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Greg

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reviews of stuff I generally like [Sep. 17th, 2009|09:52 am]
Greg
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[Current Mood |determineddetermined]

After spending another month with my Palm Pre since my last review, I thought I'd take a minute and reevaluate. I'm still happy with it in general...

Battery Life: This has gotten a bit better since my first review - I still charge it every night, but just taking to the office and browsing a little with it during the day still leaves me with plenty of juice. Even traveling with it and playing games for a while on the way back from Niagara Falls I was able to use it most of the time.

WebOS: One big annoyance is that, when the phone is in landscape mode (which is better for reading web pages, etc.), you don't get the notifications on the bottom, and the keyboard is obviously in the wrong place. This leads to a lot of switching back and forth between landscape and portrait mode, or just giving up and leaving it in portrait mode.

Apps: There are now 50 apps on the store, and supposedly paid apps will be available next week. Here's hoping!

Last night we watched Spirited Away which was really pretty amazing. It struck the same "magical environment" tone for me that Coraline did. Here's a good review of it with a few clips to get a good taste of it. The director's newest film is Ponyo, now showing at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.

This week (busy week!) we also picked up Scribblenauts, a new game for the Nintendo DS whose tagline is "Write Anything, Solve Everything". The basic idea is that you have a series of puzzles to solve, and you can write any object (no trademarks or profanities) and it will appear, which you can then use to help you. It's a pretty cool idea and the dictionary of words it recognizes is huge. (according to someone who extracted it, it's over 22000 words!)

There are two types of levels - puzzle ones, where the goal is to do something specific (like collect the flowers and give them to the florist, or help the birthday boy break open his piñata) and action ones, where the goal is to get to the starite and overcome whatever obstacles are in the way. The puzzle levels are a lot of fun - they aren't too difficult but you master the level if you beat it three times in a row using none of the same objects. The action levels are an exercise in frustration, because the control scheme is fairly terrible. You tap on objects to manipulate them, but you also tap to move Maxwell (your character) to a spot on the screen. We've already died many times because of mistaps and there sure isn't any undo...

Anyway, it's a cute game and fun to play and watch. I just wish it was less frustrating!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: flamingophoenix
2009-09-17 10:25 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli is amazing. I recommend Princess Mononoke and The Cat Returns as two other good films of theirs.
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[User Picture]From: djedi
2009-09-18 04:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah the "tap to do absolutely everything" mentality actually makes it feel like you're playing the game through a really narrow interface...like playing the game whiel wearing a full radiation suit or space suit and you can barely move any appendages, etc., i.e. very frustrating.
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From: brittongregory
2009-09-21 03:32 pm (UTC)
That game makes me want a DS, just so Peter and I can play the puzzle levels. "Oooh, it's a dragon. What should we make to fight the dragon?"
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