Different Types of Card Games

There are limitless types of card games to be played. People think because two games use the same deck of 52-cards that they are similar games, but nothing could be more different than Barbu and Speed, or Pai Gow and Pinochle.

Here’s a list of twenty different kinds of card games, and some facts about them.

1.Bridge

Bridge is a popular contract bidding game. Bridge has a culture — there are websites, newspaper columns, and even radio shows devoted to bridge strategy. There is a world-wide obsession with bridge, even though it has been called the hardest card game in the world. With a complicated strategy and steep learning curve, to many bridge is not just a game, it is a lifestyle. I wish I were exaggerating.

2. Whist

Whist could be called “Bridge, Jr” — and though it is not as big a game as it once was, and is dwarfed in popularity by big-brother Bridge, Whist has never really died out. Card gamers love trick-taking games — beating out your opponent in such a visual way is one of the more exciting part of any card game. Whist has some of the complexity of Bridge without any bidding.

3. Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is something of a legend — a poker variation with a story as rich as a Spaghetti western. This version of poker, a drawing and betting game, was invented and then made popular by old time poker sharks in Texas, hence the name. This is easily the most popular poker variant right now, and is bringing more new people to card gaming than any other game.

4. Hearts

It is said that most of the professional poker tour players are hardcore Hearts players and that they bet big money on cutthroat games of Hearts in dark mysterious rooms during tournaments. Romantic as that may sound, it would make sense for these card sharks to love the game of Hearts – an otherwise childlike game of matching cards (and no bidding) usually turns into a competitive nightmare. Because of the game play, there are lots of ways to screw your opponents in Hearts. Trick-winning and passing card are big elements of Hearts.

5. Spades

People don’t realize it, but spades is a variation of bridge that simplifies the game even more than Whist and changes the outcome of the game as well. Spades is really popular in large groups, on college campuses, and in tournaments around the world. There may be as many variations of Spades as there are groups playing it — thanks to “jailhouse rules” which penalize tactics like point sandbagging and the existence of multiple versions of “house rules”. A strategic game you can play without paying much attention if you want.

6. Go-fish

This is the simple children’s card matching game we all remember from our childhood. You can play Go-fish with as many players as you have cards. Some people claim Go-Fish is a variation of Rummy but the simplicity of the game and the children’s game gimmick make it likely just some toy company’s creation. Strangely enough, Go-fish is known as Literature in some parts of the world. Write in if you understand that one.

7. War

Another children’s game (or time-killing game) War is a straight luck based game. Depending on the flop of the card, you either win or lose a war. Most people under the age of 30 learned War before they learned any other card game. You’ll see War played a lot in lines at airports.

8. Oh Hell!

Substitute your own dirty word for “Hell!” and you know this party game. Most of the fun is the fact that you get to cuss a lot and people laugh at you. What keeps this game popular is that it is a strict betting game. The object of Oh Hell! is to bid the precise number of tricks you will win. You have to take only the number that you bid, no more and no less. Play is precise, and because of the structure of the game, one player always blows it big time. There. That’s what’s fun. Screwing your opponent.

9. Blackjack

A skill game that in some casinos is the best bet you can make, if you can play a perfect hand. This is one of the most popular casino card game, and has a place in popular culture as THE “Vegas” game. The point is to build a hand that adds up to a total of 21 points without going over, and ending up with a higher number than the dealer. Players compete against the House directly, adding to the fun. Little known fact — there exists somewhere in this world a blackjack player’s hall of fame. Safe to say that this game’s got a cult following

10. Baccarat

James Bond’s favorite game (don’t believe the hype — it wasn’t poker or blackjack — read the books) Baccarat is a basic betting game. Players bet on who will win a given hand – the player, the banker, or if there will be a tie. Sure it looks easy, but Baccarat is a skill game. A small sidenote about Baccarat — the name comes from the name of the worst possible hand. This would be like calling your video poker machine “High Card Poker”. Just doesn’t have the same ring as “Royal Flush”.

11. Solitaire

The most varied card game in the world. In England, they call this game Patience, and for good reason. Solitaire requires little set up beyond putting cards in specific places, and is usually played by yourself. Solitaire is another popular airport line waiting game.

12. Rummy and variations

There are lots of different kinds of Rummy, more than are probably written down on any list. I’ve written for a website that had me list 500 variations or other names for Rummy, so I’ll spare you the reading and just say there’s lots of kinds of Rummy. The more popular versions are called Gin Rummy, Liverpool Rummy, and Contract Rummy. The feature that makes a game a Rummy is a player matching identical cards into pairs and other groups. Some experts believe the Chinese game of Mahjong is part of the Rummy family, though I’d bet the Chinese are just fine with Mahjong as it is.

13. Pai Gow

This is an old Chinese domino game that has been passed down through the years as a poker variation. You’ll see Pai Gow at casinos in both as a poker and a domino game — it is probably the casino game that the least number of people understand. This is a game of fast bets, player versus dealer. Pai Gow strategy is just as rich as any other poker betting game, and the culture of Pai Gow is similar to the Blackjack culture — super-fast bets and edgy behavior at the margins.

14. Spoons

A silly card game probably invented to keep kids out of trouble, Spoons is a bluffing game (with some elements of matching) that uses simple kitchen utensils as an added play element. The first player in the group to draw a poker style four of a kind reaches to a pile of spoons in the middle of the table, signalling the other players to grab for one. Since there’s one less spoon than players, one player will be left out every time. So its a social interaction game, and not a game chock full of card strategy. its still fun. Great date night game.

