The Mermaid Greenie !

Since the last few days, i had noticed my son staring at the TV screen with wide eyed wonder and excitement whenever the Colgate advertisement appeared during breaks. On closer look, i realized that he was inquisitive about the sea animals showed in the ad and their cutouts which were available free with the Colgate strong teeth toothpaste packs.

On noticing his curiosity and eagerness for these sea animal figurines, I promised to get him the Colgate toothpaste at the earliest if he brushed his teeth properly, following the method and correct brush strokes advised by his dentist and that too without fail. He quickly agreed to the deal.

In the evening when i brought him the Colgate packs with the magical sea world creatures printed on the inner side, he was full of enthusiasm and immediately set out to cut them and arrange them on a board to create the magical sea scene. He was completely engrossed in the fun and learning activity. Along with figurines, there were small snippets of information about those sea animals which greatly added to his knowledge.

After he had finished displaying the cut outs and created a wonderful scene which looked straight out of the recent movie ‘Finding Dory’ he invited all the family members for a story session. We all were made to sit around his sea scene display and witness him unlock his imagination and creativity. We were taken into the fascinating world of mermaids, pirates, treasures and dolphins.

Are you ready to sail along with him into this amazing  wonder world?  Hop on!

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Magical sea world cut out display

 

A long, long time ago, there was a mermaid with beautiful, shiny green eyes. Her name was Greenie. She lived inside the deep blue sea with her family. They lived happily and Greenie had lot of friends who lived in her neighborhood. They studied with her in the Seakids Academy, where they played together and also had lots of fun.

Sometimes, she liked to visit the sea shore to watch people on the beach, especially the little kids, whom she found so cute and adorable. Greenie would watch them making sand castles, looking bewildered at the splashing sea waves and soaking the warmth of the sun. Some of them frequented the ice-cream selling cart which was always surrounded by the merry making munchkins eager to try out different flavors.

One day, as she sat on a rock near the beach, lost deep in her thoughts, the pirate named Blackbeard saw her through his binoculars. The rock where she was sitting was quite a distance from the beach and hidden from public view by the bushes. Blackbeard was in his ship approaching the coast to anchor it at the harbor nearby. He had sailed the sea for years looking for treasure hidden at a secret location; but he had failed in all his attempts and always returned empty handed. This time too, success had eluded him. He was deeply frustrated because of his repeated failures.

The cunning Blackbeard had heard from some folks about the mermaid who knew about the secret location of the treasure. He also knew that this mermaid had green eyes and she often visited the shore to watch the human world and the playing kids. He immediately hatched a plan to kidnap her so that he could find the huge hidden treasure with her help.

Blackbeard, stealthily put a net near the shore to capture her when she returned to the sea to swim back home.

Greenie was completely oblivious of the devious plan of Blackbeard and had no idea of the trap. The sun had started setting on the horizon and soon darkness would spread its wings every where, so she decided to return back home. As soon as she entered the water to swim back home, she got badly entangled in the net and was completely trapped in it. Within minutes, she was dragged towards a ship through the ropes attached to the net.

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Blackbeard pulled her up into the ship and tied her with heavy chains to prevent her from escaping. His assistant Sadie was assigned the duty of keeping a constant watch on Greenie.

Greenie was very frightened and worried. Although she knew the secret location near the coral reef where the treasure was hidden and even the exact location inside a shipwreck where it was safely kept, she had no intention of divulging the truth to Black beard as the treasure was the rightful property of her friend  ‘Orange’-the octopus. Orange guarded his treasure with all his strength and might. Greenie would never let any harm approach her friend or his property.

On the second night of her capture, Greenie woke up with a startle by a sudden poke on her ear. As she looked around to check what it was, she saw a parrot hiding near- by and trying to convey her some message. Soon, she deciphered that the parrot, Peeku had been sent to search for her by her family and her friends- the sea horse, lion fish, tortoise and swordfish. They were really concerned about her well being when they found she was missing.

Peeku and Greenie thought of a plan to  free her from captivity. Soon enough, they found an opportune moment when Sadie dozed off on her chair from where she was keeping a vigil. Quickly, Peeku opened the lock of the chain around Greenie with his beak. He was an expert at this task having practiced it regularly.

Greenie silently freed herself from the chains and jumped into the inviting water of the sea and started swimming rapidly towards her home. Peeku flew over her to guide her and show her the way. On the way, she met her friends- the puffer fish, sword fish, smiley crab and blue dolphin who guarded her throughout her journey till she reached home safely. She thanked her friends wholeheartedly and invited all of them for a fun party at her home on the weekend.

After all, friend in need is a friend indeed !

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With this , my son ended the amazing story telling session with a promise to share another story the next day.

Along with having fun, getting inspired to create his own stories, this activity also taught him interesting facts about sea creatures like – crabs can walk sideways, octopus has three hearts and can change its color quickly, some starfish species can regrow limbs, sting ray uses it’s stinger for self defense, lion fish can be dangerous as their needle like spines and teeth can poison you, dolphins are smart and very friendly and many many more like these.

The four packs of colgate strong teeth toothpaste with different themes- Treasure hunt, Pirate ship, Sea magic and Coral reef are a wonderful way to unlock children’s imaginative abilities along with protecting their teeth and gums. So, get going and grab them all for your little ones and watch them having fun as they embark on the journey to the fantasy land of sea creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Review

UNCOVER THE TRUTH

Join fortune hunter Nathan Drake on a spectacular search for the lost “Atlantis of The Sands”, a critically acclaimed and multi-million-selling adventure that will take you even further into the Uncharted series…

 

That is a pretty promising description behind the disc case XD !!

 

Before I go on with the review….. hats off to Naughty Dog!

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was an outstanding game which I and my friends enjoyed playing a lot together. It was near perfect. This time, Naughty Dog had a question in front  of them…”How do we go past the ‘near-perfect’?”

They answered it by trying to hit the perfect mark.

 

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune set a new level of visuals and graphics and Uncharted 2 improved on that with a skill that only a skilled team of developers can make. The game had multiplayer and got several Game Of The Year awards.

 

Coming back to Uncharted 3, This franchise gets better with every iteration. Naughty Dog didn’t disappoint this time either.

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As usual, when it comes to 3rd person shooter games, one might think of the same clichéd story where the protagonist has the lead, the bad guys beat the crap out of his team and snatch the lead.

This does happen in Uncharted 3, but you’ll never see it coming.

 

Single-Player….

As with other Uncharted games, crushing is the highest difficulty which will only be unlocked after you’ve beaten the game once on any other difficulty; and you get a shiny new gold trophy for beating the game on crushing. Do keep in mind that the AI gets way too stronger, almost real life.

 

Stunning graphics yet again, decades ahead of Uncharted 2. Top it up with bad-ass action sequences and slo-mo melee combos, and a gripping story with twists and turns. CHERRY ON TOP!!! 🙂

Pros

+ Awesome story

+Beautiful environments and scenes

+Shooting feels like you’re shooting a real gun, not like you’re shooting pebbles out of your gun.

+Enhanced combat system and a great physics engine.

+Hand to Hand combat animation feels realistic to the core. The best ever. Feels like you are actually punching the crap out of the bad guys

+Takes you even deeper into the past life on Nate and Sully.

+ Cinematic experience

+ Playable in 3D

Cons:

-The melee system is so enhanced that you can punch the armored enemies wearing a freaking helmet with your bare fists!

-Top notch animation gets janky a lot of times.

-Dumb AI control on characters. They literally crash into you, block your way. And the public in places in the market in Yemen; don’t even talk about that. People continue staring at Drake, even if he is standing on their table…

-Sloppy AI in the easier difficulties. I think just because the Difficulty is easy?!!

