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Dj Andy Giles Live Mix Jan 2019

Our very own in the mix. Recorded live on our Denon DJ SC5000/X1800 setup.


X4 - Is it really X4?

Elite Vangard in X4

As an avid X fan, when X4 came onto steam pre-order I felt super excited but also apprehensive. Although X:R wasn't a terrible game like some would have you believe, it wasn't really in line with the direction X had been going. X:R was more of a reboot of the original X. I think they decided that with the new game engine they could kind of start again. In X Beyond the Frontier you only had one ship and a smaller galaxy than we are now used to, but it did have a cracking story to follow. I couldn't really get into X:R but I did get a few hours of enjoyment from it.

So onto X4. The question: is it really X4? Obviously it's called X4, and you can fly all of the ships and build stations etc, but to me that isn't what makes X. X to me is the story or stories, the emmersion, the hidden beauties, the races and ships that have their own feel and of course the direction. Even from X:BTF there have been small hidden gems to discover, in X3 there were race ships and pirate ships that could only be obtained by capture. Hyperion Vanguard anyone? There was also the multitude of stories to follow, each offering different rewards, although some of these were added in DLCs. The Econamy was better in X3 also, being able to see the demans of each station and production needs meant you could plan ahead. X is about depth and feel, that's what makes X.

AND you could build weapons. The lack of weapon stocks and weapon plants in X4 leaves something big missing. It doesn't sound like much but during my 100+ hours in X4 I was often thinking about the supply and demand of weapons and missiles. 

Station dock in X4X4 Modular Station

As you can see from the screens, the stations lood good. And you can build modular stations so they will all look different. did you notice the flaw with the pilot sat in space?


X4? It's a good game, it has a lot of potential and there could be some interesting new features. Some of the graphics are really nice, flight mechanics are pretty good as well. There are bugs yes, but for me they weren't game breaking. I know some people have really had big problems but I have been lucky so far and had only minor bits and I think just two crashes. There are fifty something systems to explore which have a lot of space in them, not really more stations than previous incarnations of X though. In this game you can buy and fly pretty much every ship with the exception of the xenon and khaak. You can build modular stations including defence systems, although the defence systems need a lot of work. While in system no big ships came close enough to activate the defences on the station and the big shipsweapons have a longer range than the station defences. Missiles are useless as the almost always miss. You can take over sectors too, it means wiping out the defence stations of the other race (which only really works when you are out of the system and send in a few destroyers to do the job for you) and building your own station with and admin building there. I found this to be a bit of a let down as by the time I had my own system there was no real need for it. Because I can't build my own ships or weapons I can't use my system as a propper base, I already had 2 super factories set up in other systems. 


Story(s)? There really isn't one. There's a brief story to follow which gets you an HQ and so research but it's quick and easy, also the HQ is in a Teladi system and you can't move it. After this there are missions you can do for each faction but they seem to have to direction and are tedious at best. I did a few and didn't seem to be getting any kind of satisfaction from them. Of course there are missions that you can do for people on station like in the other X games but guess what? That's right they have kept the X:R mechanic when it comes to station scanning and finding missions. It isn't awful I admit and there are some added bonuses to be opened up if you want to spend the time scanning. 

X4 Map

The map has changed! Yep, totally and completly. We now have a hex system instead of the square system, which is sometimes split into smaller hex's for sub sectors in systems. It's also more 'live' then previous versions so you can zoom out and in watching ships move around without having to switch between galaxy and system maps, I like this although it gets crowded so you have to switch off some of the information after a while. For some reason the map seems too small, mainly because of the hundreds of systems we go used to in X3:AP and now we are back to X:BTF scale.

X4 SpaceshipX4 Destroyer

We are restricted to only 3 races, no Terran, Boron or Split. We have factions of races, there are three Argon factions and two Paranid factions. I think an independent 'world peace' faction as well. But that only leaves us with 3 race ship/station designs to go with it and for the most part they aren't that great.

They have messed with the weapons too. The weapons are limited and universally available, no more flying to different races space to find the right weapons and shields. Although this isn't a game breaker, I have learned to hate that ships no longer have a build in missile launcher. If you want missiles you now need to fit a type of launcher in a slot where a gun would normally go, and if your ship has only two gun mounts then really you won't be using missiles. Destroyers also only have one main weapon to choose from which is annoying. That said, you can target and destroy weapons on the big ships so make them defenceless. Engines and shields can be targeted in the same way.

So back to my original question - Is X4 really X4? Well in my opinion, NO. It's a good game, playable with hours of fun but X4 it aint. It's definately more like X:R2 and actually that's ok. Why? Because X2:The Threat was an imporvement on X:BTF or X:tension, because X3 was an improvement on X2. So X:R2 is an improvement on X:R. But it really is X:R2 in so many ways and most of all it feels like X:R2 much much more than it feels like X4.  Lets not knock it for this, it's an improvement and it will continue to improve. If they eventually make this game engine as good as the X3 engine then by the time we get to X:R3 we will have a cracker. But until then I would settle for a story line and some of those little easter eggs from X3. 

I know that at the time I am writing this, Egosoft are working on a patch that will introduce player owned shipyards and wharfs. Fingers crossed it comes with some new game mechanics too else it will be far too easy to wipe out all of the other races.

All the best.

Dj Controllers, CDJs, XDJs Reviews and more.

Hi, good evening everyone. I have decided that I want to start a blog about DJ controllers. The good, the bad and the ugly. I have been a bedroom, or actually dining room DJ as long as I can remember. Probably something like 20 or more years. When I started you had a choice between vinyl or vinyl, I remember my first pair of decks were some cheap Gemini things with a 6% pitch that was left to right and about 2 inches long. They were as bad as the £20 mixer I got with them but they were enough to get me hooked. 

After vinyl came the CDJ's. It took me a long time to convert, and I only really made the change when I ended up playing at a bar that didn't have turntables. This didn't last long though as I ended up bringing my own and still playing vinyl. At that point though I was noticing the ease of CD's over vinyl, and the cheaper cost. I ended up buying less vinyl and buying music on Itunes to burn my own Cds. Truth is, I still haven't converted, but with MP3 the cost of music fell through the floor and vinyl vanished for a while. This made me invest in a pair of CDJ 2000s and a DJM 2000 which, I will admit are awesome. The DJM2000 is without a doubt my favourite mixer ever for it's effects and functionality, the Allen & Heath mixers I feel have a slightly better quality but are not as good value for money, and also don't quantize with pioneer CDJs.

Then came the controllers. Now I will admit right now that I haven't tried them all, or even half of them. But I am getting through them. We currently have in stock the DDJ SX2, DDJ RZX, DDJ 1000 and DDJ RX. I have had a good play with the SX2 and RX so I can give them a full review but the 1000 and RZX will take a bit more time. Each time we get a new device into stock a new review will be published and I will create a table of info to compare each one. 

Please remember that this is purely my opinion and maybe not matter of fact, but I guess that's as good as any.


More to follow

Andy Giles

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