Archive for December 29, 2012


Adele overtakes Oasis to become the fourth biggest selling album of all-time

Adele overtakes Oasis to become the fourth biggest selling album of all-time

According to the Official Charts Company’s sales data, Adele’s 21 has overtaken Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? to become the UK’s fourth biggest selling album of all-time.

2012 has been an amazing year for Adele: The last twelve months have seen the London born singer pen the theme song to the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, and her record-breaking second album, 21, eclipse the all-time sales of Michael Jackson’s iconic albums Thriller and Bad, and overtake sales of legendary records by Pink Floyd (The Dark Side Of The Moon) and Dire Straits (Brothers in Arms) in the UK.

Now, as the year draws to a close, Adele can add another achievement to her impressive musical CV – overtaking Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? to become the UK’s fourth biggest selling album of all-time.

According to the Official Charts Company’s latest sales data, Oasis’ 1995 second album has sold 4,555,000 copies to date, while Adele’s 21 has surged ahead with sales of over 4,562,000 copies. The news comes just over a year since 21 overtook Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black to become the UK’s biggest selling album of the 21st Century.

21, which was released in January 2011, has spent 101 weeks in the Official Albums Chart Top 75, including 95 weeks in the Top 40, 75 weeks in the Top 10 and 23 weeks at Number 1. It has sold 784,000 so far this year, making it the second biggest selling album of 2012 so far (behind Emeli Sande‘s Our Version Of Events).

The UK’s Official Top 5 Biggest Selling Albums Of All-Time are as follows:

1 GREATEST HITS QUEEN 1981 5,866,000
2 SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND THE BEATLES 1967 5,059,000
3 GOLD – GREATEST HITS ABBA 1992 5,046,000
4 21 ADELE 2011 4,562,000
5 WHAT’S THE STORY MORNING GLORY OASIS 1995 4,555,000

© 2012 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

 

–by dan lane for officialcharts.com

 

A good mobile game understands the power of impulse. It should be cheap enough to rack up impulse buys, like a candy bar or tabloid in a grocery store check-out line. It should also be quick and easy enough to pick up, plboyfrienday and then put away at a moment’s notice. Our list of the best mobile games of 2012 is full of games perfect for brief patches of free time, but with unlockable perks or deeper mechanics that will keep you engaged past those fleeting moments.

Our list was voted on by a number of regular freelance contributors to Paste’s games section and then tabulated and compiled by Paste’s games editor Garrett Martin (aka me). Ballots were cast by myself, Simon FerrariRyan KuoJ. P. GrantRichard ClarkStu HorvathMitch KrpataJoe BernardiDan CrabtreeLuke Larsen and Casey Malone. Here are the 20 best mobile games of 2012.

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20. Pocket Planes
Developer: Nimblebit
Platform: Android / iOS
Pocket Planes buzzes like a good pop song. The gameplay is repetitive, catchy and best in small doses. It’s pure and simple pop gaming—addicting, sweet and crunchy, but sure to leave you with a mouth full of cavities.—Luke Larsen

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19. Hero Academy
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Platform: iOS
Since the success of 2009’s Words with Friends, developers have been eagerly trying to find a way to implement its turn-based multiplayer format into other games and genres on mobile devices. Hero Academy is one of the first games to make that multiplayer format work in another genre—in this case, the strategy board game. Excellent use of multiplayer matchmaking aside, Hero Academy is a surprisingly deep tactical strategy game that forces the player to think, overthink and agonize over every move they take. That alone is the mark of a compelling strategy game.—Luke Larsen

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18. Uplink
Developer: Introversion Software
Platform: iPad
Imagine the ’90s cyber-crime movies Hackers or Sneakers in videogame form. That’s Uplink, a remastered version of the 2001 PC hacker sim. Few games effectively exploit the balance between power and vulnerability. Uplink does. Hacking a well-defended mainframe makes you feel like a superhero, but you never stop looking over your shoulder.—J. P. Grant

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17. Call of Cthulu: The Wasted Land
Developer: Red Wasp Design
Platform: Android / iOS
It’s fitting that the grim setting of World War I should figure prominently in a game about unimaginable horrors. Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is the latest videogame foray into H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Primarily a turn-based strategy game, The Wasted Land adapts some of the tabletop Call of Cthulhu RPG’s systems. In both its mechanics and its aesthetics, The Wasted Land demonstrates keen reverence for the source material. It’s a striking debut from a promising small studio.—J.P. Grant

