‘Jurassic Park Alive’ Brings Dinosaurs To The Real World

Augmented reality games are taking mobile app stores by storm this year as franchises like Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Maguss, and now Jurassic Park.

Players will assume the role of a Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG) member tasked with saving dinosaurs from a second extinction.

Unlike other AR games that require the user to travel in the real world, ‘Alive’ will let players send out a drone to collect DNA samples.

The game will take on a realistic approach to collecting dinosaurs with players using location-based technology to track and observe dinosaurs habits in their natural habitats.

Users Collect rare and powerful breeds of dinosaur by flying a virtual drone in-game, and collecting DNA samples to maintain a full roster of dinosaurs in hand.

Battles will take place between dinosaur ‘strike teams’.

Collectible items will come in the form of supply drops which will contains in-game currency or things like battery life for the drone.

The game is set to release this spring according to a trailer released by Ludia, the developer of the game.

Interested dinosaur wranglers can pre-register here.

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New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Confirms Monsters, Inc. World

In a new trailer, developer Square Enix finally confirmed another Pixar world that will be in the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 3, Monsters, Inc.

Complete with monster forms for each of the main characters, Sora, Donald, and Goofy can be seen meeting Sully and Mike and their little human friend, Boo.

Also in the trailer are reveals and hints towards a renewed Organization 13 and a glimpse of Vanitas approaching Sora in a cutscene from the game.

The game is supposedly still on track for a 2018 release with rumors panning the game towards a Holiday 2018 release, in time for the 13th anniversary of the titular series.

Review: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia

Even with a title that makes little sense and proves to be a mouthful, Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia proves to be a shining title on mobile app stores just a week after its release in the United States.

The game features over 25 notable Final Fantasy characters so far with updates seeming to come at a fairly quick pace.

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Like other mobile games of the same nature, it runs off of quests that allow for a 3 character party to bring into battle. Various spots on the world map open up at a time with more opening as the story progresses.

Each spot either contains a story progression spot, or just a random enemy battle, with bosses interspersed towards the end of each “island” on the world map.

The battle system is what really makes Opera Omnia shine, however, with a strategic and turn-based style with added flair.

Battles work like classic RPG systems, turn-based but Opera Omnia has added new twists.

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The player will now have to deplete the enemies Bravery (brv) before they can inflict damage on the opponent. Once the opponents bravery has been lowered or broken, the player can inflict HP attacks, allowing for damage to be dealt.

The upside, players also have bravery, meaning enemies must first deplete that before characters can sustain damage, sometimes giving players an extra layer of protection against strong attacks.

STORY

The story follows a meager moogle (that’s a mouthful) and it’s mission to band together the best warriors from multiple universes to fight back against Torsions that have been opening across the games various islands. These torsions threaten the entire world, including the universes that each of the characters originally belong too, giving each character a motive to fight alongside strangers against the darkness brewing in the games universe.It’s not the most intricate or deep story, but nobody asked for a mobile game to contain a AAA story, it just has to be fun, and Omnia definitely is.

GAMEPLAY

Gameplay is standard fair for games of its type on mobile, there’s no open-world to explore. Instead you tap around on nodes on the world map to navigate to different battles or dialogue sequences.

The game mostly centers around battles with dialogue in between. Chat sequences of course either reveal a character or further the story. The balance of the two is well done.

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The battle system is the main focus of the game. The refreshing new bravery system is nice and the strategy it adds makes the usual RPG fair exciting and fast.

SOUND

The usual Final Fantasy soundtrack can be heard in certain moments in the game. Gone is the prologue song usually played at the beginning of each entry, but an original soundtrack replaces it.

It does the job, its not as catchy or exciting as the soundtrack for Brave Exivus, but it does the job, and does it well.

GRAPHICS

The game isn’t beautiful by any means, but it’s nice to look at. The graphics are akin to 3DS graphics, with characters taking on chibi-like forms.

Light rays come from the top of the screen in grassy plains, and cutscenes are done well with characters taking on their respective traits, armor, and weapons.