 

All these apart, the game has a great story and the characters are amazing. The game has beautiful landscape scenes that you must visit before you die. It had me glued to my screen from the time I put the disc in, to the time the credits rolled.

If Naughty Dog is good at something other than making video-games, is the team’s ability to express a complicated story with perfection, ease and grace.

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Multi-Player……

(This feature is available only on the PS3 version)

**To play  the multi-player, you first need to enter the supplied voucher code into the PSN and download a network pass.  Second hand buyers would be needed to pay a little extra for the multiplayer as they do not have the supplied voucher code**

 

The multi-player doesn’t disappoint either. Uncharted 3 has greatly improved on its multiplayer side as compared to the previous game. Still, the visuals are not like the Single-Player campaign (as of which, less textures and clothing doesn’t get wet if your character jumps into water to mention a few things that are stripped from the multi-player)

 

This time the players have way more customization options. So many that I can’t even mention them. All this makes the multiplayer a lot fun. There are both Competitive and Co-Op types of multiplayer options available to the players. Well, Naughty Dog did solve the ‘Helmet punching’ thing. In order to melee the armored enemies, you must first knock their helmets of with your gun, then you can co in for the melee combos.

 

Trophies…..

This section is for my beloved trophy hunters who have spent nights without sleep trying to get the 100% on games.

The single-player trophy are a piece of cake for those who enjoy the Uncharted series.

But here is where angels turn into demons: MULTIPLAYER TROPHIES

These could be a real pain in the ass situations where you are filled with rage and disgust.

Naughty Dog released several DLCs , which totally add up to about 50% of the trophy list.

For more info, please refer the following guide on PlaysStation.org site.

Guide By: Pesico. DLC: Nille, dcollins22, Mastodon, JK1011.  Thanks a lot guys,

http://www.playstationtrophies.org/game/uncharted-3-drakes-deception/guide/

(Tip: Buy the Game of The Year edition as it has all the DLCs included on the disc, thus, saves a lot of money)

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Final Verdict:

Story 8/10

Soundtrack 9/10

Physics and Graphics 9/10

Sensible features 8/10

AI 8/10

Multiplayer 9/10

Overall Score    9/10

 

Expert Comment: Naughty Dog could’ve worked a lot more on the multiplayer. They should release more patches enhancing the cons mentioned in this review.

If you liked this review, make sure that you hit that like button and check out my other blog-posts.

 

‘The Last of Us’ Game Review

COULD YOU BE……THE LAST OF US?

When the world you knew is gone, when the line between right and wrong is blurred and when life or death decisions are an everyday reality, what would you do to stay alive?

For  Joel, every day is about looking after number one; but when Ellie comes into his life, their journey across what remains of the USA will push their humanity-and their will to survive-to the limit.

When I first got my hands on this game, I literally got the apocalypse vibe when I read that text given behind the case.

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This isn’t just a game folks, its an experience.

This is literally the BEST game of the PS3 era. It has everything; be it amazing story, graphics, scenery, there is no end.

The thing which makes the game even more interesting is that the “infection” is based on a real-life fungal infection known as Cordyceps infection. Fortunately, it only affects insects—–BUT——-

If this thing gets mutated or evolved enough to infect human hosts, we can have an apocalyptic situation for REAL!!!!!!

Singleplayer…..

We take control of Joel, a guy who is like you and me, trying to make ends meet and living a safe and comfortable life with his daughter Sarah. On the night of his birthday, infection strikes and ruins his life and all his dreams.

20 Years Later, when the infection is in full swing, military personnel have started a Quarantine Zone where adequate steps are taken to keep the area free of infection and the infected hosts. A rebel group known as Fireflies promises the remaining humans hope trying to find a cure and to retaliate against the strict actions of the military personnel, thus, having enmity with them.

Joel and Tess are buddies and smugglers, who smuggle anything from guns to pills. Their boring life takes a sharp turn when the leader of the Fireflies asks them to smuggle a “parcel” for them.

