Why I Love Counter-Strike/How to Play Counter-Strike

Today I like to talk about an integral part of my computer/technology career. Unexpectedly, it is my skill on the game called Counter-Strike. I would like to impart to my readers my knowledge which helped me to be regarded as sort of an “expert” on the field of the said game. More than anything, I want to teach you how be the best on it. Also, I would like to discuss the significance it has in my life and the potential it has to touch others’ lives too.

I can’t imagine life without Counter-Strike (specifically the version 1.3 one). Needless to say, you can tell that I am nostalgic about it. I heard about the latest version that the makers of Counter-Strike are developing right now, which is Counter-Strike Global Offensive. I can already see the importance of your experience on playing Counter-Strike 1.3 on becoming good on that latest version; which can become handy especially now that on the tournaments of these stuff, you can get something over a million dollars as a prize.

So, let’s go into the heart of it: how to be good on counter-strike 1.3? Number 1, Brightness. Enemies are hard to see with the default brightness of the game. Meaning, if you are not the server of the game this is a necessity (this might seem unnecessary but trust me it is. It sounds senseless but it is not). So, to be able to do it, type “map de_dust” on the console. Wait for the console to take you to (guess where) de_dust. After, click ~, and type and enter on the console “brightness 999.” After that, enter “map de_dust” again. Wait until it gets you to de_dust again. Just now, it has the perfect brightness which will surely help you differentiate someone who is your enemy and friend on the game.

Number 2: Controls. Before even starting to play the game, go to the controls part. Click defaults. After that, change how you can buy with F1 instead of B; and how to buy bombs with F4 instead of M. For those of you who are curious, this would make you buy weapons, ammunition, and bombs faster which will make you more efficient on the game. Note, buy ammunitions with F1 + 6 and F1 + 7, instead of the alternative version. Trust me on this.

Number 3: Don’t be the server as much as possible. This is quite crucial. The most important reason why is that you would not be able to use technique number 1, which is the brightness part. There is simply no way of doing it. Plus, if you are playing in an internet cafe, which is what most likely is the case (because that is the easiest way to play it with other people; trust me), you cannot quit just anytime that you want because you would annoy other players. When you quit the game, other players will be disconnected to the game too. I would not worry so much on this certain technique, but I just thought you should know something about it.

Number 4: Weapon choice. Let’s face the elephant in the room. The only best weapon choice for the game is the sniper one. Pair it with pistol F1 + 1 and you have a perfect combo. The key here is practice. Train using the sniper one so that you kill enemies precisely as fast as possible and you would always be good to go. Plus, if you master using your pistol to kill enemies with headshots that would be a plus. Not that I am overselling, you can try other weapons but this would always be the perfect combo/one.
Number 5: Strategic positioning on the game. This is about where you go on the game (the path you choose). The trick here is choosing maximum efficiency. What I mean here is choose your position on the game so that you balance your safety and ability to kill enemies in the best way. Players on this game are very vulnerable. You can get killed in literally an instant. Protect yourself as much as possible without losing your ability to kill enemies. Since you already chose your perfect set of weapons, this would be like a walk in the park. With a sniper, choose a place where you can use it such that you are hidden but at the same time has the vision to hunt your preys.

Number 6: Map choice: you only have three options for this: cs_deathmatch, de_dust, de_dust2. Why? It is really tempting to say just because when you are already into the game, because it is just the way it is. However, for beginners out there, it is just the way it is because it would make the game fairer if you know what I mean. There is no special treatment and/or unfair advantage for either teams. Therefore, players equally enjoy the game (which is always a good thing).

Needless to say, it has a significant impact on my life. More than anything, it taught me how to be a team player and accept defeat graciously. It is a game where you can be yourself, make mistakes, get defeated or win with no pressure or someone judging you. Personally, it is a good environment to be in as a child. It might also added to my tech-savvyness. Despite it’s violent connotation, I disagree that it has negative impacts on anybody. So far, it didn’t lead me to be violent to other people. Contrary, it made me more compassionate, warm, and social.

I hope this helped you become better on Counter-Strike. Otherwise, if it made you curious about the game, great! Good luck playing it! I promise you it would be worth it. Try it as fast as possible now!

4 Reasons to Love Being A PC Gamer

PC gaming is found to be much better than gaming consoles. There are several advantages of using PC games. To be frank I have tried using both, the consoles and playing on PC and trust me PC games have won my heart. It is not that I hate gaming consoles, but It Is that I like games of PC more. Even now at this age games do lure me and call me. I feel a certain drive towards them whenever I see anyone playing around.

The advantages of PC games that I have noticed in particular are as follows-

Affordable games

Video contests or the consoles are very much expensive. Hence buying them every now and then for a common person like me is a bit tough. All the games that are set in the PC can be played for free. No extra subscriptions are required to play like in the play stations. This requires monthly subscriptions in the Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus subscriptions. Also if you are playing multiple player games then you don’t have to pay anything for it as extra charges like in the consoles.

Several types of games

Pc support a more lout of contests than the consoles. By this, you can be sure that you would not be missing out on any of the games. A third party game publisher does not have to stake in for a particular platform performance.

Also playing on the PC through keyboard and mouse offer the speed and accuracy that the games require and the gaming consoles cannot match. That is why one finds frequent gamers of games like Counter-Strike and the like much more active on PC rather on the consoles. So, it is natural that the action games have built their niche in the desktops.

Play how you want to play

This is another great aspect of playing contests on the PC. The PC games give you the freedom. After a long day of work and typing of the keyboard, I like to play games with it. The PC games differ here from the video games. They are wonderful options for choice and flexibility.

As real as you want it to be

The hardware inside your PC makes the gaming experience all the more better. While you play on Play Station 4 and Xbox One the resolution is between 720p and 1080p. This is the common range that television sets make use of. So, you can well imagine the quality of pictures you get on the PC. In PC you can actually choose the hardware you want to use and also the software.

All these features of the PC make games easy and better for the users. These are just the primary reasons why one should love PC games. If you can try playing games on both PC and a gaming console and find out the difference yourself.

Collectors V Resellers, Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Tens of thousands of years ago the very first humans survived as hunters and gatherers. Our ancestors went out into the wild with basic tools and weapons to hunt for meat, and they scoured the forest for fruits, vegetables and berries. At the end of a hard day at the office these simple people would sit around their camp fire dividing up the spoils of the hunt. One of the cavemen always took a little bit more food than he could eat because he figured he could then use it to trade with later. If he didn’t want to tidy up after himself he’d just bribe someone else with a little meat. Didn’t fancy going out and hunting a mammoth? Why, he’d just offer up a handful of berries for any man who’d go in his place. Once the other cavemen noticed what he was doing, some of them kicked off about it, and a never ending argument began.

Okay, now my understanding of the dawn of our civilization might not be one hundred per cent accurate, but the point is that if we fast forward to 2016 then essentially the same thing is going on today. No matter how far we’ve come as a species, there’s always conflict, and there’s always somebody who seems out to get ahead at the expense of somebody else. But who is in the right and who is the wrong? Is somebody doing you ill or is that just your perception of the situation because you’re not getting your own way? These are important questions, and when it comes to the subject of collectors and resellers in the retro gaming community, there’s no easy answer.

The idea of retro game collection is a simple one. The collector wants old games. Perhaps they want to preserve video gaming history for future generations. Perhaps they just really like playing old games that remind them of yesteryear. Maybe they just think that retro games look cool on their shelves. Whatever the reasons behind it, the collector just wants to collect.

There’s something about collecting that most of us can relate to. When you’re at school there’s usually something that’s popular that all the kids are into. When I was in primary school all those years ago it was Garbage Gang trading cards. Man, we loved garbage Gang. We were crazy for them. Practically everyone in our class, boys and girls, collected Garbage Gang, traded Garbage Gang, and played with Garbage Gang on our lunch break. That mentality sticks with many of us as we grow, only most of us don’t carry on collecting Garbage Gang into our adulthood (I sold my complete set in 2010 and put that to rest). As adults our houses become filled with movies, music, books and a lifetime of photos and memories. We have shelves filled with books. Maybe it’s photographs or paintings or furniture. I have a thing for my travel photography and hang them everywhere, but I will always have a gaming collection as well. There’s just something satisfying about having a collection of things you like.

The idea of reselling is, again, a simple one. Like our caveman friend from earlier, somebody will always notice that there’s a gap in the market. Value is, essentially, whatever someone is willing to pay for something. You might not think that a handful of berries are enough compensation for going out and facing a woolly mammoth in battle, but if someone is willing to fight that mammoth for you then that’s what the berries are worth. The principle hasn’t really changed over the years. If somebody is willing to pay top dollar for something, then that’s what it’s worth.

But at what point does selling something on become morally questionable? Well, what if our caveman friend with the berries knows his friend just really loves berries and knows he’ll work for them? Is that fair? What if his friend is starving to death and he’s putting him into a dangerous position because he knows he needs the food so badly? Then it’s a little more questionable, surely, and you can understand why some might find that tactic to be aggravating.

Collecting versus reselling is an argument that has arisen within the retro game collecting community in recent years precisely because of this moral grey area. Collectors want to collect because that’s what they like to do. Whether they’re doing it to play the games or to look at them or to preserve them, they’re doing it because of a love for collecting and not for their own personal monetary gain. Resellers have noticed that old games are highly sought after by these collectors, and so they seek to acquire games, particularly rarer titles, to then sell them on to the collectors for profit.

It’s easy to see why the collectors might find reselling so contemptible. Reselling effectively drives up the market value of games, which makes it more difficult for collectors to do what they love to do. A reseller might go to a garage sale and spot some old games that they know are worth serious money to the right people, but to the people selling them, they’re just junk that they’re selling for pennies. Have you ever seen Toy Story 2? It’s essentially what the chicken man does when he spies Woody in the garage sale. He knows that the cowboy toy is worth big money and so he wants to try and trick Andy’s mother into selling him for next to nothing so he can maximise his profit. The chicken man might be a comedy animated villain (voiced by Wayne Knight, no less) but there’s people out there doing that every weekend to try and make money from video game collectors, and so isn’t that something we should be annoyed about?

There’s something that seems inherently shady about buying games that you know are worth a lot of money from someone who doesn’t have that knowledge and is selling them cheaply, and then exploiting that situation for your own benefit. But is the reseller really to blame?

For many thousands of years gold has been a valuable commodity here on Earth. The reason that it’s so valuable is that it’s so rare. As I learned in a documentary starring Professor Brian Cox a couple of weeks ago, gold is formed when massive stars explode, and those are such rare occurrences, that if you were to collect all the gold the human race had ever found it would still only fill three Olympic sized swimming pools. Today, we attribute value to things other than shiny, rare metals we dig out of the ground.

Games and gold aren’t so different. Resellers are, essentially, modern day prospectors, heading out and looking for the precious items that they’ll then be able to sell on to the highest bidder (quite literally in many cases, since these games widely end up on eBay). Resellers are searching for a rare or valuable commodity and then they’re selling it on to make money. Collectors find it distasteful because they think it drives up the cost of the games they want to collect, and because the resellers in question aren’t buying the games for the love of collecting, but for the love of profit.

But should collectors really begrudge resellers a money making opportunity? We all make money in our lives. And we all do different things to make our money. Is making money from selling old games any worse than, say, selling your old clothes? Presumably, somewhere out there, there’s somebody that loves collecting old clothes. Are they currently on an Internet forum somewhere, moaning about people who don’t care about collecting clothes going to charity shops and snatching up all the bargains?

More importantly, do the actions of resellers actually negatively impact the ability of collectors to collect? Value is what somebody is willing to pay for something, but if they can get it cheaper elsewhere then they’ll likely do that. A reseller can’t charge too much for the game he picked up at a garage sale because, unless there’s only one copy in existence, somebody else will be selling it at a much more reasonable price and the collector could just buy it from them. That’s how the free market works. Buys and sellers, together, determine the market value of an item. And so if collectors aren’t paying ridiculous prices for the games that resellers are offering, then those resellers will need to lower their prices. It seems short sighted to believe that there are evil resellers out there buying up all of the stock of old games and making all of the poor collectors remortgage their houses just so they can afford a copy of Stadium Events on the NES or Power Strike II on the Sega Master System.

