Top 5 Best PSN Games

A relatively new phenomenon, PlayStation Network has become one of Sony’s main selling point for its convenience and collection of high-quality titles for gamers to choose from.Many of these titles are independent, with only a small team working on its development, but as this niche evolves, we are seeing higher quality games making their way onto the network.

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Let’s start with the big one: Journey. This game received more awards than the developer who created the title has employees. Immediately lauded for its atmosphere and beauty, Journey is a game of discovery, allowing players to traverse a visually arresting desert landscape filled with mystery and life that is yours for the taking. Join up with another player, or just lose yourself in the artistic environment for hours at a time. Journey fogo’s the handholding that has become commonplace in gaming and offers users the opportunity to create their own experience, and follow their preferred path, as opposed to one outlined by the makers. This is a truly liberating feeling and makes Journey a standout not only inside PSN, but within the game space as a whole.

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Next up is the genius title, Guacamelee. An action-packed side-scrolling platformer starring an unlucky Mexican agave farmer-turned heroic luchadore named Juan Aquacate, Guacamelee is a title that is bursting with personality. Taking inspiration from the eternally interesting Mexican culture, this game is a tour-de-force of classic Latin American art and narrative. Swapping between the Living World and the Dead World, our hero must rescue the object of his affection by taking down countless waves of enemies while using his luchador skills to traverse the colourful and aesthetically pleasing landscape.

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Best Xbox 360 Games

The first Xbox was Microsoft’s debut foray into the console space, but the Xbox 360 established them as the top dog. Focused less on exclusives and first party titles, MS was looking to publish the highest possible quality of games they could, and considering the sales and reception of the standouts, the strategy was a huge success.

No Xbox “best of” conversation could be deemed legitimate without mentioning Microsoft’s elephant in the room, Halo. Created by Bungie as the original Xbox’s system seller, Halo had become an iconic franchise, rivaling even Mario as the most recognizable and popular videogame IP in the world. The 360 brought gamers the conclusion of the original trilogy in the form of the critically acclaimed Halo 3, and kicked off the next generation of Master Chief-themed games with the 343 Industries-developed Halo 4. With Bungie out of the picture, it is 343 that must continue the grand tradition, and has started off very strong with an initial offering that includes the feel of a Halo game, coupled with new features, weapons and enemies that can only come from a new and energetic take on the classic series.

 

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The second largest Xbox exclusive, Gears of War was the other AAA game that has helped define the console and convince on-the-fence gamers that they should pick up an Xbox. Cliff Bleszinski and crew at Epic Games succeeded in every category in this high-octane, post-apocalyptic thrill-ride.. Gears of War 2 can be looked at as the perfect sequel. Bigger, prettier and nastier than the original in almost every way, the polish of this AAA-title is readily apparent right when you pick up the sticks to play as Dom, the badass commander of of Delta Squad.

 

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Many top game’s lists will inevitably include a Rockstar title. The creators of GTA, Rockstar might just be the best dev house in the world. Red Dead Redemption is, by far (not even close actually) the best Western-themed game of all time. This Xbox 360 open world frontier title was a breath of fresh air that took the gaming community by storm. Taking the reins of popular protagonist, John Marston, you can go anywhere and do anything in the Wild West. Following the competent Red Dead Revolver, the sequel went all out to create an experience that built upon the foundation of the first, while ripping down every static, uninspired mechanic, in order to develop a game that would accept nothing less than greatness. Mission accomplished.

John Marston

 

One of the few original IP’s that truly made an unexpectedly big impression on gamers was Crackdown. Successfully crafting a GTA rival that allowed players to go anywhere and do anything as a genetically modified law enforcement agent tasked with taking down drug kingpins and cartel bosses in the fictional Pacific City, Crackdown was gaming escapism at its best. Developed by Real-Time Worlds, this sandbox game is a funny, high-octane, over-the-top experience that never takes itself too seriously…something that other titles should certainly take note.

 

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The final entry in the best Xbox 360 games list is BioShock, the brainchild of industry scion Ken Levine and the rest of the crew at Irrational Games. A spiritual successor to System Shock, BioShock ups the ante in every way and provides what may be the greatest gaming environment of all time: Rapture. The underwater dystopia drips with personality and atmosphere. You enter not knowing what to expect, with no knowledge of Rapture ever existing, and must figure out the mystery of this vast city and what role you play in its future. With one of the greatest antagonists in any game (Rapture creator, Andrew Ryan) and roving boss battles with the now iconic Big Daddy’s, BioShock is as immersive a game as you can find, and should not be missed by anyone who considers themselves a gaming enthusiast. Scratch that, it should not be missed by anyone who considers themselves an entertainment enthusiast…it is really that good.

 

Atlas Bioshock

Best PS3 games

This article is a farewell to the PS3. To celebrate the end of this generation and look back at what the Playstation 3 had to offer in it’s time as Sony’s primary console.

If the Xbox 360 were described as a pop concert, then the Playstation 3 would certainly be a symphony performance. Much more technologically complex, with an emphasis on art rather than spectacle, the PS3 is the thinking gamer’s console. Difficult development and complicated hardware made the PS3 tough to work with, but once game designers figured out how to unlock the system’s true potential, Sony’s console showed that it was the true beast of this generation.

The PS3 sold less units than both the 360 and the Wii, but it can be confidently stated that the PlayStation 3 was home to the top exclusives during this console generation. The sheer innovation, dedication and creativity brought forth in their top exclusives is very impressive and shows that Sony is focused more on the gamer than the bottom line.

Early in the latest console cycle, Sony was reeling after introducing the PS3 at too high a price point, so they needed some big system sellers to make up for the expensive price tag. Fortunately, Naughty Dog, one of the best developers in the world, was there to save the day with their mega-popular Uncharted series. Starting with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, greatly upping the ante with the stellar Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and finishing strong with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, the Santa Monica-based developer hit it out of the park.

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The other big seller early in the cycle was Sony’s other “ace up its sleeve” God of War 3. Already a massive series that helped solidify the PS2 as quite possibly the greatest console of all time, the God of War franchise was a necessity for the PS3 and did not disappoint. The David Jaffe created mythology epic brought ultra-violence and the power fantasy to the PS3, allowing gamers to take the role of the biggest badass in the universe, Kratos, the god of War.

 

The 10 Most Violent Video Games Ever to Hit the Market: God of War 3

The final established franchise to help make the PS3 what it is today is Metal Gear Solid. Already one of the most well known video game IP’s ever, Hideo Kojima ratcheted it up to 11 with the fourth entry: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. With updated visuals, polished action, and an epic backstory, MGS4 showed a mature and war-torn Solid Snake (aptly codenamed Old Snake) several years after the events of MGS2: Sons of Liberty, while also moving the perspective from the classic overhead third-person to a streamlined over the shoulder view, increasing the visceral nature of the stealth series.

 

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While these franchises brought Sony great success and help define PS3 as a console, it is the risks that Sony took which should be applauded. Xbox always played it safe, but Sony was more than willing to take a chance on something that no one had ever seen before.  This is where Heavy Rain and Little Big Planet enter the equation.

Heavy Rain is a dark and mysterious title that follows a very well-developed narrative, placing the player in the shoes of a private detective who must solve a mysterious murder before it is too late. Using innovative gameplay mechanics and hyper-realistic visuals, Heavy Rain was (and still is) the closest we have gotten to a fully interactive and immersive experience.

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Going the opposite direction, and introducing a whimsical ability to simply create, Little Big Planet brought countless hours of fun to gamers in the form of cute little characters made from burlap sacks. A puzzle-platformer, Little Big Planet not only has a fully-realized game you can play through, the true selling point is the ability to create new content using the in-game tools. The results have been nothing less than extraordinary, with LBP fans around the world developing original game scenarios and sharing them online, so their friends and the rest of the gaming community can play the end result.

LittleBigPlanet_Wallpaper_by_Harbinger2020

 

But no best of PS3 list will ever be complete without the inclusion of the Naughty Dog magnum opus, The Last of Us. The last great PS3 game of the generation, The Last of Us is the story of Joel and Ellie, two survivors of a worldwide apocalypse who are trekking across the United States to reach a resistance group called the Fireflies. Simply put, The Last of Us is a game of the highest order, bringing unprecedented visuals, innovative gameplay and one of the most arresting and emotional storylines ever created. Suspense and anxiety follow close behind as you make your way to your final destination, forced to avoid diseased humans and corrupt gangs that will not think twice about killing you. The Last of Us will not only be known as one of, if not the best, PS3 games, it will surely be looked at as one of the best game ever made.

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Why The New Splinter Cell Is On My Blacklist

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is fast.

Sam Fisher has moved away from his arthritic self and looks like he’s been downing vitality yoghurts by the 8-pack. He glides through Libya, Marawa, Dallas and many more worldwide locations, with as much finesse as Ezio from Assassin’s Creed.

