Reason You Should Try Counter Strike

Today I like to talk about an integral part of my computer/technology career. Unexpectedly, it is my skill on the game called Counter-Strike. I would like to impart to my readers my knowledge which helped me to be regarded as sort of an “expert” on the field of the said game. More than anything, I want to teach you how be the best on it. Also, I would like to discuss the significance it has in my life and the potential it has to touch others’ lives too.

I can’t imagine life without Counter-Strike (specifically the version 1.3 one). Needless to say, you can tell that I am nostalgic about it. I heard about the latest version that the makers of Counter-Strike are developing right now, which is Counter-Strike Global Offensive. I can already see the importance of your experience on playing Counter-Strike 1.3 on becoming good on that latest version; which can become handy especially now that on the tournaments of these stuff, you can get something over a million dollars as a prize.

So, let’s go into the heart of it: how to be good on counter-strike 1.3? Number 1, Brightness. Enemies are hard to see with the default brightness of the game. Meaning, if you are not the server of the game this is a necessity (this might seem unnecessary but trust me it is. It sounds senseless but it is not). So, to be able to do it, type “map de_dust” on the console. Wait for the console to take you to (guess where) de_dust. After, click ~, and type and enter on the console “brightness 999.” After that, enter “map de_dust” again. Wait until it gets you to de_dust again. Just now, it has the perfect brightness which will surely help you differentiate someone who is your enemy and friend on the game.

Number 2: Controls. Before even starting to play the game, go to the controls part. Click defaults. After that, change how you can buy with F1 instead of B; and how to buy bombs with F4 instead of M. For those of you who are curious, this would make you buy weapons, ammunition, and bombs faster which will make you more efficient on the game. Note, buy ammunitions with F1 + 6 and F1 + 7, instead of the alternative version. Trust me on this.

Number 3: Don’t be the server as much as possible. This is quite crucial. The most important reason why is that you would not be able to use technique number 1, which is the brightness part. There is simply no way of doing it. Plus, if you are playing in an internet cafe, which is what most likely is the case (because that is the easiest way to play it with other people; trust me), you cannot quit just anytime that you want because you would annoy other players. When you quit the game, other players will be disconnected to the game too. I would not worry so much on this certain technique, but I just thought you should know something about it.

Number 4: Weapon choice. Let’s face the elephant in the room. The only best weapon choice for the game is the sniper one. Pair it with pistol F1 + 1 and you have a perfect combo. The key here is practice. Train using the sniper one so that you kill enemies precisely as fast as possible and you would always be good to go. Plus, if you master using your pistol to kill enemies with headshots that would be a plus. Not that I am overselling, you can try other weapons but this would always be the perfect combo/one.
Number 5: Strategic positioning on the game. This is about where you go on the game (the path you choose). The trick here is choosing maximum efficiency. What I mean here is choose your position on the game so that you balance your safety and ability to kill enemies in the best way. Players on this game are very vulnerable. You can get killed in literally an instant. Protect yourself as much as possible without losing your ability to kill enemies. Since you already chose your perfect set of weapons, this would be like a walk in the park. With a sniper, choose a place where you can use it such that you are hidden but at the same time has the vision to hunt your preys.

Number 6: Map choice: you only have three options for this: cs_deathmatch, de_dust, de_dust2. Why? It is really tempting to say just because when you are already into the game, because it is just the way it is. However, for beginners out there, it is just the way it is because it would make the game fairer if you know what I mean. There is no special treatment and/or unfair advantage for either teams. Therefore, players equally enjoy the game (which is always a good thing).

Needless to say, it has a significant impact on my life. More than anything, it taught me how to be a team player and accept defeat graciously. It is a game where you can be yourself, make mistakes, get defeated or win with no pressure or someone judging you. Personally, it is a good environment to be in as a child. It might also added to my tech-savvyness. Despite it’s violent connotation, I disagree that it has negative impacts on anybody. So far, it didn’t lead me to be violent to other people. Contrary, it made me more compassionate, warm, and social.

All About Retro Game

#5. Games Were Simpler Back In The Day

Video games have unquestionably become more ambitious and impressive in recent years. When you look at the likes of The Last Of Us, it’s impossible to overstate just how far video games have come since people were playing Pong forty-odd years ago. But for all the innovations within the medium, and for all the new fangled ideas and increasingly elaborate control schemes, there’s something to be said for how much more straight forward things were in the games we played as kids.

Gaming today can be difficult for people without the muscle memory that comes from years of dedicated gaming. Give your mum or dad a PS4 controller and if they’re anything like mine they’ll spend half the time playing the game looking down, attempting in vain to remember where all the buttons are. Use the left analog stick to walk, hold X to jog, or tap X to sprint. L2 is aim and R2 is shoot, but R1 becomes shoot if you’re driving because in a car R2 is the accelerator. R3 (that’s when you click in the right analog stick) let’s you look behind you, and to open the menu you need to hold down the touch pad. And that’s just part of the control scheme for Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the best selling games of all time.

