Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Batman Arkham City Review

The single major flaw of Arkham Asylum was that the wonderful and overwhelming thoroughness in which the Batman world was depicted made it hard to imagine how a sequel could accomplish or cover anything more. Every single element that defined the character was spot on, from his gadgets to his combats.



Even his detective skills that he had previously neglected are displayed in the most spectacular fashion in Arkham Asylum. At Rocksteady, the developers featured a few of Gotham City's greatest villains and then added hidden references to almost thirty more as mere fan service. A morbid setting was created with enough detail in efforts to capture the horror of the comic, but with enough scope to fit a Batmobile, Batwing and Batcave.

Rocksteady's developers thought of Arkham Asylum as 'practice' from the moment the Arkham City project was underway. Considered as the best ever superhero game, Asylum was the 2009 Game of the Year. However, in comparison to Arkham City, it seems like a demo - a draft or a blueprint for the most amazing Batman and superhero game ever created.

Improvements to Arkham Asylum

Any questions regarding how much better and bigger Arkham City is from Arkham Asylum can be answered by the sensational list of villains mentioned in the latter, but never seen before.

These names include Ra's al Ghul, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, Two-Face, Scarface and the Ventriloquist, Clayface, Firefly, The Injustice Gang, Professor Hugo Strange, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Black Mask, Hush, Killer Moth, Calendar Man, Prometheus, Maxie Zeus, The Creeper, The Ratcatcher, The Great White Shark, Humpty Dumpty, Amadeus Arkham, Martin "Mad Dog" Hawkins, The Spirit of Arkham and the Mystery One-Armed Inmate.

Half of these villains play big roles in Arkham City. In addition to that, all but one of the villains that were introduced in Arkham Asylum makes a return appearance in the sequel.

The developers and writers of the game could barely have done a better job, having successfully developed and justified the place of each character in narratives that make total dramatic and logical sense. The story is something special, blending the Animated Series episodes' humanity, Frank Miller's comics' brutal darkness and Christopher Nolan's films' confident risk-taking.

The innumerable moments of shock, awe and squealing will make a fan overpowered by these emotions in a matter of minutes of playing the game. The incredible quality of graphics makes the characters almost life-like, and the sound effects add to the intensity of the game.

Other features of the game

The magnitude of the game's atmospheric intricacy and epic scale is sure to leave you floored. Each building is unique and countless rooftops with distinct neon signs can be seen. A huge Ferris wheel reveals hidden bodies in each compartment when scanned using Detective mode.

While you may not be able to get your hands on the Batmobile just yet, climbing and diving and leaping and gliding across the vast playground using Batman's tools and cape offers incomparable exhilarating freedom, making Arkham City the best superhero game ever.

Bottom LineBatman Arkham City does everything Asylum did but bigger, brasher and with more freedom.

Video Games Positive Impact on Learning

Can Video Games Create a Positive Impact on Learning?

I believe trying out something new is good as long as it is beneficial and enables you to succeed in life. This is true in case of learning as well. As we can see, internet has drastically changed the way of imparting education that our previous generation have been used to; attending classes at specific days of the week, reading text books either purchased or borrowed from the campus library, and through sharing notes. Today, learning has gone hybrid, moving beyond the age old format of teaching within the classroom. Now anyone from anywhere can listen to your lectures and watch you speak via the internet and subsidiary multimedia elements. Moreover, the recent trend in online learning is introducing social games within classes. Children are addicted to video games and this addiction is compelling educators to launch the concept in classrooms too.

While many argue introducing games in the classroom will hamper studies, I support the majority views that are in favor of launching it in schools and at universities. Of course, we have to develop games keeping in mind the purpose, i.e., helping students to acquire knowledge quickly and in an interesting way so that they don't get bored. Many developers are also creating games that can be played on Smartphone's and such other mobile devices.

If you are still unsure whether games actually are a useful tool that enables children and teenagers to grasp important concepts in a range of subjects, then do have a look at some of the current facts.

In June 2012, the Institute of Play, a non-profit organization promoting game-based learning, has created a project - the "Games, Learning and Assessment Lab" (GLASS Lab), based on a $10.3 million grant received from the reputed MacArthur, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Electronic Arts, and the Entertainment Software Association. The project aims to create next-gen educational games for students as well as work on the existing ones to make them more learner-friendly.

According to a May 2012 publication, Zynga, the leading social gaming site and the maker of FarmVille, has teamed up with Grockit, an online social gaming service provider, to help teachers and tutors prepare students for a variety of tests using collaborative training, social charts, points, and achievements.

The U.S. President Obama has already appointed an expert adviser to frame the first national policy initiative on the role of video games in education, health, environment, and such numerous other areas.

In 2011, the University of Pennsylvania declared 2011-2012 as the "Year of Games". The University has started providing grants to all selected staff, students, and departments to create programming relevant to sciences, social culture, public policy, and such other significant fields.

Jonathon is a professional trainer. He employs latest technology for online class registration and online training registration that results in more attendance and ROI.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Video Games Actually Help Eyesight

McMaster Study Shows Video Games Actually Help Eyesight

Your mom was wrong — not all video games are bad for you.

A study conducted by researchers at McMaster University indicates that playing first person shooter games can help improve the eyesight of people with conditions like amblyopia or cataracts.

“Parents are always concerned their kids are playing too many video games,” said Terri Lewis, a vision scientist who was part of the team that conducted the study.

“Now, many people are saying 'well, I'm not going to nag my kids anymore.'”

A paper by Simon Jeon that outlines the results of the study was published in the journal Seeing and Perceiving in August.

Researchers at McMaster had seven people with preexisting eye conditions play Medal of Honor, which was released on the Xbox 360 in 2010.

Participants were all born with cataracts that were removed — but because of their condition, their vision never developed to 20/20. Six of the seven were not gamers.

They played the game for 10 hours straight in a controlled environment, and then two hours a day only until they reached 40 hours of play.

“We brought them back four weeks later and they all had improved vision,” Lewis said.

The participants found improvements in detail, perception of motion and in low contrast settings.

In essence, players could now read about one to one-and-a-half more lines on an optometrist's eye chart.

“We were thrilled,” Lewis said. “It's very exciting to open up a new world of hope for these people.”

Researchers don't know exactly how playing the game was able to help restore some vision for the patients.

They hypothesize the adrenaline created playing the came creates dopamine — which when combined with the level of attention to detail players need in a Medal of Honor match — can actually rewire visual connections in the brain.

“You're required to be extremely alert when playing,” Lewis said. “You have to be ready to shoot to kill at all times.”

Interestingly, the team didn't get the same result from other, less intense games like Tetris or The Sims.

Lewis says that without the urgent adrenaline rush that comes from playing a first person shooter, the results just don't happen.

She said her colleagues are now trying to develop something less aggressive that has the same sort of characteristics so the treatment can be used on children, too.

“We don't feel comfortable administering these games to children,” she said.

Lewis says the treatment wouldn't work on individuals who have physical eye problems, like a detached retina.

Armed with these results, the McMaster team is trying to challenge the belief that a person's vision won't improve past childhood.

“Now maybe even as an adult, you can do things to improve your vision,” she said.

For more on the Visual Development Lab and their work, visit http://psych.mcmaster.ca/maurerlab

Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Purchase Video Games Online

Do you still purchase your video games from your local retail game store? Whether you have a PC or gaming console it is now a lot cheaper, faster and easier to purchase online video games and download online on to your system. Before the introduction of the internet technology, computer game lovers used to purchase games from several places. For examples places such as would be through mail order catalogues, from big department shops where they have small collections of steam, RPG, MMORPG and other games and electronic items etc and specialist shops and several other places. However, even with the specialist computer game shops, it was very difficult to find almost any game which was available on the market during that particular time.

In retail stores there is some limitation in storing stocks and rent expenses, employee salaries, overheads and other expenses etc. With the evolution of the World Wide Web, all the things have changed almost totally. The net has given increase to the businesses which only have their online presence on the internet. The savings made on shop overheads, rentals, etc is passed onto buying a much larger degree of stock, thus providing a huge options of games. Which has resulted in several people to purchase online RPG, MMORPG, call of duty online, multiplayer and several other online computer games.

Generally, online game store and websites offers those games at cheaper rates when compared to that are sold in the retail store. For example what you would have bought for 50 dollars from your local retail gaming store would probably cost less and sometimes considerable less from the online games store or website. Also, with the huge availability of games online, you could quite easily find an obsolete game which you were hunting for or interested, or even simply research into latest versions of games. This could not have been possible by going to a shopping mall or local game stores. There are huge numbers of online stores and websites are available on the internet providing services to download wide varieties of games for your PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo Wii, and your computer or PC.

