Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World, developed and published by Nintendo for the WiiU console, is the latest platformer in the extensive and storied Mario Brothers franchise. 3D World, the sixth 3D incarnation of the series (seventh if you count Super Mario 64 DS), liberally borrows different mechanics from past Mario titles and combines them into a game that not only feels immediately familiar and fresh in equal parts, but is arguably the best Mario game in recent memory. It is without a doubt the best Mario game available for the WiiU right now.

That’s not to say that the other WiiU Mario title available, New Super Mario Brothers U, is a bad game. The iconic plumbers have enjoyed a prominent role in the recent 2D platforming renaissance thanks to the games bearing the ‘New’ Super Mario Brothers moniker, and NSMBU is a great example of the excellence that has fueled that revitalization. But it has been some time since the Italian duo have taken part in a full 3D adventure on our television screens, well since 2010′s Super Mario Galaxy 2 to be exact, and it is exciting to see how Team Mario have taken what they’ve learned in sprucing up the titular moustachioed hero’s ‘New’ 2D adventures, and how they have applied that knowledge to a beautiful, high definition, three-dimensional Mario world.

Like the New Super Mario Brothers games, 3D World feels new, but has an undeniable old school feel as well. In fact, it’s probably more of a spiritual successor to Super Mario 64 or the Super Nintendo’s Super Mario World than it is a follow-up to the more recent 3D adventures on the Wii. Nintendo keeps things from feeling rehashed however, by introducing new mechanics and power-ups for every old trope they pull out. A POW block in a dark area will not only knock out nearby enemies, it will also light up the surrounding area for a moment. The ever-present Fire Flower still lets you throw fireballs, but now you can occasionally ricochet them around corners at unsuspecting enemies before they can spot you. Continue Reading

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Why Today’s Games Require More Power and Hard Drive Capacity

Over the last few years PC gaming has come a long way. As a serious gamer you need to buy a good prebuilt or custom build your own high performance desktop gaming computer optimized for the newest games. You need a powerful custom PC With the graphics capabilities, processing speeds and memory required for today’s fast paced, large and visually mind blowing games. Non-gaming computers lack the necessary components. This creates a low fps, causing games to lag, glitch and for graphics to not be as sharp. When information isn’t able to accessed quickly it causes today’s games to not as load or update as fast and for game play to lag. Not that but it will also cause your computer to run hotter, causing you to spend more money on fans and cooling devices. This is why it is important that you have a high crisp. The last thing you want is for character to glitch out in the middle of an important game.

Up until fairly recently the main things people looked for in a gaming PC was huge graphics cards and tons of memory. Those things are still important however, over the past couple years CPU performance has become more and more important. In the past games were smaller, had fewer graphics and not as much information getting accessed from the hard drive. They simply weren’t the CPU hogs that today’s games are. Instead of games being 2gigs today’s games are 16-20gigs. Information constantly needs to be accessed from the hard drive end processor, hard drive and the front side buss to carry everything for game play to run smoothly.

When deciding on a processor we recommend Intel’s Core i7-4770K processor. The Intel Core i7-4770K is Intel’s latest Haswell based quad core processor with a stock clock of 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo), 8MB of L3 cache, hyper-threading support, and an unlocked multiplier for overclocking as well. It’s the flagship mainstream desktop PC CPU for Intel and it’s a good value. This processor is not only great for today’s games, but unlike other processors will carry you for years to come. With the release of DICE’s latest game, Battlefield 4 was able to take advantage of up to 6 threads when played on a system that has the capability. On the other hand, when using an Intel Core i5-3570K, Battlefield 4 was eating up near 100% CPU utilization. Both the Intel Core i5-3570K and the Intel Core i7-4770K are quad core CPUs, the difference between the two is that the Intel Core i7-4770K includes Hyper-Threading, which doubles the amount of threads on the CPU from 4 (1 per physical core) to 8 (2 per physical core). While this doesn’t bring a full 100% improvement in performance in multi-threaded applications, it can improve performance ~30%, which will be become important as games continue to get bigger and bigger.

