When I was checking out the app store a couple of days ago, I noticed Temple Run 2 was the number one app in the store. I didn’t even know that this game was being developed but I was very excited to grab it for free and begin playing it. Right away I noticed the resemblance to the first one but I also noticed that this one was actually better than the first. The first thing that you will notice is that the graphics of the terrain are much more improved and realistic. Where as in the first game, the terrain was mostly flat, in the new game there are many more hills and turns. Another neat thing about the sequel are the new elements of gameplay including rope slides and mine cart. There are also more coins and gems to collect in this version. If you were a fan of the first, definitely check out the second.
Above is a graphic I made representing Super Mario as he evolved into the character he is today. This certainly doesn’t cover every Mario game out there but it does show the main franchise games that came out over Nintendo’s history. Click on the graphic for a larger version.
Roughly six years ago Sony released the PSP and set the portable gaming world a blaze with the new handheld. The screen was brighter, bigger and had some of the best graphics seen on a portable to date. Today the PSP isn’t anything that’s going to knock your socks off and there were many rumors as of late about the next iteration of the PSP floating around CES this year. Those rumors have proved to become true because Sony has just officially announced the PSP2 at an event in Tokyo. For now however, Sony is calling the portable device by its code name ‘Next Generation Portable’ or NGP for short.
Fans of the PSP have been dreaming of dual analog sticks for years and they finally get them in the NGP. It will also feature a high-resolution, touch-sensitive OLED screen that’s larger than the original PSP screen, tilt-sensitive SIXAXIS controls, dual analog sticks, front and back-facing cameras, and a touch sensitive back panel. This new touchpad back panel will make most of the device interactive unlike anything seen before. Sony claims that the new NGP will be as powerful as the PlayStation 3.
There will be no more UMD with the NGP. Sony in introducing a new game medium that’s a small flash memory based card. The cards will be able to hold full software titles plus add-on game content and game save data. Sony also announced ‘PlayStation Suite’ which will allow the games to be played on other Android based devices such as mobile phones, smart-phones, and tablet PCs.
In addition, Sony is introducing a new service called LiveArea that will let your NGP be able to detect others in the area and let you see what they’re playing, chat, see game rankings, etc. It sounds like something similar to what the Nintendo DS has with PictoChat but hopefully this is on a much larger scale. The NGP is expected to be out later this year in Japan. No timeframe given to the U.S. release date yet.
The Full Specs
- CPU: ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)
- GPU: SGX543MP4+
- External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
- Rear touch pad: Multi touch pad (capacitive type)
- Cameras: Front camera, Rear camera
- Sound: Built-in stereo speakers, Built-in microphone
- Sensors: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass
- Location: Built-in GPS, Wi-Fi location service support
- Keys / Switches: PS button, Power button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), Shoulder buttons (Right/Left), Right stick, Left stick, START button, SELECT button, Volume buttons
- Wireless communications: Mobile network connectivity (3G), IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1)(Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode), Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR （A2DP/AVRCP/HSP）
The Announced Games
- Hustle Kings
- Hot Shots Golf
More at PlayStation Blog.
It’s been 10 years since the PlayStation 2 first came out in Japan. It is the best-selling console of all time, having reached over 140 million units sold as of September 30, 2009. New games are still being released on the system later in 2010. Kotaku made a nice little timeline of the PS2 history.
More @ Kotaku.
Based on the decent success of the Kindle, Amazon is going to release the Kindle 2 on February 24. At just over 1/3 of an inch thick and weighing in at 10.2 ounces, it is lighter and thinner than most paperback books. New features include an improved display, 25% longer battery life, more storage and 20% faster page turns and a new feature entitled Read-to-Me, which lets Kindle read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you.
More @ Amazon.
PopCap was kind enough to bring Bejeweled 2 to your PS3 via PSN download. The game and demo were released today along with word of other PopCap including Peggle and Zuma which will be released later this year. Bejeweled is $9.99, includes trophy support and is available right now so at least check out the demo.
