The best video games of all time

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There have been so many great computer games, that it’s hard to pick the best ones, but I’ve compiled a list of my top ten. Sure you may have very different opinions!

Continue reading ‘The best video games of all time’

All about RPGs

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RPG stands for roleplaying game and can be played either around a table by from four to six people or on a computer or video console. The game is all about collaborating to produce an interesting story and to have lots of fun doing it. It is not a game where there are winners and losers. Continue reading ‘All about RPGs’

Synapse – RPG game

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Here’s a review of Synapse, which is a universal system type of RPG created by the games developer Greg Christopher. There is a big emphasis in the game on the character that you develop, and the personality that they have, and this is all done really well and in great detail. Continue reading ‘Synapse – RPG game’

Alternative Gaming Communication Solutions

I have been gaming since last century and I sometimes still sit back in amazement at how much things have changed. Single player consoles are so far in the past that when I sometimes mention them at tournaments to some of the younger people they look at me in bewilderment. For me one of the biggest breakthroughs in gaming technology has been the use of the Internet to create a multi-player environment.

I remember meeting up with friends at weekends dragging my TV and console to someone’s house and then hooking everything up. Maybe I’m being a bit nostalgic, but I do miss the more personal contact with friends. Anyway, this was bridged with numerous different attempts at making it possible communicate with other players through the games console. Not a bad solution, but on some platforms it doesn’t come free.

I used to actually pick up the phone when I played something with my brother and I found the quality much better and you didn’t get those annoying interruptions or the crackling sound when there was some sort of system overload. The better services available all come at a price and I do think they are worth it for some of us hardcore gamers. But what if you just play occasionally with close friends?

This is the problem I faced with my brother. He didn’t want to sign up for premium services just to do some gaming with me every few weeks when he has the time. I no longer had a home phone and cell phone calls would end up costing more. We knew there had to be a solution to our problem and we went looking outside the gaming community first, and got lucky.

So, I decided we need to find a VoIP service with free peer to peer calls. To my surprise there were endless services available to choose from and many of them are completely free unless you make a call to a landline or cell phone. Once that was sorted I checked out some reviews of cordless phones with headsets and I bought one for me and one for my brother. Problem almost solved, we just needed a way to not sign up for a landline phone service.

We added a simple VoIP adapter and were ready to test out our new system. The results were excellent. Voice quality is perfect, clear and loud and doesn’t suffer from constant interference. Calls are free so we have only had the cost of buying the equipment which was less than $150 for both of us. In addition we get to make cheap calls to other friends and family, so I have been saving a bit on my cell phone charges as well.

The conclusion is simple. If you do a lot of gaming, or you regularly connect with people that do not have the same phone service as you do, then paid subscriptions are the best and simplest way to go. For occasional gaming with friends and family there is a much simpler solution as outlined above.

My Top 5 Computer Game Soundtracks of All Time

If you ask me, soundtracks play a huge factor in computer games great. Imagine playing an RPG game that does not have any type of musical scoring whatsoever. Pretty boring, right? You see, musical scores set the mood for every scene in the game. This is particularly true for RPG games because it is what puts players into character.

Although I appreciate almost any type of computer game, my preference lies in RPG. Aside from the fact that the gameplay of RPGs is engaging and challenging, I love that I can get lost in the game. I have played a lot of RPG games through the years but there are games that I play over and over again just because of the soundtrack. I thought I'd share them with all of you in this post just for fun.

Without further adieu, here are my top computer game soundtracks of all time:

1. Final Fantasy X

I reckon there isn't a gamer in the world who hasn't played at least one of the Final Fantasy installments. I have to say, this is my favorite among the bunch. The soundtrack of Final Fantasy X ranges from slow ethereal melodies to heavy metal beats. I love it so much I even bought a CD of the soundtrack!

2. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

In my honest opinion, the soundtrack of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is the best in the entire Castlevania series perhaps even in the RPG genre! Don't believe me? Google "Bloody Tears" (one of the songs in the soundtrack) and you'll see that it has been remixed at least 20 times.

3. Silent Hill

The soundtrack of Silent Hill relies heavily on atmospheric industrial music. I think it tied up the game perfectly especially since the game is set in an eerie abandoned town. I highly recommend that you pop on a pair of high quality wireless headphones (click here for recommendations) when you play this game. The reason why I recommend that you go wireless is because it's highly likely that you'll jump up in surprise at some point in the game. You wouldn't want to end up pulling your sound system off the shelf now, would you?

4. Super Mario

If there's a game soundtrack that's both addicting and annoying at the same time, it would be the one for Super Mario. There probably isn't an adult in the world who's not familiar  with the sounds in this game. It's a pity first generation computer games don't appeal to kids these days.

5. Halo

Halo is the most popular shooter game of this generation. Since the setting is in a futuristic battleground, the music leans more towards Gregorian type chants and heavy rock metal. Again, don't forget to put on your cordless headphones. Not only will be able to appreciate the soundtrack more, you will also save your neighbors from having to call in the cops because of the noise.

I can go on and on talking about my favorite game soundtracks but I don't want to make this post long and boring. How about you, what are your favorites?

Choosing Ideal Games to Distract and Educate Young Girls

I have never been a big fan of small kids, and it’s not just because I haven’t had one myself or that I was the last born in our family, it’s largely because I am a gamer, and any gamer will tell you small kids just get in the way in the battlefield, with all their yelling, pooping and demanding attention.

A couple of weekends ago, a friend of mine had an emergency at work and couldn’t get a babysitter in time. Guess who she called? When a 5 year old girl was dropped on my arms for a whole night, I knew I would have to excuse myself from an upcoming gang ambush on GTA V.

Thanks to the Internet and in particular an article “Choosing Ideal Games to Distract and Educate Young Girls”” on KQED . I learnt something about using video games to distract a young child, and apparently, 5 isn’t too young.

Here’s what I learnt:

A child of any age is adept about finding more information, and just like adults’ minds are blown away with new and exciting things, children’s minds can wander off in an enjoyable game.

The internet is the most distractive of all human inventions, let’s face it, the most watched videos on YouTube aren’t about cosmos or health, it’s gangnam style and cats doing tricks. I learnt that the best way to distract a little girl is basically give them what every little girl wants – a distracting time to infatuate doing the most fun things they want to be doing when they grow up. Like shopping, cooking and make-up games.

The internet really does everything for us now, babysitting included. My evening with a 5 year old was among the most exciting as I taught an excited girl how to play games online on my tablet. If you have a little kid, and wish to get them distracting games that also help them learn, don’t shove violence and monsters on their faces, sometimes all they need are as simple games as these I found for Kim, the beautiful 5 year old and my friend:

Sunny Trendy

Sunny Trendy is a summer-time beach game for girls whose heads are turn by fashion. If your little has an eye for color and is selective in matching clothes, then this is the game you will want them playing to master their skills more. In a summer city where every kind of summer style clothing is available to choose, a girl can be distracted for house picking, matching, dropping, comparing and in the process learning how to look. You may be forced to come ‘check out’ every result though, every game needs an audience!

Hannah Montana Miley`s Malibu Manicure

Every little girl loves Hannah Montana even before they watch the TV series on Disney. In my search to understand a little girl’s triggers, I learnt that introducing a 5 year old to characters like Hannah Montana through games and such is a great way to establish consistency in learning and playing, considering that the name is a big brand. Well, at least this is what I realized after talking to my friend Sarah who runs a Nail Art website.

It is manucure time in this game, and the girl gets to join a slumber party where part of the party fun is choosing between Lilly and Miley to help with their manicure!

I now realize that gamers can be friends with kids, just as long as they get a little attention – enough to learn how to become little gamers themselves.

Crysis – Advanced Bow and Arrow Weaponry

Everyone anticipates the future with eagerness. After all, we don’t know what the future will bring. Some people, like artists, filmmakers and video game creators, have let their imaginations run wild and produced a lot of fictional work that deal with what the future could bring. There have been a lot of interpretations, of course, as each creator took a lot of liberties and artistic license on their vision of the future.

The Crysis franchise, the third in the series, is one of those games that attempt to speculate on what the future could bring. Set in a dystopian world, the hero of the game spends a considerable time hunting his prey with his advanced weaponry. These advanced weapons are simply improvements or innovations on conventional weapons that we have nowadays. Now, one of Prophet’s weapons is the Predator Bow, which has been introduced in the third installment, Crysis 3.

Next Generation Hunting Bow

The Crysis 3 website describes the Predator bow as a composite bow with a very high power capacity. While it does rely on human intervention in order to fire its projectiles, the bow adds its own power to improve the projectile capability of the Predator bow. By appearance, it looks similar to the composite bows of today but that’s where the similarities end.

The Predator bow is very flexible. It means that its payload is not limited to conventional arrows only. The hero of Crysis fights non-human opponents. Targets like that lethal require a more lethal form of weaponry, so the Predator bow is designed to be able to different types of arrows. You can fit it with exploding arrows. If you need to simply incapacitate a target, you can use electrically charged arrowheads and fire them at the prey.

The Predator bow also sets itself apart from conventional bows with the cloaking technology it has. The bow shares that capability with the protagonist’s nanosuit. When there’s a need, the cloaking technology is activated in order to hide the wearer from the sights of their enemies. However, the Predator Bow can still be fired even when the cloaking technology is turned on – the user remains stealthy even when launching an arrow at the enemy.

Other Weapons

Aside from the Predator bow, the protagonist of Crysis has access to several weapons including firearms. These firearms, however, are more advanced than any the world has seen today. These firearms are more powerful and can certainly do a lot more than what our soldiers are able to do in the present world. Of course, this is the future. The enemies are more powerful, so it would probably require more powerful weaponry for a person to at least defend himself or herself.

It’s a fact that movies can speculate much on technology and actually influence it along the way. Much of today’s technology, like the touchscreen, is similar to technologies from films like Minority Report and Star Trek, and so it might not be a surprise when somebody comes up with the technology for the Predator bow soon. Some of the crossbows and bows developed today already look like they came from sci-fi movies or games.

Keep Fit With Xbox One Game ‘Shape Up’

A number of game creators have tried and mostly failed to create a console game that also keeps you fit. So how will the new Xbox One game called “Shape Up” compare to other previous incarnations?

Starting and setting up the game is quick and easy. I am thankful for that, as setting up most “fitness” games is tedious. From the start you are placed straight into the action with a workout called Artic Punch, and when I say placed, you are literally in the game.

The aim of Artic Punch is to do punch-and-kick combinations, destroying ice blocks and snowballs on top of a submarine in the middle of the Arctic Ocean! As the game progresses, the combination of moves become more difficult, and the game also speeds up significantly. The end result is a high-paced workout similar to HIIT or Crossfit training (more info), and this is one of the best workouts you can do.

During this part of the game, you are competing against a computer-generated competitor. However if you go online you can compete against other people from around the world, making the workout more effective and fun (depending on if the other person speaks English and is cool).

Because the game is made by Ubisoft, parts of the game include aspects from “Just Dance,” and in my opinion, this is why the game works. Every game inside of “Shape Up” is similar to a style of dancing, adding a fun aspect to every workout.

The connect-in screen play is another fine feature of the game. Every time you complete a workout/game it records you, saving your time. Then the next time you play the game you can either compete against yourself or go online and kick someone’s ass.

Playing online is awesome, but playing against other friends and family in the same room is even more fun. “Squat Me to the Moon,” for example, is a great game to play with a group. It’s addictive and brings out the competitiveness even in the most timid of people.

The graphics are nothing special, but the game play is very clever. During “Squat Me to the Moon,” for example, once you hit deep space it turns into a classic game of space invaders, and who wouldn’t enjoy a retro fitness game?

Two things I would advise to buy are a pair of good-quality workout shoes (here) and a fitness outfit. The workouts during the game are as difficult as going to the gym — you will sweat a lot, especially if you are playing for an hour or more.

I think Ubisoft has finally nailed the fitness game concept. It has managed to create a game that really does give you a quality workout, but at the same time keeps the process fun and entertaining for everyone that plays. The multiplayer, on and offline, is excellent.

The only thing I think needs more attention is the graphics. They could be designed better, however I would gladly take another five games over better graphics in the next release.

Video Game Gunsmithing App Inspires Actual App

We are in an age where smartphones and handheld devices are becoming virtual extensions of our own selves. Anything from socialization to entertainment to education is conducted using applications and services which can be set up on these devices and used on the move. If there was a great way to earn a high income and develop a brand for your software development company, it is to produce an app that targets a niche that features a strong following and does not have any comparable apps competing with it in the market. The thing is that small business owners have caught on to this notion etc. and as such free, untapped financial markets are depleted quickly.

One market is the niche of gunsmithing… of which Gun Gods have some great articles on gunsmith training you can take as well as some tutorials. This is the domain that has and may always remain liked by an incredibly large area of the global population with thanks to the natural charm and appeal of having the ability to craft your individual weapon. Probably, from the time the 1st gun was invented, there have been people who wanted to learn this craft to make their own unique guns, from kids to old people, guns have held a particular attraction. The greatest trouble with this area continues to be that it’s both expensive and risky with few professionals to help novices figure things out and get on the right path. It doesn’t take an entrepreneurial genius to work that out, because of the cheap computational power afforded by smartphones and handheld computers, it is extremely basic and profitable to develop an application that teaches people the skill of gunsmithing by letting them create their particular firearms and testing them in a generated or simulated environment.

Consider for example Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Network app that has a GunSmith feature included. Although definitely not simulating real world weapon conditions, it enables users to make more than 20 million weapons. This application continues to be criticized because it lacks the appropriate interface to allow intuitive gun creation but it has nevertheless received attention from gamers and non-gamers alike who will be into gun crafting. This demonstrates just how much potential this niche holds within the app market. There are no quality apps that allow users to evaluate their gun schematics before giving them a shot in person which explains why making a gunsmithing app will likely be extremely practical for a mobile app development company that is in its infancy. Should they manage to create an application that simulates actual life physics besides allowing users to make their very own guns coming from a diverse assortment of spare parts, their company will certainly have the attention of both critics and customers alike, bringing in the required profits and fame to enable them to establish themselves in the mobile application market.

Just as one afterthought, the application can contain advice for aspiring gunsmiths extracted from reputable websites that rate gunsmithing schools, so that the consumer has the impression that the app was made by expert gunsmiths who know their business. This in turn can earn money from actual colleges and universities that would pay to be featured in the app.

Too Busy to Play Xbox With Me – Shame on You!

I’ve always been a gamer. Ever since I got my first Super Nintendo and lost myself in the land of Mario, I’ve been a part of the gaming community, and it’s quite spectacular to see how the games have changed and evolved over time. If I’m being honest, my gaming has always been a bit of a hobby, and never really interfered with my work or personal life – but at the same time, it’s been something I’ve devoted a lot of time, money, and effort to, and one of the most rewarding aspects of being a gamer is being able to share that experience with others.

For the longest time my two friends Matt and Kyle were my proverbial ‘wing men’ when it came to gaming. We been a part of a guild for a number of years, in a variety of different games from World of Warcraft to StarCraft II championships. I think that’s why I liked games so much – they weren’t just something to do, they were an interactive experience that helped to shape our friendships, and because of that, they’ve always had a certain place in my heart.

That’s why I’m a bit depressed today. I can’t really hold it against them, but both Kyle and Matt both found new jobs recently (one as an electrician and one as a dialysis technician) and recently it’s been the same old excuse from both: “I have no time to play games anymore, grow up!”

I take this a little personally. First of all, there are plenty of times when I have no time, but still make every effort to try and be a gamer. Second of all, there’s this tendency to discredit gamers as a ‘children who have never grown up’, which I frankly resent. I have a full-time job, a girlfriend, and a really successful and happy life, and gaming just happens to be a part of that – the stereotype of the gamer in modern popular culture is less than flattering, and tends to pigeon-hole people. When you say “gamer” people picture an overweight, unsuccessful, pimple-faced recluse living in their parent’s basement. Which, for 99% of us, isn’t the case at all. I think it’s time to take back the term, and redefine it.

