Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: We Rule

To compensate the fact that I (for X reasons that don't really matter) hadn't updated this blog for a while, I shall write 2, quick but substantial (as always) reviews.

So, why "We Rule"?, to be honest, because while I was waiting for Zenonia 2 to be out (reviewed some minutes ago) I decided to give this game a spin, since FB type games tend to serve that purpose very well. So, how does this compares to the likes of Farmvile? Well, we all know by now that if I told you that here, no one would read the next paragraphs.

One thing that this game has going for it, is the graphics, as it is very pretty game, and, not relying in a mouse and with the touch screen, it is way easier to control than any FB game that relies in a computer and, well, on how good your computer is to play ok. It is also deeper than any FB game, because, sure, you start just planting something and waiting x amount of time for it to be able to harvest it and get money, but it also does much more, you can also collect taxes from the houses you have on your kingdom, and also, ngmoco really shows that the strong point is the community interaction. Not only is it easier to get friends here (as, well, you dont have to share your entire life with them by adding them to FB) but also serve a lot more, as you can fill request in several different shops that you can build in you kingdom, giving you all so valuable gold, and ofc, exp. Actually it is so beneficial to do this, that it ends up being way easier leveling through this way, than actually farming your fields. Add to that the fact that when you lose connection to the server you don't have to refresh the game each time, as it does it by itself, and you'll find a game that is fairly better in every way to any game in the same genre.

Do I recommend it? Sure, it is free, and as long as you're not aiming for the top, you should do alright by keeping it cost free. This game obviously has IAP in the name of Mojo, that helps the farms get ready immediately, so clearly richer people will have bigger kingdoms, but this fact is not necessary to fully experience this simple and enjoyable game.

Review: Zenonia 2

Yes, I know what you're all thinking, "Finally, it came out!". I think most of the gamers owners of iDevices were waiting for this one for as long as a sequel from Zenonia, the original, was announced. But was it really worth the wait? We'll see about that.

Let's be honest, 90% of the iDevice gamers already got used to crappy storylines, and the ones that are good, the ones that come from Korean ports, are always, with a crappy translation. This one is no different, but I don't know if you do, but I personally wouldnt care less, and I tend to take these more as joke when they're badly translated, than something fundamentally wrong with the game. Although if you do care about this, all I can say is that they're not *that* bad.

So let's talk about what matters, the gameplay, because, in the case of an action RPG, it is what makes or breaks a game, and interestingly, in the case of Zenonia 2, it manages to do both. Why? Because in one side, you have an amazing cast of 4 classes that play awesomely with different styles and excelent feel (including vastly different skills, items, and even movement speeds), the skills are good, the character customization and the items are plentiful, and even the GUI can be cuztomized to match your fingers reflexes and needs (although, as with any game of this type, there are some probles with the virtual d-pad, nothing is perfect). The enemies are diverse, the bosses are great, and everything is very well done to give a challenging but not frustrating experience, that you'll enjoy no matter how many times you spend on it.

Then why do I say it is broken as well? Because, even though everybody was waiting for this game so bad, that for their perception it should've come sooner, well, the reality is, this game could've used some more time in the workshop, as it is riddled with bugs and details missing, from little ones that you get used to over time, to some that, if you're as unlucky as me, means your character is broken and you have to start over to fix that. Yes, if you have bad luck you can, at any time, be forced by a major bug to just start over as if time didn't mean anything.

For those reasons, even though I consider Zenonia 2 a greatly well done game, I can't really recommend it, I prefer you wait for a couple of updates to get the real experience, and not get it now and start hating the game. This game is awesome and it shouldn't be hated for any reason, it is just not ready yet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Review: Across Age EX

What can I say about this game... When I tried it, was I was thinking at first was "do not think this is a lite, judge it on the end based on impressions and not assumptions" . Can it be considered something more than a lite? Read on.

When you start the game you get greeted by a beautiful video showing a sinopsis of the story, then, in the game itself, it feels like a very polished version of Zelda, everything is pretty and colorful, is nice just to see it all. The battles are simple, the characters auto attack when pushed into an enemy, an the fact the you need to control 2 players gives potential to so many different spins of quests that make you think about Superstar Saga. Everything is very well done.

