The Lone Gamer’s Must-Have iPad Games

Posted in DLC, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, My Stuff on July 9th, 2015 by thelonegamer


The just-released Don’t Starve is just one of the many Must-Have games on the appstore.

I LOVE my iPad. I own an iPad Air, by the way, and I have no plans of upgrading or getting another tablet. This lovely slate is my constant companion (aside from my Galaxy Note 2), and it is my portable media center. I usually have tons of movies and vids loaded into the media player, but the best part of Apple’s tablet are the GAMES. Emulators not included, I think that the appstore probably has the most and best selection of games you can take with you everywhere. Here are the select few I will never delete from my tablet.

Puzzle Quest. This is the ORIGINAL Puzzle Quest, not the sequel or any of the countless wannabees. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords is an awesome blend of Match-3 Puzzle and fantasy roleplaying, with you leading an intrepid adventurer through his or her rise to power, from an apprentice wizard or fledgeling knight struggling to survive against a sewer rat to a master conqueror controlling multiple cities. Everything is fought by matching gems, but the compelling story and addictive gameplay make this a cut above the rest. You can just pick it up and play for short bursts or long campaigns as you will, and the variety of character classes make replayability pretty high.
The one problem with this is, well, it seems to be unavailable on the appstore at present (at least from my appstore), but I managed to re-download it from my purchases list. Unfortunately, it seems to play without any SFX now(only music), but the gameplay is still intact (you can still get this classic on Steam for PC) so I’ll still be playing this probably till doomsday.

Infinity Blade III. Every iPad owner should have this installed, not only to have one single game to make onlookers go ‘OOH’ and ‘AAH’ at your device’s impressive capabilities, but also because it’s an awesome game. IB3 does swiping combat like no other game on the platform. Of course, you have the earlier two games, but I think this finale is the best if only for having a second playable (female) heroine to kill behemoths with.

Dead Trigger. Sometimes you just want to kill zombies with high-powered firearms, and this is the game to scratch that itch. The original DT has some of the best graphics and shooting gameplay on the iPad, with chunky zombies that are just begging to be riddled with hot lead. Yes, Dead Trigger 2 came out years ago, but the original is still a notch better due to the simple fact that you can play it OFFLINE.

Civilization Revolution. Yet another huge strategy title that is perfect to play on the iPad’s large touchscreen, CivRev is your portal to countless hours of empire-building-or-destroying obsessiveness.

Plants VS Zombies HD. The original PvZ is still awesome to this day, again a perfect standalone set compared to the constantly-being-updated iAP-rich sequel. Again, the iPad touchscreen is perfect for this classic, particularly for those marathon Endless sessions.

And these are just the classic oldies I love- I haven’t even gotten to the many fighting/action games and several new treats that I am having so much fun with lately. And with games like Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition and This War of Mine coming soon to the appstore, the iPad is truly one of the best Boredom-Beaters you can have with you.

Infinity Blade III Updated with ‘Blademasters’!

Posted in DLC, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, Infinity Blade III, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch on May 23rd, 2014 by thelonegamer


Chair takes us through the newest additions to their awesome iOS slasher.

If you’re like me, Infinity Blade III is one of the titles you’ll never take off your iOS device, and if so, this is going to pay off HUGE today when you update the game. Chair has added gobs of new content yet again, upgrading your game to a new chapter- Blademasters!

The update sees the return of an old rival- Ryth from Infinity Blade II. He’s gotten a lot stronger and is aching for a rematch, along with cool new Solar Trans weapons (AKA Lightsabers!!!) to use in the duels. Aside from that, there’s also a totally new foe to encounter- The Collector, who is pretty scary since if you lose to him, he takes your freakin’ weapon (you gotta face him again and win to get it back).

Aside from that, there are quite a few new options to make the game a lot more streamlined and accessible, such as the option to use your in-game credits (Which I now have THOUSANDS of somehow) to hurry up upgrading and such. There’s also a silly but pretty cool new Customization mode where you can color Siris or Isa with a new coat of paint, or give them some cool/funny animations. Not quite a Create-a-Deathless mode, but it’s very cute and much appreciated for a game that has been out for months and months.

Not sure if there’s an Infinity Blade IV coming (there should be!), but hey, there’s still tons more fun in Infinity Blade III. If by some reason you still don’t have the game, it’s currently on sale at just $2.99 on the AppStore. Go get it now and start slashing!

Soul Calibur Unbreakable Soul Revealed: It’s another F2P ‘Fighter’

Posted in Fighting Games, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, Soul Calibur on May 8th, 2014 by thelonegamer


Yet another F2P Soul Calibur… on iOS.

The first I saw of this mysterious title was some time ago, with that pretty meh trailer which contained nothing but a logo and text. Well, there are now images to go with it, and we now have what is the latest in a disturbingly growing number of free-to-play ‘fighters’ from Namco-Bandai.
Soul Calibur: Unbreakable Soul is an iOS F2P Card Fighting Game. Similar to Tekken Card Tournament (also on the appstore), the title is a combination of deck-building, stat-hustling and some 3D fight scenes starring the Soul Calibur cast.
Out now on the Japanese store at least, the game apparently stars Cassandra and Edge Master, but you can probably play as some other fighters. It has the Elemental upgrades for weapons like Soul Calibur Lost Swords, but of course there’s no real time fighting as all moves are done by tapping your available cards to attack or defend. There’s apparently a story behind it all about yet another shard of Soul Edge, and so forth.

As with TCT, this has IAP in the form of gems you will need to buy decks or cards to make your fighter stronger. PVP elements are also available.

Sigh.

When oh when will we see a real Namco-Bandai fighting game again? Well, not right now.

EDIT: Launch Trailer posted.

Wayward Souls: A 2D Dark Souls on iOS?

Posted in Action Adventure, DLC, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, RPGs, Wayward Souls on April 24th, 2014 by thelonegamer


Pixelly dungeon-delving from Rocketcat Games.

It’s been a while since I posted about something from the Appstore, but this looks to be quite a gem. Wayward Souls has just been released for iOS (iPhone 4/iPad2 and Higher) by RocketCat, developers of another awesome RPG action title on the platform, Mage Gauntlet(Also worth a look, BTW).

A Fantasy Action-RPG, Wayward Souls lets the player don the boots of one of six different heroes to explore and battle their way through procedurally-generated stages- which means every time you play you get a different layout and apparent scenario to frame the quest. Each character is unique and has their own equipment, weapons and skills. The graphics are pixelly but hardly retro- it’s a simple but very expressive graphic style, and works well with detailed environments and the wonderfully complementary musical score and SFX.

This game also looks to be iOS’s answer to the notoriously difficult but addictive Dark Souls, wherein once you die, you DIE. Progress however is kept in the form of gold you gather and permanent character upgrades that carry over into consecutive plays. But still, you’re going to have to master your character and know enemy patterns to truly excel at this rogue-like fantasy dungeon crawl.

With killer looks, simple and intuitive controls and frenetic gameplay (tons of enemies onscreen at a time look particularly impressive), surprising interactivity and an amazingly SMALL file size (36 MB?!), this is a steal on the Appstore at $4.99. This is a premium title to be sure, with NO IAP and free expansions and upgrades to look forward to.

In these days of F2P garbage, games like this are things to be grabbed, supported and savoured. Go get this and give it a hallowed place on your iDevice.

Autumn Dynasty: Warlords Begins its Conquest on iOS

Posted in DLC, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games on February 26th, 2014 by thelonegamer


Pocket warfare at its finest.

I am always looking for a good, long and persistent strategy title for my portable devices- something you can play over long periods of time, look at what you’ve accomplished so far and just sucks you in for more. And no, anything like Little Deathstar is not what I am wanting.
Wargaming and conquest strategy games would surely be a good fit on the iOS platform, given the tablet format. But really, truly awesome strategy titles outside of Tower Defense are few; real RTS games on the appstore are rare, or aren’t really all that.

