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Wow it has been months since my last post on my blog, I have been extremely busy with work and other activities. But what happened today convinced me to log back in and make this post. Deep down, I probably feel quilty for not being an active blogger subconsciously.

So I went to purchase the Iron Man™: Extremis™ Sea Port Battle and LEGO® Kingdoms Chess Set for myself and Arctic Batman™ vs. Mr. Freeze™: Aquaman™ on Ice for my friend as a birthday gift from Lego Store. They are having a promotion for any purchase of any Lego Star Wars over $50, an exclusive Republic Frigate will be added to the shopping bag (online and in-store purchase). When I got home that night I notice I have actually purchased way over the required $50 since the Kingdom Chess set cost $60 on its own already but no Republic Frigate was added to my purchase.

So today I emailed Lego through the “Contact Us” and asked what’s going on. The customer service rep replied within hours and explained the promotion only applies to any Lego Star Wars sets, not any sets. But surprisingly he still honored the request and sent me the promotional gift even though it was CLEARLY 100% MY MISTAKE.

I just want to show how much I appreciate what this customer service rep has done for me, one of many Lego fans.

Thank you again Lego!

So its been exactly two weeks since the launch of yet another Call Of Duty game – Black Ops 2, being a first person shooter and CoD fan (note: a fan, not a fanboy!) I had to get it. There were two reasons why I bought the game the very first day, Zombie mode and the fact that the story takes place in the near future with futuristic weapons and gadgets.

I’m not going to go into details about the story but it follows what was left behind in Black Ops with Mason. The first half of the single player was pretty boring as it was basically a flash back, for once I nearly fell asleep as I watched all these in-game cinematics. I was tempted to skip some of them but I thought since I was playing the single player, I had to follow the story. The pace of the second half ramped up which was a good thing, things just got really intense, which I thought was what made the game a Call of Duty game – fast pace and action packed. I actually like the fact that in Black Ops 2, you get to do a lot more than just run and gun. You get to fly in a fancy high tech glider suit and horse back riding shooting RPGs (I still think it is ridiculous to reload an RPG while riding a horse) just to mention a few. Again its nothing special but at least its somewhat different from previous Call of Duty games.

You can expect the same level of graphics from previous series, no surprise there as the developers don’t really have an incentive to improve on that at all since there will always be people buying their games. To be fair, there were impressive moments but they were rare.

Multiplayer is ok and expected, but it does take a while to get used to the load out, or class system. You are now given 10 points to spend on your class with different perks, weapons and weapon attachments. You can spend most in a single weapon, like me where I put most of my points on my primary weapon with 3 attachments. I think this new class system is a positive change in my opinion as you can focus more on a single area of a class. One thing they seriously need to fix is the spawning, I have lost count how many times I got killed as soon as I respawned after I got killed two seconds ago! I did not notice this as much in Modern Warfare 3 though, only in Black Ops and Black Ops 2.

Zombie mode is always fun playing with your friends, now it supports up to four players on a single system which is another big plus. I played with two of my other friends and we all had a good laugh throughout the night!

So here is my quick review of the latest Call of Duty – Black Ops 2. Was it worth buying the very first day? I honestly don’t think so unless you are absolutely in love with the series or you are new to the series. Although I see it as a long term investment with its multiplayer and Zombie mode since I usually play for more than a year online based on past games. It will more than make up for the $60 dollar plus tax price tag. Just don’t expect anything too revolutionary, expect it to be the same as the rest of the series with a different story and weapons.

ColcaSac, a manufacturer of eco-friendly sleeves for Apple and Kindle, now has iPad Mini sleeves available for sale on its shop.

Unlike most iPad Mini cases and covers out in the market, ColcaSac iPad Mini sleeves are smartly designed to provide maximum protection for the iPad Mini while conserving the environment. Each sleeve is handcrafted from natural, heavy-duty materials such as hemp basket weave, woven bamboo, jute burlap and recycled polyester fleece.

