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iPhone Impressions

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The iPhone. The shiny, beautiful device has always mocked me, laughing at how I couldn't afford one. Until last week I acquired some money (it isn't as dodgy as it sounds... honest) and decided to go out and make a purchase that would change my life forever!!! OK, I might be exaggerating a little, but either way - I've got an iPhone WOOOHOOOO!!!!

So, what do you think think of your new iPhone, I disillusionally imagine you shouting at your screen? Well, that's what this blog is about (you'd have never guessed that from the title, would you), so get comfortable, put on your reading glasses and prepare for a roller coaster ride of iPhoney goodness.

After spending a small fortune on the phone, I rushed home to get using it. It reminded me of when I was a kid, and I'd rush home to play a new playstation game. Anyway, I got home and opened the box, and there it was, looking just as beautiful as I expected. When I picked it up, it was lighter than I expected, I was expecting something on the heavier side, like my ipod c.lasic, but without a hard drive there is no need for it to weigh so much.

I then read through the instructions, in attempt to find out where I was supposed to put the SIM card. Despite having a well concealed SIM card slot, they don't provide anything to explain where you put it. After googling it, I found how, only to find I'd lost the little poking device that you use to pull out the SIM holder. After spending 10 minutes searching for a paperclip to use as a replacement, I managed to get the SIM in, and begin actually using the phone.

So, all that was left to try was the features. All of the standard phone features work fine. The phone is good, texting works fine, the calendar does all the standard things you expect from a phone calendar, as does the clock. The camera is competent. It's nothing special like the 8 Mega Pixel camera's you get on some phones. It's 2 Mega Pixels, which is all I need really, and takes pictures fine. There are no additional features though, all it does is take a basic photo, no zoom, no effects, no video recording. Now, onto the main reason I got the phone - The web browser.

The web browser works brilliantly. It browses the web really fast for a phone. It's perfect for checking things when on the go. The only issue I have with it is that I can't post on giant bomb with it. Everything loads perfectly, I can sign in, look at everything, but I cant type in any of the text boxes. With using the web browser comes using the keyboard. The keyboard is a bit weird to get used to. Early on I was pressing the wrong keys all the time, but after using it for a little less than a week, I'm already used to it, only occasionally hitting the wrong key, and I'm sure I'll get even better.

Some of the additional features are cool too. The Google maps works fine, and will find your location, which I'm sure is very useful if you get lost. The youtube video's play fine. The Music player is exactly what you expect from an apple ibranded device, it works brilliantly. One of the things I really like about the iPhone is the ease of taking screenshots. But these out of the box features are only the beginning. The App store is full of really cool features that you can download straight to your iPhone, so I'll provide my brief impressions of a few of them. I plan on writing full reviews for some of the games in the future, so keep an eye out for them.

Tweetie

Tweetie is a fantastic twitter app that does everything you want from a twitter app, and more. Obviously you can send and receive tweets, but you can also view web link, post photo's, log into multiple accounts, follow, unfollow, block and unblock users. It also has a cool location feature, where you can see tweets from people who are near you.

Shazam

Are you ever in a pub, or club, or anywhere, and a song comes on and you want to know what it is? Then Shazam is the app for you. Shazam will listen to 10 seconds of a song, spend 5 seconds figuring out what it is and then tell you. It'll also provide links to youtube video's of the song, and the song in the itunes store, and will save all the information for reference in the future. I've already found this really useful, and I've only had it a couple of days. And the best part of all, it's free!!!

Real Football 2009

Real football is a fantastic little football (soccer) game. It has fantastic 3D graphics, really great controls, and even features online play. Any fans of football games will love this. It's brilliant. Definitely the best game I've played on the iphone so far.

Rolando

A fantastic little puzzle game, similar to the PSP's Loco Roco. Definitely one of the best games on iphone. You have to control your rolando's by tilting your iphone to get them to the end, but with obsticles in the way you'll have to puzzle-solve your way to victory

Hero of sparta

I haven't played too much of this, but I definitely plan on playing it more. It's a really cool 3D brawler that has really good graphics, and really good controls.

SimCity

Another game I haven't played too much of, but it's basically SimCity 2000, but on the iphone. The controls seem fine so far, but the size of the screen seems like it might be a bit of a hindrance when I get really into it.

CoD 5 - Do people care?

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After allot of rumour and speculation about Call of Duty 5 (now called Call of Duty: World at War) we finally have something solid. It turns out that most of the rumours were true, but its not all bad news.

Firstly as expected, Treyarch will be developing it. Despite this though, it might not be the disaster that CoD 3 was. Activision gives the reason for the poor quality of CoD 3, is that it was only in development for 11 months. This time, they will have had the full 2 years to work on it.

Next, the series is returning to its World War 2 roots. This is very disappointing to some, after Activision announced it would take place in a "new theater". This new theater turns out to be the battle of the pacific, between America and Japan. European frontline action will also be included in the form of the Russians advancing on Berlin.

There is also news that no one will consider bad news. It is using the Call of Duty 4 engine, which will hopefully make the game feel similar to CoD 4, and should help bring the fast, action packed experience everyone expects from a Call of Duty game. And with more destructive environments hopefully adding to the experience, the future is looking better for the game which has already been subject to much criticism.

