stormtrooper playing pacman

Reasons to Gift Video Games This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here with us and many people face the challenge of choosing the best gifts for their loved ones. If you have gamers in your life, there are various video games available that fit various people, from younger players to the more seasoned veterans, which cover light party games to those that may take many hours to fully finish. If you are wondering if you should gift video games or not, then the answer is a definite yes. This post looks at 5 top reasons to gift video games this holiday season.

1. Video Games Improve Basic Visual Processes

One major reason to gift video games this holiday season is their ability to improve visual contrast sensitivity. Playing a video game for about 50 hours (spread over 10-12 weeks) improves visual contrast sensitivity where players are seen to have the ability to tell between subtle differences in colors.

video games!

Playing video games has also been proved to successfully treat amblyopia, (also known as “lazy eye”) which is a disorder that arises from early childhood where one eye becomes basically non-functional. Regular video game play can treat this condition where the player can play or do other things such as watching television or knitting with the good eye covered. Great improvements can be made from these games and the player is likely to show normal or near-normal functioning of the “bad eye”.

2. Video Games Improve Executive Functioning

Executive functioning refers to one’s ability to allot their mental resources (like attention, memory, perception) in ways that allow for fast, efficient decision making or problem-solving. Video game play improves one’s ability to engage in several tasks simultaneously. If a loved one has trouble multitasking, consider buying them a video game this holiday season and you will be thankful you did.

Also, another reason you should gift video games is their ability to reverse mental decline that comes with aging. Cognitive flexibility, working memory, abstract reasoning and attention all tend to decline with age. Buying an elderly loved one this gift is a sure way to improve all of these abilities.

3. Video Games Improve Attention And Vigilance

If you are still wondering why you should gift video games this season, then you should know this gift improves the ability to track moving objects in a field of distractors. For instance, action games improve the ability of adults and children to keep track of a set of moving objects visually identical to added moving objects in the visual field.

Also, playing video games overcomes dyslexia. In some cases, dyslexia seems to originate from issues of visual attention. If you have a dyslexic child in your family, then consider buying them this gift as it is likely to improve their scores on reading and phonology tests.

4. Video Games Help Ease Pain

It is common to try to distract yourself from pain by paying attention to another thing or focusing on another body mechanism. However, that is not the only reason why video game play is a great post-injury prescription. Playing these games can actually cause the production of an analgesic (pain-killing) response in your higher cortical systems. If you have a loved one in some kind of pain, consider gifting them a video game this holiday season.

5. Video Games Improve Job-Related Skills

Video games are a great gift this holiday season as they improve job performance, particularly for jobs that require excellent working memory, good eye-hand coordination, attention, and fast decision-making. You will notice that video gamers are likely to be better than non-gamers in the ability to fly as well as land aerial drones and are basically as good as qualified pilots on this skill.

controllers

If you have children or grandchildren in college, help them become better at their job by buying them this gift. Also, if you have loved ones who are pilots, surgeons or in any other job that requires attention, good working memory, and good eye-hand coordination, then buying them a video game gift will help them become better at their job.

Video games are a great gift for both children and adults. There are different games in the market to fit different categories of consumers. Remember, video games will not only entertain your loved ones, they will also give them several healthy benefits.

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Fallout_4_Logo

A Review of Fallout 4: What to Expect

For the thrills and excitement it provides, Fallout 4 is anxiously being awaited, in fact since 2008 already. It surely is one of the most awaited games for PS4, Xbox One and PC with plenty of speculation about it. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, the open world action role-playing video game will be the 5th major installment in the series. The video game, set in Boston, is expected to be released globally on November 10, 2015.  Up to this moment, Bethesda has done everyone a favor by not blurting out too much information about the game and spoiling it for everyone.

Customize Your Character with Certain Attributes

One thing that has been established is that the game has plenty of dialogue, and that an official Bethesda Twitter revealed more than 11,000 lines in fact in the game. Bethesda may be keeping key details under wraps concerning the Fallout 4 story, but there are always those who manage to get hold of the information they want. To this end it has been established that the game commences with bombs falling on the Saturday morning with the nuclear family having the ever-present threat of war over their heads.

As the characters move into their bathroom, you are given the chance to personalize your character right down to opting whether you want to be male or female. In fact, a similar aspect to Fallout 3 is that you can upgrade your character.

