We have reviewed Ambient Design’s ArtRage before (way back when it was an earlier version), but since then ArtRage has grown somewhat, taking a great feature set and infusing it with even more goodness. Accessible and powerful, ArtRage 4.5 is within reach both a learning and budget perspective. Don’t think for a moment, though, that its relatively low price tag or its simple interface make it a candidate for only the amateur artist – this application has plenty of tricks up its sleeve for the more advanced as well.
When Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios released Forza Horizon a few years ago for the Xbox 360, they managed to marry the physics of a driving simulator to the fun of an arcade racer. Being able to drive serious wheels around an alternate version Colorado with relative freedom was a blast – and I periodically return to Horizon to casually satisfy my jonesing for speed. Now, Playground and Turn 10 have somehow managed to take that concept and improve upon it, in the Europe-centric Forza Horizon 2. With over 3 times the driving area and a lot more freedom, racing-junkie Xbox One owners will have a new go-to game for all of the thrills and spills that they can handle. As “Doc” Brown said at the end of Back to the Future 3: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
The last installment in the Dance Central franchise (developed by Harmonix), Dance Central 3, had an interesting campaign that had a dancing army and time travel. While I found it fun, there was a certain amount of cheese to the story, and too much cheese can sometimes slow you down. Compared to that last iteration in the franchise, Dance Central Spotlight for the Xbox One is a lean, mean, dancing machine. Whereas Dance Central 3 was like a banquet that left players with a lot to digest, Dance Central Spotlight is like a light meal: satisfying and exactly what you need when you need it, without any extra trappings.
While there are a bevy of personal sound delivery solutions for the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 from third parties, Sony’s own headphone solutions have always been a welcome one. Both the Wireless Stereo Headset and the Pulse Elite Edition Wireless Headset are great products, delivering great sound quality while remaining conveniently portable and durable – all for a reasonable price. Sony’s PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset is the latest in their line of listening technology, and it should come as no surprise that this full-featured headset meets and exceeds the bar set by the previous two headphones.
The Fable series has always been a lot like Madonna – constantly reinventing itself. I was never the biggest fan of the original games, but I enjoyed playing them when I could get my hands on them and I really enjoyed the departure that was Fable: The Journey. Lionhead Studios is changing the game yet again with the upcoming Fable Legends. I got a chance to hang out with some of the Devs from Lionhead at X14 to learn more about this interesting new twist as well as take part in what was a very fun role.
Fellow Thumber Evan attended a Mattel game night at Snakes and Lagers earlier this summer, where he played a game called Bounce-Off. Evan wrote that the game “plays like a tidy, strategic take on Beer Pong”, and he’s dead on the money. Bounce-Off is a hilarious (and at times intense) physical game that is a lot of fun for all ages.
Last year, I reviewed two different routers: the Linksys EA6500 and the D-Link 868L. Both routers are powerful customers, pushing dual-band connectivity through the air like nobody’s business. Of course, it doesn’t matter how powerful your routers are, as dead zones can exist in the oddest of places, contributing to a lack of signal in areas that we might really want connectivity. Thankfully, one can usually overcome this obstacle by employing the use of a Wi-Fi range extender, making dead zones a little less of a problem while extending the range of your local Wi-Fi network. LinkSys sent us their AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 to review, and I am pleased to say that it does what it says it’s supposed to do – and it does it quite well.