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Monday, May 18, 2009

Survival games

Resident Evil is a type of the survival game but about the game later...

not so long ago my boss and I were wondering about a good horror/survival game. since the new Nightmare on the Elm street is in the production we thought about the move where you are Freddy. you are the mastermind behind best scenarios of the deadly dreams where you scare, attack and eventually kill terrified teenagers. this would be really cool don't ya think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Study Shows Playing Video Games Improves Women’s Spatial Skills


I thought this might be interesting to read:)


By Shawn on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 at 12:15 PM PST
In Gamer Life, Games
Need a convincing argument to get your girlfriend, wife or daughter into gaming, or are you a girl gamer that needs extra leverage with your parents? A study at the University of Toronto has indicated that just a few hours of video game play can improve spatial awareness in females.
The research, to be published in the October issue of Psychological Science, suggests that a new approach involving action video games can be used to improve spatial skills. Women have been proven to test lower than men on spatial awareness based skills such as reading a map, driving a car, assembling a barbeque or learning advanced math. However the gap can be closed.
Our first experiment discovered a previously unknown sex difference in spatial attention,” said Jing Feng, a psychology doctoral student and lead author of the study. “On average, women are not quite as good at rapidly switching attention among different objects and this may be one reason why women do not do as well on spatial tasks. But more important than finding that difference, our second experiment showed that both men and women can improve their spatial skills by playing a video game and that the women catch up to the men,” Feng added. “Moreover, the improved performance of both sexes was maintained when we assessed them again after five months.”
Professor Ian Spence, director of the engineering psychology laboratory in the Department of Psychology, theorizes that playing action video games may actually trigger previously inactive genes that are crucial in developing neural pathways necessary for spatial attention.
“Clearly, something dramatic is happening in the brain when we see marked improvements in spatial skills after only 10 hours of game playing and these improvements are maintained for many months.”
Professor Spence expresses hope that video game training could help to encourage more young women to enter the mathematical sciences and engineering which are still male dominated fields.

Virtual Fighter 5 Online (Xbox360)



VF belongs to 3D fighting game. two opponents equipped with amazing martial arts skills fight each other until one of them is knocked out. to win the fight one of the fighters has to win two rounds. rounds are usually 30 seconds long.
there is a variety of fighters that player can choose from. each fighter has its own bio and it's more interesting if we first get familiar with the fighter before choosing him/her. yes, i said her, girls are there! :D each fighter also presents variety of skills; for instance; Sarah Bryant's Martial Arts style includes Karate, Teakwondo, and Savate style.
before getting in actual arcade the player has a choice of practicing moves in training mode. 
the further you get in the arcade the better opponents you will face.
what i like about the game is well the fact that you can choose to be female fighter. Sarah was actually my prime choice. you can even change the outfit. the graphics are really neat. the way the characters move is very impressive. there is a two players mode which is nice to actually play against human. before going online i recommend practicing for some time because they are really good out there and they can kick your butt in two simple moves :)
being able to control your character the way you want needs lots of practice, at least for me but it is forth it. if you are a Martial Arts fan just as I am then you will love this game.
i used to play Dead or Alive (not quite sure which part) long time ago on Sega and it basically has the same concept as VF.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek

this post is off topic about my other passion - movies, especially scary ones, although Star Trek does not really belong to this category i thought i would give it the acknowledgement it deserves.

over the weekend i went to see Star Trek, I'm not a fan of the movie nor the sci fi category but i was allured by the commercials of the movie on TV. Special effects looked nice, guys in the movie even better and besides the movie was directed by J.J. Abrams ('LOST' - adore this show) so i thought eh, what the hell? so i grabbed my husband and we went.

this movie keeps you at the edge of your sit from the beginning to the end and it is over 2 hours long. i was actually surprised at myself that i liked the movie so much. here is why? 
well, first of all the cast was really well arranged beginning from Chris Pine as James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto('Heroes' as Sylar) as Spock to John Cho as Hikary Sulu. i aslo have to mention Erica Bana as Nero (the bad guy) which was totally unrecognizable with shaved head and tattoos on his scalp and Karl Urban ('the Bourne Supremacy', 'Doom', 'Pathfinder') as Dr.MacKoy, there was even original Spock (in the movie Spock form the future) played by Leonard Nimoy.
second of all, the special effects - amazing! you go to movie theater to see movies like this.
third of all the story itself. since it is a prequel, movie presents the story since the birth of the Kirk to how he becomes the captain of the Enterprise. we are presented with his rebellious childhood and youth which is very fun to watch. the other person on which story focuses is Spock. Spock is shown as someone torn between his human side where he experiences variety of emotions(his mother is human played by  Winona Rider) and his Vulcan side which is very logical and puts emotions on the side. these two at first hate each other but then they become really good friends. story is easy to follow filled with action and funny dialogs. 
movie ends with original Spock citing original series motto:
"Space... the Final Frontier, these are the voyages of the star ship Enterprise. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."
and as a fun comparison - characters of the original movies (top) and new ones (bottom)