15. Speed

Speed (sometimes called Spit) is a matching game that is unique because both players play simultaneously and as fast as they can. In Speed, a player tries to ‘get rid’ of his or her cards by matching them to cards placed face-up on the table. This is a face to face game, though there’s actually little interaction between the two opponents. The last few moments of any game of Speed reminds me of solitaire on fast-forward, with hands and cards flying around and rows forming and draining like water pipes. Strange game, Speed.

16. Crazy 8s

This is another children’s matching game, you could say it is cousin to the popular game Uno. The 8s in the deck of standard cards are considered “crazy” not because they need to be medicated but to indicate they are wild cards. In some variations of Crazy 8s, not just Wild Cards but other “rule cards” exist, making the game more complex for older players.

17. Slapjack

If you want to teach more complex card games to younger kids, Slapjack is the perfect vehicle. The object of Slapjack is to acquire the whole deck of cards by matching and slapping pairs. Kids like to slap stuff, and the game can be played over and over again.

18. Old Maid

You don’t need an “Old Maid” deck to play this kid’s card game — any standard 52 card deck will do. Just remove one of the Queens. Old Maid is a matching game where players find pairs You trade cards with your opponent until that player is left with the unmatched Queen. Matching games are popular, and the novelty “Old Maid” packs are fun for kids.

19. Cribbage

This is a hybrid board and card game with complicated rules that generally intimidates people, even hardcore card gamers. You play cribbage by forming groups of cards that are worth different point values, and moving a peg on a board that represents your progress accordingly. Requiring a specific board (or a quick hand with a pen and paper) cribbage isn’t the best travel game, but as fans of cribbage will tell you, no two games are alike. There are solitaire versions of cribbage, and other varieties of cribbage game play to choose from if you’re bored with the standard version.

20. Pinochle

Pinochle is popular because it is a trick-taking game that you play with a 48 card deck. In Pinochle, you try to make melds or tricks, much like in Gin, but there’s a really complex scoring system making the game fun to learn and to master. To be good at pinochle, you have to play for a number of years, and lose plenty of hands. Though it is less popular year after year, Pinochle is one of those “heritage games”.

To learn more about playing card games [http://www.playcardgames.org/] in general, visit that link and/or this site: card games.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mike_Hunter/524853

 

Introduction to Designing Open Source Games for the Google Smart Phones

Google has offered the open source tools and the education but it is up to you to learn and develop your own apps for smart phones to prove how competent you are at developing and designing open source games and to what value you will be able to offer in future developments online. Google I imagine are a great company to work for and as big as they are with the smart phones they realise they do not have the time or resources to single handily develop new gaming software nor for that matter have the time to exactly mirror working documents for the hand-held phones, it’s just not plausible. However, they have reportedly come to some agreement with certain apps available for the Android, I suppose to challenge the growing presence of Apple’s power. So, with that in mind lets get into the details of online gaming design.

People who make games through Java script for mobile phones especially arcade games users of Java. Now Java has, like most software its own script, script means a language in which a program can understand if you do not have the right software or do not know which software to use, then refer to an expert, these gaming experts are called C++ Engineers because this is the type of language Java operates with. Those already experienced in the language of C++ can use Java, and Java is gaming industry standard, Java is also known for its Flash integration, audio software, texts and cloud based open source development. This is usually done in Linux rather than Unix and the imagery in these new media tools can be surprisingly refreshing. This has reduced the amount of work needed to learn these skills. Open software is a great place to start.

Before you design the game there are a few things you need to understand when designing games for the phone. Like an I-Pad and other touch screen devices the Teflon screen creates a motion and by controlling your game from the screen can alter the response time of your game, these have been my main concerns about games for the Android – they are clunky and the controls unless scroll button enabled are very annoying. Similarly the tilt sensor in the phone is very advanced. Learning how to program a game like this is well beyond the scope of this introductory post. All you need to know with these problems or if you wish to learn more about these high end problems of designing games for the Android phone are GLSurfaceView ATITC compression, VBO’s and there buffers (which are responsible and great for giving feedback when a game crashes because you can trackback the results of the crash when you report it to Google.

Some interesting terminology which will boost your understanding and help you educate yourself about games designing for Android phones are listed in this short glo2D side-scroller – Parallax layers, tile-based worlds, animated sprites the right hardware buttons: input systems, OpenGL, ES Writing Java code for Android phones.

Is this game for kids? If so make what’s known as the gaming objects so, is the game for adults, if yes then go ahead, add swear words and grotesque violence; but otherwise keep it simple, the best bet is to avoid anything like this because most smart phones are restricted and changing these restrictions can be as equally complicated as designing the games so please for the users avoid any adult content.

To understand the layers and graphics of any game you need to understand how the Architecture and layers of the game are made. On screen you have main loops. This is where the game has its main contents. Sub graphs are what the characters are in any game, these have to be designed beforehand and using the right software to improve the code of these moving images, especially if you wish to convey your games product originally and efficiently. A good place to start focusing on is the colours in the background of the game, as the games flash between screens you want these colours to have some sort of continuity in the way that the transitions occur.

The objects of any game will have to include the player integrated to control the game to give some sort of gravity to the game, this gives it a narrative and will make the game more interesting. How the characters or objects move in the game is very important. The crash icons are known as collision component, you will need to think carefully when making these and linking them with the size and appropriate colour of the destruction of each individual character. Then you must understand the physics of how these characters all blends. You can improve your animation skills by understanding the codes of Java and know about capabilities within these software companies that help you design your mobile phone game. The players in the game and the objectives of the game and how these characters move are included in the game-designing world with useful terminology like Sprite and Rendor components are also related to Player Game Object.

In -order to convert your games design from the appropriate language to the code equivalent that can then be uploaded to these smart phones is equally very important when designing Andriod games, this is called bootstrapping a game. Bootstrapping helps the games update correctly by forging reciprocal input events.

