Rayman is the Man…Ray!

Super Rayman HeadSuper Rayman

 

I used to have (and still do) Rayman on the Game Boy and darn did i love that game. My parents didn’t buy me many games so this was one of the games i loved so much i had completed it a few times, and once holding the Game Boy upside down throughout; now that was a challenge. These doodles were inspired by Rayman with a super hero twist.

 

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15 Great Xbox Live Games To Make Your Windows Phone Even Happier

Here’s the follow up post on a collection of Xbox Live games that you can install on your Windows Phone to give that device an even bigger kick… the device giving the kick, not you kicking the device, that never turns out well. I decided to go for the “15” number again… why? I don’t know. But nevertheless you got it! 15 Xbox Live games taken from various genres that i believe through their interest may just take another good few hours of your life away… positively of course. They are in no particular order of popularity but due to my immaculate OCD I’ve put them in alphabetical order. All games were tested on my Nokia Lumia 800 and work perfectly. I know we aren’t all filthy rich to buy all these games but bare in mind that Windows Xbox Live games tend to be a little more expensive, than their iPhone or Android counterparts. This is mainly because Xbox Live games have achievements that directly impact your global Gamerscore. Of course some may complain by mentioning Apple’s Game Center, but the Xbox Live is far more advance and recognised than any other Gamerscore system, so for this addition, it’s understandable that games are a few more pence higher than it’s competitors. As for the really expensive ones, i share your pain. These games eventually make their way to the Deal of the Week so you could always wait for this and then buy it. Click on the icon to go straight to the marketplace download page. Enjoy!

 

1. 3D Brick Breaker Revolution by DChoc

3D Brick Breaker RevolutionWe all have somewhat heard of or played Brick Breaker, but it has brought people to wonder how it would evolve, as evolution of games is something gamers have become used to getting. This game takes Brick Breaker into the third dimension. Of course it makes the game play slightly different but different isn’t bad. It has the power ups, and all the ball bouncing you could want. Overall, a colourful game with good sound and fairly good achievements.

Cost: £2.29

 

2. Angry Birds by Rovio

Angry BirdsAngry Birds has now become a mobile game phenomenon, why? Because it’s simple, funny, challenging but not aggravating, funny and well works for such a broad audience. The aim is to sling angry birds at angry egg stealing pigs. Most of the time you must throw them at wooden, metallic and glass blocks. Yes glass, the achievement does mention them as ice blocks but they are clearly glass, with glass sounds. The falling blocks are often methods of killing the pigs. The levels vary very well and new birds appear with different abilities making the game well progressive. The three star grading system all works well to make the game very re-playable. The achievements are also pretty good. I’ve almost completed my three stars in every level. Altogether a very all-rounder fun game that works for everyone.

Cost: £0.79

 

3. Assassin’s Creed – Altair’s Chronicles HD by Gameloft

Assassin’s Creed - Altair’s Chronicles HDThe Assassin’s Creed franchise has hit great heights and this game continues the tradition onto the Windows Phone platform. Immediately the graphics are amazing for a mobile game. The gameplay controls have been criticized a bit but i managed to play it without problem or hindrance on gameplay, the features are much like that of the first game and with the addition of the touch functionality, for example for pick pocketing, it makes a great mobile game that Assassin’s Creed fans i believe would love on their phone and for everyone else, one of the best 3D action platformer games on the Windows Phones marketplace.

Cost: £3.99

 

4. Breeze by Microsoft Studios

BreezeThis is a little simple game that although is quick to complete, has been very well built with a great gameplay idea. You basically control a flower and while collecting orbs must complete the maze like structures. This is done via various methods such as blowing the flower by touching the opposite side, or using the motion sensors of the device you are playing on. A simple game for anyone that’s also free.

Cost: Free

 

5. BulletAsylum by Microsoft Studios

BulletAsylumThis is a wacky defence themed game. You control all turrets using the touch screen and blow up everything in your way. As you level up you acquire more different types of turrets and can also level these individual turrets up, whether they are for attacking or defending. Great graphics, great music and a great screen overwhelming gaming experience.

