Tag Archive: Games


I have never been one to get very involved in the more social aspects of gaming for the iDevice but the latest app I was asked to review really gave me no choice. Star Diamonds Paradise, which was developed by Star Arcade, is a puzzle game that is designed to be played against an opponent – a real human one online, not some computer generated foe. Now I may not be used to battling online much from my iDevice (in this case my iPad but the app is also compatible with the iPhone and the iPod Touch) but I am competitive in general so quite looking forward to a challenge – I hoped – I paid my $1.99 (there is a free version but its full of ads) and fired up the app ready to head into battle….

Sounds and Graphics 4/5

colorful puzzler

Even from the start up registration screens I was impressed with the colors and clarity of the graphics. This is (on the face of it at least) a rather simple game and while there is no need for the graphics to be over complicated the fact that they are bright, very easy on the eye and attractive is a definite plus.

In terms of sound there is just enough. A nice little background ditty, all the right noises when your chains come together and very little else. This is not a bad thing as this game, when you get serious about it requires quite a bit of concentration and who needs some unnecessary noises distracting them?

Overall I think that Star Diamonds Paradise has a great interface and in this category merits a 4/5 for sure.

Gameplay 4/5

The premise behind Star Diamonds Paradise is a ridiculously simple one. Faced with a screen full of hexagons, each of which has a different symbol on it, your aim is to sweep together as long a chain of like boxes as you can.

Before you can begin to play you have to create an account. There is a Facebook integration to make the process faster, which I found very convenient, but you can also opt to create a stand alone Star Arcade account if you choose to instead. Either way the process only takes a minute or so and you are then all set to take on any opponents that come your way.

The fact that you are facing an opponent at all times is where the real challenge lies. If you were playing alone then you would have all the time in the world to scan the rows looking for the best possible chains but the clock is ticking and someone, somewhere, is tapping their foot impatiently waiting for their turn! Often, frustratingly I would see a better chain after the fact, when I had already made my move, at which point my only hope was that my unseen, unknown opponent would not see it either!

There are bonuses for extra long chains and there are a few nasty surprises to avoid in the form of dynamite and other nasties. They are easy to see but if you are busy trying to build what you think is a really big chain then they can be just as easy to overlook too! You can collect tile sets to gain extra powers and there are other power ups to be earned that can beef up your cred as a worthy opponent as well.

Play with friends

At the end of each game if the player you are up against is also a registered player instead of a unknown guest you have the opportunity to interact with them. In fact you can build yourself quite the little army of friendly foes if you like, not something I’ve ever really done before but it was actually rather neat.

How much of a challenge you will find Star Diamonds Paradise to be will depend, to a great extent, on how good your opponent is. Some people were really bad and ran away from the game after just a few moves while others presented me with a real challenge. One of the great things about the social networking aspect of the game though is that once you find a worthy opponent you can hook up and then challenge each other directly (as well as engage in a little trash talking too!)

Overall I really rather liked this game so I think it deserves a here too.

Value for Money 3.5/5

As I mentioned there are both free and paid versions of Star Diamonds Paradise. The paid version I used to review the game I installed on my iPad but I did add the free version to my iPhone, just to see how annoying the ads were, or how limited the free gameplay was.

The actual gameplay in both versions seems very much the same and the ads in the free version did not intrude on the game directly but they certainly slowed it down. Given the very extensive replay value of this game though $1.99 is a relatively reasonable price.

Summary

Star Diamonds Paradise is a neat little time waster and as my introduction to social gaming versus just keeping track of high scores in the Game Center or Open Feint it was an enjoyable one. I think if you are a puzzle fan this really is a game worth trying – and if you do ,look me up and challenge me because I am getting better and looking for new foes…

Source: http://www.star-arcade.com

Signing in to the online casino websites is as similar as plunging in to the intriguing and outstanding planet of gambling. Online casinos welcome you with wide variety of fairytale heroes and lovely melody that assists you to relax and forget everything about your problems and business affairs. There are bundles of casino games that attract your personality in any of the gaming portals and among them moneygaming.com is having ability to make your knees to tremble and let you welcome in the most enjoying gaming podium.
Casino games are something which is well known for their wonderful work of art. These games have win hearts of the hundreds of people and have group of followers who are ready to get spell bound in and lost their time, get out of the cares and unwind after spending the hard working week. The range of online casino games is quite huge and they all provide sensational feeling in the gaming house.

Huge amount of people like to try their luck in different kinds of casino games by playing for the real money. And no doubt many lucky people have turned their fate in this way. moneygaming.com also offers their customers a chance to try their fate with wonderful possibilities even without putting an real cash. Some people avoid taking risks and they do not prefer to shed their money in these games, and for them free online casino games are available to make their time more fun.

moneygaming.com also proffers their customers with massive jackpots which can be easily employed for gambling over internet. These jackpots are blessing for the compulsive gamesters, as they rely on divine numbers to turn their fates.