Friday, May 8, 2009

Need for Speed: Underground

the first NFS game was released in 1994. so far 16 games in this series were produced.
i have not played all of them simply because my fascination with racing games was not really high at that point of my live when the first game was released.
in 2003 NFS:U was released and i thought i would give it a try. let me tell you, if you are a chick(and a dude:)) that loves to speed in your own car but for legal reasons :D cannot then you will really like this game.
i loved the idea of simple story where you basically race, get popularity  points and higher places at the hierarchy among other racers. NFS:U introduces 3 types of racing: track, drift, and sprint. after each winning you would unlock certain things like having the picture of your car on a cover of the automotive magazine or unlocking cool new things that you could install in your ride. i really enjoyed 'dressing up' my car, changing the color (how does hot pink sound, ha? :D), adding the rims, tinting the windows, putting some graphics on the car, adding neon lights under the car, all that to make your car more flashy:) of course the power of the car is also important. for some reason the best car to handle and the one that had good acceleration and speed was Acura TSX and it was the car that i would choose often.
city at night (named Olympic City) is where racing happens which is really neat. even thought you do not really have time to admire all the nicely done details of the city because of the speed:) it is a huge positive element of the game.
game reminds me of the fast and the furious movie where illegal racing overcome the city at night. if you liked the movie you will like the game.
the negative of the game is no option to choose your character, of course you name your character but naming your character Stephanie will not change your character into a woman, Stephanie will become Stephan. there isn't a lot of interactions in the game with other characters but still being directed as 'dude' or having hot girls hitting on you is not really what straight:) female player wants to hear or see. apparently makers of the game (EA) didn't do enough homework on how popular racing games are among women, yes we like cars too!
and the best part of the game is the soundtrack! the choice of the songs is really great, it gives you that additional power to press that forward arrow (I played it on PC) harder and longer and forgetting about the brakes:) here is some sample:http://musicmp3.ru/soundtrack_need-for-speed-underground.html. 
of course i purchased the soundtrack so that i could speed in my own car while looking around and making sure cops are not following me:)
at least intro to the game is showing kicking ass female. enjoy!

video

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tomb Raider

the first review goes to .....

the first TR game was released in 1996, it was a bomb! since then 8 additional games were released.
"The level of sophistication Tomb Raider reached by combining state-of-the-art graphics, an
atmospheric soundtrack, and a cinematic approach to gameplay was at the time unprecedented.( Blache III, Fabian; Fielder, Lauren (2002), The History of Tomb Raider: The Games,GameSpot )."
"The resulting sales were consequential, topping the British charts a record three times,[7] and contributing much to the success of the PlayStation ("Lara hit in The Face: Article by Miranda Sawyer"; Blache III, Fabian; Fielder, Lauren (2002), The History of Tomb Raider:

Lara Croft wealthy archaeologists is the main character in this game. She is smart, well spoken, educated, beautiful, and on top of all she has excellent combat and gun usage skills.
Lara is not an average girl but she is what many women want to be:). Throughout the games Lara visits many places in the world where ordinary people would never go
(South America jungles); she fights dangerous and even extinct animals (T-Rex for example:) ) and she always looks flawless in her green tank-top and short shorts.
why do i love the game? and why you should try it if you haven't already.
Tomb Raider is an action-adventure type of the game with the 3rd person shooter which means camera is behing Lara. this way we can see Lara in all her glory and we are able to admire her acrobatic skills.
Tomb Raider takes player on a journey through wonderful and dangerous places. Every corner hides some suprises and the player has to be prepared for everything. Game is filled with different and interesting quests that require you to seriously use your head.
I think Lara is the first female character that kicks ass and still looks gorgeous. Playing female character helps you associate with everything that is happening to Lara.
Controlling Lara on the PC is quite harder than on the XBox360, at least in my opinion; hovewer, i masteredthe conrolling since I walked throught all of the first 8 games on the PC and only the last one Underworld I played on the XBox.
Here is an iteresting pic showing how Lara's appearance changed through time:)


here are some cool websites:
walkthrough, tricks and tips: http://tombraiders.net/stella/

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Beginnings

Ahhh yes, the world of video games. I began my journey with Commodore 64 system, then Atari, PC and now finally XBox 360. I love playing games and yes I am 100% female. I will be reviewing best games out there from the perspective of Polish-American me - Kasia.
My adventures with the video games started with the 2
D games (of course! :)). My favorite one was Bruce Lee. the purpose of this game was to go as far as you could, fight and kill as many enemies as you could and of course have as much fun as you could:).And I'm thinking now, how the hell this simple 2D game was so entertaining?
Atari introduced me to Prince of Persia and i was amazed how realistic were his moves, when he fought, run, and jumped. there was a real story behind the game which was sooooo cooool. the goal was simple, rescue the princes and the given amount of time and you win.
Til now i love racing games and my very first one was Lotus Turbo Challenge. i remember the thrill and joy of kicking my brother's ass.
my
PC's and now also XBOX360 favorite game of all times is TOMB RAIDER.
when back in 1996 I first time laid my eyes on the screen of this game and my fingers touched the computer's keyboard to inhale the live into Lara I became addicted to this game. i finished all the TR's parts, some even few times and each time i love this game even more.





So that's my beginnings and just a small sample of the games that i played, finished, and enjoyed.

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