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Call of Duty has been a prominent first-person shooter throughout the years. The gripping action and heart-racing missions have proven to be addictive amongst players. Now with Modern Warfare 2, all the factors have been improved and will surely make fans and gamers begging for more in the end.
Modern Warfare 2 continues the legacy of the Call of Duty saga but this version is the least traditional among the other Call of Duty games. The main game package is divided into three pillars of gameplay. Fans who like single-player games will still have their main campaign, gamers who like to cooperate with other players either through a local or online connection will have the new Special Operations mode, and last is the multiplayer which got even better. Each mode is 100 % standalone that it does not have any connection with the other modes, so you actually get to have three different experiences in one game.
Gamers should definitely try the single-player campaign mode first, which is absolutely back and more intense than past campaign modes. Fans will truly appreciate the improvement in the mode as they are thrown into the bustling streets of Rio de Janeiro, the very cold mountains of Kazakhstan, the very dusty roads of Afghanistan and a whole lot more destinations. Modern Warfare also offers stunning visuals that are steps over Call of Duty 4 and World at War. There is an emphasis on intricate terrains in the environment, interesting weather effects, and a whole lot that adds improvement to the chaos and action of the entire game. A great audio also accompanies the stunning visuals with effects from returning weapons and a very captivating score by Hans Zimmer that will truly complement some game scenes. With the dazzling visuals and a captivating audio, you would feel like you are watching an action film when playing the game.
The campaign mode has its issues, though. For newbies, it’s quite short. But despite its shortness, Modern Warfare 2 is definitely more chaotic; brought by better visual effects, upgraded production values, and very tough scenario designs. Realism is even more exemplified in Modern Warfare 2 with better visuals, which is more pronounced when it comes to bloody scenes. There surely were effects in previous versions that showed blood with the screen getting red. But this time, blood splatter can truly be noticed as more real-looking on your screen throughout the game. Though others find this as a distraction, it’s still quite amazingly awesome.
Modern Warfare 2 is also the debut of the Special Operations or Spec Ops mode. This mode is actually an arcade-inspired challenge mode. The mode can be played with a single player for the most part, but is actually intended to be around two people’s team play. The Spec Ops mode is divided into 5 tiers that have missions where there are three possible stars to gain based on the level of difficulty in each of the 23 missions in the game. Fans and gamers will truly be surprised with this mode because of its entertainment value and is actually longer than the single player campaign mode.
The multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2 got even better, as well. Being the front bearer in the Call of Duty saga, Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer visuals and effects indeed got a good boost. You are guaranteed to be in for an engaging experience with the multiplayer mode enhancements.
Overall, Modern Warfare 2 really proves to be one of the best first-person shooter games out in the market. But there’s a catch for those who prefer to play the single-player campaign mode. It is really short and it only forms part of the entire Modern Warfare experience. If you opt to immerse on all three modes, then you will definitely have one hell of an experience and action with Modern Warfare 2.
Wii Sports is undoubtedly the best seller in today's video gaming, the Wii Fit bundle that comes with the innovative Balance Board closely follows and just slightly behind. Now here's good news. Wii Fit Plus now takes the place of the original Wii Fit, so aptly named, because of the many enhancements that come along with it, including additional mini games and several new exercises with the much needed extra layers of tips for calorie burning.
Nintendo simply recycled the core Wii Fit package for its latest version, which is not bad really; most of these features, the menus, interface system, virtual trainers. Balance games and strength training exercises, are well-executed and definitely worth trying out. And here's one delightful thing, you can even bring in you previous workout data from its predecessor so you can just continue from where you left off. What's more, if you haven't unlocked any of the advanced routines before because you weren't really committed, you don't need to sweat it out as they are now automatically opened for you in Plus. All other added features can also be accessed right away.
Speaking of added features, Plus does boast several worthy ones. For starters, three new yoga and three strengthening exercises have been added. Also noted is how Nintendo has emphasized putting on more balance games in Plus, a total of 15 well-planned extra modes that are really a lot of fun! The games are great but are too easy and as far as exercises go, you can't expect to sweat and shed some pounds if you just play them and avoid strength training and yoga.
