Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

class="story">

If you are intending to pick up the new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword game for the Nintendo Wii this Friday then we have some news that you should pay attention to as it will save you some pennies. To celebrate the release of the action-adventure fantasy game, GAME has announced they will be giving away a free copy to Link impersonators.

The game retailer will be giving the free copy to the first 100 customers who turn up to their Oxford Street launch in the UK on Friday 18th November dressed as the hero from Hyrule. The store opens at 9am but if you’re hoping to be one of the 100 it is recommended that you get down there quite a bit earlier as it is likely to be rammed full of other Link impersonators.

As href="http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/32543/get-legend-of-zelda-skyward-sword-for-free-by-dressing-up-as-link/">ONM explains, GAME will also be hosting a trial for fans of the game who wish to try it out before they buy it, which will be set in a mediaeval forest glen themed section of the store. GameStation will also be hosting the trial at their stores as of Saturday 19th November in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow and at the Prospect Centre in Hull.

Earlier today we brought you news of a href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/17/skyward-sword-live-stream-preview-new-zelda-game-before-buying/">live stream event for the game that will be taking place on Sunday. It is mainly aimed at the fans in the US as they will not be able to get the game until that day and this will give those involved a preview of what to expect from the game. Those in the UK who are still unsure whether they will buy it or not by then can take advantage of the live stream preview to help them decide.

Will you be heading to GAME dressed as Link tomorrow?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ford Escape

class="story">

Earlier today we introduced you to the href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/17/2013-cadillac-xts-rip-roaring-specs-space-age-features/">2013 Cadillac XTS, now we have another vehicle to show you which recently got unveiled at the LA Auto Show, this is the 2013 Ford Espace and the first thing you will notice is how different it looks to last year’s model.

Let’s start things of with a quick overview of specs, we can confirm that there will be three models to choose from, one of which will boast a 2.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive, the other will offer a 1.6-liter engine with EcoBoost and front-wheel drive/4WD, finally the most impressive offering will pair a 2.0-liter engine with EcoBoost and the same front-wheel drive/4WD as the 1.6-liter offering – all of these models will feature a six-speed automatic transmission system and the choice of either 17 or 19-inch wheels. You can see the full spec sheethref="http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2013_Escape_Specs.pdf"> here.

The new Escape models are expected to outdo previous models in terms of fuel economy by at least 5 mile-per-gallon, the previous paragraph clearly states that two of the models will feature EcoBoost – you can find out a little more about this feature href="http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=35590">here, to summarize it is said to help vehicles deliver great fuel economy and equally good performance.

src="http://static.product-reviews.net/wp-content/uploads/2013-ford-escape-first-look-2.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="280" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-145295" />

When compared to previous models you can expect a much higher level of craftmanship, it’s the small things that make a big difference so expect comfier armrests, softer materials and much more, we are also told that you can choose leather-trimmed sport seats with contrast stitching. You can find out more about the new lookhref="http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=35589"> here, some people think last year’s model looked better, do you?

One neat feature which we must mention is its hands-free liftgate, this basically allows you to open the trunk without using your hands. The video below shows you how it works, basically if you have your hands full of shopping and your key in your pocket wave your foot (a kicking motion will do) under the rear bumper and it will automatically open, once you want it to close simply kick underneath the bumper again and it will close – now that’s cool!

Apparently the 2013 Ford Escape will show up in showrooms in Sprint, 2011, but we don’t yet know how much it will cost, therefore we will have to keep you posted as we hear more – are you impressed?

Apple TV

class="story">

We told you recently about the possibility of a newhref="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/15/apple-tv-2-gets-a-price-cut-new-model-coming-before-christmas/"> Apple TV being in the pipeline after retailers had began discounting the current version, and listing it as a 2010 model. Now the platform could be getting more competition on other regions around the world. It has been announced today that Apple TV rival Roku will be coming to the UK and Canada in 2012.

Roku has already been a success in the US and has a range of different options available starting from $59.99 or £37 up to $99.99. href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57326492-93/roku-boxes-heading-to-u.k-canada/">Cnet are reporting that the company said consumers in Canada and the UK will get the service from early next year. Roku are also going to expand its platform so it will support channels that are specific for each region.

