MARVEL Future Fight Touches Down on Android

MARVEL Future Fight Touches Down on Android

Apr 30, 2015

MARVEL Future Fight is a new game from Netmarble Games that brings our favorite Marvel heroes to Android RPG-style.

The Avengers…Spider-Man…the Guardians of the Galaxy! You can unite the greatest heroes from all corners of the Marvel Universe for the epic battle that will decide the fate of all realities – MARVEL Future Fight!
S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury has sent a dire call from the future: The multiple dimensions of the multiverse are collapsing upon each other – and it’s up to you to ensure humanity survives! Gather the mightiest Super Heroes and Super Villains, assemble your team, and protect the universe at all costs!
ASSEMBLE YOUR TEAM! – Create your squad from Avengers like Hulk, Iron Man, and Captain America, as well as other famous Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil! Upgrade your weapons and master your skills to give your team the ultimate power-up using a deep RPG leveling system.
LIVE THE STORY! – Explore the Marvel Universe in an original story created by acclaimed writer Peter David!
EPIC 3v3 BATTLES! – Test your mettle against other players in 3v3 battles! Choose from four unique hero types – Combat, Blast, Speed, and Universal – then pit your champions against your opponents’ teams for supremacy.
SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGN – Wage epic battle against Super Villains in stage-based battles across a deep, immersive single player RPG campaign to unlock exclusive content, new costumes and rewards!
TEAM BONUSES – Team up classic Marvel characters to earn special boosts and bonuses!
SUMMON ALLIES – Need a little help to get through the next Super Villain battle? Summon your friends via the Ally System for reinforcements and claim victory as a team!
EASY TO USE, ONE-FINGER CONTROLS – Play with just a single finger, or use the virtual control pad to guide your team through the Incursion and defeat your foes!
SPECIAL BONUS CONTENT – Download now to get the launch exclusive Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron package, featuring movie-inspired costumes. Sales are limited, buy from the in-game shop today!

MARVEL Future Fight is available to try now for free (with optional in-app purchases) on Google Play.

[Source: Netmarble Informational Page]

GUNSHIP BATTLE : Helicopter 3D Adds New Craft via Update

GUNSHIP BATTLE : Helicopter 3D Adds New Craft via Update

Apr 30, 2015

GUNSHIP BATTLE : Helicopter 3D just received an update, and this one brings a popular jet fighter to the arsenal: the F-14 Tomcat.

The full list of tweaks, per the app page, are:

What’s New
1. Contents
– F-14 Tomcat now available.
– Episode 9 added.
– New “Raid Boss” mode
> Inflict as much damage as you can on a powerful boss and try to get the highest score!
2. Event (4/28 – 5/5)
– 30% Sale
– Daily Login Bonus
3. Other
– Aircraft now categorized into Tiers
– You can now unlock aircraft if you fulfill certain tier requirements
– You can still unlock aircraft by completing episodes

The game is available to try for free on Google Play. A trailer featuring the new craft is below:

Newer Technology Power2U AC 20A Outlet Hardware Review

Newer Technology Power2U AC 20A Outlet Hardware Review

Apr 30, 2015

I have a problem.

Come to my house, and you can see the manifestation. It isn’t always my fault. Blame the device makers for sending devices to review. Or my need to tinker with retro devices (trying to get my T5 to tether to an M8 is a worthy endeavor); Probably has at least a little bit to do with the fact that full-powered devices give me a high. In any case, when it’s all said and done, one issue inevitably arises.

So many devices, so little time.

Yes, this is an issue that is self-inflicted, but can you blame me?

We generally don’t review stuff like the Power2U combo electrical receptacle, but the simple utility is intriguing, and well needed, at least in theory. Basically, is replaces a standard dual NEMA-1 receptacle with a version that includes 2 USB slots, such that one can double up on the units drawing power from the replaced outlet.

Now, installing it involves cracking out screwdrivers and such, removing the current receptacle and then wiring everything right, and patching it all up. It was fairly easy, and the included documentation is helpful. When it’s all done, it does fit well, and the white coloring was generic enough to make it look natural.

