The Great Flash Debate: Do Hardcore Gamers Care?

•April 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Unless you’re living under the gaming equivalent of a rock (mushroom?) you know there’s been a storm brewing between Apple and Adobe regarding Flash content on the iPhone OS. (Put simply, it’s not coming.)

What started off as a “relatively” harmless appeal to stability and battery life turned ugly when Apple, along with its preview of the new iPhone OS 4.0, revised its developer agreement to specifically disallow development outside of the iPhone’s core tools and languages.

Many took this as a shrewd cut at Adobe, whose Flash CS5 software (just released) comes packaged with a tool allowing Flash developers, who write some of our favorite casual games, to easily compile their wares into something the iPhone OS can understand.

Some argue it’s well within Apple’s right to control who develops what and how for its closed platform. Some argue technical issues surrounding the long-awaited multitasking feature available in OS 4.0 this summer. Most argue, however, that what Apple has done is deeply anticompetitive and downright cruel.

Since most of what Flash has to offer the iPhone comes in the way of gaming, this begs the question: if you’re a hardcore gamer, are you really missing out? Do Flash-based, or any other casual iPhone games truly matter in scope of your favorite console or PC game and, you know, real buttons? Won’t the already deluged App Store be flooded with even more junk?

We look forward to your thoughts.

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Turtle Beach X31 Headphones

•January 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This Christmas, I received a pair of Turtle Beach X31 headphones. When I opened this gift from “Santa” on Christmas morning, I was ecstatic. As soon as I plugged them into my Xbox, I was amazed with all the sounds that I never heard from my TV. For instance, I was walking through the bookstore on Terminal in COD: MW2 and I heard some music playing. I stopped for a moment to listen in awe, only to be shot by the enemy while I was distracted…

Gaming (6/10)

The Turtle Beach headphones are a must for the casual and hardcore gamer. Not only do they allow you to hear crazy sounds like I mentioned above, but I could even hear my enemy’s footsteps. Once I became used to the different sounds of the maps, I could easily determine the location of my enemy. The X31 headphones easily saved me from being knifed in Call of Duty multiple times. The only problem I found was that the microphone cord is very sensitive. I found that if it’s not plugged in tightly to your controller and headphones, it will occasionally cause static which can get pretty loud. Over time I haven’t noticed it as much, so I don’t tend to have as many problems. The microphone that is attached to the headphones is perfect for communicating with your friends. Unlike regular headsets for the 360, you don’t have to put this microphone in your mouth for people to actually hear you. Another plus is the separate controls for the volume of the mic. and your games. You can easily turn down the volume of your teammates and maintain the perfect sound quality of the game.

Comfort (8/10)

The X31’s are closed ear headphones that come with a surprising amount of comfort. The pads that cover the ears actually cover my ears, unlike most headphones that I have worn. This allows me to play for several hours without my ears hurting afterward.

Music (6/10

When testing the X31, I didn’t notice any particular performance improvements for listening to music. I tested them out by listening to several different stations on last.fm through the 360. I felt that my Skull Candy headphones I bought four years ago sounded relatively the same. Only real difference is the X31’ is better with acoustic music. A cool feature is the bass booster and stereo expander. These two functions can be turned on separately or at the same time to change the quality of the sound.

Battery life (5/10)

Regular batteries last around 3 to 5 day. I haven’t purchased any rechargeable batteries, but I will soon.

Overall(7/10)

The X31 headphones are great for gaming. Even though the headphones do not include support for Dolby Digital, the use of the RF signal gives surprisingly great sound quality. These are well worth the $99 price tag.

Checkpoint on COIN-OP.TV

•December 31, 2009 • 1 Comment

The Gaming Angels design by Checkpoint is given to Hailey as a gift on COIN-OP TV!

COIN-OP TV LIVE is a weekly talk show about the video game industry, people and events with hosts, Robert Welkner and Hailey Bright. The show utilizes new media and technology to update the talk show formula by incorporating a live chat room audience, live video interviews across the world via Skype and trivia with viewers using Twitter.”

To watch the rest of the December 17th episode of COIN-OP TV, visit http://www.thestream.tv/watch.php?v=1856

Everybody loves a Montage!

•December 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Child’s Play charity!

•November 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Checkpoint and the Gaming Angels are two groups who want to give back to the community. With this in mind, we have decided to donate $5.00 to Child’s Play charity with every t-shirt sold.  Here’s an excerpt from the Child’s Play website…

“Since 2003, we’ve set up and organized Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 60 hospitals worldwide. In five short years, you as a community have answered the call and come together to raise millions of dollars.

That was awesome. You guys have proven over and over again that you are an overwhelming force, and you really came through and made a real difference to the millions of kids that children’s hospitals care for each year. So we’re doing it again this year, only this time we’ve expanded Child’s Play to more hospitals around US and the globe so you can send toys to a hospital a little closer to home.

Child’s Play works the same as last year. With the help of hospital staff, we’ve set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, and movies. You can go to each hospital’s list and buy a toy, and that toy will be sent to the hospital. Some of these kids are in pretty bad shape. Imagine being stuck alone in a hospital over the holidays, getting something from a fellow gamer would really raise their spirits. Some of the stuff the hospital will give away for kids to keep, while other gifts (like consoles) will be kept by the hospital for patients to use throughout the year.

We are arguably the largest community of gamers on the internet. The important word there being community. We are not a faceless corporation and you are not just a number tracked by a database and then relayed to hungry advertisers. You guys have proven yourselves to be a powerful force when stirred into action. Here is your opportunity to use that power to do some real good.”

This is an awesome opportunity to not only buy a sweet shirt but give back as well!!! To learn more about Child’s Play, check out their website at www.childsplaycharity.org

New Gaming Angels Design

•November 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

Here at Checkpoint, we have just released our first t-shirt specifically designed for women. We designed the shirt in honor of the Gaming Angels.  Here’s what Trina Schwimmer, founder and CEO of Gaming Angels, had to say about their organization…

GamingAngels.com is the premier online community for women and men who love to talk about all things geek. That includes video games, role-playing, anime and manga, tabletop gaming, technology, gadgets, comic books, Japanese culture and novels.  We offer a female perspective on video games and encourage women to go into the tech and gaming industry. Gaming Angels is run by an all female staff who are avid enthusiasts of what’s considered geeky. At GamingAngels.com we run many contests where our readers can win free stuff ranging from t-shirts to games. We also host a variety of community game nights. Come by GamingAngels.com and prepare to have fun!”

Gaming Angels