Samurais and Their History


As a huge otaku, I find myself immersed in Japanese culture, especially its history and anime progression. One popular theme for Japanese movies, anime, manga, and TV shows are samurai, and for good reason. BTW, Samurai Champloo is awesome; check it out!

samurai champloo

What are Samurai?

The samurai were a Japanese warrior class, just as the knights were once the special warrior class of Europe. About a thousand years ago there was a special code of conduct for the samurai warriors. Like knights, the samurai served one of the great Japanese lords.

A member of the samurai had to be well-trained in the use of weapons. His special weapon was a long, curved sword that was finely engraved. The samurai were very skillful in the use of this sword and also were good shots with a bow and arrow.

A samurai had to be courteous and had to be obedient to his lord. He had to devote his life to his country. A samurai was well taken care of by his lord but was not interested in making money. Above all, a samurai had to have honor and courage. If his honor was stained, even though there might seem good reason for it, a samurai had to take his own life.

They way in which he took his own life, or committed suicide was by harakiri, about which there is a separate article. Even to this day, hara-kiri has been used by people in Japan as a means of committing suicide. I highly recommend the movie Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai!

During World War II the word samurai was often used to describe the regular officers in the Japanese army and navy. Some of these men committed harakiri rather than be captured. Actually, the samurai code had been almost forgotten in Japan in the last century. Since the end of World War II the meaning of the most of the samurai has once more come to be almost forgotten.

Minecraft – Craft Your World


minecraft game

Minecraft is a game but to some people it’s their world. Like an avid reader, books open the mind to imagination and creativity, just as games do. This game is nothing but an open space to create, to build and to complete what you have started maybe on paper or in your mind. Your Imaginations is the limit and sky is the canvass for your infinite creations. You can be in any world, be it a miniature world of electric circuit boards or gigantic planets just the next door to the solar system. It all depends on your imagination, and the game has been developed in a way to impact and get the best of all categories of audiences. Therfore, anyone will always have something fun and exciting to do in this game.

The different modes of Minecraft are what differentiate itself from the normal games. The game is nothing but simple creation of your world progressively as the game enfolds with the use of blocks in the 3D world. These blocks can be placed and destroyed when required. These blocks are of specific size and structure which can be used to make stuff. These objects in turn will make the world more personalized and unique.

There is a grid system where these blocks can be inserted, and the player can move freely around, granted the blocks and objects are not in the way. You could always use a boat to travel over water, jump to cross gaps, and use blocks to build a staircase or bridge over a large space. This is the root of construction in the game and the beginning to a new world. In Survival mode, the game starts with the player placed in the middle of empty spaces of jungles, forests, deserts and snowfields. These allow the player to select their choice of location for the creation and then start the construction. Even a timer for the day and night continues in the game to give a more realistic experience. The entire day of the game completes its full cycle in just 20 minutes of real time gaming.

In the game there are even other characters like villagers, animals etc. which could be either hostile or non-hostile. Depending on the kind of construction, one can go with these as a part of daily lifestyle in their world. The game has no mission and no goals, it has only one rule: live your life and go beyond your imaginations. Critics have accepted it, masses have proclaimed it the best, judges have awarded it, and now it’s time that you give it a chance and play Minecraft.

The ArcheAge Beta Release


archeage skillset

There is a lot to do in ArcheAge and gamers are waiting patiently for it to move beyond its close beta status into an open beta, and then finally full release. The game appears to combine elements from World of Warcraft and Virtual Life, with a touch of the popular aspects of Civilization and the Sim series. The overall effect is a sand box world where you can really develop your character. You can also control multi characters which enhances the game play as well.

One issue that hasn’t quite been fully resolved in ArcheAge is how it is going to interact with game systems, and even if it will ever be fully released onto the varying platforms. In its current generation, the beta format is a PC only approach that allows for the developers to focus on the actual game design, but presents its own problems. As the online world continues to evolve, environments such as World of Warcraft are discovering that security is a very real issue.

One of the things that make a sandbox game so vulnerable to security hacks is that the very nature of the game allows for an open ended interaction with the code to create and sustain objects driven by the characters actions, but within loose guidelines set by the designer. Until that security is enhanced, you may not see the game released broadly.

Will it Be More Widely Available?

ArcheAge isn’t available yet on any of the dedicated gaming platforms; it is available for PC only. To take advantage of all of the features and have the best gameplay, you have to have a computer system that is designed for gaming. This means a much more advanced graphic accelerator and faster processing chip than you will find in most off the shelf computers. You also want to consider using a third party controller with your game and PC. The scrolling action can become more effective when you are using a trackball or joystick. If you are used to the Xbox or PS4 systems, the transition won’t be hard. The tutorial that is provided with ArcheAge is comprehensive and easy to understand.