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16. Angry Birds Star Wars
Developer: Rovio
Publisher:
Platform: Android / iOS
Angry Birds Star Wars takes the best of classic Angry Birds and Angry Birds Spaceand puts it in a setting that automatically conjures warm fuzzy feelings. It’s the level design here that makes this an undeniably well-refined product—it’s balanced, varied, and all-around delightful to play through. One star is easy enough to figure out for casual gamers, but achieving three stars still feels like a true accomplishment.Angry Birds Star Wars is the video game equivalent of going on vacation—even if for just minutes at a time.—Luke Larsen

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15. Boyfriend Maker
Developer: 36 You Games
Platform: Android / iOS
Sure he was a bastard and a racist, ELIZA’s evil son, but he was taken from us far too soon. Boyfriend lived in our pockets for only a little over a week before being virtually jailed for his sexy crimes against users aged 4+. We cooked for him, we dressed him, and we chatted him up for five-minute spurts before he reminded us that he was out of energy. Some said it was our curiosity, or our loneliness, or the last gasp of our obsession with Asian culture. We were probably only bored, but Boyfriend was slightly less awful than most of the people who live in our computers.—Simon Ferrari

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14. Super Crate Box
Developer: Vlambeer
Platform: iOS
There’s a primal appeal to Super Crate Box’s basic set-up for anybody who ever spent time in arcades or played the 2600 or Nintendo Entertainment System. Simple controls and self-evident goals help Super Crate Box tap into a wellspring of nostalgia, and, like Angry Birds and other easily grasped mobile games, those aspects also welcome the non-enthusiast into the fold.—Garrett Martin

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13. Bad Piggies
Developer: Rovio
Platform: Android / iOS
Functional successor to Amazing Alex and spiritual successor to Angry Birds, Rovio’s Bad Piggies offered mobile gamers some creative license in the developer’s winning three-star physics-puzzle formula. Though not met with as much critical success, the swine’s mechanical misadventure has every bit as much charm as its feathered cousin, and a dash more ingenuity.—Dan Crabtree

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12. Monsters Ate My Condo
Developer: PikPok
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Platform: Android / iOS
Monsters Ate My Condo, with its single-swipe gameplay and seizure inducing neon aesthetic, kept me up at night. Sitting in bed, lit only by my iPhone, I tried to keep the monsters happy while growing my tower ever higher. But like the best endless puzzlers, it beat me again and again. Deleting it was the only way to get a good night’s sleep ever again.—Casey Malone

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11. Angry Birds Space
Developer: Rovio
Platform: Android / iOS
Angry Birds Space transports all the unpredictability, frustration and addiction of Angry Birds to outer space. It takes the basic foundations of the original and supplements them with various gravity effects. It’s not too dissimilar to Super Mario Galaxy in that way—the basics of an old favorite reinterpreted with new physical twists. It tweaks the formula enough to justify its existence and to send even the most reformed Birds fanatic into a time-devouring relapse.—Garrett Martin

A good mobile game understands the power of impulse. It should be cheap enough to rack up impulse buys, like a candy bar or tabloid in a grocery store check-out line. It should also be quick and easy enough to pick up, play and then put away at a moment’s notice. Our list of the best mobile games of 2012 is full of games perfect for brief patches of free time, but with unlockable perks or deeper mechanics that will keep you engaged past those fleeting moments.

Our list was voted on by a number of regular freelance contributors to Paste’s games section and then tabulated and compiled by Paste’s games editor Garrett Martin (aka me). Ballots were cast by myself, Simon FerrariRyan KuoJ. P. GrantRichard ClarkStu HorvathMitch KrpataJoe BernardiDan Crabtree,Luke Larsen and Casey Malone. Here are the 20 best mobile games of 2012.

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10. Cool Pizza
Developer: Secret Library
Platform: iOS
Cool Pizza is an auto-runner, but it avoids the been-there, done-that by changing the perspective. The action happens from a three-dimensional third-person view like the old classic Space Harrier. Instead of running left to right our heroine runs straight ahead. And instead of running she’s on a skateboard, albeit one that never needs a kick. The art style also distinguishes it from the typical mobile game: It’s not a bright cartoon or a navel-gazing 8-bit tribute, but a stark piece of black-and-white line art with sparse color accents and a great Tettix score that sounds like Jan Hammer jamming chiptunes.—Garrett Martin

