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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Selling a Spectrum Game

What made it worse was that a lot of the times on the back of a box the publishers had provided screenshots of not only the Spectrum version, but alongside them screenshots from the rival Commodore 64 version, and even the Atari ST and Amiga versions which were streets ahead with graphics capabilities. Some cassette inlay’s took it a step further with a complete disregard for false advertising as they showed screenshots from a completely different system (one of the ones with the much better graphics) and decided not to show any Speccy screenshots at all! Admittedly, there were times I would look at these comparison screenshots and think “Why can’t my game look like *that*”. I’d still buy the game anyway, because I knew what to expect and of course I could always use my imagination to make the game better. No matter what version of screenshots I was shown, I had a feeling of what was going to be fun. But what made the Spectrum owner pick up the box in the first place?

In a time without YouTube or the internet, and television advertising for games was unheard of; it was the cover art that had to grab your attention. Yes there were Spectrum magazines filled with screenshots and reviews but when you turned the page to reveal a full page colour advert for a game, it was dominated by incredible game cover art, and only a few small screenshots of the game (if any at all) usually subtly placed at the bottom with the other unimportant stuff.

When I’m talking cover art, this was not computer designed 3D CGI at the standard seen these days; these were beautifully drawn or hand painted – this was real talent, and time and effort spent – nothing computer aided or digital. In some cases you could see the felt tip pen strokes, brush marks or pencil lines. This was real art. Walking in to a computer shop and looking across the shelves at a sea of cassette boxes, each one with their own cartoon cover, painted hero scenes, or movie poster style art – you knew you were in for a treat, even if the treat was the time you spent in the shop looking at them. There were titles you had never heard of, title’s that didn’t even show a single screenshot on the back of the box! But this added a mystique to the choice of this week’s game purchase. Even without screenshots, the cover art told you it was worth taking the gamble as you stared at the picture on the front of the box on your bus journey home (..sometimes the gamble didn’t always pay off, though.)

These sometimes breathtaking illustrations would pull you in, and they tempted you. Like the art on the cover of a book, you wanted to open the pages and dive in to the story to be the character emblazoned on the front; the cover set the tone for the incredible adventure you were about to embark on… which of course ended up being a number of basic looking pixelated shapes awkwardly moving around a screen to the soundtrack of a few bleeps and white noise, but that’s not the point.

Today graphic artists could simply take a frame from the photo-real texture mapped game sprite and place them in any position or pose, and that alone would be enough to sell the game. However, in the days of the Spectrum, in it’s place would stand an actor in action poses dressed up in full costume as characters from the game! I, of course, refer to the very memorable cover of “Barbarian”. It gave it an extra dimension of realism to the point of sale rarely seen today – oh, and boobs. Protesters focused so much on the risqué (although not by today’s standards) cover art, that nobody pointed out that in the game you chop peoples head’s clean off with a sword, for it to be then kicked across the screen! To be fair, the type of person to make complaints about a girl wearing a bikini on the front of a computer game box, probably didn’t know how to load the game up in order to be outraged by the beheading.

Grand gestures and attention grabbers were needed in the early days of computing, of course this was mostly to counter the incredibly unrealistic game and sometimes pitiful gameplay of a title – usually the movie-licenced ones, to be fair.

If a movie was a big hit, any kind of game of any standard would do – sometimes with no actual relevance to the plot of the movie, and forget screenshots – not needed! 
Get the license to publish a game of the worldwide epic movie “Jaws”, put the famous Shark on the front emerging up toward the swimming girl; then it’s going to shift a considerable amount of units. Oh wait, what about the game? OK just swap the X’s and O’s for Shark Fin’s and Girls Face’s in a game of sharky Tic-Tac-Toe – that should do it! (That wasn’t the game version of Jaws, by the way, I just made that up for an extreme example – the actual game was *much* less relevant to the plot). The point being, as long as it had the big Hollywood cover art, then it was going to sell by the bucket load no matter what. Gamer’s did feel let down however, and through the years would become wise and double check the screenshots and reviews of movie-licensed games, just to make sure they weren’t being conned.

Customize Your Bingo Chips

In many countries, different colours have different meanings. For example, Chinese people like red because red stands for good luck and victory. But western people hate red because red seems a little fierce. Therefore, when you are in a casino and are likely to bet, it is important for you to choose the right colour of chips. Perhaps your favourite colour chips can not help you win according to science. But mentally, your favourite colour can make you happy and released while you are betting. It really can help you do better in gambling.

What’s more, there are different shapes of chips. Do you like the round one best? Or the oblong one? Even the triangle one? Most people feel that heavy chips stand for expensive chips. Actually, many manufacturers are more likely to design different kinds of chips due to different denimination because there is psychological hint for gambling people.

Now please pay attention to three kinds of chips, they are poker chips, casino chips and ceramic chips. What are the similarity and difference of them?

Poker chips are the least formal one. It is made of the cheapest materials. Many mini clubs or family parties will use this kind of chips. It can be made of plastics or other low-cost materials. They are designed into casual style and printed on casual pictures. They will make people feel released and less nervous while taking them.

Casino chips are the more normal ones. They mostly are used in casinos. They can be made of different materials such as plastic, ceramic, glasses and so on. They are always designed into formal shapes. Round ones stand for lower denimination while the oblong ones stand for higher denimination. Casino chips must be luxury and noble so as to make gambling people have belief in their ability to win.

The last one is ceramic chips. It is a kind of special chip. Ceramic is a special form of china. It is harder than china. But what different from ordinary china is, it is not fragile. Because it is heated longer than china. Therefore it is not only used to make chips, sometimes it is used to make cups, coasters or even phone cases.

Dark Souls Game

We should get one thing straight immediately; you’re set to bite the dust a great deal in Dark Souls. You will perish by more diminutive adversaries, fair sized animals, tumbling off bluffs, falling through gaps, and by monstrous and effective bosses. Furthermore, if that wasn’t sufficient, you’ll kick the bucket by different players invading your game as red apparitions. Yes, there are individuals whose sole motivation behind playing this game is to attack an alternate player’s world and take them out. Notwithstanding, what Dark Souls does so well is that with every demise, there’s a lesson to be learned. You take in enemy patterns, alternate routes, boss strengths and weaknesses, and so on. When you gain experience from your defeats (and there will be a large number of them), soon you’ll end up adept and be able to overcome the severity of this brutal game. It will take persistence and an extraordinary amount of time, however it can be done. When you do indeed beat a boss, a specific dungeon, or your first red phantom, it conceivably is the most fulfilling gaming experience you’ll ever encounter. It’s that challenging, yet satisfying, in a sick and twisted manner.

As fierce as Dark Souls can be, its gigantic setting can likewise be overwhelming, yet lovely in a grotesque manner. Your lethal trip starts in a refuge of the undead; yet you’ll likewise trapse through lower woods, sumptuous strongholds, unforgiving buckles, volcanic badlands, and dismal depths to name a few. Indeed, now and then the settings could be as unsafe, if not more so than the adversaries themselves. Case in point: the Tomb of Giants may be the most unfair deathtrap in gaming, which genuinely isn’t even reasonable to the gamer. This tomb is totally dark, requiring some form of light, which you may or may not have. Other than being totally bleak, there are various zones where you can and will fall of a great precipice. Granted. you can surrender a weapon or shield to convey a lantern (if you can find it in this black tomb); or you can cast a light spell, if you’ve learned one. In either manner, you’re surrendering security for light that you urgently need. To add insult to injury, you’re set to be battling mega skeletons, oversized arrows being shot at you, Silver Knights, and satanic skeleton puppies as you attempt to survive this somber prison. Fundamentally, and consistent with various gaming threads, the Tomb of Giants ranks as everybody’s top choice as their least favorite setting within the Dark Soul’s universe.

An additional barbarous turn offered by the game’s developers is the trouble of being cursed. When you get cursed (which you will), your health bar cuts in half. Believe me when I say you need each millimeter of that beautiful red health bar as you possibly can. In the dreary depths zone, there are basilisks (irritating frog like animals) who blow a haze of death directly at you. The main way to recover is to locate the healer that is far away, or discover the merchant who holds the anecdote. It is very likely that you have a long adventure to make due on an abbreviated health bar, while dodging death at every turn.

