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It Came From Canada - New Zealand Edition: Run, Sackboy, Run!

Posted by Jordan Minor on October 6th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

On one hand it’s a bit depressing to see LittleBigPlanet (i.e. a PlayStation franchise adored for its abundant creativity) turn into an endless runner (i.e. one of the most overexposed mobile genres there are). However, maybe it’s better for a familiar formula to feature a familiar face. In any case, we're checking out Run, Sackboy, Run!, LittleBigPlanet's iOS debut in this New Zealand edition of It Came From Canada!

Let’s not mince words. Run, Sackboy, Run! is totally just an endless runner with a LittleBigPlanet skin. Anyone looking for the robust platforming and level creation the series is known for will end up disappointed. But as far as skins go, it’s a pretty faithful recreation. The warm and fuzzy feel of the franchise looks just as great and tactile here as it does on Sony’s devices. As players progress they travel from earthbound environments to more futuristic areas, but the handcrafted aesthetic ties everything together. Like its siblings, the game also offers a plethora of costumes and collectibles. Players can gather stickers and outfit their Sackboy with new looks, like a kangaroo ensemble, to increase their score multiplier.

Fortunately, beloved license aside, Run, Sackboy, Run! is a pretty good endless runner in its own right. The controls are floaty but still fluid - ironic, considering how poor the controls in console LittleBigPlanet games can be - letting players easily jump and squish enemies. Levels don’t feel procedurally generated, but they are so large and dense with multiple branching paths that each run can feel unique depending on where players decide to turn. Along the way, players find power-ups like magnets and jetpacks, and they can charge their own inner powers like a shield for walking right over sticky pink goo. But if players do get trapped, a simple dash will save them from the monster in hot pursuit. And beyond just looking cool, using these skills completes missions and causes Sackboy to slowly level-up.

Again, as great as a proper LittleBigPlanet game could be on iOS, Run, Sackboy, Run! is not that game. It’s a simple spin-off. So potential players should make sure to keep that in mind when the game launches globally soon.

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CounterSpy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on September 15th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: AN EXCELLENT PORT
Shaken or stirred, CounterSpy is simply the best stealth action game to sneak its way onto the App Store.
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Gameloft's upcoming game Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets new trailers.

Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 14th, 2014

Gameloft has released a new trailer for its upcoming thriller, Amazing Spider-Man 2, which is due out April 17.

The game is the sequel to Amazing Spider-Man and is the official mobile game of the Sony Pictures blockbuster of the same name. It's based in Manhattan, and features Electro in addition to Kraven, Green Goblin, and Venom. The game's new original story actually expands on the movie, packing in side missions with bosses.

Save the Realm or Bust - Suits and Swords Combines RPG Elements With Blackjack

Posted by Rob Rich on January 23rd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Sony Pictures Television has recently released Suits and Swords; an odd sort of mixture between RPG and blackjack.

You'll control Captain Black Jack in a quest to defend the four card realms and put an end to the evil Joker's nefarious plans - at least I'm assuming they are, because when are the antagonist's plans not nefarious? The game combines the strategic play of Blackjack with various RPG elements such as collecting powerful weapons and armor, battles with enemies, and sidequests.

If you'd like to check Suits and Swords out, and we all know you would, you can download it right now for free.

Ratchet & Clank: BTN (Before the Nexus) is Apparently a Thing, and it's Out Right the Heck Now!

Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

In an odd move that's becoming less and less surprising (at an alarming rate, might I add), Sony has released Ratchet & Clank: BTN for free on the App Store with pretty much zero fanfare. It just sort of appeared today with no explanation, which seems to be turning into a trend for major iOS releases lately.

Anyway, Ratchet & Clank: BTN (which stands for Before the Nexus) is an endless runner set in the R&C universe and set up as a sort of companion piece to the new PS3 game, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. Despite being a runner, many of the series' staples have found their way into BTN; including some classic weapons, bolts and their requirement for upgrading weapons and armor, rail grinding, and gadgets a-plenty.

PlayStation App Brings the PlayStation 4 Experience Closer to Gamers

Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 13th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Sony has released a new PlayStation app today called PlayStation App! That's right, now all you gamers can always be connected with your games, friends, and the PlayStation Store. You'll be able to see what your friends are playing, compare trophies, and even chat with them to see what's up. You'll also be able to view your profile, receive notifications, and use the mobile device as an on-screen keyboard for the PlayStation 4 system.

Sounds pretty interesting, yeah? Well it gets better because you can also browse the PlayStation Store to purchase games and have them sent to your PlayStation 4 to play when you get home. To take advantage of these features, you'll need a Sony Entertainment Network account and a PlayStation 4 system.

I'm ready for greatness!

KNACK's Quest Gives You a Head Start Collecting Items for Upcoming PlayStation 4 Title, KNACK

Posted by Rob Rich on November 8th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

The PlayStation 4 is out in a week, and I think it's safe to say that there's been a fair amount of buzz surrounding it. There's also been a fair amount of buzz surrounding the planned launch titles, including the upcoming KNACK.

KNACK's Quest is actually a companion app that lets iOS players collect items through a match-3 game, then send those items to the main console title. Match-up a bunch of different parts to make KNACK bigger - using super moves to help clear the screen when appropriate - and complete each level by getting the unlikely hero to his maximum size. Then you can send some of the goodies you've earned over to the PS4 version to give the big guy an edge. At least that's the plan. As of right now the Item Share feature isn't available but according to Sony it'll be in the next update, which I'm assuming will be right before or on the console's launch day (11/15).

