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Asphalt 6: Adrenaline is out of the shop and it’s firing on all cylinders

by Dave Loft

I had quite a few problems with Asphalt 6 when it first came out as I mentioned in my previous post. To summarize, it was too big at 1GB, took too much RAM at over 100MB, it had framerate issues, stability issues, control issues and achievements were not saved. To say the least, it was a complete mess. I had planned to write a review when it came out but instead I just ranted about how poorly done the Android port was.

Well here we are five weeks and two patches later and Gameloft has addressed all of my issues. It now uses less storage at just under 900MB and limits the download to 500MB compressed. It’s now down to 70MB of RAM, the framerate has improved, stability is great, control issues are gone and achievements are working. It is now in a state that I would consider release worthy and I am now going to give it a proper run through.

First and foremost it really is a great game and is easily the best Arcade Racer on Android. The physics on the cars feel a little off and fairly floaty but after a few hours with the game, that issue kind of fades away. Drifting is an absolute blast, once you get the rhythm down. Accelerometer steering is precise and feels just right and for anyone who prefers alternative methods of steering, you will be happy to see a few alternative options available.

The graphics are good, but look somewhat grainy, like it’s not taking advantage of the high res display on my phone. But then on some tracks this isn’t an issue at all. It appears to be the detailed textures used on some levels that have the issue and utilizing anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering would clear it up. Making up for the texture issues are the beautifully rendered cars, lush scenery, great filtering and weather effects. All of which come together to create a great visual presentation.

The game offers a number of ways to play. With Free Race you will be given an option of four modes; Normal Race, Beat ‘em All, Elimination and Collector. Beat ‘em All requires that you knock out a set number of opponents. Just smash your car against theirs and push them into the edge of the track will usually do the trick and is followed by a pleasing slow motion ‘Elimination’ animation. Get used to taking out racers this way as you will need to take out a few racers in each race to rank higher. In Elimination, races the last racer will be eliminated every 30 seconds till there is just three left. With Collector your goal is to collect the most special items and to win, you will need to get out first quickly. In Career you will have four additional modes; Dual, Time Attack, Drift and Under Pressure. Under Pressure is just like Beat ‘em All, except that you have limited respawns.

The game has 42 cars ranging from the Mini Cooper to the Bugatti Veyron, all of which can be customized with paint jobs, decals and performance enhancing parts.  The game provides 11 leagues, 55 events and 12 courses to sharpen your skills on. Then when your ready you can take them online and race with up to six people, locally or over the internet. This game does not disappoint in the value for dollar catagory.

This has been my go to game for the past week whenever I have had time to sink my teeth into it. It’s not the game I pickup when I have a couple minutes while waiting, as it takes too long to load into the game and get racing. But like many Gameloft games, it is the game I go to when I’m looking for a console like experience. The depth of gameplay is beyond most smartphone games and easily provides the same amount of content of a game ten times it’s price. If you like arcade racing games, then Asphalt 6 is a must buy.

Score: 9.0

Official Website: Gameloft.com

For those interested, the game is only for high end phones and must be purchased from Gameloft directly. Games can be paid with credit card or PayPal and with some carriers, carrier billing is an option. Any game purchased can be easily re-downloaded by heading to gameloft.com on your phone and selecting ‘My Downloads’ at the bottom of the page. Login with your email or phone number and any game purchased available for that model will appear. Gameloft games will occasionally check for updates when launched and download them automatically if needed. 

email:  android.support@gameloft.com
phone: 1-800-910-3186

Portal 2 Available Now!

I’m too busy playing the game right now to do anything more than a picture and a few sentences. I will definitely write up a review in the next week or too. Now back to Portal 2 and if you haven’t yet bought this game, what is wrong with you?

Guerrilla Bob is well dressed but doesn’t have anything to say

by Dave Loft

I’ve had Guerrilla Bob for about a month and while it’s easily one of the most polished games on the Android market, it just doesn’t posses the longevity to keep me interested. Now to be fair, that would describe most mobile phone games and is exactly why they’re typically priced below $5. I guess I’m just looking for a console experience on a phone and one I know can be done.

I love the graphics in the game and the visual style reminds me of TF2. The textures are clean, beautifully put together and they’re not very detailed. But it works within the style of the game. To go with the smooth graphics is an equally smooth framerate that makes Guerrilla Bob a joy to play.

Cross compatibility is a big part of the marketing behind Guerrilla Bob and is one feature few games have offered. It is unfortunately only local multiplayer and the lacks the essential online multiplayer required to keep me playing the game.

Controls are plentiful with options to auto-aim and multiple dual stick configurations to choose from. If your new to dual stick games, or just want a simpler experience on your mobile, auto-aim is a great place to start. Once you get good at the game you can set the difficulty to hard or just turn off auto-aim.

The game offers ten guns and four characters to choose from, but with only one to start the game. You will unlock more as you play and getting all the guns can take quite a while.

The game offers a few ways to play; arcade, survival and mercenary. Arcade and mercenary are the same game but it changes how weapons are unlocked. In arcade you need to find new weapons hidden throughout the level. While in mercenary mode, you make money by taking out enemies to spend on your weapon of choice. With these two modes your goal is to move to the end of the level and your only job is to shoot. Survivor is the same gameplay in an arena and your scored based on how long you can survive.

