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Thứ Ba, 6 tháng 12, 2016

Here Are Two Free Mythical Pokemon You Can Claim Right Now

Through a pair of unrelated promotions, you can claim two Mythical Pokemon right now.

For Pokemon Sun and Moon owners, Magearna is available--provided you've finished the main story. If you have, you can open up the in-game QR scanner and scan the code at the bottom of this post (you can also find it here). Once you've done that, head to Hau'oli City and talk to the deliveryman at the Antiquities of the Ages store to obtain your Pokemon.

cIf you haven't yet completed the game, you don't have to rush to do so. The Magearna code will stick around indefinitely, letting you collect it at your leisure.

Separate from that, you can also grab Meloetta for free right now in Pokemon X/Y and Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby. This comes as the final part of the Pokemon 20-year anniversary celebration that has seen a Mythical Pokemon given away every month dating back to February.

December's freebie doesn't require you to visit a store, as some of the past ones did. Simply choose the Receive Gift option from the main menu, receive it via internet, and you'll then be able to collect a level 100 Meloetta at any in-game Pokemon Center. Step-by-step instructions are available here. Unlike the Magearna giveaway, you only have until December 24 to claim your Meloetta.

Thứ Hai, 21 tháng 11, 2016

Pokemon Sun and Moon Review

From Dusk 'Til Dawn

With a twenty year tenure under its belt, the fact that the core gameplay of Pokemon has gone relatively unchanged and has retained a broad appeal through multiple generations is a testament to the quality of the series. Content additions and tweaks have graced each new entry, but Pokemon Sun and Moon have easily used the broadest brush stroke of feature alterations. The purest Pokemon diehard fans may cling to nitpicky criticisms, but the fresh perspective and simple improvements provide relief to some of the series' redundant foundations. And yet for all the uproar of change, there are still many familiar and comforting elements that should assure lifelong fans they have not been cast aside.

The game starts you off in traditional fashion, as a young boy or girl recently relocated to a new region, with an eager spirit, a flair for adventure, and an innate proficiency at handling Pokemon that catches the eye of the local Professor. After a short introduction to some key characters, you are given the arduous task of choosing your Grass, Fire, or aces up type starting Pokemon, and with your mother's blessing are set free to uncover the mysteries of the gorgeous Alola region.

This Hawaiian inspired paradise consists of four main islands. Each contains specks of terrain that match the various Pokemon types, though you are never too far from perky palm trees, golden sandy beaches, and translucent blue ocean waters. The laid back atmosphere permeates into the personalities of the region's inhabitants, with most of the people you encounter infused with vigor and a lust for life. The antagonizing Team Skull could have brought a severe contrast that befits their moniker, but most of the goons who attempt to impede your progress are full of bumbling bluster, with more bark than bite.

You'll find more of a challenge in the Island Trials, the game's major replacement of the Pokemon Gyms of old. Each of the four islands presents a selection of activities that culminates into a marquis battle against the Kahuna of the island as well as Totem Pokemon (essentially regular Pokemon stuffed with steroids). Trials consist of chores such as foraging for ingredients, following clues to solve mysteries, and taking snapshots of Pokemon. It lacks the gladiatorial spectacle of taking on a gym leader to taunt your prowess to the audience, but the varied tasks provide a multifaceted approach which breaks up the linear structure veterans have grown accustomed to.

It becomes apparent early on that Pokemon Sun and Moon pays heavy attention to the narrative, with cutscenes and conversations at nearly every turn. For the most part it is a predictable plot, with a few moments that will surprise and confuse only those who have been spamming the A button through all the text. Despite the vanilla storyline, it still provides some exciting showdowns and introduces a few characters with enough style and personality that I hope to see them in future Pokemon adventures.

Another thing I would like to see going forward in the series is the wonderfully laid out user interface. The breakdown of menu screens is still categorized into familiar headings such as the item screen, Pokédex, and summary pages, but the ease of access in navigating these screens, especially during combat, is a smooth process rather than a time consuming chore. For example, a Poké Ball icon located right on the main touch screen allows you to quickly choose and toss a Poké Ball at a weakened wild Pokemon rather than fumbling through menu screens to grab one. But perhaps the simplest and most welcome addition, especially for newcomers, is the move effectiveness indicators. No longer do you need the encyclopedic memorization of what element types are vulnerable to others. After a single battle against a new Pokemon, your entire move list will indicate which moves are "super effective" and which are not effective at all. This glorious sight persists even when swapping Pokemon mid-battle, allowing you to choose the most valuable Pokemon in your party to tackle the opponent across the field.

Thứ Năm, 17 tháng 11, 2016

Pokemon Sun & Moon Break Shipment Records

P-Day is upon us: Pokemon Sun & Moon are set to launch at midnight tonight in North America. It seems that the game is already destined for success, because Nintendo has announced that the games have shipped over 10 million units worldwide. This breaks the record for highest initial shipment of any 3DS software. Nintendo attributes the widespread demand for Sun & Moon to Pokemon Go, which renewed interest in the series for old fans worldwide while bringing in newcomers thanks to its accessibility.

Also of interest to would-be Pokemon trainers is the commencement of a special distribution for Munchlax in Sun & Moon. This Munchlax is available via online download with the Mystery Gift function and carries a Snorlium Z crystal. The crystal enables it to use the Pulverizing Pancake Z-Move upon its evolution into Snorlax. Distribution will end on January 11, 2017, so be sure to get yours before then.

