Call of Duty: Black Ops II Vengeance Pack Available Today For PS3

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Call of Duty: Black Ops II new DLC pack ‘Vengeance’ drops today, giving it’s players four new multi-player maps. It  includes the return of a re-imagined Black Ops I multi-player classic, an all-new epic Zombies chapter, and a brand new, bonus weapon for zombie mode – the Ray Gun Mark II – available for use in every Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Zombies map.

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The new maps include:
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Cove: All-out conflict ensues on this small, forgotten island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  Players battle it out amongst the wreckage of a jet that crash-landed during a smuggling operation gone wrong.

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Detour: Players fight amongst the scattered vehicles, exposed iron and collapsed pavement of a destroyed suspension bridge, high above this East Coast waterway where the action can play out on multiple levels.

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Rush: Fast and close-quarter engagements are assured in this paintball course that’s been turned into a full- combat arena, giving players new opportunities and challenges to use cover to their advantage.

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Uplink: In this re-imagined adaptation of the fan-favorite Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer map Summit, players clash deep in the rainy jungles of Myanmar, high atop a high-tech mountain facility.

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And new zombies map Buried, in which players will be challenged to face their deepest fears, trapped inside a long-forgotten subterranean Old West mining town infested with swarms of the undead.

So start your downloads, and get ready, all you CoD fans!

Leetgion Hellion RTS gaming mouse review

I was recently sent a Leetgion Hellion RTS gaming mouse, and I’ve enjoyed using it so much, that I decided to give it a review.

It was specifically designed for Starcraft II players by a sister company of the ultimate CPU cooling solutions co., Thermalright. They decided to get into the game of peripherals, and I’m sure glad they did.

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With a price tag just shy of $80 US dollars, it’s on the pricey side, but if you’re a PC gamer looking for a super-responsive, lag-free RTS mouse, THIS is the one to get.

The Hellion is specifically designed for RTS gaming, but can also be used for everyday PC use, and has 4 pre-set profile settings (all with different-colored, corresponding LED lights), and a final fifth setting, which is completely customizable to your liking, and allows you to load any custom-made profile directly on to Hellion’s hardware.  You’re also able to customize EACH profile setting through the Hellion Configuration software, if you so desire.

The pre-set profiles are as follows:

Setting 1 – Default – Glows red

Setting 2 – Terran – Glows blue

Setting 3 – Zerg – Glows Purple

Setting 4 – Protoss – Glows yellow

Setting 5 – Custom – Glows green

It also has seven adjustable DPI levels which range from 100 to 5000 DPI.

And it’s got mechanical buttons.  I LOVE MECHANICAL BUTTONS. They feel absolutely flawless and deliberate.

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I must say… I’ve never really had a ‘luxury’ mouse before, so this is a first for me, but this one is amazing. The feel of the mouse is sleek, soft, and smooth, and…just…all around PERFECT.  I would say my hands are AVERAGE sized, and the fit and feel of my hand resting on it is pure bliss.

Seriously. I wouldn’t lie to you.

Even the packaging shouts luxury.

It arrived  to me wistfully placed inside what appears to be a Pandora’s Box of eye-catching, clean, yet sophisticated infold.

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Whether you’re a serious PC gamer looking to up your game and some of your hardware, or someone who spends a lot of time on your computer for work or play — THIS is a mouse everyone can appreciate and feel like a king–or queen– while using.

Overall rating: 9.5/10

Sony Steals E3 2013

Damn, it feels good to be a Sony fangirl this morning.

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Sony announced to THUNDEROUS applause at last night’s E3 conference that they will NOT be placing restrictions on used games in any way. HUGE news after Microsoft got the gaming world’s panties in a bunch after announcing they were enacting DRM policies on Xbox One.

Also coming in at a price tag of $399, undercutting Microsoft’s Xbox One by a hundred bucks, I think it’s safe to say that Sony won this year’s E3 conference–hands down.

I watched both the Xbox One announcement and unveiling, and their conference at E3 yesterday, and was genuinely impressed at the exclusives they had available. Game play and graphics also looked excellent. Other than that, there was really nothing to cause an uproar. Until the Sony conference begun.