Thus, when all goes south, where can you grab your wits? Actually, in this game, there is no place of solace to run. What you are given are bonfires which are deliberately set as far and wide as possible. These act as your checkpoints. Bonfires are the place the player can renew health, repair or fortify weapons, level up, or outright holler. Remember, once you’ve rested at a bonfire, everything you’ve defeated up to that point (with the exception of bosses) respawns, requiring you to survive each portion once more.

As noted, you’re set die frequently in Dark Souls. When you do thus, you become hollowed. This is both a gift and a condemnation. The gift is that you can’t be attacked by red apparitions while hollowed. The condemnation is that you can’t summon an alternate player’s help while hollowed. This is harsh as there are numerous times a where one’s assistance is a magnificent thing; particularly provided that you’re lucky enough to summon a powerful phantom who can help you in your adventures. There are some decent NPC’s that are accessible to help out, however they are in no way, shape, or form as helpful as a genuine player might be, who recognizes what they’re doing. In the event that you are hollowed, you can use a sprite, to become human once more. These, however, are rare and ought to be utilized sagaciously as they don’t come around frequently. Without a doubt, there are a couple of territories where humanities have a tendency to drop; the rats you’ll experience appear to drop them every now and then, so remember that when you end up in need of some.

As a combative RPG, battle is of the upmost importance. In Dark Souls, you’ll have your pick of techniques and fusions. The excellent nature of this game is that you can change these as frequently as you’d like (at bonfires) to suit the present situation you’re in. You can attempt to navigate a zone as a chain heavily clad brute; or you can try for a light and deft approach with ninja clothes. You can wield a titan hatchet or try for brisk jabs with a set of blades. You can use a talisman to wield enchantments, or you can run in blasting away with the pyromancy enhancement. While both enchantments and pyromancy can be convenient, its not the little trick you could use to thrashing through much of Demon’s Souls. Sorcery and pyromancy will help, yet they won’t permit you to cover up in a corner and take out a demonic boss with shoddy moves.

World War 2 Games

The visuals received a complete overhaul to keep up with more modern times. When played at maximum settings, which isn’t beyond the means of many computers used today, the levels become very vivid in their presentation. Although I was left with the impression that it wasn’t very “prison-like”. Instead, the levels seem rather medieval and take on a more literal meaning of “castle” in many respects. However, this does little to detract from the overall experience of the game and it keeps to its predecessor quite well.

Overall, it’s hard to find fault with the game’s single player mode, but the game truly shines on its multiplayer mode: experiences that were sorely missed in the early 1990s unless players had the technical knowledge to create IPX networks. Despite being over 10 years old, Return to Castle Wolfenstein still has a vibrant online community of dedicated players who are unlikely to disappear anytime soon!

IGN Score: 9.0
Personal Score: 7.0
Age Advisory: Mature (17+)

4. Battlefield 1942 (PC – 2002)

It’s hard to think about WW2 PC games and not have Battlefield 1942 come to mind. While comparably dated like Return to Castle Wolfestein, it’s a game that’s hard to beat in the multiplayer realm due to the voluminous capacity of players who are able to take part in any one match. Up to 64 players are able to play in an individual campaign, which are set in the Pacific Theater and Stalingrad. It’s also set apart by its well-developed vehicle system. Increasingly modern games attempt to incorporate vehicles into the gameplay experience, but Battlefield 1942 still stands out as players have access to over 32 vehicles that are on land, sea, and in the air.

Given the age of the game, most modern computers released within the past few years would be able to handle Battlefield 1942 flawlessly. However, the visuals do indeed show their age nowadays. They still stand out as remarkable for the time of the game, but are losing their appeal as time goes on. Yes, it’s understandable than an 11 year old game would do this, but visuals certainly aren’t what keep players involved in the game. I’d argue it’s the sheer capacity of players per match that make it one of the most unique WW2 games on the PC today.

If players are into full-scale combat, then this is a game that’s hard to beat. It’s by no means the best WW2 game available for the PC today, but has stood the test of time and is still widely enjoyed by players; much like Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

IGN Score: 9.3
Personal Score: 8.5
Age Advisory: Teen (13+)

3. Call of Duty (PC – 2003)

What WW2 PC games list would be complete without mentioning the start of what later became one of the most successful war-based franchises in gaming history? Like Battlefield 1942, Call of Duty is hectic in its experience and provides an unmatched intensity that’s unrivalled in today’s gaming scene. However, it also incorporates a great deal of historical accuracy: something that many of the best WW2 games choose to neglect, especially within the FPS genre. In it, players take control of numerous American and British soldiers who work their way through various campaigns during the Second World War. This was all done with sensitivity to the time period, so players won’t find themselves making use of ray guns or other futuristic weaponry in this game.

