Friday, September 28, 2012

Jorno has done it, smallest folding mobile bluetooth keyboard

Now that is a mouthful, literally, I think it would fit. The Jorno is a pocket sized solution for many bluetooth enabled mobile devices. This keyboard folds an unprecedented five times giving it the smaller size while keeping the same functions. The biggest use I can immediately think of is writing about games and tech toys, but long emails, notes, and assignment would get completed a lot faster and hopefully more comfortably. Icluded in this small package is a detachable cradle made to hold your device at either a portrait or landscape modes, but if you prefer to type on your lap, fear not because of the keyboard's rigid design, it will not collapse. The Jorno is live on Kickstarter and can be found here.

Behold, the Code of Princess launch trailer

I know that I may have been a bit childish a couple of days ago with the bathroom humor behind Code of Princess' box reveal. I hope that the above trailer will make up for the inconvenience,if not, there are always books, bot who wants books, with no pictures or buttons. I must say that I am looking forward to this game, if it has any sort of online community, I am expecting the online coop to be a blast.

GRiD 2 gets a gameplay video

It was recently brought to our attention that GRiD was getting a sequel. This was great news but having to wait to get our hands on it kinda sucks. However, this gameplay video helped remind me what the racing of the original was like and how the sequel is looking. It is like playing Race Car Driver of old with the speed of DiRT.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Code of Princess' box has shown itself

Stop right there if you are giggling from what I think you may be this game is rated T for Teen. Code of Princess is the latest from Atlus in the form of an Action RPG/Brawler from the 3DS out for release on October 9th. Along with the box, we get to see whats inside, really, are we back in grade school? Enough of what I have to say, here is what Atlus had to add:

"In keeping with proud ATLUS tradition, fans who purchase a launch copy of Code of Princess (at a participating retailer while supplies last) will receive the Code of Princess Sound & Visual Book, a collection of art work from famed designer Kinu Nishimura and music from ACE's stellar soundtrack that are the perfect complement to the game and a wonderful collectible to proudly display."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When animals atack comes to Far Cry 3

Maybe not literally but this trailer shows a tiger attack that can only be compared to that which used to be seen in Vegas, awesome! Aside from showing you that you need to avoid 99 percent of anything you encounter in this vacation spot, the beautiful world is just a glorious. Far Cry 3 will be available in time for that special someone for Christmas, hint hint, with a release date of December 4th.

Splinter Cell Blacklist is looking gritty

Blacklist is the latest of the Splinter Cell titles in which you covert badass Sam Fisher. This time around, you are after a terrorist group behind "The Blacklist", a sequence of increasingly dangerous attacks on American Assets, by any means necessary. Blacklist will be available in Spring 2013

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dead or Alive 5 proves it's a fighter

The season of huge releases has begun with Borderlands 2 release last weekend, Dead or Alive 5 this week, and next week’s release schedule including Resident Evil 6.It is only going to get busier and that is why I love what I do, this time around MashButtons brings you it’s review of Dead or Alive 5, Team Ninja’s latest in their popular fighting franchise. In Dead or Alive 5, we once again join those bouncing characters that we love so much when they kick high and the multiple martial arts techniques they are equipped with, but this time we get more. This time we get select fighters from the Virtua Fighter game, new interactive levels to use to your advantage and online battle modes.

Dead or Alive has been around since the first PlayStation and was developed by the same people that brought us Ninja Gaiden. This team, Team Ninja, did it once again in releasing a beautiful looking brawler that plays very fast and fluid. The levels also look just as good as the fighters and it is still ever so satisfying to use the environment to level the playing field in the middle of a round. Though looks are a lot of what makes a good game better, so gameplay is where the series has always shined. No matter what the combo or how much is going on in the level, it does not slow down, moves are quick, and if you aren’t prepared, thinking ahead, then you can lose in the blink of and eye.
Though not without faults, DOA 5 has a couple shortcomings. The first issue being the story and the other consists of the load times.  Though you can skip the story if you lose interest and want to brawl, you still have loading times that are long, even when the game is installed to the hard drive. This doesn’t break the game, in arcade and other modes, you don’t have the long cutscenes, but since I wanted to play through the story before online play, I gave the story a shot and is was better than the loading screens, just too many in between fights.

Oh Dead or Alive, you are a special beast I hold so near and dear. I played you since my teenage years and you seem to get better with age. It is great to pick up and throw a few rounds down on line or play the numerous online modes to hone your main character’s skills and unlock costumes.  It is just as great and easy to lose yourself to Dead of Alive 5 for hours at a time. DOA 5 has been my favorite fighting game so far for 2012 and will likely be my go to fighter until Injustice is released. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Scosche motorMOUTH II cuts the cord to your phone

Last up in the portable audio review round up comes to us from Scosche. The company that cant seen to do any wrong by us and this time send us their handsfree and streaming audio car kit for those vehicles equipped with an audio input. As long as you have a Bluetooth enabled phone and a car with an MP3/AUX input, you will now be able play audio through your car stereo without any cords along with the ability to take calls. Included in the box with the motor mouth was a usb cable to charge and a cigarette lighter adapter to plug the cable into.
Why a lot of stock, off the lot car stereos do not come with usb inputs is beyond me and the male to male 3.5mm cables are not only ugly but you still need to control the phone. With the motorMOUTH II, all you need to do is turn on the dongle, plug into the head unit, and press play on your phone. I still had to change the track from my phone, but now having the ability to play the songs that are on my phone without having to run a cord from my dash to the cupholder. Another great feature, since you only get about five hours of talk/music time, is that once your phone disconnects from the motorMOUTH II, it goes into sleep mode, in which lasts up to 150 hours.  The only thing I noticed was that the volume was significantly quieter, but nothing that a little additional turns to the volume couldn’t take care of.
The bad, and this is a pretty big one, but if you already have an aftermarket head unit in your vehicle you likely already access your music while driving with the apple usb cable. So having Bluetooth ability to take calls would be the biggest benefits. Going from clear playback through the usb to a quieter and less clear sound quality is not something a lot a car audio fans may be willing to sacrifice for one unsightly cord that charges while playing. Lastly, is the battery power, in comparison to other Bluetooth devices, the battery life seems a little low, but the inclusion of the cigarette lighter adapter is very convenient.
On paper, the motorMOUTH II sounds like a great idea, depending on what application you will be using it with. If you consider yourself an audiophile and expect high quality sound through an aftermarket stereo, then this would likely not be a good fit for you, especially if you are currently accessing your tunes via cable to the aftermarket head unit. However, if you have not upgraded your car stereo and are currently unable to listen to your phone’s playlist without multiple unsightly cords, this is one of the best solutions I have seen so far.

EDGE.sound is our grab and go of choice

Next on this weekend’s review roundup is a cute little Bluetooth speaker for when you don’t want to wake the neighbors. What is Cubedge, I had to look it up too when I saw the name in the email, but they make audio devices that bear a more simple look. The EDGE.sound is about the size of a brick, measuring in at 150mm wide, 61mm tall and, 55mm deep with a soft to the touch silicon rubber overmold, while the speaker grill sports a stylish aluminum look. Now that no cords are needed, lets see how it holds up.
The Edge.sound is definitely compact, easy on the eyes, and easy to take with you on the go. The small cube design makes it easier to go wherever your Bluetooth enabled phone or computer may take you. I am really a fan of the rubber overmold as it makes easier to grip and go out the door. I like to do a lot of my work by the pool but my built in speakers just don’t cut it, and headphones tune out the rest of the world so the wireless speaker route was the only sensible option. This mighty mini easily fits in most any hand and packs a punch for the size. I have yet to need to turn it up past 50 percent and is loud from just a couple feet away with clear highs and decent mids that go without distortion should you ever need them at full volume.
There is little to nothing I would change about the build and quality, but the battery life stated to last up to 10 hours was a bit of stretch, it was actually around the eigth hour mark when I encounter issues with sound beginning to cut out, but it was a good couple days of use at a couple hours each before needing an overnight charge to get back up and running. Lastly, and my biggest personal issue with this cube-o’-sound are the buttons, it is damn near impossible to tell by feel if your have pressed the button hard enough to turn the volume up or down, but there is an easy fix, leave on full volume after syncing and control via your phone or computer.
Like I said earlier, mighty mini, and there really isn’t a better way to describe it. Despite the lack of bass, which is expected from a speaker of this this size, the mids are good and the highs are great, while still being small enough to carry with you just about everywhere except your pants pocket…that just gets awkward. They don’t have to be your portable speakers, as they look sleek enough to become a welcome addition to any bookshelf and easily filling any room with sound.  Lastly, the price point of 149 dollars still seems a bit steep, but knock 10-15% off and I think it would be a no brainer Bluetooth buy.

I-Mego Throne gets Mashbuttons hooked

It has been a busy week at, with a handful of electronics reviews, the beginning of the AAA game season, and it is only going to get busier. No complaints here, it is on to the next, and this time the next is a pair of headphones from iMego, dubbed Throne. The Thrones are a welcome change to the usual ear buds and these plush bad boys come equipped with two 40 mm drivers, inline remote for smartphones, and is leather wrapped. I forgot to mention that they are designed with a vintage look, reminiscent to a vintage microphone.

These headphones are nice, I mean, looking at them I wasn’t sure what exactly to think, the cups looked a bit small, they felt light, and they were gold headphones resting on top of my dome. Once the Throne was on my head, I was instantly a fan and that was before I even had music playing. The leather wrap on the top and around the cushion is incredibly soft and while I was apprehensive about the build quality because of how light they felt, the weight is just right, as I did not feel strain when wearing for long periods at a time. The sound quality, well the sound quality is really good, the mids and highs are there and clear, while the large drivers help produce that deep bass and a decent range for any music fan. I like my music loud, and I was playing some songs at 80 to 90 percent volume without distortion.

Now for that which I would have loved to seen different, the cord was 1.2 meters which is fine for when I am on a plane, but when I am on a bicycle or at my desk listening, at least one more foot would be greatly appreciated. The highs were not as strong performers to that of the mids and lows, at higher volumes it sounded tinny, but at a lower volume, they are competing with the bass. While I like the design and retro look, the feel of the gold-coated cans was cheap feeling and have noticed the edges are missing paint in some spots.

I am thoroughly enjoying these headphones, they don’t leave my head when I am at my desk, they are so soft and comfortable; there is no reason. While the sound is good, the design was what first caught my eye. I have never had someone compliment headphones, and these get a lot of attention, everyone says looks they are like one of those old things…I kid you not. When all is said and done, I would highly recommend these for anyone that loves their music loud and not looking for the discomfort of earbuds, priced at 139 dollars, there is a lot of bang for your buck and if you are a fan of the retro look, these are the best I have seen along side the Marshall Major’s.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Here is Dead Island Riptide's CG trailer

Typically I don't get too excited about CG trailers, mainly because, it doesn't show gameplay. But, there is a CG trailer that stands out to me, and I am sure just about any gamer, and that is the trailer for Dead Island. It was amazing,plain and simple. The game wasn't too shabby either, I hold it up there in high regards with Borderlands. Well now there is a trailer for Riptide, with that being said, you're welcome.

iPhone 5 is upon us and Ballistic is ready

As we are coming towards the last stretch of 2012, I can say with confidence, that my favorite rugged/active cases have been the Scosche RAILKase and the Ballistic Hard Core. Hot on the heels of the iPhone 5's announcement, Ballistic announced the Hard Core case for apple's new money maker. Though the design is similar, there are some slight changes as it looks thinner than that of the 4/4S and there is now a kickstand. This newly designed case still holds the basics that made it a favorite in the first place, such features as 5 layers of protection including a screen protector, weather resistant mesh covers for the speakers and microphone, covers for all of the ports, and a holster.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Honey Badger doesn't have shit on Far Cry 3's Monkey Business Pack

