Top 10 Natural Wonders of the World to See

The Earth is an incredible planet that holds many spectacular places to see. From snowy mountains to the heated air of the desert, this world pulsates with life and never ceases to amaze us.

8 Autombiles That are Forbidden Fruit in America

Whether safety restrictions, marketing plans, or distribution issues stand in the way, American auto consumers can’t get some of the hottest cars drivers around the world enjoy. It doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a look (or a little lusting after). Here are eight automobiles U.S. consumers would love to have but don’t even have the chance.

The Most Anticipated Geek-Friendly Movies of 2015

Looking at this year's calendar of premieres, here's what I'm most excited about over the next 12 months:

10 Best Xbox Games of 2014 That Nobody Can Forget

2014 was a bizarre year. It was a year of HD premasters and “Conclusive Editions” on Xbox One, or more heaps of cross-gen games discharged on both Xbox 360 and Xbox 1. Few games genuinely emerged – especially on 360 – so making our yearly Game of the Year list in the not so distant future was troublesome. So here is the list of 10 best Xbox games of 2014 that no buddy can forget.

Problems Only 90s Gamers Could Understand

With the PS1 turned 20 last December it’s got us thinking about gaming in the 90s. We complain a lot these days, but there were a lot of problems with gaming back then that we all seemed to ignore. If you were a gamer in the 90s you’d know all about these particular problems…

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Altra Halo smart shoes to track your workout with built-in sensor

Considering the way technology is getting smarter and smaller, it was just a matter of time before wearable tech gear took off and this year sounds pretty exciting if we look at the large number of running brands and electronics companies that released or plan on releasing gadgets, apps, shoes and apparel aimed at improving the way everyone runs.

And a great example is Altra, the Utah based company coming at CES 2015 with the Altra Halo, a smart shoe with an integrated sensor that keeps an eye on your workout and helps you improve. The shoe features a razor-thin sensor made by iFitthat measures different data during your workout, analyzes your gait and sends the data to your smartphone or iFit GPS Watch. According to Altra, the difference between Halo and other performance metrics is that while all other products analyze the data after the workout, their shoe is able to provide constant feedback during your workout, allowing you to make adjustments (such as changing your foot position) and get rid of bad habits.

Also, unlike other gadgets, the Halo doesn’t measure the usual stuff (speed, distance, etc.), but instead focuses on aspects of your running gait such as foot strike zone, cadence and ground force impact. To have access to all this data, you can connect the Halo shoe either to an app available for smartphones or to an iFit Peak or Ridge watch.

"The opportunity with the Altra Halo shoe is real-time feedback as you run, so you can quickly adjust and improve your running form before bad habits take hold," explains Brian Beckstead, Altra's VP of sales.

According to Altra, the Halo smart shoe is schedule to be available towards the end of 2015, probably around holiday season, and its retail price will be somewhere around $180.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Most Anticipated Geek-Friendly Movies of 2015

Looking at this year's calendar of premieres, here's what I'm most excited about over the next 12 months:
Most Anticipated Sequel: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Who would’ve thought Avengers: Age of Ultron will not be the most anticipated movie of any year? Well, unfortunately for Marvel, 2015 will mark the premiere of the first Star Wars movie in 10 years, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And if that wasn’t enough, the movie is directed by one of our favorite directors, J.J. Abrams, and it features some of the cast of the original trilogy, including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. Considering all these, it’s safe to say the new Star Wars is actually the most anticipated movie of the year and we’re really looking forward to December 18, the day the release is scheduled.

Most Anticipated Reboot: Mad Max: Fury Road

Last year, the Comic-Con International in San Diego was where the first official trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road was shown and it created quite a buzz. Director George Miller has been trying to make a fourth Mad Max for almost two decades and this almost happened in 2003, when a $100 million budget for the movie received green light. However, following the outbreak of the war in Iraq, the project was considered politically sensitive and was abandoned.

Filming finally started in 2012, starring Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and also Charlize Theron. When the cast was first announced, a lot of people were surprised that Mel Gibson won’t be returning to the franchise that made his famous, but we’re expecting good stuff from Tom Hardy, after seeing his great performances in The Dark Knight Rises or Locke. The movie is scheduled to premiere on May 15.

Most Anticipated Theater Experience: Jurassic World

After more than 10 years of waiting, this year we’ll finally get to see the fourth installment in the famous Jurassic Park franchise. And while the third movie was not as impressive as the first two, waiting for so long got us pretty excited about Jurassic World, which is scheduled to be released on June 12.