Cost: £2.29

 

6. Earthworm Jim HD by Gameloft

Earthworm Jim HDThis is a HD remaster of the original Earthworm Jim game, an action shoot ‘em up platformer about a worm wearing a robot suit and fights evil. Now that sounds awesome. This game did and sometimes still does have a few bugs in it but they have repaired most of them. Just like the original it’s quirky cartoony graphics make it unique to look at while the new control system for touch play seems to work well. After all without on-screen buttons there isn’t really any other way to play it. Awesome classic remastered.

Cost: £3.99

 

7. Feed Me Oil by Electronic Arts

Feed Me OilThis game has taken a few good hours of my life away from me. The aim is to force the flow of oil falling from a pipe, into the creatures mouths that inhabit the planet. This can be done using various objects, such as platforms, fans and magnets to name a few, and it doesn’t just stop there. This is definitely a game i recommend. The graphic style is unique and quirky and the music works well with it. The achievements are also simple and flow well with the game. Definitely a great game to have on your shelf. Your Windows Phone’s shelf.

Cost: £0.79

 

8. Fruit Ninja by Microsoft Studios

Fruit NinjaMany of us mortals know this game as the fun and frantic fruit slashing game that it has come to be. Fruits jump up onto the screen and you slice them with your finger which in the game is a deadly yet colourful blade, sometimes very colourful. This is not linked to the Facebook game, which is how i prefer it, however with its Classic, Arcade (similar to the Facebook version) and Zen mode, this game is fun that lasts as long as you want. You can unlock blades, backgrounds and of course achievements which are well made for that simplicity and challenge. With multi-touch you can use up to four fingers on the screen to slash fruits. And it may help you get back into that five fruits a day, with possibly an urge to slash them apart and to bits and spilling juice everywhere.

Cost: £0.79

 

9. Gravity Guy by Miniclip

Gravity GuyThis is one of those games that you are likely to break your phone over. Well lets hope it doesn’t come to that. The game is very well developed, with awesome graphics, awesome music and very simple gameplay. The aim it to escape. You are always running and by tapping the screen you are able to flip gravity upside down and back again, however many times you want. If however you get stuck or are too slow, the robot chasing you gets you, and you know what that means… the robot’s got you. You are however aided with slo-motion slots. You start off with three and when you run out, you must purchase more, yes purchase… i know. I just re-installed the game again and again because it resets the three slo-mos, until i got every achievement including winning the whole first level without dying. Yep, that’s the phone smashing part. Now I’m just tied with one other who have got every achievement in this except one… win the second level without dying. All in all a very good game but not for the aggressive natured.

Cost: £2.29

 

10. Kinectimals by Microsoft Studios

KinectimalsI remember when i used to have a Tamagotchi cyber pet, a little pet that you look after but often died. Now we have Kinectimals, a mobile game that works similarly to the Xbox 360 Kinect version. In this version you practically just look after your cub, or many if you so choose to and play games with it. It’s cute, but also keeps you playing, rather than having to wait hours just to find that your pet has left a poop on your screen. The interactivity is well developed and the achievements are simple but fun. You can also take pictures of your cub in the real world which can end in some pretty interesting results. All in all a good game for children but also good for any that used have or if lucky, still have a cyber pet. If only someone made a cyber pet app. And if you connect the game to your Xbox 360 version, you can unlock more animals for your console version.

Cost: £2.29

 

11. Max & The Magic Marker by Microsoft Studios

Max & The Magic MarkerThis is one of the most intuitive designs in a game for the phone. You play as Max in this adventure platformer, but as you play you are confronted with obstacles and this is where the magic happens. You can freeze the game time and use your magic marker to draw onto the game a way around e.g. drawing a bridge to walk past a cliff edge. A very imaginative game with excellent use of the mobile devices technology to create an amazing platform adventure game. Great graphics, awesome sounds and great and challenging achievements.

