Archive for the ‘Video Games / Apps’ Category

SDCC is underway! Preview night was a success and the N3rdlink crew was present and even managed to score most of the pieces and posters that they were after. We will all be getting up in about half an hour to get in line. Here are a few pics from the preview night. We will be posting more pics as the con continues.

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Never heard of it? Well, if you are reading this blog in the 1st place, then you probably like animae or manga. Well this is an annual convention to celebrate just that! Annually close to 30,000 fans descend upon the Baltimore inner harbor to participate in the three day convention which features animae related, cosplay, workshops, panels, games, movies, and more.

The convention begins today and will run from July 27 – July 29, 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center Baltimore, Maryland, USA. You can register on the spot, and since they do not offer daily passes, $80 will gain you access to all of the activities all weekend long. Registration details can be found here.

The Otakon website says this about the convention:

Otakon is the convention of the otaku generation: by fans, for fans; and we’re back for our 19th year in 2012!

Join thousands of your fellow fans as we descend on Baltimore to celebrate all anime, manga, and all facets of Asian pop culture!

Ever since 1999, we’ve taken over a sizable chunk of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for a 3-day festival celebrating the pop culture that’s brought us everything from Astroboy to Yu-Gi-Oh, from the Seven Samurai to Spirited Away.

We can’t wait to see you there!

The convention even has its own mascots: Hiroko-chan, and her brother Hiroshi-kun who each have a distinct personality profile (I love that they put this much time into developing the background of the mascots!).

If you are in the Baltimore area this weekend I would highly recommend at least driving by the convention center to see all of the people in costume.

You can learn more about the convention on their website, or by follwiing the

website: http://www.otakon.com

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Otakon

twitter:  @otakon

-Mawuli

A ton of pictures have started surfacing of both the setup and opening reception for 3A’s Reventure Show in Hong Kong. It appears to have a lot of surprises (can we say 1:1 peaceday dropcloth!!!), as well as first looks at the Reventure exclusives figures, and some reveals and prototypes of upcoming figures.

Oh, and of course a TON of artwork.

more info at the Reventure blog: http://hkv2.blogspot.com/

and at the 3Avox FB page

What do Excitebike, Fonzie, Anime, sharks and 3-D environments have in common?  They are all things that Bad JuJu made me think about while playing their game Flip Riders!

The premise is simple, drive your motorcycle from one end of the board to the other, collect stars, do tricks and avoiding obstacles in the shortest amount of time. After each level you receive a star rating between 1-3.  More points = More stars = more unlocked levels.  Obstacles to avoid include bridges, hills, ramps, helicopters and oh yea sharks…there is a lot shark jumping (Insert Fonzie reference).

Bad JuJu games purpose of existence is to “Create better games.”

So with that idea in mind do we at N3rd Link feel they succeeded?  should you include this game on the same device as your precious Angry Birds or Words with Friends?

Here is what we think of Bad JuJu’s game Flip Riders.

The Good:

-The environment;  Bad JuJu did a great job designing the levels and the graphics are crisp and clean.

-The controls; Once you set the controls (Tilt, button or swipe) and adjust the flip sensitivity to your liking the responsiveness is pretty spot on.  I preferr the button layout but like many other apps the buttons take up a lot of screen real estate.

-The game is currently FREE! Who doesn’t like free Apps?

The Bad:

-Placement of checkpoints.  Some checkpoints are placed right at the bottom of large ramps.  So restarting at these places, after a crash, leaves little to no room for acceleration.  This causes very little room for error to clear the obstacles after the jumps.

-The only stunt you really control is how many times your character flips his motorcycle.  The other stunts you perform are more controlled by the game itself.

The Verdict:

Flip Riders is an extremely enjoyable game.  I can’t say I am addicted to it and I don’t have that urge to achieve 3 stars on every level but Flip Rider is definitely a worthwhile download.  The game currently has 50 levels, 2 difficulty settings and 3 in-app purchases (each costs $.99 and unlocks a new playable character.)  It’s FREE! How can you argue with that?  So go and grab Flip Riders before it’s too late. Id give it a 4 out of 5!

Tetris is one of my favorite games of all time.  I own at least one version for the NES, SNES, Gameboy, Nintendo DS, Xbox (I have a couple records on Twin Galaxies site for versions on the Xbox), Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone I even own an old school full size Tetris game cabinet.  So when I heard there was a new version on the App store by EA games on sale for $.99 I jumped all over it. 

In this version there are 3 different types of game play;

One-Touch; This marathon game style displays multiple outlines of your current tetrimino and the different legal places you can play them.  You simply just tap where you want the piece to placed and it automatically moves to the spot you choose.  Since there are usually many options to place your tetrimino there is a “cycle” button you can press to view additional positions until you are satisfied.

Marathon; A traditional Tetris game play.  Utilizing the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch’s touch screen you tap the screen to rotate the piece and slide your finger back and forth to place your piece where you would like to.

Galaxy; This version tests your puzzle solving skills by places blocks on your screen and your goal is to clear the board in the shortest amount of time, using the least amount of tetriminos.  This style uses the cascading effect (Meaning any remaining blocks from your tetrimino after a line is cleared continues to fall until they reach another block or the bottom of the screen.  Not the usual 1 line drop.)  You are rated on a 1-5 stars depending on the number of tetriminos you use to clear the board.  As you progress through the levels they become more difficult and give you less time to choose a position.

Throughout the game you are awarded T-Coins!  So what can you do with said T-Coins???

-Unlock new worlds and challenges

-Use tetrimino powers;

   Best Piece (Turns your current tetrimino to a new piece more suited for your situation. Not necessarily the best piece to take advantage of the cascade effect though)

   Anvil Power (When you place your piece it digs down 2 more rows)

   Separating Power (Separates your current tetrimino into individual blocks taking advantage of the cascade effect)

The game also tracks your lifetime stats and gives you a ranking based on your experience points.

You can also join the T-Coin Club!!! As an in app purchase you can pay $2.99 (for 1 month) or $29.99 (for 1 year) to earn 15% more T-coins and lines

 So how did this new version stack up to its addictive predecessors???

The Good:

Galaxy Mode; As a fan of puzzles and Tetris, Galaxy mode is challenging and a great addition to the game.  And with new challenges for additional T-coins popping up on your screen it adds to its replay value.

-The addition of the one touch.  The sometimes inconsistent finger sliding to guide your piece can be tough to maneuver especially during high speed levels.

 The Bad:

The One touch cycling button. Although the one touch is a nice addition, with limited time and pieces having many possible positions if you press the cycle button one too many times you have to go through the whole order of choices again which can waste a lot of time.

Sliding touch movements.  I can’t argue too much about this since when you play on a touch screen device you would expect something like this for game play.  But when playing some of the higher levels if you aren’t precise you can screw up pretty easily.

T-Coin club; Like many other App store games the developer adds this in app purchases which gives you the ability of earning 15% more T-Coins and Lines.  Thankfully joining the club is not crucial to enjoying the base of the game (I have not joined the club and I am currently at Level 7 with over 11,000 T-Coins in my bank to use to open new worlds or use tetrimino powers (which cost 100-150 coins per use.)

 The Verdict:

-If you like Tetris and you don’t mind paying for your apps this is a great pick up for $.99.  Just with the galaxy game play, there are currently 7 worlds each with 15 puzzles.  That in itself is worth 99 cents.  But this version has 2 more traditional Tetris styles which I think is just icing on the cake. Oh and did i say it only costs $0.99?!