OVERALL

Opera Omnia is a wonderful mobile experience, especially when waiting for Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition. It has all your favorite FF characters such as Cloud, Tifa, and Warrior of Light from FF1.

The gameplay is addictive, with co-op quests to participate in when you’re done playing alone for a while.

With planned updates and more characters added, Final Fantasy fans will enjoy the experience.

Overall, the game is a unique take on the typical RPG battle system with added features and graphics alike to a 3DS game.

Facebook Announces Pilot For Game Streaming

In an announcement, Facebook announced the pilot of a game streaming service aimed at allowing a more diverse group of streamers to thrive and be successful.

The announcement states that Facebook has listened to gamers, noticing upticks in views for their live video platform, especially for gamers.

Facebook aims to create a more thriving network of game streamers, helping them gain a their moment in the spotlight by helping with discovery and distribution across their multiple social platforms, including Occulus, as well as providing the opportunity for streamers of every level to be successful.

The Twitch competitor will allow gamers to stream in 1080p/60fps but Facebook has stated that they are committed to adding new features based on input from content creators.

Although more popular gamers have made a home on Facebook using their live platform, the new game streaming program will allow for a greater number of streamers with added tools and education for streamers of all levels.

The pilot kicked off on January 27, and interested streamers can sign up for the pilot program here.

Facebook Adds New 360 Degree Photo Feature

In the past week, Facebook added the option to take 360 degree photos directly from the Facebook camera.

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This option allows users to either take a full 360 degree photo, or a 180 degree “VR Style” photo. These photos can then be viewed using the screen or gyroscope of the device.

This writer has definitely been having fun using the feature, though be warned it seems to have some bugs yet, artifacts sometimes form when taking pictures due to swift movements.

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Complete stillness is recommended and as always, stay safe.

It’s Raining Pokemon

Pokemon Go players will soon see their local weather conditions reflected in-game as they are playing.

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This addition to the game comes in an update that also brings Generation 3 Pokemon to the game, adding to the limited selection of Gen 3 Pokemon that were added to the game during its Halloween event.

Niantic has not yet revealed a definitive list of the Pokemon that will be available from the start, but have confirmed Swablu, Wailord, Salamence, and Feebas, among others.

The game will reflect the current weather conditions, as well as the season. Different weather will have various effects on gameplay, such as certain Pokemon appearing more with a particular weather pattern.

The weather system will have other effects, such as “increasing Combat Power and earning more Stardust after catching a Pokemon.”

These new updates follow the release of Ho-Oh as a legendary, added at the end of November.

Niantic currently has one other project in development, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, a game using familiar elements of Pokemon Go but within the world of Harry Potter.

The developer has confirmed, however, that this new project does not mean it will stop supporting its other games.

New Smart Umbrella Prepares Users For Rain

Ever wish your umbrella could send you reminders to take it with you if it’s going to rain that day?

That’s the idea behind the oombrella, a internet connected smart umbrella that alerts users with notifications when its going to rain and when they’ve forgotten it at home.

Created by Paris resident Clément Guillot and his team, the oombrella raised over 81,000 dollars on Indiegogo to fund the product which utilizes a number of features to make its users lives easier, but also provides live weather sharing with the companies app, Wezzoo, a commented-based weather app for iPhone and Android.

According to the products website, the oombrella has three main features beside its main use as a rain umbrella: weather alerts, the Forget Me Not Alert, and weather sharing.

The smart umbrella has several sensors embedded in the base of its handle allowing it to communicate with Bluetooth on smartphones, alerting its user if its ever left behind, like at a restaurant or on the bus.

The sensors also track light, humidity, pressure and temperature all from the base of the umbrellas handle.

These sensors then send information to the Wezzoo app, a social and real-time weather service aimed at giving a voice to users to describe the weather they are experiencing, something Wezzoo says the oombrella will do seamlessly with the use of its Bluetooth chip and weather sensors.

“The oombrella collected real time data such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and light,” a Wezzoo spokesman said. “Data is processed and shared with all of the oombrella community, allowing everyone to receive hyper-local alerts.”

