Category Archives: Games Review

Top 10 OFFLINE Games for Android – 1/10, TRAILS FRONTIER


Ok, this video provides demo of 1 game, i.e. Trails Frontier, best offline android game.

Each video in future will cover 1 game. So, this series covers 10 videos along with gameplay and review.

1 – Trails Frontier download link : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubisoft.redlynx.trialsfrontier.ggp&hl=en

Sony sells more than 1 million PlayStation 4s in first 24 hours


Sony’s PlayStation 4 out of the box.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

 

If early sales figures are a reliable barometer, Sony appears to have scored a hit with its new PlayStation 4.

The next-generation game console, which went on sale in North America on Friday, sold more than 1 million units in its first 24 hours on the market, Sony announced Sunday. The company did not say how many pre-orders contributed to that figure.

“Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on November 29,” Andrew House, the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a statement. more

PC gaming in a semiportable package


The good: Dell’s new Alienware 14 offers great performance, competitive prices, and quirky features such as a backlit touch pad.

The bad: The new design still feels dated, and it’s as thick as a few slim laptops stacked together. The fan is insanely loud.

The bottom line: Dell has revamped its gaming line, including the new Alienware 14. The design changes don’t go nearly far enough, but no complaints about the performance.

Some laptops have loud fans that kick in when performing high-end tasks that drive the CPU or GPU. Other laptops, such as the new Alienware 14, have fans so distractingly loud that you practically have to put on headphones (and crank them up) to escape it. That’s a shame, because this is an otherwise excellent semiportable gaming laptop, and probably the biggest shift in Alienware’s design direction in a few years.

Of course, this is Alienware. So even a significant shift, in this case, a new case design and a stripped-down name (the Alienware M14X, for example, becomes simply the Alienware 14), still looks and feels very Alienware-like, which is to say that it pretty much ignores any trends in laptop design over the past several years.

This is a thick, heavy laptop, with automotive-inspired grilles and all sorts of user-programmable hokey lights (although the backlit touch pad is cool). It’s literally as thick as two midsize laptops stacked on top of each other, and I can’t think of a 14-inch laptop this year (or last) that has come close to its size.

 

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

 

But the Alienware brand still has some magic left, and this may be the best system we’ve seen out of that shop since the late, lamented Alienware M11X. That’s partly because, despite first impressions, it is actually smaller and lighter than previous same-screen-size Alienware laptops, and the construction quality, with an emphasis on magnesium alloy and aluminum, feels great.

Valve’s online game service Steam hit by hackers


Artwork from Skyrim

The Steam video game service, used by 35 million people, has been compromised by hackers.

Its owner and operator, Valve, uncovered an intrusion into a user database while investigating a security breach of its discussion forums.

The attackers used login details from the forum hack to access a database that held ID and credit card data.

Valve said that, so far, it had no evidence that credit cards were being misused or Steam accounts abused. Continue reading Valve’s online game service Steam hit by hackers

Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3


In our Battlefield 3 review post, we outlined how the game’s campaign has a certain sense of realism, as opposed to the over-the-top action found in typical Call of Duty campaigns. While overall it’s more slow-paced than Modern Warfare 3’s single-player experience, there’s arguably more strategy required to make it through the entire affair. I’ve always found Call of Duty games to be overly generous in the amount of damage a player can take, and with both settings on normal, Modern Warfare 3 is the easier game.

In regard to multiplayer modes, BF3 will give players a chance to pilot and drive various vehicles that they can’t in MW3. I also really like how the idea of teamwork feels much more important in BF3 multiplayer than it necessarily does in MW3. Continue reading Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3

This is for you, Solitaire and Sudoku junkies


Back by popular demand, we bring you yet another Games bundle – Solsuite Solitaire 2011 and Sudoku Up 2011! All of the world’s best-known solitaire games are here, including Spider solitaire, Klondike, FreeCell, Pyramid, Golf, Yukon, and more. It’s a uniquely exciting gaming experience with hundreds of games to choose from, a dazzling selection of card faces & backs, ribbon interface for enhanced gameplay and skins to customize your playing area.

Sudoku Up 2011 includes millions of different puzzles to keep you entertained for years to come…. No need to search for other sources of Sudoku! Sudoku Up includes five difficulty levels to challenge you. Enjoy the detailed statistics of each game with graphs, 3D pie and bar charts, and tables to estimate your skill level.

Warning: both of these games addictively fun and guaranteed to keep any Solitaire and Sudoku lovers entertained for hours.MORE

Put Down That Game Controller: Researcher Suggests Video Games May Not Boost Cognition


Wouldn’t it be nice if all those hours kids spent glued to their PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo DS video games actually resulted in something tangible? Better grades, perhaps? Improved concentration? Superior driving skills?

Over the past decade, many studies and news media reports have suggested that action video games such as Medal of Honor or Unreal Tournament improve a variety of perceptual and cognitive abilities. But in a paper published this week in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, Walter Boot, an assistant professor in Florida State University’s Department of Psychology, critically reevaluates those claims.

Together with FSU psychology doctoral student Daniel Blakely and University of Illinois collaborator Daniel Simons, Boot lays out what he believes is a persuasive argument that much of the work done over the past decade demonstrating the benefits of video game play is fundamentally flawed.

“Despite the hype, in reality, there is little solid evidence that games enhance cognition at all,” he said.

The authors make the case that a number of influential studies supporting the superior skills of action gamers suffer from a host of methodological flaws. Many of those studies compared the cognitive skills of frequent gamers to non-gamers and found gamers to be superior. However, Boot and his coauthors point out that this doesn’t necessarily mean that their game experience caused better perceptual and cognitive abilities. It could be that individuals who have the abilities required to be successful gamers are simply drawn to gaming.

Researchers looking for cognitive differences between expert and novice gamers often recruit research participants by circulating ads on college campuses seeking “expert” video game players. That wording alone, Boot argues, “lets participants know how researchers expect them to perform on challenging, often game-like computer tests of cognition.”

Media reports on the superior skills of gamers heighten gamers’ awareness of these expectations. Even studies in which non-gamers are trained to play action video games have their own problems, often in the form of weak control groups, according to Boot and his coauthors.

Boot, who grew up playing video games, said at first he was excited about research that claimed playing action video games could enhance basic measures of attention. He and his fellow researchers conducted their own video-game training study to determine what other abilities might improve following video game play, but they were unable to replicate the training benefits found in earlier studies.

“The idea that video games could enhance cognition was exciting because it represented one of the few cases in which cognitive training enhanced abilities that weren’t directly practiced,” Boot said. “But we found no benefits of video game training.” Not only did some of his studies fail to replicate those earlier findings, but “no study has yet met the ‘gold standard’ methods necessary in intervention studies of this sort.”

In fact, certain methodological problems appeared again and again in the studies that Boot and Blakely and reviewed. Even more important than identifying flaws of previous studies, Blakely said, their new paper outlines a series of best practices for researchers who want definitive answers on the potential benefits of video game play.

Boot and Blakely haven’t entirely written off video games as a way to boost perceptual and cognitive abilities; in fact, they’re still open to the possibility. But before they start recommending video game interventions as a means to improve perception and cognition for kids, adults and senior citizens, they say more evidence is necessary.

“If people are playing games to improve their cognition, they may be wasting their time,” Boot said. “Play games because you enjoy them, not because they could boost your brain power.”

Funky Nurse: Online Game Supports Teen Cancer Patients


video game image

Miniclip and Teenage Cancer Trust have designed a game that turns a difficult subject into a fun and fresh experience.

The game, called “Funky Nurse,” is short but surprisingly hard to win. The player takes on the role of nurse in a cancer care unit and must manage patients’ happiness by bringing them to entertainment rooms, keeping them fed and providing medical care while scrounging for hospital upgrades. The game was developed with input from three former teen cancer patients.

Eye-opening stats on teenagers with cancer in the UK are displayed at the end of every level. “Every day in the UK, six young people aged 13 to 24 are told they have cancer,” reveals one. “That’s about 2,100 a year.” Another points out that one in 312 males and one in 361 females will get cancer before they are 20. You can also learn more about Teenage Cancer Trust, upgrade your ward or proceed to the next level.

Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity aimed at caring for youths with cancer. The charity says most teens diagnosed with cancer are placed in kids’ wards or in elderly wards, leaving them isolated. Teenage Cancer Trust builds special wards in hospitals to provide a friendly, effective area for teens to get better together.

Over five million Australians to own a tablet by 2015, games the biggest media growth area: PwC


Over five million Australians will own a tablet computer by 2015 and more than a quarter of those will use the devices to watch television, films and read newspapers and books, according to the latest PwC Entertainment and Media Outlook report.

The interactive games segment has also been pegged as the next biggest growth area by the yearly report, which predicts revenue will grow to $2.5 billion in 2015 from $1.6 billion, helped along by the growth in gaming designed for tablets.

The media and entertainment industry as a whole is tipped to turnover $37.2 billion by 2015, up from this year’s $30.4 billion.

PwC executive director and report editor Megan Brownlow says the growth in the tablet market has to be seen in context with the release of other technologies, noting that tablets like the iPad are a whole new way of consuming media, rather than an evolution in existing technology.

“The best way to look at the future is to look at the past,” she says, saying that the take-up rate for tablets is much larger than for previous technologies, such as the introduction of MP3 players and DVD players.

“If something is a steep change, it’s a really obvious change. From the consumer experience, it’s a ‘lean back’ experience, in that you can just lean back, consume the internet without having to leave your desk.”

Brownlow says the tablet allows users to consume a vast array of content in whatever manner they choose, and that the growth of stores like the App Store have allowed developers to take part in entirely new markets.

“From the content owner’s point of view, it combats piracy. They are the absolute two big drivers for uptake, and they create a cycle – consumers have more content, and the more they take, the more developers will create it.”

The PwC report identifies a key number of growth areas, with interactive gaming taking out the highest growth spot at 9.5%, followed by the internet sectors at 7.4%, which covers both payment for internet access and advertising.

“The slower growth in the internet access space is due to the price reduction as ISPs look to an NBN future. But advertising is growing faster, as it sucks up revenue from traditional players such as television and print.”

The PwC report shows the magazine industry will decline by 1.4% to $1.5 billion over the next four years, while newspapers will grow by a meagre 0.1%. The internet is set to become the biggest advertising method by 2014.

Brownlow explains the massive growth in gaming comes not only as major publishers have created console devices to allow more general multimedia services, such as media streaming, but as the growth in mobile and social games continues to take off.

Already this year the growth in social gaming has been noted by the imminent IPO of Zynga, creator of the Facebook FarmVille game. Brownlow says the growth is part of the “explosion in mobile and online games”.

“What this has done is smooth the cyclical nature of the market. Consoles were very cyclical, so every time a major publisher released a blockbuster it would sell well, but now online and mobile gaming are really popular all the time.”

“Successful developers have also hit that same golden aspect – it’s about women. Social games are played more by women than they are by men.”

With gaming having been such a male-dominated sector for awhile, moving into social games has allowed publishers and developers to essentially double their market.

“In-app purchases are growing as well. With consumers wanting to grow their farms in game and progress faster, they need to have some sort of advantage. We now see that in-app purchases account for 52% of the revenues in the casual mobile gaming space.”

Recorded music is set to be the biggest causality, with PwC expecting the industry to decline by 3.9% over the next four years. Brownlow says music labels need to start identifying new models to make up for the lost cash, as music goes digital and becomes cheaper.

“Recorded music is the most classic example of moving from dollars to pennies. If we were looking at a unit sales picture, we would be able to demonstrate that the volume of purchases is growing by unit, but people are paying 99 cents instead of 15 dollars.”

“This means they have to develop new business, and it’s also a reason why live entertainment is doing so well.”

The report states that live entertainment is continuing to grow despite the sketchy economy, with Brownlow saying that even with high ticket prices, customers are continuing to pay.

“We have this strong Australian dollar which is bringing lots of concerts out here, and in our analysis of ticket prices we see there has been a steady climb. People are still willing to pay for that experience.”

“It’s also a good way of supplementing that business.”

Brownlow also says labels will need to identify new digital models, particularly around the area of streaming, evidenced by the growth of Spotify in Europe and now the United States.

“There’s an interesting trend we’ve identified, in that digital natives are quite happy to rent content, rather than just buying it. Digital migrants had to own content and have vast collections, but younger users are quite happy to just pay a subscription fee and rent a service.”

‘Poor quality’ 3D movies hurting games – Sony Europe exec


Who was there: Sony Europe group studio manager Mick Hocking oversees the company’s four UK-based studios–Evolution, Soho, Liverpool, and BigBig–as well as the Worldwide Studios’ stereoscopic 3D team.

 

 

What they said: Sony has been a big proponent of 3D gaming, and after a year of supporting the technology and three firmware updates to the PlayStation 3, the console now boasts more than 50 compatible games. According to research, 42 percent of consumers are interested in gaming in 3D, but one of Hocking’s primary concerns is now around “poor quality” 3D having a negative effect on consumers.

Citing poorly produced movies (although tactfully neglecting to name any examples), Hocking seemed concerned about the lasting impact substandard 3D could have on the market. He laid out some rules for games developers looking to make games in 3D, saying they needed to “embrace and exploit the benefits of 3D,” and he gave case studies from high-profile internal studios by way of example.

Early 3D titles such as Wipeout HD employed a technique known as reprojection to render a 3D image, which was fast to implement and produced little extra processing but produced some 3D artefacts which were apparent to a keen eye. Later games, such as Killzone 3, were able to have 3D rendering techniques implemented at the start of their development, allowing developers to apply much more advanced dual-rendering techniques.

However, Killzone 3 developer Guerrilla still found that its first-person shooter required some fundamental tweaks to work in 3D–specifically in the crosshair, which needed to be drawn at a midpoint between the player and the target in order to preserve the 3D effect, and the gun, which needed to be blurred out to stop the player focusing on it. MotorStorm: Apocalypse had its own problems–the series’ trademark shaky-cam had to be turned down to stop motion sickness in 3D, while all frame tearing had to be eradicated, because it made the game unplayable in 3D.

Though it sounds like a lot of work for developers to get 3D working in their games, Hocking claims that it costs only 2 percent or less of the overall development budget. He also claims that this investment will result in good-quality 3D in games–the sort that he thinks will drive further adoption of the technology in the future.

Quote: “By 2015, almost 40 percent of all TVs will be 3D.” –Hocking.

Takeaway: There is a difference between good 3D and bad 3D, according to Hocking. Implementing good 3D into games represents a small fraction of the overall development budget, and over the next few years, 3DTV production is going to increase dramatically.