Apps of the Week

July 31, 2009

Everything, Everything Else

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I’m back with another healthy dose of apps that have caught my eye.  Since it’s been a couple weeks I decided to throw in an extra review…mainly because I think the third app is somewhat hilarious (not the content mind you, but for the fact that I have no reasoning for why you’d need to access it all the time).  This weeks reviews are Resident Evil: Degeneration, Hearts Solo, and Most Wanted.  Hit the jump to read on…

Resident Evil: Degeneration

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I had heard about this game but hadn’t read any reviews or even seen much in the way of screen shots before downloading it.  I figured that it was going to be like the “Doom” release awhile back and that it would be a rail based shooter version of the game.  Nope!  They’ve actually implemented a walking control scheme that is controlled by touch, and it ain’t half bad.  Most developers haven’t been able to use touch controls for much more than either gimmicky things or to simply press a button.  Being it’s Capcom that is the developer you can see they spent some time in the finesse of replicating an analogue stick on-screen.  The trade off is that you can’t move and shoot at the same time.  Um…hello frustration and dying.  Maybe after spending more time with the game I’ll get a little better at walking then shooting and vice-versa.  The buttons on the right side of the screen switch between aiming/walking, shooting, using items, and a default knife attack.  I had no problems with button accuracy or registering a tap…another testimate to this being from a major game studio.  And the graphics are GREAT.  No blood (hey, Apple’s still working on the whole “family” thing) but environments, character models, and cutscenes are all top of the line for the device so far.  To me it looks like the better end of PS1 games…could be due to the small screen size though.  Either way it’s top notch.  Capcom also has RE: 4 available with what looks to be the same control scheme and very similar graphics.  4.5 Stars.  RE: D is $6.99 and RE: 4 is $7.99

Hearts Solo

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Now this is a pretty simple app for a pretty simple game.  Don’t get me wrong, Hearts is a STRATEGIC game, just one that doesn’t require millions of dollars for a graphic engine.  I grabbed this hoping for a nice simulation of what I remembered playing a ton of in college on any Windows computer.  Guess what?  I’m not disappointed.  It’s straight forward and addictive as hell.  Just like I remembered but this time I can take it everywhere.  If you don’t know how to play Hearts, I’m not going to go into it here, but I will send you to the wiki entry (here).  It’s an app that is exactly what I was hoping it would be and while not breaking down any new barriers I see it staying on my iPhone for a long time.  3 stars.  Free

Most Wanted

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Here’s what I find humerous about this app…why do you need the FBI’s most wanted list on your iPhone to have with you all the time?  Are you going to be sitting on a park bench seceretly profiling everyone that walks by?  ”Hey look…I think that’s Bin Laden over there.  No wait, it’s just another taxi driver.”  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of the most wanted list.  If you make it to the top then yes, you probably should be in jail.  Not many instances of hitting the top ten by mistake.  Maybe it’s desinged to see if you DO make it up there.  ”Hello, mom…guess what?  Yep, I’m number 6 on the terrorist list now!”  The one aspect of the app I won’t joke around with is the missing child segment.  I can see that being useful if the app is updated on a regular basis.  What would be even more useful is if it pulled the fugitive and child lists from your general location and not nationally.  I mean the chances I’m going to see a abductiee from California here in Kansas City are slim, so it’s somewhat a waste of the capabilities of the iPhone.  It does link you to all the FBI’s social sites…so it’s got that going for it (surprisingly no Chris Hanson link…)  It’s free though, and I guess if one child is recovered, one murderer is put away, or one terrorist is hung by his balls then the app is worth it.  2 stars.  Free

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