Month: January 2020

Ultimate Spiderman

What is unique about Ultimate Spider-Man, us that it allows players to take on the role of super hero Spider-Man and the love to be hated super villain Venom. It does so using an original storyline made especially for the game that follow the tale the comic books have told. Interestingly, and perhaps disappointingly the combat system used in the game is no where near as deep as the one used in it predecessors, that means no combos. Eeck!

Reasons for this could span Treyarch not having the time to implement a better system then before or perhaps it just wanted to make the title a little easier to play for younger player. Whatever its reason this is the first of many disappointing moments I had while playing USM. The next reason I had for been less than happy with the games was the story mode, first off it is extremely short and only lasts a few hours (it may even been beatable in one sitting if you have the time and put you mind to it).

He needs his own game. Who am I talking about? It is Venom of course. I had much more fun than a spider can while playing around with this guy. Off course it is much more fun to be the bad guy but playing as Venom defines this phrase as you suck in bystanders which ups you health and whip and slap them with you tentacles.

Of course this is not all good ol’ Venom can do. He can also throw cars around at ease and scale tall building in almost single bound. Almost all of Venom mission revolve around causing a much mayhem as you can and end then this is much more fun than playing with a certain restricted red and blue clad spider we all know and love.

The missions in USM seem like there pulled straight from a lets build a free-roaming game book. If you want to start a mission you look down at you radar and see a colored marker and you run and swing with all your heart towards it. Once you complete this mission you open up another one and then when you beat that one; well you get the picture! Some story modes also opened up by beating some of the city patrol requirements.

Once a few mission are done you may then run into a boss battle which are undoubtedly the best new addition to the Spider-Man series of games. The boss battles are fantastic and are some of the most exciting moment you will have in a game. They start of with an exhilarating chase which will take you over many parts of the city as you try to keep up with your foe.

Each boss battle will lead to you having to do different things. Some may have you rescuing pedestrians (by playing a mini game) as you try and keep up with the super-villain while others will lead you through trapped alleys and dodging obstacles. When you finally catch the villain you end up fighting a straight up old school fight to the death, if you notice any weakness in enemies (each one of them as a different weak point) you have to exploit it as much as you can till you take him down.

As with all of these new free-roaming titles there is a hell of a lot more to do than just play the story mode in Spider-Man this is no different. First of there are 60 races for you to take part in along with this there are 36 combat tours. Then there is a few side quests in which Spidey may have to take part in.

If you have played Spider-Man 2 then you will probably remember all those guys hanging of buildings for no reason well now they are back again and can be rescued if you feel like it, you can also stop robberies, halt attempted break ins and beat up a guy who tries to mug people and participate in a chase a car. None of these all side missions do much to further the game main story but can be entertaining if you get tired propelling the story mode forward. It has to be said though that much more could be done to flesh out this area of the game as it can get old very, very quick.

Visually UMS looks fantastic and embraces the style that’s been seenin the comic book over the last few decades to its fullest extent. It totally disregards the style seen in the last two game and jumps straight onto the cel-shading bandwagon. If you have read any of the comic books ever then you will be right at home right of the bat when the game first loads. The game does the best it can it immerse the game in the fantastic world of Spider-Man from the, till now unused comic book perspective.

Each of the character models, particularly the main characters all look great in their new guise as does all of New York in its cel-shaded form. In terms of audio them game does a good job the music and sound effect suit the game well but the Voice acting can get a bit iffy at time, at some point it is OK and at other time it seem like the people were rushing through it just to get out of the studio. It is a definite mixed bag if there ever was one. Once more with feeling guys.

Next Generation Console Tomb Raider

The remastering of this video game on the Next Generation console has re-introduced this classic video game to a whole new generation, all the while still captivating veteran gamers. The effects are now in HD which makes the adventures more exciting and almost lifelike. The modifications to the weapons are ten times more powerful than the originals. The bow and arrows alone have changed the overall dynamic of her arsenal.

Gaming with Smith’s main objective is to help players transition from the original adventure into the explosive playing field of the new one. The character’s movements are completely different although a lot of the weaponry has changed. One of the goal’s accomplished by Gaming with Smith is the direction and explanation of the majority of these character movement’s. Once a gamer, has learned the basics, the transition is not only easier but the rewards and so much more gratifying than the original.

