Top 5 games to look foward to in 2009

So we’re already at the end of the first quarter of 2009 and things haven’t been so great on the economic front. However, for you chip-heads out there who love their videogames and can’t wait to get your hands on something new to play, there is good news. There are quite a few video games that will be releasing in 2009 and I’m going to list the top 5 games that I am looking forward to.

So we’re already at the end of the first quarter of 2009 and things haven’t been so great on the economic front. However, for you chip-heads out there who love their videogames and can’t wait to get your hands on something new to play, there is good news.

There are quite a few video games that will be releasing in 2009 and I’m going to list the top 5 games that I am looking forward to. These are games that I’ve been waiting for since the day they were announced. In fact, I’ve already started saving up to actually go and buy some of them.

So, without further adieu, here’s the list:

  1. Starcraft II: This has to be one of the most highly anticipated games of 2009, if not of this decade. The sequal to Starcraft, which by the way is still one of the most popular games in the world, is looking like it’s going to quite literally be as awesome as it’s being hyped up to be.
    This is going to be a little different from Starcraft and I’m not talking just about the looks either. Blizzard has said they will release 2 expansions for this game, each focusing on a particular race. The game is still an RTS, but the mechanics have changed just a little bit. According to Blizzard, they’ve been “re-imagined”.
  2. God of War III: Good God! Kratos is back.. If you’ve played GOW (God of War) I and II, then you don’t really need me to tell you why this game should be on your list of games to definitely get in 2009. But just for those who have not been fortunate enough to get their hands on the previous version let me spell it out for you. The GoW series is one of the most bad-ass that you will ever come across. If you are into any kinda of RPG games, this one takes the cake. Not only are the graphics mind blowing, but so is the game play. And for all those out there who love a good story, this game’s got that too.
  3. Bioshock 2 : I played Bioshock and I really really liked the game. I can only expect this game to be better. A lot more will be released about this game in the coming months, but from what I’ve seen (trailer) I’m pretty sure that I’m going to love this game as well.
  4. Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 : I’m quite a fan of the COD series. I had minor issues with 2 and 3, but all in all the series has not disappointed. The Single player campaign is quite entertaining and pretty good for a one time complete, but the COD Multi-player is the most fun. Activision Blizzard has confirmed the release of COD 6 or Modern Warfare 2, as it’s known, for later on this year. If you don’t already have it on your must buy list, you should seriously consider it.
  5. Splinter Cell: Conviction : There has been much debate as to when this game is going to be released, but one hopes that it will finally be released this year. After having played Pandora Tomorrow and Double Agent, it’s only fair that I give Conviction a try. I really enjoyed Double Agent, and I played it on a computer that barely managed to run it. Now that I’ve upgraded I’m all set to help Sam Fisher do whatever he needs to, at at least 60FPS! I’m quite looking forward to the game.

So there you have it. My top 5 games to look forward to this year.

Oh, I’m not done yet. There are a couple of other games that are either already out or will be out shortly that need to be mentioned as well.

  • Tekken 6 : Don’t tell me you don’t want to play Tekken!
  • Fear 2 – Project Origins : I haven’t gotten my hands on the full version yet, but boy oh boy was the trial a nice treat. Hoping to get my hands on this one soon.
  • Resident Evil 5 : Who doesn’t like shooting Zombies. The PC version of this game should be out later this year, but until then, I’m sure you can make friends with someone who has a PS3.
  • Halo 3 – ODST : Another Halo game. Definitely worth giving a go. I havn’t played it yet, and probably wont bother with it until I’ve tried Fear 2 and until I finish Prince of Persia on my new comp (Yes, old game, but I’m a BIG fan.) But since it’s a Halo game it deserves a mention.
  • Duke Nukem Forever : All I know is that this game is going to be badass. I’ve been waiting for this game for a while now and I can’t wait for them to finally release it. This game was probably the reason why people started blaming games for why kids are so violent. Too bad they never played it themselves.

