Wednesday, 10 September 2014

RealVision ENB Review

Mod: RealVision ENB by SkyrimTuner
Game: TES V: Skyrim
Note: The score for this game has been revalued based on my new scoring system. 4/2/15.

So I'm finally back to reviewing some Mods and my mod of the moment is definitely the RealVision ENB by SkyrimTuner. I'm doing a complete playthough of Skyrim again, and I decided to experiment with different ENB's before starting. The RealVision ENB was by far, the best one that I found.

First things first, what is an ENB? The ENB series is a set of graphical modifications for games; using an array of post-processing effects, rather than amendments to the game engines, to get the improved graphics. You can read more about the ENB series, as well as get ENBs for this and other games by following the link in the description. The ENB is a fixed program, but what you download are configuration files made by different users to get different artistic effects. Some focus on trying to be photo-realistic while others make the game seem more fantasy, and so on. As you might imagine, the RealVision ENB focuses on a realistic appearance.

So, what did I think about the RealVision ENB? Everyone who's played Skyrim will have that one vista that made them just stop, look out at the view and just go "wow". But as the game wears on, the scenery can wear a bit thin. Well, the RealVision ENB makes you have "wow" moments at most of the views in the game. I know people will say that Skyrim's scenery looked fine before, and they're right, it does. BUT. The RealVision ENB makes it look absolutely stunning. I did think the notion of the better graphics would wear off, just as the originals did, but after a dozen hours or so of gameplay, I'm still finding these big vistas, different times and weathers, and even little places that just stop me in my tracks. It is that good.

Other than the graphics, what else did I like about it? Well, some ENB's I've seen before have been largely as-is, with little or no documentation. While RealVision ENB does not ship with any documentation, the guide on it's Nexus page is very thorough and I was able to get everything working with ease. Follow the guide properly, and you should have no problems. I also liked how the various options for ENB settings are nicely packaged into little drag and drop folders making them really easy to install, quickly giving you the package you want.

As much as I love this mod, I do have one slight concern: I have a reasonably good gaming rig, but this mod takes my GPU up to 100%. I can run the game and all my mods for it, including the ENB, at over 40 FPS. My worry is that many people will not have gaming setups as I do, and as a result, the frame rate they get might be too low to be enjoyable. That's not to say they can't use the RealVision ENB, but it does mean they will have to change the settings of the ENBs using the various text files that are part of the program. It's not impossible, but I've taken a look through the settings files and I couldn't really make heads or tails of it, although I do admit I've never really looked into what they all do. The summary here is that the mod will be usable by all, but for some people, the installation might not be quite as "drag and drop" as it was for me.

So that little issue aside, I really loved this mod. Starting a new playthough of Skyrim, this ENB was enough to make me completely fall in love with the game all over again! All the videos and pictures in this video are footage taken from my game. I seriously recommend giving it a look and if you are interested, you can follow the link in the descriptions. Hope you enjoyed this review!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Not a rookie anymore!!!

To reaffirm what the title says: I'm not a rookie anymore! After doing my second race at the Jefferson course in the Mazda's, I finally got my D-class licence, opening up a whole load more racing opportunities on the roads!

Getting a 2nd place at Jefferson, this race was also my first ever laps led in iRacing. Still learning and still seeking that first win, hopefully a change of scenery will help! Onwards and upwards.....

My second race at Jefferson is below: