You are not buying games in an annual recurring series to be surprised every year. And not surprisingly; when F1 2017 is rolling in on store shelves this autumn, it looks like it’s like F1 2016 all over again. In developer Codemaster’s defense; it’s said that F1 2016, was well-made – a real boost for a series that started to stall. Why they strive to launch the games five months after the real F1 season, remains somewhat a mystery, but under the surface of this year’s game; some cool news is found.
Different strengths and weaknesses
Driving an F1 career is what it is, with qualifications and skills that can or should not be very different from what people expect. Points scored are divided into four main areas, and because different teams have different strengths and weaknesses, the choices can be of great importance in the long run. The right choice can give your career a lift; while the wrong decision is punished for the rest of the season. This gives both the decisions and the points (which are at a fairly slow pace), some weight, and the career is generally well done.
Championship – mode offers short-term challenges with specific focuses, such as only city races, or races in precipitation. In multiplayer, like last year, you can run seasons with friends, but unfortunately there is still no split screen.
Surgical Precision in F1 2017
The cars in F1 2017 have a more powerful downforce, which further reinforces the closest surgical precision that characterizes the sport. Curves can be taken at higher speeds and the cars feels solid; and especially with gamepad, you really get a good feeling for your vehicle. A good steering wheel gives the cars more life, but I am still amazed at the senseless grip. It is probably in phase with the way real F1 cars work, but one must make sure that the F1 games are arcade”y” with fairly credible elements, and not the other way round. This year’s game had earned some more demanding driving, although precipitation occasionally solves this issue.
A strong reason to drive other type of game-modes over career-mode; is that you can drive them with older F1 cars. A dozen retro vehicles from between 1988 to 2010, you can find here! And the older they are, the clearer it becomes how much more life passion lived in these cars, compared to today’s racers.
Destiny 2, a rather bumpy Beta
After testing Bungies beta for Destiny 2, my first thought is how their definition of a beta really works. Just because the game is in beta, doesn’t automatically mean that a demo becomes a beta. Now, of course, they have been clear about what we will get in the game, and what they have chosen to focus more on.
This game is an online game, with a distinct focus on interactions and interactions. If the network is not working, the game will not, and the full server preparation seems to be minimal; unless they have uncovered a secret no one knows about? What worries me is how they basically swiped the server issues under the rug, and after seeing several games having just server problems at releases, it’s strange that they have not been more vigilant about it. To call this a beta therefore feels very wrong. “Playable teaser”- is a better name.
Your First Mission in Destiny 2
The mission we got to try out was the very first one, which doesn’t let you design a character or in any way understand what most of the game will be like. Instead, in a very atmospheric and exciting and straightforward journey through a burning chaos. The feeling of stress and chaos is definitely here and I like how they’ve manage to get that feeling right. It is basically Destiny that we are used to, but with an extremely cool plot twist. Things happen and everything ends with Gary (Space Bane) pushing out our dumb character from the edge of his battleship. I have the feeling that in the finished game we will play as someone else after that….
We want better class differences
What I would like is for the developer Bungie to gives us more synergies between the character-classes. They seem to have worked on this for Destiny 2; so I really hope that it actually shows that the characters belong to different classes this time. In Destiny the classes played no major role really, which was an incredible pity. I raided all the way to the expansion the Taken King and it did not matter what character I chose, as long as I had the right weapon (which everyone could use) and that the right super was available. Creating characteristic classes should not be a problem, especially when there are only three basic classes to be based on. They felt very impersonal and contributed more with an aesthetic flavor than anything practical, which feels very wasted.
Cool, Cool, Ruzzle! (Do not try to swipe the word cooler.) Intensive word game where you get a grid of 16 letters and two minutes to connect words as extensive as possible. Then your opponent is facing the same task. The key to success is to study endings – one word often bends in more shapes and forms.
Price: Free version available, the full game costs $ 3 for Android and $ 3 for iOS.
No, Wordfeud is not passé, yet. The age old variant, the immortal board game “Alfapet”, is a matter of course for anyone who thinks that words and languages are all right, and Wordfeud is exactly this same game. Yes, it’s a bit slow, but Rome was not built in a day.
Price: There is a Free variant available, and the payment version costs around $ 2 for Android and $ 3 for iOS.
The Rolls Royce of knowledge-games! Challenge friends, bumpy colleagues or random opponents in duels, mow them down and legitimize your “besserwisser”-status. Nerd knowledge as well as width is rewarded in this game with questions about everything you can think of.
Price: Free. If you want to get statistics about your matches, you’re buying the premium version for around $ 4.
World Map Quiz
Take away everything you forgot from the geography, including the capital of Moldova (Chisinau). This app is loaded with maps, capitals, flags and a variety of ways to test your knowledge. It may sound dry, but if you have the smallest competition-nerve and world-wide interest, this app is just right! For iOS there are similar options.
Price: Free. Only for Android
Playing chess exercises both brain-halves at the same time. It not only makes you more creative and can prevent alzheimer, you also get better overall concentration. There is a plethora of apps where you can compete against a computer, your friends or the Russian Chess Grandmaster.
Price: Free, payment-options are available for the really serious players.
Fit Brain Trainer
Here you have a collection of fun games, that are doing wonders for your brain cells. In addition, the app keeps track of your results and your development and adjusts the difficulty levels to give you the best possible training. This is rather hardcore workout for your brain, so expect some headaches 🙂
Price: Free trial. The Pro variant costs $ 17 for a lifetime access, or from $ 4 per month.
Discover the Better Player Within! I offer a range of individual distance learning options through which anybody, anywhere in the world can receive top level coaching. My speciality is to teach chess on the phone for which all you need is a chess set, a telephone and a knowledge of chess notation.
Unlike many other coaches I do not give everyone the same advice or recommend that they play the same openings. Instead I try to understand how my students think and find the unique way in which they should develop.
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Reversing poor form
Form in chess is quite a mysterious thing. It comes and goes apparently without rhyme or reason leaving you a winner one month and a miserable loser the next.
How is it possible to get out of a run of bad form? I don’t know and even giants such as Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov have had their off days. Yet there are a number of players who seem to be rather more consistent than others. I suspect that they are more able to rationalise their losses and not suddenly jump to the conclusion that they’re now past it!
I think there are a number of simple practical steps that can be taken which probably contribute towards good form in chess. The first thing is to make sure you’ve got a clear head, free from the cares of the World and it’s probably better to be getting a decent amount of sleep and not overdo it on the beer.
I also find that it often helps to remember a few high spots and play through some of my better games. I guess that it’s really a confidence boosting exercise, by going through these old triumphs you convince yourself that you don’t play that badly after all.
The following game is going to be one of my own confidence boosters, it was played during this year’s Redbus tournament against Bogdan Lalic. I lost the first game of our tie when my Sicilian Defence got hacked to death and needed to win this one to stay in the match. Lalic chose the solid Slav Defence but it wasn’t solid enough…