Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dragon Age: Origins- Awakening - Review

Dragon Age Origins Awakening is the expansion to, and also what appears to be, the final chapter in the Grey Wardens Origins story. The story picks up after the Grey Warden slays the Archdemon and effectively brings an end to the Blight. However, the Darkspawn hordes continue to endure and once again the Grey Warden is called upon to investigate and end this threat. What’s different this time around is that there are reports of raids on human lands that are led by a Darkspawn that can actually talk. To complete this investigation, the Grey Warden is sent to the northern lands of Amaranthine to take helm of Vigil’s Keep.

Warden’s Keep redux

To their credit, Bioware has made significant addition to the character development side of things. The expansion has six new specialization classes and over 50 spells and talents. It also adds the ability for the player to craft runestones, along with new recipes for potions, poisons, traps and salves. The most welcome addition to crafting is Stamina Draught, which recovers a character’s stamina pool. On the flip-side, crafting runes is a tedious and boring process. Another significant addition is the ability to redistribute skill and attribute points of the playing character as well as all the other part members. It would have been great to see Bioware fit this feature in the original campaign as this freedom to tweak party member’s abilities significantly raises a member’s utility in a party.
The new abilities and specialization classes become available beyond character level 20 and they raise a character’s ability to epic proportions. On the other hand, the enemies do not scale up according to the party’s abilities and due to this combat is a cakewalk compared to Origins. Significantly scaled down difficulty means that it takes much less time to beat the game and the entire expansion has about 10 -15 hours of game-play. When compared with 50- 60 hours worth of game-play in the original game, Awakening comes out as too short even for an expansion pack. This difference in the ratio between new content and actual game-play makes plot development seem rushed.

No time to chat

The pace of party member’s character development is similar to speed-dating and the player is inundated with gold and magical items of ungodly proportions. What emerges out of this is that Bioware has modified its original plan for the franchise and are shifting towards more fast-paced, action-based role-playing games— like their very own Mass Effect series— and moving away from old-school RPG with challenging, tactical combat. It’s either that or it’s a result of spending just four months on an expansion pack and consequently spending less time balancing the game’s difficulty.

A detour
Overall, Awakening is a hit-and-miss in equal proportion, making it an underwhelming—and almost disappointing— follow-up to the original game. The climax does not live up to the build-up and the insane gear that you have by the end of the game feels wasted on the final boss. The antagonists in the expansion pack are sentient, intelligent beings— as opposed to Archdemon from the original campaign, that was essentially a possessed Dragon. Unfortunately, very little time is spend exploring their personalities or their motivation, and effectively the only difference in this final battle is that you get to have a short conversation with the antagonist before inevitably engaging in combat.

Those who found Dragon Age: Origins too long and difficult, will appreciate the new direction Bioware has taken with Awakening. On the other hand, there is a good chance that those same changes will disappoint the hardcore.

Rating: 7.5/10
Genre: Role- Playing Game
Studio: Bioware
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Platforms*: PC (MS Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
*Reviewed on PC

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Talking Photo
Roaming through the internet for some interesting websites I found this website for you guys. Its called Talking Photo. Thought of saying happy birthday to your friend far away huh? Try it out on It is a free to download software. You can also use the lite version of it through in your browser and it needs latest version of flash player.

When you enter the lite version mode( there is a option that you can use the photos already in the application or you can upload your own picture and make one. You can select which of your photo is eye and mouth. You can also edit the frame of the picture that can be moved.

A must try application, Check this out.

blogmyspacedvd to ipod video convertertalkingphoto, dvd to psp convertertalkingphoto, dvd to zunetalking photo album

How you like it ? Do comment!

Friday, April 9, 2010

God of War III - a Review

God of War III

In the first game, he was a Spartan that rose to the ranks of Gods and in the second game he was a God fallen from his grace. Now in the third and supposedly the final chapter, Kratos is a vengeful spirit with the single objective of destroying Mount Olympus and killing the king of Gods, Zeus. God of War III is a final stand-off between the old Gods and the new, between the Titans and the Olympians. As one would imagine, the ensuing battle is spectacular, both in its scale and the destruction it causes. Santa Monica studio has not introduced anything significantly new to the series with God of War III. They have taken all that we have already seen in the first two games and just made everything grander.

