“Legends Tournament” Is Held In Casino League

“Legends Tournament” Is Held In Casino League

Oct 11, 2013

Casino League 3

Konami has announced a very special event for the release of its Casino League, a mobile casino game. Legends Tournament is an actual poker tournament with prizes and poker stars attending. The tournament has started as of October 10th, and is probably going to be the first time an event of this scale is tied to a mobile launch. The game itself can be downloaded for free from here: Casino League on Google Play.

Konami Releases Slot Revolutions For Android

Konami Releases Slot Revolutions For Android

Oct 7, 2013

Slot Revolution 2

Konami has released a new game on the Google Play store. The game isn’t about solid snakes, or vampire castles, but is a new spin (hehe) on slot games. Slot Revolutions combines classic slot machine gameplay with role-playing, to some interesting results. The game can be downloaded from here: Slot Revolutions on Google Play.

Contra Evolution Review

Contra Evolution Review

Sep 23, 2013

Ever play the original Contra on the NES and get to a really hard part and say “If I could, I would pay real money – and a good amount, too – to get a more powerful weapon to beat this boss” or “I would sell my firstborn for more continues?” Well congratulations – the advance of technology has finally caught up to one of the most challenging run ’n gun games of all time, and Konami has made NES Contra into an IAP-laden experience, though the soul of the game definitely remains.

This is still the NES classic version of Contra, just with some new additions to the meta-game that change how players interface with it. Mostly, what Konami has added is a two-tier currency system and the ability to buy special weapons while mid-game. Think a laser would help beat that boss? Drop a couple hundred coins or a gem on it and play with power! There’s still the flying football things that drop weapons when destroyed, and the weapons system works like Contra 3, at least: if it’s not the selected weapon when killed, it doesn’t disappear.

Oh, but that’s not the only thing to cost money: continues no longer come for free, now they’re all bought with coins or gems. And they get more expensive the later on in the game gets. Devious.

ContraEvolution-3

The graphical update is regrettable. There’s too much detail to tell what’s going on at times. The controls fiddle around with virtual joysticks when really, there’s only the need for the virtual d-pad, which is infinitely more accurate. There’s no multiplayer. There’s at least an interesting mission mode which throws modified segments of levels at players to try and get high scores on them to earn eagle medallions, which can be used to unlock two new female characters who play differently. So at least there’s that. Overall, just adding all this IAP to one of the most pure games of all time feels dirty.

The thing is this, though: no matter how much they chop up Contra, it’s still Contra. The same soul of the game remains. The weapons have clearly been rebalanced to favor special weapons (and the people who pay to buy them) as the standard pea shooter feels even weaker than it ever did. And despite a hideous new coat of paint, the classic moments are all there. This is Contra, the NES Contra, that same game I enjoyed as a kid playing with my dad, it’s here. And it’s hard not to feel nostalgic or to have fun with it. Konami may want players to pay – and keep paying – for the pleasure of playing it, but at the very worst, they couldn’t destroy the soul of Contra.

But it’s only for those who have played and enjoyed Contra before and really want to play it legally on their phones to whom I can recommend this game. For those new to this classic? Play the classic NES version, some way, somehow. This should not be anyone’s first experience with Contra. No, Contra Evolution is only for those who know what this game is.

X-Men Arcade Review

X-Men Arcade Review

Jun 8, 2011

It’s been 19 years since X-Men debuted in arcades, hungry for quarters and inviting us to fight against Magneto and his band of evil mutants as the superhuman X-Men. After making HD appearances on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it’s finally found its way to Android.

This is an extremely faithful port of the arcade game, save for a few nice updates such as a level select, “awards” to unlock, leader boards, OpenFeint integration and 4-player multiplayer over WiFi. The only part of the game that doesn’t attempt to recreate the arcade experience is the lack of dependence on a steady stream of quarters. At the start of each game, you have 7 lives (wither fewer lives on harder difficulties) to rack up as high a score as possible. If you lose all of your lives, your score resets, but you have unlimited continues. So, even if you’re not very good at this game, you can still beat if it you just keep playing.

At the heart of X-Men is the simple, repetitive fighting action. As enemies approach from every side of the screen, you just tap the “punch” button to attack with a variety of movies that happen automatically. Punches, kicks, grabs and throws all work the same. You can also tap the “jump” button to launch yourself for an aerial attack, although it’s not always easy to land these where you want them.

This is a game about the X-Men, though, and as anyone familiar with the X-Men knows, they are mutants with superhuman abilities. Cyclops shoots optic blasts from his eyes; Wolverine has adamantium claws that cut and tear; Storm can summon violent, destructive storms; Colossus emits an energy blast from his body; Dazzler can drop energy bombs and Nightcrawler can kill enemies by teleporting through them. Simply by tapping the “mutant power” button, you can unleash these powerful attacks to clear the screen of enemies. However, using your mutant power drains your health, and once it drops below a certain level, you can only activate your power a limited number of times. It pays to exercise caution and use your powers strategically by saving them for the big boss battles at the end of each stage.

Having one of my favorite arcade games available on my phone any time I want to play it is a real treat. However, if this were a new game coming out today, I don’t know if I’d score it as high. It’s short, but extremely repetitive. On top of that, I could probably criticize the animation, the graphics or the poorly translated dialog, but because this a port of a classic we’ve grown up with, we expect these things to be in here. Truth be told, if I played the game and found that someone had “fixed” its “flaws,” I’d be extremely upset. I expect to hear Magneto say, “Welcome to die!” and “I am Magneto, master of magnet!” As such, this is a faithful port with a few small glitches, but plenty of updates to make it great.