From iOS

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TGC Review: BioShock iOS

The year is 2007, the Xbox 360 has been out for around 18 months and the PS3 is still under a year old and settling into the space under the old standard-definition television.

August comes around and BioShock is released by Take Two to universal critical acclaim and ushers in a new era of unconventional first-person shooters.

Fast forward 7 years and we’re in a similar position, except instead of BioShock being released on the new consoles it’s being released onto mobile iOS devices, something we would have not though possible back when the title originally launched all those years ago.

So how does the pint-sized port of one of the highest rated games of all time stack up? Surprisingly well actually. Ken Levine’s bio-punk world manages to squeeze onto the latest mobile devices with little difficulty and is a satisfying time-killer.

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The story throws you in the shoes of Jack and then throws you further into the 1960′s and for good measure gives you a kick up the arse down to an underworld city, Rapture. Everything, literally everything from the original is here. Weapons, environments, the lot. There’s a lot of fun to be had poking around and seeing what you can find, as well as the series signature combat.

The environments are what make the game, the blood spattered girls, the creepy ambient music as you pass through Rapture to the equally disturbing characters you encounter along the way. The creepy aesthetic and atmospheric gameplay complement each other and form a world that you totally believe in, despite the fact one could never truly exist. bioshock-ios3

The run-time for BioShock iOS is roughly 10 hours, depending on how fast you progress through the story. If you were speedy on the consoles or PC, you may be in for a bit of a stumble when you load up BioShock iOS, but more play time for your money right?

As with most ports to smartphones and tablets, the controls are the real let down. Whilst the graphics are nice, they’re far from the best seen on the platform but are perfectly serviceable and bring to life the seedy world of Rapture. bioshock-ios-04

The on-screen controls are simple enough in practice, but the sizes of the virtual buttons are a hindrance as are the lack of response when things get heated in the fray of battle. This can be remedied by using a third-party controller, however they don’t come too cheap and it’s a hefty investment.

Aside from the control issues BioShock iOS achieves what it set out to do and it does it pretty darn well, resulting in the best first-person shooter currently available across all mobile platforms. The price-tag may be a deterrent as it’s currently going for $14.99 and £10.49, considerably much more than you would pay for a second-hand copy or even a digital version on the consoles or PC. Still, you are paying for the convenience of playing on the go, so keep that in mind when you doubt its worth.

Score: 8/10

Have you played BioShock iOS? Agree with our review, or do you think we’ve got our heads on wrong? Let us know down in the comments section below.

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Feature: Top 5 X-Men Games

X-Men: Days of Future Past hit cinemas in the last week, raking in the money and garnering great reviews here’s mine. Surprisingly, for a film this big with a massive hype machine behind it, there was no official videogame to try and part us from our hard-earned cash. So, if you’re in the need for a game to give you your mutant fix, we’ve got a top 5 to sort you out. The only rule is the game needs to have X-Men in the title, so Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is out, but our number five should make up for that…

X-Men Vs Street Fighter

The first official entry into the ‘Vs’ series (although its predecessor, X-Men: Children of the Atom, is Capcom’s first fighting game using Marvel characters) pits the Cyclops, Wolverine and co. against Street Fighter favourites like Zangief and Kylie Minogue (I mean, Cammy) because of… something to do with Apocalypse. The genesis of the legendary Vs games can be seen here, with colourful and crazy combat and tight controls. The tag mechanic was introduced here, allowing you to take two characters into battle for double the fun.

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That is, on the arcade version anyway. The PSone port suffers from poor loading times, missing frames and the tag feature. If you can find the original arcade version somewhere, or have a way we’re not going to tell you to play the Japanese only Saturn port, then you are going to have a blast with this one. Or just play Marvel Vs Capcom. Or X-Men: Mutant Academy. Actually don’t do the last one, it was pretty lame.

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

Before the rivalries of iOS vs Android, Xbox vs PlayStation and Pokemon vs Digimon there was the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive if you live outside America). Each system has a competing side scrolling action platformer based on the merry Mutants and fans continue to debate which one was better.

