Author: <span class="vcard">Rene Marin</span>

Halo Master Chief Collection

If you’re unaware, Microsoft announced at E3 a bundle of Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and even Halo 4 all on one disc. There were also some big promises regarding upgrades to these classic titles, like 60 frames-per-second on all four titles, 1080p resolution and every single multiplayer map ever made for all four games. It’s hard to say this is just another rehashed and reused remix.

The first thing you’ll likely notice (once you get past the understandably sizable install) is the menus can be intimidating. With four full games on the disc and a variety of options for each, including all sorts of controller schemes, multiplayer avatar customization, campaign options, etc.; it’s like a Halo Swiss Army Knife.

All games run beautifully, and with the game running at 60 FPS, the games feel outstanding. Halo 4 for instance, feels like it could fit right into the Xbox One library, the game still looks incredible. Even Halo 3 looks better than it has any right to; the Spartan Laser splashing into an enemy Wraith tank will give your eyes euphoria.

What is new besides the technical bump is Halo 2’s complete re-master. Just like 2011’s Halo: Combat Evolved remaster, 343 Industries gave everything in Halo 2 a modern day graphical bump. The environments look gorgeous and the enemies look that much more aggressive. At times I noticed a slight framerate drop but the game would always quickly bump back up to 60 FPS. Also similar to Halo: Combat Evolved, with a quick press of the view button the graphics can be changed back and forth between the new visuals and what they looked like originally. It’s a great feature and it shows how far the games have come, it’s also completely seamless.

Another new feature in Halo 2 is the completely revamped cutscenes. Even in 2004 Halo 2’s cinematic scenes looked terrible. The overuse of the bump-mapping technique made everything pop in and out. This time around 343 Industries hired the company Blur to make the cinematics. Despite Halo 2’s admittedly shoddy storytelling, Blur somehow makes the game’s storyline more compelling, with better angles, facial features and other improvements to help immerse you into the game. Gravemind used to look like a laughable poop-monster/plant hybrid. Now he looks like a truly frightening adversary.

With an impressive list of multiplayer features, 343 Industries really hoped to bring the Xbox fan base away from Call of Duty and other shooters and back into Halo, the series that really propelled the original Xbox consoles sales. Since the Master Chief Collection has all four main Halo games packaged into one, it seems like that should be an easy feat. When it’s working they way it should, this collection is the premiere game on the Xbox One console right now.

There’s the rub though. Since launch, Halo Master Chief Collection mulitplayer component has been an absolute disaster. With hour long waiting periods to get into matches, random team placement and an overall terrible structure, the online component (arguably the real reason to buy this collection) is completely broken. That first week during the game’s launch, it was near impossible to find a game. I often felt adrift in a void while searching for opponents.

Since the release, 343 Industries has been hard at work implementing multiple patches to the online infrastructure, but it’s a band aid for a gaping wound. Unfortunately, now a month after launch, the Master Chief Collection still has continuing issues when trying to find a match. A shame since more time in the oven, or possibly an open beta test, and these issues could likely have been avoided altogether.

That being said, if you are one of the lucky ones to find a match, Halo’s multiplayer still ranks among the best in gaming regardless of which Halo title you’re playing on the disc. It’s great to finally be able to replay Halo 2’s stellar combat again, and with the addition of all of the maps released for all four games, it’s easy to get lost in the fan service.

The only other multiplayer issue I had with the game was that at launch it didn’t offer a Halo: Combat Evolved playlist. The only way to play the first Halo’s multiplayer is either through a Custom Match setting, or to get lucky enough to have people vote for a Halo: Combat Evolved map before the match starts.


World Of Warcraft For Newbies

Your first step is certainly to buy the game which come in 4 discs. You can either buy at your local store or online from Amazon or eBay. Next, download the game into your PC. This should be very easy as there will be an instruction booklet teaching you how. Once you downloaded the game, you need to set up your own personal gaming account.

To do so, you need to be online so that you can register at the official World Of Warcraft site.Registration fee is about US$19.95 per month which you can cancel anytime without obligation.

However it is normally free for the first month since they are offering it as a trial period. Should you decide to continue the membership, you have a choice of paying monthly, for 3 to even 6 months or a year. This is a win win situation for all players regardless of their budget constraints.

World of Warcraft functions through a series of servers. In World of Warcraft, we termed these servers as Realms which are plenty throughout World Of Warcraft games.

You probably, why do the games require so many realms?

