April 6, 2013

Intel Release Graphical Installer for Their Linux Drivers

The Intel Linux Graphics Installer provides a friendly way for downloading the latest Intel Linux graphics software stack.

Early in March, Intel –specifically the Intel Open Source Technology Centre– released a graphical installer providing Linux users with a friendly way for downloading the latest Intel-related open source Linux graphics components –for the more technical this includes:
  • the Intel core kernel driver
  • Mesa 3D rendering library, responsible for 3D rendering, OpenGL compatibility, GLES, etc.
  • the 2D renderer for the X Window stack (xf86-video-intel), also known as DDX.
  • libdrm –the “Direct Rendering Manager” library, for communication between user applications and the kernel
  • the Cairo graphics library, for 2D rendering and acceleration
  • vaapi-driver-intel –the APIs for hardware-accelerated video rendering, processing and output
  • initial support for Wayland
Intel Linux Graphics Installer automatically detects your hardware and system specifics and adds a software repository to your sources for keeping you up-to-date. The installer also performs a check to see if your system is running the latest drivers and, if not, it runs a system upgrade.

Android App Spotlight: Game Dev Story

Game Dev Story
Remember my blog post last year on Kairosoft? Well, since then, there have been even more Kairosoft games that have been released on the Play Store. It seems they release one new game every one or two months. Each game is unique and different from each other, but core gameplays is still very similar.

For this post, I would like to bring the spotlight to the game that started it all. That is, Game Dev Story. This was the very first game I bought from Kairosoft (and it was also their first game on the Android platform). I was instantly captivated by its simple yet intuitive gameplay. There is a freedom of choosing what to do with your "people" within the game.

Game Dev Story gives you a scenario, makes you the boss, and leaves you to do what you want. There is no set structure or path you have to follow. Everything is dependant on your actions. That is what makes this game (and all of Kairosoft's other games) so addictive to play!
Watching your little game company grow into a multi-billion dollar empire is so rewarding to accomplish. Even though this is just a simple simulation game, the core gameplay elements is all presented really well. You get to customise the game you want to make from its type and genre to how much money you want to spend researching it.

The game also allows you to manage your staff, hire/fire them, train then, give them item boosts and level them up. Each staff has their own respective roles from your standard Coder to your Hardware Engineer. It is all quite informative and requires a bit of strategy to try and create the best game ever!

Not only that, the game also throws in some nice events such as a games convention (where you show off your games and get popularity) as well as the annual game awards where you get a trophy and a cash prize for winning one of the 5 categories.

Overall, this game is simply fun, addictive, and hard to put down. Once you start, you cannot stop. It is definitely worth the $2.50 (it was $5.00 when it first came out).

Black Rock Shooter: The Game coming soon to US and Europe

Back in August 2011, NIS America announced plans to localize Japanese developer Imageepoch's PlayStation Portable title Black Rock Shooter: The Game. Since then the company was mostly quiet on the game's status and it seemed that its release was not happening...until today. NIS America confirmed Black Rock Shooter will be digitally released on April 23 in the US and April 24 in Europe via the PlayStation Network.

The game is an action RPG where players take the role of the Black Rock Shooter, a mysterious black haired girl android with a flaming blue eye who is created to defend a war-torn Earth from alien forces in the year 2032. Before her creation, the planet was ravaged with destruction for 19 years. Given the name, BRS uses a variety of cannons and guns that players will be able to upgrade throughout the game.

Black Rock Shooter is a Japanese media franchise that hails from humble beginnings. It all started in 2007 when an artist named Ryohei "Huke" Fuke created the character and posted a picture of her on his blog and the online artist community Pixiv (Japan's equivalent to Deviantart). Famed composer Ryo of Supercell, best known for creating several hit songs sung by the Japanese virtual singer Hatsune Miku, saw the image and inspired by it, made a song of the same name with vocals done by Miku. Huke joined Supercell to work on the song's music video, which gained millions of views in Japan. Since then, Black Rock Shooter spawned several manga, anime series, games and plenty of merchandise.

After several years of waiting, I'm happy to hear NIS America hasn't given up on BRS and continues to localize niche Japanese titles. It it unknown whether the game will be available on PlayStation Vita.

[via PSU]

Sword Art Online

Using a piece of technology called Nerve Gear, which allows players to literally enter a game. Kirito,  enters a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, or for short, an Online RPG. The game is called Sword Art Online, a game in which characters can use no magic (other than a few magical stones), and must focus solely on Swords Skills. The game takes place inside a giant flying fortress called, Aincrad. The fortress has 100 floors for players to complete. On the day the game was released however, the game creator decided to hold players captive, and not allow them to leave the game, until they reach the 100th floor. The worst part is, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival begins... 


The protagonist can often be seen over-powered, and there are parts that try hard to be tragic. The battles are worthy of praise, but you may have to wait a while before the story takes you to one. The boss battles are epic, but out of  the 100 bosses, you only get to see a few  only by defeating these can you go to the next floor.

The series is based on a Light Novel, and with only 25 episodes, there are parts in the series that are rushed. The side stories focus on the protagonist being cool with girls, and throughout most the series, you only get to see things from the protagonist's perspective.

The second half of the series takes a completely different and darker path, and it's not as good as the first half, though the ending kinda makes up for it. Despite all its flaws, I enjoyed the series, and would recommend it to anyone. Now, what did I like about the series? Well for starters, I really enjoyed enjoyed the romance, it was really cute. But, at the second half of the series, the romance is taken to a strange territory. I also enjoyed the battles, they are intense and memorable.

The conflicts can be pretty interesting, too. Like when an ally suddenly shifts sides and attacks the protagonist, he is placed in a position where in order to save his life, he must make a choice that may go against his moral values. Also, the plot twist at the end of half the series, amazing!

These guys are screwed

The voice acting is great. The  animation can be inconsistent. In one part you get this beautifully drawn nature scene, and in another, you get a plainly drawn view at things. There were no poorly drawn scenes, though. The music is excellent. There is a song for every scene, and it blends in perfectly, putting you in  the mood the animators want you in. The battle themes are the most memorable:

The protagonist (Kirito, also known as Kirigaya Kazuto), is a direct spoken character, and can sometimes come off as rude. He sometimes acts overconfident thinking he can do other can not. He rarely shows any signs of distress, and is almost always calm and collected. Though, when in a battle, he becomes incredibly fierce and aggressive. He can also be compassionate and will help others in need, he cannot abandon others in trouble. He can sometimes be controlled by his emotionsHe is a tenacious character and will always find a way to complete his challenges

Asuna, she is a kind and helpful young woman, who is similar to Kirito, and cannot abandon others in trouble. She takes the game very seriously and is very focused on clearing it. She is also somewhat proud and is not afraid to get physical with those that challenge her authority or brag about her abilities. She isn't afraid to act out on her own and will take matters in her own hands from time to time. Asuna, once again similar to Kirito, is someone who can be controlled by her emotions many times.

Overall this is a really good series, of course, it's not perfect. Still, it is one of my top five anime. The concept is what probably drives most to watching the series — I mean, who wouldn't want to get inside a videogame. If you enjoy intense battles, adventure, and romance, you might enjoy Sword Art Online.


Previous review: Fullmetal Alchemist

Vocaloid Cinema Party

On March 9th, 2013 a group of fans held a "Vocaloid Cinema Party" in Ginza, Tokyo. The videos were said to be outstanding, with breathtaking images and great resolution.
Here's one the videos featured: