ISO Tool v1.977

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under PSP    */

 

v1.977 is released. is a handy homebrew application that lets you manage and backup your UMD’s straight from your PSP. completes by Japanese Developer .

ISO Tool v1.977 Changelog:
[NEW] (Installation media) Koihime Musou Wei / Kure / support
* disc_change.prx interchange does not recognize the ISO, before Disc1 / 2 Please install on each
[NEW] support for external font files. EBOOT font.fnt same place if there is a preference to use
(fnt format is the format used in RockBox. bdf files can be created)

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Play by Yahoo mashes up other players’ talents

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */



(Credit:
Yahoo)



(Credit:
Yahoo)

Yahoo has just entered the mobile music app market with its newest release for the
Android platform, Play by Yahoo Music. With this “full-featured music player,” Yahoo claims to offer a one-of-a-kind listening experience thanks to a few patent-pending technologies.

Taking a page out of Shazam’s book, Play by Yahoo Music uses its own proprietary audio fingerprinting technology to help identify songs you hear on the radio or anywhere else. The Identify feature can also be used in a continuous mode, for automatically identifying multiple songs played in a row.

Smart Shuffle is another a feature that Yahoo is touting. Similar to Apple’s iTunes Genius, Smart Shuffle gets to know your musical taste and tailors its shuffled playback accordingly. And it doesn’t require any active input from you in doing so (e.g. ratings, thumbs up, or other cues).

Finally, Play by Yahoo Music is introducing a nifty Music News feature. Built into the player, Yahoo Music News allows you to tap on an Artist News button from any song you’re playing, to bring up any related news.

Play by Yahoo (download) is available now for free in the Android Market. Give us a try and let us know how it stacks up via comment below.

Anime Studio Debut’s New Character Wizard Lets You Make Movies Faster

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under News    */

I’ve reviewed previous versions of Anime Studio Debut, Smith Micro’s animation suite for beginners before favorably. With the release of version 8, Smith Micro has streamlined Anime Studio Debut ($50, 30-day free trial with registration) and made it even easier for anyone to pick it up and animate characters. New features with Anime Studio Debut 8 are a new Character Wizard, which lets you get up and running with animation in no time, and an Image Vectorizer, which turns your existing drawings into vector images that are ready to animate and scale better. Smith Micro has also revamped the drawing tools, allowing you to create shapes more easily.

Anime Studio Debut's Character Wizard Lets You Make Movies FasterAnime Studio Debut 8 includes animations that are great to mess with while you’re learning.Though I haven’t used any version of Anime Studio for a year, I found the interface admirably user-friendly. Like sister product Manga Studio, Anime Studio is a translated Japanese application from the same source company. Included documentation is extensive, and Smith Micro’s website (and its e-commerce site Content Paradise) is filled with examples, tutorials, downloadable animations, and so on.

As we’ve noted in the past, Anime Studio is bone-based, meaning characters are animated based on lines going through their spines, limbs, and so on. When you draw a new creation and want to animate it, you first need to create a skeleton for it. Then, it’s a simple matter of recording movements and editing the steps frame-by-frame. This animation can then be played back or exported to the most popular web and video formats, or even uploaded directly to YouTube.

Since this is the inexpensive Anime Studio Debut product, there are numerous features in Anime Studio Pro that you won’t find here, among them the ability to handle 3D objects, and the ability to interact in real-time with external applications, such as movie editors.

Still, if you’re a professional animator, you’re more than likely going to use a different product that works with Flash animation (if 2D) or 3D Studio Max (if 3D). Anime Studio Debut makes a lot more sense for beginning animators, as it’s a smooth introduction to something that could become a profession or serious hobby with a lot of practice.

Review: Ocarina of Time 3D Reminds Us Why Zelda Is Best Game Ever

/* Posted June 19th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Video Games    */

Promotional artwork from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which Nintendo will release for 3DS on Sunday.
Image courtesy Nintendo

With a stellar soundtrack, thoughtful level design and a deceptively massive feel, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time proved to be the picture of polygonal perfection when Nintendo released it in 1998.