The reason is to enable players from all over the world to get connected to the nearest realms. This helps to make the game more reliable, faster and more enjoyable to play.This is another reason why World Of Warcraft is so popular throughout the world

Azeroth is the name of the planet where World of Warcraft events occurred. Azeroth is identical and unique just like our planet Earth with its own cultures, history and legends. It is also believed that Azeroth is created way before our planet Earth.

It is an interesting place to explore and have adventures due to its abundant caverns, cities, dungeons, forests, mountains, oceans and rivers.Just like us, its inhabitants have gone through much different experiences, obstacles and pain before finally enjoying success. Much of which comes from conflicts, misunderstandings and battles.

Unlike Earth which has 6 continents in Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Oceania, Azeroth has just 3 which are Eastern Kingdom, Kalimdor and Northrend. The inhabitants of the three continents are not entirely humans.

The Eastern Kingdom is occupied by humans, gnomes and dwarfs who united and called themselves The Alliance. Kalimdor is where the orcs, taurens and trolls ruled and proclaimed themselves to be The Horde. Northrend is governed by the evil and wicked Lich King with his own army and minions. Besides individual races, they also have their own unique climate.

Blizzard Entertainment has truly developed Azeroth into a gigantic world. Its numerous arenas, choices and items has certainly made the game livelier and more engaging since you never run out of options.

Even though you still need to explore Azeroth from the start,you will get used to it as you progress through the game. But before that, you have the option either to play as the Alliance or the Horde.

The Alliance is quick, sharp but lacks physical strength. On the contrary, the Horde possesses great strength but lacks intelligence.So on the whole, they have their strengths and weaknesses. You still have to use your own wits in playing them to deliver results.

However, you are able to customize and modify your own unique character. You have the option to change the clothing, armor, weapons and other accessories. In fact, there are 9 different categories for you to select from. Ranging from hunter, mage, rogue, shaman to warrior. You can also mix and match to form your own combinations.

Besides exploring Azeroth and playing different characters, you get to collect gold as the world’s main currency. The more you collect, the more items, powerful weapons and your current weapon upgrades you get to purchase.

Compared to other games, the controls are much easier to navigate and operate upon.You can use keyboard and mouse or remote controller just like how you used for PS3 and Xbox.

Having said those, this is what you need to know about World Of Warcraft if you are starting out as a beginner.


Borderlands 2

First is Axton, our Commando, who like Roland utilizes Turrets. A former Dahl Sergeant, dishonorably discharged for his personal glory seeking ways and sentenced to death by firing squad. His former wife/commanding officer recommends he not try to escape to one of the many places beyond Dahl’s reach, which he does, then makes his way to Pandora after hearing one of Handsome Jack’s ads. Depending on which tree you utilize your turret can heal you, set off nuclear explosions or even spawn a second Turret.

Salvador, the Gunzerker, in my eyes, is this game’s Brick, using two guns instead of his fists. Born and raised on Pandora, he has a love of violence (and steroids, causing his 5’4″ stature), but aimed it towards bandits and other outlaws. None the less, before the events of Borderlands he too is set to die for his actions, but before he does, Hyperion attempts to seize his town. After defeating the invaders, Salvador becomes interested in the vault, after interrogating (torturing) the last survivor.

Like I said previously, Salvador’s ability is gunzerking, meaning firing two guns at once, so weapon placement for him is key. A good method is keeping a slag weapon in each rotation. His skill trees range between gun and damage boosting, extending gunzerking times, ammo regen and healing.

Zer0 is the game’s Assassin, kinda like Mordecai’s hunter with his sniper rifle proficiency, but no bloodwing. An assassin for hire, dealing with common hits as well as political ones, he becomes disillusioned when his victim won’t fight back, even after Zer0 demands it. A bartender tells Zer0 of Pandora after he laments about his lack of interest lately.

There’s not much known about Zer0, even his gender maybe a lie. He gets his name from the zero displayed on his face plate. There’s also a lot of debate on if Zer0 is even human or not, given his body type and lack of fingers. I’d like to think he was possibly a R.A.T, or genetically modified in some way, though it’s speculated that Tanis knows his origins.

Zer0’s ability is decepti0n, creating a hologram of himself to distract enemies. His skill trees involve strengthening his sniper rifle usage and critical damage, strengthening the decepti0n ability and combat and strengthening his melee attacks. Quite useful since his melee weapon is a sword.