Finally, if you can't contain the Pokemon hype, you can download one of two new 3DS home menu themes starting tomorrow. One has a tropical motif, while the other features legendary Pokemon Solgaleo and Lunala.

I'll be among the crowds heading out late tonight to pick up my copy - how about you?
Play Classic game Pokemon at : http;//webofsolitaire.com

Thứ Hai, 14 tháng 11, 2016

Microsoft Celebrating Halo's 15th Anniversary With Big Event Next Week

Here's something to make you feel old: the Halo franchise celebrates its 15th anniversary this week.

To celebrate, developer 343 Industries is holding a livestream event and more this coming Tuesday, November 15, which is 15 years to the day after Halo: Combat Evolved came out in 2001.

One part of the celebration is a Twitch livestream, beginning at 3:43 PM PT.

"During the jam-packed show we'll have a special walkthrough of the Halo Museum, talk Halo Wars 2 with Dan Ayoub & Max Szlagor, hear about some of the team and community's fondest Halo memories, play Halo 5 with fans, talk HCS with Tashi & Strongside, take a look at the upcoming Halo Loot crate with James, answer your tweets and whatever else we end up doing when we inevitably stray from script," 343 said about the event in its newest weekly blog post.

343 is also launching an "Anniversary Throwback" playlist for Halo 5, featuring Combat Evovled maps re-made in Halo 5 with the Forge tools. There will also be "free stuff."

"What kind of birthday party would it be without goodie bags for attendees!? I don't want to spoil the surprise but I think you'll dig it," 343 said.

Also in the blog post, 343 teased plans for Halo 5 even beyond the anniversary event. As 343 has said before, more DLC is coming.

"Plans are being made for some big holiday playlist updates as well as the release of the next big Halo 5 content update," 343 said. "I know you're eager for those juicy details and we look forward to being able to share more soon."

As stated previously, Halo 5's next major update will add more maps for Warzone Firefight, new Forge canvases, an "improved spectator experience," and the ability to join live custom games on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

The game's newest free content update was September's Anvil's Legacy, which was the ninth free expansion. Halo 5's other expansions included The Battle of Shadow and Light (November), Cartographer's Gift (December), Infinity's Armor (January), Scorpion games (February), Ghosts of Meridian (April), Memories of Reach (May), Hog Wild (May), and Warzone Firefight (June).

Thứ Tư, 26 tháng 10, 2016

Civilization 6 Review

We are the world.

The original Civilization came out in 1991. I was five years old at the time. I didn't fully grasp the game's historical underpinnings or strategic subtleties, but I do remember playing with my dad and racing to build catapults before other leaders had a chance to expand their empires too far. Because even though the first game laid the groundwork not just for future Civ titles but for the strategy genre as a whole, it was, essentially, a glorified arms race.

Yes, you could found cities, build world wonders, and unlock new options through technological research, but inevitably, combat played a central role. Just like a real civilization, however, the franchise evolved over time, gradually grafting new ideas onto its classic framework--a process that’s now culminated in Civilization VI: the deepest, most well-rounded base game the series has ever seen.

Regardless of how you feel about the "cartoony" art style, its detailed animations make busy areas easier to parse.

More than ever, every win condition feels equally rich and equally viable, whether you’re pursuing culture, religion, science, or domination. You can build arts districts that allow you to more quickly accrue culture points and attract great artists. You can create new religious units like apostles to more efficiently spread your gospel to world. You can use the builder unit in new ways to better capitalize on the resources that surround your cities, accelerating humanity’s ascent into space.

And of course, you can still amass a formidable army, but even warfare presents new considerations that force you to lean on other systems beyond battle tactics. Maintaining military units, for example, is expensive, but picking trade routes with a high gold yield helps mitigate the financial impact. War weariness will eventually lead your population to revolt, but using diplomacy to squeeze luxury resources out of your allies can quell rebellion. And espionage, now deeper than ever, lets you not only place spies but pick specific missions for them to carry out.

Civ 6 is packed with added nuances that enrich existing systems, but it also makes some major changes, the biggest of which is “unstacking” cities. Rather than occupy a single tile on the world map, cities now sprawl outward, allowing you to capitalize on each city’s specific surroundings--assuming you exercise some serious foresight. Certain structures, for example, function more efficiently on specific types of land, while others can only be built if certain typographical demands are met. Not only does this change the way you consider the board, it also adds a new strategic layer that fills a gap and creates greater variety in the types of thinking Civ demands.

Along with planning each city’s long-term development, you must also manage its housing and amenity needs. These replace the global food and happiness levels of previous Civilizations and make individual turns more engaging in the process. Where previously you could mentally check out for a few turns while waiting for your big picture decisions to pan out, you must now actively monitor and improve each city’s condition. It can be a little exasperating and tedious, but ultimately, I realized each and every city contributed to my overall success and, consequently, provided unique opportunities for strategic gain.

You’ll find a host of slightly smaller but equally smart changes as well. You can now tailor your government to your specific playstyle by earning various policy cards that impact everything from war weariness to cultural output. Civics replace social policies and now function identically to technologies: pick one from an expansive tree, spend a few turns researching it, and unlock new cultural possibilities like theocracy or globalization. And with the addition of active research, you can cut research time in half by meeting specific, logical conditions tied to individual Techs and Civics--settling next to a coast will boost your research in sailing, for instance. This practice ensures an advantage for vigilant players.

