Month: March 2020

Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins is the latest in the long-running platforming series published by Ubisoft, and developed by their internal Montpellier studio. It’s also the first game to make use of the UbiArt Framework, a graphics engine that takes a lot of the technical aspects out of creating games with hand-drawn elements. With other engines, artists have to factor in movement and scaling to keep their images from being distorted. UbiArt Framework makes a lot of these factors moot as it handles them automagically, giving artists a chance to focus simply on creating great art, and then allowing them to animate the pieces by manipulating the individual object’s silhouette. The result is a truly gorgeous 2D platformer that may well be the crown jewel of the genre’s recent renaissance.

Rayman‘s gameplay is pure 2D platforming. It’s all about precision jumping and fancy footwork, navigating harmful obstacles and a myriad of colorful and offbeat baddies. All the while you’re collecting coins, or rather in this case sleepy little balls of light called “Lums.” Along the way you’ll cross a sea of punch, explore a mountain temple, and enlist the help of a flower king. Oh, but just so you know, there are piranha in the punch, the mountain temple is infested with swarms of bat-like creatures, and when you first meet the flower king he’s 25 feet tall, covered in thorns and wants to eat you. Cute and challenging are two words that would go a long way toward describing this game.

There’s nothing worse than a game that’s difficult enough to require precision, only to give you control of a character that floats around or whose jumps seem ever so slightly delayed. Luckily that is not the case here, as Ubisoft nailed the controls. Everything from sprinting to jumping feels tight and responsive, and Rayman (or Globox, one of the tweenies, or any one of a number of other unlockable characters) seems to go exactly where you mean him to go. Replayability is also good as completionists will find themselves playing each level multiple times in an effort to collect all the Lums, find all the hidden Electoon cages, and earn all the time trial trophies.

Amid all the stuff that Ubisoft did right with this game- and they did so much right- I think the real unsung hero is the soundtrack. From the music in the opening cinematic that instigates the Darktoons to attack the Glade of Dreams, to well-crafted scores that complement each stage’s theme and worm their way into your head with their sublime quirkiness, it all complements the art style so well.

In addition to being a great single player game, Rayman also features an up to four player co-op, a la New Super Mario Brothers, allowing you and three friends to navigate the hazards out there together. Luckily checkpoints are frequent, and since players that fall or get hit are ‘bubblelized’ and can get tagged back in by floating close to another player, progress is possible even if you have to carry a weak link. This will prove especially nice to those of you who like to game with your kids, or who have spouses who aren’t as good at games as they think they are.

All in all, I can’t think of much to complain about concerning this game. It looks and sounds great, the controls are solid and replayability is high. Lots of fun, lots of challenges, lots of heart, and lots of charm. In fact, the only negative thing I can even think to say is the game is 15 years too late to be a part of the genre’s heyday and get the attention it deserves. Rayman Origins has been out since November 2011, and so far its story has been one of critical success but commercial disappointment. I think that will change over time, though, because despite the decline of 2D gaming, Rayman Origins is in it for the long haul. Games this good don’t go unnoticed forever. If you are a fan of great platforming in the vein of classic Mario Brothers or Sonic the Hedgehog titles, you owe it to yourself to check this game out now.

In 1993 Slackers Music Movies Games was founded in downtown Columbia, Missouri, on Broadway Street, right smack dab in the middle of Middle America. Not just a record store and not just a gaming store, Slackers had the novel notion that people loved music, movies and games equally, so there needed to be a store to cater to them.

Slackers staffed its stores with music, game and movie aficionados who prided themselves not only on customer service but also on product knowledge. Slackers offered the opportunity to “Try before you buy,” where customers were able to play any video game and listen to any CD to see if they really liked it before they purchased it.


Dragonvale

The great thing about this game is that it’s free, to download and to play. In app purchases are there for those who like to speed things up but if you are patient, there is literally nothing that you cant get without spending money. The game starts out with a tutorial that shows you how to do everything so if you have never played this style of game before, you should find everything fairly easy to pick up.

Gameplay is quite relaxed, you don’t have to have this game turned on constantly to play it seriously and unlike other games in the genre, projects don’t foul up if left for a long time. Basically, this means that anything you plant is still going to be useable no matter how long you leave it, which is great for the casual gamer who can only log in once a day.

Dragonvale can be played on iPod or iPhone but having used both devices, I’d recommend only iPad users play this game, everything runs fine on iPhone but loading up your park can take a long time, last time I tried, it took close to ten minutes but then, my park is fairly large. You’ll also need a broadband connection to play this one.

