Hero Emblems
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 10:00 am

Yesterday I mentioned how I latch onto good mobile games whenever I find them.  Since my phone is always within arm's reach I can sneak in quick mobile game sessions... and I do.

I've been playing a bunch of Hero Emblems.  It's really fun, despite being a match-3 game.  And it doesn't have any predatory pricing model!  You pay for it once and get the game.  No in-app purchases.  That's always a plus in my book.

The reason it's better than most match-3 games is because there are always obvious available matches but the game is about choosing the right one at the right time.  Compared to most match-3 games It has a bigger board, with less variety of matching items.  In this case they're called emblems, but they function just like gems in Bejeweled.

The cool part is that the game is actually an RPG and each emblem on the board corresponds to one of the members in your party.  When you match that set of emblems that character will take their action.  There is a melee attacker, magical attacker, defender/tank, and healer.  It makes for a really cool dynamic that's fun to play.

In typical RPG fashion, characters level up, gain abilities, equip new gear, and can purchase skills.  It has all the trappings of both a RPG and a puzzle game.


And it can be played in quick bursts!  It's a game that I usually play in quick five minute sessions, but I've also had a few times where I played it for over an hour in one sitting.

It's good.  It's worth your time and a few bucks if you have an iOS device.


Star Wars Legends
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 10:00 am
After writing my other post about the Star Wars Expanded Universe I learned that the old Expanded Universe is now called Star Wars Legends.  It's actually a pretty good name for it, since it is essentially it's own separate universe now.  From what I can tell, there's no official name for the New Expanded Universe, but from now on I'll refer to the Old Expanded Universe as Star Wars Legends.

I've decided to do what I was contemplating.  I'm going to re-read a big chunk of the Star Wars Legends in order and rekindle my fond memories of the series.

I've been referring to this handy chart while planning my reading.  I suggest you glance at it, just to see how many novels are in the Star Wars Legends collection.  It's impressive.

I've read the majority of the Star Wars Legends book, from all the eras represented.  Going back and reading absolutely everything isn't something I feel like doing right now.  But I do have a plan for which novels I'm revisiting.

I'm going to start with some selected readings from the Rebellion Era.  There are a lot of books in the Rebellion Era, but they don't actually add that much of interest.  This is the era in the timeline where the movies are taking place, so the novels are super constrained to fit around the movies.  I'm skipping the entire era except for Shadows of the Empire and The Truce at Bakura.  They're both one-off books.  Shadows of the Empire takes place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the original trilogy.  The Truce at Bakura happens immediately after Return of the Jedi.  They both add a little bit and help round out the story in the Rebellion era.

After that I'm going to read everything.  There are three eras that exist after the Rebellion era.  Those are where the best books in Star Wars Legends are.

The New Republic Era is all about what happens after you overthrow an empire.  How do you deal with the fallout and establish a new government?  What are the ramifications and unforeseen consequences?  I've read over half of the novels in this era.

The New Jedi Order Era is the next generation of Jedi trained by Luke Skywalker.  It includes the children of Han and Leia.  The Solo children are some of the best characters in Star Wars Legends.  This is where the novel series starts to get amazing.  The authors are finally free to stretch their imaginations beyond the Rebellion/Empire dynamic.  This is my favorite era in the Star Wars Legends universe.  I've read every book in this era.

The Legacy Era deals with how the next generation of Jedi handle the fallout from the events of the New Jedi Order Era.  In the New Jedi Order era there is a war with a new group of enemies and it leaves that generation of Jedi changed and scarred in interesting ways.  This is the era where the long term consequences of all that is shown.  The Legacy Era is much more about personal relationships and threats from within.  I've also read every book in this era as well.

That's my master plan.  It'll take awhile, and I'm ok with that.  For the most part I will be revisiting books that I loved the first time I read them.  I'll have a better perspective on them now that I've read so many Star Wars books.  It'll be interesting to see which novels and book series hold up well.  I'm also excited to read all the books in the New Republic era that I missed the first time I went through these novels.

Now that I have it down in writing I actually need to do it.  Better get started.