Well, look no further, it seems- Autumn Dynasty: Warlords has hit the appstore and it seems to strike all the right notes for all you aspiring Empire-Builders out there. This is actually a sequel title, with the original putting you in charge of Oriental armies you controlled with intuitive (though a bit iffy) brush stroke commands.
This sequel seems tons bigger and more ambitious than the first game, turning into a full-blown war of conquest of all the warring states in the game’s rather large theater of operations. You play as one of the feuding warlords, determined to unite all under your iron-fisted rule. The game boasts the same eye-friendly art style and direction of the first game, a LONG campaign boasting of over 40 hours(!) of gameplay, real-time battles, persistent unit and officer upgrades/development and tons of tactics and options to employ like espionage and inciting rebellions. This looks to be one of those titles you will install on your iDevice and never remove ever.

Best of all, the game is a non-F2P premium release with no (so far) IAP which is reason enough for me to call it freakin’ awesome. I definitely recommend this to fans of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Age of Empires and any RTS or 4X Strategy titles. Games like this don’t come every season after all.

So Many Zombies! The Lone Gamer’s Dead Trigger 2 Review (iOS, Android)

Posted in Android, Dead Trigger 2, DLC, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, My Stuff, Shooters, Zombie Games on October 28th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Get your Trigger Finger ready, friend. The Hero from the first Dead Trigger is back for more killing.

More than a year ago, MadFinger Games released the first Dead Trigger, and it was suitably controversial among iOS gamers. For the most part, the game looked amazing- perhaps one of the best-looking games on the platform at the time. It succeeded in making its zombies look amazingly horrible, evil-looking and chunky-bloody fun to kill. On the other hand, the gameplay was repetitive (although satisfying) and there was little depth of nuance other than upgrading guns and your character to be a better zombie killer. Once you reached a certain point, you will most probably be plowing through the undead like a snowplow.

Upgrading your guns is key to surviving in Dead Trigger 2. Of course, more powerful guns means more cash to build (and more time as well- dammit, MadFinger!). So far, my winning combo is the M1 Garand and Dual Glocks.

For the record, I enjoyed DT from day one up to today- as a simple shooter it wasn’t perfect; but as a mobile game you can just pull out and play for short bursts (of machine gun fire and zombie flesh), it’s quite a value. I bought my copy (99 cents) before it became F2P, and spent quite a bit on IAP funds to get a big and freakin’ cool arsenal- which I am still enjoying today.

Now, Dead Trigger 2 is out. How does the sequel stack up, and what changes have accompanied this latest portable plague of the hungry dead?


Your Zombie Fighting Cell is a smooth, cozy operation, complete with NPCs to keep you armed and ready for every mission- is that a chicken..?

STORYLINE
WHOA! Yeah, there’s actually a narrative. It’s no World War Z, but it’s there at least to give sense to all the senseless action. This is a step up from the interstitial text pages of the first Dead Trigger, whose storyline was little more than tongue-in-cheek nonsense (they had a character named Dr. McGuffin, for crying out loud).

You still play as The Hero, that square-jawed male who battles zombies with gusto while mouthing one-liners like a cross between Duke Nukem and Christian Bale Batman. This time though, instead of being just a soldier working for a faction of survivors, the Hero is running his own little zombie-fighting cell- alongside a few NPC workers/shopkeepers, he’s running a cozy little hideout where he can rest between missions and upgrade his gear as they fight a war to retake the world from the zombies.

Listen to Dead Trigger 2′s Radio for the first time and get a John Connor-esque speech. Kinda neat though.

Really, it’s not that deep but it’s appreciated that they took the effort. It’s not so much a story as it is a setting though, and it’s not half bad- kinda like the storyline in Terminator, except with zombies instead of robots… heck, they even stole John Connor’s radio speech. Heheh.


