Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mashbuttons takes Scosche’s pink RAILkase to the most rugged environment, behind closed doors

It is iPhone accessory time here at Mashbuttons because this time around we were provided the RAILkase, Scosche’s latest rugged and stylish iPhone case. The RAILkase consists of two pieces, the first being silicone skins and the other, an aluminum band that wraps around the phone and holds the skin tight. Two skins were included in the packaging for your color preference, one black and the other one, white. Now that the case is firmly put together, lets dirty it up.

As I said, I was provided a pretty pink case, so it was only worn over the weekend and not in the office of 100, mostly dudes. However, in that time it did take a beating in the back yard exposed to the sun at temperatures over 100 degrees, knocked off a table, and touched many dirty surfaces. So after I had a manly home improvement day to compensate for the lovely pink case I was toting in my pocket, it held up surprisingly well. I figured the white skin would have picked up a lot more dirt and the dirt that it does pick up brushes off easily. I was most fond of the design, as it makes a narrow when naked phone wider and compliments it with a solid weight and silky smooth feel. 

I did have to wipe the case down often as it picks up just about every thing it is set on. The good thing is that it wipes down easily and disassembles quickly to make cleaning a short process. The bad is that with a silicon case, it can only be stretched to its limit so many times before it starts to tear, and you stretch to get iPhone in and out of it. The biggest issue I had however had to do with the switch above the volume buttons. It moves loosely and is difficult to determine if you phone is set to vibrate or ringer until it is too late.

Despite its cutesy pinkness, I really liked this case. It looks sleek, feels solid, and can still shine with one quick wipe after a clumsy fall. Pink is not the only color the RAILkase comes in, red, black, blue, and silver are also available. All kidding aside about the color, this a great case that is just as tough as the other rugged cases out there but with a more modern and sleek looking design, but remember, cross your fingers it doesn’t fall face first as it does not come with a screen protector.

Monday, July 30, 2012

MashButtons tunes out the world with Phiaton’s active noise cancelling earphones.

So I went to check the mail last week and in the box was a package from a company called Phiaton, and in that package was their recent model PS 20 NC in white, which are their noise cancelling ear buds. We have reviewed numerous headphones on this site, but this is the first noise cancelling buds, so I am interested in seeing how they compare to those in which we have reviewed in the past. The PS 20 NC’s are equipped with Noise Blocker, engineered by Phiaton and blocks 95% of outside noise and EverPlay technology that allows listening if and when your AAA battery is depleted.

My biggest issue with earbuds is the difficulty of finding a good set that both stays in your ear but also fits comfortably. With the PS 20 NC’s, they are both comfortable and stayed in my ear for long periods of use. In that use, I greatly liked the noise cancelling, and though it is no Bose Quiet Comfort silence, it is very close, and if you are tuning out people in the office or road noise when listening to tunes by the pool, they work perfectly. The sound quality is great as well, whether the noise cancelling is on or off, they deliver loud and clear highs, good mid range and mediocre bass, but also perform equally great at any volume.

While there is so much to like in this little package, there are some things that make me question why certain production decisions were made. First and foremost is the lack of inline remote and microphone, especially when most people nowadays use their phones as music players and almost all current headphone sport this feature. The only other issue I noticed was the build quality, because all the connections have soft rubber connectors, they look and feel like as if they look can be disconnected at any time with ease. The remote control is both large and heavy, so use when active it provides a less than comfortable experience, I still have yet to find a good place to clip the remote when moving around that doesn’t pull on the earbuds and though it does have a clip, its placement is akward.

All in all, these are good, if not a great pair of noise cancelling earphones. They are not only comparable to models at twice the price, but priced at a level of higher quality competitor’s that do not have noise cancelling capabilities. Phiaton’s nearly silent earphones are available now and if you are like me, and love good sound quality, while also tuning out 95% of outside noise, but don’t have the money to buy headsets like the Bose Quiet Comfort, the PS 20 NC is a perfect fit.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Konami shows off Revengeance Tutorial Gameplay footage

I love Platinum Games and I like the Metal Gear series, with 2 being my favorite. So it is safe to assume that I am hoping for very big things from this title's release. Konami has recently released the tutorial gameplay footage, which introduces you to the combat system and allows you to play a little Fruit Ninja, MGR style.

MashButtons’ cure for the JRPG itch, Record of Agarest War 2

The people over at Aksys recently sent us a review code for Record of Agarest War 2 on the PS3, probably because I enjoyed Record of Agarest War when it first came out 2 years ago. For those of you that didn’t get a chance to play the original, RoAW is a turn based JRPG in which you are timed to complete and includes a relationship system in which you are judged on decisions made throughout the story and your child’s stats are determined by your choices. I took on the role of Weiss, a character that has amnesia and later learns from a woman named Eva that he committed deicide and to atone for the sin, he must become the “Vessel” to which the power of the downed deity will be stored. Let’s see how this huge 14 Gig downloadable title handles.

There has been some good RPG’s out this year with Disgaea 4, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, so Record of Agarest has some pretty bug shoes to fill. In my experience with the title, I was strangely glued to the TV, trying to talk myself into turning it off and going to bed. The reason for this was largely due to the story and the combat system. The combat systems upgrade has moves mapped to the controller as opposed to the more traditional selection from a list.  Along with the faster, more fluid combat, the graphics have gotten a significant HD upgrade. Lastly, there is no wandering aimlessly to grind your character levels up, all you need to do is press R1 and you will engage in battle, which streamlines grinding greatly.