Right! So if there are any games that you’re particularly looking forward do let us know. Also, if you do manage to get your hands on any new games this year, let us know what you think.

FeedDemon 3

There are quite a few RSS readers out there and after taking a look at a few of them I stumbled upon FeedDemon. To be more specific FeedDemon 3, which is currently in it’s beta state and is available for download here. For those who have never used FeedDemon, it is a really neat and clean RSS reader that makes keeping track of and reading your feeds extremely easy.

There are quite a few RSS readers out there and after taking a look at a few of them I stumbled upon FeedDemon.

To be more specific FeedDemon 3, which is currently in it’s beta state and is available for download here.

For those who have never used FeedDemon, it is a really neat and clean RSS reader that makes keeping track of and reading your feeds extremely easy. You can download your feeds and browse them even when you’re offline and it even includes a panic button incase you’ve overshot your unread feeds limit (which can be set), which will just tag your feeds as read.

And for the current FeedDemon users, there are quite a few new features in the new beta that might be of interest to you.

There are tonnes of new features for twitter users (subscribing to Twitter feeds with avatar images, Twitter timelines,  popups for short urls that display the redirected page, replying to Twitter posts directly, etc..). Additionally FeedDemon is planning integration or synchronization with Google RSS reader. (This may not be included in the early Beta versions but is expected to be added in.) You can still download your feeds from your favourite online reader and sort them in FeedDemon. The new setup allows you to add lots of new subscriptions just by clicking on check boxes.

For those new to FeedDemon and still needing some persuasion, here’s a list of features that should definitely get you thinking about at least giving FeedDemon a try.

  1. Newspaper Format: When you select a channel, FeedDemon’s tabbed browser displays the channel’s news items in a newspaper for easy reading. You can display a newspaper of news items for an entire folder or view one feed at a time.
  2. News Bins: Store news items in a central location and provide a handy way to collect items from different channels. If you find an interesting item that you might want to read again, just store it in a news bin for future reference. News Bins are synchronized through the NewsGator Online platform, so you can read these items from FeedDemon on other computers as well as other NewsGator readers.
  3. Synchronization: Read a post in FeedDemon and it is marked as read in other NewsGator readers.
  4. Shared Experience: See what news is popular with other NewsGator users and find out who is linking to the news you’re reading.
  5. Video: Watch embedded video right within the newspaper view.
  6. Panic Button: Ever gone on vacation and gotten a little behind on your reading? The Panic Button solves this and many other problems by quickly marking all older items read.

(Of course, these are just features of the current ‘live’ version.. just to entice you a little.)

So if any of you have given FeedDemon a go, let us know what you think and how your experience has been

    As a gentle reminder; You can now download FeedDemon’s latest beta version here.

    Dell’s Adamo – The World’s slimmest Laptop

    Right, I’m not normally a Laptop person, mainly because I like my keyboards big and comfortable. But one can’t go on with life without saying something about Dell’s new Adamo. Claimed to be the World’s slimmest laptop, this really is the cool new laptop-kid on the block.

    adamo-pic2

    Right, I’m not normally a Laptop person, mainly because I like my keyboards big and comfortable. But one can’t go on with life without saying something about Dell’s new Adamo. Claimed to be the World’s slimmest laptop, this really is the cool new laptop-kid on the block.

    I’m not saying it’s as important as shooting a monkey into space, but it’s pretty cool.

    At least as far as I’m concerned, this is one sweet looking laptop with all the basic gadgetry you’ll need to go about being your double O self.

    At .65 inches when closed it truly is quite neat. It even manages to accommodate a 13.4inch 16:9 HD screen. Considering it’s not an Apple product and still seems so cool, I’m going to give it a 4.5/5 on the ‘cool-o-meter’.

    The laptop comes in 2 models; the Admire and the Desire.

