Monday, 25 July 2011

Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden

Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden is an action adventure adventure. It follows a similiar to path to that of legend of Zelda or Darksiders with it's mix of rpg item progression, puzzle solving and action.

In the game you play as an farm boy whose life takes an adventurous turn when you learn of your secret and all important purpose (sound familiar?). While it has a standard fare fantasy story, it constantly jumps from a comic mockery of its peers to a deadly serious tale. This is a shame as with a bit more polish it could have been a great.

The art is fairly imaginative and character models are nice to look at. The problem arises with the games muddy environment textures, presumably because of the large areas needed to be covered, if these were filled with higher quality textures it would have brought the game to a crawling pace.

The games mix of action and rpg works very well, as has been showcased before with the highly acclaimed Zelda and Darksiders. It may have a few rough patches, but it's completely unique compared to it's mobile peers.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Gaming on DIfferent Phones

Today I'll be discussing the gaming capabilities and differences of mobile devices.

The obvious comparison is between iphone and android, but with each side, especially android, gaining an increasing number of models it is no longer a simple comparison.

On the iphone side there are 4 phones, the original iphone, iphone 3G, iphone 3GS and the most recent iphone 4. The difference between the first 3 iphones specs is negligible, infact the original iphones processor was underclocked (set to run slower) and by jailbreaking it was possible to revert it at the expense of battery life. The iphone 4 is substantially more powerful than previous models sporting a 1 ghz processor.

Androids phones have models on every market level. The gaming capability of android phones is directly related to their price point and even phones designed specifically with gaming in mind, such as the Sony Ericsson  Xperia Play, aren't necessarily more capable of running games. Because of the diversity of android phones there are many high end phones with remarkable specs. The recently released Galaxys S 2 utilizes a dual core 1.2 ghz processor making it far more powerful than the iphone 4.

The gaming capabilities of a phone however, are not determined only by their power. The standardization of iphones allow developers to optimize the game for that device, because of the large number of android devices it is no cost effective for a developer to optimize the game for only one android phone.

Deciding between standardization and customization is a tough choice, and can only be made by the user. Over time we may start to see developers offer android device specific optimized games, as some phones rise to popularity, but for now it is a case of power vs precision.

Friday, 22 July 2011


Worms was a classic pc game that started off in 1995 with the original worms. So far there have been 17 entrees into the franchise and the turn based, side scrolling  action game makes a great transition onto android devices.

Ingame you take turns controlling oddly adorable worms in their violent attempts to rid the world of the other team. The controls are quite intuitive; however, if you've never played a worms game before it may take more time to adjust to it's nuances, for example a single tap of jump will launch you forward, while a double tap will propel you higher and slightly backwards.

The graphics are a perfect representation of the games original art, retaining nearly all of it's vivid colors and charm. The only problem with the graphics come from playing on a small screen, but this is a problem plaguing all mobile games, and is really just nitpicking.

The largest complaint I could level towards worms is it's lack of a purpose or goal. It's campaign mode essentially boils down to a set of bot matches. This still provides a certain degree of variety and will keep you occupied for quite some time.

Worms is an ageless classic that has been commendably brought to the mobile gaming platform with minimal casualties. If you're a fan of the series be sure to check it out.

9mm Upcoming Game

9mm is an upcoming game from Gameloft.

Like many of it's other games it heavily 'borrows' from other gaming franchises, in this case a cross between GTA and Max Payne.

The trailer shows some slo-mo shooting and driving action. Be sure to check it out below.

Spiderman: Total Mayhem

Spiderman: Total Mayhem was released on september 2010. It's an action brawler starring (of course) spiderman. 

The plot follows a day in the life of spiderman after a breakout from the Triskelion (the spidey jail) and his job fighting the many recognizable villains from the Spiderman universe.

The art in the game is clear, crisp and colorful. While models are still chunky, the textures bring the characters to life with vivid colors.

The fighting is handled by three buttons - attack, web attack and jump - using combinations of these three buttons it's easy to pull of interesting combos on groups of thugs. Accompanying this system spidey sense is incorporated in a dodge mechanic, allowing you to tap a button when you're about to be hit to dodge out of the way in slo-mo.

All of the aspects of the game come together to create a great gaming experience that shouldn't be missed by either action, or spidey lovers.

NOVA - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance

Released in december of 2009 NOVA offered a complete first person gaming experience on your phone. At first glance you could easily mistake NOVA with Halo, but then again, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The game controls using a virtual joystick to move, and by swiping across the screen to look around. Other control options are available, but the default works best for most people.

The simplistic graphics are colorful, and good texture work help alleviate the chunky models.
Thanks to the simple graphics the game runs very smoothly and rarely slows down.

NOVA offers a great halo-esque shooter experience. While compared to similar console shooters of it may appear lacking, it still has a solid base and for a mobile gaming experience it's great fun.