Simply think off the sad day when you have nothing much to do, rather to sit down and stare the grey sky, and imagine to spend your this leisure time in online casino games and trying your luck, what a fun experience it would be. Do not you think it is an amazing idea to utilise your dull time on casino games? Just try your fortune as you never imagine how your dull time will turn in to your jackpot.

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The surprise PC hit game, Farming Simulator 2013 is coming to consoles in September. Developed by Giants Software and Published by Focus Home Interactive. Farming Simulator 2013 will be available for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and adds an all new North American environment to the already present European environment from the PC version.

Taking inspiration from American farms, you will be able to develop your farm with all new scenery and land. The console version also gives you access to new vehicles such as constructors made famous by Case IH, Lizard, Ursus, Kramer and Horsch. Use this machinery to make the tasks of running a farm, much easier.

Farming Simulator offers all the fine points of farming such as raising and breeding animals, harvesting crops, and selling your products for profit, all without the hard work.

Farming simulator 2013 comes to PS3 and Xbox 360 the first week in September. Check out all the official details below.

About Giants Software
Giants Software GmbH is a Swiss video game development studio based in Zurich. Since 2004, Software Giants has produced many innovative games and technologic products. In addition to the development of their successful games Farming Simulator and Demolition Company, Giants Studios offers its own game engine. For more information :

http://www.giants-software.com/

About Focus Home Interactive
Founded in 1996, Focus Home Interactive is an independent French publisher based near Paris, France. Known for the quality, diversity and originality of its catalogue, Focus has published and distributed original titles that have become benchmark titles worldwide – such as Blood Bowl, Wargame European Escalation, Sherlock Holmes, TrackMania, Runaway, Cities XL and also Cycling Manager and Farming Simulator.
During first half of 2013, Focus will publish ambitious games such as Wargame AirLand Battle, the sequel to Wargame European Escalation, the impressive real time strategy game from the creators of R.U.S.E. ; Mars War Logs, the new Cyberpunk role-playing game from Spiders Studio for Xbox LIVE , PlayStation Network and PC, and also the console versions of Farming Simulator, the #1 farming simulation game and international best-seller.
The second half of 2013 will be just as exciting, with the release of the Tour de France official games for consoles and PC; the new adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Blood Bowl 2.

http://www.focus-home.com

Pertinent Details

Developer: Giants Software
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC, 360, PS3
Genre: Simulation
Release Date: Out Now (PC), September 2013 (PS3/360)
Price: TBA

As we here at Don’t Hate The Geek reported earlier, the upcoming action-flight game, Thunder Wolves from Most Wanted games will be releasing soon to PC, PSN, and XBLA. To get you psyched, a newly released trailer has been released. Hit it after the break. Check it out here and stay tuned for all the details about Thunder Wolves you’ll need.

Game Details

Game: Thunder Wolves
Developer: Most Wanted Entertainment
Publisher: bitComposer Games
Genre: Action-flight
Platforms: PC XBLA, PSN
Release Date: Spring 2013
Price: TBD

Another World or Out Of This World as it is sometimes referred to is currently available on Steam in a 20th anniversary edition. The action/ platform game made its debut in 1991 and has since been ported to several different platforms. Recently Another World was selected as one of the few games chosen to be part of New York‘s Museum Of Modern Art.

Another World has been catapulted to “cult” status by critics and game lovers and is widely recognized as one of the most original and innovative games of its generation. Presented with high-definition graphics, and newly remastered sound, Another World is sure to capture the attention of new and old fans alike.

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition offers 3 difficulty modes; its original mode, an easy mode, and for skilled gamers, a mode that is more difficult than the game’s original hardcore mode. The 20th Anniversary edition also comes with the Development Journal and a making of video.

Grab a copy now on Steam for $9.99. Out Of This World The 20th Anniversary Edition is available on PC and Mac and was developed by Eric Chahi, DotEmu. Focus Home Entertainment is publishing the game.

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It was bound to happen really, gamers have banded together to show just how pissed off they are about Aliens: Colonial Marines. Turns out people don’t take to well to demos not being the final product they paid hard, cold cash for.

“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities. Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants [Sega and Gearbox] never told anyone – consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters – that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers.” -Polygon post

Both Sega and Gearbox Software are named as defendants in the lawsuit and neither have bothered to comment on the news. Can’t say that I blame those folks, it certainly looks like both companies misled fans. We’ll watch and see if this goes all the way, hopefully it does. Publishers and developers should be held accountable for this horrible mess.