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The big difference between it and other standard ones are the aforementioned USB slots; there are two, one on each side equidistant from the “real” power holes. Each one has a spring door, such that the USB ports are always covered and camouflaged when not in use. The spring back mechanism is not so hard that it damages one’s cable.

In the end, it’s just what the doctor ordered, perfect as the lead outlet at our de facto charging station, and eliminates the need for extension strips. I like the 2.1A output, and also like the advertised device protection and elimination of vampire draw. Yes, it is close to a permanent change, and some might be more comfortable calling in an electrician, but as far as upgrades go, it isn’t bad.

And think of all those happy devices…

Fatal Fury Special Review

Fatal Fury Special Review

Apr 30, 2015

Fatal Fury Special brings nostalgic memories. Those of 16-bit graphics, cheat books, “you died, now my turn” hijinks, and lots and lots of blind adolescent rage. Fatal Fury Special on Google Play helps bring at least one of those things back, and it’s not the cheat books.

Fatal Fury Special is a direct port of an old fighting game that, as far as I remember, never went big in the western world. It doesn’t have the over-the-top violence of Mortal Combat, or over-the-top characters of Street Fighter. What it does have, however, is a solid fighting mechanic, a dozen of varied fighters with unique fighting styles, and a unique mechanic that allows the characters jump back and forth between two “layers” of the level.

There’s not a lot of content to speak about in Fatal Fury Special. There’s a bunch of locations and a bunch of different fighters. There’s a “story” mode that is actually just an arcade mode, in which the player has to defeat several enemy characters in a row, and a newly-implemented Bluetooth Mode, where two players can battle it out on their devices via bluetooth. That’s it. It’s a pretty bare-bones game, but since I got it for $.99, I don’t see any issues with that.

As for the gameplay, it’s almost identical to all of the other SNES and arcade fighting sims. Of course, it’s closest to Street Fatal Fury Special 4Fighter, to the point where some characters look quite a lot like that. There are four attack buttons, a “special” button, and a button that makes the character jump to the different layer of the level. Besides the layer-jumping, which isn’t really that game-changing, it’s exactly like the other arcade fighting games, so it’s no use describing all of its mechanics. Its fun, if you’re a fan of that sort of stuff, but it’s also incredibly difficult. The “beginner” difficulty AI had me plastered on the walls for about 10 fights, before I remembered how to button-mash. Fatal Fury Special is definitely aimed for the hardcore fans, and I’m sure those fans won’t be disappointed.

Overall, Fatal Fury Special is a straight, direct port of the original game, without any changes. Again, fans of the old fighting sims are going to be pleased, but I’m afraid more casual players will find it too punishing. Also, a couple of other things. The button layout and size can be changed in the settings, and I urge you to do that from the beginning, or the game turns into an unplayable hell, as the buttons take almost half of the screen.

Implosion – Never Lose Hope Review

Implosion – Never Lose Hope Review

Apr 30, 2015

Implosion – Never Lose Hope is a hack-n-slash action game that takes place after Earth has been invaded, and subsequently lost to, a weaponized virus that mutates humans into vile, disgusting creatures that kill everyone they see. With the question of how they sustain themselves decades after supposedly killing everyone off being left unanswered, the humans have set to the stars and created off-world colonies, being protected by a special army of special distantly-controlled robots, who are able to fight the creatures without putting anyone at risk of infection. The game follows the adventures of one of the pilots of these mechs, who has to return to Earth, in order to investigate a beacon that went off somewhere inside.

Right from there, Implosion – Never Lose Hope sounds like a high-budget game with an interesting and complex story – and, surprisingly, it is. There are cutscenes, and professional voice acting, and complex gameplay – the game honestly wouldn’t look bad if it was released on PSN tomorrow. But this all comes with a huge “but”. Implosion – Never Lose Hope is merely a trial that expires at several missions in, and requires the purchase of the whole game, which costs 10 bucks. It’s a pretty huge price for a mobile game. This means that even if the game is awesome, you’re left wondering if it’s better to purchase 5 simpler and cheaper games instead. Which is a shame, since Implosion really is a good game, but not on a 10 bucks level good.

Gameplay of Implosion is a pretty standard hack-n-slash, set in the cyberpunkish background. The player’s mech is controlled viaImplosion 2 a virtual stick and a bunch of buttons. It levels up and can be upgraded by installing special libraries that can be found throughout the levels, or purchased from the store. The mech has a main melee weapon, and a bunch of long-range weapons that are quite difficult to aim properly. The melee weapon has a relatively simple, but varied enough combo system, as well as several special abilities that can be activated in the time of need. The enemies are also pretty distinct and have different behavior and attacks, and require some skill to kill – especially if the player wants to get the perfect score after beating the level.

Wrapping up, I’d say that Implosion is a great game. I’m eager to see more of its kind on Play Store, which currently lacks serious triple-A titles. But at the same time, its price makes it comparable to the PC and console-style games – and when viewed in that light, Implosion isn’t exactly up to the level.

Crayola Trace & Draw Hardware Review

Crayola Trace & Draw Hardware Review

Apr 30, 2015

In a world gone electronically amok, it is refreshing to see accessories aimed at kids… the type of gear that harnesses the power of mobile electronics in relatively atypical ways. Back in the day, we could have jamborees with some charcoal and paper.

It feels like the Crayola Trace & Draw is a system that hearkens back to those days, while being firmly planted in the present.

The review package Griffin sent us contains a single piece, a marker and documentation. The idea is fairly simple, almost crazily so: the main hardware piece is an adjustable clip that fastens onto a tablet (or, as became apparent during testing, even larger phablets). This clip’s main purpose is to hold a single sheet of paper plush against the device screen.

The secondary part of this combo is the Crayola Trace & Draw companion application, available on the Play Store. This app powers the images that are the core to the tool. The app contains a bunch of relatively simple basic images, black on white for efficacy, and grouped generally for identification. Now, with the device screen at the brightest setting (as the application advises) and a plain non-opaque piece of paper in place as described earlier, one can use the included marker to trace the image which shows through the paper.

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The app has some simple child/adult-friendly tricks up its sleeve to make the process as successful as possible. One pertinent method is the way is presents the image to be traced — in parts, such that one is overwhelmed with one difficult image all at once, but a smaller section that is more easily reproduced. When that section is completed, the budding artist can tap on an arrow that adds a new section to be added, and so on till the outline is completed.

When the outline is indeed finished, the young (or old) Rembrandt can then take the sheet off and further enhance the future masterpiece.

The system is rated for kids 3+, and I was able to try it out with my tablet-savvy 5-yr-old. Simply put, she loved it, and raided the printer for paper like a vagabond. She was able to get the hang of it almost immediately, and the app was easy enough for her to manipulate on her own. I find it quite interesting that she views the old Nook Color as primarily a tool to create art now. We (yes, we) were able to use pencils and such to do the initial trace too. Nifty.

When it’s all said and done, I really appreciate it. It’s simple, affordable ($19.99 on the Griffin website), and even useful. If only to see a continued smile on my daughter’s face, hats off to Griffin for encouraging childhood creativity.

Titan Empires Review

Titan Empires Review

Apr 30, 2015

It’s really tempting to copy and paste a review I’ve made of another free-to-play gimp of a strategy game earlier. If the developers can’t bother with making new content and release a copycat game after game, then why should I do that? Oh, right, it’s cause I’m not a completely lazy bastard.

Titan Empires plays just as generic as it’s named. The player controls a warmongering kingdom that goes to war with all the neighboring kingdoms, completing genocide after genocide in an endless chase for gold and glory. Not to hold out my point, Titan Empires is a cheap knock-off of Clash Of Clans. Completely and utterly. Not only that, but it’s a pretty crappy knock-off, too. There’s nothing done better, or even differently, than in that game. It’s an ugly, inbred child of Clash Of Clans, without any quality to it. Still, if you’re interested, here’s a rundown.

The “game” consists of two parts. The first and main part is managing your kingdom. Here, the player has to build his defenses, Titan Empires 3construct resource-gathering mills and mines, and recruit new units. The player has an acre of land that he can fill with various buildings that will bring some value to his kingdom. The buildings can be upgraded to increase their value – of course, all of this eats up resources like crazy, so be prepared to wait for several hours to upgrade anything, later in the game. The second part of Titan Empires is the half-assed strategy, mentioned earlier. The player picks a town he wants to attack – either controlled by AI, or by another player – then selects his hired troops, and a hero that will lead them into battle, then selects where on the map to deploy them, and from then on, watches as they either trample or get trampled on by enemy units. Of course, the outcome of the battle depends mostly on whichever player spent more time and resources – real-life more than in-game – on his army. Different heroes have various abilities that can be activated – at a price, of course – to help the fighting armies, and that’s basically it.

Overall, really, there’s absolutely no reason to ever play Titan Empires. It’s merely another cash-grab that doesn’t even attempt to make itself distinct, both in terms of mechanics, and in quality. If you’re really enjoying this sort of games, just play Clash of Clans instead – better yet, don’t play neither, and spend your time with some better games out there. I’ve played it for an hour, and already feel like my life is wasted.

Blaze for Twitter Review

Blaze for Twitter Review

Apr 29, 2015

Blaze for Twitter is a new-ish option that brings a new way to consume and produce tweets. AS there can never be too many options, we were happy to take a look.

The intro sequence is humble, inviting the user to add a Twitter account. After tokenization and such, one gets an idea of the customization options available, as well as a look a the user interface. It has a clean default look, with definite lines and bold coloring. The layout option which pops up at the beginning gives one a large say with regards to tweaking the exterior. Off the bat, it is possible to adjust the way Blaze handles images, going from full all the way down to thumbnails. After that, the background color — light or dark — can be selected; there is also a theme option, which allows the user to select from several colors.

Beyond that, the app can be set up to be read from the top or bottom, and one can also pick long service to use and the frequency rate. When it’s all said and done, the app does give the user a bunch of options to make it his/her own. The app clearly pays attention the Material Design, and overall, it is a pretty vibrant-looking application.

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On the functionality side, the app incorporates a lot of the tools we’d expect in a microblogging client; one can slide through specialized screens for home, @ replies, direct messages, lists and trending topics. Each tweet in one’s stream can be manipulated individually via small symbols, and again, we get the core tools: reply, retweet, favoriting, muting and sharing. Working on an individual tweets brings even more options, like the ability to make a note or text someone a tweet. Retweeting gives one the option to quote, copy or do a simple retweet (I love the overlay). It is possible to work on one’s profile from within Blaze too.

The cherry on top? Blaze handles multiple Twitter accounts.

There’s not much to dislike; if I am to nitpick, it would be that I would have liked a “shoot-to-the-top” button, such that one can get up quickly. An option to tweet to simultaneously to multiple accounts could be handy on occasion.

All in all, it’s a great option, underscored by the option to use the ad-supported option, or the premium build. Either ay, it’s a client to appreciate, and well worth the risk-free try.

Sorcery! 3 Review

Sorcery! 3 Review

Apr 29, 2015

Sorcery! 3 is a continuation of an adventure game franchise from Steve Jackson, who is kind of a big deal. For those not familiar, Steve Jackson is a US tabletop game designer (not to be confused with Steve Jackson, a UK tabletop game designer – I wish this was a joke), who, among other great things, created a tabletop RPG system GURPS, and the bane of all geek friendships, Munchkin. He is basically neck-deep in the geek world. This should add credibility to the following statement: Sorcery! is one of the best, most immersive games, I’ve ever played.

It’s really difficult to explain Sorcery! 3 to a person that’s never played anything resembling a tabletop role-playing game. Because Sorcery! is basically that. It’s a digital tabletop campaign for one person. It’s not really an RPG in its purest sense, but it certainly feels like it. The player character is on a quest to defeat seven evil serpents that are controlled by a powerful warlock. The player must embark into a land, filled with magic, secrets, and time and space distortions, to find the ways to destroy the serpents – and to find the serpents themselves. The story is as rich and multilayered as one would expect from an RPG campaign, and describing it would take forever, so let’s not bother. Suffice to say, if Sorcery! 3 was a book, its page count would go far into the thousands.