Maya is one of the 6 Sirens, like Lilith, though her ability is to phaselock, locking an enemy in a bubble and damaging them. She was given to The Order of the Impending Storm when she was identified as a Siren when she was still an infant. She was trained in secret until she was revealed as a goddess to the orders followers. She later found out she was actually being used to extort money from the followers. Maya kills the monks who raised her, and decides to go to Pandora, to learn more about Sirens, and to finally explore.

Maya’s ability can be great for co-op, playing the role of a healer. With her ability to phaselock a teammate back from fight for your life, heal them by shooting them and heal everyone by phaselocking an enemy. Like the other Sirens, she can also cause elemental damage, even creating some out of nothing.

After the game’s release we were given two DLC characters, Gaige and Krieg. Both completely new and unique to the game. Here’s their rundown.

Gaige is a high school student, who for her science fair made an anti bullying robot. While making the robot she cut her arm rather deeply, so instead of healing it, she sliced it off and made a cybernetic one to digistruct her robot, at that point named DT. She later finds out the school bully found her blueprints for DT and sold them to the local police force. Enraged she finalizes DT, with digistructed claws and lasers and renamed him Deathtrap.

At the science fair her bully’s father has bribed the judges, giving Gaige third place. Her bully begins to gloat and shove Gaige, prompting Deathtrap to protect Gaige with his digistruct claws. When struck by the claws, the bully, for lack of a better word, exploded. Gaige was sent to the principal’s office, where her worst fears are confirmed, she’s going to be expelled and arrested. Her father creates a distraction, with a golf cart and lots of gasoline, and Gaige escapes to a ship heading for Pandora. There she hopes her intelligence can be appreciated.

Gaige utilizes Death Trap, her partner robot who can attack with claws, lasers, and explosions, he can also regenerate your and your teammates shields. That doesn’t mean Gaige herself can just shoot, she has many unique and fun abilities. Depending on which tree you use you can trade accuracy for damage, have ricocheting bullets, and cause electrical and burn damage.

Our final character is Krieg, the Psycho, basically one of the bad guys became a vault hunter. Not much is known about Krieg’s past other than he’s deemed Hyperion property, though you can see small glimpses of the man he was before with his inner voice. Before the events of Borderlands 2 he wandered the wastelands looking for bandits and other combatants to date his bloodlust. He tries to avoid the non-fighters/innocents, since his inner voice threatens to kill him if he does.

He meets Maya, his inner voice thinks she can help him, so he attempts to call out to her, but instead yells about poop trains. Maya, thinking he’s a regular psycho, and engages him in combat, and doesn’t see the R.A.T.S creeping up behind her. Krieg’s inner voice finally is able to yell out a warning to Maya, before decimating her attackers. At the end of his introduction video you can see him on the side of the train heading to Windshear Waste, explaining how he got there.

His ability is The Buzz Ax Rampage, your melee damage goes up 500%, you completely heal with every kill, speed increases 33% and you gain the ability to throw your buzz ax. Depending on your tree you choose you can pad your melee abilities even when your not rampaging, add explosive damage, and cause elemental damage. Krieg’s abilities also alter fight for your life, where he can drop a grenade and gain double experience for the kills, or throw dynamite at enemies to try to regain health.

Story

Our game begins when the train carrying you and your fellow Vault hunters is discovered to actually be a trap by our games main villain, Handsome Jack. You’re found by claptrap, from Borderlands one, who decides you’ll be his ticket out of his frozen wasteland prison. You travel through Windshear Waste, where you meet some new additions to the Borderlands badie team, Bullymongs, and have your first boss fight with Knuckledragger.

Claptrap later leads you to Liar’s Berg, where you meet one of the new characters, Sir Hammerlock, where, after doing a few more missions, you finally get to sanctuary, where you get to meet several characters from Borderlands. The old vault hunters are back, and more fleshed out with some great personalities.

Compared to its predecessor, Borderlands 2 has definitely stepped up. From character customization, Borderlands you got to choose the hair, shirt and pant color, while in 2 you get tons of color schemes to play with and head customizations. You can get these customizations buy doing certain missions, enemy drops and ammo machines.

The weapons have greatly improved as well, they’re more accurate, vividly colored and stronger. The launchers in one were weak, and did more more damage to you than for you, here… well, if you blast yourself it’ll still take a huge chunk of your health, but it could be a one hit kill in your favor too. Sadly the Atlas gun company is gone, but we get the elemental Maliwan instead (perfect for Maya). The rarity levels are still the same as well (white (most common), green, blue, (uncommons) purple (rare), orange (legendary) and light blue (pearlescent/mega legendary).