Cost: £0.79

 

12. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit by Electronic Arts

 Need For Speed: Hot PursuitRacing games are always slow to appear on devices when it comes to fully rendered 3D graphics and immersive environments. This is the closest i have played to that great racing experience. You are able to play both the pursued and the cops. Accelerometer racing can be difficult but once you get used to it, it works pretty well. A great racing game for the phone with good achievements.

Cost: £3.99

 

13. OMG (Our Manic Game) by Microsoft Studios

OMG (Our Manic Game)This is your simple space shooter game made that little bit more crazier. You can destroy hordes of enemies using your mass weaponry. The one thing i find very interesting about this game is that you can tap on enemies to enrage them and acquire more points. The graphics are amazing with a modern twist on the retro feel and the achievements are pretty good.

Cost: £2.29

 

14. Splinter Cell: Conviction by Gameloft

Splinter Cell: ConvictionThis is one of those games you wouldn’t really expect on a mobile device, mostly because of how largely scaled environments are and third person action is. Nevertheless the game works very well. You can expect it to not be as stealthy due to it being played on a mobile device. However the graphics are superb and gameplay works very well. It is difficult to make a mobile game that plays similarly to it’s console counterparts but this is definitely a good game that is worth the play. The achievements are also very good.

Cost: £3.99

 

15. Super Monkey Ball by Sega

Super Monkey BallThis is a pretty funny game after all you are a monkey in a ball, collecting bananas. Well not you… ok maybe. Many have complained about the control system with your monkey often flying off too far to one direction or turning back too quick but once you get used to it, you are able to play without it annoying you. Based on the original Monkey Ball games and does a good job too. A sequel is out that looks a little better that this one but i haven’t played it yet. This version however has gotten cheaper so even more worth it now.

Cost: £0.79

 

NOTE: OMG! That’s sixteen! Why would he do such a thing?! Why? Because i love you all so much. Ok, well actually it’s because i couldn’t find one to remove amongst all these good ones. But that’s not to say i don’t love you. Enjoy!

 

16. Tentacles by Microsoft Studios

TentaclesThis is a very weird and eerie game. But it is definitely one of my favourites. You play a tiny creature, travelling through the human body, controlling your creature’s legs to move around. This control system is key to the gameplay and i love the weird nature of how this game plays, like pulling out the eyeballs out of other bacterial creatures. The achievements are well made, the graphics and music is awesome and overall i would definitely recommend this game to everyone.

Cost: £2.29

 

Well there you have it, my top 15 + 1 Xbox Live games to help fill the space in that device of yours and you didn’t even have to rob The Milkman after all his milk is delicious (comment if you got that). Have great fun downloading and even greater fun playing until your fingers are redder and thrice the size. Thanks for reading.

 

15 Great Non-Xbox Live Games to get your Windows Phone Happy

Here’s the follow up post on a collection of non-Xbox Live games that you can install on your Windows Phone to give that device a little kick… please don’t kick your phone, it never turns out well. I decided to go for the “15” number…why? I don’t know. But nevertheless you got it! 15 non-Xbox Live games taken from various genres that i believe through their interest may just take a good few hours of your life away…positively of course. They are in no particular order of popularity but due to my impeccable OCD i put them in alphabetical order. All games were tested on my Nokia Lumia 800 and work perfectly. Click on the icon to go straight to the marketplace download page. Enjoy!

 

1. Apple Bin by EscapeDevelopment

This little game is all about throwing away your apple in the bin… there is no alternative meaning behind that haha. But yes using the touch feature and well programmed physics of objects in the game, all you have to do is get at least one apple into the bin. It’s so simple it’s just simply fun, that brings you a quick procrastination session anytime.

Cost: £0.79 / Free Trial

 

2. Blow up the Frog by Firebat Games

As weird as this sounds, the game really is weird. Not for all audiences but you simply hold the frog and blow into your device microphone and let go when your heart desires. The aim, blow the frog up as much as you can without actually blowing it up to bits. After your go, you’ll be introduced to the judges… three frogs… of course, who will rate you from 1 to 10. Then you simply do it again and again… and again. If you want, you can just keep blow it up to bits, if you like that sort of thing.

Cost: Free

 

3. Breakout by Clayton Industries

We all know breakout in some way, whether it’s nostalgic reminiscence, or you’ve actually broken out of prison, but whoever or whatever you are, you’ll always (most likely) enjoy breakout. A little moveable platform below, a bunch of blocks above and a ball that’s bouncing in between both with the goal of breaking all the blocks without the ball falling either side of your platform. Oh and did i mention a whole bunch of exciting power ups from multi-balls to laser guns.

Cost: Free

 

4. BBB: App-ocalypse (Bye Bye Brain: Appocalypse) by Weekend GS

This one intrigued me a lot, mostly because the game in my opinion is so good that i expected Microsoft to take it and turn it into an Xbox Live game. Nevertheless, there are a bunch of zombies that wish to get inside your building to… well, probably eat your brains. But in between the distance of the zombies and your building you have the chance to strategically place different types of people to attack the zombies. Whether it’s people with axes, people throwing meat to slow them down or cops with shotguns; the choice is yours. If however the zombies get too close to your building, you have the option to personally pull out your weapon and shoot them down before they get inside. This is one of my favourites.

Cost: Free

 

5. Chromatic (or Chromatic Pro) by Hennessy Apps

This game is probably the one i play the most. It is simply a turret below and a horde of enemies above coming down to get you, and all you do it shoot. The part that’s amazing with this one is that you have several different types of upgradeable guns e.g. Laser and Mines to name a few, a super explody screen wiping bomb that recharges, the soundtrack fits perfectly beside the game with its retro-electro feel, and the enemies are these bizarre shapes that somewhat remind me of the world of Tron. Getting amazing combos also gives you a small bullet time slow-mo effect that really does look cool. The more waves you defeat and the higher the level you reach, the harder and crazier it gets.

Cost: £0.79 / Free Trial

 

6. Doodle Dino by GeekWorks

Simply get the rolling dinosaur to the end of the line in a screen scrolling race to not fall over or get stuck. To help get your dino across to the other side simply draw the ground beneath it to help it roll onto the next platform and continue drawing to save it from falling, or getting stuck until you reach the end. The several checkpoints help with the natural difficult-ness of the game so that you don’t throw your phone at your TV. Nice colours and well made.

Cost: Free

 

7. LilDemonsSplatter by Matt Mitman

This little game is one of the only interesting first person shooters i have seen that try to make a first person shooter work on a Windows Phone 7 device. The graphics are amazing and the music works well. Your aim is to simply splatter the little demons. The controls take some time to get used to but once you do it is a pretty good shooter experience. This game gets an effort grade to the max.

Cost: Free

 

8. Nom Nom Worm by Elbert Perez

This brings a much more interesting way of playing a “Snake” game. You control the Nom Nom Worm and eat the various food dotted around the place, and as you eat, you grow. You must simply eat everything you can including the special ones that appear for a limited time and of course to spice things up, the higher you level up more number of enemies you must avoid before you become Nom Nommed. A very nice use of colours in the game.

Cost: Free

 

9. ORB (ORB FREE) by Palladium Power

I once played a game on the Gizmondo, yep that failed device that i still own working this very day. The game was called “Trailblazer”. Since playing that game, i have always wanted someone to make a similar game, and here it is. You control an ORB that moves continuously on a series of suspended platforms that in this case are falling apart and your aim is to go as far to the end as possible. To make things more difficult and more exciting, there are platforms dedicated to different actions, some push you to different directions whether good or bad and some explode, amongst many others. With many more surprises this adrenaline pumped game is one of the only of its kind and a great game, with great music and graphics.

Cost: £0.99 / Free Trial

 

10. Portals 2D by Weesals

For all the portal fans out there this is a must have. This is a top down 3D game where you are one person with a portal gun. You shoot one wall creating a portal and then another wall somewhere else, and when you walk through the first portal you appear at the second. Using this method you simply get from the start to the finish square. Obviously it isn’t that easy. To make things difficult, each level increases in difficulty by giving you different obstacles to stop you getting there and you must use your cunning to get to that wonderful end square. You never know, there might even be cake at the end of the game.

