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Other Thoughts: In addition to the pros section, this must be noted. If you already have an aftermarket sound card, a full size PCI X-Fi in my case, HOOOLLYYY BALL BEARINGS DO NOT INSTALL THE HD AUDIO DRIVER FOR THE HDMI. It will distort and slowly kill any functionality of your aftermarket device. Even with the HD audio disabled in device manager (it actually installs 4 instances of the driver, for different HDMI output or some such reason) there is still a very large possibility it will eventually completely cancel out your soundcard, and render it useless. This is speaking of the drivers/OS of course, it doesn't actually harm your hardware, just makes a 15 min job of installing a new videocard successfully into a 3 day project. Bottom line, install the driver, install the 3D if you want to, but do NOT install the HD audio drivers if you already have a sound card, unless you really really like troubleshooting complex computer problems, in which case, why aren't you at your tech support job?READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: excellent sound quality. I have had 7.1 integrated sound and 1 or 2 $50 cards and it is a world of difference. if you "can't tell the difference" between lossless wav and a 128kbps MP3, you will after installing this card. (provided you have high fidelity speakers or headphones and even if you don't you will still hear a noticeable difference.) even if you are only going to be using just stereo (L and R) it will blast your brain. I had no installation issues contrary to popular belief. installing on BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX with AMD 6000+ processor. went off completely without a hitch. you FINALLY get to hear the audio the way a game's sound editor does!
Cons: there has to be a mode switcher because it would take forever to compile a complete list of games and audio programs\sources for an automatic mode switcher. it is a necessary evil.
Other Thoughts: has 3 separate modes for entertainment (music, video) gaming (games....duh) and audio creating. (sound editing). once it is installed (physically and mentally :) there will be an icon in the task bar for quickly switching modes. YOU MUST CHOOSE GAME MODE IF YOU ARE PLAYING GAME. PERIOD. you can play movies and music in game mode, and while they won't sound as good as they will in entertainment mode, it is still perfectly acceptable audio. now, if you play games in entertainment mode, most explosions will have a LOT of crackle, gunshots will be quiet while objects (moving, hitting) will be extremely loud and there will be quite a bit of audio stutter. now, when you play a game IN game mode, the game's audio will envelope you and eat you ALIVE!READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition PC Game
Pros: the environments are dazzling and stunning. the characters seem to actually have lives that go on when you aren't there. Even when you turn your computer off, some people are conversing drinking fighting buying or dying. with 150+ hours of game play included it has to be one of the best. you will find yourself moving around the massive 55 square kilometer lands for no specific quest. you will find a cave, then look up the mountain, see a beautiful waterfall, walk up to it, then see a herd of deer running down the other side of the mountain into a lush valley with a lake, you decide to take one down for the meat. once you reach the lake, you see a bandit duking it out with a cougar, you help the bandit and kill the cougar, but then he turns on YOU! you quickly poison your weapon as the battle drives you into the ruins of a nearby fort. fighting from atop an ancient tower you finally knock the bandit off the edge and he falls to his death, and you are 4 km from your starting point.
Cons: this does not come with the additional plugins, but you can find those around the internet. I would highly recommend them, as they add another 10-15 hours of gameplay and make it seem that much more real. you do kind of get spoiled though...
as you level, everything else around you levels too. this is no longer the case in fallout 3, another marvelous Bethesda title. if you want to play on the "hardcore" difficulty but still have a chance, don't sleep. thats right. When the game tells you "contemplate on what you have learned to increase in level" this means sleeping. your actual level will not change but you can increase levels in swordfighting, blocking, acrobatics, medicinal etc. this will give you an edge against your opponents
Other Thoughts: people compare Oblivion to another unnamed MMORPG with 10 million players. Comparing Oblivion to that is like comparing a gold brick to a piece of... something else. do yourself a favor and buy this game. not only does it have 150+ hours of gameplay, but you will find it has a lot of replayability as another race and\or the opposite gender. also, it is almost impossible to become an expert in every study. my first 148 hour game I was good with swords, heavy armor, and destruction magic. my second time through I was good with light armor, axes, and alchemy.
Bethesda became my favorite video game developers after this game.