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The mobile phone and video gaming magazine www.phonicamagazine.co.uk

Issue 23


GOOGLE BUYS MOTOROLA GOOGLE BUYS MOTOROLA IN A VERY SURPRISING ACQUISITION I think it’s fair to say that the last few years have been less than kind to Motorola, with the abject failure of the Milestone, and the ambivalence that the release of the ‘iPad killing’ Xoom was met with. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, as it wasn’t that long that Motorola was everywhere. In fact, I think my first non-brick phone was a Motorola, the old V80. At the me almost everyone else had either a KRAZR or RAZR...such was their popularity back then. Now, it seems that Motorola have decided to sck to low-to-mid range handsets. But this down-period for Motorola is all about to change. It was recently announced that Google, the technology superpower bought Motorola Mobility, the mobile phone area of the recently split company. In a quite surprising purchase, valuing the company at £8billion Google’s CEO, Larry Page has been quoted as saying that this deal will “supercharge Android”. The deal, although shocking at first, has started to

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look more and more sensible with every passing day. Motorola was the first developer of the ‘portable cellphone’ or what we now know as the mobile phone. With such an acquision Google will be become a bigger competor going for the jugular of the Cuperno guys, with all four major companies using the Google Android OS (LG, Sony Ericsson, Samsung & HTC) in full support of the buyout. “MANY PEOPLE THINK THIS DEAL WILL BE MORE BENEFICIAL TO MOTOROLA MOBILITY THAN IT IS FOR GOOGLE.” Many people think this deal will be more beneficial to Motorola Mobility than it is for Google. Although Motorola are languishing somewhat, and could do with the boost, Mobility will also bring with them over 15,000 patents and an esteemed history in the mobile phone market. Almost instantaneously this buyout has boosted Motorola shares massively. We all look forward to the new range of Motorola, Google-endorsed Android mobile devices in the coming months.

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

Ma Foley


HTC AND MONSTER JOIN FORCES MUSIC QUALITY AND MOBILE PHONES FINALLY JOIN FORCES, AFTER YEARS OF HINTING.

Monster has been making music peripherals for years now, but they’ve really come into fashion in the last 2-3 years with the manufacture of their Beats by Dr. Dre range of headphones and speakers endorsed by the hip-hop superstar. Since their introducon, they’ve branched out into other endorsements, including Lady Gaga, P Diddy, Jusn Bieber, Lebron James; and more recently, with HP to include Beats audio technology on their computers, and their latest big release, the HP Touchpad. (For those of you who haven’t used one yet, has incredible music quality on its speakers) This is why the announcement that smartphone giant HTC have bought a 51% share in Beats Electronic, at a dy sum of $309m, should not really come as much of a surprise to anyone, given how quickly both counterparts have grown recently. HTC have fast

become one of the market-leaders in terms of smartphones, since arguably their first major phone of recent mes, 2008’s flawed Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1 in Europe.)

“THESE NEW HTC PHONES WILL CERTAINLY BE ONES TO LOOK FORWARD TO.” With this we are likely to see a number of HTC’s new phones boasng the highly acclaimed Monster technology built into the devices. It’s a surprise it has taken this long for a deal of this liking to become a reality. Phones have been music devices for a number of years now. These new phones will certainly be one to watch for their music quality, if nothing else. In all fairness HTC has been very consistent in manufacturing quality devices for a while now. All in all, these new HTC phones will certainly be ones to look forward to.