As you progress through the levels you will have the option to buy new buildings, dragons and food farms and you’ll also be able to buy additional islands to expand your park. Player interaction is fairly limited, you can visit your friends parks daily to claim cash bonuses however, I found there was little incentive to do so and the loading times make this a tedious task in any case. You can however send your friends gems, which they can use to by some of the more premium content. You’ll also have access to more dragons to breed and buy.

You can grow your dragons, enter them in contests for gems and experience and breed them to create different hybrids. The creators are constantly adding new content including limited time breeds and rare dragons that require a great deal of luck and patience to breed.

The graphics in Dragonvale are great quality, cute with vibrant colors. You can tap on virtually everything to get a detailed description and these are often quite humorous. My only real complaint is a lack of decoration items, hopefully that’s an issue that gets fixed in future updates.

I rate this 4.5 stars out of 5 it’s enjoyable and great quality but needs a little work on the social aspect of the game. It’s suitable for all ages and I think most gamers will enjoy this title purely for its relaxed gameplay and the addictive nature of the breeding. New content is released consistently but not so quickly as to be overwhelming and best of all, it’s free.


Shadow of La Rochelle

The story of the game takes place in 16th century France, during the time of King Henry II’s reign. Well mostly, because originally, you are from the present time, but the ghost of Diane de Poitiers appeared in front of you and transported you back in time. If you do not know who Diane de Poitiers is, she is actually the most favorite mistress of King Henry II. The task that was then set for you is for you to find the real cause of her death and find the conspirators to her murder before you get to go back to the present time.

Even though the story of Amulet of Time: Shadow of la Rochelle is based on historical accounts, I suggest you do not learn history from the game since most of the storyline is inaccurate. Well, that is quite understandable really, because in order to successfully sell a game, the story should have more drama and should grip you to play as long as possible. Amulet of Time: Shadow of la Rochelle does this very well. And I should say that this is one of the best hidden object game stories I have experienced this week.

In terms of game play, I must say that overall, the game is very beautiful. The overall graphics is very nice. I especially loved the beautifully illustrated journal that keeps track of your progress through the game. The sounds are subtle and not annoying like most games and the puzzles range from pretty easy to moderately challenging. Amulet of Time: Shadow of la Rochelle is mostly hidden object scenes though, so there is few adventure gaming involved. Anyway, this does not make the game less addictive, as I enjoyed every moment of playing while the story unfolds.


Legends Build Guide

  • First of all you should always start boots and 3 hp pots with pretty much every role in the game. You need to do this so you will be able to engage or retreat quickly with the movement speed you have and stay in lane longer with the help of the hp pots.
  • Runes and Masteries are very important to winning your lane. Most common Mastery builds for an AD carry or AP is a 21/0/9 build and for tanks a 0/21/9 build. This isn’t quite the same for everyone but you will find that out later. Runes are very champ specific and can also find that out in the full League of Legends build guide.
  • Summoner spells should go like this. Support gets flash and exhaust. AD Carry get flash and heal. Mid gets flash and ignite. Top gets flash/ghost and ignite. Jungler gets smite and flash/exhaust.
  • Also get to know all of the champions in the game well because this will help you know when to be careful and when to play aggressive. This League of Legends build guide will help you better understand all of this.
  • When playing as a jungler you want to pay attention to all of the lanes at all times. When you see a lane over extend, which is when they have pushed past the midway point in the lane towards your tower, you want to gank that lane as soon as possible.
  • When playing an AD carry you should buy a couple of Dorans Blades when you have enough gold because this will help make you a little more tanky and give you a lot of damage and lifesteal. If you start out really well and get enough gold you can buy a BF Sword next instead of Dorans Blades.
  • If playing AP Mid lane you should go for a couple of Dorans Rings and some wards so you can ward the bushes on both sides to keep from getting ganked.
  • When playing Top lane try to get a ward as early as possible and place it in the river near the exit from their blue buff when playing on the top purple side. When playing on the bottom blue side, place it in the tri bush near their jungle exit.
  • If playing Support be sure to first wards instead of boots because you are going to need to ward the enemies bottom bush in the bottom lane and the river near you.
  • There is much more than I can explain here you must check out the videos to get all of the content you need from the League of Legends build guide to become a pro.

Online Quiz Contests

Win Car, Cash, Mobile Recharge, Gold Coin

The online quiz contests in India basically offer a variety of lucrative and tempting prizes. From brand new cars and bikes to gold coins and cash rewards, there is a lot to win.

Some quizzing portals provide points for each correct entry, which can be later redeemed for other items or shopping vouchers. The others hand over the prize directly once you have been selected as the final winner of a lucky draw. So different web-based competitions may have different ways but they are all aimed at providing the same thing – joy and rewards!

G.K. Based Questions

If you are interested in KBC or have already started preparing for it, you can use your skills in winning the online competitions as well. Generally, all the web contests are based on general awareness, multiple choice questions that can be easily answered by any average person. So it is an ultimate medium for learning, enhancing and testing your mental ability.