However, which websites, you have to use and which websites you have to avoid? You should also remember that there are several scam websites are also available on the internet that is providing poor quality services and games. These types of websites only aim in making money and not providing good customer support and quality products. Therefore you have to avoid using those websites. You should always make use of the genuine and reputed online game stores that has registered office. Make sure that the website you choose provides high quality products with safe downloads. Check whether the websites has the certification on all the games and software. Also ensure that it provides online support and customer service support.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Careful Consumption: Video Games, Corporate Greed and Power to the People

Now, I don't want to start pointing fingers or making unfounded claims, I'm merely following through a pattern of reasoning that seems valid to me. My point is this: that bias, small as it may be, is likely powerful enough to make or break a game and thus even an entire company could boom or bust based on a general opinion shift in the consumer market. So how can a company go about protecting themselves against a negative bias generated by the press? Two ways, either they make a great game, or they take the more reliable option: financially persuade the press that the game deserves a better score than initial impressions suggest.

Granted, that's a pretty strong claim and I'm not claiming to have any solid evidence that would guarantee the truth of it but in the interest of your own company and thus you and your co-workers' livelihoods, wouldn't you at least consider it? Despite the lack of solid evidence however, there's noticeably been plenty of big budget games recently that have failed in the eyes of the consumer and yet they maintain great MetaCritic scores. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes level powers of induction to come to the conclusion that certain publishers might be buying review scores from certain publications.

Subjectivity being what it is however, who's to say those reviewers didn't just have differing opinions to the general consumer base? We're certainly not in a position to refute someone's opinion if that's what it truly is. But here's the issue, what value does a review have to a consumer if the reviewer has a regularly inconsistent opinion with that consumer? Now of course, not everyone is going to agree on everything, that's human nature but when a review tells you a game is great, you buy it, it sucks, how likely are you to trust that publication again? How likely are you to trust games journalism at all when most of the major publications all laud praise on to a game you consider puerile garbage?

Parallel to feeling let down by the review, you're also likely to find yourself with a negative opinion of the developer and/or publisher. So the total damage of buying reviews now comes to: consumer distrust of a games review publication and perhaps even the entirety of games journalism, combined with: consumer distrust of the developer/publisher. It doesn't stop there however, as Swen Vincke mentioned in an interview with Sean Ridgeley of Neoseeker.com:

"Say you have a bad RPG that's getting initial 85 or 90 Metacritic rating, and people buy it and say 'I don't like RPGs'. You've basically done a disservice to the entire RPG developing and publishing community."

And to make matters worse, this can be broadened further to someone buying a game for the first time, they decide they're going to try a game based on its deceptively high metascore, that person is now likely to think 'if this is among the best games available, games aren't for me'.

Who would have thought bribery and fabrication would damage an entire industry? Tssh. One might want to argue that it's all simply the inevitable result of a capitalist economy and that there are no individuals who truly deserve the blame; everyone's just looking out for themselves: developers have to keep on the good side of publishers, publishers need the game to sell in order to make a return and thus continue to fund games in the future and games journalism have to keep on the good side of both of them in order to get those early review copies or be invited to press conferences.

That doesn't mean though, that we as consumers have to accept that the system is flawed and live with it. We really do have the power to change things. All that's needed is for us to find reviewers that we each trust to be honest and fair and show them support, buy games with more caution, don't get caught up in the hype. Search out reviews from lesser-known sources, even if they're just user reviews, check to see if they compare with the mainstream press. Even Reddit, the gelatinous blob of diluted opinion that it is, has become aware of the trend of buying the latest triple-A title, shouting from the rooftops about how god-awful it is and swearing to never buy from *insert publisher/developer of choice here* and then 12 months down the line they're buying the latest release any way and the cycle starts again. This is one instance in which we really do have power as a collective, vote with your wallet.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Premier Initial Thoughts!

We told you it was coming, today at Gamescom Activision and Treyarch demoed live streaming to the world through Xbox Live, the first views of Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

The highly anticipated next iteration of the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 2 we demoed today at Gamescom in Germany, and streamed live over the internet and Xbox Live to the world. Not only did Treyarch and team show off what looks to be an awesome addition to an addicting franchise, but they introduced multiple new features and game play modes that will be available in Black Ops 2.

A great update to the game is that now up to 18 players can play all the time instead of just in ground war!

First Impressions of Gameplay Footage:

Fluid, that's the first thing that comes to mind. The game play looks smooth and seamless, from the main user interaction to the surrounding elements everything seems very polished and ready to go. The environments look familiar, which is to be expected, but the maps are what make the multiplayer, and these new maps are different and look awesome.

This game will certainly scratch the itch that fans of the franchise have. It keeps the familiar feel and elements that make the game successful and loved by players. Because it's a Black Ops 2 game, it brings back diving, which we've all missed! They've added new weapons, new perks, new attachments and updated character models and movements. These all add to the updated and refreshed feeling of the game that will get you hooked back in to the franchise if you've drifted away to say, Battlefield 3?

Newly Announced Features:

Multi-Team Team Death Match - six teams increases the level of carnage within Call of Duty. Players can pick six different factions to play as and team up against up to 18 players in these mosh pit style games. Communication is important here, with this level of mayhem you have to stick together and call out enemies or else your team is going to lose.

Hard Point - Similar to king of the hill or headquarters, teams have to defend specific areas within a map to earn points. The location changes and teams have to move to recover the position.

COD-casting - a way to share your game with viewers, adding to the entertainment level of the game. One of the things that Treyarch has said that they want to do is increase the competition and "sport" of playing COD. COD casting adds a way to save games and share them out into the world along with adding in color commentary. This is something that is certainly going to make a big push on YouTube because one large source of videos is gameplay tips and tricks, this will certainly make these types of videos easier to put together.

Live Streaming - Yes live streaming, it's exactly what you think it is, you can stream gameplay live to other viewers.

Target Finder - A weapon attachment that helps you identify targets at a distance. Cheap yes, useful of course!

League Play - A new gameplay type that pits you against equally skilled players to level the field and increase the competition level. You're playing against people who are as good or as bad as you.

Perk Combinations - not exactly new but they are enhanced now and the combination system is improved.

How to Rent Video Games Online

Reviews on magazines and gaming websites may help you gather as much information as you can about a new game, but you're not willing to spend $50 for the boxed set just yet. If you want to test an interesting video game before actually buying a copy for yourself, you may want to rent video games first.
Why Rent Video Games Online?

Before the days of video game rental websites, avid video gamers rented their games from rental shops or video stores. Testing a video game gives you the opportunity to play through a few levels of the game first before buying an actual copy for yourself. Some gamers who cannot afford the cost of an original copy of a video game may also rent video games online because it's way cheaper than having to buy the original boxed set.

Here are other advantages to renting video games online:

* It's fast and convenient. Unlike traditional rental stores where you have to fall in line for a hot new video game release, many online rental shops carry multiple copies of a single game. You can expect your rented copy right at your doorstep anywhere between two days to a week after you have placed your reservation.

* Lots of games to choose from. For retro gamers or people interested in playing rare games, online video game rental stores are a great place to test old and new games without paying the full price of the game.

* Casual gaming. Not all people are hardcore gamers who will shell out big bucks for original copies of computer games. Some people may prefer to go through some levels of a game, and then go back to whatever it is they're doing. Rented video games allow you all the enjoyment of video gaming without the expense and commitment shelled out by hardcore gaming enthusiasts.

* Expanding your video game horizons. Rental is cheap, which means you can explore all sorts of games that you wouldn't imagine yourself playing on a usual day. You may even find a really cool game you enjoy because of what's available from online rental stores.

Looking for Video Game Rental Websites

Video game rental stores are all over the Web; you simply search for them using a search engine, and you'll have hundreds or even thousands of online shops ready to rent out the hottest and the latest games to you at a reasonable cost. To make your browsing and rentals easier and more convenient, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:

* Look for the store nearest your residence. The nearer the store is to your home, the faster you'll get the game you have rented out. You also spend less in delivery, shipping, and handling costs.

* Search for good deals. Not all game rental shops will rent out the same games at the same prices. A big-name shop may offer discounts or lower rates, but the online rental queue may be too long for you to rent a game on time. Smaller online rental shops have smaller queues, but the selection may be much more limited than bigger online rental stores.

* Check the quality of the game. Games are passed on among customers, and the quality of the installer CD or DVD may have deteriorated over time. Inspect the condition of the installer or game disc first; if it's damaged, you may take it back to the store for a refund or a replacement depending on their terms of service. Avoid sites that rent out pirated or counterfeit copies of original video games.

* Be careful with your banking and personal details. To make rental easier, most online video game rental shops would charge rental and delivery fees to your credit card instead of accepting actual cash. Be very careful when disclosing your banking details, because some sites may disguise themselves as rental shops but run scam operations in real life. Verify with other sites to see if the website is a legitimately-run business that will not use your banking details for scam rackets.

With more and more advanced technologies being put into new releases every season, video games do not come cheap. With video game rental sites, you can try out a game first before putting in your hard-earned money on the counter for your very own original copy.

