jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2008

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time it is a game of adventure developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo for the console Nintendo 64. This game is considered by many to be the best game of the world
The history begins with a young man called Link that lives in the Kokiri Forest, alienated for being the only boy in the forest who does not have his own guardian fairy. Had terrible nightmares about a woman of white hair that was escaping on horseback of an immense castle with a blonde-haired girl chased by a man of evil aspect mounted on a black horse, were flogging and taking the sleep from him night by night.
While, the Deku Tree feels that a malignant presence approaches to Hyrule, and orders Navi the fairy to look for the child without fairy and bring Link to the Deku Tree, who explains the importance of its sleep to Link and entrusts him the mission to set off in a big trip in search of the Princess Zelda that should reveal to him the way that would lead him to discover himself, and it assigns Navi as his guardian fairy, not without before delivering him the emerald Kokiri.
After coming to the castle of Hyrule and met Zelda, Zelda and Link, the only one that believes in the premonitions of the princess, form an alliance to fight against Ganondorf, the evil leader of the Gerudo that false oath allegiance to the king, to prevent this one from taking possession of the sacred Triforce. Together they plan a conspiracy to obtain three spiritual stones that, together with the Ocarina of the Time, are necessary to open the Door of Time where this wonderful relic is and to obtain it before the villain, preventing, this way, the legend from being fulfilled and the kingdom from remaining plunged in to chaos.
Nevertheless the destination seemed to have decided that Ganon should take possession of her. Link manages to open the doors inside the Temple of the Time, but on having extracted the Master Sword of his pedestal, his soul remains caught in the Sacred Kingdom for 7 years allowing Ganon to get the Triforce stolen. But it was a success by half, on not having had a pure heart the Triforce, splited into three parts: Power, Wisdom and Courage, obtaining Ganon only the Triforce of Power, more according to his soul. After this the young Hero becomes into a strong man, bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, that one capable of traveling in "the Time" thanks to the Master Sword: the Hero of the Time, in the same moment meets Sheik, a young man belonging to the race of the Sheikah, who explains to him what it has been.
Turned into a real hero, Link embarks himself in a big trip for the whole Hyrule kingdom in search of those wise persons (Saria, Ruto, Darunia, Impa and Nabooru), mission entrusted to the awakening to Link by only wise that inhabits the temple, Rauru chosen by the destination to help him to bury the evil in the depths of the, till then, called Sacred Kingdom. Ocarina of Time narrates the adventures of Link the original- the first one - that fought the evil, the first appearance of Ganondorf and how the legend of the Triforce was fulfilled.

martes, 18 de noviembre de 2008

XBOX 360 VS Playstation 3

XBOX VS Playstation 3

If we center on "the intestines" of the consoles (processors, memory...) it is clear that there are two bets clearly differentiated in this generation: the gross potency of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Let's see each of them in a more detailed way. Playstation 3 is a really surprising machine, with the already famous processor Cell to 3.2 GHz: formed by a central nucleus (PPE) based on PowerPC, and another six nuclei called SPEs with RISC architecture. The principal memory is 256 MB, to which we have to add the video memory that the GPU arranges based on the chipset NVIDIA G70 with a clock to 500 MHz. Although all this gives a theoretical capacity of 2.18 TeraFLOPS, the console is quite new and complex of programming - as it happened already in due time with the Saturn - and still we will be late in seeing games that make use of his real potential. The Xbox 360 does not stays much behind in the technical section, since it has a "Xenon" CPU also to 3.2 GHz, composed of three nuclei PowerPC. The memory is 512 MB; and it is shared by the GPU - similar to the ATI Radeo 600 card, which also runs to 500 MHz as in the case of the Playstation 3.