When this game was released ten years ago, its visuals were unlike anything on the market at that point and rivalled some of the most hardware intensive games on the most powerful console at the time, which was the Nintendo 64. However, that’s not to say the game was without fault. My test rig did come across some aliased features, but it’s difficult to pin down the source. It could very well be a driver incompatibility given the age of the game against my more modern hardware.

It’s still hard to go wrong with the original Call of Duty. Much of the community have moved onto more recent COD games, like Modern Warfare and Black Ops, but there’s still a very active community who play the original game. Should it ever disappear, then the single player mode is certainly worth the experience!

IGN Score: 9.3
Personal Score: 9.0
Age Advisory: Teen (13+)

2. Battlefield Heroes (PC – 2009)

For some reason, this game is often confused with Battlefield 1942. Perhaps the name “Battlefield” confuses some players into believing they’re the same game, but they are most certainly not! Battlefield Heroes is best described as what would happen if Team Fortress 2 was involved in the Second World War. In it, players side with either the Nationals (Axis) or Royals (Allies) and attempt to obliterate one another in a comical firefight that’s very cartoon-like in its presentation. I think the more lighthearted nature of the game is what keeps so many players involved in the community, but there are also traces of historical accuracy to keep purists amused.

It’s hard to find fault with the visuals. Yes, they’re very laid back when compared to something like Call of Duty, but I believe this was the developer’s intention with the game. There’s certainly a comedic vibe to the entire experience that kept me engaged throughout the time I played the game.

Perhaps the only fault I can find with it is each gameplay session, regardless of the chosen map or opponents, caused me to be disconnected from the Internet. I’m not entirely sure what was happening, but it has affected two different routers connecting to two different ISPs. If this issue didn’t exist, then I’d have no problem putting it in the first place position, but it is a major bug with the game that holds back an otherwise top-tier contender.

IGN Score: 8.0
Personal Score: 9.5
Age Advisory: 16+

1. Call of Duty: World at War (PC – 2008)

Yes, Call of Duty is making another appearance in the best of list with this title, which is the most recent Call of Duty game for the PC. After a slew of releases focused on more modern military conflicts, Activision reverted back to its roots with World at War and put players in the Pacific Theater and Eastern Front operations within the Second World War. The experience holds true to its predecessors in that it’s very chaotic throughout the single player mode and features an impressive multiplayer experience to boot.

Visually, World at War is nothing short of a masterpiece. The stunningly detailed in-game graphics are complimented by exceedingly spectacular cinematic cutscenes that accent the player’s progress throughout the game. Movement is fluid, responsive, and I dare say lifelike in many instances. Of course, this can be speculative as my test rig was able to play this game at very high settings. The experience may differ at lower settings, which may be required of some older systems not purpose-built for gaming.

It would be hard for me to consider anything besides World at War to be the best FPS WW2 game. It is currently unmatched in the gaming world in terms of its strengths and is likely to hold this distinction for quite some time as developers seemingly shy away from the WW2 genre on the PC. Regardless, I would be happy to make this my go-to WW2 game for quite awhile!

IGN Score: 8.7
Personal Score: 9.5
Age Advisory: Mature (17+)

Games and Brand Extension

Games are primarily an entertainment medium, but that hasn’t stopped companies from having games developed to reach a different demographic than perhaps represents their core market. An ad campaign may run for 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 2 months but branding within a game can have a much longer shelf life. The most common example of brand extension within the gaming arena focuses on movie tie-ins. Many Disney/Pixar films release a game based on the film around the same date. It helps consumers engage with the film on a deeper level and get to know the characters and brand better making it ultimately more likely that additional purchases of merchandise or DVDs are made. The main issue with game tie-ins however is often they are rushed to coincide with the film release and most end up being fairly average titles. The sheer fact that the majority are aimed at a very young audience means though that children tend not to worry too much about this and just enjoy controlling the characters.