The one remarkable enhancement that is likely to become a favorite of many is the calorie counter. Get this, every activity in the game has a metabolic equivalent of task, also called METs, number. Most of the mini games are assigned MET ratings of 2, which is about the same as the most leisurely walk you've ever embarked on, but the more rigorous exercises, such as push-ups, have higher rates. Here's how the calorie counter works, just multiply your weight by the MET ratings you get for each exercise you perform and you'll get the amount of calories you burned.
This can either be encouraging or discouraging; encouraging, because you can envision a scientific demonstration of your workouts, and discouraging because the outcome don't really register double or triple digit calorie numbers. Understandably, since the Wii Fit Plus workouts are relatively simple and easy, it will take you sometime to burn those calories.
Don't get disappointed now but Nintendo has decided to warn customers not to make the calorie counter as the be-all and end-all indicator of calorie burning; rather, that you are well advised to still rely on BMI or body mass index scale as your fundamental gauge of success or failure with regards to burning calories. In a sense, this can make you have second thoughts as to the accuracy of the results when you use Wii Fit Plus.
Another thing that you're going to miss with the Plus is the inclusion of any online functionality. It doesn't even have leader board features. Wii Fit Plus would have benefited from similar online functionality such as that offered by Nike Plus, which lets users track how far they've run and compare the results of their efforts with family and friends online. It is truly a major lapse on Nintendo's part not to include this feature, and offer instead a fast and easy local multiplayer mode where players take turns, which doesn't even come close to motivational.
One thing that you have to be thankful about is the measures taken to address one of the biggest issues of the original Wii Fit, which was the inability ot create a customized workout program for individual preference and needs. This time, you can conveniently go to My Wii Fit Plus Routine section and choose your own set of exercises that are designed and aimed at trimming down specific body areas. This you can do either by using the presets that Nintendo has or creating your own routines from scratch.
To sum it up, Wii Fit Plus is a fantastic way to burn some calories while simultaneously having fun. There are issues that could have made the Plus even stronger, had Nintendo given the appropriate attention to resolve it and did not ignore those few shortcomings. Still Plus is a lot less expensive that paying for a gym membership. With proper diet and by using it right, you can actually lose weight and tone your muscles, while having a fabulous time.
Sony Playstation continues to head on the right track in reforming their successful PS3 video games into PSP formats. From their popular Resistance series, here comes Resistance: Retribution, which continues the story of James Grayson, the British soldier on a fight against the Chimera force, aliens trying to invade the Earth.
In Resistance: Retribution, developer Bend decided to do some tweaking to the game for improvement and adjustment purposes especially to more restricted specifications PSP could offer. First off, instead of the first person point-of-view, they switched to a third-person over the shoulder perspective. It does not give you the same Resistance experience but is effective for the PSP version, which also becomes a solution on the tight controls it has been developing over the years.
Because it is smaller, the PSP handheld version has several limitations and adjustments have to be made. The left stick is used for movements; while aiming is done through the four face buttons found on the other side. This is actually a good thing because of the auto aiming and target lock-on features that you have to rely on. If your weapon is at the right direction, the game itself will guarantee that you hit the opponents. You can opt for free-aim by tapping the d-pad; but this is not recommended because it is so slow.
This game also has new enemies like the Boiler, a skinny creature with a swollen head that blasts when it is near you. The game does have exploding enemies but these Boilers are more irksome because you spend a lot of bullets to defeat them; unless you shoot them on their heads, then you save a lot of ammunition. The bad news is this is near impossible with the auto-aim on, so you just have to do it manually. Enemies that blow up charges at you anytime out of nowhere, is another source of exasperation, especially if you are caught off-guard. Good thing there is a polished cover system that automatically glues you into place when you are in close proximity to a wall, a doorjamb or a box, which saves you the trouble of a blind fire or the complicated motions of holding a direction, leaning over and firing.
Resistance Retribution may not be a purely original game with all those gameplays but they are the best on PSP pure shooting games with their polished controls and consistent action. They have great graphic designs that could compete with other PSP games and even exceed in some areas. The game is very detailed when it comes to enemy graphics and location. If you’re looking for snags, it is most likely be about the quality of the audio.
Besides being able to enjoy a single-player campaign, one of the unique features of this new PSP version is the availability of a multiplayer mode. This is all possible through a local wireless connection or play online with PSP’s Infrastructure mode. Eight players can tough it out with each other in teams or in everyone versus everyone games or the most popular of all, the Assimilation type.