The truth, as is generally the case in this sort of conflict, is somewhere in the middle. Resellers are, essentially, buying something and then selling it on for a higher price. That’s exactly the same as what shops all across the world do, including the shops that collectors will often go to on the hunt for classic games to pick up. Collectors often pick up a handful of games off the forums or a Facebook gaming page, knowing they’ve already got most of the those games and are only buying the bundle for the one title, they then sell on those duplicate copies of the games they own, unwittingly becoming resellers themselves. I’ve done it myself. We all have…

There’s no real black and white answer here. It’s easy to understand why some collectors might hate the idea of resellers getting in there before them and finding a classic game for a bargain. But there’s nothing, fundamentally, wrong with somebody selling items to make some money. It’s no different to how any shop works. Buy low, sell high; it’s the general principle that any business across the world operates under.

Maybe it’s high time that collectors and resellers put down arms and just did their best to get along. A good friend of mine who is a proper, die-hard collector has befriended one of the said resellers and now gets offered first dibs on the minty fresh stock the guys finds each week. That seems like a great solution to me! There are more than enough classic video games out there for everybody, and if occasionally you have to pay more money than you’d like to pay for something then that’s just the nature of collecting something. If you want something that badly then you should be prepared to pay for it, and if you’re not then are you really that committed to collecting, or are you just hoarding?

Hobbies cost money. My bank balance can attest to that. Over the years I’ve spent a fortune on things that I enjoy, and I wouldn’t even dare to guess at how much money I’ve spent on video games. Do I resent it? No. Gaming is my hobby, and I’ve been collecting games for over twenty years because of that. As we talked about earlier, value is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for something. That counts for collectors too. How much will you pay for something you enjoy doing?

Latest Games – Infusing Entertainment in the Lives of People

Latest games have become the hot entertainment option for people. Games of various categories, belonging to various range flood the internet. Some of it are available free of cost while for others one has to pay for. It has also become a trend to load fascinating games with every appliance be it a mobile phone, a laptop or gaming consoles.

The latest games are a part and parcel of our lives. People cannot think of a gadget without games loaded in it. It has become such a passion that people log on to different sites in the internet just to download fascinating games. Everyday new games are developed and uploaded on internet sites. So, now one has to just avail internet and download the game of his or her choice. It adds entertainment in people’s lives with no options left for boredom. The users can play them on their personal computer or mobile phones as the case may be.

Gaming thus has become a fantastic experience for people all around the world. Now people can enjoy themselves from home or even while traveling to distant places. The only thing that is required is that the gadget used should have long hours of battery support. If that is there, then entertainment is assured by the latest video games. Games such as road rash, racing, puzzles and others entice gamer with their various fascinating targets and levels.

These games can be downloaded after browsing the various sites on the internet. Online payments are also possible for games that requires to be purchased. The downloading process is also very fast and it requires only a few moments for people to download games. Most of the games are compact and so do not occupy much memory space of the gadget where they are installed. The entire process of gaming is very fascinating for every user.

Free demo version of upcoming games are also available for people to test it before buying. There are also games that one can play directly on the internet. People can win exciting prizes on playing these games. It makes gaming all the more fascinating.

Civilization VI – How Will They Improve on the Previous Version?

Civilization V was released in 2010 and went on to be a big success story. The franchise has sold over 33 million units over the years with Civilization V being the best-selling version having sold around 8 million units sold worldwide.

And the gamer reviews for Civilization V were pretty good too. G5 gave it 5 out of 5. PC Gamer gave it 98 out of 100, and Game Informer 9.75 out of 10. And Civilization V took the ‘Best Strategy Game’ award at the 2011 BAFTA Games Awards.

That’s not to say there weren’t a few gripes with Civilization V though. One major quibble was the quality of the AI game opponents and their lack of smarts when conducting negotiations and diplomacy.

So how have Firaxis Games tried to improve on the success of Civilization V?

The latest version, Civilization VI, is due for release on October 21 2016. The same team that developed Civilization V have also worked on its successor. And it’s already been named ‘Best PC Game’ and ‘Best Strategy Game’ at the Game Critics Awards.

So what’s new? Well, the developers have suggested in various interviews that research found many gamers had come to find playing Civilization V one-dimensional.

The big aim with Civilization VI has been to create a game that makes gamers think on their feet a lot more. A more reactive experience is what the developers have tried to achieve.

And with that in mind they’ve made some big new changes for Civilization VI. For a start city development has been overhauled. Now when you’ve built a city centre you have to specialize the function of that city. It can become a specialist military, industry or science city, say – but it can’t contain elements of everything.

And that means terrain is much more important than in previous games. You have to think through and match up the function of your city with the landscape around it now for the best results. If you’re building an industrial city you’re going to need natural resources, for example.

That will impact on how you have to think about strategy too. There will cities that you’ll need to identify as being vitally important to your opponents’ infrastructure that you can attack, and cities that you’ll need to place extra emphasis on defending yourself.

The AI opponents have been upgraded too. So the historical figures like Gandhi and Teddy Roosevelt that you’re playing against will be more intelligent and cunning. Each has their own particular personality for you to read and monitor, but also hidden agendas that you’ll have to work hard to decipher.

And unlike in previous Civilization games there are much greater rewards to be had for developing the culture of your empire. In past versions of the game you will have found it much harder to succeed with an emphasis on cultural development compared to, say, science or your military. So for the first time developing drama, philosophy and poetry could be your route to victory.

How to Get Better at Stacraft 2

The best way to improve at Starcraft 2 is to play a lot. It sounds silly, but it’s simply true. When I started playing, I was originally placed in gold league and stayed there for a full three months. Then, slowly but surely, I rose up until I was in the top 50 Grandmasters in America.

Obviously, not everyone can become a Grandmaster (it requires, amongst other things, exceptional reflexes, reaction time and coordination), but I firmly believe that, with practice, everyone can become a master at Starcraft 2.

The first thing to work on is understand the game mechanics, namely: armor vs non-armored, range, attack speed, damage reduction, hidden bonuses, splash damage, etc. For instance, one thing that makes the Terran siege tanks so powerful is the fact that they might hit not just one unit, but up to 8. Obviously, the 70 damage they can quickly become 300-400, making them one of the highest-damage units in the game.

Every unit has its particularities and becoming intrinsically familiar with them will greatly improve your play. Any Protoss player, for instance, knows how to individually blink their stalkers to save them as they are about to die. Likewise, a Zerg player knows not to group their mutalisks during a raid if the enemy has air splash damage, such as a Thor.

The second thing to improve on is your knowledge of group battles. Almost all Starcraft 2 games are decided by one large confrontation, where the loser will be left on the defensive, rolling back, while the victor will keep pushing and destroying the economy and production capacities of the loser. It is better, in my opinion, to retreat from a battle that is clearly lost rather than lose every single one of your units in a lost defense. There are such things in Starcraft 2 as pyrrhic victory, where you somehow manage to hold a magnificent defense, but lose so much time and resources in the process that your other bases are left defenseless.

Another key trick to improve at Starcraft 2 is to utterly master the art of macroing, i.e. producing units, mining bases and, most of all, expanding. If you watch professional games, you’ll notice all of them expand very quickly, sometimes dangerously fast. While risky, an early expansion can bring him double the amount of minerals and gas you’d grab on one base, giving you a decisive advantage in the mid-game.

Lastly, take the time required to define and improve your style, whether it is micro-aggression, economy or turtling. Learning which race suits your best will also help you develop as a Starcraft 2 player and slowly grind up until you reach master. In my mind, with one or two hours per day, any player can become a master within 6 months if he practices correctly.

4 Steps to Get Started in Hearthstone

So, you’ve decided to get into Hearthstone. Maybe you’re a World of Warcraft fan who wants to experience the card game based on the series, perhaps you are a card game fan who wants to try something new, or maybe you just came across this article and I’ve enticed you to play. Regardless, welcome to the club.

There are several things that you will need to do as you get started. If you go through the following list, you’ll learn the first actions to take as you begin your Hearthstone adventure. With that in mind, let’s learn:

4 Steps to Get Started in Hearthstone

1. Complete the Tutorial: Assuming you’ve already created an account at battle.net and logged into the Hearthstone game, your first move is to fire up Hearthstone and complete the tutorial. You’ll play five simplified games as a mage, during which you’ll learn the basics of the game, like how to play the cards, monitor your mana, and see what minions on the board. If all that sounds tricky, don’t worry, the tutorial makes it nice, simple, and pretty entertaining to boot.

2. Unlock the Other Classes: When the tutorial is over, you’ll be in the game itself, but can only play as the mage. If you want to play as any other classes, you’ll need to unlock them first, which should be your first step regardless. The easiest way to do that is through the Practice mode. Just click Solo Adventures, then Practice, and then Normal, and you’ll be able to select your deck and which opponent you want to fight. Complete a battle against each class to unlock them, and when you’re done with all the battles (including one against another mage), and you’ll be able to play as any class, plus get the Ready to Go! Achievement and 100 gold for your trouble.

At this point, you’ll unlock several new modes of play, including the Arena and Adventures. We’re going to hold off on those for a while; they cost gold/money to get into, and you need more experience with the game before you hope to do well. First, you should rank up your heroes to (at least) level 10, by:

3. Beat the Expert Level AI Opponents: With all of the heroes unlocked, you can try to take on the Expert level opponents. They are, as you can guess, much harder, but yield more experience to your novice heroes (when they aren’t below level 10; you’ll need to switch to a new hero at that point when facing AI opponents to gain more experience). You can (and should) create custom decks for these battles; while the basic decks can hold their own against Normal opponents, you’ll need to improve your holdings when facing harder opponents. When you defeat all the Expert level opponents, you’ll complete the Crushed Them All quest and net yourself another 100 gold.

4. Fight Human Opponents in Play Mode: By this point, you should have all the basics of the game down, so it’s time to try your hand against some human foes. Go into the Play section and you can select Casual or Ranked to choose your preferred style of play. In Ranked, each victory will get you a star and improve your ranking, while each loss (when you are at rank 20 or above) will cause you to lose a star. Casual doesn’t, although don’t let that fool you; the players can be just as rough, especially once you get over rank 20.

A good approach for new players to take is to play Ranked until you are at Rank 20 (since you can’t lose any ranks until that point), then switch over to Casual mode; you’ll get plenty of practice, plus, getting to level 20 gives you a new card back each month. You’ll achieve the First Blood quest (and a pack of cards) for your first battle against another human, and The Duelist quest (and 100 gold) for winning three victories against real people.

Play each of your characters until they get to level 10 and you have all the basic cards in the game. The first character you get to level 10 will net you the Level Up achievement and a pack of cards, while getting them all to level 10 will achieve the Got the Basics! achievement (since you have all the Basic cards that you earn by leveling up) and 100 gold. You’ll also get 10 gold for every three victories you get in either Ranked or Casual mode, which can add up pretty well.

At this point, you should have a fair amount of gold, a few card packs, and a decent understanding of how the game works. Where to go from here will depend greatly on what you hope to accomplish in this game, but hopefully, this has helped you to get the ball rolling on your smashing Hearthstone adventure!

The Top 5 Reasons We Love Retro Gaming

#5. Games Were Simpler Back In The Day

Video games have unquestionably become more ambitious and impressive in recent years. When you look at the likes of The Last Of Us, it’s impossible to overstate just how far video games have come since people were playing Pong forty-odd years ago. But for all the innovations within the medium, and for all the new fangled ideas and increasingly elaborate control schemes, there’s something to be said for how much more straight forward things were in the games we played as kids.

Gaming today can be difficult for people without the muscle memory that comes from years of dedicated gaming. Give your mum or dad a PS4 controller and if they’re anything like mine they’ll spend half the time playing the game looking down, attempting in vain to remember where all the buttons are. Use the left analog stick to walk, hold X to jog, or tap X to sprint. L2 is aim and R2 is shoot, but R1 becomes shoot if you’re driving because in a car R2 is the accelerator. R3 (that’s when you click in the right analog stick) let’s you look behind you, and to open the menu you need to hold down the touch pad. And that’s just part of the control scheme for Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the best selling games of all time.

Even for seasoned veterans the increasing complexity of games can become a turn off. Super Mario World is still as intuitive as it was back in 1990 because the inherently simple design and pick up and play nature of the game made it timeless. You can give a kid who’s never played a Mario game the controller and within seconds they’ll have worked out how to play. This simplicity is an attractive concept, which is almost certainly part of the reason that retro games like Shovel Knight and Axiom Verge are so popular today. The simpler a game is to play, the more inclusive and immediate the fun. Retro gaming has that in spades, and that’s the reason I’m still playing Super Mario World twenty-six years after release.

#4. Retro Games Have Better Music

As gaming production values have increased over the years, we’ve seen the medium change in many ways. We made the jump to 3D, we now have voice acting, and elaborate cut-scenes tell complicated stories that rival those seen in television or on the big screen. Games today feature fully orchestrated scores or soundtracks featuring popular music that are every bit as impressive as what we’d see in other mediums, but it feels like we’ve lost something along the way, too.

I can still hum the theme music to Treasure Island Dizzy on the Commodore 64. I was playing that game nearly thirty years ago and I haven’t played it since then (and I’ve still never beaten it, damn it) but I can still remember the theme music that plays in the background in its entirety. I played games last week and I couldn’t even tell you if they had music at all.

Because of the simplicity of early games, and without voice acting to tell a story, the music had to be good. Other than a few crummy sound effects, the music of the game was the only aural stimulation that the games provided. There are still great game soundtracks today, but they seem few and far between when compared to the games of my youth. Mega Man, Castlevania, the early Final Fantasy games, and iconic titles like Zelda, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog – these all featured highly memorable tunes that stick with us long after the last time we played them. I still remember how the music for Commodore 64 classic Prince Clumsy changes when you save the princess at the end of the game like I was playing it yesterday. We can’t really say that about Shadow of Mordor, can we?

#3. Games Used to Work Right Out of the Box

One thing that games from yesteryear unquestionably did better than the games of today is that they, well, worked. You’d think that it should be a pretty fundamental aspect of any product released to the market, but it’s truly staggering how many games in 2016 ship broken, requiring either days or weeks of server tweaks to get the multiplayer working, or enormous day one patches to fix all of the bugs that made it onto the disc. Today, if you don’t have a decent Internet connection in your home, some games are genuinely unplayable, and many others severely hampered.

Street Fighter V released earlier this year, with Capcom promising that the single player Arcade Mode, a staple of the series, would be available to download in July. What if you don’t have an Internet connection? Well, then you’ve got half a game. That’s not a problem we faced when Street Fighter II released on the SNES in 1991. Back then, we had no Internet acting as a safety net for developers. Games had to work right out of the box.

Going back and playing Global Gladiators today is as simple as popping the cartridge into your Genesis and turning on the power. It works now as it did then; exactly as it should, and without any fuss. This is one of the many great things about retro gaming; if you’ve got the game and the hardware you’re pretty much good to go. You don’t need to download drivers, or updates, or patches. You put in the game, and then you play. Just like you should.

#2. Games Used to Be More of a Challenge

Today, anybody who keeps up to date with the latest trends in gaming will likely know of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and the reputation these games have for punishing difficulty. Gamers flocked to the Souls series in droves, excited to play a title that challenged them and refused to hold their hands. There’s no extended tutorial sections. There’s little in the way of help. You can’t pause. And every enemy can make mincemeat out of you unless you learn their attack patterns and act accordingly. It’s exciting for a game to provide us with an uphill struggle like this, but then, I’m old enough to remember a time when every game was like this. And worse.

Modern games have a tendency to spell things out to the player, often to an almost insulting degree. Popping a disc into a PS4 in 2016 means waiting for the install, then the day one patch, and then when you finally get a controller in your hand you spend the next two hours being walked through the early stages of the game like a kid on his first day of school. Everybody likes a bit of help now and again, but there’s something to be said for just being thrown in at the deep end and being told to sink or swim.

#1. Nostalgia

Nostalgia might seem like a cop out answer; after all, looking back on the past with rose tinted spectacles is often what fans of anything retro are criticized with. It’s easy to dismiss nostalgia as a way of justifying the opinion that everything was just much better in your day, but the truth is that nostalgia is an immensely powerful agent and it shouldn’t be ignored.

Today, we watch rubbish movies and bemoan the use of obvious CGI, but we’ll happily sit through Raiders of the Lost Ark and not bother mentioning that the melting Nazi at the end looks like he’s made out of plasticine. We listen to the appalling pop music of our youths with a reflective smile on our faces while turning our noses up at Justin Bieber’s latest video. And we’ll talk about Final Fantasy VII as though it were second coming of Christ, completely ignoring all of the flaws in the game that we’d hang a modern game out to dry for. Nostalgia is a strong enough influence to make us believe that Sonic the Hedgehog was actually ever good. Now, that’s serious.

The reason a lot of us like playing old games is simply because of the feeling we get playing them. I’ve played hundreds, if not thousands of games in my time as a gamer. And I’m smart enough to know that in that time video games have improved in almost every way. But that doesn’t change the fact that if I load up Street Fighter II I remember the days of playing it during the school summer holidays with all my friends. I remember the day I completed Toejam and Earl with my brother every time I hear the first few bars of its ridiculously funky theme music. And I remember the giddy thrills we got when we first got the fatalities working on Mortal Kombat II.

Playing old games, just as with watching old movies or listening to old albums, transports us to a time in the past that we like to remember. Whether it’s memories of old friends, loved ones, people we may see every day or might have lost touch with, every old game we load up is a window to the past and that’s special. The latest Call of Duty is never going to compete with that.

Enjoy Your Life With Latest Games

Online gaming is one of the remarkable inventions that is ever made by modern science. The total number of games that are being played across the globe is truly uncountable. This entertainment resource is one of most popular choices of entertainment among the children as well as teens. Not only an online game serves as a high-class entertainment, it is also a good medium to meet other online players from different places or countries. Most of latest games are made on the flash platform.

Online gaming is not only the source of enjoyment for the game enthusiasts all over globe, but is also growing to be one of the most lucrative businesses. The websites which provide plenty of latest games get gigantic amount of hits and therefore they become fabulous advertising tools for most marketing campaigns.

There are numerous types of latest games available on the Internet, such as shooting games, adventure, fighting, racing and many more. The shooting games are sub-genre of action frolic because shooters get the opportunity to take part in most adventurous actions. Under the category of shooting games, the player usually views the events from behind the eyes of the main character, normally a few feet behind the shooter. They are based on high-end features and most of the times they are based on popular films. These are the favorite tools for doing time pass for the shooting enthusiasts. These games have been favorite among the kids as well as teenagers. The shooting games either require you to fulfill one particular mission and in some cases, just let you to kill the enemies without any proper mission. There you just have to clear the game stages.

Free online games also include space related games, wherein your aeroplane just goes on shooting meteorites and other targets, which come in the way of your space craft. In the middle of the game, you can also get some surplus power that can add extra strength to the players’ plane, such as power missiles, protecting rings, multi way missile and many more. Therefore, these are considered as great stress relievers.

Innovations have always been a rife part of most of the new types of activity conceived by mankind and hence the facet of invention is also a part prevailing in the world of online gaming. These inventions are quite absorbing in terms of their game-play and hence increase the pleasant experience of playing the latest games. An individual who is playing an online game can chat with his antagonist in a real time multi-player game and he can also win money.

Latest Games Entertaining the Masses

When it comes to the latest games online, people have hundreds of options as there are so many websites that are offering free gaming options to the gamer without charging them any money. Thus, with the availability of such sites, people now have unique and wonderful opportunities to avail free entertainment. When downloading entertainment stuff from the websites, one has to make sure that the site from which he or she is downloading should not charge money, rather it should offer free entertainment games to the players.

What is the most special about these websites is that they offer a wide range of games to satisfy the different needs of the players. Hence, the individuals can choose any of the latest games from them depending on their choice and requirement. Some of the latest thrillers that are creating a great deal of uproar in the gaming industry include some popular names such as Helicopter Games, Bump Copter, Alpha Bravo Charlie, PS3 games to name a few. If you want to know and read about these gaming options in detail, just visit some entertainment portals where you would be able to search lots of latest options of fun and the entertainment.

It is said that the latest games are one of the most sought options after thrillers in the modern days because they have an edge over traditional methods of gaming. It is believed that they are one of the best sources to spend your quality time and relax during the leisure time. The gamer accept the fact that the latest thrillers are highly useful for the individuals who suffer from the mental stress and depression in this hectic and monotonous life where one hardly find time to stand and stare. It is, due to this, the latest games are getting more and more popular throughout the world and making great impact on the minds of young generation, though they are not meant only for the young generation.

It is a fact that those who are in the gaming industry are making huge profit by providing various kinds of latest thrillers to the masses all over the world. Today, different companies hire highly efficient technical people who are able to think of new ideas and based upon those ideas they design some unique and special entertaining thrillers for the gamer to satisfy their urge for gaming. These days, the gaming designers are making exciting games using a technology called ‘flash’. In fact, flash is a wonderful technology that is most widely used by gaming companies.

The modern entertaining thrillers offered by different websites can be of any type like adventure, shooting, flying, action, puzzles and racing. This is so because these websites cater to the need of millions of gamer who have different interests and needs when it comes to entertainment. Hence, one can say that latest games are one of the most sought after options to gain amusement and fun to pass our time in good manner. If you are looking for them, they are available free of cost from so many gaming portals. They can also be easily downloaded with the help of various data transferring devices such as Bluetooth and USB.

Latest Games Give New Meaning to "Green Thumb"

Everyone is raving about several of the latest games in social media sites like Facebook that are farm-themed. However, not too many know of a better alternative. The “Hobby Farm” is an online game that features better graphics, few possibilities of computer glitches, more player interaction and no streaming required. Once downloaded, you can click on the shortcut on your desktop, and continue playing where you left off. Farming has never been made easier with the Hobby Farm.

Grow Crops Online

In the real world, there are people who are born to be farmers. These are the individuals who have been blessed with a green thumb. Unfortunately, others don’t have the same gift. If you don’t have the gift of a green thumb, don’t worry because online farming games are the nearest farming experience you can possibly have.

Hobby Farm is one of the latest games that is centered on an island where you have to grow your own crops in order to survive. Aside from the crops, you also have some free roaming animals to manage as well as some farming machinery to work. Of course, you can’t get anything tangible from farming online but the thrill alone, the joy as you harvest your crops or the disappointment you feel when you realize that your plants have withered are enough to want to play more.

Reap the Rewards

Latest games like this teach you two things: patience and time management.

In order to level up, you have to be able to harvest your crops on time. Each crop grows at a certain rate and needs to be harvested at the right to stop them from withering. If you log in late, then you will not be able to sell your crops because they’re already withered. So you have to patiently wait for your crops to grow and if you log-out, be sure to resume your game on time so as not to miss out on any harvest.

Since you still have a dozen of other farm chores to do, you have to manage your time. Aside from your crops, you have some animals to attend to and new equipment to purchase. On top of that, bear in mind that you have an ‘offline’ life to live; don’t let the game own you 24/7.

Constant exposure to this game ensures that you are getting wonderful benefits in return. The lessons and skills you learn will be slowly embedded in your subconscious and will eventually show in the way you interact with other individuals.

The game also provides you with a means to communicate with other players if you want. You can share trade secrets and help each other out and so on. Although you can’t play this game in your windows, it does not require a lot of specs in order to have it running on your computer after you’ve downloaded it. Besides, all of the latest games found in the site are secured and virus-free so your computer is safe.

So the next time you think about farming, try Hobby Farm. If you want to learn farming’s every nook and cranny but can’t afford to do experiments on real crops and animals, try this latest game and you won’t regret it.