One of Nintendo’s first 3-D adventure games, it’s considered by some to be the best-rated videogame ever.

A gorgeously remastered version of Ocarina of Time hits Nintendo 3DS this Sunday. All the exploration, dungeons, puzzle-solving and story sequences remain identical to the 1998 game, but the graphics have received a colossal overhaul. Whether you’ve played Ocarina before or somehow missed out the first time, if you have a 3DS, you already know you should buy this.

Playing the 3DS version triggered a nostalgia trip for me and for Wired.com writer John Mix Meyer. I was 18 when The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time appeared on the Nintendo 64; Meyer was 6. Despite our age difference, we were both addicted to Ocarina, and to this day rank the game among our all-time favorites.

Like college buddies reminiscing about old flames, Mix and I wrote back and forth to each other, sharing our decade-old memories of Ocarina and discussing our thoughts as we’ve been playing the 3DS remake.

As we await Sunday’s release of Ocarina of Time for 3DS, join us on this trip down memory lane. We invite you to share your own recollections in the comments below about one of the greatest videogames of all time.


Mix,

I was your age when Ocarina of Time came out, two months into my freshman year of college. For many gamers like me, Ocarina was pretty much the second 3-D action adventure they’d ever played, the first having been Super Mario 64. (We had to wait a long time between Nintendo games back in those days.)

Since it was still one of the earliest open-ended polygonal games, I didn’t have the perspective to describe why Ocarina was so well-designed. All I knew at the time was that it was great; retaining the intricate, vast gameplay of previous Zelda games but doing it all with the new quantum-leap technology of 3-D. I rarely if ever replay lengthy single-player games, so I never touched it again in the ensuing 12 years.

Playing Ocarina on the 3DS has given me a new appreciation for the game’s design. This is remembered as one of the best games of that early era, and the 3DS version makes clear why that is more than just nostalgia talking. It’s been pointed out in the past that because designers of early 8-bit games had so few pixels to work with, they had to wring as much meaning as they could out of each one, which is why those games could feel so well-designed compared to the more bloated, showy games that would come later.

The same held true for early polygonal games like Ocarina: The reset button had been pushed, and suddenly designers were shackled by a new set of restraints, triangles instead of pixels.

Image courtesy Nintendo

The best game designers of the moment — and I think it would be difficult to argue that director Shigeru Miyamoto and his crew were not, in 1998, the world’s best videogame design team — clearly thought long and hard how they could use the paucity of triangles that they could render with the Nintendo 64 to create a vivid, lifelike world.

On 3DS, Ocarina has received a thorough graphical overhaul, but the design of the world remains untouched. This contrast emphasizes the specific design choices that make Ocarina feel so much bigger than it is — it looks like it should be a modern game, so you can see when it’s not designed like one.

Everyone always talks about how “big” the central Hyrule Field is. Hyrule Field is a tiny little piece of game geography, relatively speaking, trivial to create in a rudimentary 3-D system like Nintendo 64’s. But it feels huge when you traverse it, because it tricks you. The way the hills roll up and down constantly creates situations where you’re staring at a horizon, masking the actual size of the “room” that you’re in. It’s just big enough that traveling somewhere feels like a journey but actually doesn’t take that long.

Miyamoto and crew didn’t have enough polygons or draw distance to have enemies roam the land, so they had skeletons crawl up from underground at night. These weren’t things one really noticed in 1998, lost in thrall to this game.

What was your experience like as a kid? –Chris


Chris,

I was 6 years old when Ocarina of Time hit store shelves. It was my first Zelda game and, like you, my second 3-D action title after Mario 64. Its vast, vibrant world and colorful cast of characters captivated me at a young age. Here was a game far beyond even the greatness of Mario.

Ocarina of Time established many mechanics that we see in modern 3-D action games. In 1998, camera controls weren’t as refined as today. So Miyamoto and the gang designed a superb lock-on system that would keep you focused on enemies and other things as you moved about. This has since influenced pretty much every 3-D game ever made.

But, as you point out, it’s the limited resources Miyamoto’s team had that pushed them to make Ocarina of Time as timeless as it is.

Atmosphere was hard to pull off back then. If you wanted the player to feel scared, you weren’t able to add a thick layer of fog and put in a few flickering lights. A lot of effort was put into making the different areas feel as real as possible, even with the limited processing power. One of the game’s final dungeons, the Shadow Temple, is a foreboding place with haunting music and rooms filled with macabre torture devices. This dungeon scared me so much as a kid that I had to have my older brother play through it for me.

Ocarina of Time was a game of heroes and adventure and it came at the exact time I needed those two things most. I was born with severe pulmonary hypertension, so I was in and out of hospitals a lot as a kid. And when my increasing medical complications became too much to cope with, it wasn’t a dark corner that I fled to but rather the wide and fantastical world of Hyrule.

It’s only 12 years (and about as many playthroughs) later that I can articulate these feelings. That’s mostly thanks to the 3DS remake. It’s an incredibly thorough overhaul — Nintendo left no stone unturned when improving the game’s visuals. But for me, the best part is how they touched everything up just enough that all the rooms are recognizable and none of the classic atmosphere is sacrificed.

In doing this, Ocarina of Time 3D made me think more about my childhood than I have in years. –Mix


Mix,

You briefly mentioned the music, which is something I wanted to touch on. Especially after playing this remake, I would defy anyone to tell me that Ocarina of Time doesn’t have the best integration of music ever seen in an adventure game.

You’re constantly using your ocarina throughout the game, playing little musical phrases on it to make things happen — turn night into day, open up secret passages, etc. What’s so brilliant is that composer Koji Kondo built the game’s big, faux-orchestral soundtrack out of these six-note snippets of sound, integrating these little bits of gameplay into grander pieces of music. The soundtrack isn’t just the backdrop for Ocarina’s action, it’s the very pulse, the lifeblood of the world. It’s the pinnacle of action-game soundtracks.

The greatest joy of going through this remake after all this time has been listening to those old tracks in their proper context again — the up-tempo castanets and flamenco guitar in the Gerudo Valley gypsy camp, the reverent basso profondo in the Temple of Time. It’s superlative stuff, and it’s kind of a disappointment that even the Zelda team never did anything nearly as thoroughly integrated in its later games.

Ocarina of Time is the music. Looking at the graphics in 3-D is actually quite nice, but the music is the thing that really pops. –Chris


Chris,

You’re exactly right; no other game uses music like Ocarina does. When you think of an area in the game, the music for that area always pops into your head. It’s the music that propels the game from memorable to unforgettable.

Image courtesy Nintendo

My older sister and I would ride Link’s horse Epona into Gerudo Valley just to listen to the music together. Sometimes we would manipulate their movements to make them look like they were dancing. That’s a memory I never want to forget, especially now that my sister has graduated from college and we don’t see each other every day anymore. That’s why I was thrilled to discover that the 3DS remake didn’t tweak the music except for a beautiful orchestral piece during the credits.

I think the greatest thing about Ocarina of Time 3D is this sense of restraint. Even with the 3DS version’s substantial upgrade, I feel like the developers had a keen sense of what made the original game special. They didn’t paint over the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel — they just filled in some of the cracks. –Mix

WIRED One of the best games ever, remastered; looks fantastic in 3D; improved controls.

TIRED It’s the same game you played 12 years ago and remember exactly how to beat.

Rating:

$40, Nintendo

Read Game|Life’s game ratings guide.

New Photoblogging Tips for SEO

/* Posted June 18th, 2011 at 8:54pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under SEO    */

Many say that photos are not ideal for SEO campaigns, but you want to put up a photo blog. You want to make money through your photos, but your friends tell you to forget it, since you’re not that popular. More than the money, you want to make a name out of your talent, but these people say that even SEO won’t be able to help you. Well, that was ten years ago.

A new decade has begun, and photoblogging isn’t as much of a risk if you’re considering PageRank and site stats. Of course, as a blogger, you want site visitors so you can fulfill your goals of starting a photo blog. If you’re still daunted by this reality, there’s nothing wrong with consulting your favorite search engine.

Examine the successful photoblogs on the Web. Why are there thousands of photoblogs that enjoy high rankings and even generate money in span of 8 months? The reason behind this is that even Google noticed the potential of photoblogs several years ago. So if you still doubt a photoblog’s capability of dominating a niche and generating realistic income, you can forget the idea of starting a photoblog. If you’re really passionate about the idea of photoblogging, though, I have some fresh SEO-photoblogging tips for you.

  • Pay attention to the power of keywords and don’t waste time on keywords nobody uses.
  • Choose a good domain name that’s related to your niche. Also, pick a niche–related blog name. It’s much better if your domain and blog share the same name, because this is one way of helping search engines crawl and index your site.
  • Let your photos be the only artwork on your blog. Avoid using Flash animation and glittery gifs. You’re an artist and your posts are enough to show the world how creative you are. However, website aesthetics shouldn’t be neglected either.
  • Don’t forget to include photo captions and related keywords, if necessary.
  • Use descriptive keywords in your photos’ filenames, because search engines rely on filenames to find your blog post photos.
  • Create a Flickr or Photobucket account. It’s easier to manage your file URL and details using these sites.
  • Learn how to use Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop. This may not be necessary if you avoid editing your photos as much as possible, but these programs can help you upgrade your blog background or header’s appearance through simple cropping and editing functions.
  • Talk about your artwork. Write something about your photo, how you took it, and the story behind it. Write sensibly and passionately. Be creative and adventurous. Review photography books and other photoblogs, interview photographers, and do something new with your photos once in a while. Surprise your readers and give search engines something new to crawl on your site. More content means more keywords, and more sensible articles mean more readers and hits. Updating your blog regularly with new entries entices more readers and followers, and increases search engine indexing possibilities.
  • Forget about spying on other photoblogs. Focus on your keyword competition rather than blog competition. Instead, link to these blogs, befriend their owners, and enjoy these people’s company. Comment on their blogs, and maintain a healthy relationship with these people.
  • If you’re on a budget, use WordPress instead of Tumblr or other photoblogging-focused platforms. WordPress is still best when it comes to blogging, because the platform offers free, ready-to-use plugins that support your SEO campaigns.
  • Avoid unnecessary links, because these can contribute to clutter. Let search engines focus on finding your blog post and content links.
  • Avoid including non-related advertisements on your blog. This isn’t a problem for photobloggers with WordPress.com accounts, since the platform does not allow users to add advertisements to their sites.
  • Add a professional About Page to your photoblog. Don’t forget to include your contact details, a brief self-description, and some facts that may boost your credibility as a photographer and a photoblogger.
  • Create an SEO-friendly sitemap. Help your site visitors browse your website quickly and easily.
  • Use social media to improve your promotion campaigns. Get an account on Twitter, Google Buzz, and Facebook. These sites are perfect for photo blogging.
  • Track your site stats through Analytics and other similar tools. WordPress offers tracking parameters such as ‘phrases people click in search engines to find you’ and ‘people click on these sites to find you’ to help you figure out your daily stats.
  • Love what you do, and be consistent with your SEO campaigns. Be patient and don’t be obsessed with SEO. Instead, focus on satisfying yourself and your readers with your artistic photos.

Sony: We’re not sure what Wii U is, but it’s interesting

/* Posted June 18th, 2011 at 2:54pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Video Games    */

 

NintendoWiiU_logo

Sony president Shuhei Yoshida is intrigued by Wii U, but he isn’t quite sure what it is.