Smart though these changes may be, they are accompanied by several notable imperfections. Tourism, for example, is the metric by which Cultural Victories are measured, yet the math behind it is esoteric at best. Missionaries and other religious units are similarly opaque. Though I did manage a Cultural Victory during one match, it required some frustrating trial-and-error guesswork, and Religious Victories seem slightly too easy to achieve once you uncover the ideal method for maximizing your output. And while you could argue that commerce and diplomacy facilitate every win condition, it’s a shame neither serves as a win condition itself.

The UI could also use a few refinements. There's absolutely no rhyme or reason to "Unit needs orders" notification, for example. Rather than directing your attention to units already on screen, it arbitrarily whips around the map, seeming highlighting units at random. I experienced a few performance hitches as well, like noticable delays between selecting the Civics menu and the menu actually appearing on screen. Nothing I experienced ever became intolerable, thankfully; my frustrations generally topped out at "annoyed." And other aspects of the presentation--most notably the instrumental score and Sean Bean's excellent voice work--definitely won me over.

Perhaps most crucially, though, opponent AI proved to be a bit of a mix. Catherine Medici was clever enough to preemptively declare war against me when she saw my troops massing at her border, and even brought anti-cavalry units to take down my tanks. Cleopatra, on the other hand, seemed to capriciously switch strategies--from religion to domination and back again--and just floundered uselessly as a result.

If nothing else, the new agenda system does imbue each leader with a discernable playstyle, and when one denounced me, the game explicitly told me why, making diplomacy a more straightforward affair. And even on higher difficulties, none of opponents broke a treaty or attacked me arbitrarily. In fact, I spent an entire match trading with Norway without issue.

Of course, you can avoid the AI altogether by playing online--just one of Civ 6’s many options. There’s a tight, well-executed tutorial for newcomers that briskly runs through the game’s major mechanics, as well as a “New to Civ 6” tips option that focuses specifically on everything that's changed since Civ 5, which should soften the learning curve for veterans looking to jump straight into the deep end. There's a lot to account for, but the fact that every new system slots logically into Civ's established structure makes the game relatively accessible despite of its depth.

Adjustable match parameters return as well, allowing you to adjust not only the difficulty but also the number of opponents, the presence of barbarians, and the overall map size. That last one is especially crucial since the "standard" size has decreased, most likely to force more interaction. Playing on larger maps with fewer opponents seems to work just fine, though. International trade takes longer and territorial expansion is far easier, but the game still plays largely the same.

Civ 6 has a few rough edges, but they’re pushed far into the periphery by spectacular strategic depth and intricate interlocking nuances. Any frustrations I experienced were immediately eclipsed by my desire to continue playing. Just one more turn, every turn, forever.

Thứ Sáu, 21 tháng 10, 2016

Medieval Engineers "relaunches" with a major gameplay update

Big changes promise to make the game a lot more interesting (and destructive).

We talked about the Middle Ages construction/destruction sim Medieval Engineers a bit last year, in part (speaking for myself, anyway) because it's so much fun to watch great stone structures get smashed into little tiny pieces. That doesn't necessarily make for a great game, though, and so developer Keen Software House has rolled out a major update that "re-launches" the project with a multitude of new features including a more detailed planet, an improved rendering engine, and the ability to claim territory and ally (or go to war) with other players. 

"Having a planet in Medieval Engineers creates a play area that is many times bigger than the flat worlds that we had before. The planet can have many plants, animals and barbarians with plenty of room for players," studio founder Marek Rosa wrote on his blog. "We’ve designed areas of the terrain so that players can build fortifications to defend their territory. The planet and all of its settings can be modded and shared through the Steam Workshop." 

Player may also create their own customized banners that can be used to identify themselves or mark off territory, and like most of the rest of the game's content, they can be modded and shared with others. Smaller improvements to the game include the addition of doors, new particle effects, a wardrobe, and the ability to play as a female engineer. 

Taken together, the update sounds like it will bring Medieval Engineers into a much more game-like state than it was previously, and that's reflected in the new gameplay trailer, too. Whether it will be enough to satisfy the recent Steam commenters who have decried the game as abandoned is another matter entirely, but at the very least it looks like a good start. A full breakdown of the changes is available on the Keen Software House forum. 

Thứ Năm, 13 tháng 10, 2016

Play These Two Games for Free on Steam This Weekend

Saints Row, Metro, and Dead Island are among the games on sale this weekend.

Sleeping Dogs developer United Front Games released its new multiplayer-action game Smash + Grab on Early Access a couple weeks ago, and now it's completely free to play for the next five days.

You can download and play Smash + Grab on Steam for free from now until Tuesday, October 18, at 12 PM PT. And if you want to continue playing it after the free event, you can pick it up at a discounted price of $17. It's important to note that this discount ends on October 17, before the free event comes to a close.
United Front plans to release the full version of Smash + Grab in about six months. According to its Steam page, it currently has "two maps and modes, seven playable Leaders, 13 Lieutenants, 20 different stores and vending machines to smash, and 12 base weapons with 18 weapon mods." United Front says "the full version will have more features and content, like maps, modes, characters, weapons, vanity items and more."

Raw Data, an Early Access first-person shooter that's "built from the ground up for VR," is also free this weekend. Its weekend event lasts from now until Sunday, October 16, while its discounted price of $30 is available until October 17. You can download and start playing it here.
In addition to free weekend events, Steam has a number of sales on for this weekend. Plague Inc: Evolved is going for $7.50, Offworld Trading Company is discounted to $13.60, and Deep Silver has a number of its games on sale as well.
Both Metro games are available in Metro Redux for $7.50, Dead Island and Riptide are discounted in Dead Island: Definitive Collection for $24, and every game in the Saints Row franchise for $60.90. Each individual game from the aforementioned bundles are also discounted. 

Snoop Dogg Will Try to Recover From Embarrassing Battlefield 1 Performance Today

Tha Doggfather himself will appear on a Battlefield 1 livestream today.

cSnoop Dogg didn't put up a very good showing in Battlefield 1 earlier this year at E3, and now he has a chance to redeem himself. Snoop is set to appear on EA's Road to Battlefield 1 livestream today from 1 PM to 3 PM PT.

Tha Doggfather confirmed in a tweet that he'll be taking part in today's 64-player Battle for Amiens match. At E3, he played with a number of celebrities including fellow rappers Wiz Khalifa and The Game and actors Terry Crews and Zac Efron. He finished the match without killing a single opponent. You can watch today's live stream here.

An outspoken fan of video games, Snoop has rallied for NCAA Football 14 to join the Xbox One's backwards compatibility list and let his opinion of Xbox Live going down be known.

"A message to Xbox One or Microsoft or whoever the f***, y'all f***ing server is f***ing wack, man," Snoop said back in January. "Y'all going to make me switch to PlayStation if y'all don't hurry up and get this s**t fixed. It's that difficult to play somebody online?

"What the f*** is you doin', Bill Gates?!" he exclaimed. "Fix your s**t, man!"

As for Battlefield 1, you can play a 10-hour trial of the game right now as long as you're subscribed to EA/Origin Access on Xbox One or PC. However, the trial doesn't feature all of Battlefield 1's content. It includes two single-player missions and four modes and five maps for multiplayer. Progress you make in the trial will carry over to the full game.

Additionally, if you purchase the Early Enlister Deluxe edition, you'll gain early access on October 18 to the entire game without a time restriction. Access members will also be able to play the full game at this time, as long as they have time left in their trial.

For more of GameSpot's Snoop Dogg coverage, check out the links below.

Thứ Năm, 6 tháng 10, 2016

Ubisoft's Next Free PC Game Arrives Soon

Grab another freebie starting on October 12.

The next free game from the ongoing Ubisoft Club promotion arrives next week, the company announced today.
Beyond Good & Evil arrives as a freebie on October 12, taking the place of the current free Club game, The Crew, Ubisoft said on Twitter. Assuming it works like the previous games, which have also included Rayman Origins and Splinter Cell, you'll have about a month to download it for free. By doing so, it'll permanently be yours.

Come October 12, you'll be able to claim the game for free by signing into theUbisoft Club website with your Uplay account (you can sign up for free if you don't have one). If you haven't already, you can still claim The Crew from the same site.
These games are being offered for free as part of Ubisoft's 30th anniversary celebration. There are still more games to come, with the promotion running through the end of the year.
While it's likely a coincidence that Beyond Good & Evil is being offered for free right now, it's impossible not to mention the recent teases by creator Michel Ancel regarding Beyond Good & Evil 2. In June, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said Ancel was working on the long-awaited sequel, and Ancel recently beganpublishing images online that are presumed to be from the game. Just this week, he indicated it's currently in pre-production.

Chủ Nhật, 2 tháng 10, 2016

Here's how combat works in Dontnod's Vampyr

Use various vamp abilities, or sneak past combat entirely.

Dontnod's Vampyr is a game about being a vampire, something you probably gleaned from the old-timey title. You'll play as bloodsucking healthcare professional Doctor Reid, and unlike Max—the star of Dontnod's hit adventure game Life is Strange—he'll spend quite a lot of time beating up folks and sucking blood through a curly straw, in pox-ridden, Post-Edwardian London taaahn. (Max hardly ever does that.)

Vampyr has combat, then, and if you're wondering what that involves exactly, well, a new post on the PlayStation Blog by game director Philippe Moreau should sort you out. You can avoid combat situations entirely with the aid of your "vampire speed and agility", but if you do choose to get into scraps with your foes, there'll be a range of skills to buy and use in the third-person combat.

"Armed with an array of conventional melee and ranged weaponry," the article elaborates, "attack and dodge enemies to fill up Jonathan’s Blood Gauge, which is required to unleash powerful vampire attacks. From impaling enemies on a spike to draining them of blood at a distance, as Jonathan’s Blood Gauge fills during a combat situation, his Vampire affliction will start to overtake his more human side, unleashing destructive spells and abilities against those who try to stop him".

There's a "non-linear" skill tree, full of abilities that can be evolved in two differing ways, and if you're hoping to evolve all of 'em you'll need to fully embrace you vampiric side.

"Combat difficulty can be affected by player actions out of combat," the post goes on. "Feeding on civilians provides a huge XP boost, which will make combat situations easier—but that comes with caveats; an increased danger on the streets, and narrative consequences for the world’s citizens, to name a few."

