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Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Well, At Least we Got it, Right?

In Apple, iTunes/iPod, TV on July 23, 2008 at 6:34 pm

I’m really hating iTunes right now. Not only because of Apple but because of other parties involved.

-Let’s start off with Apple. Wouldn’t you know that Canada has laws that forbid Apple to sell Apps with anything but a credit card. Apparently the same rule applies for the 2.0 upgrade… despite the fact I was able to give them $20 using a iTunes Card in January for that upgrade. I’m just glad I knew this before buying a $50 card…

Yeah, I actually didn’t know. Fun.

-Now for Nickelodeon and/or YTV. I’ll admit it. I love Avatar : The Last Airbender. I bought Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD… before they came on iTunes for about half the price. But that’s not why I’m annoyed. The series just ended on Nick in the States but the final episodes are rolling into Canada right now through YTV. Unfortunately, none of the latest episodes are available at iTunes Canada. Not even the ones that already aired. And I missed them. Fun.

The Doctor has arrived in iTunes. You can download series 1 to 3 of the new Doctor Who. Well, you could if you lived in the States. Despite the fact that they fund the damn thing, neither CBC or BBC offer Who in Canada or the UK. So much for our tax dollars at work…

*sigh* And what do we get? American Gladiators. It seems that it’ll be joined soon by other MGM shows on iTunes Canada, with entries for Dead Like Me (which rocked) and In The Heat of The Night appreaing, although no shows are available as of yet. Well, at least we got something, right?

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Any Way You Choose – Trism Review

In iPhone, iTunes/iPod on July 20, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Name – Trism (Version 1.0)

Price – $4.99

Controls – Touch Screen, Tilt

Purchase on the App Store

The App Store is here and it brought a few games with it. Today, I’ll be looking at one : Trism. The idea behind the game isn’t new. You line up groups of 3 shapes, in this case triangles, by sliding rows into place. What sets Trism apart is its use of the iPod touch’s or the iPhone’s accelerometer.

You are able to choose from which direction the board gets filled. Let’s say you clear three triangles at the right side of a horizontal row. By tilting downwards the device to the left, new triangles will appear from the right of the screen. By tilting to the right, the part of the row already in play will fill the void. With this new mechanic, the genre receives a new aspect of strategy. While you previously only wondered which piece to move, now you also have to choose which way to tilt the device.

The game also has special pieces such as locks which block movement and bombs that make you loose the game if they aren’t eliminated. Some pieces and combos have abilities that aren’t covered in the game’s tutorials. Nothing to make you unable to play but you’ll certainly score better and play longer when you learn about them. I’ll leave you to discover what they are.

The game comes with a classic mode where you play until you are unable to disarm a bomb, another where you must complete matches quickly or have locks and time-delayed bombs appear, a free play mode without any obstacles, levels or score and a puzzle mode where you tilt the play field to eliminate the triangles. These give you the chance to play however you want.

Trism lets you post your score to an online leaderboard and collect achievements. You can even let multiple people do so by creating multiple Trism accounts. You’ll be able send in scores and achievements (even those you got previously while you were offline) after completing a game. Be warned: make sure to send in your info before switching users. I learned that the hard way and lost some achievements. Your game is saved if turn off the screen or exit the app, a useful feature for busy people. If you are colour bind, Trism also has you covered.

The controls act a bit buggy at times. They seem to “stick.” When letting go of the touch screen, a triangle might stay selected and triangles that should slide, according to the orientation of the device, don’t. In the puzzle mode, the game nags you to restart if you go over the number of recommended moves to complete a level. It’s annoying but the glitches have a minimal impact on the gameplay.

The game’s visuals are simple but of high quality. The game has no soundtrack and only has some unobtrusive sound effects which go great with the fact you can play while listening to music. I found the battery performance to be very good (with an iPod touch) even when playing with the music on.

Final Verdict

Trism isn’t based on anything new but it does bring something different to the table. And even if it didn’t, the game is only $5, a bargain compared to other App Store games. It’s an easy purchase if you enjoy casual games or are just looking for a time-waster.

EDIT: I added information about the battery and the colour bind mode and a few pictures.

EDIT 2: Corrected a spelling mistake, cleared up the explanation for the freeplay mode and specified that the battery life was tested with an iPod touch.

The iPhone 2.0 Launch – App Store News And Game Reviews

In iPhone, iTunes/iPod on July 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm

iPhone 2.0 is now available for both the iPod touch and the original iPhone. So is the iPhone 3G. Hope you’re having fun. I do have a warning to any Canadians out there : The Canadian App Store doesn’t accept iTunes Cards as a payment option for some unknown reason. I sent an e-mail to Apple to learn more but I haven’t gotten a response yet.

Anyway, I was able to upgrade to 2.0 and download a few pay and free apps and games. I definitely want to review :

-Trisim, a match and tilt casual game

-Super Monkey Ball, Sega’s tilt-o-rama launch game

– Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D, a racing game based on the video game series

-Tap Tap Revenge, a rhythm game that uses both the touch screen and the accelerometer.

I’m also playing around with other apps and games and might talk about those too.

The iPhone 2.0 Launch – News And Info For iPhone 3G Buyers

In iPhone on July 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Well, it happened. Congratulations, Canada. Rogers and Fido now offer a $30 plan that will offer 6GB of data. It’s a limited time offer but you get grab it until the 31st of August.

So you’re planing on getting the iPhone 3G in Canada. Well, start off by checking out the sites for the iPhone plans for Fido and Rogers. These are the pre-assembled plans for the iPhone but remember that you can assemble your own with pre-existing plans. While Fido does offer earlier evenings, it’s $5 a month or $0,25 per minute to access the larger Rogers network. Don’t forget to also check where you can get an iPhone and if you have Rogers or Fido and 3G coverage.

Rogers :

The iPhone plans

Rogers’ other plans

MacRumors article about the 6GB plan

Canadian wireless coverage (Under “Select Wireless Network”: GSM = the network, HSPA = 3G coverage)

International coverage

Store locator (Select “iPhone and accessory”)

Fido :

The iPhone plan

Fido’s other plans

The 6GB plan press release

Canadian coverage maps (with 3G and expanded (Rogers) network)

US coverage

International coverage

Rogers network access charges

Stores with iPhones

The iPhone 2.0 Launch – Complaints

In Apple, iPhone on July 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Hey Canada! Fed up about the included data in the iPhone 3G plans? Think the minutes are a joke? Prefer not paying extra for Caller ID? Here’s where to complain :

Rogers’ contact page

Fido’s contact page

Apple’s iPhone feedback page and contact page

Be nice but state your distaste clearly. You can also sign the petition at ruinediphone.com.

The iPhone 2.0 Launch – A little fun

In iPhone on July 6, 2008 at 12:00 pm

A bit a fun, this Sunday. I have this song caught in my head. Hit my on my iPhone. My-My iPhone.

The iPhone 2.0 Launch – iPod touch Owners : Get 2.0 Free

In iPhone, iTunes/iPod on July 4, 2008 at 10:06 pm

This might just be for Canadians. Heck, it might have just been at my location, but Costco is selling $50 iTunes cards for $34.97. That’s $15.03 of free money, enough to cover the price of the $9.95 upgrade to iPhone 2.0 for iPod touches. Best of all, it’s charged tax free.

The iPhone 2.0 Launch – Blog Coverage

In iPhone, iTunes/iPod on July 4, 2008 at 8:58 pm

In one week, Apple will launch the iPhone 3G, and with it, the iPhone 2.0 software. Canada’s an interesting place to be with the launch since we’re getting a raw deal. But, there’s still stuff to get excited for and I’ll be covering it.

-Getting ready for the Canadian launch.

-Where to send comments and complaints.

-An iPhone 2.0 for iPod touch review.

-App reviews.

-Maybe even a look at the 3G.

Pre-launch coverage goes on until… well, the 11th. Then, I’ll keep going and review the software and a few apps.