Plus, his balls have tightened…well, his voice is slightly higher.

I get it.

Ubisoft has allowed Fisher to shed his wrinkly skin and crooked voice to allow for a more actiony action hero.

But when it comes to SC, I’m one of the purists in need of a split jump, an in-game bit of sarcasm from the old guy and a much slower experience all-round.

This speedy platform game is too close to the mediocre Conviction and too far away from the original tetralogy. I mean, interrogating foot soldiers for useable intel later on (i.e. a door code that made the mission easier), was a signature move of the franchise. And now it’s gone.

Interrogations are carried out through cutscenes and it feels like a clunky step back every time.

But hey – at least we’ve got some Jack Bauer style takedowns to enjoy instead.

The problem is, Ubisoft, we already get our kicks from other non-stealth action shows/games. We play Splinter Cell to feel somewhat closer to real espionage.

When I’m tagging enemies and executing them all with the single press of a button (similar to Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon), I feel empowered, sure. But I also feel like some sort of exaggerated lead role in a weak Sky One thriller…Strike Back: Project Dawn.

What happened?

SC: Conviction wasn’t a Splinter Cell. And just because you wear more goggles in Blacklist, it doesn’t make this game any less of a let-down.

Okay, I realise that I’m being bitter, like some re-married 40-something remembering my ex-love to be much better in bed than the new wife. So, let’s give this gal a chance and talk about her ‘other qualities’:

Blacklist has a deep level of gear customisability, and Generation Modern Warfare kind of expect this in every game now. So that’s a big fat tick.

Life was much easier when Sam had all the latest tech provided by Third Echelon as standard. But manually upgrading your goggles makes you really appreciate the enhancements in the field.

Fourth Echelon is on a tighter budget.

Interestingly, there is no main menu. Instead, the game’s singleplayer, multiplayer and co-op missions are all accessible by Sam’s playable airborne HQ – the Paladin.

You return to the Paladin between each mission and can walk around interacting with Grimsdottir & co (similar to the terrorist HQ in Double-Agent). It offers some nice downtime and does a solid job of making you feel you’re in control of the entire operation (which you are).

You earn money for the way in which you complete missions. This money can be invested into your gear, clothing or the Paladin itself. It’s an extra flavour to enjoy and some players will get more out of it than others.

I like it.

Part of this pay-your-own-way system encourages stealth during missions – which I also like. You receive cash rewards no matter how you play. For example, if you’re blazing your way through Libya but you land headshots every time – then you’ll receive credit for your display of ‘Assault’ prowess.

Similarly, you receive ‘Ghost’ credit for evading enemies and conserving ammo. The ‘Ghost’ approach is the more lucrative.

The actual gameplay itself is more Conviction than Double Agent. It’s nice to see the objectives painted on the in-game walls again, I always thought that was a clever way of making you feel like you’re setting your own objectives – rather than checking your OPSAT all the time for instructions from HQ.

The ‘execute’ feature is slick and some of the multi-kills you can pull off are beyond awesome.

But it still doesn’t feel right. Not one mission feels like a direct descendant of Shanghai in Double Agent, the bank in Chaos Theory or even the Kalinatek operation in the original SC.

Overall, Blacklist is more like the bastard child of Conviction and Syphon Filter.

There’s enough stealth and path choice in Blacklist to satisfy the purists, while keeping the neutrals happy with Hollywood-style spy moves. And it really does feel great to suit up in the leathers again (behave).

Still, I’m not in love.

Sam might have cleared up his crow’s-feet but no amount of makeup could cover the wrinkles of Blacklist on a whole. If Ubisoft continues to be uber-soft with this franchise, it will lose the hardcore fanbase and remain eclipsed by more self-secure titles.

Sam is no longer safe in the shadows. Sigh.

The Last Of Us Review

Why The Last Of Us is the best game ever…

I was a few weeks late on the uptake but I have finally finished the Last Of Us. Like anyone else who has found themselves on the other side of Naughty Dog’s crowning achievement, I am locked in a state of catatonia. I cant believe that what is probably the most enjoyable gaming experience of all time has come to an end.

On the face of it, the Last Of Us is a third-person zombie game with a linear structure and a concoction of action, puzzle and stealth gameplay. All pretty standard items in the world of single-player epics, but it’s the plot that sets The Last Of Us apart.

The story is like nothing that has ever been told before via the medium of video game. From it’s shocking beginning to its morally murky end, you are gripped. In most games, cut scenes punctuate the action and give you some handle on what your goal is. In the Last Of Us, the gameplay is simply a vehicle that allows you to interact with the harrowing, beautiful story of Joel and Ellie.

