Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Assassin's Creed II - Review

When you start Assassin’s Creed II (AC2), one of the messages that flashes by, goes something like this: “we, the developers, have based this game on real-world events and histories and would like to tell you that we belong to, and subscribe to, a varied mix of faiths and beliefs” – the implied subtext being: “so don’t hurt us please”.

Rarely does one play a game that crosses so many lines brazenly and with aplomb: AC2 questions morality, authority, religion, science, our history, our place in the universe, and expertly weaves a tapestry of conspiracy so vast, intricate and complex – connecting everyone from Eve to Jesus, Hitler to Gandhi – that by the time the game is done, only three words come to mind: What. The. F*ck.

WTF did I just play? And: OMG, mind blown.

But that’s not new territory. Games of past have played with gamer’s minds before – Xenogears, Deus Ex, even the better Metal Gear Solid entries – to name a few. What makes AC2 so unique is that it never shoves a point down your throat (*cough* MGS4 *cough*). The game gives you as much as you put in. You can play it as an action romp, you can approach it as an adventure, you can revel in its GTA-like open-world mayhem, you can unlock its many mind-bending puzzles, or enjoy some of the best platforming moments this side of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. You can do all, or you can do naught but jump from rooftops onto victims’ throats. AC2 succeeds in creating a play-as-you-like experience and should you choose to poke around and nose through the vast tapestry it lays before you -- it constantly rewards you with cool upgrades and nuggets of information.

Nothing is true

I did not think I would recommend this game when I started playing it. AC2 stumbles at the starting point -- falls almost flat on its face even before it begins -- through some awkward 30-odd minutes of uninspired dialogues, characters and setup. The game has something of a curve which is not just relegated to learning the ins and outs of its controls. It starts slow and almost creeps to a point before it hooks you. When the game starts, if you are like me, you will be snorting in derision over the game’s Matrix-like setup (complete with a female version of Tank), or will be laughing at the terrible and almost-stereotypical Italian accent of the characters (the game is set in Renaissance Italy). When the protagonist’s uncle goes “it’s a-me, Mario” (yes, really), one can’t help but laugh out loud at the ridiculous moment of self-depreciation. AC2 even looks pretty bland for a next-generation game. On the whole, it’s a bad first date but stick with her and the game grows on you. Over time you will tend to look past her average looking cut-scenes and bland environments – not to mention the texture pop-outs and screen tears – and come to appreciate her awe-inspiring, meticulous architecture and the ridiculous amount of detail lovingly poured into each of her cities.

Assassin's Creed 2: Architecture

While AC2 can look a bit bland at times, there is no denying the splendid architecture and level design

AC2, perhaps, has the liveliest city-life ever virtualized for a game. Inhabitants perform an orgy of tasks (and given the density of people milling about in an average AC2 city, orgy is just the right word): tilling fields, walking, carrying boxes, performing acrobatics, flirting, talking, pickpocketing, pushing, shoving, sitting on top of boxes and staring out to the sea... The cities are dense and claustrophobic, encouraging you to climb a nearby building and take to the rooftops; to escape. And once you do, you’ll rarely want to climb back down.

Leap of faith

Rooftops are AC2’s soul food. You will be ever-yearning to get on top, excuse the pun, not only to get away from the crowd but also to take in the vista and to explore. Rooftops also offer the game’s core platforming hook. Going from ground-zero to the top of the tallest church is as exhilarating as it is ultimately breath-taking. The controls for platforming are simple – press two buttons, or just one if you don’t want to sprint, and move the analog stick in the direction you want to go. Ezio – the game’s protagonist will automagically climb boxes, jump across poles, run across balconies, leap across roofs, swing across buildings, and so on... as long as your analog stick is true, everything goes almost according to plan. Almost.

Assassin's Creed 2: Leap of faith and platforming

Jumping across rooftops is where AC2 really shines; bar the occasional control hiccups

Here lies the most damning aspect of the game: its controls are not very reliable. They work most of the time but just when you need them the most, Ezio will do something stupid and spoil your run. I’ve experienced Ezio squatting between two elements of a roof instead of pulling himself over and running across; many a times (at least three!) has Ezio leaped to his death instead of to the nearest bundle of hay (when performing the signature- and ironically-named, Leap of Faith move). The controls work 99 times out a hundred. But the hundredth time is invariably when you needed them to continue working, and not spectacularly fail. It’s a case of Murphy’s Law working against you and is the only reason why this game falls short of perfection.

Everything is permitted

If platforming be the soul of AC2, then a sandbox presentation forms its heart. Like a Grand Theft Auto title, AC2 throws several cities at your mercy. Each city is unlocked as the game progresses, and within a city, you are typically restricted to one or more districts; others unlocked yet again over time.

Each city offers a variety of missions – assassinations, chases, stealth, tailing, eavesdropping, smuggling, racing across rooftops, delivering letters, stealing codex pages, hunting for treasures, raiding secret tombs, collecting feathers.

Typically, each successfully completed mission rewards you with money, some unlock new moves and abilities, while a few offer new weapons and tools. Money plays an important part until halfway through the game – after which you have so much, you will literally find yourself throwing money at passing people. Through money you can buy items such as health potions, poison, smoke bombs, throwing knifes; you can upgrade your armour and thus lengthen your health bar; you can also hire courtesans/thieves/fighters to distract or fight alongside yourself. The most important use of money is to upgrade your hometown / villa. As you improve your villa and its surroundings – either, for example, by upgrading the doctor’s or by adding a brothel – your town’s standing grows; more people come to visit, bringing in more money. It’s a positive loop and the first thing you should invest in. Pretty soon, the town will be earning you upwards of 14,000 in virtual cash every 20 real-time minutes.

Assassin's Creed 2: Flying across the city

You can also fly across Venice, oh-so-briefly

The game also borrows a notoriety system from GTA: When you perform tasks which are either too aggressive (like throwing a guard down a building), or too flamboyant (like jumping down a roof to kill a guard), your notoriety increases; pretty soon making you Notorious with a capital N – comparable to the Wanted status in GTA. This is when the authority has it in for you and every guard is after a piece of your hide. Well-meaning though it might be, the system feels a little broken as it’s a small task to bring the notoriety level back down – either via bribes, assassinations of key government officials (ironic!) or the easiest and cheapest means of all – through tearing down your “Wanted” posters. As such it never adds to any tension, as was the probable intent behind the notoriety system. In fact, a lack of tension is a common complaint in AC2.

Where’s the challenge?

Combat in AC2 is a simple affair: a target is selected through the L1 button (note: all keys correspond to the PS3 controller). Once marked, pressing X on the controller performs an attack. You can block attacks by pressing the R1 button. When blocking, X allows you to dodge, the square button starts a counter. While attacking the circle button grabs the enemy after which you can headbutt using the triangle button, or kick in the groins using the X button. It might seem confusing (and there is a very real chance that I made a mistake in laying down the control options) but once you have the controller in your hand and understand that L1 is an attack modifier and R1 the defence modifier – it all falls into place. Promise.