The main story is so immersive, and you really get attached to these characters. There were several parts that did make me actually tear up. There are so many twists, turns and surprises it always keeps you guessing, even if it’s your first, second (True Vault Hunter Mode) or third (Ultimate Vault Hunter mode). Another fun bonus is they brought back the Catch-A-Rides, and of course Scooter. You get your basic two seater runner, with a ton more color options, and a new edition, the Bandit Technical, which could carry up to for players, has a turret and you can use your normal weapons on it as well, this too has lots of customizable colors.

Co-Op

The co-op mode is great, there’s no tether (unless your teammate has the menu open), You can complete separate missions and both get the rewards. The upside (or down if you don’t like a lot of difficulty) is with the more teammates (only two per system, four in your party all together) the stronger the enemies, and rarer the loot. A personal recommendation us if your co-oping, have a Siren on your team, especially if your doing a slaughter dome challenge, even if she gets taken out she can still snipe and phaselock you back to health from the sidelines.

DLC

Something you may want to invest in is the game of the year edition, or all of the DLC, not just Gaige and Krieg. In the GOTY set you get both characters, and four expansion games, all taking place after the main story, so if it’s your first play through, save them for last. The GOTY’s expansions are: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. I know there are more DLC, but I only have experience with these four. After completing each DLC you’ll get an exclusive head and skin.

Captain Scarlet and her Pirate’s Booty has you searching for Captain Blade’s lost treasure. You meet Captain Scarlet just after you arrive in the strange town of Oasis, where she asks you to join her in her search of the lost treasure.

The second DLC, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, introduces Mr. Torgue, of Torgue’s guns. He’s found the next vault, so to decide who gets to open it, he hosts a brutal fight to the death tournament. In this DLC you get a ton of Torgue equipment, along with certain heads and skins.

The third campaign is Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunting. It wasn’t as well received as the other DLC, and I can see why. It starts off as a hunting trip with Hammerlock, which turns into dealing with a Handsome Jack cult. Sadly the story seems a bit lacking, with some parts being needlessly difficult, and others laughably easy. I honestly just played it for the sake of completion.

The fourth was Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep, my personal favorite. While our current Vault Hunters are interrogating a Hyperion spy, the originals are playing a game of Bunkers and Badasses to pass the time. The story is such a wild fantasy, and I never felt like it was dragging on, it manages to include most of the characters. Since its from Tiny Tina’s mind you know its wild, entertaining and you never know what anyone will say.


Downloading Genuine Games

Choosing a good site

There are many factors that need to be considered when you are looking for a site where you can download the most popular games or even upgrade the ones that you already have. There are many sites that you can choose from. Some of the things you can do to ensure that you end up using the best include:

Reviews

You look at online reviews from people who have already used the site successfully. Fellow game enthusiasts will definitely know about the best sites that have the best games selection. Look for forums and dependable reviews. Usually, the best sites have great platforms that are easy to use and they are genuine.

Variety

A good site should have a wide selection of games. Regardless of the mode, you love the most, there should be other options available. There should be multiplayer and single-player modes. There should also be different kinds of game plays such as arcade and so on. This is the only way you will be able to access something different when you really want to. When you have the option of participating in multiplayer games, you can break the monotony and engage with the online community.

Video streaming

A site that allows you to stream your games in the form of videos, episodes, tutorials, and demos gives you an advantage. The different categories that you can use include Sci-fi, action, horror, drama, comedy, and anime.

Social networking

When you are able to connect with other players socially, you get the chance to meet so many new people from all over the world. You can then form your own clans and start chatting as you continue with the game. This is always a great addition.

Availability

A good site should be in a position to offer the game modes that can suit different operating systems such as Mac, Linux, and Windows. This allows the players the chance to play their game regardless of the time or place.

Creation and sharing

A good site should allow you to create your games. It should also allow you to do some game modeling as well as animation, photo editing, sound production, game development and other fun activities. It should also allow you to offer gives and trade some items with others as well.


Super Punch-Out

Super Punch-Out is an impressive boxing game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It features great graphics, cool music, tight control, and excellent replay value. This game should be considered one of the greatest boxing games in video game history. The characters are full of personality and are unique and fun to fight. The game takes advantage of the SNES graphics chip capabilities and really pushes the envelope as far as graphics are concerned.

