Wii U Preview

30 07 2012

Ok, with the announcement having been made over a year ago.. we are slowly creeping into the release date for the Wii U, anticipated for the 4th Quarter of 2012.

The Wii U is the newer version of the Wii as you might have guessed. The console will be backwards compatible with Wii games, and is trying to create another entirely new form of gaming, just as the Wii did on its release date.

The biggest talking point, is shown in the image above, the Wii U GamePad. This has a screen on the front and allows you to view the entire game on this screen, or supplementary information such as maps, just like the bottom screen on a DS and also acts as a touchscreen. The interesting thing is that this can be used with, or without a TV.. The first mainstream console that could also double up as a handheld. The GamePad also has a front facing camera, a built in accelerometer and Near Field Communication (NFC) built in. This, like many smartphones means that you will be able to make payments using the Wii U and also use this with interactive figurines within a game.

 

As well as the GamePad the Wii U will also have the option of a more mainstream Wii U Pro Controller, which is an attempt by Nintendo to attract more console gamers away from the Xbox and Playstation and bring them to the Wii. Nintendo are also attempting to make porting of games to the Wii U far more easy and streamlined meaning that some of our other console favourites could be making their way to this device. This could be a massive benefit in my eyes as when I had my Wii, it was more of a child friendly gaming device that occasionally was a good laugh at parties.. but I would never sit down for hours on end and play like I would an Xbox or Playstation.

It will be good news to existing Wii owners that all peripherals such as the Nunchuk and Wii Balance board are all thought to be compatible with the Wii U.

The following games have been confirmed for the Wii U:
Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3, Wii Fit U, Wii U Panorama  View, SiNG, LEGO City: Undercover, Project P-100, Game & Wario, Aliens:  Colonial Marines, NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge, Darksiders II, Assassin’s Creed  III, Batman Arkham City Armored Edition, Mass Effect 3, Rayman Legends,  Scribblenauts Unlimited, TANK! TANK! TANK! , Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and  ZombiU.

It will be interesting to see how it performs at its release date. The Wii did well, but like the DS, it flourished to an unusually high level at Christmas. This is a time console sales usually shoot through the roof but even taking this into account, Wii’s have been like golddust for the past few years at Christmas with stores selling out for weeks and possibly months on end.

The Wii U is thought to be arriving shortly, and with rumoured prices of upwards of £200, equivalent to 2 Ouya’s it might be an easy choice for some, but a tough sell for most.





Netflix , How to get USA when not in USA !! PC XBox PS3 PS Vita IOS Android

26 07 2012

Having been a member of LoveFilm as opposed to Netflix for a while, this hasn’t been an issue I’ve really came across, but on checking UK Netflix compared to the US, the differences are vast !
The US has a lot more choice, as well as a lot newer programmes than most other services making it an easy choice for such a simple fix. This will also work for other countires such as Canada, as long as the user has a valid Netflix account.

When you register for a Netflix account, you don’t register for a UK account, a US account or any other account.. You register for a universal account, this is why the fix is so easy.
The Netflix website uses your IP address to locate you, then with this information the correct website is displayed for you.

PC
Using a VPN ( virtual private network ) you can easily get access to whatever service you like.
While you are connected to this VPN you take advantage of its IP so if its based in New York, Netflix thinks you are in New York, hence displaying the US Site as opposed to where you really are. The service I use is Spotflux, there are numerous different services you can use to take advantage of different VPN’s but I found this one was pretty simple and is free to use and download at
http://launch.spotflux.com/

Once this is downloaded, you merely open it up and click enable. This will then make your browser connect to the VPN ( this may slow your connection considerably ) Once this is complete go to the Netflix site, sign in and search for your film/show, you will notice there are now more options on many TV Series as well as lots more films.. Taking Breaking Bad for instance, the UK site has up to, and including Season 3 whilst the US has the entirity of Season 4 included on top of this.

From my experience a tip I would give is that once you had chosen what you wanted to watch, once the streaming starts disable Spotflux, this means that your browser will revert back to your normal internet connection and will help the speed and quality of the streaming. Spotflux is a free service, a lot of VPN’s require monthly subscriptions or joining fees. This, may put a lot of sceptics off, thinking it must be free for a reason but it has a lot of positive write ups. As well as giving this benefit for Netflix, it also blocks pop-ups and ads, as well as constantly scanning for Viruses and malware, whilst keeping your IP address secure.

Consoles, XBox, PS3, etc.
For Xbox, PS3 etc ,  if you change your network settings so that your Primary DNS is set to 208.122.23.22 and the Secondary DNS is set to 208.122.23.23 you can access all of Netflix USA’s content. You don’t have to change any router settings, the changes should be made on the console itself. This is useful when using it to watch Netflix, but for gaming id recommend reverting your settings back as this will put you into US servers for games like COD, FIFA, Battlefield etc.

Apple IOS & Android Devices
There are a lot of Apps on these devices that make this really easy, as well as a manual option to input details of a VPN. If you have signed up to a VPN service you can input the details at this point to join your VPN, or as I said, use an App. A lot of the VPN’s are constantly changing at this point so its probably best to google a currently working VPN for the US for IOS and Android devices as these are prone to shutting down with them working great some days and not others.

I hope I’ve helped get a little more for your money if your outside the US !! Feel free to comment on any current Usable US VPN’s as you find them!





Apple iOS 6 Preview ! Nemesis of Jelly Bean

23 07 2012

http://www.apple.com/ios/ios6/

A lot of tech geeks have already had a sneaky peak at iOS 6 with Beta’s making the rounds already!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqy1doZ8L1M – this video gives a good look at how to get iOS 6 Beta without an Apple Dev account.

With iOS being updated to full new builds less frequently than Android, the list of new features and modifications is pretty substantial and impressive !

If I was to summarise this in one line, It would be, think of part of the current iOS .. Its now better.

As well as obviously being the OS that will run on the new IPhone, due to Apples better handle on the update process, the IPad 2/3 and IPhone 3GS/4/4S  and the 4th Gen IPod Touch will all benefit too.

Siri

Taking this into account first and foremost, the IPad HD/3 is getting Siri !
Siri has also had some major upgrade work, understanding more questions, giving more information and also being incorporated into some cars steering wheels within the next 12 months with Jaguars, Land Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes, Toyotas, Chryslers, Hondas, Audis and GM cars all advising this would be supported.

Facebook Integration

With Twitter already Integrated pretty well into the iOS now its time for Facebook with pretty much the same features being used. This will increase your ability to share different aspects of your phone and also introduces the ability to recommend different apps in the App Store to your friends.

Phone

The most important part of a phone you would think ! This has had an update allowing you to reject calls with set messages, as well as introducing a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature basically preventing all notifications and phone calls during a set time with the ability to exclude certain people or numbers from this service also.

Maps

A lot has been said recently about the new Maps software with Google also bringing out their own equivalent new version. The new iOS Maps has integrated Sat-Nav as well as traffic information and an incredible looking fly-over map showing a lot of the big cities in stunning fashion.

Passbook

Passbook is an entirely new App/Service entirely for iOS but may remind some of Google Wallet. This essentially is as the name suggests, an app that keeps all of your passes in one place e.g Plane Tickets, Gift Cards, Coupons, Cinema Tickets etc. This, like many features may be location specific originally and may only be featured by specific retailers but it looks like a step in the right direction!

Conclusion

I had to put in a conclusion section so you dont think im still blabbing about Passbook! The list of changes is substantial, and to cover all of these in one blog post would make some pretty lengthy reading. If your looking for any more info I’d recommend checking out the Apple link at the top of the page or http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/ios-6-everything-you-need-to-know-1083928 These are both incredible resources with a huge amount of info on the new OS.

With Android now claiming a larger proportion of the mobile market in many countries now, this update could be a major player ! Only time will tell..





Dinosaur War IOS Android Free App Review !

23 07 2012

Dinosaur War is free on Android and IOS

This game involves building up a Village, a Dinosaur army, and using each of these for domination!

I play a lot of these kind of games ! Usually I get a lot of game play out of them before getting the gaps between levels getting too lengthy, becoming bored and losing interest.

Usually the basis of all these games are the same, build a village and troops, whilst using up resources and having to wait a set amount of time for troops and builds to be completed (unless using premium paid for items such as crystals to eliminate the wait)

There are a few differences in this game that have kept me involved for a lot longer than the usual ones. Usually during the wait for resources to recupperate, or to be able to battle again there is little to do in these sorts of games.. effectively most close them down and re-open in 30mins/ an hour/ etc. In Dinosaur War there are a few additional options such as Card games and ‘wheel of fortune’ type activities that can keep you amused during this wait to make it pass a little quicker, which although are fairly small things, they make a massive difference and keep you coming back.

All of these games, as mentioned usually involve premium add ons, either removing the wait for buildings to complete or to buy special items usable in the game. This is the reason a lot of these games are free, with rumoured that the Ouya will probably adopt the same approach with a lot of its games, its obvious to see why this is popular with these premium crystals starting at $1.99 and ranging up to $29.99 . This isn’t as steep as some games with these sorts of items reaching over $100 in some instances.

There are a lot of games similar to this one, possibly not having Dinosaurs as there focal point, but using something else ! This is one of the better ones i’ve played and its been keeping me going for over a week now, definately give it a go if this is your thing, after all.. its free !





Clockwork Mod Recovery CWM 6.0.0.5

18 07 2012

http://www.clockworkmod.com/rommanager/

Most people know that if your into flashing your Android device a decent recovery is essential.

Clockworkmod is by far one of the most widely used recoveries, and with a recent update its easy to see why.

A recovery, to anybody who is non technical or familiar to flashing is the program that can be used to install, back up and restore files, or your entire phone. You can make Nandroids using this program, a Nandroid is a complete back up of the entire phone, effectively meaning that if the ‘you know what’ hits the fan and you mess up your phone, you can boot to Clockworkmod Recovery and restore your Nandroid, bringing your phone back to the state it was in at the time of the backup.

I’m currently running version 6.0.0.5 . In comparison with versions <6.0 the differences are night and day. The new recovery backs up files in a different way so that it uses less space, and takes less time.. the 2 improvements you would like out of any recovery.

