Here I am, about seven weeks after the launch of Soul Calibur IV, finally getting to bring you guys our thoughts on the game. Before we jump in, a bit of background on Soul Calibur IV. The game hit Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on July 29 here in North America, followed by a release in Japan, Europe, and Australia on July 31, and then finally the UK on August 1.This is the fourth installment in the Soulcalibur series, and it features a Story mode, as well as Arcade, Training, Museum, and Tower of Lost Souls modes. That last one is new to the series, and rewards you, as the fighter, for winning special battles. Also new to the series is the inclusion of a few characters from the Star Wars universe - namely, Darth Vader, Yoda, and the Apprentice.
The game comes just about three years after the release of Soulcalibur III back in 2005, and is the first Soulcalibur title to feature online play. Now, on to our review.
Earlier this morning, our copy of Too Human finally arrived. You know, the one we’ve been waiting over a decade for? Well, Silicon Knights baby will finally be available for all to purchase tomorrow. We figured we would give you a glimpse into our initial impressions of the game. I’ve been playing Too Human for about three hours now, and feel like I am about halfway through the story. I’ve destroyed creatures, upgraded weaponry, and chosen my path. Hop on down to get our full thoughts on Too Human, the next big title for the Xbox 360.
Last year, my interest in Scrabble was brought to life with the release of the Scrabulous Facebook application. It was a good time challenging Facebook friends to old-fashioned word battles, and destroying them all with my superior wordsmithing skills. Or not. If you wanna test me, feel free to challenge me on Facebook. So what’s the point? Well, the moment that I saw that EA had released a version of Scrabble for the iPhone and iPod touch, I had to grab it immediately. I mean, an official Scrabble game for the mobile device that I use more than any other? What’s not to love about that?
Well, we will tell you. Step on in for our full review of the Scrabble app for iPhone.
While at the Connecting Your World event in Berlin Germany, HP we were able to get our hands on one of the new HP iPaq 914 Business Messenger Windows Mobile 6.1 QWERTY phones. We’ve already created a full iPaq 914 unboxing gallery for you to enjoy, but we also wanted to be sure to hit you with a full review of the phone. After a day or so of use, it’s easy to be impressed with this business-centric communications device.
As a phone with iPaq 914 performs admirably, offering great voice quality, and the well implemented Windows Mobile 6 dialer interface. Having quad-band GSM support means the iPaq 914 works virtually anywhere in the globe making it ideal for globe trotters and others needing to keep in touch while on the go.
Featuring HSDPA, EDGE, UMTS, WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, the iPaq 914 is well equipped for all sorts of wireless communications. The HSDPA chipset is quick and responsive and loads data quickly.
Click through Gear Live’s full review of the HP iPaq 914.
Amidst a flurry of small and seemingly underpowered netbooks, HP has taken a slightly different tact in their release of the surprisingly capable HP Mini-Note device. While its up-to-$850 price tag places it in a significantly different category than the Eee PC and other cheap sub-notebooks, it easily makes up for this price difference with functionality and power approaching that of its larger siblings: full sized laptops.
We’ve got an HP Mini-Note unboxing gallery for you to check out if you want to see how the thing looks from all angles, and of course, you can click through for Gear Live’s in-depth review of the HP Mini-Note 2133’s features, capabilities, and user experience, below.
While overly-thick wallets are not an oft discussed problem in our modern world, having a big fat wad of a wallet in your pocket can lead to back strain and unsightly bulging of the pants. The folks over at Big Skinny have an ingenious (although blindingly obvious) solution: a line of thin, lightweight wallets.
We got our hands on two of their most popular models and took them for a spin. Check out our review after the jump, as well as our Big Skinny wallet image gallery.
Gallery: The Big Skinny Wallet review
First things first - the MacBook Air took no one by surprise. We all knew, based on the reports churning out of the rumor mill, that Apple had a subnotebook up their sleeve, and all signs were pointing at MacWorld 2008 for it’s introduction to the world. Heck, even the name of the product got out there before Steve got a chance to announce it at the event. Of course, that wasn’t the only thing that leaked before MacWorld 2008, as we got our hands on the iPhone 1.1.3 firmware weeks before it was officially announced.
What we didn’t know was how the Air would look. When Steve pulled the computer out of manila envelope, everyone was wowed. The MacBook Air is thin. T-H-I-N. At it’s smallest point, the Air is just 0.16 inches thin. That is thinner than both the iPhone and iPod touch. The larger side is just 0.76 inches. Again, tiny. See for yourself in our MacBook Air unboxing gallery.
As for the rest of the specs, the Air is the same brushed aluminum color that you will find on the MacBook Pro line, and is available in 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo speeds. Both models come with 2GB of non-upgradable RAM, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit display, and Bluetooth 2.1. As far as ports go, you will only find one micro-DVI, one USB, and one audio out jack. That’s it. As for storage, this is where the major choice comes in. You can choose between an 80 GB 4200 RPM ATA hard drive, or a 64 GB SSD (solid-state flash drive). We got our hands on the SSD version of the MacBook Air.
We give you our thoughts on the SSD-based MacBook Air in our full review.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I have a deep appreciation for games in quirky, niche, genres, and also intelligent stories. Frankly, it is rare that I get to find both of these needs met in a single game, but Lost Odyssey manages to do it.
But wait! I thought Lost Odyssey was a Japanese-RPG and thus not really niche? Sadly (in my opinion), the gaming landscape has changed so profoundly over the years that the once thriving JRPG is now increasingly a rarity; One with high-production values, so much the more. Several early reviews would have you believe that Lost Odyssey does something fundamentally wrong simply for being true to its genre. Mercifully, you are reading this review so at the very least let me try to paint a slightly different picture of Hironobu Sakaguchi’s latest opus.
Not to rest on the laurels provided by Baulders Gate and Knights of the Old Republic, Bioware has created another instant hit: Mass Effect. Mass Effect is in many ways the spiritual successor to the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) series although it goes far beyond the capabilities and offerings of its predecessor.
Mass Effect is a third person shooter/space exploration game set in humanities future when alien discoveries have catapulted human technology ahead centuries and given our race a place among many in the galactic empire. Click through for our full thoughts on this stunning game.
The market for point and shoot digital cameras gets crowded. Casio’s Exilim EX-S880 is a standout. The EX-S880 comes in at a diminutive 2.4 x 3.7 x .7 inches and weighs 7 ounces, making it perfect to slip into a pocket or purse for the evening. Despite the small size, the EX-S880 packs 8.1 megapixels, 3x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom, H.264 MPEG 4 video capability, face detection and anti shake technology. Read on to get our full thoughts on the Exilim EX-S880.
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