According to the producers, the movie takes place 22 years after the events in the original Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, an island off of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast where things go bad again at another dinosaurtheme park. The movie is directed by Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) and stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Vincent D’Onofrio. Oh, and in case your patience is running low, a new trailer for the movie is scheduled to be shown on February 1, during Super Bowl.

Most Anticipated Original Film: Tomorrowland

No, it’s not a movie about the famous music festival, but one based on the popular Disney theme parks attraction. We don’t know too much about the upcoming Disney production, except that the cast includes George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie and that this “tomorrowland” is a special place in time and space where two people travel. Director is Brad Bird, known for The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol. To be honest, we think Disney know what they’re doing with all the mystery around this movie, because this is actually one of the reasons we’re so intrigued by it. The first trailer was released on October 9 and the domestic release is scheduled for May 22 in theaters and IMAX.

Honorable Mention: Chappie
Most Anticipated Animated Movie: The Peanuts Movie

How can you not be excited about Charlie Brown going on an epic quest? The upcoming 20th Century Fox production is based on famous Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts and is the first feature film in 35 years based on the characters in the comic book. The Peanuts Movie is directed by Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who! and Ice Age: Continental Drift) and will feature the voice of Bill Melendez (via archive recordings) as Snoopy and Noah Schnapp as Charlie Brown. The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 25, when the comic strip celebrates its 65th anniversary, but it was rescheduled for November 6.

Most Anticipated Indie Movie: Air

There aren’t many details available about this movie, but what we know so far got us pretty excited. First of all, Air will be produced by Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead comics and later producer of the popular TV show. Also, the main role in Air is played by Norman Reedus, one of the most popular cast members of The Walking Dead. According to the little info we have so far, the movie is about two custodians who live in an underground bunker with cryogenically frozen people meant to re-populate society one day, and their struggle to hold onto their sanity. The movie also stars DjimonHounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond) and is scheduled to be released on March 13.

Most Anticipated Comic Book Movie: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Of course, we probably should’ve added “that’s not about superheroes” to the title. The Secret Service is a 2012 spy comic book series created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, and the film adaptation will be released on January 29 in the UK and on February 13 in the US. Kingsman: The Secret Service is about a veteran secret agent who is leading a young protégé into the world of espionage and it has an impressive cast: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong and Taron Egerton. Sounds pretty good and we hope we won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

One Small Beam For Man: US Navy Develops Laser Weapon

Not to be outdone by DARPA, the US Navy has developed a combat-ready laser weapon system on board the USS Ponce. Unlike the Real Genius laser cannon, they managed to test it successfully out in the Persian Gulf where no brilliant peacenik undergraduates could reach them.

According to ExtremeTech, the whole laser weapon consists of a 30-kilowatt solid-state infrared laser, a radar detection system, and a special computer terminal that controls the weapon. Interestingly, humans direct the laser with a console that looks uncannily like a PlayStation controller with an unnecessary mod on the back of it. Surely the Navy can give Sony a call to work out some design issues?

In testing, the laser was able to blow up a drone in the sky, blow up a set of rocket propelled grenades and blow the engine out of a small boat. At roughly a dollar per shot, the laser compares favorably to other established means of neutralizing similar targets (missiles or rocket propelled grenades costing potentially thousands of dollars). It seems the Navy has found an even cheaper way to turn targets into swiss cheese.

8 Automobiles That are Forbidden Fruit in America

The good news is the Alfa Romeo 4C and Koenigsegg Agera R are both available in the U.S. for the first time in 2014. The bad news is there are many other hotly desired automobiles that still are not available in the U.S. — and probably never will be. Take the Land Rover Defender, an epic off-road vehicle that checked out of its stay in the U.S. after airbag restrictions tightened in the late 1990s. It’s not coming back.

Whether safety restrictions, marketing plans, or distribution issues stand in the way, American auto consumers can’t get some of the hottest cars drivers around the world enjoy. It doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a look (or a little lusting after). Here are eight automobiles U.S. consumers would love to have but don’t even have the chance.


1. Vauxhall VXR8 GTS

Vauxhall, a subsidiary of Opel (itself a subsidiary of GM in Europe), produces some slayers in its VXR performance division. Take the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, for example. This quad-exhaust monster packs a 6.2-liter Eaton supercharged V8 capable of 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque to boot. That setup is good for a 0-60 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph with six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Vauxhall shows off the VXR8 tearing through a ring of fire on its home page, which seems like the ideal setting for a spin. There would undoubtedly be many takers if this car went on the U.S. market, but that won’t happen. It’s a variant of the Chevy SS that never had America in its sights.