The gameplay itself is robust and challenging and every set play in which you find yourself is expertly executed. The game essentially follows the rules set by previous zombie games and indeed previous third-person adventure platforms. Strong elements of the Drake’s franchise are apparent throughout, which is definitely not a bad thing as Naughty Dog’s original adventure is a slick, impressive runaround in its own right.

Although there isn’t much new about the way the game plays, Naughty Dog has definitely made its simple dynamics watertight and graphically got the very most out of the PS3. The linear, ‘closed world’ not only allows the graphics to be as detailed and realistic (mostly gory) as possible, but it also restricts the player from veering from the main story line. This may well be deliberate, as to ensure the story doesn’t lose any of its heavyweight punch.

There is always a danger of linear games becoming repetitive. One clever element that keeps the Last Of Us from being infected by repetition is the mix of human and infected AI. No two situations seem the same as you come across whords of runners and clickers, teams of ruthless highjackers or even three bloaters stumbling around a subway station. You have to deal with each situation with a combination of stealth, brute force and, on occassion, legging it!

Compared with its competitors within the third-person genre (Tomb Raider, MGS, Hitman, Drake’s Fortune etc), the constant variance of adversaries still keeps The Last Of Us at the top of the class for gameplay. So, not only do you interact with a plot that puts most blockbuster films to shame, you are constantly entertained while you do it.

 

“Just because you are character, doesn’t mean you have character.”

–           Harvey Keitel, Pulp Fiction

 

The character development in this Naughty Dog masterpiece is unlike anything we have ever seen in gaming before…yet it’s difficult to explain without dropping some hell-spoilers.

All we’re saying, is look out for how Joel subtly glances at his wristwatch (a gift from his pre-apocalyptic life) during certain clips and how Ellie’s body language shifts following some pivotal moments.

To get your money’s worth from The Last of Us – don’t rush. Only play when you have the time for a decent ‘sesh’ because there is so much added value deep in the spores of what is a fitting swansong for Sony’s PS3.

Scares are a big part of games that have a zombified complexion and The Last Of Us has plenty. Played on hard difficulty, the limited amount of ammo available means that each combative situation is as tense as it can be. Stealth is always the best option; for conservation of supplies as much as anything else. But when your presence is realised by either humans or infected, the pace at which either faction can mame you leaves you feeling frightened to try again.

Some of the brutal cut scenes also add colour to the picture of a harsh and terrifying future, where death waits for you in every abandoned building. This harsh realism provides the perfect backdrop to a perfect storyline.

The fact that the game is so story driven gives the characters in it a new level of depth that leads you, the player, to become heavily invested in them. This gives everything you do with your Dual Shock controller so much more meaning than other games.

Gameplay and storyline marry together perfectly to create an unerring depiction of an infected dystopian nightmare and the effect this new environment has upon the human condition. This is what makes the Last Of Us great.

 

We are at a point in time where a next generation of consoles await us. One large movement appears to be towards what are essentially interactive TV shows and films. Something that gives gamers a fantastic story that they can engage with…and even change.

However it will be many years before anything surpasses The Last of Us.

Granted, you are on a constant bearing and what you do doesn’t impact the outcome of the story. But you have to fight for your life to get from beginning to end. And what an end!

 

 

Coolest Computer Game Inspired Cross Stitch Patterns

Space Invader Cross Stitch

Cross stitching and computer games are not two things that many people would immediately th

ink go hand in hand, however the sprites from older computer games make particularly good cross stitch patterns.

Using pre-existing stitch patterns

There are already plenty of websites offering cross stitch patterns, including several for computer games. Spritestitch.com has a wealth of tried and tested patterns to choose from, and an active forum full of people both posting patterns and requesting patterns that others may already have. The great thing about using a pattern that somebody else has already tried and tested is that it is likely that the thread colours can be relied upon to look good.

There are some pretty cool computer game inspired cross stitch patterns freely available on the internet. Websites with forums, along with social networking sites such as Facebook and Pinterest are full of people who are more than willing to share the creations that they are so proud of. Whilst simple patterns of just one character are fairly easy to come by, and not too difficult to generate from scratch, these sites are full of more complex ideas, such as an underwater Mario scene.

Mario map cross stitch pattern

Creating a pattern from scratch

Whilst it may sound difficult, creating a pattern from scratch is not as hard as it sounds. There are many images around on the internet that can be turned into a cross stitch pattern with the help of freely available tools and software. Spriters-resource.com is a great resource as it has many sprites to download. Whilst these haven’t usually been created with cross stitching in mind, it is easy enough to turn one into a pattern.