Tomb Raider will forever be a video game classic. Now with the addition of modern technology and the influence of a completely re-born gaming system, it is now prepared to take its legacy to the upper echelons of Video game history. From it’s surreal graphics to the unique story line, it is eons ahead of the majority of the games that are out there. The Next Generation Console has taken a huge step into the new gaming world and Gaming with Smith is an upcoming YouTube channel that will guide you through every step of the way.

VR Arcade

A VR Arcade is a place where the people can go, pay some cash and rent a VR Handset for a set amount of time and play a bundle of games. The type of games to be put in your arcade depends upon the owner of the arcade i.e. the one who has paid rent to own a VR Arcade.

They are allowing people to experience the artificial world i.e. computer-generated world without a handset as the virtual reality handsets are expensive and not everyone can afford the same.

They have been introduced to resolve this problem. They are now considered to be the future of gaming.

Sitting and playing video games at home does not give a real-life experience, but virtual reality games feel real. Your body is controlling your character which means that your body is more active.

Spending upon video games and VR Handsets are not worth, but if the same is done in a VR arcade then it is worth spending. They allow one to have good experiences with various types of games available.


They are a cheaper substitute for buying an expensive VR Handset to be used in homes. Whenever you are in a mood to experience virtual reality gaming, then you can get to the nearest VR Arcade and after paying some bucks; rent the VR Handset for a particular time limit.


They allow us to be physically and mentally involved in the virtual environment. It is really a fun and exciting experience. Even though it has some after effects in the form of a headache, fatigue, unconsciousness, vomiting etc. but it helps one to react to the stimuli. It enhances the creativity of the users.

It is advised that it should not be used by children under 13 as the same may affect the development of kids.

The children aged 13 or more must use a VR Arcade in the supervision of Parents and breaks must exist while using them. Parents must keep in mind that the kids use it for a limited time period as its prolonged use may negatively impact the eye-brain connection and the after effects include drowsiness, vomiting etc.

City of Villains

City of Heroes became famous for its encompassing costume generator and City of Villains is even bigger in this aspect. All the options from City of Heroes are intact and there has been added a multitude of new options – somehow it’s just more fun to create a mean bad-ass super villain than some boy scout of a hero. Though it’s possible to auto-generate costumes a lot of players put a lot of effort into creating unique villains/heroes with thorough background stories for obvious reasons. The developers at Cryptic have hit the villain theme spot on. Among other things you have the opportunity of creating monsters and the selection of chains, leather and masks far surpasses any SM-shop you can think of.

City of Villains has five new archetypes (the equivalent of races in other RPGs) with respective primary and secondary abilities, clearly illustrating that the developer has had good time to learn from its experiences. The five different types of characters must be played using different strategies and they generally feel less dependent on one another which corresponds well with the individualistic life of a super villain. The five archetypes are:

  • Brute: A close combat tank who gets stronger the more he/she fights. Your own attacks as well as those of your enemies increase your fury which enables you to do more damage (think of The Hulk). This is the type of super villain that is best suited for playing alone.
  • Corruptor: Very similar to the blaster-type from City of Heroes, but its secondary group of powers contains mostly buffs and debuffs.
  • Dominator: This type is a mix between the Controller and the Defender from City of Heroes. The Dominator gets the Controller ability to control and hold enemies and he also gets the Defender’s secondary ability of attacking. The Dominator is best played with groups.
  • Master Mind: The most unique type of the game and very popular among players. As a Master Mind you get your own obedient minions that you control in battle. Simply put; it’s great fun.
  • Stalker: The focus with this type is stealth and ambushes. Stalkers are very challenging to play but are capable of doing tremendous amounts of damage with some very dirty attacks.

Rogue Isles is no place for a holiday

As opposed to City of Heroes, City of Villains doesn’t take place in a metropolis but on Rogue Isles; a group of islands way out in the Atlantic Ocean ruled by Lord Recluse. As a rookie villain your first task is to break out of the huge prison in Paragon City and prove that you’ve got what it takes.