Cost: £1.29

 

11. Quadra by Elbert Perez

Now at first i thought this was another turret shooting game but it surprised me. The turret is located in the centre of the screen and the enemies appear all around you. With the amazing shiny retro graphics and great soundtrack this all sounds good, but as you level up the number of turrets that you must control the fire to increase. The reason i find this interesting is that i was watching a special someone i know play this game and she was so good she made it to two turrets. The funny thing happen when the third turret came into action. There’s only so many fingers a human has and so with her quirky panic-y-ness, she shouted “Ratan help!” and as soon i put my fingers on the screen to control the third and eventually forth turret, i realised that the game just went from single player to multiplayer. Soon we were controlling two turrets each with a chaotic amount of enemies. Of course you can control all four by yourself if you want to but this is pretty fun with another person too, if not, better.

Cost: Free

 

12. Retro Hero by TryTek

I am a sucker for platformer adventure games and to be honest they just don’t make them like they used to. But for the Windows Phone 7 at least we have one good adventure platformer known as Retro Hero, following the adventure of our little retro Hero. This is an all out adventure game with guns, bombs, secrets and a wonderfully beautifully pretty pixelated princess to save *smirk*. The retro graphics are very well done and the music contributes well alongside it.

Cost: £0.99

 

13. Unite by Microsoft Corporation

This is a simple game in which you move your balls around and try to join them together to form one big ball. Yeah ok, i’ll re-phrase that. You move several marbles around by tilting your device around and by avoiding obstacles such as walls, teleporters and more. You must “Unite” the marbles together to form a much larger marble. The more you join, the larger the marble becomes. Simple fun all-round.

Cost: Free

 

14. vNESLight (or vNESLight Pro) by Nudua

This is in fact an emulator for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Yep, an emulator for NES on the Windows Phone. You simply put your NES ROMs (games) onto your SkyDrive and download them using the vNESLight app itself. Once downloaded you can play with your hearts content. You can play landscape with the NES buttons on either side of the screen, or simply turn it portrait and you can play NES like a Game Boy with the screen above and the controls below. The frame rate on the games are good and every game i threw at it worked, and the sound is perfectly fine when playing at a much lower quality, which is hardly noticeable or can be a little choppy on high quality settings. Every game is comfortably playable with no lag. Save states work well too. A great emulator and the only one so far.

Cost: £0.79 / Free Trial

 

15. Xtreme Joyride by Sterling Games Inc.

This is an absolutely crazy game. It’s a style racing type game whereby you drive on a side scrolling landscape that fluctuates in terrain height and type with the aim to drive as further as possible. The more you drive, the further you get, and the more money you win to buy new vehicles. The crazy part is the whole race works under lower gravity and the car bounces like crazy, therefore keeping the car stable enough is a challenge itself. But then when damaged the only way to heal is to loop 360 degrees and land back. The more tricks you do, the more money you get, and the more you heal to go on further and further. The music greatly adds to the crazy bouncy feel of the game and can become appropriately irritating at times. Definitely a great laugh.

Cost: Free

 

Well there you have it, my top 15 games to help fill the space in that device of yours and you didn’t even have to rob a bank. Have great fun downloading and even greater fun playing until your fingers are red and twice the size. Thanks for reading.

 

Bungie Jumped Where No One Else Could

My love for the Halo game franchise reaches beyond just that of general gamers. I love the gameplay, the intricate story, the graphical and artistic detail and also something which people often forget…the company behind the creation, Bungie.

It all began with two people. First Alex Seropian in May 1991 where Bungie was founded and later Jason Jones. The two worked side by side to produce amazing games such as “Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete” a sharply detailed role-playing adventure game based on exploration developed in 1992 for yep the Mac OS (Woohoo *chokes*). I really like the tagline for the game being,

“Kill your enemies. Kill your friends’ enemies. Kill your friends.”

The next in line was “Pathways into Darkness” a unique first person adventure shooter created in 1993 for yeppers Mac OS. This was their first commercial breakthrough.

