HTC One X: Bring on the Games!

, posted: 26-Jun-2012 11:39

Finally, the fun begins.  After purchasing or using any phone, my favourite moment is loading the first game.  I have many games, but for these tests I’ve decided to run the most taxing ones; the 3D ones.  I loaded up several games: Dead Meadow, Dead Space, Grand Theft Auto 3, Need for Speed, ShadowGun, Shinerunner, and Zen Pinball.



Dead Meadow, while graphically impressive, left a bit to be desired, as you never really get free control of the player.  It’s all very scripted.  It provided a good workout for the phone graphically, but I ended up throwing in the towel after 30 minutes of playtime.  After 30 minutes of playtime it was 38.2 degrees Celsius according to my laser thermometer  -  so still OK to hold, with some slight discomfort near the camera.





Dead Space, on the other hand, was a lot more inviting.  The graphics in Dead Space leave pretty much all the other games for dead.  The graphics are sort of a combination of PlayStation 2 and maybe Half Life gaming graphics.  Not quite at the  level of graphics of the current consoles or PlayStation Vita  but, at this rate, it won’t take too long for them to catch up.  Dead Space was a pleasure to play, with the One-X screen being the key component.  I could play it while walking round the aisles of the supermarket, or while seated on a plane, or anywhere I had time to kill.





Grand Theft Auto 3 also loaded up very promptly, the quad-core chipset springing it to life with no trouble.  It’s basically a port of the original game, and was very demanding on the phone.  Unfortunately, once all graphics were turned to max the phone couldn’t keep up and dropped quite a few frames.  However, it was still impressive, considering that just 10 years ago computers would struggle with the resolution this phone is putting out!





Need for Speed was one of my old favourites from years gone by.  I couldn’t wait to install it. After a relatively large download, I was set to race.  The phone performed admirably, with no slow-downs at all.  The game uses the tilt function of the phone to turn and that worked well.  It was calibrated perfectly, with no need for any adjustment.  It brought back memories of the past, of what racing games should be like.  Graphically it is one of the most impressive racing games on a mobile platform and was a pleasure to play.





To enhance my playing experience I bought stick-on buttons, which I used with the MHL/TV-Out to play it on the big screen.  These buttons attach to the screen using suction cups, and provide capacitive input, so you can feel where the buttons are when playing on the TV without looking down at the phone.



Shadow Gun is very much in the same realm as Dead Space, but Shadow Gun THD is designed to run on Tegra 3.  Visually, it was stunning. However, it didn’t quite compare to Dead Space, which is just slightly more polished, both in game play and in graphics.  So I didn’t play too much of it, although Shadow Gun does support movement via an external gamepad.







ShineRunner was next, and was more of an experiment to see whether a Bluetooth controller would work with the phone.  I loaded up Wii Controller from the Play Market, and the Wii gamepad was immediately recognised, which was great.  It didn’t need any additional drivers or root access; it just loaded up straight away.  I then proceeded to play ShineRunner, while leaving my device connected to my TV.  If more games supported this and the graphics were better, you could theoretically replace your consoles with the HTC One X or any similar mobile device!





Video of Shine Runner through TV:



My only disappointing game was Zen Pinball, which was an official Tegra 3 title, used to showcase the chipset’s graphics capabilities. Unfortunately the One-X didn’t run it smoothly, which might be related to the old version of software currently installed on the phone.  If Telecom allows the update soon, it will probably become quite playable, as One-X users from most countries who have received the update have reported.   Hopefully we’ll see this update in the next few weeks, so all the latest Tegra 3 games are smooth!





Overall, it’s a great phone for gaming, whether on the move, or playing it on the TV.  The total spend for gaming on the big screen for various games was:
  • $20 for a Madcatz Wii controller and nun chuck (brand new)
  • $6 for stick-on arcade-style buttons
  • $6 for the MHL adapter from eBay
  • Free to $2 for the games from the Google Play Market.   

About the author

I am Vincent Garcia: an ICT Specialist by day; technology geek and DIY handyman by night. I enjoy playing with gadgets, old and new.  Taking most of them through the paces, and to within an inch of their lives! I also enjoy tinkering with things; spending most of my weekends repairing my motorcycles, or renovating my house.  I live in the windy city of Wellington, with my lovely wife Nicola, and my cat Morange. When I was offered the opportunity to review the new HTC One X series, I jumped at the chance.  The short aeroplane trip to Auckland was all part of the fun!  If you want to ask any questions, please add a comment below, or email telecomtech@vincentgarcia.[email protected]



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