Combat boils down to a lot of blocking and countering. You can also go unarmed, in which case R1 and countering will disarm the opponent giving you a chance to one-hit kill them using their own weapon. Broadly speaking there are four types of melee weapons – small weapons (the knife variety), small swords, spears and its ilk, and hammers and blunt weapons. Ranged weapons are throwing knifes, a gun of sorts (worst gun ever in a game!), and the all-too powerful smoke bomb which can render a large group of enemy helpless and victim to your sword. You can also buy/unlock some special moves such as throwing knifes at multiple enemies or throwing sand to blind your foes.

Assassin's Creed 2: Disarming an opponent

Disarming an opponent and then stabbing him through the heart using his own sword is more enjoyable than it should be

The system is such that you never feel threatened by an encounter. Sure, a combat situation might be a tough one to crack, especially when surrounded by a group consisting of axe-wielding brutes and spear wielding, err dudes. But you know you will make it through, if not through skill then through chugging down potions. You never feel challenged or threatened during a fight.

Outside of combat, the platforming is key. Here you will feel threatened but only because of the aforementioned “Enzio could do something stupid any moment now” phenomenon thanks to the none-too-reliable controls. There are some incredible levels though – the secret tombs you need to traverse and defeat offer plenty of challenge and of the right type. You will look forward to these but alas there are only a handful of them in the game. Moreover, these tombs are entirely optional (it would be a shame if you skip them though). Another optional element, but one which requires a fair degree of mental acumen is glyph-hunting. All throughout the cities, glyphs tag some key structures.

Assassin's Creed 2: Weapon type blunt

AC2 offers a variety of weapons. It’s hammer time here; you can’t touch this

These glyphs must first be found (plaftorming) and then be solved (brain-teasers). Each glyph offers puzzles ranging from jigsaw-like complete the picture, to cracking a code.
On the whole then – unless you adamant on completing every aspect of the game, you will find little challenge in AC2, outside of a few moments of frustration.

The verdict?

AC2 does away with the mission structure of the first game. For the most part, it’s for the good but where the first entry ended an assassination with a long “confession” from the murdered party, AC2 leaves Ezio to do all the talking. It’s a small detail but you do miss the back story of your target and the reasons why he did the things he did which led to his assassination... Similarly, the pace at which an assassination takes place is less than ideal. In the first game the crescendo built up to an assassination and then the game played you out as you sought cover and refuge from the now-on-high-alert-guards. AC2, for the most part, ends a mission after you kill your target. There are a few missions which call on you to escape after an assassination, and kill a multitude in your wake. And frankly, these are the most fun. So while AC2 adds a whole lot to the first game’s formula – yes there is a lot to do – it also takes away some aspects that made the first outing enjoyable. Another small niggle: that “whole lot to do”, is rewarding for the most part. AC2 should have offered better rewards for two of the most mind-numbing hunts though: (1) hunting all the feathers, (2) opening all the chests. The reward for the former is a pathetic cape, while you won’t even care to complete the latter since frankly you have so much money half-way through the game that yet more money is not incentive enough.

These issues, a lack of persistent challenge, and the occasional control problem mar an otherwise excellent experience.

Bottom line: We strongly recommend playing this game. It’s one you must experience in the year 2009. If you don’t have a console, pick it up for the PC next year. But play it, you must.

Play it to experience the awesome architecture, play it to leap four storeys down and to kill two guards at once, play it to mow down a group of people under your horse, play it to hide bodies in bundles of hay, play it to poison a guard and watch him flail to his death, play it for the stupid Italian-English accent (it grows on you), for the amazing conspiracy theory the games weaves around you... if for nothing else, play it to experience the most satisfying 30-final minutes a game has to offer. It will blow your mind.

Assassin's Creed 2: Dual kill using dual blade

Can you say no to this?

Rating: 8/10

Genre: Action Adventure
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC (2010)
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Distributor: e-Xpress

Sunday, December 20, 2009 - Listen to Free Music!

http://www.grooveshark.comLately I landed into this superb website for listening to free Music. Sorry to be late, as it had been into the web since couple of years.

* Grooveshark is used for searching, streaming, and uploading music free of charge.
* The iTunes like interface makes it eye-candy and also easy to use.
* There is a huge database of songs in its collection. Like 7 millions and increasing!
* Users can upload their own library of music.
* Users can save their favorite songs, albums and playlists and access them from any PC on the web.
* Users can view the libraries, favorites and playlists of other users.
* The site offers one-click widgets for embedding a song, album or playlist to Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon. So sharing with friends is really easy.
* Unlike other music applications it recommends songs based on the similarities in people’s profiles and favorites.
* The process of streaming could not be easier: you simply browse to the site, enter a term in the prominent search bar which takes centre-stage, and press play. Albums or individual songs can be listened to; some albums have limited content, but some well-known ‘records’ are represented accurately.
* If you wanna download a song then you need to pay about $0.99 per song.
* Registration is free and is not required to listen to music on the site. Registration is required to save songs, albums and playlists and to save favorites or embed widgets to Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mass Effect 2 Preview!

Mass Effect 2

Last in the line-up of EA games we got to sample is arguably the most anticipated of the lot – Mass Effect 2. Once again, the build on showcase is the demo from this year’s E3. This was a very short demo with about 20 minutes of game play, which included a couple of NPC conversations and an enemy encounter.
Mass Effect 2

The demo starts off with Shepard and his crew just outside a pub on what appeared to be an alien planet. Traversing through the location, you eventually encounter Garrus Vakarian—the Turian party member from the first Mass Effect game. This counter eventually leads to a battle in which you and your party have a clear advantage from a vantage point, while waves of enemies attempt to crossover a bridge to reach you.
Mass Effect 2

This revealed (or rather confirmed) two of the most striking changes in the game, so far. Weapons now have limited (and collectible) ammo system, which has been used to replace weapons heating system from the first game. Second significant change is the health system which now automatically regenerates over time, effectively eliminating need for bio-gels seen in the first game. Another noteworthy change is additional character animations, especially with the cover system. The battle in the demo was too short and frantic to decide if the additional animation has an effect on actual game play.
Mass Effect 2

Visually, the game looks just like the last one—barring absence of texture pop-ins, which was one of the major technical issue last time around. Now, let’s just hope that the denizens of Mass Effect universe have gone ahead and upgraded their elevator systems with something quicker. The game’s European release is slated for late January next year—so it should hit our shores in early February, 2010.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Smile Effect - Today You Smiled
I don't know what got into my mind and I am posting about this website (blog actually). Its just like I feel great. Surfing this blog is a very good relaxation for me you know, all the time hooked into the internet, facebook. Its just another crazy enjoyable thing about internet you get recharged by new things that comes up.

Ok about the website
Have you ever stopped someone, asked them to smile… then later thought how you may have impacted their life?

I have, and it is a great feeling. I take pictures with my camera of people at random in my town then post them here on my blog.

I give them my card which has the url and tell them to check it out in a couple of days. It is a great feeling.

I hope you can appreciate the bigger picture I’m trying to show… that the only thing separating my smile and their smile is the camera.

Two complete strangers bonding only for that given time for the sake of the others benefit.

Just think about that….
As written by author! I need no more to explanations that this blog has pictures of peoples (anyone, strangers) with smile on their face. I loved the theme of the blog; by watching other smile it also can make you smile.