After this, came the first game of theirs that i have actually played. For those who play games deeper than the average playing will notice hundreds of so called “Easter Eggs” or hidden secrets in the Halo games based on this. The game is “Marathon”. This trilogy of games is a sci-fi first person shooter developed in 1994, about a Security Officer who must defend his ship against countless attacks from an alien race known as the Pfhors. Hmmmm Master Chief, Covenant…. Anyways the ship he must protect also has AIs known as Leela, Durandal and Tycho in which one of these begins to act weird and cause trouble. Hmmm…..Halo…Pillar of Autumn…Cortana…Serina. So many similarities. Even untrusted AIs going rampant which in this case for Halo is the 343 Guilty Spark. Even the Mjolnir armour can be seen in both.  You may or may not know all these names that i am throwing at you -besides that apple pie- but they are indeed characters in the ever extending story that is Halo. Many, including me, think of Marathon as the building blocks and possible spiritual predecessor to the Halo Saga. This is where you begin to realise that everything Bungie make in some way tie in together. Their passion succeeds continuously game after game.

After this and before Halo, two more games were made. The first being the Myth Series developed in 1997; a real-time strategy game with once again great graphics and a great story following through. I love this incident. One of the biggest mistakes Bungie has ever made (i think it’s the biggest) was that the sequel to this game “Myth II – Soulblighter” had a serious bug in it, in which the uninstaller would erase the folder that the game was installed in. If then however a user installed the game to the root of their hard drive, the uninstaller would in fact erase all the contents of the users hard drive. Now that is both scary and hilarious but it cost more than a million dollars to fix…Ouch. Luckily it is said that the bug was replaced before the game was actually ever sold to any consumer, except for the marketing lady who found the bug, yep a clean wiped drive, all her dirty videos collection on mud, dirt and soil erased…she didn’t really have dirty videos on mud…or did she?

The second game and their last before halo, was Oni, a 3rd person shooter/beat ‘em up about a dystopian Earth where pollution has dwindled Earth’s population. To make things worse although all the nations of the world have joined together into one collective group, the police force in which the protagonist works in is not all what it seems. This plus the main enemy, a criminal organization known as the Syndicate, make the protagonist’s quest for self discovery and of course saving the human race indeed more difficult than eating a Tiramisu cake, well for me that is. The game is obviously influenced by Ghost in the Shell as the protagonist is a woman code-named Konoko who does in fact look similar to Ghost in the Shell’s Motoko. Hahah Konoko…Motoko…talk about influence, but  i would also call it inspiration. Music from Myth, and to me it seems some sound effects and armour permutations from Oni were also Easter Egged into Halo, or included through inspiration…or inspiracluded. If you ever work out where in fact Bungie have secretly put the Myth music track “Siege of Madrigal” in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach then you are in fact awesome. If you haven’t then you are still awesome but just a tiny winy bit less hahaha, just kiddin’ i love you all, even you little monkey. But really if you do find them then you will be amazed at where Bungie have hidden them and how to activate them. I indeed tried all of them and darn are they really funny.

Bungie didn’t start out as a professional straight up organization with all A stars. They began as a few people having fun and doing what they love most, making games on the Mac OS platform for people like us to enjoy. Inevitably they grew and grew. And it is this that lead to their current ultimate baby…Halo.

Released in 2001 Halo is a super detailed, story focused game which began life as a Real-time Strategy game, then 3rd person shooter and then ultimately became a 1st person shooter. The game was originally codenamed “Monkey Nuts” and later “Blam!”. It is based on an all out war between humanity and an unprovoked enemy known as the Covenant. This however is too brief as there is also a greater threat, threatening the galaxy and possibly the universe. This threat is the Flood, an infectious parasite that consumes all life-forms in order to live and spread. A super intelligent pre-human race known as the Forerunners found a way to contain them, until the Covenant naively released them once again, threatening all that lives. The game story features far greater detail than just this but to know the most you can means to play all the games a few times over, finding all secrets and hidden story information, read the books, read all the Wiki, Wikia, Bungie and Halo Waypoint website page on Halo inside out, read the comics/graphic novels and there are probably more that i just can’t remember right now, including the still to be released Reclaimer Trilogy, beginning with Halo 4. Wow sounds like Star Wars now. Halo is too big a universe and so many new posts will be done on this.