Ford Performance Vehicles GTF Australia
Ford Performance Vehicles/Facebook

2. Ford Falcon FPV GT-F 351

Ford Performance Vehicles of Australia is going to disappear with the rest of the Blue Oval’s manufacturing unit in the coming years. For its last performance model Falcon GT-F, Ford limited production to 500 cars — and what a specimen it turned out to be.
The Falcon GT-F features a 5.0-liter Boss supercharged V8 capable of 471 hp (351 kW) and 420 lb-ft of torque with six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Its bi-modal quad exhaust system hits the perfect note for vintage muscle car lovers, while its stealth stripe design makes it a throwback in exterior as well. Ford Falcons haven’t been seen in the U.S. since the 1970s, and this one won’t even live overseas now that Ford is pulling out of Australia.


3. Renault Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet

Renault doesn’t do business in the U.S., so browsing through the French automaker’s offerings is an exercise in what will never be. The Mégane Coupé and its convertible version would have their share of American boosters if the gates to a Renault dealership opened. A distinctive front and profile accompany a wide range of engine choices (one gasoline, three diesel) that start at $40,000 USD. In the most efficient diesel model, the European cycle quote was 57 mpg. California would go wild over this car.

4. Chevy Niva

Is there anything the Chevy Niva can’t do? In a venture with Russian-based Lada, GM has produced this crossover utility vehicle that comes equipped with a snorkel, roof lights, a silver skid plate, tow hooks and winch, and many other features that make it a candidate for ultimate off-road warrior. Released as a concept at the Moscow Motor Show in late August 2014, the Niva won’t make the cut in the U.S. due to safety restrictions and other issues. In other words, it would have to be softened up a bit to be marketed as a reasonably safe vehicle. Maybe it’s best staying in its pure, hard form in Russia.

Jaguar XF-Sportbrake

5. Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport

Ever seen a wagon that can shoot from 0-62 mph in 4.8 seconds or go 186 mph? Check off both boxes for the Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport, a beast containing a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 under the hood. Where it’s sold, they call it a “bonnet.” That might seem like overkill in the power department for taking the family on a road trip, but wagons are joining every other segment as legitimately thrilling when done by the right automaker.

American consumers may fall back on the standard Jaguar XF R-Sport sedan with the same engine, but nothing emanates track-worthy domestic utility like the XF Sportbrake R-Sport.


6. Holden Special Vehicles Gen-F Maloo

When is the Chevy El Camino coming back? Though rumors about an El Camino revival abound, the vehicle hasn’t seen an assembly line in the U.S. since 1987. Out in Australia, where the idea of a coupe utility vehicle originated in 1932, the El Camino lives on in the Holden (GM) Ute. The Ute’s SSV Redline model offers 362 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque from its 6.0-liter V8.

The Holden Special Vehicles Ute, dubbed the Gen-F Maloo, serves up a good deal more menace with 425 hp and 405 lb-ft in the torque department. Like Ford in Australia, GM is ending production down under in the coming years. Vehicles like the HSV Maloo certainly weren’t the issue: a special supercharged HSV Ute sold out before it even hit the market.

scirocco R

7. Volkswagen Scirocco R

It can be considered a Golf with a pulse, a hot hatch with attitude, or something entirely different, but in any event the Volkswagen Scirocco R is not available in the U.S. Equipped with 276 horsepower to its front wheels, the Scirocco R trails the rear-wheel Golf R (290 hp) slightly in output while burning the Golf GTI (210 hp). Autoblog reviewers who have handled the Scirocco R abroad tend to gush about the car’s heart-racing character as much as its low-slung style. For comparison’s sake, the VW Scirocco R packs 24 more horses than the Ford Focus ST (252 hp), should that hot hatch come to mind, though the VW is a bit pricier.

Troller T4_Testdrive_08

8. Ford Troller T4

Here’s another unattainable gem from a car company headquartered in Detroit. Ford Brazil introduced the Troller T4 in May at a Sao Paolo exhibition and U.S. consumers have been coveting it ever since. It packs a 3.2-liter diesel engine matched to manual transmission, a two-panel sky-roof, air intake to connect a snorkel (underwater traveling in the T4 is a must), and a front guard and running boards integrated in the exterior design.

It will never get a closeup in the U.S. because Ford bought the Brazilian company Troller when this nasty utility vehicle was already in production. To conform to U.S. safety and emissions standards, it would need to be an entirely different automobile, and it’s one Ford will never build for the American market.