You know I just can't get the correct word for this blog's idea. This is a brilliant idea.

Although, you can also have your pictures (smiling ones) posted in the blog. Just send your photo entire album of pictures to with a brief description of your photo. Then he ( the blogger) will email you when your pictures are posted in the blog.

Keep on smiling and show your smiling faces to everyone.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins - The Review

Dragon Age: Origins has a lot riding on it. It has been one of the most anticipated games for me, since a few years now. Although I try not to expect too much from a game, I was expecting something special with Dragon Age, owing to its relentless positioning as a "spiritual successor" to the Baldur's Gate series. Baldur's Gate is generally renowned for two things -- its challenging and strategic combat system and its engaging storyline. At the very least, therefore, I was expecting a good combat system and a refreshing, or at least gripping, storyline.

The Blight
Dragon Age: Origins
The Dragon Age universe borrows ideas and culture from various fantasy worlds: Dungeons & Dragons, Dark Eye, and of course mother of all fantasy inspiration – the literary and adapted works of Tolkein. Origins introduces us to this universe through its denizens, their culture and their religion – to that effect the game deals with a phenomenon called the Blight. According to the religious beliefs of the humans of this world, their god, the Maker ruled the world from the Golden City. On behest of the Old Gods, the Tevinter Imperium laid siege to the Golden City in an attempt to usurp the Maker's throne. The siege was a failure but it left the city corrupted; so the Maker banished them for this transgression. Those corrupt are referred to as the Darkspawn and when they return in large numbers led by a corrupted Old God, you get the Blight. This is where an order of elite warriors called The Grey Wardens come in – a response to the threat. You, of course, play one of these wardens.
Be yourself; or not
Dragon Age: Origins
You can choose from three archetype fantasy races – Human, Elf and Dwarf. Humans and Elves can choose between fighter, rogue or the mage class; whereas dwarves can choose either the fighter or the rogue class. In the Dragon Age universe, Dwarves do not get to be mages as they are racially resistant to the effects of Lyrium – the fuel of magic. After choosing your race and class during character creation, the process requires you to select your background story; which in turn determines the "Origins Story". Various combinations of race, class and background yields six unique origin stories.
After customizing you character's appearance, the next stage of character creation is assigning points to your character's six different attributes – strength, dexterity, willpower, magic, cunning and constitution. The starting value of these attributes is factored by your choice of race and class. The next stage in character creation process is selecting starting skills, followed by picking talents (or spells).
The fighter and rogue class have acess to special abilities categorized under talents; whereas mages have acess to a pool of spells. In addition to this, all the classes also have access to another set of abilities called Skills. Talents and Skills are multi-tiered, categorized abilities, which in most cases directly affect the combat prowess of the fighter and rogue class. Mages on the other hand do not use Talents and instead they have access to a set of magic spells.
Of winning friends and influencing people
Dragon Age: Origins
The background and race selected during the character creation will determine your social standing in the game world. This subsequently affects disposition of the world towards you and will also offer a suitable starting point for your game.
A common thread connects the six unique Origins stories: each will invariably lead to an encounter with a veteran Grey Warden and your recruiter. Without spoiling the game for you, the main quest in the game is that as one of the few surviving Grey Wardens in the area, you need to garner support against the Blight from humans, elves and dwarves. Joining you on this venture is a group of ten other adventurers that form your party of companions; however the maximum travelling party size is limited to four.
There is no morality (alignment) system is Dragon Age; however you will face choices that can be placed within a spectrum of good and evil. As seen in games such as Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights 2, there is also a measure of your character's influence over other party members; your group’s behavior towards you will be based on an ‘approval rating’ which factors in both your influence on them as well as the decisions you make when faced with choices, as you adventure. A low rating with a party member will cause him or her to leave your party and in some cases even turn hostile. On the other hand, a high approval rating will give that party member a bonus to one of their attributes. You can also win a party member’s favour by completing their personal quests, or by giving gifts that are found in the game as loot, treasure, or bought from merchants.
Hard to the core
Dragon Age: Origins
The effort it must take to create a tactical combat system is quite evident with Dragon Age. Battle terrain plays a significant role in combat tactics, and along with a combination of skills, talents and spells, the combat system offers a wide variety of options to form a winning strategy during hostile encounters. Spells use the caster's pool of magic energy (or mana) and they come with cool-down timers. Similarly, Talents also have a cool-down timer and they use the character’s stamina instead of magic energy. There are also persistent spells and combat skills that reserve a certain amount of mana or stamina respectively.
I finished the game with a character at level 20 by pursuing the main quest and completing a handful of side-quests – this is not nearly enough to acquire all possible Skills, Talents or Spells. Effectively, you will need to decide on a particular style of play very early in the game and then focus on skills and spells accordingly.
Dragon Age: Origins
Each character class receives one point at level 7 and another at level 14 to select up to two specialization classes. There are four unique specialized classes for each class and they need to be unlocked by reading books or finding trainers, often with quests attached to them. These open up even more interesting options with character builds and overall combat strategy.
Another layer of depth is added to the combat system through implementation of spell combinations. Casting spells in a certain order (or combination) will yield additional benefits, like increased damage. It is quite unlikely that you will be able to explore all these possibilities in a single play-through, so this works as an incentive to replay the game.
The specialized classes that you unlock are carried over to all subsequent play-through. This coupled with a better understanding of the game world, combat mechanics, and items, should help you create a stronger, more focused character build from an early stage. A word of caution – the game dictates a greater level of patience and investment of time that we are generally used to.
Some enemy encounters, especially tougher ones may require you to reload the game a few times to rethink your strategy and approach. To slightly digress: the game recorded my total play time at over 60 hours with only 40 percent of game completed! Levelling may thus be perceived as quite slow after the first four or five levels as after spending 60+ hours in the game, my character was just level 20.
This much can be said about the combat system in Dragon Age Origins: those who revel in a tactical approach to encounters will enjoy playing this game. Origins is unlike any recent Bioware game when it comes to the game’s mechanics; it’s hardcore.
So far so good. The Dragon Age universe does not offer anything revolutionary or even unique; however the game’s designers have done a commendable job of adding a new level of depth using well-known building blocks. While the game comes quite close to delivering on its promise of old-school tactical combat; it disappoints on the story front.
Meet the new plot, same as the old plot(s)
Dragon Age: Origins
The one thing that stood out for me with Baldur's Gate 2 was its main plot – it was both personal and epic. Dragon Age can be summed up as clichéd. It offers the tired storyline of saving the world from imminent destruction. There are instances of déjà vu with the main story and it often feels like old wine in a new bottle. The developers have certainly experimented with presentation and have approached aspects that are RPG staple; the game feels refreshing at that. I believe that with role-playing games, what leaves a lasting impression is your *role* in the game world and how you fulfill that role or achieve your objective.
All the dialogues are spoken, so it spares you from reading reams of text and also makes the overall experience more immersive. However, this is hampered by repetitive and irrelevant character animation during conversations. There also appears be to lack of variety with NPC models as you often encounter characters with striking resemblance to each other.
Technically the game is certainly an improvement for Bioware; however it is not without problems. I experienced consistent system crashes while on the inventory screen. There are a few quest related glitches and crashes that had me scouring through various discussion forums. The game patch and the official support forums were of little help; thankfully this was offset by active community based forums and wikis.
Conclusively, Dragon Age Origins is a pretty good game; however in its endeavor to succeed Baldur's Gate-- it is a battle only half-won.