Possibly Bungie’s biggest mistake and best decision was to sell the game to Microsoft, the PC company. I believe is was the best decision dominantly because the Microsoft had the power, the knowledge of the gaming market, hands on the world next largest console the Xbox and of course the money to build. The game in my opinion would have been just as amazing without Microsoft, however i believe it is Microsoft’s input that got the game out into the world. The reason why it was the worst decision, but inevitable was that as soon as Bungie would feel it is time to end it at a perfect story ending, Microsoft would know that more money is to be made from Halo, and also the fans would be wanting more, and so the way the business world works, you lose partners and you gain partners. On March 31st this year all Halo server data will be transferred to 343 Industries Waypoint website and Bungie will not be continuing anything based on the Halo franchise…sad face indeed. Many fans of Halo seem to be annoyed at Bungie for this, but it is not their fault and is simply the business way of life, the rest of us know that Bungie are the true geniuses that began it all and without them there would be nothing. Already with 343 Industries newly released remake of Halo: Combat Evolved, know as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, i have noticed that it just doesn’t feel like a Bungie game anymore and not feeling like a Bungie game means not feeling like a Halo game. In all the Halo games the main protagonist the Master Chief was this hard, rough and powerful Spartan soldier with limited speech and movement. 343 Industries are doing a great job so far but the Chief all of a sudden began to move and animate a little bit too much and soon i was beginning to feel the hard, rough soldier feel slightly fade away, not completely but enough to irritate beneath the skin. Also Bungie knew how to polish a game because even the little fades in visual and audio content that 343 Industries seem to miss out immediately irritate me. But we knew this would happen and we knew the game would change without Bungie, but the key is to be open minded and hope Halo 4 does a good job. Follow Bungie at Bungie.net.

If you have an hour spare then have a watch of this video about Bungie’s 20th Anniversary. I found it very amusing and interesting. Or if you want you can skim through it.

Bungie Documentary: “O Brave New World”. Video from YouTube by IGNentertainment.

I’ll end this transmission with my words to Bungie. Thank you for filling our gaming hearts with awesome games and giving me hope that the world hasn’t yet lost its imagination. Can’t wait for your next awesome game series which we are aware is in development. May you continue your goal for world domination and succeed. Thanks for reading folks.

R

P.S. Watch out Bungie you’ll be seeing a job resume one day, in fact I’ll be sending one all the time, after all, what’s more important is working with a team of super talented people that not just know how to make awesome games, but know how to have fun with it.

Acer Iconia Tab W500P: A Tablet for more than just Touching

Acer Iconia Tab W500P

My Acer Iconia Tab W500P

Yep, that’s my Acer Iconia Tab W500P; a 10.1″ touch screen tablet device that runs Windows 7. I bought this device a few weeks ago and have since been using it for various everyday things and even some more processing intensive uses. I had read a lot about this before i purchased it, knowing well what i was buying. A lot of reviews have given this touch screen tablet device little credit and more criticism, but with the extent that i have used it, i can say that for anyone thinking of buying it or any other tablet device, have a read of this before you do.

I picked this device up from eBay (hears Oh My God…and…Arrrggghhh! *falls into toilet*); hey please don’t read my blogs on a toilet; it’s a blog not a bog. Just kiddin’ you can if you want. But yes, from eBay. Just know that cheapest on eBay doesn’t always mean most trusted. I got mines for about £450 with the keyboard dock. And yes it was BRAND NEW IN BOX & SEALED…and posted in a VOLT. The device itself looks pretty standard with no fancy art or design sophisitcation but i got to say that the glittery shiny colour on the plastic does look nice…awwww nice.