Sprites will usually come as part of an image, showing the character doing a number of poses, whilst other images obtained online may come with additional characters or background features that you do not want as part of your cross stitch pattern. It is easy enough to use a free piece of software such as Paint, which comes preinstalled on most computers to crop an image, and then upload it to a website such as myphotostitch.com which has an easy to use tool for converting an image into a cross stitch pattern.

Mario icon cross stitch pattern

Creating a cross stitch without a pattern

Sometimes simple ideas work really well, and it is not always necessary to have a pattern if the design is easy enough to transfer. An example that works really well is anything relating to the game Tetris, as everything is rectangular. Tetris inspired cross stitch magnets are great fun, as creating several of them could allow for a mini-game of Tetris to be played on any magnetic surface, for example a fridge.

Sometimes several patterns can be used side by side to come up with something unusual, such as the Space Invaders belt, which is made up of lots of sprites next to each other. Whilst it would be necessary to find or create the individual sprites, the overall design on an unusual shape such as a belt can be customised.

Score cross stitch pattern

Paying for a cross stitch pattern

Whilst many people who come up with cool, video game inspired cross stitch patterns are willing to share them for free, others come up with designs as a way of making money. Esty.com has a number of cross stitch patterns for sale at a low price, including a comic book inspired Sonic the Hedgehog pattern and an alphabet of computer game characters.

Why turn video games into cross stitch patterns?

Scenes and characters from computer games are made up of pixels. These are particularly noticeable in retro games. Each of these pixels is very similar to one cross stitch, so characters and scenes from games make ideal templates for cross stitch patterns. These cross stitches are not only fun to make, but are a great gift for any computer game fan. The internet is full of inspiring ideas and people willing to help make ideas become a reality.

This article was written by blogger James, he loves knitting.

State of Console Gaming

Gaming is, undoubtedly, the most popular form of entertainment with younger generations and the older members of society are keen to take it up too. For some people it’s even becoming a way of life, with gaming competitions offering thousands of dollars prize money.

New developments in technology mean that gaming is becoming even more widespread, entering more aspects of our everyday lives – like our phones and mp3 players. However, this modern interpretation of gaming is killing the traditional console market.
The Games Console

The history of console gaming as we know it today goes back to 1967 when the Brown Box was introduced to the world by German television engineer Ralph Baer. However, the games console didn’t really kick off in the mainstream until the eighties, when the Gameboy was launched. Ironically, this handheld console could also be the reason for the current crisis in traditional console gaming, as it showed that gaming could be portable.

Despite this potential danger to their business, the development of portable consoles was generally controlled by the main games console manufacturers, so any threat was always in their hands. It may have been this that has led to the slow development of the games consoles themselves. It has become quite normal for cycles of games consoles to take in advance of 5 years, which by modern technological standards is crawling pace, especially in comparison to smartphone technology.

Life time sales figures for the current generation of consoles in the market are still impressive though, and it is a very competitive market. Figures for the Xbox and Playstation 3 are 67 million and 64 million respectively, while 96 million units of the comparatively cheap Nintendo Wii have been sold.

However, figures show that there has been an arrest in sales figures since the console gaming high between 2009 and 2010. In 2010, the PS3 hit its highest sales figure since its release in late 2006, reaching over 2 million sales in the 3rd quarter alone. Since then, however, sales have started to decline and have now plateaued. Similarly, the Wii reached almost 4 million sales at the end of the final quarter in 2007, before suffering a steady decline – and sales have now reached an all-time low; this has prompted a reaction from them with the announcement of the Wii U. Smart phone sales on the other hand read differently; they are turning the games console industry on its head.

Changes

The idea of the smartphone has been knocking about for a while but it wasn’t until 1997 that the term was officially coined. It was in this era that Ericsson unveiled their concept smartphone, the GS88. Since then, the technology in smartphones has improved dramatically – as have its sales. In the fourth quarter in 2011, figures show that 157.8 million smartphones were sold worldwide, bringing the number up to 491.4 million units for the year. The best-selling smartphone in that year was the iPhone with over 20 million units sold in 2011 alone – this equated to a year-over-year increase in sales of 142%.

Compare this to games console sales figures and the disparity is stark. Of course, it would be right to say that they are too different platforms but owing to apps, the smartphones’ answer to discs and cartridges, the two platforms cross over more than the games console industry would like.