Rating: 4.25/5

Genre: Role-Playing Game
Developer: Bioware Edmonton
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform:PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - The Review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 header
The movie and video game industries are increasingly being seen as competitors in the entertainment sector. With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 grossing over $550 million in the first five days since its launch – eclipsing the latest Harry Potter’s $394 million and The Dark Knight’s $203.8 million – it is no wonder that a lot of analysts and investors are banking their money on video games.
But what most outsiders and non-gamers fail to see is that video games have increasingly become cinematic experiences by themselves. The original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was incredibly engrossing, and befittingly called by many as an ‘interactive movie’. Bioshock put an amazing storyline in an eerie setting, building ambience and atmosphere for a player – it was like living out a movie. Splinter Cell: Double Agent gave the player moral choices, dictating the path that the story would take. And Uncharted 2: Drake’s Fortune had graphics and voice-acting that would have made the animators at Pixar proud.
Beyond all its controversies, critical acclaim and box-office success, Modern Warfare 2 furthers this concept of ‘interactive cinema’. Developer Infinity Ward (IW) has made what could best be termed as a socio-economic experiment, seeing how far anyone can push boundaries when the audience is directly interacting with a movie and assessing the viability of producing big-budget games over larger-budget movies. On both counts, IW has a winner on its hand with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
At the very base of good cinema lie good direction, good acting and a good plot. Of course, there are several other elements that go into making a high-quality production, but these three core features are of paramount important.
The storyline of Modern Warfare 2 picks up where the first one left off, recapping the events in a title sequence. While there is nothing spectacular in the plot, it’s still an imaginative take on how the next big war could happen: an American mass-murderer in Russia gives Kremlin the opportunity to go for all-out battle.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Over the course of the game, there are several plot twists, intriguing sub-plots and some amazing character-development. The player alternates between the role of U.S. Army Ranger Pvt. James Ramirez and an agent in a multinational special ops unit, named Sgt. Gary ‘Roach’ Sanderson. In your journey, you will meet popular characters from the first game – such as ‘Soap’ MacTavish – and encounter interesting new ones, like a covert agent who goes by the call-sign ‘Ghost’.
The voice-acting for all the characters is top-notch, and you will rarely find better performances in the world of video games. The quality of voice-acting can make or break the suspension of disbelief that is essential to letting yourself get immersed in a game, and Modern Warfare 2 does not let that drop for a second.
The essentials of your objectives in the game are quite clichéd: proving America’s innocence, finding the truth behind the entire war and administering justice. Yet, the way Infinity Ward has handled these tried-and-tested elements is what makes MW2 such a special treat.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Delivering a cinematic experience through a video game can never be an easy task. The biggest obstacle to this is the graphics element. A video game is competing against a live-action film, so it always starts off with a disadvantage when it comes to realism.
The first Modern Warfare caused a lot of jaws to drop with its breath-taking visuals. Indeed, no one can forget the camouflage part of the level in Chechnya. And yet, Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) manages to outdo its predecessor by miles, with both giant leaps in graphics technology and small tweaks in the way elements are portrayed.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The characters and their movements, the textures, the guns and vehicles, the art – Infinity Ward has created a visual feast for your eyes. It’s not often that you will find yourself stopping in the middle of a bridge to admire the view, let alone when there are enemy patrols on your tail and you are trying to keep a low profile.
The lighting and smoke effects in the game have no parallel; from dim light to bright, everything looks just perfect. The snow-based levels even have spots that reflect the light harshly, causing a bit of snow blindness.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Yet, it’s the attention to detail that always grabs you in MW2. A soldier standing for a long time shifts weight from one foot to the other; when sneaking up on someone through bushes, the squad leader ahead of you slowly moves a fallen twig aside lest it snap under your feet and give away position; and the blood splatter when you are hit by a bullet looks frighteningly real!
Modern Warfare 2 is still no substitute for live-action, but there is not another game around which has come as close. And at times, that’s a good thing…
For the past few weeks, the world has been debating the inclusion of a controversial scene in the game, where you play as a terrorist. The elevator doors at an airport slide open, you step out with three of your partners and proceed to mow down everyone in the building with your loaded guns.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Now, this isn’t the first time that a terrorist act has been depicted on screen, or in a video game for that matter. And with games like Carmageddon and Grand Theft Auto, it’s also not the first time you are killing civilians and innocent cops. What is different, though, is that you are playing it from a first-person perspective with this amount of realism. It’s your choice whether to shoot someone or not, and whether to put anyone out of their misery; but the game’s realism goes against MW2 here. It’s almost like the Uncanny Valley effect.
The unsettling aspect of this is really the fact that it’s played from a first-person perspective. You aren’t able to see a third-person character of Tommy Vercetti or Nico Bellic that does the shooting. Even in first person, while you play a character, the other terrorists don’t refer to you by a name, but only by the second-person pronoun of ‘you’. Small things that make a huge difference!
How you look at Infinity Ward’s intentions in including this scene will define your take: It can be looked at as art, pushing a gamer to challenge himself and view a dark side he wouldn’t want to go voluntarily; or it can be looked at as a cheap publicity stunt, garnering ample media and public attention with a controversy that is bound to lead to more sales. What you cannot deny, though, is that this is a scene you won’t be forgetting soon.
What you will take back with you from the airport massacre are the yells and screams carrying above the deafening noise of the gun-fire. The audio element is so critical to the experience of Modern Warfare 2 that it needs to be mentioned separately.
While game-defining tunes have been around for a long time now—Mario’s theme comes to mind first—they are not often crucial to the gameplay. But when you are making a cinematic experience with a game, the background score and the sounds you hear are what will get a gamer’s adrenaline pumping.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Infinity Ward went all-out in this department, hiring renowned multi-Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer for the game’s soundtrack. Zimmer strongly believes that video games are a medium for art, and his efforts show through. A fast-paced score while battling multiple enemies in an urban slum makes you instinctively hold the button to sprint; flat, deep notes greet you when you are looking down the scope of a sniper rifle.
And yet, all of it is so wonderfully gelled into the background that it never dominates the gaming experience, instead only adding to the ambience. These are the little things that add an X factor to a movie and make it great, and Zimmer couldn’t have done a better job in a Steven Spielberg production. The sound that comes from the gun you fire is just as important as the feel of the gun, and MW2 knows that.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The ‘feel’ of a game is talked about often in reviews. It’s an unquantifiable and largely inexplicable term, yet one of the most intuitive aspects that everyone understands easily. This appeal to a base instinct is a remarkable aspect of video games – one that is often experienced with music but not as often with cinema.
There is a ‘feel’ to an iPhone that makes it cool; a ‘feel’ to a Led Zeppelin song that makes it tight; a ‘feel’ to Pavarotti that makes him commanding; a ‘feel’ to a Mercedes that makes it classy. To appeal to this core aesthetic is beyond just difficult, and every instance of anyone or anything doing that is celebrated time and again.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2 packs a punch. It delivers great highs and sombre lows; it gets you involved and makes you care; it challenges your skills and wit; and overall, it goes beyond being just a game. Play the game for its incredible bridging of cinema and games. Play it for its amazing action sequences and addictive gameplay. Play it for the incredible visuals and the inspired soundtrack.
But beyond all that, Modern Warfare 2 has a solid ‘feel’, and that alone makes it a game that no one should miss out on.