Next you have to thread all the games technical graphics together at this level you are at the Game Thread part mentioned earlier about the games physics, the way in which destruction and collisions and other explosions you wish to re -create. At this point this is also where you embed your signature as designer of your mobile phone games.

So how do you get involved with software shared on Google phones? Firstly the integration and design is found in forum threads particularly when games are being designed, you can subscribe to these groups on Forums, many of these forums are free, and the great thing about the 100 or so thousand developers throughout the world is they are interested in you learning the skills. When you learn these skills from them, the hope is you will share your frustrations with playing around with language on loading time it takes for, accessibility for your host as Java specific optimization is said to: ‘improve the compatibility with software’ and fortunately this code is very easy to use. The problem is troubleshooting the mistakes; this is where experts in the Language become helpful. If you wish to work with others, this app building will not happen over night you will need to forge relationships with other C++ Java Script users.

One of the growing problems when using C++ and Javascript is the size of memory used, when designing a game. You should always first consider whether you game can be realistically designed within the data limitations, generally about 100 -300 ms. Once you know the size you can begin to invoke your code into the GC (Gaming code).

Ways around this problem of high Java scripted codes and low restricted space for games to be made within are to ignore what’s known as enums they are to heavy, delete read only strings (which you will have to do at the end of the game anyway when the game is done. Look for string in the frameworks of your Java code. Also avoid JNI functions especially within the inner loop for your Java code. For example things that say gl.gl ()Functions should be double checked.

By creating layers in the games art be it sky land or background you always need to intergate, this is part of any good arcade games style. Some key terms you need to consider when expanding your glossary in order to understand the micro designing backgrounds is found in the design (vertex) of Meta tiles. Meta tiles are an important part of the mapping of most games for Google Apps and Google games on the Android HTC and other Google versions. Nokia is slightly different and their gaming markets are slightly more varied. You can test your backgrounds in what is known as SpriteMethodTest by checking the basic vert quads are in-line with your orthographic projections. You also have to watch the time it takes for these commands to bind with all the various tiles in the frame, this can take anything between 3- 5 ms when submitted to the games layers and the came itself to convert into an image takes an extra 16ms to show. You will also want to understand about the texture of your backgrounds map and be sure it is not to sparse. Sparse is a great word to submit to your terminology when communicating about designing games for handheld devices.

Here are some ways of troubleshooting your games tiled background. First you must understand about VRAM and how much is available on each game when you design games anything above will mean you have to pre render the tile map of the background of your game or app. This can also be predicted by knowing level size restrictions within the VRAM and the dynamics within the different textures of your layered background. When you get close to 60 Hz then stop and by doing this you should be enough for you to avoid any complications. According to research done in a collection of case studies Android has decided to improve the Android’s interface in the phones driver; which means these solutions of timing may now be obsolete although on my Andriod HTC this transition has not yet taken place. The App said to do this is called Froyo and is according to Google TV an app that speeds up not only the browsers response time and help integrate through Cloud servers from Google Chrome Browser extensions, to mobile phones and direct links between the two.

This correspondence is not blue tooth or e-mail activated it is a direction link done within Froyo on the browser and the mobile phone, you can find out more by searching Froyo on the net. Froyo also increases the speed of the phones games response, in the Google video on YouTube a red flashing screen shows when the phone without Froyo was slowing in response to the increase of the games characters moving on the screen. That response was not related to the background although to many layers designed in your game will cause a similar reaction. The way to avoid this is tile your image background from smaller images so it looks equal across the screen.

Some of the pitfalls of designing games online through open source and brainstorming through forums is that your code can be easily cloned reproduced and then rereleased under a different name, one example of Google Apps currently that are showing this surprisingly is Google Chromes new Browser. The real browser is not available yet but three apps this week show Google Chrome Fakes, where you click the Icon but still are using the same Android browser. For now you are better of avoiding these Apps, in fact one of them is nothing to do with the browser it just simply adds the Google Chrome Icon as a screensaver. With this in mind, any security you can carry out when developing Open Source software will make sure your withhold your original ideas. If you can call them original then that will hold strong and hopefully you will now have a new skill that can earn you money in today’s modern craving society.

For more information about computer Apps go Download free Apps for Mac please subscribe if you wish to have further information about internet marketing by going to Internet marketing and Developments by Robert Bridge.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Robert_Bridge/421130

 

Gaming Keyboards – Why Are They Confusing?

What is a gaming keyboard?

Firstly, what we need to look at is what do the words “gaming keyboard” actually mean. Well I will tell you that it is exactly what you think it is. It is a keyboard for gaming. Now with most people it stops there because they think that just because it is a gaming keyboard it can only be used for gaming and nothing else. They don’t realise that a gaming keyboard can be used for much more than just gaming. So this article is aimed at giving some advice in regards to choosing the right gaming keyboard for you. I remember my first programmable gaming keyboard (the Logitech G15) and how I struggled with it. The only reason why I wanted it, was because it was the best on the market at the time and I felt for that reason I needed to own one. I had absolutely no idea what to do with it or what I was going to use it for. I did however, almost add another feature to it’s already impressive list of pre-installed features by illustrating just how effective the keyboard can be in a game of cricket or anything involving a bat. It really irritated me because I did not need it for all the functions and because they were there, I felt I had to use them all. I did use them all in the end, but that was only because I advanced my game play and in doing so required more functions out of the keyboard.

So let’s take a look at some of the aspects that we will have to deal with when looking at gaming keyboards.

  • The features installed on a gaming keyboard and what they actually do
  • The terminology used in gaming keyboards
  • What are the best types of gaming keyboards
  • How do we know which is the right type of gaming keyboard for us

Now many people are already gamers, serious or not and know exactly what the features are and what they can do. But there are as many people out there that don’t know what the features are supposed to do and whether the features are in fact what they actually need. So I have put together a list of the features that you will find on gaming keyboards and below I will explain each one of them more clearly.

