Final Fantasy: Crystal Defenders for iPhone Review

August 14, 2011 by  
Filed under iPhone, Mobile, Reviews

Now if you are like the rest of the world’s gamers, you can Instantly recognize the name Final Fantasy, and to this day that means instant recognition, excitement, reason to buy, and sales for SquareEnix obviously.

So what have they done here? The premise of the game is simple, there are several sets of maps that you can play on, separated into three categories, namely W1, W2, and W3. W1 maps are for all intents and purposes, easy maps that a person should use to get themselves familiar with the character classes, which we’ll get into, and how the game mechanics work. W2 maps are a little more difficult which we can dub medium difficulty maps to challenge what you know, and W3 maps are expert maps for those who just want punishment. Seriously, that’s how I would describe it, now we all know that some titles that have come out of Japan are absolutely ridiculous on the difficulty scale and one cannot imagine how a normal human being could subject themselves to such torture. Ninja Gaiden comes to mind; while the W1 maps in this game are supposed to be easy, I shall have you know, it took this reviewer over 10 tries at least to get past 20 waves of enemies. As soon as the 21st wave arrived, I was left utterly destroyed and overpowered.

Now I know that I may not be the best, or you might think I didn’t try hard enough and perhaps you are right. I still will play this title from time to time to get past that 21st wave only on the first map itself. There are 4 maps to play through per difficulty level, some are variations but will provide interesting challenges as enemies can take different or even multiple paths across to steal your crystals. Thinking ahead, utilizing choke points and using your available characters effectively is absolutely key to get ahead. You must decide which characters you are going to level up with your money and which characters are essentially cannon fodder to keep hitting on those enemies that have a lot of HP or are too fast to knock down in the beginning.

The game interface is well suited to the touch screen when compared to the console version of the game, as a matter of fact the console version is very clunky and frustrating by comparison. By simply dragging the character onto the desired spot, and tapping to level up your character is perhaps the best way to experience this game at all. Another point to make is that the nature of the graphics makes this even more obvious, while it doesn’t look bad on the consoles, 8bit characters blown up on a large screen just doesn’t do the game justice. On the iPhone screen however, it looks crisp and tidy.

Music has always been a great cornerstone for any game released by SquareEnix, and Crystal Defenders is no exception. Truth be told if you can, try to hear for yourself by downloading and trying out the demo via PSN or XBLA, use your headphones if you can when playing it on your iOS device for the best experience.

Although the game has been available for a long time, it is one of the few titles that has embraced the new features that are available for every subsequent generation that the game has been released on. This also includes Game Center integration with a handful of achievements to be had, some of them are downright impossible to achieve, which means plenty of stuff to keep you achievement hunters busy.

i Love Katamari for iOS Review

July 10, 2011 by  
Filed under iPhone, Mobile, Reviews

It’s hard to get involved in most games that are intended for the Japanese market, sure there is a small group worldwide outside of Japan that loves these titles, but it is rare for these games to get noticed. Once they are noticed it’s even harder to find mainstream love for them. Katamari Damacy is one such title, while the original PlayStation 2 title didn’t gain momentum until it was available outside of Japan, the demand for it simply exploded!

What makes this game so good? Well sometimes it’s the simplest concepts that make the best ideas, you are a prince that gets sent to Earth to collect a special item that the King of All Cosmos requests, the Katamari is literally translated as a “clump”, that you push around picking up random objects that stick to it and increase its overall size. You continue in this fashion until your clump is large enough to capture whatever item it is that the King has asked you to collect. Mind you the King doesn’t seem to know what this object seems like, the only clue lies in its name. Now while you are reading this you must be thinking, “What the heck? Why should I give a damn?” Well dear reader I ask you, why do people play Plants vs. Zombies or Angry Birds and anything else along those lines? It’s because the premise behind the game is simple, do this to accomplish that, and make it easy to get into.