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9. Letterpress
Developer: Atebits
Platform: iOS
Word game Letterpress is a shining example of minimalist game design that is incredibly easy to pick up, but deeply layered in strategy. Players take turns choosing from the group of 25 randomly-generated letters to create words. When you make a word, the tiles you use turn light blue, adding points to your score. As players claim the board for their own, deeper levels of strategy arise. Resources become increasingly scarce and competitors are forced to become more and more creative in their word-making. It’s as different from Scrabble or any word-puzzle game as could be, while still keeping the knowledge of a large vocabulary at the center of the game’s required skillset.—Luke Larsen

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8. Fairway Solitaire
Developer: Big Fish Studios
Platform: iOS
Big Fish Games’ Fairway Solitaire isn’t exactly a new title—it was originally released five years ago for PC and Mac, and only made its way to iOS in March of 2012. But the wait was worth it. This ingeniously simple hybrid of solitaire and golf is perfectly suited to mobile platforms. With its quick-fix gameplay, high production value and varied challenges, Fairway Solitaire is a bite-size gem that’s as tightly designed as it is polished.—J.P. Grant

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7. Super Hexagon
Developer: Terry Cavanagh
Platform: iOS
In Super Hexagon, you control a small triangle trying to survive in a world full of shapes, sounds and colors that would love to engulf you. Rotating left and right around a hexagon is the only action possible, as patterns and obstacles moving in sporadic motions come hurtling toward you. The first time you play you’ll probably make it through 10 games in 30 seconds. The game is that hard and sessions are that short. One thing is for sure, though: That 30 seconds will quickly turn into hours if you’re not careful.—Luke Larsen

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6. 10000000
Developer: EightyEight Games
Platform: iOS
At this point, match-3 games are like zombie games: There’d better be a damned good hook if you want me to pay attention. Fortunately, the strange hybrid 10000000 has several. A fusion of the match-3, RPGand endless runner genres, 10000000 employs a surprisingly effective combination of common mechanics to keep players coming back.—J.P. Grant

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5. Beat Sneak Bandit
Developer: Simogo
Publisher: Simogo
Platform: iOS
Rhythmically-challenged gamers beware: Beat Sneak Bandit‘s environmental puzzles bounce to the beat of the music and you can only move by tapping the screen correctly on beat. Beat Sneak Bandit is another refined achievement from Simogo and perhaps their most successful game yet. It’s intelligently designed and it works marvelously with the iOS interface. Most importantly, though, Beat Sneak Bandit has cured me of my habit of cringing at the sound of the phrase “rhythmic puzzler,” which is saying a lot.—Luke Larsen

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4. Punch Quest
Developer: Rocketcat Games and Madgarden
Platform: iOS
“Endless runner-slash-something-else” may as well be its own genre. After the success of Jetpack Joyride, it wasn’t surprising to find clever hybrids popping up. Punch Quest adds the brawler to that growing list of endless runner mash-ups. Button-mashing brawling action takes center stage here, and for the most part, it feels great.—J.P. Grant

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3. Waking Mars
Developer: Tiger Style
Platform: Android / iOS
Thousands of video games ask you to take life, but very few ask you to create it. Waking Mars is one of the rare creatures in the second camp. It’s also the rare mobile game that excels in all phases of its execution, elegantly integrating story, mechanics and aesthetics. As the story quietly unfolds—as you, well, wake Mars—you may find yourself more emotionally invested than you’d thought. That’s the thing about making life instead of taking it: eventually, you remember how to care.—J.P. Grant

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2. Ziggurat
Developer: Action Button Entertainment
Publisher: Freshuu Inc.
Platform: iOS
The one-finger shoot-‘em-up Ziggurat‘s unique greatness only becomes clear once you get sort of good at it. Like most good iOS games, it’s defined by an extremely focused shallowness, targeted entirely towards getting you to dive back in. Keeping the action set minimal while providing a wide variety of gameplay situations forces the player to get creative. Even in a short burst of play, it’s pretty easy to discover a permutation of the action that had previously gone unnoticed. Ziggurat has a great knack for creating itches and then permitting you to scratch them, if you can.—Joe Bernardi

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1. Rayman Jungle Run
Developer: Pastagames / DotEmu
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: iOS / Android
There’s very little to complain about with Rayman Jungle Run, a downsized iOS version of Rayman: Originsthat effortlessly simplifies its mechanics without losing an ounce of playability or character. Without even mentioning the incredible art direction and sound design, it’s a game that raises the bar for big franchises trying to make some extra money moving to the touch screen. It’s the kind of game that could easily stand on its own apart from the popularity of the successful franchise and will undoubtedly shape the future of the genre.—Luke Larsen

— article and image made by george graham for pastemagazine. 

