Games With Gold August 2017 – What’s Free For Gold Members

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Here is the list of free games available on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One to Gold Members only, for the month of August. Don’t forget you can save lots of money on Xbox Live Gold Membership and Microsoft credit here

On Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold members can download Slime Rancher for free during the month of August. Trials Fusion will be available as a free download from August 16th to September 15th.

On Xbox 360, starting August 1st, Bayonetta will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through August 15th. Then on August 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Red Faction: Armageddon for free through August 31st.

SOURCE : MAJOR NELSON

Frugal Gaming Tecknet PS4 Compatible Bluetooth Keyboard Video Review

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NoScope Hydra Gaming Glasses Review

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As gamers, we have a pretty bad reputation for sitting in front of the goggle-box for lengthy periods of time, immersed in our make-believe worlds, rescuing princesses and tea-bagging noobs. There are several things that can ruin this wonderful experience, including eyestrain, dry eyes and headaches. I personally suffer from these issues and would welcome something to alleviate the problem.

Maybe NoScope can save the day.

NoScope have brought to market a range of gaming glasses designed to improve your clarity of vision and reduce eyestrain and fatigue. They are also focused on value for money and the prices of these products are pretty appealing.

There a currently 3 models available in the NoScope range, all of which are non-prescription. I was sent the Hydra and Orion models and chose to review the Hyrda model as they were the best fitting pair for my giant melon. Prices start from $19.99 per pair or you can pick up the Hat-trick Bundle that includes all 3 models for just $59.99. All designs include a leather carrying pouch and a microfiber cleaning cloth at no extra cost.

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First impressions

I chose the Hydra glasses as they were the perfect fit for me and I really liked the style. The traditional Aviator style of the Orion makes them “Bang on Trend” especially if you want to look like a 70’s porn star. Both pairs look very nice, but the Hydra are far more sturdy and feel much better than the Orion in terms of build quality.

On close inspection, the Hydra did have several imperfections in the lenses and a few of them fell within my direct field of vision. These were noticeable whilst wearing them and caused me some annoyance. These weren’t scratches, they were flaws within the lens that really should have been noticed during the quality control process.

Getting my game on

I used the Hydra Gaming Glasses for about 25 hours in total and the longest single session was 4 hours. They felt extremely comfortable and fitted perfectly thanks to the design of the sprung mounted sides. What was uncomfortable was the way they made the TV screen appear. Due to the colour of the tinted lenses the screen appeared to have a yellow tinge that was really annoying. We spend lot’s of money on TV’s that try to produce a crystal clear, true to life display, so having that spoiled by a yellow tint was very disappointing.

The problems didn’t stop there. I encountered a lot of reflections on the back of the lenses and this really affected my concentration. One of the big problems with this model is that the nose-pad arms have a bulky design made of polished metal which caused light to be reflected back on to the lens. In some lighting conditions this was so prevalent it was near impossible to focus on the screen without getting distracted.

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I had to resort to closing all the curtains and gaming in total darkness in order to eliminate this problem and even that didn’t work 100%. However I persevered and hoped that the issues with the lens colour and reflections would become less noticeable after time, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

Personally whilst wearing these I found no increase in clarity and no reduction in eyestrain or fatigue. The annoyance they caused me far outweighed the benefits and I personally wouldn’t wear them again. They look great and are very comfortable in terms of the way they fit, but visually I gained nothing from wearing them.

I’m not saying these don’t work for everyone, they just didn’t work for me. NoScope has a great reputation and there are loads of positive reviews out there from people that loved them, but sadly this won’t be one of them.

Oort Online – Frugal Gaming First Look

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Oort Online could be the best thing to use Voxels since Minecraft, maybe even better.  There are so many block building games out there now, we’ve covered a couple here on Frugal, and to be quite honest most of them are absolute pants. I’m convinced that Oort might be something different, something better, and before you stop reading thinking it’s just another clone of the hugely successful Swedish export, just have a look at the trailer below.

First up it looks absolutely beautiful, where other developers are happy just to use plain old simple blocks, Wonderstruck are really pushing to make Oort a real stand out visually.  Having had the chance to go hands on with the game, currently played through my web browser, I was absolutely awestruck at how good Oort looks in action.