Top Five Best iPhone Endless Runners

Thought I would mix things up a bit and do a top five list of my favorite games in one of my favorite genres, endless runners. I'm not sure of the real name for them, but endless runners will do.

Usually the idea of an endless runner game is to get as far as possible before your character dies. And your character will die at the end, there is no chance to really win the game.

#5 - Solipskier - This is a different twist on the endless runner game. While most games have you controlling the character, in Solipskier you are controlling the ground that the character is skiing on. By swiping up and down you control the height of the ground allowing the skier to pass through gates and avoid walls. You can even lift your finger up and create a pit that the skier will hopefully sail over.

#4 - Tiny Wings - A game I've already reviewed is Tiny Wings. While not really a runner, it still fits the bill because it is endless. Or at least so far as I've been able to get it is endless:) You control a little bird swooping up and down hills trying to get as far as possible before the sun sets. Gorgeous graphics and beautiful music make this a standout game.

#3 - Temple Run / Temple Run:Brave - Another game that I've reviewed before and I still find myself playing it from time to time. The idea in the first game is that you are running away from a group of monkey... things after what I'm guessing is robbing a temple. Temple Run features tilt, swipe, and tap controls with each doing a different thing. Having a power up system as well as utilities that will grant various bonuses will keep you coming back. The DLC is still around, but it isn't really a necessity to buy anything to have fun playing the game. It looks like Temple Run: Brave is just a reskinned version of the game featuring characters from the recent Pixar movie "Brave." I haven't given that version a download just yet but when I do, I'll update the review with my thoughts.

#2 - Jetpack Joyride - An endless runner with a sense of humor, Jetpack Joyride has you controlling Barry with the aforementioned jet - pack as you escape science lab. As you go along you must avoid missiles flying your way along with electric rappers and lasers that cover most of the screen. You also gather coins, vehicles power ups, and spin tokens that can be used after your character dies. There is a bit of a IAP, but it isn't terribly bad or intrusive. I've played this game far too much when I should have been sleeping.

#1 - Canabalt - Canabalt is the game that I would consider to be one of the best examples of the endless runners genre that exists for the iOS. Featuring a retro style graphics and such an excellent soundtrack that the game even recommend wearing headphones. You are running along the rooftops of a city that appears to be under attack by aliens. As you run your character must jump over the gaps between buildings, break through windows, and leap over what look like cars that are dropped from the sky. As the distance increases, so does your running speed until it feels like you are almost out of control. By that point, I usually try to run into some convenient boxes to keep the speed down since my reflexes aren't what they used to be. The game also looks especially great on the iPad and since it offers a bigger screen you won't be blocking as much with your fingers as you play.

So that's it, my list of the best endless runner for the iOS. Did I leave a better game out or have issues with the order? Then just leave me a comment below.

Power Leveling In Diablo 3

Discovering the best power leveling techniques in Diablo III is one thing that enables a lot of gamers have the most fun with the game as they can. Gamers who use these strategies reduce the amount of time they spend at the boring lower levels and learn to supercharge their characters to the highest level. This is where Diablo III gets exciting, with intricate arrays of skills and powers, thrilling adversaries, and magnificent rewards are aplenty. The most effective strategies can be discovered easily with only the best, high quality Diablo III guides.

The basis of just about every power leveling strategy for Diablo III is discovering the activities that produce the greatest return of experience for the time spent for any given class or level. Basically, if grinding (killing monsters repeatedly) will provide a character 500 experience per hour, performing arbitrary quests will provide that same character 800 experience per hour, and carrying out a particular set of quests will deliver you 1,000 XP per hour, the latter choice is the quickest and most desired alternative.

In Diablo II grinding was pretty much the only way to power level. However, with the new revamped and redevelopment of Diablo III, grinding is no longer an efficient method to gain more experience and level up faster. Gamers are better off now performing random quests, although a centered, specific approach produces a lot more rewards in terms of experience.

This is certainly an excellent design choice by Blizzard, in fact, most of the game is invested at the intermediate levels, and it truly is a lot more interesting for the gamer when they can do a variety of things and earn exciting prizes in the process instead of simply beating the identical group of adversaries constantly. Nevertheless, it certainly does make power leveling much more challenging.

Although you could figure out the appropriate sequence of quests to take to be able to speed level from level 1 to level 60 on your own, it would probably take a long time. The whole point of power leveling is not to waste time, but to get to the maximum level as fast as possible.

A better solution to power leveling is to take advantage of more experienced players' knowledge. There are a number of Diablo III guides available online that can provide gamers with an in-depth, structured, quick, and dynamic path to the highest levels in the game, while earning tons of gold and gear on the way.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Review


New Super Mario Bros. 2

Whenever video-game companies stretch out popular franchises for financial reasons rather than creative ones, disenchanted customers call it a "money grab." It's a charge Nintendo has largely been immune to, even though its most popular character, Mario, has starred in hundreds of games.

That changes with "New Super Mario Bros. 2" (Nintendo, for the 3DS, $39.99 **), which takes the whole money-grab concept quite literally. The whole point of the game is to grab money – namely, the sparkling gold coins that have littered almost every Mario release since the mid-1980s. It's an oddly mercenary approach to Nintendo's lovable little plumber, and the result is one of the least inspired outings in his storied history.

That's not to say this is a bad game. It's exactly what you would expect: a collection of cleverly designed, two-dimensional environments for Mario to scamper through, dodging monsters and collecting treasures. The usual power-ups – flowers that let Mario shoot fireballs, a raccoon suit that lets him jump farther – are available in convenient locations. And most of the levels include alternate pathways, so there's motivation to return after you've conquered them.

But while I enjoyed my time in Mario's latest world, I couldn't help feeling like I'd been there before. The major new power-up is a golden block that screws onto Mario's head, creating a trail of coins. The familiar POW blocks now turn obstacles into … coins. And hoops scattered across the skies deliver … more coins. Some sort of prize awaits if you collect 1 million of the things, but I only made it to 10,000.

And then there's Coin Rush, in which Mario has one life with which to race through three randomly chosen levels, collecting as much gold as possible. You can then challenge other humans to beat your score using the 3DS' StreetPass function. There's also a multiplayer mode in which Mario and his brother, Luigi, collaborate to collect double the loot. Both players need a 3DS and a copy of the game, and you need to be in the same room to team up.

Despite the "New" in its title, the latest Mario game is more of a look back to the 1980s, when we were all enjoying his antics on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Nostalgia aside, it just doesn't offer the innovations and rewards of last fall's "Super Mario 3-D Land."

*

The release of "NSMB2" coincides with the arrival of Nintendo's newest hand-held game device: the 3DS XL ($200), an extra-large version of the 3DS machine introduced last year. So you get your dual screens – one a touch screen, the other a three-dimensional graphics display – but they're both about 90 percent larger.

That's a huge difference to a gamer like me with vision problems. My eyes usually get tired after about 10 minutes of looking at the original model's 3.53-inch-diagonal 3-D display. The XL's 4.88-inch screen means I don't need to squint as much, so I can play for about half an hour without needing a break. As a game reviewer, that's a blessing when I'm facing a deadline, but I think you civilians will like it, too.

The entire package is still reasonably compact, fitting into an adult-size jeans pocket – though not exactly comfortably. If you resisted the 3DS when it came out last year, now's a good time to give it a second look.

Madden NFL 13 : Video Game Review



Madden NFL 13's new Infinity Engine creates an authentic rushing experience.

NFL offenses don’t rely on one-play TDs. They methodically work their way down the football field, hoping to end each time-consuming drive with a touchdown.

And so it is with Madden 13. When gamers pick up the latest edition of the storied sports series on Tuesday, they’ll land one of the finest Madden games in years.

Several years of fine-tuning and only subtle upgrades set the table for this year, when Madden 13 aims for the end zone, seeking to revolutionize sports career modes and improve on-field action. Developer EA Tiburon doesn’t reach all those lofty goals, but it does set a new bar for football gaming.

Madden 13 is the kind of game that will satisfy those who have grown jaded by the franchise. There was a time when any and every gamer would happily shell out $60 for a yearly copy of Madden, but more and more people now think twice; Madden seemed to make few gains in recent years.

But all those years of driving downfield finally pay off in Madden 13, starting on the field, where a new physics engine, dubbed the Infinity Engine, creates an authentic rushing experience. Ball carriers move realistically this year; you’ll see Adrian Peterson slip over a fallen lineman and watch LeSean McCoy stumble forward after a hit from the side.

The passing game receives similar upgrades, although they don’t all work as well. Quarterbacks can now “throw open” a player, as Eli Manning often does, leading a receiver to an open spot with the right thumbstick. It’s empowering against zone defenses, and underthrowing receivers is absolutely lethal.

Unfortunately, it’s not all that realistic. When real-life QBs use this tactic, they sometimes miss, especially if they aren’t familiar with their targets. That reality is missing in Madden 13.

