Computers can’t understand the analog waves that make up old VHS tapes and pre-DV camcorder videos. These curvy patterns contradict the binary world of “off” or “on,” so you need to digitize those sources before your Mac can “see” the picture. Pinnacle’s Video Capture for Mac is a fin-shaped box that handles this job—and little else. Plug in an analog video source, and the unit translates it into a 640-x-480-pixel MPEG-4 file your Mac can recognize. It works, but armchair archivists will immediately wish it had a few more features beyond its single trick.
From its animated opening cut-scene to its dazzling DayGlo-infused tracks, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D brings console-style racing to the iPhone. If you don’t immediately recognize the name, Crash is the furry, PlayStation-born answer to Nintendo’s Mario—and he’s got the kart-racing cred to prove it.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Flintstones, you know full well that cavemen (sorry, cave-people) had cars. Cro-Mag Rally lets you channel your inner Fred or Wilma, racing cutesy stone-age vehicles (Bone Buggy, anyone?) around a variety of cutesy tracks. The result? A cute little kart-style racing game, albeit a flawed one.
The iTunes App Store launched with not one, but three racers vying for the winner's circle that is your iPhone/iPod touch Home Screen. We pit Wingnuts Moto Racer, Cro-Mag Rally and Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3Dagainst each other and learn that accelerometer-based steering doesn't always equal an innovative gaming experience.
Check out the road race for your iPhone/iPod touch after the jump.
Wizards, elves, dwarfs: If it’s not Tolkien, it’s probably Dungeons & Dragons. Underneath the Neverwinter Nights 2 videogame interface, the ghost of Gary Gygax rolls d20s to determine your success. These tested underpinnings and an almost paralyzing range of choices make Neverwinter Nights 2 an entertaining journey. Unfortunately, regular glitches and weak graphics keep the game from excellence.
If you’re like us, your iPhone bookmarks folder is filled with sites that provide an array of live sports score updates --- MLB.com, NBA.com, NFL.com, Scores Pro, ESPN, et al. Being a sports fan is a full-time business, and iPhone has made it easy to keep on top of our game, whether on the road, at work or at the beach.
And now, thanks to a little-known Web app-turned standalone native app, it’s easier than ever.
Feeling the need for speed? Find another game. Wingnuts Moto Racer will bore you to tears if it doesn’t frustrate you silly first. If that sounds harsh, it’s only because competing racers like Cro-Mag Rally and Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D offer better graphics, more varied gameplay, and fewer interface problems.
Missile lock? That sounds like a bad thing, right? Teamwork and online multiplayer spice up this first-person shooter.
Giant walker robots blast rockets at your teammates. Enemy turrets rotate and rattle off machine-gun fire. A Star Wars laser beam—à la Reagan, not Lucas—etches a line toward opposing forces. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a futuristic first-person shooter that shares little with other hits named Quake. Instead of having you run down cramped hallways engaging in solo bouts against demons, Quake Wars requires teamwork and coordination to control objectives and win rounds. It’s a refreshing change, and few Mac shooters give the same sense of collaboration.
Read on the run with eReader. The app is free; the books will cost you.
When boredom strikes, nothing beats a good book at your side. eReader makes it possible, turning any iPhone or iPod touch into the next best thing since the Amazon Kindle. Granted, it doesn’t endow your device with all the Kindle’s features, but it does make reading on the run as easy as swiping your finger.
For baseball junkies who absolutely need to be on top of the latest scores, standings and stats at all times, the iPhone is a godsend. Second only to ESPN MVP, the iPhone puts every ball and strike into the palm of your hand, thanks to a very decent mobile MLB site that provides a speedy blow-by-blow rundown of every pitch.
But the stakes have been raised with MLB.com At Bat. Through a simple, sleek interface, MLB boils down its stat-intensive WAP site to a quick-reference scoreboard that provides an up-to-the minute rundown of base-runners, pitch count, hits, errors and runs for every game across the league. What’s lost in the box score, however, is gained through in-game video updates, 30- to 60-second clips uploaded from MLB.com within moments of the live highlight.