Looking at something completely different from an engagement aspect. Papa John’s pizza in the UK released a mobile gaming app which had you deal with pizza orders and create pizzas as perfectly and speedily as possible. App was priced at 69p with the hook being if you reached a certain score then you could earn a free pizza. It was a well made game and was quite a fun stand alone game as well as being challenging in the later levels. The only disappointing part was upon reaching your free pizza it was for collection only which limited me somewhat but was still a good prize.

Weight Watchers UK campaign last year focused on treating weight loss like a game thanks to the point system that was in use. It was an interesting take on things but it wasn’t continued for marketing campaign. Arguably, despite the fresh take on losing weight, it didn’t engage the largely female audience of its membership base as even now, females are still in the minority when it comes to enjoying games. It perhaps didn’t resonate as strongly as it should have.

Play Android Games On PC

If you have been using your Android device to play games on your device then you certainly are aware of the pleasure that comes from doing so. Now there is even more good news. You can now be able to play Android games on your computer or laptop. You are probably wondering why you would want to play android mobile games on a PC. There are several advantages of this. First, if your device does not use the Android platform but you love to play Android games, you can now do so on the PC.

Secondly, you can test any games on the computer or laptop before installing them on your android device. Regardless of the android mobile device you are using, you can agree that space is an issue. You cannot go installing every game you come across otherwise you will fill your device’s memory and affect its general speed and function. Developers are aware of the huge popularity of android games, and they want to capitalize on these by developing as many games as possible. Hence, you can test these android games on the computer to determine if they are worthy to be on your phone.

Playing Android games on your computer or laptop is possible through the use of certain applications that developers have recently created. There are several different such apps out there but you have to be careful which one you choose. Most of them allow you to sync your android mobile apps to your PC. This way, you can enjoy playing your favorite games on a big screen. The first step to using such software is to download it to your computer. You then need to install it in your computer before you begin using it. It is as simple as a few clicks to begin syncing your mobile apps to the PC.

Games For Girls

Even if it was a movie your daughter loved, the spin-off might be a dud. When a big budget kids movie is made, the tie-in is usually a rush job that has not been planned properly. The game sometimes attempts to follow the film story too closely, leading to a boring one-dimensional tour through some of the more popular scenes. And of course if game makers run out of ideas, the result is a collection of bad mini-games that do not logically tie together well. Not that all min-games collections are bad though. (Sesame Street’s Once Upon a Monster is a notable exception and also an excellent girl’s game to consider)

Children learn quicker if they’re playing and having fun. Math, normally a boring subject for my 8 year old daughter suddenly became very interesting when she had to calculate how much money she still had to make to buy a bird house in the game Viva Pinata. In the same game she also realized that she could turn cheap plant seeds into grown plants that could be sold for a profit. This is a concept that will hopefully serve her well in later life.

Here are some game categories that I have seen from experience that are surefire winners with younger girls:

  • Dress-up (Barbie Jet, Set & Style)
  • Dance (Dance Central series, Just Dance: Disney Party)
  • Pets (Fantastic Pets, Kinectimals)
  • Princess (Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure)
  • Life Simulation (Viva Pinata Series, The Sims, Farmville)
  • Brainteasers (Brain Challenge, Big Brain Academy)
  • Party (Mario Party series)
  • Cooking (Cooking Mama)

Types of Flight Simulator Controls

Today, there are several advanced flight simulator controls available that can actually recreate the feeling of being in the pilot’s seat of the different types of air planes that are available in the software. In this article we have mentioned different types of simulator controls that are used.

Joysticks are the most commonly used controls and they are available in different varieties. They come with a plethora of features that may range from the minimums to the extremely complicated features, and this is reflected in the price. If you are on a stringent budget then consider buying the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick. Although it is not specifically made for that purpose, it works really well for flight simulations.

This joystick comes with 12 customizable buttons that can be easily programmed to regulate any part of the software. It is pressure sensitive and comes with a hat switch. This product is not only highly versatile but also very reliable. Logitech’s brand reputation makes it a great choice in general, and Extreme 3D is easily the best joystick that you can purchase for the price.

