Menu Close

Author: prawn1 (page 1 of 209)

A Short History of Batman Video Games

Batman fans are excited about the latest game release, Batman: Arkham VR for PlayStation VR, taking the Caped Crusader into a whole new dimension of gaming. The move to VR is just the latest in a long line of Batman inspired games.

The first Batman video game was released back in 1986; it was a 3D action adventure game where Batman has to save Robin by collecting missing pieces to Batman’s hovercraft that are scattered around the Batcave.

In 1990, Batman was developed for console games, with a game based on Michael Keaton’s Batman, for Nintendo, Sega Genesis and Game Boy.  The Nintendo version of the game had 5 levels, and Batman had to defeat several of his nemeses, with a big showdown at the end against the Joker.

In 1992, the Batman Returns based games were released to all major systems. The game was a definite improvement over the 1990 game, with more levels, more shooting, and more bad guys.

Throughout the next 20 years, it seemed as if new Batman video games were being released every year, as the consoles improved so did the quality of the games. Every new movie brought about a new game, complete with the movie villains and game play that attempted to resemble the plot.

In the early 2000s, there were new innovations to the Batman games. One could even play online slot games at Casino.com or download them. Smartphones were becoming popular and game developers saw a whole new market they could reach. Batman Begins was released for mobile devices in 2005 and players had to try and defeat Falcone. This game was followed up in 2008 by The Lego Batman: The Mobile Game, and many other games coming in quick succession.

In 2009, Rocksteady Studios released the first of what would eventually be three games called the Arkham Series: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Knight (which we reviewed here). The first two titles received a facelift in Batman: Return to Arkham which not only had the remastered versions but also included all previously released DLC.

Batman games have come a long way since its simple beginnings in the mid 80s and we’re excited to see what fun games the future will bring.

Iconic Arms: Legendary Weapons of FPS History

It’s almost time for the next installment of your favourite shooter. Call of Duty: Inifnite Warfare zips to the zero-gravity war zones in outer space while Battlefield 1 dials it way back to a simpler time in a World War I setting. Many of the armaments used in these games take their cues from real life and if you have an interest in such history, you may like the “Iconic Arms” series by YouTuber Ahoy.

Iconic_Arms_guns

Iconic Arms takes you through the heritage of some of the familiar weapons that you’ve fired in your digital adventures. It’s insightful information that’s even accessible to people with a passing interest in weaponry. Here’s a video on the most ubiquitous assault rifle in the world, so popular that 1 in 5 of the firearms available worldwide is an AK-47.

At the minute, The Iconic Arms series comprises 14 entries including favourites like the Desert Eagle, Beretta 92, MP5, M16, SPAS-12, Uzi, and FAL. Check it out on YouTube.

[via SA Gamer]

EPIC Time Lapse: A Year in the Life of Planet Earth

The Deep Space Climate Observatory (or DSCOVR) satellite sits 1.5 million kilometres away at what is called Lagrange point 1, a place in space between the gravity of the Earth and the Sun such that the satellite can maintain its stability. Why? For one thing, it enables NASA’s EPIC camera aboard the satellite to capture enough steady shots of the Earth to create this wonderful time lapse video. Watch and listen as EPIC lead scientist Jay Herman takes you though a year in the life of our planet as seen from DISCOVR.

[via Sploid]

The Prettiest Hydromedusa Ever

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or NOAA) recently began deep water environments in and around the Mariana Trench, which you know to be the deepest part of the world’s oceans.

Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are diving into the depths and beaming live footage of what they’re seeing. On day 4, at a depth of 3.7 KM (the trench’s maximum depth of approximately 11 kilometers!), this gelatinous thing of beauty was spotted.

Scientists identified this hydromedusa as belonging to the genus Crossota. Note the two sets of tentacles — short and long. At the beginning of the video, you’ll see that the long tentacles are even and extended outward and the bell is motionless. This suggests an ambush predation mode. Within the bell, the radial canals in red are connecting points for what looks like the gonads in bright yellow.

NOAA maintains a log of the photos and videos captured during the dives, you can see it here.

Live streams of the deep water exploration can be seen on cameras 1, 2, and 3. Some times you’ll just see static images. Science can’t be fun all the time.

[via The Verge]

Preview: Hitman (2016)

In what is already promising to be one of the best years for online gaming yet, the highly successful Square Enix publishers have sought to make a bid for gaming glory with the latest installment of Hitman.

It’ll be the seventh in the series of sneak-n-shoot games, and with Hitman being released for PS4, Xbox One, and Windows, it looks to be the most far-reaching Hitman yet.

Hitman_2016_01

Since its release on 11 March, Hitman has already proven to be a big hit with critics; Wired, for example, lauded the game’s successful blend of suspense and comedy as you enter an upmarket fashion event to attempt to assassinate the supermodel-turned-power broker Dalia Margolis.

A big part of Hitman‘s success is expected to rest on the game’s time-sensitive features that add a realistic sense of pressure as you try to use ever-decreasing moments of opportunity to explore the premises and use your cutthroat assassination talents.

Although there is currently just one episode of the game available, there promises to be no less than six further installments to try your skills as the mysterious Agent 47.

Hitman_2016_02

Furthermore, it should be noted that Hitman has already made some successful outings for iOS and Android devices with the likes of Hitman GO and Hitman: Sniper. Mind you, if you can’t wait until the next mobile episode of the game, you could always hit up Springbok Casino, which provides a series of suitably glamorous and gory slots styles including horror that would be more than well-suited to the high-stakes assassination plots of the Hitman series.

All of these games seem to feature a healthy degree of strategy and planning that is a welcome change from the more formulaic point-and-shoot games of recent times. And with Hitman providing a helpful way for you to eavesdrop on people’s conversations in the game so as to find out when to strike, it adds a further level of realism to the already complex and compelling title.

