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the mobile phone and gaming magazine www.phonicamagazine.co.uk

Issue 2

OUR VIEWS: SAMSUNG JET HTC HERO HALO 3: ODST BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM FORGOTTEN GEMS: BLADE RUNNER

BECOME THE ULTIMATE DJ SCRATCH: THE ULTIMATE DJ


EDITOR IN CHIEF Kevin Leonce

GAMING EDITOR Sco Tierney

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Peter Gray

CONTRIBUTORS Rob Hobson Ian Duncan Paul Park

CREATIVE SERVICES & DESIGN Sco Tierney www.sco-erney.com

EDITORIAL editorial@phonicamagazine.co.uk

ENQUIRIES info@phonicamagazine.co.uk

ADVERTISING adversing@phonicamagazine.co.uk

WWW.PHONICAMAGAZINE.CO.UK Become a Fan of Phonica Magazine UK on Facebook & Twier Phonica Magazine Š All material in this publicaon is covered by copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publicaon may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmied in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, in whole or part without wrien permission of the publisher or the copyright owner. Please note that whilst every care has been taken to ensure that all the data in this publicaon is accurate at the me of going to print, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, or for any loss, however caused, occasioned to any person by reliance on it; and hereby disclaims any liability for it. Operaons and some features are network dependent; please refer to your network provider for full details.

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EDITOR’S LETTER THE LEAGUE We’ve had a bustling month for the magazine…geng our new team together while bringing you the buzz! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our readers and introduce the league extrodinaires. Sco Tierney – Gaming Editor When Sco ’s not burning his fingers playing The Beatles Rockband he looks aer the gaming department and the design of the magazine. Thanks to him Phonica is easy on the eye. Peter Gray – Contribung Editor Pete’s our all rounder. He’s a hardcore fan of consoles, technology and racing. This is our headhunter, covering interviews, conferences and events. Rob Hobson – Writer Rob covers game reviews ensuring we don’t buy the crappy overhyped game that’s just been released. Oh…you bought it already. Sigh, next me check Rob. Ian Duncan – Writer An experienced journalist who’s a die hard fan of the PC console Ian keeps us well engulfed in his reviews while sourcing breaking news for the magazine. Paul Park – Writer Paul brings his passion for Korean games to Phonica. He spots the trends and lets you know. This of course while reviewing games. This issue, and many more, is brought to you by the League. Do enjoy and spread the news.

Your Editor in Chief Kevin Leonce kevin@phonicamagazine.co.uk

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FEATURE

SAMSUNG JET

THEY SAY IMPATIENCE IS A VIRTUE.... LET’S JET TO FIND OUT.

These days, there’s a fine line between what a mobile phone is, and what is a portable media centre. With the current crop of phones cramming as much extra soware and features into themselves as possible, one gets the impression that the actual phone is now classed as an oponal extra. So, what is the new Samsung Jet? Is it a phone, or a portable media centre that can also be used as a phone?

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As a piece of technological design, the Samsung Jet is top class. The design of the phone itself is clean and classy, and the strange glowing back of the Jet is fantasc. I also like the lile cube on the front that is used to navigate around the Samsung Jet’s interface. Seeing this is a Samsung product, the screen is about the best currently available. The 3.1inch display is prisnely sharp, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a brighter screen on today’s market.


FEATURE

“TO SOME DEGREE, THE NEW SAMSUNG JET ISN’T REALLY A PHONE.” Features wise, the Samsung Jet is packed to the seams with goodies. Most of the features are aimed directly at people who like to take photos or video, edit them, and then upload them to the web. The 5MP camera is one of Samsung’s best, as it combines brilliant sharpness with well balanced colours management. The video is also supremely smooth, and the eding and uploading soware is very easy to use. Also worthy of a menon is the interface, that although maybe isn’t on the same level as some other phones, is very good for a Samsung product. Everything is easy to use; the touch screen suitably is responsive (although maybe a lile numb) and the menus are easily accessible.

Samsung have made a lot or noise regarding the Samsung Jet being ‘the smartest smart phone’. To be honest, although the Samsung Jet (at 800 MHz) has 200 more MHz than its rivals, you’d be hard pressed to spot the extra processing power. But at the end of the day, you’ll be thankful it’s there. To some degree, the new Samsung Jet isn’t really a phone. With all the music and video features, web browsing and novelty games, Samsung could quite easily remove the mobile phone aspect from the Samsung Jet, and no one would even noce. There are so many funky lile features on the Samsung Jet that the fact it’s a phone is, to some degree, irrelevant. Samsung should have marketed it as ‘The first Media Player to feature Mobile Phone Technology’; then it would have sold by the truck load. The Samsung Jet is a great piece of kit, and a huge amount of fun if it’s the type of phone you are looking for. If you can call it a phone…….. Sco Tierney

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REVIEWS

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM (PS3, PC, XBOX 360)

There’s something reassuringly human about Batman. Yup, he’s a perfect physical specimen and yup, he has that irrepressible urge to fight injusce, but we can all relate to that. Who hasn’t wanted to bench press a Peugeot 206 and then beat up a mugger? It’s in our DNA. Batman: Arkham Asylum is Rocksteady’s take on a character that’s fronted at least a dozen execrable games in his me. It’s surprising, because the Frank Miller / Grant Morrison / Chris Nolan image of Batman – brooding, tortured, and driven – is pure fantasy gold. Industrial gothic styling, angst-driven ultra violence…all the ingredients are there, but hardly anyone has ever got the gaming mix right. Take a bow, Rocksteady. You’ve done it. The premise is inspired, loosely, by Grant Morrison’s graphic novel of the same name. The Joker’s free in Arkham with Harley, Bane, Poison Ivy, the Scarecrow and several hundred muscled henchmen. What’s he up to? Can Bats get to the boom of it? Will he beat down a lot of bad guys en route? I don’t need to answer these quesons, do I?

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Arkham Asylum’s greatest achievement might well be that it makes Batman feel human. You sense every broken bone, every snapped sinew, as Batman spins from knucklehead to knucklehead blocking aacks, busng heads and just generally fighng the good fight. Unarmed enemies are a breeze, with one buon for a context-sensive aack and another to block and counter incoming punches. Right from the off, controlling the Dark Knight in melee is fluid and joyous, with large squads of hired muscle offering no match to your ninja street fighng.


REVIEWS “THE JOKER’S BEAUTIFULLY VOICED BY MARK HAMILL, WHICH IS HANDY. HE TALKS AN AWFUL LOT.” At the same me, Bats is vulnerable. You’re not impervious to bullets and, as the game progresses, your foes get ever more lethal. Faced with a room full of 5 gun-tong sociopaths, you’ll need to take the stealth route. Grapple up to a handily-placed gargoyle then glide down and introduce boot to face. Spray explosive gel on a wall, hide round the corner, then set it off and watch the thugs tumble. Did I menon Batarangs? Obviously there are Batarangs. Then there’s Detecve Vision. With a flick of the shoulder buon you’ll be able to see through walls, analyse crime scenes and track clues. It’s beaufully done and plays to the measured, tech-driven side of the Bat. He may be on his own, but he’s got a billion dollars worth of crime-busng gear with him. It’s not perfect. It’s fundamentally a linear narrave: you’re driven from one secon of Arkham to the next. You can explore to find Riddler trophies, which will enhance XP and unlock power-ups, but you don’t have to: just keep an eye on the map and follow the hints. The Joker’s beaufully voiced by Mark Hamill, which is handy. He talks an awful lot. So nothing ground-breaking here, except the simple fact that this is an outstanding superhero game with real polish and sasfying gameplay. Even with very few other pretenders to that plaudit, it delivers. Rob Hobson

OVERALL

9.5/10 phonica magazine uk

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REVIEWS

HALO 3: ODST (XBOX 360) This game has a lot to live up to. Not only is it the natural successor (or prequel) to the hugely praised Halo 3, but it IS also the last game before the hotly ancipated, Halo Reach, is released next year. But, judging by the hugely posive reviews Halo 3: ODST has received; you’d think Bungie had pulled another laser blasng gem out of the bag. Well, let’s take a look, and see if all the hype is truly deserved. Instead of playing as the Master Chief, the noble and all concurring hero that took centre stage in the three previous games, in Halo 3: ODST, you play the roles of a group of average solders (the ODST or Helljumpers), as they try to cope with the events that take place aer a disastrous drop into enemy territory. Obviously, these soldiers don’t have the strength or speed of the Master Chief, so you’ll have to employ different taccs to take down your enemies.

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REVIEWS

The game takes place in two main secons. Firstly, as a rookie; who aer being knocked unconscious during the drop, finds himself alone in the centre of a war torn city, hours aer the main bales have taken place. As the rookie, you have to piece together what happened to the rest of your squad, by following your squad’s footprints and finding clues that have been scaered around the city. When you find a clue, the second part of Halo 3: ODST takes place, as you find out what happened to a member of the squad, by playing through their secon of the story. It’s a very clever way of playing, and it gives a much needed depth to what could have been a very dull story.

Gameplay is a bit up and down though, and at mes very dull indeed, mainly due to the lackluster rookie secons. The other secons involving your lost team mates are superb, with a classy mix of theatrical set pieces and explosive acon, but once each is finished, you’re back into a dull Rookie secon, as you trudge across the deserted city finding clues.

The mix of two stories connues into the visual side, with the rookie secons taking place in the city at night (with a style reminiscing of Blade Runner) and the other secons mainly taking place during the day, over a variety of levels and environments. It’s a well balanced mix, and although the nighme rookie secons all look the same, Halo 3: ODST does look fantasc. There are some superb set pieces also, with one of the best being the destrucon of the bridge later on in the game. Not to be missed, I assure you!

Overall, Halo 3: ODST is hit and miss. If the dull rookie secons were a bit more excing, or at least had some surprises or variety, Halo 3: ODST would have been a classic, and a great stop-gap unl the eagerly awaited Reach. But sadly, Halo 3: ODST is a bit of a let down, and nowhere near as good as some reviews have made out.

“THERE ARE SOME SUPERB SET PIECES THAT ARE NOT TO BE MISSED, I ASSURE YOU!”

OVERALL

Sco Tierney

8.0/10 phonica magazine uk

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Phonica Magazine UK Issue 2