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Personally, I’ve already preferred the SNES and Mutant Apocalypse is part of that reason. Each of the five characters had their own mission to follow through as part of a bigger plan to sort out the problems in Genosha caused by Apocalypse. Except… Magneto is actually the final boss. I guess being called Mutant Mangeto doesn’t have that ring to it…

X- Men Arcade

Probably the most famous X-Men title out there, this game is all sorts of cheesy goodness. We were blessed by the game gods at Konami for giving us “Magneto, Master of Magnet” and “The White Queen welcomes you to die” in all their hammy glory. Of course, the game is (correctly) fondly remembered for its gameplay too. A recurring theme of this list is about the X-Men beating people up and for good reason: I can’t imagine a Farmville type game where Storm waters the plants and Wolverine trims the hedges would do very well.

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Like the classic Turtles in Time, X-Men Arcade is about going from screen to screen clearing all your enemies out of the way with just your trusty jump and attack buttons, with the occasional (and costly) mutant power thrown in for good measure. The nineties were built on these kinds of games and X-Men is one of the standouts. The HD port for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade is well worth picking up, with drop in/out online and local multiplayer carnage. Avoid the smartphone version however, whilst it costs pennies, its tough to control and takes all the fun out of the most fun X-Men game.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Isn’t it ironic the worst X film by a mile gets the best movie tie-in by a mile? X2: Wolverine’s Revenge wasn’t bad, laying the foundations for this triumph by focusing just on the one character. Origins takes liberally (pinches everything) from God of War and to its credit, does it very, very well. This game is amusing gory, especially with the real-time healing factor system in which your skin patches itself up after being shot, sliced or burnt off. Wolverine may be a tragic character with a horrific past, but playing this game, you understand just how cool it is to cut people up with adamantium claws. Swings and roundabouts.7

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So, this game loosely follows the dreadful movie plot (which means Hugh Jackman – woo!- and will.i.am -boo!- on voice duties) but throws a lot of other characters from the comics at you for good fanservice. The classic unlockable costumes are a plus too, its nice to see the movie franchise include easter eggs that link to the comics. This isn’t up there with the first two Arkham games when it comes to revolutionary solo-superhero games, but it is mighty satisfying to play through.

So, if Arcade nails the unbridled fun, and Origins gets the franchise’s most iconic character down to a T, what can top them to take the number one spot? It has to be something legendary…

X-Men Legends

It was pretty difficult choosing between this and the sequel, Rise of Apocalypse, but a few things swing it in the direction of the original. You get more characters to play in number two, but they took out my favourites, Emma Frost and Psylocke. The sequel has a lot more generic, repetitive environments, and the music is equally so. The original also has a much sleeker menu design, with a nice shade of blue and a pleasing font compared to the harsh red menus and EVERYTHING IN CAPS of the sequel. It’s a little thing, but it counts. If you’re looking for a good multiplayer experience, you should go with Rise of Apocalypse, because the hub sections are much shorter and there are no one player segments, meaning you aren’t far from jumping into action with your friends.

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However, this is the main reason why I prefer the original over the second and every other X-Men game. You see, the story of X-Men Legends follows a young girl named Alison who discovers her mutant powers and gets thrown into the conflict between the X-Men and the Brotherhood, joining Xavier’s School for the Gifted and the superhero team as things progress. In-between missions you spend a lot of downtime in the mansion just… talking to the other X-Men and pupils. And I love that. Magma is a great audience perspective character and its fascinating to see her reactions to everything around her (it helps she’s voiced by the always excellent Cree Summer). Just being able to hang with the X-Men during down-time from world saving gives you a level of immersion into the world of these Mutant heroes not seen in any game before or since. The combat is fun but perhaps not quite as good as X-Men Arcade, and the action isn’t presented as cinematic or as well as Wolverine, but for bringing you into the world of Charles Xavier and his pupils, you can’t top this PS2/Xbox/Gamecube classic.

If you like what you’ve read and want even more of my ramblings about the X-Men, you can read my spirited defence of X-Men 3: The Last Stand right here. If you have a Top 5 to suggest, or agree/disagree with this list. Post in the comments below.

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News: Flappy Bird Returning With Multiplayer This August

Remember Flappy Bird? The game that caused blistering fingers amongst smarthphone users with its frustratingly addictive yet simple gaemplay? Well, it’s coming back.

The games creator Dong Nguyen has supposedly revealed to CNBC’s Kelly Evans that the addictive title will be coming back this August, but not as we previously knew it.

Flappy Bird will return “less addictive” but with multiplayer features, though there’s no solid details.

