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Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 19th October 2011

Changes in Minecraft 1.9 Pre-release

Minecraft logo

It has not been long since Notch and the Minecraft developer team released the Minecraft “Adventure” Update 1.8. However, yet already a new version of the well-known and very popular Indie-game has been released.

The newest version to this date is the 1.9 pre-release #2 update. However, where is the difference between the actual release and the pre-release versions? Explaining this is very easy: All pre-release versions might include tons of bugs and errors – and will get fixed in the final Minecraft update.

But what is new in Version 1.9 aswell as in the Pre-release updates? Infact, there are quite a few new features coming up. One of the features that many players have been waiting for are NPCs. Whilst NPC villages have already been added in the 1.8 update, they were empty in that version. Now, NPCs are finally inhabitants of these villages that randomly appear around the map. Still, finding these villages isn’t easy though: You have to walk around for quite some time, as populated areas are very rarely spread around the map.

Another interesting point is the fact, that it’s finally possible to have more than 3 strongholds per map. In version 1.8, strongholds were limited to 3 per map and were only created within 1000 blocks of the 0 | 0 | 0 coordinate.

A propos NPCs: There will also be a few new enemy- or neutral-like mobs. Existing mobs have also been changed slightly: The capability of Enderman to transport and carry blocks has been restricted.

As there are finally NPCs in the map, the experience bar will finally get a use, however it’s not sure, which one yet. According to some blog posts, you will be able to trade experience for things such as weapons. Instead of loosing all experience upon death like in 1.8, a certain percentage will stay with the player even if he gets killed.

In 1.8, rivers and caves were introduced to Minecraft. 1.9 will add some new and additional biomes (areas with a certain landscape and nature, like desert and forest). One of these is the mushroom biome, which will naturally grow huge mushrooms.

And now another interesting change and also the last one in this article: You’re now able to feed animals. If you for example hold wheat in your hand, you’ll attract certain animals. If you start feeding them, they will start “loving” you – possibly following you. What features and possibilites this has isn’t sure yet.

These are the main changes of 1.9 and it’s pre-release versions. A couple of new blocks, especially in the nether, are also going to get added. However, I guess it’s best if you play Minecraft 1.9 yourself and explore and use the new capabilites.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 12th October 2011

X-COM UFO Defense review

The game is set in the year 1999 where UFO sightings are becoming common and they start regular invasions terrorizing and killing the inhabitants of Earth. There is no possibility of co-existence as the aliens try to overthrow humans and take over power and rule the planet. The alien characters are mysterious and psychically heightened. None of the governments can stand up to these horrific creatures of outer space for long considering their technological and warfare advancements.

x-com ufo defense

This is exactly the reason the United Nations has come up with X-COM a project to exterminate these bizarre extra terrestrial creatures. The X-COM is leaded into the war zone by none other than the player. You are in command of kicking these aliens of your motherland.

The game allows you to choose your own turf across the globe to set up a base and with a decent allowance as you start your operations. Initially you are equipped with 2 hangers in which an interceptor (simple Air-Air jets) and a Skyranger (transports troops) in addition to a factory and research lab where you will be manufacturing basic troop weapons and fighter jets meanwhile you can upgrade your weapons bay in the lab. Once you see a UFO lingering about in your Geoscape view that is where the actual action starts. If you fail in intercepting the target with your interceptor you will have to deal with it once it lands. The Skyranger comes in handy here the troops are transported and made to fight in realistic battle terrains. Initially your soldiers may find themselves inexperienced to fight these advanced freaks of outer space and succumb to their merciless slaughter. The aliens with their technological advancement never seem to miss out on the targets initially. The aliens are at an advantage in the initial missions and frustrate you to a little extent. They also add the element of surprise as they tend to attack when you slack off thinking you have dealt with the lot. If you are successful in a mission your soldiers will bring in the loot from the battle to help you learn more about the extra terrestrials. The graphics are the state of the art considering the game’s release back in 1999.Even the aliens are artfully designed with variations albeit faceless human soldiers. The sound is flawed even in the late 90’s as you hardly have any music or special effects in the game.

