Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Have you seen the Opera Unite? It really Rocks.

Been long that opera had been recommending me to upgrade my Opera 10 to 10.10. Today I just gave it a go. And holy cow, it was all worth it. There is a new menu on the Panels name "unite". The file sharing feature, Fridge, Media Player, Messenger, Photo Sharing and a WEB SERVER.

The last one caught my eyes. WTF! my computer a server?? Hell Yeah. I cannot get the perfect word to describe the New Opera Unite. Just fabulous, wonderful. The server did worked fine too. I loved this part very much.

I was a little pinched with the media player that when I play a song another song starts to play. Even if I stop it it doesn't stops. And I need to go to the playing song and stop it in there. Must have been a bug but the interface is really good.

Oh sorry not to tell you, the media player plays songs from your computer and can be shared with your friends on Opera(not any others). Also the messenger feature is available to only Opera users. For Yahoo!, MSN would have been a great boon. Anyway no problem with those.

The file sharing feature is also great. I don't know if my computer need to be ON to download the shared file from other computer which I suppose must be. It must be like your computer is a file server now...

There is also a Fridge menu. I could not figure out what it does exactly because till  now I have no friends on Opera. They say its for notes that your friends or family writes for you like "Lunch on 9am". Must be a good application to connect and help friends.

And what is this??? More applications?? There are loads of Opera Unite applications over there. Oh I can't get to them all now. I will be writing about them time to time.

If you have used Opera Unite share with us some worthy applications. I saw the webcam there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dante’s Inferno - Game Review

Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno had couple things going for it, way back when it was first announced. The most striking thing about this project was that it was going to be loosely based on a 14th Century poetry that was penned by one man’s imagination, fuelled by his faith and fear. Also, the development team working on the game is made up of the same guys that gave us Dead Space; which for my money is the most exciting game to come out of EA since a long time. Clouds of disappointment started looming when EA first presented the game-play video.

Then after getting a chance to play the E3 code, it was pretty clear that Dante’s Inferno is going to be a God of War clone. This of course is great news for those who swear by God of War’s game-play mechanics. As a follow up to Dead Space, it is very sad to know that they spent the last few months creating a cash-cow for the publisher. The premise of the game was always going to make the game a tough design challenge. However, I was expecting Visceral Games to at least try something different with this game, and although the game is not bad, the potentially deep premise is lost in the chaos of frantic combat.

Dante’s Inferno

For an action game, Dante’s Inferno still has a pretty deep storyline, and Dante’s encounters with consequences of his own deeds are some of the best parts of the game. The game’s story will take the player through the Nine Circles of Hell and on to the final encounter with the well-hung Prince of Darkness. Dante makes this journey to rescue the soul of his beloved Beatrice, from the clutches of Lucifer. Character of Virgil from the original works makes an appearance in the game as Dante’s guide through the underworld.

Dante’s Inferno

It would have been nice to get more than two weapons; however the combat system is still fairly deep. Death’s Scythe is the only melee weapon in the game and for ranged combat the player carries a holy cross that fires projectiles. Souls left behind by dead enemies and retrieved from special containers are used to purchase upgrades. Player can earn two distinct types of experience points—holy and unholy. The holy path mainly focuses on enhancing attacks made using the Holy Cross; whereas unholy experience improves skills with the Scythe.

Throughout the game, player gets to decide whether to punish or absolve an enemy. Choosing to punish will be rewarded by unholy experience and absolving gets you holy energy. There are also encounters with famous people from history and from Dante’s personal life. These encounters l reward players with bonus experience points. New skills are unlocked as the player earns experience points and these upgrades are purchase by spending souls.

Dante’s Inferno

The developers have made up a little for the lack of weapons with the addition of Relics and Spells. Relics are found throughout the game, often in obscure locations, and equipping these gives the player additional bonuses. Spells are unlocked at regular intervals throughout the game, most of them during special encounters. Usage of spells is linked to the player’s magic reserve and these can also be upgraded by investing souls.