In other words, a social umbrella.

“We wanted to make this umbrella unforgettable in terms of design,” Alexandre of Escabo Design Studio said. “We developed an exclusive material that makes you feel like you are holding the aurora borealis in your hands, it has effects that are amazing in the light and always changing.”

The umbrella itself comes in three colors, its rainbow-like shiny color, white, and black and features two distinct styles, classic, which features a curved handle, or the fold-able which features a straight handle.

The product is still in development but its Indiegogo campaign was successful. When the product releases, both versions of the smart umbrella will cost $79.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Review

Outside the village players are used to playing in in Animal Crossing, mobile gamer’s are now going to get a taste of the camping life with the recent release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

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Pocket Camp has been out for two weeks now and having played for this long, this gamer can say that it is a true Animal Crossing title worthy of the series.

Despite its blatantly obvious in-app purchase model, the game can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone, regardless of premium currencies. As far as I can tell, all items in the game except for speed boosts are available with in-game currency.

Luckily, even the premium currency (leaf tickets) are easily obtained by completing quests.

The current holiday event gives out over 100 leaf tickets alone.

Gameplay

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp plays identically to previous titles in the series, with a few changes.

Players familiar with the world will feel at home while running around the new world shaking trees for fruit, fishing, or catching bugs, but old and new players will also love the new camp aspect.

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Whereas AC: New Leaf introduced the ability to customize the town with things like swings and lampposts, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is what probably inspired Pocket Camp the most.

The main idea is the game is to build an appealing campsite for visiting villagers to stay in while they’re on vacation at the various islands surrounding the camp.

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Players have the ability to craft furniture and amenities, new large-scale building projects that level-up villagers of that type (ex. Cute, Cool, Sporty, Natural). Furniture can be placed in the campsite, some of which is required to invite specific villagers to stay in the camp.

Players are also given an RV to customize and decorate. The inside can be decorated the same was as the camp, whereas the RV can be customized with paints and designs on the outside.

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Upgrades to the amount of space or adding rooms to the RV works the same way as previous iterations, with loans being taken out for the work. Players will then have to pay off the loans with the in-game currency, bells.

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One of the main features of the game is the requests system. When talking to villagers, whether they are visiting or permanently living in the campsite, they will present requests, which essentially are fetch quests for items around the various areas in the game.

Unfortunately, new players will likely run out of storage fairly fast as there are more items on the map then pocket space to put them in. Requests become a little mundane after a while when you realize you’re missing one Tiger Butterfly and there are none on the map.

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Luckily, the game still has familiar features such as the clothing shop and a very small version of Nook’s Cranny among other new features.

The game is sadly plagued with timers, some taking upwards of 48 hours to complete, but with several other activities to do, it never feels like you run out of things to do.

Graphics

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a good looking game, or at least as good looking as an Animal Crossing game can look on mobile devices. The graphics are on-par or even better than Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pocket Camp’s predecessor.

All the assets are nearly identical to past renditions of the titular series, the fish look fishy, the tree’s look tree-y, the villagers retain their cuteness, and for some, weirdness.

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The game perfectly retains the cute art style that Animal Crossing is known for, and some items are probably straight out of previous iterations of the series.

Sound

Music in Animal Crossing is chill and relaxing, like a mini-zen garden but with sound.

Pocket Camp manages to maintain that relaxing musical quality with songs changing across the various areas of the game, as well as the time of day. (yes, there are day and night cycles).

Summary

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was thought to be just a town-builder with Animal Crossing slapped on the label but it turned out to be much more.

Pocket Camp is a full-fledged Animal Crossing title, worth of bearing the name of the series, and not just as a mobile game.

With frequent updates being promised by Nintendo and DeNA, players will likely enjoy the game for years to come with more features likely to appear over time.

Overall, the game gets a perfect score from Consumer Friendly. Though it has flaws it is a genuinely enjoyable Animal Crossing title with a lot of fun packed into a small package.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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