The original PlayStation 2 title would work with both analogue sticks, this mechanic substituted with tilting the screen to move in the direction you want, holding the left or right side of your character will help you side strafe and there is a quick u-turn button to help you make that snap turn. Now it’s great in principle, however with most games that require you to tilt forward to move forward it can get annoying when the accelerometer requires you to tilt the screen until you can barely tell what you are doing. I know this is a minor issue since it can simply be mended by keeping your iOS device closer to yourself but it does get annoying. Turning can be just as frustrating at times when a slight tilt turns the Prince too far, or a strong tilt at times will not turn at all. For the sake of fairness, at this point I would like to say perhaps this is just a matter of perception, you do have a time limit to accomplish your task, in some of the modes and that plays critically against your sense of urgency and concentration.

This title still manages to retain its physics based capture system, anything you can grab with the Katamari sticks to it, and you will be able to keep gathering smaller things relative to its size. If you collide in to obstacles too large for you it will knock pieces off. However eventually as the size of your Katamari increases, those obstacles can now be picked up. If you happen to pick up a pencil at the wrong angle early on, it can severely impede your speed because you are now lob sided. This absolutely critical during the early bits of any level when you are trying to increase your size as quickly as possible, once you do have that size, anything and everything is up for grabs.

I have to admit, while the game is nowhere near a visual marvel like Dead Space or Infinity Blade, it certainly is good to look at. It feels and looks just like a straight port of the PlayStation 2 titles, which is not a bad thing considering the limited power and ability of the current iOS devices. New levels are unlocked by beating the story mode on the previous level for a total of 6 levels together. Each level has 4 modes, Story, Time Attack, Exact Size Challenge and Eternal Mode and these are available as soon as you access the first level and unlock subsequent levels. This Katamari title is also Game Center enabled and has several achievements to be won, one such achievement that immediately stood out was the Big Pyramid achievement, and what that means is while we may not have seen everything in the game, it does scale to the same level of insanity that its console brethren have displayed.

So far that I’ve experienced, the music is catchy and taken from the various console releases, including Katamari Damacy in the very first level. The sound of picking up things is still there, cats will meow, dogs will bark, and cars will honk, people will scream….well you get the picture.

Overall this is a neat title that deserves to be on the iPhone and iPod, if there is any recommendation is that they try to improve the control mechanism. Perhaps add two virtual transparent analogue sticks on the screen for those that want to enjoy the game without having the hindrance of tilting the screen not being able to see what the heck is going on. Outside of this it’s a great title to own and try out, currently available on iTunes for $4.99.

Back to the Future Episode 4 – Double Visions Review

May 16, 2011 by  
Filed under PC, Playstation 3, Reviews

When we last left Marty, things had taken for the worse, he was captured, and Doc was to undergo mental correction for getting “distracted” and being interested in the time machine. So what has become of this dynamic duo? We find ourselves waking in a holding cell of the Citizens Plus program where they intend to “fix” Marty, and to make matters worse, Doc is undergoing brainwashing as we speak!

The ending of the previous episode left a rather sour taste in my mouth, and I hope that the remainder of this episode uplifts this dreadful mood. I assumed with the title being called Double Visions that it would mean we are going to overlap timelines in this one, where we perform certain actions, realize a mistake, go back to repeat certain other actions, and try to avoid ourselves. Sadly the game didn’t go in this direction, perhaps in any future games they might take that into consideration, I rather enjoyed the complexity of having Marty and Doc avoid themselves in the movie Back to the Future II so as to allow current events to take place at all.

So now what? Marty has convinced Doc that his place is with science as it should have been and Doc immediately begins work on the DeLorean, and to set things right we must go back to when things went wrong. What does this mean? Yes readers, we are going back to 1931 and get Young Emmet back on the right path. I was particularly excited to see Marty working together with Doc again to restore the timeline to its original state, these two are one dynamic duo that will definitely withstand the test of time (see what I did there?) to be remembered. It has been particularly difficult trying to cope with the fact that everyone Marty cared for, minus his family, were against him or not helping him out in the previous episode.

There is one major distinction to be noted, the Doc we are travelling with now is not the same Doc as Marty knew, and this one hasn’t had any children, or pet Einstein, or adventures with Marty to understand the frame of mind that Marty is in. This was conveyed early on when Marty has to tell Doc repeatedly why it’s important to restore the timeline and what not.