This is a MashButtons first, dropping bombs in the title, but when you combine the tropical mayhem of Far Cry 3's sandbox and the honey badger of the you tubes, and I get like a freak on bath salts! The recent trailer is informative in all it's hilarity, as it shows off the exclusives you are to receive when you pre order.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Little King's Story for the Vita gets release date

Well the title sums it up best by saying yes, we now know when we can get our hands on the portable version of the Wii's sleeper hit, and that date is October 2nd. I loved the game when I had to review it on the Wii, hell this and Muramasa we my two favorite titles for the console, but the controls, via remote and nunchuk, were hell to use. On the Vita, the developers not only took advantage of both the front and the rear touch pads, but added online features that include downloadable content item combining cooperative play, and leader boards, online of course.

Code of Princess now has a trailer for their portable coop title

Last week we had shown you all the gameplay trailer for Code of Princes, Atlus' quickly upcoming Action RPG Brawler. In this trailer, we get a glimpse of the title's competitive mode. Now if you are still not sure which side of the fence you are on regarding this 3DS exclusive, it comes from some of the same developers brought Guardian Heroes home to children around the world.

Monday, September 10, 2012

bassDOCK rocks the house, one room at a time

Last up on the chopping block is a speaker dock from the same folks that released some of our favorite cases, Scosche. The bassDOCK is a stand for your iPad, iPad 2, and new iPad, but this is no ordinary stand, it contains a 2.1 sound system to add a nice little audio boost to the powerful tablet. This stand is powered via AC power cord so it charges your iPad while you are using it to fill the room full of sound. This dock does have a 3.5mm AUX port so that you can hook up your computer or non apple device when you are not charging the iPad. I have had the bassDOCK playing all day everyday for the past week and its to break it down.
As I said, this iPad stand/charger/speaker box has been going non-stop with a number of devices providing the playlists. Along with being used by a number of devices, it has also been in all bedrooms, garage, and patio of my abode. The bassDOCK is one beastly boom box, the sound it provides is full of depth from the 3 inch subwoofer and offers loud, clear, room filling highs from the dual 1.6 inch speakers. This is also a great companion on the desktop, as my use for it is next to a 25-inch monitor to play music and movies next to my screen with great sound in my office without looking out of place or cluttered. This is also a great companion for the app, djay, as you get your iPad elevated above the dock in landscape view while going to town on the turntables. The volume get loud on this box as the highest I have taken the volume is to about 60 percent and it was loud enough to fill my back yard and was easy to hear over a volleyball game in the pool.
While I loved having this around at all times and access to my entire music library using home sharing, there were some things that I would have liked seen in the finished product. My first question about to the designers is why the bassDOCK did not come with a remote that controls the volume, track, and input. Speaking of the ability to switch to the AUX input, you are unable to do so with the iPad attached and charging, when the iPad is disconnected, the bassDOCK then plays whatever is attached to the AUX input.  Finally, I wish it had come with a rechargeable battery pack, much like the Supertooth Bluetooth sound bar we previously reviewed. It limits the places in which this can be taken, luckily where this can be used, it was greatly enjoyed.

Just a small remote with volume, track control, and source, make that remote waterproof and give the bassDOCK a rechargeable battery pack and there wouldn’t be a flaw to be a flaw to be found. Though there are a few things in which we would have liked to see included in the device’s production, I really could not complain as I was pleasantly surprised with the sound quality and liked how it looked on my desk.If you are someone that likes to fine tune what you hear, Scosche has an app, tuneQ which allows access to your music library and a 10 band equalizer with 9 presets.

Mashbuttons takes the switchBACK surge g4 on road trip with no charger

Coincidently, I had received the surge g4 last Thursday, just a day before the holiday weekend. The next day on a moments notice, the family packed up and decided to go on a 17 hour drive, and you know that moment you forgot something, well that something happened to be a phone charger, and no, we don’t have a car charger…yet. The surge g4 may be the saving grace in this situation, being that it is a battery case for the iPhone 4 that boasts up to 80% charge on a dead battery. On top of coming to my aid in a pinch, it also has a kickstand integrated to the design.
The kickstand, you know, the moped of accessory features, because if you work at a desk it will be used daily but never have I seen one that you want to show off around the water cooler. At first I wanted to say it looked larger than the other battery cases we have latched onto our phones, but side by side, it wasn’t visually larger than any of the lot. Like the Mophie is equipped with, the surge has a power switch rather than a power button and separate button on the back that shows remaining charge.