Rating: 4.5/5


Genre: First Person Shooter, Action

Developer: Infinity Ward

Publisher: Activision


PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 - Review

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Tomonobu Itagaki has left the building, and yet, the show must go on: what’s left of Tecmo’s Team Ninja studio have gotten together to develop Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 for the PlasyStation 3 console. As expected, development head Itagaki’s departure has had significant effect on some of the key elements of the game.
The Two Ninja Clans
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
You can either look at this game as a sequel to Ninja Gaiden Sigma, which was released on the PS3 in 2007 or you could call it a port of Ninja Gaiden 2, an Xbox 360 exclusive released in June 2008. Whichever way you look at it, this Ninja Gaiden on the PlayStation 3 is a very different beast compared to its Xbox version.
Even though the game retains the dismembering Obliteration moves from Ninja Gaiden 2, blood is a rare sight in Sigma 2. Most enemies (like Spider Ninjas) bleed some kind of glowing liquid of various hues, while others have green blood or oil oozing out of their dismembered corpses. Overall, gore in the game has been drastically toned down.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Additionally, veterans of Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox will find Sigma 2 far easier to beat – almost a walk in the park. Enemy encounters in a chapter (or level) have been reduced and the number of enemies you find at a time on the screen is also low. In spite of more bosses in the game, the battles themselves are far easier to win as the damage done by the player is greater and no longer dependent on which body part is hit.
Ninja Dog
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Playing on ‘Warrior’ difficulty, which is the highest level available during the first play-through, I was able to breeze through the first eight or nine chapters without the need to cast Ninpo (magic) or purchase any healing items. In fact, Ninpo feels more like an added luxury rather than an essential strategic addition to your arsenal, as one can beat the game without ever casting Ninpo.
But there might be a positive to this, depending on where you come from: Ninja Gaiden has always been reputed to be a difficult franchise to play, let alone master, and that has made the games elitist, to a certain extent. With rebalanced difficultly, more people should be able to enjoy the awesomeness that is Ninja Gaiden since the game still retains its tight combat mechanics.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Ryu’s weapons stash has changed a bit compared to Ninja Gaiden 2. There are two ranged weapons available now, including a new one called Howling Cannon. All other ranged weapons from the X360 version have been left out. Simple shurikens are permanently mapped to a button on the gamepad and always available to be thrown in conjunction with any of the other two ranged weapons.
On the other hand, all melee weapons have been retained; additionally, Dabilahro makes a comeback in its new avatar of Enma’s Fang. Upgrading weapons does not cost anything in this version, but it is tightly controlled by the game: Not all Muramasa shops will have the option of upgrading weapons, and the upgrade level is locked with progress of the game.
From the Dojo of Colossal Bosoms
Rachel, the demon huntress from the first Sigma game, makes a comeback as a playable character. Joining forces with her are two other familiar maidens: the ninja Ayane and the shrine maiden Momiji. They each come with their exclusive arsenal – a melee weapon, a ranged weapon, and a Ninpo power – along with the infamous Sixaxis Support.
There is also one level dedicated to each of the three characters, woven into the main storyline. Once you have finished these chapters, that particular character becomes available for the multiplayer co-op mode. These female characters may appear to be frail and even vain; however they are well-designed and can easily hold their own against the enemy horde.
Master Ninja
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Additional content comes in the form of alternate costumes that are available to be unlocked for all the playable characters in the game, including Ryu Haybusa. Also, there are new boss encounters in the game and at least one of them makes a return; apparently not satisfied with the ass-kicking he received in Ninja Gaiden 1.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Visually the game appears to be an improvement over the X360 version. It justifies the 3GB+ installation with visibly improved frame rate. The game can also output graphics at full HD resolution (1080p), something that is not very common on the PlayStation 3. Also, textures appear to be of higher quality and the colors are more vivid. On the flipside, however, there are stray issues with collision detection while in combat.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
After you beat the game on any difficulty, two new game modes are unlocked. ‘Chapter Challenge’ retains all the weapons unlocked during the single-player campaign, along with the upgrades you might have made. The objective is to play through the game once again, one chapter at a time, maximising the Karma score and then uploading the results on the online Leaderboards.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
The other mode is called ‘Team Mission’ and it challenges the player with waves of enemies while being confined to a fixed-sized combat arena. Again, the objective is to rack up Karma points; however, in this mode, you have a partner to help you and effectively share the glory of victory. One can choose their partner to be either A.I. controlled or team up with another player on the PSN network. In addition to the game’s protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa, you can also choose to play or partner with Ayane, Rachel or Momiji.
Teaming up with your partner when casting magic will result in what the game calls “Ultimate Ninpo” – an explosion of epic proportions. If your partner loses all hit-points, you have to rescue him or her; otherwise you will fail that mission.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
At the end of a mission, the game tallies and rates your Karma score and displays breakup of the kill-ratio between you and your partner. From here, you have the option to upload your Karma score, save video of the battle in ‘Ninja Cinema’ or to simply move on to the next mission. There are a total of 35 Team Missions to beat with an increasing level of difficulty.
Playing online was mostly a pleasant experience with only the occasional lag – given the frantic pace of the game, it’s understandable. It usually takes a few minutes for your Karma score to reflect on the Leaderboards; however, sometimes, it takes a very long time. All in all, the game’s net-code is pretty solid and co-op missions are a welcome addition.
Feat of Hundred Slashes
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
If you have not played Ninja Gaiden before due to its challenging combat, we would suggest giving this one a go. Even though this game is not as simple as most of the other beat-’em-ups, Sigma 2 has been rebalanced to favour the player.
Relatively speaking, the game also packs a lot of content – for a first timer, the single player campaign can take about ten hours to complete. After you’ve done that, there are ‘Chapter Challenge’ and ‘Team Mission’ modes to keep you busy for another few hours. At the end of all this, if you are feeling cocky, you could attempt to beat the game at Mentor and subsequently Master difficultly – not simple tasks by any means. If you like collecting game trophies, there are trophies for mastering all four playable characters, their weapons, Ninpo and even some special moves.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Ninja Gaiden is one of the best action game series ever made and if you are apprehensive about investing in this one, you should at least try the demo of Sigma 2 which is available on the PSN store – you may be pleasantly surprised.

Rating: 4/5


Genre: Action, Beat 'em up

Developer: Team Ninja

Publisher: Tecmo, Techmo Koei


PlayStation 3

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Review

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a follow-up release by Naughty Dog to 2007’s runaway hit Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Among Thieves does not add anything significantly different to the series; it continues to be everything that made the first game so much fun, only with a lot more polish. The visuals are slicker than last time, thanks to coupling smoother animation with improved lighting and physics. This game has all the elements you would expect to find in a typical summer action flick – a reluctant hero, camaraderie, betrayal, romance and some over the top set pieces.