Hence you can look at these contests as a medium of testing your present knowledge status while enjoying the prizes that come your way.

The Matter of Luck!

Just like KBC, you luck also matters in a lot of online quiz contests India. If the contest involves a draw for choosing the final winner, your luck definitely matters a lot. However, there are some competitions that reward you on the basis of every correct answer. Additionally, you can also increase your chances of being picked up as a winner by submitting multiple entries of a single contest if permitted by the website.

Being fortunate is not a prerequisite for grabbing the featured gifts in the online contests to win prizes but it does counts at times. Ultimately, it is your mental ability that really matters because if you know well, you will win well.


GRID 2

One thing I really appreciate about this game is that it actually has a campaign of sorts, and also tries to get you emotionally attached to some of the virtual drivers participating in the various races. I find it really cool that drivers in GRID 2 have regular names, and you actually meet some of them a number of times on the track. The game is pure racing, though, there are no cops, mafia, or anything like that, so the story is exclusively built around the drama that happens on the track.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, as GRID 2 features one of the very best car handling systems ever seen in a racing game. Even though the developers from Codemasters are calling it TrueFeel, the handling system’s goal isn’t to make controlling the cars feel particularly real. The developers have aimed to strike a good balance between a realistic and an arcade feeling, and it’s safe to say that they have done a wonderful job. This is not Need For Speed, because it’s actually very easy to completely waste your car, should you enter a turn with too high a speed, but at the same time the game is very fast-paced and packs a tremendous amount of action, which makes it feel like more of an arcade-style racer. GRID 2 is also a great racing game thanks to its variety of gaming modes. You can do traditional races, but there are also some more exotic options like Drift, where you specifically have to excel at drifting. Thankfully, the singleplayer features a custom race mode, where you can just pick the track and the car that you want and race against the AI. A really cool option is the split-screen mode, where two players can race against each other on the same machine.

The original Race Driver: GRID was simply gorgeous, and thankfully, the same thing can be said about GRID 2. The tracks, environments and the cars are absolutely beautiful, without being too complex in their nature, and without being too demanding on your system. Various effects like smoke, dust, lens flares and glows add color to the visuals and are simply fantastic. The only poorly-looking part of GRID 2′s graphics are the fans scattered around the start/finish line, as their models are very low-res, but once the race begins, the crowds of people around the finish line actually start looking great at high speeds, when you can no longer focus on the small details.

The sound approach in GRID 2 is also very good. Since most of the game is a campaign mode, you often hear your buddy navigating you while you’re in the middle of a race, warning you about potential obstacles ahead or providing you with other valuable information. Effects like engine screams and crowd noises are fantastic, while the music during the cut-scenes is awesome and helps you get pumped up about the upcoming race. The one thing I dislike here is that music is largely absent during the races themselves, which is simply mind-boggling, as it can be such a powerful tool in action-packed moments, such as the ones that GRID 2 is so full of.


Borderlands 2

In the first game you had four very different and outlandish classes to play as. This one is no different. The only class that plays radically differently is the Assassin class, also known as Zer0. What makes him different is the fact that his melee attacks are generally useful. I went with this specialization throughout the game, and it was very different to play as a guy who’s meant to slice and dice rather than use one of the bajillion guns in the game.

Actually, that’s one of the game’s many strong points: the vast array of weapons. Most of the time you’ll find some common trashy ones but sometimes you’ll catch a break and pick up something truly amazing. At one point I had a gun that talked back to me every time I reloaded or zoomed in. Yeah, sure, eventually it got a little old but I couldn’t help but chuckle every time he said something off the wall.

If you played the first one, then of course you’ll recognize the outlandish sense of humor. In fact, I think it’s possibly one of the funniest video games ever made. The main adversary Handsome Jack is deviously hilarious with his off-putting sense of destruction. He makes for a way better bad guy than in the previous game. Every time I saw him pop up on the top right of my screen I knew there was going to be something worth listening to.

Not everything is perfect. There are some really, really mundane missions. There definitely could have been a little bit more variety when it came to quests at hand. You’ll fight through an area, come to a big open spot and you’ll no doubt be encountering the boss of that area. Sure, the boss might have something humorous about him but when every other quest is a kill mission you might expect a little bit more of a unique way to get to him.

That’s another gripe I had with this game: the traveling system. With such a big game space to play in, I would have thought they would try and polish the driving mechanics in this game. Though not terrible, the vehicles seem to always be driving with soap-covered wheels. It’s just not responsive enough for such a polished game- the only change that they’ve given them is that they’re able to use an emergency break which in many cases just leads to more problems. That’s one of the gripes I had with the first game but there were minimal changes to it with this sequel. Luckily, you won’t find yourself in any vigorous vehicle missions.