Your missions start off establishing your base in the US, to battling zombies and trying to survive. Eventually though the fight will take you and your crew overseas…

GRAPHICS
Dead Trigger was already an awesome-looking game; it would follow that DT2 would look even, um, awesomer. But well, not really. There’s not as much a step up in quality as there is in variety though. The zombies still look great, and the new look to the rank-and-file walkers plus the addition of new sub-boss zombies makes for a game that’s much more enjoyable to look at. There are several settings and two different campaign worlds/areas to run around in, which is great instead of having to slog around in greenish urban areas all the time. Still, this is one of the most pretty games on the appstore, and it will look better the more upscale your device is. Zombies still look gross and evil and fun to kill, and that’s numero uno on the list of need be’s.


DT2′s zombies are properly hideous and consequently quite fun to kill. Man, check out those glowing peepers.

SOUND/MUSIC
I find myself kinda missing the somber repetitve score of the original game, now replaced by the kinda-jazzy music in your hideout. The music is pretty good, but the sound effects are noticeably not as good as the first game. For the most part, zombies still sound damn scary, and the distinct screeches or screams of the special zombies will surely raise the hair on the back of your neck when they announce the coming big bad.

But it’s with the guns that DT2 falls a bit flat. Your arsenal just doesn’t seem to pack as much punch as before- they really sounded darn awesome in the first game, and here they’re a bit restrained. Not terrible but could have been better. Maybe I just miss the roar of my Upgraded M4A1. Sigh.

GAMEPLAY
As with the first game, the game controls like a dual stick shooter, with one thumb moving your Hero around, the other aiming your reticle/camera. The big change being that the game by default gives you an Autofire scheme- you no longer have to press a fire button to shoot, you simply have to run your crosshair over a target, and if it’s in range you’ll shoot.

On the one hand, this may seem to veteran shoot ‘em up gamers as a dumbing-down of the game, taking away a crucial bit of control from the player. In practice though, I found Autofire to be a boon, letting me concentrate on movement and situational awareness- invaluable when zombies are coming at you from all sides.
The game can get so fast-paced, you will welcome the help having an Aliens-like smartgun functionality. It also conserves your ammo since you only shoot when you’re on target. Another bit of added gameplay is that your character’s melee attack is a LOT more effective and very viable- I suggest you upgrade your hand-to-hand tool as much as you can.

Wait for the crowbar.

Mixing up the gameplay is the addition of Special or Boss Zombies. These each have their own trait, attack style and weakness, which you will have to deal with as they appear. Early on you may be frustrated as your dinky gun won’t do much against them, but as you upgrade the fight against these monsters will get easier. Really. Still, I suspect these creeps are just a wee bit unfair. But then, all the more easier to hate them.

Aside from a somewhat brief Story Mode campaign set of missions, you can also do side missions which can be replayed as you want. And you WILL, since you will need to grind for the tons and tons of cash needed to upgrade your weapons and the experience to make your Hero tougher. It will take hours and hours, but if you’re okay with grinding and are one of those gamers who love upgrading this will just mean a lot of replay value and gameplay time.

FREE TO SLAY
Dead Trigger 2 is one of the better Free-to-Play (F2P) games. Once you download and install it, you can play it to your heart’s content. You can even grind as you want to earn your cash and buy your upgrades with your own sweat. IAP is limited to gold which can either be used to buy bonus and temporary upgrades (double firepower, double money earned, etc) or used to cut down on waiting times for upgrading items/technology. Basically, it’s there for impatient but monied gamers to use. Otherwise you’re perfectly welcome to not pay anything and just play and play. Me? I have since paid for a ten dollar gold pile to hurry up upgrading. I want my gear. Sadly the permanent character upgrades from the first game are nowhere to be seen- man, I miss my Speed Boost and Health Regen…

LOTS OF THOUGHTS
Just like before- nay, even more so- I am enjoying Dead Trigger 2. Killing zombies this meaty and chunky never gets old, and the way you get better and upgrade your tools of destruction is satisfying. I like the ‘Global Resistance’ storyline and how your Hero and his chums move from country to country, battling zombies. Supposedly MadFinger will update the game with additional territories to fight in after release, so that should add more variety in locales, zombie skins and perhaps added new guns and equipment.