Gaming Computers

A gaming computer, gaming rig or gaming PC is specifically designed for playing demanding and complex video games. They are quite similar to regularly conventional personal computers; specific differences include the inclusion of components that are performance-oriented towards playing games, and video cards. The term ‘enthusiast computing’ is often used in association with gaming computers as there is overlap of interest and the genres described.

However, for a layman to understand differences between gaming and enthusiast PCs, it is important to know that gaming PCs are put together to achieve specific performance outlays in actual video game play while an enthusiast PC is simply built to maximize and optimize performance using gaming as a benchmark to achieve it. The cost of the two systems also amplifies the differences between the two; while gaming PCs can be extended over a wide range from low, mid and high range segments, enthusiast PCs are always high-end in definition and are quite expensive.

There is the popular myth or misconception that computer gaming is intertwined with expensive enthusiast computing; however, it is interesting to note that gaming video card manufacturers earn maximum revenues through their low and medium range PC offerings.

Gaming computers are widely different because of the complex variety of parts that go into assembling them; they are invariably custom assembled than pre-manufactured. Most gaming or hardware enthusiasts put together the computers; some companies that specialize in manufacturing gaming machines also do this. They create an interest among computer enthusiasts by producing ’boutique’ models that allow the enthusiasts themselves to complete the design by aesthetic choice in conjunction with the hardware in the machine.

Although gaming computers are distinctly different from conventional PCs, the evolution for better output began with improving graphics, color fidelity, display systems etc. in producing them for the mass market. Another particular move that has since been integrated into motherboards is the adoption of the sound card which is an all-visible component in today’s PCs.

Gaming movements began aggressively in the 1980s with several non-IBM PCs gaining popularity due to advanced sound and graphic capabilities. At that time, game developers, in particular, video game manufacturers and developers started out on these platforms before porting the usage to more common PCs and other platforms such as Apple.

Custom-built gaming computers became increasingly popular in 2017 allowing more flexibility in budgets, controls and upgrading advantages. Several basic components that are required when assembling a gaming computer like motherboard, memory cards, video cards, solid-state drives, CPUs etc. are maximized for performance outputs by gaming enthusiasts by turning to independent benchmarks during hardware selection. Such benchmarks include ratings for PC components to ensure protection of equipment and safety from in-built hazards like heat output etc.

5 Tips to Follow While Buying Computer Games

Computer games are extremely popular these days. There are so many choices out there for us to select from and this makes it all the more difficult. However there are certain tips that you must essentially take into consideration in order to nail your purchase. Below are some important tips that you must never fail to consider.

1. The demo of the game

There is a very large majority of computer games that are releasing and with these games the demo also releases. Thus it is only wise if you try out the demo game before actually going ahead and buying the entire full version of the game. This will obviously give you a great chance to know the game better and make good decisions in future while playing it.

2. Your system requirements must be cross checked

The latest computer games that are releasing these days have a lot of requirements as far as the system is concerned. In case you feel that your computer is in no way successful in meeting these requirements, you must give up on the game or at least purchase a new computer for yourself.

3. Multiplayer options

This multiplayer is obviously similar to the mass multiplayer options. You should know that these types of games allow the players to play with more than one player. No matter what, these are still very fun and exciting games and are games in which you can either shoot or frag the other players. You can also come together and develop another online character.

4. The piracy of the game

The piracy of a software is unfortunately a very common occurrence in games these days. Thus it should not be considered at all. The gaming piracy has become very difficult in recent times. The users who pirate the games may any time be forfeiting the great ability to play with any of their friends online. It is anytime better to go for an original game rather than a pirated one.

5. The rating of your game

All games are judged on the basis of an ESRB rating. It determines how violent the game has pronounced to be. Always pay attention to the rating of the game as it can affect your overall experience. You might prefer a violent game over another non- violent game but this is not the case for everyone. It is one of the important things to remember.

3D Games Online – Why You Should Let Your Children Play Them

New digital technologies have simply revolutionized the world of gaming. These days you can even play 3D games online. In most cases, you will not even need any special graphic cards to enjoy the gaming experience.

The graphics of 3D games are crystal clear, where the characters, cars, buildings, and other objects look almost lifelike. They come with better picture resolutions, and easy user interfaces. You will be able to follow the simple instructions, and understand the game in a matter of minutes.

Parents on the other hand, are usually apprehensive about their children spending long hours on gaming online. They fear that extensive exposure to digital games, could impact their social behaviors and psychology in negative ways.

Instead of completely restricting your children from playing 3D games online, what parents can do is fix a proper timetable for them to enjoy the games. Stopping them from playing completely might not be a good idea, because there are many benefits of gaming that you might want to know about.

Improvement of cognitive skills:

While playing the games on computers, you will need to have fast moving fingers and eyes. With time, you will see a significant improvement in your hand and eye coordination.

In most of the games, you will have to remember a lot of things in order to make the decisions that can help you in completing the missions. Such skills will help you in improving your reasoning and memory power. They are the very skills that can help your kids in learning mathematics, engineering, science, and technology.

Gamers are comparatively more relaxed:

Most of the games will get you on the edge of your seats, but over a period of time, you will learn to handle the stress in a much matured way. You will be more relaxed when facing even the toughest situations in the game. This attitude can help your child in various aspects of life as well. It will have them in staying cool and composed, while making sound decisions.

Doubles your enthusiasm:

Contrary to the popular belief that gaming makes you physically and intellectually lazy, it actually works the other way around. Studies have shown that kids who indulge in gaming are never short of enthusiasm and energy. Moreover, it makes them better strategists and problem solvers.

Makes them the go-getters:

Some of the missions in the online games are really tough, and sometimes it may more than 10 to 20 attempts before cracking them. The gamer will have to be fully determined, because the frustration of losing so many times, can make you want to quit. Good gamers are normally the most determined people, and they never rest kill they achieve their goals.

Our advice to parents would be to let your children play 3D games online, but you will need to monitor them closely, so that they cannot neglect their studies or health.

Have Fun and Enhance Your Skills With the Latest Games

Fun is necessary for every human being on this earth. This is a must, because without fun a person feels tedious which might affect him badly on his work. To get the dose of relaxation or in order to finish the boredom or to pass the spare time and for many other things we seek refuge of this option. People get involved in various activities to accomplish this purpose. Some play sports, other play small games while some other get engaged in other activities.

But, as the technology has become advanced, there are some more modes of fun which have been recently introduced. Some of the most prominent among them are the video and computer games. These frolics on one side become an excellent source of fun and on the other hand they create a lot of excitement in the minds of the people. Video games are actually played by connecting the gaming devices into the television sets. Computer games are basically played in the computer with the help of a keyboard, mouse and joystick etc.

A lot of eagerness can be witnessed among the people who always remain eager to know about the latest games. Two types of computer frolics are famous nowadays – online and offline. Online games are played on Internet whereas offline ones are stored in the hard disk of the computer. In the later case, you won’t require the connection of the World Wide Web. The Online ones are available on many websites. Most of the sites and portals offer them free of cost whereas some of them charge a little extra charge for them. You would just require the flash software on your home PC which too is available of some websites of World Wide Web totally free of cost.

Some of the latest games are Conflict, Toy Warz, Slam Day, Lord of War Chapter 2, Formula 1 Champion. These frolics are based on different themes and are made for the people of all types of interests. On the surface, these themes can be categorized as adventure, fighting, castle, car or bike racing, etc. If we go in detailed classification, then many more sub-categories can be made. For instance, conflict games which are a type of fighting frolics. War of toys, in which the fight between different toys are displayed and many others. Many of these are liked mainly by children.

Some of these frolics are available for download on many websites. You can download them without paying any extra charge. Whereas, a few of these provide them after charging a little extra amount. You can download immediately by paying them via credit or debit card online. On the contrary, some of these gaming activities are also available online which can be played any time at ease.

Definitely, these frolics have proved to be a boon in the area of fun activities. With the support of these activities people can enjoy and relax even while sitting at home in front of the computer. Moreover, they have proved to be very helpful in increasing the concentration and exercising the brain of the players. That’s why, these days parents like them too. Many of the latest games are specially meant for education purposes. For example, you can see several games which help the students to enhance their typing skills. Hopefully, in near future we shall find some more like these which we can not imagine as yet.

Common Problems Playing Games

1. “THE GAME WON’T PLAY!”

When it comes to playing PC games this is probably the biggest and most frustrating problem someone can run into. I have bought games before that wouldn’t play correctly and I had no idea why. When I have this problem there are a few things I do to help me figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.

A. The first thing I do is go the site systemrequirementslab.com which has a very helpful computer application to tell you if you can run the game or not. This will do a scan of what hardware your computer has and compare it to the minimum and recommended specs of the game you want to play. This can be extremely helpful because it is difficult to remember exactly what specs your computer has, and can help pinpoint what you should upgrade if you need to do so.

B. Check the drivers on your computer or graphics card. Sometimes computer peripherals will have a driver update, if you do not have the proper drivers installed it can cause issues with running certain games.

C. Check the in-game settings. Some games are very good at optimizing the setting to what will run best on your computer, but they do not always get it right. If a game isn’t running correctly in most games you can bump down the graphical settings to see if it will run correctly.

D. Reinstall the game. Sometimes it is possible that a file got damaged when installing the game or over time. If this is a problem it can be resolved by uninstalling and reinstalling the game. Most games can be installed through the Control Panel of your computer, but if not sometimes you can uninstall the game from the launcher of the game itself.

E. Sometimes unfortunately there are random issues with games that are very hard to pinpoint. If this problem arises you can contact the game company. Many companies have help lines or forums dedicated to helping people that have problems running their games. Usually they are quick to reply and will do whatever they can to help solve your problem.

2. “The game runs choppy online!”

This is another common problem when it comes to gaming, and this is not just reserved for PC gaming. Sometimes your PC or gaming system will run perfectly but you have a lot of problems when it comes to online gaming, thankfully there are some ways to try and fix this.

A. The first thing to do is check to make sure you are getting the correct speeds from your internet provider. You can run an online speed test at speedtest.net which will help you identify your download and upload speeds. If the speeds are slow or not what you are expecting there are a couple things you can do to try and remedy the problem before you call your internet provider.

B. If you have speed problems the first thing I recommend doing is checking your router. Sometimes speed problems are because of an old or faulty router. I recently had some problems with my internet dropping and decided to check on my router. I was using an old router with old wireless technology but I did not think that it was causing any issues. I ended up purchasing a new AC router and it doubled the internet speed I was getting beforehand with my N router. N routers have been around for awhile and AC is newer technology that provides more bandwidth and better signal strength than the N routers. With so many devices hooked up to household WiFi I think it is well worth the upgrade to an AC router as everything will run better.

C. If you discover that the problem is not the router and only your computer has speed issues you can check for any obstructions that might block the wireless signal. Sometimes it is completely random as to what causes interference and I have heard of people who had terrible speeds, moved their computer just a little bit in a different direction and everything worked fine. You can also run a malware scan on your computer to ensure that a virus is not eating up your bandwidth.

D. There is also the possibility of a faulty wireless card in your computer. I had a desktop computer that had a wireless card that randomly stopped working, it took me a long time to identify what the problem was but when I did it was fixed by simply buying a WiFi USB adapter. They are not very expensive and got my computer back online quick and easy.

E. If your problem is not remedied with any of these solutions you may have to contact your internet provider. Unfortunately sometimes there are just issues with the inbound line and it requires a technician to come out and fix it. Sometimes the IP can identify a problem over the phone and figure out if the problem is on their end or if they need to send a technician out.

3. Other Quick Tips To Help PC Performance

A. I highly recommend everyone installs a SSD on their computer. A SSD is a solid state drive that can replace your existing hard drive. The traditional hard drive is a moving part hard drive that spins and reads and writes data, while a SSD does not having moving parts and everything is stored on flash memory chips. Because of the way the data is stored it is accessed much quicker and more reliably than the standard HDD, they are more expensive at the moment but the speed increase is well worth the money in my opinion. I recently swapped my computer over to a SSD and it changed my boot-up time from minutes to seconds. Everything seems to load much faster and I can’t imagine ever going back to a regular HDD.