10 Cover Songs Better Than the Originals

Cover songs have been popular in the world of rock ‘n’ roll since, well, the beginning of the world of rock ‘n’ roll. Originally, cover songs often carried a negative connotation — they were seen as a less talented and successful act “stealing” the superior work of the composer to make a quick buck — but these days, they are typically recognized as one artist paying homage to another in a show of admiration. Either way, cover versions occasionally turn out to be more popular than and/or artistically superior to the originals. It’s not common, but the following are 10 songs that, despite great original versions, work better as covers. Don’t agree with us? See if the above video will change your mind — if not, let us know why in the comments below!

Red Hot Chili Peppers, 'Higher Ground'
Original Artist: Stevie Wonder

Maybe it's wrong to say the Chili Peppers did a better job performing 'Higher Ground' than the living legend who wrote it. But often times, these sorts of preferences are determined by which version one hears first, and being Gen-Xers, we happened upon Anthony Kiedis & co.'s 'Mother's Milk' rendition well before the original. In fact, it wasn't until many years later that we discovered Stevie Wonder's take, which is slightly slower but no less funky. It's a close call, but we'll go with the Peppers on this one.

The White Stripes, 'Jolene'
Original Artist: Dolly Parton

Sorry, Dolly fans. Parton certainly turns in a lovely version of her own song, which appeared on the 1974 disc of the same name, but we're partial to the White Stripes' cover, which first turned up as the B-side to their 2000 single of 'Hello Operator,' off the album 'De Stijl,' and was later released as a single in its own right in live form on 'Under Blackpool Lights.' Both covers find the Stripes doing a pretty straight-up version of the original, albeit with a slightly harder and punkier approach. Really, you can't go wrong with any of them.

Frente, 'Bizarre Love Triangle'
Original Artist: New Order

Aussie '90s alt-rock act Frente take New Order's dance-floor hit and turn it on its ear with a mellow acoustic rendition that's downright beautiful. The two versions couldn't be any more different: New Order's original, which appeared on their 1986 album 'Bsotherhood,' was a synth-driven hit that landed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, while Frente's stripped-down take -- which features little more than sparse acoustic guitar finger picking and singer Angie Hart's yearning vocals -- hit the Top 10 of the Modern Rock tally and even managed to cross over to No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Ramones: 'California Sun'
Original Artist: Joe Jones

Credited to Henry Glover and Morris Levy and originally recorded by the 35-year-old New Orleans-born singer-songwriter Joe Jones, 'California Sun' has been covered by numerous acts over the years -- everyone from Dick Dale and Brian Wilson to the Replacements and '60s frat rockers the Rivieras, who recorded the highest-charting and best-known version in 1964. But it was the Ramones that injected the tune with a previously absent punk energy, as it appeared on both their 'Leave Home' album and in their classic 1979 film 'Rock 'n' Roll High School.'

Jane's Addiction, 'Rock & Roll'
Original Artist: The Velvet Underground

Here's another that's sure to be controversial. Few bands in the history of rock 'n' roll are considered more influential than the Velvet Underground, so how perfect is it for them to pass a song titled 'Rock & Roll' down through several generations to one of the most classic and original bands of '90s alternative rock? The Velvet's original appeared on the album 'Loaded' -- recorded by a John Cale-less version of the band that's hardly the classic lineup -- while the JA stab was from their self-titled 1987 debut, a live album that arrived early in their career, before the band revealed their less-appealing idiosyncrasies. Make sense?

The Clash, 'I Fought the Law'
Original Artist: The Bobby Fuller Four

Written by Sonny Curtis of the Crickets, 'I Fought the Law' was popularized by the Bobby Fuller Four, whose 1966 version is itself considered a classic. (It ranked No. 177 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.) Placing the Clash cover above Fuller's on this list shows just how legendary their version has become. The Clash cut theirs, which appeared on the American edition of their self-titled debut album, after hearing Fuller's on a jukebox in a California recording studio. They stuck close to the original structure, adding a welcome dash of U.K. punk aggression.

Dave Grohl, 'With Arms Wide Open'
Original Artist: Creed

If this list measures how much better a cover songs is than the original, Dave Grohl's version of this Creed mega-hit should be No. 1. Even with Grohl's annoying vocal guffaws, we like the Foo Fighters frontman's shortened run-through a million times more than what, sadly, is one of the biggest rock hits of the '00s. But hey, maybe that's just us.

Jeff Buckley, 'Hallelujah'
Original Artist: Leonard Cohen

Canadian minstrel-poet Leonard Cohen first released this on his 'Various Positions' album in 1984, and the tune has since been covered by more than 200 artists in a variety of languages. The Velvet Underground's John Cale turned in a slightly different take that was the first to gain broader notice, but it was Jeff Buckley's soaring and angelic cover -- based on Cale's version and featured on Buckley's much-loved 'Grace' album -- that has since become known as the definitive version.

Nirvana, 'Love Buzz'
Original Artist: Shocking Blue

Nirvana's covers of David Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold the World' and Leadbelly's 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night?' from the band's 'MTV Unplugged' live album perhaps are better known, but it's this up-tempo, fuzzed-out take on Dutch rock act the Shocking Blue's 'Love Buzz' that makes our list, the reason being that it's remarkably close to Nirvana's early sound. 'Love Buzz' was initially released as Nirvana's first-ever single in 1988 as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club, and it later appeared with a slightly different mix on their 1989 debut album, 'Bleach.'

Johnny Cash, 'Hurt'
Original Artist: Nine Inch Nails

The country legend takes on one of the darkest, most depressing songs in a Nine Inch Nails catalog full of doom and gloom, and wouldn't you know it, he turns in an equally harrowing cover. Johnny Cash surprised the music world when he redid 'Hurt' -- a standout track on NIN's double-album magnum opus 'The Downward Spiral' -- as an acoustic ballad for his 'American IV: The Man Comes Around' covers set. As even Reznor admits, the Man In Black made the song his own. "It was this other person inhabiting my most personal song ... It felt invasive," Reznor once said. "Cash brings a certain darkness to the song. It's melancholy and spooky."

Top 10 Natural Wonders of the World to See

The Earth is an incredible planet that holds many spectacular places to see. From snowy mountains to the heated air of the desert, this world pulsates with life and never ceases to amaze us. For your viewing pleasure GreenBuzzz has created a list of top 10 natural wonders of the world, which reminds us how grand and awesome nature is in its majestic beauty.

10.Mount Everest, Nepal, Tibet and China
Mount Everest
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Mount Everest is the highest mountain on the Earth. It attracts mountain climbers all around the world. Standing tall and proud at 8,848 meters, this giant can be also dangerous to inexperienced mountaineers, because of harsh weather, altitude sickness and powerful winds.

9. Aurora Borealis, Northern Hemisphere
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights is a natural, colorful light display in night sky. The color array ranges from green and red to yellow and green. They occur most often in early spring and early autumn.

8. Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia
Great Barrier Reef
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. It is made out of 900 islands and around 3,000 reefs. The whole reef system stretches 2,600 km wide. It can be even seen from orbit, and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms.

7. Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina
Iguazu Falls
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Locals have nicknamed the Iguazu Falls “Devil’s Throat”. This U-shaped waterfall holds an incredibly wide array of plant, bird and mammal species in its “throat”.

6. Antarctica
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Although the  dry and windy continent is almost completely covered by ice, Antarctica technically is the largest desert on the Earth. It has also the highest elevation of all continents, making it the coldest continent on this planet.

5. Grand Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A.
Grand Canyon
Image: Wikimedia Commons

It took the Colorado river 6 million years to create this more than a mile deep canyon system. Slowly layer after layer of rock the Grand Canyon as we see it today was formed. The view is breath-taking on its own, but adventurers can also explore the numerous cave systems within this natural wonder.

4. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The 19 islands of Galapagos are also called a “living museum and the showcase of evolution”. In spite of the active vulcanos, the wildlife here is the most unusual. The land iguana, giant tortoise and a wide variety of finches, are just few of many species that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, when he visited these islands.

3. Amazon Rainforest, South America
Amazon Rainforest
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Located in the Amazon Basin, South America, the Amazon Rainforest is 1.2 billion acres wide. It is the largest rainforest in the world. In fact, its area represents more than half of the Earth’s remaining tropical rainforests.

2. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was filmed in this location. Although it is called Milford Sound, it is actually a ford. There are many wonderful mountains like The Elephant that looks like an elephant’s head or the Lion Mountain that resembles a crouching lion. These cliffs are covered in rainforests, and seals, penguins and dolphins can be spotted in the nearby waters.

1. Serengeti Migration, Tanzania and Kenya
Serengeti Migration
Image: Wikimedia Commons

One of the most recorded events in wildlife documentaries is the great Serengati migration, which is the largest mass movement of land mammals on the Earth. The sight is breathtaking, when wildebeests, zebras and other mammals cross a 500 km (300 miles) distance from the Southern Serengeti to the North.