Although in 2011 video games sales figures were higher than those of apps, apps sales were increasing whereas video games figures had slipped from the year before. This may be because apps are cheaper but it also shows that gaming on the move is becoming more and more popular and it is something the games console industry is going to have to address. So what’s in store for the future of console gaming?

Integration

The console gaming industry is already trying to react by increasing the development of its own handheld consoles. But figures of these don’t compare favourably with top selling smartphones. The top selling handheld console, the Nintendo DS, peaked in the first quarter of 2007 reaching around 9 million sales. Since then nothing has even come close to this, including the 3DS. But even advancements is handheld devices won’t solve the problem for static games consoles, which are the companies’ main source of business. So how will these types of consoles have to adapt?

It could just take the release of a new generation of games consoles to give the market the injection of sales it needs, but it is still likely that these machines will be the last of their kind. Developers are already looking into integrating games consoles into TV sets, which would mean you would be able to stream games with streaming services such as Gaikai and Onlive already available.  It would also mean that companies would be relying more on digital games distribution than the physical hardware. This will obviously help console companies do away with another threat to their business – the second hands games industry.

By musicMagpie where you can sell your games, dvds and cds

Top 5 Video Game Cover Songs of All Time

If there’s one great thing about video games, apart from the games themselves that is, it’s the music. From the very first days of home computers and consoles games have been making us hum along with often simple – yet unforgettable melodies. With the advent of video sharing sites and webcams people all over the globe have been able to perform their very own tributes to their favourite gaming inspired ballads, and here are our top 5!

5. Tetris Drum Cover – 3000 Views

Launching way back in 1989, Tetris came pre-packaged with the Gameboy – so if you had a gameboy you played tetris! But if there was one thing more awesome than having a console that you could carry around with you was the timeless sound track of the game – no matter how many times it repeated (and that was quite a lot) somehow it never got tiring.

One person who was obviously not put off, and in fact obviously became quite a fan was YouTube user MooseHeadStudios – a keen player of the drums, he’s drummed along with the tetris theme tune, giving it that really punchy drum beat and bass that was somehow missing from the gameboy’s mono speaker.

[youtube id=”5dGBCVHWfTs” width=”600″ height=”350″]

 

4. Super Mario World – 200,000 Views

As anyone who owned a Super Nintendo during the 1990’s will tell you one of the best and most memorable games was the one that was actually packaged with it – Super Mario World! This 16-bit reboot to the classic plumber’s sideways scrolling adventures not only brought with it improved graphics but also a more melodic sound system, which is something the designers wasted no time in using!

A duo/quartet (depending on how you look at it!) on YouTube have given this classic tune a work over – SongeLeReveur (guitar) and Trudbol’s One Man A Cappella Quartet (vocals) have re-mastered the theme song in their very unique style! Starting off slowly but building up to the punchy main theme these guys have really captured what made this song a true classic!

[youtube id=”uUSFFQNbjzg” width=”600″ height=”350″]

 

3. Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past – 20,000 Views

Another SNES stalwart, a link to the past was Zelda’s first outing on the 16-bit system, and what a game it was! A really deep and immersive adventure that was complimented by its rich and playful colour pallet and of course its unique music. Anyone who even came close to completing this game will have some of these songs imprinted on their sub-conscious whilst they battled their way through the game.

YouTube group SwarfieldMusic have created a play-along to the first twelve minutes of the game, with a screen showing the actual game in play as they go! Quite an achievement to not only keep in time but remember the whole score. Featuring drums, guitars and even a violin!

[youtube id=”BEJh7HgQCO8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

 

2. Angry Birds – 3,800,000 Views

Angry birds was an instant hit when it launched on the iPhone in December 2009, selling over 12 million copies of the game in Apple’s App Store alone. The simplistic yet addictive game play was a huge draw for everyone, but let’s not forget that trademark music! Just hearing that music somewhere in public still makes me want to get out my phone and start playing.

It wasn’t just me who was a huge fan of this original score, YouTube group PomplamooseMusic have amassed a huge number of views with their amusing take on the theme song. Featuring drums, guitars a girl singing acapella and even a harpsichord! They’ve even released the song into the iTunes store.

[youtube id=”7UCm6uyzNE8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

 

1. Super Mario Bros – 1,400,000 Views

There is a reason why there are so many Nintendo songs that have made it into this top 5 – their signature light and fun game soundtracks have endured for years, and have millions of fans worldwide. At number one in our list is the original Super Mario Bros theme tune. In a time where video game audio systems were limited, Nintendo still managed to come up with one of the most iconic game soundtracks of all time. Quite a feat when you compare it to the buzzing and beeping of the competition of the time.

