Category Archives: Controller Support

'Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath' Review - You're Looking Mighty Good, Stranger

The story of the Oddworld Inhabitants themselves is almost as interesting as that of any of their games. Founded by Hollywood veterans to take advantage of the correctly-predicted boom that 3D graphics would bring, the company had a clear, ambitious plan for a series of five games that took place in their Oddworld universe. A new team planning for that many games before they've even finished one is the game development equivalent of a rookie stepping up to the plate and pointing at the stands, but when Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee released, it seemed like the Oddworld Inhabitants weren't bluffing. The game was a massive hit, and the lead character Abe become something of a cult icon in the 32-bit era. It was followed by an initially unplanned direct sequel, Abe's Exoddus, which was meant to help fill the gap while everyone waited for the next chapter of the quintology...

The sports genre of video games is an interesting animal. It was probably the first genre to seriously concern itself with authenticity, both in terms of the recreating the play mechanics of the real game and acquiring real licenses. One of the first times I heard a licensed song in a game was in one of EA Sports's titles, and the only reason I ever learned who people like John Madden and Jack Nicklaus were was because of video games bearing their names. It took a little while for that to catch on properly with the sport of hockey, with the first licensed products hitting in 1991. Even then, publishers had trouble deciding if they wanted the NHL license, the NHLPA license, or both. After that genie was let out of the bottle, it never went back in, at least until mobiles came around. While you would see the odd unlicensed football or basketball game, hockey games virtually always carried a license of some sort...




It may be among the lowest hanging fruit of all when it comes to entertainment, but it's hard to deny the raw comedic appeal of monkeys. They're like little hairy people that we can teach amusing tricks to without feeling bad about it. They're also very useful for filling in gaps if you lack a charismatic actor or character. Generally, people like monkeys, unless they've known a real monkey, in which case, they probably hate monkeys. ..

Looking forward to Hori's entry into the MFi gamepad market, the appropriately-named Horipad? Well, it looks like you'll be getting your hands on it soon enough. Hori announced today that the controller will release this November in Japan for 7,980 yen (~US$71.17). Hori's Twitter account has also indicated that an announcement for the US will be coming in a few days. This does jibe with what we saw a month ago when Amazon Canada listed the Horipad. That listing is still there, with a release date of November 11th and a ~ CA$65.21 price (US$57.81), so it's quite possible that it could indeed become a reality very soon...

Let's be frank, video games based on team sports aren't known for revolutions between updates. That reputation was mostly earned by them being among the first types of games to adopt a yearly release schedule. As it turns out, games take a lot of work to make, and if you're committed to meeting a particular date every year, there's only so much you can risk upheaving. Given this long-held tradition in the genre, I almost instinctively wasn't surprised to find that NHL 2K [$2.99] is, shall we say, a modest step forward from the last hockey game 2K released on iOS. Shaking away that initial gut reaction, I then remember that this isn't a yearly update, and it has in fact been over four years since NHL 2K11, and in that context, it's almost embarrassing how little has been done here. If you're looking for a decent hockey game and you don't have NHL 2K11, it's easy enough to recommend NHL 2K. It's competent, and there's honestly little competition even across the entire handheld spectrum. If you do have 2K11, the question of whether it's worth it gets a bit trickier...

Fans of Kemco's RPGs are in luck this month. We only just saw the release of Soul Of Deva [$3.99] a couple of weeks ago, and here we are with another release already. Granted, this is Kemco trying to catch iOS up with previously released Android games, but let's not look a potential gift horse in the mouth. Amazingly, Crystareino [$3.99] is done by the same team that did Deva, Hit-Point, who at this point are probably in dire need of a vacation. If you read my review of Deva, you know that I ended up liking it quite a bit thanks to its sharp 2D visuals and strategic, unique battle system. Well, I also like Crystareino quite a bit, but for almost entirely different reasons. This game plays things very safely, eschewing innovation in exchange for delivering a solid, content-rich adventure. If you're tired of the tropes of the genre, it might not be the best choice, but if you thrive on them, you'll find this to be a decent meal...