The gameplay of Sorcery! 3 is a weird beast to describe, since it’s a mix of different elements without any anchor in established genres. At its core, it’s a really complex text adventure. But on top of that, you have a unique magic system with a couple of dozen of unique spells, a huge – and I mean, freaking huge – map with hundreds of points of interests, which change based on the circumstances, an endless amount of random encounters, and a whole lot of quests to complete on the way towards the serpents. I can’t describe how much stuff there is in the game. I’ve played it for hours, and I’m still well in the first quarter.

To be fair, while Sorcery! 3 is an incredibly great game, it’s not without some issues. The two biggest ones are the weird magicSorcery! 3 3 system and the weird battle system. The magic system could be made a lot more comfortable by removing the long transition and letter-picking mechanic, boiling it down to a simple list of castable spells. The battle system is just somewhat unintuitive. I’ve played a great number of fights, and still basically go with my instincts, rather than knowledge. The fights could also be a little more varied in terms of gameplay. Reading out the descriptions of the attacks is great, but it could very well be replaced with a more traditional turn-based system.

Overall, Sorcery! 3 is the best mobile game out there for people who like tabletop RPGs. If the thought of reading for an hour about how your character navigates through a magical forest, makes you dizzy, then it’s probably not the game for you. But, if you’re one of those people who want to try out a great tabletop RPG, but never seem to have the time, or people for that, then spending five bucks on Sorcery! is a no-brainer.

Fast & Furious: Legacy Review

Fast & Furious: Legacy Review

Apr 29, 2015

On the heels of the release of Furious 7, the Fast and Furious franchise has achieved a new level of success. With that huge success comes an onslaught of multimedia and licensed products, including video games. In conjunction with Microsoft, a Forza Horizon 2 and Fast & Furious crossover game released for Xbox One, but these days most film franchises opt for games in the mobile space. That is how Fast & Furious: Legacy was born.

Fast & Furious: Legacy is a mobile title based on the action-street racing movie series. The license is used to the fullest — players will meet some of the characters from the movie and race, drag and draft their way through the same locations seen in the films.

The first thing that sticks out about the game is its impressive console-quality graphics. Vehicles look almost as nice as their real-life counterparts, but there is a cartoonish video game art style that makes cars feel somewhat like Hot Wheels. What’s more eye-popping is the living environments in which races take place. The streets of LA, Miami, Rio and Tokyo are alive, with realistic obstacles and objects scattered across levels. The bright lights and scenery stand out and make cities pop. These locations are the true stars of the game. Unfortunately, this attention to detail causes long load times.

Fast & Furious: LegacyGameplay is a mix of elements that involve using the device’s touchscreen, and it is a mixed bag. You probably didn’t expect a Fast & Furious game to play the same way as an endless runner, but it does. As cars race across streets, players must swipe to change lanes and avoid other vehicles, road blocks and obstacles. But there are other types of events as well. Drag races utilize quick-time event-like gameplay as players wait to time their launch and gear shifts perfectly. Drifting is done in a similar fashion. This formula is unique for a racing game, but it simply doesn’t work, and Fast & Furious: Legacy ultimately lacks the intensity of a classic racer.

Exploring the menus can be frustrating. There is somewhat of a tutorial at the beginning of the game, but leading players by showing them where to click is not the same as explaining the menu system. Players can upgrade and change vehicles, but there is just too much going on in the menu screens. You get the sense that the game was built to be so much more, but had to be scaled down for mobile devices. Still, it tried to incorporate this depth into the game, and it becomes too infuriating all too fast.

Fast & Furious: Legacy is certainly impressive to look at, but that’s about as good as it gets. Gameplay is uninspiring, and it fails to live up to its namesake. Difficulty ramps up as players progress through the game, but swiping cars across the screen is neither fast nor furious. Unless you are only interested in some car eye candy, skip Fast & Furious: Legacy for a more traditional racing experience.