This game gives your mind a strenuous workout as you progress through missions with the aliens throwing everything they have at you making it difficult and fun all the same. X-COM: UFO Defense is considered to be incomparable in its genre even after all these years of game making and its inferior technology.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 11th October 2011

How to survive the first night in Minecraft Survival

I start up Minecraft for the first time, generate my first level and here I am in the middle of a landscape full of blocks. This is minecraft, and I’m in the middle of it. I’ve chosen to play a regular survival game and now need to somehow get away alive at least for the first night, things are easier afterwards.

For me, as an experienced Minecraft player, this isn’t a problem at all. I know the schematics I need to follow, I know what I need in order to craft certain items. However, it’s not for beginners. This is, why I wrote the following article.

After having loaded and spawned, the first thing you’ll do is searching for wood. Wood is a very essential item in the Indie-like styled game Minecraft. It’s a part of most crafting receipes and is required in order to craft many items – like a pickaxe or axe.

In order to get wood, just search a tree and left-click on one of the stock blocks. After a few seconds, you’ll have your first wood block. Keep doing this until you have about 32 blocks of wood.

The next step is crafting a pickaxe you’ll need a pickaxe in order to win coal out of coal blocks. If you left-click on coal blocks without having a pickaxe, it’s not just taking ages, but you’ll also end up having removed the block without the block spawning a piece of coal.

In order to craft a pickaxe, first of all place all of the wooden blocks in the crafting grid in your inventory(press e). Just make two 64 stacks of wooden planks out of your wood. Afterwards, take 4 of the planks, place them in your crafting grid and make a crafting table out of it.

Place this crafting table somewhere in the scenery and place a few wooden planks at the bottom and in the middle of the field. Create a few(~16) sticks this way. Next up, place 8 sticks each in the middle and bottom of the 3×3 crafting grid of the crafting table. However, also add wooden planks on all the fields at the top of the crafting table.

Wooden Pickaxe Minecraft

Make 2-3 pickaxes and now search for coal. As soon as you’ve 16 to 32 pieces of coal, go for some stone and then head back to the crafting table(or just take it with you, if the distance between the coal and the table is long). Place the sticks at the bottom and the coal in the middle of the crafting table and make some torches.

It should slowly get dark in the world of Minecraft – make sure to build your first home or alternatively just make yourself a way through a mountain, place a torch inside your player-generated cave and place some blocks in the entrance – that way you’ll ensure that no zombies or other enemies enter your home and potentially kill you.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 10th October 2011

How can I get my first Bitcoins?

Bitcoin is a new digital monetary system over the Internet, that permits people many opportunities to create, buy or exchange, be donated or otherwise acquire bitcoins. It’s easier than you think to get started getting your first coins to make purchases, or to save up for a rainy day. The most basic way anyone can obtain coins without too much interaction with other parties is to engage in bitcoin mining. Because the currency lacks a centralized structure there is no third-party running the open-source program in the peer-to-peer network. Individual users contribute to the system by running the bitcoin program on their PCs, and in return for such “mining” or running the program the user is rewarded with coins by the software.

Growing numbers of bitcoin miners means growing amounts of coins in the system, which in turn causes the software to regulate itself by increasing the difficulty with which mining may produce new bitcoins. The coins are then saved to the users’ wallet on their computer, where they can be later “spent” or exchanged. Those not so enthralled by the prospect of running the computer for hours in order to earn coins, my consider trading for them instead. This would involve going to exchangers or bitcoin exchange websites and purchasing an amount of the currency using cash or other digital money (such as liberty reserve, web money or other alternatives).

Other clever ways to obtain bitcoins are to find websites who are giving out minute amounts of coins for free, as a means of getting more people exposed to the benefits of the system. These faucet services may only be dripping a minute amount of the currency these days, but it still excellent as an additional source of the currency. Still another means of getting coins is to become an affiliate of a bitcoin related or funded service, and seek referrals for your promotional efforts on behalf of the currency. Depending on the website program, the affiliate marketer may be rewarded for their referrals by being paid in Bitcoin.

A slightly more advanced way to get coins, once you have acquired your first samples, is simply sit down and wait. Taken as an investment, is quite likely that the value of bitcoin will markedly increase compared to other major world currencies as time goes by. If you hold onto your coins until “Kingdom come,” you may be pleasantly surprised later to find you have acquired at the very least, much more valuable coins than when you first bought or mined them. You can also go the other direction and find online gambling sites that will accept the coins as a form of payment or deposit. Let your gambling skills set get you to into some money using Bitcoin!


Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 9th October 2011

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin LogoThe bitcoin phenomenon has been growing for many months, and is not likely to go away anytime soon. Bitcoin is a new online system of monetary exchange that operates on a peer-to-peer network. It is a decentralized and open source project, which is to say it is not centrally controlled or monitored by a government, website, new company, or banking system. The principles and rules pertaining to how it operates was built into the original programming, which is known to the whole community involved in the operation of the system across the network. The transparency of the bitcoin architecture is balanced by the heavy encryption that characterizes each transaction, thereby preserving the security and privacy of the funds transacted.

This complex of features is put together by bitcoin in order to bolster a new kind of digital currency that strongly promotes privacy and anonymity across the network, while retaining transparency and accountability for all the transactions. Since the regulation of the currency is driven by an impartial set of rules carried out by software, run by the members participating in the network, the possibility of hacking, or on, or in turn by governmental or banking is essentially nil. The actual transactions involve digital “coins” that are transmitted directly from one peer to the other, making the functioning of all transmissions free of any middlemen or financial third-party.

Coins transferred in the system between peers are stored in each peer’s digital wallet, secure storage folder on the user’s individual PC. Storing the coins in this fashion separates them from the computing operations of the Bitcoin program, in order to prevent hacking the transactions conducted on the open source network. Users of the system should be aware that, although the highly encrypted bitcoin software itself has never been successfully hacked, coins stored on their own computer are subject to compromise by viruses or malware as any other files on their system. Third-party websites that handles exchanging coins for other currencies are also subject to compromises to their security.

New coins in the currency can be generated through a process called and quote mining,” where the activity of the peer-to-peer network in running the program counts towards the generation or mining of coins they can add to their wallet. Bitcoin is set up to strictly regulate the value of the new currency through internal rules determining how many new coins can be created to serve its population of users, and how many users are mining across the network. The coins do not experience “monetary inflation” from the whim of a secret board of bankers, but based on the rules of the software, transparent to all. The logic, fairness, security and privacy of the system is expected to make bitcoins an ongoing, popular and reliable alternative currency.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 5th October 2011

Hunted: The Demons Forge review

This is an interesting co-op game which hasn’t quite gone well with the gamers. Though it is said to be presented very poorly you can’t deny the fact of fun and thrill it gives along the ride. This game has fantastic ideas waiting to be unveiled. The amazing combination of Hack and Slash with the pure skill of a well covered shooter is one among the salient features of this game. The game is at its optimum best when joined by a friend with equally desperate friend as it’s basically a co-op game. There are 2 characters in the game E’Lara and Caddoc one among them will be your choice as you begin the game.

Hunted - The Demons Forge logo

The RPG is very well designed to suit a player’s style albeit you can change your choice in mid-game which is quite odd and kills the fun of staying loyal to your chosen character. As the saying goes “never judge a book by its cover” as the burly tough Caddoc is the calm one and E’Lara is all hasty and foolhardy. Their razz is quite enjoyable, humorous and silly at times. The choice between E’Lara and Caddoc depends on your style of gaming as it decides the progression in the game. The choice is simple one on one bone crushing melee of Caddoc or scoring long ranged headshots with E’Lara.