What you soon realize is that all of the options available are pretty much the same. I feel if your gonna do just a shooting game, your gonna need more than ten guns. If you want to make your game more than just a shooting game some extra gameplay elements would go a long way. Just steeling ideas from your standard fps will do wonders. Vehicles, mele combat, stealth, cover, defend here, attack this, find the key, disguise as an enemy, something, anything. It just won’t stand as long without another leg to use.

To be fair. this really is me just wanting more complexity from mobile games and that’s something many people don’t care for. Taking into consideration what type of game Angry Mob was aiming to create with Guerrilla Bob, they have definitely nailed the mechanics of the game. It’s when you compare Guerrilla Bob to other shooters available on the Android Market that it becomes a more compelling product. It may have nothing on games like Modern Combat, but it’s really not trying to either.

Guerrilla Bob is the shooter built for a touch screen phone and one that’s accessible to the masses. This is the style of shooter that will have the most success on mobile devices and Angry Mob has built the best of it’s kind. Hopefully they can take that success and return with a squeal that raises the bar well above the the competition, rather than just over.

Score: 8.0

Android Market Link: Guerrilla Bob
Official Website: angrymobgames.com

Epic’s Bulletstorm is out of control on PC

by Dave Loft

I had watched enough trailers, gameplay videos and reviews on this game to put on my Steam wanted list. Unfortunately with a price tag of $60 and no demo available to try I was obviously a bit apprehensive. But that changed on Monday when developer Epic Games made a demo available on Steam. I sat down after class on Tuesday to give it a first run through and boy do I hate it.

The controls in this game are some of the worst I have ever seen. Leave it to Epic to fuck up something so simple as a fps on a PC. The biggest issue is with the mouse and especially high DPI gaming mice. I had to turn the mouse sensitivity all the way down and it was still too much. So I then had to turn my mouse down from 5700 DPI to 800 DPI to get it to move at the right speed. But it still just didn’t feel right and was saddled with quite a bit of lag.

Then there was the menu navigation which had you moving around with W and S rather than the mouse. This is just lazy work on the developer’s part. It might make sense to have your move forward and back on the left stick to move around the menu, but it doesn’t work on a PC. Some menus would actually let you use the mouse (I hate inconsistency) but since I had to turn the mouse sensitivity way down, it felt way too slow in the menu.

The game is also very hollow, monotonous, repetitive and clunky. AI is very scripted lacking any sort of intelligence. Gameplay follows a strict guideline of kick, lasso then shoot. Sure you could just shoot, but the shooting is terrible and when you aim down the scope the sensitivity seems heightened making it more difficult to aim.

Bulletstorms clunkiness comes from the movement and ultimately derived from the controls. You hold space bar to slide, but also to jump over things. So if you slide to an object you can’t just hold space bar to jump over, you have to let go then press again. Not really that terrible, but what it sometimes chooses to jump over is really annoying. In my last game I slid to a barrier and pressed the space bar to jump over it only to have my character jump to the right. It was at this point that I realized my character had jumped into some kind of hole in the game. A hole I could no move, jump, slide, lasso, kick or shoot my way out of. After that I quit the demo, uninstalled it and removed the game from my wish list.

I really have grown to hate Epic in recent years and it mainly stems from their outspoken hatred of things I love. It’s clear from the games I’ve played in recent years that any of the talent they possessed in the past is long gone. Rather than complaining Epic should probably just stick to making Xbox 360 and iOS games where things are very predictable and their customers will buy anything.

Epic should also stop whining about how hard a platform is to develop for. It’s pathetic when a company with a history like Epics lashes out publicly against a platform they don’t like. I for one say good riddance and look forward to what a more capable and innovative competitor will do in their place. But I do want to thank Epic for making a demo available as it saved me from wasting my money on this big piece of EPIC fail.

Black Ops goes for $36

by Dave Loft

So if you check Direct2Drive or Steam you will see Call of Duty: Black Ops is on sale from $60 down to $45, wait what? Yes $45, but if you check Direct 2 Drive you will see that this weekend only they are offering 20% off all of their games and the discount even works on games on sale. Hence the $36 price tag. Just use the coupon code, marchmadness upon checkout to get the discount.

But maybe you don’t want to use Direct2Drive and like the convenience of Steam, no problem. After purchase you will be given a download link and a product key. You can take your product key without downloading anything from Direct2Drive and activate that key with Steam. Once activated you can actually download the game purchased from Direct2Drive through Steam. If you don’t like Steam and much prefer Direct2Drive you can download the game directly from them instead. But as soon as you go to install Black Ops, it will install into Steam anyways.

If your interested in Call of Duty: Black Ops I highly suggest picking it up this weekend. It will most likely never get this low again till the end of the year. For anyone who does have it already. You can find me on the battlefield under the name o4k3R and you may want to take note when I stab you in the back. Happy Fragging.

Crysis 2 Launch Trailer

by Dave Loft

I wish I could add something to this by sharing my experience with the game. But as I only played the multiplayer demo there’s not much more I can say than I already have.  After reading many reviews and watching quite a few videos, I can easily say this game is on the top of my wish list. But at $60 I will have to wait for one of Steam’s great sales. At least while I wait I can watch videos of the game, like this launch trailer.

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