B. RAM Memory upgrade

A. Sometimes upgrading the amount of RAM in your computer can improve performance. You need to find out what kind of RAM you can use first though. To do this you can look in the System Information of your computer which gives you a system summary. In the summary will be a System Model, I used this to look online for how much RAM my computer could support and what kind I should use.

Struggles of Getting to “PRO” in League of Legends

Getting to the idea of “last hitting” can be tough to comprehend at first.

League of Legends can be observed or viewed as a simple minded game from the outside. Objectives seem normal when it comes to destroying enemy turrets, minions, champions and ultimately their Nexus. Yet, blindly just doing these acts without proper mechanics can turn you into a fool. First time I played, I assumed I just needed to hit the creeps and go full out confrontation with the enemy champions. Yet, there was this important concept that others kept referring to as “last hitting”. Initially, I had no relevant clue as to what that meant. However, once explained it seemed to be something that was easy to grasp. However, I was mistakenly wrong. Not only is “last hitting” considered a basic mechanic in this game but there is a required number of creep scores that every gamer of League of Legends should hit within a specified time span. Achieving an average of 20 or 30 creep score per minute can seem straightforward, but accomplishing this takes practice. I started playing this game, 3 years ago and I have yet to reach the 20 creep score mark within one minute. There is something about timing when to hit the minions till the very last drop of their health that requires time and patience.

Knowing the proper item build on your champion and skill order

Often those that you play with in this game will ask you what items you have bought. Higher skilled players have the tendency to judge certain items that you build throughout the game. At the same time, whats skills your rank up first or second will be looked by others. First champion that I had played was Ashe, an archer with ice based skills. First time playing, I built items that stacked ability power when apparently this champion was attack damage based. For beginners, the struggle seems to be in identifying what the strengths of the champion is and at the same time, the skills that need to be maxed first. While playing this Ashe character, I maxed out my passive first for some reason, although it had no incremental increase in damage outputs. However, over time you learn to adjust as a beginner. As a beginner, make sure you take advice from those of higher skill level in League of Legends. They may be harsh and critical towards your mistakes, but the recommendations they give are relevant.

What Are The Best Retro Games Ever Made?

Are you an enthusiast of retro games? Would you like to know what the best retro games ever made are? Then this piece of information is for you, because I have gathered some of the most remarkable retro games ever made in here.

Some retro games are still very popular to this day and were even adapted to mobile devices, and some of them are not popular anymore and were forgotten in the retro classics archive. However, some of the forgotten games don’t really deserve to be forgotten because they are truly awesome, so I will make sure to introduce not only the games that are still popular today.

Here are some of the best retro games ever made:

Frogger – Frogger is a 1981 arcade games developed by Konami. The idea of the game is to direct frogs to their homes one by one by crossing a busy road and navigating a river full of hazards. The Frogger coin-op is an early example of a game with more than one CPU, and it was definitely the first game of its type.

Space Invaders – Space Invaders is an arcade video game developed by Tomohiro Nishikado. It was released in 1978 and was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan. Later on, it was licensed for production in the United States by a different company. Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games that were ever released, and the mission in the game is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon and score as high as possible. This game was a huge success in its time and it formed the basis of the entire shooting genre.

Star Wars – Star Wars was released in 1983 by Atari Inc. It was highly popular back in time and is still considered a cult game and has many loyal fans all around the world. The game is a first person space simulator that simulates the attack on the Death Star from the film Star Wars (which was released in 1977). The game is composed of 3D color vector graphics and it was developed during the Golden Age of Arcade Games. It is considered the fourth most popular game of all time according to the readers of “Killer List of Videogames”. Star Wars is one of the old classical video games that are very big and popular even nowadays, after more than two decades.

There are many amazing retro games that should belong in the list of the best retro games ever made, but since I couldn’t list them all, the three that are mentioned above definitely represent this category very well.

How To Play Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid solitaire is a fun solitaire game that’s quite different to normal solitaire- in most solitaire games you build up cards onto a foundation, but in Pyramid solitaire you remove cards! Cards can only be removed when they add up to 13. With it’s easily recognizable layout (shaped like a pyramid), and requiring a combination of luck and skill, it’s a popular solitaire game played by many.

The basic rules are…

  • You win if you can remove ALL cards from play
  • Cards are removed in pairs, when they add up to 13
  • You can deal from the talon at any time
  • You get 2 redeals of the talon
  • Only a maximum of 2 cards are visible from the talon at any time

You can only use cards that are completely uncovered( If a card is in the pyramid but covered by another card, you cannot select it)
For example, if a part of the pyramid looks like this…

... K...  
... Q.7...  
..2.4.7.. 
.5.8.K.J.

Initially you won’t be able to pair the Jack with the two (because the two is covered by the five and the eight cards). Start by removing the five and eight. Now the 2 card will be uncovered, and can be paired with the Jack card.

The possible pairings in Pyramid Solitaire are…

King 
Six Seven 
Five Eight 
Four Nine 
Three Ten 
Two Jack 
Ace Queen

Kings are a special case, that are removed on their own.

Pyramid Solitaire Tips

  • Don’t just automatically combine any cards you see. Knowing when to match and when to hold off is usually the difference between winning and losing.
  • Always remove Kings as soon as you can. There is never any reason to keep them in play.
  • Look for cards “trapped” by other cards underneath. You may need to remove specific cards in a certain order to get to them

Here is an example of a “trapped” card…

... 2...  
... 5.3...  
..8.8.4.. 
.7.8.6.6.

Notice the five has 3 eight’s underneath it. Fives are removed with eights, so we’ll need to pay special attention to this inversion. That 5 can’t be matched with any of the eight’s underneath it. Wherever the other 8 is, we will need to keep it for THIS five. If we use it on another five, then we will never be able to remove this one, and the game will become unwinnable.

That might sound a little complicated but don’t worry too much about it- you’ll start picking it up effortlessly the more you play.

Pyramid solitaire can be quite hard sometimes. In fact some deals are actually impossible to complete. You can still win quite often though- data collected from Dailysol show that you can win approximately 60% of games- so make sure you don’t give up to early!

Should Games Skip Cutscenes Altogether?

Videogames as a medium for storytelling have often taken cues from movies, and the clearest example of this is the use of cutscenes. Pac-Man is quite often said to be the first game that used cutscenes rather than transitioning directly from level to level with no intermission. After the player beats each stage, it would play a short vignette depicting simple scenes of Pac-Man and ghosts chasing each other.

Whilst these little scenes are quite obviously a long way from how modern cutscenes are used in games, the core concept is the same.

The game takes away control of the character from the player for a sequence to introduce some sort of new information. The duration of these sequences can vary widely – Konami’s Metal Gear Solid series is infamous for having lengthy cutscenes, with Metal Gear Solid 4 clocking it at more than eight hours of cutscenes – and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

They are used to introduce characters, develop established ones, provide backstory, atmosphere, dialogue and more.

However, despite their ubiquity in modern big budget games, cutscenes are not necessarily the best way to tell a story in a game. There have been many highly acclaimed games that used few cutscenes, instead preferring to allow the player to control the character throughout the whole game.

Half-Life 2 by Valve Software is currently the all time highest scoring game for PC on review aggregation site Metacritic, and it only has one cutscene at each end. Control is rarely taken away from the player for more than a few moments – excepting an on rails sequence towards the end – and much of the background information that would be shown in a cutscene elsewhere is instead shown through scripted events or background details in the environment.

But are Half-Life 2’s unskippable, scripted sequences that different from cutscenes? After all, the player often cannot progress until other characters finish their assigned actions and dialogue – so why not just use traditional cutscenes and be done with it? To get truly unique experiences, we mustfirst look at what makes video gaming unique as a medium for storytelling. Unlike film, where the viewer has no control over the action, or traditional tabletop games, where players actions have verylittle in the way of visual outcomes, video games provide an unique opportunity to merge interactivity and storytelling. Games like Gone Home, Dear Esther and other games in the so called ‘walking simulator’ genre have been lauded as great examples of the sort of storytelling that can be unique to games.

However, to some gamers, these games are presenting an entirely different problem – although they rarely take control away from the player, they also offer very little in the way of gameplay themselves. Indeed, Dear Esther has no way the player can affect the world around them – the only action that can be taken is to walk along a predetermined path to the end of the game. There is no way to ‘lose,’ no interaction with the environment, just what amounts to a scenic tour with some overlaid narration. So, despite the lack of cutscenes in the game, the almost complete lack of player control and interaction in the first place means that there is little to differentiate it from an admittedly quite protracted cutscene.

As video games are currently exist, there seems to exist a sort of dichotomy between traditional storytelling and gameplay. For a game to tell a story to a player, there must be some degree of limitation in what the player can do – either a temporary one in the form of a cutscene or scripted sequence, or by limiting the players actions for the course of the game. Perhaps future games will be able to integrate a great deal of player interaction with compelling storytelling. But that won’t be accomplished by taking the players control away and forcing them to watch a short movie instead of letting them play the game.

Latest Games – Gaming World Never Felt it Better

If you are looking for the online games then you will be amazed to know that the world of Internet has enough options to take care of all your needs. In addition to that, the game titles offered on the Internet are far more exhaustive than those offered in the traditional market.

The Internet offers numerous and never-ending choices when it comes to the latest games. It allows the gaming enthusiasts to enjoy games of all genres such as action, arcade, kids game, puzzle, racing, sports and word. If you are looking for some of the most acclaimed online games then Sea Jewels, Bosozoku Fighters, Christmas Adventure, Angel Fighters, Beat The Meter and Battle City are excellent options.

A prospective customer of the online games must exercise complete caution while making payments since the Internet is vulnerable to fraudulent websites. A complete and comprehensive market study is required before any payment can be made. This will ensure that your hard-earned money does not reach the fraudulent hands and you will not be deprived of the ultimate gaming experiences at any point of time.

If you are not sure whether to purchase a game or not, you can play a trial version of the same to make your decision easier. This will help you to get a better feel of the game so that you do not relent the purchase at a later date. After all, these online games are meant to enhance the fun and enjoyment levels associated with them and not to make things worse for the users.

One thing that is often ignored by the parents and guardians is the theme on which a game is developed. It is highly recommended that a parent or guardian must not allow a child or teenager to indulge into dangerous, sexual oriented or anti-social gaming since these themes have an ability to stimulate the young minds in a negative manner.

Thus, it can be easily concluded that the world of Latest Games has immense prospects for the gaming enthusiasts. The only thing to be remembered is caution and if this can be done, nothing can come between you and ultimate gaming experience.

Latest Games – Scale the Ladder to Experience Great Entertainment

There is a high craze for latest games, as they provide the players an enhanced entertainment option. This is the only reason that they attract large number of people, especially the youth who believe in this new form of entertainment. There is the facility to play online games in various websites that are launched. This can be done free of cost in certain cases.

The latest games are good for everyone including children, adults and old ones. There are coding games that come with a number of codes to solve coding problems. They enhances the problem solving skills of the people and thereby increase mental ability. Thus, the individuals can develop good problem solving skills. This is why the gaming is becoming very popular these days.

With the introduction of some latest games like Tetris, Mario Bros, Ping Pong, super Mario and many other interesting games, the gaming has become more popular. All these games are a good source of entertainment for the individuals. These games can be directly downloaded from the internet. Apart from this, players can enjoy other games that are based on thrilling, shooting, war, car, cards, billiards, boxing, military and so on.

The gaming also include flash games. They are designed using flash technology. According to a survey these games are developed to remove the tension and the stress of individuals. They satisfy your different interests such as adventure, shooting, flying, action, puzzles, racing and many others. They are very good for sharpening the IQ level of people. Some of the popular flash games include Helicopter Games, Bump Copter, Alpha Bravo Charlie, Heli Attack and so on.

Some other popular online games include the likes of Sea Jewels, Bosozoku Fighters, Christmas Adventure, Angel Fighters, Beat The Meter and Battle City etc. They are excellent option for players as they offer great gaming experience to the individuals. They are getting very popular in the market, as they are considered a big stress buster. So, visit the internet and take the advantage of various online games provided by different websites.