The Xbox 360 reads DVD-Video without the need of an extra accessory, and it has an optional HD-DVD unit that allows the reproduction of movies in this format. On the other hand, the units of Playstation 3 are slot-in and they do not issue too much noise during the reading, while in Xbox 360 the reader is a tray, and for any reason there is one of the principal factors of the "individual" noise that generates the console during its functioning. The Playstation 3 is the only one that incorporates a hard disk by default, while in Xbox 360 it is optional. SD cards also can be used in the Playstation 3, as well as Compact Flash and Memory Stick. In the Xbox 360 also there exists the possibility of using memory cards of up to 512 MB to save games and games of the "Bazaar". It is necessary to emphasize that they are different from the used ones in the first console of Microsoft, making complicated to use games of the Xbox if third-party products are not used, like for example the made ones by Datel. In Playstation 3 an USB adapter (sold separately) can be used to connect cards of Playstation and Playstation 2.
Tanto Xbox 360 as Playstation 3 is capable of coming to resolutions of up to 1080p, however, the XBOX 360 shows better graphic details in most of its games.
Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 can reproduce multimedia files for streaming with the last firmwares, that converts them into a few really attractive devices to have along with our TV set. On the other hand, both Playstation 3 supports Bluetooth, and in addition to controllers, it is possible to use devices like keyboards, mouse, wireless earphones or the remote control for the movies in Blu-Ray. Both can get connected to Internet by Wi-Fi or cable, having to pay an extra one in case of the Xbox 360 (Wi-Fi adapter). In all both cases, the connection is quite simple and compatible with most of the routers of the market. The Sony consoles are enough well integrated, since the PSP can be used like remote control, it can use games of Playstation downloaded from the Store and even it works like a rear-view mirrow in some cars games.
Playstation 3 has a pad called SixAxis, which can detect the movements in three dimensions. The control is very similar to that of the previous consoles, although it has lost the vibration function, making it quite light, also it is wireless, it is possible to reload with a cable USB that comes included with the console. Also we can use controllers of other Playstation if we are provided with the corresponding USB adapter.
Finally, Xbox 360 has two type of controllers to the sale, and also they depend on the model of the console that we buy. The model Core brings a pad with cable of the whole life, while the model Premium incorporates one that works in a wireless way. The design is similar to one of the original Xbox, although more stylish enough and ergonomic. The wireless model can feed with batteries or with a battery, which is reloaded with a cable connected to the console.In both case we can see, power, graphics, high performance, and sphisticated hardware, but I see a lot of advantage of the XBOX 360 over the Playstation 3, since the XBOX 360 came out first, and has more titles to play and more compatiblity with games of the XBOX than the Playstation 3 making the XBOX 360 console more attractive for the "Gamers" and for me ; )

martes, 4 de noviembre de 2008


Stepping off a boat in the shoes of illegal immigrant Niko Bellic as he arrives in Liberty City at the start of Grand Theft Auto IV, you can tell immediately that Rockstar North's latest offering is something quite special. Yes, this is another GTA game in which you'll likely spend the bulk of your time stealing cars and gunning down cops and criminals, but it's also much more than that. GTAIV is a game with a compelling and nonlinear storyline, a game with a great protagonist who you can't help but like, and a game that boasts a plethora of online multiplayer features in addition to its lengthy story mode. It's not without some flaws, but GTAIV is undoubtedly the best Grand Theft Auto yet.
One of the many things that set GTAIV apart from its predecessors is Liberty City, which is more convincing as a living, breathing urban environment than anything that you've seen in a game before, and bears little resemblance to its namesake in 2001's GTAIII. Liberty's diverse population believably attempts to go about its daily business, seemingly unaware that several criminal factions are at war in the city. Niko has no such luck. He's compelled to start working forone of the factions shortly after arriving, when he learns that his cousin Roman has some potentially fatal gambling debts. Niko's military experience makes him a useful freelancer for employers in the business of killing each other, and though his reluctance to carry out their orders is often apparent, he does whatever is asked of him in the hope that completing missions for other people will ultimately give him the means to complete his own.
Actually, Niko doesn't have to do everything that is asked of him. On several occasions as you play through his story, you'll be presented with decisions that afford you the option of doing what you think is right rather than blindly following instructions. You don't necessarily have to kill a target if he or she promises to disappear, but you have to weigh the risk of your employer finding out against the possibility that the person whose life you spare might prove useful later in the game, or even have work for you in the form of bonus missions. To say anything more specific on this subject would be to risk spoiling one of GTAIV's most interesting new features, but suffice it to say that every decision you make has consequences, and you'll likely want to play through the game at least twice to see how the alternatives unfold.
Grand Theft Auto IV's story mode can be beaten in less than 30 hours, and there are so many optional activities and side missions to take part in along the way that you can comfortably double that number if you're in no hurry. The majority of the story missions task you with making deliveries and/or killing people, and play out in much the same way as those in previous games. With that said, most of the missions are a lot easier this time around, partly because Niko is a more agile and efficient killer than any of his predecessors, and partly because the LCPD seemingly has better things to do than hunt down an illegal immigrant who's gunning down undesirables all over the city. Some of the more imaginative missions sprinkled throughout the story include a kidnapping, a bank heist, and a job interview. The cinematic cutscenes associated with story missions are superbly presented and are the sequences in which the game's characters really shine. Without exception, the characters you encounter benefit from great animation, great voice work, and superbly expressive faces. They're not always so impressive when they join you on a mission and refuse to do what they're supposed to (for example, not following you on an escort mission, or failing to negotiate a doorway). Nevertheless, these problems are few and far between, and they're made less painful by the new "replay mission" option that you're presented with whenever you fail.