So even without the biggest number of views, we have still decided to make YouTube user Jimmy’s take on the original Mario Bros theme tune our no. 1. A fully one-man production Jimmy has really hit on what made this song so great in the first place! He’s even managed to human-beat-box in some original sound effects such as jumping and going down a tube. Awesome work Jimmy – we salute you!

 

[youtube id=”MTB-P5Bt3_Q” width=”600″ height=”350″]

This top 5 comes courtesy of arcade machine supplier Liberty Games, who sell a range of refurbished classic arcade machines for your home.

Mass Effect 3: Should Entertainment Companies Listen to Their Fans?

The much anticipated third installment in the Mass Effect video game series was recently released. While many fans were happy to renew their adventures with Commander Shepherd, Tali and the other characters some had their enjoyment turn to rage when they saw the ending of the game.

 

WARNING: Spoilers for Mass Effect 3 Below

One of the most appealing elements of the Mass Effect 3 series was the continuity between the different games. The actions that you chose for your character in one game could be ported over to another, so you felt highly invested in their character.

This investment gave Mass Effect very loyal fans, but also meant when the ending was not to their satisfaction, these fans felt personally cheated. No matter what choices the player had made so far, once they reached the end sequence, they were all presented with the same 3 choices, an no matter which one they chose, the ending graphics were almost identical, with only minor differences, such as color scheme.

What Was the Response?

Disgruntled players are now starting a movement to demand that the game’s creators release a new ending for them to download.  For some, this almost seems ludicrous. After all, creators write their stories and fans simply consume them. Would people expect an author to change the ending of their novel simply because readers were not happy?

However, this does not take into account the particularities of video games as a media. With video games, players are not simply passively consuming a story. In many cases they help to create it, with their actions and reactions shaping the story around them. In such circumstances, it is easy to see how they could feel personally slighted.

Should BioWare listen?

As with all interactions with customers, BioWare, the makers of Mass Effect, need to weigh the consequences of listening to their customers. Should they ignore the request for a new ending, they risk alienating the most devoted of their base, potentially losing future business. However it is entirely possible that the hype surrounding this issue will die down, and there is no guarantee that a new ending would not be considered equally unsatisfactory.

However, listening to fans can bring large benefits. Recently, inXile Entertainment decided to use the crowdsourcing website KickStarter to solicit donations for a sequel to the game Wasteland. While investors had not been interested, fans had constantly requested a sequel.

Within 42 hours they had reached their $900,000 goal, and donations continue to pour in. Not only do they have the capital to make the game, they also have oodles of free publicity, all from listening to their fans.

This post made possible by guest blogger Stephanie, a writer with varied interests, including everything from methods for starting a movement to online gaming.

3 Worst Gaming Systems EVER, & One to Consider

Gaming systems have been around since the early 80s. Since then there have been many successful systems like Nintendo, Atari, Sega and Sony – and a few unsuccessful systems that any gamer would be embarrassed to admit they had played.

Sometimes gamers can get so caught up in the latest video gaming systems that they forget about how truly bad some of the systems have been. Here’s a look at some of the worst systems ever produced for the gaming market – and one system any gamer should consider purchasing.

Worst Gaming System: Mattel Hyperscan, Combining Collectible Gaming Cards with Gaming

When video games first hit the market there seemed to be a connection between avid video gamers and collectible gaming card games. This connection inspired Mattel to create a gaming system that combined the two hobbies.

The Mattel Hyperscan allowed players to play games and purchase gaming cards that could be scanned to add items and characters to the game, Hyperscan failed miserably due to the lack of games available and to the poor construction of the system – it seemed to break in the slightest breeze-even though the idea itself wasn’t so bad.

Worst Gaming System: Phillips CD-i Interactive VHS/DVD Games

Think about those interactive DVDs that are on the market today. The Phillips CD-i was a gaming system that was very similar to those DVDs but it utilized the old school VHS player. The choppy graphics, limited game title availability and the predictable nature of the Phillips CD-i caused it to land hard and become known as one of the worst gaming systems of all time.

Worst Gaming System: Apple Pippin – Too Advanced for Its Time

Some gaming systems failed, not because they were bad or unplayable, but because they were just simply a product that was too advanced for gamers at the time. The Apple Pippin is a prime example of this. It combined all the popular features that gaming systems have today; processing power, Internet connectivity and the ability to both watch movies and play video games.