'Pixel Boat Rush' Review - Everybody Do The Wave

I've often felt that the genre that perhaps benefited the most from the jump from 2D to 3D was racing. Really thinking about it, racing is one of the genres that begged the most for polygons, having already spent years working in pseudo-3D with scaling sprites and optical tricks. Hardware that couldn't manage said tricks tended to have racers that skewed the perspective to at least offer some sort of visual depth. Racers that opted for a strict, flat side-view to the action were historically pretty rare outside of obstacle course time-attacks like Motocross Maniacs. There are lots of reasons as to why that was likely the case, but it mostly comes down to the simple idea that it's hard to express the excitement of racing from that point of view. If there is no depth, there's no passing, no hairpin turns, no drafting, and collisions become hard to sort out. You have to find other ways to bring the beautiful tension that makes racing so compelling, and that's just what Pixel Boat Rush [Free] sets out to do...

'Crimsonland HD' Review - Can't Beat The Real Thing

It's fun to think back to the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005, when out of all the possible choices for a breakout early hit, the one that most gamers flocked to was the humble Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. Starting as an in-house test demo, it's still amazing to me that this little game not only carried a console through the dry launch period all hardware suffers from, but also dragged a sub-genre back into viability, where it still sits to this day. Suddenly, twin-stick shooters were popular and prolific in a way they perhaps never were before. Mobiles have particularly enjoyed the fruits of that success, with a load of great twin-stick shooters already and more releasing all the time. But although the genre was fairly quiet in the years prior to Geometry Wars, like any dormant genre, it wasn't completely dead. One particular standout was 2003's Crimsonland [Free], an early effort from a name many iOS gamers know quite well, 10tons Entertainment...

If you like full-size Bluetooth MFi gamepads, today is a good day for you. Not only is the Mad Catz CTRLi coming soon for $60, but if Amazon Canada is to be believed, we'll be getting the Horipad, initially revealed in prototype form at E3 by hardware manufacturer Hori, this November. Listed on Amazon for $64.13 CAD, that comes out to just under $60 USD, so this is in the same price range as the CTLRi, and still about $20 below the MOGA Rebel and other first-wave MFi gamepads. ..

Unfortunately, it looks like the iOS 8 update has a pretty nasty bug in it for owners of Bluetooth MFi gamepads. The MOGA Rebel and SteelSeries Stratus both are getting reports that they're experiencing laggy performance and showing up as two different controllers at once. I personally can confirm that the SteelSeries Stratus is getting these issues on the iPad Mini Retina – often after switching between games, or reconnecting after turning off the controller, performance suffers, and the gamepad shows up twice. Age of Zombies [$0.99], which just got an update with local co-op, demonstrates that a single Stratus can appear twice:..

MOGA Rebel MFi Controller Review - Easily the Best Full-Size iOS Controller Currently Available

It's been about a year that we've been living in a world of MFi controllers, but for a variety of reasons official controller support on iOS hasn't been the massive hit everyone expected it to be. While a few decent controllers have been released, none of them have been perfect or particularly "must have", and they all feel expensive compared to controllers on other gaming platforms...

Hands-On Video and Impressions of the MOGA Rebel MFi Controller

Yesterday, MOGA officially unveiled their first full-sized MFi controller for iOS devices, the MOGA Rebel. I had a chance to sit down with the final version of the hardware with company representatives in San Francisco and spend a little time trying it out. I'll be saving most of my thoughts for a full review in time for the controller's release next Wednesday, after spending the weekend really putting it through its paces, but for now here are some initial thoughts and a little hands-on video to give you a better idea of what the MOGA Rebel offers those looking for a decent full-size MFi controller...

Good news for everyone anticipating the MOGA Rebel, the full-size Bluetooth MFi gamepad, as a release date has been announced, and it's perfect timing with the iPhone 6 models coming out: September 17th, next Wednesday, for $79.99. As one of the first Xbox-style MFi gamepads that will be available to the public, this should be an intriguing controller for those who want a Bluetooth gamepad but don't like the small size of the SteelSeries Stratus...

'Astro Duel' for iPad Review - A Fabulous Single Device Local Multiplayer Arcade Game

With pixelated, triangular ships thrusting around an asteroid-studded starfield and issuing forth crunchy 8-bit sounds, the trappings of Astro Duel [$4.99 (HD)] would allow it to blend seamlessly into any eighties-era arcade. Yet, Astro Duel is timely, for it taps into the quiet renaissance currently unfolding in the mileu of razor-sharp in-person competition waged across a single screen. Whether sitting cheek-by-jowl around a Warlords machine, or in a tangle of controller cables strewn from a console running Bomberman or in front of a desktop PC running the latest indie sensation on Steam (if you're curious, try out Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn or Crawl), there is a particular intensity to testing your reflexes and tactics against those of your friends with no barriers between you...

One of the finest action platformers on the App Store is Traps n' Gemstones [$4.99] from Donut Games. In fact, it's somewhat surprising it turned out to be so great, considering Donut has largely focused on simplistic puzzle and arcade games during their time creating for iOS. ..

You really have to hand it to The King of Fighters series. Not only has it survived through 20 years and more than one company sale, it's actually seen fairly regular releases throughout that span, proving to be just as prolific, if not more so, than its more well-known competitors. It also has long roots on handhelds, with semi-regular handheld versions dating all the way back to the second installment, King of Fighters '95. I feel like the series has never quite gotten its due from the general public, but it enjoys a strong reputation among fighting game fans, and The King of Fighters '98 [$2.99] is arguably the best of the bunch...

World Of Tanks Blitz [Free] manages to pull off the difficult task of capturing the essence of its much-loved PC counterpart, allowing you to get into some pretty tense tank battles with players from around the world. While it lacks many of the vehicles and most of the modes of the PC version, it's still quite a deep game for a shooter, with a pace unlike most other games in its genre on iOS. The most important trait it adopted from the PC game is that you can enjoy a great gaming experience without spending a cent. I've been playing it a fair bit since its wide release a few weeks ago so, as usual, I've got some advice for players who are just starting out. Since this is a game which at its core is about teamwork, I've taken the unusual step of calling in a little field support from someone who has logged in countless hours on the PC version without dropping any cash: my son, Juon. We'll be breaking the guide into a few different sections covering various aspects of the game...

There have been a lot of grumblings about Square-Enix's lack of updates on some of their games, but the company has been slowly and quietly going through their back catalog in the last little while making little touches here and there. Final Fantasy 3 [$14.99 / $16.99 (HD)] and Final Fantasy 4 [$15.99] have both received updates for MFi controller support, Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99 / $15.99 (HD)] got a major overhaul, and now it seems like one of Square-Enix's first iOS ports, Secret of Mana [$7.99], has gotten its turn. ..

'World of Tanks Blitz' Review - A Fine Addition To Wargaming's Cannon Canon

Although it's recently become something of a household name in gaming circles, Belarus-based developer Wargaming.net has been around for a while now. For the first several years, it focused on strategy games, both turn-based and real-time, and had modest success within that niche. It finally hit the big time with its release of World of Tanks for the PC, a massively multiplayer online action shooter designed with the strategic sensibilities you would expect from a developer with Wargaming's resume. Initially launched in Russia in 2011, it soon spread across the globe, enjoying huge success in virtually every region it released in. It's a rare free-to-play game that manages to pull in casual players and hardcore alike, with its fair economy, approachable gameplay, and surprising depth...

'Monster Hunter Freedom Unite' Review - Good-bye Free Time, Hello Wildlife Slaughter

Capcom's iOS games present a truly insane roll of the dice. You've got terribly reimagined ports of classics like Mega Man X [$4.99], wonderful ports of underappreciated games like Ghost Trick [Free], ports that are maybe a bit too perfect like Street Fighter II Collection [$3.99] or the dearly departed Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and games that take familiar names and series and go in strange directions like Ghosts 'n Goblins Gold Knights [$0.99]. This time, however, they've really gone and done it. Just when you think they can't make you doubt them any further, they go and totally redeem themselves with an absolutely fantastic iOS version of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [$14.99]...

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