Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recommendations of the Week July 17

It's that time of the week again. We're still getting back into the swing of things, so bear with us.

Ernesto Guillermo
Normally I'm not much of an "alien" or sci-fi type of person so when it comes to shooters I tend to stick with the likes of battlefield and call of duty. But for whatever reason the other day I decided to pick up a copy of Crysis 3, and I'm not exactly sure why, but I love it! Maybe I like taking a break from the usual and busting out a massive mortar and blowing up guys that are currently hiding behind the cloak of their nano suit. Or Maybe it's the giant mech that you can ride around the map destroying everyone in your path. Either way it's a great game definitely worth checking out. 
(PS, there might just be some Crysis 3 commentary coming out in the near future.)

That's right folks, the infamous Steam Summer Sale is here at last! This is actually the first Steam sale I've ever participated in, but needless to say, I'm addicted. Trading cards, FEZ for $5, and enough games to last me the rest of the year. I've purchased over 12 games so far (some of them AAA titles) for only $60! That's the price of one new game!

A few tips and tricks I've picked up from Reddit are:

-Don't buy a game unless it's a daily deal, flash sale, or community choice. This is the cheapest these games will be for the duration of the sale.

- The above rule does not apply if it's the last day (July 22nd) of the sale. If your games haven't gone on super sale by then, go for it!

A few highlights so far have been...

Fallout New Vegas/Fallout 3 for $2.50 each.

Portal Bundle for 6.50

Hundreds of indie games for under $5!

My recommendation for the week is a flash game available on Steam called McPixel. The game is simple, although hard to explain. Your character is McPixel, a little guy who saves the day by finding and diffusing bombs. But diffusing bombs could be as easy as kicking someone in the butt, or throwing a cow into a vat of gasoline to make it explode and somehow the exploded cow knocks the bomb over and breaks the bomb. Or something along those lines.

The thing with McPixel is there’s no set way to do things- you just have to click around and hope that you don’t end up making out with Obama. Or being eaten by a killer whale. In fact, much of the game is you kicking people and being a general douche. I beat McPixel in about one and a half hours of gameplay, so it’s not extremely difficult. The art is fun, the music is good, and the premise is weird- and it’s only 99 cents on Steam! I recommend McPixel for a fun, entertaining summer game.

You watch, forlornly, as the woman across from you flips her perfectly styled hair and chats to a friend. She's half foreign and half legs--and she ca switch effortlessly between two languages as if they are one. Don't you just wish you could be her (or a very feminine him, if you are so inclined)? Well, now you can with the crowd source created app DuoLingo. 

Just kidding, I'm selling you on a free app here. But regardless, DuoLingo is a software that teaches you a new language through similar methods to Rosetta Stone--and it doesn't cost a exorbitant amount of money nor does it have in unnerving commercials. The user can choose from French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and German--with the option to learn as a native speaker of one of those languages, or from English translations. The app then gives you a skill tree to follow, like the ones in Skyrim but with way more work involved. Lucky you can still complete it from your couch though. Each tier is a different category; teaching you about food, animals, and common phrases, as well as basic grammar and spelling. The short and well taught lessons make it easy to forget this is a learning app, and using this is often found myself having far too much fun when it came to typing out how to say "where is the bathroom?" in French and what not. It even has s little life bar the depletes whenever you get a question wrong, and coins for when you finish a lesson. It tricks your brain into thinking its having fun and not working, which my brain personally likes a lot. In fact, my brain literally dictated that sentence to me, so you know it's true. And if your high school Spanish let you sail past such basic nonsense, do not fret because the app does give you an option to automatically skip to the more advanced lessons (be warned though: I took nearly 7 years of French and had to start at the beginning. No shame). Finally, while I do find that DuoLingo is great for brushing up my languages skills up faster than anything else I've found, I can't speak to how well it can teach an English speaker, with no prior experience, a new language. But regardless of that, it's fun, it's free, and it can make you sound like a hot foreigner in only a few days (so there was more than one reason I picked French). Don't expect to be fluent, but I guarantee you'll learn where the bathrooms and how to get alcohol within the few two levels, which is really good enough in my books.

Bryan the Cake Loving Artist
I recommend Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space (or BARIS if you're a gangsta like me).
What better way is there to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the first Moon landing (On July 20th) than b
recreating the Space Race on your very own computer? In Race Into Space you can play either as the head director of either United States of America or Soviet Union's space program. You will receive money at the start of each year, and this sum will depend on how well you've done so far. Using this flow of money from the government, you must fly missions, starting with basic orbital satellites like Sputnik, and eventually work your way up to the coup de grace, a Moon landing. Of course, this is rocket science, so your missions aren't guaranteed to succeed--and your rival space agency may just make it to the Moon before you if you're not careful. So if you want to discover what it was like to head a space program during the Space Race, check this out! It is absolutely free, as it is an open source program based off the 1994 title of the same name:

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