Reviews

Review: Temple Run 2

Clocking in at over 170 million downloads over many mobile platforms, Temple Run had set a new standard in mobile gaming. Recently Imangi Studios gave us the much-anticipated sequel, Temple Run 2. TR2 is already catching up to its predecessor with over 50 million downloads during the first few opening days.

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At first glance the game looks pretty similar to the original version, however Imangi has put in some new features and tweaks, but is that enough secure the top download position on the App store?

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Graphics:

As soon as you tap play you are greeted with much improved graphics; detailed environments, vivid colors and fluid animation. These enhancements make running away from a man-eating mutant monkey much more appealing to the eye. Built from scratch using Unity game engine, Imangi developers have made the game look really good, while keeping it compatible on devices over 3 years old.

                Gameplay:

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The original Temple Run had you sprinting through a dense forest – in Temple Run 2 you are running for your life in a mysterious floating temple. The basic swipe controls remain the same, however Imangi Studios added many new obstacles and environments. Upgrades such as fire-breathing sculptures, dips and ups, and spinning grinders add more unexpected dangers to the game, keeping you on your toes at all times. Additionally, the landscape in Temple Run 2 is more dynamic in general, with waterfalls and zip-lines replacing the dull t-junctions featured in the first game.

            

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In-game Store:

With the coins you collect while playing the game you can upgrade your abilities to help beat your high scores. These include increased shield duration or doubled coin value, among others. Temple Run 2 has seven different characters – sometimes there are special offers like Usain Bolt. Each character has their very own unique powers, however buying characters can be costly – upgrading your power ups might be a better idea.

Conclusion:

 Overall, Temple Run is a great game with beautiful animations and simple controls making the game very enjoyable. If you liked Temple Run you’ll love Temple Run 2, or if you’re new to the series and like endless-running games, give it a try it’s only few taps away – Oh wait! Did I mention that this game is free?

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Review: Fujifilm X-20 Digital Camera

The Fujifilm X-20 is an amazing mid-sized compact camera, perfect for the casual or serious photographer. It has an elegant design, functions well, and is very fun to use.

Specs:

The X-20 is a good all-rounder, with 12 million effective pixels and a Fujinon 4x optical zoom lens. This isn’t an incredible lens, but it serves its purpose and keeps the camera in the compact category. The X-20 has a beautifully clear 2.8 inch L.C.D screen, but a particularly interesting feature of this camera is its digital viewfinder. A viewfinder can be extremely difficult to find on a compact camera, let alone a really quality one. The X-20 however has a great digital viewfinder, with a digital display showing when the camera is focused among other things. The X-20 uses manual zoom; to zoom in or out, twist the zoom ring built into the lens. The X-20 come in two different colors: silver and black, or all black.

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Modes:

The X-20 has a variety of modes to choose from, like just the normal camera, SR+ where the camera finds the optimal settings for the situation, Advanced mode to apply various filters and effects to the photos, or Portrait mode for photographing people, among others.

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Interface:

The buttons and rings on the camera are fairly simple, but also elegant and good looking. It may take a few reads through the manual to get the hang of using the camera, but it’s simple enough.

Performance:

The X-20 takes very clear photos, and auto-focuses very quickly and efficiently. It seems to be able to shoot fine in all conditions, except the extreme extreme cold, in which the buttons started to get sticky and hard to use.

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Overall:

I think the X-20 is a great camera for almost all occasions, whether shooting wildlife or scenery, or just taking family photos.

Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/mjnf3q8

Review: Logitech Gamepad F-310 Controller

The logitech gamepad f-310 is a great controller for any beginning pc gamer. I think it is a great alternative to a dualshock or xbox controller for those who want solid gaming performance without having to empty their wallets.

Feel:

The f-310 feels as if logitech got an xbox controller and a dualshock 3 and merged them together to a create a fusion of the two. The overall feel of the controller reminds me very much of my dualshock 3, yet the buttons on the gamepad match the x-360 controller, with the clicking buttons, lettered buttons, and the arrows in one solid piece.

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Connectivity:

Probably the biggest downside of the logitech f-310 is it’s lack of wireless controlling. The gamepad must be plugged in to a USB port at all times, and although it has a surprisingly long cable, this makes it much less efficient.

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Compatibility:

Another downside with the gamepad is its lack of compatibility with some games. Often the gamepad would be not properly programmed for the game I was playing, and unless I wanted to go to the trouble of programming the controls myself, I tended to go back to keyboard and mouse in situations like that.

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Software:

The logitech gamepad comes with an installation disc for its very own button programming software. Unfortunately, I found the program to be confusing, difficult to use, and often faulty. Perhaps if logitech had given some sort of instructions I would be using this tool more often.

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Overall:

I wouldn’t recommend the gamepad as a primary controller, but despite its flaws, the logitech gamepad f-310 is an overall well-made controller, and is a good choice for entry-level gamers looking for a cheap alternative to console controllers.

 

Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/lg84dwm

Review: Microsoft VX-2000 Webcam

Disclaimer: This review was written after using this product for 3 month

The VX-2000 made by Microsoft is a great entry-level webcam if you’re in the market for a cheap and reliable webcam. The VX-2000 sports a 640 x 480 VGA camera capable of filming and taking decent photos. The webcam also has a led for telling you when it’s on and a microphone.

Hardware:

There are many ways to place and mount the VX-2000. Rubber pads on the bottom of the base allow you to place it on your desk without having to worry about the webcam slipping over in the middle of your conference. The VX-2000 also allows you to open up the base and clamp it on top of your computer monitor. You can also rotate it 360 degrees and tilt it up and down using the hinge allowing you to show every corner of your room.

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The webcam and the microphone both connects to your computer using one USB cable (integrated – 6 ft), which is great because it frees up other ports for other products.

Camera Quality:

As I mentioned above the camera is a 1.3 megapixel VGA camera. Don’t expect HD quality from this tiny camera though. However the pictures and videos are pretty good and there is not much drop in frame rate. Due to its small light sensor the camera tends to be a bit under-exposed when shooting in low light.

Microphone Quality:

When using services such as Skype or VoIP services your voice can be clearly heard from the other side. However it does pick up some background noises and audio feedback. However if thinking of using this microphone to record podcasts or instrumentals. I recommend you investing in a better microphone.

Software:

The VX-2000 comes with the Lifecam program. This allows you to apply entertaining visual effects and has a folder for viewing your photos. Sadly the Lifecam doesn’t come with any video-editing programs, so you will have to do with Windows MovieMaker.

Included Microsoft Lifecam Softrware

Included Microsoft Lifecam Software

Overall:

The Microsoft VX-2000 is a perfect webcam for anyone wanting an upgrade on their built-in microphone, delivering both solid video and audio quality. I would recommend the VX-2000 especially to consumers on a tight because of its affordable price at only $20.

Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/n8hev6h