Showing posts from May, 2015

Surprise! Chaos Rings III is Localized, Available Today!

It was almost a year ago that we got our first look at Chaos Rings III, the latest in Square Enix's most popular series of smartphone games, and a pleasant surprise for everyone circulating rumors that the third numbered entry in the series would be reduced to a social card battling game. Considering every previous Chaos Rings game was localized (with the exception of voiceovers) the expectation was that Chaos Rings III would be as well, however as the months went by it gradually slipped into the background and called into question whether a localization effort existed at all.

Well, now we know, because out of the blue the game has appeared on the US iTunes App Store and Google Play, the latter of which bearing one of its first ESRB ratings. For the curious: Chaos Rings III was awarded a T for Teen. It also bears a whopping 2.3GB download size and a typical Square Enix premium price tag of $19.99. While that sort of figure often turns off smartphone and tablet crowds used to $0.99 …

Motorola Nexus 6 - Bigger Really is Better (Review)

Well, it's that time of year again: Google I/O time, where one of the most important companies of the 21st century takes to the stage to talk about what's next for their many properties—most importantly to some, Android. While rumors have circulated predicting the cessation of Google-branded Nexus devices and it's unlikely we'll see any new entries to the product line over the next few days, there's still plenty to love about the most recent Nexus products, specifically the Nexus 6. Following a troubled launch and Android 5.0 bugs that had to be patched out, it seemed at first this giant-screened phone (I refuse to use the word 'phablet') was just not destined for greatness. But time has passed, the Nexus 6 is now readily available, and Android 5.1 has mostly solved the performance issues of its predecessor. Even with new Nexus devices potentially on the horizon later this year, is it finally the Nexus 6's time to shine? I say yes.

Image credit PocketNow

Three Things Destiny 2 Desperately Needs

It's May 19, Guardians. You know what that means: Destiny's second expansion, 'The House of Wolves', is finally here. You also probably know by now to expect it to stir up a lot of controversy amongst the gaming community, mixed with avowed professions of dropping the game altogether in protest of one thing or another and those who excitedly took off at least one day of work just to blow through all the new content the expansion offers. Meanwhile, a significant portion of Destiny's reported 16 million registered players continue to log in daily and spend an average 3 hours per session regardless of all the debate. Destiny is nothing if not addicting, even if it isn't really a very good game at its core. It gets a few things really right, like the base gunplay mechanics and atmospheric environments, and it's enough to keep players coming back and even shell out $20 for a package of a little bit more of the same every few months. Destiny is Bungie's first…

Rocket League Beta is a Blast (Video)

In a day and age when the word 'gaming' generally conjures up images of high-budget story-driven experiences, it's easy to forget that sometimes the simplest ideas are actually the most fun—and that videogames can even be 'fun' in the purest sense of the word at all.

Such is Rocket League from developer Psyonix, slated to release on the Playstation 4 this summer and at an undisclosed later date on PC. In essence it's just a ball in a big box with goals at either end, but it also happens to be some of the most fun I've ever had on my PS4.

Rocket League is soccer (or football, if you prefer), but with a twist: players pilot rocket-powered RC cars in an enclosed arena where driving on the walls and ceiling is not only possible but oftentimes necessary to direct the ball in your favor. It almost falls into physics sandbox territory, but with a distinctive goal that gives real thrill and 'awesome' factor to every minute of madness.

The recent second beta of…

AMIDuOS - Finally, a Great Way to Run Android Apps on Windows

It's a testament to the prevalence and progress of mobile devices: our smartphones and tablets have reached the point where they aren't merely stand-ins for 'real' computers on-the-go, but are actually so elegant and useful that sometimes we wish 'real' computers imitated them and even ran the same software. In fact, the notion of running Android apps on desktop PCs is nothing new. Bluestacks, Andy, Genymotion—all have made valiant attempts at achieving this dream, but unfortunately have also suffered from a variety of issues ranging from performance to complexity to compatibility. Needless to say, there hasn't been any one solution that stands out as more than a mere novelty, but with AMIDuOS, all that has changed in a big, big way.

AMIDuOS is the product of American Megatrends, Inc (the 'AMI' of 'AMIDuOS'), perhaps best known as 'that company that shows up when you turn on your computer'. It's not often that we see AMI break awa…

Edge Display Scaler Minor Update (v1.2.2)

Edge Display Scaler has received another minor update, bringing the latest version up to 1.2.2. This version is all about updating a new feature added in 1.2.0, which embarrassingly was actually incomplete when it first arrived. That feature is edgeds_view_fit, a sort of 'training wheels' script to give new Edge DS users a simple aspect ratio scaling solution without having to entirely rework old projects for 1:1 scaling. The new version of the script still functions the same way, however it will now scale a total of three views at once, one acting as the actual game view and the other two acting as letterboxes, giving the developer control over what goes in the black borders.

This can be a solid color, a repeated texture, or even GUI elements--anything you can fit in a normal view. In general I highly discourage this approach, but it's been a highly requested feature since Edge DS's first release, and I hope this new version will better suit the needs of those who requ…

New Square Enix Tech Demo Shows Off Power of DirectX 12

At Microsoft's BUILD 2015 conference this week, Square Enix vicariously made a brief appearance to show off a bit of what their Luminous Engine can do when taking advantage of the power of Microsoft's newest version of their popular graphics API, DirectX 12. For a bit of history, in the past we saw Luminous Engine running on DirectX 11-level technology in 2012's 'Agni's Philosophy' tech demo, and more recently we've seen a rough build of the engine running on home consoles in the form of Final Fantasy XV, Episode Duscae. But a lot has changed since 2012, and we knew going in that Episode Duscae would be based on an already-outdated version of the engine.

This new demo again revisits the star of Agni's Philosophy, and appears to be the first in potentially a series of similarly-themed tech demos. While officially it is simply titled 'Real-time Art & Tech Demo', Square Enix did also include a second title card dubbing the demo 'WITCH: Chapt…