Seems like Sony is really getting in-touch with the consumer this-gen. They listened to what gamers wanted, and they delivered. They are making it easier for indie games to get published–actually encouraging it– and they are making it easier for the consumer to have access to these games. Awesome. Just awesome.

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Let’s just list the facts about both consoles:

The Xbox One –Custom eight-core x86 CPU, a 500GB hard drive, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0, HDMI in and out ports, and WiFi.

The Sony PS4 — Single-chip, eight-core AMD Jaguar custom, low power x86-64 APU with a Radeon based graphics engine, 8GB of GDDR5 RAM and a Blu-ray optical disc drive.

“Both firms have gone for custom AMD chips, and Sony has the graphics edge with an 18 compute unit GCN graphics core configuration,” says Dave Neal from The Inquirer.

Sony has kept backwards compatibility (available early next year through the cloud), something that Microsoft has left behind.

Not yet confirmed are Sony’s hints at charging for an online experience.

During the conference, they hinted that only PlayStation Plus members would have access to online play, costing about $5 per month.

Not too shabby considering you can purchase a PS4 and two years of PsPlus for the same price as an Xbox One.

Not to mention people have issues with Kinect’s “spying eye,” and some feel like it’s almost an invasion of privacy to be REQUIRED to have your console connected to the internet at all times, looking–judging. Selling things to you.

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PS4 will work without an internet connection. So you can play games.
Without being online.

Imagine that? A console…meant for playing games…that can actually PLAY OFFLINE GAMES…while remaining…OFFLINE. MIND. BLOWN.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love games. I love gaming consoles.
However, in my opinion, the choice this-gen is clear.

Sony wiped the floor with Microsoft.

It’s a great day to be a gamer.

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No Regrets, Kid.

Today would have been my Dad’s 54th birthday.

Sometimes I think birthdays are the hardest days. This day is supposed to be all about him.

In my house, we never celebrated birthdays, as they were ‘just another day,’ and ‘overly marketed by corporations to sell things you don’t really need.’

Since he died, all I want to do is celebrate his birthday.

Go back in time, and give him some great birthday parties to remember.

Go buy him a really awesome laser scope or rain meter or something weird that only he could enjoy. Something to make him feel like he was remembered and special and show him how much he meant to me.

But we never had one of those birthdays for him, and we never will.

I think that’s the saddest part of all.

Even studying grief and death…it doesn’t make it any easier. It just gives you tools to better cope. I still find myself having the instinct and thought to give him a call sometimes and tell him something ridiculous–and then when I remember I can’t…

I lay in bed at night sometimes and all I can see is him laying lifeless and cold in a wooden box.

And the boots on his feet.

The boots he built his dream home with.

He had more plans for those boots.

When I look at my son I sometimes think how proud my Dad would be of him. How much he would absolutely love to get a warm little hug or see him walk and talk and experience new things.

Sometimes I manage to forget for a while, and then it all comes back even more vividly than before. You think you’re okay and that you’ve ‘moved on,’ but you haven’t and you never really will.

When someone you love dies, everything changes. Literally every single aspect of your life and mentality has changed forever. You will never be the same person again.

It’s like when the loved one leaves this world, they leave these little pieces of themselves behind for everyone that loved them. They stick to us and envelop us and help us along our own paths.

Sometimes it’s easy to celebrate life, make him proud, and be the most amazing person I can be.

Sometimes I get weak and sad and angry and don’t see the meaning of it at all.

But then I remember something he said to me when he was dying.

“No regrets, kid. No regrets.”

It’s hard not to live in the past and it’s even harder on days like today to keep your head up and simply move forward.

But that’s what he did. All the time.

I cry sometimes. I get angry sometimes.

I feel guilty for NOT feeling sad or angry enough sometimes.

It will be this way for a long time, this I know.

All I can do is follow the path his death has sent me on and try to be the best person I can be in the time I have here on this Earth. All I can do is try and live with no regrets.

So this year for your birthday, Dad, my present to you is a promise to live with no regrets–NOT reckless abandon, but an honest, good-hearted, kind and compassionate, learning, intelligent, regret-less life.

Instead of regrets, I will have lessons and learning experiences. I promise to take those experiences to heart, and not to waste any time on meaningless emotions and actions.

