MARS: PDP Brings Lightgun Arcade Fun Back For PS4 And Xbox One Players

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Talk about a vacation from hell…

I’m smiling too much while playing a detective on holiday (and on a few replays, a cheery British gal pyromaniac) aboard a huge cruise liner that’s suddenly become filled with zombies. A few comically big-headed biters go down with ease, M-rated blood splashing and splattering when they’re hit, but I’m soon jumping out of my skin when I spend too long on a large pack of undead that suddenly appear to my left (oops), and I get waylaid by some swarming in from the right (double oops, and GAME OVER). Ah well. A few shots to the menu later, I’m trying again and yes, having a blast. Yeah, some pleasure cruise vacation this is turning out to be, huh?

The game is called:

voyage-of-the-dead_logo_600pxIt’s an Unreal engine-based rail shooter downloadable PS4 or Xbox One title from developer Gaming Corps Studios, one of three games currently available for PDP’s new MARS LIGHTCON (lightgun) peripheral and IR STATION camera setup ($99.99, game included).  The wireless LIGHTCON is sturdily built and came with 2 AA batteries installed that gave it a nice heft, but it’s light enough to be comfortable for long play sessions. It’s not cheap feeling at all, mind you, but something that’s very well-made and made to work precisely for the games that come out for it. I did replace the alkaline batteries with rechargeable ones because that’s how I roll these days.

Oddly, you need to have a wired or wireless controller handy to initialize or pause the games and definitely a wireless one if you happen to have an external hard drive plugged into a USB like I do. The IR STATION requires one port, your main controller another if it’s not wireless. PDP also sent over a nice controller charger set (I’ll review that in a separate article), but the PS4 has always suffered from a lack of USB ports. Personally, I think the console should have shipped with an extra side port and/or one on the rear because of peripherals like this and the fact that heavy users like myself need a larger storage.

mars lightcon

The Orangesicle color scheme is familiar, but the tech is modern.

Back to the game, it’s quite fun overall and offers up enough zombie types to keep things interesting (aliens, voodoo, and magic using undead pop in as the missions go on). The PS4 version generally runs smoothly, but there are a few areas with hiccups in the frame rate, and some scene transitions aren’t as smooth as they could be. That said, it’s got a certain charm and makes a good first impression.

The game also packs in eight characters to play as (some unlocked via mini-games), a single-player mode, a versus mode, six mini-games for up to four players (I’m especially fond of the quirky pinball , UFO, and “golf” games here). Overall, it’s worth a look if you like all things zombie-related. While it’s not rated for kids, given that there are a great deal of wee ones that find zombies awesome and kind of hilarious, if you’ve got them (kids, not zombies!) and you’re OK with the gory stuff, they might find this pretty cool.

While the campy voice acting gets repetitive, the audio design and soundtrack are quite excellent overall. You can expect about 2 hours or so in Story mode (well, experts will probably blow through in less time and nope, I’m no expert). unlocking everything in every mode depends on a player’s dedication to seeing it all as soon as possible or on their own time. While you need to restart the game each time (like most arcade games, there’s no save system in place), the game does track all your stats so you can see that progression if you’re curious.

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Tech Review: PDP Afterglow Prismatic Wireless Gaming Headset

PDP Afterglow Prismatic Black Box The fine folks at Performance Designed Products (or PDP for short) have taken their Afterglow Wireless Headset, significantly improved its looks and fit, added in a few features and overall, have made a superior product in the Afterglow Prismatic Wireless Gaming Headset.

Featuring a sturdy redesign and the ability to connect (via an included cable) to any device with a standard headphone jack (as well as any TV or video game console with the proper audio out) plus a wireless dongle that allows it to be used for PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, the Prismatic is a great and very affordable ($99.99) first model, replacement for that standard company headset or any model headphones that aren’t quite as flexible as what PDP has crafted… Continue reading

PDP Wants You to Have A Happy Easter (And Buy A New Controller or Three)…

pdp_easter Now, THAT’S an Easter basket I’d hunt down any day of the week. Nope, I’m not one of those traditional yearly egg-coloring folks anymore (I used to hand-paint them back in the day, so you missed some doozies like an Alien-themed egg and other horror gems), but I don’t mind a crazy colored controller in the house. Fortunately, PDP’s cool range of Rock Candy controllers for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii/Wii U are all here to add some holiday cheer.

Granted, I know most of you will be splayed out on the couch and half passed out from that chocolate bunny, jelly bean and Marshmallow Peeps cocktail you scarfed down too quickly and waiting for someone to hand you a Pepto-Seltzer cocktail chaser. But if you’re immune to tummy troubles or just avoid the holiday sugar rush altogether, why not get some gaming on with a funky new controller?