So, if you are looking for gaming, do a market study and find out about various available options. For detailed information about gaming, one can visit internet that provides a complete guide about games and helps the users to choose the best game. Enhance the fun and enjoyment level by availing some latest games.

Video Games – The Perfect Escape?

Why oh why did you say yes to that last shandy? The kebab seemed like a good idea but your mouth now resembles the inner lining of Phil Jupiter’s underpants. And to top it all off, you’re stuck in a lava filled dungeon and some b*****d has kidnapped your princess. Where did your life go so horribly wrong?

I’ve got news for you, it’s much, much worse. It’s not that you’re hungover playing Super Mario Brothers, it’s that you spend your life “working” at a computer located in a sterile office surrounded by drones. Your only escape? A Friday night binge drinking session down in Clapham, tonsil tennis with a rather suspect femme fatale and bouncing around 8-bit levels crushing the skulls of Goombas with your immense chubby Italian plumber girth the next morning (she didn’t come home with you).

Computer games started out as something completely innocent. I remember my cousins having a version of Pong that despite being an absolute nightmare to plug into the telly, was good fun for ten minutes. Bouncing the ball around with the paddles was hardly Wimbledon. What was, was the 8-bit version of the AELTC’s prestige tournament which was one of the first games I played on the Master System. Still to this day the game mesmerises me, with added career mode, I can’t help but feel I’m there on Centre Court. Especially as I couldn’t play tennis for toffee.
These days, games such as the Grand Theft Auto and Halo franchises take escapism to whole new levels, allowing you to explore entire cities and indulge your wildest fantasies whilst piping hordes of bad guys. There’s a magazine on my desk right now emblazoned with the word “hero”, if only. And whilst escapism is almost at its absolute peak (barring virtual reality), it started way back in the 80s and had as much of an impact then as it does now.

Adult life fundamentally, hasn’t changed much in the last thirty years. Despite numerous advances in technology, supposedly to make life easier, for most of us it’s the usual 9 to 5. Slaving away to line someone else pockets only to come home at some ungodly hour completely exhausted. Eat your dinner, stick on the telly, sleep, repeat. Rather crudely, I hypothesise life requires five different needs: achievement; relaxation; emulation; competition and belonging. At the moment, sitting here in a non-descript office I feel tense, bored, lonely and as if this is just another day to kill on a road that is seemingly going nowhere. No need is being fulfilled, I want to be at home playing video games.

Achievement is the easy one. Those who are successful in life and who feel they are living a good life can point back to a string of achievements. Whether it’s continual progression through the ranks at work, bringing up offspring or jumping out of a plane, nothing beats feeling a sense of achievement. For those starved of such events, video games offer up an easy alternative and its impact is almost immediate. Going back to early arcade games such as Pac-Man and Asteroids, you’re instantly rewarded with level progression and score accumulation (sometimes to reach the feted leader board). Home entertainment systems such as the ZX Spectrum brought games like Manic Miner to the fore. This rise raises the other point that these needs don’t just relate to adult life but to children as well. For kids growing up, a sense of achievement can be gained from doing well at school, well at Physical Education, being praised for good attendance etc… How often would this really happen? Sometimes at primary school, I would feel a greater sense of accomplishment after nailing a few levels of Sonic than at anything I’d done during the day. With the xbox360 console, Microsoft brought the “Achievement” points system based on unlocking hidden secrets or even just by completing levels. Why did they do this? We all love rewards, even more so when they’re obvious. As unnecessary as this development was, it adds another level of achievement to the subtle one already existing.

This brings me to the next “need” – relaxation. Or should I say, Relaxation through detachment. There is no point in me going home to play a computer game where the protagonist is a Customer Service advisor who has to answer the phone and respond to emails all day. They say that during lunchtime it’s advisable to have lunch outside of the office, so that your mind is taken off work and relaxed accordingly. Video games work on the same principal as in they can take you out of work, out of your home life and into something much more wondrous. The aforementioned Super Mario Bros is a great example. I believe it’s the first true example of an ethereal world where you can explore and unlock hidden rewards at whim. Earlier consoles and computers had games containing hidden levels given, but the graphics and memory available pre-1985 struggled to do anything on this scale. Throw in a hero story where you’ve got to rescue a princess and you’ve got the whole package. I could talk about detachment all day long but the upshot is that video games take you to another world at the flick of a button where you can easily forget what your life is really about.

As I mentioned previously, I was bog awful at Tennis when I was a kid. Someone who was not awful at tennis was Stefan Edberg. Although Wimbledon on the MS was licensed, it contained no real players’ names. But my word, did one of the characters look like the Swedish maestro himself. When you’re growing up, role models are important. That seems like a rather obvious thing to say but how many kids lack the proper role models in everyday life? We look up to people and we want to emulate them. We see them achieve great things and we want to achieve them ourselves. When we can’t do something, video games (especially sports titles) are an easy way of emulating our heroes. I played World Cup Italia 90 on the Mega Drive way more than I should have purely because it was the only way of recreating the tournament that I had available. Emulation even boils down to just wanting to be said Italian plumber hero (one was also rather useless with the ladies) or a spiky blue hedgehog thwarting an evil genius.

Emulation follows on to competition. There is nothing like beating a game. All that coding and you’ve still beaten the CPU. Have that Edberg. It’s also great to prove you’re the best at the something, that you’re better than your peers. At work, I have few peers simply due to the mediocrity of my work. Do I want to be better than them? The feeling is hardly tangible. Competition is good for the human spirit. Constantly being challenged is how people get better and successful people thrive on it. The rewards are sometimes obvious, a big trophy, a big pay rise – but sometimes they’re not. Video games offer competition on all levels. Beat the CPU, beat your friends, beat the world. Video games offer a challenge when life falls on its backside. Want an arena to prove you’re better than your mates? Hold a Days of Thunder on the NES competition (not all were impressed… ). Multiplayer games existed in abundance from the days of Pong and now video game tournaments have evolved into a multi-million dollar industry of their own.

That brings me to my final point – belonging. Sega or Nintendo? If you’re into retro gaming that question alone is probably stirring something inside you. Why? Because choosing a console isn’t just about choosing a machine to play with, it’s about choosing a gang, a way of life that’s got be better than its counterpart. Kids and adults alike feel segregation on a daily basis. I was lucky at school as I had good friends with whom I still socialise with to this day. Others were not so lucky. When you move into the professional world it’s only natural that you want to work for a company where you belong. In your personal life, it’s only natural to want to live somewhere in a home with people you love and where you feel you belong. Even before online gaming with its vast communities and friendship came into existence, simply by saying in the playground whether you were a Mega Drive or SNES guy started positive chat about Sonic or Mario alike. They weren’t just consoles, it was who you were.

As much as a holiday might satisfy your relaxation needs or going to a football match satisfy your need to belong, there is nothing as complete as video games to provide the full package after a long day at the coalface.

What Is a Game?

We probably all have a pretty good intuitive notion of what a game is. The general term “game” encompasses board games like chess and Monopoly, card games like poker and blackjack, casino games like roulette and slot machines, military war games, computer games, various kinds of play among children, and the list goes on. In academia we sometimes speak of game theory, in which multiple agents select strategies and tactics in order to maximize their gains within the framework of a well-defined set of game rules. When used in the context of console or computer-based entertainment, the word “game” usually conjures images of a three-dimensional virtual world featuring a humanoid, animal or vehicle as the main character under player control. (Or for the old geezers among us, perhaps it brings to mind images of two-dimensional classics like Pong, Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong.) In his excellent book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, Raph Koster defines a game to be an interactive experience that provides the player with an increasingly challenging sequence of patterns which he or she learns and eventually masters. Koster’s asser-tion is that the activities of learning and mastering are at the heart of what we call “fun,” just as a joke becomes funny at the moment we “get it” by recognizing the pattern.

Video Games as Soft Real-Time Simulations

Most two- and three-dimensional video games are examples of what computer scientists would call soft real-time interactive agent-based computer simulations. Let’s break this phrase down in order to better understand what it means. In most video games, some subset of the real world -or an imaginary world- is modeled mathematically so that it can be manipulated by a computer. The model is an approximation to and a simplification of reality (even if it’s an imaginary reality), because it is clearly impractical to include every detail down to the level of atoms or quarks. Hence, the mathematical model is a simulation of the real or imagined game world. Approximation and simplification are two of the game developer’s most powerful tools. When used skillfully, even a greatly simplified model can sometimes be almost indistinguishable from reality and a lot more fun.

An agent-based simulation is one in which a number of distinct entities known as “agents” interact. This fits the description of most three-dimensional computer games very well, where the agents are vehicles, characters, fireballs, power dots and so on. Given the agent-based nature of most games, it should come as no surprise that most games nowadays are implemented in an object-oriented, or at least loosely object-based, programming language.

All interactive video games are temporal simulations, meaning that the vir- tual game world model is dynamic-the state of the game world changes over time as the game’s events and story unfold. A video game must also respond to unpredictable inputs from its human player(s)-thus interactive temporal simulations. Finally, most video games present their stories and respond to player input in real time, making them interactive real-time simulations.

One notable exception is in the category of turn-based games like computerized chess or non-real-time strategy games. But even these types of games usually provide the user with some form of real-time graphical user interface.

What Is a Game Engine?

The term “game engine” arose in the mid-1990s in reference to first-person shooter (FPS) games like the insanely popular Doom by id Software. Doom was architected with a reasonably well-defined separation between its core software components (such as the three-dimensional graphics rendering system, the collision detection system or the audio system) and the art assets, game worlds and rules of play that comprised the player’s gaming experience. The value of this separation became evident as developers began licensing games and retooling them into new products by creating new art, world layouts, weapons, characters, vehicles and game rules with only minimal changes to the “engine” software. This marked the birth of the “mod community”-a group of individual gamers and small independent studios that built new games by modifying existing games, using free toolkits pro- vided by the original developers. Towards the end of the 1990s, some games like Quake III Arena and Unreal were designed with reuse and “modding” in mind. Engines were made highly customizable via scripting languages like id’s Quake C, and engine licensing began to be a viable secondary revenue stream for the developers who created them. Today, game developers can license a game engine and reuse significant portions of its key software components in order to build games. While this practice still involves considerable investment in custom software engineering, it can be much more economical than developing all of the core engine components in-house. The line between a game and its engine is often blurry.

Some engines make a reasonably clear distinction, while others make almost no attempt to separate the two. In one game, the rendering code might “know” specifi-cally how to draw an orc. In another game, the rendering engine might provide general-purpose material and shading facilities, and “orc-ness” might be defined entirely in data. No studio makes a perfectly clear separation between the game and the engine, which is understandable considering that the definitions of these two components often shift as the game’s design solidifies.

Arguably a data-driven architecture is what differentiates a game engine from a piece of software that is a game but not an engine. When a game contains hard-coded logic or game rules, or employs special-case code to render specific types of game objects, it becomes difficult or impossible to reuse that software to make a different game. We should probably reserve the term “game engine” for software that is extensible and can be used as the foundation for many different games without major modification.

Clearly this is not a black-and-white distinction. We can think of a gamut of reusability onto which every engine falls. One would think that a game engine could be something akin to Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Windows Media Player-a general-purpose piece of software capable of playing virtually any game content imaginable. However, this ideal has not yet been achieved (and may never be). Most game engines are carefully crafted and fine-tuned to run a particular game on a particular hardware platform. And even the most general-purpose multiplatform engines are really only suitable for building games in one particular genre, such as first-person shooters or racing games. It’s safe to say that the more general-purpose a game engine or middleware component is, the less optimal it is for running a particular game on a particular platform.

This phenomenon occurs because designing any efficient piece of software invariably entails making trade-offs, and those trade-offs are based on assumptions about how the software will be used and/or about the target hardware on which it will run. For example, a rendering engine that was designed to handle intimate indoor environments probably won’t be very good at rendering vast outdoor environments. The indoor engine might use a binary space partitioning (BSP) tree or portal system to ensure that no geometry is drawn that is being occluded by walls or objects that are closer to the camera. The outdoor engine, on the other hand, might use a less-exact occlusion mechanism, or none at all, but it probably makes aggressive use of level-of-detail (LOD) techniques to ensure that distant objects are rendered with a minimum number of triangles, while using high-resolution triangle meshes for geome-try that is close to the camera.