So between the two weapons, spells and combos, there are plenty of ways to cause destruction in the game. I really liked the combo system because it lets you seamlessly flow from one combo to another and even between the two weapons. Combat can be a lot of fun as you switch between the two weapons and spells to rack up combos with an absurd hit-count (my finger gave up after 300 hits). Building up the combo meter also fills up a special bar which can be unleashed for substantial attack bonus.

Dante’s Inferno

Between the frantic battles, the game slows down the pace by using standard elements like platforming, puzzles, treasure hunt and cut-scenes. The narration and storytelling is pretty good, but the essence of the underlying story does not meld with the game-play. The combat and story are both good in their own rights; however I feel that the two together do not do justice to each other.

The game lasts for about eight to ten hours, depending on how quickly finger-fatigue sets in. Beating the game unlocks the highest difficulty level and a challenge mode. This also unlocks New Game+ mode, giving you the opportunity to max-out with the holy and the unholy paths. This is also an opportunity to collect any Relics or NPC encounters that you might have missed during the first play-through. The developers have already announced a DLC that will add multiplayer mode to the game and will come bundled with a challenge/level editor.

Dante’s Inferno

If you are looking only for mindless action and can get past the fact that this game is a GoW clone, then you will probably enjoy this game more than I did. If you are looking for something special from the developers, then the next best hope is probably Dead Space 2.

Rating: 7.0/10

Genre: Action, Hack ‘n’ Slash
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Studio: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Distributor: Milestone Interactive, Redington

*Reviewed on Xbox 360

Sunday, February 14, 2010

E-Cards for your Valentine

A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.  ~Latin Proverb

Anywhere in the world you are and even your love one's are far away why not send them some real flowers and chocolates?? Also have a nice  valentine card for 'em. Here are the list of sites for the E-valentine Cards.


This is a Nepali Ecards site. It has both flash and java based ecards, also plain picture ecards are also available. The java based ecards have some great functions and you customize them(rain, water drops, fire, etc) as you like, but use them artistically not they can be real messy. You can also add the tunes in the card but only some selected ones.

Another Nepali website for Ecards. This one has the Flash versions of E-cards. Some of the greatest quotes for your valentine can be found here(though you can always the search the web).

These are the ones I recommend to you all. The top two are the international ones and the 3rd, 4th are Nepali websites that are worth mentioning.

Go wish you valentine!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dell launches an ultra-portable gaming notebook, the Alienware M11x

Dell Alienware M11x is an ultraportable gaming notebook

You no longer need bulky gaming PCs on your desk, or SFF machines to lug to your nearest BYoC gaming camp; that is if Dell has its way. Dell has just released its new gaming laptop - the Alienware M11x. What makes the Alienware M11x so special is that it is the first ultraportable gaming notebook, and, Dell claims the world’s most portable gaming machine. Under its hood you have an Intel Core 2 Duo processor clocked at 1.3GHz, the CPU is supported by an NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M graphic chip. The Dell will also allow you to switch between graphic chips:  If you do not require high-end graphics and speed, maybe you are just writing an email instead, you can just hit a switch and run on a lower-power GPU, for a longer battery life. This process does not require a logout and will take less than two seconds, Dell assures us.

Dell Alienware M11x

The notebook weighs about 2kg and offers a battery life of around 6 hours. Thankfully, the hard drive is a 7,200 RPM unit, which should go a long way to alleviate IO bottelenecks The Dell Alienware M11x features a LED backlit display of resolution 1366x768.

Dell launches the Alienware M11x

The Dell Alienware M11x will be offered in Cosmic Black and Lunar Silver colours with its price ranging from $799 to $1000.