There are several character traits that make your character what it is. Just as an example, you can select a character trait from the provided attributes list. If you choose ‘S’ as an example, which represents Strength, you will be bestowed with strength to enable you to deal with being in the wasteland where resources and supplies are scarce. The ‘P’ represents Perception for instance while the ‘A’ provides you with Agility skills. In the game, when you come across an item of value, you keep it because it makes you stronger so that you can carry even more useful items with you. The interesting thing with Fallout 4 is that the SPECIAL characteristic defines who your unique character is and what they do and think in Fallout 4.
You’ve Got Total Freedom

With Fallout 4, players will be part of what Bethesda refers to as a massive dynamic world and as a player, you can go wherever you want to go and do what you want to do. The goal of Bethesda with Fallout 4 is to offer players plenty of freedom. Where Fallout 3 allowed you to choose between 1st and 3rd person, with Fallout 4, everything is about player choice. A dog is given to you soon after starting, and this four-legged character becomes your best friend and you are able to give it commands.

Fantastic Graphics and Technologies

There will be a PS3- or an Xbox version of the game, and this is because of the game’s sophisticated technology as well as graphics for the last generation consoles. Fans of the game will however be pleased to know that gameplay for Fallout 4 is similar to the previous two main entries in the series and that there are some recognizable features that will be seen again.

One of the favorite features is the camera which is able to switch from 1st to 3rd person view with the ability to roam wherever on the map. Players can customize weapons and this is awesome when you think that the game includes more than 50 base guns and that there are more than 700 modifications available. Bethesda has also roped in id Software, a development team, to help improve Fallout 4 gun play.

Fallout 4 also brings back Fallout 3’s VATS combat targeting system. This is where you can choose to shoot individual body parts for increased damage.

Pre-Order Now

Excited about Fallout 4? The controls of the game have been designed by none other than Josh Hamrick. He was part of the team that worked on Destiny’s Remote Play controls. You’ll be able to play the game on your PS Vita through PS4 Remote Play. If you want to be sure you get your game, you can now pre-order it. United Kingdom consumers are able to pre-order from GAME on PC for instance while consumers in the United States will be able to pre-order from a number of retailers.

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video game movies

5 Must-See Movies Made from Video Games

Video game movies have a reputation for being terrible, watered-down versions of their source material. The first movie based on an existing video game was Super Mario bros, which was released back in 1993. Since then, Hollywood and other major film entities have turned a large number into blockbusters, receiving mixed to great reviews from critics and moviegoers alike. Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide and one of the most popular pastimes the globe over. A research team at Essex University in the UK found that people around the world spend an average of three billion hours a year playing video games. Gaming is popular because it allows people to act as different characters, overcome evil and save the world even if only on a virtual level and ‘zone out’ by escaping into an alternate virtual universe. Hollywood is realizing the popularity of video games around the world and in an attempt at meeting fan demand for high quality productions that mirror the virtual universe that many people love to escape into, has produced and will continue to release exciting blockbuster movies to cater to fans’ tastes. The following are some great movies based on video games that are as good as or almost as good as the real thing:

  1. Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill is a 2006 film adaptation of the popular survival horror video game series created for play station by Hideo Kojima and produced by Kojima productions. Silent Hill features a protagonist, Harry Mason, who must rescue his missing daughter from the monster-filled, cult controlled fictional town of Silent Hill, where he must use his wits and firepower in order to ensure that he and his daughter make it out alive. The movie follows the same premise and includes elements from all four series of the video game. The protagonist in the movie is a woman named Rose, who loses her daughter Sharon after a car accident in the town of Silent Hill. Rose must battle monsters and other elements of Silent Hill’s dark side in order to rescue her daughter.

  1. The Resident Evil Film Series: (2002-2012)

This is a series of Sci-fi action and horror movies that are based loosely on the 1996 video game of the same name. The film series consists of four installments spanning 10 years from 2002 to 2012. The films pit former employees of the Umbrella Corporation, a producer of bio-weapons, against their employer. The main protagonist, Alice and her fellow employees must escape from a top secret genetic facility named The Hive after the Artificial Intelligence Unit that runs the Hive releases the bio-weapon T-virus into the facility, turning the human subjects into zombies and the animals into mutants. In all the series, Alice must battle monsters, and hide from other Umbrella loyalists even as they try to prevent the T-virus from spreading into the world and turning people into monsters.

  1. Ace Attorney (2012)

This comedic Japanese courtroom drama was released in 2012 and is based on the video game Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney. Phoenix Wright, a novice lawyer, is involved in a race against time to prove his client innocent after the corrupt justice system introduces the Bench Trial system which gives both the prosecution and defense teams only three days to present and argue out their cases before the judge can deliver a verdict. This film is considered one of the best video game movies ever made and is widely praised for keeping as close to the source material as possible.