This time around, Nathan Drake is on the trail of Marco Polo’s ill-fated return journey from China, in a quest to find the Chintamani Stone and discover the fabled city of Shambala. Joining Drake on his adventure, are two new characters: Harry Flynn, a long time friend and his female associate Chloe Frazer. Making a comeback from the last outing are Elena Fisher and Drake’s most trusted friend, Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan. The game introduces a few more characters as the adventure will take you from Istanbul to the jungles of Borneo, and from the urban streets of Nepal to the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains.

Drake’s Fortune Endures
Just like in the first game, you’ll be solving puzzles and scaling heights as you inch closer to your destination. For combat in the game, it retains a cover-based shooting mechanism coupled with occasional melee bouts. While the use of stealth in the game has been expanded, the system is anything but perfect. In fact, it could use a lot of polishing!

Everything else pretty much remains the same, thankfully, since there was not a lot in the first game that needed fixing. You can still carry only two weapons – a side-arm and a primary weapon – along with a limited number of grenades. Speaking of which, it has become a lot simpler in this game to control the throw of a grenade. There is a decent variety of weapons in Among Thieves, and certain set-pieces are designed tightly around the usage of the right weapon. Platforming remains an integral part of the game, but this time, expert use of dynamic camera angles gives it a more dramatic feel.

High tension, the constantly changing locations and relentless action adds excitement to what would otherwise be a repetitive task of ducking and shooting. The more tranquil parts of the game, which are spent solving puzzles and finding your way around, are nicely filled with well-directed cut-scenes and banter between the game’s characters.

Last Action Hero
Just like an action movie, this game requires suspension of disbelief in order to truly enjoy the roller-coaster ride that it offers. Stage and puzzle design sometimes seem a bit too convenient giving the impression that the ancients designed the place specifically for someone like Drake to access.

During gun-battles, you will be up against what would otherwise be considered overwhelming odds. By the time you are done with the game, you will have destroyed a decent-sized, well-armed battalion backed up with some heavy-duty firepower. So to get the best out of Uncharted 2, you’ll probably have to suspend logical reasoning for the 10-12 hours it takes to finish the game.

Extra Booty
Earning medals by locating hidden treasures and achieving combat-related landmarks will bring greater reward this time around. Each time you earn a medal, the game rewards you with in-game dollars which can be used to unlock bonus content like concept art and behind-the-scenes videos. Majority of this reward will be spent unlocking character models, skins, and weapons for the games multiplayer mode.

The most significant change in Uncharted 2 is the addition of multiplayer game modes – something that was completely absent in the first game. There are both co-operative and competitive game modes available for online play. Co-operative game mode supports a maximum of three players with missions similar to the ones you find in the single-player campaign. The four competitive modes with a maximum limit of ten players are: Deathmatch, Plunder, Elimination and Chain Reaction. All four of them are essentially variations of traditional multiplayer games such as capture-the-flag and last man standing.

Among Friends
The multiplayer portion of the game is updated using a content streaming method that we often seen in an MMORPG. The game patch and online updates collectively took a few attempts to execute and about 20 minutes to download. After logging on to the server, you have options to either join an existing public game or host a private game with gamers from your contact list.

We had little luck playing online – each time the game took a few minutes before finding an appropriate match. On a couple of occasions, we were kicked out of the game right after it started! This could very well be a case of bad fortune since according to the server stats, there were over 70,000 users connected at that time.

After a few attempts, we did manage to get into a game and stay there. The game selected for us by the server was a co-operative mode called Plunder, which is essentially capture the flag with ancient artifacts. We did not experience even the slightest lag during the 30-odd minutes we spent playing the game on our 512kbps connection. Taking down enemies, rescuing your teammates and completing the game objective, all earns you experience points that goes towards increasing your character’s level. Usage of certain weapons is restricted by this level. Along with experience points, the game also rewards you with currency just like in the single-player mode.

As bonus online features, the game allows you to save video grabs of your online matches on the PS3 hard drive and comes with a built-in support for Twitter.

X Marks the Spot
Overall, Uncharted 2 is a fun-filled proposition; however, it is not a perfect game by any stretch of imagination. We noticed several issues with A.I. scripts of both the enemies and A.I.-controlled companions. On occasions, we experienced game crashes and graphical errors. Also, the set-pieces are so tightly choreographed that once you have finished the game, playing it again on a higher difficulty adds very little to the challenge. So the game offers very little in terms of replay value, at least at the campaign level.

However, Among Thieves comes highly recommended even if it is only for the 10-12 hours of gameplay the excellent single-player mode offers. The game is a design success due to well-paced sequences of gun battles, platforming and puzzle solving. Game-play is further supported by cut-scenes with the right kind of lighting, camera work, voice acting, and fitting background score. The end result is something that has all the drama you would expect from a Hollywood movie.

If you own a PlayStation 3, Uncharted: Among Thieves (along with Drake’s Fortune) should be on top of your must-buy list. In fact, we say Uncharted 2 is the reason for the season!

Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform:PlayStation 3

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

God of War III: Demo -First Impressions

available to a limited number of people last week, and we can tell you that it’s got everything that has made the series such a big hit with the fans, times three.

The demo starts with what appear to be Titans laying siege to Mount Olympus; and they are accompanied by Kratos! Impeding Kratos in his quest are a ton of undead soldiers, harpies, a centaur and the god Helios.

As you would have expected, the game has improved lighting, higher quality textures and use of particles to add more zing to the weapons. Speaking of weapons, we did not notice any weapons that are completely new – all of them are just variation of the arsenal we have already seen in the series. Weapons like the Blade of Athena have retained the familiar set of combos; however, we did notice some new grappling moves.

One thing that really stood out in the demo is that God of War has gotten bloodier… a lot bloodier… like ‘Itchy the Killer’ bloody! Kratos bathes in the blood of his fallen enemies as he goes around ripping through their flesh and bones. [Spoiler Alert] The QTE finishing moves have attained a whole new level of gruesomeness, especially when you see Kratos ripping off Helios’ head in graphic (excuse the pun) detail.

Looks like it’s going to be a relentless and bloody month for PlayStation 3 owners come March 2010. We can’t wait!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Making your URL Short

Do you have problem typing or memorizing long URLs(Uniform Resource Locator; ie, then there are some websites that can help you shorten them. Here are two of them that I think are most widely used.

1. Tinyurl
Its the one from the past. It had been used enormously and still used. But now a days even the tinyurl is gettng hard to get because of its complexity. '', this is what it makes of

2. Alturl
I like this one to tinyurl. '', this is what it makes of That's why Alturl is better than tinyurl (see the difference?). However shortening the url is not just it. It has 'preview transition' and 'traffic counter'. The preview transition shows what the short url directs to. Then the traffic counter shows how many viewers has passed through the short url.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Torchlight demo can now be downloaded for free on Steam

It can be difficult to get gamers to shell out money for a new title that they know nothing about. The best way is to let them try, then buy. In that vein, Runic Games has just made the demo of its recently released Torchlight available on Steam.