The problem, though, is in it's lenght, as the game is over before you even completely finish the 1st dungeon, so it doesn't give you the value of the buck, compared to the content of other .99 cents games out in the store. I mean no harm, as the game does feel great, but for .99, I really hope he devs extend the content in the game, to at lest let you finish that 1st dungeon, because, as it feels now, it is a lot like a paid lite instead of being a mini version as they want it to be.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review: Jamzu

Ok well, this is a personal favorite of mine. A few months ago I didn't even know what "Jamzu" meant, and nowadays I am totally in love with the game.

The game, unlike most of the appstore, is a board game. It's a unique an original idea well executed. Taking inspiration on the likes of chess, checkers and backgammon, the developer of this game created a unique, challenging experience.

The gameplay is simple, there are two sides to it, the red team, and the blue team. Two types of pieces in the game, runners (move in a straight line, collored ones) and jammers (move diagonally, black colored), and a random factor, your moves depend on a dice roll, which determines how many squares a piece can move. That's pretty much it. Add to that a simple spin, jammers can rebounce, and everyone can control any jammer, and you have quite a challenge.

As any board game the game is very simple graphically, but mentally rewarding. The dev is trying its best to stablish a online server for online multiplayer (because, as of today you're only able to play locally), which I myself am waiting eagerly. But so far, believe me, you'll have enough challenge with the 4 different difficulty levels, and local multiplayer.

For 1.99 you get a truly unique game, no clones exist of this on the store, and it is truly something that should become a board game classic. I recommend you all just to go online and get it.

And if that's not enough incentive, the dev has taken the trouble to make something he calls "Jamzu Daily Double" to increase the ammount of people playing the game and enjoying it. As it is, the dev posts 2 board screens where the 1st person to choose the best move in that given situation, gets $15 just like that. So, now that I got your attention, that contests re-starts today @ toucharcade forums, so go check it out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Rafter

I don't know what it is about physics simulators, I had never played one before the iTouch came along (well, maybe, if you consider World of Goo one, then one), but I totally fell in love for the genre. It is simple, but it makes you use your brain in great ways, so in a way it is great exercise.

As I played Rafter, I can just say it has what you'd expect from a physics simulator. Simple, but challenging.

As I played it, the first thing I noticed was the marvelous graphics it has, very minimalistic, but very polished and well done, makes you feel like you're in an artist's sketch all the time, and I came to see that that idea is not so bad after all.

The gameplay is simple, there's a sketch space on the top of the screen, where you make either a square (rectangle) or a circle and plan (or well, if you consider yourself the lucky type, just hope and trial and error it all) the path the shape will do in the level to hit (or not) the red nucleus. That's about it, and takes me to the part I don't like. So far in the game, even though the environment does have some neat tricks in its pocket, like fans and wheels that put your objects off track, there's little setting up strategy, meaning the only thing you have to do is put the initial piece and let it roll to the objective. No setup, no nothing. A little more time with the setting up would be really interesting and hitting that red nucleus in the end would feel way more rewarding.

As it is, though, it is a really good game, it has charisma and is very polished, and for .99 cents, you really can't go wrong with this one. So if you're entering the physics simulator scene, and want something to pass up the time, I recommend Rafter to you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Introduction to the blog

I know I know... There are a thousand of these already all over the internet. Blogs revieweing iTunes AppStore Apps, some succeful ones, most, not really.

I'm gonna do this anyways, not for the fame or fortune, just to really give another view of the apps I'm playing to the visitors, that and to give added value to the Devs that trust me with a promo codes for their games in order to review them. That said, I am not biased, and I can be pretty harsh, which devs should take it as a good thing, and the consumers should as well :p.

I'll update this blog with reviews for games that I get over time, both the ones that I buy or the ones that I get promo codes for. If you're interested in me making a review for an specific app, just let me know through a comment here. If you're interested in me reviewing your game, you can send me a PM at forums (I'm Khamous over there).

I hope you have fun reading my blog, as I enjoy reviewing games. See you in the battlefield

- Khamous