 

“I was surprised to see the final product for what Nintendo was showing. It’s pretty close to what was being rumored,” Yoshida told IGN. “Lots of media had different interpretations of the rumors, and something I thought Nintendo might be doing was like a giant DS in your house. I was expecting them to do some demos, like Nintendogs coming from the big screen to the small screen where you can then pet the dog on the tablet controller.”

 

“And finally they are going to HD graphics, which must please third-party publishers judging from what they were saying at the press conference. It’s interesting.”

 

Yoshida continued, “We still don’t know much about the Wii U. It seems like the controller can only work with one console. When they show multiplayer they are using the Wii remotes. How games will be developed for that console we still don’t know. As I understand, the Wii U remote has to be in proximity of the console so it’s not a true portable device in a sense that you can bring it with you outside the room or house.”

 

“I still can’t get my head around what it is.”

 

Wii U has EA’s heads spinning. Find out why here.

 

via IGN

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Download Windows 8 x64 M3 (64-bit Build 7989 from Winmain Branch)

/* Posted June 18th, 2011 at 2:54pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Gadgets    */

Delicious Delicious

The new version of Windows 8 has been leaked. The new leak is 64-bit Windows 8 of M3 (milestone 3) build 6.2.7989.0 with full build string of 6.2.7989.0.amd64fre.winmain.110421-1825, apparently from winmain branch, the branch that typically get released as a beta, RC or RTM. The build version also indicates that the build is compiled on April 11, 2011. That almost two months earlier, which means the development of Windows 8 now is almost closed to beta phase.

Windows 8 M3 Build 7989

New features that been found on Windows 8 M3 include immersive UI (patched shsxs.dll for unlock required), new boot screen, new “Language Switcher” interface on Taskbar, new interface to enable or disable Windows functions, new Aero in “Metro-style”, new History Vault interface, and a new wallpaper. The build is also found to be much more stable that previously leaked builds. However, some features such as user tiles have been locked and hidden instead.

Windows 8 M3 Build 7989 Wallpaper

For people who interested, the leaked 64-bit version of Windows 8 M3 Build 7989 is now available for download via BT torrent.

File Name: 6.2.7989.0.amd64fre.winmain.110421-1825.iso
Size: 3.54 GB
CRC32: 374EC90D
MD5: 4480F94C0E11CE58DC9B7330678F07DD
SHA-1: C09CDCEC2540D93EEBE650B521B2F7AE477A300A

Torrent: 6.2.7989.0.amd64fre.winmain.110421-1825.iso.torrent

There is another version of ISO for leaked Windows 8 Build 7989 which has missing 200 KB of size also circulating on the Web, which has the MD5 of 5CB7A32FB7A83972081792EC27BA8CCC and SHA1 of 5C7828407F6C8CD8EE655E821AEA85F3544BCB84, but the build is functional and working too with identical install.wim file.

Microsoft has demoed Windows 8 publicly on its new user interface and some new features. It’s widely believed that the beta version of Windows 8 will be released soon, probably some time in September when the BUILD event is held.

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JTAG Content Manager v1.3

/* Posted June 18th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Xbox    */


What This App Does:
* Browse 360 files on your PC by their real info, like game name and package title.
* Upload files (XBLA, DLC, GOD, Avatar, Title Update) to your console over FTP with a single click. Files are automatically uploaded to the right folders.
* Drag and drop files to other applications, if you’d prefer to use your own FTP client.
* Organize a messy folder of downloaded content into 1 of 4 different directory styles. Restore the original filenames for XBLA and DLC files.
* View the MediaID of Title Updates and GODs so you can match them, and search JQE and XBUC for matching TUs.
* View the MediaID of ISO files. (Requires abgx360)

Advanced/Beta Features:
* Scan the Content folder on your 360′s HDD to a database so that while browsing content on your PC you can see if it’s already on your 360 or not, even if your 360 is off.
* Browse the contents of your 360 directly, using Freestyle Dashboard’s SMB
share technology.