Even for seasoned veterans the increasing complexity of games can become a turn off. Super Mario World is still as intuitive as it was back in 1990 because the inherently simple design and pick up and play nature of the game made it timeless. You can give a kid who’s never played a Mario game the controller and within seconds they’ll have worked out how to play. This simplicity is an attractive concept, which is almost certainly part of the reason that retro games like Shovel Knight and Axiom Verge are so popular today. The simpler a game is to play, the more inclusive and immediate the fun. Retro gaming has that in spades, and that’s the reason I’m still playing Super Mario World twenty-six years after release.

#4. Retro Games Have Better Music

As gaming production values have increased over the years, we’ve seen the medium change in many ways. We made the jump to 3D, we now have voice acting, and elaborate cut-scenes tell complicated stories that rival those seen in television or on the big screen. Games today feature fully orchestrated scores or soundtracks featuring popular music that are every bit as impressive as what we’d see in other mediums, but it feels like we’ve lost something along the way, too.

I can still hum the theme music to Treasure Island Dizzy on the Commodore 64. I was playing that game nearly thirty years ago and I haven’t played it since then (and I’ve still never beaten it, damn it) but I can still remember the theme music that plays in the background in its entirety. I played games last week and I couldn’t even tell you if they had music at all.

Because of the simplicity of early games, and without voice acting to tell a story, the music had to be good. Other than a few crummy sound effects, the music of the game was the only aural stimulation that the games provided. There are still great game soundtracks today, but they seem few and far between when compared to the games of my youth. Mega Man, Castlevania, the early Final Fantasy games, and iconic titles like Zelda, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog – these all featured highly memorable tunes that stick with us long after the last time we played them. I still remember how the music for Commodore 64 classic Prince Clumsy changes when you save the princess at the end of the game like I was playing it yesterday. We can’t really say that about Shadow of Mordor, can we?

#3. Games Used to Work Right Out of the Box

One thing that games from yesteryear unquestionably did better than the games of today is that they, well, worked. You’d think that it should be a pretty fundamental aspect of any product released to the market, but it’s truly staggering how many games in 2016 ship broken, requiring either days or weeks of server tweaks to get the multiplayer working, or enormous day one patches to fix all of the bugs that made it onto the disc. Today, if you don’t have a decent Internet connection in your home, some games are genuinely unplayable, and many others severely hampered.

Street Fighter V released earlier this year, with Capcom promising that the single player Arcade Mode, a staple of the series, would be available to download in July. What if you don’t have an Internet connection? Well, then you’ve got half a game. That’s not a problem we faced when Street Fighter II released on the SNES in 1991. Back then, we had no Internet acting as a safety net for developers. Games had to work right out of the box.

Going back and playing Global Gladiators today is as simple as popping the cartridge into your Genesis and turning on the power. It works now as it did then; exactly as it should, and without any fuss. This is one of the many great things about retro gaming; if you’ve got the game and the hardware you’re pretty much good to go. You don’t need to download drivers, or updates, or patches. You put in the game, and then you play. Just like you should.

#2. Games Used to Be More of a Challenge

Today, anybody who keeps up to date with the latest trends in gaming will likely know of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and the reputation these games have for punishing difficulty. Gamers flocked to the Souls series in droves, excited to play a title that challenged them and refused to hold their hands. There’s no extended tutorial sections. There’s little in the way of help. You can’t pause. And every enemy can make mincemeat out of you unless you learn their attack patterns and act accordingly. It’s exciting for a game to provide us with an uphill struggle like this, but then, I’m old enough to remember a time when every game was like this. And worse.

Modern games have a tendency to spell things out to the player, often to an almost insulting degree. Popping a disc into a PS4 in 2016 means waiting for the install, then the day one patch, and then when you finally get a controller in your hand you spend the next two hours being walked through the early stages of the game like a kid on his first day of school. Everybody likes a bit of help now and again, but there’s something to be said for just being thrown in at the deep end and being told to sink or swim.

#1. Nostalgia

Nostalgia might seem like a cop out answer; after all, looking back on the past with rose tinted spectacles is often what fans of anything retro are criticized with. It’s easy to dismiss nostalgia as a way of justifying the opinion that everything was just much better in your day, but the truth is that nostalgia is an immensely powerful agent and it shouldn’t be ignored.

Today, we watch rubbish movies and bemoan the use of obvious CGI, but we’ll happily sit through Raiders of the Lost Ark and not bother mentioning that the melting Nazi at the end looks like he’s made out of plasticine. We listen to the appalling pop music of our youths with a reflective smile on our faces while turning our noses up at Justin Bieber’s latest video. And we’ll talk about Final Fantasy VII as though it were second coming of Christ, completely ignoring all of the flaws in the game that we’d hang a modern game out to dry for. Nostalgia is a strong enough influence to make us believe that Sonic the Hedgehog was actually ever good. Now, that’s serious.

