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Malik (5/29/12)

My PC is now fully upgraded and working perfectly. When I last posted, I was waiting on my Radeon 7970. Once it had shown up, I then had to wait on getting a new case. I thought the GeForce 8800 GTS was a big card. I was wrong. The 7970 is a card that no one seriously stopped to think about the simple logistics of "how does this fit into a case?"

After finishing all of these upgrades, I ended up with a bunch of extra parts (my old motherboard, CPU, CPU cooler, memory, power supply, video card, and case). These, in the spirit of being nice, are now going to my parents. My mother has a PC from the same general generation as my old PC, but on the low end while my PC was more of one I always made sure was somewhat future proof. I mean it took five years before I went with an upgrade. Five years of age on a PC and it still got me through Saints Row The Third, Skyrim, and Arkham City (although with some audio stuttering on Arkham City). So, I originally brought over a box of part for my mother's future PC. That was before I was forced into getting a new case due to the Radeon 7970 being a huge freakin' beast of a card (an inch longer than the GeForce 8800 GTS). Now, I will be the one to put together her new PC of my old parts (in exchange for a meal of some good food) and I can't help but feel like an idiot. I mean the only parts of my old PC I kept were my DVD burner and my hard drives...which means I have a box of PC components to put together into the same damned case they started in.

Anyway, with my PC in full working order now, I obviously tried a few things right off the bat to see how good the experience would be. I loaded Skyrim and watched as it decided to automatically adjust my video ultra. I also loaded up Arkham City and change the video setting to extreme (everything on max setting except for PhysX) and ran the stress test to see an average of ~130 FPS and a minimum of ~65 FPS. So, after taking advantage of seeing what my new hardware can do, I did the natural thing and loaded up game to actually play. What game do I pick? A high end game? Something to take advantage of my new PC?

I spent the weekend playing old Double Fine games starting with Costume Quest, which definitely doesn't need a high end PC to run. After beating Costume Quest and Grubbins on Ice (the epilogue), I then loaded up Psychonauts. Yes, I am on a Double Fine kick and I'm playing games that definitely cannot take advantage of the hardware...and I'm good with it.

Psychonauts, in particular, is a game I've always meant to play. It was critically acclaimed and I wanted to see why for a long time. I would have considered getting it on a console at some time, but the price never came down to the levels that such an old game should have been at. So, a year and a half ago, I got it for cheap during a Steam sale. I had tried it once, before I had a wired 360 controller on my PC, and hated the experience of playing a platformer with keyboard and mouse. It just wasn't fun. Well, having had a 360 controller on my PC for the last half year, it seemed like the right time to bring Psychonauts back out of hiding.

In brief, this is a game I feel like a fool for having ignored for so long. Playing Psychonauts is a lot like when I first played Beyond Good and Evil (another game I ignored for too long before finally playing it); I feel like a fool for missing what was right in front of me, but I also feel euphoric for playing something so damned fun and good.

I'm sure after I finish Psychonauts I'll get around to something that can really put my PC to work. Maybe I'll get back to Arkham City (without the annoying audio stuttering of a slightly too weak PC). For now, at least I'm just having fun.


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