You'll "have to investigate and determine who to feed from, and who to spare," when Vampyr arrives, sometime next year.

Thứ Năm, 22 tháng 9, 2016

Blizzard is ditching the Battle.net name in favor of "Blizzard tech"

Battle.net is dead! Long live Battle.net!

Blizzard's online gaming service Battle.net debuted in 1996, a full seven years before Steam sprang to life. It was a very different era, dominated by independent online services with goofy names like Heat.net and Total Entertainment Network—an environment ripe for a platform with a macho, cool-sounding name. But 20 years later, things have changed. Blizzard has grown from a respected studio to an industry-topping behemoth, multiplayer is everywhere, and the Battle.net name doesn't ring the bell that it once did. So it's being phased out. 

“When we created Battle.net, the idea of including a tailored online-gaming service together with your game was more of a novel concept, so we put a lot of focus on explaining what the service was and how it worked, including giving it a distinct name,” Blizzard explained. “Over time, though, we’ve seen that there’s been occasional confusion and inefficiencies related to having two separate identities under which everything falls—Blizzard and Battle.net. Given that built-in multiplayer support is a well-understood concept and more of a normal expectation these days, there isn’t as much of a need to maintain a separate identity for what is essentially our networking technology.”

Practically speaking, nothing will change, and Battle.net technology “will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games,” Blizzard said. But it will be referred to as Blizzard tech from here on, as is already the case with Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice.   

The sentimentalist in me is a bit sad to see it go, but really, it's amazing this didn't happen years ago. Battle.net was an evocative name for a unique service two decades ago, but these days, with publisher-centric platforms like Steam, Origin, and Uplay dominating the landscape, it's really just a quaint reminder of how things used to be.  

Thứ Sáu, 16 tháng 9, 2016

Rise of the Tomb Raider: the first PS4 Pro vs PC graphics comparison

Head-to-head video highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the 4K console experience. 


Outside of Sony's first party wares present at last week's PlayStation Meeting, there was one third party title that stood apart as an impressive showcase for the fledgling PS4 Pro's 4K prowess - Crystal Dynamics' Rise of the Tomb Raider. Similar to its predecessor, there's an immense amount of scalability built into the engine and the core assets, meaning that the game really shines on a high-end PC with the settings and texture quality ramped up to the very high level. Indeed, there are actually insane-level presets available that actually push beyond this level. So, the real question is, just how much of the full-fat experience has Crystal's development partner Nixxes managed to cram into the PlayStation 4 Pro version?

Well, in many ways, Rise of the Tomb Raider highlights the strengths and weaknesses facing developers looking to work with Sony's new hardware. Tackling the negatives first, 60fps is - of course - off the table for a high-end title like this, with Rise of the Tomb Raider focusing on the console standard capped 30fps.

Secondly, a range of the game's higher-end presets are dialled back - inevitably, shadow quality takes a hit, while specular lighting quality appears to lack the revision made to the PC, resulting in some rougher edges to affected geometry. Meanwhile, the Flooded Archive level's escape sequence suggests that fire effects are reduced, which has an impact on the amount of dynamic light in the scene, and perhaps the level of heat haze too.

But the two most glaring differences come down to key limitations found in the PlayStation 4 Pro hardware itself - the fact that its GPU isn't capable of handling native 3840x2160 UHD resolution, along with the lack of a meaningful amount of additional memory. Developers have access to a number of upscaling strategies for PS4 Pro titles running in the 4K mode, and while Crystal Dynamics wouldn't be drawn on the technique used for this game, what's clear is that the overall presentation is somewhat soft, far more so than the Sony first-party titles we saw that are confirmed to be using the checkerboard upscaling.

                           Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration 4K PS4 Pro Footage

And secondly, it's equally clear that the PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider's very high texture preset offers a significantly higher level of quality on the core artwork. Cherry-pick key scenes from the mere two minutes of 4K footage released by the developer and it looks like a night and day difference when stacked up against the fully enabled PC version. Even if you watch our comparison video at 1080p resolution rather than the native 4K, it definitely stands out.
Should you put an SSD in your PS4? Why a new hard drive could make a big performance difference. Should you put an SSD in your PS4?

On the one hand, this highlights a fundamental weakness with PlayStation 4 Pro. Even though developers have access to another 512MB of RAM (presumably swiped for the vast 3GB system reservation), it's not enough to accommodate the 4K texture options that developers are increasingly offering with their titles. So in the case of Rise of the Tomb Raider then, it's no surprise that the PS4 Pro version offers assets in line with the existing Xbox One game, equivalent to the high texture quality setting on the PC build. It's a definite limitation - especially as Project Scorpio from Microsoft seems set to feature 12GB of memory - but on the plus side, in terms of this title at least, the downgrade is only really an issue in cut-scenes.

We've not seen the same Rise of the Tomb Raider content played out at 1080p compared to the 4K offering here, so it'll be interesting to see how the developer's quality and unlocked performance modes stack up against what we've seen here. What's clear is that this is not a native 4K experience as such, but the existing media suggests that it does offer a tangible higher resolution upgrade over the same content seen on Xbox One - which looks great in full HD. Bearing in mind what we're seeing here is coming from a £349/$399 box, it's definitely an impressive showing bearing in mind the high calibre hardware required to get an equivalent native 4K experience on PC.