Maybe you have seen these amazing places in real life, maybe you are just at the beginning of the journey to explore them. Till then, we hope you enjoyed this list of Top 10 natural wonders of the world.

Problems Only 90s Gamers Could Understand

With the PS1 turned 20 last December it’s got us thinking about gaming in the 90s. We complain a lot these days, but there were a lot of problems with gaming back then that we all seemed to ignore. If you were a gamer in the 90s you’d know all about these particular problems…

Picking what to delete from your memory card…
We’ve all been there. You boot up Final Fantasy 8 for the first time, create a new game and you suddenly learn that you’ve no more save blocks spare… time to delete something – but what? Your Gran Turismo save (with all licenses complete)? Your completed Metal Gear Solid save, the one with the Bandana item unlocked? Or your Final Fantasy 7 save now you had finally got that golden chocobo?

Or worse still, those games that took up 15 slots! Like Populous: The Beginning or Hexen…

Having to carry AA batteries around…

How we ever thought this was a ‘portable’ games console we’ll never know, but there you are. To make matters worse, it eats through four AA batteries at a time – and if you were heading out for the day you needed to be sure your Gameboy wouldn’t give up part way through.

Worse still if you were a Game Gear owner…

Having a friend who owned the ‘other’ console

You think console wars were bad nowadays? You’d fall out with a friend who adamantly insisted that Aladdin was better on the Mega Drive than it was on the SNES (come on, that’s just not true) and not speak to them again at least until the Monday after the weekend.

Console wars, man…

Hating your screencheater friends (but still doing it yourself)…

Back when split-screen multiplayer was the only way to spend a Friday evening, you knew precisely which friends to watch out for screencheating. We all did it, of course, but if you shouted at these screencheaters loud enough you could make it look like you wouldn’t dream of doing it.

And then win.

Having to turning a PS1 upside down to make it load…

We’re still not sure to this day whether or not this actually worked, but somehow it became common knowledge (did Sony include it in the manual?) that if you turn it upside down you’ll have a better time loading games that would get stuck at certain points.

You were jealous of that one kid with a Game Boy Camera…

There’s always one smug prick on the playground. He always had the high score on Tetris (and wouldn’t shut up about it) and he always carried around his Game Boy Camera and Printer. Somehow that was the most exciting thing in technology… and you hated that he had it.
The Water Temple STILL makes you angry…

We can’t honestly remember much about the Water Temple now – something to do with heavy boots and adjustable water levels – all we do know is that we bloody hate it. There must’ve been some cruel designer rubbing his hands with glee as thousands of gamers endlessly pulled switches trying to figure that huge puzzle out.

You couldn’t sleep for weeks after this happened…

Resident Evil on the PS1 will be remembered as one of the most important survival horror games ever, and it wowed an entire generation of gamers.

But we’ll always remember it as having that one pit that made us literally shit our pants.

You thought this was how you could get Mew…

There were a lot of lies spread about Pokemon – anyone remember the secret 152 Pokemon Mewthree; or the final evolution of Charizard, a black lizard called Charcoal? – but this one is perhaps the most prevalent. All you needed was a Pokemon with Strength to find a Poke Ball with Mew hidden underneath.

It, of course, was complete tosh.

‘I just need to get to a save point’

You had to go to bed. Dinner was ready. You still hadn’t finished your homework. There was always something you were putting off to play a little longer, but the excuse was always the same: ‘I just need to get to a save point’. Course, it was better than having to scrounge around for a pen to write down the password after each level.

Somehow you thought this film was the greatest thing ever…

Looking back it’s impossible to think that this film could be ever considered to be anything but the BEST THING… but for many it was the first game-to-film tie-in they’d ever seen, and just seeing a real-life Mario power boot his way around a room must’ve seemed magical.

(Of course, we still hated Luigi, even then)

Deadliest sniper in history: 700 confirmed kills in 100 days

With the 160 confirmed kills that Kyle has (American Sniper), you might wonder who can top that. And we’re going to answer that for you, since you probably never heard of Simo Hayha, the Finnish marksman that has a total of 700 confirmed kills in 100 days during World War II, making him the deadliest sniper in warfare history.

