Project Zero 2 Wii Edition

Project Zero 2: Wii Edition is a remake of Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly, first released in 2003 on the PS2 and regarded by some as being one of the scariest video games of all time. It is the second title in the series of games known as “Fatal Frame” in the North America. Why this cult title warrants a re-release as the sun sets on the aged Wii is a question that may never be satisfactorily answered, but in any case it presents an appealing opportunity to dust off that old console one last chance before the relay baton is passed over to its successor.

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Heroes of Ruin is an ambitious title which takes on a challenge few have attempted and even fewer have had any significant success at – taking a Nintendo console online for a compelling multi-player experience. While this action RPG can be played offline (important for a handheld console of course), there is very firm encouragement for players to join the online component, with the game defaulting to this mode from the very beginning. It is admirable that developer n-Space has attempted to bring Nintendo gamers a decent online gaming experience, being the first (hopefully of many) 3DS game to incorporate in-game voice chat – a feature which has been sorely lacking from the huge library of DS and Wii titles. 

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The Pokémon series of games has flourished for over a decade, with several diversions from the main path which have brought mixed success. Slap the name Pokémon onto a game and as long as you have adorable creatures which have both young and old chasing after them you will have a reasonable chance of selling a truckload irrespective of how the game plays.

One genre which the franchise has yet to dabble in is turn-based strategy, and the surprise here surely is how long it has taken rather than the fact that it has happened. Pokémon are a perfect pairing for a turn-based strategy game, but does Pokémon Conquest live up to the potential?

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Metservice

While it’s hardly the sexiest subject in the world, the weather is probably one of the most widely discussed topics of conversation in every day life. It often affects our ability to perform activities we had planned, can spoil or enhance events we are attending, and is even proven to affect our mood. Well now “there’s an App for that”.

MetService has just released the Metservice app, available on both iOS and Android. This is a review of the iOS app, but the Android app was developed in conjunction and is also functionally identical. The iOS app was designed by Shift (creators of the beautifully looking Herald iPad app) and developed by Wellington-based PaperKite (the team behind the Official All Blacks App as well as the “I can’t believe they made it” NZ Budget 2012″ App). MetService already has an excellent and informative free website, as well as a “mobile-optimised” version of the same site for smaller screens, so is it worth spending the $2.59 on this new release app?

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Flightless, the award-winning local developers behind a growing list of iOS games, have just released their latest universal iOS game Bee Leader. As the name implies, you take to the skies as a Bee, working to gather as much nectar to make honey while the sun shines. It’s obvious that the development team spent some time to study the life of bees in the course of making this game, but was all the effort worth it?

As soon as I fired I Bee Leader I was impressed by the visual style and upbeat soundtrack. The vibrant colours and “springy” menus were full of life, and promised a fun and unique experience. A quick start guide provides the necessary instruction for first-timers but within minutes you’ll be sent into the wings of a bee tasked with making as much honey as possible before the sun sets.

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The 3DS makes use for QR codes for sharing Miis and for special features in supported games. Mario Tennis Open (reviewed here) released in New Zealand today and EB Games have an exclusive QR code which allows you to unlock the Black Yoshi costume in the game by taking your 3DS and Mario Tennis Open into an EB Games store and scanning the code. In other regions there have been various promotions and activities to allow the unlocking of other Yoshi colours – no further such details are available in New Zealand yet. 

Available “for a limited time only”, head down to your local EB Games store now to unlock this character costume!

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My thoughts on Kinect have always been pretty clear – I just don’t really get what the fuss is all about. The tech looked highly promising – the final implementation never impressed me much and nothing has changed to convince me otherwise yet.

LEAP into the future – the near future in fact – and dreams of a Minority Report control system could be just around the corner. LEAP Motion have showcased their upcoming product which could have you gesturing in thin air to control aspects of your computing, with potential gaming applications far beyond what Kinect has shown itself to be capable of. Claimed to be accurate down to “1/100th of a millimetre”, the tiny device aims to allow you to use not only your arms like Kinect, but also your hands and fingers. You can even grip a pen and “write” with it – the LEAP can apparently map those fine movements as if you were using a tablet.

Check out the video below which demonstrates what the LEAP aims to achieve. Whether you believe it to be real or just a mockup is up to you but pre-orders have opened for a limited number at the impossibly low price of USD $70 (under NZD $100). Will you be pre-ordering one for the launch of late 2012/early 2013?

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Mario Tennis is back! A long seven years after the excellent Mario Power Tennis was released on the GameCube, the memories are finally rekindled but this time on the small screen. With Wii Sports tennis being the signature title for Wii, there were hopes that this would eventually lead into a Mario tennis title for Wii. Sadly however, the New Play Control! port of Mario Power Tennis was the closest we ever got, and with Wii U on the horizon it is virtually impossible that a full-blown title would ever make it to Wii.

Camelot having developed all the titles in the Mario Tennis series, and Mario Tennis Open looks and feels a lot like Mario Power Tennis. Obviously this time the screen is much smaller and a little more 3D, but the vibrant graphics style looks quite stunning on the 3DS.

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Nintendo has made it clear that it is taking E3 2012 seriously, offering interested gamers the chance to get the latest info from LA via the web, YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter. In a press release, it was announced that:

“Nintendo will be using a mix of online, broadcast and social platforms to provide a steady stream of breaking news and announcements during the video game industry’s biggest annual trade show”.
 
“We don’t want anyone to miss the energy and excitement of this year’s E3 Expo,” said Cindy Gordon, Nintendo of America’s vice president of Corporate Affairs. “By offering different ways to tune in and follow all the Nintendo news, we aim to make fans all over the world feel like they’re right there with us at the show.”

The hub on the web is located at http://e3.nintendo.com, where there will be a live stream of the proceedings (no information about geographical restrictions announced). The US will have access to live TV broadcasts on the Spike TV and MTV2 networks commercial-free, while there will also be updates posted on YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter. All this should make it easier for New Zealanders to follow the news when E3 kicks off in a couple of weeks.

via Gaming Examiner

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Following in the footsteps of excellent Sparrow for Mac which we reviewed earlier, Sparrow for iPhone seeks to bring the same superb minimalist email to the iOS platform. The challenges go beyond adapting Sparrow to the smaller screen of the iPhone/iPod touch however, with Apple restrictions meaning compromises needed to be made, with certain much desired features reluctantly omitted.

Sparrow for iPhone currently only supports IMAP mail, so it is not an option for users of Hotmail and other POP accounts. Setting up accounts is relatively straight-forward, and completed you land in a unified inbox that looks on the surface much the same as any other mail app.

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