For hard drives we recommend the Kingston V300 120GB Solid State. A solid-state drive is something that has no moving parts, and is just stupid fast. I’ve noticed so much of a speed increase on my computer since changing over to the Kingston SSD. Programs that use a lot of data, like my Fritz Chess program are just lightning fast compared to what they were on a regular drive. Many of you have asked ‘how is game performance on an SSD?”. Of course it’s faster and better! When you copy your game data over to your drive, you know that it’s going to have to read the information. The faster the read time – the more responsive the game is going to be. Game response on an SSD is great to phenomenal. With SATA being in its third generation, running 6 gigabits per second, your information is lighting fast. When you’re gaming, you want to keep rolling… so remember CPU performance is hugely important for today’s gamer. Do yourself a favor and make sure you get a PC with an SSD and Intel Core i7-4770K.

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The Art of Selling a Spectrum Game

Let’s face it, graphics were not the selling point of a ZX Spectrum game. It wasn’t often someone would pick up a cassette box and shout out “WOW, look at the graphics on this game!!” – Spectrum gamers knew what kind of graphics they were probably going to get even before flipping to the back of the box.

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

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

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PC Games Become More Exciting With Great Gaming Accessories

PC gaming accessories are devices that are attached to computers but are not actual elements of it. The functionality of the accessory is partially dependent on the computer it is attached to. A computer can do a lot of other functions if it is equipped with the right accessories.

There are two major types of PC accessories: the standard and the advanced. Standard accessories include readers, printers, uninterrupted power supply, power surge protectors, and headphones. Examples of advanced computer accessories are webcams, microphones, games tools, external storage devices, external DVD recorders and players, and a few more.

PC Gaming Accessories
If you are a fanatic PC gamer, you fully understand the importance of enhancing your gaming experience with top-of-the-line gaming accessories. Take a look at these gadgets that you can attach to your PC to make your game come alive.

Joysticks
What is probably the most essential gaming accessory is the joystick. The latest joystick wireless technology allows you to run through a cave with a dragon breathing down your neck without the hassle of wires dangling over your arms, especially if you are the type of player who tilts and flings the joystick when excited. The Dual Shock USB Gamepad Controller is a top notch joystick that you should consider buying. It allows you perfect control if you are flying a plane or driving a car.

Play in 3-D
Watch and play in amazing 3D images using the right 3D goggles. You can search the internet on the many exciting 3D games and accessories available in the market. You can even attach your PC to a large kickass high definition TV and blow your mind with the surround sound and the amazing graphics.

Wii Bit More Fun
Yes, Xbox has some of the most insane games out there, but Wii offers some of the most exciting interactive experience ever. Watch out for the mega deal packs being offered by Nintendo this year. At a bargain price, you can get 20 pieces of Wii accessories including light gun and turbo wheels that will keep you playing till the wee hours of the morning. Get it? Wee and Wii. Other accessories in the package include balance board push, Wii microphones, football, and a lot more.

There are a lot more other PC gaming accessories that you can buy to enhance your gaming experience. Yes, there are cheap ones but you know what they say when an item is cheap, quality is usually compromised. It is better to spend now than spend again and again later.

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The Nintendo DS and Its Storage Devices

In today’s world, gaming consoles are one of the best-selling gadgets. During 1972, with the introduction of the foremost console, the world changed forever! Nintendo, which has been in business since 1977, is one of the leading manufacturers of gaming consoles worldwide. The initial editions of such consoles lacked the portability feature. But with the changing times, portable gaming consoles were introduced. An excellent example of such console is the Nintendo DS, introduced in 2004.

To afford portability, the DS was designed to have a far less weight than the normal consoles. Therefor, it couldn’t have any inbuilt storage device. As a result, external storage devices, called flashcards, need to be inserted into the device to save the content. The device comes with slots for these cards.

There are different kinds of storage cards, each with her respective features.

Different cards need to be used for diverse models of DS device. Of those, R4 is the most frequently used card. It enjoys a wide popularity among the users of Nintendo DS. The R4 cards come in different editions, depending on the edition of the Nintendo DS device. These are the original DS model, the DS Lite model, the DSi XL model, the DSi model plus the most recent Nintendo 3DS.