Here is a list of the features that you will find installed on gaming keyboards. I would like to add, that not every gaming keyboard has all of the features mentioned below installed on them at the same time.

  1. LCD Display screen
  2. Programmable G-keys (for macros and macros on the fly)
  3. Back Lighting
  4. Anti-Ghosting
  5. In game mode switch
  6. Media controls
  7. Detachable Key Pad
  8. High Speed USB Ports
  9. Automatic Profile Switching
  10. Cruise Control

Now as we can see there are many features that you will find installed on a gaming keyboard, but the important thing now is to know what they can do and when to use them. Let’s take a closer look at the features and see how they can be used for gaming but also for outside of gaming.

The LCD Display screen is a screen at the top of the keyboard (typically in the middle) which displays a host of information to you during game play. An example of the information displayed is; vital game statistics, system statistics, VOIP communication data and you can even see what server your friends are playing certain games on, such as World of Warcraft. You can also watch photo slide shows on the screen as well as YouTube videos (this feature is only on the Logitech G19). So there we can see how good the LCD screen is. Outside of gaming you can still see system statistics displayed, but only on the Logitech G19 can you watch videos and photo slide shows.

Programmable G-Keys (or game keys) are keys that can be programmed to execute certain commands. You can program multiple keys to be executed with a single keypress. So in other words, if you have a command which you would like to execute but it has more than one keystroke required then you would program a G-key to perform all those keypresses for you. Now this is vital in game playing, especially in strategy and role-playing games. But programmable keys can also be used in everyday computing. I own the Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard and I use the programmable key feature to program my passwords and small snippets of text which is normally login information. This is a great feature for those that work with databases or anything where numerous logins are required. It is also good for designers and editors where numerous keypresses are sometimes required.

Back Lighting is a really cool feature. This is standard on all gaming keyboards irrespective of all the other features mentioned above. Basically what this feature does is illuminate the keys from underneath. There are typically three levels of brightness for the back lighting, however all though back lighting is standard on gaming keyboards not all of them have the same colours or as many colours as others do. The Logitech G19 and G510 are gaming keyboards with a host of different colours, whereas others have only three or just one. This is not only good for gaming especially if games are played in low lighted or even dark areas, but also a great asset to changing the style of your workstation. There are people out there that just want a new look for their workstation and backlit keyboards do the trick.

Anti-Ghosting is a feature whereby missed keypresses are in fact actually recorded and not voided. This happens with multiple keypresses albeit not frequently but without anti-ghosting the keypresses won’t be recognized.

In game mode switch is a feature which disables the Windows/Context key during gameplay, so you don’t accidentally get kicked out of your game. Which I am sure has happened to all of us at some point.

Media controls, this feature is great as you can control volume, playback and mute from the keyboard itself. This feature works for headsets that are connected to the keyboard and also for the sound emitting from the computer itself. So there is no need to find the controls on the screen if you want to quickly turn down the volume.

Detachable Key Pad. This is also a really neat feature as you can move the keypad to either the left or the right side, depending which hand you are more comfortable using for operating. Again, this feature is another feature you can use outside of gaming.

High Speed USB Ports are a great advantage as you can Plug and Play with comfort. Also through this feature you can transfer data between devices, such as MP3 Players and Flash Drives and you can do all this while charging your devices that are battery-powered. Another great feature that can be used outside of gaming.

Automatic Profile Switching is a feature that allows you to automatically or manually change the profile you are in or want to be in. With the automatic function, the keyboard detects the application you are running and automatically applies the profile that you previously set for that application. Really cool feature especially if you like to play in different modes (Microsoft Sidewinder X6 had this feature).

The cruise control feature is also a really handy feature to have as it allows you to continue an action without having to hold down all the different keys required to perform the action. You can even use the cruise control function for up to four keypresses (installed on the Microsoft Sidewinder X6)

So as we can see all the features that are installed on a gaming keyboard can also be used for everyday computing, although the obvious design factor was initially for gamers in the first place. Another thing we must look at is the structural design of the keyboard. First thing we will notice is that some of the keyboards are slightly bulkier than a standard keyboard. Now this is to be expected as the keyboard itself houses more keys, requires more space for electrical components and other hardware utilities that are required for game play. But what is also great about the design of gaming keyboards, is that they are designed for ergonomic purposes. This is because gamers spend a lot of time in front of their keyboards and they are more prone to wrist, arm and hand discomfort than users of a standard keyboard. So the idea behind ergonomically designed gaming keyboards is to install some features that will reduce the risk of wrist discomfort overall. These features include; detachable and adjustable wrist wrest, keyboards with zero slope designs, different keyboard feet lengths for effective raising or lowering of keyboards for comfort and also keys that can accommodate softer keypresses.

Now I am not sure how familiar you are with the terminology that is used in the gaming keyboard field, but below is a list words that you will come across with regards to gaming keyboards.

WSAD – This is the four keys that you use to control movement which is typically your W, S, A & D keys.

ANTI-GHOSTING – Typically in a standard keyboard (or dome switch keyboard), the design is in such a way that the keyboard uses columns and rows of wires. Through this design the results that occur can be inaccurate when lots of keys are pressed at once. When this happens the dropped keys become “ghosts”. With keyboards that have anti-ghosting capabilities, they use a small dab of carbon at each switch site to prevent the contact of the keys from shorting the rows or columns of wires. In doing so, this allows the keyboard to decode each key press separately.