This episode presented itself with a series of puzzles that required some degree troubleshooting to figure out, particularly one that involved Emmet himself. This required me to think an extra step, and I tried to solve the majority of the issues without using hints as much as possible. Sadly this lead to a lot of repetition, and there is one part of the story where they clearly need to give a better idea of what needs to happen next instead of actually using a hint to tell you. Even when that happens the next choices you make weren’t obvious. I don’t want to give away exactly what I mean but if you are playing with minimum assistance from the hints or have hints disabled, you’ll know what I mean.

That brings me to my next complaint, I know we do briefly go to the court, but only TWO places are vivid in my memory, simply because the amount of time spent on just these two set pieces for the majority of the this episode and from the preview of the next episode it seems I will STILL be in that location. C’mon that’s a little annoying to be honest, I want to have at least three or four locations to go in between, and I feel that was definitely one of the strong suits of the first two episodes where there are a at least a couple of puzzle solving areas to be explored.

Overall this episode was great from a character development perspective, but I have to end this on a darker note though. Remember I mentioned the bit about the dynamic duo, well things go from dark to darker. This is not the kind of turn I expected the series to take, and considering what the ramifications this will have and what we need to do to next episode is going to be equally as important. For once I felt a little let down and alone at the end because this is not how I imagined the story to turn out. Kudos to TellTale studios though, for going the extra mile for seeing our characters develop differently and not being afraid to stick to the established roles that we expected from everyone else. Marty notwithstanding, every other character in the BTTF universe was shown from an alternate perspective which really did help solidify character development throughout the series and getting every character fleshed out as much as possible. I really want to see how this series ends considering the climatic cliffhanger we are left with this time around.

The Next Big Thing Review

April 21, 2011 by  
Filed under PC, Reviews, Spotlight

The Point and Click adventure genre really is more of a niche market now than anything, and its extremely difficult to market or even expect a game to do good without some heavy marketing and hype behind it. What helps one game may not necessarily be true for all other games in that genre, we know this from the hordes of FPS games that don’t succeed simply because they are not Call of Duty or Battlefield.  This is especially true for Back to the Future, the nostalgic value of all those wanting another movie can get their fix, with the authentic Christopher Lloyd reprisal of Doc Brown. So what is it that will set The Next Big Thing apart you wonder?

The Next Big Thing takes place in a pseudo 60’s era, the cars are huge, the technologies are crude, and the air is full of promise. The story centers around a pair of reporters who for all intents and purposes hate each other, one is a near washed up sports journalist and the other is a young, slightly insane but beautiful, aspiring reporter. Monsters, yes monsters from classic monster movies, have recently been accepted into society thanks to the efforts of a monster who owns a large movie making corporation, who looks like the Sea Monster. There are references to all kinds of monsters from classic movies, a buff guy wearing a shirt and tie but with a zipper across his forehead, as a wink for Frankenstein, a large brute with a hunchback who recites poetry based on the pain he inflicts on himself, and a professor who works on gizmos and gadgets but is actually a mutated fly.

Visually the game is a bit of an odd but gorgeous mix of cell shaded characters and hand drawn backgrounds, your characters traverse across to areas you need to go by clicking on that location. Now I didn’t find any place to actually tinker with any resolution settings but my monitor tells me it’s running at 1920×1080 which is the native resolution of my screen. So with the lack of any settings, the game looks incredibly clean and vibrant, colors are lush and stand out against other objects. This I believe definitely plays to the game’s strength as puzzle solving skills require clicking in areas you might find clues.

It was here I found myself kind of surprised at the sharp clarity of the characters and background objects, but at the same time this is where I suddenly felt a loss of coherence. In the animated cutscenes the characters are perfectly fluid with their motions, but the same characters, when you are actually exploring your environments, have a very apparent slow and choppy movement pattern. At first this was a bit of a surprise considering the fluidity of the cutscenes, not only does it bother you, there is a clear disconnect between your characters and the environment they are interacting with. I suppose that is something to be expected considering the backgrounds are simply just that, a background, but simply adding several animation frames to smooth the animations would make that problem disappear. I do have to add that there is sometimes so much on a single frame as you are walking through it, you will miss some minor detail that will be critical to solving the puzzle at hand. A handful of times I found myself clicking around the screen fervently to find something that might be a clue, but thankfully the Hot Spots and Help feature of the game will point you in the right direction.

Back to the Future Episode III: Citizen Brown Review

April 10, 2011 by  
Filed under PC, Reviews

We return to the action after the last episode’s climactic and chilling conclusion, I have to say of all the episodes this is the one I was looking forward to the most. How has the present world of 1986 changed, what did we do to change it and what has become of Doc?

This episode harkens to all the points in the novel and movie 1984, written by George Orwell’s regarding conformity, everyone has a uniform and behavior that they must abide by, organization, certain things must happen on certain days for certain reasons for example, and “cleanliness” at the cost of outlawing pets, foods people enjoy, and public displays of affection.

Among other things this episode answered my question whether we would return to the present time or not, and with consequences that are a direct result of our actions. So what have we done? Biff is essentially on a leash, mom is drinking again, dad is in charge of all the cameras in Hill Valley, and Jennifer hates Marty?

I have to say I found the puzzles in this episode far more challenging compared to the previous ones, I can’t tell whether that was because I was too excited to play this episode or whether I just couldn’t understand the clues presented. That doesn’t matter however because exploiting the maximum possible conversation is the highlight of this game.

It’s somewhat tough since there is a very limited area to explore this time around, other than the main square there is Marty’s home too. This time around we have to break several laws to get a hold of Doc’s…Citizen Brown’s attention. Everything from befriending a stray dog, making out in public, and holding a bottle of alcohol is what it’s going to take.

I have to say though, that the ending to this one didn’t feel quite as satisfying as the previous episodes and makes me wonder where the series will go next. Each episode so far, we explored the story, tried everything possible then concludes the story, this episode though presented us with a fair twist and to be honest, something unexpected from the series.

As always we need to see where the next episode in the series is going, will we just resolve the issue at hand and escape back to 1931 to fix things yet again? The question also still remains are we going to the future at any point in this game? The 2015 envisioned in the original movie series could be very different than what will actually happen in four years time. Technology has evolved a lot slower from that perspective, we still drive cars on gasoline, world disasters have, and wars.

Final Fantasy III for iPhone Review

April 4, 2011 by  
Filed under iPhone, Mobile, Reviews, Spotlight

Who does not know the Final Fantasy series? If you happen to be one, then either you are too young to read, just born or hiding under a rock, and if you apply to none of the above then you can not be a gamer of any kind without knowing its name.

Final Fantasy III happens to be the one title that the world never saw outside of Japan until a few years ago with its official release for the Nintendo DS back in 2006. Falling in line with recent remakes in the Final Fantasy series, with an upgraded engine, newly rendered cutscenes for all titles ranging from Final Fantasy I and II on the PSP, and IV, V and VI on the PlayStation (PSOne).  This is also the first title in the series which introduced the job system, where your characters can switch between different roles for whatever happens to suit the situation at hand.

While some of the previous games have been released on the iPhone, they haven’t quite been upto par in the controls area, this release however brings it all together and provides a complete game that you can definitely call a game. It’s a ridiculously long game though at the same time so it may not be suited to everyone, and could be unappealing for the casual gamer who gets their fix from Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies for example.

Surprisingly this game has perhaps the best control scheme for this genre possible or for any game possible on the platform. We could go as far as to say that classic Final Fantasy, or the entire classic, remake RPG genre was meant to be played with a touch screen interface. You can place your finger anywhere on the screen and drag to bring up a virtual analogue stick, this way you do not have an obstructed view of the game itself since it can be controlled from anywhere. Another added bonus is the pinch to zoom feature can be used to find hidden doors and switches around the world.

Most people are familiar with the battle system of Final Fantasy games, and this is no different, but what is old feels new with this interface. You can touch to select your commands, slide your finger to scroll lists and tap on the enemy when selecting to attack, that in itself makes an old school fan jump with joy at its simplicity.

Now what perhaps stands out the most is the graphical presentation of the game, sure it may not be using the Unreal Engine or look as ridiculous as Dead Space 2, but wow is it great to look at it. It has the textures and models which are almost comparable to being somewhere close to the original PlayStation. Colors are bright and beautiful, battles are more highly detailed than the world being explored, and to put simply in a phrase, this game is just a gamers’ delight.

Sound has been left unaltered since the Nintendo DS version, but it sounds perfectly fine here. Keep in mind it is a remake, so there are enhanced versions of the classic tunes, including the ever-present victory theme.

For what this game is worth, this is a very polished final product for the iPhone and Square-Enix would do well to pay attention to the finer details that make this title stand out. Can we see this going forward for IV, V and VI if they are ever going to be released on the iPhone as well? Will the constantly demanded remake of Final Fantasy VII happen on the iPhone? Only time will tell, until then however, enjoy this rare Final Fantasy title.

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Review

April 3, 2011 by  
Filed under PC, Reviews, Spotlight

Those of you expecting a true sequel to 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game can stop right now and go elsewhere. Those of you remaining to find out about this game read on!

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime puts you in the shoes of one of four new rookies to the Ghostbuster squad. The crew have been raking in the cash and are getting “too old” to handle the number of jobs coming at them, and naturally they decide to hire some new recruits, one of which you can select to play with.

While this game is obviously advertised as a sequel, it by no means really is, there are no indications made to physically connect this game to its amazing supposed precursor and visually the game is completely different. Among other things, the vantage point is different, none of the cast from the original game have returned to do their voice overs, and there aren’t any in-game or pre-rendered cutscenes to really enjoy the story.

The story itself, is presented using a comic book style storyboard format, except for the conversation your characters have during the levels. The levels themselves are a chore and only serve to drag out the agony of playing through them, and most often you will find yourself in chamber after chamber fighting enemy after enemy. While its fine in the beginning to get familiar with it, but this persists for the entire 12 levels in the game, and you will find yourself going back to the same areas again.

Control on the consoles is done using both analogue sticks, and while this doesn’t help with aiming it definitely works for better accuracy with the mouse on the PC. There are different weapon “upgrades” from your proton pack available to attack the three different flavours of enemy available. For simplicity you will attack the ghost or ghoul with the same coloured beam as the colour of the enemy type. This can be incredibly frustrating for certain types of enemies because the other two weapon beams do not attack as fast and the blue enemies take increased damage only if you bounce the blue shot off the wall. The yellow sometimes is just too slow and ineffective to take or slow hordes of enemies down.

As we previously mentioned, there are 4 characters to choose from, who for all intents and purposes are just mirror representations of the original squad, and while it makes sense from a story point, most fans would rather prefer using Ray, Peter, Egon and Winston. In singleplayer the AI works with you, if you aren’t playing with anyone else and this is perhaps the strongest suit of the game. They will heal you when you are down, they will keep attacking the bosses and enemies while everything is chasing after you, so if anything you can serve as the distraction while they do the work. AI characters can also revive you faster than human players could since we need to rapidly tap to bring our mates back. That’s all fine and dandy, the console versions get a better treatment as far as multiplayer co-op goes vs. the PC, which is limited to 4 players on the same computer.

It’s not hard, but there’s nothing of value to make you say “Hey, Let’s try this another way.” Just point and shoot, and after about 3 levels most people have had it, and once at the later levels, it gets downright ridiculous trying to keep hordes of ghosts at bay that can take you out in a few hits.

Visuals aren’t the best either, it’s a very simple, top down view dungeon type game with massive repetition. They did replicate the elements present from the previous game, such as the mentioned revival, and destroying environments to gain more cash, which essentially just serves as a scoreboard and nothing more. The sound on the other hand is great, all things considered, its even presented in 5.1 surround, but where it immediately lacks is the repetitive soundtrack. For those looking for achievements there are some to be gained and the Steam version includes 12 SteamWorks achievements as well.

While they may have had the intention to try the game from another approach, they managed to make a very sub-mediocre game, that would only serve to kill time, or let children play. As a Ghostbusters fan I would get the game because of the excitement and possible hype considering the 2009 Ghostbusters game, but quickly get disappointed at the lackluster offering of a $10 download. Hopefully there is a new series in the works to pick up where the 2009 title left off, I’ll buy 100 copies of it if it makes a sequel happen.

Street Fighter IV iOS Review

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under iPhone, Reviews

Ever heard that line before? Anyone who has played a Street Fighter match has used or heard one excuse or another for having lost to someone else. So what is it that this game does when compared to its big brothers on the consoles and PC?

Signature moves? Check. Quick, precise timing? Check. Blame the controls when you lose? Check. Breath of relief when you pull off that super on time? Check. Extreme frustration from losing to the point you want to throw your iPhone to the floor? Absolutely Check.

So far the mobile version of the extremely popular title hits on all the points that make a Street Fighter game phenomenal. It’s very hard to translate a game clearly meant to be played on a console, or at the arcade, with at least a controller, onto a touch screen interface.

So how well is the implementation here? Not good and not terrible either, however being a Street Fighter purist you can argue that any controller is better than a touch screen, and an arcade stick is better than any controller there is. Let’s go one step further and actually say that the sliding-your-finger-across-the-screen scheme is probably the worst idea for a Street Fighter game, but don’t be mistaken to believe that it’s not responsive enough or quick enough to capture the motions, because it responds flawlessly.

With your iPhone or iPod, whatever you know about how to use a controller is out the window with the touch screen, you just CAN’T pull off a move when you want to. Basic moves perhaps, but special moves work…almost always, super combo’s and ultra’s…maybe, but none of the above applies when you want it to. It’s probably the only failing about the title at all, and yet it still maintains the addictive nature you expect of a Street Fighter game.

CAPCOM says that the engine is based on the same engine used for Street Fighter IV on the consoles. While it may have been cheaper and quicker to do, it certainly could have helped if they tried a different approach during development. The character animations, apart from the Ultra Combo moves, appear choppy and the victory speech after finishing a round just makes the characters appear static and silly.

Sound on the other hand though has been handled beautifully, you can hear every word as it is in the console version of the game, Special Moves, Super and Ultra Combo’s are perfectly captured. As mentioned the Ultra Combo animation is perfectly fluid, so that in combination with the sound is exactly what you find in the console version of the game.

The initial release of Street Fighter had only eight characters to begin with, contained Bluetooth multiplayer functionality supported by iPhone 3G onwards, and the iPod touch 2G onwards. The current release has a total of thirteen characters, leaderboard support and achievements via GameCenter, which we’ll get back to in a second. The ability to receive challenges over Bluetooth should a friend wish to challenge you while you are in the middle of a game, purchase additional content, and email challenge invites to your friends have also been added to the most recent update.

For a mobile game though, it has so many achievements, stats and collectables that it puts practically every other game to shame in comparison. It lists your quickest completion time achieved and the difficulty it was performed at per character, a card list that you can collect from defeated players, from the number of matches you had, with the characters you used, and how often it was updated. Then there are special cards that can be collected by playing the game, replays that can saved and viewed, and your own personal card you can create when you compete against other players with info ranging from your location, with the characters you play with most often, Win/Loss ratio and a list of achievements earned, in a word, this game is Loaded!

It remains to be seen whether CAPCOM will release further updates with the full roster of characters and additional features to Street Fighter IV, however what we have so far is a rock solid title, with plenty of features for the achievement hunter, but falls just short of having an ideal control scheme.

Back to the Future Episode 2 – Get Tannen Review

March 27, 2011 by  
Filed under PC, Reviews

We return to the action in this installment continuing from the cliffhanger ending to the last episode. We’ve set everyone on the right path and things are looking great, or are they? A normal reality isn’t what awaits Marty and Doc, we have to set it right to prevent any more disastrous events from altering the future once more!

This installment of the series was easier to work with than the previous episode, perhaps it’s because at this point we are familiar with the controls, the nature of the puzzles and objective in mind. It’s far easier to identify the purpose of a mission, when considering the context of the conversations and Marty’s ultimate goal for the story.  This episode does have a new set of confusing puzzles and tricks to keep things fresh and interesting, and will definitely keep you guessing as to what to do next. A new addition, that we will dub “do-on-thing-to-do-another” puzzle is used, where essentially you need to work on one piece of a particular scenario, in sequence to be able to get to the next puzzle within the same scenario. This requires a fair amount of trial and error before getting it just right to move the story forward. One key point, this perhaps may be a downfall for the episode, and while this mechanic is great for storytelling, it does take up majority of the game. There is no other main events going on at that time, and the entire plot unfolds in a few key scenes. While the variety of conversation and puzzle options are enjoyable, more settings and scenes need to explored first.

We’re still armed with hints at our disposal, but considering the experience with the first episode, the average person will be able to solve the majority of problems without requiring any help from them. There are also far more conversation options available this time around to flesh the characters out, explain the setting, and deliver over the top, hilarious moments. True to Back to the Future series, you will be jumping back into events witnessed the first time around from a whole new perspective, we need to see more of these in future titles! It makes for great “Aha” moments when you as Marty realize that the reason a specific event has happened was because he indirectly made it happen, while Marty was there in the first title. If you seem just as confused as us, then don’t worry, as the story progresses it’ll all make sense.

It’s pretty clear the era this entire series so far is set in, will be the 80’s, the present, and the 30’s from the first episode. We have to wonder though, will we go into the future with this story at all or not? Thus far all indications point to a return to 1931 in the next episode, but no indications whether we will go beyond 2011 in future episodes. This adventure will take about three to four hours to complete and will leave you grasping at straws to have your hands on the next installment! Look for it soon on Steam, XBLA and PSN!

Assassins Creed: Altairs Chronicles Review

March 8, 2011 by  
Filed under iPhone, Mobile, Reviews

Assassin’s Creed Altair’s Chronicles begins one year prior to the events in Assassins Creed, and follows the journey of Altair as he finds his home of Alep under attack by the Templars. While the story may exist within the continuity of Assassins Creed, it by no means should be taken so literally. The majority of the story elements appear in-game, with voice overs. It may not be the greatest voice acting, since it sounds far too forced, however the clarity is impeccable.

At its heart AC Altairs Chronicles is a platformer and this allows for some interesting ways to navigate a mission. Most missions will have two paths you can take, on the ground or the rooftops, others will force you to take only one of the two. Now this works considering the screen size and control mechanism, however the platforming can be frustrating. This particularly applies to jumping between ledges, just when you feel you tap the virtual button to jump at the right time, it’s not the right time. Performing complex maneuvers like jumping from wall to wall require almost perfect timing, Altair can run up walls by simply holding the virtual stick towards said wall, however you can’t quite pin the time you need to hit the jump button to leap to the other wall. Truly in line with the original Assassin’s Creed, should you land in water you will die.

The game contains some fighting elements, where most battles take place one on one, and at most you will encounter 2 or 3 enemies at a time. The system is simplistic, you have two options of attack, a light attack and heavy attack, these two can be used to create simple combo attacks against enemy fighters, a third button is to block. What distances this game from the main franchise is that not all enemies can be assassinated, this is reserved for boss battles. Levels are also littered with little stars that you can collect to gain points, these can then in turn be used to upgrade your sword or health.

Visually the game is good look at, levels have varied levels of dark and bright colours, underground levels are moody and glum, while the surface and rooftop are bright and beautiful.  However the title does seem a bit aged today compared to Resident Evil or even as recently as Dead Space.

Perhaps this title isn’t meant for the hardcore gamer in mind, yet it requires the dedication of one. AC Altair’s Chronicles is presented extremely well yet requires that extra effort to actually play it. While it is an ideal style for on-the-go gaming, we recommend sitting down when playing this one.

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