If you loved the Syphon Filter games, this is definitely much better. Although they have a lot more in common, the adjustments in the new Retribution has made the game a lot easier and faster to play.
LEGO Batman is the fifth go of Traveller's Tales at the LEGO theme but still only minimal change has happened during this time. However, even if that is the situation, gamers and fans of the dark-caped crusader, are sure to find the game amusing. The main reason here is that the gameplay used is a proven success. It is enjoyable and easy to understand. Yet all the problems in the past concerning the LEGO games, such as nonsense puzzles and the AI problem are still present. At this stage you would have expected Traveller's Tales to nearly perfect the game, but that is not so.
LEGO Batman is a unique game because it did not take its story from any of the Batman movies or from the comics. The plot within the game is kind of original; thus, it gives the creators a wide horizon, since there is no pressure to follow up with a well known story. The Batman here is not even connected with the Batman we know. It is exactly like a Batman in the toy shelf where you can create anything you desire with it.
The main idea of the plot is basically a story of Batman chasing and capturing villains that escaped from the Arkham Asylum. When you play LEGO Batman, the main goal is basically to destroy enemies and smash objects. The story isn't all that important.
The charm of LEGO is still present in the game and as a whole, it is still very funny. You have the same stoic Batman here, Robin is still same old goofy self, and the villains have remained amazingly crazy. The characters are really good LEGO counterparts of the cartoon Batman. However, aside from the characters, the background is not something to get crazy about. It would have been better to see a more creative Gotham City.
To the game's credit, LEGO Batman has everything in the mix. There are a multitude of characters spread out in six acts. In the first half you can use Batman and Robin. There are also power suits you can use. Robin can use the magnetic suit that allows him to walk through metal walls. And Batman has the demolition suit so he can turn stuff into smithereens in an instant (this fits Batman, he always wants everybody's attention, right?).
When you reach act three to six, you may start using the villains. In this plot, you can have a taste of how the sinister villains set up their master plan. This, however, is before the ultimate meeting between them and the bat. Each villain has their own unique powers. Poison Ivy uses her kiss to poison another. The joker gives joybuzzers to anyone he touches. Mr. Freeze places anyone in the cold storage. The Riddler controls the minds of other villains to make them his minions. You know the rest. But the main Batman Nemesis here is Killer Moth. Oh yes, the all popular Killer Moth that everybody remembers (That was an attempt at sarcasm, by the way. No one really knows who Killer Moth is or was.)
And on top of the story, there are dozens of unlockable characters that can be used when replaying levels. Among these characters are Night Wing, Batgirl, Hush, Man-Bat and others; which can be unlocked with each LEGO bit collected in the game (Cool, huh!)
There are many good things going for this game. The huge downside is that the problem from the previous LEGO games was never addressed. The AI presents problems; the jumps are difficult to time and stuff like that. But if you are looking for a good laugh with a buddy while appreciating the comical Batman and friends the game has created, then by all means, go ahead and purchase the game!
EA has taken over the Wii creation of the system and the golfing experience of the Game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10. The feedback on the game is great and the experience of golfing is terrific. The way the gameplay is created has really answered the needs of gamers. The game just allows you to get immersed in it. It is the best entertainment in golf that money can buy. Moreover, PGA Tour 10 also features a wide selection of new courses with a realistic weather effect. The star of the game is the long awaited MotionPlus swing controls. This offers a very realistic recreation of real golfing. If you are still deciding whether or not to buy the MotionPlus, here’s a tip: YES! Buy one already. It is really THAT good.
The gameplay is really one fantastic feature. The menus in the game are slick. The style is very good and the pointer controls are well done. However, the game is still not a major revolution. The fundamentals of the previous edition are still intact; EA has just added and then subtracted some features to improve the game. And there are several game type modes, but the biggest part of the single player game is on the “My Career” mode. It is specially detailed that you are able to create a golf player basically from scratch. You may also customize as much as you want in the game. And when your player is ready you can take him to several tours like the PGA tour, the FedEx Cup, and Tournament Challenge. This type of career mode, I would definitely recommend to golf fans because the tournament is filled with seasoned PGA real life players as your competitors.
