Games

Christmas game gift tip Call of Duty

Black Ops bears the series’ standard superbly, delivering an engrossing campaign and exciting competitive multiplayer. Watch HD 520p The GoodThrilling variety throughout campaign   Fractured story creates an intriguing atmosphere   New multiplayer currency system is invigorating   Combat training lets anyone enjoy multiplayer excitement   Theater lets you share and enjoy triumphs and failures. The BadShort campaign. When a franchise consistently delivers massively popular, high-quality games, each new entry in the series comes laden with expectation. Call of Duty: Black Ops has some big shoes to fill, but it does so admirably. The engrossing campaign is chock-full of exciting, varied gameplay and drips with intrigue and intensity. The excellent multiplayer boasts some invigorating new features, and the new combat training mode finally gives novices a way to enjoy the competitive action without suffering the slings and arrows of outrageously skilled veterans. Cooperative zombie killing and video editing tools help make Black Ops the most robustly featured game in the franchise, and though you may have expected it to be the case, this is undoubtedly one of the best shooters of the year. Just a typical afternoon’s jaunt through the Russian countryside. The single-player campaign is set largely during the 1960s and takes you to Cold War hot spots like Cuba, Russia, and Vietnam. You are an elite covert operative, and your globe-trotting adventures form pieces of a puzzle–a puzzle that your mysterious captors are trying to put together by interrogating you. Each excursion into the field is a memory, and these missions slowly come together to build momentum as each interrogation cutscene puts another piece of the puzzle in place. It’s not a very original mechanic, but it gives a coherent context to the action, and a few strong characters and dramatic moments give the story some genuine intrigue. The blurry edges of your consciousness conceal information that must come to light, and the erratic visual effects and eerie audio echoes that accompany your interrogations sometimes bleed into your mission memories, which creates a great tone of uncertainty that plays out in surprising and satisfying ways. Your interrogation-fueled flashbacks are not beholden to the linear flow of time, allowing your missions cover a wide variety of geography and gameplay. A dramatic breakout from a brutal Soviet prison is one early highlight, and later missions feature frontline conflicts, urban firefights, and mountainous incursions. The environments are richly detailed, and though the campaign is not without a few technical hiccups (like occasionally problematic checkpoint markers and the odd teleporting ally), these moments aren’t likely to hinder your enjoyment. In addition to the on-foot action, you use a number of vehicles to achieve your objectives. Some put you in the gunner’s seat while others put you behind the wheel, and though the vehicle handling is unremarkable, the thrill of blowing stuff up and speeding through hostile terrain is undeniable. The core running-and-gunning mechanics remain as exciting as ever, and the gameplay variety throughout the campaign keeps the action moving at a great clip. Nothing like a remote control car strapped with C4 to ruin your enemy’s care package party. Though the campaign is a rip-roaring good time, it clocks in at a mere six hours long. The mode that will likely keep you coming back to Black Ops for months to come is, unsurprisingly, the competitive multiplayer. At its core, this is the familiar top-notch Call of Duty action that players have been enjoying for years. You earn experience for doing well in battle, and as you level up, you gain access to new and powerful ways to customize your loadouts. New weapons and maps freshen things up, and one of the new killstreak rewards–an explosive-laden remote-control car–is a delightfully deadly device that embodies the frantic, slightly goofy side of virtual online combat. The key new element, however, is currency. In addition to earning experience for your battlefield performance, you earn Call of Duty points, which you can then spend in a variety of ways. Most perks, weapon attachments, killstreaks, and equipment items are available early on, providing you shell out the points to equip them. Guns are still unlocked as you level up, but again, you have to pony up the points to put one in your loadout. Customization options like face paint, player card backgrounds, and the new create-your-own-icon tool are all accessed by spending points. Having to pay your way gives you more loadout options at lower required levels than in previous Call of Duty games, and the fact that points are so crucial to improving your arsenal makes them as just as sublimely satisfying to earn as experience points.