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

Ma Foley

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“VIOLENT VIDEOGAMES” WERE THE CAUSE OF LONDON RIOTS

SUPER NANNY PUTS GAMING ON THE NAUGHTY STEP OK, so we don’t want to return to the unpleasant scenes that sfled the naon’s capital recently, nor do we want to poke this proverbial hornet’s nest of outrage, but there was one point of view that appeared in The Daily Express that we thought was worthy of a retort. TV’s Super nanny, Jo Frost, wrote in her guest column that the prominent reason behind the London riots

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was “addicve” and “horrific”videogames. The points she made, however irrelevant, are as follows: “I felt for a moment as if we had stumbled into a real-life violent video game of the kind that so many of those involved are addicted to. These horrific games where points are given for burning, shoong and killing, where the graphics are so realisc you believe that they’re real scenes of carnage, where those who play fantasise they have the power of life

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and death, are so brutal they completely desensise anyone taking part. Research shows that within 15 minutes of playing one of these games young men become highly aggressive and lack empathy in normal situaons. It is not too fanciful to suggest it’s a short step from being immersed in this war-like world to taking that nightmare mind-set on to the streets with all the consequences of anarchy and violence we saw rip apart cies. Those horrific video games which I menoned earlier must be brought under control. Their content should be subject to censorship and the age at which they can be bought ghtly controlled. Shopkeepers should demand proof of age and where they ignore this and break the law by selling them to children they should be fined.”

You have to agree, that’s some prey strong stuff. Also, I’m assuming you’ll also agree that most of what she says is ill informed knee-jerking of the highest degree. Were the rioters addicted to videogames? Are the graphics and violence on show in today’s games really believable? Does any gamer deliberate unnaturally about the power of life and death? These quesons are all debatable, but mostly, the answer is an unequivocal ‘no’. And of course, videogames are controlled by strict censorship, as the age cerficaon scker on the games’ front covers (which is twice as big compared to a DVD or Blu-ray) confirms. So, out of interest, if you were involved in the riots, get in touch, and tell us what game in parcular made you just snap and go on the rampage...

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

Sco Tierney

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HORRID HENRY: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE BUGLY EUROPRESS, ASYLUM ENTERTAINMENT AND NOVEL ENTERTAINMENT BRING HORRID HENRY TO NINTENDO 3DS UK publisher Europress recently announced that Horrid Henry is preparing to make his debut on Nintendo 3DS. Developed by Asylum Entertainment, Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad and The Bugly is a side scrolling adventure game that will feature an excing blend of acon, puzzle and plaorming elements. Based on the characters created by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross and the BAFTA nominated CiTV series produced by Novel Entertainment, Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad and The Bugly will feature three excing worlds to explore for the tular mischief maker. Henry will also find

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himself tasked with having to solve a variety of brain-bending puzzles and defeat evil bosses in his aempt to rescue Bunny – Perfect Peter’s toy rabbit.

“HENRY WILL FIND HIMSELF HAVING TO SOLVE A VARIETY OF BRAIN-BENDING PUZZLES.” Luckily, Henry will be able to access the right tools for the job, as the game will feature four new types of goo for Henry’s goo shooter that he can use against a variety of creatures. Fans of the Henry can expect lots of mischievous fun as they aempt to unravel the mystery of who stole Bunny! Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad and The Bugly will be released on Nintendo 3DS during November 2011.

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SYNDICATE PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: STARBREEZE FORMAT: PS3, XBOX 360, PC GENRE: FPS AVAILABLE: EARLY 2012

BACK TO THE GANGLANDS If you were a fan of eerie, taccal, shoongbased RPGs in the mid-90s, you’ll undoubtedly have been a fan of Syndicate. Even if you weren’t an admirer of the game itself, you were probably aware of the controversy its cut-throat violence and drug use caused when thrust on a far more innocent gaming community. It’s one of the all-me great games, successful on every major plaorm throughout the ninees, including the PC, Amiga and Mega Drive... during that period where, for some unknown reason, Electronic Arts cartridges were 3 inches taller than any other.....weird? Anyway, back in 2011, and EA have confirmed that a remake of Syndicate will be released early next year. Whether this re-imagining trend is a good thing for the industry is a discussion for another me, but for now, let’s have a run through of Syndicate 2012. Just as in the original, the name of the game is to become the number one syndicate, using whatever means you see fit in order to gain unequivocal dominaon of your city: extoron, assassinaon, corrupon, etc. Set in an unnervingly familiar 2069, where the world is ungoverned by any form of authority, there are three powerhouse syndicates Eurocorp, Cayman Global, and Aspari – who are bent on controlling the enre American market. In light of the world’s current financial plight, Syndicate is disturbingly close to the bone. Whereas the 1993 Syndicate was a top-down affair, this rebirth will be in the FPS mould, featuring franc acon, upgradability opons, and the current gimmick of slowing down me while in mid-shootout. Syndicate will also feature four player co-op, as well