MACROS – A macro is a collection of operations and property values that can be applied to an existing visualization or visualizations. So in other words macros are not linked to the objects or visualizations to which they are applied but when they are used, the operations or property settings will be applied to the objects currently selected. This means that property settings can be applied to multiple visualization types, unlike property settings in styles.

OPTICAL – Optical is basically a device used for producing or controlling light. So if you took an optical mouse for example, it would be a mouse that produces light and in doing so uses the light to register it’s movement on your computer.

ULTRA POLLING – Ultra-polling in gaming mice increases the amount of times the firmware on a mouse reports it’s tracking data to the computer to 1ms (1000hz). In doing so, it reduces the interval between each transmission of movement calculations and therefore giving the cursor on the screen a smoother and more precise feel with increased responsiveness.

HYPER RESPONSE – On a hyper response button, there are two stages that go into the development of the button. This is basically to ensure that it can always be actuated no matter where it is pressed and also how quickly is it pressed. So therefore if you don’t completely press down on a button or don’t press hard enough, the button will still actuate and you will not lose response time.

ON-THE-FLY – This is basically just when you doing something in a hurry or to create something quickly when needed.

G-KEYS – These are basically game keys. The keys that you can program with macros.

ERGONOMICS – This is basically a study to see how things interact with the human body. So if you were to take a pen for example; holding it for long periods of time and writing with it could eventually cause discomfort to the hand and wrist. By making the design of the pen more ergonomically, it would allow for long periods of use without causing discomfort. This study is applied to everything that interacts or can interact with the human body

Now the only answer I can give you about which gaming keyboard is the best is simple. It depends entirely on what you want to use the keyboard for. The industry is lead to believe the Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard is the best on the market and to a certain degree it is. It has all the features that other keyboards have but more advanced and it is designed with serious gamers in mind, therefore lending itself to being classed as the best gaming keyboard ever. But in my opinion a gaming keyboard, or anything for that matter is only as good as what you need it for. If you don’t need it for a lot of things then don’t buy one that can do everything.

With regards to what gaming keyboard is best for you, well again that depends on what you want out of it. If you are a novice gamer with little experience with programmable keyboards, then it is probably better to take a gaming keyboard with either no programmable keys or a keyboard with a limited number of programmable keys. However in saying that, many of the gaming keyboards have really good instruction manuals and CDs. But again, if you only need a few keys that can be programmed then don’t buy a gaming keyboard with massive amounts of programmable options. So it all boils down to what you need it for. If you take the time to think clearly about what will you want to get from a gaming keyboard and read all the reviews on the different types of gaming keyboards, then your decision won’t be wrong.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you have a much clearer understanding of gaming keyboards if you hadn’t already.

My name is Chris Fox and I am a professional product reviewer and have been doing so for over 3 years. I am an avid gamer with a strong collection of gaming accessories. I invite you to take a look at my full reviews on all the best and most sought after gaming keyboards at http://www.keyboardsforgaming.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chris_N_Fox/777168

 

What You Need to Know About the XBox 360, the Kinect, and a Review of All Kinect Games

A NEW WAY TO GAME! IS THE XBOX 360 KINECT THE RIGHT NEXT GADGET FOR YOU?

There are a plethora of game systems and games out there. Why should you consider the xBox 360 and the new Kinect? What will the Kinect do for you? Some have claimed it will change your life, will it do that? What games are available for the Kinect and do they really work well enough to justify the cost, the time, and the trouble? Is there enough variety to suit your needs?

This article will give the positives and negatives of the xBox 360 and the new Kinect. What can be accomplished with this system and why consider getting a Kinect for yourself and your family? How well does it work?

Let’s start with a little bit of history xBox 360 for you. If you will go way back in your mind and remember that the xBox 360 is a sixth generation video game by Microsoft. This group of games was known as the 128-bit era game consoles. The xBox was actually released November 2001. However, the xBox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft (the first was the xBox). It now competes well with the Sony’s PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles, the xBox 360 was the first of that creative age introducing HD and 1080p into the game playing mix in November 2005.

The xBox 360 was officially unveiled on television. The announcement was on MTV in 2005. Coming up to more modern time the xBox 360 was known as the xBox 360 S, but now we just call it the xBox 360. The consoles have been redesigned, as well as the hardware, and that innovation was officially announced in June 2010. And word is that Microsoft has announced, covertly, that if they ever (and with their current popularity I’m sure they will) come out with another console as a successor to the xBox 360 S it will be simply called xBox 720. The initial rumors are very intriguing.

The second edition of the xBox 360, which included 4 GB of storage, was a prelude to the current box. The xBox 360 Elite came out middle of 2010. But with the avalanche of new games being designed and released it pressured Microsoft to upgrade their hardware.

Isn’t that always the case with hardware and software? It goes like this: Software becomes more complicated and needs faster processors, larger computers and capacity. And so the hardware designers and manufacturers have to race to keep up. It’s the same with the gaming genre. Try playing Halo Reach on your old xBox. It’s not happening.

Thus in August of 2010 Microsoft announced that they had a mega model, a 250 GB stand-alone hard drive for use with the xBox 360 S models, and that would be priced initially at $129.99.

The features of each of these models and core systems are interesting, but it is beyond the scope of this review. The remarkable features, capabilities and the capacities of the devices improved with each progressive model. Microsoft became one of the big guns in the gaming console market and will remain there with this system.

This past Christmas buying season of 2010, the xBox 360 was bundled for better consumer purchasing power, which, among others, featured the Limited Edition, as well as some of the more popular games such as the Halo Reach, Call of Duty Black Ops, and other special features including wireless remotes controllers and head-sets.

The online service is called xBox Live. This is a worldwide service that allows users to play with and against other online players or download purchased content, experience new games and it also offers movies, game trailers, game demos that can be played for a short trial period encouraging the user to then go on to purchase the full game.

