Implosion – Never Lose Hope Review

Implosion – Never Lose Hope Review

Apr 30, 2015

Implosion – Never Lose Hope is a hack-n-slash action game that takes place after Earth has been invaded, and subsequently lost to, a weaponized virus that mutates humans into vile, disgusting creatures that kill everyone they see. With the question of how they sustain themselves decades after supposedly killing everyone off being left unanswered, the humans have set to the stars and created off-world colonies, being protected by a special army of special distantly-controlled robots, who are able to fight the creatures without putting anyone at risk of infection. The game follows the adventures of one of the pilots of these mechs, who has to return to Earth, in order to investigate a beacon that went off somewhere inside.

Right from there, Implosion – Never Lose Hope sounds like a high-budget game with an interesting and complex story – and, surprisingly, it is. There are cutscenes, and professional voice acting, and complex gameplay – the game honestly wouldn’t look bad if it was released on PSN tomorrow. But this all comes with a huge “but”. Implosion – Never Lose Hope is merely a trial that expires at several missions in, and requires the purchase of the whole game, which costs 10 bucks. It’s a pretty huge price for a mobile game. This means that even if the game is awesome, you’re left wondering if it’s better to purchase 5 simpler and cheaper games instead. Which is a shame, since Implosion really is a good game, but not on a 10 bucks level good.

Gameplay of Implosion is a pretty standard hack-n-slash, set in the cyberpunkish background. The player’s mech is controlled viaImplosion 2 a virtual stick and a bunch of buttons. It levels up and can be upgraded by installing special libraries that can be found throughout the levels, or purchased from the store. The mech has a main melee weapon, and a bunch of long-range weapons that are quite difficult to aim properly. The melee weapon has a relatively simple, but varied enough combo system, as well as several special abilities that can be activated in the time of need. The enemies are also pretty distinct and have different behavior and attacks, and require some skill to kill – especially if the player wants to get the perfect score after beating the level.

Wrapping up, I’d say that Implosion is a great game. I’m eager to see more of its kind on Play Store, which currently lacks serious triple-A titles. But at the same time, its price makes it comparable to the PC and console-style games – and when viewed in that light, Implosion isn’t exactly up to the level.

Fast & Furious: Legacy Review

Fast & Furious: Legacy Review

Apr 29, 2015

On the heels of the release of Furious 7, the Fast and Furious franchise has achieved a new level of success. With that huge success comes an onslaught of multimedia and licensed products, including video games. In conjunction with Microsoft, a Forza Horizon 2 and Fast & Furious crossover game released for Xbox One, but these days most film franchises opt for games in the mobile space. That is how Fast & Furious: Legacy was born.

Fast & Furious: Legacy is a mobile title based on the action-street racing movie series. The license is used to the fullest — players will meet some of the characters from the movie and race, drag and draft their way through the same locations seen in the films.

The first thing that sticks out about the game is its impressive console-quality graphics. Vehicles look almost as nice as their real-life counterparts, but there is a cartoonish video game art style that makes cars feel somewhat like Hot Wheels. What’s more eye-popping is the living environments in which races take place. The streets of LA, Miami, Rio and Tokyo are alive, with realistic obstacles and objects scattered across levels. The bright lights and scenery stand out and make cities pop. These locations are the true stars of the game. Unfortunately, this attention to detail causes long load times.

Fast & Furious: LegacyGameplay is a mix of elements that involve using the device’s touchscreen, and it is a mixed bag. You probably didn’t expect a Fast & Furious game to play the same way as an endless runner, but it does. As cars race across streets, players must swipe to change lanes and avoid other vehicles, road blocks and obstacles. But there are other types of events as well. Drag races utilize quick-time event-like gameplay as players wait to time their launch and gear shifts perfectly. Drifting is done in a similar fashion. This formula is unique for a racing game, but it simply doesn’t work, and Fast & Furious: Legacy ultimately lacks the intensity of a classic racer.