Like I said, I understand and sympathize with Kyle and Matt, and realize that being an adult in this world involves having a job and dealing with family matters. Priorities change, and for them, maybe games and gaming have taken a backseat to attempting to build a well-paying career. I won’t say I don’t miss them – I certainly do. My point is simply this: the way in which we define ourselves as adults should be clarified according to our responsibilities, and how we interact with others. For me, that interaction has always been a healthy one, rooted in the online gaming culture. So much so, in fact, that even my girlfriend has taken up the mantle, and our relationship couldn’t be better as a result.

So now when Kyle and Matt tell me that they have no time, I don’t judge – but neither do I put up with them inferring that I’m not equally, if not more, adult in my relationships and lifestyle choices.

Dating when you are a gamer

Sometimes it is possible to encounter another person that is also a gamer. This is rare, but it is possible. You may have to test the waters by simply asking someone what their hobbies are. If they are into gaming it is okay to discuss this topic. The key is to be familiar with more than video games.

Develop Your People Skills

A lot of people that are into gaming are not really going to naturally interact with people well. Sometimes a gamer may have to practice their people skills by reading books on how to interact. A gamer should know about more than games when they are planning to go out.

They need to have a plethora of conversation ice breakers when they are going on new dates. It is pertinent to find out what a person is interested in when you are dating. Developing your people skills means gathering information on a variety of topics. This gives you the opportunity to talk about entertainment, news and life without getting bogged down with video game talk.

Make an Effort to Minimize Your Game Time

When you start dating there is going to be a need to minimize your game time. If you are dating you have to play fewer gamers and make more time for the relationship. This means putting down the controller when you call someone you are interested in. You may even want to hide the game console when your date comes over. You can avoid the temptation to play when you have a date at your home. You also avoid the judgement that a date may have about your extensive gaming interests.

Step Outside of Your Tech World

At the end of the day you have to realize that you cannot date and remain completely involved in your world of technology. You have to make a conscious effort to curb your slang. Some gamers get caught up with using slang words that are not part of everyday language. It is a lot better to stay away from any terms that will require an explanation. Dates that are not into gaming are not going to be interested in the history of games. They are not going to want to know about characters and various levels of games. Don’t fall into the trap and rely on your knowledge of games to be your source of conversation. Avoid the temptation to pull your dates into your tech world and step out into their world.

Master Other Activities

When you are a gamer it is easy to stay in your comfort zone. Don’t let your love of games make you a couch potato though. It is a good idea to engage in some other activities. You may want to consider sports or exercising. This will give you the ability build common interests easier.

There is nothing wrong with being a gamer. People that are fond of technology just have to make sure that they can communicate on more than games.” – Kezia Noble Relationship Expert.

Dating Made Easy In A Highly Technological World

The technological world has made it so much easier for people to interact together without much pressure or too much effort. In the past, getting to know a lot of potential dates could take a while. You would also have a lot more pressure of possibly being rejected over and over again.

Today even a shy man or a shy woman who does not have enough courage to physically approach someone can get a response from a person they are attracted to online.

Facebook for example, has made it easier for people to browse a number of potential dates in their community, it allows people to view hundreds if not thousands of potential dates. Today, it is possible for a guy to just message a girl they like online, they can say hi and just view the online profile of the girl to get clues on what they could say in order to spark up a conversation.

This was not possible before, because there is not enough information for people to start a conversation, there were no ice breakers before unlike now. Now you can look at several photos of someone to decide if they are physically attractive and if you want to approach them.

Dating sites like OKcupid and Tinder as well as other dating sites have also made it easier for people to connect worldwide. It is possible to browse more than a thousand potential dates by just using these online dating tools.

OkCupid for example, allows the users to answer questions and would determine if they match a certain person anywhere in the world. The person can just sign up, provide a bit of information about themselves like their favorite book and movie, and they can be matched with potential people who are nearby or who are residing on the other side of the world.