The advent of ever-faster computer hardware and specialized graphics cards, along with ever-more-efficient rendering algorithms and data structures, is beginning to soften the differences between the graphics engines of different genres. It is now possible to use a first-person shooter engine to build a real-time strategy game, for example. However, the trade-off between generality and optimality still exists. A game can always be made more impressive by fine-tuning the engine to the specific requirements and constraints of a particular game and/or hardware platform.

Engine Differences Across Genres

Game engines are typically somewhat genre specific. An engine designed for a two-person fighting game in a boxing ring will be very different from a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) engine or a first-person shooter (FPS) engine or a real-time strategy (RTS) engine. However, there is also a great deal of overlap-all 3D games, regardless of genre, require some form of low-level user input from the joypad, keyboard and/or mouse, some form of 3D mesh rendering, some form of heads-up display (HUD) including text rendering in a variety of fonts, a powerful audio system, and the list goes on. So while the Unreal Engine, for example, was designed for first-person shooter games, it has been used successfully to construct games in a number of other genres as well, including simulator games, like Farming Simulator 15 FS 15 mods and the wildly popular third-person shooter franchise Gears of War by Epic Games and the smash hits Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City by Rocksteady Studios.

What on Earth Was Wrong With Retro Game Makers “Flying Edge”? Quite a Lot As It Turns Out

Something troubles me, and it’s been troubling me since the early nineties. I sometimes awake in the middle of the night, skin cold and damp, screaming. Badly coloured, badly animated sprites, collision detection non existent, arrrggggggh! I compose myself and reach for the paracetamol. Surely it was all a dream?

NO! Flying Edge really did happen!

The Mega Drive and Master System were both supported at their fullest from around 1991 to 1994 – hence why later MD games are so rare (except Ballz, please, please go away… ). The list of third party contributors to both consoles is lengthy and many still exist today, albeit in a different form (Domark are now Eidos for example). One that you think wouldn’t exist is Flying Edge. Even in my late Primary School/early High School years I knew that if I saw that logo it meant trouble.

It actually didn’t start off too badly. The first FE (as I’m going to refer to them from now on as) game was Arch Rivals, which at the time seemed a stupid idea, a 2 v 2 basketball game where you could only play as one of the “characters”. Although it doesn’t play great, the reduced number of sprites on the screen and slightly violent dynamics made it a relatively fluent and pleasant experience compared to the dross Basketball games about at the time. It also laid the foundations for something truly special, which you’ve probably already guessed.

So, FE were on the cusp of being pioneers… not quite. The games that came afterwards reads like a who’s who of complete and utter tosh. If you ever have the opportunity to play George Foreman’s KO Boxing on the MS run, run as fast as you can. It looks like someone threw up over it and is actually less fun than staring at one of Mr Foreman’s grills. It’s rushed, plain and simple. This theme continues with Smash TV. Smash TV was an immensely popular arcade machine whose main draw was the two-joystick system where you could shoot in an opposite direction to which you were running. The SNES version works pretty well (the 4-button acting as the second joystick) but the graphics and collision detection are horrendous, on both 16-bit and 8-bit versions. Don’t get me started on the sound and control systems on the Sega versions, we’ll be here all day… The laughable Crash Dummies, RoboCop 3 and Double Dragon 3 are just a few more games that no respectable developer would ever be associated with.

FE were just another bad developer with no one else to blame but themselves. Wrong! Now here’s the twist in the story, FE were actually a subsidiary of Acclaim. Apologies to those who already know this, but I bloody didn’t! There is a clue in the aforementioned SNES version of Smash TV, Acclaim are there quite proudly in the opening sequence but they left FE to the Mega Drive version… How can a company responsible for making gems such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam (see what I did there) have any part of Flying Edge? I just simply had to find out.

Acclaim itself had been established since 1987 with much of its focus on games based on licenses it acquired from comics (Spider-Man games aplenty), TV/Sports (WWF) and movies (Alien 3). It also forged a strong “partnership” with Nintendo despite titles such as Rambo on the NES being pretty poor, Star Voyager on the other hand was considered revolutionary. You will never see Flying Edge on any Nintendo game (if you do, it’s dodgy, throw it out) as they were created specifically to “produce” Sega games. Apologies for the many speech marks already used in this article.

Information on the contractual wrangle between Nintendo, Acclaim and Sega is so sparse I’m left clutching at straws as to how Nintendo persuaded them to do this. In fact, the only conclusion I can come to is that Acclaim were happy for FE to be the sacrificial lamb in order to preserve their relationship with Nintendo. This appears logical given Nintendo’s dominance in the home entertainment sector and the gradual decline of arcades. Looking at FE’s back catalogue it’s easy to assume that the developers/programmers in this division weren’t very good in comparison to Acclaim’s. The reality is that for every Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam there were several stinkers. Forget what you know about Acclaim, the reality of it is that they really weren’t that good, period. If it wasn’t for Midway, Mortal Kombat wouldn’t have existed. Acclaim’s back catalogue around the same time reads: Double Dragon 2; Krusty’s Fun House; NFL Quarterback Club; The Addams Family etc etc… It isn’t good!

Flying Edge was dissolved in 1994, which clearly must have provided Acclaim with a get out clause for all those bad titles. What did they back it up with? Again, mainly hit and miss. The Turok titles proved popular on later consoles and some of the Spider-Man games were good. They was also Virtua Tennis 2 which is still a joy. However, rubbish… sticks. The poor licensed games continued – Batman Forever, Paris-Dakar, Gladiator, Fantastic Four. Acclaim were made bankrupt and defunct as of September 2004, ten years after the demise of Flying Edge.

There is a reason that the big guns (Sega, Nintendo) and some of the smaller guns (Domark as Eidos) still exist. Evolution. Acclaim, in amongst all its glory, never deviated from their primary aims – buy licenses, tack on games around them, seek the assistance of other willing developers.

Acclaim (or the name) was purchased by Acclaim Games who were one of a few companies in the early 2000s who focused on online gaming. Sadly, their games were unpopular and they were subsequently bought and dissolved by Playdom games in 2017. The Acclaim name now only appearing in the footnotes under “What Could Have Been”.

Henna Tattoo – A Prehistoric Pattern of Decorating Women

Henna, also called hina, a tropical flowered plant, a tall bush or tiny tree, its name originating off the Arabic word Lawsonia Inermis, normally grows in Africa, Northern Australia and Southern Asia. Its leaves yield red orange dye applied in tinting the human hair besides hands and feet.

Fresh leaves of the henna plant are dried and crushed to a fine powder. Mehendi, the multicultural art of henna body decoration has become an alternative to the everlasting traditional tattoo. Henna is a challenging medium for the artist. If you would like to learn more about applying henna, browse over to the makers of Mehendi Information page since the skin is the largest organ of the body and it is important that we are kind to it. Henna has been used for coloring the hair. Henna hair colors are herbal and hence safe to use. Moreover, they keep your hair cool.

Tattoo off henna is an old Indian Body Art called Mehendi, which employs henna plant to ink or tinting to complex patterns, otherwise referred to as modern day and alien patterns conventionally utilized on different parts of our body particularly the ladies’ hands and feet to mark any special celebrations.

Since the early Bronze Age of the Eastern Mediterranean and ancient context of Ugaritic Legend of Anath and Baal, mehendi is applied for wedding and fertility festivities with women found marking themselves as preparation to meet their spouses. Between 1500 -500 BCE, statuettes and pictures of young women with their hands, nails and feet with markings and old designs were discovered. Henna tattoo or mehendi is worn as a mark of love and happiness and Hindus, Jews, Zoroastrians and Christians feted the marriages by adorning the brides besides he grooms with henna as a pre-marital besides other festive rituals to shower happiness and bright fortunes to the couples. Beliefs and traditions indicate henna makings on women’s bodies pull healing, love, happiness and protection.

Of late, men too find henna as an alternate option to permanent tattoo as it is painless besides being temporary due to its lasting property extending to maximum 4 weeks. Besides the constant change in designs enable its easy removal.

Super Sexy Tattoos For Women

If you are like most, trying to find a sexy tattoo for women can be a daunting task. You can be like everyone else and go to the tattoo parlor and try to find something that suites your needs and wants but first, who has time for that and second, do you really want a tattoo that has been on thousands of women already?

Before you can find a sexy tattoo for women you first need to decide where you put the tattoo. Where you place the ink on your body will determine the style and size you can go for. Listed below are some recommendations of where to put a tattoo and the largest recommended size you should do so you can still pull of the sexiness of the tattoo.

Lower Back: This is a great place for a sexy tattoo as it can be seen with a sexy shirt of bathing suite. If you place a tattoo here you would not want anything larger than about 5″ by 5″ unless you are doing a wider tattoo such as a vine or script. In these cases, you can spread the width of your back but it still should not be more than about 4-5 inches high.

Wrist: Wrist tattoos are super hot but I would suggest really sleeping on this one. Depending on the job you have it may be frowned upon having a visible tattoo on your body. Wrist tattoos should be no large than the size of post-it note and I would stay away from dark colors just in case you need some skin cream to cover it up for social events such as galas, church and weddings.

Ankle Tattoos: Ankle tattoos are crazy sexy and you would want to follow the same rules as the wrist tattoo. At the ankle however, you can go a bit bigger if you choose. The most common type of tattoo for the ankle is one that wraps the entire area such as a band.

Now where do you find these sexy tattoos?

Now that you decided on a location the best place to find a tattoo is online. But wont your search bring up unoriginal designs? In most cases yes. That is why if you want to find a unique, clear tattoo you can print out online I would recommend joining a tattoo membership site. These sites do have a onetime low cost but it is good for life. Each day new tattoos are added and if you do not find something you like you can post a message in the private forum they provide you.

Gold Rings for Men – A Popular Accessory

We usually don’t associate any kind of jewelry with men. When we think about jewelry we always think about the female gender and how they love to adorn themselves with ornaments. However, we have seen that as of lately men have started showing an interest in rings, especially in gold rings. Previously, they used to wear only gold rings on their engagements or on their weddings. But now, gold rings are worn to many formal and informal occasions and it has become more of a fashion statement, not merely an obligation or sign of marriage. Gold rings, due to the rising gold prices worldwide, are usually worn by the upper class, rich people in society. These people can afford to wear gold rings for almost every occasion. But if we look at the average man, a man owns at least one ring for himself.

Even though gold is such an expensive metal, it truly hasn’t been replaced by any other metal. There are a lot of reasons behind this, cultural being the main one. In this article we will be taking a look at the different kinds of gold rings for men in terms of design and we will also be emphasizing on how the variety of rings for men keeps increasing every day. Gold is a very popular choice for men’s rings. However, there is not just one kind of gold that is used in making rings for men. Although yellow gold seems to be used more often, there is white gold and rose gold, which is sometimes used in making rings for men. White gold is more commonly known as platinum and it is much more expensive in terms of price. It gives off a very white look, something that is similar to the shine of extremely well polished silver. Rose gold, on the other hand, has a slightly pinkish color to it (not too much) we don’t see many rings made out of rose gold, but it is used in several rings.

Gold rings, or perhaps any kind of gold jewelry, are not made out of 100% gold. It is almost always mixed with another metal, to make it stronger. We often hear the term carats when we’re shopping for gold jewelry and these carats tell us about how pure the ring is i.e. how pure it is. Usually, the higher the carats, the more gold the ring contains. For everyday use and to keep the affordability factor in mind, 10 to 14 carat rings are suitable for men. There are some rings which are gold-plated but we don’t recommend you to buy those, even if they are cheaper, because once the plating comes off, the metal is not as glossy as it was before.

