Nokia N9 review; now playing
It’s been a while since I’ve led with something non-gaming-related on this here site, so I thought I’d do just that today.
Thanks to the folks over at Social Media NZ, I got the chance recently to review Nokia’s N9. It’s the latest phone from the once-mighty Finnish handset manufacturer that dominated the mobile phone market for a time, but has failed to make much of an impression in the age of iOS and Android. Nokia’s made a few stabs at the smartphone market in the past, and while the hardware itself has been consistently gorgeous and powerful, the devices themselves were always let down by Nokia’s horrid proprietary operating system, Symbian. It was just a convoluted, ugly dog of an interface that just didn’t cut it in the face of such slick, intuitive competitors as iOS and Android. Seriously, my reviews of Nokia devices for NetGuide began to sound like a broken record, but it was always the same story.
Now, I may no longer review such devices as part of my full-time job, but I’m still super interested in keeping up with it all. I was curious as to whether Nokia had learned from the mistakes of recent years, and also whether the company could swallow its pride and borrow some of the features that have propelled other smartphones to the forefront. I’m super interested to see how the upcoming wave of Nokia handsets running Windows Phone 7 fares. I’m a fan of WP7 and Nokia hardware, so that could be a killer combination indeed. In fact, I’m eyeing up the Lumia 800 as a possible contender for the honour of being my next phone.
Anyway, you can read my review of the Nokia N9 here. I’ve also reviewed the Microsoft Touchmouse for SMNZ – hopefully that’ll make an appearance on the site in the near future too.
Being the Christmas period, I’ve not been gaming as much lately (which is ironic given the veritable crapload of games that have hit all at once in recent weeks). But the gaming time I’ve had has mostly been spent cleaning up Resident Evil 4 HD, the main game of which I finally finished last night after a grand total of 20 hours. Now, I’m not one to get all uppity over the length of modern game campaigns (Modern Warfare 3′s campaign takes roughly five hours to complete, for instance), but it does make you realise that some games from previous generations do constitute exceptional value.
Resident Evil 4 is a terrific game and, like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a game that holds its own against the best of this current generation despite being from the previous one. In fact, you might even say it was ahead of its time, and you can see its influence in many contemporary games. But it also provides replayability in spades. I’ve definitely got another playthrough of the main campaign in me (eventually!) to tidy up a few achievements and upgrade some weapons further, but there is also an extra, smaller campaign (unlocked after the game’s completion) from the perspective of supporting character Ada Wong. I’ve only played through the first chapter of this so far, but in true Resident Evil style, the storylines interweave in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that make sense of events that happened in the core campaign. It’s brilliant stuff. Oh, you also unlock the arcade-esque Mercenaries mode, but it’s a mode in Resident Evil that I’ve personally never cared for. But Resident Evil 4 HD is an incredible game, and definitely an experience I’d recommend to fans of survival-horror games that, for whatever reason, missed it the first time around. However, if you’ve played it through on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Wii or whatever, there’s not really much reason to return to this one (as opposed to Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary). It’s an upscaled port (not even a particularly well done one) and that’s about it.
But it’s all got me on a bit of a Resident Evil kick, and a week or two back I managed to pick up a copy of Resident Evil: Deadly Silence for the Nintendo DS. It’s a port of the original Resident Evil that released on the very first PlayStation back in 1996. And not only did it kick-start the Resident Evil phenomenon, it’s also largely attributed with much of the PlayStation’s early success.
Now, I have a small confession to make; despite my love for this game, and despite previously writing a particularly gushy Retro Corner piece singing the praises of Resident Evil that I wrote for Game Console shortly before leaving TechDay, I’ve never actually finished the game. I played it a lot during my high school days, but basically got myself into a position where I had very little ammo on the last boss – not nearly enough to put him away. In fact, I put myself in the exact same position with Resident Evil: Code Veronica. So this purchase is in aid of rectifying that and putting this ghost to rest once and for all. It just might have to wait for a long plane ride one day… Code Veronica, your time will also come. Luckily an HD remake of this game also released at the same time as Resident Evil 4 HD.
Anyway, it’s only going to get crazier in the days ahead, so this is most likely my last entry here for 2011. Be safe this holiday season, and I’ll catch you next year! Take care, everyone.