    The Desire is a little more expensive than the Admire but comes with a little more kit, so to speak. Both of them come with all your basic features, which you can read up on here.. What’s really impressive is that despite being so thin, it offers a battery life of 5 hours, or so I’ve heard, which isn’t too bad at all. It’s a small price to pay for something as cool as this.

    To give you a small taste of what all it offers;

    1. Super-thin 13.4-inch 16:9 (High Definition; 720p) WLED display
    2. Full-size keyboard with back-lighting and scalloped, metallic key cap design
    3. Integrated 1.3 megapixel camera and integrated digital microphone
    4. IO: Display Port, USBx3 (1 eSATA combination), Audio Out and integrated RJ-45 port
    5. Communications: Gigabit LOM, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11n (3×3)
    6. 5+ hr battery life using Li-Polymer cells; 40 Whr

    Here’s the cool bit:

    • Dimensions: (w x d x h) 13.03 x 9.5 x 0.65 in (331 x 242 x 16.39 mm)
    • Weight: 1.81 kg (4.0 lb)

    And of course you can either get the C2D 1.2GHZ Admire with 2GB ram or the C2D 1.4GHZ Desire with 4GB ram.

    For those interested, Dell started shipping this baby out a couple of days ago. So if you happen to get your hands on one of these, let us know what you think about it.

    adamo-pic1

    My Top 5 reasons why you should upgrade from IE6

    Let me start out by saying that I have nothing personal against Internet Explorer 6. I just feel that it’s time everyone moved on and upgraded either to a more upto date version of Internet Explorer or moved onto a better browser (in my opinion), FireFox. So here are my top 5 reasons as to why you should upgrade from IE6.

    Let me start out by saying that I have nothing personal against Internet Explorer 6. I just feel that it’s time everyone moved on and upgraded either to a more upto date version of Internet Explorer or moved onto a better browser (in my opinion), FireFox.

    So here are my top 5 reasons as to why you should upgrade from IE6.

    1. It’s a nightmare for developers and designers to code for IE6. This is my top reason because I have bent over backwards to try and code for IE6’s quirks and issues. So much so that I really have had nightmares about it.
      Increasingly, more and more developers are beginning to leave IE6 out of their ‘to design for’ agenda and it might be a good idea to upgrade.
    2. IE6 has so many problems that even Michael Jackson is having trouble keeping up. IE6 security is a joke, to the point that it’s been ranked the 8th worst product of all time by PC World Magazine.
    3. IE6 is over 8 years old now. It was released in the August of 2001 (correct me if I’m wrong) which makes it the perfect tool to use if you’re Fred Flintstone.
    4. IE6 follows it’s own web standards. It throws out all logic while rendering pages and sometimes that can be a big issue. More often than not, if a website displays incorrectly on your browser and you’re using IE6, it’s not a design flaw. The way CSS is interpreted by IE6 is just absurd. It’s like a monkey trying to reproduce the works of Shakespeare.
      There are so many issues with the way IE6 functions that even Microsoft has completely given up. They know about the issues but don’t care enough to do anything about it. We should all take the hint and move on.
    5. And the most logical reason to upgrade from IE6 is because there are newer versions out there of the same browser that do the job much better.
      Not only are there newer versions out there, but also a million different web browsers to chose from that will do the job for you much better than IE6.

    The internet will be a much better place without IE6.

    And think about it, if designers and developers didn’t have to waste precious work hours to code seperately for IE6, they’d have more time to develope more fun stuff for Techtites to write about.

    As a bonus to the Sevenup article here’s another piece of Javascript that you can comfortably add into your code of your website that will ask an IE6 dummy to upgrade.

    if ($.browser.msie && $.browser.version == 6.0) {
    alert(“Upgrade your browser, you big dummy!);
    }

    Thanks to Nettuts for the JS.

    So there you have it. Please upgrade from IE6.