The Special Zombies have both good and bad aspects- I love the fact that they add quite a bit of challenge given how much more dangerous and deadly they are, however it is grossly unfair of the game to throw these things at you at times where it is basically a sure death. Early on you will simply have NO WAY to kill or defeat these things, and if they get too close you are almost surely dead meat.
The most annoying thing that I’ve experienced was during a Defense mission, where you’re basically waiting out a timer while limited to a small area to move in. The game waited till a couple of seconds left before throwing a Rager at me- the muscle-bound bruiser jumps into my little nest, where I was trapped, and proceeds to kill my ass a second from me finishing the mission. WHAT THE EFF? REALLY? In actuality, this happened TWICE.
I just thirst for the day when my upgraded guns can off these bastards in a few bursts. I THIRST.

Lastly though, I do NOT like how Dead Trigger 2 is ONLINE-ONLY. Yep, that’s the one big caveat; you WILL need an internet connection to play the game, as if missions were streamed in from MadFinger’s servers to play; it kinda feels like a single-player MMO. Ordinarily this would mean me turning away immediately, but damn- I’m already hooked. This is the reason why, however, that I keep the original Dead Trigger (which can be played offline) on my devices even now. Plus my guns and Hero in that game kick ass more.

For the most part, this is yet again an awesome zombie-themed shooter, and the online-only aspect aside, it is well worth looking at for iOS gamers who enjoy quite a bit of blood and gore. It’s up to you if you want or need to spend on the IAP, but even without it the game is a solid shooter and well worth checking out. If you don’t mind the grind, this is a keeper.

GOOD
• Still the slickest, prettiest-looking zombie shooter you can bring on your mobile device (iOS or Android).

• Free and playable as much as you want from the get-go; IAP is not necessary (but makes the game’s best gear easier to get) so if you don’t wanna pay, you don’t have to. But I recommend paying a bit for good stuff. And support the game makers, really!

• Auto-fire is pretty good and overall gameplay is fast-paced and exciting. New Boss Zombies are challenging and fun to fight, even if they can be damn cheap.

BAD
• Requires an Internet Connection to play

• Waiting time can take DAYS. Like, WHAT THE HELL? I paid real money and I can’t even play until after two days???

• If you didn’t like the first game, you probably won’t like this one.

WE NEED MORE ZOMBIE KILLERS. ENLIST NOW! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU!!!

Dead Trigger 2 Hands-On, Release Imminent!

Posted in Android, Dead Trigger 2, DLC, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, Mobile Games, Shooters on October 21st, 2013 by thelonegamer


AppSpy shows off a lengthy demo of this F2P Shooter.

About a year or so ago, the mobile shooter Dead Trigger wowed me on mobile. It was easily the best-looking FPS you could plan on a phone, with chunky and oozy zombies just aching to be dismembered by your arsenal of meaty guns. Yeah, it had its flaws- missions were repetitive and the story about as bare-bones as you could get. Still, as a mobile game you could just jump into for some satisfying (if repetitive) zombie shooting, this was as good as you can get on the go. It was good enough for me to sink in some change to purchase IAP gold for the more advanced guns, so suffice to say I am a fan. Now, in but a couple of days Dead Trigger 2 is about to be released, so I am suitably stoked.

After seeing the demo vid above I have mixed feelings. The game’s visuals certainly look great and the new settings look promising. The missions still look similar as before, but the promise of new things to do is interesting. My biggest gripe for now has to do with the new ‘auto-fire’ control scheme. As the vid reveals, you no longer have to press a button to fire your gun- just move the crosshair into a zombie, and if a deadite is in range, your gun will expel firepower like a Colonial Marine Smartgun.
On the one hand, this kinda takes away a measure of control I enjoy- I loved being able to leisurely aim and pick off zombie body parts, or at least hit them where I want, when I want. That being taken away irks me, I will not lie.

On a practical side, this auto-fire system I guess is more suitable to a running battle sort of game, where you have to keep moving and stay one step ahead of the slavering, nigh-unstoppable hordes. Also, I assume you no longer have to worry about ammunition much- I don’t think you have limitless ammo, but enemies seem to drop gear with great abundance.

That said, I am still pretty excited. I wanna see the infusion of friendly NPCs to interact with (though I have no illusions about them having any AI more than being just scripted companions), new zombies to fight and anything new to offer. Anyone interested should check out AppSpy’s vid preview above. Just two more days, and we’ll have gorgeous undead killing fun again for the DL.

The Lone Gamer’s Infinity Blade III Review

Posted in Action Adventure, DLC, Fantasy, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, Infinity Blade III, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, My Stuff on September 26th, 2013 by thelonegamer


The original swipe n’ slash saga reaches its finale.

It’s kind of weird that there have been three Infinity Blade games, but I’ve only now posted a review, apparently. But suffice to say that I enjoyed the first two games greatly- being an iPadder, having Chair’s premiere title on the platform is almost a prerequisite. But heck, I got the game the day it was released, been playing it since and have the scars and the smiles to show for it. So here’s my review of the flagship swipe n’ slash title on portables.

Many have imitated, but none have equalled Chair’s Infinity Blade series. In terms of gameplay and polish, this series is the top of the finger-fighters. So it’s kinda sad that with Infinity Blade III, the saga ends (more so with the cancellation of IF Dungeons- sad, that). So how does this digit-drawing adventure go out?

SPOILER ALERT!

In the original Infinity Blade, we played a nameless warrior, or a line of warriors, all fated to spend their apparently short lives trying to defeat a seemingly invincible God King. It was only after several lifetimes and the accumulation of power, skill and better equipment that the tyrant was eventually defeated, and the titular Infinity Blade won.

The sequel, Infinity Blade II, grew the world and characters, not only in the game but through novels that fleshed out the story. To put it simply, we were actually playing a single person, not a succession of fathers and sons, as we were initially led to believe. Our hero, now named Ciris, was as immortal as the enemies he faced- a Deathless himself, seeking redemption for past sins. In IF2, he sought out the fabled Worker of Secrets, an immortal who may hold the key to the salvation of the world and the final defeat of the evil Deathless overlords. But the game ended with a mammoth cliffhanger, and all held their breaths for the final resolution and comeuppance.


Don’t count on killing the dragon right away- this isn’t Skyrim.

Infinity Blade III brings back Ciris and the now-playable female warrior Isa. Things have happened in between the end of the previous game and this one, which you’ll need to read up on the novel to find out exactly. Suffice to say, there’s one big bad enemy waiting at the end of the proverbial mash, and there’s a lot of slashing to be had before Ciris and Isa finish their quest.

GRAPHICS
What can we say about IF3′s looks? The game looks as slick as slick can get. The visuals are more polished than ever, and no other game on the appstore likely has better looks and animations. Though actual flesh-and-blood characters seem to be a bit stiff, what the game does best- Intricate armors,m weapons and hulking monsters- all look amazing no matter what your iOS device (so long as you can play it).


Macho warrior Ciris is joined by his lady love Isa this time around. She kicks ASS!

SOUNDS
The music in this game is as majestic as any fantasy epic, with some nice atmospheric tunes thrown in, like the unexpectedly tranquil keyboards in the enemy’s final stronghold. The voice acting is altogether excellent, headlined of course by the imperiously glorious and commanding tones of John Noble (The Lord of the Rings, Dark Matters) as the sinister Worker of Secrets (Noble takes over the role from Simon Templeman in IF2).