Hands-On with the Sony QX-100 vs. iPhone 5s

Posted by Jeff Scott on October 17th, 2013

We've been anxiously awaiting the release of the new Sony QX line of lens-style cameras: those super high quality lens systems that attach to the back of an iPhone and communicate with the phone via a Sony app. We had a few minutes to go hands-on with the QX-100 high-end lens yesterday, and here's what we saw. More on the QX cameras.

While not in the perfect setting, we did a few side-by-side tests with the QX-100 ($499) lens against the stock camera in the iPhone 5S. Here are the sample shots and a few notes for each. These images are not modified other than whatever the individual cameras do by default and for size/cropping for use here.

(click for larger size)

This first shot is a bit of a torture shot for any camera. Bright colors, bright sun, dark shadows, natural and artificial light all in one. In this one both cameras do a good job, but the nod goes to the Sony QX-100 for better representation of the colors in both the light and dark areas. Also a better job of keeping the highlights from blowing out and the darks from disappearing.

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In this shot, both cameras do a great job. While the Sony has a richer color saturation - perhaps too saturated - both are quite good. One plus for the Sony: notice that the background is blurred nicely vs the flatter image from the iPhone.

In all, the real let down was the software. And the good thing about that is that it can be updated. Hopefully it will be. Image size is also an issue. The iPhone 5s takes images natively at 8MP while the Sony QX-100 was only sending 1.5MP images to the camera. It is capable, with an micro-SD card installed, to take up to 20MP images, but I was unable to test that.

The price is another thing to think of. The QX-100 is $500. While saving a couple hundred over the same featured RX-100 camera, it might be worth the extra just to be able to use the camera by itself. Without further testing I can't really be sure if the camera is worth the $500 over the camera built into the iPhone. We hope to have a full review for you later this year as the lenses become more readily available.

PlayStation All-Stars Island Shows Promise, but isn't US-Bound

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Blake Grundman on August 15th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar ::
Even Sony's characters deserve a vacation from the PlayStation platforms from time to time.
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Sony To Bring Two Lens Camera Attachments To iOS Devices

Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 13th, 2013

There are two lens camera attachments making their way to iOS as Sony plans to release the DSC-QX10 and the DSC QX100. Both attachments come with a built-in sensor, Bionz processor, NFC, and an SD card slot and both will magnetically attach to your iOS device, reports Techno Buffalo. There is no announcement on the release or pricing of both camera lenses, but we do know that the QX100 features a 10x zoom and 1/2.3 inch 18-megapixel CMOS sensor, which sounds lovely.

I must say that I'm very intrigued by these lenses!

Image from SonyAlphaRumors.com

Pinball Rocks HD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Blake Grundman on June 18th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: QUARTER MUNCHER
When players have the chance to buy free balls at the end of a game, that speaks volumes about the motivations of pinball game's publisher.
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Wheel of Fortune Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By David Rabinowitz on December 19th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SPIN THE WHEEL
Celebrate 30 years of Wheel of Fortune with this app that has a lot of extra features.
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Men In Black 3: Movie Touch Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Blake Grundman on December 13th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NEAT CONCEPT
It is always a shame when a product that shows promise is held back by platform limitations.
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FLASHOUT 3D Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Blake Grundman on December 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: RIDING HIGH
A perfect showcase of what a WipEout clone could and should be on iOS...
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Caveman Review

Posted by Angela LaFollette on August 30th, 2012

Developer: Mobile 1UP
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.2.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

[rating:overall]

Lemmings fans can finally rejoice… well almost. While Caveman isn’t exactly the same game, it’s pretty darn close. It’s possibly the closest gamers will get to playing Lemmings on an iOS device unless Sony actually does their own conversion.

Mobile 1UP had originally planned to bring the Lemmings game to iOS, but unfortunately a Cease & Desist Order from Sony Entertainment put a damper on things. The developers didn’t let this stop them, though, and worked hard to bring users a new game based on the original known as Caveman.

Anyone who isn’t familiar with Lemmings has missed out on possibly one of the most awesome computer games released in the ‘90s. In both Lemmings and Caveman, the game is divided into a number of levels that are grouped into four different difficulty levels. Each level has an entry point and an exit point.

There are different land elements in each level. Some elements are destructible while others are not. There are also obstacles along the way like water, holes and lava. The goal on each level is to guide the required percentage of Cavemen from the entrance to the exit in a set amount of time by creating a safe passage for them. Gamers do this by assigning a task to each Caveman or else they will walk in one direction and ignore everything in the way. The mindless characters die by falling from a great height, burn in lava or find another way to die or get trapped unless gamers guide them to safety.

In order to successfully beat a level, gamers must assign tasks to the Cavemen. The tasks are located at the bottom of the screen and there are only a set number that players can use. There are eight tasks that must be assigned carefully: climber, floater, bomber, blocker, builder, basher, miner and digger. Failure to assign tasks properly will result in having to restart the level. Instead of restarting a level by pushing a button, gamers will have to use sudden death to make them all blow up.

There are a few perks that fans of the original game will enjoy such as the ability to assign skills exclusively to Cavemen, the option to zoom in and out of a level, a release rate to increase or decrease how fast the Cavemen enter the level, three assignment options, secret timewarp codes and four unlockable difficulty levels: easy, medium, obscure and insane.

As a huge fan of the original Lemmings game, I can vouch that Caveman is the next best thing. While the “Let’s Go” and squeaky sounds have been replaced with Cavemen grunts, it’s still pretty fun to blow them up. The only recommendation that I can make is that the controls need tightening as it’s easy to accidentally assign tasks. Overall, I highly recommend this game to everyone looking to relive a piece of their childhood. Be sure to check out Caveman HD for the iPad and Caveman Lite.