Please see the About box for credits and thanks. This app owes a lot to other more talented 360 hackers.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
* FTP Uploading now works with all 360 homebrew packages: FSD, xm360 and XeXMenu.
* If you get any error messages opening the program, install .NET 4.0: http://goo.gl/KGxwK

Change Log:
1.0 – Initial Release.
1.1 – Bug fixes.
1.2 – Library scanning changed from FTP to SMB. FSD mounted drive support added.
Delete option for files. Column and groups for content type. Filter by type in the filter box. Filter box no longer requires a refresh. Content indexing optimized, should be much faster. Content organizer to sort local content into proper folders with optional folders for game name and content type. Checkboxes added to list for easier selection of files. Shell integration: Add access to the app when right-clicking any folder in Windows Explorer. “All Files” progress bar added to upload form. Right click menu added to folders. Correct size shown for GODs. Bug fixes.
1.3 – XeXMenu now supported for FTP uploads. FTP upload progress now shows real time KBps speed of transfer. Visual queues for uploads and other multiple file operations. FSD SMB functions hidden behind a “Beta Features” mode to prevent confusion and to clearly mark them as potentially unstable while the FSD SMB implementation matures. New DLL files so that MSVCR is no longer required. Windows 7 taskbar progress during uploads. Warning and error messages made much more informative and friendly. Minimize upload window during long operations, with a taskbar notification when the upload finishes. Tool-tip help icons in the settings. Content organizer saves output folder between uses. Export a report of content files to a CSV. Total queue progress bar more accurate. Bug fixes.

Game Categories Light for 6.38/6.39

/* Posted June 18th, 2011 at 2:54am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under PSP    */

has updated . It supports now Custom Firmware 6.38 ME and Custom Firmware 6.39 ME / 6.39 TN-A (HEN), so everyone with the latest CFW should be supported. Just remember to create a sub folders in PSP/GAME and place your homebrew inside them. This plugin allows you to categorize your games/homebrew.

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Best iOS golf games for Dad

/* Posted June 17th, 2011 at 8:54pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */

Does your dad like golf? With Father’s Day this weekend and the summer finally hitting its stride, heading out to the links is probably on a lot of dads’ minds. But why let your dad’s golfing be limited to the weekend or the warm months of summer when you can bring the links to him on his iOS device?

This week’s collection of apps is all about playing a quick game of golf during downtime. The first app lets you play through nine-hole courses in strange, multilevel fantasy 2D worlds. The second lets you join one of the best golfers around, in a more involved golf simulation, playing on real-world courses. The last, out this week, is the sequel to an excellent pick-up-and-play golf game, perfect for when you need a quick fix.

Super Stickman Golf

Play golf on strange worlds with interesting traps–you wouldn’t want to fall down that hole on the left.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Super Stickman Golf (99 cents) is a 2D golf game that’s really easy to pick up and play, with tons of fantastical themed courses, interesting power-ups, and excellent physics-based gameplay. Though the game has a huge amount of arcadelike features, the goal is always the same: try to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. The challenge is that it can be much harder than it looks.

Rather than your standard 3D layout as seen in many golf games, Super Stickman Golf offers up a 2D platformer experience. The courses often have multiple levels you’ll need to reach and obstacles you’ll need to avoid to finally get on the green.

The interface consists of arrows on the left to adjust the arc of your shot, a button in the middle for bringing in bonus items (more on that later), and a “Go!” button you’ll need to hit twice for each shot: once to start the swing, and a second time to adjust shot power.

Beyond the many themed courses that keep the game interesting, you also have some extra arcade elements to add some flavor. As you play, you’ll unlock unique balls like the Sticky Ball, which sticks to surfaces after you hit the ball–great for courses where there are shafts you need to climb to get to the green. You also can unlock Super Clubs that make it so you can stop a ball in midair, or freeze water hazards, for example. Each of the arcade elements is well thought out and adds a unique twist to the game.

