Author: <span class="vcard">Larry Winchester</span>

Mistakes Beginners Make On Bidding Sites

Not Setting Realistic Expectations

Because it’s very unlikely to win a high-ticket item your first time bidding, it’s so, so important for users need to set realistic goals when participating in online bidding sites. If you are new to an online bidding site, you shouldn’t expect to win a video camera or iPad on your first try bidding. Understand that you’ll be bidding against users with a lot more experience and therefore, the odds are against you.

Going For High-Ticket Items

Speaking of video cameras and iPads, it’s not a good idea to go after the most popular item on the bidding site on your first try. The most popular items are bound to have the most highly-skilled veterans bidding on them, as well as the most people bidding on them. Once you have gotten used to the bidding platform, you’ll know what measures you need to take in order to protect your bid investment when going after the high-ticket items.

Additionally, we recommend that you commit to only one high-ticket item auction at a time. Be willing to dedicate more time and at least a third of the value of the item in bids in order to increases your odds of winning a high-ticket item.

One bidder said, “When I started out I watched a lot of auctions without bidding just to get a feel for the rhythm of the bidding process, and when I did start bidding I started out small on $10 gift cards and eventually worked my way up to larger prizes.”


Coasterville Facebook Game

The game features a nice tutorial that will get you familiar with the game through a series of quests, teaching you the basics, such as building stands and rides, upgrading them, and finding the items necessary by searching them. Most actions in this game require 1 energy point, which recovers every 3 or 4 minutes by 1 point, the only things I’ve seen that don’t require energy is customizing rides, painting them, and upgrading shops. You can get more by waiting, or having friends send you energy packs. Other buildings in this game help out the park customers, such as rest rooms, first aid stations, and more.

Goods is an item which is required for almost everything in this game, and can be gotten by ordering more from the warehouse. The warehouse offers several amounts of goods to be delivered, denoted by a time associated with them, or you can visit friends to get more from their warehouses and other means.

Inspiration is an item received from visiting your friends’ parks and aiding them by clicking on rides, parks, hotels, and so forth. You receive 1 for each friend, and this is used in the construction of many ride upgrades and ride construction.

Thrill points is an item received from boosting rides, and is also used as construction ingredients in many rides and some stands. Boosting rides will give you a set amount of points, and upgrading the rides will increase the amount you get for each boost! Beware, however, that boosting too much can break the rides and require more goods and such to repair and get it back to normal again.

Annual passes are an item gotten from the Annual Pass Stand, and work as recommendations, like from the game Chefville. You will need these recommendations to expand your park further, so you can build more rides and whatever you wish to add.

There is a few buildings, which are used for crafting parts, food, and props, for your rides and expansions. The more advanced constructions will require crafting parts from these buildings, but thankfully, I haven’t come across too much need for these buildings as of yet. You will probably need these much more often for the more advanced rides, as I have noticed for the Fantasy and Wild West themed rides, which brings me to another point.

Besides normal rides, like bumper cars, ferris wheels, and the like, there is also “Themed” rides and attractions. Currently, the game offers Fantasy (Medieval style), Wild West, (Cowboys and Saloons), and the Winter themes. You also receive customization options to place there, such as dirt for the wild west, and so forth, as well as themed decorations.

You unlock more rides and amenities by getting “Park Popularity”, and you get this by placing decorations, upgrading rides, and building more rides. However, your front gate only allows so many rides because topping off, which will require more friends to hire to upgrade to the next level front gate. Another item in this game, which is required for many upgrades and stands, is hospitality, which looks like a hotel bell. You get hospitality by building motels/hotels, or by asking friends.

The roller coasters in this game have some decent customization options, and you can expand them in 4 directions, and require certain ingredients, such as goods or thrill points to expand. You can paint these rides and customize the sections with ride hills, “barn” sections (riding through an enclosure, like a barn or something), and twists and turns, corkscrews, and much more! The more expansive the ride, the more ingredients are needed for each ride section!


Rayman Origins

In Rayman Origins, you play as (you guessed it!) Rayman, as you tackle almost a dozen different areas, filled with levels that cover the requisite range of fire, ice and water themes, but with some other interesting ideas thrown in to make them feel very fresh again. For example, one string of levels are all tied to the theme of music, with piano keys stretched across the ground and drum heads that launch you into the sky, built into the stage both as enjoyable eye candy and as part of the level’s smart design.

