Doom

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After playing in the Doom beta, there was little doubt that I’d buy the game. Now that I’ve finished the single-player campaign, I think I can say that longtime fans of the Doom series will be pleasantly surprised picking up the new version. It’s not a squeal, it’s a re-imagining of the original game with current graphics and beautiful carnage. The game returns to it’s roots. You’re the only hero killing demons without any help.

I won’t talk about the story, but I do feel like it’s an improvement to the original Doom game. It fits, though I still prefer Doom 3. Despite that, the story is good and keeps you guessing.

Android Features

The single-player campaign is worth buying the game, it’s a fair length and challenging. However, some may feel the $60 price tag isn’t worth it. The user-generated map feature, SnapMap, is a fun addition, but has only one map environment. Multiplayer is classic FPS and fun for what it is. The highlight is picking up a demon rune, becoming a specific type of demon depending on your preference.

The “glory kill” is one of my favorite features. When you do enough damage, demons stagger. There’s a short period of time when the demons are dazed and they flash a blue hue to let players know. It’s a finishing move that makes melee kills more dramatic and gives you bonus ammo or health.

Running around on Mars actually made me think about the Metroid Prime Trilogy. I suppose Doomguy isn’t much like Samus Aran, but there are some similarities. They both live in a space-age future, wear cool spacesuits, have a HUD on their visors, and the UAC lab and facilities remind me of running around the space pirate facilities from Metroid. I really have to go back to The Other M, never finished that game.

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The bottom line: Doom 2016 might not be everyone’s cup of tee, but it’s just what the doctor ordered if you are a fan of FPS. It’s not a perfect game, but the single-player campaign is wonderful. SnapMap is promising and hopefully there will be more environments available in the future. Multiplayer does have at least one unique feature, the demon runes, allowing a player to become a demon for a short while. While Doom does have some limitations, it’s worth a buy for the fans.

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Apple iWork Versus Microsoft Office

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Apple has made a real effort building software to compete with Microsoft Office. I remember buying iWork 09 when I got my first Mac. Eventually Apple did a very nice thing by making the Mac and online versions of iWork free. You still have to buy the iOS version sadly, but I rarely use that since I don’t have an iPad anymore, so you could probably live without it.

I remember using Word Perfect, back in the day, most of my word pressing training was done with that software. I’ve spent a lot of time with MS Office, even on my mac, and unfortunately the last version of MS Office for Mac came out in 2011. It wasn’t until this year that we saw a new version for OS X.

Universities and corporations still require MS Office for students and employees, but Apple’s iWork software shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some advantages to using Pages over Word if you are a Mac user. I admit that in the past I typically used MS Word the most, even for writing my articles for iDropNews. Recently, I’ve switched back to Pages to do the bulk of my writing for work and then finish up with MS Word.

Let’s look at some of the features I like about Pages. First, by far the best feature, is how the app saves documents. Every file created in Pages is saved in the iCloud. This allows users to work on their documents with any Apple device be it Mac, iPhone, or iPad. Since the file is stored in one location, it’s easy to work on multiple devices. Another useful feature is the saving feature. Every keystroke or change is automatically saved. Of course, there still is the option to manually save, but why bother? The third, and perhaps not really a feature per-say, it the simplistic look and feel of Pages. It just works, it’s not flashy, and doesn’t take long to load.

Windows users obviously can’t use the iWork software, unless they opt for the web version. Word also has more features than Pages, though many of them require some research. I still have to use Word as the articles I write need to be in docx format. I can convert my documents from Pages into Word format with ease.

Microsoft has their own cloud service, now called One Drive, which works most of the time. The difference between iCloud and One Drive is how files are stored. Microsoft uses two copies, one in the cloud, and the other stored on your computer. It syncs the files instead of having just one storage place. In theory it sounds like a redundancy backup option, but when there is a discrepancy between the two copies there are problems.

Sometimes you may be forced to chose which copy of a file to keep. The server version or the computer version, should the two copies not match. It may be hard to know which one to keep. Usually I would chose the most recent file, but somehow it always seemed to end up being an older version of the document I was working on, forcing me to re-write large sections of the document. This happened to me once or twice when I was at school.

All in all, I like Pages more than Word. While MS Office is more widely used by most people, I think Pages shines with it’s reliability.  I was able to adjust to Pages fairly easily and with the few powerful features that I like, it’s the best way to make sure you don’t lose those important documents.

 

Jurassic World

 

I remember seeing “Jurassic Park” in a movie theater, feels like more than 20 years ago. As a kid who loved and still loves dinosaurs, it was the perfect movie. It was scary, even as a kid, but it didn’t go to far. I still watch the trilogy every few years. I knew there was a fourth movie in the works for a while, I had hopped they wouldn’t mess it up.

“Jurassic Park” was a positive childhood experience and the feelings that movie inspired within me made that movie something special. When the advertisements for Jurassic World started up, I started to feel better about the potential for this movie. I don’t think it’s fair to compare “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World.” While it’s probably unavoidable, Jurassic World can’t live up to the original. Heck no dinosaur movie could. That said, Jurassic World reminded me what it was like as a kid, seeing dinosaurs for the first time in a movie. Of course, I was also reminded that this wasn’t “Jurassic Park.” That kinda nagged at me, like there was a part of me that wanted to hate the movie.

I decided that I was going to allow the movie to be what it was and not try to force it to be what I wanted it to be. I think that worked. Two important things to say off the bat: I’m buying this movie either digital or blu-ray and I’d definitely like to see it again! I think I’d enjoy it more the second time.

If you have never seen a Jurassic movie, then you may enjoy it more than I did. In many ways, this IS my “Jurassic Park,” if I was a 12 year-old boy present day. In that way, I feel like the movie delivers the same way that “Jurassic Park did.” It has the same spirit, without it feeling like it’s the same movie. Yes, there is some element of surprise that isn’t there for me, but I jumped at least once, maybe twice. Heck I even felt some emotional connections with some of the dinosaurs, that says something!

The musical score is similar to Jurassic Park, obviously with its own style. That really helped make “Jurassic World” feel like an old friend coming over to visit, except this friend wants to eat you! No worries, it’s not a real! Haha, I can’t imagine what this movie would be like in 3D. 😉 By the end of the movie, I felt good about the direction they took. I felt satisfied, this is certainly no crystal skull. Boy, I think Chris Pratt was awesome in this movie! And I found Bryce Dallas Howard’s character quite fun. Definitely a good cast all around.

It’s no surprise to me that this movie has been so successful and I think it deserves it, even if it’s probably best enjoyed with fresh eyes. Still, I think die-hard fans like me have nothing really to complain about with “Jurassic World.” It’s the best that it could be. I mean, it could never live up to Jurassic Park for us. However, I could tell for the newbies that this movie probably is their “Jurassic Park,” and that made me smile. I’d honestly give it 4.3 out of 5 stars at this point. Just forget about the original movie and give yourself permission to like this one.

Bottom line, “Jurassic World” does a lot of things right. It’s exciting and tense, and doesn’t feel boring at all. It didn’t feel like a sequel to me. More like the return of an old friend. The experience was not the same, but it reminded me why I like the older movies. In that, “Jurassic World” accomplished what it set out to do and it was quite an entertaining movie. Besides, dinosaurs are cool.

P.S. The main antagonist, really cool! 🙂