Huawei unveils its first Android Wear smartwatch (update: our hands-on!)
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 8:20 am
Huawei didn't just unveil one wrist-worn wearable today; it announced two. Huawei has just announced its first ever Android Wear device and, appropriately enough, it's called the Huawei Watch. As was teased and leaked over the past few days, the Watc...


MediaTek's standard lets your devices share their hardware
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 9:30 am
There are plenty of standards for sharing your media collection between devices, but what if you want to borrow a device's camera or display? MediaTek thinks it has an answer. Its new CrossMount standard lets devices share their hardware and software...


We're live from HTC's One M9 event at MWC!
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 9:43 am
The One M9 is, perhaps, HTC's worst kept secret of 2015. But maybe, just maybe, the Taiwanese company could surprise us all at its Mobile World Congress press conference -- after all, HTC is known for trying new things every now and then. Whatever ha...


Killing time with LG's Watch Urbane and Watch Urbane LTE
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 7:00 am
LG's been none too secretive about its latest pair of wearables -- hell, the Watch Urbane and the Watch Urbane LTE were revealed before the MWC even really started. Both of them aspire to be what LG calls "smartpieces," proper luxury watches that als...


HP teamed up with Microsoft to build its latest flagship laptop
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 7:00 am
This isn't your typical laptop announcement post. The most interesting thing about the Spectre x360, HP's new flagship notebook, isn't its design, performance or even price. No, what's interesting about this laptop is that Microsoft helped build it. ...


Microsoft will announce two Windows Phones tomorrow
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 7:05 am
We've known Microsoft will detail its plans for Windows 10 on mobile here at MWC, but in the lead-up to its event it's accidentally let slip that two new Windows Phones are coming as well. An empty article went live on its blog with the headline "Mic...


Huawei's second-generation wearable gets a stylish makeover
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 7:45 am
So many companies are afraid to do something different, so we have to give props to Huawei for persisting with its wrist-worn Bluetooth earpiece. Last year's TalkBand B1 was unconventional, but it wasn't the most elegant or stylish device ever design...


Playing Free Online Games Save Money
Posted by Write The Game [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 February 2015, 4:32 am
Everybody wants to play matches and especially within the next not guaranteed by period, money or possibly space. These activities are nowadays in much of the websites. Most websites present games only if the user registers for the WebPages by paying credit. There can be many websites that offers free internet games to the nation’s […]


Acer's new Windows Phone is unlikely to blow you away
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 4:00 am
For some time now, consumers have pretty much been stuck choosing between Lumias for their Windows Phone fix. Acer is aiming to change that with the launch of its catchily named "Liquid M220" smartphone. The M220 is a decidedly low-end handset, with ...


Acer wants to sell you a touchscreen fitness tracker for less than $90
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 4:00 am
This is Acer's latest play for your wrist, the Liquid Leap+. It takes the form of a fairly basic fitness tracker that also pulls notifications from your smartphone. Aesthetically it's a continuation of what Acer offered with the original Liquid Leap,...


We're live at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona!
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 2:15 am
It's that time again: Our team has descended upon the heart of Barcelona to bring you another week of the latest the mobile world has to offer. As always, we'll be shooting videos and liveblogging events until our fingers fall off, and we certainly h...


Bjork's next music video is made for virtual reality
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 11:07 pm
Let's say for a moment that the experimental Oculus VR movies that came out of Sundance didn't do anything for you, but that Icelandic songwriters totally float your boat. You're in luck because Björk's upcoming video for "Stonemilker" will be availa...


Scientists learn to build better metals by freezing alloys in space
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 March 2015, 12:46 am
Metals are full of microscopic structures that define properties like strength, but it's hard to figure out how those structures work on Earth, where gravity skews their effects. An experiment aboard the International Space Station may have solved th...


Pebble sets a new record, net neutrality passes and other stories you might've missed!
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 9:00 pm
Pebble beats its own record, Motorola confirms what we already knew about the Moto E and Facebook takes a break from the sillier aspects of its site to get serious about mental health. Basically, we've got everything you need to know from this past w...


