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Call of Duty Black Ops Multiplayer: Did it Deliver the Goods?

Has the multiplayer, which has become the foundation of the Call of Duty franchise, in Black Ops lived up to the much anticipated hype or have we expected to much?

If you’re reading this then I probably don’t have to go into some deep analysis of playing on-line in Call of Duty. It can be hours of bliss filled gaming mixed with an equal amount of time wanting to throw your controller through the T.V. But has Black Ops captured this roller coaster ride of emotions that we are used to feeling? Let’s take a look at the good and the ugly to discover the truth.


  1. Many of the things that made us rage with Modern Warfare 2 have been fixed. The dreaded One Man Army/Danger Close grenade launcher combo is gone. MW2 became less of a FPS and more of playing dodge-ball where you had to dodge the ball by 100 feet to not get tagged. It was frustrating and game-breaking at times. Commando has went bye-bye as well. Gone are the days of watching as a victim waves his magical knifewand and teleports through your barrage of bullets only to shank you in the moneymaker. Killstreaks no longer add to the next killstreak making the game less about them and more about good old fashioned gun slinging.
  2. The leveling up system has improved. Leveling up works on a system in which you must earn COD points that you use to purchase upgrades. This is great because if you are not a sniper you don’t need to waste your time getting the gear to do it successfully. You can concentrate on buying the perks, weapons, attachments, etc that fit your playstyle. And by accepting contracts to complete while you are playing your preferred game mode you are adding a variety to the game that keeps it from become same old same old.
  3. Stopping power has been removed. I actually thought this would annoy me but it has had the opposite effect. Guns still do the job quick enough but now I’m not handcuffed into that perk and can enjoy the others that are offered. In MW2 you almost had to use it because 90% of people did and they would hand you your breakfast.
  4. Combat Training. A mode that lets you experience the multiplayer aspect of the game while playing against computer controlled bots. This mode gives you a chance to practice with some new items, learn the maps, and whatever else you would like before entering the competitive arena of human players. It also gives your wife or little brother a place to play so they don’t obliterate your hard earned KDR. All and all it’s very fun and I was surprised at how well the A.I. moved throughout the game. If you didn’t know better you would think you were actually playing real opponents.
  5. Theater Mode. I don’t get into using this much but I can see where many wannabe elite COD YouTubers can find this useful. It’s a mode where your past games are saved and you can go through and re-watch them or upload them to become the next YouTube sensation.



  1. Getting into the game with a party of friends can become time consuming and can flat out make you pop in something else. The most frustrating part is a lot of times you will finally get into a match only to see you’ve lost a few of your friends on the way. This leads to backing out, picking them up again, and once again awaiting to hit the lottery and finding a game.
  2. Hit detection seems a bit off. Now this may do with lag issues but it’s not something I’ve encountered in past games. I’ve got hit markers on people that were not in the same zip code of my crosshairs. In turn I’ve been on the receiving end of the same scenario quite often.
  3. The sounds on this game are a step back. Footsteps, when you actually can hear them, sound like someone stepping on a wet sponge. The guns and killstreak choppers just don’t have that intense impact sound we’ve become accustomed to hearing.
  4. The nerfing of all things that go boom. One of MW2’s biggest flaws was the power of explosives. Its seems as Black Ops has over compensated trying to relieve us of this by greatly reducing the impact of explosives. I think they did a good job of limiting your access to explosives on one given life and the nerf on damage is a fine idea, but it needs to be somewhere in the middle of what is was and what it is now.

So a week after the release what is the verdict? Well there’s enough added material to make the game feel fresh and fun while abiding by the proven successful formula that is the core of the Call of Duty multiplayer experience. The cons are nothing so game-breaking that would make the game unworthy of enjoying. The party system is something that definitely needs addressed in a patch but with Treyarch’s track record I’m not worried about them correcting this problem. Bottom line however is that the multiplayer proves to be a worthwhile experience.

The 5 Most Exciting Things About Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops, is Treyarch’s first Call of Duty title since Call of Duty: World at War. The developer has spent a long time on Black Ops, and the multiplayer reveal showed that Black Ops will be a very fun and suspenseful game. According to, Black Ops has already sold more pre-orders than Modern Warfare 2 did last year and is expected to sell 12 million copies this holiday season. There are 5 main features from the September 1st reveal that stuck out as original and very exciting.

  1. COD Points

COD Points, or more conveniently, CP, are Treyarch’s brand new currency for Call of Duty multiplayer, says Kotaku. CP can earned by simply playing the game’s multiplayer, but are also earned by completing Contracts. Contracts are challenges that are must be completed within a certain amount of game-time. These challenges can be rewarded for getting kills or killstreaks, using team work, or by completing random and unique tasks. The third way of earning CP is through Wager Matches.

Instead of getting new weapons by ranking up, you now use CP to buy items usually acquired by ranking up. This includes guns, attachments, killstreaks, and facepaints.

  1. Wager Matches

In Wager Matches, players must bet their CP on their placing in the top 3 of the Wager Match game mode. The first is “One in the Chamber”. In this mode, each player starts with a pistol with only one bullet. If a player shoots another player, he will receive another bullet. If he misses, he is left with only a knife.

In “Gun Game”, each player starts with the same gun, a pistol. When a player gets a kill, he advances to the next level’s gun. The first player to level 20 wins.