Playing this game is very enjoyable, as it is fun to play as a newbie or as an experienced veteran. Beating the opposition takes time and learning their patterns and moves really is a must. Super Punch-Out still rates up there as one of my favorite video games of all time. Beating the special hidden circuit definitely takes skills, and that is what I love about the game.

Gameplay

The action is fast, and the response times are lightning quick. Each opponent forces you to re-think your manuevering, as they all have their own unique styles and patterns. The controls are simple enough, with a left and right punch, as well as a super punch. Dodging and blocking become key components in this game if you are to be successful.

The game play is very tight and responsive and pulling off super punches is easy. The game is easy enough for anybody to pick up and learn, and it is fun enough for everyone who wants to. Your boxer controls flawlessly and avoiding your opponent’s attacks will timing and skill.

The Storyline

You must take over the role of an underdog boxer attempting to win the Minor, Major, World, and Special Circuit Championships. Old arcade favorites like Bear Hugger, Piston Hurricane, and Bald Bull are here, as well as NES favorites like Mr. Sandman, and Super Macho Man. You are attempting to battle your way to the top of these circuits, which contain four boxers in each circuit, and the fourth opponent is the reigning champion. Overall the story is very simple but it works.

Graphics & Sound

Super Punch-Out is well animated and features beautiful cartoon like graphics that gives each fighter their own personality. The graphics are colorful and the characters are well animated. I love the opponents, Narcis Prince and Bear Hugger both are very different from one another but are so beautifully drawn that they just make my jaw drop wide open. The ring mat changes from circuit to circuit, but you only have the choice of using the one boxer.

He does not appear to be Little Mac from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out but rather is a different character all together. The graphics are so bright and colorful that it is hard not to appreciate them. The opponents all have special facial and body expressions when they are about to pull off a new move or when they get decked themselves. It is comical to watch your opponent go sprawling into the corner after a knockdown punch.

It seems that each character is bigger than the last, and they all are so well done that each one is either very likable or easy to despise. The boxers feature their own theme songs and the sound effects from the punches are excellent. The sounds of the boxers are great as they each have their own voice samples, and the sound of your boxer after winning a match is great too. He will either exclaim that the match was, “A piece of cake,” or, “Too close”… your opponents laugh and pose when they win the match, which is incentive enough to get back in there and take them on once again.

The Games Re-playability

This game is very fun and the replay value is so high until you finish every circuit. The game has great graphics and sound, and the control is very precise and tight. Playing this game over and over can be easy to do because of all the entertainment value it possesses.

Attempting to beat your old best scores can be another incentive to play this game again. Tweaking your skills and becoming a master takes lots of time and practice, but putting a lot of effort into a game like this is easy just because it is so well done.

Final Thoughts

This game is a must have for Super NES owners. The cartoon like quality of the graphics makes this game humorous and addicting, and the music and sound effects are all right on with the game atmosphere. Missing out on Super Punch-Out would be a tragedy as this is the best boxing game Nintendo has ever made.


Playing Online Games For Children

Developing Creativity

If you choose games that let your kids pick and customize different animals, your kids’ creativity will considerably rise. The games have a lot of goals. You can choose colors, features and accessories. And this is what helps your kids develop their creativity. And this is what helps your kid grow.

Achieving goals

You can find a lot of games that are goal-based. At each level, the player has to reach concrete objectives. So, this type of titles teach kids the right way to set goals. Plus, they are motivational enough to help kids achieve each goal while mastering their skills.

Developing social skills

If you do a bit of research, you will find titles that allow your kids to chat with other players online. This can provide an opportunity for your children to develop their social skills. Just make sure they know what to share online or what to keep secret. After all, sharing too much personal information with strangers can be dangerous.

Practicing some responsibility

By giving your kids an opportunity to enjoy online games, such as horse games, you can teach your kids as to how they can be more responsible as far as time management is concerned. This doesn’t mean that they should spend more time playing than doing their school work. Studies are more important than having fun online.

Absorbing information

It’s the responsibility of educators to come up with new techniques so that they could teach even “boring” subjects in an entertaining way. According to experts, teachers should change the traditional teaching approaches into new creative strategies so that the kids could be able to understand and absorb complex ideas. This is what online games can do for your kids. As a matter of fact, your kids will learn no matter how complex something may be.


