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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Shadowgun

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The day has finally come. It has arrived. It's here. (Well, for us -- the rest of you get it soon). Shadowgun, Madfinger Games's excellent looking, console-quality action/shooter is coming to Tegra-powered Android devices. From the moment Shadowgun was announced, I was itching to get my greasy little fingers all over it and shoot whatever it is they're shooting in those trailers.

You play as Bruce Willis John Slade, mercenary extraordinaire, sent on a mission to capture (but not kill) the nefarious Dr. Simon from wherever he's hiding. You're accompanied by your robot lady-companion, S.A.R.A. So you hop in your mercenary spaceship and hightail it to the nearest evil genius hiding spot.

Standing in your way are hordes of bad guys (no, I don't know what they really are), obstacles, and gigantor bosses (like the Cyberlobster). So what do you do? Take your trusty machine gun and blow enough holes in all of them to keep on trucking through the muck, obviously.

The whole shindig is voice acted (and captioned!), which is done really well. Sure, sometimes the text doesn't match up with Slade's voice (like when ALL CAPS suggest he's yelling but he's mumbling to himself), but the fact they managed to voice act an entire game this long is insane.

Graphically, I feel like I'm playing Gears of War on my Electrify (or Thrive). That might sound like a cop out, but it's true. You control a big, burly man who carries a big gun and shoots things with graphics that look like they're worthy of blockbuster hits we're seeing on consoles. It's stunning and I think it's AWESOME. After Emissary of War, I was beside myself at how nice that game looked. Shadowgun takes those effects up to 11, if you will, and really spoils the player.

Fortunately, the graphics scale well from a phone to a tablet, but the controls are definitely tighter on the phone. It makes sense. Smaller screen, it's easier to hold, you don't have to move your thumb as much, I get it. Still, be aware that when you're gaming on a tablet, there's definitely a chance you'll accidentally stretch your thumb way too far out right when you're in a critical part of your fight against Cyberlobster, and well, at least you get to restart at your checkpoint.

Adding to the awesome, Shadowgun is big. I haven't managed to play through the whole game yet, but the trailer up there promises six hours of gameplay, and six hours on a mobile device sounds pretty sweet to me, especially if I get to gawk at super sweet eye candy for all of it. To really maximize your time, you could always start off on easy mode so you get three play throughs on it (on all of its difficulty modes). There's also achievements to be had and bonus cards to be collected, so once you've fulfilled your merc contract, don't think you can just put Shadowgun down and walk away.

If you've got a Tegra device, you'll want to get this game. There's no reason not to. It's the finest looking game we've had to grace our Android-green shores, and with all the features it's packing, you'd be silly to pass it on by.

Now we just wait for release.

Demo video and screen shots are after the break.

Update: Just got word that Shadowgun's going to cost $4.99 when it hits the Market. No date's announced yet, just "soon."

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2 years ago

Big Android BBQ Video Recap!

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Hey everyone, it's your favorite video correspondent on Android Central, Ashley Esqueda -- this time, I had the pleasure of heading to Austin, Texas, for the Big Android BBQ on Sunday, and if you didn't make it ... well, you missed a great time. Not only did I get to meet the greatest editor in chief of all time, Phil Nickinson, I also got to hang out with the coolest people on the planet: Android fans, celebrities, and community champions!

If you're not familiar with what the Big Android BBQ is, the name says it all: it's when Android fans from around the world collide with OEMs, contests, conferences, and delicious, delicious barbecue. Aaron Kasten, founder of AndroidSWAG and the Big Android BBQ, organized the first event last year, and it was such a success that he (and some very incredible and generous volunteers) planned an even bigger get together for their second event. I guarantee next year's event is even bigger, better, and full of all the excitement and energy the crowd brought this year.

Over the entire BBQ weekend, lots of events and activities commenced: a bar crawl in Austin for 21+ attendees; a full day's worth of Android-centric conferences including CyanogenMod, HTC, and XDA Developers; a pre-BBQ pool party at the official hotel of the event; a scavenger hunt on Sunday; and the BBQ itself, featuring giveaways, merriment, and even a marriage proposal!

Check it out!

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2 years ago

Did Samsung just tease us all with a glimpse of the Nexus Prime?

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Something big is coming from Samsung -- as they just let the world know with their latest video for Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011. The event this year will be held during CTIA in San Diego, CA where we're expecting to see the Nexus Prime fully revealed.

You can hit the break for the video - not much to go on really but you could say it certainly has our interest piqued. Also, can't help but note the timing for release of this video. You can skip to 0:19 if you simply cannot wait.

More in the Nexus Prime Forums! Thanks, everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Editorial: Now we know why Apple went after Samsung in the courtroom

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If you live in a cave and missed the "big" announcement of the iPhone 5 iPhone 4S, you need to have a peek for reference before we start.  Jump over to TiPb, where Allyson has a summary and links so you can watch the whole thing (if you can be bothered to install a proprietary QuickTime plugin, that is).  If you came back a bit underwhelmed, you're not alone, and it looks like more than a few iPhone die-hards will be skipping this update altogether

OK, we're done with the links and news about the iP4S -- promise.  I just wanted to be sure you all had a chance to see just what Apple took 16 months to release, and have an idea how it was received.  Now compare it to the reaction the Internet, folks in our forums, and people in general had to the Samsung Galaxy S II. 

Apple no longer sets the bar that others are measured against.

This goes beyond the Galaxy S II.  Samsung is releasing some amazing products, listening to user feedback, and delivering what consumers want.  I don't like Touchwiz.  Not even a tiny bit.  But, damn, it is smooth and fluid on the latest Samsung hardware, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1.  It's also functional, bringing things to the table that users haven't even thought to ask for yet.  Techie types are falling in love with Samsung's new products, and we all know where non-techy types look for advice.  No longer will the non-fanboy instantly say the word iSomething when asked what the best smartphone is, because until Apple can show something new, with features users have been asking for, the iProduct isn't it.