Exploring the menus can be frustrating. There is somewhat of a tutorial at the beginning of the game, but leading players by showing them where to click is not the same as explaining the menu system. Players can upgrade and change vehicles, but there is just too much going on in the menu screens. You get the sense that the game was built to be so much more, but had to be scaled down for mobile devices. Still, it tried to incorporate this depth into the game, and it becomes too infuriating all too fast.

Fast & Furious: Legacy is certainly impressive to look at, but that’s about as good as it gets. Gameplay is uninspiring, and it fails to live up to its namesake. Difficulty ramps up as players progress through the game, but swiping cars across the screen is neither fast nor furious. Unless you are only interested in some car eye candy, skip Fast & Furious: Legacy for a more traditional racing experience.

Random Heroes 3 Review

Random Heroes 3 Review

Apr 27, 2015

Random Heroes 3 is a classic 2D shooter where the humanity fights back against, unless I’m mistaken, aliens that look a hell of a lot like zombies. Although it doesn’t matter in the slightest, I can’t quite put that out of my head now. Anyway. The token military guy tells the player to go clean his base from the aliens that had captured it earlier, and then go underground and destroy their leader. It’s unknown why the army can’t try to do the job themselves, and have to rely on some random schmucks to do all the job, but here we are. For the third time, apparently.

There’s not much to say about the gameplay of Random Heroes 3, except that it’s alright. It’s a lot like the old arcade games, which is a great thing. It’s not perfect, it has weird controls, and weird balance issues, but the slight uncomfortableness gives off that nostalgic feeling. It’s definitely not intentional, but it does challenge the player to play better to compensate.

The mechanics are really simple. The player runs and guns around the levels, filled with all kinds of alien zombies. The Random Heroes 3 3player’s main task is to get to the exit, but to get all three golden stars for the level, it’s also required to kill all of the monsters on the level, and get to the exit in a certain amount of time – not on the single run, thankfully. While doing so, the player collects coins that are required to purchase new weapons and heroes. He also should seek out secret skulls in each level, which are required to upgrade the purchased heroes and weapons. The levels get tougher as you play, but the gold always stays, regardless of the player’s success, so if some levels seem like impossible, it’s simple to just “grind” the gold for a bit, and then eradicate the enemies with powerful weaponry.

I can’t call Random Heroes 3 a great game, since it’s very simple, and doesn’t really have anything new or interesting elements to it. However, the game works in all the ways it should, and it’s rather interesting to go through the levels and attempt to get all of the medals throughout. So, while the game is simple, it’s simple and fun.

Anger Of Stick 4 Review

Anger Of Stick 4 Review

Apr 23, 2015

I’m pretty sure that some time ago, I’ve reviewed the original Anger Of Stick, and found it pretty exciting. It’s interesting, then, that I didn’t find Anger of Stick 4 that exciting. It’s a cool little game, but for its scope, it gets repetitive far too quickly, and grows pace far too slowly. Also, how many games can you release before you start actually making graphics not on a level of a 5-year old?

Anger Of Stick 4 doesn’t have anything resembling a story, or even an explanation to the stick’s anger issues. The player is dropped right into the middle of one white figure’s struggle against thousands of differently-colour-woah-ho-ho, wait a second there. I think I’ve found a message the developer might’ve not intended to make. Anyway, your stick-figure is punching, kicking, stabbing and otherwise destroying the endless murderous crowds that are sent to erase your figure from the face of the Earth. The enemies have different weapons and looks, range from common thugs to mutants and robots, and grow increasingly Anger Of Stick 4 2annoying to fight against, as you play. The starting hero equipped with nothing but his arms and legs, but that doesn’t stop him from kicking all kinds of stick ass. By clearing the levels and killing enemies, the player gets gold that can afterwards be spent on purchasing new heroes, or special abilities that can be equipped before the level.

Anger of Stick 4 looks alright, although the stick-figure fighting looks a bit dull nowadays. The problem is that the game is supposed to be a brawler, and it doesn’t really work as one. There’s a very limited number of combos and punches the character can do, and after playing for about half an hour, it starts to be pretty repetitive. My guess is that the author thought so too, that’s why there’s an auto-play button, which usefulness is actually a bit of a mystery for me.

