Saturday, December 24, 2011

Turkey Recipe and more Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

I found a great recipe for cooking up a turkey. They're recipes are on the right side.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We review 2K Sport's latest installment in the NBA 2K Series, NBA 2K12.

Let’s be honest, 2K Sports has done for virtual basketball what EA has done with hockey, and Sony has done with baseball. NBA 2k11 won countless awards and is easily the companies' most successful franchise. So, how do you improve on a game that already has a lot going for it without messing up the formula? The answer is simple: don’t fix what isn’t broken. NBA 2k12 is the same great gameplay from 2K11 with updated AI, animations, and a new mode with authentic-style presentation. For fans of 2K and basketball in general, there is not a lot to complain about in this year’s outing and is a great way to play out the almost guaranteed canceled NBA season this year.

2K really enjoyed the Jordan Challenge mode from last year and decided to expand upon that mode this season with NBA Greatest. Following the careers of fifteen of NBA’s greatest players from all the different era’s of basketball. From Wilt Chamberlain to Magic Johnson and even all the way back to Bill Russell are covered here. One extremely satisfying feature of this mode is that the era your chosen team is playing in is accurately represented in-game. This means extremely short jerseys with knee-high socks, a black and white filter on everything, and even the removal of the three-point line pre-1979. It is these little attentions to detail that go a long way in making the NBA Greatest mode a blast to play. The only complaint that can be found is that the commentators call the game as if they are watching film and not the game as it actually happens.
Aside from NBA Greatest, the overall game itself has received a few gameplay updates. One of the biggest complaints from last year was that it was too easy to get caught in bad, clunky animations that ultimately caused a turnover. 2K worked on these issues and made the game move a lot smoother and easier to control. That being said, don’t expect the game to be a cakewalk because the AI has been upgraded as well. That is to say that the AI plays the game of basketball a lot smarter instead of pulling off moves and plays a human player could only hope to perform. This means you’ll need to have a pretty good understanding of the game, teams, and what your strengths or weaknesses are in order to be successful this year.
This was on quick game, with 5 mins. a quarter. So don't judge us by the score.
Another gameplay update that makes significant impact on how you play the game comes to the post game.Last year, you were required to find a defender, hold the LT button, and go into a post-up animation. This year, all that is needed is a press of the Y button (Triangle on PS3), and your player will turn his back to the net. From here, you have a list of moves you can perform that reads longer than a Mortal Kombat move set. The great thing about this post system is that you can transition from one move to another very fluidly in your attempt to get some separation from a defender. One thing to note is that not every player is able to pull off every move, so you’ll have to take into consideration the player you are using before you try that spin move and drive to the hoop.
2K Sports have always had solid presentation with their games, and NBA 2K12 is no exception. As previously stated, the presentation provided in the NBA Greatest mode is by far the most detail I’ve seen put into a sports game yet. The regular game also receives the same detailed treatment. Simply put Steve Kerr, Kevin Harlan, and Clark Kellogg are easily the best broadcast booth team in any sports video game to date. They have such good chemistry and play off each other so well it is as if they are calling the game in real-time. Add to this the overall TV style of stat overlays, transitions to replays, and excellent camera angles and you could just sit and watch a game instead of playing.
The grainy effect any no 3-point line shows the detail 2K Sports has put in the game.
There really is not much to find fault with this seasons' NBA game. However, there does seem to be once again an issue with online play performance, but that is the only blemish on an otherwise perfect game. In the handful of online games attempted for this review, I was never able to finish a game either due to disconnects or lag so bad the other person dropped out. While 2K has addressed these issues and is currently working to get patches out there, it is a little disheartening to find that online issues have popped up on a regular basis for this series over the past few years.
Online issues aside, this is a complete basketball experience that fans of the sport will be extremely pleased with. While the game itself may require a bit more of an understanding of the game in order to be successful, it is exactly this level of detail that has made this franchise as popular as it is. The addition of the NBA Greatest mode is a great way to get even more out of a game and feature some of the NBA’s legendary players. The presentation and gameplay are second to none, and players will find the game enjoyable long into the winter months and onto next season. For it's score, NBA 2K12 receives a 
Gameplay: 5.0/5.0 - The gameplay is rich in how it's presented, how you play, and the overall how fun you're having. The attention to NBA 2k12 details are so extensive, it'll impossible to even notice them all. We enjoyed every ton of the features, even the quick play was enjoyable to get a good little session going on.
Sound: 4.5/5.0 - The sound, to us, is the commentary, the voices you hear from the players as they play, and effects that help with visuals. This was an outstanding part of the game itself as we found the commentators to be very interesting when they talk. The new "sound technology" 2K12 brings is true. The commentators can be talking about a certain player and will stop when a big play arises at the time, and then resume back to what they were talking about. 
Graphics: 5.0/5.0 - There's really nothing to compare to NBA 2k12 graphics as it is currently the only basketball videogame to be out. However, the visuals are stunning and the presentation of the animations if perfected. It seems so realistic and unbelievable.
Replay Value: 4.75/5.0 - The replay value for this game is incredibly high, with so many game modes to choose from. You can play a quick game with any team you want and more user-created teams if you download from 2KShare. You can start a brand new association and take it 5 years forward, not forgetting you have 29 other teams to play as. You can play the revised My Player Mode as PG, while remembering you can play as 4 other positions as well and customize your player a million different ways. Oh, and you have several Greatest Players to play as. Did I forget something? Yeah, Online Association. And Online for that matter. The game has too many ways to play to NOT have replay value. 