That doesn’t ruin the fun of the new career setup, Connected Careers. The new mode tries to merge several sports game mainstays — immersive Franchise mode, RPG-like Be-a-player mode and an online Franchise mode — into one. It’s largely a successful marriage, introducing unprecedented interactivity with Facebook and getting you to watch a fake Twitter feed, just to beat your online buddy to an online franchise draft pick.

The community experience trumps anything in online sports gaming, but it’s not perfect. If you’re not online, nothing in Connected Careers feels truly permanent or realistic, not when draft pick QBs instantly leapfrog the likes of Michael Vick on the depth chart, and not when you can take over Tim Tebow, “retire” after a year or two with him, then watch him come back controlled by the A.I.

Still, the overall Madden experience is a fine one. EA Tiburon aimed for the big play this year. It wasn’t a 99-yard catch by Victor Cruz, but it does find the end zone.

Reviewed on Xbox 360

Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and PS Vita

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

LOVED IT: Infinity Engine lives up to billing, Connected Careers mode shines online, overall wealth of options

HATED IT: Offline Connected Careers lacks realism

GRAB IT IF: You haven’t picked up Madden in a few years

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Game Review: The Amazing Spider-Man



How do we review a game that has already been hailed as a stunning success by one and all?

To return to a recognized classic is always a risky business!

Angry Birds. Super Mario. Grand Theft Auto. Now add one more game to the list of classics: The Amazing Spider-Man. The wait is finally over. The eagerly anticipated, enthusiastically awaited game has finally hit the marquee. Gameloft's The Amazing Spider-Man has been released and is ready to sweep you off your feet!

The Amazing Spider-Man is undoubtedly one of the best movie based mobile games to have been released in the last few years. It has a story to tell, a mission to accomplish and a task to fulfill. The game is set as an epilogue to the movie, The Amazing Spider Man, which released in theatres across the globe with excellent critical and commercial success. The game is going to repeat history as it has everything it needs to rule the charts.

If you've seen the movie, you'll love it even more. And, if you haven't seen the movie, it will make you watch it! It is a third-person action adventure that keeps you glued. The game is designed to serve only one purpose, which it to entertain the players. And it passes the test with flying colors.

The game features excellent graphics. They are flawless, and it's a pleasure watching Spider-Man swing between buildings and rooftops. Watching spidey doing his things, the somersault and acrobatic moves perfectly, is a treat to the eyes.

The game is Peter Parker's quest to defeat the evil and save the city. However, for some this might be a negative thing. The game gives out the plot of the movie. Once you've played the game, you are well aware of the storyline. The game covers every aspect of the movie, from Peter Parker's childhood to the lab experiment that resulted in Dr. Alistair Smythe going bad. It definitely spoils the movie for those who aren't familiar; however, some would find it the best thing about the game as it creates that strong connection between the two.

The gameplay is exciting with different missions involving evil scientists and the lizard. The game is Spider-Man's quest to get the antidote and stop the evil scientists from destroying Manhattan. You also get to play the real hero by saving the damsel in distress from the evil goons.

The controls are simple, but stylish. Spider-Man is in form this time, hitting aerial moves and swinging like you've never seen him swing before. The developers deserve an extra star for this thing alone. It takes the game to a new level, altogether. Initially, all you can do is punch and kick, but when you move in the game, you get power and get the ability to hit combos. Eventually, it's all about hammering the bad guys with your combo tricks. This thing is so fun, we kept on doing it tirelessly.

If you've always fantasized about hitting the bad guys in the head and thrashing them, then this game is tailor made for you. The takedowns are very enjoyable, and you see a new move every time. Once you're accustomed with the controls, you'll have more fun playing and kicking the baddie where it hurts the most.

There's so much to write about this game, but not without some drawbacks. No doubt, the story is excellent with unmatchable game play and execution. However, one drawback that really stands like a sore thumb is the missing voices of the real star cast. The one-liners are witty, but they don't leave the desired impact due to poor voiceover artists. How we wish they had paid a little more attention to this department.

Another big problem that we faced was the lag. However, this might have more to do with the device and not the game (We played it on an iPhone). I usually have the patience of a saint, but one thing that totally brought me to the edge is the game's irritating habit of restarting the whole mission when you can't catch the escaping villain. This thing is so bad, it looks like a bug.

The best thing about the game is that it doesn't bore you. There's always something new. Once you finish the task, which takes six hours, the game doesn't end. You get in the normal zone, saving people and hopping around.

Over all, The Amazing Spider-Man is undoubtedly one of the best movie based games to have released in the last few years. It has its drawbacks, but the positives seem to overshadow the negatives in this one. Give it a try, because it's totally worth it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Starcraft 2 Terran Strategy

Okay, so you've started to do your macro drill but... you've notice it's difficult to keep it going! It's hard to keep clicking around the screen and multitask. Here's another secret to pro's APM and also how they can do so much at once! This next aspect is essential to Starcraft 2 Terran strategy. And in terms of your APM in Starcraft, it will drastically increase it.

It's hotkeys.

Probably not the hotkeys that you're thinking about. You see, there are hotkeys that allow you to build units without clicking on them (like pressing 'S' for SCV or pressing 'M' for marine), but there are another kind of hotkey. These hotkeys are most frequently used for 'control groups'.

A lot of players use these to control their units. What you do is select a group of units you want to hotkey. Then, while they're selected, press on ctl+(a number). So you could press ctl+1 and now every time you press one it will bring you to the units that you've hot keyed! Pretty cool huh? But this is more related to micro, what we're talking about right now is macro strategies for Terran.

Okay, so in order to get this to improve your macro I will give you a system that a pro player gave me a long time ago that I still use to this day. Of course, you can edit this system to one that you find more efficient, this is just to get you started. However, from all the systems that I've used I still find this one to bet the best.

So... without further ado... this is how it works:

5 = your beginning command center
6 and up = your barracks
5 and under = your expansions

You start out with one command center and two barracks. Now, the trick is to keep checking your barracks to make sure that they are building! So keep pressing 5,6,7 over and over and checking to see how close your men are to being finished. Preferably, you should build your men at the last possible second in order to have minerals to build other things (like supply depots and/or additional command centers).

So, when you build your second expansion now you have 4,5,6,7,8 to look after. And you're going to constantly be pressing 4s5s6m7m8m9m in order to build SCVs and marines.

Now, this is of course for the macro drill. As you become more advances you will probably group buildings together (i.e. have all your barracks hot keyed into one group, like 6, and all your factories in 7, etc.). You have to, ultimately, find a system that works for you. But, for now to get your timing right and to learn to macro properly you should keep all your barracks separate and all your command centers separate. You'll see, this will make macroing a lot easier once you get the hang of it.

Maybe now you can understand why pros have such high APM. It's because they are constantly pressing all those numbers to check their buildings/unit groups while simultaneously clicking all over with their mouse. When you combine these two things your APM will skyrocket. Furthermore, the better you get at multitasking the better your macro and micro will be able to combine and the more efficient player you will be.

This is also how pros macro and micro at the same time. They can simultaneously attack and keep all their units building. So, while their less experienced adversary is constantly checking his base to build more units or focusing on the battle and not building, the pro is gaining. Someone who does not use hotkeys must sacrifice properly managing their units or properly managing their production.

You no longer have that problem if you master this hotkey technique! I'm not saying it's easy to do both, but with practice it will become natural and you will be a far superior player.

The next important thing after you've learned to macro properly with hotkeys and constant production is micro and strategy.

check out the latest and best Starcraft 2 Terran Strategies!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Rent Video Games Online

Reviews on magazines and gaming websites may help you gather as much information as you can about a new game, but you're not willing to spend $50 for the boxed set just yet. If you want to test an interesting video game before actually buying a copy for yourself, you may want to rent video games first.
Why Rent Video Games Online?

Before the days of video game rental websites, avid video gamers rented their games from rental shops or video stores. Testing a video game gives you the opportunity to play through a few levels of the game first before buying an actual copy for yourself. Some gamers who cannot afford the cost of an original copy of a video game may also rent video games online because it's way cheaper than having to buy the original boxed set.

Here are other advantages to renting video games online:

* It's fast and convenient. Unlike traditional rental stores where you have to fall in line for a hot new video game release, many online rental shops carry multiple copies of a single game. You can expect your rented copy right at your doorstep anywhere between two days to a week after you have placed your reservation.

* Lots of games to choose from. For retro gamers or people interested in playing rare games, online video game rental stores are a great place to test old and new games without paying the full price of the game.

* Casual gaming. Not all people are hardcore gamers who will shell out big bucks for original copies of computer games. Some people may prefer to go through some levels of a game, and then go back to whatever it is they're doing. Rented video games allow you all the enjoyment of video gaming without the expense and commitment shelled out by hardcore gaming enthusiasts.

* Expanding your video game horizons. Rental is cheap, which means you can explore all sorts of games that you wouldn't imagine yourself playing on a usual day. You may even find a really cool game you enjoy because of what's available from online rental stores.

