optic cable is. I'm in need of the 10-12 length here. Also I, um... I have a huge head. Are the
AX360s both spacious and roomy?