  1. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider (2001)

lara croft tomb raider

This movie is based on the 1996 video game developed by Core Design and follows the protagonist, Lara Croft, as she attempts to steal artifacts from exotic places. In this film, Lara and her high-tech team must find an ancient relic that holds power over time and death, while at the same time staying out of the clutches of the Illuminati, who are also trying to get their hands on the artifact.

  1. Prince of Persia

The Prince of Persia is based on the 1989 video game of the same name that was created by Jordan Mechner. It is currently produced by Ubisoft. Prince Dastan, a prince in 6th century Persia must stop a nefarious nobleman from finding and using the Sands of Time, a legendary gift from the gods that is capable of turning back time. Whoever owns the Sands of Time will have the power to control the world and Prince Dastan and his lovely love interest Princess Tamina must stop it from falling into the wrong hands.

Hollywood will continue to churn out video game-based movies to meet the demand from people who would like to see their favorite game turned into a film. Hopefully, they will be able to keep close to the source materials and produce films that exactly mirror video game hot lines.

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Grow-Home

The 4 Best Free Games for the PS4

If you’re on the hunt for a new PS4 game but would prefer to save your hard earned cash rather than splurge on a new title, you’re in luck as there are a variety of free downloadable PS4 games on the market.  Better yet, if you don’t want to waste your time downloading titles that you’ll only play once or twice, continue reading to discover four of the best free PS4 titles which are currently available for download.

1. Grow Home

Grow-Home

Grow Home – released on the 1st of September – is a platform adventure where players control a droid named B.U.D, whose mission is to create and provide oxygen for his world by growing and then climbing a Star Plant.  To complete the game, players are tasked with growing their Star Plant to a height of 2000 meters in order to return to your spaceship, so that you can deliver a seed to M.O.M.

If Grow Home sounds like a walk in the park, think again.  The higher you climb, the more likely you are to plummet to your death.  Don’t worry, though, you can always respawn to your last checkpoint.  So if you’re looking for a challenging new title that offers simple yet addicting gameplay and artistic graphics, you can’t go wrong downloading Grow Home.  Just be warned, the hours will whiz past.

2. Stealth Inc. 2:  A Game of Clones

stealth Inc 2 A Game of Clones

In Stealth Inc. 2:  A Game of Clones, players control a clone whose objective is to stealthily explore the cloning facility where he was created in order to save his fellow clones from a dire fate.  At its heart, Stealth Inc. 2:  A Game of Clones is a puzzle game; you are meant to progress around the cloning facility while having to solve a variety of challenging logic puzzles.  Each time you enter a new section, you’ll be given a new gadget, which will help you solve your next challenge.  As an example, the first gadget you’ll come across will be the inflate-a-mate, which can be used to create an inflatable platform.  The challenge, however, will be to discover how to get your inflate-a-mate to inflate.  As you progress through the game, the puzzles will become more and more of a challenge, with some puzzles requiring you to use a variety of gadgets in order to progress to the next section.

3. Rocket League

rocket-league

If you’re looking for a fresh, unique premise, you can’t go wrong downloading Rocket League, which has been marketed as an arena based, futuristic stunt car game.  If you’re a little puzzled just imagine playing soccer with rocket powered flying cars!  There is a variety of ways to excel at Rocket League.  As an example, you can concentrate on using your rocket boosters in order to score impressive aerial goals or you can take out your opponents by ramming them at supersonic speed.  Or, if you fancy playing a defensive game, you can use acrobatic abilities to prevent your opponents from scoring goals.  If you’re a fan of the FIFA series of soccer titles and are looking for something a little different, Rocket League is well worth playing.

4. Skulls of the Shogun:  Bone-A-Fide Edition

Skulls of the Shogun Bone-A-Fide Edition

If you’re a fan of turn-based strategy games, you’ll love Skulls of the Shogun:  Bone-A-Fide-Edition, where you’ll get the chance to build your very own army of samurai zombie warriors.  Unlike some turn-based strategy games that lack a decent storyline, Skulls of Shogun offers an engaging storyline as you get to unlock the story of an undead general whose aim is to discover the truth about his betrayal and murder.  Whilst there is no shortage of turn-based strategy games available, Skulls of the Shogun stands out due to it’s unique hand drawn style of cartoon graphics.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re in the mood for a gaming session, simply choose the free PS4 game above that sounds like the most fun and start downloading it.  You can rest assured that each game featured above has garnered rave reviews and will be sure to entertain you and your friends for countless hours.  Just be sure to act quickly, as most free PS4 games are only available for a limited time period.

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gta5-transportation

The Best Transportation Options in Popular Video Games

Every game that has hit the market has brought more spice to our experience of challenges and fun.  The ubiquitous move from the early days of the gaming experience to the high-tech products available today is commendable.  In view of the many offerings that choice games have given us, picking the best transportation options in popular video games could be daunting.  Every shade of inspiration, design and technology has helped to carve a strong niche of excellence in the world of games.