Looking for Video Game Rental Websites

Video game rental stores are all over the Web; you simply search for them using a search engine, and you'll have hundreds or even thousands of online shops ready to rent out the hottest and the latest games to you at a reasonable cost. To make your browsing and rentals easier and more convenient, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:

* Look for the store nearest your residence. The nearer the store is to your home, the faster you'll get the game you have rented out. You also spend less in delivery, shipping, and handling costs.

* Search for good deals. Not all game rental shops will rent out the same games at the same prices. A big-name shop may offer discounts or lower rates, but the online rental queue may be too long for you to rent a game on time. Smaller online rental shops have smaller queues, but the selection may be much more limited than bigger online rental stores.

* Check the quality of the game. Games are passed on among customers, and the quality of the installer CD or DVD may have deteriorated over time. Inspect the condition of the installer or game disc first; if it's damaged, you may take it back to the store for a refund or a replacement depending on their terms of service. Avoid sites that rent out pirated or counterfeit copies of original video games.

* Be careful with your banking and personal details. To make rental easier, most online video game rental shops would charge rental and delivery fees to your credit card instead of accepting actual cash. Be very careful when disclosing your banking details, because some sites may disguise themselves as rental shops but run scam operations in real life. Verify with other sites to see if the website is a legitimately-run business that will not use your banking details for scam rackets.

With more and more advanced technologies being put into new releases every season, video games do not come cheap. With video game rental sites, you can try out a game first before putting in your hard-earned money on the counter for your very own original copy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How Video Games Are Made ?

It's time to answer that oh-so important question that's been burning in the back of your mind: "how are video games made?" Here is a very basic run down of how video games are made.

1. Core Team

A group of people whom come up with the general concept of the game. Numerous meetings will occur in which the group brainstorms about the game; figuring out not only how it will look, but also how it will work. The core team is in charge of the production schedule as well, which describes the tasks each person is assigned and when they most do them.

2. Game Breakdown

Every detail, task, job, and deadline about the video game is broken down into components and then added to a bulletin board. This board acts as the nerve center throughout the games production.

3. Artistic Concept

Artists sketch out the games characters & backgrounds with a very basic level of detail. These sketches are what the graphics artists use to create the characters and backgrounds in 3D on the computer.

4. Development Team

This team uses the latest in computer animation technology to bring life to all of the game's elements; adding colors, textures, shading, and even movement. This team uses the 3d characters and backgrounds created by the graphics team.

5. Programming & Engineering

This is the bread & butter of the game development stage; because without this part, there would be no game. Suffice it to say, the programmers & engineers make the game work. Their coding is what holds the game together and allows the player to actually play the game.

6. Testing

This is the final and most crucial part of the development process. This phase is to see if everything is working properly and as it should be. Testers will check for bugs and glitches and try to find potential problems.

The game testers won't merely be playing the game and seeing if problems will find them - it's the other way around, as They will be the ones searching for the problems. The testers will do everything and anything possible in the game to ensure there is no abnormal situations or circumstances; walking through walls, disappearing, enemy AI problems, cinematic errors, you name it. If the testers miss anything, it could mean disastrous consequences - in the form of profit loss - for the company releasing the game.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's Up With PlayStation 4



Back in the day, computer games were plain and had low-quality graphics and animation. However, computer technology advanced so quickly that games became more sophisticated and refined. Gaming consoles have improved sound and video quality. PlayStation enthusiasts can prove how technology has changed the way people play games. Creators of game consoles do not stop with their latest additions. The PlayStation 4 is one of the upcoming game consoles that are creating a buzz in the market now.

With the new game consoles nowadays, it is possible to pretend that you are looking at realistic images of the characters in the game. Players also have taken advantage of the greater flexibility of today's gaming consoles.

One of the top companies that manufacture gaming devices is Sony. This multimillionaire company is known for its excellent graphics and sound technology with its high-tech televisions, laptops, digital cameras, and camcorders which are also popular in the "games" market. Since Sony released the new PlayStation, it has since then become popular in the market. PS4 is the latest addition in the PlayStation series.

The early promotions for PS4 have circled around the assumption that it will provide an excellent gaming experience to buyers. However, it has to be understood that people have to try the product before making judgments. By this time, there will be too much anticipation, as reports about possible features the new PlayStation has are all over the place. Customers will now have their expectations. These bits of information may have been leaked by the game developers, who are still currently working on the release of the game console later this year.

However, this might cause a little inconvenience to those who have purchased the PlayStation 3 because, they might not have yet used the latest existing PlayStation model to the fullest. But since fanatics are loyal addicts and cannot wait, many may have already made reservations on the latest model. Pre-ordering may be a good idea if you are a carefree consumer. The others should be careful, though especially considering the fact that the upcoming PlayStation may be sold at a very expensive price.

Nonetheless, without analyzing too much, one can say that the PS4 is going to be a highly sophisticated gaming device. Reports say that developers have integrated the game console with an advanced graphics chip and processor. The PS4 is also said to be equipped with HDMI port so playing games is possible with high-definition television, which only enhances the playtime experience. Reports also say that it will be equipped with a flash card reader and an upgradable hard drive. These new features are expected to take the PlayStation 4 games further, but it seems as if it's still too early to tell. However, you may still be able to play PS2 and PS3 games on the console because of the so-called backwards compatibility feature.

Sony will actually release two configurations of the PS4 - the basic and premium. Of course, the latter does have more advanced specifications. Such differences will affect the price too.

Buying a gaming console is considered by some as a waste of money, but for game lovers, it is a fine investment as people by them to enjoy and have fun. These devices are perfect to beat the boredom since hardly anyone gets bored when playing games. Playing games is also a good father-son bonding moment.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tips to Become a Successful iPhone Game Developer

Ever heard of an Ethan Nicholas? Ethan held a fairly average job down at Sun Microsystems. That is until he developed a little game called iShoot on iPhone and now he's a very happy man. Why? Because he's stinking rich!

Although Ethan's unexpected hobby made him rich by coincidence, the world of iPhone game development is becoming highly competitive, very quickly. Perhaps this has a lot to do with the fact that iPhone game developers get to keep a large sum of their profits from selling their game.

While it is a sea of opportunities, the iPhone game development world is still a big maze, with hundreds of developers being rejected every day. However, if you want to become the next Ethan Nicholas, and spare rejection, here are some handy tips.
  1. Bugs - This speaks for itself. If your game has a bug that causes the iPhone application to crash, then chances are Apple won't risk annoying its customers by buying your game. Make sure you run several tests, on multiple devices and under different network conditions. Write out unit test codes for your regression testing as well.
  2. Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) - Although Apple is very strict about its HIG, there have been instances when applications have been approved despite minor violations of the guidelines. However, after all that hardwork, would you want to fall into the reject pile? My advice - stick to the codes.
  3. Internet usage - If your game requires internet connection, and there is no network available, then it is actually against the guidelines to simply state "trying to connect". So remember to inform the user if network is unavailable and test your game under no connectivity conditions, as that is how Apple does it.
  4. Bandwidth allowance - As a fellow user yourself, you probably wouldn't want to play a game that uses too much bandwidth as it can get very expensive and drain the battery quickly. iPhone consultants at Apple suggest not using more than 4.5Megabytes worth of data for every 5 minutes of usage. Again, check the data usage before you submit your game.
  5. Copyright infringement and Privacy Breach- It is common to use famous people in a less than polite way in games, which is all in good fun. However, iPhone has strict rules against poking fun at politicians or celebrities in their games.
  6. In-app purchases - These days, every other iPhone game developer includes in-app shopping, and while they add a different dimension to games, they can also be misleading when purchases transcend play shopping into real credit card usage. In fact, a new class-action lawsuit is being taken against Apple by parents and guardians, whose children have been making these virtual purchases without realizing that they were actually going to be billed for them. So spare yourself and Apple the legal issues, and inform gamers clearly, if in-app purchases are in fact, real buys.
Many of these tips might be considered useful, and they are, however, the world of iPhone game development is not limited to these guidelines alone. If you're truly passionate about your creation, and are not 100% iPhone game development savvy, then perhaps it is best to seek the advice of professionals.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Game Review


Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

First off, I am a fan of Transformers and I am very interested in the new Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. So when I heard the demo was available, I was first in line.

The Transformers: Fall of Cyberton demo is great! If you pre-order the game you can get your hands on it a couple days before non pre-orderers.

There are lots of options and ways to play the demo. You have two single player missions, one from the Autobots single player campaign and one from the Decepticons single player campaign. Then you have the must have in every game multiplayer!

So the two campaign missions are each twenty minutes long, they are probably very short sections of that actual mission. The Autobot mission is very linear and close quarters, to be honest it was a bit under whelming. But I'm sure it will be much more fun to play as an Autobot in the full game. The Decepticon mission on the other hand, is very satisfying. Its more open and gives you a little more freedom to play how you want to. It is also a bit more challenging, which I prefer. So overall these are two fun missions, even though they both didn't make me think "I have to get this game". I think the full campaign will most likely be much, much better than this little taste.