However, it came out at a time when gamers just weren’t ready to accept such a jump in technology. The slow processor speed and lack of available Internet connection points away from home landed this system on the worst list.

Recommended Gaming System: The PS3 Combines All Gaming Features

While many people believe that no system can compare to the new gaming laptops, if you’re looking for some excellent game play that is top of the line, then consider trying the PS3.

Gaming systems now offer far more than anyone would have thought possible in the 80s. Almost every popular system available today offers fast processing speed, a large library of games to play and amazing graphics. However, it never hurts to be reminded of just how far gaming systems have come over the years and these worst gaming systems are proof of the real progress the gaming world has seen.

Jessy is the entertainment writer for Dobovo, the free tool for travelers. Want to have fun on your next trip to Eastern Europe? Consider choosing one of our Odessa apartments.

Top 10 Driving Games

Driving games are one of the most addictive and popular types of computer games on the planet.

Almost every gamer has at least one no matter what console they are prefer; you can even get driving games for your phone these days!

Because they are so popular, there have been thousands of driving and racing style games produced. Some are serious, realistic affairs with real cars and real racetracks. Others are amazingly over-the-top sci-fi experiences, with space ships and hoverboards. You can even get family friendly, cartoonish versions that your grandmother could play.

Even though there are so many out there, there’s a lot of bad games that you shouldn’t waste your hard earned money on. We play quite a lot of driving games around here and in our opinion, these are the best ten ever produced.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit gives you the option of being either a cop or a racer. Both game options are tons of fun with decent graphics and enough options and modes to keep you busy for ages.

Crazy Taxi

Crazy Taxi is a classic. Originally an arcade game that allowed you to drive a taxi at incredibly high speeds, the game was so popular that SEGA moved it to Dreamcast in 2000. The game is not only addictive but allows you to drive pretty much anywhere in a fast paced, arcade type driving game. Sadly, Crazy Taxi is something of an oldie, so you’ll need one of the older consoles (GameCube, Xbox or PS2) to play it.

Burnout Paradise

Burnout has everything a good driving game should. Fast cars, the ability to destroy things and hundreds of ways to play the game! Play online, offline, in road rage mode or just a race against the game. Often the game sounds overly simple but can be quite fun and challenging to actually pull off with style.

Gran Turismo 5

Gran Turismo was one of the originators of truly realistic driving games. The most recent version is an example of a near-perfect game. Stunning visuals, 100 cars to choose from and a clever new system to ensure that your car takes “realistic damage” coupled with real-life tracks to race on and glorious HD graphics make this title one for those who really take their gaming seriously. As realistic as it is, don’t go trying to replicate your Gran Turismo moves during adriving lesson.

ModNation: Racers

This one offers a fun twist on family-friendly, kart-based racing games;  players use tools to create and edit the cars they use. Featuring high speed races across eye-catching animated landscapes, 12 player online gaming, split and a screen dual racing game option and you have a great game that caters to both classic and modern driving gameplay. Plus, it’s lightweight enough to sit down and play with the family.

Shift 2: Unleashed

Neither a wacky arcade racer nor a hyper-realistic simulator, Shift 2 is an odd hybrid of a game. The cars are reasonably realistic, but the physics lacks the realism of Gran Turismo. The fun part of this game is abandoning the actual gameplay and competing with your friends for the most unrealistic and outrageous crash possible.

Driver: San Francisco

Driver is the sequel to the 1999 hit, Driver. The game features stunning graphics, cool classic cars and all of the action you could ever want. It also has a great plot and well thought-out characters that will keep you interested. Oh, and it has tons of driving!

Blur

Blur is a combat racing game with extraordinary out of this world graphics and amazing cars. While gameplay could be compared to a toned down and sexified version of Mario Kart, its still tons of fun and considerably more macho than Nintendo’s classic!

F1 2011

F1 2011 gives you all of the thrills, considerations and skill of racing with a real F1 car. From adjusting the weights of your vehicle to handling your baby on turns, the F1 is realistic and very fun. The game features multiple gameplay options, 29 tracks and plenty of challenges to keep you interested.

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart is the best racing game series ever conceived. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it features fun and easily-recognisable characters, simple but insanely addictive gameplay, wacky weapons and now, in its newest incarnation, the ability to play online. There’s nothing quite like crossing the finish line after blasting your little sister off the road with a red turtle shell missile, overtaking your dear old grandmother and lapping your best friend.

This content was provided by PassSmart.com, the easiest way to find a driving instructor in your area.