Slam Dunk Basketball 2 Review

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 Review

Mar 4, 2014

Slam Dunk Basketball 2, despite its name is all about shooting basketballs rather than dunking them. A very simple drag to aim interface shoots the ball. Scoring baskets scores points and clean shots that don’t touch the rim of the basket score much more highly. Extra score bonus are awarded the higher the ball flies before going in and a combination of these bonuses is all but required to win any games.

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 is online only. Rather than Words With Friends style asynchronous multiplayer matches are played in real time. Rather than seeing the opponent play only their score is shown, which is kind of a letdown. Matches tend to be about how many clean shots are scored rather than anything else because of the very high score they award. Since the game is about aiming precisely this extreme bonus makes sense.

Screenshot_2014-02-22-13-29-48Besides one off games, short tourneys can be played online. Beating several people in a row awards a ton of coins and experience. Experience is used to level up, which unlocks new levels and tournaments. Large amounts of in game money must be spent to unlock new venues as well and the price of entry constantly rises.

Besides the main game, Slam Dunk Basketball 2 features a few minigames. A familiar spin to win game awards coins and balls while a scratchie type game awards even bigger prizes. Super annoyingly, the spinner can only be used once a day while the scratchies seems unusable unless you pay real money for tokens. This is a bit ridiculous. Neither of these games are required to play the main game however.

Winning matches awards coins that are needed to enter games and new basketballs can be purchased between games with them. There are a fun selection of balls to buy such as tiger ones, steampunk ones and lots of different colours. None of the balls actually change the game, they are just for fun.

Bafflingly, a few balls cost large amounts of real money, including one ball that costs about $50au.

Screenshot_2014-02-22-13-28-20Amazingly for a game that offers freemium purchases there are no actual in game boosts. All purchases are simply cosmetic and the game boils down to whoever has more skill and plays better rather than who spends more money on powerups and items. This is a very refreshing change compared to the multitude of pay to win games available on Android.

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 looks decent enough. The ball physics look very realistic and some nice lighting effects like filtered sunlight add some flair. Even on smaller phones it’s an easy game to play.

Soundwise the game is sparse, but good. Some catchy music pumps in the background while players are treated to the crisp sound to bouncing basketballs. A few tings and swishes for special shots round out the sound.

Slam Dunk Basketball 2 is a fun game and a good timewaster. Its lack of annoying freemiuem features and enjoyable core gameplay make it a winner.

Real Boxing Review

Real Boxing Review

Feb 5, 2014

Real Boxing is a great looking take on the sweet science. But does it back those graphics up?

Real Boxing feels more like a game of Infinity Blade than a serious take on boxing. Rather than surgically dismantling an opponent, Real Boxing rewards well timed counter punching. Whenever an opponent swings at the player, a quick tap on a dodge button will see them duck away from the punch. This leaves the opponent open to devastating counter moves. There is a basic career mode on offer although it is simply a series of matches with no story or interesting twists. It feels very cut and dried. The only other mode is one off fights, either multiplayer or against the AI.

Screenshot_2014-02-03-17-58-04Real Boxing has a number of serious issues that really undermine what could have been an excellent game. For example the counter system is fundamentally broken as it stands. If the player manages to counter a punch from an opponent it is entirely possible for that opponent to counter the player’s counter, usually resulting in a unavoidable punch that renders the boxer dizzy, leaving them wide open to be pummeled until they hit the mat. This countering counter system is completely unfair as its impossible to know beforehand if an opponent will counter you and nigh on impossible to avoid since the attack comes out of nowhere.

The game is wildly unbalanced. At the start of career mode your boxer is just far too slow to dodge or react, let alone counter punch properly and his punches inflict almost no damage. Opponents on the other hand can definitely hurt you and can easily send you to the floor in 4 or 5 hits.

Screenshot_2014-02-03-17-57-38Real Boxing is extremely focused around a pay to win mechanic. The game features a gym to boost the boxer’s stats with some simple minigames, but the player must pay coins for these visits and they provide minuscule benefits. It can take multiple visits for a stat to rise a single percentage point. Free gym visits are offered every 5 fights but this is hardly compelling since it is nearly impossible to defeat an opponent anyway. The game also allows direct boosting of stats though large payments of coins which can be bought with real cash.

While the graphics are technically proficient, there is a startling similarity between boxers in Real Boxing. Rather than being individual people, it looks as though parts of boxers have been cut and pasted in random orders to create different people. A lot of the pugilists on offer look very similar and there are no licensed fighters. The much touted customization options don’t amount to much as they cost coins, which are much better spent training.

Real Boxing is not a fun game. Its punishing difficulty, lack of interesting play modes and annoying pay to win mechanics make it a frustrating experience.

Freaky Friday – Golf Photo Taker

Freaky Friday – Golf Photo Taker

Jun 3, 2011

The thing with hobbies, is that once you get deep enough into them, you just can’t help yourself. You have to buy the right shoes, the right hats, the right equipment, otherwise your hobby engaging friends will laugh at you and call you names. Nowadays, that list includes having the right apps too.

Of course, it’s all a con. Merchandisers slap names and logos on any old tat and, because you’re desperate to keep up with the trends, you buy them. And yes, Golf Photo Taker, I am very definitely looking at you when I say that. For shame.

Golf Photo Taker does exactly what you’d expect an app called Golf Photo Taker to do. It takes photos of people playing golf. Well, actually, it doesn’t take photos, you do, it just adds a frame. A golfing related frame. And that’s it.

Except, that’s not it. The app also sends you text messages, from yourself, recommending other golfing, picture taking and entirely unrelated apps. Which is so annoying that it resulted, in my case at least, in an instant uninstall.

Golf Photo Taker is a stupid app, with no redeeming features. It makes it onto our driving range of despair because it’s hideous, pointless, and for some reason has a picture of someone’s Facebook profile as one of its screenshots on the Android Market.

The sad fact is, people are going to buy Golf Photo Taker. About a hundred people already have. Someone has even given it a five star review. Five stars for what is, to all intents and purposes, a digital version of holding a bit of cardboard in front of your camera.

Don’t buy Golf Photo Taker, don’t even think about buying Golf Photo Taker. If you want to take photos of yourself or other people playing golf, then by all means, do so. There’s a camera on your phone that will do a lovely job. Or buy a camera. Just avoid this creepy, intrusive, utterly useless sham of an app.

Golf Photo Taker is available now from the Android Market.