Transformers War for Cyberton had multiplayer, but it wasn't good enough to have a strong community. Although it was fun. On the other hand, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron has made a huge leap. The multiplayer is very thought out and very enjoyable. There are two modes available (Team Deathmatch and Conquest). Team Deathmatch is fun for a while but gets a bit boring. Conquest is the star of the multiplayer though. I found myself working with other players to capture and hold objectives, and take down enemy players. This is good in multiplayer! It does take a good amount of bullets to take down an enemy though, but it makes sense. You also get to play as four different classes. There are customization options, even though they are limited. Overall this is a very good multiplayer and very polished for just a demo.

The controls do take time to get used to. They are also a bit clunky, but after a while they start to feel fine and they really don't affect the overall enjoyment of the game.

When I booted up the first mission the graphics were under whelming, and it hurts to say. The game is running on the Unreal engine and its showing its oldness. But after a while, it all fits in to the gritty feel of this war zone.

This game has loads of potential! In the final product I would like to see a variety in missions and weapons in the campaign. The graphics could use a little polish. The best thing for this game in the long haul is its multiplayer. Just from the demo, I can already see that it will have a some what strong community. They just need to add guns, perks maybe, new customization, maps, and game modes.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron releases August 28th 2012!
Final Score: 8.8

Sunday, August 5, 2012

How To Get a Job As A Video Game Tester

In all of my years of professional experience, probably the one job I get asked most about is my time as a Video Game Tester for SEGA of America. I spent several years with SEGA, and people, especially children, are always fascinated by the opportunity to make good money by doing what they love, namely playing games! Here is some advice for those looking to obtain one of these highly-desired positions.

For those looking to get a foot in the door of the Video Game Industry in any capacity, there is no more tried and truer method than the Video Game Tester position. This job brings you into the fold of the development world where you can see how the games are made, make vital contacts, and get critical game company experience on your resume. I cannot tell you how many people I have worked with who used this entry-level opening to springboard into positions in programming, game production, design, marketing, etc. Plus, there are worse ways to make anywhere from $10-15 dollars an hour (starting pay) than playing games for a living!

First of all, you need to be in a geographically feasible location to get one of these positions. Quite simply, there are not a lot of major cities in the United States that have a hotbed of gaming development. Fortunately, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we have numerous development firms and testing opportunities with major players such as SEGA, Electronic Arts, Sony of America, Namco, and more. Seattle, Washington is another prime location as companies such as Microsoft call it home. So if you truly want to get a shot, you'll have to consider relocation.

One of the most compelling arguments against making such a move is that the great majority of companies hire Tester candidates as temporary employees. If you live in a city with a game company that employs testers, you will want to contact the HR Manager to see what firm they use for their temporary staffing needs. They can generally direct you to the people who screen the initial crop of candidates, then present them directly to the company. Due to the seasonal aspect of the industry, there can be times of great need where firms will hire boatloads of people, and slower times, when they have to let a number of people go, when there is not enough work to keep folks busy.

As any experienced game contractor knows, your position is never guaranteed. Perm spots are hard to attain, but it can happen. The key is being able to demonstrate your value to the company, and sadly enough, playing the social game can also be a critical factor. As a temporary employee, the uncertain stability of your job is probably the most frustrating aspect of the position. Still in most cases, companies seem to be astute at identifying the must-have talent and keeping them in the fold.

Once you have connected with a recruiting firm and been submitted directly to the gaming company, its time to prepare for the interview. One of the most important things that Test Managers look for in a new hire are effective written communication skills. As the job revolves around finding and documenting bugs, or errors, in the game, the ability to concisely relay that information to the programmers so that can fix them is vital. So expect going in that you will be taking some kind of writing test. An eye for detail is also important.

If you are the type of person that notices little things, or things that seem out of place, it definitely helps. Also, remember that while most game companies are very casual in nature, it is important to dress professionally and convey your sincere desire to have an opportunity. As you can imagine, there is a multitude of people who would like to have this type of position, so anything you can do to stand out from the pack helps. One of the nice things about interviewing for game companies is that you generally receive very quick turnaround on feedback, and in some instances can be hired almost immediately.

Working in the Video Game Industry is definitely a unique and enjoyable experience. There are many perks you will not find in normal companies. Do keep in mind though, that while the job is all games, it is not always fun. Like any position, there are monotonous aspects to it. For example, be prepared to test the same game over and over, for up to a few months at a time. That can be challenging. Also, expect going in that you may be assigned mind-numbing tasks from day-to-day such as checking that all weapons or items work as they are supposed, all walls in each level are solid, or even just proofreading game text. Finally, be prepared to work long hours as needed. When crunch time hits, and a game needs to ship, overtime can be required to get the game out the door. Still, overall, there are few positions where you can have as much fun on a day-to-day basis.

TEKKEN TAG Tournament Review



Tekken Tag Tournament (commonly abbreviated as Tekken Tag and TTT) is the fourth installment in the popular Tekken fighting game series. It, however, is not canonical to the Tekken storyline. The game was originally available as an update kit for Tekken 3.Tekken Tag Tournament was originally released as an arcade game before it was ported to thePlayStation 2. The arcade version operated similarly, but ran on a 32 bit graphics engine like Tekken 3. It received upgraded graphics when it was ported to the PlayStation 2. It, along with Tekken 4 andSoulcalibur II, was re-released in 2008 as a part ofNamco Classic Fighter Collection. After 10 years, a sequel has been announced named Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

A remastered version of the game titled Tekken Tag Tournament HD was released for PlayStation 3 in November 2011, as part of a Tekken Hybrid disc which also includes the 3D movie, Tekken: Blood Vengeance, and a demo version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

GAMEPLAY

Continuing the fighting mechanics from Tekken 3,Tekken Tag sees players battling in teams of two characters. At any point in the match, the player can hit a tag button to swap out with their other fighter, allowing the resting fighter to recover some lost health. The tag can be implimented in many ways, such as inbetween combos or utilising special throws. At times when a resting fighter's is flashing, that character can be tagged in to be given a temporary boost in strength. Unlike other tag games such asCapcom's Vs. series, players are defeated when only one of their fighters lose all their health, requiring players to be strategic about tagging their fighters. In the event of a timeout, the team with the most accumulative health remaining wins the round.

The game features over 35 characters that have previously appeared in Tekken 2 and Tekken 3. In addition, there is a boss character, Unknown, who is similar to Tekken 3's Mokujin in that she can randomly imitate any character's fighting style, albeit she is able to change her style any time during the fight. The PlayStation 2 version added enhanced graphics and various modes, including 1-on-1 mode, in which players only choose one fighter each, and Team Battle, where players choose up to eight battles and play with the tag rules, with each new character replacing the one that was defeated (the remaining fighter must fight on his/her own). Also featured is "Tekken Bowl" mode, a bowlingminigame where each character has different attributes.

CHARACTERS

Alex (unlockable, palette swap for Roger)
Angel (unlockable, palette swap for Devil)
Anna Williams
Armor King I
Baek Doo San
Bruce Irvin (unlockable)
Bryan Fury
Devil (unlockable)
Eddy Gordo
Forrest Law
Ganryu
Gun Jack
Heihachi Mishima
Hwoarang
Jack-2 (unlockable)
Jin Kazama
Julia Chang
Jun Kazama
Kazuya Mishima (unlockable)
King II
Kuma II (unlockable)
Kunimitsu (unlockable)
Lee Chaolan (unlockable)
Lei Wulong
Ling Xiaoyu
Michelle Chang
Mokujin (unlockable, palette swap for Tetsujin)
Nina Williams
Ogre (unlockable)
Panda (unlockable, palette swap for Kuma)
Paul Phoenix
P. (Prototype) Jack (unlockable)
Roger (unlockable)
Tiger Jackson (palette swap for Eddy Gordo)
True Ogre (unlockable)
Wang Jinrei (unlockable)
Yoshimitsu

NEW CHARACTERS

Tetsujin (unlockable)
Unknown (Final boss, playable only in PlayStation 2 release and PlayStation 3 remaster)

The only absent characters in the game that were playable in previous entries of the series are: the original Jack, King I, Kuma Sr., Marshall Law, Dr. Boskonovitch and Gon. Boskonovitch, however, makes a cameo appearance in the Tekken Bowl mode as a spectator.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Android Apps Which Are Ruling the Roost

Sweet Dreams: a revolutionary tool that can manage your phone settings so that you can sleep peacefully without you having to attend unwelcome late night calls. It even lets you save on battery power.

What the Doodle!: it is a good multiplayer game where one will draw a doodle related to a phrase or proverb, while the others have to guess it. The game features several team games related to the guessing game.