So, in the end, Anger of Stick 4 is a mediocre free-to-play brawler that would work a lot better if it was more focused on the variety of player moves, rather than on the enemies and additional heroes. It’s not a bad game, and it’s great to kill about an hour, but it gets too repetitive and too irritating to play it for a long time.

Riddick: The Merc Files Review

Riddick: The Merc Files Review

Apr 7, 2015

I’ll preface this by saying fictional bad boy Riddick is awesome… the perfect personification of cool, calm and deadly.

No argument.

Is Riddick: The Merc Files worthy of carrying the name?

The game utilizes an abbreviated top-down view, and from the get-go, the player gets a front row view of the game graphics. The environments are scaled relatively well, and the designer is able to evoke futuristic, foreboding places. The characters move well, with decent animations and intuitive use of lighting.

The gameplay is based on the title character, and employs his well-known deadly stealth as a major element. The storyline is fairly simple, and pays homage to the official canon with Riddick’s dysfunctional relationship with the mercenaries that are ever willing to bag him. Of course, our antihero doesn’t take to this too kindly, and brings his considerably lethal skill set to bear often.

It is leveled in nature, and each stage generally finds our protagonist emanating from the shadows, looking to make it from one point in the playing area to another. To do this, he has to dispatch armed mercs using melee combat or procured weapons. Movement is initiated by tapping on the screen; Riddick will move to the tapped area. If one taps on a merc, Riddick will get to that merc, and, ordinarily, will initiate a melee attack to incapacitate the target. Riddick can then hide the body, collect any dropped firearm and/or move on to the next target or location or complete the level.

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As one advances, the game amps up the challenge. The mercs at the beginning are fairly inept and unaware, but he game engine has better ones as ones along the way. At some point, firearms and stealth become more important; timing attacks so as to avoid alerting more enemy folks is key. Hiding bodies and shooting quickly from a distance practically become necessary. In this, strategy becomes an element that one has to contend with. It is a game of opportunity costs: does one tiptoe through or use deadly force?

There were some things I thought were present that I couldn’t find, like night vision. Also, the levels are pretty short. The artwork (with Vin Diesel voice overs) and gameplay come together nicely, but also make one feel like there should be more.

It’s a fine casual title that is fun. In some cases, that’s all one might need.

LEGO ® Marvel Super Heroes Review

LEGO ® Marvel Super Heroes Review

Apr 6, 2015

LEGO has been releasing almost identical action games for the last ten years, and it doesn’t seem to stop any time soon. Although it’s forgivable, since these games are identically enjoyable, as well. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes can be perfectly described as “another LEGO game”, but this time, the players can play as each of a huge number of superheroes and villains, trying to stop Dr. Doom and his rag-tag bunch of potential future world dominators, from becoming just that.

The game is divided into separate levels, which are pretty distinct and rich with enemies, objects, and lots and lots of blocks. The player has to complete the main tasks on the levels, as well as a number of bonus quests, if he wants to unlock the best characters to play with. It’s tempting to call this “grinding”, but the process is pretty fun and enjoyable, so it acts more like replay value. The gameplay itself is a pretty standard brawler. The player can perform various simple combos, activate the hero’s superpowers, move, jump, and even fly around, and switch between the two heroes he has in each mission. It takes a while to figure the controls out, but apart from the weird double-finger swipe required to set a hero flying, they’re pretty comfortable. The graphics in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes are also quite great, and while the background lacks certain crispiness, the game looks pretty damn good.

But side-quests and the ridiculous number of unlockable characters, is what ultimately drives this game. Figuring out all of the Marvel Super Heroes 4level secrets and Easter-eggs, as well as attempting to play a certain way, definitely gives the game the level of variety that is required at its price tag. Speaking of which, I would normally say that five bucks for a mobile game is a bit too much, but I actually think that it’s a fair price for the sheer amount of content and playtime that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes grants.

