Category Archives: Retro

The old-school dungeon crawler can be a cruel mistress. First-person movement, gameplay that basically drops you in the middle of a world and tells you to figure it out - it’s certainly a far cry from the handholding that most RPGs do these days. Coldfire Keep [$4.99], the latest title published by Crescent Moon Games, does a decent job of recreating the basics of the classic genre with a large world that kept me wanting to return, explore, and conquer. However, it left me wanting more in terms of combat and controls...

'Only One' Review - Here We Are, Born To Be Kings

If you like hacking away at something using a sharpened piece of metal with a handle, you are probably a very happy camper with your mobile device. Perhaps you even think you have all the slice 'n' dice games a person could ever want. I'd like to humbly offer at least one more example for all the up and coming sword-fighters out there, however. Only One [Free] is a pretty fresh take on a genre almost as old as the medium, and it does so without any fancy motion controls or specular lighting. Pick up your sword and get ready for a serious test of your skills, because you are the Only One who can survive. Well, you and, I guess, all the other people who play the game and get good enough at it to win. Probably the Only One Thousand?..

'R-Type II' Review - Don't Bydo More Than You Can Chew

Seeing the Irem logo come up when starting a game still makes me a little sad. We've seen a lot of important game companies go softly into the night, but somehow, seeing Irem give up game development to focus on pachinko machines hurts a little bit more than the usual. At the time they made the decision, it stung all the more because it resulted in virtually all of their games being pulled from digital services, including the original R-Type, one of the true classics of its genre. As a bit of a silver lining, though, Irem seems to be agreeable about licensing their older games out, and R-Type has slowly been making a return. Last summer saw DotEmu's enhanced re-release of R-Type [$1.99] for iOS, which offered the original game with a few new options. It's a great version of a game that's been ported to just about every piece of hardware imaginable, as long as you can't imagine an NES...

Hands-on with ‘Coldfire Keep’ - Old-school Dungeon Crawling

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to check out Coldfire Keep, the latest title from publisher Crescent Moon Games. A combination of old-school, first-person dungeon crawler gameplay and updated visuals, this indie game certainly has what it takes to offer fans of this classic genre with a new adventure...

As someone who grew up in the rather harsh winters of Northwest Ontario, Canada, I know all too well about snow and what a genuine pain in the butt it is, both to remove it and to keep it off. Waking up early school mornings to march outside with a shovel while the snow was still falling, knowing full well as soon as I got home from school, I'd be doing it again, followed by another round just before bed, I have a good understanding of the seemingly futile attempt to fight off Mother Nature. I mention this for two reasons: first, I am certainly in a position to vouch for the authenticity of any game trying to capture the essence of snow removal, and second, you would think that I would never, ever want to play a game that did...

It's always a bit of a gamble to take direct control of the main character of a game out of the player's hands. When it works, it can force the player to pay attention to things going on outside of the area they're currently focused on, which adds some welcome complexity. When it goes off the rails, it can leave the player feeling incredibly frustrated at losing due to circumstances quite literally out of their control. One genre where it seems to work well, even with somewhat simplistic implementation, is the puzzle genre. Games like Lemmings or the later entries in the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series show how rewarding it can be to set up a plan and guide it through to its conclusion, even if you aren't directly playing through it. Lost Yeti [$1.99] takes a similar approach, with its titular character having a mind of his own, wraps it all up in retro stylings, with the end result being a pretty good action-puzzler...

Square-Enix gets a lot of flak about their various ports and remakes of their games. Whether it's graphical alterations, remixed soundtracks, translation changes, or added material, seemingly anything ends up being fodder for those who want to tell the company that they broke the game in question. I'm not going to say whether or not I feel people are justified in those complaints, but I think that anyone who plays Namco's latest port of Tales of Phantasia [Free] is going to walk away with some new perspective on what exactly breaking a game entails. What has happened here is more than a little gross, and while I have my issues with the original game, it did not deserve this little Frankenstein experiment gone wrong...

Freebie Alert: Cult Hit 'Carmageddon' Free for a Limited Time

In October of 2012, Stainless Games released an iOS port of their 1997 cult-classic vehicular manslaughter game Carmageddon [$0.99] as part of their revival of the series with a planned reboot for consoles and PC called Carmageddon: Reincarnation...

In September of last year, during the Tokyo Game Show, Namco Bandai released an iOS port of their classic 1995 RPG Tales of Phantasia to the Japanese App Store. The game was entirely in Japanese, but it seemed like an English language version was in the cards, and indeed just today Tales of Phantasia [Free] has landed in the US and Canadian App Stores with full English language support...

'Super Splatform' Review - A Super Platformer With Plenty Of Splat

As readers of this site know well, there are a lot of games that get lost in the shuffle on the App Store. With tens of thousands of new apps every year, it's like sifting through a haystack the size of a barn in search of a handful of needles trying to find all the good games. There are lots of ways to get a heads-up on many of these titles, and one resource that has always served me well is our very own forum. Super Splatform [$1.99], from P1XL, the developers of RPG Quest Minimae [$1.99] and 4NR [$1.99], is one of those games that bounced right by me initially. It has a very unassuming look to it, as I suppose is the norm for this developer. The game's central gimmick carries it far, however, and the increasingly devilish level designs bring it all the way home. You will curse this game out, you will wail in despair at every last minute fumble, and you will go back for more every time...

'Hoplite' Review - Walk Softly And Carry A Tiny Spear

If there's one thing I really love about exploring the many treasures of the App Store, it's that you can find tons of proof for the idea that great games can come from simple, clean designs. It's something video gaming used to live by, back in simpler times, and while I enjoy a big, expensive, complex blockbuster like everyone else, I'm genuinely more impressed with games that excel on the back of a clever design, and that's just what Hoplite [$1.99] does. Part rogue-like, part turn-based strategy, Hoplite may not have the frills of some other games, even within the generally spartan genres it straddles, but the way it cuts to the heart of what makes those types of games enjoyable is beautiful...

Play 'Quake III Arena' on Your iPhone or iPad with the 'Beben III' App

Id Software all but bowed out of the App Store world, and with John Carmack resigning to join Oculus Rift last year it seems pretty certain we won't be seeing the planned iOS ports of Doom II, Quake or any other Id classics which had previously been talked about. Especially seeing as Carmack appeared to be the main proponent of iOS development. (Though with the recent update of Doom Classic [$4.99], I'm still holding on to a tiny sliver of hope.)..

'Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Remastered' Review - Setting Right What Once Went Wrong

Poor ol' Sonic sometimes feels like the video game equivalent of a child actor. He blasted onto the scene in his youth, becoming a huge multimedia star and the darling of the industry, with a hugely successful comic, several animated series, and the true measure of success, his own canned pasta. Then he went through a very awkward 3D puberty, and things have never been quite the same since. From the horrifying lows of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 and Sonic and the Black Knight to the enjoyable highs of Sonic Generations and Sonic Colors, he's become a veritable poster child for inconsistent quality. Even his many, many spin-offs vary greatly in this way, with some recent great racing games under his belt being off-set by mediocre cash-ins like his Olympic team-ups with Mario. Remember that time he was in an RPG from the makers of Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic? Man, what a guy...

Just a quick heads-up to let you know that the Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99] remastered update, which we gave you some first impressions of yesterday, is now available as a free update to the original game in the App Store. Additionally, if you're amongst the Android ranks, the game is now available on Google Play for the first time ever. In addition to improved visuals, widescreen and Universal iPad support, and a 60fps frame rate, this remastered Sonic 2 also includes brand new additions like a Boss Attack Mode, an online 2-player mode, Knuckles as a playable character right from the start, and the first ever official inclusion of the long-lost Hidden Palace Zone which was scrapped from the original Sega Genesis version of the game just days before release back in 1992...

In the relatively short time electronic gaming has been around, the industry has seen several games that managed to catch on in such a big way that they took over the hobby for a period of time. Many of these are remembered well today, even by people who weren't into gaming at the time. Nobody forgets Super Mario, Street Fighter 2, Doom, or Grand Theft Auto 3. Still, there are a few truly huge games that, for whatever reason, seem to have slid into slight obscurity over the years. The series falls dormant, either due to the publisher disappearing or sales falling off, and soon, games that shifted the entire course of the industry fall between the cracks. Double Dragon seems to be one of those games...

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