Here are the complete specs of the Dell Alienware M11x:
* Processor: Core 2 Duo SU7300 clocked at 1.3 GHz speed
* Memory: Memory is expandable up to 8GB DDR3 at 1066HMz
* Hard disk: Optional 500 GB Hard disk at 7,200 RPM
* Battery: Battery life of 6.5 – 8 hrs.
* Weight: Less than 4.5 pounds.
* Display: White LED backlit display features a 720p resolution of 1366x768.
* GPU: 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M graphics card which enables 720p gaming at 30 fps.
* The 1.3MP webcam and digital microphone.

Facebook New Design Rolls Out

There had been plenty of groups and fan pages in facebook supporting one goal "changing the theme of facebook". Not quite as expected but still worthy facebook new design has rolled out for limited users as it will be later supplied to all.

Facebook has been testing out the new profile design for the past five months but for the first time ever, they have released the new full site design.

The first noticeable change is a complete removal of the left-hand sidebar. Instead all of the links have been moved to a wider sidebar on the right hand side which appears to be double the size of the original. The applications have been moved to two different locations in the header and to the right hand sidebar.

There is a new drop-down menu in which users can view all of their applications. It’s not that great though if you have hundreds of applications installed as it takes a fair amount of time to browse through the applications.

The top of the newsfeed now displays links to the publisher box on the new profile. This enables quick access for posting new notes, new photos, new videos and sharing links with your friends.
There is now a new friends page. While it is not substantially different the friend lists have been moved from the right hand side to the left hand side. The width has also been expanded to accommodate the new site design.
As for the limited users only, I have not got to use this new facebook in my username but in my friends id it works. And the simple and innovative design is cleaner and much simplified with added features. In coming days facebook will be providing this service to more users (probably all) hopefully please mine be faster.

For furthur details visit Facebook Blog

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mass Effect 2 - Review

BioWare continues the chronicles of Commander Shepard, humanity’s poster child in the science fiction world of Mass Effect. The sequel has one of the more ominous starts to a game with you and your ship being blown to bits. Cerberus—the alleged bad guys from the first game, recover what is left of Sheppard’s remains and spends two years and truckloads of money to resurrect the Commander. Cerberus shares a common enemy with Sheppard and they have a mission for you — saving the universe from Reavers, the antagonist alien race from the first game. When you think about it, the main plot is not a lot different from the first game. The only thing that has changed in the sequel is that your character will be aligned with Cerberus and not the Alliance.

The big thing about Mass Effect 2 (ME2), at least for me, was that you could import your character from the first part and continue with it in the sequel. This for me is something of a novelty for a console RPG. Unfortunately, an imported character’s experience level is reset at the onset and you pretty much start from scratch. My level 46 Shepard was reduced to a level two character and apparently the highest level you can start the game with is level five; that is if you import a level 60 character. Perhaps to avoid a riot of angry gamers in Edmonton, BioWare decided to give at least some bonus for importing - by way of credits, research resources, and basic weaponry.

Since Cerberus spent a lot of time and money on putting your pieces together, they pretty much own your ass and the player is not given a choice about working for the people with whom he has fought in the past. The consolation is that it’s for the greater good of preventing a cosmic disaster of epic proportions. And besides it could have been worse; you could be working for the Geth. Inspite of the catastrophe at the end of the first game the existence of the Reapers still not officially accepted; so Cerberus is preparing to wage a secret war and Sheppard is their newest recruit. In the first game Reapers used Saren as their pawn and this time it’s a race elusive aliens known as the Collectors

A bulk of the game is about building up a team for an assault on the Collector base. The best thing about Mass Effect 2 is that you get to assemble a team of ultimate bad-asses from across the cosmos. You can recruit up to eleven members for your team; however this seems a bit excessive since there isn’t enough in the core game play to effectively accommodate all the characters. The recruitment missions and the side-quests of each member are short, quick-fixes. The plotline lacks the steady development like it did in the first game. The upside is that Mass Effect 2 has a much more dramatic climax with multiple possible outcomes. The sequel has inherited engaging the storytelling from the first game, all thanks to robust voice acting, a decent script, use of dynamic camera and interactive cutscenes. Even though narration in Mass Effect 2 is an improvement over the first game, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Visually, this game is much richer than its predecessor due to improved texture and lighting, and this further enhances the story presentation.