Finally, I need to touch upon the amazing cooperative mode. This game is truly made to be played with your friends on PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. Sure, it’s fun to just blast around with random people but if you actually know the guys you’re playing with you won’t have to worry about random jerks stealing all your loot. I just wish they had some sort of loot based system like some of the Massively Mutliplayer games out there. Maybe a need before greed loot system or something. Other than that, the multiplayer is great and was essentially lag free every time I loaded it up.


Racing Video Games

Crazy Taxi 

This is not a classic racing game, in the sense that you are competing against other drivers. But, you still have to race against time, which is also a lot of fun. You have to complete various missions, such as picking up customers, performing stunts, overcoming obstacles, getting a certain number of points for each mission you complete.

Midnight Club

This game was developed by Rockstar Games, which also created the extremely popular Midtown Madness. It’s an open-world street-racing video game, which is set in Manhattan, and was originally designed to be played on a PlayStation 2. You can drive some of the best luxury cars, as well as tuners, muscle cars, and motorcycles. You can also customize your car by adding personalized license plates, and by modifying the interior, adding aftermarket steering wheels, gearboxes, racing seats, and so on.

Colin McRae Rally 

Colin McRae Rally is definitely one of the most popular video games ever made. It doesn’t owe its popularity to the fact there are not too many good rally games that it has to compete against, but the fact that it has some pretty good sound and visual effects, and the fact that it was named after perhaps the best rally driver in the history of this sport.


Better Driver With Online Car Games

The most popular motor club in the United States thinks so. Drivers aged fifty or older are eligible for a member’s discount on a software package that is essentially a video game. The program is engineered to train elderly drivers with exercises designed to improve motor skills, awareness and reaction time. Since brain fitness, vision and other skills critical to driving tend to decline with age, there is good reason for older individuals to use such games to sharpen their abilities.

Other companies are experimenting with similar programs to assist teenagers just learning to drive. Improved awareness and faster decision making are just a few of the benefits that have been proven to result from gaming. Software is even used to help young people with cognitive difficulties and mental illnesses.

University studies have shown that electronic games can help children develop motor skills. Another study explored the effects of video games on surgeons who utilize tiny tools and small incisions. Those who played more demonstrated more accuracy and control. On the other end of the scalpel, gaming has been shown to reduce stress and even help eliminate the perception of pain in medical patients. Another recent study suggests that playing can improve eyesight by more than fifty percent.

So, can car games make you a better driver? Can bike games make you a better rider? The verdict seems to be positive. While a virtual world can’t replace real behind-the-wheel experience, practicing on a computer has definite benefits that translate to the real world.

Bike games can be just as effective as those that feature automobiles. After all, the same skills are required: fast reflexes, keen awareness, sharp eyes and even problem solving. Whatever you preferred the mode of transportation, your driving may benefit from some play. You can enjoy fast-paced action and hours of fun, confident that you are doing more than “just playing” as you develop your abilities to navigate a real vehicle.


Super Mario Galaxy 3

Flash forward three years, and Galaxy 2 was released. Nintendo found a way to push the graphical limits of the Wii to its finest. The smooth, realistic look was something completely new to Wii gamers. Galaxy 2 introduced Mario’s famous companion, Yoshi, into the franchise. This addition made the already popular games even more popular.

Now, we are approaching the three year mark since the last game and everybody is waiting for the next installment. Nintendo has announced their latest console, the Wii U, so it’s only expected that Super Mario Galaxy 3 would be announced by it’s side.

But true fans that have been following the series know that it is coming. The question is not whether or not it is coming… The question is rather what magic will it bring to the table?

One of the biggest elements that the Galaxy series has going for it is its soundtrack. Did you know that the Galaxy 2 soundtrack had over 100 tracks? The beautiful orchestra tracks give space such an elegant feel. So the first thing that can be expected is another beautiful soundtrack. And quite possibly a revamp of a couple older Nintendo songs. (The Classics)

Next, we can expect the addition of new suits for Mario to wear. In the original Mario Galaxy, we had just a few suits to play around with. When Super Mario Galaxy 2 was released, we got to use all of the old suits along with three additional suits. So for Super Mario Galaxy 3, it’s very fair to assume that the old suits will all be back in play (at least in some respect), and that we will gain a couple additional suits as well. Some suits have been thrown around like the Tanooki Suit from Mario Bros 3, the Penguin Suit from Mario Bros Wii, and the Frog Suit from Mario Bros 3. With the Tanooki Suit is the latest Mario title on the 3DS, I believe that Nintendo will not be including it in Super Mario Galaxy 3. But the Penguin Suit and Frog Suit are certainly up for grabs.