The Finn was born in 1905 in Rautjarvi, a municipality in Southern Finland close to the present-day border between Finland and Russia. Before joining the Finnish military in 1925, Hayha was a farmer and a hunter, frequently taking part in shooting competitions and winning many of them. All this “training” proved to be of immense help after the outbreak of World War II, when the Russian Red Army invaded Finland on November 30, 1939 and started what was later called the Winter War. The conflict ended on March 13, but these months were incredibly tough, with combat taking place at temperatures that ranged between -40 and -20.

Our little friend Hayha (he was just 5 ft 3 in/1.60 m tall) was part of the 6th Company that fought in the Battle of Kollaa and due to his small frame, he used an M/28-30 rifle, which was a shorter version of the popular Mosin-Nagant rifle. Besides being easier to handle, the rifle also had iron sights instead of telescopic sights, which seemed as a disadvantage to other snipers, but not to Hayha. He preferred this type of sight for several reasons. First of all, it was less risky, because a sniper must raise his head higher when using a telescopic sight, exposing him more. Also, when you’re fighting at -40 degrees, the less “advanced” your equipment is, the less chances of something going wrong. And telescopic sights could easily fog up or break in the extreme weather. The iron sights alsooffered another advantage, eliminating the risk of the sniper getting spotted due to sun flare in the telescopic lens.

However, the major disadvantage an iron sight has is accuracy, because aiming is a lot more difficult and requires a lot of experience. But that was not a problem to Hayha, his training allowing him to record a total number of 700 confirmed kills, 505 of which were made with the sniper rifle (the other 200 he killed with a sub-machine gun he carried around to defend when enemies got closer). But accuracy was not his only skill. He was also very good at hiding from the ones he hunted. For example, he usually packed the snow before him, where his rifle stood, so that the snow was not disturbed by the muzzle blast and also to increase the rifle’s stability. He also frequently put snow in his mouth, to avoid steamy breath that could possibly give away his position.

All these quickly made him public enemy number one among the Soviet forces fighting in the area, earning him the nickname “White Death”. The Russians actually sent several teams of counter-snipers after him and frequently had artillery strikes in the areas they thought he was hiding, just so they could get rid of him.

And they finally got to him on March 6, 1939, when Hayha was seriously injured by a Russian soldier. According to the Finnish soldiers that found him, half of his face was missing, as he was shot with an exploding bullet that blew off his lower left jaw. But he was a tough guy and survived, gaining consciousness a week later, on March 13. The same day, the peace treaty between Finland and Russia was signed, Finland losing some of its territory but managing to keep its independence. There was actually a joke going around in those days, that when the Russians found out that Hayha still wasn’t dead, they got scared and asked for peace.

Hayha’s wounds took several years to heal and when the war ended he was promoted from corporal straight to second lieutenant. Later, he left the army and became a very successful moose hunter and dog breeder, dying in 2002 at the venerable age of 96.

10 Best Xbox Games of 2014 That Nobody Can Forget

2014 was a bizarre year. It was a year of HD premasters and “Conclusive Editions” on Xbox One, or more heaps of cross-gen games discharged on both Xbox 360 and Xbox 1. Few games genuinely emerged – especially on 360 – so making our yearly Game of the Year list in the not so distant future was troublesome. So here is the list of 10 best Xbox games of 2014 that no buddy can forget.

10. Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom (XBOX 360)

Presumably the most astounding single out my rundown, Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is an extraordinary outdated Legend of Zelda clones those fanatics of the show and additionally gamers that adoration fantastic top-down activity games will appreciate. It looks wonderful with an incredible 16-bit style, and sounds much the same as the show on account of huge amounts of voice work from a large portion of the genuine cast. The exemplary Zelda-style sword and shield gameplay is the genuine draw here, however, and maybe the best thing is that the game doesn’t hold your hand whatsoever.

9. Fantasia: Music Evolved (XBOX ONE)

Fantasia Music Evolved is one of the best Kinect games ever – excessively terrible it turned out a year after the Xbox One dispatch and months after Microsoft yielded to outside weight and made Kinect discretionary, so now Kinect is dead and we’ll presumably never get anything this great again. Fantasia Music Evolved is a music game where you utilize movement controls to basically make music by taking after onscreen signals. It appears sort of straightforward – and it is – yet there is something supernatural about it.

8. The Jackbox Party Pack (XBOX ONE)

For simply $25, you get access to three of the most flawlessly awesome neighborhood multiplayer gathering games on Xbox One, or more Word Spud and Lie Swatter, yet you don’t need to play those. Rather your consideration ought to be centered on You Don’t Know Jack 2015 (the most recent section in the funny disrespectful trivia arrangement), Dreadful (where you need to draw pictures on your savvy gadget), and Fib age XL (trivia meets Cards against Humanity where you write in your own answers), which are the absolute most fun we’ve had all year. The game really utilizes your PDA as tablet as a controller, so heaps of individuals can play.