Joe Danger Review

Joe Danger Review

Apr 29, 2015

Joe Danger is a very nice-looking arcade game about a stuntman who may actually be completely off his mind. He rides his motorbike across landscapes, devoid of any observers, talks with a very freaky mole, races against monkeys, and encounters aliens. Despite that, the game is pretty fun.

The gameplay of Joe Danger is akin to an infinite runner, but it’s not. The game consists of lots of small tracks that the player has to complete. The tracks are linear and have a lot of scattered junk and gold around them, which the player has to navigate around. Joe can jump, double-jump, make a front and back wheelies, and duck in order to avoid the obstacles, or make use of the boosters and planks on the track. The unusual part is that the player needs not only to navigate Joe’s bike, but also use his finger to remove some obstacles from the way, and collect all kinds of stuff by pressing on it. This makes the game a pretty busy one, and despite the overall simplicity of the game, it actually takes quite a bit of skill – or repetition – to complete the level with perfect score.

Joe Danger 2Each mission has three tasks that Joe needs to complete. If the player completes some of them, he gets bonus gold. If he completes all of them on the same run, he will get a badge. The number of badges determine which levels the player has access to, so collecting them is required for progression. The gold can be spent on alternative skins that dress Joe as different characters, and gives a score multiplier. They are also required to get access on the bonus levels.

Overall, Joe Danger is a cool arcade game with great graphics and a challenging gameplay. It’s certainly one of the better-looking games on the Play Store, with colorful textures and models, a very distinct style, and a silk-smooth performance. Its price definitely feels justified. If you enjoy infinite runners, or simply a fan of casual arcades, Joe Danger is an easy choice. It’s fast, silly, well-designed, and fun.

Bracketron Road Boost XL Charger Hardware Review

Bracketron Road Boost XL Charger Hardware Review

Apr 29, 2015

To be fair, it just makes sense.

Consider the virtually unending need to power mobile devices… phones, tablets and everything in-between. The number increases exponentially with every computer-savvy person in one’s household.

Then, one thing that tends to happen with kids is battery loss. Mine always find a way to go back to the car — usually in search of a battery dead device, funnily enough — and will then leave a light on, or even a door open. The end result is a dead battery. Seriously, this has happened often enough for me to add checking the car lights and doors every night as part of my daily nighttime routine.

Even for folks with perfect offspring, a dead battery is one of those things that one wants to be ready for. There are plenty of dedicated mobile options, yes, but what about something that is gentke enough to juice up aforementioned mobile devices and still have the muscle to jump-start a car battery?

What if it was just as portable as a regular mobile charger? Now we’re talking… enter the Bracketron Road Boost 3-in-1 Emergency Jump-Start Power Bank.

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Based on the retail package Bracketron, it is mostly black, with neon green accents; it is relatively handy at 6.5 x 3 x 1 inches. The bank of buttons, ports and lights on the one long side give an inkling to how it does what it is supposed to do: USB and car charging output ports, power button/flashlight control, voltage and level LEDs, on/off switch, input jack and a jack to connect the auto charging clamps. The review package also came with a storage pouch, wall charger, car charger and jumper cable clamps.

The unit arrived with a charge… all the better to play with immediately. It’s device charging functionality is easily engaged with a 2.1A output; charging the bank itself is equally intuitive using the supplied cable. It charges devices pretty quickly too; I was even able to charge my stubborn device that requires higher amperage. With regards to jumping a car, I had to manufacture an event, but the unit worked very well.

It’s such an interesting option. I like the little things (like included car charger and travel pouch), and the advertised 3000 cycles of battery life and 3 month standby time are definitely attractive; my biggest concern with this type of solution is the it loosing charge. With this, I feel comfortable leaving it in the glove box and setting a reminder every 60 days to top it off. The flashlight is equally appreciated for obvious reasons, and while I might fuss at the fact that it only does one mobile device directly at a time, I will note the mobile charging is a secondary benefit. I do wonder about the long-term durability of the cable; it holds up well initially.

It isn’t the first time this type of solution has hit the market, but it does feel like a mature one. At $129.95, it might not be considered to be too much of an upfront investment.