Playing Through Soul Fjord

Standard

Not too long ago, the OUYA Kickstarter had been opened to the public and every indie developer was beside themselves with excitement. This system allows you to play the way you want, hack and build, share and start the revolution. One game I was particularly excited about was an OUYA exclusive, Soul Fjord. And, now that I have bought the system from Target, it’s time to delve into my Magnus experience.

Stay on beat, seriously. It’s an unusual way to play, but you need to listen to the soundtrack as you’re fighting or blocking to complete the actions and reach desired combos. I found it a little annoying at first (mostly because my accuracy was only 56%), but once I realized I needed to subconsciously stay with the music, the game play improved.

This is a free download that features in game “platinum hits” to access extras, such as equipment or consumables. Personally, this doesn’t bother me. There are a lot of mobile games I played because they were freebies, and if I felt like making an additional purchase I could at my own discretion. However, they do give you 10 “platinum hits” to get you started, which allows you to open three chests at 3 hits apiece. I also noticed after a few levels I had gained 7 more hits, so you do gain more hits slowly.

One problem I ran into, which is a little embarrassing to admit, was accessing Magnus’ inventory. After a quick look at the control setup I realized it’s just up on the d-pad. After I had purchased a helm and cool hammerhead shark hammer, I really wanted to equip them and get rolling. One thing I really liked was the ability to sell my unused equipment to the man in the over-sized fur coat (yes, he has pants under there). Simply walk up to the character and press the A button.

If there is one free game you decide to try on your OUYA, definitely consider this out-of-the-ordinary pick. Not only is it something that hasn’t been done before, it is one that will have you head bobbing to the beat from boss to boss. Get ready to ragna-rock!

Griffin iPhone 4/4s Case Review

Standard

Although I realize the latest greatest thing is to own an iPhone 5S, or 5C, I have just come into possession of a new white Verizon iPhone 4S (and I’m plenty happy with it). One of the first things I do upon getting a new device is to slip it into a new protective case (with screen option). Some may call this an unnecessary measure, but we’ll see who has a better resale or trade in value when all is said and done.

I have realized that finding a case for the previous model is extremely difficult (although we do know iPhone had to cancel the 5 due to infringement issues). Anyway, because I was in a pinch, I decided to go with a Survivor case in gray/yellow by Griffin Technology. I believe I picked it up at Walmart for $39 right in the Christmas rush.

Survivor Case for iPhone 4/4s by Griffin Technology

Let me just say, at the time I had an 8 month old daughter who loves phones, I needed something that could handle being thrown on the floor purposefully. This case does that flawlessly and protects my phone. It remains scratch, bump and bruise free. The case itself clicks apart into three pieces (or four if you count the detachable camera cover). But I should say it is not waterproof, just semi moisture proof. When I’m running through the store on grocery day and my daughter is chewing on it, slobber easily gets under the screen protector.

But we carry these devices for phone calls, right? At least, I do. One issue I have with this case is I regularly receive complaints, from those on the other end of the phone, that they cannot hear me or I sound muffled. It isn’t my phone service itself, because if I take the phone out of the case I don’t have any problems. So on a side note, it can be super hard to pull apart the pieces while you’re on an important phone call.

Compared to the Otterbox Defender (I don’t have one, but my husband does) the Griffin Survivor case is easier to grip and the buttons are easier to access and press. The Defender comes apart by unlocking two hinges while the Survivor requires more effort and time to pull apart three pieces. The Survivor doesn’t dent my laminate flooring. The Defender doesn’t muffle calls when you open up the waterproof speaker tab, but the Survivor isn’t waterproof.

I try to be a realistic individual, so on a range of one to five stars I’d give the Griffin four (while the Otterbox would receive four and a half). Yes, it may muffle some calls, but it hasn’t slipped out of my hand while in use, and it takes the abuse of a soon to be famous pitcher of a baby.

Adobe CS2 Giveaway & Mac Installation

Standard

To most of you this may come as old news, but to those of us who have quite busy schedules, it’s awesome to hear of Adobe giving away their CS2 suite. Their giveaway includes a Windows and Macintosh version of a packaged suite or individual programs, which you can download by visiting this page after signing into your ID.

Users working on a Macintosh platform running Mountain Lion or later should take note that CS2 will not run due to a conflict of PowerPC no longer being supported. Although I’m not much of an Apple expert as of yet, I’ve begun working with the operating system on a mid-2011 iMac. Instead, you can take advantage of the Windows version with some bugs – all of which haven’t exactly been recognized yet.

For those who cannot afford to purchase the most recent Adobe CC Suite, you might be interested in the free Adobe CS2. If you are a Mac user wanting to take advantage of this download, make sure you have CrossOver, too (you may download a trial). The trial will allow you to install full programs for around 14 days, or you can purchase it for about $39 (a large cut from the price of an Adobe Suite). CrossOver uses Wine to emulate a Windows environment, just as it would in Linux.

My advice is to download each Windows CS2 program one by one, rather than the entire package. I tried to install the full package, and ran into an issue after CD 1 was completed. I had great success with the Photoshop installation with CrossOver, and it really couldn’t have been more simple than double clicking the exe to pull up Crossover, and following the installation process.

Anyone who needs a little more of a visual approach should check out this YouTube video narrated by Chuckie at Digital Goulash. He will take you through start to finish, from downloading CrossOver and CrossTie, to your last bit of the install. I hope you enjoy running this freebie on your Mac with little issues, and look forward to your comments below. Good luck!

 

Instagram for Videos: That’s Called YouTube

Standard

Sometimes I wonder if many tech articles I read online at Google News, Yahoo or Comcast’s news sections are just there as filler. Let’s face it, while there may be a new discovery on a daily basis, they may not always be news worthy unless you’re a nerd. But I feel like Facebook supposedly announcing an Instagram for videos is a little ridiculous.

Anything Zuckerberg is wrapped in gold and filled with chocolate, right? Whatever Facebook is planning to reveal may have little to no association with itself, however social oriented it might be. While this was dubbed a rumor a little while ago, it turns out the source itself was indeed legitimate – noting a special Instagram team has dedicated it’s time to the development of this new project.

We all know Facebook is not a stranger to competition; regularly diving into new sites in the line of direct fire. However, online video sharing is not a new idea… not by a long shot. There’s YouTube, Tout, Keek, MetaCafe and more (as well as video upload capabilities for your Facebook and MySpace (does anyone still have that?) profiles).

So how is Facebook so confident that something such as a video oriented Instagram could survive and thrive? Simple. Mark Zuckerberg is hot right now (no, not in a physical way), he is in the height of his career. Although it might last for the next ten years, or at least when they start having more family scandals (who am I kidding, that would make him more popular). Give him time, let him pop out a kid and he’ll be off the popular list like Hilary Duff and Luca.

Ouya’s Soul Fjord

Standard

When it comes to the Ouya, you’re either in or you’re out. While many consumers are turning their nose up at something new, and possibly “scary”, several die hard Microsoft fans are waiting with baited breath to receive their $99 Android based gaming console. So, which are you?

It would be hard to miss the gaming headliners as of late. Nintendo possibly discontinuing the Wii U Basic, Xbox One‘s questionable in-house monitoring and, well, PlayStation was kind of waiting for their moment. However, it seems as though PlayStation has blown away the competition, completely embarrassing One’s price and policies at E3 (especially with the announcement of how they love indie developers).

Why wouldn’t Ouya and PlayStation look great together under your television set? They would! And even though PlayStation is planning to charge for Plus ($50/yr), you could still enjoy playing used games. Ouya will offer a different set of games, Apps and “hack-ability” than any other console known to man (thus far), without voiding your warranty. But many individuals still hold fear of this new introduction.

Without an out-of-the-box idea such as Ouya, we wouldn’t have the capabilities offered by Linux, Mac, etc. that help us break free of Microsoft’s bonds. Sure, for those who don’t know their way around a computer, Windows offers tools to get you started. Once you realize the chains that bind you, and take a leap of faith with something revolutionary, you’ll feel a new sense of freedom. Ouya is something that allows little people, like you and me, to offer a big idea – and it’s going to be awesome. Just check out a game like Soul Fjord and you’ll see what I mean.

Amazon Opens Up to Indie Developers

Standard

The idea of a master company such as Amazon opening up to independent game developers isn’t just a dream, it’s not just in the works, it’s live – now! Developers can now explore another way to get their creations into the hands of indie game lovers, such as myself. Because creativity can’t be bottled up, it shouldn’t be always be confined to corporate rules… Take a moment to check out what Amazon is offering.

Submitting an idea or game for consideration is as simple as submitting an email, really. That’s a whole lot simpler than jumping through their Kindle self publishing hoops (which still isn’t too complicated). Just shoot an email to find-more-gamers@amazon.com for a copy of their service agreement and you’ll be on your way to being featured in the Indie Spotlight smack dab on the front page.

In celebration of their new venture, Amazon is offering savings up to 75% off on over 200 titles (and growing) for PC and Mac. And, for the next few days, June 6-10, grab three free titles. Make another visit on the June 11 for a new game giveaway. Not only will you be able to experience a reins-free way of gaming, but purchasing a game bundle allows for 100% of the proceeds to be given directly to the developers.