domingo, 21 de septiembre de 2008

Videogames: Influence in English language learning

This is the main topic of an asignment I have to do with Karol for the subject Metodologia de la Investigacion.

At first view, many might think this is stupid, because how a videogame can help youngsters learn a new language? But it is true! in addition to the music, videogames CAN help the young ones learn and practice a new language , in this case, English.
Though the games are most related to violence and nonsense there still are few videogames (not focused to teaching languages) that are helpful in a very unnoticed way.

Teachers are always the students that they need to practise constantly in order to learn better and have a hard to forget aquired knowledge, but the dullness of homework exercises designed primarily to be educational has difficulty competing with popular media designed solely to be entertaining. Recently, numerous attempts have been made to develop "edutainment (educational entertainment)" titles that seek to merge educational goals with entertainment content; oftentimes, however, they fail to achieve either goal and fall instead into niche markets. There are some titles for the most popular videogame consoles, that are focused in teaching a new language. But, as written above they're not so popular amongst the young learners of a new language.

Nevertheless, there are popular vidoegame titles that are very helpful in learning a new language, one of the is The Sims, is a game designed to simulate normal everyday life. Players control the daily routines of a virtual family, guiding them through tasks such as managing personal hygiene, cooking food, finding jobs, entertaining guests, and so forth. After assigning professions to their characters, players then manage the family finances, deciding how to best purchase furniture and appliances to develop their house based on analysis of the emotional states of their characters, interact with other Sims (Simulants) have fun, go on a date, take care of sick Sims, because if you don't take care of your own Sim (s) it/they may get sick, an lots and lots and lots of things that everyone does in his daily life, but, how this may help those who play these kind of videogames to lear or practice a new language? Does the "Sims" speak? Well, they do not speak, they interact with everything in the game, you just click on anything and a menu wil pop up with its respective interactive options or with the things that the Sim can do with that thing or Sim.

While there have already been numerous suggestions for using commercial simulation games as language learning contexts, most are based on designing external activities without modifying the games themselves. Traditionally, modifying a commercial game's interface or language data was an impossible task, as its programming was often locked away in compiled binary code. Today, however, most game designers separate game data into external files and actively encourage third-party customizations. For games like The Sims, this has led to an explosion of enhancements for the entertainment value of the game, though so far little has been done to take advantage of this customizability for educational extensions. One freely available customization toll provides users with direct acces to the language data used in the game. By using macros, or scripts, educators can rapidly extract the parts of the first language (L1) game data they feel necessary for scaffolding learners and then integrate them as available translations within the second language (L2) version of the game.