Just like God of War II, this game starts off with an epic battle and by the end of it Kratos is stripped of his powers and weapons. Without giving too much of the game away, the central objective from this point is to recover the Flames of Olympus that are said to have the power to kill a God and in this particular case, kill Zeus. Standing between Kratos and the Flames is a whole bevy of Olympian Gods and their minions. The Spartan deals with this in the only way he knows-- ripping them apart from limb to limb and bathing in their blood.

God of War III is one of the most violent and gruesome games I have played since Manhunt. Even the violence depicted in the first two games pales in comparison to what you will experience in God of War III. During the course of the game, I actually started disliking Kratos as he goes on a spree of mindless violence and killing everyone he encounters. I appreciate that this is a story about a God of War and violence is to be expected; however at the end of the day, there has to be something left to fight for.

Accompanying Kratos in his bloody crusade is his trusty pair of Blades of Athena, now re-christened Blades of the Exile. Augmenting his destructive abilities are three other weapons, and all four weapons also have magic abilities attached to them. These magic abilities automatically upgrade along with the weapon. Kratos will also be able to carry Godly trophies like the Bow of Apollo, Hermes's Shoes and even the head of the Sun God Helios. Just like the weapons, the power of these items can be used in combat as well as to solve certain puzzles in the game. Familiar collectibles such as the Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Features make a return, and once again they can be offered as sacrifice to increase Krato's health, magic and item-power pool. Kratos can also recover other relics of Gods throughout the game; however these can only be used during subsequent play-through. These items give the player incredible bonuses and essentially work as cheat codes. No wonder then that the game disables trophies for the entire duration of a play-through, even if you use any of these items only once.

The developers have introduced some new things to the series, even though they maybe few and far in between. For instance, some of the QTE-based finishing moves are viewed from a first-person perspective. There are couple of other features like this one, but we do not want to spoil them for you. For the most part, this game retains its core-mechanics from the first two parts. Krato's primary blade has the familiar combos and all other weapons have similar keystrokes and effect. If things get really hairy, you can unleash magic contained within the weapons for some effective crowd control. Outside of combat it is still about platforming, shifting pillars, smashing objects and pulling switches and chains, to unlock the way forward.

It took me about seven hours to beat God of War III on normal difficulty setting. After beating the game - true to God of War tradition - there is plenty of bonus content to get your hands on. The game unlocks bonus costume, the highest difficulty level, a challenge mode and lots of developer videos. All of the game's cinematics also become available in the video gallery. While you can pretty much get away with mindless button mashing throughout the game, the Challenge Mode will require some skills to beat. After beating the Challenge Mode, the game unlocks the Combat Arena. We are not sure about the nature of this Arena, but speculations on some of discussion boards indicate that this is where you can design your own challenges: to the extent that before the start of combat, you get to decide the type of enemy you wish to fight.

So, is this the game for you? If you are expecting all that was the God of War games on the Sony PlayStation 2, but at a much grander scale, then you should get your copy of the game immediately. The developers have been very careful not to mess too much with the game's core-mechanics, as new features are introduced only in small doses. God of War III is quite simply a relentless and an epic bloodbath from the start, right till the credits start rolling.
Rating: 8.5/10


Genre:     Action, Beat 'em Up
Studio:     Santa Monica Studio
Publishers:     Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms:     PlayStation 3

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bulkr - Download Photos in a bulk from Flickr

Flickr today is most popular photo sharing website. Peoples can upload their pictures and set privacy settings in the pictures for others to view.

The sharing of pictures on Flickr is the the best part of it. The best part is the awesome community around and knowledge that one can get by getting around the photos of various photography groups. While doing this we wished we had the feature of downloading the pictures from the Flickr account and save to a disk. Meanwhile this downloading feature is not available by Flickr, but some third pary applications has just done it the way we want to download the pictures(still copyright photos can't be downloaded).

Bulkr, a Flickr application, is for downloading the pictures you have on your Flickr account. This convenient desktop app allows you to download up to 200 photos at a time from photostreams, favorites, explored photos, and Flickr search.

You can also quickly backup Flickr photos to your computer with its one-click function and choose the size of photos that you want to download (6 dimensions).

Here are the key Features of Bulkr:
* Free app that can be used to download photos from Flickr in bulk.
* Download photos from your photostream, your favorites, or from other Flickr users.
* Download photos in 6 different sizes.
* Preview images before downloading.
* Ability to resume download if disconnected.

Download it from: