Archive for the ‘Third Person’ Category

Eco Punk

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Eco Punk

From the creators of Rasta Monkey, comes this sordid tale which begins on a street corner of a what looks to be a major metropolitan area populated with dispicable people that dispose of garbage out the windows of their gas-guzzling cars; cardboard boxes, bottles, stand-up basses, full cases of Brillo pads, piggy banks, gameboys, underpants, you name it. Apparently, these tossers are ignorant of how litter affects our environment, but luckily, the protagonist of our story is enviromentally conscience and he is here to save the day.

Our hero looks to be some type of a skateboarding Anarchist punk rock rabbit cookie-head and his job is to skate around the city block picking up refuse by running over it with his skateboard, all the while, avoiding the careless motorists. Picking up multiple bits of garbage in sequence provides a progressive-scoring chain combo that scales with the number of items snatched. That’s not all, sometimes power-ups drop, such as a laser machine gun or invincibility, so you can mow through the pigs on their goofy Segways. There are three modes of play; Classic, Timebend, and Blitz. Classic is the basic mode that ends when you become roadkill, cars in Timebend only move when you do (making it much less hectic, but still lethal) and Blitz is simply a timed mode.

Since there is only one map that covers just one street corner, the developers were able to render some beautifully lit  and detailed artwork. The game has personality and I love the stylized look and, even though it is somewhat limited in scope and depth, I still played it for 50 games straight and even got an achievement to prove it, thanks to the OpenFeint support. The touch controls are amazingly fluid and make D-Pad controls seem outdated. It’s a fun diversion and you may even decide compete with your friends to see who can become the most celebrated Eco Punk.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Guerilla Bob

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Guerilla Bob

This is a really polished game and I think it feels somewhat like what some people were expecting with the intial release of MiniGore (which I also recommend). Guerilla Bob is a dual-stick shooter with a zoomed out view, in which you fight four core enemy types; the grunt, the flamethrower, the bomber, and the nuker. Each of the enemies sometimes requires different tactics, as do the several boss characters. You have three weapons that upgrade at various points in the missions; machine gun, rocket launcher, and flamethrower. Several items and powerups drop too, such as speed, damage, and armor. There are several missions, but most of them tend to feel like, “walk straight forward, shoot stuff, strafe to gather power-ups”, with the exception of the bulldozer level, the river rafting, and the final mission that opens at the end of the game. This Survival Mode harkens back to MiniGore, because it has a bigger arena in which to battle huge waves of foes. By the way, his life bar is a cigar! Now, If only they could come up with some way to combine the aforementioned games…

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Ravensword: The Fallen King

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

ravensword

At first, Ravensword feels like a decent attempt at making an Elder Scrolls-style game on a mobile platform. The player character wakes up in a small medieval town with…guess what…amnesia! The player must sort out the mystery of the evil sweeping across the land. This is the long-term goal, but just as any other RPG worth it’s salt, the short-term goals is to slaughter truckloads of rats first…pesky varmints. From the early presentation, my assumption was that the stage was set for an intricate progression curve to be min-maxed within an inch of its life by skill choices and gear selection, but it turned out not to be the case.

Character customization is almost non existent in this game. Sure, you kill stuff and gain levels to progress, but there are very few meaningful drops from monsters and a skill tree is nowhere to be found. You do pick up some rune stones that help you in some areas, but there is no full magic system. Two of the primary factors of great RPGs are deep character customization that involves frequent player choice on a diverse skill tree and a near-constant stream of new gear, upon which the player must sift through to find the best build. Unfortunately, there is no skill tree and the item game doesn’t provide nearly enough diversity and depth to keep the player interested.

The lack of these key features is really a shame, because the developers (just two guys, BTW) did get plenty of things right. The game has a wonderful soundtrack that evokes the medieval period brilliantly and the sound effects, like chirping birds and grunting beasties, are very convincing. The environments in this free-roaming 3D world are believable and interesting. The quest system works quite well to move the player through the story.  The lock-on combat system generally keeps the player in control, although it does suffer from the common problem that low melee attackers are hard to see. Your effectiveness in combat is limited only by your ability to press the pause button and guzzle a health potion. Wait, these were supposed to be positive comments! The best element of the game, for me, was the exploration and the accompanying feeling of discovery. That’s what kept me playing through the game; I wanted to see and hear what was next.

I attempted to enumerate not only the game’s flaws, but also its successes, because I do think it is a good game in some ways; just not the one I had hoped for. As a player, I’m definitely more suited to the Japanese-style RPG, such as Zenonia or even a more Western approach such as Dungeon Hunter (my favorite Diablo-style dungeon crawl on the iDevice, as of this writing). And for those that thought this game would be The Quest with better graphics, I hate to say it, but you will most likely be disappointed.

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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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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