Flappy Bird hit the iOS App Store and Android Google Play Store earlier this year and was supposedly raking in over $50,000 a day in advertising revenue for the games creator. Unexpectedly, the game was pulled from both stores with Nguyen stating that the game had gone too far and was ruining peoples lives with it’s addictive qualities.

Are you happy to hear that Flappy Bird will be making a return? Or are you still haunted by the nightmares brought on by the game?

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Source: Twitter

News: New Angry Birds Star Wars Info Coming This Monday

angrybirdsstarwarsThere’s some “big news” coming from Rovio this coming Monday, and it’s looking like a new Angry Birds Star Wars game.

A teaser image posted on the developers official website indicated that it’s to be another Angry Birds Star Wars game, though this time around it’s looking like it’ll be based around the events of Star Wars: Episode I, II and III.

The image shows one of the Angry Birds characters dressed up like Anakin Skywalker, as well as adopting a similar pose to the promotional posters for Star Wars: Episode I, casting a Darth Vader shadow over the background.

You can have a nosey at the image down below:

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The description on the developer’s website states:

“Attention, Angry Birds fans! Stay tuned on Monday, July 15th, for big news about a brand new game! We’re talking the biggest character line-up ever, awesome new powers, and maybe even a few surprises!”

It’s hard to imagine this announcement being another other than an Angry Birds Star Wars based on the prequel trilogy, though if it does turn out to be something completely unrelated, I’ll eat my own toes.

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What do you reckon? Another Angry Birds Star Wars game? It’s not really a question at this point, is it?

Source: Rovio

News: Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame Releasing This Month

prince-of-persia-the-shadow-and-the-flamePrince of Persia fans, there’s a treat on its way to you in the form of a mobile game titled Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame.

Yes. A mobile game. Last week Ubisoft teased an incoming Prince of Persia announcement and it seems this is it. Yes, it’s a little underwhelming but on the plus side, it’s looking like it could be a good addition to the iOS App Store and Google Play as well as Amazon’s service.

Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame is a remake of the classic Prince of Persia 2 from yesteryear, and by yesteryear I mean five console generations ago. It’s not just a HD port either, it’s gotten a complete overhaul and is being remade in the fashion of 2.5D, giving a more immersive and grand feel to what would otherwise be just another side-scroller. 

It’s confirmed for iOS devices and Android smartphones and tablets, but I have a feeling we may see a version get a release on the PS Vita in the form of a PSN download. We’ve wrote a polite email to Ubisoft posing the question, so be on the lookout for updates.

Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame will be releasing on July 25th for the very cheap price of $2.99.

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Is this a little disappointing? Or do you not mind another mobile game? Would you like to see it on the PS Vita? Let us know down in the comments section below.

P.S Apologies for the lack of updates, but rest assured we are back in full swing!

News: The Walking Dead: 400 Days DLC Out Now

400daysGet ready for some tough decision-making because The Walking Dead: 400 Days will be releasing tomorrow, in North America anyway.

The download content sets out to keep players hooked until The Walking Dead: Season Two releases, though we’ve no confirmed date for the Second Season.

400 Days releases today (July 2nd) in North America on the PlayStation Network, then July 3rd for PC players all over the world. July 5th is the date for the Xbox Live Arcade worldwide release, July 10th brings 400 Days to the European PlayStation Network and the iOS version gets released a day later on July 11th, and that’s worldwide.

The 400 Days DLC should keep you busy until Season Two comes out, just remember that your decisions in this DLC have consequences in the upcoming Season Two.

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Have you dipped into The Walking Dead: 400 Days? What are your impressions? Let us know down in the comments section below.

Source: IGN

News: Limbo Releasing On iOS Next Week

limbo-ps-vitaGreat news for iOS owners, you’ll soon be able to experience the fantastic game that is Limbo, that’s if you haven’t already gotten to grips with it on the home consoles or PS Vita.

Coming next week to the App Store, Limbo has been optimised to accommodate the lack of physical buttons on iOS devices. According to the developer, Playdead, the game has been optimised and tweaked to “ensure an amazing touch-based experience.”

If you’ve yet to play Limbo, I highly recommend you take the plunge, even if it’s on your iOS device. Personally, I prefer physical buttons, but if you want something to keep you busy and engaged during the commute to work, you can’t really go wrong for less than a fiver.