Torchlight is an action-RPG (role playing game) PC title, played from a top-down perspective. Most early reviews have compared it to Diablo, saying fans of the game are bound to love this new adventure. In fact, Runic was formed by Diablo veteran Max Schaefer.

Our friendly neighbourhood Wikipedia gives a quick low-down on the plot: “In the fantasy world that serves as the setting of Torchlight, Ember is a mysterious ore which has the power to imbue people and items with magical power. The mining boomtown called Torchlight is built above a rich vein of Ember, and adventurers are drawn there seeking the magical substance and the enchanted items it creates. However, as the player character explores the dungeons below Torchlight, they discover that Ember has a corrupting influence which led to the fall of past civilizations and endangers those who use it in the present. Discovering that the dungeon is a ‘layer cake of ruined civilizations’, the player must delve deep below and eventually face the villain who is the source of the corruption.”

PC World has an awesome article titled ’10 reasons you must play torchlight’.

Windows 7 is at least a worthy successor to Windows XP

The launch of the Windows 7 this week had the heart pounding of Microsoft and why not, their Vista made their market from 90 % to 85%.

Designed for the touch screen but works on any screen of quite good system. It's not a what-if scenario. Windows 7, set to arrive on new PCs and as a shrink wrapped upgrade on October 22, has a minimalist feel and attempts to fix annoyances old and new. In contrast, Windows Vista offered a flashy new interface, but its poor performance, compatibility gotchas, and lack of compelling features made some folks regret upgrading and others refuse to leave Windows XP.

Windows 7 is hardly flawless. Some features feel unfinished; others won't realize their potential without heavy lifting by third parties. And some long-standing annoyances remain intact. But overall, the final shipping version I test-drove appears to be the worthy successor to Windows XP that Vista never was.

See the full review here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Download Youtube Videos without any software!
This website must have been there for long time, I don't know. The question is how didn't I know it before. I recently got this website or a tool to download youtube videos with no hassle to install the softwares nor copy/paste.

First you goto the youtube website or search youtube video. Then select the video you want to download and just add 'pwn' before '' to make it '' in the address bar of your web browser.Then it takes you to the pwnyoutube website where you can download the video either on .flv(low quality) or .mp4(high quality) format. It's simply as that.
Try it out yourself!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 ready for download, with Windows 7 and accelerometer support

The Mozilla 3.6 Beta 1 is ready for download.

The interface has obviously gone through a lot of work, as our first experience showed a remarkable difference in the current FF 3.5 we are running and the 3.6 beta. The start-up from a cold boot has gotten much faster – still not as fast as IE or Google Chrome, but it is no longer a noticeable delay.

There is some more eye-candy in the form of preview panes in the default Ctrl+Tab scrolling. A small preview pane, much like what you would get with Alt+Tab in Windows, shows up with all your tabs in it. Quite handy, but not a feature that wowed us given that other extensions were already doing this.

Windows 7 support
“For those who missed the news, in Windows 7, some applications can now show their tabs directly on the Windows task bar, allowing for easier tab management. On a personal note, I absolutely hate this feature: Applications added tabs to reduce the clutter on the task bar, and Windows now find a way to sneak them in nonetheless!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Live your life and let others live!(in harmony)

I hadn't had some good new for you guys lately so coudn't write for you. Must I was much busier with my real life. Ahh! here is a news from Miley Cyrus.

“I'm done tryin' to please, I ain't livin' for tabloids, I am living for me,” the 16-year-old singer and star of Disney's hit TV show Hannah Montana sang in a “Goodbye Twitter” rap posted on YouTube.

Cyrus, a busy Tweeter with a following of more than one million people, made headlines on last Thursday by suddenly quitting Twitter, a popular microblogging site which lets users from celebrities to businesses and politicians post messages .

“The rumors are true, I deleted my Twitter,” she sang, saying she had started “tweeting about pimples”, had stopped “living for moments” and instead had “started living for people.”

“Everything that I type, Everything that I do, some gossip site makes it news,” she added.

This mess in her life is unbearable for her and only found quitting twitter is the right way.

However not long after she quit the fans chanted to re-open her twitter account and you will see how much it will last.

Any way living a public life where others get to know what ever you do for entertainment must have been difficult.

At last let it give me some guts to remove my facebook account.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Opera 10 with... Turbo!!!
Ok you firefox and chrome guys have you heard it or not but probably the worlds fastest internet browser has just got even more faster, by the release of 'Opera 10 with turbo'.
What it has?
* Opera 10 utilizes a new page compression technology that helps Web surfers on 3G or slow Wi-Fi connections browse the Web at “broadband-like” speeds. Opera boasts that Opera Turbo enables the browser to pull pages at 8X faster than its rivals when dealing with slow connections.

Opera 10 allows users to resize a browser tab by pulling it down, which shows a thumbnail image of the page. This is a handy tool for power users that keep multiple tabs open at a time, and would like the benefit of “at a a glance” tab identification. These “Visual Tabs” are on top of the browser by default, but can be moved to the sides or bottom.

Opera 10 now has a more attractive interface than previous versions.

* Other tweaks include a more flexible Speed Dial bookmarking grid, 51 language spell checker, improved e-mail client (with threaded conversations), Opera Link synchronization, and 40-percent faster page loading over Opera 9.6.

Something Missing?
Still I find some of the big websites like google, windows live mail, even blogger fails to shows the interface as it looks on the firefox or internet explorer.

In this war of browsers opera has lacked to the 5th place. Is Opera 10 worth better? Why not give it a chance, try it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 - Share everything - A review
Just another version of social networking websites around you is Flixya. It lets you share videos, photos and blog. You can add friends to your network and comment on each other.

Not that exciting is it??

Here the thing that might excite you a bit, you can monetize it and it give 100% ad revenue. Don't take it wrong for if it has its own ad service; its from adsense (aww, for someone). They just publish your ads and not take a penny from it.

To add more things: You can upload your own video or attach other videos from google video, youtube, dailymotion etc, upload you own picture ( you can't attach them from other websites), and you own blog if you have seen enough of blogger and wordpress.

Everthing sounds quite well huh!

See the website and at least go to 2 videos or photos. It would be sun rising from west if you didn't see the comments like "hit+", "I like it"(you will know the meaning of it, once you use it) and similar comments. What are those?? They are for the ads to be simple. The network in which one is exchanges the hits or impressions for the ads and sometimes clicks them too.

This website was not created for this purpose, but peoples find different uses you see.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Find out when you die!

Worried that your cold revenge plans won't come to fruition before you shake off that mortal coil? A new Web site,, developed by researchers and students at Carnegie Mellon University, says they can help you plan your schedule accordingly.

The tool allows users to query publicly available data from the United States and Europe, and compare mortality risks by gender, age, cause of death and geographic region. The Web site not only gives the risk of dying within the next year, but it also ranks the probable causes and allows for quick side-by-side comparison between groups.

So if you are a mid-50s woman in Pennsylvania and want to know who is more likely to die next year from breast cancer, you or a woman of the same age in the United Kingdom, now you can find out. Morbid, but people like to worry so this should be a big hit.