GAMEPLAY
I have to say that after two games, Chair has perfected the swipe-to-slash gameplay of their fighter to the utmost. The game is as responsive as you’d want, and there’s a nice variety of styles to use between your two playables. Those who have mastered the previous game will probably find this finale a lot easier and probably a cake walk once they get the more powerful weapons at their disposal.
In any case, it’s as exciting and satisfying as ever to topple massive enemies or intimidating armored warriors with your arsenal of ever-more-powerful weapons and equipment.

Newly-added to the game are crafters. Similar to games like Diablo III, you will meet and recruit various NPCs who will serve to upgrade your equipment, sell or buy items, mix potions or cut gems. They’re a nice addition and make your little hideaway a bit more populated than ever before.
On the other hand, even with lots of new stuff, the game reuses quite a lot of assets from the previous game (familiar enemies and animations abound), and it all seems very brief- even if there is an overworld map to choose destinations from, there are actually quite few places to go to- and no backtracking once you defeat a particular region or area. I can only hope that future DLCs and expansions fill out the map with more places and more foes to take on in the near future.

REPLAYABILITY
Unlike in previous games, there is no ‘New Game Plus’ in IF3, but once you beat the game and go through the credits (and you WILL want to see the credits all the way through), you just replay the game from the start but with your current level of experience/skills and arsenal/items. So you can keep grinding and playing till you have all the all-powerful weapons with a character who can kick ass without trying.

PAY TO PLAY?
More so than any of the previous titles, Infinity Blade III is very heavy on asking you to spend real money. Tantalizingly out of reach, monstrously powerful weapons, gems and items are ready to be used- if you spend some cash. Thankfully, this shouldn’t be a problem if you slog it through and just PLAY the game. Special Credits can be earned by meeting in-game challenges or achievements, which should accumulate at a very rapid rate- save these for buying sometimes all-important Health potions or the occasional key.
Gold, accumulated in-game both from enemies or from pouches lying all over the place- will eventually be plentiful, though probably not to the many hundreds of thousands needed to buy some of the more high level stuff. Still, you can very much enjoy the game and have great equipment without paying a single real cent. Pay only if you’re extremely impatient, are a completist and have a good credit line.

There are some funny quirks with this game… I STILL hate fighting those blasted behemoths (learning their damn patterns is just so darn hard) and I find it hilarious that you spend whole battles trying to cut an enemy to ribbons with your sword but often finish them off by snapping their NECK. Oh, and Isa, why do you even bother with that darn crossbow?

Even if Infinity Blade II may be the best chapter for many, I think the additional playable character and the fully-fleshed out world, along with a cool ending (that actually keeps the franchise open to another sequel) makes this a no-brainer buy for anyone with a capable iDevice. Heck, if you have a new iThing, you probably already have this anyway. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? This is the game that should be seen on your screen, peeps. So get swiping!

Infinity Blade III is now available for iPhone and iPad on the Appstore for $6.99.

Samurai Shodown 2 on iOS: A Beautiful but INFURIATING Port of a Fighting Classic

Posted in Android, DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, Samurai Shodown on June 27th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Perhaps the best 2D one-on-one Slash ‘em Up ever arrives on iOS!

Some time ago, it was announced that SNK-Playmore was porting the classic Samurai Shodown 2 to iOS and Android- and that filled me with elation. I do not exaggerate when I say that I consider SS2 as one of the best, if not the best, 2D fighting games of all time. I played or watched this for countless hours in arcades, and even today while 3D fighters have come and mostly dominated, Shodown 2 is still a nostalgic favorite. In terms of roster, you’ve got 16 unique brawlers, each a wonderful and interesting design- from Shodown poster boy ronin Haohmaru and his spiky hair and katana to the massive German knight Sieger with his freakin’ iron arm- you’re sure to be intrigued with each warrior and their cool fighting styles/weapons.