We've previously been impressed with what we've seen of Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4, and this higher resolution mode for PS4 Pro is looking good too. Factoring in the other Pro options promised by the developer, we can't wait to check it out once we get our hands on Sony's new hardware - so watch this space.

Thứ Hai, 5 tháng 9, 2016

Solitaire Strategy Guide

      The game of Solitaire, sometimes known as Patience, is one of the oldest known and most popular strategy card games of all time. Almost everyone in the world knows how to play this game! It is the original "bored" game played by millions of people unable to find other activities to attend to. However, after all these years it maintains its status as one of the most difficult and frustrating games to beat. But that's where we come in!
      The variation of Solitaire we'll be looking at is called Klondike. Most of you are probably familiar with this form of the game since it has been included as the default Solitaire offering on millions of computers worldwide. Wes Cherry is responsible for writing this widely-played program, but in a strange twist was never financially rewarded for his efforts (he didn't negotiate a royalty agreement). In the standard version of Klondike, unlike the Vegas version, one card at a time is turned over from the deck and a player is allowed to go through the deck as many times as they like. A player scores based on a point system that rewards cards being played to the Solitaire board (the various upcards and downcards dealt out to start the game) and to the Ace stacks a player makes during the course of play.

Nine Step Klondike Solitaire Strategy

      The Solitaire strategy chart shown below is our contribution to the game. It is meant to be read in order from top to bottom, logically because the higher the Solitaire strategy line is the more important the tip. When the guide is followed, precise Solitaire technique is displayed and optimum winning chances are presented. While digesting the chart to follow, be sure to have your favorite Solitaire program opened up and ready to experiment as you go.
ChessandPoker.com Solitaire Strategy Guide
For information on how to use the Solitaire strategy guide, see the explanation below.
1. Always play an Ace or Deuce wherever you can immediately.
2. Always make the play or transfer that frees (or allows a play that frees) a downcard, regardless of any other considerations.
3. When faced with a choice, always make the play or transfer that frees (or allows a play that frees) the downcard from the biggest pile of downcards.
4. Transfer cards from column to column only to allow a downcard to be freed or to make the columns smoother.
5. Don't clear a spot unless there's a King IMMEDIATELY waiting to occupy it.
6. Only play a King that will benefit the column(s) with the biggest pile of downcards, unless the play of another King will at least allow a transfer that frees a downcard.
7. Only build your Ace stacks (with anything other than an Ace or Deuce) when the play will:
  • Not interfere with your Next Card Protection
  • Allow a play or transfer that frees (or allows a play that frees) a downcard
  • Open up a space for a same-color card pile transfer that allows a downcard to be freed
  • Clear a spot for an IMMEDIATE waiting King (it cannot be to simply clear a spot)
8. Don't play or transfer a 5, 6, 7 or 8 anywhere unless at least one of these situations will apply after the play:
  • It is smooth with it's next highest even/odd partner in the column
  • It will allow a play or transfer that will IMMEDIATELY free a downcard
  • There have not been any other cards already played to the column
  • You have ABSOLUTELY no other choice to continue playing (this is not a good sign)
9. When you get to a point that you think all of your necessary cards are covered and you just can't get to them, IMMEDIATELY play any cards you can to their appropriate Ace stacks. You may have to rearrange existing piles to allow blocked cards freedom to be able to go to their Ace stack. Hopefully this will clear an existing pile up to the point that you can use an existing pile upcard to substitute for the necessary covered card.
      Most of the items, listed one through nine in the strategy chart, should be simple to follow for the seasoned Solitaire player. For example, strategy line one states to Always play an Ace or Deuce wherever you can immediately. Whenever and wherever you can, it is correct to immediately play an Ace to begin it's stack and to put a Deuce onto an Ace or Trey. This is something you already do without even thinking. If not, start!
      On line two (and also throughout the chart) I use the phrase "frees a downcard". The Solitaire board initially has seven upcards (face-up) on top of seven increasingly bigger stacks of downcards (face-down) for a total of 28 board cards (7 upcards, 21 downcards). When you free a downcard you are making a play or transfer that allows one of these downcards to be turned face-up, therefore putting it into play. As you can see in the Solitaire strategy guide on almost every strategy line, freeing downcards is one of the most important tools in solving the game. If you cannot do so on a consistent basis, your chances for success will be greatly decreased. Free those downcards at any cost!
      Line three also extends this logical concept with the addition that if faced with a choice you should free the downcard from the biggest pile of downcards possible. This should make sense to you immediately. If freeing downcards is so important, wouldn't it be your goal to dig into the pile that has the most of them if you can? It better be now! With these simple but highly effective strategy concepts, you now have an excellent grasp of the game and how to defeat it. But let's continue on to discover some of the finer points of this strategy guide that will help you defeat this increasingly not-so-difficult game for one and bring the win home.