The reason a lot of us like playing old games is simply because of the feeling we get playing them. I’ve played hundreds, if not thousands of games in my time as a gamer. And I’m smart enough to know that in that time video games have improved in almost every way. But that doesn’t change the fact that if I load up Street Fighter II I remember the days of playing it during the school summer holidays with all my friends. I remember the day I completed Toejam and Earl with my brother every time I hear the first few bars of its ridiculously funky theme music. And I remember the giddy thrills we got when we first got the fatalities working on Mortal Kombat II.

Playing old games, just as with watching old movies or listening to old albums, transports us to a time in the past that we like to remember. Whether it’s memories of old friends, loved ones, people we may see every day or might have lost touch with, every old game we load up is a window to the past and that’s special. The latest Call of Duty is never going to compete with that.

Tricks on Starcraft 2

The best way to improve at Starcraft 2 is to play a lot. It sounds silly, but it’s simply true. When I started playing, I was originally placed in gold league and stayed there for a full three months. Then, slowly but surely, I rose up until I was in the top 50 Grandmasters in America.

Obviously, not everyone can become a Grandmaster (it requires, amongst other things, exceptional reflexes, reaction time and coordination), but I firmly believe that, with practice, everyone can become a master at Starcraft 2.

The first thing to work on is understand the game mechanics, namely: armor vs non-armored, range, attack speed, damage reduction, hidden bonuses, splash damage, etc. For instance, one thing that makes the Terran siege tanks so powerful is the fact that they might hit not just one unit, but up to 8. Obviously, the 70 damage they can quickly become 300-400, making them one of the highest-damage units in the game.

Every unit has its particularities and becoming intrinsically familiar with them will greatly improve your play. Any Protoss player, for instance, knows how to individually blink their stalkers to save them as they are about to die. Likewise, a Zerg player knows not to group their mutalisks during a raid if the enemy has air splash damage, such as a Thor.

The second thing to improve on is your knowledge of group battles. Almost all Starcraft 2 games are decided by one large confrontation, where the loser will be left on the defensive, rolling back, while the victor will keep pushing and destroying the economy and production capacities of the loser. It is better, in my opinion, to retreat from a battle that is clearly lost rather than lose every single one of your units in a lost defense. There are such things in Starcraft 2 as pyrrhic victory, where you somehow manage to hold a magnificent defense, but lose so much time and resources in the process that your other bases are left defenseless.

Another key trick to improve at Starcraft 2 is to utterly master the art of macroing, i.e. producing units, mining bases and, most of all, expanding. If you watch professional games, you’ll notice all of them expand very quickly, sometimes dangerously fast. While risky, an early expansion can bring him double the amount of minerals and gas you’d grab on one base, giving you a decisive advantage in the mid-game.

Lastly, take the time required to define and improve your style, whether it is micro-aggression, economy or turtling. Learning which race suits your best will also help you develop as a Starcraft 2 player and slowly grind up until you reach master. In my mind, with one or two hours per day, any player can become a master within 6 months if he practices correctly.

All About Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid solitaire is a fun solitaire game that’s quite different to normal solitaire- in most solitaire games you build up cards onto a foundation, but in Pyramid solitaire you remove cards! Cards can only be removed when they add up to 13. With it’s easily recognisable layout (shaped like a pyramid), and requiring a combination of luck and skill, it’s a popular solitaire game played by many.

The basic rules are…

  • You win if you can remove ALL cards from play
  • Cards are removed in pairs, when they add up to 13
  • You can deal from the talon at any time
  • You get 2 redeals of the talon
  • Only a maximum of 2 cards are visible from the talon at any time

You can only use cards that are completely uncovered( If a card is in the pyramid but covered by another card, you cannot select it)
For example, if a part of the pyramid looks like this…

... K... 

... Q.7... 

..2.4.7..

.5.8.K.J.

Initially you won’t be able to pair the Jack with the two (because the two is covered by the five and the eight cards). Start by removing the five and eight. Now the 2 card will be uncovered, and can be paired with the Jack card.

The possible pairings in Pyramid Solitaire are…

King

Six Seven

Five Eight

Four Nine

Three Ten

Two Jack

Ace Queen

Kings are a special case, that are removed on their own.

Pyramid Solitaire Tips

  • Don’t just automatically combine any cards you see. Knowing when to match and when to hold off is usually the difference between winning and losing.
  • Always remove Kings as soon as you can. There is never any reason to keep them in play.
  • Look for cards “trapped” by other cards underneath. You may need to remove specific cards in a certain order to get to them

Here is an example of a “trapped” card…

... 2... 

... 5.3... 

..8.8.4..

.7.8.6.6.

Notice the five has 3 eight’s underneath it. Fives are removed with eights, so we’ll need to pay special attention to this inversion. That 5 can’t be matched with any of the eight’s underneath it. Wherever the other 8 is, we will need to keep it for THIS five. If we use it on another five, then we will never be able to remove this one, and the game will become unwinnable.

That might sound a little complicated but don’t worry too much about it- you’ll start picking it up effortlessly the more you play.