The charger location, coating, and how the case fit were the only things I had an issue with.  The location for the charger is in the bottom like all of the rest, but the reason I didn’t like is that it was inset and a fit for their charger but if you are like me, then you use multiple chargers and those much larger than Scosche’s provided charger will not be useable. The surface coating was another part of the case’s design that I would have liked to see done differently as Scosche’s design team decided to use a glossy look to the black case, and it shows ALL smudges and isn’t too hard to scratch either. The fit of the case was the final issue I encountered; it comes with two removable back plates, one black and the other, a brushed metal. I wanted to use the black one as my white phone didn’t match to begin with, but it just wouldn’t stay on the phone no matter how I man handled it.
So how does this compare to the other battery cases we have reviewed in the last year? Top of the chart, it had me at kickstand. This is the first battery case we have reviewed with a switch and I preferred that to powering the battery pack on in error when checking to see how much charge is left. Other than that, it does what it say and does it well, while looking good enough to leave on rather than as needed, and included a built in stand that allowed my phone to be propped up while at my desk. I am a bit disappointed the case isn’t offered in white, but being able to stream from my phone at my desk, with enough juice to mostly refill my battery before having to recharge.

Lensbaby lets us view the world through the eye of a fish

Another day, another consumer electronics review. This time, Lensbaby sent us out their Scout model lens. The Scout is equipped with a removable 12mm Fisheye optic that can be swapped out with a number of optics. The Scout is available for Canon EF (EOS), Nikon F, Sony Alpha A / Minolta Maxxum, Pentax K / Samsung GX / Sigma SD, Olympus 4/3 camera models. Along with the lens, aperture disks ranging from f/5.6 to f/22 are included in the package with a storage and removal tool. All specs aside and out of the way, the lens is on the Nikon SLR, and its time for some shooting.

First things first, I rank myself as an average photographer and have a couple lenses depending on what I am shooting and where I am at. Since using my GoPro for some fisheye shots, I had wanted a lens to take these shots from my Nikon, hell anything with a viewfinder. The Scout was easy to mount, aperture disks were fast to install and remove, and the manual focus works very smoothly. I had to put the camera in manual mode as the lens was not detected, but I usually prefer that anyway as it is easy to take a shot, view, fine-tune the focus and shutter speed, then repeat. Another particular ability I especially liked in my use was that the fisheye had a 160 degree viewing angle and was able to focus at as little as a half an inch.

The downside to the mighty little lens is that I can see someone with little experience and an SLR camera may lose interest or become overwhelmed quickly. The biggest reason I say this is that there is no electronic communication between the camera body and the lens. I did notice that I had to take a lot more photos to try and find the specific shot I am looking for and depending on the amount of light, you can’t keep the shutter open long and get a clear shot without use of a tripod. Lastly and this is really a personal opinion, but I am not a fan of how this looks, I mean if it were on a car or something it would it better, but the polished metal look does not fit the look of the SLR, and in fact makes it stand out when mounted on the body.
The lowdown is that this lens worked as advertised, that isn’t to say it’s a bad thing especially with a lower price point than most on the market. I am saying that Lensbaby set high expectations and came through on all with exception to how it looks when attached to my Nikon. One thing that I did not know until starting my review and researching additional products, was the availability of additional optics that can be swapped with the fisheye for a variety of different shots and a much lower rate than the big name brand replacements. Just remember, this isn’t for those that love the auto focus feature to their lenses but an affordable gem for those that like to manually fine tune shots and go for a number of effects without heavily relying on the magic of photo editing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Far Cry 3 Survival Guide is like a postcard, soaked in kerosene

This is going to be a big year for games, there are going to be a lot of huge titles, and the publishers are not holding back. Far Cry 3 is among the many, but the many didn't send us another Survival Guide for their upcoming game. While the showstopper for the last guide was the tiger, this time around are the hallucinogenic side effects to self treatment. Am I playing Oregon Trail? Check it out for more on the third entry to the Far Cry games.