In the next game mode, “Sharpshooter”, all players start with the same randomly selected gun. The players keep the gun for a random amount of time, then switch to the next random gun. Each kill results in a perk and later a score multiplier.

Finally, we have “Sticks and Stones”. Everyone spawns with an interesting combination of weapons- a crossbow, ballistic knife, and a tomahawk. The tomohawk has an interesting twist- if you are hit by it you are instantly bankrupt.

  1. Character Customization

Since the announcement of Black Ops, we’ve known Treyarch is completely redesigning the “Create-a-Class” mode with “Create-a-Class 2.0” Players can use this new function to control how their players appear, a first for Call of Duty. This includes the new facepaints, camos, and the many ways of customizing the reticle on your gun. This means that the red dot on your gun can be customized to any one of many shapes and colors, all of which can be found here.

  1. Killstreaks

Black Ops’ killstreaks will be similar to those of Modern Warfare 2. However, Treyarch has made a few changes. This includes the removal of a game ending killstreak (modern Warfare 2’s Tactical Nuke). They have also decided to require you to get all your kills for killstreaks yourself, without the help of other killstreaks. All killstreaks and their descriptions can be found here.

Treyarch’s last CoD title was fun and brought many new ideas to the Call of Duty series, and Black Ops is already looking like it will be much better.

Top 10 Business and Home Office Software Programs

Software allows people to perform tasks that they used to have to pay a fortune for someone else do. With the selection of these ten pieces of software, any home or business can practically do anything, and stay connected in the process. The best part is that most of them are free or low-cost.

1.) Open Office:

The free version of Microsoft products. It comes with all the standard programs, and most products can be saved as a PDF for easy transfer. It also will open and save Microsoft products.

2.) Gimp:

A photo program which is free. Not as many bells and whistles as Photoshop, but for the average business or owner, it can work well. It does things that paint programs that come on computers cannot do.

3.) Audacity:

Recording program. It is still considered the standard for podcasters, but can also be used to record interviews, thoughts, music, speeches, or whatever a person would like to have as a keepsake. It is exportable, so can go on any portable device.

4.) 7-Zip File Manager:

If you do any downloading online, many find it easier to save the files as “zip” or “rar” files. This is the program to open them.

5.) Skype:

If you want to talk to someone in another state or country without incurring costs, then this is the option for you. You can talk by video or audio, and with some attachments, you can even record the calls. If the person you want to talk to only has a landline or mobile phone, there are paid options available.

6.) Tweetdeck/Seesmic:

Twitter can be a whole lot of chatter, and sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with them all. Tweetdeck or Seesmic are the tools that helps bring about a little organization. You can make groups, do keyword searches, or follow hashtag conversations in one window.

7.) Any Video Converter:

Downloading media from online can be daunting with all the different types of media. This conversion tool allows you to convert most items to your preferred type, strip the audio off a video or convert for use on an mp3 player.

8.) Windows Movie Maker/Apple iMovie:

With the rise of video use, a person may want to do some light editing of some of their moments before uploading them to YouTube. These are beginner level tools, but you can do narration, captions, titles, and transitions.

9.) ITunes:

This is software by Apple which allows people to download TV shows, podcasts, and music. A person does not need to have an Apple product to use it.

10.) Windows DVD Maker:

A computer can be filled up with videos and pictures. One way to alleviate this problem is too put them on DVD. Another use for the DVD maker is making business video brochures.

Line 6 DL4 Delay Module Guitar Pedal

Although this piece of equipment may look like some sort of mysterious spacial debris, the only thing actually spacey about it is its echo. Having four different buttons and six separate dials, the possibility for variation with this device is absolutely endless. There are 16 different vintage delays and echo effects that are built in to the piece. The best part is, every one of them can be manipulated in their way to the user’s liking. Perhaps the most convenient feature this stomp box manifests is its tap-tempo button. After turning on the delay of choice, the user can simply tap Button D three or more times to make the echo timing exactly the way desired. This proves to be not only unique but amazingly helpful to performers in a live setting.

The built-memory of this stomp box is premium. Upon finding a setting of choice, the exact specifications can be stored in one of four sections, A, B, C or D (which are the four silver buttons on it’s face). This feature also boasts ease yet again. While a guitarist is playing, simply tapping one of the four buttons will immediately initiate the saved setting. The four can be interchanged at any time. On most delay pedals to date, changing of setting our sound requires the player to kneel down and dial by hand. The DL4 insists on making the process simple and easy for its master by requiring foot press only.

Although only capable by the memory aforementioned, the DL4’s loop possibilities are the most amazing of all its characteristics and deserves to be solely discussed. After choosing the loop setting, the instrumentalist can engage the effect by pushing Button A. The memory will record a perfect emulation of what was played for up to 14 seconds. By pressing Button B, the recording stops and the loop is stored. At this point, the game gets intense. With your previously made loop, a guitarist can add any number of layers atop the initial. Depending on which button chosen, the loop can be placed in continuous playback, or single playback. By single tapping Button D, the loop can either be slowed to half time or sped to double time, whichever preferred. In addition to this, by quickly double tapping the same button, the loop will continually playback in reverse. This allows for the creation of all kinds of unique noises and sounds.

With so many different capabilities, its no question that this is one of the most unique guitar effects on the market. For what would easily cost $1000 in separate pedals, Line 6 offers this all-in-one super pedal for just around $250. Any musician will quickly recognize the diversity of this machine. Guitarists everywhere will lust after the atmosphere that this simple gadget can accommodate.