One of the biggest draws, for me at least is how easy is it to experience all the different worlds currently available in the early build of Oort.  Not having to put in server numbers or ip addresses, if you find a portal, just walk through it and you’re there.  Peering through these magical portals and seeing a living world on the other side is quite magical.  You can be standing in the sun on a woodland hillside, and right in front of you is a snowy mountain range, just step through and you’re there, no waiting, no loading times, and no messing about trying to log onto a different server.

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I’ve spent hours over the last couple of weeks exploring the strange lands and discovering what other players have been building.  It’s a truly immersive experience and the list of features the developers plan to add has got me rather excited for what Oort will end up becoming if funding allows.

Having decided to forgo Kickstarter, the Wonderstruck guys are self funding via their own website.  With no arbitrary goals to reach, the money pledged it already going to good use.  As the total increases so do different aspects of the game that the team will be able to develop.  At the moment Oort is hovering just over $80,000 and that covers the base game with multiple worlds, building and mining and also weapons and combat mechanics.  The next target met will add crafting mechanics and a recipe system.  A nice feature is that backers will be able to vote on the next feature to be unlocked for funding, it’s a much more organic, community focused and open way of developing games and I like it.

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$15 will get you a digital key for the game at launch, $25 and you’ll be able to jump onboard with the beta when it launches.  There are loads of Youtube vids out in the wild covering Oort and the devs have started doing regular streams via twitch if you want to find out more. Lots of crowd funded games ask for cash before having anything to really show, Oort on the other hand is playable right now if you back at a specific level.

Not everyone feels comfortable with the whole crowd funding scene, but there are more ways than splashing the cash to support Oort Online if you like the look of it.  Oort has flown through the Steam Greenlight process in pretty much record time.  In just 5 days it had enough community support and it’s now definitely going to be releasing via Steam. Even though the Greenlight Campaign is over you can still check out and follow the page and it’s a great way of showing support and also keeping an eye on Oort as it develops.

I was lucky enough to be given access to Oort to help with this preview, but I’ve still pledge at beta access level, thats how much I believe that Oort is going to be something rather magical.  As with all early access games, I’ll be doing a more in depth preview when the beta launches and a full review upon release.

Oort Online can be found HERE

The Steam Green Light Campaign HERE

 

Frugal Gaming Scroogecast Episode 17 – Strain & Rinse [Eplicit]

Show Details

Daz and Lee return for a record seventeenth show, shaking off the dreaded curse of the sixteenth show. This week we talk about what we’ve been playing as well as bringing you the latest gaming news. Frugal With The Truth also makes a surprise return, with another selection of filthy tales from Daz.

Reviews and Ratings

Please help by leaving us an iTunes review and rating as this really helps to promote the show to new listeners

As usual, adult content and strong language from the very start!!

Show Links

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UglyGeezer Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/uglygeezer

Contact us : podcast@frugalgaming.com

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Youtube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohf-edp05kM

 

Hearthstone Preview

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment
PC

Here we go then; one of the most talked about titles in PC gaming has finally hit the open beta stage, so it’s time for everyone who hasn’t played it yet to stop waiting for access keys and start slinging fireballs and dropping Leper Gnomes with wild abandon.

For the as-yet uninitiated, Blizzard’s Hearthstone is a Collectible Card Game or CCG, bearing some similarities to that classic of the genre, Magic: The Gathering – a game which has transcended its roots in sweaty gaming clubs to make it a highly popular game across various gaming platforms.
You choose a hero and build a ‘deck’ of virtual cards with which to do battle against either AI or other players on your server.

Hearthstone is a turn-based game where you select from your hand of cards and try to whittle down your opponents life-counter to zero, thereby winning the game. Your only limitations are the cards in your deck and the mana pool (points to spend on playing cards) available to you. It is an intense game of strategy and counter play, with a nice dollop of randomness and luck that you need to learn to get on your side. Many forums ring with praise for the RNGesus – the god of the random number generator, and those who bemoan when he has turned away from them at the crucial moment.

So far then, so like many other CCGs out there. So what sets this apart from Magic, Scrolls and the rest?

