Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gaming on the N8

One of my favourite games on the N8(one of the first phones with a graphics card, the Broadcom BCM2727 GPU) has to be Galaxy on Fire.

The first thing which impresses you on start, is that it actually asks you if you would like the audio on or off, which makes it much less intrusive than Angry Birds, where you’re sitting in this comparatively tranquil environment, and suddenly the soundtrack jumps out of nowhere and you look all around hoping no one notices it was you! Like any desktop game, you can choose to either enable the music or the sound effects.

Another impressive thing, is that this is the full game. Fishlabs mentions 20 hours game play, but I’ve been playing it for over a month now, and it shows no signs of ending, thank god!

N8 has been shortchanged by other games such as Angry Birds, where you only get certain versions like Seasons and Rio to play, and if you want the whole game, well, you’re going to have to pay for it. The only other option, is to actually buy an Android phone to get the whole game.

Being someone who started off on First Person Shooter games such as Wolfenstein, at a point where I actually thought the password was six stars. From there, it was Half Life, then Counterstrike and a little bit of Call of Duty.

The first flight simulation game I had ever played was the Aero Mission 3D fighter on the Sony Ericsson K750. Cut to Galaxy on Fire on the N8, and you have an experience worth dumping your desktop computer for.

You have multiple slots for saving the game, which you should, considering that the game only gets saved when you finish each mission, so if you start selling your cargo and then lose a mission, you’re going to have to go back and sell your cargo again, which gets to be a bit of a pain.

You get to play with different kind of ships, each ship has a different level of maneuverability, cargo hold, and different kind of weapons, which is truly amazing for a mobile game. My favourite is the Centaur ship, but you won’t reach that till you conquer quite a few planets.

Don’t forget to keep checking the Shop at each planet or space station for new toys and weapons. Try to get the Thermo weapon as soon as possible, and then follow it up with a good missile and photon combination.

Lasers get better and better, so don’t be too eager to dump them.

When you start actual game play, what will surprise you, is the absence of directional controls on the screen, like you would see on Tekkan Mobile. Galaxy on Fire gives you full accelerometer control, so you tilt the screen to move in any direction. The other option is to use the touch pad which is a pleasant experience when you want to lie down and play, say on a train or in bed.

The missile and boost controls only appear when available, where the boost control actually slowly flickers when it is almost ready, so watch for it. My favourite move, is to wait for the enemy ship to come close, and then fire a missile, since otherwise the missile just oscillates around the target ship for a long time.

The closing screen during the end of each mission, is not repetitive, it actually shows you the continuation of your last move, even if you’re shooting a missile, which looks spectacular.

Okay, now here is the special thing about gaming on the N8. Switch on the F.M. Transmitter and tune your radio on your home theatre to it. Once you’re connected, pump up the volume, and you are able to then play the game on any audio system(which has a radio), without connecting a single wire.

The experience is awesome.

Note: This post has been published in Mobigyaan .

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Confederate Hellcat C3 X132 – The Koenigsegg of bikes




Steve Jobs was a gaming guy starting a computer company. Maybe a stretch, but what about a lawyer launching an avant-garde motorcycle company?
Confederate Motors Inc. is a 19 year old company, formed by Matthew Chambers, a man who first ran his father’s pool hall at the age of 17, to have enough money for law college, to running for Louisiana State Representative in 1982, to winning his largest awarded case involving police brutality in 1990.
That’s when he then decided to move to his “labour of love”, where he sold his private law practice to create “enlightened design through true American inspiration”.
But what about their bikes? The biggest unofficial accolade is custom bike designers right from Paul Teutel Jr. to Akshay Varde, swearing that the Hellcat is the best production motorbike ever made.
I guess the first thing is to look at motorbikes in India first. The Royal Enfield Bullet, is one of the strongest bikes around today. Contrast this with the Yamaha R15, which has so much fiber on it, you wonder if there is any bike left.
The new Pulsar from the initial naked bike look, has sadly too, taken up a lot of the fibre right from the rear end to the batwing fairing in front.
Cut to the X132 Hellcat. You don’t see any fibre here at all and not much of a seat either. This is a bike which is quite literally, all engine and nothing else.
For all this power, the weight is unbelievably low at 215 kilogrammes.
Confederate’s philosophy from the beginning has been to create an amalgamation of engine and bike, which first culminated in the F131 Hellcat, a motorbike which impresses with it’s crazy three high intensity zenon bulbs in front, instead of the usual big headlamp. After that, came the incredible hooded Wraith with LED lamps which are truly mesmerizing to look at. Each motorbike looks like something grown, something from the stars.
But, how do they compare to that Milwaukee manufacturer of motorcycles with their own cult following, who has also launched their range in India. Well, with the C3 X132 Hellcat which is around double the price of a typical Night Rod special and one-fourth the price of its predecessors, the aim is to target around 10% of the top Harley Davidson customers across the world.
Horsepower? Well, the cheeky guys at Confederate, have only one word to say about that, with over 145 foot pounds of torque, claimed to be the highest torque-to-weight ratio for any other production bike in the world, that word would “Sufficient”!
The engraving on the side of the tank seem almost alien, making you wonder if this motorbike is truly terran.
The bike, claimed to be the toughest most long lasting motorcycle which could ever be created, bears great testimony to the company itself, which, despite losing its factory to Hurricane Katrina and moving to Alabama, rebuilt itself from the ashes and still continued to meet schedules for their other motorbikes such as the Wraith and the Fighter.
If only these pages, could do justice, to what a powerful force of nature this motorbike is. Every inch is so well thought out, it will make you want to rethink your own vehicle, make you wonder why you need all that extra weight.
While the F131 truly look like a beast of the underworld, with a lot of weaving and waning of the intakes and exhaust, the C3 X132 looks like a beast of another galaxy, with it’s straight lines, engraved tank, horizontal seat, and an overall worship of everything geometric.
While the F131 was a woman powerful, the C3 X132, is a woman ethereal, with the ability to do the unthinkable, and not bat an eyelid while doing it.
Before you pack your bags for America, hang on a minute. You could actually order their motorbikes directly from their online store along with a range of goodies including the X132 Copperhead motor for twenty one large ones.
Considering that India is already seeing the likes of Maserati and Koenigsegg, look forward to the Hellcat unleashing its hellish roar here soon.

Photo courtesy: Confederate Motorcycles under a Creative Commons License.

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