Upon completing the first couple of missions an Arachnos (the organization of Recluse) pilot will fly you to Mercy Island which will be your first destination on your way to becoming the ultimate super villain.

City of Villains is mostly based on instanced missions – missions that you have for yourself that is. But you can also hunt various low-life criminals on the islands for experience points. The missions are far more dynamic than in City of Heroes unexpected things happen more often than not. It is also you who are the active part and it’s most often you who have to kidnap that scientist for devious purposes as opposed to City of Heroes where you had to rescue his butt. There have been obvious design upgrades and missions are no longer far from each other, saving you a lot of tedious travel time. Furthermore, a good deal of the missions are shorter which speeds up gameplay considerably.

A lot of effort clearly went into creating interesting stories for the players to be part of. You’ll be rewarded with summary of your exploits if you complete a series of missions tied together in one story. The badges from City of Heroes are also present here and are still the source of much fun – you’ll meet certain contacts from time to time who will not even bother to talk to you until you have earned a certain medal. The biggest news are the newspaper missions, however. You’ll have access to these once you reach the Port Oakland zone when you are around level six or seven. By shifting through the pages of a newspaper you’ll find pointers to all sorts of missions that never seem to run out.

Just like coming home

It’s currently possible to reach level 40 in City of Villains and experienced players should be able to reach this level fairly quickly. The game is definitely one of the easiest RPGs to get into as a newbie, and if you’re already familiar with City of Heroes this game will fit like a glove.

A lot of the concepts from City of Heroes are also present here. It is once again possible to attain a cape for your costume when you reach level 20. But as opposed to previously where you just had to beat up some small time crooks, you now have to go all the way to Paragon City and kick the butt of a hero.

The gameplay in City of Villains calls for a different approach when playing in groups. Whereas the heroes complement each other perfectly the villains are individualists and that fact requires that you use some good offensive tactics rather than supporting your allies. There are also no characters than can attack on their own without putting themselves in serious jeopardy.

City of Villains also adds a number of new enemies. Among the heroes’ ranks we find the Longbow group for instance that often stick their nose into the affairs on Rogue Isles. And among the villains there is a never ending supply of new opponents. You’ll face everything from human snakes, monsters made of garbage and angry mine workers (throwing dynamite). Unfortunately the first five levels are way too uniform. You get the same contacts and missions every time you start up a new character and this gets kind of boring. The developer has promised to add more beginning missions in the future though.

New PvP options

It would be a sin to have a superhero and super villain game without options for the two factions to clash with each other so PvP (Player vs. Player) has been a central focus for the developers at Cryptic. Besides the regular battles in the arena as we know them from City of Heroes you can also fight for the opportunity to use soldiers from the various factions by defeating enough of them. That way you can command the Lost Bosses and fight the soldiers of your opponent.

While this certainly befits the concept of being a super villain, I don’t understand Cryptic’s decision to make this an option in City of Heroes as well, so that you can run gladiator fights. It just doesn’t fit in with being a hero.

Three PvP zones where the two games can duke it out currently exist that are very different from each other. In Bloody Bay heroes and villains fight and compete to gather six meteorite fragments which will, when combined, grant a temporary ability to summon a mean pet. This is the most entertaining of the three PvP zones in my opinion. Siren’s Call is a larger scale operation where the Arachnos try to invade Paragon City from the seaside and villains, heroes and NPCs clash in epic battles. And finally there’s Warburg where the game is totally free. It’s everyone for themselves but you can attempt to complete the special mission that culminates in the launch of a nuclear missile.

Bases R’ Us

City of Heroes was criticised for being too shallow and focusing only on combat. There was no looting, crafting or skills, but City of Villains makes up for two of these drawbacks. As a new thing it’s now possible to create a base for your super group and you need to pay for it with prestige points that are attained alongside your experience points and your infamy (the ingame currency).

You can either buy new items or craft them yourself. You can install anything from mini hospitals to mission computers that will grant you access to special super group missions but the ultimate goal is to acquire some Items of Power. They can give the entire group permanent bonuses such as an XP bonus for instance, and they also open op for the last type of PvP – Base Raids. Here, another group will attack your base and the object is to fend them off or else you’ll lose an Item of Power.