Crimson Dragon

The first thing I noticed was that the controls seemed a bit off. The dragon I was controlling seemed a little bit floaty- then again, it is a dragon, right? You also have the ability to play on the Xbox One’s new Kinect sensor bar if you choose but according to a Microsoft representative they wanted to give the consumer both options. Every time I asked a question I was greeted with the standard “It’s a work in progress but everything is improving.” This game was still very fun to play.

The E3 demo starts with you racing out of a lava-filled cave on your dragon. There’s plenty to shoot at with your scaly friend, like the fiery, floating jellyfish- like creatures that I unleashed my beast on. While holding down the right trigger you can lock onto enemies on the screen and once you let go of the trigger you release the energy at the baddies. There was also a lightning based attack that I didn’t really bother with since it seemed a little bit undeveloped.

If you’re familiar with the Panzer Dragoon titles, then you know that they’re on-rail shooters. You don’t really have to worry about where you’re going forward- the game does it for you; you just have to be able to dodge numerous projectiles and things in the environment. There were stalagmites hanging down from the cave ceiling that my character automatically clipped through without suffering any damage. I found it entertaining to see my horrifying dragon phasing through the rocks. Again, this game has a ways to go in development.

The Microsoft representative told me that this game is all about scoring against your friends. This will no doubt have a leaderboard online where you can track your best times and scores with other people across Xbox Live. This game also has cooperative multiplayer as well, just in case you and your dragon get lonely blasting by yourselves.

Another cool feature is that you can evolve your dragon. He will change visually and will obviously become more powerful. I mean, the dragons already look more intimidating than the ones found in Skyrim; we’ll see how crazy they’ll get once you hit max level with them. This is the feature that really has me excited to try this when it’s released.

While I played the demo, I eventually got to a mini-boss. It looked like a huge fire dragon creature that surfaced from the lava. The main way to beat him is to dodge his incoming fire projectiles with the left and right bumper; that way you can swirl and twirl around his blasts. He was easy enough and we were off again. The final boss of the demo came swooping down and was incredibly gorgeous. The lighting seemed to shine off his white scales and teeth. To defeat this foe, I generally used the same tactics I used with the mini-boss but I took a significant amount of damage. Once beaten, the demo ends and shows an even bigger dragon eating this one.

This game was originally set to appear on the Xbox 360 but they changed gears and decided to just upgrade the game during development into an Xbox One title. You can more or less see that it was an Xbox 360 game. The graphical power of the Xbox One wasn’t really shown; some of the textures in the lava looked a little bit bland. I was told they’re going to take advantage of the new hardware and add many more enemies on screen than the original Xbox 360 version could have included.


Play Duplicate Bridge

“Duplicate Bridge” by Alfred Sheinwold, Dover Publication, New York, NY, 1971, originally published in 1954, 158 pages, Library of Congress Number: 75-156814, Reprints ISBN: 0-486-22741-3.

In this book you will learn about seating assignments, shuffling the deck, bidding, and how to play the cards. You’ll also you learn strategies and about traveling score slips, entering the score and moving to the next round. Match points are counted differently and just totaling the points is not enough when figuring out the private scorecard to get to your total score. Chapter 2 of this book is excellent talking about the general principles of tournament play.

In duplicate bridge safety is not enough, and it pays to play for the advantage. But don’t forget there are ethics and etiquette involved in play of this type. In this book you will learn who your true opponents are and all about fail numbers and hair-trigger doubles. Do Bill Gates and Warren Buffett play this style? Perhaps not, or perhaps they do, I am uncertain but it is quite competitive. There are standard principles of bidding, offensive bidding in duplicate, and competitive bidding during the same. You may not know this but there are special bidding conventions also. In this book it gets all into that as well.

If you are bridge player you need to learn how to play bridge different ways, that’s what makes it so intriguing, and one of the best card games sports there is. Some people think that bridge is only for old people, trust me when I tell you that isn’t true. After you read this book you’ll see why. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.


Simcity

Time is passing, and every decision you make has a future consequence. Your assistant, Dr. Wright, can help you make the right decisions. Just ask! Surprise catastrophes also threaten your growing city like fire, earthquakes, airplane crashes, even a giant Koopa who has a nose for industrial pollution!

Will you build the ideal city? Or will disgruntled citizens leave you with a ghost town?