Recommended. Only if you're into basketball. This game has plenty to offer than just what it looks like from gameplays and commentaries. Is it worth the $59.99 price tag? Probably not, but then again no game is worth the $59.99 price tag. Get it.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation Review for iPad/iPhone

We review Gameloft's edition of the record-hit, Modern Warfare 3. We see if the iPad/iPhone app can possibly pose a challenge to FPS console developers.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Activision has already released the record-breaking First-Person Shooter hit, MW3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has already smashed sales records and made millions for its publisher, redefining the term blockbuster along the way.
Entirely by coincidence but probably not, Gameloft has recently released the third game in its gritty first-person shooter (FPS) series, Modern Combat 3. Accusations of the company shamelessly cashing in are likely to fall on deaf ears, as Gameloft has a history of aping existing games with its own creations. However, what cannot be ignored is that this latest release pretty much puts all previous mobile FPS games to shame.

Fallen Nation had thousands (For a mobile app, that's a lot) of players waiting for the new release since Modern Combat 2. Now with Fallen Nation, players even suggest they'll pay $20 for the game.

Taking a leaf not only out of Call of Duty’s book, but also the recent home console shooter Homefront and Battlefield 3 as well, Modern Combat 3 presents a grim vision of the future. An alliance between rebellious factions in Russia, Pakistan and Korean has created a terrorist force so powerful that it has managed to invade North America and plant nuclear weapons in several major cities.
It falls to the player to try and curb this threat, and the game sends you on an almost suicidal mission to prevent the certain destruction of your beloved homeland.

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The controls in Modern Combat 3 will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played one of Gameloft’s other FPS releases on the iPhone. The left-hand side of the screen controls your movement while the right-hand side is in charge of your aim. Virtual buttons on the right side work as the fire, grenade, and Aim Down the Sight keys. The left side has sprint and changing body positions (crouch and stand). This setup mimics the twin-stick control arrangement that is present in most console shooters, and it works well enough. If you don't like it, hit the settings and customize where the buttons are to your liking.
We have to admit that we are eagerly awaiting the Xperia Play port of this game - physical controls really enriched Modern Combat 2. It will allow to see the screen better, so you're not blocking the way with your fingers (for iPhone users. iPad users, you're fine.)

The Modern Combat series is famed for its incredible graphics, even though MC2 was only available for iPhone 3 in it's release. This third iteration of the franchise is well and truly jaw-dropping. The graphics are outstanding, superior to any mobile gaming device and even some PC games. The opening sequence features a helicopter fly-by over a battle-ravaged city and it looks so good that you could almost believe you were watching a 360 or PS3 game in motion. That may sound like a massive exaggeration, but it really isn’t.
Once the stunning impact of those visuals has washed over you, what follows is a slightly more formulaic FPS romp through several varied locations. Like so many titles of this ilk, the game progresses via pockets of action.
This rapid-fire succession of set-pieces maintains the excitement, but if you attempt to stray from the pre-determined path the developers have set for you, you’ll either find your way blocked or you’ll expose the linear nature of the gameplay.
Like we said, this kind of issue afflicts pretty much every FPS title you could mention - including many on home consoles. It’s disappointing that there’s so little freedom afforded to the player, but the upshot is that the tight level design allows the tension level to be kept red-hot.

Just look at the scenery. It's gorgeous!
The single player section of the game will keep you entertained for several hours and once you’ve finished it, there’s always the challenge of playing again on a tougher difficulty setting (Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hardest).
However, the real longevity lies in the online multiplayer mode, which has become even more robust since Modern Combat 2. You can literally lose yourself for weeks in this mode, thanks to a good selection of modes (Capture The Flag, Destruction, Team Battle, Battle, and Zone Control) and the ability to earn experience for every kill, headshot, kill assist, capture etc. 
Modern Combat 3 is unquestionably an improvement over its predecessor. There is not such a great selection of FPS games released for mobile gaming, making MC3:FN the best mobile FPS yet released. While it suffers from the rare hiccup, you simply cannot grumble with the quality of what is on offer here. The visuals are stupendous, the action is well-paced, the sound is cinematic (even without headphones) and the multiplayer is highly addictive.
The bar has been raised once again. One has to wonder just how much better looking iOS games can possibly get. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation for iPad/iPhone receives a
Graphics: 5.0/5.0 - The graphics are superior to almost anything in the mobile gaming industry. You have to wonder how great these designers are for bringing small-time console graphics to the iPad.
Sound: 4.25/5.0 - I admit it. The sound quality is superb, amazing, down-right pure POUND TO THE EAR! Gunfire sounds are of nice quality, as well as human movement. But frequent phrases in multi-player mode lead to a repeating annoyance and block in your enjoyment. However, these phrases and sayings during the game do not affect the gameplay significantly. Just pointing it out.
Gameplay: 5.0/5.0 - The gameplay is just the best offered for mobile gamers (especially for iPad owners). The game is much like the Modern Warfare series in itself, with Call of Duty killstreaks and whatnot. However, the feel is not completely Modern Warfare. You don't necessarily run-and-gun all the time, and there's always different ways to defeat the enemy team.
Replay Value: 4.5/5.0 - The campaign of this game is highly playable by a lot of standards. Because of the 4 difficulty levels, the game offers more variety to each type of player, depending on your FPS skills. The game's solo mode itself is not completely running around killing enemy AI. You're going to experience riding a helicopter, firing missiles at your enemies to protect your ally troops. You're going to ride a truck and fire a machine-gun. You're going to use turrets, rocket launchers, and a variety of other cool weapons. It's one heck of a ride, and don't forget that we're talking about an iPad game, not a console game or PC game. The multi-player is extremely addictive and fun. It will definitely keep you in the game for a long time.
Recommended. For $6.99, you can't get a more quality action game than MC3. It's top class, pure graphics, and superb multi-player make it a serious FPS game. The pricetag, which shouldn't be your first concern, is definitely not that high, considering people will pay $20 for Minecraft or even $59.99 for a console game. We suggest you snatch it up and get in.

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