WaveSecure: a fantastic mobile security solution that protects your handset, information and privacy. You can track your phone location when you lose it, even lock it down remotely. Further this app helps you to back up all data, wipe it remotely, and finally, also restore the data when you want it back

Plink Art: superb app for sharing art and discovering it.

The Word Puzzle: perfect to learn basic English words especially for toddlers.

Celeste: Educational augmented reality app that displays celestial bodies like sun, moon and planets with a camera view.

SongDNA: a comprehensive app for detailed information about songs.

Solo: a feature-rich pocket guitar for music lovers who would love to strum anytime in the day.

Moto X Mayhem, a superb app which includes several levels of extreme motorbike action.

Totemo, an innovative puzzle game including more than 60 logical tasks.

SpecTrek: an augmented reality ghost hunting game which also works as a fitness app for you.

FoxyRing: this app analyzes the ambient noise and also sets the phone volume accordingly.

Buzz Deck: useful app for getting relevant web content as well as Twitter & Facebook updates.

FxCamera: click pictures with various special effects including cropping, shading and color.

Tasker: a useful app that lets users plan tasks with context (application, time, day, event).

SocialMuse, a music app for music lovers which lets them to find people with similar tastes and discover new types of music.

SpotMessage: useful communication and collaboration tool which makes use of GPS.

Trip Journal: a trip tracking and sharing app which lets you post real-time updates.

iNap: an intelligent app which relies on GPS and alerts the user when travelling, especially when the destination is near and they have to get ready!

Car Locator: whenever you have trouble finding your car and its location, this app will come in handy.

Andrometer: an app which makes use of GPS, accelerometer and geomagnetic sensors to find an object and assess the distance between you and the object.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Deus Ex Review : Human Revolution

 Deus Ex Human Revolution Review
Getting to Know Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released August 2011 for computer, Xbox and Play Station 3. The reason I am interested in this game stems from it being published by Square Enix. Square Enix is a programming company famous in Japan for games like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Eidos is the developer of this role-playing game (RPG). Deus Ex: Human Revolution is not only an action based RPG, it is a first person shooter game too, which brings more excitement to the player.

Adam Jensen is the main character of the story set in 2027, 25 years before Deus Ex that was released in year 2000. Compared to Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War, Deus Ex: Human Revolution boasts better graphic and smoother transition from playing to cut scenes. In short, Deus Ex: Human Revolution has an exciting storyline, good weapon selection and a satisfying music soundtrack.

You are given three types of "pillars of gameplay" by the developers. In the beginning of the game you are assigned a weapon according to the answers you gave to your boss; but after that you can change weapons that suit your playing style. I like going for the snipe to kill, but stun guns and tranquilizer guns are available. The main reason stun and tranquilizer guns are not in my inventory is because they are useless is boss fights, while big shooters like plasma rifle can do good damage.

Playing as Adam Jensen, you can shoot your way through a situation, rob the fallen for more ammunition and save the day, talk your way in and out places, hacking into rooms and robots or go through air vents quietly. The game allows you to mix and match accordingly, and each choice you make yields a reward and more experience points. The experience points are given as praxis points, which will allow you to upgrade yourself.

Those who had played the previous Deus Ex's will know that is about augmentations- special devices implanted in the body for better strength or faster movement. In Human Revolution, Adam Jensen is the unwilling survivor who needs augmentation as his original body was damaged in a fight. Playing as the augmented Adam Jensen is interesting with cloaking enhancements and typhoon weaponry built into his body.

In summary, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an immensely fun game that pushes you to look for other routes, because life is not a straight line. Finding special pathways or air vents to crawl through yields more experience points, credits and treasures when compare with the normal shooting your way through method. This game is challenging and easy to navigate through the keys or controller, it is truly a good game to play.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How Video Games Helped Me Quit Smoking

In somewhat recent years, there was a campaign of anti-smoking commercials from BecomeAnEx.org, and I loved them. It was the first time I felt like someone really discovered the secret to quitting smoking, and offered it from a sympathetic perspective, with a sense of humor and a sincere desire to help smokers.

I have seen many commercials against smoking over the years. Somehave tried fighting cigarettes by unveiling statistics about smoking and its industry, with this self-righteous "look how clever we are" approach that is rather alienating. It's like being told to quit smoking by someone who is more invested in their marketing pitch than the problem at hand.

And then there have been the deluge of "scare tactic" commercials that show you blackened lungs and people living with tracheotomies. While I think these commercials hold some worth, they are more likely to give a smoker pause, rather than actually helping them to quit. Our selective memory kicks in, and kicks out the bad ones.

The aforementioned campaign, however, nailed the essence of the smoking problem in a few brief moments. It pointed out that smoking is strongly connected to habitual behavior; you smoke with your morning cup of coffee, during your morning routine, or during happy hour at the bar. These commercials suggested that you can relearn all of these activities without a cigarette. The one about happy hour even suggested you "keep a beer in one hand and anything but a cigarette in the other". That is smart advice.

Physical addiction of nicotine is nothing when compared to the mental addiction of smoking. This is why wearing a patch doesn't instantly fix the problem; a smoker still wants to hold and smoke a cigarette. Mental addiction is king. I was quite lucky; I gradually gave up smoking simply because I was not enjoying it anymore, and that made it far easier to walk away. But some of that habitual smoking through association was still rearing its ugly head. Getting rid of those last few lines of defense can be the hardest.

When you quit cigarettes (or are in the process of doing so), you may notice certain new habits taking over temporarily. Once of them is the famous one: eating. And other ones pop up, like chewing the caps from pens (until they are completely unrecognizable). However, one activity that interfered with my smoking was entirely by chance, and yet so effective at keeping my mind and body off of smoking, it should be recommended in support groups: playing video games.

It is probably arguable that the total sensory experience of playing a video game contributes in distracting the player from other activities like smoking (or socializing... kidding!), but I believe that the controller is the key. Keeping both hands fully occupied and working hastily makes you forget about holding a cigarette.

And why not? People tend to smoke the most when they are unoccupied, bored and feeling lazy. People smoke on their breaks. People smoke at their laptops and during a football game on television. It's down time, time to drink a beer, have a smoke and watch a movie!

Video games are down time too, but don't allow for a half-hearted relationship with them. I remember when I would play games like Halo 3 online, discussing strategies with friends and controlling my Spartan Soldier. I was way too engaged with the game to smoke (or use the bathroom, for that matter!). In fact, when I would light up a cigarette between matches, I would take my first puff and put it down, as we would already be back in the firefight. By the time I reached for my cigarette again, nothing remained save a long log of ash, burning away in the ashtray. That's a powerful moment to note; I had made my choice. That wouldn't be the last cigarette I ever had. But it wouldn't be the last time I ignored them in favor of playing video games, either.

Playing video games is not a magical solution, and there are a lot of variables when quitting smoking, so your mileage may vary. I already wanted to quit smoking, but video games helped by running interference, and it helped to keep me occupied once I quit smoking entirely.

Around this time, I was spending a good deal of my gaming time with portable systems, like the DS Lite and the PSP (the best part is when you easily justify your PSP purchase, based on the amount of cigarettes you're not buying). When I would return from work and settle down for the evening, I would lie on my back in bed playing games. That worked great for me, as I was in even less of a position to reach for a cigarette, and even more relaxed than normal. That said, I think a stronger case could be made for taking your portable on the go, as it's intended for. Now you're waiting for the subway or sitting during your lunch break at work, and you're working on your game, with no free hands or time to smoke. Try reading the newspaper instead, or worse, just standing or sitting there. Smoking will become a lot more tempting.

I can't stress the importance enough of video games occupying your hands. While Freud would likely tell us smoking is an oral fixation (see: eating, chewing pen caps), we hold a cigarette in our hands; it is part of the appeal. So, when our hands are busy, we are less likely to be holding a cigarette. Playing a game engages the upper half of your body arguably more than driving a car does. When driving, you have one free hand to smoke with. Also, most people drive the same roads ad nauseam, and it largely becomes a mindless activity, second nature even. In contrast, video games frequently change things up, producing new challenges and garnering your full attention just to master (and even survive) them.

And they're fun! Video games cause your brain to release endorphins, much like smoking, but as a result of genuinely enjoying yourself, rather than the intake of chemicals.

Like I said before, video games are not magical, and they are not going to suppress all the addictive urges your body and mind will produce, as you try and quit. Nothing will. When quitting smoking, it's all about help, and what the best crutches are. Video games are a wonderful substitution, and for every cigarette you refuse, that's a little more money in your pocket, money to buy that next awesome game. Personally, I want to live longer and play a lot more games, so it's a win-win situation. If you're quitting or thinking about quitting, or even if you aren't considering it at all, next time you reach for that pack of smokes, try putting both your hands on that video game controller instead.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Brief History of Playstation

Originally known by several names, the PlayStation Move was originally unveiled in June of 2009. There was a huge debate within Sony Entertainment as to what to call the motionless controller. The press had continued to incorrectly refer to it as the Magic Wand or the Wand. Sony eventually called it "The Motion Controller" and on September 2009 the name, "Move" was coined and used as the proper term for the controller.