The original R4 DS cards can only be used on the original DS and DS Lite models. These are not compatible with other models of Nintendo DS that include the Dsi XL, Dsi, and 3DS. Though these would work with the DS Lite and DS models, it’s not desirable to do so. The R4 3DS card is meant for the most modern Nintendo console, the 3DS model. This card too may be used for rest of the models, but one should refrain from such a use.

The availability of so many cards probably makes you wonder which one you should use! All these models have nearly the same look, but they don’t work with all the consoles. It is important to point out here that none of these cards works on its own. Each R4 card requires an appropriate micro SD memory card which stores the operational files for its functioning. None of the R4 cards would work in the absence of a memory card. The bigger is the storage capacity of a memory card, the more data it can store without the necessity to delete some of the already stored data. For regular users, a 2GB memory card offers a fairly adequate amount of storage, but professional users will find 4GB or 8GB micro SD cards more fitting.

In case you prefer having a preconfigured R4 card that already contains the latest software on its memory card, you’ll need to buy an R4 card having a memory card, because otherwise you won’t be able to include the needed software, meaning that you’ll have to download and get the newest software for that card.

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PS4 vs PC Graphics Comparison

The Sony PlayStation 4 games console shares much of its hardware technology with the personal computer. We take a look at how it compares with a gaming computer in terms of price and performance.

The PS4 uses a graphics processing unit (GPU) based on the Radeon HD 7000 series of PC graphics cards that are designed by AMD. It has 18 compute units with 64 cores per compute unit, giving it a total of 1,152 cores. This gives the PS4 a theoretical peak performance of 1.84 TFLOPS that can be used for graphics, physics simulation or a combination of the two.

There are several known differences between the PS4′s GPU and the AMD 7870 PC graphics card upon which it is based. The first is that the PS4 unit has a dedicated 20 GB/s bus bypassing the L1 and L2 GPU cache to allow for direct system memory access. Direct memory access (usually shortened to DMA) in this instance serves to speed up the graphics by reducing the number of processes required.

It also has additional L2 cache support for simultaneous graphical and asynchronous computing tasks thanks to the inclusion of a ‘volatile’ bit tag. This allows the machine to process graphics and computational code synchronously, without suspending one to be able to run the other.

Finally the console’s unit has 64 sources compared to two on the PC unit for compute commands. The purpose of this is to allow for superior game-engine integration for developers when writing games for the console.

The question as to whether a PC is better than a PS4 depends of the way in which you carry out the comparison. In this article we look at the comparison from a cost equal standpoint. In a later article we deal with the comparison on an outright performance basis. Continue Reading

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The Most Exciting Things About The Elder Scrolls Online

The release of the Elder Scrolls Online has certainly revolutionized the entire market and you can be rest assured that you are going to fall in love with these kinds of games. The best thing about Elder Scrolls online is that it comes with various mind blowing features which can allow you to become an integral part of the epic-scale battle. In the article given below we are going to talk in particular about the most exciting things about this game. You must ensure that you pay proper attention here.

The major factions which you must select here are divided mainly into 3 different parts. The entire game play here is strikingly different from other prominent games and you can be rest assured that you are going to fall in love with the dissimilar factions here. The Daggerfall covenant, the Aldmeri Dominion and the Ebonheart Pact will definitely prove to be quite amazing for you. You can easily re discover this world of gaming by generating some fine results on the go.

Once you reach the level 10, you’ll be able to explore the gorgeous beauty of this epic game. It has been created on a huge expanse and so you won’t be disappointed here so that you don’t end up on the losing side. This massive world will definitely prove to be a mind blowing one for you and you can easily rely on the gorgeousness here. There are multiple classes of warriors here and you can easily play one of them if you truly want to have great fun in this regard. It will definitely prove to be a life changing option for you.

The comfortable and familiar combat is quite simple to carry out and you don’t really have to learn anything new here in order to look out for some fine options. The different customized options used here will definitely prove to be a great choice for you and you must reassure that you don’t end up on the losing side. For any more help you can look out for some essential help. This is something that will definitely prove to be life changing for you.