Overall, I don’t want to say that it’s the best action game ever, since it’s still just another chapter of the endless barrage of LEGO action games, but it definitely contains a whole lot of great gameplay and content, so that all fans of Marvel, or LEGO, were thoroughly entertained.

Undead Land: Liberation Review

Undead Land: Liberation Review

Mar 31, 2015

I try to be timid with my reviews, but every once in a while, I come across such lazy and impossible titles that I can’t help but get infected with their stupidity. Undead Land: Liberation isn’t just lazy, it’s completely blatantly so. I don’t say that it’s completely unplayable, but it would probably be better if it was.

Undead Land: Liberation is about shooting zombies. That about describes it. The player chooses a mission on the global Undead Land Liberation 3map, chooses one of the overpriced weapons, and equips the bombs that can only be purchased with real money, then goes to a low-res cardboard cutout location and shoots cardboard cutout zombies. The zombies were very obviously taken from different sources, since most of them look drawn, but then there’s a very fast black zombie (I swear that it’s like this in the game) that just looks like some black guy’s zombie impersonation, with a weird green glow around him.

But the most irritating part is definitely the sound. All of the sounds have been pulled from different sources as well, but unlike the zombies, it’s very obvious what these sources were. The starting pistol sounds like a pistol from Counter-Strike – the first Counter-Strike, if I recall correctly. The damn headshot announcement that makes you want to rip your ears off after a while, was pulled from Unreal Tournament, a second game I’d much rather play, instead.

Naturally, the gameplay is just what one would expect in Undead Land: Liberation. It’s repetitive, doesn’t have any resemblance of balance, and since the amount of oncoming zombies is ridiculous, the player is basically required to spend the money on new weapons. The weapons that have obviously been stolen from other games, as well. The game is screwed beyond repair, and I can say this without worrying the developers would read this, since the game comes from Korea. I know this from a simple fact that the auto-translation is horrid, and small parts of the game actually still contain Korean characters. I’m not even going to describe the mechanics and the power-ups, or whatever. Just, find something better to play, instead.

Puller Review

Puller Review

Mar 16, 2015

Puller is a pretty unique game. Players take control of a little explorer with a natty little hard hat who must make his way out of an increasingly difficult series of “Wells” which are large, mine shaft like holes full of danger. Tapping a button makes your intrepid explorer climb and another button allows him to sway left or right. Swaying is important, as each shaft is full of falling rocks, spitting enemies and other hazards that are best avoided, as well as ledges that need to be swung around. Of course swaying too much can cause your man to swing into other dangers.

Picture 7Screenshot_2015-03-01-01-16-43.pngToo many hits and he falls to his doom and you must restart the level. Each level is full of coins that entice the player to sway their way over to them, often leaving them wide open for a nice rock to the head or an unfriendly encounter with a spitting worm. Reaching the top of the hole more or less intact completes the level and awards 1-3 stars. Completing a level with minimal damage tends to award more stars as does collecting coins.

Puller is a good bit of fun. The game keeps adding new hazards and the gameplay is interesting and unique.

Picture 8Screenshot_2015-03-01-01-17-56.pngCoins can be spent on various upgrades, such as magnets to attract coins to you or gloves to climb faster. These can only be used once however. Of course coins can be bought with real cash but there is little need to.

Puller looks pretty nice. Its simple 2D graphics are incredibly detailed and it’s very easy to see what’s happening. The game helpfully zooms in as you navigate hazards to aid you in seeing what’s going on and in general has a nice, warm look. The sound is well done as well there are plenty of sound cues to alert you of things like falling rocks and the sound effects get the job done. The music is relaxing and suits the game well too. The only bad part of the game is its horribly ugly app icon. Eep!

Puller is a good bit of fun and available for free. With fun gameplay, no nasty ads and good presentation Puller is worth playing.

Dot Up Review

Dot Up Review

Feb 17, 2015

There are certain games that are nothing more than ‘time-killers’. Games that don’t ask you to play for long periods of times, they simply exist as a way to kill 3 minutes before your bus arrives. There’s nothing wrong with a game that shows you all that it has within the first 30 seconds of playing. Nothing wrong at all.