Deep Silver fulfills my evening with screenshots and pre order rewards

I am that easy, it doesn't take much more than a couple screenshots from our bat shit crazy friend at Deep Silver to do it for me. Not any ordinary pictures, but those of sequels to games I hold in the highest regards on the Xbox360. The first tasty morsel pertains to Dead Island Riptide will take place on a boat, er ship, after a series of unfortunatete events along side the original characters plus one. Plan on pre ordering or on the fence about it? well wait no further, because those that pre order will receive on a first come first serve basis extremely limited edition Steelbook.

The other pictures come from from a title in which I felt was way under hyped and felt like the console's Diablo, Sacred 2. After playing I was very because it kind of  disappeared without a nod at past years' E3. Well Pax was where it was announced that Sacred 3 and behold the screen shot. You will still be able to choose between a number of classes, the Safiri Warrior and Ancarian Lancer being the two given, all with their own skill sets.

“Dragon Seeks path. Dragon whips his tail”

This review is brought to you by a by a new gaming mind, Cass Shields. I have had the good fortune of talking games and hardware for the last couple months and decided to shoot a review opportunity his way, so without further ado, I will let Cass do his thing.

Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise is a fast paced 2D action game that packs more than a novel punch. The story revolves around the warrior named General Loh who aims to avenge his father’s death in the midst of China’s civil war during the Tian Empire. Loh follows the words of wisdom from Master Mo who bestows the knowledge needed for redemption. Will General Loh’s fury be enough or will it be fatal? Kung Fu Strike offers several modes of play including Single Player & Co-Op in addition to seeing your rankings on the Leaderboard. The gameplay reminiscent of RPGs which consist of battles against foes in different settings along the storylines. Your fight style will improve through experience and visiting a store to acquire more skill sets and equipment. Once equiped with Kung Fu grip you’ll be pulling off 40+ hit combos in no time.

I really enjoy the fast paced action in combination with the visual graphic style which is a meld of Fatal Fury meets Street Fighter 4. Something old meets something new, the yin and yang of 2D fighters. The gameplay is simple and easy to learn but is enhanced by discovering new special moves and building your combo chain. Every combination is a product of your fighting style and you can extend your combos by juggling your enemy. What I loved was the 2 Player Co-Op mode. Who makes those anymore? The fact you can play with someone that is sitting next to you gives the gamer feeling from the NES days. This mode helps you absorbs the gems found in the game that you wouldn't really notice while playing the single player mode.

What this title really lacked was a memorable soundtrack. I honestly can’t remember a thing about the music in this title. Thinking back on memorable 2D fighters what made them great were the sound effects and the background/stage music. Also, the fast paced action seems to overpower the story line. The pace is so fast that you are literally taking a breather in- between battles so trying to focus on reading the storyline becomes cumbersome.

Overall if you are looking for a traditional 2D fighting title, take a jab at Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise. Sure to fulfill your needs in terms of fast paced action , Kung Fu, and a solid storyline; it is a must have for anyone looking to inflict a little Kung Fu kickass. Be advised after hours of playing you may need to ice your thumbs. Login and get this title for an epic battle of fun as it is available online today for download.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Code of Princess is the next Coop RPG for the 3DS

Atlus has just released a gameplay trailer for their upcoming action RPG that is coming out next month for the 3DS. Code of Princess not only looks like the most fun I have had in a coop RPG since Castle Crashers. This not only will allow cooperative gameplay but competitive as well. Check out the trailer below.

Ubisoft shows us around Rook Island

So? Well Rook Island just happens to be the locale of the upcoming Far Cry 3. I like Far Cry 2, but my issue with it was the location and just was not a huge fan of the lack of color to the environments, but in the third entry, we get Rook Islands, a tropical and deadly vacation spot. Check out the tropical scenery, tigers, and natives we will expect to see in below Island Survival Guide.