The iPad Mini sleeves from ColcaSac features a double layer of protection in a snug design that is both comfortable and secure to hold. First is an outer layer of breathable canvas (hemp, bamboo or burlap) that provides an organic durable exterior. Then, a plush fleece lining that offers a great cushion from bumps and dings. It also cleans the iPad Mini’s surface and gives it a glossy finish each and every time it is taken out of the sleeve.

ColcaSac’s iPad Mini sleeves come in two sizes: One for using the iPad Mini naked, and another one for using the iPad Mini with an Apple Smart Cover. And there are five stylish designs to choose from: Uintah, Zagora, Hanakapiai, Juan Valdez and Chevron.

Uintah

Zagora

Hanakapiai

Juan Valdez

Chevron

ColcaSac had been producing iPad sleeves since the first generation iPad and cited in New York Times. It received props for its unique design in Mashable, Tuaw, MacTrast and TheiPadFan. Shop now at ColcaSac.com and get an eco-friendly sleeve for your iPad mini.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — ColcaSac, maker of earth-friendly MacBook sleeves and shoulder bags, announced today that MacBook Pro 13″ Retina sleeves are now available for sale on its website.

Contrary to most Apple cases and covers, the sleeves made by ColcaSac are smartly designed to provide sturdy protection for the MacBook while promoting nature conservation. All products are handmade using the most durable organic materials such as hemp canvas, woven bamboo, jute burlap and recycled polyester fleece.

Each MacBook sleeve from ColcaSac is a tight fit and features a dual layer of hemp, bamboo or jute burlap exterior and a super soft fleece interior. The outer layer makes it comfortable and secure to hold the MacBook, as the inner layer makes a great cushion to protect the device from scratches and bumps. Both layers are highly breathable, while the fleece lining is thermal resistant to weather conditions. It also features a functional front pocket which makes it possible to carry along the power adapter securely.

ColcaSac’s MacBook sleeves come in five stylish designs: Uintah, Hanakapiai, Zagora, Chevron and Juan Valdez.

 

Uintah

Zagora

Hanakapiai

Juan Valdez

Chevron

ColcaSac had been producing various sizes of MacBook sleeves since 2004 and was cited in New York Times for its iPad sleeve design. It has also received favourable feedback from distinguished sites such as Mashable, The Next Web, Gizmodo, and tech news site CNET. Visit ColcaSac.com today to shop for an earth-friendly MacBook Pro 13″ Retina sleeve.


A few days ago, I received an email from Futureshop about offering an exclusive Call of Duty: Black Ops II SteelBook case as a BONUS gift with purchase to all customers who pre-order the game and how they extended this offer to all customers who pre-ordered before September 7, 2012. Obviously I was excited because I did not expect to receive it in the first place.

Funny thing is, I got the steelbook case today and the actual game has not arrived yet (assuming it will be tomorrow based on online tracking) when the actual game was processed BEFORE I put in the order for the bonus case . Oh well, I guess I will just have to wait one more day before I can get my hands on the game.

What a tease…..

First there was Globe and Mail started charging its readers $20 a month for its online contents, now The Star has just announced it will also begining its own digital subscription in 2013. My first reaction was “What? You too?” and the reason for my reaction, as well as many others who commented on the post, is the fact that the content is not worth paying for. One commenter pointed out that he can read the news free of charge from libariries that have subscribed to something called PressDisplay. Though this might not matter as much if the monthly subscription is really low, perhaps $5 or less a month? We shall see when they announce the pricing next year. But what I can see so far based on the initial reactions from those who commented is, no good.

Well looks like I need to start looking elsewhere for local news. Thankfully I can still visit CityNews Toronto as well as 680News. But who knows when these will follow the trend and start asking for money.

Until then, let’s enjoy The Star for free while we still can.

I was checking out Gametrailers as usually just like every other day. But today was different, something or rather, someone caught my attention. One of the PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (the PlayStation version of the Wii’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl) walkthroughs features Noriko from Heavenly Sword as one of the playable character in the game. I forgot about Nariko a long time ago and the game Heavenly Sword is still one of the best PlayStation 3 titles in my opinion and also being one of the very first game titles when the PS3 was launched.