And smart design it is. Gameplay is quite simple, at first. You basically just run, jump and stomp on baddies like you would expect in a typical platformer, but as you advance you are granted powers like the ability to attack, swim and run up walls. Surely nothing revolutionary, but when these powers are combined with some really clever ideas regarding level layout, the gameplay really shines. In fact, should you choose to speed run a level (and the game even encourages you to attempt this) you start to get the sense that many levels can be completed without ever breaking your stride, with a perfection in motion that feels a bit like the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog combined with the accuracy and “no margin for error” gameplay of Contra. Needless to say, things can become quite difficult.

Mind you, they don’t have to be. Playing through this game, with the goal of just reaching the finish line, shouldn’t pose much of a problem. However, this game wants you, begs you to collect, and that’s what its entire framework is built around. I would even go as far as to say you’re really not playing the game as the developers intended, should you choose to push through, collecting the bare minimum.

No, what really makes the levels challenging and interesting is collecting lums, and finding and freeing hidden electoons (the former and the latter being the game’s adorable creature collectables). This provides much more satisfaction than simply crossing the finish line, since all the stuff you collect is tallied at the end of each level and fills in a nice medallion for it respectively, to track your progress. On the world map, you can see which levels you have completed the medallions for, as well as other milestones (like gold medals for collecting a demanding amount of lums, and trophies for completing time trials). You even receive tangible rewards for your work, like unlocking extra characters to use and extra levels to play, including the true and much more satisfying endgame (and one hell of a difficult level to get there). This is one of those games you want to complete 100% before you shelve it.

Visually, Origins is one of the prettiest games I have ever played. It adopts an art style that feels like a living cartoon or painting, and I can see it standing the test of time with its charming and energetic graphics. The music is also well done, but it takes a little time to get there. At first, the music is underwhelming, but as you work your way through the game, it builds in prominence and evolves into something less lax and more dramatic. It even begins to frequently feature the lums singing along in mesmerizing fashion, something you have to hear yourself to really appreciate.

But what would any platformer be without some epic boss fights? Origins has them, but does not tip its hand until the second half of the adventure. The bosses are huge enemies that really brandish the illustrators work, and they are creative battles, being as much a test of your wits as a test of your skills. It’s nothing you haven’t experienced before, but it’s a master class in how to correctly design old school platforming boss fights. The final boss fight is a complete and total let down, and I’m still utterly confused how it happened, but the “real” final boss fight, if you unlock it, is surely one of the coolest boss fights in the game, and disturbingly hilarious too.

I haven’t played the other versions of Rayman Origins, but this game honestly feels like it was built for the Vita. It’s perfect on the handheld, and one of the best games currently available. But regardless of which system you own, this game is completely worth your time, and deserves to be played. I was never a true Rayman fan, often associating his brand more with the Rabbids than anything else, but I am a full-on devotee now, championing good ol’ Ray as a solid entry on the short list of top shelf platformers.And while I don’t think Rayman has quite reached the platforming heights of Mario and Luigi, he’s hot on their tails.


About Mobil 1 Racing Academy

In order to get the best out of the game play, you will have to be a registered player as it allows you to save your points and game settings, which in turn count towards your competition entry. You get the opportunity to choose between the two expert racers to be your mentor while you are at the racing academy. The two mentors that you can choose from are Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart. Their experience, expertise, and instructions will be very useful to decide on the outcome of the races. Picking Hamilton as your mentor, you get started with Karting, followed by Formula 3 and finally Formula 1. Picking Tony Stewart as your mentor, you get started with Midget Cars, followed by Indy Cars and finally NASCAR. The game does allow you the option of switching between the two mentors by clicking on the garage door.

As you take part in the races on the turning tracks, featuring some of the best racers in the academy, you should try to finish in good position, perhaps first position to earn maximum points. The points earned can be used to avail the useful upgrades that make you even more competent for the races ahead. You should always be mentally prepared to face increasing challenges as the game progresses but that is nothing to complain about because you get there by choice.

The racing challenges in the game start with relative ease, but the difficulties keep creeping up as the game progresses. As you take part in the game, you will surely improve on your driving skills. There are ads in the game but they always appear with the skip option, which surely is a very likeable feature of the game. Over all, this is a must play online racing game, especially if you are a fan of racing games.