The decrease in the both of these go hand in hand. Each backup folder is of a smaller size, but this only makes up part of the backup as with the new version of CWM their are 2 folders which contribute to the backup. Essentially when backing up, the system makes a back up file, then makes a secondary file with different aspects of the backup in it. These are parts which are unlikely to change, system files, APK’s etc so that when the recovery tries another incremental backup, it does not need to re-do the backup for these parts and simply backs up the other section meaning it takes far less time and uses far less space.

The downfall of this method is that if you are running a completely different ROM e.g Jelly Bean stock or AOKP Ice Crem Sandwich then some of these overlapping files may have to be backed up again making the backup process slightly longer than incremental backups and again using more space.

The UI was also updated in this build, it is far more clean and a lot more pleasant to look at .. in comparison with the black screen/green writing Matrix effect, some geeks may love that look but to be honest, it just gives me a sore head.

The older version is shown on the left below, with the newer screen on the right.

                

All in all, a great Recovery by Koush who is an unbelievable developer. If your rooted and don’t have CWM installed, I’d highly recommend doing so, easy to use, great features and with increased speed it makes flashing so simple and quick.





Playstation , Xbox , Nintendo .. Now Ouya !!

18 07 2012

Ohhhhh yaaaaaaaaah! No, not a Randy Savage wannabe but a new console completely !

With the introduction of the Internet and then Social media, the preverbial rumour mill is on full speed constantly, new games, new apps, new this, new that. Ouya started out and has been making the rounds mostly thought of as a rumour, but has since been confirmed as official.

Streaming games has become largely more popular recently with devices such as Onlive and Gaikai, but in my opinion still hasn’t made it completely main stream as of yet.

The Ouya is going to come in at $99 and via http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console you can donate to the project starting from as little as $10 to $10,000. These clearly range in what you get, with $10 reserving your Username for the service and $10,000 getting you an invite to the launch, a console and clearly a massive handshake from the developers ! The aim as you can see was to raise just under $1million. As 5 times this has been raised, it hopefully shouldn’t be too long away.

The first of these donation packages to include the actual device is $99 with additional shipping costs outside the US and additional costs for an extra controller etc as you would expect.

The device is made to be open running Android 4.0, meaning that Ouya effectively welcomes hackers with your warranty still being valid even after hacking. This means that games can be tweaked and made from scratch as well as the actual box its self giving budding developers a chance to show their stuff. All of the screws on the device are normal ordinary run of the mill screws giving easy access to mod till your hearts content with new peripherals and accessories possible with the help of your screwdriver!

The specs are thought to be pretty impressive also boasting a Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage initially, with the obvious choice of changing and altering these due to its open source nature.

One of the best points of this new device is that at least some of every single game developed for it must be free.
Whether this means getting a free demo or getting an entirely free game with additional paid content available is completely up to the developer but should hopefully be a lot easier on the pocket than £40/£50 per game with £200/300 consoles.

For $99, it seems a bit of a bargain thus far. I’m in the UK so I’d have to pay $119 ( £75 roughly). For that sort of money its surely worth an investment, considering its difficult to even get some pre-owned consoles for a similar price, still paying £40 a game.

The estimated delivery of the devices is March 2013, 9 months till hopefully a  new world of gaming begins !!





Temple Run , Original and best ?

14 07 2012

Temple Run is a massive game across all platforms, with good visuals, adjustable settings and hours of fun, weird considering it is effectively one endless level!

Temple Run is renowned as being addictive and has a ridiculous amount of downloads so it’s more than expected for app makers to make similar apps hoping to jump on the bandwagon and have a slice of its success.
This review is going to deal with 2 of these ‘similar’ games.

I’ll deal with Escape Bear first. Free to purchase from ITunes, and as far as I can see not available for Android.
This tries to be slightly different, the main character is a bear, as the title suggests but can be changed to other characters via in-app purchases or collecting enough coins. The game also adopts a level approach, as opposed to the continuous level format of Temple Run.
One of my main gripes with this game is the inability to change the sensitivity of the game, the tilt sensitivity is absolutely horrendous, it’s extremely sensitive and your character is usually on one side or the other as the middle ground is unobtainable due to the sensitivity.

Again Pyramid Run is free to purchase and only available for IOS. Pyramid Run is slightly better than Escape Bear, I don’t know if it’s personal preference but due to its similarity to Temple Run, it wins the battle of the pair in my eyes.
Although the sensitivity isn’t adjustable in Pyramid Run the issue isn’t apparent in this app and follows a continuous level format just like Temple Run.
This all also has a mode to bet on how successful your next game will be, an attempt to gain some additional features over it’s parent, but to be honest it doesn’t do the trick for me.

In my eyes, if you want to play Temple Run, play Temple Run! If you want a change from the usual game, Buy Disney’s Brave Temple Run. This is available for Android and IOS and is under 70p on both markets. This keeps all of the key gameplay and functionality points of Temple Run, but adds a few different features such as archery. This game maintains the integrity and stability of the original and provides hours of entertainment for under 70p!








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