    Long Exposure / Light Painting – Canon Rebel Xti

    I know it’s a little late to be talking about the Rebel Xti. It’s been around for as long as Moses has and almost everyone’s already done a review. But the main reason for this article is basically to show you how you can do stuff like this with the Rebel Xti.

    I know it’s a little late to be talking about the Rebel Xti. It’s been around for as long as Moses has and almost everyone’s already done a review.

    But the main reason for this article is basically to show you how you can do stuff like this with the Rebel Xti.
    light-i-heart-you
    hibbert-love
    (This Photo courtesy Abduzeedo – Photograph by Christopher Hibbert)

    Light Painting is basically the art of taking long exposure shots to get the desired effect. It’s basically as simple as putting your camera in one place, giving it’s shutter a manual timer and then just standing back to watch the fun.

    Here’s a break down of how exactly you can achieve some of these stunning effects with minimal effort. Of course, I take no responsibility of the outcome, mainly because it takes some practice, some skill and a lot of patience.

    Lets start with Light Photography and then we’ll move onto Long Exposure shots.

    Things you will need:

    1. An SLR. (I’m using the Canon EOS 400D, though any camera with a variable aperture setting and manually adjustable shutter speed will do.)
    2. A tripod
    3. A Torch, laser light or any other kind of portable light source.
    4. A dark room (Only if you want to achieve something like in the picture above.)

    You first set the camera up on a tripod, you’ll need this to make sure that the camera doesn’t shake when the shutter’s open. The recomended settings for the camera would be to use a very low ISO, most people suggest setting it to ISO 100. The aperture settings should be set to a high number (smaller aperture size). Anywhere between f8-f11 should work and set the shutter timer to about 10-15 seconds, depending on what you want to paint. I normally work with 15 seconds, but if you want something more complex, like the 2nd photograph above, you might need to set it to about 30-40 seconds. You can also use a shutter release cable and hold it open indefinitely so you have all the time in the world to paint, but if you’re a beginner I would just recommend sticking to about 15 seconds or so till you get the hang of it.

    Once you’re all setup, just think up a topic and you’re good to go!
    Note: For most camera’s you’ll have to set the mode to manual to be able to adjust the shutter speed.

    This same technique can also be used to take some really awesome long exposure photographs. The fundamentals are the same; Tripod, very slow shutter speed, a place with a lot of light.

    Here are a few examples of what you can do:
    flickr_danny_warntnaby

    flickr_mike_hanlon

    flickr_franck

    If any of you have any experience with Light Painting or Long exposure shots and want to share tips or your photographs, please leave us a comment.

    World of Warcarft – Patch 3.1

    For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, please try to think of any of your friends who play computer games and ask them what World of Warcraft is. Once you’ve done that, plese go out and get yourself a copy of World of Warcraft with both the expansion packs, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. World of Warcraft (referred to as WOW from now on…

    For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, please try to think of any of your friends who play computer games and ask them what World of Warcraft is. Once you’ve done that, plese go out and get yourself a copy of World of Warcraft with both the expansion packs, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.

    World of Warcraft (referred to as WOW from now on…) has to be one of the most popular games ever to be seen by mankind. It’s so popular that even in times of Economic Recession, Blizzard (makers of WOW) managed to sell 2.8 million copies of Wrath of the Lich king. Just to strengthen my case before I carry on; Blizzard also has over 10 million active subscribers playing WOW every month. And for those still not convinced and thinking of Blizzard as one hit wonders, they sold over 2.4 million copies of The Burning Crusade within the first 24 hours of that coming out.

    Now that I’ve praised the best game makers of the world enough, let me get onto the good news and tell you about some of the most awesome changes one can expect in the upcoming patch 3.1.
    ss722
    That’s some WOW FanArt for you!

    Lets start off with the awesome Uladuar raid. Which means all raiders can now start gunning for their tier 8 or T8 equipment. Additionally the new Arena Season beings so there’s new PVP equipment to look forward to. Season 5 Arena gear to be more specific.