Now a lot of people say, “Is Windows 7 really for touch screen?” And the truth in my opinion is that yes and no. No because many Windows functions and buttons are too small for our giant King Kong fingers (No i am not implying you are apes…darn, sorry… i forgot that monkey’s reading my blog too). But i would also say yes because Windows is constantly updating it to make it more touch screen capable and with a bit of time, you too can adjust the settings for things to be a little bigger for touch. Plus, Windows 8 is coming very soon and it is supposed to be perfect for this device; i’ll talk more on this below. In terms of the specs, the processor is AMD (darn i was hoping for Intel, so i could put hackintosh on it and dual boot with it Mac OS X so i can have a Mac OS X Lion Tablet… but nope. Although i have read that there may be a possible AMD patch coming soon.) It’s a 1GHz Dual Core processor which means for computer system it has a reasonable amount of power, but for a tablet -or even a netbook- it is actually adequately speedy. 2GB of RAM is fine for a tablet but it could have done with 4GB. All your general applications start up within a few seconds and run just as you would expect on a laptop. A cold boot from Power Off to Windows Log In screen took about 30-45 seconds. Others can say what they want but that’s how quick it was for me…WITH software loaded on it (and i’m talking MS Office 2010, Photoshop, Audacity and many others). One down side for me was that it was running a 32-bit version of Windows, but before i got angry and smashed it on my head (i’m not really violent…well except for that Apple the other day, but that’s because it said “Bite Me!”), i realized that it can run a 64-bit Windows 7…AWESOME! And so i did (i’ll go into this in more depth below).

The next down side which i believe to be a real down side and not a biased one (like other sides say), is that it only comes with a 32GB hard drive. Now, it’s awesome that it’s a Solid Slate hard drive but 32GB…really? If only i could open it up and install my own mSata Solid State drive in it…that would be awesome! And so i did (i’ll go into this in more depth below).

The last major component that amazed me was the ATI Radeon HD 6250 Graphics Card. Now what a nice chip to go into a tablet device…very pleased. So i pleased that i decided to research on it’s capabilities, and i was amazed. On YouTube you can see it running games like Neverwinter Nights, Portal 2, Flatout 2, Burnout Paradise, Left 4 Dead, Bioshock, Half Life 2 and even Call of Duty: Modern Warfare… all fully playable with a great framerate. And here i was thinking i could only run Diablo, Black & White and Age of Empire II, but i also tested Age of Empires III and Warcraft III, which played flawlessly. As for touch friendly games like Plants vs Zombies, Zuma, Bejeweled, Angry Birds and even Age of Empires and Neverwinter Nights, it’s perfect.

Acer Iconia Tab W500 with Keyboard Dock

Acer Iconia Tab W500 with Keyboard Dock

Amongst all this it has various other little cool bits (eww) e.g. 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, built-in mic, Bluetooth 3.0, Wifi, HDMI port, Dolby Virtual Surround Sound, 2 cameras (front and back), 2 USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot if you wish to expand beyond 32GB, screen rotation when tablet turned to the side, and all the multi-touch pinching, panning and stroking you wish to do; just don’t grope it, that’s disgusting. It’s battery life is that of the average laptop averaging around 4-5 hours. 1080p videos run perfectly in Windows Media Player and the pre-installed Clear.fi multimedia player (sorry VLC). The keyboard dock is rather fiddly (Another downside), as it requires some connecting, pulling up, pulling down, disconnecting to have it look like and usable like a laptop, or closing it like one; but you get used to it.

OH when Acer first released this there was a major bug with it whereby the touch screen would flicker from desktop mode and back. So many people have asked on forums about how to fix it. Simply update your BIOS and it’s fixed. Download from Acer website –> plug in power adapter into tablet –> run the file and done fixed. I hate when companies released stuff without properly debugging, but hey sometimes even they get forced to released.

All in all it’s an awesome tablet capable of running games, internet browsing, photoshopping, writing and watching. I love it, it’s just what i need for a budget computer with both touchy tech and reasonable power. For those a little more tech savvy, this post is looooong so i will write another about upgrading it (hard drive and 64-bitting), Windows 8, and including some tips on opening it if you dare…..If you have any questions, please comment and i’ll reply. Thanks for reading.

R