The game not only has the career mode, but it also features more than ten mini-games. These games range from cart competition to target practice and then to ring scores. Well, this mode actually featured in the previous edition; which up to four players - and the fun just keeps getting better.
Then there’s the online mode. The features in the last edition are still there, but some new fantastic live tournaments have been added. In this edition, you may join a tournament on a daily or weekly basis. You can even play with the pros in the ranked tournaments. And when you add this to the real-time weather feature of the game - the weather forecast - you’ll encounter unpredictable environments which just make the game a bit more challenging.
The Graphics of the game is superb when it comes to fluidity and the course looks realistic enough. However, the textures in the game can do with some improvements. The sound on the other hand is just average. The sound on the menus is decent but is not a stand out. And the sound effects in the gameplay are not that good either.
Despite the minimal drawbacks, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for Wii can still be considered one of the best. It’s filled with content and the game is made excellent with the addition of the MotionPlus, along with the great Disc Golf expansion and the online mode that add some other dimension to the game. Don’t be surprised if this game hits the top of the charts.
Sony Computer has never failed to give us great gaming entertainment and now they give us Invizimals which brings fighting into an augmented reality by using your own Play Station Portable, along with a mini camera that recognizes a special card that serves as a trapping device for your little creatures.
Invizimals is very similar to the Pokemon series where you catch creatures for your collection; you train them and use them for fights. Through the mini camera, you look for these creatures and trap them with the special card. Fighting comes in the battle mode where you can try your skills against computer generated creatures or fight with your friends’ collection sitting next to you or online.
The game has charming visuals with tutorial videos but that doesn’t make the game easy. In fact, it is more complicated than you think because of the need to focus your camera during gameplay, which makes capturing and fighting harder. To be able to capture creatures, you have to move your camera around to stay behind a creature’s back and capture them. In order for your creature to be within view, your camera must have a clear vantage point of the special trapping card each time. Sometimes, while you are trying to go after your creature, you lose sight of this card; thus, the creature disappears.
As for fights, they use a real-time mechanic system instead of the turn-based one that was traditionally employed. They also make use of three attack moves, a block and a stamina gauge that should be monitored during game time. Invizimals also feature mini games cropping-up; but you don’t have to worry since they are really easy to accomplish.
This is indeed a breakthrough in video gaming because of the incorporation of the real world when capturing your own creatures and going on to an adventure with the use of the mini camera. Another great thing about this game is its slowly-voiced tutorials where instructions are given by an adoring cast of characters with videos to help you understand the game better.
Although the technology behind Invizimals fall short of expectation; and can’t quite deliver on its aspiration, it functions adequately enough to prevent it from failing dismally. There’s an obvious lack of real profundity in the critter combat and the mission structures are too restricted for sufficient satisfaction. There’s a real tendency for this game to become a passing fancy rather than a mainstay despite its undisputedly charming concept and implementation; which the younger players may find alluring for a while.
It can be treated as some kind of a cool novel creature-collection gimmick but the reality is it really won’t take long before the novelty wears off. Still, the chance to play in the image of your room and the minimal thrill of discovering the creatures hiding around is too good to pass and hold some level of challenge, if only momentarily.
At one point in our lives, we tend to drool over that new flat screen showcased in front of the appliance store. You tend to think of opportunity costs and the praises and benefits you get when that new flat screen rests in your living room. That certain urge to have something expensive to be proud of is being fortified in Gearbox’s Borderlands; a first-person shooter game that feeds the urges of the thief, hero, and adventurer hiding in all of us.
For those who aren’t familiar, this is similar to Blizzard’s Diablo, which is a loot game. As the game begins, you are thrown out into the open world with a number of quests and legions of villains that will always do whatever it takes to prevent their leaders from being killed; you have to eliminate a big number of their compatriots, expose drain valves within their hideouts, snatch important objects and files, or obtain a big number of shiny objects. This game is not a choice and consequence game that is filled with issues on morality and a number of labyrinthine quests. What drives you here is the loot.