SimCity was released for the Super Nintendo in 1991, being one of the first games released, right after the initial three (Mario World, F-Zero and Pilotwings). There really is not a whole lot to say about the story; You have been elected mayor of a barren land form (Plus some water) and your goal is to turn it into a Megalopolis of 500,000 citizens. Sound easy? It’s not.

The Graphics do fit within the game well and by themselves they are genuinely above average. The music is just simply great as the game play fits perfectly within the game structure. Making it all blend together very nicely, making this very enjoyable to play.

This game was not a showcase for the SNES’s graphic capabilities, nor was it meant to be. Nonetheless, there were some pretty cool effects here like when the seasons change every three months, thus changing the color of the forests from green to brown to white. The ”zones” do not look as they would in real life, especially when they are first built.

Airports and Seaports look pretty nice. It is also fairly easy to tell what is going on, which is always a plus for example when a zone needs Power, you will see a lightning bolt flash on and off it. Some structures are also animated, the Industrial Zones in particular.

To be honest, until you get to Metropolis (100,000 citizens), the music is really kind of annoying but before that, the Disaster theme will be one of the best you will hear. The music does seem to fit whatever stage of development your city is in. Of course, when the music does get annoying, it really does not help.

Sound effects wise, there’s a really slim selection, besides the clicking of icons and the placement of zones. Sometimes you get a rail car starting up, or a Plane taking off (Or crashing down, right before that cool disaster music). Other than that, there is not really a whole lot to the sound effects through out the game.

While it is true that the game would really benefit from a mouse device, this game predated the SNES mouse by a year or so, so that was not an option. In spite of this, the game controls really well, and there’s quite a bit to do, even in the light of this game’s sequels, Simcity 2000 and 3000. You can set game speed, wreak disasters on your city at will (Though you can not invoke the almighty Nuclear Meltdown… ), or go to Dr. Wright for some advice.

Of course, in order to accomplish your goal, you will have to listen to your citizens, and give them what they want. The Icon interface allows you to access this info whenever you need it. As far as building your city goes, it’s really simple: Just click on the structure you want to build, find a place for it, push a button, and “BAM” there is your structure.

While it’s not really a story, the basic premise was very original for its time. You are the mayor of a city that you have to guide to Megalopolisdom. Keep in mind that Story was not a very important part of video games in 1991, not that the premise would have been any different. But let’s face it, it is not the story that will keep you playing this game.

Quite honestly, I’m of the belief that pulling off a Megalopolis the right way is the single toughest feat in all of video gaming. And the Big Money Code you probably already know about does not really make it any easier. As with any game of its kind, you have to go slow and build up a solid financial base before you can build at any sort of decent pace (As such, you spend a lot of time with the Game Speed set to Fast, just waiting around). The Big Money code can make this faster, but not any easier trust me.

Admittedly, there is not a lot to do after you beat this game. Of course you probably never will beat the game, in the Megalopolis sense. If you get bored, you can challenge one of 6 scenarios, in which you are given a city with a problem ranging from the mundane (Traffic, Crime) to the near catastrophic (Nuclear Meltdown). You have a set period of time 5 or 10 years to make the situation right.

It is quite a challenge to stay within your budget for this amount of time, given that you will probably lose several hundred dollars a year, besides having to improve the city. Before you beat them, it’s fun to play the game a lot, but afterward you really get kind of sick of it.

This was really the first Sim game that spawn all the others, and it is still one of the best. The functional graphics, ”Unique” soundtrack, great control, and of course, the disasters, make this a game you will want in your collection if you are a fan of the Simulation genre.


Free Browser Games

Starting Your Own Restaurant, the Gameplay

In Restaurant City players are in charge of their own fully functioning restaurant. Each player starts out small with several tables, chairs, and stoves. Before the game can begin users have to hire some of their Facebook friends to work for them. A quick click on their avatar and then desired job will accomplish this task. Once all of the waiters, chefs, and janitors have been assigned players are ready for business. Restaurant City has a helpful Open Hours feature that allows players to choose opening and closing hours to fit into their playing schedule. This option prevents users from having to rush and log back in simply to check on their restaurant. There are various shifts available for managers to choose from. Each shift has a coin fee. Shorter shifts earn more profits since they’re cheaper. Players can schedule their employees to work any length of time from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Employees complete tasks automatically following their assigned duties. Janitors clean up spills, waiters serve meals, and chefs stay busy behind the stoves cooking. Players take on more of a managerial role so the gameplay is fairly slow paced. Coins and XP are earned through leveling dishes, serving customers, and visiting neighbors. Players spend most of their time using strategy to boost their rank, collecting necessary ingredients, and decorating. Each restaurant has a popularity number. The more satisfied customers the higher the rating will go up. Users have to figure out how to balance the staff in a way that will serve all of the incoming customers in a timely manner. Customers who have to wait too long will walk out and decrease the restaurant’s popularity rating.