Each character has a set of powerful special abilities which can be coordinated to damage different waves of the enemy. When you are joined by a friend it is fun as you can coordinate your damages on the foe with special abilities like as E’Lara you can freeze the foe to be smashed to smithereens by Caddoc or as Caddoc you can create a tempest while E’Lara scores head shots in the heat of confusion amongst the foe as they levitate in the air. The combo with the computer is totally a boring experience though it really saves your life in the game where needed. The game doesn’t provide gamers with an option to join a quest mid-way. The character hopping is oddly fun when you join hands with the computer as it develops more chances for combo attacks. The absence of a proper inventory and a map again creates frustration as you proceed through the game. This mix of covered shooting, co-op experience and fantasy setting has raised a number of eyebrows. Albeit it’s hot co-op gaming experience gamers are not quite satisfied.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 5th October 2011

Gods Eater Burst review

This 2011 action-adventure game was created exclusively for the PSP (Play Station Portable). This game was actually released for Japan in 2010 as God Eater but was later redeveloped and released as Gods Eater Burst in North America in 2011.

God Eater Burst screenshot

This game posses a very massive story line completely with voice actors and names in single player mode. The character in the game is young, unemployed and a warrior who takes on powerful creatures- Aragami. This is where the game developers have put their complete hard work into creating these amazing creatures, where most have real world creatures’ characteristics but some are simply unbelievably cool from inventive side of the developers .The name God Eater comes from the story as these warriors who pull together guts to go against Aragami are known as God Eaters. Though these creatures sound completely impossible to beat the game developers actually mention the weakness of each Aragami before you head out to hunt it down using its weakness to your advantage with the available weapons. This mission based game consists of over 100 missions including co-operative game play with a maximum of 3 players connected through al-controlled teammates. The PlayStation 3’s adhoc party is supported by the American version of God Eater Burst. The game provides players with character customization of voice, hair color, hair style, skin face as well weapons using certain special materials available in the game. Blade, Shield and Gun are the 3 categories into which the weapons have been divided. While some are heavy and slow but doesn’t compromise on the crushing and piercing part others are swift and may use elemental powers to burn or freeze the foe. Though you are provided with guns in the game you can’t just go on a shooting spree as it requires a lot of skill and ability before you land a bullet on your foe. The weapons can be toggled between shield, melee and ranged in mission.

The story layout basically revolves around the prominent members of Fenrir which is simply an anti- monster organization dedicated to wipe the world off monsters. Our character now takes over this group and heads to accomplish the primary mission of the organization. The 5 members of the team Alisa, Lindow, Sakuya, Kota and Soma will now be guided into missions and assignments from Tsubaki (instructor) and Lindow’s sister. The game was well received by the gamers and is has become one of the favorites. It scored a decent 34/40 (9, 9, 8, 8) in one of the gaming magazine.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 30th September 2011

Dirt 3 review

This is a sequel to DIRT 2. This game is like the next level for gamers, from amateur to professional. This transition makes the game all the more interesting and challenging. This gives the gamers access to a massive roster of vehicles and racing teams. Dirt 3 includes the Group B Rally cars which were banned by the FIA sequencings a great number of spectator and driver causalities. Though it advertised a complete Group B set in the promos the actual game seems to be missing out on some of the exotics such as Ford Escort Mk. II, Peugeot 205 T16 and Lancia Delta S4. But the word is that the missing cars will soon be added in the DLC packs.

Dirt 3

The single player career mode is more or less the same as the previous game with the same basic layout, start from the bottom of the table, working your way to the top, earning points and unlocking new cars, sponsorships, liveries and new events. A sense of déjà vu makes you feel nostalgic of Trailblazer, Landrush, Rally, Rally Cross, and Raid with almost the same Baja racers, rally cars, stadium trucks and SUVs. The new version although offers you an event that is unprecedented in the earlier versions as you race against time in a multi-terrain obstacle course. All you have to do in this mode is to accumulate points pulling together 180 and 360 degree spins, huge drifts, big jumps and other crazy driving maneuvers. This mode is available in the career and the DC compound allowing you to try new moves in freestyle. Other interesting add-ons to this game like unlocking superb maneuvers, collecting hidden packages, stunt bonuses and locked missions. This game also provides snow tracks which is again an added privilege to your gaming experience.

