Santa Claus is the spirit of Christmas. Every small child believes that the presents he receives at Christmas are given by a wonderful, jolly, gray beareded fat man in a red suit who travels through the air from somewhere near the North Pole in a sled drawn by reindeer and comes down the chimney to leave the presents. When children become old enough to read they learn that there really is no Santa Claus and that he is only a part of a young child's imagination. Then, when people grow older they realize that there is some spirit that makes people want to give presents at Christmas, and that Santa Claus is as good a name as any for this spirit.
Santa Claus, though he does not actually bring toys to children at Christmas time, was long ago a person. He was Nicholas, the bishop of a church on the southern coast of Asia Minor, about 1,500 years ago. He was a kindly man and did much to help people. He was especially loved by the sailors who sailed the water between Cyprus and Rhodes. After his death many people spoke of the miracles he had worked, and the Church made Nicholas a saint. The Dutch, or low German, people called him San Nicholaas; the high German people called him Nikolaus, which name is shortened to laus or Claus. Santa Claus is the American and English way of saying Saint Nicholas.
The people in western Europe told their children that San Nikolaus brought them gifts on his saint's day, November 13. The Dutch and German settlers in America shared this view. Later Saint Nicholas became associated with Christmas in Germany and became popular in America, along with the Chrismas tree, through the German immigrants.
The latest generation of the Xbox One is designed with greater graphics accelerators and a power architecture system that enhances VOIP capabilities and allows for faster and better game play. The core hardware of the system is at its best level yet, but it is the upgrade package that has people talking. The way it works in the gaming world, getting the console ready is half the battle to being able to access advances in software architecture that power the gaming experience. After a rough year of transition, the new Xbox One is poised to take over the gaming world again.
The console was always meant to be a gaming system that was made for gamers by gamers. The firsthand knowledge of what is really important in style, structure and design has always been what made it a leader. Microsoft isn’t a company that just spits out copycat systems to try and take advantage of a profit line; they take a long range view of loyalty and listen to their users.
The console had a rough time when Microsoft shifted development priorities into the now defunct Xbox Studio project, but the end result is surprising. The Xbox Studio project didn’t close down because it failed to find a way to allow for Microsoft to deliver original content to Xbox One users, it closed down because it showed them exactly how to do that well. The new upgrade package to be released includes some important feature upgrades, as well as the ability to install apps to third party media programs that Microsoft now has agreements with to provide streaming content. Here are the highlights of the upgrade package.
The Controller Low Power Indicator
No other gaming system identifies the needs of gamers as well as Xbox One. While flash and crash is all important in the gaming environment, having enough power to keep playing is even more important. This upgrade package includes a path to provide a power level indicator for the controller you are using. This way you will never have your play interrupted by your controller dying mid battle.
3D Blue-ray capability
Added to the capabilities of the hardware and software of the console is being able to play 3D Blue-ray discs. Blue-ray remains the highest industry standard for recreating immersion graphics and cinematic worlds for any media. For gaming, it can be the difference between an exciting game, and one that makes your heart race because you feel like you are really there. It also increases the types of visual media that you can play on your console.
Microsoft has reached agreements with some of the most innovative third party app providers to bring you more in-game and on console options for music, movies, social networks and news. You can now purchase these apps and new games directly from your console. This purchase system is a quick click and point style that uses the controller for navigation and selection.
World of Tanks has expanded from its original online offering to full Xbox versions, premium versions and eSports competition editions. While there are more tournament and team challenge options available on some of the platforms, most of the players engage in individual combat only – that is the true focus of the game. Over the years the game has expanded to include a variety of different battle settings, including historic re-enactments. Depending on the style of play that interests you, you can find a field to carry out your battle that will suit you in the game.
When World of Tanks was first released the battlefields that were offered had a heavy emphasis on fantasy. This wasn’t in response to a player preference but from the reality that re-creating actual terrain according to historic re-enactment standards is a very time intensive process. There is also the factor that many players aren’t interested in the restrictions placed on combat to meet re-enactment guidelines either. You can’t mech out a tank that could survive in outer space and take it over to the USSR circa 1938 and have a fair match. The historic battles arenas are fine-tuned and as close as you can get to an actual real field. The premium features that are available for these battles are limited to the actual battle resources that originally existed.
The new Team Play feature was released in an 8.9 version of World of Tanks and is slowly transforming the game. From the beginning, players kept stats on skills, kills and time spent in the game. You could boost certain skill stats and access upgrades for your tanks to increase kills and maximize time through purchasing premium features via the store. Team Play changed the nature of the game because now your stats have become even more important. World of Tanks uses a “match making” system to create teams. You can also create your own but the system for allowing them into legal matches is still not perfected. Once your team is assigned you have an option to engage in team training, or you can launch right into battle.
One on One
One on one play is still the preferred method of combat in World of Tanks, and it is supported well on every gaming platform that has a license for the game. The one on one play can be done through an auto match, random encounter or you can schedule a match with someone on line. It remains the best way to actually improve your skill, experience and kill rating in the game.
Customizing Tanks and Freemium Features
While skill and time are acquire in play, the majority of your skill stats are going to get racked up because of how massive your tank is. There are a lot of customization options you can access by spending the points you have accrued in the game. You can also go to the app store and purchase features. This is why it is called a “freemium” game. You can play and upgrade based on your stats, you can also jump ahead and by in to what you need.
As a multi-player shooting game, Titanfall taken everything its creators learned in Call of Duty and brought it into the first release design. In the game you control a variety of Titans, which aren’t gods – but the modern day equivalent of them. Titans are huge mechanized battle robots that you can then use to engage others on a player to player basis, in teams or enter into tournaments and competitions. It is the screen management and game play that really raise this game above the rest.
Here are the basics of how you can move through the game and control your Titan.
The game works by players choosing a Titan that they then control throughout the game. The Titan not only can be enhanced with skills and stats, but you can customize the Titan much in the same way that you can customize your cars in GTA. The game play consists of both scheduled matches and general open exploration of the different arenas and battle lanes. Each of the arenas has its own rule about what it takes to complete the area in order to move forward.
Engaging in Combat
There are several different options for how you can engage other players. Titanfall allows for free play, in which players can roam different open arenas and engage in spontaneous combat with NPCs and live players. Several different matches can also be scheduled with other players, compete in various league championships or live unscheduled competition. The league play follows a preset of rules and timelines over the course of several weeks and months to determine a winner.
Improving your Stats and Ratings
One of the aspects of play that people like about Titanfall is you not only can play using your Titan and customize the actual robot, but you can play as your character too and gain advantages and points. There are missions and tasks that can advance you in the game and earn you in-game money to then spend on your customizations.
The Xbox Tie-in
Titanfall was originally designed for online play using desktop access and the Microsoft Xbox system. The majority of players are accessing the system via Xbox. This is also the main communication platform between the players as well. There is an upcoming map update and I'm really excited to see what it will bring.