It is important to mention that some of the transport options that make this list are due to a combination of objective and subjective reasoning.  Ultimately, the winner remains the individual who makes the most of each offering in the world of games.

Why Transportation?

Every component in a game can shape the appeal it gives to its users.  We are all aware of the Halo Series, games like the Transport Tycoon, the early days of Super Mario and so much more.  Each game was spiced with means of movement that made it more engaging.  It can be safely stated that the beauty of each game is dependent on the means of transport used.  Some games have hidden levels that throw up enchanting tools for transport and this takes the fun to its zenith.

Also, the feedback that has contributed to the success of the latest products in the market is phenomenal.  The transport options have grown with speed and panache, creating a buzz that has put each game on a whole new level.  Although some successful games have wiggled out of the transport options challenge, many more have embraced it and soared to new horizons.

An Overview of What You Need to Know

Before we look at the best transport options used in popular video games, I need to point out some salient points.  Every industry has giants that shape the field and lead their space.  This is no different in the world of games.  We have seen games that did not have the quality, technology and investment to match the needs of the consumer.  This did not stop the movement of those who kept building from one level of excellence to another.
One point to note is that most games that fit the bill in amazing transport options have continued to grace the market.  However, some of these games are not the cheap, affordable games anyone can access.  What this list has tried to capture are games that fall within what most of the savvy game users can connect with.

Best Transportation Options in Popular Video Games

Each game that really strikes a chord in its transport dynamics has created options that have blazed the trail.  The surprises, unpredictability, amazing features and so much more makes them leaders in their league.  Here are some of the popular games and what they have to offer:

The jetpacks in Tribes broke the conventional understanding of the normal features we find in games.  You could fly, ski and zoom across different locations with one swift move.  This was further entrenched in the various upgrades that have continued to get scintillating effects.  Every jetpack stands the test to match the dynamism that can be incorporated into it due to the Tribes experience.  It is also important to mention that flying has been one of the high points of each game most people play.  However, when an instrument for flight can also serve other purposes, it makes it more interesting for all.  A look at what the developers tried to achieve shows that they want to help us break new frontiers, and create new horizons with the jetpack mix in this game.

The Mongoose and Halo series show how much power can be packed into the right choice of vehicle.  The drive to move to locations, tear down obstacles and reach new heights has kept this game on the leading edge.  Although experienced critics have pointed out some grey areas, I feel the idea of having others share the fun has made this game iconic.

Another sublime game is the power that awaits you in Yoshi with each jump.  This game has really helped us to keep the Dinosaurs extinct!

We all have our preference, but each of these games did a great job in creating unique transport moves.  They have been some of the pacesetters that have defined the field for others.  Also, it is important to mention that there are other choice games that give you the right drive, jump and leap experience.

gta5-transportation

The GTA 5 game decided to make new marks by introducing rideshare companies to the mix.  We know the success stories of Lyft vs Uber, but never knew it could take us all to the next level in a game.  The creative mastering of this game makes it one that provides some of the best transport experiences in today’s gaming world.

On that note, the airstrips and Chocobos in Final Fantasy also give a lot of positive vibes.  The use of the birds that combine the power of a horse and some combat features make this a trendy addition.  It has continued to carve a space for itself in the ever-increasing introductions that grace the market.

Do you know that virtually all means of transport are represented in the various games we have today?  This obvious reality makes me give a worthy mention to the next game on the list.

Transport Tycoon is a game to allows you create the rules and build a transport network.  The chain of events in this game makes it one of the best transportation options designed among popular video games.  Each player is allowed to run a network, and his mastery of the rules determines how far he can go.  Beyond the business side of this game and the creativity that comes into play, the transport possibilities make it a leader in its field.  Also, the various reviews it has enjoyed shows that it has the right balance whether you choose to go on water, land or air.  Each space has options that would engage you and keep the fun going.  There are few games that are fully dedicated to transportation, which is why I know this game deserves its choice place in this mix.

A Trend That Has Come to Stay

Generally, the transportation options in each game give it the edge to compete among the best in the industry.  It is exciting to note that despite all the strides that have been made, the future looks so bright and we are in the best of times in the world of gaming.

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Madden-2016

4 Games to Get This Holiday Season

We all know Christmas is just around the corner.  As soon as all the Halloween candy is removed from the stores, it will be time for trees and Santa hats, so it’s never too soon to get ready for the shopping season.  I could list hundreds of video games coming out and ones already released, but I want to help you with your list, not make it more difficult.  I will break it down into 4 categories and suggest the best game you can purchase in each of those respective categories.

  1. Sports:  Video Games are not just for kids anymore, and the more of us adults playing them, the more diverse the video game world becomes.  Sports especially have really grown in the video game world.  I looked at all the video games on sports from Fifa to MLB the Show and narrowed it down to WWE 2k16 and Madden 2016.  After playing Madden and reading everything I can about WWE, I narrowed it down further.  Madden already has a name for itself as an elite video game series, and Madden 2016 will just etch that in stone with its amazing graphics and all-new features.

Madden-2016

MADDEN 2016 is an amazing addition to a series that began in 1989.  The graphics are more realistic than any other of the previous Maddens and this year’s game brings you many new features.  The first new feature that takes this game to the next level is the QB control.  This allows you to “rocket” a pass or “lob” a pass with just the click of a button.  Along with easier controls and more control of the receiver, Madden 16 has the best play-by-play announcing yet.  There are even dozens of new features I have not mentioned.  In conclusion, the new Draft Champions brings the growing love of Fantasy Football to Madden 2016.  If you have a sports fan on your shopping list and are looking for a great gift for Christmas, Madden 2016 scores a touchdown (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4).

  1. Fighting: Many people in the video game world love fighting games.  Maybe this is where the ultimate love of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter came from.  Whatever the reason is, Mortal Kombat is taking the original idea and perfecting it.

Mortal Kombat X:  We gamers have all played Mortal Kombat by now, but this new version is truly something special.  When else will you get a chance to bring in the classics like Sub-Zero and Scorpion and bring them into the world of Jason and Freddy Kruger?  This is something you have to try for yourself.  I want to warn you, the graphics of Mortal Kombat X are some of the most detailed – almost disgusting – graphics that I have ever seen.  It is the graphics, though, that to many will set this game apart from any other fighting games ever.  With the chance to purchase other characters such as the infamous GORO, the new fighting moves and finishes make Mortal Kombat X a perfect little stocking stuffer (Xbox One, PS4, PS3, and PC *possible late December release for Xbox 360).

  1. Fantasy/Superhero: Superheros never die, as you can see all over the movie screen from the Superman Movies to the new Deadpool movie coming out in 2016.  The amount of people from the gaming world who you see at Comic-Con is uncanny.  These are two areas that have a huge common bond, and this year for video game fans, the superhero world has outdone itself with Batman Arkham Knight.

Batman Arkham Knight

Batman Arkham Knight:  When Rocksteady came out with Batman Arkham Asylum, they made you feel like you were really Batman.  From the combat areas to the boss battles, Arkham Asylum became not only a leading fantasy superhero game, but a leading game in general.  Now they even topped that with Batman Arkham Knight.  Rocksteady says goodbye to the greatest franchise in years with this masterpiece and their best game to date.  Every single part of the game feels like they really listened to their fans and gave them what they wanted.  Batman:  Arkham Knight is the perfect conclusion to a great saga, and will be the perfect conclusion to the holiday shopping season this year (Xbox One, PC, PS4).

  1. Shooting Games: Days are not the same any longer in the video game realm.  It used to be about Mario vs. Sonic or Doctor Mario vs. Tetris, but now it is all about who can shoot better.  Shooting games have become a staple in the video game world, with Halo, Battlefield, and many others.  This Christmas if you don’t already have it I recommend putting all other shooting games away.  They will become a disappointment compared to my last must-have video game.  From the great people who made the Left for Dead series comes EVOLVE.

Evolve:  This game is unique, as it is essentially a four-player vs. one-player shooting game.  You have four hunters vs. one hunted.  How does this work, you ask?  Let me do my best to explain.  Each of the four hunters have special attributes, for example there could be a medic, a sharpshooter, etc.  They will combine their efforts and knowledge to hunt the one player controlling the giant monster.  This monster can eat other animals and salvage all the land, growing faster, meaner and bigger as the game goes on.  If the four can work together to find and shoot the monster, you have the makings of the greatest game yet.  I don’t want to take anything away from any game, but whether you’re looking at the shooting category or even just overall, Evolve is the greatest game to hit the video game world to date.  I promise it will be just as popular wrapped up with a bow (Xbox 1, PS4 Pc).

It was a tough year with so many great games coming out and having already been out, and I have spent countless hours playing many of those.  To give you a bit of advice when choosing the right game for a gift, look at the kind of games he/she plays the most.  There are hundreds of titles to choose from and after reading this, many more will be released.  If you don’t have anything written down and you just want to look like you have done your homework, these four games are must-haves for the holiday season.

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