So the fact you can see everything that Dot Up has to offer in under a minute isn’t a knock. It’s a fact.

Dot Up tasks you with bouncing a dot on the screen, propelling it further upwards. You don’t move left or right, you simply tap to apply an upward force to the ping-pong ball. In your way are barriers of varying types.

Some barriers will have rotating arms, some barriers will pound together and other will have fan blades attached to them. They require some expert timing to get past, but they never ask you to do anything different.DU4

Move the dot upwards without touching anything.

There’s no bosses, there’s no unlockables and there’s no ‘winning’. You just try and get the high score and that’s it.

Not a problem. A simple game trying to do something simple is fine – but there are a couple of issues here.

Firstly, advert placement. At the bottom of the screen is a banner advert. This means you can’t actually see where the ‘bottom’ of the screen is. Your ball hides behind this advert making it very tough to time your taps. This is pretty crucial as some barriers require you to hold your position, which is near impossible to do unless you time your taps just before the ball hits the bottom of the screen. A huge oversight.

The second problem is that for a highscore game not to have working leader-boards is downright unforgivable. Every time I pressed on the leader-board button, nothing happened. Whilst there’s the ability to share your score via Facebook or Twitter, there’s no worldwide leader-boards. This is a fairly trivial component to get working in a game, so I can’t see what went wrong where.

The last issue I have, and this is something of a personal preference, is that there’s a very bland feeling to the game. There’s an argument that the creator was going for a ‘clinical’ or ‘clean’ look, but it comes off a little dull. Also, with the only piece of audio in the entire game beinga ‘thonk’ as you hit the bottom of the screen or a barrier, the audio is hardly worth writing about either.

There’s nothing wrong with simple games, but they’ve got to do the basics right. For there to be poorly placed adverts and a total lack of leader-boards is pretty shocking in a game that doesn’t exactly do more than bounce a ball upwards.

LEGO BIONICLE Review

LEGO BIONICLE Review

Jan 28, 2015

Lego Bionicle is a sub-franchise of Lego that I just never got into, despite being hugely into Lego. It was just too corny, and never really felt like Lego. There was barely any construction involved, and I couldn’t figure why I was supposed to get into that vague story about some monsters that have an obsession with masks. I was obviously in the minority, since Bionicles are hugely popular even today, evident by this very videogame, Lego Bionicle.

The story in Lego Bionicle is as vague as it is in the whole Bionicle universe. There’s some mask that everyone wants, I guess? The story is told in the wordless one-shots between the levels, that make it even more unintelligible, so I just didn’t bother with it. I understand that the player controls one of a number of warrior-type beings that search for the maskguffin through the different parts of a huge island, populated entirely by aggressive Lego spiders, and that’s perfectly enough.

The gameplay in Lego Bionicle has a really minimalistic approach to it. The levels are basically a bunch of interconnected arenas, where the player needs to kill advancing spiders and not get hurt by their random attacks, because…nothing. When hurt, the player taps the screen for a couple of seconds, and the Bionicle springs back into action. I know that it’s a game for children, but it felt a bit toothless even for that. The action demands the player to tap on the spiders around him, and the hero will jump between them, dealing damage. There are two super-attacks, one dealing a damage around the player, and another stunning the enemies. The gameplay is actually surprisingly exciting, as you have to jump between the spiders really fast, and not to get hit by their attacks – again, despite the fact that they don’t really pose any threat. After the level is over, the player gets a body part for one of the Bionicles that slightly changes its appearance, as a trophy.

There is a single big problem with Lego Bionicle, and it’s a complete lack of variety. The campaign is insultingly simple and short, there are only two kinds of enemies,Lego Bionicle 4 and the same boss at the end. The Bionicles have literally no gameplay differences between themselves. Basically, the only things that change when playing different Bionicles are their look and attack animations, and the backgrounds. It’s pretty dumb, considering how much work was obviously poured into them, and how long it takes to complete the campaign with all six of them – not even talking about collecting each of the numerous body parts. The game looks massive, but doesn’t feel massive at all.