Limbo for iOS devices will be released on July 3rd, and what’s more is that it’s going to be dirt cheap at just $4.99. No excuses!

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Will you be getting Limbo on your iPhone, iPad or iPod? Let us know down in the comments section down below.

 

Source: TriplePointPR

News: XCOM: Enemy Unknown Releasing On iOS This Week

xcomiosFans of 2K Games’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be happy to hear that they’ll be able to take their favourite game with them on the go as it is being released on iOS devices later this week.

What isn’t so good is the price, it’s bloody expensive. Coming in at just under $20, it’s one of, if not the most expensive mobile phone/tablet game to be released. To be fair, it’s a deep and engrossing game and is most likely going to be more than worth every single penny, it’s just a lot to sink into a mobile phone game, as well as the memory space it’ll take up.

You’ll definitely be getting your moneys worth with the content on offer as it’s more or less a straight port of the versions currently available on the home consoles and PC, albeit without multiplayer, but even that is getting released as a free update sometime after the game releases. Obviously it’s not going to be quite up to the same graphical standard, but that’s just about the only thing that’s going to change, well, that and the controls to accommodate touchscreen control.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be releasing for compatible iOS devices on June 20th for $19.99.

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Will you be plonking down the moolah to take XCOM on the road? Or is it a tad too expensive for you to commit? Let us know down in the comments section down below.

Source: Joystiq

TGC Review: Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta: Episode 1

Unearthed-ArtUnearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta is just enough like Uncharted that it can be considered an homage. Is it an homage worth playing though? Can it satisfy your need for adventuring until Uncharted 4? Or will you have to settle for some NeoPets instead? Let’s find out.

Unearthed is all about Faris Jawad and his sister, Dania Jawad. These two treasure hunters receive a call from Morocco which will take them on an exotic adventure on the trail of famous Muslim explorer, Ibn Battuta. Neither realize how dangerous their journey really is until they’re caught up right in the middle of the action.

How much does Unearthed resemble Uncharted, though? Is it too much to dissuade you? Nope, not at all. It’s clear the guys over at Semaphore had the intention to make a game similar to Uncharted, but it’s also clear that they wants to make their game unique in its own ways. Each of the game’s 6 chapters has a different kind of gameplay style thrown in to it. Whether it be driving around the streets of Tangier, Morocco, or being chased in the desert by mercenaries while going full speed on an ATV, the game has enough diversity to keep each minute fresh. It made it quite an exhilarating experience at times, personally.

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Of course, just because the game has diversity, doesn’t mean everything is perfect with it. There were countless times when I became rather frustrated with the driving mechanics, the awkwardness of aiming, the stiff jumping and climbing, it all made it almost hard to play at parts and caused me multiple deaths. An odd glitch here or there didn’t help, either. The camera also wasn’t making it any easier, but it held its own for the most part, thankfully.

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The checkpoint system was perfect though, with just enough time in between each one as to not make it too hard or too easy. It notified me when I reached one, too, so I knew I was in the clear, which with the gameplay gripes was a welcomed breather.

The music in this game though, was phenomenal. It made the game much better than it might have actually been to me. It comes on and off at the right time, and when it is on I feel a sense of real urgency if I’m in a gun fight or running for my life. There were some moments when I just kind of sat in a safe spot and listened to the awesome Moroccan drumming or Arabian wind instruments.

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The sound effects, however, were downright awful at times. The gun shots, the jumping, the explosions, they were all practically recordings of recordings. With the music being so good I was surprised to hear how bad the sound effects really were, they’re just not up to par for a PSN game, at all.

Voice acting wasn’t that bad at all though. In fact, it was pretty good. All voice actors are able to effectively convey their respective situation’s tone, and they do it all relatively well. With the voice acting, you’ll learn to like these characters and root for them against the mercenaries and cheer for them on their journey. Faris had some pretty funny moments where I caught myself laughing here and there. The characters all have some sort of depth, whether they talk about past experiences or memories. Not all are elaborated on well, but it’s still there.

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The game occasionally has some nice graphical moments, too. At times, I stopped to admire some of the Moroccan setting. The game definitely doesn’t look particularly good, especially for a PS3 game as it is clear it was built for iOS devices, but it can hold its own at times. Some beautiful areas to experience. The setting was definitely a good choice, and if they continue in the same direction as they did in episode 1 for episode 2, be sure to expect some diverse, pretty environments.