It’s all about your music, Nokia access to millions of tracks online

It’s all about your music, Nokia access to millions of tracks online

It’s all about your music, Nokia access to millions of tracks online

 At just 0.55-inch thick, the Nokia X6 features a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display, a 5 Megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash and 32GB internal storage. •It’s all about your music – the Nokia X6 has a superb quality music player and built-in FM radio. Listen over Bluetooth stereo audio with a compatible headset like the new Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-505 with its cool, sporty headband. Or plug your choice of headphones into the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.  Nokia Music Store is all yours – As a Comes With Music device, the Nokia X6 gives direct access to millions of tracks online. Download for free and yours to keep forever*. Stores thousands of tracks with 32GB out-of-the-box memory. 5 megapixel camera with Carl-Zeiss optics autofocus and dual LED flash for truly fantastic image quality. Customisable homescreen – add up to 20 shortcuts for one-touch access to Facebook, Nokia Music Store, Email, Contacts, Maps, Games – whatever you choose!   Stroke-sensitive touch-screen interface – Nokia’s smoothest, slickest interface ever – with a 16:9 widescreen made specially to give the best photo and video viewing experience.  Social networking – supports easy access to Facebook, Ovi, Windows Live!, Yahoo IM, RTVChannel, YouTube, MySpace and more.   Brilliant web browsing – built-in Flash player and auto-landscape orientation means you really get the best out of online video and movies and live online television. 3 premium games on-board – Nokia X6 ships with Asphalt4 and DJ Mix Tour by Gameloft and Spore by EA. Nokia Maps – The Nokia X6 comes with A-GPS with compass and integrated Maps so you can find your way to friends and venues quickly and easily with turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation. Geo-tag your photos with Ovi to remember and share those great moments. Other Ovi services include push-email and IM with Nokia Messaging, N-gage games, downloadable Java applications and widgets, Ovi Contacts and Ovi Files for keeping your personal stuff safe and sound. Easy email – simple steps to set-up your email and combine multiple accounts into one inbox. Supports popular email clients such as Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail and most other POP3/IMAP email – plus a lifetime license for Nokia Messaging, Nokia’s mobile email and IM service. Video editing and sharing – includes video center and video editing plus support for online-share and TV-out. So, you can make your clips perfect, then upload them to your social network page or play to friends and family at home.

Canada’s Joannie Rochette Gets Bronze Medal In Ladies’ Figure Skating

Canada's Joannie Rochette Gets Bronze Medal In Ladies' Figure Skating

Canada's Joannie Rochette Gets Bronze Medal In Ladies' Figure Skating

Canada’s Joannie Rochette won the bronze medal in ladies’ figure skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. The 24-year old athlete battled tears as she received the medal, barely a week after her mother died.  Rochette’s victory brought Canada’s total medal tally to 17, securing the host-nation’s hold to the fourth place.  Rochette’s mother, Therese, died after a heart attack on Sunday upon arrival in Vancouver. She was Joannie’s biggest supporter. Despite her mother’s death, Joannie battled personal grief and continued her practice, until she got the bronze medal. Rochette got 131.28 points for her free skate to Samson and Delilah. Her overall scor  was 202.64. South Korea’s Kim Yu-Na took the gold with 150.06 points for her free skate to Gershwin’s Concerto in F, which gave her an overall score of 228.56. On second place was Japan’s Mao Asada, who got 131.72 points for her free skate, for an overall score of 205.50.   Joannie’s father, Normand, watched from the stands if the packed Pacific Coliseum. The crowd did not hide their admiration for the brave athlete with their thunderous applause and cheers.   Despite Canada’s fourth place overall medal ranking, the country is tied with first place U.S. and second placer Germany in its gold harvest with identical gold medal counts of 8 each.

Paramore announce UK arena tour

Paramore2Fueled By Ramen recording group Paramore announced from stage at their sold out O2 Islington Academy London show on Monday Sept 7th that they will be back in the UK as part of a European tour before the end of the year. Having recently completed a support stint on the No Doubt US summer tour, and about to start their own headline US tour, the band are looking forward to coming back to Europe in November. They will be hitting the UK on December 10th for 7 Continue reading →

Take That: Mark Owen is getting married.

Mark OwenEmma FergusonMark Owen to marry long-term love . The Take That star will wed long-term girlfriend Emma Ferguson – mother of his two children, Elwood Jack, three, and nine-month-old Willow Rose – in November at a secret venue in Scotland. The couple have sent out save-the-date invites and guests – who will include Mark’s bandmates Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Jason Orange – have been told to meet at a pick-up point, where they will be taken to the mystery location. A source said: “They have Continue reading →

Top Site Tip: UK Music upfront and ruthlessly independent

ukmusicUKMusic.com is upfront and ruthlessly independent ! They are the only music website that brings you the UK music scene by the people in it.  The good, the bad and the ugly – the reality.  No industry spin. No artist endorsement. No hidden agenda. Just upfront, honest and opinionated views from independent music fans. Stand up, be tall and be counted.  Your opinion matters and that is why UKMusic.com is visited by over 400,000 Continue reading →

Aiden frontman William Francis goes solo

William FrancisFollowing the success of his sold out US tour, lead singer William Francis of the alternative rock outfit “Aiden” comes to British shores next month for a series of solo gigs. Francis, who is well-known for the intensity of his live performance, will play eight acoustic dates in total, showcasing new material, songs from his solo album “William Control” and some old classics from the “Aiden” back catalogue.  The Continue reading →

Warped Tour Arrives in San Diego

Enjoying-Warped-TourThe 2009 Warped Tour lineup promises to be as explosive as ever with some big names in rock and alternative scheduled to hit the stage. Just a few of the 77 bands expected in San Diego this weekend are 3OH!3, All Time Low, Senses Fail and We The Kings.  Held at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, the Vans Warped Tour is more than just your average concert or show, it is a massive event.  Aside from the great Continue reading →

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