We know that Ninja Theory, the company who developed the original Heavenly Sword, said there will be no sequel. But I kind of got my hopes back up after seeing this. Perhaps its only a false hope.

I quickly Googled about a possible sequel that could be in the making. There was a bunch of leaked concept art that was rumored to be for the next Heavenly Sword game in August of this year. But that was quickly shot down by Ninja Theory’s Dominic Matthews that those were in fact, not from Ninja Theory. Well, there goes my hope….

For now I guess we will have to buy this game when it is released to relive her glory or better yet, play the original Heavenly Sword.

Check out the Nariko walkthrough:

I recently received a modded PS3 controller from Viking360 (Xbox360 modded controllers are also available. The one controller I received in particular is the black PS3 modded controller called the Ragnarok with USB option for $129.90USD while a non USB version is $99.95USD.

At first glance, the Ragnarok controller looks exactly like a regular PS3 controller. The only difference is the extra tiny mod switch on the back of the controller. I had sometime to test out the different modes like burst fire, jitter mode, akimbo mode, rapid fire, timed reload (they call it Fast Reload) where you can control the timing of your reload. All of these modes are designed specially for the Call of Duty series and may work for other games as per the details on the site.

The first few tries of switching modes weren’t as smooth and I had to really find a relatively quiet spot to switch between them. But it became second nature soon enough. I’m not going to go into too details on how to switch modes but I will talk about one of them just to give you an idea. For example, for rapid fire mode, all you have to do is hold the mod switch and hit the R1 button, you will see Player 4 LED flashes which tells you that the controller has received your command. You are now in rapid fire mode and you can now fire any single shot weapons like the FAL as if it was a SMG or LMG. Another feature I want to briefly mention is the Zombie mode which offers auto-aim with or without rapid fire support. This might come in handy for those having trouble with much higher stages.


In the details section on the controller’s page, you will notice something called Phantom Buttons. What this Phanton Buttons means is that, changing modes will not cause you to fire a single shot so that you will not be giving away your positions while you switch in between modes. Call of Duty players like me who really care about stealth and not firing random shots will appreciate this little feature.

The features go on for this Ragnarok controller and with this USB version you can even program, for example, your Rapid fire Mode to fire from 5 shots up to 99 shots per seconds. I personally think 99 shots per seconds is an over kill but the option is there for those that need it.

Overall, the Ragnarok does well for what it offers, I have not noticed any problems or glitches while testing this with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops. Pretty solid piece of modded controller. Again, I apologize for not going into too detail on each modes and how you can program the modes through the USB and your computer. I feel that the default settings for each mode is more than enough for the majority of players out there. Again, the options are there for those who need it.

I’ve copied the details here for convenience:

  • Single Rapid Fire
  • Dual Trigger Rapid Fire
  • Burst Firing
  • Akimbo Firing
  • Jitter Firing**+
  • Zombie Auto-aim**
  • Drop Shot*
  • Fast Reload**+
  • Phantom Buttons
  • Superfast Mode Switching
  • Superfast Mode Toggling
  • Quick Scope**
  • Auto Sniper Breath Hold**
  • Programmable rapidfire speeds
  • Programmable fast reload delays**
  • Supports ALL NINE Call of Duty button layouts*

Purchase the USB upgrade for your PS3 Ragnarok, and you will receive free Windows PC customization software, free software updates for life, and these additional mods:

  • Programmable Quick Scope
  • Auto-Sprint
  • Trophy Glitch Fast Reload***
  • Semtex Glitch Fast Reload***
  • Dropshot Mode #2 – stay standing when you scope, dropping only when you fire from the hip
  • Akimbo Mode #4 – for fully auto akimbo weapons

*Single star features designed for Call of Duty, may work with others.
**Two-star features only work with Call of Duty games.
+Plus means Jitter mod and Fast Reload patched in MW3. ALL OTHER FEATURES COMPATIBLE.

Check out their website: http://www.viking360.com