"This is the only place to look," said Paul Fischbeck, site developer and professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy (EPP) at Carnegie Mellon. "It turns out that the British woman has a 33 percent higher risk of breast cancer death. But for lung/throat cancer, the results are almost reversed, and the Pennsylvania woman has a 29 percent higher risk."

"Most Americans don't have a particularly good understanding of their own mortality risks, let alone ranking of their relevant risks," said David Gerard, a former EPP professor at Carnegie Mellon who is now an associate professor of economics at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.

The researchers found that beyond infancy, the risk of dying increases annually at an exponential rate. A 20-year-old U.S. woman has a 1 in 2,000 (or 0.05 percent) chance of dying in the next year. By age 40, the risk is three times greater; by age 60, it is 16 times greater; and by age 80, it is 100 times greater (around 1 in 20 or 5 percent). "The risks are higher, but still not that bad," Gerard said. "At 80, the average U.S. woman still has a 95 percent chance of making it to her 81st birthday."

When it comes to dying within the year, it turns out there are dramatic differences between comparative groups:

* For every age group, men have a much higher annual death risk than women. For 20 year olds, the risk is 2.5 to three times greater. Men are much more prone to accidents, homicides and suicides, and the risk of dying from heart disease is always higher for men than women, peaking in the 50s when men are 2.5 times at greater risk of dying. However, women's cancer risks are actually higher than men's in their 30s and 40s.
* For heart disease and cancer, U.S. blacks have a much higher death risk than U.S. whites. Overall, blacks in their 30s and 40s are twice as likely to die within the year as their white counterparts. Only for suicides, do whites consistently exceed blacks, where whites typically have two to three times greater chances of dying.
* For 20-year-old males, 80 percent of their death risks are from accidents, homicides and suicides. By age 50, however, these causes make up less than 10 percent and heart disease is No. 1, accounting for more than 30 percent of all deaths.
* People living in Western Europe have a greater risk of dying from breast and prostate cancer than people living in the United States, but people in the United States have a greater chance of dying from lung cancer than people living in Western Europe.
* Obesity-related death risks are much higher in the United States than in Europe. For example, the annual diabetes death risk in the United States is three times that found in northern Europe for 60 year olds.

"It's much easier to make a persuasive argument when you have the facts to back it up, and this site provides all sides with the facts," Fischbeck said. "We believe that this tool, which allows anyone to assess their own risk of dying and to compare their risks with counterparts in the United States and Europe, could help inform the public and constructively engage them in the debate."

And one more thing to add, till I wrote this post I could not open the website. Its because its god damn packed (Soo much traffic) I could not get in.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to make good conversations on Omegle?

When the Omegle first launched then everyone stormed into it, everyone were so excited. I too was excited for what was it. Talking to strangers even with their name as "stranger" was quite interesting. I got to talk with some pretty good strangers and had long conversations sometimes. But now as the days grew older the long conversations seems to fade away.

Now a days;

Stranger: hi
Stranger: have you checked Xanka on Bebo its fabulous
Stranger: they add new games every minute!
Stranger: sorry got to go now

This is the one I got recently and more
Stranger: My name is Claudia, u can see me here live on cam Im the first blonde

Omegle has now become home for spams. In every 10 conversations about 8 starts with these spams.

So how to make a good conversation on Omegle?
1. When you see the conversation starting with the above like sentences then just disconnect from the chat.
2. Just start with a simple "Hi" for instance. Even try this one "My name is ... what is ur name?", it might sound a bit geekish but it worked.
3. Don't wait too long for a response. If there is no respose then you can disconnect from the chat and start a new one.
4. If you get the response try talking about the possible topics of interest. Just get any random topic, and do change it if the conversation is getting boring.
5. Listen to what your stranger says and reply to it honestly as necessity. But don't give out ur personal information just yet.
6. Even making fun of your stranger is not bad for running a good conversation, though there is no gurantee the conversation will be long.
7. Can you disguise peoples? Try it to the stranger. If you are a man then try talking in woman ascent. I found talking as a woman is a good way for long and good conversations.
8. If the time comes where one of you has to go or you are ready to exchange contact information, think about starting with an email address.

Try them and they are not bad for health.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Skeweezelt - Convert any weblink to a mobile-friendly page

While Opera Mini is a great browser and serves all the required purposes, the problem with having a Windows Mobile interface is that for a lot of applications, links will still open in Internet Explorer by default.

Smartphone users are painfully aware of the shortcomings of IE, the biggest of which is opening a full size Web page.

Programmer John Cody of OmniSoft got tired of going through the same on his handset and decided to create a simple tool that should be put onto every single WinMob phone without a second thought.

The idea is simple: If you're opening any link - be it from an email in Outlook or from an RSS feed - Skweezelt will offer to compress the page to a mobile friendly layout, making it easy on your Internet Explorer.

However, you can still opt to view the original page if you so desire. When you click on a link, the application pops up and asks you whether you want to "Skweezelt". Choosing 'Yes' will perform the appropriate compression, while 'No' takes you to the default page as-is.

Now, installing Skweezelt is a bit of a tricky issue, as there's no CAB fire for the same. It requires a few simple changes in the the Windows Mobile registry, and we advise you do the same only if you're comfortable with it. Additionally, don't forget to back up the registry.

Thankfully you can see the detailed instructions on Omnisoft's forum, and even get replies to any trouble you may encounter.

Still, Skweezelt is definitely worth the one-time installation hassle: The page loads quicker, you save on bandwith, and it's easier to read. It's simply great!

Platforms: Windows Mobile
Price: Free

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Things that you didn't know about Gmail

With just two simple sentences at the end of an email, you can now eliminate the ‘Sponsored Links’ that show up on the side of an email in your inbox.

The sentences were based on the logic laid forth by blogger Joe McKay, who wrote in a blog post on his site that all you need to do is mention catastrophes or tragedies in your mail for Gmail to not put up ads.

“Google does not use humans to read your email, only computers. These computers search for keywords that trigger the advertisements, however, if they happen to find a catastrophic event or tragedy Google errs on the side of good taste and removes the ads altogether,” McKay wrote.

While McKay’s suggestions were a bit too offensive, the guys at Lifehacker came up with their own phrases that were ‘safe’ to send to anyone.

So all you need to do is add these two sentences at the end of an email: “I enjoy the massacre of ads. This sentence will slaughter ads without a messy bloodbath.”


“Those two simple (and innocent) sentences at the end of an e-mail appear to consistently block Gmail's sponsored ads for us. We've tested e-mails of varying lengths because Joe remarked that he found that there needs to be a ratio of one ad-blocking word for every 167 normal words, but so far, we haven't seen those sentences fail,” Lifehacker wrote.

McKay also notes how to disable the bar at the top of your inbox, which displays sponsored links. A lot of our tech-savvy readers might already know this one, but the Sponsored Links bar can be turned off simply through the Gmail settings itself.

Go to your settings page, click on ‘Web Clips’ and uncheck the box for “Show my web clips above the Inbox”.

That’s it! You now have an ad-free Gmail inbox.

Of course, Mozilla Firefox users could always just use the AdBlockPlus extension and disable all of the annoying sponsorship nonsense directly…