You’ll start your adventure with weapons that are old and rusty that gives you the vibe of using weapons buried under and resurrected from the ground. As you go through the game, however, you’d be able to find and acquire shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, handguns, and submachine guns that have elemental effects like lightning and fire. These new weapons can annihilate enemies with caustic effects or strike an impact that blows the target into a bloody mess. In addition, as you become familiar with your weapon, you’ll be more adept using it. This helps improve your character into becoming a fearless fighter who can shoot, break, and burn all hindrances along the way.
Going through the game, you will rise up to higher levels. You can usually barter weapons so there’s not a thing to worry because you will eventually have only the best weapons. Every time an enemy explodes into very colorful loot, you feel this anticipation of gaining new and interesting weapons. There’s also an array of different character class skill trees; though, there are some that are packed with passive abilities. In each class, there is one primary skill that you can use almost throughout the game. With the Hunter class you can toss out a bird to assault from afar, the Berserker class moves forward and knocks foes with his very strong fists, the Siren class can enter into a temporary invisible state, and the Soldier class can throw down a sentry turret to give aid in a fight.
Gearbox’s Borderlands is definitely cunning and a very satisfying hybrid for the gamers who know what to expect in games. The game has a very interesting user interface that develops the game’s complexities into something easy for everybody to have fun. There is a very clear-cut style and there are a number of character animations that keeps the action thrill-packed. There is also very strong voice acting and the game is equipped with a soundtrack that fortifies the sensations felt during the game. Indeed, this is one hell of a game if you’re the adventurous and action-seeking type of gamer.
Toy Story Mania is a game that you can definitely appreciate. The game is filled with really fun characters from PIXAR movies. The scenes from the game may very well look like they have been cut out from the movie. Thats how good the feeling is when you play the game. And the gameplay is made for playing by anyone, without the hassles of going through instructions and all those complicated stuff; you just go right ahead and start playing. But looking at the game real close may reveal what it really is. It is just another collection of mini games.
If you were privileged enough to have made a trip to either Disneyland or Disney World in the past, you may know the Toy Story Midway Mania! This is both a ride and shooting gallery where you and your companions sit down in a cart and go through a series of rooms, and there are huge screens for you to shoot on. You may compete against your friend with the scores you get. 3D glasses are also available there.
Well, in a nutshell, Toy Story Mania on Wii is the home version of the above mentioned ride. The game was developed with the intention of using it in Disney park attractions, to maximize the functionality and the interactivity of the Wii. The shooting games in the ride are synonymous to the mini-games which are found on the Wii game; with the addition of some other games and other Toy Story characters.
The idea of the game seems really good, but in reality, it is not. For one, the presentation of the game becomes a bore quickly. The loading scenes are typically found on one location, which is Andys room; or if there are other locations, its only limited to the common scene in the movie. Number two, most of the options in the game are not labeled, which results to confusion on the part of the player, especially kids. Then theres the Build-Your-Own line up of mini games option, which could have been a good concept; however, the grabbing claw graphics that makes up the theme in Andys room just hinders you from attaining what you want.
And then there is also a Story mode in the game -- which, by the way, does not have any story in it. It is a mere set up of a dozen mini games that you have to play in a row, without having the liberty to stop at the middle. The only break is the 5 second conversation between Buzz Lightyear and Woody.
The gameplay itself is good, as the shooting galleries have been well-transformed from the theme park to the game. The animation is dead-on. And the physics of the objects that are colliding with each other is also commendable. The conversion is really great, with the exception, of course, of the non-screen elements. You still do not get the feeling that you are actually in a Disney theme park with this game. Another disappointing thing that has to be mentioned is the bonus that the developers included in almost every mini game. The only thing you need to do is shake the Wii remote like a maraca and youll get extra points. Ho-hum. Its just boring and tiresome.
Still, its fair enough to say that Toy Story Mania is great as part of the souvenir you can bring home after trip to the Disney park. The game reminds the player of the fun memories during the vacation, when they use their Wii, if nothing else. But for actual gamers, the game is still just another collection of mini-games.
Lost Planet was very successful in the market. And now, the developers of the game have released Lost Planet 2. The momentum of the market should be in this game. The target market is Western gamers. And in this sequel, the Capcom has promised a multi player mode from the previous Lost Planet and the much anticipated four player cooperative mode during the whole campaign. To the gamers’ disappointment, however, Lost Planet 2 has failed in the online aspect of the game. The issues on the online mode in Lost Planet 1 are still present. Moreover, these are compounded by additional problems now.