IKEA will start selling wireless charging lamps and tables
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 7:01 pm
After lots of perseverance from smartphone makers, wireless charging is finally starting to make an impact. Many big name phones now support the technology and companies like Starbucks are helping to bring it a wider audience. Now, it's set to receiv...


Design firm wants this round wooden phone to be your family heirloom
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 5:03 pm
See that wooden round thing above? That's a smartphone -- a real, working smartphone with a high-res screen and a camera, and not just a concept that will never come to life. Just imagining how to take calls on it without a headset or how to access w...


Huawei teases its luxury Android Wear watch through awkward videos
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 2:59 pm
Huawei apparently just can't wait to show some of the wearable tech it has in store this year. While the company isn't supposed to reveal its Mobile World Congress plans until a press event on March 1st, it has already posted both videos and airport ...


10 high-tech gadgets that will improve your tennis game
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 1:00 pm
The sport of tennis is no stranger to incorporating new technologies -- from the electronic line judges of the early '70s to today's Hawk-Eye system with its multi-camera array. These days, players at all levels have a variety of high-tech tools to h...


A Brief Comments Thread Related Note
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 1:42 pm
I’ve tried to keep a very laissez faire attitude towards the comments thread on this blog.  It was a stance I took when I proposed GAMR – I felt that the best way to show off the idiocy that was eating at the anti-consumer movement known as GamerGate was to let their comments speak for […]


Gaming Plans
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 12:19 pm
Well I had a crazy week.  I barely played any games at all.  But I had some time to scan the headlines and keep up with gaming news.

I realized that there aren't actually that many games announced that I'm excited for.  I was thinking ahead to everything I know of that is supposed to release this year and I only game up with a couple that I'm really interesting in getting.


Final Fantasy Type-0 is the game I'm most excited for.  I obviously love the Final Fantasy series and this is the first time Type-0 is getting released in the U.S.  It's a gritty, mature take on war and it has the Final Fantasy name attached.  It's also an action RPG which is a departure for the series.  I've purposefully avoided most information about it because I know that I'll pick it up day one.  I'll always give a new Final Fantasy game a chance and I like discovering the world on my own.

Because of my love for the series I'm also excited to get my hands on Final Fantasy Record Keeper.  I don't have high hopes for it, but it should be interesting to at least try out.  It's a mobile game that lets you relive many of the scenarios and epic battles of the Final Fantasy series.  My biggest worry is that Square Enix loves to put shitty free to play models in place for their mobile games.  Just look at All the Bravest.

The last game on my radar, which doesn't actually have a release date, is Hearthstone for iPhone.  I love Hearthstone but I never have time to sit down and play it.  If I'm sitting at my computer I have a wide selection of other PC specific games to play and I don't actually sit down to play games on my iPad all that often.  But I'm constantly doing stuff on my phone.  I love finding mobile games that I can play in quick bursts.  I already know that I'm going to play a ton of Hearthstone once it's in my pocket at all times.

Besides those games I'm mostly just working through my backlog, which is always a good thing.  I also want to dive into the Final Fantasy series spin-offs soon.  And somehow Final Fantasy XIV actually keeps dragging me back in.  I'm having a good time in a MMO and it's really surprising for me.  I should probably write about it more often if I keep playing.




Proposed privacy bill protects industry more than it does people
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 11:04 am
If the return of Frank Underwood stoked a thirst for real drama from the nation's capitol, perhaps the White House's late-Friday news dump of the proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights will whet your whistle. Alongside common-sense things like Cong...


Recommended Reading: The secrets behind 'Madden's' player ratings
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 9:30 am
Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read. How Madden Ratings are Ma...


Walmart vs. Netflix DVD battle snags $12 each for 1.2 million people
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 February 2015, 8:07 am
Ready for a blast from the past? Ten years ago, Walmart's plan to undercut Netflix on DVD-by-mail rental pricing failed, and the retail giant turned that part of its business over to the movie service in exchange for a cut of the revenue, referral bo...


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