Even Geeks, who are constantly online can find potential partners and would be able to get a date just by chatting online. There are a lot of computer and video games addict, who are able to get decent dates due to the dating options provided to them by technology.

Finding a partner with the same likes, views, and interest is easier to do. Nowadays mobile apps for dating have already been created. You can find a date wherever you are at. This is great because you are not just limited if you don’t own a computer, because just about everyone owns a smart phone now that can have apps installed on it.

People can just install apps like Plenty of fish, Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder and other dating sites and change their dating options at any time. Just by simply signing up guys can find girls who are near the vicinity, they can be sitting on a train, a bus or just at home and they can view the profiles of potential partners they can chat with and date eventually.

Some dating sites would even offer options for bisexuals, transgender, lesbians and homosexual, even asexual who just want to have someone to talk to.

The dating sites have been socially engineered to make it easier for people to connect. People are given different ways to connect, they can message the person, select a like button, select a number of heart options in order to show that they like a person, or the user can be given statistics on how many people like them if they provide a certain profile picture.

Almost anything in life could be socially engineered, and techs and geeks have made sure that computer addicts and users will have a fair chance in the online dating world“- Kezia Noble Relationship Expert.

Video Game Review: Greg Hastings Paintball 2

The biggest name in paintball gets back in the game with the release of Greg Hastings Paintball 2 for the latest Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii video game consoles.

Built for fans of both the game of paintball itself and first person shooting games, Greg Hastings Paintball 2 is the second follow up to the 2004 Xbox cult classic Greg Hastings’ Tournament Paintball, following the 2005 sequel Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball MAX’D.

The original game was featured on Xbox Live Director of Programming Major Nelson’s Top 25 List, reaching as high as number nine.

This time around players have the chance to compete in 12 different paintball locations each offering as many six different fields and giving users the opportunity to gain some valuable global paintball experience all across the United States and Europe. In fact, the game allows users to get their game on in some of the best real world paintball fields on the planet.

Multiplayer is back featuring seven game modes and allowing users to compete against as many as 19 other paintball players. But other gamers aren’t the only thing you’re up against in Greg Hastings Paintball 2. The game also features a wide variety of constantly changing weather conditions including rain, wind, fog and mud.

Greg Hastings Paintball 2 also features an improved map editor allowing users the chance to create and build their own paintball fields. Plus, the controls have improved immensely allowing gamers to switch weapons and gun hands even faster than previous incarnations of the game.

Speaking of weapons, gamers can now equip themselves with all the latest and greatest paintball weaponry including pistols, pump guns, paint grenades, and the ultimate paint rocket launchers. Shooting the different markers feels realistic enough that it almost feels like I’m out shooting my real life Tippmann Gryphon.

Plus, goggles, jerseys, markers and a wide variety of other gear and accessories are available.

For the first time, users will also have access to an all-new cheat meter that can help them wipe away unwanted paint splatter and avoid being eliminated from the game too soon.

Of course, players can also build and manage their own teams picking from the cream of the crop of more than 100 pro and amateur paintball legends. The best teams can earn big cash by winning events and use it to purchase new gear, improved players and upgraded skills.

Greg Hastings Paintball 2 offers three brand new event branches including Tournament Speedball, Recball, and Tournament Woodsball allowing users to compete in as many as 40 different events. Gamers can compete in a variety of Elimination, Single Flag, Capture the Flag, Point Capture, Assault, Sniper, and Recon missions.

Also brand new to Greg Hastings Paintball 2 is a player trading card system where you can browse through the skills of your teammates or peruse the stock of potential running mates for the future.

The more you play, the better the game gets as players have the chance to earn achievements and unlock new skills all the way along.

Greg Hastings himself is a former US Navy Sailor who picked up the game of paintball in the late 1980’s while stationed in San Diego, California. He went to become a legend in the game both competing in tournaments and developing some of the most innovative gear and weaponry the industry has ever seen.

The bottom line is that if his name is on the game you can bet it offers nothing less than an authentic paintball experience.

Developed originally by Super X Studios, the game was released by publisher Majesco on September 28, 2010 and is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and older with warnings about the both the language and level of violence.