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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Sparrow for iPhone Review (iOS)

Monday, May 21st, 2012

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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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Starhawk Review (PS3)

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

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There was a time when I’d be pretty lenient on any sci-fi western that walked into the proverbial saloon simply because of how rare they are. The TV series Firefly has managed to raise the standard of this particular unlikely genre combo enough that I don’t just give out free passes to any old city slicker with a six shooter laser gun, though. Starhawk manages the combination by way of plot devices analogous to the gold rush, but at heart, the narrative and aesthetic is secondary to the multiplayer sensibilities of it’s predecessor. Calling Starhawk “Warhawk in space” is to probably not giving it enough credit whilst being mostly accurate.

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Kid Icarus: Uprising Review (3DS)

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

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I’m not one to over-romanticise old Nintendo properties, but I can’t help but notice when there’s fan-demand for a revival, and “a new Kid Icarus” is something that I’ve heard time and again. A revival of this magnitude is also a tricky stretch, since the genre that the original fell in to is (in this case, old-school 2D platformer), best case scenario, very different to how it was then. Kid Icarus makes two significant leaps, from home console to portable; from 2D to stereoscopic 3D, from 8-bit to ‘lots of bits’…

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Printopia 2 Review (Mac/iOS)

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

When AirPrint was first announced by Apple, there was much anticipation in the world of iOS. Along with copy and paste, printing was one of of the core functions that had never been given love and attention by Apple software engineers when developing early builds of iOS. We were made to wait until iOS 3.0 before copy and paste was finally available – it was more than a year later in late 2010 before iOS 4.2 allowed us to finally print from iOS devices.

Then there was controversy when the feature was finally released to the general populous – while beta versions of the iOS update encompassing AirPrint had allowed printing to any printer shared on your WiFi network (via Bonjour), the final release only supported a handful of new “AirPrint enabled” Hewlett-Packard printers. Some accused Apple of a broken promise, with a post-mortem revealing that perhaps Apple’s ambiguous statements concerning AirPrint hadn’t actually explicitly promised printing from any printer after all.

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Mario Party 9 Review (Wii)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Mario Party is a game that needs no introduction. Probably the best known game of its genre, this board game come mini-game collection is now in its 9th release, after an uncharacteristic 5 year hiatus. The basic tenet of the game is up to 4 players coming together to compete in a virtual board game, with mini-games being triggered at regular points during the game to allow players to compete for the stars that will determine who the overall winner is.

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Type2Phone Review (Mac/iOS)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

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Despite advances in capacitive touch screens, most people still fumble with on-screen keyboards even with the haptic feedback available on some Android devices. Auto-correct helps some of the time, but can lead to some epic failures when it goes bad.

Pairing up a spare bluetooth keyboard is a simple way to return to the tried and trusted when typing a long email or working with a Pages or iWork document, but in many situations it isn’t convenient to carry that keyboard around with it. In some of these situations you might be carrying your Mac laptop with you, and that’s exactly what Type2Phone was designed for.

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PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond Review (Wii)

Monday, April 30th, 2012

PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond, is the sequel to PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure. Like its predecessor, it is an action adventure game from the Pokémon universe, and to attempt to stereotype about the target demographic for the game might risk causing offence as there are more grown men that play Pokémon games than I would ever have imagined.

Having played some Pokémon games in the past I can say that while I am not a huge fan, I can understand (having had it explained to me) why there is an attraction to the Pokémon series. This adventure game spin-off, however, is something I do feel may have a more limited market.

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Anomaly – Warzone Earth Review (XBLA)

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

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Tower defense games have become pretty staple fare on the XBLA marketplace over recent times. And rightly so, the genre tends to be ideal for the smaller quick fix level based gameplay that downloaded titles should be. Luckily for Anomaly – Warzone Earth it manages to do things a little bit differently to stand out from the crowd. What does it do? Well basically it brings a tower offense game to the table.

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SSX Review (Xbox 360)

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

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It’s been a long time coming; the last SSX game was SSX: Blur for the Wii, and before that SSX: On Tour, for the last generation of consoles. So it’s been a quiet half decade for fans of good ridiculous trick-based snowboarding, even if you took on the fantastic yet insane Amped 3 in the meantime. The time out definitely shows, too, as there’s almost three versions that were probably each in development at some point: The regular SSX with crazy long and winding rails and physics-defying tricks, the ‘edgy’ SSX with extreme conditions to go with the attitudes, and of course the ‘social’ SSX, which has been a trend for EA games, particularly the racers, of late. More »

The Splatters Review (XBLA)

Friday, April 20th, 2012

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If World of Goo and Worms ever had a baby I imagine that the resulting child would be something along the lines of The Splatters. The latest in the line of now popular physics based puzzle games has you detonating little bombs by moving them into an accessible area and then exploding your living blobs of paint over as many as possible. There isn’t too much more to this colourful game but it’s charm will soon have you in the ‘just-one-more-go’ frame of mind.

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