Earth Defense Force

The storyline is simple. Insects attack Detroit and the Earth Defense Force must save the city from certain destruction. There isn’t much else and the Earth Defense Force will engage insects in fierce battles on multi levels to ensure human kind survives.

In the older version released the humor was entertaining, but in this new version it’s kind of bland and few gamers will find anything to laugh about. The story isn’t too serious and will be enjoyed as something to pass the time. The gameplay in the previous version was also much more enjoyable and the sequel fails to excite gamers beyond the norm. It’s an average based third person shooter with nothing spectacular. You won’t find it as good as many other third person shooters and after a while the game does get quiet boring. You will be tempted often to put down the controls and forget about finishing the game.

There aren’t any magnificent weapons in your arsenal either. You have the normal standard guns to shoot with and the battles although fierce fail to inspire you to do better. Make no mistake, there is plenty of action and you can die easily if you forget to be sensible. You are doing the same stuff over and over and this is what leads to boredom. The enemies remain the same. There’s not much variety and the simple gameplay will have you falling asleep.

There is an online function and many fans will prefer using this mode as its far more enjoyable playing with other humans. Even in this mode you still have to be extra careful as survival depends on you holding your own in a wild and lawless country. It’s so easy to die, especially if you lose concentration.

The sound is quite nice, though. In this department the developers have improved vastly compared to the first release. The price of the game isn’t too high, which is a relief. You can easily afford the game compared to others in this genre.

Although the game lacks depth and excitement it is generally fair to someone who enjoys third person shooters. You won’t be inspired to replay the game once you finished. Most gamers would prefer something more, but in Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon everything is pretty much average.


About Online Jigsaw Games

Technology has evolved this exciting indoor game by introducing online games. Online jigsaw games are especially helpful in helping children spend time on the internet constructively and to avoid visiting explicit websites or chat rooms where they may fall prey to child predators. Time and money that is spent on purchasing jigsaw games are saved by playing the same game online. There is also a prime advantage of being able to select the image and level that one chooses to play. This allows for progressive development in the difficulty level and helps a person to be able to monitor their overall development as opposed to purchasing a jigsaw puzzle and repeatedly solving it until one is able to buy another puzzle.

Another important advantage that comes with online jigsaw games is the ability of one player to interact with other players from all over the world. Players are able to share their experiences and offer each other advice on how to solve the puzzles. Players are able to challenge each other to solving puzzles thereby creating a positive social effect. This would not be the case if someone purchases a jigsaw and solves it at home by themselves.

Online jigsaw games have helped to prove the usefulness of the internet in helping children to nurture their talents and interests and to even improve on their social skills through communication with other online gamers all over the world. Some online jigsaw puzzles allow players to upload their own images and solve the puzzle. This gives the players an edge in preferences and breaks the overall monotony of the game. A player is also able to collect their solved images and share them on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

There are online jigsaw competitions that provide a competitive avenue for players to showcase their skills in solving jigsaw puzzles and for some to improve on their memory abilities. Playing online jigsaw games is an interesting way to have fun while indoors. It can be a great family activity where parents are able to bond with their children in the comfort of their homes. Its affordability has also made it popular among many players who don’t have to part with any extra cost in order for them to have fun. It has become a favorite activity to pass time among adults who are stuck in the office all day to help them kep their minds active and rejuvenated.


Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus

The obvious thing to do would be to just focus on the Vita specific features of this latest packaging, but that’s pretty boring. I’ve never personally reviewed Ninja Gaiden, so I’m going to give this a solid review that will hopefully appeal to Vita owners who have (somehow) never actually played this game.

So let’s start with a bold statement: I think (the original) Ninja Gaiden deserves the title as one of the best action-adventure games to ever grace a console. It’s not perfect, and time has caused its flaws to be magnified, but the combat system is as tight as ever. Every sword fight is fast and intense, and every battle you participate in could be your last. You absolutely must master (at the very least) the basic techniques, since as you have probably heard, this game is notoriously difficult.

And it is difficult, especially by modern standards, but Ninja Gaiden’s difficulty is discussed much like Demon/Dark Souls’ difficulty: as an exercise in hyperbole. Like those games, Ninja Gaiden is significantly challenging, but with patience and experience the game can be bested. A quick tip: learn how to block and dodge. These combat techniques are non-negotiable.