If money is not a constraint and you are willing to enjoy a high level experience then Saitek X52 Pro Flight System is the best choice. The joystick comes with 12 programmable buttons and several additional features. It also comes with a throttle system, an integrated LED display, controls for afterburners, dedicated buttons, and several other features. The unit comes with programmable LED lighting, back-lighting, and customizable controls. The set also features a software development kit that allows the users to create games or specific programs. The Saitek X52 is a highly complicated system that is designed for the highly enthusiastic and knowledgeable users.

Pedals are another type of flight simulator controls worth buying, and the price may range from $80 to $500 or more. The expensive pedals come with more advanced and complex features and their specifications also go up. They are designed to behave exactly like the pedals in a fighter jet. However, if you are looking for easy to use pedals then you may consider buying the Products Pro Pedals. They are simple, yet the features are great.

Types Of 3D Games

One of the popular 3D games genres is sports since most players are into extreme sports. Sports such as basketball or baseball allows gamers to experience the actual play without being physically in the field. Aside from sports, shooting games are also popular. In shooting games, it usually opens with a mission that allows players to catch bad guys or other targets and advance in the gameplay. These games usually have realistic locations allowing for a more immersed gaming experience.

Mental games are also becoming popular not only for avid gamers but also for use in many educational institutions. Updated versions of many mental game plays include 3D versions where depth and dimension are added to help make the game lifelike.

For people who love racing, racing games are also fast dominating the 3D world. Many are interested with these types of games because of the exciting graphics as well as the thrill of winning the race(s). Aside from car racing, one would also encounter animal racing, boats and even planes.

Simulation games have also been gaining popularity among players. Simulations allow players to assume a character or a role and finish their missions. Examples of these can be starting their own farm, becoming a crime boss or even having a virtual family.

As human beings, we are accustomed to seeing things in a 3D perspective and as such, it is hard for some to play games that are developed in 2D platform. In 3D games, players can play more easily because of the 3D perspective. They are able to visualize maps, graphs and other game designs/backgrounds as all the game features have a sense of depth that humans are familiar with.

Games Can Improve Your Life

People who play games have improved social skills

Wait, what? Gamers are the most socially inept people on the planet and now you tell me that their social skills are improved over mine? Yes, people who play games with others have the ability to interact in many different settings with others (as many different settings as there are games). Each of those settings can train us for the realities of life away from the game. Gaming has the potential to make us better winners… that means you won’t do the victory dance when you get the big promotion at work thus alienating everyone in your office. Gamers also learn to become graceful at losing; although hopefully you don’t have to learn this skill too often. This prepares you for a lifetime of ups and downs and can prevent a person from mentally snapping on those around them.

People who play games can save money

But games are expensive you say? Yes, some games can cost $100 or more just to start with, but ask yourself how much did you spend on your cable this month… plus the power to run the T.V. or game console… plus the cost of the T.V. and game console… plus the cost of the game? As you can see, the initial cost of other forms of entertainment can be just as expensive, if not more expensive than the social get together games. Then you must take into account the recurring costs of running all those systems. Last time I checked my Monopoly game didn’t need a plug in. So, board games and the like really don’t cost as much as other forms of entertainment, plus there are some additional benefits such as…

People who play games have more friends

Ok, this is just going against everything high school taught you about social interaction! Yes, you may have 500 “friends” on your social media site, but can you really call the guy you said “Hi” to next to your locker 20 years ago a friend? Playing games with other people requires by definition for you to go out and MEET other people! It would get old to play games with the same person day in and day out… Just ask my wife… So it is beneficial to go out and meet other people who have the same interest and game with them just to mix it up a bit. But where do I find these reclusive gamer types you ask? Check out your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). These stores many times will host tourneys for different types of games. There are also conventions all around the country where you can meet a whole range of people willing to game with you!

People who play games will live longer

Yes, when not exposed to the harmful rays of the sun you do have less of a chance to develop wrinkles and skin cancer… but when playing games, you also develop mental abilities to keep you brain young, thus reducing the likely hood of alzheimer’s disease. This can be useful when trying to remember the names of your 100 great grandchildren when you are 120 years old. Also, people with active social lives, and who have more money… (see points 2 and 3), typically live longer than those who have neither of those things. Social games also have the side benefit of not placing the player in physical danger, unlike more active games such as football or Nascar racing. So gamers have less of a tendency to obtain concussions or die in a flaming car!