Part 2 || 3 Games that will scare the life out of you

Welcome to part 2 of my 3 part series of Games that will scare the life out of you! If you missed the first post you can find it here.

Alien: Isolation

I was late to the scene when it came to watching the Alien movies, however they still left their mark on me. The fact that they were on old VHS tapes, making them crackly and jumpy at bits (in turn causing voices/sounds to be grossly distorted), didn't help with the fear factor. The fright created by this series was something that introduced me to the genre and, funnily enough, made me want more!

Alien: Isolation was created by Creative Assembly, a British game developer based in West Sussex a company that started life porting games to DOS from the Amiga and ZX Spectrum, and they have really succeeded in encapsulation the dread and impending doom conveyed in the movies.

Where other games featuring the "Alien" title have tried before and failed miserably, Alien: Isolation really does redeem the piss-poor gameplay of the other titles.  Alien: Colonial Marines, for instance, makes you feel that you are never in any real danger and the game itself isn't really all that scary. Fear is a component that you must have present in these type of games and Creative Assembly have shown that they understand this through utilization of scary atmospheres and awesome ambience scores.


You play as Amanda Ripley who is the daughter of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver's character from the movies) who goes missing at end of the actual movie. Amanda receives information regarding her mothers disappearance and is en-route to Sevastapol Station to find out the fate of her long-lost mother.

Sevastapol is the derelict space station where, 2 months prior to your arrival an incidence had taken place that caused the majority of the inhabitants to be wiped out. Home to survivors, crazy android men and of course the main villain, the Alien, Sevastapol is where the game takes place, and the play pen for the Alien of which ''you'' are the main attraction.

Being smart and aware is a huge part of the game and you must use your wits to progress through out the levels and the adage "You can run but you can't hide" is emphasised greatly. Sure, you can hide under a that conveniently placed desk or cupboard when an enemy is near by, but don't linger too long or they might just pull you out of your temporary hide-out. This was something that caught me off guard when I played it, as in truth, AI in most stealthy games are never really programmed to do that, often giving them a more human-like aspect and preying on your already high strung nerves!

In conclusion, I think that this game really brought a lot to the genre and will definitely be one of the ones I will revisit in the future.

You can see the official trailer here:


You can purchase the game here for the PC (Steam code), Xbox One and the PS4.

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Part 1 || 3 Games that will scare the life out of you

This is part 1 of a 3 part series covering games that will scare the life out of you. Hate it or love it, the horror genre is highly popular and whether you are a fan of the Paranormal Activity series or a classic slasher fan, they all share one thing in common - they aim to scare the bloody hell out of you!

Horror in games, namely the survival-horror subgenre, was paved out by the Resident Evil series (Biohazard in Japan), where guile and wit is encouraged rather than outright combat - Yes, guns and other weapons are available, but ammunition for them are often scarce, forcing you to micromanage and in turn introducing another level of fear.  "When will I get my next box of 9mm rounds? I best try and conserve in-order to survive"  Is something you will probably wonder when playing these games. Some games, *cough* Amnesia: The Dark Descent *cough* feature no weapons in-game and really up the ante when you're backed off into a room with a single door, no other way out but said door that is currently getting knocked in by the crazy denizens of these games.

My list is comprised of games that I have played that I feel, really regret you playing them at stupid o'clock in the morning, in the dark, duvet thrown over your head.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

Short for "First Encounter Assault Recon", F.E.A.R: Project Origin, is the 2nd game in the franchise created by Monolith Productions, a Washington-based developer also known for creating such titles as, No One Lives Forever, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and the  Condemned games. 

Available on the PC, XBox 360 and the Playstation 3, F.E.A.R puts you in the shoes of a man known as Michael becket, who is a member of a secret, covert branch of the US Military codenamed Dark Signal. Becket, along with his comrades are sent to arrest Genevieve Aristide, the director of Armacham Technology Corporation, a shady company responsible for a great number of bad things.


 Assuming you haven't played the first, the game feels like any other Shooter game where you will be fighting black ops soldiers who have been deployed by Genevieve,  but very quickly you'll notice that something isn't right. Lights start to flicker, the accompanying ambience track starts to change, glimpses of shadow people are caught in your peripheral view and did I mention the creepy little red-dressed girl? Her name is Alma, by the way, and you will be seeing a whole lot of her. The soldiers are exceptionally well done, and their AI is a testament to it. Often you will hear them shouting out to their comrades alerting them to your location and using crazy tactics like flanking manoeuvres to try and outwit you.