There are xBox Live arcade games, images, dashboard themes as well. Through xBox Live, a person can discover new undiscovered content. There are Gold Memberships, which allows you to purchase Microsoft Points to use for downloads avatars and add-ons or additions to your current games. Those prepaid cards come in 400, 800, 1600, 4000, and 6000 point denominations for an equivalent amount of money.

I will reveal some interesting details about the negative attributes of the xBox and xBox 360. It may be a surprise to a newbie, thinking that there were not any negatives. But there are…or were.

It seems that the console can be subject to a number of technical problems. Users have reported concerns over its reliability and alarming failure rate in the older models. That led Microsoft to extend the xBox 360 S warranty to three years for hardware failure problems. Users were getting the dreaded red ring of death and a message announcing general hardware failure.

Microsoft unquestionably did not want to leave their customers hanging and helpless. It attempted to modify the consoles to improve its reliability. The unit was subsequently put together much better and inside the unit there is not as much movement in the main (mother) board during the heat expansion and now the unit has better ability to dissipate heat.

With the release of this redesigned xBox 360 the warranty on the newer models does not include the three year extended warranty for general hardware failure. The word from the experienced gaming community is that the xBox 360 is a very reliable machine and the user complaints and failures of the past have not surfaced.

The new xBox 360s are very reliable. Overall, I rate the xBox 360 5-Stars. It is now the standard in the current industry. They are the leader and the other companies are trying to keep up.

Now we enter into the realm of the new and eye-popping Kinect. This is an amazing addition to our adventures in creative and all-consuming, mind-and-body gaming. It is a controller-free input device and a big step up in the entertainment experience for the xBox 360.

It was initially announced June of 2009. Sadly, it was not released until November 2010. This amazing sensor device enables the user to control and interact with the games of the xBox 360 without a physical game controller. This is similar to the Wii, but the user is not limited to holding and pointing a controller and Nunchuk. The amazing Kinect uses body gestures, spoken commands, and objects and images. It’s the EYE that works the magic! The Kinect is compatible with all 360 models. The Kinect…connects to new models with the custom “Kinector.” The old consoles used a USB adapter.

Along with the new games, the Kinect is called the new xBox experience (NXE). Along with the NXE there are many new features that users can install into their gaming world. There are games from disks loaded onto the hard drive and then played with reduced load time and less disk drive noise. That is comforting, but each time the game is played the disk must remain in the system in order to run it.

There are also a cool bunch of digitized avatars that can be used for multiple activities, such as sharing photos and playing arcade games.

The xBox 360 and the Kinect were so popular during the Christmas season that it sold out in many stores as well as the major online sites. The demand exceeded the supply. Since the Christmas rush has past you have the opportunity to get discounted prices and lots of selection and availability.

I looked in the retail and online outlets and have compiled an updated list for current supplies of all available and announced games. There are a growing number of supplies, but here I will give you the most up-to-date list of games available for the Kinect.

• To begin with the fitness game called Your Shape Fitness Evolved. It contains workouts in a martial arts class lead by a celebrity trainer. Big names that work on the Biggest Loser show.

• There is Kinect Sports, These are world-class sports. Kinect Sports includes a bowling alley, soccer pitch or track-and-field arena. Kinect puts in the game as the VIP player and somehow lets you be the controller. It apparently also includes soccer, volleyball, ping-pong, and even more games they tell me.

• Get your groove on with Dance Central™. This is exclusive for the Kinect and is the first real dance game experience that will be fun, social and for everyone!

• The very cute and much advertised game is Kinectimals. This is great fun for children of all ages. You get to play with an animal on your xBox 360 screen. The TV advertisements show an irresistible tiger. I thought there would be many more animals, but I guess the furry tiger does it all. That’s cool. The Bengal tiger cub will bring back an dream of being in the circus or of your trip to the zoo. The Kinect lets that furry tiger become your best friend. See now you don’t need that indoor pet after all.

• Listen to this, If you really want to get the Ultimate Experience then get the Kinectimals Limited Edition Bundle with King Cheetah Plush. It is the entire package.

Motion Sports, Play for Real, this looks like a game that you do sports motions and keep moving; great aerobic exercise. It has a wide range of sports, like it says you can zoom down slopes of a Super G slalom, score a mind-blowing penalty shot, duck-and-run your way to a game-winning touchdown or throw punches at the champ.” I don’t know about all that, but it look like some really exciting exercise.

Kinect Joyride is a fun ride in a car, but I do not think it is a “stolen” car, but it is a Joyride. Kinect Joy Ride, the first controller-free racing game that combines wild kart racing with full-body controlling possible only with Kinect for Xbox 360.

Sonic Free Riders is more action. It has speed and a finish line. This one takes your whole body to control a variety of hoverboards and bikes. This one may NOT be easy to pick up and play and be the hero. It matches family and friends in multiplayer modes. Each racer can have their own unique rules.

• And then the game that we all need to get is the Ultimate Workout, Biggest Loser style. You will work out with Bob and Jillian, the best workout coaches ever. The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout will maximize your healthy diet. It boasts 50 new, healthy recipes. You can also track your caloric intake. This “game” is for real and will even give you real-time feedback that says you’ll see immediate results.

• Can you dance? You will! DanceMasters lets you dance with nothing to constrain your movement and freedom. Different modes: Dance Mode, Lesson Mode, Status Mode, Xbox Live. There is even downloadable content. Next step is Dancing with the Stars for you!.

Zumba Fitness Kinect. Everyone loves a Zumba! This game is for up to four players. Family or online players compete to get the highest workout group score or individual in Zumba Attack! Action, Dancing, and great fun.