The innovative perspectives which are present in the game will definitely appeal to you and you can be rest assured that you don’t end up on the losing side. It is of utmost importance to keep your options open so that you are able to make the maximum amount of profits without much ado. The epic battles here are other major highlights of this game and they are also the reason why people love playing these kinds of games.

The fair loot system will definitely help you in making the right choice so that no issues bother you in the long run. In order to generate some fine results you’ll have to ensure that you opt for some exciting things regarding the Elder Scrolls online game.

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How Video Games Could Help Your Business

I know what you’re thinking “how could video games ever benefit me in anyway, let alone help my business”, firstly I don’t want to give the false impression that by staying home all day and playing video games your business will skyrocket, it won’t, hard work and dedication is the only formula for that my friends. However I do want to examine the benefits of playing video games, and show the translation of these benefits into our fine world of business.

Social Networking
Online multiplayer games are huge; it is the most played game type in the world. Meaning that aside from youths calling you derogatory terms for homosexuals and claiming to have performed certain acts on your mother, there are some genuine links to be made. Given the magnitude of the online community, it is likely that you will encounter potential business associates and clients on your time playing online; however it will be difficult to build a rapport with someone on first person shooter type games, stick to strategic games, for example league of legends. This strategy based game encourages you to talk tactics with fellow players to help win games, making it a very easy platform to meet people.

Decision Making
In the fast paced war zone of Afghanistan there is no time to hesitate, either you pull the trigger first or die. Now this anecdote may only be referring to a virtual war zone, where you don’t actually die but it is regularly being in these pressure situations which exercise the brain into comfort when faced with similar circumstances. In game you will be faced to face with an opponent where if you do not make the first move you will die, in these situation there is no time to think,just react. Crossover into the workplace, your company is downsizing and you need to let an employee go, you’re torn between two employees at this point it is beyond thought and has reached instinct.

Longevity of life
A study from the University of Iowa has states that playing a brain-teasing game for just two hours a week may help slow the degree of mental decay associated with the natural aging process. I really do not know how I could link this in with the business world, think of it this way, your business is probably better off with you not dead, right?

Pain Relief
In 2010 a research found that patients who had been undergoing chemotherapy reported less pain when immersed in virtual world. The same study shows that this does not only apply to chronic illnesses, sufferers of minor and injuries and stress also saw a decrease when pain levels when playing video games. The proverb peace of body peace of mind, is not just proverbial, it is a fact, we are only able to function to our full potential when our body and mind are at ease.

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Valuable Pointers for PC Gamers

There is no need to rush if you are just new in the world of PC gaming. You need to learn a lot before eventually becoming an expert gamer. Things are not learned easily. It calls for patience in understanding of software apps and hardware issues. In fact, playing games on computers can be irritating at times. Loading can be exceptionally slow with occasional occurrence of systems crash. The positive side is there are methods of addressing these problems with the Operating System so you can bring this exciting experience in gaming to a higher dimension.
It is not easy as uploading games.

Find out everything you can about Random Access Memory, Central Processing Unit and main boards. Go shopping for a computer that will match your preferences and requirements. Study the specs carefully before deciding on the best unit and brand for you. Do not forget vital accessories such as the reliable mouse and mouse pad. Figure out the PC games experience that you desire. Is it the Walking Dead, Pinball Arcade or Total War that you want? You may download free games or buy sophisticated games like Battlefield 3 for a price.

Be sure to execute a proper start-up. Staring your OS (Windows) will automatically run multiple applications. It is practical to disable or hide unwarranted programs which usually slow down the computer. Reboot the system after performing this function. Choose the most modern driver for your graphics. There are different varieties of graphic cards sold in PC accessories shops. Read the latest information about drivers in PC gaming websites or ask store personnel for the best brands.

Get the version that can enhance the performance of your computer. Obtain the newest patch software for your computer gaming. The patch fixes issues, removes bugs or updates programs and support data. It enhances usability function. You can get a few frames every second depending on the PC and resolution setting. This can spell the difference between smooth and irregular gaming.

Improve the performance of your computer’s hard disk for quicker reading and writing speed. Files break up while parts of your files can be spread out within the PC drive disk once you start deleting or writing data on your hard disk. Defragment the disk to rearrange all data and make it function more efficiently. It is an effective remedy for a slow computer.