    Then there’s also the new dual talent tree specs, meaning each player can select two separate trees and switch between them without having to go back to a Class trainer to un-learn and re-learn all their talents.

    My favourite new update so far though, is the addition of the Argent Tournament. It’s basically world PvP (player versus player), with some mounted action, new achievements and rewards. This will definitely be quite a bit of fun.

    And one of the most intriguing changes so far is probably the fact that a player no longer dismounts in the water and the introduction of water mounts. Of course this could also be Blizzard’s step towards another big patch or a new expansion. Blizzard did say that there were going to be at least a few more expansions after The Burning Crusade, and so far we’ve gotten one. Hopefully they still have at least one more in them.

    There are also quite few class changes and some other general changes that have been announced for the new patch. The only disappointing change so far is that you can’t ghetto hearth anymore! (Again, if you haven’t played the game, the chances of you understanding what I said even if I explained it to you are very very slim.) Most of the classes are getting some talent changes which means everyone obsessed with the game is going to pull out their Einstein caps and a calculators and sit down to calculate the best possible Spec to go to get the maximum out of the class.

    You can get all the information you need from WoW Insider, or you can Google it!

    If there’s any of you who play World of Warcraft and want to share something, please do feel free to let us know. Especially if there’s any insider information that you would like to share with your favourite site in the world.. Us!

    And for those of you who want to start and are looking for a place to get started, pick up the game and setup a WOW – US account, log into the ‘Deathwing’ realm and hit me up. My character name is BingelJell and I should be able to help you out with anything you might need!

    TweetDeck

    In keeping with our Twitter theme for February, I figured I’d share my favourite Twitter manager with everyone. Ever had too many Tweets to keep up with? Ever been bored of logging onto your Twitter page every time to check updates?

    In keeping with our Twitter theme for February, I figured I’d share my favourite Twitter manager with everyone.

    Ever had too many Tweets to keep up with? Ever been bored of logging onto your Twitter page every time to check updates? Never fear, for Techtites is here! (I know it’s getting old and lame, I promise I won’t be lame after this.. so please bear with me!)

    TweetDeck is the perfect piece of software to help you manage your Twitter account.

    TweetDeck simplifies your Tweets into feeds that are easily manageable. You can organise your Tweets anyhow you want.

    Additional Features

    • – Catch up with overnight global twitterings as TweetDeck stores all updates whilst running
    • – Continual status updates of TweetDeck and Twitter
    • – Resize TweetDeck as either an unobtrusive column, full screen or anything in between
    • – Especially useful running full screen on a separate monitor
    • – Filter tweets using the tweet text, username, source or timeframe
    • – Auto updates from the Twitter API

    twitter2

    TweetDeck is built using Adobe Air, which means it’s awesome. It also means that you can persnoalise the look of TweetDeck. It’s currently in it’s beta stage, so there might be a few issues here and there. So far though, I haven’t encountered any. I had a slow update day once, but that could have also been my connection bugging out.  (And I’ve been using this for a little less than a month now.)

    There are tonnes of people I know who use TweetDeck and are very happy with it, and for the moment at least, this gets my seal of approval!

    You’ll have to head over to the TweetDeck page to download it.

    There are a few other Twitter managers out there, so if there’s anything you’d like to share with us, please drop us a line.

    twitter1

    WordPress Pagination!

    We’re back with another dose on how to make your WordPress installation even better. I bet that you’ve, at some point at least, noticed that your default WordPress theme has links only to the Previous or Next post page. While this is fine and makes for a simple browsing experience, there are times, especially if you’re an extremely large site like Smashing Magazine or PSDTUTS, where it makes more sense to have a proper pagination, instead of just simple links.

    We’re back with another dose on how to make your WordPress installation even better.

    I bet that you’ve, at some point at least, noticed that your default WordPress theme has links only to the Previous or Next post page. While this is fine and makes for a simple browsing experience, there are times, especially if you’re an extremely large site like Smashing Magazine or PSDTUTS, where it makes more sense to have a proper pagination, instead of just simple links.

    We’ve got the perfect plugin for you!

    WP-PageNavi is a really neat plugin that allows you to create a simple Pagination for your posts page.

    All you have to do, is download the plugin, unzip it and upload the wp-pagenavi folder to your content/plugins directory.

    Once you’ve done that, simply copy paste this code

    <?php if(function_exists(‘wp_pagenavi’)) { wp_pagenavi(); } ?>

    anywhere in your theme. I recommend putting it in your footer, so it displays below all your posts. You can even display it above your posts if you want.

    Now simply goto your WP-Admin > Settings > PageNavi to configure the plugin.

    You can also edit the CSS file to change the look of the Pagination. Just goto your /content/plugins/wp-pagenavi folder and edit the wp-pagenavi-css.css file and Voila! You’re done!

    Download the PageNavi plugun

    Custom Twitter Backgrounds

    Since everybody knows what Twitter is I’m not going to bother to explain that it’s a social networking tool that allows people to communicate with each other in less than 140 characters and is one of the biggest internet revolutions since the invention of bread.. (Maybe not..) Anyway, if you have a twitter account and want to look and feel different, we’ve got some good news for you.

    Since everybody knows what Twitter is I’m not going to bother to explain that it’s a social networking tool that allows people to communicate with each other in less than 140 characters and is one of the biggest internet revolutions since the invention of bread.. (Maybe not..)

    Anyway, if you have a twitter account and want to look and feel different, we’ve got some good news for you.

    Here’s a list of 5 different places you can check out and get some nice custom Twitter backgrounds for yourself.

    1. Tweetbacks
    2. Twitterbacks
    3. Twitter Backgrounds from Colourlovers
    4. Limeshot Designs – Twitter Backgrounds and lastly,
    5. Twitter Gallery

    Here’s a taste of some of the stuff you’ll find there..

    twitter1twitter2

    twitter3

    If you have anymore links to great places that provide Twitter backgrounds, drop us a line and let us know.

    Additionally, if anyone’s interested, maybe I can do a mini tutorial on how to create your own Custom Twitter Background.

    You can find Ajay and Me (Nikhil) on Twitter as well.

    WordPress Resources!

    Yep, we’re back again with another post on Wordpress. As far as any blogging platform or CMS is concerned, WordPress has the largest community to back it up. And if there’s one thing that this community has done, is that it’s allowed WordPress to be more than just a blog.

    Yep, we’re back again with another post on WordPress.

    As far as any blogging platform or CMS is concerned, WordPress has the largest community to back it up. And if there’s one thing that this community has done, is that it’s allowed WordPress to be more than just a blog.

    Anyone who’s used WordPress will bear testimony to the fact that it is by far one of the most powerful Content Management Systems out there and can be made to do almost anything from running a small blog to a large website.

    Here are a few examples of large sites powered by WordPress:

    and of course, your’s truly, Techtites.

    Right, now that you’ve seen what WordPress is capable of, I’m sure you want to get started with your own blog. And to help you get started we’ve put together a list of our top 5 WordPress resource sites, in no particular order of preference of course.

    • Lorelle on WordPress – A Newbie’s guide to WordPress and blogging. (Not only for newbies though..)
    • WP Designer – A blog focused on developing WP themes and improving blog performance through code.
    • NETTUTS – Spoon fed Web skills.
    • WP Candy – A blog on everything about WordPress.

    & some more shameless promotion, Techtites. (We have a nice WordPress category with some goodies for you.)

    There are a million more sites out there that will help you out with getting started on WordPress, these however are some of the places that I like to refer to.

    If there are any WordPress related websites that you’d like to let us know about, do leave us a comment.

    Additionally, I’m going to try and put together some nice tutorials on how to make your installation of WordPress a better place to blog with over the next few weeks. So stay tuned.