• EA Sports, Active 2.0. It’s in the Game! Build muscle, track your heart rate. There seems to be an unlimited customizable workout option with more than 70 games.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One. The wand and real magic! You get an arsenal of formidable spells to defeat Death Eaters and enemies to all good Harry Potter stand-ins. Fight Voldemort’s Death Eaters, Snatchers and Dementors.

Deca Sports Freedom. This features ten athletic games to life: Tennis, you can even twing the bowstrings then play. Ten different events: tennis, boxing, archery, paintball, beach volleyball, dodgeball, kendo, mogul skiing, snowboard cross and figure skating. They really pack it in.

Game Party: In Motion. This is a family-friendly collection of 16 arcade type games. The list is long: Darts, Hoop Shoot, Rootbeer Tapper, Table Hockey and 12 more. Multi player action and support available online and meet up to 16 players. Design and use your avatar and Facebook cross functionality. Now that is really covering all the bases.

Fighters Uncaged, looks like a major adventure in fighting and the cover is really great. You can upgrade your fighter. The game and the Kinect lets you use your fists, knees, legs, elbows and even head. Take THAT mangy opponent!

• The next is Adrenaline Misfits. This is for single players or two players. The race includes 7 fantasy worlds and 7 monsters that need defeated. The soon-to-be-conquered course are like Snowy Mountains, stormy deserts, glacier lands, limestone caves, and volcanoes. This one also hooks up to xBox Live.

• And then another called Child of Eden. Graphics and sound combine to stimulate the senses. It is a physical, sensory experience.

Star Wars Kinect is on the list but is not scheduled to be released for a year.

Brunswick Pro Bowling, It is bowling for everyone, however kids have options which let them compete with the pros.

Michael Jackson and the Experience. Put yourself into the game and be one of the stars in your own Michael Jackson video. This one looks awesome, if it includes “Thriller”! Dancers and Michael’s Dance School take your performance to the next level. For beginners and experienced performers.

The price of the game seems to range from about $34 to others that are priced around $60. And for $40 you can even get a Kinect Mount that puts the sensor at just exactly the right position.

Now as far are reviewing the Kinect and the games: The public’s experience is still new and since the Kinect has only been sold for less than two months, with the accompanying games the whole system is still novel and shiny new.

But it seems to this reviewer and others in the industry, that this is a brand-new paradigm in games and indoor exercise and it will shape the industry’s future. The Kinect is changing the industry.

The xBox 360 and the Kinect are now in stock currently at Amazon and many other retailers and there are also very nice bundles to get the xBox 360 plus the Kinect as well as other hardware and games. It is very nice to get a bundle. It saves money in the long run – in the short run also. The Kinect also has some very nice price discounts.

James, my gaming colleague, is still stirred by his xBox 360 and he is an expert gamer. James says his xBox 360 experience, as well as the many games that he has played notes that the new Xbox 360 250GB is faster than other systems he’s tried. The graphics are better and he noticed more advanced corporeal levels.

I asked him, “James, would you ever go back to another game system?” He replied, “Possibly the PS3 as a second,” as he believes it is a close competitor.

For a more complete review of the xBox 360, the Kinect and specific games, please order the free e-book that will give you more detailed information go to the blog http://www.xbox360kinectsite.info

Thank you for attending this review and becoming informed of this remarkable system. So far, it is perfection and happiness.

This is an exciting day and age where specialty games and the reality of the xBox 360 and Kinect deliver a physical gaming experience, involving every part of your body and thus forcing you to exercise, stay active and have lots of fun..

The future of this system is limitless. If you have an xBox 360 and a Kinect and a HD TV and some of these games, you will experience the excitement, bliss and the life-changing action. This is a system that is near perfect. It can change your life, you can lose weight, get involved in adventures, hone your physical and mentall skills. This is a system that makes your time spent gaming well worth it.

You can’t go wrong with this system. Now, get up and get moving!

Complete, intriguing, honest, and hard-hitting reviews of today’s most important items. Such as this xBox 360 Kinect review, the iPad, is it perfect or just good enough? The Kindle eBook Reader can it really make you a more interesting person, and Oakley Sunglasses, Why choose Oakley? Are they really the best?

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Defeating Used Games: Why Incentives to Discourage Pre-Owned Gaming Are Awful

Do you buy your games second-hand? Then you are a complete cheapskate and the scum of the gaming industry. You’re worse than any pirate sailing the high seas of warez. Or at least, that’s what publishers want us to think. Whether you have the right to sell the products you have purchased is irrelevant: the sale of used games is damaging the games industry.

When a new game is traded in or sold to a game store, that money is then kept by the retailer rather than reaching the hands of the hardworking developer who spent blood, sweat and tears on creating their pride and joy. The same game could be bought and sold numerous times and it can be argued that those purchases are a potential sale which has been stolen from the game companies themselves. It is true that you don’t hear the music or film industry complaining about their second-hand losses, but does creating an album or a movie compare to the amount of money and effort spent on developing a Triple-A game title? As always, it is the consumer that decides whether a game is worth its $50 price tag, and often they decide to go with a pre-owned price instead.

Rubbish Incentives for New Purchases

Game companies already utilize a number of methods to gain extra cash after the release of their games in the form of downloadable content (DLC) and there are now incentives to buying new. Pre-order bonuses seem to be popular right now with many games including codes for additional DLC or specific in-game bonuses.

We’ll be taking a look at some of the rubbish incentives offered by publishers to encourage new purchases and what alternatives would be more welcome.