I did not immediately get sucked into the game, there were a couple things that took away my interest from the get-go, luckily the above features were eventually introduced and I quickly wanted to keep playing rather than how the experience began, feeling like I was forcing myself to keep playing. There is a LOT of dialogue, almost as much as combat, and no, you cannot skip them, it is also a bit distracting when I was trying to read the subtitles, but listening to the interactions in Japanese. As I said earlier, 14 Gigs, it’s a pretty big download, and during my time spent, I never thought, ah-ha, that is why they needed all the memory, what I am getting at is that it has very little animations and looks like it could be a Vita title

Like I said, I had a lot of fun and the further I got into it the more I enjoyed it. Sure, it did take a good four to five hours of gameplay to figure out what I was doing in combat, fighting more than I was reading, and enjoying the characters and story taking place. I would suggest this to fans of JRPG’s and grinding, because it has just about every known cliché surrounding the genre, but you have to keep your focus on the story so you don’t run out of time.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

3D, Dungeon Crawling, Online Coop…Yes Please!

Those fine folkss over at Square Enix just sent us a free copy of the 3DS title, Heroes of Ruin to review for all those wondering how an online dungeon crawler would work on the 3D portable.  Heroes of Ruin is an action RPG title that allows for both single player and up to four player coop, topped with the utilization of the microphone so you can chat and coordinate OR listen to little Timmy asking daddy if he can have his game back. The four staple classes are available and expanding skill trees to unlock and master after each level. I was ecstatic when Square Enix first announced the release of this title, so lets see how it holds up.
There were a lot of things in which I like while reviewing Heroes of Ruin, particularly the large dungeons. I do not know exactly what I was expecting but it was definitely less in terms of the size of some of the levels. The online also worked surprisingly well most of the time with others players seamlessly joining and leaving my hosted game. The online is where I really enjoyed my time spent as you are able to trade items and depending on the combination of classes, you can really do some damage if working together. The bosses are big and not so easy to take down quickly all while enemies continue to respawn at a good rate. The graphics looks decent, but I liked how the cut scenes looked in 3D and that there was no slowdown in gameplay when I was playing with three others.
There were some things that rubbed me the wrong way during my play through. The first would be load times, they are long and a plenty, luckily there are no load times once you are in a dungeon, only when going to different locations or finding/creating an online game. There is no new game +, once you beat the game, you are unable to go back and play again on a harder difficulty with higher-level equipment once completed. This was a big one for me as that is the main reason for trying to get rare loot, so that you can use them to take down waves of enemies on an additional playthrough on a harder difficulty.
All in all, I enjoyed my time spent with Heroes of Ruin, as it was fun and entertaining. While there was no new game +, there is a lot of replay value in going back and playing through while leveling the different classes. There is also a good amount of people playing online so I would highly suggest not playing alone, that is unless you are somewhere without an internet connection. Though it is not without flaws, however, most of the issues I would think could be resolved with a patch as Square Enix has already stated that they plan on supporting the game with daily challenges and new game content.

Konami has quite the line up this year

That’s right, we have always know Konami to have some of the most memorable title in gaming, but we have also know that they are not released very often. Well it seems that they ate forecasting
to have a huge year after looking at the lineup in which they brought to Comic Con. This list of titles being displayed in their booth are below so that you can start adding to your wish list, but I have included a couple screenshots for the titles I am most anticipating.
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
- Zone of the Enders HD Collection
- Silent Hill Book of Memories
- Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
- Puzzle Chasers
- New Little Kings Story
- Karaoke JoySound
- Frogger HyperArcade

Friday, July 13, 2012

Assassin’s Creed III has a new video, fresh from Comic Con

Ubisoft has released yet another video for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III. This time around, is a gameplay video which shows off how Conner fights, moves, and interacts throughout the historic city of Boston. Now it is going to be a matter of time, Halloween to be exact before we can take on the role of Connor.

I really cannot wait for Injustice

That is just about all that needs to be said after seeing the recent trailer. Warner Bros. has been press happy with their upcoming fighter developed by NetherRealm, Injustice:Gods Among Us. I mean it was to be expected with Comic Con going on, but the more I see, the more excited I get about it, mostly due to seeing how the environments are much bigger than Mortal Kombat and can be used to take down your facorite DC character.

F1 Race Stars looks…Fun?!?!

That’s right, this over the top arcade racer looks like it will be a blast. Not the same race fun that was in DiRT and F1, but I am talking the fun that is to be had when playing Mario Kart or Blur. So combine the super solid racing that Codemasters is known for and then add power ups, cartoon visuals, licensed drivers, and huge helmets and you get this. Codemasters also announced the releade date to be in November 2012.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Injustice’s roster is looking rather promising

Warner Bros. has released some screenshots of two more character that we can expect to see in the upcoming fighter, Injustice: Gods Among Us. Those two characters are Nightwing and Cyborg, and for those that happened to miss the trailer I posted during E3, the other characters we have heard will be Batman, Harley Quinn, Solomon Grundy, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman. If this plays anything like Mortal Kombat, which we can expect because it is being developed by NetherRealm, then I am sold.

Assassin’s Creed III Liberation is looking amazing

Ubisoft released a trailer yesterday for what may be my most anticipated game for the Vita entitled Accolades.  Assassin’s Creed III Liberation not only takes place in New Orleans during the 18th century and introduce a new character, Aveline, but is shaping up to be a great looking game. Take a look at the trailer and try to say otherwise.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Assissin's Creed III trailer has me shouting Amurica!

I have got to hand it to Ubisoft and their marketing team for some amazing work on promoting their upcoming title. Over the past titles, it seems as though the trailers have been getting more and more intense. With this recent trailer, an epic Revolutionary War battle is unfolding and by the end you will be screaming RAMPAGE on your way to pre-order. If you, like myself love collectors editions of your favorite titles, I swore Borderlands 2 would be the only one I purchased this year until now, because there is get some great stuff included, the bust is what did it for me.