Thứ Sáu, 26 tháng 8, 2016

Scorpion Solitaire card game

This is the Scorpion Solitaire card game.
As Yukon card game, there is no limit to the number of cards that can be moved at a time this Scorpion.
It is so easy because there is no limit to the number of cards that can be moved at a time, the game is profound.
If you want to clear the Scorpion, you must have the mental capacity to read further and thinking patient.
By all means, please play the Scorpion of this app.
Rules of Scorpion
It is clear if it can be arranged in order to A K in the soot of all: purpose.
Playing cards to be used is 52 cards in total.
The three stock piles and arrange to place bills all the rest.
The movement of playing cards of the tableau pile, what number is small one can be moved in the same suit.
There is no limit to the number of cards that can be moved at a time when you move.
In addition, Undo to revert to the one before the hand can be done indefinitely.
If you do not expect to be able to clear, please retry from the menu bar at the top of the screen....

Thứ Ba, 2 tháng 8, 2016

How to Play Classic Windows XP Solitaire in Windows 10

Microsoft Solitaire (solitaire games) was the ultimate time waster. Included with every copy of Windows from Windows 3.0 in 1990 to Windows 7 in 2009, Solitaire provided a reliable outlet for honing card skills and killing time. But Microsoft retired “Classic Solitaire” in Windows 8 and Windows 10, opting for a new universal app called the Microsoft Solitaire Collection. While the app is free and offers more game modes than Classic Solitaire, it also includes ads which require a monthly subscription to hide. If you don’t like the new Microsoft Solitaire Collection and prefer the simple approach of Classic Solitaire, here’s how you can run the original Windows XP version of Solitaire on your Windows 10 PC.

Before we get to the steps on how to play Classic Solitaire in Windows 10, it’s important to note that you’ll need access to a Windows XP installation for this to work, as we’ll be copying the Solitaire files from that version. It’s also important to note that, despite their similar appearance, only the Windows XP version of Solitaire will work in Windows 10; the versions of Solitaire for Vista and Windows 7 are not compatible and won’t run in Windows 10.

Once you have access to a Windows XP PC or virtual machine, launch Windows Explorer and navigate to C: > Windows > System32. We need to copy the two Solitaire files from this directory, so prepare a USB flash drive or set up a network transfer and then find and copy the following files:


Next, transfer these files via your preferred method to your Windows 10 PC and copy them to your local drive. You can place the files anywhere, but make sure that you place them both in the same directory. For example, on our Windows 10 PC we created a new folder on the C: drive called “Games” and placed both cards.dll and sol.exe in that directory.

Finally, just double-click sol.exe and you’ll see the Classic Solitaire window appear on your Windows 10 desktop.

In our testing, the game is fully functional just as you remember, with the ability to change rules, scoring, and the design of your Solitaire deck. The only limitation is that the built-in Help features fail to load as they rely on the Windows XP Help platform which is no longer present in Windows 10.

If Classic Solitaire proves to be all that you remember and you want to keep it around, just right-click on sol.exe to create a shortcut which you can place anywhere, or right-click and choose to pin the game to your Windows 10 Start Menu or Taskbar.

If you ever want to remove Classic Solitaire from your Windows 10 PC, just delete both cards.dlland sol.exe. There’s no need to officially uninstall the game as it is contained entirely within those two files.

Thứ Hai, 4 tháng 7, 2016

Classic Solitaire Rules

Classic Solitaire (known only as simply “Solitaire” by some, and “Klondike Solitaire” by others) is a crazy popular card game that is won by moving all cards in a single deck from the tableau to the foundation piles.

So how do you play this game?

The layout of the card game table is fairly straightforward. Though you might not have heard these terms before, a game of classic is composed of the following items:

the tableau
the foundations
the stock pile
the discard pile (also known as the talon)
Initially, the foundation piles and the discard pile will be empty.

If you are playing by hand, you start by shuffling your deck of cards fully, then start building the tableau. For the tableau, begin by dealing the first card up then place 6 more cards face down (for a grand total of 7 stacks on the main playing area (the tableau)). On the next go round, you place a face-up card on tableau stack #2, then 5 more face down cards on the remaining stacks. You repeat this process until you’ve placed your last face up card on the 7th tableau stack. Of course, if you’re playing on the Classic Solitaire site, all of this is taken care of for you automatically when you start a new game.

If you are playing by hand, after you have placed the appropriate number of cards on the tableau piles, you will have cards left over. These cards will be used for the stock pile. The traditional rules of classic solitaire generally have you deal 3 cards at a time from the stock, where only the top most card is playable at any given time. However, many (and possibly even most) online solitaire games let you deal 1 card at a time, making the game friendlier and easier to win. On the Classic Solitaire site, you can choose to deal 1 card at a time or 3, whatever you want. Also, in some versions of classic/klondike, the number of times you can go through the stock pile is limited. Most games give you an unlimited number of redeals which is the default in this game, though you can configure the number of redeals in the game preferences.

So now that everything is laid out on the game board appropriately, you can begin playing.

In Classic Solitaire, there are 2 main sets of rules:

the rules for the foundations
the rules for the tableau
On the tableau, cards are arranged in descending order (meaning King, Queen, Jack, 10, etc) in alternating color (e.g. a black 7 can be placed on a red 8).

There are 4 foundation piles (initially empty), one for each suit of Ace. As soon as you find an Ace, you immediately move it to a foundation pile. Unlike the tableau, foundation piles are built in ascending order (i.e., Ace, 2, 3, etc) and by the same suit (so for example, only diamonds are allowed in one of the 4 foundation piles).

The basic strategy in this classic card game is to uncover your turned over cards as soon as possible. If you have the option of using a card from the tableau or a card form the stock pile, you will almost always want to use the tableau card.

