Heavy Sword reminds me of a cross between Super Mario Bros and The Legend Of Zelda. Now some of you might be thinking “isn’t that basically Zelda 2 for the NES?” That’s probably fair enough, but since I never played that title I’m sticking with the correlation. The problem is that this really isn’t as interesting as either of those games separately, let alone what a good combination of them could be. That alone I could live with, since either of those franchises is hard to live up to. What is troubling me, however, is the fact that the game keeps freezing up on me.
Back in the day, by which I mean a time I barely remember and which many of you probably weren’t born yet for, there existed a game called Rogue that quite possibly started one of the first trends of copycats, known as rouge-likes. The games were simple in some ways such as consisting of only ASCII graphics, but complex in others like having a myriad of commands to remember and randomly generated dungeons that were revealed as you moved through them. While I actually enjoyed several games of this type, I’m happy to see that modern variants such as Dungelot have revamped graphics and streamlined control schemes. Unfortunately one challenging feature still remains in many modern rogue-likes: death is death.
Fans of the game Diversion from Ezone.com are going to feel a sense of déjà vu here, assuming you haven’t already with the several other Diversion-derived projects they’ve released in the last couple of years. Thankfully the formula’s still addictive, and there are enough differences to be found in Team Awesome that it still seems like its own game. Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) you won’t find any deep game play here, but if you’re looking for a simple diversion that could turn into an addiction, Team Awesome is your game.
I first tasted of the intrigue that Phosphor Games could produce as I wandered the creepy halls of Dark Meadow. It had its issues, but overall it was a captivating game with wild creatures and a unique control scheme. That was, of course, until I played Infinity Blade and realized that I had suffered Déjà Vu in reverse. Now Phosphor Games has released Horn, and while the fantasy theme is reminiscent of Infinity Blade, it actually has a lot more to it then either of the aforementioned games in terms of things to do besides combat. At first I was a bit skeptical about it just because I was afraid it would be a clone of the Chair Entertainment Group’s franchise, but every time I load up Horn I manage to get lost in its mystery and grandeur.
Gameloft has released the first Dev Diary video for Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, the highly anticipated FPS and one of the most popular in the genre for iOS and Android. The next installment in the series utilizes the Havoc game engine, which you can thank for its spectacular graphics. One twist that should please gamers is how they’ll only only be able to play as US soldier, but also the president-kidnapping villain, Edward Page. MC4 will also offer a new specialization systems feature that will allow you to choose from several ‘perks’, those of which provide various bonuses to complement different styles of play.
While Gameloft has been fairly quiet with new App Store offerings of late, the publisher has dropped the big one today with the release of the highly anticipated N.O.V.A. 3 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. The first two N.O.V.A’s are widely considered to be among the best FPSes on iOS and the third instalment raises the stakes further by using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3. Among some of its technical highlights include “real-time shadow and lights, particle system and ragdoll physics”. Compared to the similarly styled Crysis games, N.O.V.A 3 takes place 4 months after the hit sequel and features 10 levels across the galaxy, multiple weapons and powers and 6 multiplayer modes that supports up to 12 players.
The game appears to be iDevice friendly as it supports even the iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 3rd gen and iPad 1. N.O.V.A 3 (a 1.57 GB download) has already been released on the New Zealand App Store and should be making its way across other stores (including US) later in the day. Video trailers and more info after the gap.
Gameloft, N.O.V.A. 3 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance - $6.99
The week that DARIUSBURST SP came out I included it in my weekly “10 App Store Games To Watch” list and hoped that it would be half as good as another Taito “retread” called RayForce (TMA Review) . Well, after spending some time with the game I’d wager to say it’s actually better. At the very least they’ve handled the “too easy” issue amicably, but Dariusburst has a third game play mode, two fighters which need to be unlocked before use and a branching level system – all of which greatly extend the replay value. Sure the initial run through can still be fairly short, but there’s a lot more reason to keep playing this one after you’ve beaten it.
At times it seems developers just miss that creative spark in terms of writing, leaving us stuck with stories full of cardboard characters and clichés. But every once in a while a streak of genius may turn such a seemingly boring tale into something new and original. And depending on the viewpoint EPOCH falls neatly into the latter category. Or not.
There’s no question Super Crate Box is a silly game. You basically run around one of three levels collecting crates and killing monsters to stay alive. It’s like a side view FPS with no fancy graphics and no point. The funny thing is that it is also one of the most addictive games I’ve played in quite a while, and that says a lot since I’ve spent almost every day for the past week playing Treasures of Montezuma 3. There’s something about the simplicity of the game combined with the retro pixel graphics that to me makes it a whole lot more interesting than the previously released Muffin Knight, a game clearly inspired by this one. All I know is I’m glad to be part of the crate collecting revolution.
For years now Telltale has proven time and time again that they’re able to turn a famous franchise into first-class episodic adventures. We’ve seen this in reboots of Sam & Max and Monkey Island (Review) series, as well as excellent adaptations of Wallace & Gromit and Back to the Future (Review). But when Jurassic Park: The Game was announced I couldn’t help but feel skeptical as to how the unique cinematic experience of such a movie could be translated into an interactive title. Well, I can tell you right now I have been proven wrong.