THis SEEMS to be an excellent port- in simple graphics, look, animation and feel it seems to be all here- characters retain all their attacks, win animations and often amazing and flashy desperation moves.
Stages retain their lush detail and animated elements, along with the ever-present hooded referees and the occasional special item thrown into the ring that can affect the tide of battle with a health recovery or a punishing bomb. The short story cutscenes and assumedly the character endings are there And yes, the signature fatalities (Yes, SS2 has fatalities) are in- the fatal arterial spray or the enemy getting sliced in half (it’s not as gory as it is stylish) is in.

There seems to be only a couple of modes- Single Player and Multiplayer (not into that but I’m sure it’s great), but that’s really all you need. Options include some visual tweaks (ability to enable or disable scan lines for that old-school arcade look) and screen format from 16:9, 4:3 or windowed mode, and the ability to adjust button placement on the screen. Loading times are pretty much non-existent. I was expecting extras like a gallery of unlockable art but there seems to be none, but that’s no biggie.

This would be all well and good but UNFORTUNATELY…

This game is hamstrung by two glaring issues that pretty much kill the enjoyment.

ONE, the controls. The Touchscreen interface seems to have a workable interface of delivering the required game controls- you can switch between the classic/original 4-button layout or a 6-button one that has buttons corresponding to AB and CD button combinations- which makes executing the two-button commands a bit easier.
Sadly, the touchscreen is NOT as responsive as it NEEDS to be, at least against the CPU. You will not be able to pull of the fast jabs and fluid moves because the joystick cannot follow your movements perfectly, nor can the buttons respond to fast sequences of attacks. More often than not you’ll be jamming on the buttons and seeing your character do one slow attack when you were intending two. Or more often than not you’ll be pressing in the wrong place as you can’t actually SEE the buttons, since the buttons disappear when the fighting starts- a design choice to keep from impeding the game visuals, but I wish the devs had given the option to toggle this.

The second big issue is the CPU AI- it is FAR too hard. Even at the LOWEST setting (1 of 9), I could not, for the life of me, defeat the fourth opponent (or second, depending on who I am facing). The CPU is just too fast, too quick on their feet. They evade your blows or block everything perfectly, they counter everything you do, punish any missed moves with maximum damage, and whenever you get in close they will THROW you. And again. And AGAIN. I am not a Samurai Shodown expert, but damn, at lowest setting you’d expect to do progress, but this is murder. At one point I was ready to smash my iPad into the wall.

If you have some mates with an iOS device and this game, multiplayer would be a finer proposition, but the single player campaign and story endings are worth seeing, but are locked behind this almost impenetrable difficulty. Yes, you have endless continues, but good luck on beating the game before your battery runs out unless you’re a Shodown God.

Unless you get controller support or the AI gets a good tweaking, this is a game for SNK loyalists or gaming masochists only. Shame that such an awesome game could deliver such pain. Well, I guess it’s a great tool for anger management.

Tekken Card Tournament: Take it to the Streetz! With a Z!

Posted in Android, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, Tekken, Tekken Card Tournament on April 8th, 2013 by thelonegamer


A different kind of Tekken.

Okay, let me say this right up front- I am NOT a card game kind of person. When I first heard (and saw) Tekken Card Tournament (iOS/Android) several weeks ago, I just slapped my forehead in exasperation. I’ve been waiting for Tekken X Streetfighter or any hint of Tekken 7, and we get… THIS. Well, it’s a way of reaching a new crowd with a new direction or genre that should grow the franchise I guess. And to be fair, the game isn’t something like Yugioh or even Pokemon. It seems more like a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors where you choose your moves and see how they match up. Physical cards you can buy will let you setup a deck to use, and AR functions look neat. I just wish this game had incorporated Character Customization- that would have gotten me into it more.

As it is, I will try it this at least, but I can’t see myself buying the physical cards (not even sure they’ll be available in my neck of the woods). But hey, if you like card games why not give this a try? I’ll be playing Tekken 6 or Tekken Tag 2 in the meantime though, as I await a fighting game Tekken.