For those looking for a cheap way to fill up your iPhone or iPod touch with some killer apps, Bejeweled 2 is on sale for $2.99. It’s possible it’s on sale now to sell a bunch of copies before they release Bejeweled Twist in the App Store. Anyway I dont care, i’ll bite and pay the $3, down from $7 earlier last month. Although the App Store version is a bit bare bones and won’t even let you save your high scores it’s still great for some fast addictive arcade fun.
Although the beta has been out for a while now, Capcom announced today that Street Fighter 2 HD will be available very soon to download on XBOX Live and PlayStation Network. Street Fighter 2 in High-Def can’t come soon enough. The fans are waiting Capcom!
More @ Joystiq.
Being a huge Street Fighter II fan, this news excites me enough to the point that I’d consider buying a 360 just for this game. Capcom has already released the Beta version of Street Fighter II HD on XBOX Live for the 360. Now I’m not sure how well the 360 controller will work with the game but the thought of doing hadoken’s in Hi-definition excites me.
Tactical Espionage Action. I first played this game back in ‘02 and I wasn’t sure what that meant or what to expect. I was going through a stage where I was trying out the best PS2 games and judging the games by their ratings. Who knew that I would be in for such a tasty treat. A game such as this only comes around once every few years. Not to get off subject but the last time I remember being sucked into a game like this was back in ‘96 with LOZ:Oot on N64. I don’t know if it’s just me and my preferences in the gaming scene but to me this game is almost perfect. Just watch the amazing intro to the game and you’ll be instantly interested in starting a new game.
The game is split into 2 chapters. The “Tanker” chapter where you play Snake is about 25% of the total game and the “Plant” chapter where you play Raven makes up the other 75% of the game. The game is filled with cut-scenes, too many at times, (You can skip through them with the X button but may not want to your first time around). So what’s the objective of the game? The cut-scenes will tell you your objective, where to go and what to do. A mission could be taking pictures of Metal Gear, or rescuing someone from a building. To achieve your mission goal you will need to hide in lockers, under tables, in the shadows, from the surveillance cameras, it’s a living environment where everything you see can somehow play a role. How much violence you want in the game is all up to you. You can try to sneak past the guards and not hurt anybody or you can shoot everyone in sight, triggering them to radio for help.
I honestly didn’t know the PS2 was capable of handling this stuff. You can tell that Konami took thousands of man hours into this game to make it as perfect as possible. Some of the most spectacular graphics are in the Tanker mission. You start out on the outside of the ship where it’s pouring down rain. Then after shooting some baddies you make your way inside where you see where the real beauty lies. Right when you walk in you can see the puddles your feet create. You start walking and you leave wet footprints. The attention to detail is amazing. You can be anywhere in the game and hit the “R1? button and you get a first-person view with crisp detailed graphics in every direction. Since most of the game you will be hiding or avoiding enemies, the first person view is where you will do most of your shooting. If you shoot a fire extinguisher, smoke will fill the area and possibly reveal nearby laser beams. Whoops, you were trying to shoot the soldier and missed. The bullet broke one of the 100 bottles of liquor in the bar. The detail is amazing and has to be seen to be believed.
One of the best parts of the game was the sound. If a soldier sees footprints or blood left behind by Snake or Raven he will say “Hmm?” or “Who’s There”. If you knock on the wall to get a soldiers attention the soldier will ask “What was that noise just now?” The sound of a soldier walking by while you hide in the shadows is so lifelike it’s scary. I never knew sound could play such a role in a video game. The sound becomes such an essential element of the game; if you play on mute you’re only playing half the game although it does add an interesting challenge to the game. The music is beautiful in every way. If you get spotted by a soldier the music instantly goes into a thrilling musical score that makes them feel that much more intense.
Replay Value (10/10)
After going through this game once, I couldn’t stop. I’m at the point now where I know where everything is in the tanker chapter and I can practically beat it without weapons but just with snapping of necks and locker stuffing.
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