Worth the Wait for an Invitation

With the enhanced system of control and navigation available in the game, player can get into the game faster and start to advance in ways that weren’t possible before. The ability to begin to track and build a strategy opens up opportunities to build effective team alliances in competition to increase the multi-player game aspects as well. Overall, the game may not have the reach that other games have to home platforms, but the fact that it is causing such a stir while still in beta means quite a lot. It can be worth the wait to try and secure an invitation while it is still in beta. As yet there is no wide-scale release date for the full version so getting in early may be the best way to see what ArcheAge really has to offer.

Fitness Options with the Playstation 4


just dance 2014

While other home entertainment systems are rushing out game platforms offerings with balance board, fitness simulators and pro trainer designed workouts, the PlayStation 4 isn’t offering any of that. It isn’t that they don’t have an interest in sports and fitness, in fact almost a 1/3 of the games offered on PS4 have to do with sports; it’s that Sony is being smart and staying focused on remaining a platform devoted to game playing only. There are some third party software programs you can get to run through PS4 for fitness, but it isn’t where the focus is – and that’s great for gamers.

The Focus on Games

Sony has chosen to keep the focus of PS4 solely on actual gaming action. This runs counter to the trends followed by Nintendo and Microsoft who are rolling out more and more complex fitness accessories and game options. It may run counter, but it is proving to be very smart on Sony’s part. What many people don’t realize is that the limited real estate available on the circuit board inside a console can go fast the more you try to accommodate radically different controllers.

By making the choice to limit the available controllers that can run with this latest generation of PS4, Sony has opened up needed room to increase the hardware specs without having to change the tower casing. If you don’t think that is important to you, think about what would happen to the price of a PlayStation if the next one had to be bundled into a completely new tower box design. The manufacturing costs for a complete redesign would life the game console out of the reach of many.

Sports on the PS4

Playstation 4 doesn’t abandon sports and fitness all together; it just prefers to look at them from a purely gaming point of view. There are longtime favorites like Madden’s NFL and other sports games available that allow you to participate in playing your favorite game. Sometimes it is in making your involvement in sports a part of your leisure activity that also will give you the motivation to go out and do the sport itself actively. Recent studies have shown that those who play sports themed games are more likely to engage in physical activity later than those involved with non-sports themed games.

I guess the only way to do it would be to find a workout video and pop it into the PS4, or play a game like Just Dance 2014. There are several dance music collections that are designed to be watched on PS4 that come with dancers and workout experts that you can emulate – you just won’t also be using a controller to interact with the program. These function more like regular fitness DVDs then actual games in the system, but they can still get the job done with ease. The real key to getting fit is to make the time to put the game down and go out and do something.

Battlefield 4 and the Latest Xbox Generation


Battlefield 4 is one of the most popular first person shooter games that also present a chronological storyline. It can be played online and off, and the latest generation of the Xbox One holds some promise for making play on the system better than before. A lot of the reasons why this new release of Battlefield 4 is doing so well on Xbox One has to do with Microsoft refocusing its attention on the platform and making some changes, as well as updates, that put the game style of Battlefield 4 right in step with the hardware upgrades that it offers.

How Do the Two Rate Together With Players?

While Battlefield 4 has always gotten high ratings, Xbox One hasn’t been doing that well with gamers. For starters, there has been a problem with the overall management of the gaming platform that can’t be blamed on anyone but Microsoft. The problem with Xbox One started with a sudden policy of mismanagement of the product development direction.

Microsoft started Xbox One with the idea to make a system designed by gamers and marketed toward gamers. Then they swerved into wanting to make it more into a home entertainment system that had its own original content television shows that it would stream. The shift in focus and money hurt Xbox one. Closing the Xbox Studio was a clear signal to gamers that Microsoft was taking action to reclaim right thinking when it came to promoting and creating for the Xbox One system. They also redid the insane pricing tier they had assigned to Xbox One that pushed many players and newbies over to the PS4 system. Battlefield 4 is available for both home entertainment systems, and now the question is whether there is any advantage to one over the other.

Is Battlefield 4 on PS4 Better?

During the past year there were a lot of people saying that the PS4 was the better deal, especially if Battlefield 4 was your game of choice. The real reason that so many people were preferring PS4 came down to the price. Microsoft finally caught on after a year of low sales and lowered the price of the latest Xbox One to match the market pricing for similar game systems, including the PS4. When you then place the two systems side by side for a comparison; without price being an issue – it is clear to see that Xbox One has a lot of features that PS4 doesn’t offer at all.

Advantages of the New Xbox One

With the latest generation of Xbox One, and the planned upgrades, there are some valid reasons to choose it over PS4 for Battlefield 4. Microsoft did away with supporting third party controllers and focused on getting the primary controller to work well with the enhanced hardware and graphics system. For a first person shooting game, this translates into better overall control and responsiveness within the system. You don’t have to worry about compatibility anymore because the new Xbox One puts the hardware on the same level of priority as the game and the end result is perfect.