I promise to appreciate those around me, tell them I love them, earn and give respect.

I promise to make you proud and give the memories I was able to share with you to my son.

I promise to LIVE.

That’s what my Dad taught me.

I understand now, Dad. I understand so much more.

Happy birthday.

"Sundays too my father got up early 
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, 
then with cracked hands that ached 
from labor in the weekday weather made 
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. 

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. 
When the rooms were warm, he'd call, 
and slowly I would rise and dress, 
fearing the chronic angers of that house, 

Speaking indifferently to him, 
who had driven out the cold 
and polished my good shoes as well. 
What did I know, what did I know 
of love's austere and lonely offices?"  -- Those Winter Sundays
                                           Robert Hayden

Short Black Ops II Multiplayer Rewiew

Well, since I can’t connect to the Black Ops II servers at this time, I suppose I can write a little something about my overall experience with the game to  this point.

While only able to get to level 24 in online multiplayer so far, I feel, as a long-time Call of Duty player, that I’m able to give my opinion on the online multiplayer of Black Ops II. Aside from some connectivity issues I’ve been experiencing for about 20 hours at this point, it seems like the makers have a done a decent job in changing many different aspects of the game to give it a new,  different feel than the original Black Ops.

The game has added and implemented many new procedures which offer responses to many complaints that people have had over the years. For example, Domination is now a two-round mode in which teams switch sides halfway through–a-la Search and Destroy– in efforts to stop spawn-trapping and camping. With the new perks and “pick ten” system, it feels as if you have more freedom of choice with your weapons and attachments.

There are a lot more attachment options–from different grips and stocks that offer different advantages– to several new scopes and sights for your weapons. My favorite new addition in the sights category would have to be the “target finder” scope. It’s essentially a scope that shows your enemies in a red squares and locks onto them. Imagine the marksman perk from MW3 revamped into an attachment. Amazing.

I also enjoy the new scorestreak system. Instead of being rewarded for getting kills without dying, the player is rewarded for the amount of points he or she gets in one life. So for example, with the old method, if you got a double-kill against an enemy, you would simply get two points toward your killstreak. With the new scoring system, you are rewarded for the points you received for those kills. So, if you got that double kill and one was a headshot, you’ll get those extra 50 points counting toward your scorestreak. Also counted are assist points, capture points, etc., which really helps your streak along nicely.

The new scorestreak rewards are very nice. Some are new altogether, and some are revamped.  The RC-XD is back, just the same as before, and the Death Machine is back as well, except this time, you get the Death Machine until all the ammo runs out, regardless of how many lives that takes. The new scorestreaks include the Warthog—which calls in an A-10 Thunderbolt that provides air support by doing several strafe runs on the map—the Hunter Killer drone, which Deploys a flying drone that seeks out and tries to destroy the nearest enemy player or vehicle, and a few other new welcome additions.

All-in-all, I think the game is a pretty refreshing take on the Call of Duty series. It has a very sci-fi, futuristic feel. The graphics are not as good as Modern Warfare’s, but they are much better than the first installment of Black Ops. The guns feel a little ‘nerfy’ compared to the weaponry in Modern Warfare, but the fresh-and-newness of them, the new attachments and perk options, and rewards in the game makes up for that. If you were a fan of the original Black Ops, I think it’s safe to say you will absolutely love Black Ops II. On the other hand, if you are a previous CoD-hater, I’d still say to give it a try. There are enough new policies and implementations to where it’s really worth giving it a second look-over.

At the moment the only complaints I have myself and am hearing from others in the community are the connectivity issues. The constant dropping of games and different errors people are receiving that’s preventing them from playing online. Here we are, two days after the initial release of one of the most anticipated games of all-time, and a lot of people are unable to play, including myself. That being said, it will not stop me from liking the game. The temporary server issues are just a bump in the road, and Activision states they are “working tirelessly” to resolve them. I’ll be waiting.