The Ingredient Hunt

Restaurant City has a very diverse menu. It’s divided into four categories consisting of a starter, main, dessert, and drink. Players can serve customers Tuna Steak with Vegetables, Russian Cappuccino, Lobster, Hamburger and Fries, Pink Lemonade, Mango Pudding, Pork and Apple Chops, Chocolate Cake, Beef Enchilada, or Strawberry Milkshake. In order to cook a variety of meals, ingredients are needed. The ingredient market is limited and very expensive. There are only three items are on sale per day for coins. The rest of the ingredients require Playfish Cash to purchase. If a player doesn’t want to spend real money for common items like water, ice, bread, butter, flour, sugar, cheese, and eggs than they have to rely on their neighbors and other methods to obtain them. Players can receive ingredients daily for free by logging in and correctly be answering the Food Quiz. The questions often vary from real life cooking techniques to food trivia. It’s quite challenging. This is a unique feature in the game that educates players in a fun way. In Restaurant City an option to a garden is available similar to the game Pet Society. Players can grow their own fresh ingredients. The garden lot expands as a user levels up. Although it’s a nice touch there is no choice in the type of seeds that you can plant. A mysterious bag of unmarked seeds will produce random spices, vegetables, or fruit when ripe. New dishes can be learned and leveled up to increase XP when all the required ingredients have been collected. Neighbors can assist in the hunt for ingredients as well.

Checking Out the Competition

In Restaurant City friendly competition and friendship work hand in hand. Players can visit their friends’ restaurants to help out or take a trip to a random street to see how other restaurant moguls businesses are operating. Visiting neighbors can earn coins, XP, and a free ingredient. Remove trash from their floor like spilled soda cans, discarded pizza slices, and banana peels by clicking on them. Sometimes their restaurant may have a nasty leak, a blazing fire, a penguin invasion, a sleeping bear scaring away customers, or giant mushrooms in the garden that requires immediate attention. The first time a player visits a new neighbor they earn one free ingredient. This makes neighbors an essential part of gameplay. Users must rely on friends to earn a significant amount of XP to level up and to receive ingredients which can be tedious at times. Players can also trade ingredients with each other by clicking the Ingredient Trade icon. For some players who do not like to depend on their friends to advance in games constantly joining neighbor adds lists and bargaining for ingredients can be exhausting. All neighboring restaurants on the street are ranked in order by popularity. This system lets players know exactly how their restaurant measures up when compared to their buddies. Restaurant City takes full advantage of its multiplayer aspects allowing users to travel to random streets with players who are not neighbors and rate their restaurants.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

The customization in Restaurant City is exceptional. Everything can be personalized from a player’s avatar to the minuscule details in the building’s exterior. Users have the option of keeping their avatar basic or personalizing it. Give your avatar a rock star Mohawk, a Princess Leila hairdo, villain attire, or cool shades. The game has dozens of various themes to choose from including a Roadside Diner, Saloon, Moroccan, Medieval, Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Psychedelic 60s, and Victorian style. There are also some fun unexpected designs like the UFO, Zombie, Ghost, Anime, and Princess available. It’s possible for players to create any kind of restaurant they want. The necessary basics like chairs, tables, stoves, toilets, and even drink dispensers come in an assortment of customized styles. Depending on the theme or desired look users have hundreds of items that they can add to renovate their restaurant. Click and drag new patterned tile floors, colored wallpaper, arcade machines, dividers, walls, aquariums, stereos, and arcade machines. The outside of the restaurant can be redesigned also. Change the building size from a small size to a behemoth building base. Attach various roofs or use decorations like a roving spotlight, balloons, lanterns, flags, flowers, canopy, menu signs, bouncer, benches, robot chef, and a magical unicorn. A very cool feature in Restaurant City is the music player that can be customized as well. Users can change the default elevator melody that plays over and over again to a catchier tune. Choose from the classic Pineapple Overture, upbeat My Irish Heart, Asian-inspired Delicate Spring, Latin Fiesta Brothers, or the cool mellow Lounge Lizard Slide.