Also coming straight from CoD 4 is the online multiplayer element. Apart from adding new vehicles and a new leader system (where more perks will be unlocked for staying close to the leader) the multiplayer experience should stay true to that of the hugely popular CoD 4.

Other additions to the game include a 4 player online co-op aggressive Japanese tactics (such as ambushes) and the introduction of a flamethrower!!!! But the important question, is do people really care?

World War 2 shooters seem to have been milked for everything possible, so why do we need another one? Sure, these new features seem interesting, but is it really enough to revive an overused genre? I don't think so. What does everyone else think?

Source: OXM UK

GTA IV Episodic content delayed

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The first episode of the Xbox 360 exclusive DLC will has been delayed until Q1 2009 according to an investor conference call with Take-Two CEO Ben Feder.

OK, so what does this mean? Well firstly, do not completely despair. We may not have to wait until 2009 for the content. Since it was announced to investors, this means Take-Two's fiscal year, not the proper year (why do business people have to make it so complicated for everyone else?), which means November 1st 2008 until January 31st, so it is still likely to be released this year.

So I suppose you're wondering why it is delayed? Maybe rockstar are working on something really huge? Like a new city, as has been rumored. Nope, Ben Feder explains:

"The reason we moved it is more about portfolio balance than anything else... the delay is not about development issues."

Now, I don't know what portfolio balance is, and quite frankly I don't care, but I know its nothing to do with game development thats for sure. I can understand the men in suits controlling retail releases, since that can be quite complicated, but DLC? I want my DLC when its ready, not when it it balances some damn portfolio!!!!!!

So, will I still care about GTA by then. I think so, but many people will have moved onto other things, and might not get it right away, especially since it will be in the Christmas rush of games releases. I suppose the business men know what they are doing with regards to sales, but it still seems pretty stupid to me. Unless they plan on leaving it till the end of the fiscal quarter, when Christmas is over and we're in a games drought, which would mean we will have to wait until '09.

Either way, I'm not a happy bunny.

Source: Kotaku

(Well, yestardays blog post was my first in nearly 2 years. Now I have done 2 in 2 days. I won't be doing daily posts, but I do intend to update it semi-regularly)

Other life in the universe

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Anyone who is reading this - HUMANS ARE NOT ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE... I even have actual proof. I am even looking at the living proof right now. I just cant believe it. i can see physical proof that humans are not alone in the universe, and they were so close to home all along. Its a BUDGIE!!!

It's for real. Budgies roam the planet earth with us, we are not alone in the universe after all. I mean, i have seen that sort of thing in Science fiction programs like "Wildlife on 1" or even "Nature watch" but i never though it could actually be real. I am sure there is more life other than us and budgies, I just have to find the proof!!!!

(I know this is a really random blog post. I've been planning on getting round using this blog for a while, but haven't been bothered to do it. Now that I have I couldn't be bothered to do anything that required the use of multiple brain cells, so here it is :P. Hopefully I'll actually use it for something a bit better in the future).

Union matters mainly

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Ok, lets start off with my union: All started off well, I was overwhelmed that i woke up the morning after i had sent invites I had 22 messages in my message inbox, one was "your union has been successfully created", there was one message from one of my officers and the rest were "someone has enlisted in the free games union" and i went to the boards and whilst i was expecting it to be empty there were 6 messages, all with several posts, I was amazed at my officers hard work and effort they had put into this, THANKS GUYS!!!!!!!!!

Since then things have gotten a bit slower, now just a few posts are emerging occasionally. I am trying to keep it active but i am running out of things to talk about on the subject of free games. I really need any members reading this to post about anything and everything.

Anyway, onto matters of life, the universe and everything. Errm... Not much is happening... I saw a dog on the way to school today... and a piece of litter blew past... OH, Ive thought of something interesting too tell you about: I have no lungs left!!! Ok, I do, but in chemistry we were using extremely concentrated hydrochloric acid, and if we breathed in the fumes it would burn out my lungs. fortunately i didn't or i would be coughing all the time.

Union, Football and all things random.

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Ok, here is my plan for today:

Just before 2:00 (this is UK time for americans): send Union invites

2:00 - Watch Football (Soccer for americans)

2:45 - Check back on union invites

3:45 - Celebrate winning (hopefully) and check on union invites again.

Hopefully (i dont know how the union system works) after 4 people accept i will be able to start work on my union, and i wont have to wait for everyone to accept.

I know this was a pointless post, but i am a pointless person.

First Proper post

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Right, i am going to start trying to post on my blog at lease semi-regularly because i am creating a union (the free games union) and i thought that i needed a place for all my fans (yeah right) to worship me (YEAH RIGHT!!!!).

So what has been happening in the world of Matthew McAlpine (yes that's my name)? As none of you know i am a 6th form student, and i have just had my AS exams and now i have 1 week off (hence my timing to create my union now) before i go back to study A2 work. The exams went OK and could have been a lot worse. One of my chemistry exams was particularly easy to my surprise. My ICT exam was really really really really really really hard BUT everyone found it hard so at least i wont be the only person in the class failing it.

Well i am sure you don't want me to bore you anymore so i will be off

1st Post

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This is my first blog post. yay(!) i am bored out of my brains, so bored i was reduced to actualy posting a item in my blog. well, have i nice life. i might update this again, but then i might never even think about this ever again. bye!!!