Although Fujifilm was one of the first manufacturers to have a consumer-focused camera for capturing 3D photo and video with the FinePix Real 3D W1, it didn't seem to be all that popular--at least in the U.S. Maybe that's because it cost nearly $600 and the results could only be viewed on a special 8-inch digital frame that was nearly as expensive; through a computer using an Nvidia 3D vision-ready graphics card while wearing glasses; or $7 lenticular prints. However, that was 2009. The company is back with the follow-up, the Real 3D W3, and not only … Read more
Navy Patrol: Advanced Premium is the paid version of Navy Patrol, a naval-themed tower-defense game with several innovative features but a surprising number of missteps for such an expensive and mature app.
For the most part, Navy Patrol is a traditional open-map tower-defense game, in which you place defensive towers in a strategic pattern to defeat incoming waves of enemies before they reach your base. Fans of tower defense will find a lot to like here, with a handful of different upgradable tower types and some cool extras like tower-specific targeting controls (for tracking fast, strong, or weak enemies), optional … Read more
Game developer Blizzard has backed down on a plan to require users of its official online forums to register with real names, just days after announcing the move.
The shift, announced Friday in a message posted to the company's forums, followed a firestorm of criticism from users expressing privacy concerns.
"We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums," Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, wrote in the Friday post. "As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."
Morhaime stressed that the real-name requirement was not to be confused with the optional in-game Real ID system that's now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. That system is a voluntary, optional level of identity designed to keep players connected even outside of games with features such as cross-game and cross-realm chat and real names on friends lists.
Forum users met Morhaime's announcement with hundreds of pages of messages, many of them thanking Blizzard ("Fantastic. Thanks for restoring my faith in you guys," read one post typical of the mood on the boards. Read another: "The little guy wins!").
Some, however, tempered their relief with caution. "Although I certainly am grateful for the announcement, I...am concerned about the use of 'At This Time,'" wrote another poster. "This is definitely code for "At some point, we may consider trying again." … Read more
Blizzard boasts one of the largest, most engaged user communities of any game developer in the world. The benefits of such a following are obvious, but the downside becomes similarly stark when the company runs afoul of its user base.
The company on Tuesday unveiled its new Real ID system, a service that allows friends to easily follow each other's activities in Blizzard games like World of Warcraft. It also introduces cross-game chat and social-networking features that let users see not just their friends, but also their friends' friends.
However, Blizzard is requiring users to register for the service … Read more
The World Cup is now down to the final eight. In the U.S., where soccer mostly flies under the radar, the success of the USA team brought out a huge number of fans, many of whom probably now have a new appreciation for soccer. With the U.S. out of the running, and only eight teams left, it will be sad to see the most popular tournament in the world come to an end.
Real Soccer 2010 offers the most game types in the iTunes App Store, tons of flexibility in formations and substitutions, and plenty more, but doesn't stand out on the iPhone because of less-than-stellar gameplay and graphics. Though the fields and stadiums look pretty good graphically, the player animations are fairly simple and the overall look is not as realistic as other titles in this genre. The controls include an onscreen joypad and two buttons for passing and shooting. You also get a special dribble move by double-tapping on the screen, but it's always the same move and rarely … Read more
You've been teaming up with that hot night elf in the World of Warcraft, killing thousands of mobs and doing hundreds of instance runs with her, and yet you don't know if she is actually a girl in real life? Now there's a way for you to possibly find out.
Blizzard announced early this week that together with the launch of patch 3.3.5 for WoW, it will offer a new feature called "Read ID." This is a voluntary, optional level of identity designed to keep players connected even outside of WoW.
In fact, the company says that as long as you play games that use its Battle.net online gaming service, which currently includes WoW and the upcoming Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, you will be able to stay in touch with playmates.
According to Blizzard, the new Real ID features include:… Read more
Editors' take: One of the games used as a showpiece for the iPad's gaming capabilities, Real Racing is an upgraded version of an iPhone game with the same name. More than the other games we tried, Real Racing takes advantage of the iPad's larger size by turning the entire device into a steering wheel.
We've tried the same mechanic on similar iPhone games, and always end up wildly oversteering; we were able to at least stay on the road (mostly) on the iPad version. For a premium iPad game, the graphics are crisp, if a little bland, … Read more
BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak is a one-player zombie-survival game that mixes elements of real-time strategy with an open-map tower-defense game.
The core of BioDefense is a survival mode, in which you protect your base from random waves of zombies. You have to juggle several interdependent factors as you construct and defend your base: you have to build collectors on top of "toxium" deposits (toxium is the game's currency, and a finite resource on the map), but you can only build where you have light--so you also need to build spotlights. Predictably, spotlights are fragile, so you need to … Read more
I'm constantly browsing the new releases, most popular lists, and iPhone/iPad-focused Web sites for hidden gems. The other day, I took a chance on an iPad game that didn't seem like my cup of tea, but the user opinions were through the roof.
Hotel Mogul HD ($6.99, iPhone version here) looked to me like a casual game that would quickly become boring. Even after scrolling through the screenshots and reading the description, I still wasn't sold. The game revolves around a young entrepreneur named Lynette who owns a large and successful real estate company with … Read more