The combat plays with precision and finesse, like it was stripped right out of a fighting game, but the platforming doesn’t follow suit. Sure, you can run along and flip off of walls like a true ninja, and it’s cool once you get the hang of it, but the movement is very sensitive, so oftentimes it’s easy to miss your mark. Luckily, that rarely leads to instant death, unlike the old school NES games (which ironically had arguably tighter platforming).

The story that unfolds is of Ryu Hayabusa from those very same NES games, whose ninja clan is mercilessly slaughtered by an evil spirit called Doku, who dresses in samurai armor and talks like Darth Vader (which is in fact awesome). Doku steals the Dark Dragon Blade, and murders Ryu with ease. And so his (and your own) tale of vengeance begins.

It’s all fairly cookie cutter stuff, only made slightly cooler by ninjas and swords. The voice acting falls flat and is fairly bad, and save one cool plot twist near the end, it’s all fluff. It is all forgivable though, as the story only exists to propel the action. This is a game that people fondly remember for its gameplay and difficulty, and hopefully not its story. That said, the plot is not the worse I have ever seen, by a longshot (and from what I have heard, it is way better than Ninja Gaiden III.)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is a linear game. Sure, you can explore formerly visited areas and search out some secrets, but you are mostly moving from point A to point B. During your travels, you will cut down all manner of man and demon in a variety of locations: a ninja village, a blimp, a bar, and a military base, to name a few. The variety works well for the story; the game is pretty long, and the diversity of locations makes you feel like your taking on a real journey.

The dragon sword is not the only weapon you will cut through your opposition with, as you will come to earn many new weapons and skills. In fact, the amount of weapons is impressive, and they mostly play differently, rather than just looking different. For example, the nunchaku are fast and relentless, but a giant sword carries the momentum of a small car. There’s something for everyone here, but if you’re like me, you’ll fall in love with the dual swords and never look back.

Speaking of “something for everyone”, since the release of Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the PS3 in 2007, you can play as the female warrior from the story, Rachel. She plays like a tank in contrast to the nimble Ryu, wielding a gigantic hammer that smashes it’s foes to putty. While I feel these segments are a nice break from Ryu’s story, they don’t really add anything (save a boss fight) and eventually, you just want to get back to what feels like the real game, because ultimately Ryu is more fun to control, as well as carries the weight of the story. Then again, perhaps this is just a result of my having played through the game before Rachel’s missions were included.

On the Vita, the game boasts a few new features, but they are all really just gimmicks. You can touch the screen to enter first-person view, and look around by moving the device, which is neat but entirely useless. However, when aiming a bow and arrow, you can fine tune your shot by moving the Vita slightly, until the target is lined up in your crosshairs. This was a great feature in Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and its useful here.

When you activate your Ninpo magic to attack enemies, you can strengthen it with a minigame that requires you to touch certain areas of the rear touchpad. While it’s fun the first ten times, as you get deeper into the game, it just gets annoying.

Finally, the game has numerous bonus missions, where you are tasked with defeating a bunch of enemies in an arena, sometimes with a particular twist, like one-hit kills. These missions tend to be pretty addictive as they purely focus on the combat engine, and they become much more difficult than the main game. If you’re looking to get mileage out of your purchase, this is where it’s at.


Madden 13

Infinity Engine

If you’re a Madden nerd like me, then you’re probably already well-aware of the new physics engine in this year’s game. For those of you that don’t know what Infinity Engine is, it’s essentially EA’s version of Natural Motion. No longer will we see an animation-based tackling system. In fact, to my knowledge, the only place we will see animations within gameplay, is for catches.

To be honest, I would have been way more enthusiastic for this year’s game if EA would have taken animations out of the game completely. My best guess is that EA may have tried removing catching animations, but as a result, they were getting some weird catching motions, and had to remove it from the engine, and re-implement catching animations. Nevertheless, the Infinity Engine is #1 on my list, and there will be new catching animations this year.

Pass Trajectories

This is long overdue, because if you’re anything like me, you were tired of superman linebackers a long time ago. If you’re unfamiliar with this feature, it will allow you to throw the ball with more accuracy. Do you want to throw high and outside, high and inside, low and outside, or somewhere else? The better your quarterback is, the more accurately you will be able to position the ball on its’ trajectory.