Elite Girl Sprkly Reviews Anarchy Online

Anyone who knows where I stand in the social order of Anarchy Online (AO) is going to call this entire article biased, but let me preface this by saying that I didn’t become Director of the game’s dedicated radio station (GridStream Productions  [http://www.gridstream.org] and the coordinator of their first real-life fan convention because I was paid to do either, or because they were some sort of last resort for my personal ambitions in life. First and foremost, I’m a player of Anarchy Online, and I took on the social roles in the community that I did because I feel so strongly about the game. If you want to call it bias, go right ahead. But the only bias that exists here is from a dedicated fan enjoying to its fullest the best game I’ve ever played.

In a market flooded with a hundred or so replicas of the same fantasy-themed MMO over and over again, with the same dumbed-down leveling opportunities and standard gear for each class, Funcom’s Anarchy Online definitely stands out as the premiere science fiction MMO of our time. It’s a free-to-play game, with paid subscriptions available that unlock premium areas of the game. It’s also eleven years old, and home to the oldest existing MMO-based radio station in the world (that’s myself and the crew over at GridStream).

Before you judge the game based on the fact that it’s old and still offers paid subscriptions, let’s look at the reasons why it has survived the test of time. Anarchy Online is truly unique in its play style, its world and its community. Most modern MMO’s claim that, but from my experience most are far more generic and predictable than AO. What you’ll get in AO is something that the modern games haven’t been able to capture, and that’s a sense of adventure, the opportunity to open your mind to something challenging and different, and a sense of community that’s unparalleled in modern games.

AO takes place on the world of Rubi-Ka, where a battle rages between the rebel clans and the evil Omni-Tek corporation. In AO, you’re stepping almost 30,000 years into the future to an age where common surgical implants and microscopic nanobots can relieve most forms of human suffering or transform any normal being into a weapon of destructive force. You’ll fight all manner of foes, including not just PvP with warring factions, but cyborgs, modified humans, robots, aliens, strange creatures of various shapes and forms, and even perhaps one day when you reach endgame you’ll face the horrors of The Beast or Lord of The Void.

While home to horrible enemies, Rubi-Ka is also home to some of the most endearing wildlife that many players have become so enamored with that they carry dolls in their likeness, or even cast a nano-program that will temporarily turn themselves (or friends) into that same little creature. I speak of Anarchy Online’s beloved leets. They’re odd little rodents that seem to defy the laws of physics with their giant heads and two tiny, bird-like legs, with no clearly discernible center of gravity.

AO has an extremely high learning curve, with the only hand-holding you receive being what you ask for from other players, who are usually willing to offer tips and help. While character creation is pretty basic compared to most modern games, the way you can customize your character’s play style as you progress is so detailed, it’s unmatched by any other game. You can create the strongest, most indestructible character, the weakest, most useless character, or anything in between by simply spending your Improvement Points on the right or wrong things. Guides are a player’s best friend, and with an 11-year-old game, there are plenty available for those who are new to the game.

There isn’t a linear questing system as with most modern MMO’s as we’re now used to. You can take “oldskool” Rubi-Ka solo or team missions from a mission terminal, hunt wildlife solo or with a team, complete daily missions for bonus experience, join an organization for extra help, or pay the subscription for the expansion areas to access places you can level more quickly and see more of the game. There are a million options for PvE, and you can also PvP with many different options for dueling, fighting political tower wars, or simply killing the opposition in your chosen playfield.

If you truly don’t have any interest in any of that and are more of a creative, free spirit, roleplaying is also alive and well in AO. With a game whose backstory was written by acclaimed author Ragnar Tørnquist, the world has a rich history and is writing more of it every day.

I’d like to also talk for a moment about what you may think my view is the most biased about – the community. I’ve played a lot of games, but I don’t have friends in other games like I do in AO. I think part of the reason for this is that it’s a more difficult game that’s been around for a long time, and the average age of players is older than that of more modern MMO’s. Age in this case, seems to equal maturity, for the most part. As part of the game’s radio station, I can tell you we have parties every day of the week normally and have a great crowd at most of them. We look forward to logging in and hanging out with our friends, and make new ones all the time. We just had our first fan convention for AO this past summer. AO Con 2012 [ http://ao-con.com] was predicted to only draw maybe 20 people, but instead we squashed the skeptics’ numbers by drawing a crowd of 51 people to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a weekend of partying with our AO friends, live DJ’s, a nerf gun battle, a presentation from Funcom on what they’re working on right now and tons of other fun activities. If that doesn’t speak for the dedication and closeness of the community in the game, then there’s no convincing you.