In the following link you can see in the image, how teacher can take advantage of this functionality, adding the translation from German to English, http://llt.msu.edu/vol9num1/purushotma/figure1.jpg
This is a powerful tool for teachers and students who are teaching/learning a new language, if both know how to use it. As a personal remark I started to learn English by playing videogames when I was a child. When a videogame likes you, you're going to make anything that is in your hands to accomplish all the missions, even learning a new language.
Some parts of this text were extracted from the following website: http://llt.msu.edu/vol9num1/purushotma/default.html

lunes, 8 de septiembre de 2008


This a kind of glossary, with a few rare words, abbreviations and idioms, well just one of each I didn't understand when I read them for first time.
1.-Sophomore year: Tenth grade, (called Grade 10 in some regions, also known as sophomore year in the U.S.) is a year of education in the United States and many other nations.
2.-ACC: The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a collegiate athletic league in the United States. Founded in 1953, the ACC's twelve member universities compete in twenty sports in the NCAA's Division I. Football teams participate in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the higher of two levels of Division I college football.
3.-"freeze-out": As in one of the paragraphs of the post below says -This led to a so called "freeze-out" on Jordan, where players refused to pass him the ball throughout the game.- My opinion about this expression is that the most close translation to Spanish is: "Le aplicaron la ley del hielo" and http://www.answers.com/topic/freeze-out says that this idiom means: Shut out or exclude by unfriendly treatment; force to retire or withdraw from membership, a job, or the like.

The Best Bascketball Player EVER!!!

In my opinion Michael Jordan or "His Airness" is the bets bascketball player EVER in the bascketball history, no doubt.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan, (his full name) born in February 17, 1963 is a retired American professional basketball player and active businessman. His trajectory through the National Basketball Association (NBA) states, by royal decrete, "Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time". Jordan was essential in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. He fueled the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred in the 1996 feature film Space Jam.
Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Deloris & James R. Jordan, Sr. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he anchored his athletic career by playing baseball, football, and basketball. He tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m), he was deemed too short to play at that level and was cut from the team. In 1981, Jordan earned a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina, as a freshman in coach Dean Smith's team-oriented system, he was named ACC Freshman of the Year after he averaged 13.4 points per game on 53.4% shooting field goal percentage.
After winning the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984, Jordan left North Carolina one year before his scheduled graduation to enter the 1984 NBA Draft. Jordan returned to North Carolina to complete his degree in 1986.
During his first season in the NBA, Jordan averaged 28.2 points per game on 51.5% shooting. He quickly became a fan favorite even in opposing arenas, and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the heading "A Star is Born" just over a month into his professional career.
Controversy arose before the All-Star game when word surfaced that several veteran players, led by Isiah Thomas, were upset by the amount of attention Jordan was receiving. This led to a so called "freeze-out" on Jordan, where players refused to pass him the ball throughout the game.
Jordan was close to his father; as a child he had imitated his father's proclivity to stick out his tongue while absorbed in work. He later adopted it as his own signature, displaying it each time he drove to the basket.
As a summary Jordan, was, is and will continue to be the gratest NBA player of all times, and as Hilario would say "And nobody can deny it"

jueves, 28 de agosto de 2008

bAcK 2 sChOoL

Here we are, once again, returning to school, exchanging the swim suits by the uniforms (for those who wear uniform), bags by backpacks, towels by notebooks, and so on.
This summer was full of work ( for me thanks God) and with enough time for the beach, friends, disco and the most important thing, the girlfriend.
I remember when I was a child, when returning to school was so sad, turning the toys into notebooks, pencils and books, you don't wated to see that old lady (your teacher) screaming at you, giving you orders, telling you what to do; nobody wanted to see her again, that old lady that spent all the summer isolated inside a room just thinking in assignmets to give you when classes strarted over again, meanwhile you were outside being free and playing with your friends, but that wasn't my case, my 1st grade teacher was one of the most beautiful teachers in my school, Concepcion is her name but everyone called her the teacher Conchita, she was so tender with everyone in the classroom.
It's late right now, and tomorrow It's friday and I have to work.