Read and React Defense

Last but not least, we were all tired of defensive backs mirroring our routes, right? With the new read and react defensive system, the defensive backs will first have to watch the receiver, and react to what he does. You do realize what this means, don’t you?

No longer will we have to live on corner routes. We will not be able to do out routes, in routes, and the infamous curl route. Best of all, for the first time ever, we will be able to be successful with these routes. This is a huge improvement, and I’m looking forward to it in Madden 13.

EA is set to deliver the best Madden game that they have ever released, but will it flop? That’s the big question. If Infinity Engine, pass trajectories, read and react defense, along with the other features in Madden 13 work like they should, then this will be a solid game that we will want to play all year around.


Tribez Review

For a simulation game, things move pretty quickly in The Tribez. Admittedly iv only played for a week but the longest iv had to wait for anything so far is about 4 hours. Those familiar with simulation games will know, that’s pretty fast. There’s an extensive story driven mission system that doubles as a training program, and a lot of your buildings and upgrades can only be unlocked by first completing a series of missions. Fans of H.G. Wells may also notice a few elements borrowed from The Time Machine.

You’ll start your game with only a handful of rundown huts, but with each new dwelling you build more tribesmen settle in, every new citizen is also a worker so the quicker you increase your population, the more stuff you can do at once and the quicker your progress will be. You can’t just spam houses down though, before putting a dwelling in your village you have to make sure your existing citizens are happy, which usually requires building some form of entertainment facility or placing decorations.

There is a great deal to build, almost overwhelming at first as the build menus are large and without the mission guidance, a little confusing. It shouldn’t take you long to get used to it though. What I found oppressive is the amount of clutter on the game screen, a lot of which could be reduced into drop down menus. The screen can feel very crowded at times but otherwise the visuals are amazing, high quality, clear and bright. There are noticeable changes in upgraded structures and your workers will sit down and daydream when idle.

As you run short in building room you’ll need to expand your borders, it’s expensive and the new areas need to be cleared of trees and rocks before building can commence, each new area is worked into the mission story though and subtly pulls you through the areas you need first. You’ll find little events hidden around the map as well, once opened up and a path cleared to them, you can open up a new quest line, among others you’ll find isolated villagers, enemy settlements, cave monsters and plane crashes. There’s a huge amount of map area to uncover, so the Tribez has a lot to offer content-wise.

You can broadcast your achievements to social media but I had to turn this feature off, for some reason it kept making the app crash and it gets a little annoying. IAPs are enabled in the form of crystals, some items in the shop can only be attained with crystals and you can speed up constructions with them. You’ll gain a few crystals through missions but not enough to get all the special items, thankfully though, advancement in the game doesn’t require the use of crystals and items bought IAP can be helpful but aren’t necessary for advancement.


About Okabu

Okabu is like that beautiful person. It has been blessed with the most beautiful graphics and artwork. The scenery is fantastic, displaying sharp, clear graphics and pictures. But the actual gameplay is tedious and boring. The puzzles are explained to such an extent that you solve them without any challenge. The situations and obstacles are so easy to overcome you can probably do them blindfolded.

The main characters are two cloud whales called Nimbe and Kumulo. You originally lived in the sky above but have left your home to find the pollution that’s killing off your race. On earth you find an evil race called the Doza. They are destroying the earth with pollution and toxic waste. You eventually meet the Yoruba who are a race also trying to save the earth. You resort to guerrilla tactics and fight the Doza. You must destroy all the inventions the Doza have created as it is harmful to the earth and environment.

The whales can fly and they can also absorb fluids. Early in the game they water the earth in this manner. They can also spit oil making paths which can be lit with fire. The whales are made from clouds so their abilities seem interesting and fun. But the tasks they perform throughout the game are the same and eventually repetitively doing the same thing over and over kills the game. The obstacles are limited and you will eventually foresee what lies ahead and just do more of the same.

There are creatures that mount the whales and ride them. The riders can shoot at enemies and other characters, but again you will be doing so much of that, it will eventually become boring and tedious. You don’t have to do any thinking as the game is so easy even a child can accomplish all the tasks without any difficulty.

You can choose co-op mode but this doesn’t make the game any more interesting or exciting. You may as well play solo, there is no difference. The music is quite good, but other than that, the game is a lack luster adventure that fails miserably.