CEO of Roku Anthony Wood said that the company has done well this year in the US, and added “now we’re looking forward to kicking off 2012 by expanding to Europe and Canada to give consumers the best in streaming entertainment–a natural evolution for Roku.”

The company said earlier this year that over one billion content streams have been sent to TVs via its set top boxes. Roku offers over 350 channels of video, music, and games through its Channel Store. This allows consumers to add channels to create a personal menu and watch content associated with them.

You can bet the likes of the BBC iPlayer and Lovefilm will want to join the Roku party that in the US has Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Angry Birds among its content available. Will you consider purchasing the Roku set top box when it launches in your region?

New Love Plus

class="story">

The latest dating sim from Konami, New Love Plus for the Nintendo 3DS, might not be making its way into gamers’ Christmas stockings this year but it is certain to make them all very happy come next Valentine’s Day, as that’s when it is now set to be released in Japan.

The game was originally due out December 8th but as href="http://kotaku.com/5860396/youve-got-a-date-for-next-valentines-day">Kotaku explains it has now been delayed for seemingly no other reason other than the developers simply need more time to polish off the game. Plans to launch with loads of new Love Plus items such as CDs and art books were in place and still are, although they have been moved to the more suited date of February 14th 2012, Valentine’s Day.

So if you are living in Japan and were expecting to spend Christmas dating as many hentai girls as you can then I’m afraid it’s going to be lonely this Christmas for you. However if you had no plans for Valentine’s Day you can now rejoice as it seems you will be having at least one after all. The new game is packed with features such as ‘Boyfriend Lock’ which allows your ‘girlfriend’ sim to recognize you through the front-facing camera so that no one else tries to steal her from you and also allows you to take augmented reality photos with her using the 3DS camera.

As you can see from the trailer below, and as you’d expect from dating sim games, players get the choice of girl they wish to pursue. Conversation looks to be key to winning the heart of each chosen girl. Check out the trailer for yourself below. Will you be finding love in New Love Plus for the 3DS on Valentine’s Day?

Norton 360

class="story">

You may remember ahref="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/09/mw3-cheats-boosting-will-result-in-bans-fourzerotwo/"> recent article we posted where we told you how Infinity Ward’s community manager, Robert Bowling (aka FourZeroTwo), warned gamers against hacking and glitching etc. Well he recently posted an update on the situation on Twitter and it looks like the team are really doing the most possible to keep multiplayer game modes free from cheaters.

Our previous post explained how Infinity Ward’s team had the power to ban gamers either permanently or temporarily, Bowling’s href="https://twitter.com/#!/fourzerotwo/status/137327656420122624">recent tweet claims that so far over 1600 bans have already been issued and he urges the gaming community to keep reporting anyone you see cheat, hack or glitch. His tweet can be seen in its entirety below.

“Any attempt to cheat, hack, or glitch in #MW3 will not be tolerated. 1600+ bans issued. Updates in works. Please cont. to report offenders.”

As you can see Bowling also hints at the fact that developers are currently working on updates, perhaps this will patch the href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/14/modern-warfare-3-new-shotgun-jump-glitch-could-be-a-game-breaker/">shotgun glitch and block pirate copies of the game, your guess is as good as ours. You never know it may even stop Xbox 360 gamers from putting button symbols as their clan tags (href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/17/mw3-clan-tag-hack-tutorial-and-warning/">tutorial here).

We think it is great that a game developer is finally taking a zero tolerance policy against cheaters and in the long run this can only improve online gaming, do you agree? Perhaps the next step would be to also implement a better system against extremely abusive gamers as just like cheaters these people ruin what should be an enjoyable experience.

In roughly a year’s time the next Call of Duty game should arrive, which will almost certainly be developed by Treyarch, we hope that they follow in Infinity Ward’s footsteps with such measures taken against cheats, don’t agree with us? Load up a multiplayer game on World at War and see how long it takes to come up against someone who can’t be killed and has the ability to fly across the map.

Do you think that it is about time game developers started taking more action against obvious cheaters / hackers?

