the Pictures are Bigger than they appear.
the Pictures are Bigger than they appear.
I'm very pleased to say that Monsters vs. Aliens: The Videogame for the Wii is an exception. It's not only good, but actually better than the movie! Now, I'll admit I didn't think much of the movie: My kids liked it a lot, which is great, but I thought it wasn't much more than a few funny scenes pulled together by a mediocre plot and thin characterization. I did like the animation and the voice acting in the movie, though, so it was great to see that the videogame replicated both very well.
The game doesn't closely follow the plot of the movie, which I consider a plus, because so much of the movie is taken up with scenes of Susan's transformation and its effects, and the President's efforts to communicate with the giant robot, and so forth. Those are important scenes for the movie, but really wouldn't translate well to a game. Instead, the game allows you to play Susan/Ginormica, B.O.B. and The Missing Link on missions, each monster's missions having their own unique style. Susan roller skates (using cars as skates, of course) around laser beams, robots and various other obstacles. B.O.B. oozes around, swallowing various things and spitting them out. And The Missing Link does more typical videogame stuff like beat up robots and generally try to destroy everything he can find.
I'm particularly fond of the B.O.B. missions, because they're the most innovative I've come across recently. B.O.B. can ooze through grates, but only if he's not carrying something inside him. He can swallow guards and thus go through doors that respond to the guards' transponders. And he can stick to walls and ceilings, giving the puzzles he needs to solve an added dimension. All of the missions have Doctor Cockroach's voice giving you advice, both on the game controls and on how to solve puzzles (you can disable the advice if you want). And the collaborative feature allows a second player to help out by firing lasers and tractor beams at anything on the screen.
I enjoyed this a great deal, because it's a perfect way for little kids to play the game: helping out an older kid or grownup who's better able to solve the puzzles and do the fine manipulations necessary to solve them. I'd like to see more designers take a cue from this game on that score, because I'm tired of having my kids get frustrated at puzzles they can't solve and simply giving up on the game entirely — this allows them to have fun and help out, but not have to be responsible for anything too complex for them.
The three primary monsters are voiced by the same actors as in the movie, which really adds a lot to the game, especially because you can "buy" commentaries from the monsters on the scenes you've already played: Hearing Seth Rogen's empty-headed B.O.B. humor, for example, really adds another level to things. I was a bit disappointed that Hugh Laurie didn't do Doctor Cockroach's voice in the game, but the actor who did it instead (James Horan) did an admirable job. And the art is absolutely outstanding, especially for a Wii game, and not just in the cut scenes. They even allow you to "buy" concept art and animation, so you can see some of the process as well.
Monsters vs. Aliens: The Videogame for the Wii retails for $50. I highly recommend it, both for adults and kids. I have had a lot of fun playing it both by myself and with my kids, and like it much more than the movie.
Wired: Great gameplay, animation and voice talent. An exceedingly well thought-out game all around.
Tired: Monster "challenges" required in order to get certain character upgrades are mostly just replays of the same levels you've just done, only with time limits. It's not altogether bad, but repetitive after a while. (story Link)
VideoGamer.com: The game is being developed in-house. Who is actually developing it? Is it being developed here at Codemasters?
Clive Lindop: Yeah, it's on site. The team was actually upstairs, above you (during previous game demonstration).
VideoGamer.com: It's a first-person shooter from Codemasters. What are the team's credentials in that genre?
CL: The original team, and I was one of the first people to start, so I've been here almost four years, almost every single team member is a new recruit, was a new recruit. They came from loads of different studios, in the UK industry and the American industry. There's a good hundred and something people from all over the world, all from different studios. They went out and found people, they went out and just went, right we need guys with experience with this, this and this, and pulled that expertise in-house, which is the only smart way of doing it. It's proven to be the right choice, because not only do you need people who have some experience in that genre, but it's a relatively unique technological situation as well. You're effectively developing technology at the same time. A developer can go through his entire career and only ever work on a complete middleware engine, never have to deal with any new technology development or new system writing. That was a pretty tough call because you've got to find people that are not only willing to take on just about the most complex FPS you can build, but build it on an evolving technology. That was pretty interesting. We got a fantastic mix of guys in the team, with a lot of different experience. Guys who are specialists in vehicle physics and mechanics, guys who are specialists in AI and all that kind of stuff. It's a good team of people. Hard working as well!
VideoGamer.com: The game strikes me as something that's pulling away in a completely different direction to current trends, in that it sticks a finger up at casual gamers and accessible gaming.
Seems some people are getting early copies of this month's issue of Game Informer. Obviously, there’s a ton of spoiler detail here, so don’t look if you want to be in any way surprised when the game releases later this year.
Sooo I'm looking at the new Game Informer right now, and it tells a few thing but only has one new image, the one we already have, the 5th one.
- You'll have a ton of new weapons to choose from including an axe, a hammer, a mace, a spear, 2 different sword types, a spear axe thing, and 2 smaller blades
- You CAN swim
- Da Vincis workshop is in the game
- Locations include Saint Marks Basilica, The Grand Canal, The Little Canal, and the Rialto bridge.
- The game opens in 1476, Altair is from 1191
- So you do indeed play as a new ancestor of Altair / Desmond
-You will see the countryside of Tuscany
- The "Auditore" family is mentioned
- The main characters name is Ezio Auditore de Firenze
- He is a nobleman of Florence
- Big characters are in the game including Machiavelli, Caterina Sofrza, and Lorenzo de Medici
- YOU DO INDEED FLY AND THERES A PICTURE OF IT.
and thats just what I got from the pictures. I'll let you know more details as I read more.
- Game will feature a new notoriety system that governs how enemy soldiers and people will treat you.
- You can disarm enemies and use their own weapons against them this time.
- each weapon has a special move.
- 16 unique mission types.
- No more ease dropping or pick pocketing missions.
- If you get beat up to much you will need to see a street side doctor to regain ful strength.
- Hidden objects (like flags in the first one) are there to uncover but this time if you track them down you will get in-game bonuses that make it worth your time.
- Items include, flags, statues, and gold coins and more that isnt mentioned.
- New enemy types with unique attitudes and weaknesses are present in the game. Archers are mentioned, as well as elite enemies, dagger wielders, "Brutish" armored troops with heavy armor and 2 handed swords and axes, and an intelligent halberd enemy will probe hiding places with their weapons if they think you're near by.
- While hiding in a hay bail you can assassinate people this time, but it may expose your position.
- You can still climb towers and ride horses
- The Lorendo de Medici assassination is in the game.
- There is now a night and day sequence in the game.
- 240 people are working on this title. (link)
For a bit of a sneak peek, according to reports getting around, the iPhone’s camera is going to take a step up to a 3.2 megapixel lens in the next gen handset.
The reports are stating that a company called OmniVision is the one who’s going to provide Apple with 3.2MP CMOS sensors for the handsets camera module. The same reports also talk about the same company making 5 megapixel sensors for Apple too. There’s no word on whether or not the camera will incorporate auto focus technology. We’ll just have to wait and see, so stay tuned. (Link)
We know the various kinds of mobile handset form factors from the Candy-bars to the Slide out QWERTY. We also know that the latest and possible future trend is of course, touch technology and the race is on to see which handset will take that technology to the next level. One of my favorite sites, Yanko Design, has a group of individuals who design concept technology and other things and they’ve come with ideas that could seriously rock the market… if they ever made it to production of course.
While researching for an article on my favorite concept phones, I did come across a few that should have stayed in their minds and never made it out. With all due respect to the designers (and there’s plenty of that) here are my choices for handsets that I’d love to see make it to production someday. While these futuristic buggers look like something we should and could see in the future there are those I hope, never make it past this concept stage. For your amusement I’ve listed some of those as well.
Top concept mobiles I’d like to see make it past this stage –
LG Synthesis –
Designed by Andrew Suenghyun Kim, LG’s Synthesis mobile was created for the LG design competition. The designer’s inspiration was nature itself, to be more precise, photosynthesis, hence the name. It’s a gorgeous handset complete with eco friendly solar panels to charge the BT headset and a charging cum speaker dock that looks like a tree branch. It also features a 3.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen, a 5mp camera and a 1.3MP secondary for video calling (very neatly hidden in front) and was also designed to house a whopping 32GB of space. Nature never looked hotter.
SE Ai –
Although this was something that was designed about 2 years ago and much of a fingerprint magnet it may seem like, I love the design concept of the Sony Ericsson Ai. The chocolate glossy finish and classy lighting for the keypad looks great with the front they’ve gone with. It featured a 3.2MP camera, 2GB of space and came in a slider form factor as well as a standard candy bar. Personally, I’d have gone with the slider.
Nokia’s Morph may be exactly what the future of mobile technology could be like. The idea is a joint nanotechnology concept, developed by Nokia Research Center (NRC) and the University of Cambridge (UK). Morph is a concept that demonstrates how future mobile devices might be stretchable and flexible, allowing the user to comfortably even wear the device stylishly on their person. Of course this is not something we can hope to see for a few more years, but wouldn’t you like to?
Motorola KRE-8 –
This may very well be one of the weirdest designs I’ve ever come across and I’ve come across some doozies while researching. But I still think the concept idea of this “handset” is brilliant and given the chance I’d love to test it for real. The designer Jose Tomas DeLuna’s whole inspiration when designing this handset was to thrill the audiophile who loves mixing and playing around with their music. The handset also manages to combine what can only be construed as Nintendo Wii style functionality with a mobile phone. It uses sensors and accelerometers to figure out the gestures like - Instrument Mode (guitar, drums, violin), Mix Mode and Record Mode which is a full circle for creating music. It even has a touchscreen display (of course) which makes it simpler to adjust and edit files. It supports GPS and music created on the KRE-8 can be tagged with co-ordinates as well. There are not too many words to describe this handset but Stupendous does come to mind first.
iPhone Concept -
I came across a bucket load of iPhone concept designs that were out there and I have to say most were absolutely fantastic and in my opinion, Apple would have done so much better had they gone with one of these. Of course it’s not like the iPhone isn’t good looking as is, but it is kind of ‘blah’ and generic even with the 3G’s sleeker design. But amongst all the cool designs I saw, the one I’ve include appealed to me the most. It was simple, sleek and seemed like it could offer the most amount of functionality. With an iPod Click Wheel for navigation and a QWERTY keypad for input, this concept is certainly an eye catcher. The genius behind this design is a CG artist named Olivier Demangel.
And then there were those that should remain - although technologically advanced as they may seem - on the drawing board. Here are my choices for the Top Concept Mobiles that shouldn’t make it past the drawing board -
Clamshell Glass Phone -
Image Source - Designer Mac Funamizu
This is purely my opinion of course, but a flip phone made of glass is nothing more than a fingerprint magnet and trust me those prints can get really annoying especially when they’re obstructing something on the display. Plus you’ll have to worry about scratches.
Lenovo Poison -
Image Source - Designer: Ryan Ma
The concept is rather too simplistic in it’s candybar form with a transparent display module. The keypad looks quite average and I guess it could be appealing in a ‘haute couture’ sort of way, but it did nothing for me.
Chinese Disney Phone
There’s really nothing I can say about this handset. Concept or reality is irrelevant. It should not have been thought of. But to each his own.
There’s a lot to be said about the future of mobile phone technology in terms of design and of course the kind of technology itself. I’m looking forward to what the manufacturers will come out with and itching to see what the next step will look and feel like. Perhaps you guys could share with us and the other readers what your favorite concept mobiles are, at least the ones you think should definitley make it to mass production and the ones that shouldn’t as well. So leave your comments or email me and I’ll write them up in the next feature. (link)
(high quality image, you can use it like hq wallpaper.)
Other rumored details have supposedly been leaked in early copies of the next Game Informer. ScrewAttack says the main character is Ezio Auditore de Firenze, a nobleman of Florence from 1476. Ezio is yet another genetic predecessor of Desmond You’ll supposedly be able to swim and access a gliding machine at DaVinci’s workshop. And most excitingly of all, you’ll play through more mission types. (link)
Download Link: http://www.mediafire.com/?2rqxm2ntdbw
"He's busy making Altair even more beautiful," Wilkinson revealed. "Last thing I saw him do was getting Altair to swim."
Uh-oh, someone's going to get sacked...
So it looks like Altair will be assassinating bad men from the watery deep - and if we know Ubisoft, probably reaching up and dragging guards into the drink with him as well.
Ubisoft hasn't said much of a second game, apart from making it clear that Assassin's Creed is "a franchise". So there will be more games.
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