Building a base is tremendously expensive and therefore it’s a good idea to point out some architects in your group that’ll ensure that your hard earned prestige points aren’t wasted.

Base building, crafting and base raids make City of Villains (and City of Heroes which have had these features added in the latest update) a much deeper game and make for a more competitive approach to super groups.

Standard Playing Cards

A playing card is easily recognized by the two symbols on the face of the card in the upper-left and lower-right corners — a ‘suit’ and an ‘identifier’.

A deck of 52 cards is divided evenly into four ‘suits’ — Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades. This allows you to have a flush, cards all of the same suit (Cribbage, Poker). This also allows trick-taking games that use a trump suit and that require playing a card ‘with the suit that was lead’ (Bridge, Euchre, Five-Hundred, Pinochle, Whist). This also allows games where you have to play a card with the suit that was last played (Crazy Eights).

Each of the four suits has 13 cards that are marked with the same 13 ‘identifiers’ or ids — 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A. So for each id, there are exactly four cards, one for each suit. This allows you to have two cards that match (Concentration, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, War), two-or-more-of-a-kind (Cribbage, Go Fish, Poker), three-or-more-of-a-kind (Canasta, Gin Rummy, Rummy), and special combinations of matching cards such as a full-house, a pair plus three-of-a-kind (Poker).

Four of the ids are ‘letters’ which represent special cards — three face-cards (‘J’ = Jack, ‘Q’ = Queen, and ‘K’ = King) and an Ace (‘A’ = Ace). This allows you to have special scoring for these special cards (Hearts, Michigan, Pinochle, Tripoli). Each face-card has a double picture of the King, Queen, or Jack so that there is always a right-side-up picture on the upper half of the card. The Ace has a suit at the center.

Nine of the ids are ‘numbers’. This allows you to add the number value of the cards. Face-cards and aces can be included by assigning a value such as 10 for face-cards and 1 or 11 for Aces (Blackjack, Cribbage). In addition to the two suit symbols, a number of suits symbols equal to the id number are printed on each number card.

The suits have two ‘colors’ that divide a deck of cards evenly in two — Black (Clubs, Spades) and Red (Diamonds, Hearts). This allows you to link cards from two suits with the same color such as using the Jacks of one color as high trump cards (Euchre, Five Hundred).

Each of the 13 ids is part of a ‘sequence’ of ids — usually from ‘A’ (high) to ‘2’ (low). This allows you to have a straight, five cards in sequence (Poker), or a run, three or more cards in sequence (Cribbage). If these cards also have the same suit, you can have a straight-flush (Poker) or a single-suit run (Gin Rummy, Rummy). You can also lay down cards of a given suit in sequence (Fan Tan, Michigan).

The ids are also called ‘ranks’ because each id has a rank when compared to any other id — again the highest id is often ‘A’ and the lowest ‘2’. This allows you to have the high-card take a trick (Bridge, Euchre, Five Hundred, Hearts, Pinochle, Whist). This also allows you to have comparison games where a high-rank card takes a low-rank card, and cards of equal rank lead to war (War), and a high-rank pair beats a low-rank pair (Poker).

In addition to the regular cards, a deck of cards may also contain two Jokers. These cards have the word ‘Joker’ in the upper-left and lower-right corners. This allows you to add a wild card or two to games (Canasta, Five Hundred, Poker).

All cards in a deck of cards have identical backs containing anything from a solid color to a complex design. This allows you to see the value of your own cards but not your opponent’s cards (most games). This also allows you to play games in which you try to remember the location of face-down cards (Concentration). And this allows you to play games where a participant can look at cards, and then lay them face-down so that others cannot see them (Texas Holdum’ Poker).

And the suits and identifiers and face-card pictures and backs are all printed on card stock with a plastic coating or on plastic. This makes the cards durable and allows you to play plenty of card games, alone or with friends (Blackjack, Bridge, Canasta, Concentration, Crazy Eights, Cribbage, Euchre, Fan Tan, Five-Hundred, Gin Rummy, Go Fish, Hearts, Michigan, Old Maid, Pinochle, Poker, Tripoli, War, Whist).