The controller was in the works by Sony Entertainment as early as 2001. Early prototype versions of the Move were in circulation such as the Eye Toy but these motionless controllers failed to capture people's attentions. By 2008 Sony had finished work on the Move and was ready to launch it to the public.

With the public and media giving the PS3 Move rave reviews, the Move was being applied to all Sony PlayStation wireless games. The first game to utilize this was Dual Shock 3, which enabled a player to use the analog stick of the Move for the use of the sword in game. Rumors also at the time speculated that Sony had developed the Move in retaliation against Nintendo Wii's wireless Nunchuck remote, but Sony denied any of those allegations.

The Move was finally released in January of 2010, being just a bit too late for the Christmas rush but right in time for all those viable game players to spend their Christmas money on this new remote. The logo probably has to be the most innovative thing with the PlayStation Move, a blue squiggly shape which is supposed to be a representation of the light trail left by the Move as you move it about with the lighted sensor sphere within.

The Move was an automatic success which also incorporated a large selection of third party video game support, something very rare for new out-of-the-box designs such as the Move. Even today the Move sells almost a hundred thousand units.

One in three PS3 games is designed specifically to be used with the PlayStation Move in mind. There are a good variety of PS3 Move Games available that are not too shabby as most of the games are quite entertaining and fun. Unlike controller specific games of the past for older game consoles, PS3 Move games don't leave you wanting more. It is no wonder the PlayStation Move is so popular, and has made the PS3 into much more than it was on release. Whether or not the PS3 Move was designed in retaliation to the Wii, it certainly was a brilliant move (no pun intended).

The Sims 3 Reviews


The Sims 3

EA has just announced the next Sims expansion, The Sims 3: Seasons. In case you haven't guessed it, this expansion pack adds the oft-requested seasons to the world of The Sims.

Now your Sims will have a chance to interact with changing weather, as well as participate in various festivities associated with the seasons.

Sims 3 Associate Producer Ryan Vaughan feels that the expansion adds more immersion to The Sims, stating:

As much as I love summer, the fact that every day in The Sims 3 has the same exact weather can take away from the realism of the open world. With The Sims 3 Seasons, that is completely changed. Having both seasons and weather transitioning naturally during play adds a whole new dynamic to not only the realism of the open world, but to the gameplay as well. You can let your Sims swim in the ocean on a hot summer day, bob for apples among the autumn leaves, test their snowboarding skill on the half pipe, or welcome spring with a colorful umbrella and a walk in the rain! With all new activities to keep your Sims busy year-round, and an all new outerwear category in Create A Sim, seasons and weather create a brand new element for players to interact with.

The weather can also directly affect the health of your Sims, giving them a tan if they stay out in the sun, getting them struck by lightning during a storm or even making them catch a cold or possibly freeze to death. Of course your Sims can also dress accordingly, with new fashion options including snow clothes, raincoats, and Halloween costumes. You can also give your Sims new traits like Loves the Heat or Loves the Cold to make them more impervious to various temperature extremes.

Seasons are still under your control, though. Vaughan says, "The length of a season -- even the mere existence of a season -- is fully customizable by the player," adding that there's a new menu to tweak the settings to your liking.

Some activities will only be available during certain seasons. Vaughan clarifies, stating, "For instance, having a snowball fight in the middle of summer just doesn't make sense. However, the snow ball fight interaction is replaced by a water balloon fight during the times of year where there's no snow on the ground. There's always plenty of new features and content available despite the current weather." When IGN asked whether or not the seasons affected the new swimming feature, which allows your Sims to hop into the ocean, Vaughan said, "Swimming in the ocean can be done year round," though, "Sims who decide to take a dip during a particularly cold day may receive the Polar Bear Club moodlet, giving them a temporary immunity to the cold."

Likely in an effort to be as inclusive to as much of the gigantic Sims audience as possible, the holidays included in The Sims 3: Seasons won't be named after those in real-life. "The world of The Sims is a lot like ours, but with some pretty funny and amusing differences. Sims can go trick-or-treating on Spooky Day, or host a gift exchange party on Snow Flake Day. A good old-fashioned Hot Dog Eating Contest on Leisure Day happens to be one of my favorites," says Vaughan.

Other new features include UFOs, complete with alien abductions, and ice furniture. Various items such as barstools or love seats made of ice will now be purchasable. Additionally, your Sims will also have new lifetime wishes associated with participating in various seasonal activities.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mobile Games Mostly Played On The Couch

According to a survey conducted by casual game developer PopCap, respondents say they spend more time playing mobile game devices in their own living rooms than in the places you'd expect — such as in line at the grocery store or on board an airplane.

With 69% of surveyed gamers listing 'at home on the couch' as their preferred venue for mobile gaming, we can't help wondering how many mighty Xboxes and Playstations are gathering dust while iPads and iPhones are enjoying all the fun.

57% of respondents listed 'at home lying in bed' as another favorite mobile-gaming spot, although more traditional mobile settings do get a substantial nod: 63% say they play while riding a bus or train, and 55% while waiting for an appointment. A smaller percentage cop to mobile gaming as a guilty pleasure: 10% admit playing while in church, at a movie, or, scarily enough, while driving. Another 6% admit sneaking a game or two in while attending a meeting at work.

"[W]e believe mobile gaming is invading the last bastion of video game consoles and personal computers: the home," said Dennis Ryan, VP of Worldwide Publishing at PopCap.

Indeed, as smartphones, tablets, and dedicated mobile game systems like the powerful PS Vita close the technology gap with their console big brothers, the entire category of 'mobile' gaming might soon be seen as a distinction without a difference.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Video Game Business

The reason why most people want to start a video game business is because they want to make money online selling games. There are millions of gamers out there looking for games to buy, and billions of dollars in profit are made each year. In fact, more money is spent on consoles and games than on the movie and music industries combined.

So how can you get a slice of that profit? If you want to start a business selling games, first you need to select a "niche". What kind of games will you sell? Will you focus on a specific console, or a specific developer? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you on your way to becoming an online game seller.

Once you decide on that, you can begin looking for one or more video game wholesalers. Think about what actually goes into making and selling games. There is programming and testing, but the buyer only pays for a few dollars worth of material. There is a disc, a case, and a manual. When a retailer wants to sell video games, they buy them for closer to what the materials are actually worth. Then they increase the price and keep the profit which can be over 100%.

To become a video game seller, you take the place of the retailer. You go directly to the video game supplier and buy games at wholesale prices. Some suppliers will even process payments and ship out the games for you. The process is actually really simple, but few people know how to get in touch with these game suppliers and wholesalers.

That's the hardest part of starting an online business selling games. The rest is surprisingly simple. The online gaming market is always hungry for more, and there is always something new to sell. After you have a supplier, there is nothing stopping you from making hundreds of dollars every week. You can list your games on eBay, Craigslist, your own website, or any other place you want. You can even expand your business offline and start selling video games for a living. Doing this can get you "industry affiliation" which will get you into gaming conferences like E3.

I spend a few hours every week maintaining my own online video game business. In return, I make anywhere between $100 and $500 worth of sales per week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Android Game Development Tips

Turning a leisure time activity or passion into full time profession could be a dream job and Android Game Development could be named one. The Android game developers come out with the best of ideas and create an explicit gaming arena. There are multiple categories based on the age groups, types, payment mode, and more. A large crowd is always drawn towards the free games on the Play Store. The growing market for Android and the recent advancements in technology has made the chances of Android Game market all the more high. Moreover the game lovers as well as the developers have a choice over 2D or 3D. There is also a wide variety to choose from simple to strategy to arcades to racing and even board games, all these with single and multiplayer mode.

When a developer has confirmed an Android platform for his games there are three aspects which he needs to consider the most and it includes-

Character modeling for 3D games - The characters created for 3D needs to hold unique character distinction. The character requires specific features like- facial expressions, signature style, exclusive costume designs, etc. All these traits make an identity for the designed character in the game.

Screen size- The screen size plays as a vital role and an important success rate factor. While developing a Smartphone game, the developer needs to remember this restriction, which varies from a mobile device to another. By enhancing the appropriate scale proportions in the application with the right coding process, the popularity steps up.

Enhanced game scenario- The gripping effects can be raised with its total look. The ultimate look provides feel and build the success.

A few more important aspects that an Android game developer needs to check on are -

- Game scenario- The entire feel is elevated by the scenario and the developer needs give special importance to this section. The landscape features and terrain optimization should be given equal importance as that of the characters.

- Game Programming- The requirement of an exceptional user-interface and challenging modes or levels ought to be there. These details will enhance in building it as a commercial hit.

- Most importantly the rankings of each game hold its success rate. Based on the ranking it will be flashed on the Play store's initial pages. If the gamers cannot be provided the specific interest factor, it can affect the review as well as its success.