 

This amazing journey takes us through ravaged city streets, reclaimed by nature over the past 20 years, and stripped of any supplies by the survivors outside the Quarantine Zone.The ‘best friend’for the main character, Joel, is his ‘bag’.

There is a crafting mechanic in the game. Survival won’t just depend on what you find along the way, but how you use it. Press SELECT button to open your bag and here you get to know the reason why I called it his’best friend’.

Use the supplies you gather along the journey to craft items. Sound like a child’s play, but it is not. It requires a lot of strategy. Eg. You have the option of going offensively by crafting a Molotov or going safe by crafting a Health Kit to recharge your health. Both these use the same supplies. It is not just these two, but many more.

 

This game has a fresh start for the apocalyptic games. It has won over 200 Game Of The Year awards and will make you laugh, cry, and feel like a bad-ass; all at the same time.

The graphics are out of the world. Highly detailed textures, surroundings; you name it.

 

Now, let’s talk about the game. The story is so beautifully expressed that you can hardly let go of your controller until you’ve completed it. A sure block-buster hit that busts the best movie ever.

 

Now, the enemies,

At first when the infection gets hold of the body, it slowly starts growing over the brain and controls their hosts and converts them into violent zombie like creatures.

The first stage is the ‘runners’ who still having little control of their voice. You can still hear them moaning and crying as they are still trying to fight off the infection. But once they see a non-infected capable host, they go totally zombie like; ripping people apart and tearing them off. Just not this… As the infection progresses, they get more scarier and are sure to give you nightmares.

But the infected are not the only danger you’ll come across. In this apocalyptic world, you find people fighting even for a loaf of bread, a gun, a water bottle.They have to constantly Struggle. One such group is known as the Hunters, who rob anyone of anything and few have even resorted to cannibalism.

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There are some flaws, but they are very minute except a few.

The stealth engine is amazing in this game, but, Ellie was found by the enemies more number of times than the best computer can keep track, and still the enemy is like….”Where is this guy :{”  This did have me laughing and getting shot thrice in the face… :/

 

Ellie literally dances in front of them and they hardly notice her. Same with other AI supporters. Eg. Bill. He stomps around like an elephant and the clickers hardly hear him. But if I tell Joel to stand and walk they attack him and rip him.

 

Multiplayer……

**To play  the multi-player, you first need to enter the supplied voucher code into the PSN and download a network pass.  Second hand buyers would be needed to pay a little extra for the multiplayer as they do not have the supplied voucher code**

 

When you first select the Multi Player option from the main menu of the game, you will be asked to select a faction: Firefly OR Hunter.

After this, you are pitched against other online players in a battle to survive 12 weeks.

*One match = 1 Day. So 12 weeks = 84 matches*

The multiplayer is amazing. You work with other players of your faction and  try to win against the other faction players.

 

Trophies……

This section is for my beloved trophy hunters who have spent nights without sleep trying to get the 100% on games.

Every coin has two faces.

This game has a bunch of glitched trophies but they luckily have been patched.

Another drawback is that on the PS3 disc, you will not get the Left Behind DLC or the Grounded Mode DLC. You won’t get the map pack extensions either. You need to pay extra for those. Feel really sad for my fellow trophy hunters….

 

But on the PS4 disc, you have both, the Left Behind DLC and the Grounded Mode DLC included. You don’t need to pay extra for these. Voila!!

For more information and a detailed walk-through, please refer the following guide:

Guide By: Breadskin & TheFlyingToaster; DLC: AshtimusPrime  Thanks a lot guys.

http://www.playstationtrophies.org/game/the-last-of-us/guide/

 

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Final Verdict:

Story 10/10

Soundtrack 10/10

Physics and Graphics 9/10

Sensible features 10/10

AI 9/10

Multiplayer 10/10

Overall Score    10/10

 

P.S: Naughty Dog should make DLCs free for the PS3 and should definitely push a patch for the flaws mentioned here. A must have for all owners of the PS3.

 

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