Besides that, Lego Bionicle is an okay fast-paced action for the fans of the Bionicle universe. If you’re not into Bionicles, it’s only interesting for about an hour at most.

Oh, and there are no in-game purchases, making the game completely free, so that’s pretty sweet.

WWE Immortals Review

WWE Immortals Review

Jan 22, 2015

The fans of WWE can rejoice: they got a cool new fighting game, titled WWE Immortals. It gives all of the famous WWE characters even more crazy and unrealistic abilities and pits them against each other in teams by three. If this isn’t enough for you, then mind that they also get really violent finisher moves and exciting battlegrounds to fight in. If this also isn’t enough, then I know about WWE even less then I thought, sorry.

In all seriousness though, WWE Immortals is a surprisingly good game – at least when compared to the previous WWE titles that I got to play before. It looks and sounds great, almost comparable to the fighting games on the consoles. There’s also a ton of different characters to chose from – even though they’re not as different as they seem. More surprisingly, it does require some skill to win.

The player has a collection of cards that represent the fighters. Each fighter has a power level, and a health level that go up as the character gets experience from the fights. They also have three special moves, and a passive ability. The moves can be upgraded by spending some amount of gold, also earned through fights. The player needs to compose a team of three fighters from the ones available to him, challenge the AI opponent in the tournaments, or another players in online mode (although there were some server problems), WWE Immortals 3and beat them to get the experience and the gold. The fight mechanics are simple, but pretty interesting. The player taps the screen for short punches, swipes left or right for heavy ones, and taps with two fingers to block. The punches can also be stringed together into short combos. As the player hits, or gets hit, the energy bar charges up, and can be unleashed by tapping on one of the three abilities. Sometimes, the player needs to do some simple actions here and there to improve the damage output.

Overall, WWE Immortals has a unique and surprisingly potent fighting mechanic, that’s a bit too simple, but works for me. The main problem I see in it is that it’s free-to-play, so it has the same old crap, like the energy bar, and the grinding, and other stuff like that. If you’re okay with that, and you’re a fan of WWE, it’s a cool game, and a great way to kick the butt of a WWE fighter with your own two WWE fighters.

Flockers Review

Flockers Review

Jan 22, 2015

Flockers is a puzzle game from the creators of the Worms series – although it doesn’t have much to do with Worms. What it does have a lot in common with, is Lemmings – an old game from the nineties, still as immersive today, as it was 25 years ago.

Flockers features a flock of sheep that wander through maddeningly dangerous levels, without a care in the world. They served as weapons of destruction in the Worms series, but now seem to try and find a fate different from exploding. The player’s task is to navigate them through the hellish landscapes and lead them to the exit pipe. The sheep don’t have a concept of self-preservation, and will happily get dismembered by the saws and splash to the bottom of any pit that they come across. The player can’t directly control them in any way, so he’s left with a number of “professions” that he can assign. These professions grant the sheep abilities that help them survive, or give some other abilities that help the rest of the flock – like an ability to jump really far, or to explode, destroying a nearby obstacle. The player needs to assign these professions correctly, and at the right time, guiding the flock around the levels. The levels get pretty tight, but thankfully, the time stops when the player is assigning the professions, so the player doesn’t have to tap frantically all over the screen.

Flockers 3There’s quite a lot of levels in Flockers, divided into worlds, each world ending with a “boss” of some kind. There are three stars that can be collected upon level completion. One for passing it, one for saving a certain number of sheep, and one for completing the level in a certain time limit. The better the player performs, the more wool he gets as a reward. Wool can be spent to purchase different skins for the flock, but doesn’t really have any different use.

Generally, Flockers is a great adaptation of a great game. Cool graphics, violent dismemberment (it’s disabled by default, so hop into the options to enable gore), and lots of varied levels mean the game has everything you would expect to see. I should note that it’s only for the fans of this kind of action puzzle genre. It can be too tedious for some, or too fast for others, but it’s damn good if you’re into this sort of thing.