What makes this game scary? Well, there are two things that stand out. The first thing has to be the overall atmosphere and the ambience of the game. In my opinion, it's frightening when the music drops and you know something bad is coming your way. Secondly, Alma, there's something creepy about children when they are used in horror, everyone has a notion that children are harmless but in this genre, that is a foolish one; they are deceptive.  Alma has two forms, the child and the naked adult version - both of them are creepy as hell and both of them are out to get you. Alma is a powerful Psionic, meaning she can use an array of abilities to manipulate her surroundings and can summon ghostly apparitions to further hinder your progress. No matter what you do, when you play this game you will get a fright!

See the trailer here:

You can buy F.E.A.R here for the Xbox 360,  PC and PS3. Just to let you know, it's only £1.72 on the PC! 
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4 Relationship-Killing Habits

Everyone wants a long and happy relationship with their partners. Indeed, most of us work hard to ensure we fulfill their needs and make them feel appreciated. However, certain habits could kill a relationship if you’re not careful. With that in mind, we are going to highlight some of the most common ones in this post. If you’re guilty of these actions, try to remove them from your situation as soon as possible. While some couples might survive, these issues will place a lot of strain on both of you. So, you should always try to improve and ensure you become the perfect companion for your loved one.


Criticism

You should always support the decisions your partner makes. That is the case, regardless of whether you think they’re right or not. Just like everyone else, your loved one needs to learn life lessons, and so they will make mistakes sometimes. However, there are going to be instances in which you were wrong too. That is why you should never spend all your time criticizing your husband or wife. There’s some fantastic advice on that at www.wikihow.com/ and similar sites.  Instead of highlighting all the things they wrong, you should try to celebrate all the things they do right. That will show them you love them and you’re behind them 100%. Just because you think something doesn’t mean you have to say it out loud. The next time a critical thought enters your mind, you should review it before voicing your opinions.

Stonewalling

Ignoring your partner after an argument is never sensible. You need to get your relationship back on track as soon as possible. So, stonewalling is the worst thing you can do. People who are in love don’t hold grudges when they have a disagreement. They work together to come to a compromise that satisfies both parties. If you can’t manage to do that; you’re probably with the wrong person. Either that or you need to try therapy to deal with your issues. Some people just don’t have the tools required for conflict resolution. However, there are lots of specialists out there who can show you techniques and methods for getting it right. You just need to search online for reputable experts in your local area.



Addiction

Most people are addicted to something, and so you shouldn’t feel bad if you smoke or drink alcohol too often. However, you do need to deal with the issue as soon as possible. That is because addiction can place a strain on any relationship and cause problems. Experts from www.redvape.com/ say there are lots of ways in which you can beat addictions these days. You just need to search online and perform some research. Of course, if you have a severe drug habit, you should contact a rehab center as soon as possible. It could be the only way to stop you from losing your loved one. There are also lots of self-help techniques you could employ. Just take a moment to search YouTube for relevant instructional videos. You will learn a lot.


Jealousy

Jealousy can drive wedges between people and make them feel terrible. That is particularly the case if the jealous person raises their concerns. The other party will feel like they are not trusted, and that will cause problems. Arguments will increase if you’re not 100% satisfied your partner doesn’t want someone else. So, you need to remove jealousy from the relationship as soon as you can. Again, therapy can help with that if you’re struggling. So long as you both love each other, you should be willing to work together. Just identify the best psychologists in your hometown. You can then get in touch with them and inquire about their services. In most instances, they won’t charge the earth to give you a helping hand.

Now you know about the top four relationship-killing habits, you should try to avoid them at all costs. When all’s said and done, you don’t want to end up on your own forever. Sure, you might not be with the right person at the moment, but you will meet them one day. However, you’ll struggle to keep them happy if you haven't removed the previously mentioned habits from your life.

We hope you all manage to build a strong bond with your partners and take things to the next level this year. Who knows? If you improve your relationship, you might even consider bringing a child into the world. That is about one of the most exciting things you will ever do.



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Turn Back Time in the Kitchen

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Thinking or remodeling your kitchen? Instead of doing what most homeowners do and modernising the room, why not turn back time in the kitchen by giving it a very cool retro makeover? Vintage style, kitsch, and retro looks are very much in style these days, and they can take your kitchen from fab to drab in an instant.

Here are some tips to turn back time in the kitchen:

Retro Patterns

The simplest way to add a touch of retro design to your kitchen is to decorate the walls with retro designs. Think bold, geometric patterns that were popular from the 50s until the 70s: the kind of designs that are unmistakably retro. Feature oranges, browns and reds heavily for a 60s-70s look, or go for aqua, blues, and pinks for a more 1950s diner look.

If the very thought of this scares you, instead of using retro patterns on the wall, use them on shelving units, chair cushions and accessories instead.

Tiles, Tiles and More Tiles

Retro kitchens invariably had plenty of tiles, not only on the wall but on the floors too. Think of the classic 50s diner with its black and white checkerboard floor, and you can’t go far wrong. As an added bonus, kitchen tiles are very easy to clean, and they make the kitchen sparkle.

Display Vintage Accessories

There is little point creating a retro look in the kitchen if you just go ahead and fill it with very modern appliances. Invest in a big Smeg fridge, which although not retro has a distinctly vintage look, buy an old-style cake mixer and whistling kettle, and it’ll really bring your vintage look together and make it feel more authentic.

Don’t Forgo Modern Appliances Completely

Of course, it would be foolish to forgo all modern appliances, unless that’s your thing. There are so many things, from instant boiling water taps to microwaves that can make life so much easier for you, that they are a necessity. Just try to buy modern pieces that blend in with your vintage stuff as much as possible, and if that’s not possible, you might consider hiding them away in the cupboards where they won’t ruin the effect.

Display Cabinets

Not strictly necessary, but great for creating an authentic vintage look, glass fronted display cabinets are a great addition to any retro kitchen. Most homes in the past had big glass display units where they would display their fine china, trinkets, and photos and installing one to your kitchen, filled with all your retro knick-knacks will go a long way to bringing your retro theme to life. If you don’t have the room for a display cabinet, put some shelves up on the wall and display your vintage finds that way.

Retro Signs
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Retro advertising signs selling everything from OXO to marmalade can be picked up at car boot sales and on eBay fairly regularly, and they are a great alternative to artwork in the average vintage kitchen, bringing a bit of colour and nostalgia from the past into the present.


Have fun creating your old-new kitchen.


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Start Taking Your Health Seriously Today

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Due to excellent medicine and healthcare, these days more of us are able to go on and live healthier and longer lives than ever before. However there are still a few things that most of us do that aren’t so great for our bodies, and over time can cause a range of diseases and illnesses. If you want to take your health seriously, here are a few things you can start doing today.

Eat Well and Exercise
It’s an obvious one, but a well-balanced diet and regular exercise is fundamental to good health- we all know this. You need a wide range of vitamins and nutrients from healthy sources. These include fresh produce, whole grains and lean protein amongst others. Cut back on the unhealthy extras you know aren’t good for you like saturated fat, sugar and salt. Eating organic is an easy switch you can make to improve health long term. Organic produce isn’t sprayed with the herbicides and pesticides that have been linked to serious illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s Disease. As these chemicals can stay on the crops even after they’re washed, going organic is by far the safest way to avoid them. Have your height and weight taken at the doctor so you can work out your BMI if you stay within a healthy range you body can perform at optimal levels, and you avoid all kinds of preventable diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Exercise will help you to maintain strong muscles and bones, boost immunity, keep your metabolism fired up and even help your mental health too. Try to find activities you enjoy, that way you’re more likely to stick them out.

Reduce or Quit Alcohol and Tobacco
Tobacco and alcohol are extremely dangerous, in fact, they’re one of the leading causes of death in developed countries. Despite being legal, they can still lead to serious health conditions and eventually death. Many people find quitting smoking to be immensely difficult, if this sounds like you then you could consider switching to vaping instead. It’s far healthier since no tobacco is burned. Therefore you avoid all of the dangerous chemicals that occur as a result of this. Instead, nicotine is heated delivering you the hit you need without any of the added nasties- it reduces passive smoking too. You’ll need to purchase a few things to get you started: the vape pen, liquids and these Aspire coils for example are a good place to start. After that, you’re saving money and making a healthier choice every time you vape rather than light up a cigarette.

Take Vitamins and Supplements
While you should aim to get your vitamins and nutrients from food, things aren’t perfect.  Some vitamins are difficult to get enough of, and even healthy diets might miss certain things. Vitamins and supplements are like an insurance policy, they give you peace of mind that you’re getting everything you need. If you check out your local health foods store you’ll see all kinds of herbal supplements too, you can find everything from cinnamon to turmeric to garlic to sage. Herbs are powerful natural medicines and can b really beneficial, so even if you don’t like the taste of these things you can reap the rewards by taking them as tablets.

Attend Your Cancer Screenings
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death. Unfortunately, there are so many different types and things that can go wrong in the body. Thankfully, screening processes can mean anything is caught early at the most treatable stages. Your age and gender can put you at a slightly increased risk for different cancers, so if you’re invited for a screening be sure to attend. It’s a few minutes out of your day that could quite literally save your life.



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