Gaming is here to stay at least for the next decade or even beyond. Right now, it is going through some kind of resurgence. More and more gamers are now shifting to PCs equipped with quad-core processing units. This is a kind of multiple core technology with two independent units which can read and perform program commands effectively. High-end graphic cards are also fast becoming popular.

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Call of Duty’s Influence Over the FPS Genre Is Coming to an End

It has been a long time since I have played a shooter and haven’t thought to myself; “oh this is a variation of Call of Duty.” That was until Titanfall had its beta recently, and finally I felt like I was playing a game that wasn’t inspired by the same mechanics that seemed to be recycled for the past 6 years.

When the 360′s major title Halo 3 hit in 2007, I found myself having a great time with Master Chief’s latest adventure, but It was still just more Halo. I like many others were eagerly awaiting the next big thing that a new wave of consoles would bring, and when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare hit, I like many others were blown away by the sheer amount of enjoyment I was getting from a console shooter that didn’t have the name Halo in it.

Modern Warfare started something big for games, and for a while every single developer wanted to get in on the excitement and make their own flavor of a modern shooter. At that time it was acceptable, because Call of Duty took a year off from the Modern Warfare style and released a WWII shooter, and the market wasn’t flooded of modern era shooters.

As time went on, every gamer started noticing a trend that every shooter they picked up was some spin on Call of Duty. From Homefront to Medal of Honor, everything that seemed to be somewhat different ended up being a spin on the Call of Duty Formula. This was on top of the yearly releases we saw from Activision and the COD franchise. Infinity Ward had created something that started out as the next big thing, but then turned the FPS genre into a 5 year cycle of the same recycled mechanics. Even the big first party games like Halo took design ideas from COD, and implemented similar features in games like Halo Reach and Halo 4.

As Microsoft introduced the Xbox One and Sony revealed the PlayStation 4, that trend didn’t seem to falter. Call of Duty: Ghosts was coming alongside both consoles’ release, and to no one’s surprise ended up be the most popular game on both platforms. It seemed that this trend was going to follow gaming even longer, and possibly hinder the progression of game design for even longer. I thought that same thing until I played Titanfall.

Titanfall logo pilot running
Respawn entertainment is the group of developers that actually inspired the COD revolution back in 2007, so part of me thought that Titanfall would be “Call of Duty with mechs” as a lot of the world called it when trailers hit at E3 2013. In a few ways that is true, but Titanfall is so much more than just a game with guns and mechs, which brings me faith that possibly this trend of having the same game repackaged over and over will finally start coming to an end.

Titanfall does borrow some things from Call of Duty, which is to be expected since it is essentially coming from the team that made Modern Warfare, but Respawn has been very careful to make sure that Titanfall feels unique and different. While the menus and upgrade system seem to be identical, the other 90% of the game play feels fresh. I ended up playing the beta for more than 15 hours, and not once did I say to myself, this is just Call of Duty with mechs. That was such a relief and gives me a little glimmer of hope that this era of the realistic modern shooter will start to end, and gamers will start getting some fresh new shooters and not recycled content.

Activision is still going to make Call of Duty games, and even recently announced that they are moving to a 3 year cycle on the Call of Duty development cycle, but with the release of Titanfall this March maybe Activision will see that even Call of Duty needs some sort of shake up. If you look at the reviews for Call of Duty: Ghosts you will see that it did not review very well compared to previous titles. I was given the opportunity to review Ghosts on the PC, and I honestly thought it was a rushed game that had zero inspiration. Most importantly, I felt as if the entire Call of Duty genre was focused on how many weapons you unlock and how high your rank can go, instead of focusing on how much you are having while playing.

Fun factor was a word that was used a bit in the 90′s and early 2000′s by game reviewers, but overtime that idea seems to of vanished. Now the trend seems to be stuck on realism and graphics instead of fun, which is something that needs to change sooner rather than later. Titanfall is the best example of a game that’s releasing that is about fun first. It isn’t the most impressive game visually by any means, and in many ways uses dated technology such as the source engine, but not once did I think Titanfall was a poor quality game because of its visuals.

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