as DART 6 bio-chip technology, which is similar to the recent Deux-Ex 3’s implant advancement gameplay. “We are excited to finally reveal what we’ve been working on the past couple years,” says the CEO of Starbreeze Studios, Mikael Nermark. “It’s been a great experience working with EA, and an amazing opportunity for us to use our experse in the first person shooter and acon genres to bring back, and reignite, the signature acon/espionage gameplay of Syndicate.”

“IN LIGHT OF THE WORLD’S CURRENT FINANCIAL PLIGHT, SYNDICATE IS DISTURBINGLY CLOSE TO THE BONE.” “Our goal with Syndicate is to provide a challenging acon shooter for today’s gamers as well as fans of the original. I’m sure they will enjoy and recognize the legacy that made it such a classic,” says EA Partners Execuve Producer, Jeff Gamon. “Fans of the franchise will recognize many weapons and environments in the game, but in a whole new way. The game also provides a separate and deep 4-player co-op mode featuring missions from the original cult classic, which adds another layer of depth to the overall experience.” From what we’ve seen as far, from a visual identy standpoint, syndicate looks very much in the same vein as Deus-Ex 3, with a pinch of F.E.A.R thrown in for good measure. It’ll be interesng to see if this remake can capture the tension, and overall sense of menace, that made the original Syndicate such a cult masterpiece. It’s a big reputaon to live up to, we’ll have to wait and see when Syndicate launches on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC early next year.

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

Sco Tierney

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EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD

GEARS OF WAR 3 PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT STUDIOS DEVELOPER: EPIC GAMES FORMAT: XBOX 360 GENRE: THIRD-PERSON SHOOTER

TAKING IT UP A GEAR Despite the Gears of War series being brash, bulbous, acon film-excessive and as biblically overwhelming as nuclear Armageddon in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s underpants, it’s the contrasng mix of tender emoon that makes these ferocious shooters so appealing. If you’ve seen the heartbreaking scene where thick-skinned COG Dom is finally reunited with his wife, you’ll know just how deep the Gears of War series can cut. Then again, if you’ve ever topped the online rankings as the leading chainsaw killer, you’ll also be aware of just how bloody hilarious the games can be. So, with this third tle marking the end of the

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Gears series (of this story at least), let’s see if this is a fing send-off to one of the all-me great videogame trilogies. When the curtain finally falls for our heroic COGs, there won’t be a dry eye in the house...or even a house, most likely... At the close of Gears 2, Marcus Fenix and his team of roughnecks had just flooded humanity’s last city-sized stronghold in an aempt to flush-out those pesky Locusts. Although this plan worked in the short course, as we now move into Gears 3, mankind isn’t doing parcularly well. There are only a few survivors scaed around the land in heavily deafened forts, and the Gears are simply trying to stay afloat in a rusty ocean liner. As you’d expect, the general

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situaon isn’t about to get any rosier, and before we’ve barely had me to reacquaint ourselves with Marcus, Dom, Cole Train and Baird, not to menon a host of new faces, Delta Force’s ship is under aack from a new breed of evil: the Lambent - essenally Locusts filled with yellow paint that explodes when shot. And so, following this franc opening fire fight, the game gets under-way, leading Marcus and his team on the search for a character from the past, and more importantly, a method of ending the war before it is too late. From me to me, rather than scking solely to Marcus as the playable lead, in Gears of War 3, you’ll oen have the opportunity to take control of another character. Although this is occasionally frustrang, as PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

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Phonica Lite Issue 23  

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