But let’s take an honest moment to look at the most obvious disadvantage to AO – the outdated graphics. The game hasn’t had a full graphics engine update, ever. Funcom is working on it as we speak and has been for a long time, and many players have grown tired of waiting for the new graphics engine and left. But if you look at the bigger picture, that AO is an incredibly fun and challenging game with so many different opportunities for PvE, PvP, roleplaying and socializing, and the beautiful vistas in Elysium in the Shadowlands and the amazing Rubi-Ka sunrise, it’s well worth looking past some polygonal edges and outdated textures.

To say that Anarchy Online is the best game ever made is totally true, in my opinion. Does it need some polishing to compete with more modern games? Sure. But is it still worth trying out for free and taking a chance at finding out for yourself what a diamond in the rough this game is? Absolutely. See you on Rubi-Ka, friends.

The True Spirit of Video Games

This story was submitted to me by a community member named Brandon. I couldn’t even bring myself to proofread it, and thought I would publish to my blog as-is. I did not want to take away from his story in any way, so I left it just the way it was sent to me. Truly the most amazing story of how video games can affect people’s lives for the better.

Anyone who calls themselves a gamer should be required to read this story.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. :)

“This is the reason why I end every statement with the words: Brandon and babie3 slimmy (aka: PlayStation 3 Slim) and co

Why do I call the PlayStation 3 Slim the babie3 slimmy (aka: PlayStation 3 Slim) and co
Difficult question to answer, so I’ll try my best! I don’t know if I’ll ever meet the right person, settle down, have children, grow old and die a happy person! I know that may never happen with what I have – my disability has certain barriers that I may never over come and if I do it won’t happen in this lifetime, due to peoples perceptions on what a disability is and how they think it affects the person that has had a life changing experience of being disabled. Whilst some think they know – they actual don’t KNOW and may never know until it affects them!

If given the chance and if you see how PlayStation affects myself, the history of the PlayStation I have experienced! What it has taught me about myself! The experience I have been apart of that I have seen how positive the brand of the PlayStation has brought into my life and the uplift that was witnessed because of the PlayStation! Why do I end the messages with what you see? It’s a true story but a long story of what happened when I was studying at College!

Whilst I was studying at college. I knew a friend of mine who was sobbing! I asked a member of staff at the cafeteria to bring over 2 cups of coffee. I sat beside him and asked him if I could be of any assistance? He went on to explain to me, his daughter whose name was Aimee, was terminally ill with Cancer and had a disability, she had appeared to close herself off from the world, not communicating with them because she knew she couldn’t do anything about changing her circumstances which was beyond her control and her parents couldn’t do anything to change that situation. Because of his state of mind I had accompanied him back to the house and notice a Harry Potter door of their daughter’s room at the top of the landing – what I saw I’ll never forget – when I opened the door, the whole room was of Harry Potter – I saw the little girl in the corner looking out the window. All of a sudden I had a flashback and quickly looked around the room and ran back downstairs to ask her father if he could take me back into town as quickly as possible before the stores had closed for the day!

When we got to GAME I had asked the store assistant for a babie2 (aka: PlayStation 2)? Her father had asked you already have a PlayStation 2 why would you want another one? Moments later the store assistant had asked, “Any Games with that?”

I said, “Please could you locate ALL the games that EA (Electronic Arts) had made and released related to “HARRY POTTER!” I had asked the store assistant to place each game individually and in a transparent bag as I had a plan that May or may not work, but I had to give it a try! Her father immediately smiled because he then knew why I had dragged him into town.

Upon arriving back to their house I had asked her mom if I could knock on their daughters room to set yup everything that was brought from the store – and once given permission by both parents I went about setting up the babie2 (aka: PlayStation 2)!