For the past few years I’ve been meaning to finish 2010′s Metro 2033. I was instantly drawn to the post apocalyptic story driven shooter but have always found the clunkiness of its controls a major deterrent. As Metro 2033 found itself further back in my ever growing backlog of games, the future of its sequel looked as bleak as the post apocalyptic Russian setting that is Metro.

In 2012 it was no secret that THQ, Publisher of the Metro series was in financial trouble. Several games on THQ’s roster faced delays while the iconic publisher of video games tried to come up with a solution to their financial woes while still maintaining a level of commitment to the hard work developers like 4A invested into their games. In the end THQ filed for bankruptcy and their games were auctioned off to the highest bidders. Eventually Metro Last Light ended up at Deep Silver and now is available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Metro Last Light picks up where Metro 2033 left off, if you are new to the series be sure to watch the beginning cutscenes that will fill you in on the story thus far. The Metro universe is inspired by the books of Dmitry Glukhovsky and follows our hero Artyom through the devastation and consequences of a nuclear holocaust in his once beautiful Russia. Artyom is a Ranger and is sent to find the last known remaining “Dark One“. The Dark Ones were the species Artyom chose to call in a missile strike on in Metro 2033 and is therefore responsible for their extinction.

There is dissent amongst Artyom’s fellow survivors as to what is to be done with the last remaining Dark One, who is just a child. Of course, once Artyom finds the lone Dark One, we soon learn that a few other political factions are also on the hunt for the Dark One and have their own agendas as to why. Our hero Artyom has one distinct advantage, he can communicate with the dying race. In doing so Artyom starts to doubt his decision of helping commit genocide against the misunderstood Dark Ones.

Metro Last Light is best described as a shooter / horror-survival hybrid. The nicely paced campaign unfolds with both political upheaval and scary mutants all struggling to control the Metro. The story is very intriguing and well written despite a few weak spots in the plot. It has inspired me to dust off my copy of Metro 2033 and place it at the beginning of my backlog. The Metro world is one I can’t wait to revisit.

The setting of post apocalyptic Russia is one of great tragic beauty. 4A’s eye for detail and use of light and darkness gives the feel that the most important character of the game is the Metro itself. I found myself adjusting my eyes to adapt to the dark of the underground tunnels and cringing while wiping the imaginary cobwebs away as if my video game surroundings were my reality. Turning off a light will help you hide from human A.I. but will impede your ability to navigate around the Metro and might also catch you off guard from creatures of the dark.

Gameplay was incredibly smooth and much improved from the first Metro. Controls felt natural and were easy to learn, my biggest complaint would have to be the A.I.. Often I could sneak up on a group of 2 or 3 video game enemies and stab all of them in a very un-stealthy fashion without being detected. Non human or mutant enemies were a different story and were much more relentless in their pursuit of Artyom.

Weapons and ammo are plentiful in Metro Last Light as not only were they lying all around, human A.I. almost always had some on them that you could scavenge from their dead corpses. Above ground movement requires the use of a gas mask for survival but once again filters to extend your clean breathing were fairly abundant.

Metro Last Light’s gameplay while still challenging at times is easier than I remember its predecessor to be. Most of my in-game deaths resulted from my own stupidity or lack of paying attention. One other issue I had with the game was a few of the automatic checkpoints were inconveniently located, like the time I kept respawning with very little air left on my filter, no replacements in sight, and a great deal of travel left to get to my destination. However, on the subject of checkpoints, kudos for them being frequent especially in long battles or boss fights, unlike some current games I know. That’s right, God Of War Ascension and Crysis 3 I’m talking about you!

I played the game on a PC running it at the ultimate settings and if you have a powerful gaming rig, I recommend doing the same. The graphics of Metro Last Light are stunning and despite its devastated Russian setting, it’s quite beautiful. If you are playing it on a PC with an AMD video card, be sure to turn PHYSX off in the settings. I played a few hours without incident before I experienced any problems with the graphics. I didn’t notice any more issues after turning PHYSX off and the game looked just as amazing with it off as it did on. Also, if you turn PHYSX off mid gameplay you will have to quit to your desktop and restart the game before the setting will change.

I experienced a few minor glitches with the A.I. and for whatever reason during the last battle my weapons would not fire at times, despite having a full magazine. I also had issues with the night vision goggles and never once got them to work. Overall though, my experience with Metro Last Light was very enjoyable. I’d give it an 8 out of 10. In a year where Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite have raised the bar on video games, I’d say that is quite impressive.

A very special thank you goes out to the amazing PR department at Deep Silver for supplying me with a review copy of Metro Last Light as well as advice on optimal settings for my PC.