7. Forza Horizon 2 (XBOX ONE)

Forza Horizon 2 is one of the best hustling games ever (not the 360 variant, however, maintain a strategic distance from that). With ravishing illustrations and an immense lump of southern Europe to drive around in, Horizon 2 is wonderful. The gameplay is likewise among the absolute best you’ll discover in a driving game. It isn’t a sim. What’s more it isn’t an arcade game. It discovers a cheerful medium that feels sensible, however gives you a chance to powerslide and pushes the breaking points straight up to the edge without loosening up. The sheer measure of substance is additionally completely amazing, and there are a huge amount of occasions to play through, autos to redesign, and then some.

6. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (XBOX ONE, XBOX 360)

My second most played game of 2014 may be a bit of a shock, yet I used handfuls and many hours playing PVZ: Garden Warfare on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This family-accommodating class-based shooter snared me in a manner that essentially no other internet game ever has. Each class has work to do, and you can truly help (and even lead your group in focuses) without needing to pile on the slaughters. PVZ: Garden Warfare is the online shooter for individuals that suck at online shooters. You can have some good times regardless of your ability level, and I cherish that.

5. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (XBOX ONE)

Shadow of Mordor acquires gameplay signs from different titles, yet binds them to an intriguing new story in Middle-earth alongside an incredible element A.i. framework that raises the game a long ways past simply being “Professional killer’s Creed meets Lord of the Rings”. Of course, you’re sneaking around and cutting orcas in the back, yet the shrewd thing about Shadow of Mordor is that the armed force you’re battling is continually evolving. The adversary framework is simply added up to brightness. At the point when a foe slaughters you, they get stronger. When you slaughter an adversary, somebody lower on the command hierarchy ascends to take their spot. By slaughtering particular adversaries, and making cooperation’s with others, you can transform Sauron’s armed force into your unwitting manikins.

4. Sunset Overdrive (XBOX ONE)

Sunset Overdrive put a different take on third-individual shooters by making movement as far and wide as possible while you’re shooting an imperative part of the gameplay, and the result is a standout among st the most remarkable and fun shooters of the year. It is brilliant and bright and has an incredible comical inclination that is tricky to stand up to. Incredible visuals, Extraordinary character customization, A great world to investigate, Insane weapons. There is even phenomenal 8-player multiplayer community that is outright tumult. Dusk Overdrive is only 100% immaculate fun, and is can’t miss Xbox One selective.

3. South Park: The Stick of Truth (XBOX 360)

After years of deferrals and improvement turmoil, South Park: The Stick of Truth at last released in astoundingly great condition. The game looks and sounds precisely like the TV show, is madly interesting, and doesn’t timid far from the stunning diversion that made the demonstrate a hit. Actually, it tightens the stun esteem off the scale sometimes, yet for South Park fans, this is precisely the game we needed. It is Kyle, Stan, Cartman, Kenny, and pretty much other people that have showed up on the show on an insane escapade. The fights are really straightforward and the enchantment framework is absolute dreadful, however the general bundle is still great and completely significant.

2. Dark Souls II (XBOX 360)

Definitely, my most loved and most played game of 2014 is Dark Souls II. I played through it, gracious, around 8 times and used a sum of 300+ hours on it. Sadly, it wasn’t too gotten by no-nonsense Souls fans, yet I cherished practically everything about it. Definitely, DSII is simpler and didn’t have as epic of manager battles and a joining world to investigate like the past game did, however the battle is fabulous, the adversary experiences are splendidly composed, the legend of the world is great, and the game figures out how to be trying without being straight up uncalled for like parts of Ds1 were.

1. Far Cry 4 (XBOX ONE, XBOX 360)

Notwithstanding an obvious absence of aspiration, Far Cry 4 would have been considered one of the best shooters ever. Ubisoft played it super protected with Fc4, however, so it doesn’t go for broke or roll out any genuine improvements to the equation secured in Far Cry 3. While that is unquestionably baffling, despite everything it implies that Far Cry 4 is a magnificent game all alone’s, regardless of the possibility that it provides for you a genuine instance of history repeating itself. The open world sandbox gameplay where you’re allowed to handle missions anyway you please and go where you need is wonderful. The shooting is astounding. The visuals are totally jaw dropping.