I had taken off my shoes knocked on the door and introduced myself and ask if I could borrow her TV. I went about setting up the console and placed the babie2 (aka: PlayStation 2) joy pad on my right side – at the corner of my eye I could see her mother and father watching as the door was slightly ajar, to what I was doing! I was sitting at the rear-end of her bed as my back wasn’t touching her Harry Potter bed, took out the transparent video games and held one of them up into the air and said “Should I play this, babie2 (aka: PlayStation 2)?, Nah wrong one!”. All of a sudden I felt the bed move, I wasn’t the one that was moving the bed! Got the first one out and said ” There you are, will play this yes babie2 (aka: PlayStation 2)!” The bed moved again! Placed the CD inside the console and started to look around for the joy pad, I couldn’t find it wasn’t where I left it! A scream was herd and again it wasn’t me! I looked at the console and thought where the joy pad is? Followed the cable from the console right to the handheld part of the joy pad itself! It was the young girl playing the console, playing Harry Potter! My job was done!

I cleared up the mess I had made and crawled out the room – where her father was shocked. His Wife was literally downside sobbing and I might add in shock by what they both witnessed!

I tapped her father on the shoulder and went downstairs. As I walked downstairs I could hear the young girl commenting on the spells that was used in the Movie! When her father came downstairs he had asked me why I had done what I did: I walked over to the door and pointed up to the direction of where we could hear screams of happiness and joy coming from they daughter’s bedroom and said:

“Do you hear that? That is the ‘True Spirit of Video Games!’, because that’s where dreams can come true!”

A few seconds later we heard a faint tapping at the door, I had opened the door and her mother had ran off again – I peered to see what see [her mother] had saw and it was the disabled girl with her arms stretch out as if to ask to be picked up? The daughters Father had picked his daughter up and you could tell by his body language he was SHAKING visibly shaking! His wife had come back into the kitchen and their daughter had jested to her father to be passed on to her mother, and her mother was shaking alot more!

What happened next I’ll never forget – she had jested to both her mother and father as if to say something to me! I had moved a chair so she could rest on it and went down on my one knee and said to her:
“If you were 30 years older, I would escort you home and ask for your parents hand in marriage!” She had smiled what I said, as if she knew where I was coming from! I said to her, “You are the most bravest lady I have ever met and will never ever be forgotten, not in my lifetime! Go back upstairs fellow gamer and let me know how the game ends!” We hugged and as we hugged it was as if I could feel her energy ebbing away. The one thing I’ll always remember was the hug which I’ll never forget! As that was the last time I saw her!

The following day I met her father at the gates of the college and he brought me a coffee and had said that for the first time in a long time they had their daughter back and it was a joy to know that a video game can do that! He thanked me and I said “No, no, no, not me was the babie2 (aka: PlayStation 2) and co that deserves all the credit! I had asked him when your daughter passes away in her sleep can you let me know so I can pay me respects? We exchanged numbers and went our separate ways !

A few weeks later I got a text message saying she’d past way in her sleep – I went to the church service and walked to her coffin, draped in Harry Potter linen. There daughter was now at peace and I noticed alongside her was the game that she played and beside that there was a plaque which stated “All we have is our dreams for the True Spirit of Video Games!” I looked directly at the parents and was puzzled by what they had done!
At the wake I walked over to her father we hugged and I had to ask: At the church service I saw what I’ll never forget, why did you fo what you did? He pointed in a direction that I looked at and his wife had opened a door and pointed up towards the roof, I heard this coming from the daughters’ parent:

“Do you hear that? That is the True Spirit of Video Games!”

I looked back towards the daughters’ father and thanked him for what he had done we hugged and as we hugged I said to “I’ll never forget her – NEVER!” Her mother had approached us and I had thanked her also and hugged and said the same thing as I said to her husband! And left them to enjoy the rest of their memories that had of their daughter.

When I got back to my flat I looked at my babie2 (aka: PlayStation 2) I thought to myself that was an experience we (I and the PlayStation brand) will never forget and as a continuing tribute to all those that have a disability or face hardship as that young lady had faced – to honor them, to honor her, and many individuals who goes beyond the call of duty to aid others before themselves I will forever , and for the rest of my life always end with what you and others read – that is Brandon and babie3 slimmy (aka: PlayStation 3 Slim) and co

Now all that reads my posts knows why I sign off by saying what I say with this term Brandon and babie3 slmmy (aka: PlayStation 3 Slim) and co”