Microsoft's announcements about Xbox are exciting for everyone searching for the perfect integrated media center -- and isn't that all of us these days? Plus, it's fun to imagine what Apple could do to catch up and take things further. It's a glorious time to be a couch potato...
While iOS games are not usually the primary focus of the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo, there's still a few interesting gems hidden around the show floor. Indie games, triple-A ports, and social titles all converged in Los Angeles this week, and we went out of our way to find the best of the best. If you're a fan of strange puzzle-shooters, racing games, or even obscure new philosophical concepts, there's more to E3 than just big-budget console sequels. Here's just eight of our favorites, one of which is even available right now.
Infinity Blade and Apple media briefings tend to go hand in hand, and when the new iPad was announced this spring, Epic trotted out a new extension of its hit original franchise. But what the publisher showed wasn't built around a series of one-on-one swordfight duels, nor was it to be developed by series creator Chair Entertainment; furthermore, it wasn't anywhere near ready for release, as even now, at the E3 expo this week, the only release target offered is "sometime this year."
The App Store isn't exactly wanting for Final Fantasy experiences, with four distinct games released to date, though everything we've seen thus far – Final Fantasy I, II, and III, and Final Fantasy Tactics – has been a revised port of some previous console release from several years back. Recently announced for a planned release this summer, Final Fantasy Dimensions bucks that trend, serving up a retro-stylized title that hasn't previously been seen in the States, giving die-hards a new entry in the long-running series to savor on the run.
Fieldrunners was one of the first big iOS original sensations, delivering a slickly animated and well-executed take on tower defense strategy, but it's been nearly four years since its 2008 release, and we're only now talking about a sequel. Why the lengthy wait?
Luckily, Fieldrunners 2 looks to have been well worth the wait. I had a chance to scope out and briefly play the game this week at E3, and not only does the game build upon its predecessors most successful elements while incorporating other tower defense titles' best qualities, but it also makes some innovations of its own along the way.
How do you make the iPhone more fun? You give it a robot to control. Enter Sphero, the plastic ball that you control with your iPhone. Though we covered it briefly at CES earlier this year, we got a better look at the device while perusing this year's E3 show floor. At first glance, it's hard to tell Sphero's purpose. But once it's calibrated with an iOS device, Sphero is all at once a toy, a game controller, and even a programming tool.
Today, the best gaming experiences are found on big-screen TVs hooked up to gaming consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, or on the displays of PCs tricked out with the latest and greatest graphics cards. That’s about to change, say the graphics gurus at Nvidia, who have announced a new server-based platform that will handle all the game-graphics heavy lifting up in the cloud, then send gaming goodness over the internet to your smart TV, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or whatever device your little heart desires, irrespective or what operating system that game was originally designed for.
Now that June is in full swing, the annual E3 show kicks off this week in Los Angeles, only the first of a number of exciting (and costly to our wallet) events. By this time next week we’ll be basking in the glow of whatever Apple has deigned to show us at WWDC, and Google I/O will wrap up the busy month with their own brand of fun. Might be a good time to put those credit cards on ice, right? In the meantime, soak up some absolutely free fun with today’s recap for Monday, June 4, 2012.
The E3 show kicks off Tuesday in Los Angeles, but game companies are already hard at work pushing their wares ahead of the big kick-off. Among them is Valve, who has announced a new chapter in the Counter-Strike saga coming later this summer.