Archive for the ‘Viewpoint’ Category

DOOM Resurrection

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

DOOM Resurrection

This is not DOOM classic. This one uses assets from DOOM 3, uses tilt-to-aim, and yes…it is on rails. Wait! Before you scoff and move on, it’s actually pretty fun. Wolfenstein 3D used FPS controls, and it worked okay, but this implementation frees up the player, and the hero, to do what he does best, trigger massive spouts of blood! The game also includes a common feature of arcade gun games, the duck-n-cover mechanic. Some monsters toss fireballs and the player must either quickly dodge the attack, which requires good timing, or duck behind a crate, which is a safer bet, but takes you out of the action. There are a variety of other mechanics, such as needing to shake the iPhone after the big zombie grabs you. There are plenty of story hits, but they don’t look that great, nor are they very interesting, in my opinion. I’m a big story guy, typically, but with this presentation and content, I would really rather just rip faces off.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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DinoSmash Online

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

DinoSmash Online

Modeled loosely after Smash Bros. Melee, but with only one character (the crazy-green-grappling-dino-turtle). It’s not nearly as good, of course, but what really makes this title work is playing online vs. your buddies. Up to 16 match-made players battle it out simultaneously, via online 3G or wifi. There is a fair bit of character customization, which is a really nice touch, but really this is all about busting face on your bros. The controls need work, in my opinion, and the presentation sometimes makes the player suffer information overload syndrome, but I could see this becoming pretty popular, with some refinements.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Resident Evil: Degeneration

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Resident Evil: Degeneration
Ack! TMI, dewd. People seem to like this one, but I can’t really get into it. The controls are sketchy, just like the other games in the franchise, but they are manageable. The game just feels kinda slow and boring to me; you shoot, miss, zombie grabs you, you shake him off, you shoot. Wash, rinse, repeat. Not necessarily the ideal game for the iPhone. You shouldn’t really take my word for it, but there is no lite version, unfortunately. If you are a big fan of the franchise, it may be worth the asking price, but I wasn’t thrilled with it.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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T.A.N.K. Arena Battle

Monday, March 30th, 2009

T.A.N.K.

This is Battlezone meets Atari Combat Deathmatch-style tank game, with beautifully rendered graphics, several tank upgrades, okay controls, and a mini-map to guide you through a limited number of arenas (4). It seems like 1v1 multiplayer would be a no-brainer for this game, but your only option is to play versus an AI opponent.

Update: 4 new outdoor maps have been added, as well as a Capture the Flag mode, which boosts my rating up to a 3, since I originally thought the map selection was weak and the developers addressed the problem.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Dark Raider

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Dark Raider

Worst game icon I’ve seen…EVAR. It’s meant to be a hybrid between Zelda gameplay and Indiana Jones theme, I guess. You travel between 8 themed worlds (Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc.), each with 8 levels, collecting keys to gain entry to more secret tombs. There are a variety of monsters, traps, and puzzles. The game’s not bad, but it’s not really good either. The primary issue is the controls. I rarely felt like it was my fault when I died, which is a huge problem. It seems like it has depth, but you have to be willing to soldier through the control issues to experience it. Sometimes, a game just rubs you the wrong way and this is how I felt about Dark Raider; it just doesn’t do anything really well. /do not want

Rating: ★★½☆☆ icon
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Myst

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Myst

Myst is one of, if not, the most famous point-and-click adventure games ever produced. While some criticize it for being “just a slideshow”, respectfully, I think they are missing the point…and click. For its time, it was a brand new way of telling a story, one that included interaction from the “reader”. The player clicks through beautifully-rendered visions of a mysterious island, many with latent clues as to what went on there and why. Clues are sometimes subtle and don’t always make sense until you’ve explored more of the world, but that’s what makes it a compelling mystery.

Interaction consists of simple clicking and switch-pulling, in most cases, and while this level of interaction may seem limited (especially years later), it does serve its purpose to drive the story forward. While I don’t want to expose details of the story, I can tell you that the player enters various books that transports them to different “Ages”, each with their own riddles to solve.

Myst marks a milestone in game development, in which the sibling development team at Cyan, discovered and created a new form of gameplay. While it may not have been the first game to realize that the player could point at a hotspot and click, they did firmly grasp how computers could usher in a new form of storytelling and gameplay, and for that, it deserves recognition.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Cops & Robbers

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Cops & Robbers

This is pitched as a Mirror’s Edge Parkour game, but I think that is a bit misleading. It has more of a straight platformer feel to me, all though you do jump off of walls and such. You run from the cops, through a variety of obstacles, both on street level and atop buildings. Speed and precision is the key. There are also mini-games along the way. It’s a decent little game, by Glu.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Flashback

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Flashback

Appropriately titled, this classic game is back and they had me at “Hello” on this one, due to the nostalgia factor. The same is true for many people, as this was a sleeper hit on the Amiga and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Unfortunately, the controls on this version blow. I can’t even move were I want to. C’mon, peoples, this is a Game Design 101-level fail. I was so excited to see this released and so disappointed in its implementation.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ icon
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WWII Alone

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

WWII Alone

This is a new Tap-to-Shoot game that looks weak, but the gameplay is not bad. You take on the role of a World War II soldier that has to take out a number of enemy types, including other soldiers, grenadiers, goofy birds, and a freakin’ tank. It has powerups that you side-roll to collect and upgrades in between missions. The buildings are destructible too. I would go into this assuming little polish, graphically, and you may be okay with it. It’s no Wild West Guns, but what is?

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Car Jack Streets

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Car Jack Streets

Think, top-down,  cell-shaded version of the original Grand Theft Auto, similar to Payback. Get missions to rub out competitors, steal cars, and various other shenanigans. It looks great. It’s shot from an overhead perspective city, with lots of details like bushes and crates, kewl cars like taxis an street-cleaners, and tiny little people that run for their lives before being flattened and smeared in bloodstains. Just like GTA, different radio stations even play depending on which cars you steal. The gameplay is good too; weapon upgrades, including rocket launcher and flamethrowers, diverse missions, and a variety of interesting characters. The controls can take a while to get used to, because they are vehicle-relative, meaning if I’m driving down-screen, pressing right turns me left. Get over it, it’s a good game.

Update: This has nearly been made obsolete, now that Gangstar: West Coast Hustle and Grand Theft Auto have been released. Hence, the lowered rating.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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