Kanye Seinfeld Mashup

Post by Mark

So well made.

kanye


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EVO 2015 Moments

Post by Patrick

I’m not really into fighting games, mostly Smash and some Killer Instinct but I do enjoy watching EVO. This video was uploaded yesterday, not to show the gaming and skill side of things, but it shows the participants and the emotions they go through.


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iOS Games to Play

Post by Patrick

canabalt-ios

Every once in a while I’ll make a small list of iOS games to recommend to people. These games aren’t always new, but are games that I generally really enjoy playing. I don’t like playing adventure or action games on my phone because the controls generally suck for the majority of them. All these games are skill based, so you get better the more you play them and all these games also have fantastic music. Because these games have no “endings” they can be played for a long period of time and the goal of all of them is to try and get a high score.

Super Hexagon

In Super Hexagon you control a little triangle rotating around the center of the screen avoiding walls that are collapsing inwards towards you. How well you do in the game is all based on how fast your reaction time is. The music is composed by well-known chip tune artist, Chipzel. This game is known for its difficulty and the longest I’ve stayed alive is for about 70 seconds in the easiest difficulty, but its fast pace, music and generally intensity of the game keeps me playing.

Helix

The premise of Helix is simple (like all the other games on this list), fly around the enemies to wipe them out. Some enemies are easy to wipe out as they just float around, but you’ll come across enemies that will fly right at you, which makes things a lot more enjoyable. Getting high scores in Helix isn’t incredibly hard, but requires a ton of patience.

Canabalt

Canabalt is one of the first games I ever played on an iPhone way back when, and it’s one of those games that hasn’t lost its charm over time. If you don’t know what it is, Canabalt is an infinite runner. Meaning it doesn’t end until you fall off a platform and die. Canabalt 2.0, a surprise update released last year added new game modes, new characters, new music and widescreen support. The game is simple enough to play, just tap on the screen to jump, the longer you touch the screen the longer your jump.

Eliss Infinity

Eliss is another game that was a huge hit when the iPhone was still a new thing. Eliss Infinity takes the same formula and adds more to it. The main chunk of this game is spent in the new Infinity mode, but if you want to play the older version of the game which was split up into levels, you can still do that. The game features (slightly) updated visuals and some great music. The learning curve for this game is pretty high, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a ton of fun.

Desert Golfing

Desert Golfing is probably the most ridiculous game on this list. It’s a never-ending game of golf in the desert. It sounds silly, it is silly, but it’s fun and addictive.


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Parenting, Circa 2015

Post by Mark

wifi

via @raju


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Adidas Ultra Boost x James Carnes x Dirk Schonberger available at Harvey Nichols

Post by Mark

ultraboost1

I was at Harvey Nichols earlier today and spotted a pair of triple white ultra boosts as well as black ones. At first I thought they were the regular ultra boosts but turns out they were the James Carnes x Dirk Schonberger editions. What sets these two apart from the regular and popular ultra boosts is the material used. The black version is made using wool fibre and has reflective detailing while the white version is made with Dyneema fiber, an ultra strong and lightweight material.

ultraboost2

For some reason though Harvey are selling the pairs for KD110 which is far more than the KD70 retail price in the US and KD80 retail price in the UK.


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Amazon tour: What happens after you place that order

Post by Mark

An inside look at the Amazon Fulfillment Center and what takes place after you place an order online. [YouTube]

robots


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Chrono Trigger – Retrospective Review

Post by Patrick

With the recent trend of remasters and remakes I thought I would highlight games that have aged well enough to still be played and feel as though it was just released yesterday. The first game that popped into my head was Chrono Trigger.

Chrono Trigger was first released on March 11, 1995 for the Super Nintendo. The game was developed by a superstar team that included Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), Yuji Horii (Dragon Quest) and artist Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball & Dragon Quest). Yasunori Mitsuda (Xenogears, Chrono Cross) composed the music for the most part, but Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) also contributed once Mitsuda fell ill.