Top 20 Celebs Gone Good of 2012

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees leads the NFL in yards and touchdowns. But in 2012, he put up his biggest numbers off the field. Drew and his wife, Brittany, donated $1 million to victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Super Bowl champ’s Brees Dream Foundation has even pledged another $2 million more to various New Orleans charities. He truly is a Saint.
19. Sofia Vergara

Turning 40 is a pretty big milestone. And for Vergara it was a no brainer how she’d be celebrating: by crowdfunding for charity. Duh. Together with giftiki, a group-gifting platform, the “Modern Family” actress helped raise awareness for Dreams without Borders. Every year the non-profit brings orphans from Vergara’s home country, Columbia, to Disneyland. She’s been going with the group since 2006.

18. Olivia Munn

2012 is the year we fell in love with Olivia Munn. Meanwhile, she’s quite the lover herself, especially of animals and the environment. She’s raised awareness about fur farms with PETA and worked with the USDA to combat the circus’s mistreatment of animals. She also kicked off DoSomething’s Green Your School campaign. Brains, beauty, and benevolence: what’s not to love?

17. Carrie Underwood

America’s favorite country music star has had a big year of giving. Underwood recently donated the proceeds from her last concert to charity. And also raised $350,000 for her Oklahoma hometown. The proceeds were given through her organization, Checotah Animal, Town, and School (C.A.T.S) Foundation, and went towards educational improvements. Additionally, Underwood is a huge supporter of The Humane Society and PETA.

16.  Demi Lovato

The “Give Your Heart a Break” singer has had a pretty kick-ass year: judging X Factor and topping Billboard charts. Lovato has also done an amazing job of highlighting several anti-bullying campaigns, like “Mean Stinks” and Love is Louder, which helps people dealing with negative self-image, depression, and bullying. She also partnered with yours truly for our fifth annual Teens for Jeans campaign.

15. Ryan Seacrest

Hosting TV, radio, and awards shows like Ryan Seacrest is something most of us will never experience. But thanks to Ryan, thousands of kids with life-threatening injuries or disease will get a chance. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation builds radio stations in children’s hospitals all over the country. When they’re in the booth, the kids aren’t hospital patients; they’re American idols.

14. Emma Stone & Andrew Garfield

Besides being one of Hollywood’s hottest couples, this duo is one of the most creative at shining a spotlight on good. Stone and Garfield were spotted by paparazzi at a NYC restaurant and instead of running for cover, “The Amazing Spider-Man” stars walked out holding up signs that supported two charities: the Worldwide Orphans Foundation and Gilda’s Club.

13. Ben Affleck

A fierce advocate for residents living in a war-torn Eastern Congo, Affleck joined U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speak at The Child Survival Call to Action earlier this year. The 40-year-old founded the Eastern Congo Initiative, the first U.S. based advocacy/grant-making initiative that is focused solely on the people of Eastern Congo. He was also honored at our Do Something Awards for his work.

12. George Takei

“Star Trek” went off the air in 1969 but George is still, well, a star. He is a huge advocate for marriage equality and tolerance in general. Proceeds from his “It’s OK to be Takei” apparel goes to charity. He even won the 2012 LGBT Humanist Award from the American Humanist Association for his advocacy in the LGBT community. Oh, my…

11. Jay-Z & Beyoncé

The world’s biggest power couple certainly used their power for good. Jay headlined a benefit performance at Carnegie Hall and supports underprivileged students through his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. Bey’s Survivor Foundation assists victims of disasters, along with AIDS patients and the homeless. Her $5 million housing project will create 43 permanent housing units in her hometown of Houston.

10. Ian Somerhalder

This “Vampire Diaries” heartthrob has got it all – those dreamy eyes, the leading lady, and a heart of gold. He founded the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which works to educate and collaborate with people to positively impact the planet. Somerhalder is also a huge supporter of The Trevor Project. Oh yea, did we mention he loves animals? The 34-year-old took part in the “Strut Your Mutt” walk in Louisiana to help save shelter lives.

9. Selena Gomez

From the radio to the Internet, from Waverly Place to Transylvania, Selena Gomez is everywhere. So is her impact. The 20-year-old triple threat does work at children’s hospitals across the country. And her second-annual UNICEF charity concert raised $200,000 for kids in Africa. Needless to say, we love her like a, well, you know…

8. LeBron James

In 2012, King James made good on his promise to bring a championship to Miami. LBJ has come a long way, but he hasn’t forgotten his hometown of Akron, OH. Or the idea of a promise. His foundation’s Wheels for Education program provides support and school supplies to 300 underprivileged elementary schoolers. In return, they promise to stay in school until graduation. His PSA supports BoostUp.org, which gives at-risk teens encouragement and resources to stay in school. Meanwhile, the MVP is schooling people on the court.

7. Pink

The “Try” singer is a rock star in every sense of the word. Her American Music Awards performance can attest to that. It’s one of the many reasons we love her – that and the amazeballs work she does with PETA. She’s a HUGE advocate of shelter adoption and animal rights.

6. Robin Roberts

Our fav morning news anchor has used her battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (once called pre-leukemia) to shine a light on bone cancer. She teamed up with BeTheMatch.org to spread awareness about bone marrow donation. Roberts’ 30-second TV spot on “Good Morning America,” her radio PSA, along with several ads saw over 44,000 people join the registry. (Baller!)

5. Justin Bieber

“Do something nice for someone else today. u know the truth…do it for the right reasons,” JBiebz tweeted this summer. He certainly has. His Believe Charity Drive raised over $1 million for charity. He works with Pencils of Promise to build schools in third-world countries. He visits young cancer patients. He donated $100,000 so homeless kids could go to school. All this, and he still has time to wink 5000 times a day.

4. Lady Gaga

Gaga has a sold-out world tour and 32 million little monsters RTing her more than anyone on the planet. But, fame hasn’t made her a monster. With a $1.2 million personal donation, Gaga started her Born This Way Foundation, which combats bullying and promotes acceptance of the LGBT community. And, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the she pledged $1 million to relief efforts.

3. Channing Tatum

This year was all about Channing Tatum, but People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive made 2012 about others, too. He and his wife, Luckiest Woman Alive Jenna Dewan-Tatum helped raise millions for the Rainforest Foundation They also supprt Angels for Animals and sponsor abused farm animals through Gentle Barn. No wonder Channing was so happy riding to “Pony.”

2. Miley Cyrus

Let’s see: she got engaged, shaved her head, turned 20, AND rocked a slew of causes. Cyrus spent her big 2-0 promoting Saving Spot! Rescue, a non-profit that is dedicated to finding dogs from high-kill shelters a home. The actress/singer also went barefoot earlier this year in support of TOMS’ One Day Without Shoes challenge. Cyrus has helped raise awareness for several other charities like:  Save The Music Foundation, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

1. Taylor Swift

The country-pop star continues to top the charts with her new album “Red” – but that’s not all. TSwift is our number one celeb gone good. She’s had quite a year being the YOUNGEST person to ever receive the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for her charity work. The 23-year-old also donated 4 million (the largest sum yet!) to the Country Hall of Fame Museum. Not to mention, her tremendous work for young people battling cancer among many others.

— words and images taken from dosomething.org

 

Roger Ebert Names ‘Argo’ As The Best Movie Of 2012

While there have been many, many 2012 lists and recaps, the year isn’t over until Roger Ebert weighs in with his favorites, and today he’s done so, dropping his list of the best movies he saw in 2012. And as usual, it’s a mix of more popular choices, with some love shown to smaller, foreign films that might not get the shine otherwise.
Ben Affleck‘s “Argo” got the top shelf slot from Roger, with auteurs generally ruling the roost, with Ang Lee,Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis all getting their films onto the top ten. Indie faves “Arbitrage,” “The Sessions” and “Beasts Of The Southern Wild” also ranked, but what will stand out most are the ninth and tenth slots. Joachim Trier‘s patient and melancholy “Oslo, August 31” gets some love from Ebert, as does “A Simple Life,” the film by Ann Hui that is Hong Kong’s official selection for the Oscars this year. It didn’t make the shortlist, but consider its profile raised considerably. And yes, he saw “Zero Dark Thirty,” but he didn’t fall in with the rest of the critics who put it at the top of their list.

Here’s Roger’s ten movies below, but hit his blog to get this thoughts on all of them. And our best wishes to Roger for a full recovery after recently suffering a hip fracture.

Roger Ebert’s Top Movies Of 2012

1. Argo
2. Life Of Pi
3. Lincoln
4. End Of Watch
5. Arbitrage
6. Flight
7. The Sessions
8. Beasts Of The Southern Wild
9. Oslo, August 31
10. A Simple Life

— made by kevin jaggernauth for blogs.indiewire.com

 

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