One additional strategy that is often overlooked is that you can strategically move cards from the foundation piles back to the tableau. However, some online games do not allow this. Basically, for those versions of the game, once a card is in one of the foundation piles, it is locked into place. But assuming you’re playing a game that allows this type of move, let me give you a simple scenario where this move could come in handy. You’ve got a black 4 and a black 2, both on the tableau. The black 2 has facedown cards underneath it, so obviously, it would be advantageous if you were able to move the black 2. You’ve already been through the stock pile and you know that there’s no red 3 in sight. But wait! There’s a shiny red 3 in one of the foundation piles. So you move that red 3 onto the black 4 et voilà , you can now move that black 2 onto the red 3, thus uncovering whatever was underneath the black 2.

Sometimes moves like these are the difference between winning and losing a game.

When you are able to empty a tableau pile, you have a few options. The classic rules for Klondike say that only Kings can be placed in empty tableau spots. So this means you can either transfer an individual King card to the empty spot or a valid sequence of cards starting with a King to the empty spot (e.g. black King, red Queen, black Jack, etc). On the Solitaire Classic site, the default option is that only Kings can be placed in empty tableau piles. But you can choose this option or the option of allowing any card to go on a blank spot. Feel free to play however you want. Or hey, if you run into a dead end in a game, and your only option is to move a non-King card onto an empty space, feel free to change the rules on the fly. Is this cheating? That’s up to you. We feel you should have the freedom to play solitaire in whatever way makes it the most fun.

Thứ Năm, 30 tháng 6, 2016

Clock Solitaire

Clock Patience is a simple, fun variant of Solitaire. Clock Patience is played by one player with only one deck of cards. Unlike other games, however, it requires almost no strategy, and winning comes down to complete chance. To play Clock Solitaire, deal your cards, play through the deck, and learn how to win the game. Let's see rules and tips to win Clock Game.

Clock Solitaire Patience card games
How to play Clock patience solitaire card game

1. Requirements/statistics:

Space: Moderate/Large
Level: Challenging
Cards: One standard 52-card deck or a computer with internet connected
Players: One

2. Layout

Shuffle the deck. Deal the cards; face down, into 13 piles of four cards each. The piles should be arranged to mimic the numbers on a clock, with an extra pile in the middle of the circle. The “numbers” of the piles (1 through 12 on the clock; the middle pair is 13) are important.

Clock patience solitaire game

It's very easy if you play Clock Solitaire , because it has been put in right place and you just have to play.

3. Play

Turn the top card on the 13 pile face up (that’s the pile in the middle of the circle). Place it, still face up, under the pile of that card’s number.

For example, a card number 4, would go under the “4” pile. An Ace would go under pile “1”. Face cards are placed as follows: Jacks under 11, Queens under 12, Kings under 13.

Then, turn the top card on that pile face up and place it, still face up, under the appropriate pile. Continue in the manner until the game ends. If the final face-down card in a pile belongs to that same pile, continue the game by turning the next (moving clockwise) face-down card face up.

4. To win the game

In order to win all 13 piles must become face-up piles of four-of-a-kind.

However, you lose if the fourth King is turned face up before all the other sets are completed.

Thứ Ba, 28 tháng 6, 2016

Pyramid Solitaire Card Game

Solitaire Pyramid Egypt Card Games Online

1. Rule – How to play Pyramid Solitaire: 

Aces count as 1, Jacks count as 11 and Queens count as 12. Kings count as 13 and can be removed at any time by simply clicking on them. All other cards are at their face value. So for example you can combine an Ace and Queen to remove the pair, or Jack and a 2 to remove that pair.

To aid you, you may place a single card in the Temp Card Store. This will increase your pairing options by allowing you to get to otherwise impossible to reach cards that are in the pyramid. To successfully pass a round it is absolutely necessary for you to use this card store strategically and to do some planning and thinking with it!

Additionally the undo button will undo any single move, obviously that's great for fixing minor errors but there is a little trick for pro players! The trick is to draw 3 additional cards to see if they will change the order of the cards that you will remove from the cards dealt at the top in the pyramid. If not, no harm done, just undo the move and continue matching the pairs of 13. Of course it helps that you can use this little trick any time it is convenient!

Pyramid Solitaire Ancient Egypt rewards excellent play and strategy. You receive bonus points for completing a level quickly, removing all cards in both the pyramid and the deck, and failing that for any remaining cards in the deck that you have not uncovered. The game is quite kind, in that there is always a bonus if you complete a round although of course better play, always means better bonuses!

2. Tips to play Pyramid Solitaire well

Although not easy to win Pyramid Solitaire, but there are some tips you can use: 

- Always remove Kings as soon as possible, they literally just get in the way.

- Try to plan your moves. Look at the board and see what cards are blocking other cards.

- You absolutely must use the temporary card store. Combine that with planning and you can win most deals. Often simply by moving one card from the pyramid down to the store you can instantly uncover another card that you can use immediately. 

- This almost a bit of a cheat. You can use the undo card to look at the next 3 cards coming. This will allow you to plan your moves more effectively.

- At the bottom where the groups of three cards a dealt, if you have too many cards the game will hide them to save space. Those cards are always there, just hidden!

- Remember you don't have to remove every card, just the pyramid at the top.