Still, save for some aspects, the game is a very good one. The game experience here is really one of a kind; from the ice fields to the jungles and down to the cities and deserts, the world created is a sight to be watched. The limit in the kind of alien enemies is compensated by the variety of the factions that you have to overcome. Another plus is the music in the game, which is exceptional. The orchestration and the timing in the dramatic scenes in the game are superb. However, some of the levels do not have any accompaniment. This takes off some of the excitement, and would often lead to a silent hunting experience - literally!
The controls are basically the same as last time. The melee mode is still in the B button. And running is also in the B button. And if you want to use a data post or a vital suit, just press the B button. Easy, isn’t it? Graphics is good enough and animation is very well emphasized, which is sometimes a drawback as it sometimes get in the way of your concentration in the game. Another issue is the considerable wait if you are going to access the data post. Lost Planet 2 is full of complex activation sequences that you have to repeat the process every time you use it.
The game story is a bit incoherent, to put it delicately. It is set in six perspectives. There are no checkpoints in the missions, which mean you have to complete a chapter at once if you want to advance and save the game. If you die in the middle or towards the end of a chapter, you have to start at the beginning again. And because of this, the game shows you something different every time, which often lead to a disjointed feeling in the story of the game. You may even say that the game is a cliché when it comes to this aspect.
The multiplayer is also unchanged in the game. Using a giant robot suit to turn your friend into smithereens is still as cool as the last time. Even the controls are still the same. An electrical grenade that incapacitates the enemy is still as effective as ever to get the job done.
The game has many flaws as there are strengths. Hence, it is only an average game. All the issues presented and the cool features given, can help you gauge the playability of game but it’s all a matter of choice and you do have the final say on whether you like it or not.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Mac) Review – Present Day Conflict with a Grittier and More Realistic Plotline.
A marquee video game series sometimes has a good reason for becoming a best-seller; and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is one such game. The latest installment of the COD series has just done a complete break-away from its typical World War II-themed origin and has decidedly focused on modern-day conflict involving super powers (i.e. US, UK and Russian forces) in a story conveyed from the perspective of a US Marine and a British S.A.S. operative.
If your hardware is up to it, you’re definitely in for a totally awesome visual treat. Call of Duty 4 graphics is pure delight with its realistic lighting, incredible texture and fantastic modeling and the result is simply stunning and one of the most enthralling experiences on any first person shooter game up to this time.
But the credits surely can’t be monopolized by the outstanding graphics.
It is actually the overall combination of the whole products that makes the game astonishing. The superb sound and vocal work are so vividly realistic. The potent combination can be seen and heard, especially in the midst of a full-scale heavy combat where the player gets the feeling of a full blown chaos that create an almost real temporary disorientation with the sounds of explosion, falling debris and smoke. It’s all so mind boggling that the player actually needs to gather and sort out their thoughts to respond with a counter-attack. Sure, you may have seen that sort of effect on some games; but it has never been this good on the Mac platform.
The other edge Call of Duty 4 has is its multiplayer mode, which seems to have nothing negative to it. It’s simplicity to the core – you just sign in, create a character and voila! The whole gamut of a great first person shooter and splendid role playing experience is all in your hands where every assist, kill and completed mission rewards the player with experience points and a level up status. When a new level is reached players can start unlocking rewards for new weapons and other add-ons or perks. Solid networking is also a big plus as the game rarely lags and works well with its server browser.
Because there are no medical classes within Call of Duty 4, it brings about a gritty feeling to the game – nothing is polite; there’s no mercy and there are no second chances. When you get shot, for instance, there’s no one to save you and it’s only a matter of seconds before you die. As the game goes, it’s no quarter asked, no quarter given. The players have to be on their toes and be aware of what’s going on around them.
Despite its being superbly crafted, COD 4, like all other games, is not perfect. It has its own flaws to contend with. There are certain things that can do with some fixing. Characters sometimes get stuck on some scenery, although it’s quite rare. Also the single player mode of the game seems to be too short-lived and it’s over before you know it.
Be that as it may, the bottom line is it’s close to perfect and Call of Duty 4 really does an astounding job as far as single and multiplayer game plays are concerned. Something you don’t easily get in most video games.
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