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

class="story">

After the enormous hype and the amazing reviews for Bethesda’s latest Elder Scrolls game, it seems as if Skyrim is now under href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/17/skyrim-ps3-vs-xbox-360-graphics-analysis-suggests-360-edges-it/">considerable spotlight for all the wrong reasons, mainly due to there being problems on all platforms of the game.

If you haven’t played Skyrim yet, you may be surprised to see the amount of negativity towards the game at the moment, which is clearly a big shame as it ultimately shifts focus away from what obviously is one of the best games of the year.

The infamous curse of Bethesda games seems to be valid for Skyrim once again though, as just like Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, the game is prone to some serious issues, and surprisingly these are evident on all three platforms of the game.

For the PS3 version, a huge problem has developed in the fact that the game will href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/17/skyrims-ps3-game-save-file-problems-after-6mb-game-breaking-or-not/">suffer from periods of lag and unstability whenever the game save file surpasses the 6MB mark. This isn’t just a minor problem either, as it looks to be a worldwide issue – evident in the fact that it’s been reported by all the major game websites.

As for the Xbox 360, there too is problems with the game and it is a problem which will probably frustrate Bethesda’s key figures who had trust in their Q&A team to deliver a game without any major hitches. However, it appears that just installing the game to the Xbox 360 HDD results in href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/12/skyrim-xbox-360-patch-update-needed-how-bad-are-textures-for-you/">horrible texture and graphical problems for users, although this can be quickly rectified by just playing the game straight from the disc – it’s not ideal though forcing this upon gamers.

Even the PC version has href="http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/EricSchwarz/20111114/8890/User_Interface_Analysis_Skyrim.php">come in for criticism, as although it is the favored platform for a big majority thanks to its mod support, a lot of PC gamers are angry at Bethesda for ‘porting’ the game to PC with the console UI, a UI which many even going as far to saying that it’s an ‘unplayable mess’. Thankfully, PC gamers will probably be able to instead href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/16/evaluating-pc-skyrim-mods-pre-creation-kit-download/">some mods which improve the UI, so in this respect it cannot really be deemed too serious as the PS3 issue for example.

Those are the three main problems on all three platforms of the game, but have you spotted anything else wrong with Skyrim? If so, list your problem and the platform that it is occuring on. We’ll let you know when this highly anticipated patch update is out. Hopefully then, we’ll all be able to get back to enjoying Skyrim the way it should be enjoyed since it is a fantastic adventure that nobody should miss out on.

Samsung

class="story">

If you were worrying about the display screen quality for the href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/17/us-jealousy-as-uk-galaxy-nexus-price-and-availability-released/">now-released Galaxy Nexus (Europe only) after it was confirmed that the href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/10/26/galaxy-nexus-display-concerns-after-lack-of-gorilla-glass/">device wouldn’t ship with a Gorilla Glass display, we have some good news for you by way of a display screen damage video test.

This video we have to show you is particularly awesome and will definitely set the record straight on what kind of scratch damage the href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2011/11/17/early-galaxy-nexus-problems-face-unlock-flaw-highlighted-on-video/">Galaxy Nexus can withstand. How about frantically scratching it with a key back and forth sound to you?

That is exactly what SamsungMobilerDom did to his Galaxy Nexus, as after the painful scratching, he confirms that the Galaxy Nexus display screen remains in tact perfectly, despite the obvious rigorous nature of his scratching there for all to see.

So what does it tell us? It tells us for one that a device with a Gorilla Glass display isn’t necessarily the best out there on the market and judging by this video, it looks like Samsung’s ‘alternative fortified glass’ equipped on the Galaxy Nexus may be even better than Gorilla Glass. How many smartphones can you scratch up like this and still have a crystal clear display afterwards?

There’s even a few hard bangs on the display screen with the evil key for good measure and once again, no marks are present after the bashing. If you had any prior concerns about the display screen on the G Nexus, then consider those concerns dead and buried. Check out the video for yourself below and let us know your thoughts on it.

We don’t recommend you going out and ‘keying’ your smartphone to see how it compares, as you’ll probably end up with a battered display screen. Another plus for the Galaxy Nexus corner wouldn’t you agree? We definitely think so. Hopefully we’ll have some more damage tests to share with you soon, stay tuned for that.

Comment