Chrono Trigger is a role-playing game that featured some revolutionary and innovative features that have since become the norm in most modern role playing games. Enemy encounters weren’t random. Enemies are visible on the map and are avoidable. Unlike previous role-playing games that had a separate battle screen when you encountered enemies, fighting in Chrono Trigger is quick and happens directly on the map. And when you’re fighting, the game features “Active Time Battle” which means that enemies won’t wait for you to attack before attacking themselves which makes battles more hectic, intense and fun. Another welcome addition to the battle mechanics is the ability for characters to team up and combine moves together to perform some devastating attacks. My favorite aspect of Chrono Trigger is the ability to travel through time. This ability allows you to visit the same areas at different time periods, so as you complete side-quests in the past you can see how your actions affect the future. Chrono Trigger also has 15 different endings (including a bad one). Playing through the game multiple times was made easy through a new mode called New Game+. In this new mode, special abilities, your characters’ stats and equipment carried over from your previous game. This allowed you to beat the game at a much faster pace, encouraging players to try to view the other endings without making it feel like a chore.

The game still looks good after all these years partly due to the detailed pixel art. Good 2D visuals tend to age much better than good 3D visuals. Each time period in Chrono Trigger has their own unique color pallet and theme, so you’ll easily be able to distinguish each time period easily and areas don’t have that “same-y” feel. The characters all look great as well, which is rare for a JRPG, there always tends to be one or two badly designed characters. Each character has an interesting backstory and distinctive personalities. As you travel through time learning more about each character, you see how they developed into who they are. The villain, Lavos is another unique aspect of the game. Lavos is a terrifying, huge parasitic monster. Villains in JRPG’s usually tend to talk a lot about their motives, reasons for why they’re trying to achieve their end-goal. Lavos is special in the sense that as a creature, it doesn’t speak. There is no reasoning with Lavos. It has one purpose in life and that is to drain planets of their energy before moving onto the next one.

Since the Super Nintendo release of Chrono Trigger, the game has been re-released on the Playstation, Nintendo DS, the Wii’s Virtual Console, iOS and Android. The best version to play is the Nintendo DS version which includes two extra dungeons, the animated cut-scenes, an improved translation and a second screen, that shows the map of the area you’re in and allows you to place menu shortcuts. Amazon still sells the Nintendo DS version for a pretty decent price. But if you don’t own a Nintendo DS or a 3DS, the smartphone version of the game is based on the DS version of Chrono Trigger. You’ll just be stuck with touch controls and no second screen, but on the plus side it’s only $10 which is a steal for a game like Chrono Trigger. The Playstation version can be downloaded if you own a Vita, but I would avoid this version because it (for some odd reason) adds load-times, there’s also an issue with slowdown during battles and an inconsistent sound quality.

Chrono Trigger is one of those titles that every person who enjoys video games should play. The same way every movie fan should watch the Godfather at least once or anyone who loves music should listen to the Beatles. Chrono Trigger will stick with you, I first played the game almost 20 years ago and I never forgot it. There are scenes and moments in the game that will stick with you: the courtroom scene, the jail break, the first time you visit the future. Are early memorable examples. I carry Chrono Trigger around with with my 3DS at all times, sometimes I’ll start a new game but not to necessarily beat it, but just to just have a taste of the game and meet the characters all over again. This was the game ultimately changed my life by introducing me to role-playing games. The characters, the art, the music, all near perfection.

Score:


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Super Mario Maker – Overview

Post by Patrick

I wasn’t really interested in Super Mario Maker when it was first announced, but every announcement since has gotten me more and more interested, and right about now, I want it. I’d even pre-order the special edition version if it was available for the North American market.

This recent video from IGN reveals some new interesting information. Not everything will be available to the player when you first start the game. You have to spend 5 minutes each day, creating and working on a level for more items and tools to become accessible. Which makes sense to me. It lets the player learn the basics of level design and lets the player get accustomed with all the objects and tools. On top of that it would be a lot less overwhelming if you gradually unlocked everything you can use.