There are a couple of major changes in the combat system, like use of ammo system instead of weapon-heating and introduction of auto-healing, which means that the most common use of medi-gel (healing item) is to revive fallen party members. Mass Effect 2 has also completely done away with weapon proficiencies, grenades and mines. A significant addition to the weapon’s system is heavy weaponry that can be very effective at turning the tide of battle. Unfortunately, the cover system is still inconsistent and AI controlled party members continue to suck at finding cover.

When you think about some of the changes in the game system, you begin to see a pattern. Most of the major gripes that players had with Mass Effect have not been improved on, but rather they have been completely eliminated. The suspiciously long elevator rides have been replaced by a loading screen; Mako (the planetfall vehicle from the first part) does not make an appearance in ME2 and it has no replacement. The cumbersome inventory screen has also been completely eliminated and instead missions start with a load-out screen, mostly limiting your choice of arsenal on a mission. I completed about five planetary exploration missions and none of those had anything to write home about. ME2 has a taken a different approach to resource gathering. Activating a planet on the Galaxy Map brings up a 3D model of the planet, which can be used to scan the surface for valuable metals. This is essentially a mini-game that uses Left-Trigger to initiate scanning and right trigger to send a probe to collect the resources. I found this to be a tedious exercise; so between the two games, I am not sure which system is better.

Gathering of resources is not something that can be completely ignored as the game requires huge quantities of metals for upgrade research. And even though upgrades are not necessary for combat, having them has a significant impact on the game’s ending. Due to this, upgrades in Mass Effect 2 are not easy to come by and they require a lot of credits and metals.

 After you have successfully gathered most of your team and gained their loyalty, the game really starts to get interesting. Unfortunately, by this time you are nearing the end of the game and the best is saved only for the last few hours. After finishing the main quest, the game continues and gives you the opportunity for exploration of completing side-missions. Alternately, you can start a New Game+ with additional bonuses. From the main menu of the game you can access the Cerberus Network, which is a fancy name for EA’s DLC distribution system. This requires a redeem code to unlock (or a toll of 1200 MS Points) and since we did not receive a code with the review copy, we really could not explore the system. This was kind of depressing because we could not download the free day-one DLC or the Blood Dragon armor from Dragon Age Origins.
Just like the first game, Mass Effect 2 is not particularly impressive; however it’s not a bad game either. With the sequel you will find more of the same with a coat of polish - a trademark EA release. As mentioned earlier, many of the issues from the first game have not been effectively addressed in the sequel. So if you enjoyed the first game, there is a good chance that you will feel the same way about Mass Effect 2. As long as you are not expecting anything revolutionary or radically different, you should find ME2 a worthwhile experience.

Rating: 8.0/10

Genre: RPG, Third person shooter
Platforms*: PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox 360
Studio: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Distributor: Excel Home Videos (PC), Redington (Xbox 360)

*Reviewed on Xbox 360

PC System Requirements

OS: Windows XP SP3 / Windows Vista SP1 / Windows 7
Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent AMD CPU
Memory: 1 GB RAM for Windows XP / 2 GB RAM for Windows Vista and Windows 7
Graphics: 256 MB (with Pixel Shader 3.0 support)
DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c August 2008
Hard Drive: 15 GB
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Supported Chipsets: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or greater; ATI Radeon X1600 Pro or greater. Please note that NVIDIA GeForce 7300, 8100, 8200, 8300, 8400, and 9300; ATI Radeon HD3200, and HD4350 are below minimum system requirements. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required.

OS: Windows XP SP3 / Windows Vista SP1 / Windows 7
Processor: 2.6+ GHz Cure 2 Duo Intel or equivalent AMD CPU
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, or better recommended
DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c August 2008
Hard Drive: 15 GB
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible