Posted on March 5th, 2015 No comments
…AND WE’RE BACK!
Just moments ago, Harmonix made the official announcement that Rock Band 4 will be released for current generation consoles in 2015. Some of the important news out of the announcement include:
* your songs will transfer for no charge from your old console,
* over 2,000 songs will carry over,
* possibly old hardware will work on new consoles,
* now free of MTV constraints, Harmonix is able to make Rock Band exactly what they want it to be.
Some bonus news includes, a new free DLC, “I Still Believe” by Frank Turner, available now for Rock Band 3. …and for attendees of PAX East, you can pre-order a Penny Arcade Rock Band guitar.
Posted on November 25th, 2012 No comments
We’re scouring the depths of Amazon.com and beyond to locate the deals that will matter to you. And even better, the sales are already on. Check out what we have found, and check back later on for new deals we find.
Use the code FIREDEAL for $129
Sears.com has 32GB Asus Nexus 7 7″ Android 4.1 Tablet (ASUS-1B32) for $224.99 with free in-store pick up.
Posted on November 7th, 2012 1 comment
I’ve been using the Nexus 7 (manufactured by ASUS, but marketed as Google) tablet for a couple months now. This is not my first or second foray into Android tablets, I’ve extensively used many for the past 1+ years. So, what do I think of the Nexus 7? Read on…
Size: This 7″ tablet is just what the doctor ordered. I’ve used a bunch of the 10.1″ tablets before, and they are all just too awkward to hold. I love to read books on tablets (on planes, in bed, wherever), and the 7″ size is comfortable in one hand, while being large enough to feel like the size of a paperback. The width of the Nexus 7 is fine. Not too thick, not too thin. Just feels right.
Weight: To carry on with the size comments, the Nexus 7 is the perfect weight for holding it for hours while reading a book. I happily put down the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Acer Iconia A500 for this lightweight and good sized device.
Experience: It’s pure Android Jelly Bean. What does that mean? It is running the software as Google anticipated it to run. No extra skins, no unnecessary manufacturer apps, and the absolute latest version of Android. Jelly Bean (aka Android 4.1) is the best thing that has happened to Android tablets. Prior to this release (aka Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 and Honeycomb 3.0), all Android tablets ran slowly, the swiping had delays, the typing was gittery, and as a comparison to iPad, Android could not compete in the performance category. Now with Jelly Bean, the Nexus 7 is smooth, screens flow as you’d expect, navigating around works fluidly and comfortably. It is the first excellent experience on an Android tablet. If you like the way Ice Cream Sandwich works on your Android phone, you will feel right at home with Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7.
Build: As mentioned before, this is manufactured by ASUS. It’s a black rectangular slab, as expected. The weight feels just right and well distributed. Not too heavy, not too light, not awkward to hold. Solid glass on the front, with no physical buttons. Has a front facing camera, which is low res and not impressive for any type of photo taking. The bezel on the front is just wide enough to hold on any four corners without accidentally touching the screen. The sides are rounded, with no sharp edges. The back is lightly rubberized and pleasantly sticks to the hand when holding, or stays in place when set down. There is no removable battery, so the back cover is permanent. There is no removable SD card either.
On the right side, are the power and volume rocker buttons. Having them on one side is great for using cases and stands. On the bottom is the headphone jack and micro USB port (for charging/data transfer). The bottom is also a great location for cases and stands. The back contains a speaker on lower portion, which has decent sound for its size. And the screen. It’s a high-resolution screen, think iPhone 4 (and newer) or iPad 3 (and newer). Simply, it’s beautiful. No needs to talk technical details. It is the best looking Android tablet screen to date. Nice and clean, easy on the eyes.
Things I don’t love about the build. No rear-facing camera. I’m not one of those weido’s who take photos with a tablet, but I do scan QR codes quite a bit. Most QR code apps do not support front-facing camera. Those that do support it, make me quickly realize how awkward it is to line up a QR code without being able to see it on screen. Not having removable SD card isn’t the end of the world, having the Nexus in 16GB. I just historically, like to take my SD card out of my phone and pop it into my tablet at different times.
Overall, I’m quite happy with the build on the Nexus 7.
Apps: As a Google device, you get all the Google Apps you can shake a stick at, right on the home screen. If you love Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, Google+, and on and on, you will have them ready to go right out of the box. As for Google Play (Android Market) apps and Amazon Android App Store apps, most apps run, but not all. Apps requiring a rear camera, will not install. At launch, few other apps wouldn’t install, but all seem to be working now (with an update to Android 4.1.2). Being a Google branded device, there are no manufacturer or carrier specific apps; translated — no crap apps. You can add all the crap on if you’d like, but it’s your choice.
Price: Starting at $199 for 16GB (just reduced from $249). Just added are two 32GB models, with and without a cellular plan, priced at $249 and $299 respectively. The price can’t be beat, be it iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, or other Android tablets.
Wrap It Up: As a long time Android user, and having used several Android tablets before, I have to say the Nexus 7 leaves all others in the dust. Sure the screen size is 3 inches smaller than the big boys, but the size, weight, and screen make this THE Android tablet to get. If you have an Android phone and would like a tablet to run your apps on, get the Nexus 7. Don’t waste time looking elsewhere.
Posted on October 18th, 2012 No comments
We are getting a new dashboard update for Xbox 360. Simply, it just keeps getting better, step-by-step. This time around we get Internet Explorer, Search for Kinect, and more parental controls.
First up, IE makes its first appearance on Xbox. Can you believe, it took 7 years for Xbox to get a web browser? It’s crazy to think the Wii has had this capability since inception. Well, the good news, you can now browse the web on your couch using your 80″ LED display, versus your 10″ iPad. Hooray!
Kinect gets some incremental added updates too. Search is now throughout the dashboard, including video searching. This is a minor update, and some would argue that feature already existed. It did exist before this update, but was limited to only portions of your data/services. Now, Kinect Search gets more full integration across all of your services, we think.
The last big piece of this update, is improved security, including more controls for parental monitoring and time limiting. Also in this update, requires child and teen accounts to use multi-factor authentication, which is fancy lingo for phone number, email, or something like that.
So, these are all incremental updates on what is already a fully feature rich dashboard. IE is definitely big news, as we’ve been waiting 7 years for it. Also note, with Windows 8 arriving on store shelves this month, another dashboard update to support Windows 8 is right around the corner. The coming update will introduce Xbox Music (the rebranded Zune) and SmartGlass (a feature that integrates with phones and tablets).
Come back for updates on what’s coming.
See the press release here.
Posted on April 5th, 2012 No comments
Posted on March 9th, 2012 1 comment
Steam is a major success largely due to the dedication and support from the company that created it. Valve has a storied reputation for being incredibly supportive of it’s community. Of the thousands of games on Steam, many are free-to-play, and games are put on sale every day. Twice a year there is a major 15 day sales event, during the summer and christmas seasons.
Once you purchase the game, the files are downloaded and installed on demand, and should any official update ever be released for the game, Steam will automatically update your copy. This goes a long way to increasing the user’s satisfaction with Steam, because keeping track of and installing updates takes time away from being able to play them. Let me put it this way, I stopped caring about whether or not I was using the latest version once I switched completely to Steam.
Steam has similar features to XBOX Live, in that you have a Friends list where you can tag your fellow gamers, join games, as well as voice and video chat. Steam also has it’s own achievements, but these do not carry an individual point total and as a result you don’t have a ‘gamerscore’ as you would on Live.
Pros of the Steam App:
- Store – You can browse the impressive catalog of titles for Windows and Mac, add to your ‘wishlist’, and of course purchase the games. Purchases show up in your Steam client once you login again. You can even purchase games and ‘gift’ them to anyone else on Steam.
- Slick mobile interface – one of the cooler interfaces on the market, information is presented properly for mobile devices and not just scaled down to fit.
- Steam Chat – So far only text based chat with a very similar presentation to SMS messaging. Somebody, somewhere on Steam is talking about the game you are interested and this makes it very easy to follow or join in.
- Friends List & Updates – You can keep connected with your Steam friends on the go, and keep track of their game progress as well.
Cons of the Steam App:
- No games for Android or iOS – They have already said this is coming soon, but this was somewhat disappointing to learn that not a single Android or iOS game is available for purchase. You will have to stick to the marketplace/iTunes store for the time being.
- Can’t see your own Acheivements – Again this is another feature that is in the works, but currently you can only see your friends’ acheivements.
- No access to Steam Forums – You have to use a different app to browse the Steam forums (like Dolphin). This is important because many times before I purchase a new game I’ll check the associated forum to find a review, recommendation, or list of complaints, which can affect my purchasing decision.
Overall this is a fantastic app if you are a Steam gamer, or are at least interested in shopping online for games. Once games and a few more features are added to the app, it will be major competition for the Marketplace and iTunes stores.
You can download the free Steam App for Android here.
Posted on February 2nd, 2012 No comments
Today we dive into one of my favorite games of all time, on one of the mobile devices I use daily. How do you think Rock Band will hold up on BlackBerry? Will it rock or not? Read on…
PUBLISHER: Electronic Arts
GENRE: Rhythm Game
TRY IT: N/A
WHAT IT DOES: Are you aware of that console game with plastic guitars, plastic drums, and karaoke style vocals? If you are on this site, I’m sure you are aware of Rock Band. Well, this is a BlackBerry mobile version of that game. It’s actually, the second version of Rock Band for BlackBerry, the first being titled Rock Band Mobile. Rock Band Reloaded does not actually use any plastic instruments or karaoke vocals. In their place, are dots scrolling across or down the screen that you need to tap in syncronization with the music. For touchscreen BlackBerry’s, all the commands work well on-screen. For non-touchscreen BlackBerry’s the keyboard has commands to simulate screen touches.
As for the music, you do not actually the real songs, or the full songs. What you do get is 16-bit renditions of the songs without vocals. Think of the sounds from Sega Genesis games. As for song lengths, after about 2 minutes, the in-game songs fade out and end.
Graphically, the game is fine. The background looks like what is on Rock Band 1 on consoles. The notes coming at you look nearly identical to what you get on consoles too. Instead of having your band rocking out on stage in the background, you just get a static image of a band or a player.
Now, let’s talk gameplay. With easy, medium, and hard modes available, you get the ability to tap a few or a lot of bars coming at you. I found it ok in tapping the screen for guitar, bass, and drums. It’s not overly responsive, but not frustratingly poor either. For the simulated vocals, you tap notes on-screen due to the lack of real vocals. I found the side-scrolling of vocals impossible to get the full 4-stars (and difficult to get 3-stars).
There are single song playlists and a World Tour mode like in Rock Band 1 for consoles. With World Tour mode there are achievements encouraging you play the songs multiple times to achieve the necessary score or goal to gain the achievement and unlock other songs.
You won’t find any DLC available for Rock Band Reloaded. You get 20 songs.
DO I WANT IT: As an extremely hardcore Rock Band player on Xbox 360, I have played Rock Band Reloaded many times. I have also played the iPhone and Android versions as well (those have full-length real versions of the songs, high resolution graphics, and DLC). This BlackBerry version is no comparison to its Xbox, Android, or iPhone brethren. This game is better to play with the audio turned off, since the lo-fi audio is terrible and does not always sync to the notes on-screen.
I almost wish Harmonix did not put their name on this version of Rock Band, as it is by far the worst implementation of a Rock Band game on any platform. Unfortunately, there is not a free version to try first, so I did buy the app at the steep $7 price point.
In summary, stay away from this abomination. BlackBerry has never been known as a good gaming platform, and this game proves why.
“Worst game you could ever buy for your phone”
“It doesn’t hav full songs and no singing”
“I’m a Rock Band fanboy…And this version of the game is an embarrassment. The music is all MIDI renditions of the original (think 8-bit Super Mario Bros theme song). Songs fade out about 3/4 through the song. There are no vocals, they are all replaced with synth MIDI sounds. Graphics are decent, achievements are nice, menus are good…looks like the iPhone version. The music issues heavily outweigh the decent look of the game.” <– Actually I left that review in BlackBerry App World
Posted on January 28th, 2012 No comments
Welcome to our new feature app-a-day. It’s pretty simple, we pick an app (chosen either by you or our editors) and walk through its details. You might get a mobile app, console app, browser app, or something else. We will work on making this a regular feature, based on traffic to the site and feedback in comments. If you like this feature, or hate it, let us know.
To start things off, read on…
NAME: Airport Mania 2: Wild Trips HD for Tablets
PUBLISHER: Reflexive Entertainment
PLATFORM: Android (also available on Windows and Mac)
GENRE: Casual Game
PRICE: $1.99 Android tablets, 99¢ Android phones
BUY IT: http://amzn.to/wrVIiI
WHAT IT DOES: Basically, you act as air traffic controller and lands planes. But, there is more to it. You guide planes to terminals for unloading/loading, you direct them the the garage for repairs, fueling, etc. So, you are the eye in the sky. It gets frantic quickly with many planes looking to land/take-off with limited runways and terminals. You also earn money to upgrade your airport. There are plenty of “achievements” and in-game mini-games, like popping ballons in between slinging jets around.
DO I WANT IT: The graphics and audio are very nice, looks great on a 10″ tablet. The game is very fluid, and well developed. You can play this game on a phone, but the touch screen gestures make it difficult to tap the right spot accurately. (For phones, I suggest going with the 99 cent non-HD version). The developer is also regularly adding updates and levels to the game.
This game is addictingly fun, and the challenge grows at a good level. So, yes I want this game. It’s worth the two bucks.
“I’m not very good at these time/task management types of games, but I found this one to have a pretty good difficulty curve. It was relatively simple in the first few stages, then slowly started to get more hectic and difficult. However, the “minimum score” to pass the level has generally been pretty low, so I think even people who are worse at these types of games than I am could still have fun and progress!!”
“this game surprises, it’s a feel good kind of game,something you can play for 5 minutes or hours. the concept is simple but the game itself can be challenging. you wont regreat buying this game.“
Posted on January 26th, 2012 No comments
Months have gone by, many months. No Rock Band news or rants. No updates on my gadget obsessions. No shameless plugs for online deals to support our sponsors. Nuthin! So what gives?
Our first four years were very active (2007-2010), with multiple writers and sometimes many articles per day. (Remember, we run this site pro bono, make gilch, for free). Well not entirely true. It cost us money to keep it running. We do on a very rare occasion make a coin or two if you check out our sponsor links or buy from one of our Amazon links.
2011 had a turn (not for the worse, no one died or anything), just a turn. Shawn started a side-project in the smartphone security space (of course MyGGGo was already a side-project). He also started another side-project developing technical training courses. And finally started another side-project playing drums in a couple bands. Oops…I think that’s 3 too many side-projects.
Where are all the other writers from MyGGGo? They have faded into their lives, and we haven’t worked at replacing them. Our bad.
MyGGGo has suffered. I can’t say 2012 will return us to previous levels, but here’s a first ditch effort. Coming this week, will be our new feature, known as App-A-Day.
Since we have literally hundreds of apps (from business to games to time wasters) for many platforms, We are bringing (sexy) back all three G’s to MyGGGo (Gadget, Game, and Gizmo Obsession) with this new feature. We will have a standard format for App-A-Day and will walk through the details of an app, the good, the bad, the malicious, the free, the ridiculously expensive.
Get ready for stuff from the Android Market, iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Chrome Apps, Xbox 360 games, Xbox 360 Dashboard apps, BlackBerry apps, Wii games. We will go all over the map. Why the whole map, well we actually use them all.
Join us later this week for the first real blast-o-news for 2012 with App-A-Day. If you have any preference of platform, type of app, or a specific app you’d like us to highlight on App-A-Day, drop us a line below.
Posted on April 4th, 2011 No comments
Check this out. Use Rock Band mics to player a shoot-em-up Xbox Indie game. YouTube link below says it all.
My Gadget, Game & Gizmo Obsession …blogging about mobile stuff, gamer stuff, and other stuff since 2007 (MyGGGo.com)