Metro Last Light was developed by 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is now available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

  • Deep Silver opens the gates to Moscow’s underground: Metro: Last Light is now available

  • Metro: Last Light doesn’t treat you like a moron

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No, no, no, not this again. We’re hearing from sources that the Xbox One will require gamers to be installed on the hard drive before playing is allowed. If for some reason you want to take that new game over to a buddy’s house, you would have to pay a fee to MS just to play it. The game will be tied to one Xbox Live account, no mention yet if it can be unlinked for another account.

Yeah I hate installing games to my PS3. I have a puny 80GB hard drive and it fills up quick with all the mandatory installs. Plus who wants to buy a brand new game, rush home and then wait while 5GB of data is slowly transferred to their deck? Not I that’s for sure. The Xbox One may have a 500GB drive but that sucker will fill up very fast with games, here’s hoping for TB drives.

What this seems like is Microsoft’s use of the Xbox One against the used games market. Sure EA ditches Online Passes but then someone still has to pay to play used. Stay tuned geeks as more info will eventually emerge.

3DS and 3DS XL

Nintendo could be facing a damages claim worth hundreds of millions of dollars if a court case doesn’t go its way. The lawsuit involves former Sony engineer and inventor Seijiro Tomita, who claims Nintendo is infringing a patent he holds for the 3D display technology that is currently used in the 3DS handheld.

Tomita held a meeting with seven Nintendo officials back in 2003 to show off a prototype of his then patent-pending display technology, but they didn’t sign a licensing deal with him. Tomita was later awarded the patent for his technology in 2008, and four of those seven officials who met with him went on to help create the 3DS hardware. Tomita claims the display used in the handheld uses his patented technology to allow 3D visuals to be seen without glasses.

Nintendo obviously thinks otherwise, pointing out it met with hundreds of people/companies when formulating the design of the 3DS. The Japanese company also believes there’s key parts of Tomita’s patent that clearly aren’t employed in the 3DS display and hopes this renders the claim invalid.

The lawsuit has made it to the US District Court in Manhattan, though, and Tomita believes he is entitled to $9.80 for every 3DS Nintendo has sold and will sell going forward. Nintendo has sold in the region of 30 million 3DS devices to date, suggesting Tomita could receive a check for $294,000,000 if he wins the case.

Tomita spent most of his working life (30 years) as an engineer at Sony. But in 2002 he retired and started inventing, and now has over 70 patents to his name. If he wins against Nintendo he doesn’t really need to worry about inventing anything ever again.

Now read: Nintendo announces Pokemon X and Pokemon Y for 3DS

In our constantly evolving world of advanced physics engines, retina displays, and that are graphics cards that are pushing games over 100 frames per second, it’s hard to look at a game like the original Super Mario Bros. and imagine what it would be like if it was published today. As a 2D scroller, Mario was a fun but challenging even in the early levels. The creator of the original First Person Mario (Freddie Wong) has come back to show everyone how unbelievably impossible the ending of this game would have been in 3D.

First Person Mario: Endgame is the sequel to the original demonstration of what Mario would look like if it were made using today’s FPS happy world. In the original, it was made pretty clear that the experience would be chaotic. It sounds almost as crazy as playing the 2D version with a 5-foot wide Lego controller, but that’s been done already.

The first part of Mario, at least in 2D land, is pretty easy though. The obvious question is whether or not you could survive in that same experience later on in the game. A quick look at FPM: Endgame pretty clearly makes the answer a flat “no”. Even if you were able to survive jumping from tank to tank and taking out the baddies, there’s no way you could manage jumping on the sheer volume of cannonballs being shot at you. Even in a 3D space, being stuck on those tanks makes it impossible to strafe or dodge in any way. There’s only one thing to do: jump and pray.

First Person Mario

Once you get beyond the tanks, of course, you’ve got to take on the final boss. 3D Bowser is infinitely more menacing that his 2D self, and seeing his massive body flung towards you makes it hard to imagine you’re going to be able to run underneath of him in time. Of course, you know you you’re going to win, and you’ve got that HUD showing you life in 2D is so much simpler while you panic. The battle comes rapidly to a close and Bowser inevitably puts his massive body through the floor and plunges to his doom. Everything is as it should be, and Mario ends as the hero we all remember him.

The most impressive part of this visual experience is that it comes at the hands of five talented individuals after four weeks of rendering and anmation. Brandon Laatsch lead the way to the sequel with a combination of 3dsMax, After Effects, Premier, Vray, and Krakatoa. Brandon comments that on a single computer this project would have taken 50 hours in just rendering, but through a networking his computers together the process took significantly less time overall. You can take a look at a behind the scenes for this impressive video on Brandon’s YouTube channel.

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