There are many designs available in the gold rings. There are plain designs like the simple band and there are more complicated designs available in stores. Popularly, gold rings men have plain deigns like the simple wedding band, but now some gold rings have carvings and other designs engraved in them too. The use of stones in the rings is also popular, with different kinds of stones; precious and semi- precious, are used on the rings. There are some rings that have a ribbed design on them. You can either buy ready-made gold rings from stores or over the internet, but if you’re looking for something unique, you can have rings specifically made for yourself in your size and chosen design as well.

How I Made My Travel Certificates

Although my company is deeply involved in the design and sales of Travel Related Incentives and Rewards, first and foremost, we are a travel agency. Everything we do here is for the purpose of gaining access to travel customers.

Travel Agencies have been through some pretty big changes over the years starting with the airlines deciding that we didn’t deserve a commission for our services anymore. That sort of snowballed through many other travel service providers as the Internet opened up access to many of the same travel sources that we travel agencies used to call our own.

Today, instead of earning a commission by simply booking reservations for their clients, travel agencies must specialize in areas where they can guarantee travel service providers a large number of travelers. This allows the agency to negotiate rates below what is available to the consumer directly. So, the travel agency of this new era is now working for the travel services provider instead of the traveler. To make the new concept work, agencies are always looking for favorable pricing on the most desirable types of travel and then struggle to find the 1000’s of travelers they need so they can keep their contracts.

I developed my business model a number of years ago before the commission crunch began and unknowingly got a jump on the trend. I decided to try and market travel packages through the Human Resource departments of large companies. I put together cruise packages based on favorable rates I was getting from a few cruise lines sailing out of Florida. I offered these discount packages to employees as a company benefit. The companies loved it and were quite willing to put my flyers in their employee’s pay envelopes each week. That was almost 20 years ago and I still have a few companies that still use my original program today.

Getting really low rates on the most desirable types of travel is great but getting it for free is even better! While most agencies were desperately looking for more travelers, I knew if I could provide the travel services for little or nothing, this would never be a problem for me. I just had to figure out how I could get someone else to pay all or at least some of the travel expenses.

Living in Florida I watched as condominiums were being built one after the other from one coast to the other and all points in between. These were time share condo developments and they were some of the nicest resorts that Florida had to offer. They had a lot of empty suites week after week and they were looking for travelers too. I made a few calls and soon after I had arrangements with dozens of resorts that would give me access to their accommodations simply to have the opportunity to show my travelers around in hopes they would buy. All I needed now was a cost effective way to let people know what I had to offer.

It wasn’t just me that was looking for customers; everyone that was in any kind of business was looking for customers. I got together with a few marketing managers I knew and proposed that we work together. If they would cover the cost of the fees, I could give them a travel certificate that they could in turn give to their customers in reward for their business. It wasn’t long before I had several business owners who were promoting my travel packages by purchasing travel certificates from me and then giving them out to all their customers. It was the perfect idea: Travelers got to go to great places almost for free, my business associates got terrific sales incentives at a great price and I got plenty of travelers to fulfill my contracts with all my fees prepaid!

Since then I’ve design 100’s of travel certificate programs. The scope of each program is based primarily on the amount of money the business wants to pay per certificate towards the fees. The travelers makes up the difference but still has access to deeply discounted travel services that they would not be able to get elsewhere.

What Is Your Fashion Jewelry Style Personality?

We all have a certain personality that reflects our fashion style. It speaks volumes about us to people we don’t know. Read this to find out what is your fashion jewelry style personality

Classic

Tradition is an important part of your life. You are mostly around the age of 40. Your jewelry box has a few timeless classic pieces like a strand of pearls or a vintage brooch. You avoid prints and prefer solid colors like black, red and white. You wear your timeless classic style and not the other way round. You know when a drop of pearl earrings or a diamond bracelet is enough to reflect your personality. You prefer expensive items in your jewelry box that will last long and don’t throw them away till they are worn out. You are always confident that you will look good whatever the occasion even though you will not be the center of the crowd, something that you always avoid. That is the reason you like playing it safe with these timeless classic fashion jewelry pieces.

Romantic

Femininity oozes from your style. You are hopeless romantic who is in love with the past. You wish you were born in the Victorian era and fallen in love in that time period. Your jewelry box is full of girlie, pretty and delicate pieces. Floral motifs, butterflies, symbols of love like the heart are your favorite designs. You love wearing, looking at and surrounding yourself with pretty things. Romantic fashion jewelry personalities love pastels to create a soft and dreamy look.

Trendy

You are the Queen Bee of the social circle, the party princess and the darling of all. Your fashion style is dictated by the latest trends in fashion magazines and celebrity styles. You cannot be seen wearing the same outfit among the same crowd twice; in short you are a true fashionista. You are willing to break your budget to get your hands on the latest trend in fashion jewelry. You are most likely to be under 40 and love to buy all things designer to flaunt “what’s in” among your subjects, because you are the princess.

Free Spirit

You march to the beat of your own drum. You find beauty in unique things and follow your heart to express your style. You create a trend which nobody else can wear except you. You have a penchant for all things natural which makes you feel close to nature. Bohemian style reflects your personality. You look gorgeous with just one unique jewelry piece. Your laid back style comes effortlessly to you. Floral designs and symbols like birds depict free spirit are your favorites in your in jewelry box. When you buy fashion jewelry it is important to you that the jewelry piece is unique and speaks to your heart. Often your jewelry pieces are not expensive but they reflect your free spirit personality.

Base Tendriling Travel Expenses

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference

US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and re-engineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticket-less” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.

What’s the Price?

Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”

Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”

Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference.

US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and re-engineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.

What’s the Price?

Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”

Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”

Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

How Goods Transportation Has Evolved Over the Years

From ancient times goods have been transported from the countryside to big cities and towns and vice versa. Goods also have been traded with neighboring and distant countries. The best example is the ancient Silk Route. The Silk route made use of different modes of transportation according to the region. While in some places camels were used to transport goods in the form of caravans, in coastal areas ships were the preferred mode of transportation.

Goods transportation, a boost to the global economy

Transportation of goods is a broad term which includes several kinds of activities and modes of transportation. Moving raw materials from mines or forest areas to factories, transporting the finished goods to markets, distribution of goods to various consumer centers worldwide are just some of the activities that come under the category.

Another example that can be stated is that of agricultural produce transported to a food processing unit. The processed goods are then stored in a warehouse to be transported to distribution centers.

The mode of transport used in this process would vary widely according to the volume of goods to be moved, the urgency and the geographical topography of the region. Today goods are transported using various modes of transport giving rise to transport corridors. Transport corridors along with favorable customs and tariff duties have boosted trade in different parts of the world.

Efficient transportation of goods is based upon

  • The Infrastructure
  • Vehicles or mode of transportation
  • Operations and administration
  • Energy or fuel supply and consumption

The different modes for goods transportation

Roadways

Road Transportation (Roadways) is the oldest means of transport used for moving goods. Whether in the form of caravan trails or paved paths, roads have been used extensively in the past. The automobile revolutionized road transport and today freight trucks, wagons and trailers carry large volumes of goods across highways.

Also with improved methods of lying roads using material like concrete and tarmac, roads are now much more durable. Further advances in civil engineering have meant that bridges can be built across water bodies facilitating movement of goods across regions separated by rivers.

Marine transportation

Maritime transportation has always been an important mode to transport goods across countries and continents. Consuming less energy as compared to roadways or rail, cargo ships can carry thousands of tons of freight in a single trip from one port to another.

With the advent of containerization, goods can now be easily transported using ships which can be unloaded at ports and then transported via rail to inland markets.

Railways

After the Industrial Revolution, rail transport began to be extensively used for moving goods. Rail technology has improved considerably over the years. Today diesel-electric locomotives haul large quantities of freight in most parts of the world.

High speed rail transport has proved to be efficient in transporting goods over large distances in countries like the United States, Russia and China and in Europe.

Airways

The use of aircraft in transporting cargo has generally been limited to areas where urgency is the primary need. Large airfreight carriers like the Boeing 707 and 727 can transport significant amounts of cargo at a time.

However the cost of transportation and limitation in the volume of goods that can be transferred at a time has prevented large scale use of aircraft in goods movement.

Planning is crucial

While Goods Movement, Transportation has an obvious impact on the economic sphere it also has a visible effect on the environment. Planning is vital to manage the various factors involved. A well planned transport system would make optimum use of available facilities and ensure a streamlined and Eco-friendly transportation process at lesser costs.

Beach Wedding Flowers for the Bouquet

To make a beach wedding perfect you need to have the right wedding flowers for your bouquet. It is important that you have the flowers put together to make the most of their colors along with complementing the wedding theme and colors. There are any different tropical flowers that you can mix and match for your wedding flowers. Tropical flowers have vibrant colors that will not clash with each other and you can even have different colors of the same flower.

White rose’s combination

When you are arranging the bouquet make sure that you have an even set of six wedding flowers placed together in your bouquet. A beautiful combination is medium-sized white roses mixed with roses that compliment your wedding theme. This bouquet will give you a strong yet subtle array of colors. To hold the base of the flowers intact, use a golden mesh type material. Tie it with a ribbon that compliments your wedding theme. Throw some sprinkled shine on the bouquet to have a beautiful rose bouquet.

Orchids

This flower offers a variety of colors like blue, violet, wand white. They would look great as wedding flowers in your bouquet. Again, use white and the color that complements your wedding decor. You could use a few white orchids mixed with two of the colors in your wedding colors. With these being wedding flowers for your beach wedding, add some seashell highlights glued to your bouquet ribbon that is holding the flowers together. You can also use small teardrop that you can stick on some of the petal to make it look like water droplets on the petals.

Bird of Paradise

These wedding flowers burst with colors of bright blue and orange. If you are having a morning wedding these will look spectacular in the sunlight. The sunlight appears to make the color pop and is a simple arrangement to put together. To wrap the bottom of the flowers use a bejeweled mesh.

Dahlias

These wedding flowers are the personification of class, style, and elegance. Using Dahlias will make your bouquet one of a kind. These flowers come in a variety of colors such as yellow, pink, red, white, lavender, orange, and bi-colors. They range in size from two inches to one foot in diameter.

These are just some of the different wedding flowers that you can use in your bouquet. When you choose flowers make sure that they will not easily wilt in the sun because nothing looks worse than a bouquet of wilting wedding flowers. You will also need to decide if you want flowers that do or do not have a scent. It may help to have a drawing of what you want your bouquet to look like when choosing wedding flowers.

Womens Jewelry Vs Mens Jewelry

Talk of jewelry and we instantly think of women. It is but true that jewelry to a great extent is considered the forte of women alone and in spite of the fact that men’s jewelry has always existed right from the time that the jewelry was first invented and crafted centuries ago we still continue to link jewelry with women. However let us not ignore the fact that not only has men’s jewelry been in existence for a long time now but has also reinvented and become an integral part of a man’s ensemble these days. One thing is for certain, that jewelry for women and jewelry for women are as far apart as can possibly be.

The most basic difference between jewelry for women from that of men is the look. The appearances of the two are poles apart. Where on one hand jewelry for women are pretty and feminine the men’s version of the same have a more somber look and are definitely without any frills.

Although these days with men’s clothes and jewelry both witnessing reinvention keeping in mind the changing preference and taste of the modern man, jewelry for men is also catching up with the elaborate and ornate look which was earlier meant for the women alone.

Another very stark difference between jewelry for women from that of men is the variety and options that are available. Not only are the categories of jewelry limited for men, they are also available in far fewer designs as compared to that of women. For example where a woman can choose from rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces, brooches, hair accessories, charms and bracelets to name a few, men have only their staple dose of rings, cufflinks and bracelets to resort to.

Also, the designs between jewelry for men and that of women also vary a great deal in the craftsmanship and the use of diamonds or gemstones. Talking of gemstones, the vibrant and colorful specks can be amply used in jewelry for women but they are quite sparingly used in jewelry for men. In fact the entire look has to suit the different personalities that men and women respectively possess.

But one thing is for certain whether it is jewelry for men or for women, they are extremely sought after for the wonderful way in which they add their color and sparkle, amply in case of women and subtly in case of men.