Dirt 2 was considered the best looking racing game till its successor Dirt 3 rolled out. Equipped with Ego 2.0 engine this game delivers amazing particle and lighting effects that leaves any gamer with his mouth wide open. Superb cockpit detail and stunning exteriors takes the gaming experience to a whole new level. The amazing dust effects in the gravel and dessert levels are amazingly realistic. Night races are beautifully designed with efficient lighting. The weather effects started by F1 2010 are also available in Dirt 3. Atmospheric touches are carefully rendered with perfection to the smallest detail. This game provides all those dirt saga fanatics something new to talk about.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 30th September 2011

Motorola Defy review

The Motorola defy is the latest Smartphone offering from Motorola. It features the ever popular Android operating system giving users access to many applications for entertainment, education and utility, as well as having the Moto blur social network app which is exclusive to Motorola. Many people make full use of the Moto blur app, which allows users to consolidate their social network accounts into one for convenience when staying in touch with friends.

Motorola Defy

If you enjoy being outdoors or being active you can take the Motorola defy mobile phone with you as Motorola have taken the care to ensure that the screen is scratch proof, the phone itself is waterproof and it is also dust proof. For any terrain that you may be taking your defy, you will literally be able to defy the elements.

The phone itself seems to be incredibly well built. With visible screws and thick plastics, you can see its durability and strong structure. If you’re looking for sleek and feminine, the defy probably wont appeal to you on looks but on the plus side, this phone does all it can to make itself indestructible.  You couldn’t have more of an excuse to take to the beach to try out this phone!

The ‘dust proof’ properties are achieved by rubber stoppers, which are attached to the body of the phone. These simply plug up the holes when they are not in use. There is one over the headphone jack, charger port and memory expansion cards. It is probable however that you will get quickly tired of these additions to the bodywork and simply end up knocking them off or pulling them off. Unfortunately this design feature that is supposed to be of advantage actually causes more problems than it solves.

With all these features plus the usual camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth features that are now expected with a phone, the Motorola defy is a robust and useful little gadget to have.

Posted by Dradon Haystorm on 29th September 2011

HTC Droid Incredible 2 review

The HTC Droid Incredible 2 has everything going for it.  It is a suave and sexy phone for the most glamorous of mobile phone users.  The HTC Droid Incredible 2 is all about making things simpler for its users.  The compact design with the rounded corners aims to help the user to hold the phone more comfortably, as well as being a sensible enough size for the user to read the display whilst also being able to carry it around easily when not in use.

HTC Droid Incredible

The HTC Droid Incredible 2 features both front and rear cameras.  This is a really useful feature for anyone who enjoys making the most of their camera functions.  Whilst the rear camera can be used to take still images of your surroundings, capture memories or take snapshots as a reminder, the front camera is useful for having video conversations with your contacts.  The phone has an excellent 720p video quality and can even capture video in darker lighting – great if you are out partying.

The super clear viewing area is ideal to watch videos.  Many apps allow you to watch shows and films online and this phone provides a great means of entertainment whilst on the move.  If you like to listen to music, there’s SRS WOW HD surround sound.  You just wont find these kinds of entertainment features on many other phones on the market.

You can turn your mobile into a wireless hub.  By turning on the phone’s hotspot capabilities, you can allow up to 5 other devices to share your Wi-Fi connection.  One great way of making the most of this is if you are on holiday and pay for Internet access per device.  Simply connect the HTC Droid Incredible 2 to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, and you will be able to allow everyone else in the family to share that connection.  Up to 5 for the price of 1!

This phone has all you need and more!

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