Overall, with over 260 holes to play across several themed courses, unique obstacles, arcade elements, and local and online multiplayer, Super Stickman Golf has plenty to offer any arcade golf fan.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

Switch clubs by hitting the club icon at the lower left.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 ($4.99) is the first golf simulation from the popular golf franchise on iOS since April 2009, and it’s easy to see that this latest game is leaps and bounds beyond the original. The graphics on the
iPhone 4 Retina Display are smooth, reminding us of console-level golf games. The controls have been fine-tuned as well, making it easy to adjust shot types and switch clubs depending on the situation.

You get the choice to play as Tiger Woods, alongside him, or as any one of several current pro male and female players. You can also create your own player and customize clothing, clothing color, and skin color. Later, when you earn some money for various challenges on the course, you’ll be able to upgrade your equipment for more powerful shots and better accuracy to help you improve your scores.

Rather than the standard three-touch hit method found in other golf games, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 uses a vertical swiping method for better precision–the down swipe determines shot power and on the up swipe you can slightly curve your swing for draw and fade shots. Even once the ball is in the air you can swipe repeatedly in any direction to put spin on the ball. All of these shot variables will come in handy in various situations, and we like that there are so many controls for shot precision.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 lets you play quick games, head-to-head matches against friends over Bluetooth or a local network, or Tiger challenges with unique requirements, or you can play through your own PGA Tour. You can also connect to Facebook and try to beat your friends’ best shots (which you can watch) on specific holes. Sadly, there is no online multiplayer at this time, but it seems like a no-brainer that EA would add that functionality in a future version–we’ll just have to wait and see.

Even without online multiplayer, with a streamlined control system, customizable players, and tons of challenging courses to play on, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is the golf game to beat on iOS. Anyone looking for a golf game that’s closer to simulation than arcade will enjoy this title.

Flick Golf Extreme

The graphics in this game are excellent as you shoot from atop high skyscrapers.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Flick Golf Extreme ($2.99) is the sequel to Flick Golf (iPhone or iPad), a very well-made arcade golf game we’ve reviewed here in the past. But instead of the usual golfing experience of trying to work your way to the green in the smallest number of shots, in the Flick Golf games your goal is to get as close to the hole as possible in one shot–ideally with a hole in one. Flick Golf Extreme takes the game a step further by moving off the grassy links of traditional golf games into all sorts of strange environments.

The interface and controls in Flick Golf Extreme were made for the touch screen, and it shows. When you start a hole, check for wind speed before taking your shot (this is especially important in later levels). To send the ball toward the hole, simply flick your finger in a forward motion across the ball toward the pin. While the ball is in the air, flick the screen to guide the ball toward the hole. You’ll also be able to apply spin to the ball as long as it is still bouncing–great for small adjustments to get extra points. Each hole is surrounded by concentric circles, each with a point value that increases the closer you are to the hole.

Flick Golf and Flick Golf Extreme share the same precise controls, but where Flick Golf Extreme really shines is in the environments. With beautiful 3D graphics, you’ll be taking shots across deep canyons and, on another course, from rooftop to rooftop high atop skyscrapers. In one level, you’ll actually need to take shots from a hovering helicopter onto an aircraft carrier. All of the environments are meticulously detailed, with gorgeous animations and excellent sound design (in one level you can see and hear a huge waterfall as you take your shots, for example). It’s clear that the developers went to great lengths to make this game a striking visual experience to go along with the already great gameplay.

Flick Golf Extreme offers three game modes: Quickshot, in which you hit as many shots as possible within a time limit; World Tour, in which you’ll need to achieve high enough scores to unlock each course; and–new to Extreme–a 5 Ball Challenge, in which you get five balls that you can only replenish by hitting holes in one. Each of the game types requires a different strategy, adding to the replay value of the game.

Overall, Flick Golf Extreme is a fun and addictive pick-up-and-play arcade golf game with excellent controls, strange and beautifully made courses, and plenty of replay value. If you liked Flick Golf or want a quick golf fix, Flick Golf Extreme is a must-download.

Do you have another golf game you would like to share? Let us all know in the comments!

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