Exclusive DLC & Pre-Order Bonuses: Gamers aren’t new to the idea of receiving bonuses within collectors editions and the like, but more recently we’ve been seeing a lot of extra freebies within new games or as part of pre-ordering a title. Most of this is in-game DLC, such as new weapons and armor, new maps or various other cosmetic additions which don’t actually add that much to the game. In fact, most of this stuff you could probably live without. I don’t really need the Blood Dragon Armor in Dragon Age Origins and I can live without a tattoo set in Fable 3, thank you very much. I would go as far to say that DLC armor is one of the most pointless examples of a DLC incentive, ever. Although perhaps not as pointless as the Horse Armor from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

In some cases, the DLC offered is a little more substantial. Some games offer quests or missions, and this feels like more of a ‘thank you’ bonus. Bioware have taken this one step further by offering a DLC delivery service in Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age 2. This service allows players to download a series of free items, as well as access paid DLC. In Mass Effect 2, this included a few extra side-quests and exclusive armor/weapons (Groan). Player’s could also add a new character to their game squad, Zaeed, and he came with his own loyalty mission as well as a few small areas to explore plus a new weapon. Whilst this is a better incentive and adds more to the game, if you didn’t purchase Mass Effect 2 new, then getting a hold of Zaeed would cost you 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). Yikes.

The cost and worth of DLC is something to discuss at a later point, but to judge the quality of future DLC, compare it to the Undead Nightmare pack from Red Dead Redemption. For only 800 Microsoft Points ($10), a whole new single player game is unlocked which rivals the original game. It’s a stunning example of quality DLC.

Online Passes: Now this seems to be an interesting/worrying trend in recent games, delete as appropriate. It all started with EA as they introduced the idea of an ‘Online Pass’ for some of their major titles, such as Dead Space 2, The Sims 3, Madden NFL 11, etc. This online pass is a one-time code which gives access to online multiplayer functionality within their games. What this means is that you are restricted from playing online unless you either buy the game new, and thus have a pass code, or you spend $10 on acquiring this pass if you’re unfortunate enough to buy the game second-hand.

A few companies have already started to take on this system, including Ubisoft, Codemasters, Warner, THQ and now Sony. Sony will be following the same trend by offering a code at $10 for second-hand gamers and this initiative will begin with the release of Resistance 3.

Whilst online passes are a good method to create profits from potential lost sales, they’re also rather worrying as they penalize second-hand gamers, effectively stripping away a chunk of game content from the player. In some cases, the online portion of the game is much bigger than the obligatory story mode and if you’re already paying for services like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus, then it just adds on an extra fee.

Un-resettable Game Saves: Now this ‘incentive’ really does take the cake. In the recent Resident Evil Mercenaries title by Capcom on the 3DS, players are prevented from erasing their save data. This means that the game cannot be started from scratch and appears to be a direct attack against second-hand games. Now, it isn’t a big deal in Mercenaries 3D, as this data roughly translates into high scores and some unlockables, but imagine if this system was used in other games, such as an RPG? What if you bought a second-hand game which was already completed? As a result for this move, most rental stores are unwilling to stock Mercenaries 3D.

But the worst thing about un-resettable games is that it also penalizes gamers who have bought the game new, as they are prevented from resetting their game data if they wish.

What’s the Alternative?

So, if these incentives which encourage us to purchase brand-spanking new games are not working, or are ‘slightly crap’ at best, then what is the alternative?

Club Nintendo: Nintendo offer some of the more interesting incentives for new purchases. Each new game comes with a card which can be redeemed for points within the ‘Club Nintendo’ service. Here, gamers can spend their points on a wide variety of collectable Nintendo merchandise, ranging from posters to clothing. There are loads of items which can be saved for. Never mind that some of the better items require a handful of points and probably ten hundred Wii’s, getting physical items for your loyalty is a pretty neat idea.

Imagine if you could be awarded with Microsoft points to spend on XBLA games? Or maybe you could spend those points on real world items, such as control pads, or posters? I would love to see real rewards as an incentive rather than some shoddy in-game armor.

Casual & Digital Games: There is a reason why digitally downloadable games, such as those on XBLA or PSN as well as mobile gaming, have become so popular. They offer a great gaming experience for a cheap price. All of these services have grown over the years, from selling small retro games to fully-fledged gaming experiences which are big enough to make many full-priced games weep. I know I would sooner have Limbo on my Xbox than some dodgy Kinect version of Carnival Games, and it’s much more value for money too.

Mobile and indie games are continuing to grow and many game developers are already aware that smaller games are an alternative to big budget titles. This doesn’t mean we’ll see the end of Triple-A games, but it does re-evaluate the value of such games.

Lower Those Prices: Fact is, not everyone can afford to buy a full priced video game. We’re living in tight times, and with some titles selling for as much as $60, for many it’s a case of buy cheap or miss out. Some games are quite frankly not worth $50 and are reduced to half price in a matter of weeks. Even digitally distributed titles can cost just as much if not more than their retail counterparts. Pre-owned games are popular because they are cheaper. Simple, really.

Whilst it appears that certain game stores are taking advantage of the popularity of used games to maximize their profits, especially as their pre-owned selection seems pretty overpriced anyway, pre-owned titles are also the lifeline for smaller independent retailers that battle against the larger chain stores. We all know that choice offers the best deal for customers, whether selling new or used games.

Online retailers such as Amazon and Play.Com offer lower prices still, but I would hate to see these replace the magic of main street shopping. However, if retailers can offer better deals on new titles, then maybe this will encourage sales.

So What’s Next?

Perhaps the games industry needs to rethink their half-baked incentives and look at the reasons why gamers would sooner buy a second-hand game than fork out the cash for a shiny new copy. The industry also needs to shake off the idea that second-hand gamers are the enemy. We’re not pirates, we haven’t stolen a game. We’re just customers. However, the real problem lies with those retailers who maximize their own greed at the expense of the industry.

Article written by Trudie Smiles for [http://www.GammaLounge.com].

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