Despite the fact that the first episode is somewhat short, it has many unforeseen twists that mean that, much like a game of online slots, you’ll never play the same game twice. With The Verge commending the first episode’s early promise, it looks like this cold-blooded killer is only going to be more….deadly.

Seiko’s “Art of Time”

Seiko has been manufacturing watches for over 90 years. This little video entitled Art of Time highlights the skilled craftsmanship and precision that goes into creating their time pieces.

It’s a Rube Golberg contraption reduced to a size that could fit on a work bench, a stark contrast to some machines that could fill a large studio. Seiko’s machine includes 1200 parts, with some as small as 0.7mm, and the setup reportedly has been a year in the making. Arguably the machine requires human intervention to get to its conclusion, but I suspect that’s a nod to the Grand Seiko watches and movements that are still built by hand. Check out Art of Time below.

Read more

Importing With Aramex Global Shopper

Aramex Global Shopper (henceforth referred to as AGS) is a shipping service that enables you to buy items from online websites that don’t (or won’t) ship to a specific country, South Africa, for example. By signing up to AGS, you have access to 14 physical forwarding locations spread between New York, USA and Shanghai, China. When you buy any item from an online retailer, you simply have the item sent to the nearest AGS location, and when the item reaches that location, it is forwarded to the AGS facility in your country (Johannesburg in our case), and then delivered straight to your door. Well that’s the theory. Conveniently, it’s how the service works in practice too.

In October of last year, mystery gift box service Loot Crate started shipping to South Africa , and we rejoiced. We have come to expect that packages from the USA usually take some weeks to get here using the normal shipping channels, but there’s always the dread that the parcel will get lost in transit, or worse: get stuck in the black hole that is South African customs. This is what happened to a local whose Loot Crate packages took so long to be delivered that he cancelled his subscription.

So that got me thinking: could AGS guarantee a safe, reliable, convenient way to get one’s Loot Crate to South Africa? I decided to test this by ordering February’s Loot Crate (the 1 month plan) and getting AGS to ship it to me. For science, I kept track of the shipment.

On February 22nd, Loot Crate shipped the parcel from Los Angeles and it arrived at my selected AGS forwarding location, New York, on February 27th. AGS promptly notified me of my parcel’s arrival. It was put on a scale and shipping charges to South Africa were calculated based on the parcel weight. These details were clearly visible on my AGS online profile. Oddly and out of place, at the bottom of the page, there was a link to a randomly-numbered JPG file. That, as it turns out, is actually the photo of my parcel as it was captured at the AGS operations facility.

Aramex Global Shopper profile

I had an option to pay for the shipping at the time, or wait until the parcel arrived at the AGS Joburg facility. I opted to wait. The parcel got shipped regardless. On March 2nd, I was contacted by AGS customer support asking for a commercial invoice to have my parcel cleared at customs. AGS does provide the option to upload an invoice, but I had forgotten to do so, my bad. I e-mailed the required documentation to AGS, and *SIX* days later on March 8th, customs released the parcel. On March 10th, I was contacted by AGS customer support requesting payment for the shipping charges and the customs duties. There were NO duties, what luck! Payment was made, and the parcel arrived at my door on the morning of March 11th.

Let’s talk about the costs. I paid R339.16 for Loot Crate (including shipping to New York) and R274.00 for AGS to ship and courier the 0.7 KG parcel to me in Cape Town. There were no customs duties to be paid, so the total was R613.16. Bear in mind that using AGS is obviously more expensive than just having Loot Crate ship the parcel to me, and in this case I paid approximately R150.50 extra to use AGS. Personally, that is a price that I would happily pay for peace of mind in knowing where my parcel is at any time, having the customs process sorted on my behalf, and having it personally couriered to my home.

Aramex Global Shopper

If you’re looking for a reliable shipping service that gives you 14 18 personalised shipping addresses across the world, I would recommend Aramex Global Shopper. You’ll need to register once for a lifetime membership, which costs USD 45.00 (about R690 at the current exchange rate; just be aware that this figure will obviously fluctuate). If you’re interested, here’s a code that will net you the lifetime membership for just USD 10.00 — AGS10OLP (it expires on 31 October 2017).

For more info, check out www.aramexglobalshopper.com.

Hell’s Club: Another Night

Hell’s Club: Another Night is a quite possibly the greatest movie mashup of all time. Editing whizz Antonio Maria Da Silva creates a fictional nightclub where characters from disparate movies meet and interact. Outside of time. Outside of all logic.

Blade is the bouncer at the entrance. Daft Punk, the resident DJs, are banging out the killer tunes. Multiple James Bonds are at the bar. RoboCop is enforcing the no smoking rules. John Travolta is feeling the Saturday night fever, and so is the terrible dancer Jean-Claude Van Damme. Naturally, cocktails are being served by Tom Cruise.

Everyone’s having a great time until a bunch of Xenomorphs crash the party (via the ventilation shafts, obvs). It’s…madness, glorious mashup madness.

Read more

Wintergartan’s Musical Marble Machine

Swedish musician Martin Molin built the Wintergartan Marble Machine, a wonderful Rube Goldberg contraption to play out a rather uplifting ditty. It’s an intricate music box made up of specially crafted pulleys, funnels, and tracks that guide some 2000 metal marbles through the machine to play the different musical instruments. Molin started building the machine in 2014.

[via @dev_za]

Paper Army vs Ginger Cat

The murderous Ginger Cat has struck again. The Paper Army cannot stand idly by as more of their people are (literally) torn to pieces. This time, it’s all out WAR.

[via @WhoopseyDaisy]