The graphics though look like they’re from the PS2 era. They’re shoddy, a bit ugly, and sometimes the textures refuse to pop in. It really hampers everything else about the game, especially on a game that could and probably should excel in this area. Of course, it’s only a PSN game, but it doesn’t excuse graphics from the PS2 era.

There isn’t a whole lot to keep you occupied either for the price of 10 dollars. There is the actual campaign, which will last you around roughly an hour and a half if you’re lucky and depending on what difficulty you chose to play on. There were extras though, which was a welcomed addition since many games don’t include that kind of stuff anymore. There was concept art, character models, renders, cut scenes, and more. They were definitely a nice addition.

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There is also survival mode after you beat the main game. There are 6 maps to choose from, but when you get it you’ll find it is the most basic, cliché form of survival mode around. You chose a random character (all share the voice of Faris, save for the other two main characters who have their respective voices) and then you just shoot zombies as they shamble towards you. Each kill nets you 10 points, and you go until you die. There is a very basic leaderboard which you have to get to on your own afterwards, and that’s it. It’s a kind of random addition, but it’s a nice one if you want to play it.

There are some collectibles though. Seven, to be exact. They aren’t very hard to find, but if you feel like treasure hunting they might give you an extra 15-20 minutes of gameplay. You’ll get a nice gold trophy if you do find ‘em, so I guess they’re worth it.

In short, the story can be pretty good at times, but downright odd at others. Characters are likeable, graphics are shoddy but definitely have their moments

 

Story: Faris and Dania are likeable enough characters with some added depth and light humour. Interesting enough of an adventure to keep me interested for episode 2. 7.5/10

Sound: Fantastic music, probably the best element of the game. Voice acting is decent, enough to make you believe they’re real characters. Sound effects downright awful, definitely in need of improvement. 7.1/10

Gameplay: Good diversity each chapter, enough to make you sort of excited for the next. Some types of gameplay need some tuning, but they all have potential and some are rather fun despite frame rate issues. 6.9/10

Graphics: Has some great looking areas, but in definite need of some sort of overhaul. Textures are unreliable, character models look iffy, but environments are awesome. 6.6/10

Lasting Appeal: An OK amount to do. Survival mode might keep you busy for a short amount of time, it is way too basic. Campaign is rather short, and collectibles won’t last long. Still, an OK amount of content for 10 dollars if you delve into all of it. 6.9/10

Final Score: 7/10

Definitely keep an eye on this series. Apparently the developers plan on improving a lot of aspects for the next episode, so if you do end up buying episode 1 and you enjoy it to its full extent, be sure to keep an eye out for episode 2, I’m actually kind of looking forward to it and I’m sure there’s greatness to come.

Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta was reviewed on the PlayStation 3, and is available now on PSN for $9.99 and iOS and Android devices for $4.99.

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Release Date: May 29th 2013

Publisher: Semaphore

Developer: Semaphore

Genre: Action/Adventure

Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, iOS, Android

Version Tested: PlayStation 3

Review Disclosure: Review code provided by publisher.

News: 22 Can’s Curiosity Is Finished, Winner In For BIG Treats

curiositywinner22 Cans’ smartphone game Curiosity is finally over, and the winner has decided to share what his/her prize is going to be.

Curiosity was released back in November for Android and iOS devices. The aim of the game? Simple, just tap the small square pixels that sit on a hug cube, slowly but steadily breaking down the cube’s layers along with millions of other players to reveal the “life changing” secret that lay inside.

It’s taken a long time for the cube to be broken down, but all that perseverance has paid off for the lucky winner. In return for their efforts, they’ll be rewarded with playing a big part in 22 Cans’ Kickstarter funded Godus. As well as helping decide what rules players will play by, the winner is also set to receive a small portion of any in-game purchases, which in itself could lead to a life-changing amount of money.

You can check out the video below which features 22 Cans’ boss and legendary industry figure Peter Molyneux talking about the project and how it will affect the winner.

I’ve got to admit, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time with Curiosity, though I gave up a few months ago. The simple gameplay of just tapping a screen was furiously addictive, though I imagine many like myself soon get fed up and moved on. Still, congratulations to the winner, you’re in for a great time!

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