Besides that tidbit, the game will also feature two challenge modes. The 100 Mario Challenge and 10 Mario Challenge. In 100 Mario Challenge you get 100 lives to complete a collection of courses (chosen randomly off the internet) in a row. 10 Mario Challenge is similar, except you have 10 lives to complete a random collection of courses.

Super Mario Maker will be released on September 11.


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Arabs With Attitude

Post by Mark

A.W.A (Arabs With Attitude) featuring Qusai, Vico, Arabique, Sphinx, Big Mo, Anas Arabi & Flipperachi [YouTube]

Produced by: DJ Outlaw
Directed by: Raed AlMurish

Mp3 download link:
https://soundcloud.com/djoutlaw/awa/s-B1QLl

outlaw


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Wolfenstein: The New Order – Review

Post by Patrick

Wolfenstein-Interview

Back when Wolfenstein: The New Order was first released I felt that the market was oversaturated with shooters that all felt the same. I even wrote about it. I didn’t really give the game a chance until I found out the studio who worked on it. MachineGames was founded by key members of a studio called Starbreeze Studios. Starbreeze Studios were in charge of two great games, Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness. Both those games weren’t your typical shooters. There was greater emphasis on the narrative and a greater emphasis on immersion. The pacing was different than most first person shooters. This made the purchase of Wolfenstein: The New Order a no brainer for me.

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But when I started the game, I had mixed feelings. The games prologue felt like your typical FPS game. There was a lot of running around in trenches, shooting Nazis, running around a bunker shooting more Nazis. It’s long too, but it also gave the player a good idea of what to expect in terms of gameplay, there’s a little bit of choice when going through the different levels. You can either go in gun-blazing or go in stealthy. You’ll encounter commanders as you progress through each level and if you take down these commanders without raising the alarm, it unlocks the location of each secret on your map. If the alarms are raised, waves of enemies will come at you until you take down the commander. Besides that there are various challenges that you can complete to unlock a variety of perks that range from the amount of ammo you can carry to the speed of your reload. These challenges are optional, but encourage you to play a specific way which makes things more interesting.

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At the end of the prologue you meet the creepy Deathshead and that’s where the game takes a turn for the better. I love the concept of an alternate history. The one MachineGames created for The New Order is no exception. You can discover more and see how the world differs by reading news clippings that can be found throughout the game. These news clippings will answer some questions you might have, but not all, leaving you with enough curiosity to want to come back to this world in the future.

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There are a lot of great moments in this game, some remind me of MachineGames previous titles. Like a prison segment that’s quite reminiscent to one from Chronicles of Riddick. Without revealing anything, there’s a scene on a train that’s incredibly intense and just a joy to watch unfold. I enjoyed these moments of quiet, where shooting was not involved. Exploring your base, talking to the other characters, playing the old-school Wolfenstein level. It also helps that the game is designed incredibly well. I had fun looking around the environments. The design elements of objects like the Nazi propaganda posters, the little food packaging that you find lying around, the technology, all looked beautiful.

Everything sounds good too. Mick Gordon (who also worked on Killer Instinct and the upcoming Doom game) does a great job at creating music that fits the mood of the game perfectly. One of the most annoying things in a shooter is picking up a gun that looks powerful and having it sound like a much smaller gun. It throw the “feel” off completely. Thankfully all the guns in this game sound like they look. The big ass automatic shotgun sounds a lot more powerful than the normal double-barreled shotgun.

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MachineGames hit the jackpot with Wolfenstein: The New Order. My only other complaint besides the games opening is that I felt the final battle in the game could have been done better. MachineGames built a world thats immersive and they showed enough of it in the New Order to make me want to know more. It will be interesting to see which direction they take the story in. Hopefully they can maintain the standard of quality they set themselves in The New Order.

Score:


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