We tend to think in terms of smartphone here (we are a Mobile Nation of Smartphone Experts after all) but Samsung, like LG, sells an amazing amount of phones every year.  Numbers that dwarf any manufacturer's smartphone sales.  They are in the Prime position (see what we just did there?) to put out the product that sets the tone for the next generation of smartphones, likely running Android.  Apple can't risk that, because they have a giant cash cow they need to protect.

That's iTunes.

For all the polish and thought that goes into Apple's mobile products, they are just a front end for iTunes.  The fellows in Cupertino know that they can create buzz on a brand (and they do a marvelous job at it), but can they compete when another product comes on the scene that is simply better?  That's a risk that Apple is too smart to take.  If Samsung is able to build and sell something to make the average user want it enough to leave the iTunes universe, Apple's revenue will be hit -- hard.  Apple knows how to sell content and build mindshare.  Samsung knows how to sell a whole lot of electronic devices.  The two had to butt heads eventually, and as Android matures, that day isn't far off.  NVIDIA shows us what can be done with powerful hardware on a mobile device.  The Galaxy S II line shows us that hardware has reached a point where even less-than-optimized software can look and feel awful damn good.  When the two meet (Ice Cream Sandwich?  Maybe.), the chance to really shake up Apple's ecosystem is there.

I'm no fancy paid analyst -- I'm a middle aged father of three who happens to be a big nerd.  I have a theory that if I can see the big picture, real analysts and businessmen can as well.  Samsung is in the position to de-throne Apple, and spending the last six months worrying about legislation instead of innovation makes perfect sense to me after the recent iPhone announcement.

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2 years ago

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II review

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Easily AT&T's best Android smartphone

AT&T has always seemed to have an odd relationship with Android. Conspiracy theorists like to believe it’s because of the iPhone, and there might be a little truth to that. But despite a slow start with Android -- and a few odd decisions along the way -- AT&T’s started to come into its own, sporting compelling smartphones from most of the leading manufacturers.

And it’s second out of the gate with the Samsung Galaxy S II. The Atlanta-based carrier’s doing us all a favor by not messing with the phone’s name at all -- the same can’t be said for others -- and AT&T’s also shaken up the U.S. GSII lineup with some physical tweaks to its Galaxy S II. Minor modifications to the software and user interface hardly are a surprise, too.

So how does the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II fare against AT&T’s other offerings, the iPhone, and the recently released (and wildly  overnamed) Samsung Galaxy S II Sprint Epic 4G Touch? Read on to find out.


Thin, light, fast. And the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen is gorgeous. It's a Galaxy S II, after all.


Launched with a fairly major security flaw, may still be too big for some at 4.3 inches. AT&T's customization of the TouchWiz home screens is uninspired.



You can't get a better Android smartphone on AT&T. This is as fast and as light as anything available today. And AT&T (and other retailers) have priced it right, under $200.

Inside this review

More info

 

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2 years ago

Primed, Rooting the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II [From the Forums]

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If you've had your fill of Apple news for the day, we've got just the spot for you to hang out. The Android Central forums is the perfect spot to talk about all things Android related, and you don't have to worry about Siri interupting you when you're trying to speak. Check out some threads or start your own today:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

World of Goo coming to Android as GooDroid!

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If you've never heard of the World of Goo, we have a feeling that will be changing soon. The folks behind the World of Goo, 2D Boy -- have announced they will be bringing their physics-based puzzle game to the Android platform.

Similar to Angry Birds gameplay, the obeject is to move goo around from pipe-to-pipe in an effort to get it where it needs to go. You'll be facing plenty of structures in your way though such as hills, spikes, and cliffs and you have to maintain as much goo as possible.

No pricing or launch date was announced for the game but 2D Boy states they are currently working on some of the machinery for GooDroid, as it will be called when released so with that in mind -- we're guessing launch cannot be that far off.

Source: 2D Boy

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2 years ago

Android 101: How to filter your web market search

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2 years ago

Latest Android version numbers released, Gingerbread is on the rise

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Google has released the latest breakdown of the platform version numbers, and they show Gingerbread growing in a big way.  These numbers are a snapshot of the phones and tablets that have visited the Android Market up to October 3, 2011, so it's a pretty good breakdown of just what's out there in the wild. 

As noted, Gingerbread saw a big jump of almost 8 percentage points, and almost all of it came from the Froyo column.  This means OEMs are getting their phones upgraded to the latest platform version, bringing welcome security and bug fixes along for the ride.  On the other end of the spectrum, not much has changed for phones still using version 1.5 and 1.6, they still clock in at just 2.5 percent of the total.  Honeycomb has seen a slight bump from 1.4 percent to 1.8 percent of the total, and Android 2.1 has dropped a couple tenths to 11.7 percent.

It's about what anyone would have expected, some phones are going to be stuck on older versions, and phones that can be upgraded are being upgraded, albeit slower than many would care for.  The numbers are quite favorable, with 97.5 percent of all Android devices on the 2.X codebase.  Of course, this won't look quite so good when we move to Ice Cream Sandwich, and go through the waiting game all over again.  We'll visit that one next month, hopefully.

Source: Android Developers

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2 years ago

Specs: iPhone 4S versus the world

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One last iPhone post, and then we return you to your regularly scheduled Android domination. Our pals at TiPb asked us which phone we wanted to put head-to-head with the iPhone 4S. Had to be the Galaxy S II, right? Ease on past the break for the breakdown.

And for everything iPhone 4S, head on over to TiPb.

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