Well for a start it comes from the mighty PC gaming juggernaut that is Blizzard Entertainment, home of the best-selling MMO, World of Warcraft and eSports colossus Startcraft 2. Hearthstone draws on the characters that are familiar to Warcraft players to populate its world and therefore comes with a strong personality right out of the gate – but that’s not all that it has to entice new players.

Hearthstone’s real strength lies in the immediacy of its gameplay and the power of its assets to grab the curious. Every card dropped onto the field comes complete with its own catchphrase and effects. Similarly, the heroes are all well-voiced and characterful, drawing players in and getting them to invest in what otherwise could have been a rather dry gameplay experience. Add this to the usually fast-paced nature of the turn taking and the rather glorious and visceral nature of the simple animations and you have a game where most people who see it in action think, ‘I’d like to play that.’

Blizzard pulled off a bit of a coup by releasing Hearthsone at the best price point available – free to play. This means that if you are interested in checking out their game there is literally no barrier to entry besides signing up for a battle.net account and having a functioning PC. Of course, being a collectible card game, the is the option there for you to buy packs of cards with hope of improving your deck, but with a bit of luck and some time spent playing you can build a decent deck from just spending currency earned in-game.

I honestly surprised myself after a couple of weeks playing that I put my hand in my pocket to buy a few packs of cards. I am the last person usually to buy into ‘freemium’ models for gaming, but Hearthstone manages to make the whole experience so enjoyable that I felt it was definitely worth supporting the developer and handing back some cash for all the hours of enjoyment that I had already.

And hours of enjoyment is right! There are two main play modes, the first being online play with constructed decks that you have worked on over time. This can be in either casual or ranked mode where you play against people of equal skill level to yourself and hopefully move up the ranks over time. The second main mode is the Arena. The Arena mode differs by seeing you use a deck that you have drafted for that particular play session. You choose a hero and then are given 30 sets of three cards, picking your most favoured one each time to build a deck with. Then you enter into the arena, playing against other people’s drafted decks who have the same number of wins as you from that particular run. Your session ends at either 12 victories or 3 defeats, which comes soonest. At the end of your Arena run, you are given a set of rewards which could be either gold, ‘dust’ (for crafting specific cards) or cards. It’s hugely addicting as the vast number of Hearthstone Arena videos on YouTube and streams on Twitch.tv will attest.

OK, so that’s the praise and as effusive as it was, there is room for some complaints – although this part of the review needs the caveat that Hearthstone is still in Beta and is being regularly patched and updated. Firstly, the game suffers with some game breaking bugs on occasion. These come in the form of graphical glitches, cards overlapping and cards swapping position on the board. Although this sounds minor, in a game where strategy is everything, a random piece of misplacement on the behalf of the game engine can be hugely frustrating – especially if it ends your arena run. Secondly, there are some semi-frequent issues with accessing the servers which can prevent you from playing the game completely. Worse, on occasion the game will disconnect you from the server due to an issue at their end which results in a loss for you – again, less than ideal. Finally, although I would not call this game pay to win, it can feel a pretty unfair for newer players to see their plans destroyed by players who have ‘legendary’ (rare and powerful) cards in their deck. With experience you will discover that these cards are not necessary to win, but can feel like an unfair advantage when you begin.

Having said all that, if you can remember you’re getting into a game that is still in Beta and is steadily being improved, I can heartily recommend that you check out Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft right now. Oh, look – here’s a helpful link to help you do just that:

http://eu.battle.net/en/int

[hr]

Reviewer: karlosmorale

Score – 7/10 (will rise when Beta issues are resolved)
Out Now for PC with Android and iOS versions to follow.
Hearthstone is free to play.

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Frugal Gaming Scroogecast Episode 16 – Queer Eye For a Straight Buy [Explicit]

Show Details

After aborting the original show half way through due to Daz and Lee having an argument, the young studs regrouped a few days later to finish the recording and the show ends up all the better for it. This week we give tips on how to make the most of your money when buying video games and we also introduce a new game called Daz’s Dirty Quiz.

Reviews and Ratings

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As usual, adult content and strong language from the very start!!

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Frugal Gaming Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/FrugalGamingDeals

Frugal Daz Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/frugaldaz

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Contact us : podcast@frugalgaming.com

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Youtube : http://youtu.be/Kn0sGGx59AM