Great (and not that great) games / demos for Dell x50v/x51v - Part II
A day ago, I've written a roundup of three games utilizing the excellent graphics co-processor (the infamous Intel 2700g) of the Dell Axim x50v/x51v handhelds.
I didn't stop at that: I went on testing the rest of the currently available titles that boast 2700g support and make, therefore, gaming on the x50v/x51v handhelds a real pleasure, compared to other handhelds without this excellent GPU.
1. Games (in the order of my preference)
The demo of this really excellent game comes on the x51v CD (or, if youâ€™ve bought the Axim in the Games Pack, in a full version on the second one, along with the full version of the WM5-compliant Stuntcar Extreme). Itâ€™s a very good and original logic game (no, not just a usual puzzle game), all in three dimension (3D). Itâ€™s highly playable; it, however, may slow down a bit when thereâ€™re more than a few dozens of particles on the screen. You can also download new levels to the game. Highly recommended!
(Note that as of March 19, 2006, the Aspyr.com Web server is down. Hope not for long.)
This game comes from the author of several games including some excellent titles like the multiplayer 3D Mini-Jetfight and 3D Mini Dogfight (see their review in the Definitive Multiplayer PPC Game Roundup). Unfortunately, while most of their games are 3D, this title, 3D Chopper Fight, is the only one to boast 2700g support. Therefore, the other titles of the same developer will only use low-resolution, (comparatively) ugly and not particularly fast graphics.
This game is, particularly when you switch to first-person view instead of the default external one, is pretty entertaining and highly recommended.
My only grieve is the painful lack of any kind of multiplayer mode. This game should be multiplayer-enabled - it really cries for it!
This game also comes on the Dell Axim x51v CD. It doesnâ€™t offer multiplayer capabilities or even more than one computer-controlled ghost opponent car. However, itâ€™s a good game nevertheless.
You can also purchase it (for $20) online if you only have an x50v (only the x51v has the full version on the CD).
Motto (found at the highly entertaining bash.org):
<walt> So I play Tony Hawk Pro Skater all the time right
<walt> And I'm thinking
<walt> That's so awesome, I should learn how to skate!
<walt> So one of my sister's friends left her skateboard here, and I started to dick around on it
<walt> Long story short, I fell over and broke my wrist
<walt> Now I can't play Tony Hawk.
<norl> lol dumbass
If you're a fan of this game/genre on the desktop/console platforms, go get this game - you will be satisfied. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother - IMHO, the graphics speed has a lot to be desired. It's just too slow for me. (I may be too old for games like this? Iâ€™ve never skated in real life - that may be the problem in my disliking the game :) So, excuse my rambling - it comes from a person that never wanted to skate and, therefore, doesnâ€™t really enjoy computer-simulated skating either.)
The title can only be purchased on the Dell website, as with the new, x51v/WM5-compatible version of the multiplayer title Stuntcar Extreme (the old version doesn't run on the x51v).
I also recommend this pre-review of the game. Note that the reviewer isn't a "newcomer" to the game (unlike me); this is why he may have taken a liking to it.
This, in addition to Wyvern (which only some days ago became playable on the Pocket PC), is the only graphical (I donâ€™t take text-only MUD clients into account) massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) game for the Pocket PC (and a lot of other platforms).
The graphical differece between Wyvern and Sphere is just stunning. There is just no comparison. However, the difference in the language is also prevalent: the language of the game is (and the language the vast majority? all? players use): Russian. That is, if you canâ€™t speak the language, you will find little delight in this game and won't want to subscribe to it.
You still may want to give a demo a try - to do so, just download this compressed file, extract sphere.ARMv4.CAB from it, transfer it to your PDA and tap it to be installed.
The game is comparatively responsive; it can become a bit slow on scenes where there're a lot of other characters in the screen though - typically the market scene (the one the demo takes you to) is like this.
Note that you'll need to log in as a *guest user (don't forget the leading asterisk, *) with the password guest. Also make sure that you must explicitly switch to the landscape orientation before starting the game because it won't do it for you automatically and the screen will become corrupted. Note that if the client doesn't do anything in the login screen (after saying it's connected as in this screenshot), you must check your firewall settings. Fortunately, the English homepage of the game describes all this very well.
There isn't much 3D in this game - the only 3D seems to be the animation between the ball and the roulette table. It's VGA - and that's all. That is, this is not the game you will want to demonstrate the 3D capabilities of your Axim. You may want to give it a try though if you like the genre. Unfortunately, it has no multiplayer capabilities either.
A very positive review is here.
This free 3D demo engine is a Doom clone with a moderately-sized map and some monsters. That is, donâ€™t expect tons of opponents / huge maps / more than a few minutesâ€™ playing time. However, it may suffice to show off the 3D capabilities of your handheld - if you donâ€™t want to pay for, say, the commercial 2700g-capable titles in this review (or in my earlier ones).
Note that you will only need to transfer PPC\YetiPpc_OGL.exe and PPC\hss.dll to anywhere on your PDA and, then, start the former.
This (free) game is really-really bad. Itâ€™s much less playable than the original 2D Space Invaders. Also, the wonâ€™t likely to receive updates as it was meant only to be a technology demo, nothing else.
If you still want to give it a try, make sure you transfer the contents of \jellyfish\arm build\ to the root directory of your PDA (not in a subdirectory - unfortunately, OuterSpace.exe has absolute paths pointing to the root) and start OuterSpace.exe.
Incidentally, khronos.org is an invaluable source of mobile (including PDAâ€™s and 3D-hardware-accelerated mobile phones - see for example my new article on Java midlets for more information on them) 3D gaming-related information. Worth checking out if you are interested in the subject!
2. Technology demos (not games!)
There're six demos (animations - not games!) in there (all in separate pages), all of them very good. Transfer each EXE file inside the ZIP files to your PDA for execution.
2.2 OpenGL|ES Benchmarking Tool (also see this PG thread); only transfer BenchGLES_CE.exe to your PDA and run it there. It is much less spectacular than the above-introduced Imagination Technologies PowerVR Demos.
2.3 PocketFold (linked from here): note that it puts its link in Programs, not in Games. It's not a game and isn't at all spectacular (definitely not as good as the Imagination Technologies demos); still, you may want to cast a glance at it.
3. Not available for purchase - only comes on the Dell CD
This title is really recommended - if you have an x51-series device, it will be available in the Extras directory of your CD. Unfortunately, itâ€™s not sold elsewhere and can be played through really fast, in a few hours (it only contains three times three holes). It doesn't have real, inter-PDA multiplayer capabilities either - don't be misled by the advertisement.
The game also runs on WM5-upgraded Dell Axim x50â€™s - but not on non-Dell branded WM5 PDA's.
4. Recommended links