Category Archives: iPod touch games

RPG Reload File 028 - 'Phantasy Star 2'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where men get discounts on piano lessons for reasons not divulged in the localization. Each week, we jump into the time tunnel and grab an RPG from the App Store's past to give it a play in modern times. It's a bit of revisiting, a bit of reflection, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. The RPG genre is a wide one with a lot of different kinds of games in it, and I try to present a good variety in this feature from week to week. To help me out with that, I turn to you, the reader, to choose what I'm playing once a month. Today's article is one such reader's choice, and the next one at the beginning of April could be yours! All you have to do is tell me the name of the game you'd like to see me play in the comments below, in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by via a tweet to @RPGReload. I'll randomly choose a winner each time, so even if your choice is unpopular, it still has a chance. Go for it!..

We're busy little bees running around GDC meeting with developers and checking out cool games, but this is just a quick heads up that the latest update for Pixelbite's tactical dual-stick shooter Space Marshals [$4.99] is now available as a free update in the App Store. The update adds Chapter Two to the game, which includes new weapons, new gear, new missions to complete and new enemies to defeat. Check out the trailer...

If you like your RPGs mechanically deep, extremely challenging, and don't mind if the visuals are a bit antiquated, Siralim [Free] is one of the best games you can get on the App Store. I liked it quite a bit when I reviewed it back at its launch last summer, and developer Thylacine Studios has been diligently updating it ever since. The improvements were significant enough that I named the game one of the top "sleeper" games in the RPG Reload 2014 wrap-up, and the game maintains a healthy fanbase in the TouchArcade forums. The game has a really fair pay model, letting you try it out for free until you advance your character to level 15, at which point you can unlock the full game for $4.99...

Update Mondays: 'Clash Of Clans', 'Final Fantasy', 'Zen Pinball', 'Sonic Dash', And More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. I'm trying a slightly different format this week to cut down on some of the clutter. Let me know if you like it. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

A few weeks back, our crack Japan-based reporter Shaun Musgrave wrote about a new update for the iOS version of the original Final Fantasy [$8.99]. It was the first update to the game in more than two years. While the game didn't receive true widescreen support, it did get some lovely border art to fill in the dreaded "black bars" when playing the game on any of the widescreen iPhone devices. Similarly, the previous iPhone-only version of the game became Universal, though its scaling was a bit weird on iPad devices. Strangely, some of the long-standing bugs in the game didn't get fixed with that update at all, but at least it was nice to see Square Enix paying some kind of attention to one of their oldest iOS games...

We were already well aware that Pixelbite Games were experts at making racing games, with the excellent Reckless Racing series and Repulze, but in early January they released Space Marshals [$4.99] and showed the world that they've also got a lock on tactical dual-stick shooters. We loved Space Marshals in our review, noting that it really focused on forethought, skill and strategy, which is a contrast from most dual-stick shooters which are largely blast-a-thons. The one bummer about Space Marshals is that it was designed as an episodic game, and the first chapter, while a nice meaty ride, still felt like it left you hanging when it was over. Good news, then, as today Pixelbite has announced that the Chapter Two update to Space Marshals is arriving next week on March 5th. They've released a new trailer showing off some of the awesome new stuff you can expect in Chapter Two...

'AG Drive' Review - Doesn't Reinvent the Hover Engine

You just don't see a whole lot of ugly futuristic racers. Even if a game has ugly visuals, it can be excused away as a lo-fi stylistic choice to represent the vagueness of the future, or some artsy gobbledygook like that. But often, because the games can be big, bold, and colorful because they're playing with exaggerated fantasy, futuristic racing games can be gorgeous. Wipeout has always been a great-looking franchise. AG Drive [$3.99] follows that Wipeout formula - deliver fast-paced futuristic racing that's absolutely stunning to look at. This is a solid futuristic racing game that's quite easy on the eyes...

Sonic Team's 'Sonic Runners' Soft Launches In Japan And Canada

I had a feeling this was going to come any day now, but SEGA's latest free-to-play game featuring their signature character, Sonic Runners, has arrived in both the Japanese and Canadian App Stores. The game is a side-scrolling, stage-based auto-runner developed by Sonic Team. It's their first original title for mobiles, with previous non-port Sonic mobile games being handled by SEGA subsidiary Hardlight. The hope is that the game being handled by the team behind the main Sonic games might produce something a little more authentic to the character. The other Sonic free-to-play games haven't been bad, but they've been missing a certain something that keeps them from feeling like true Sonic games...

Nitrome is a company with a very fascinating output, as they have roots as a Flash game company with a particular pixel art style, and Flash games have always felt to me like they straddle a line between being casual-friendly but also maintaining that appeal to core, dyed-in-the-wool gamers. As such, their mobile games definitely have that casual feel while still being ones that core gamers should enjoy as 'real games'. And Magic Touch - Wizard for Hire [Free] is perhaps their best effort at being casual yet gamer-friendly. It's got touch-friendly controls, but very quickly ramps up into an incredible challenge to face down...

One of the best mobile games of 2014 was Goblin Sword [$1.99], an action platformer with RPG trappings from two-man studio Gelato Games. With drop-dead gorgeous pixel art, flawless controls, a lengthy campaign and just enough character upgrading and customization elements, everything just fell into place with Goblin Sword and we effortlessly awarded it 5 stars in our original review. That was all way back in September of last year though, and while it's taken a bit of time, a huge new update has just been released for Goblin Sword which adds in all sorts of goodies...

Rarely does a game make me question the reason for its very existence. Often times, the objective is clear enough. A game might want to tell a story, to thrill the player and test their reflexes, or even to just make a lot of money by capitalizing on a particular trend. But with Tempo [$3.99], I just cannot for the life of me conceive just why does this game exist? Who thought this game was a valid idea that should exist? It's not a bad idea, but it's the video game equivalent of building a bridge in the middle of a field. Sure, it can be a structurally sound and beautiful bridge, but what exactly was the point of building it in the first place?..

There's an inherent joy in playing around with physics. In life, some of our earliest interactions with the external world involve playing around with physics to get a feel for the rules of reality. Even as fully-grown, educated, theoretically wise adults, we still get the urge to use our coffee spoon to launch the creamer at the person sitting at the table on the other side of the restaurant, just to see if we could. For a long time, games weren't terribly good at recreating satisfying physics along with all the other bits we tend to want in a game. There just wasn't enough computing power, time, or resources in general, and it wasn't a high priority. I maintain to this day that the reason Sonic The Hedgehog hit as powerfully as it did was due more to its solid physics engine than anything else. Any old character can go fast, but Sonic not only made us work for it, but also let us see the consequences of that speed. It wouldn't be until several years later that putting realistic physics into a game became a popular thing to do, but once it did, it broke things wide open...

I've reviewed more than 20 RPGs from Kemco since I started at TouchArcade in mid-2013, so I like to think I've got a pretty good handle on what to expect from each game at this point. Oh, the quality varies somewhat unpredictably, but the basic outlines each developer for the publisher employs are well-established by now and all too familiar. Every once in a while, however, one of those games dares to color outside the lines just a little bit, and when that happens, you can usually find Hit-Point's name listed as the developer. Such is the case with Seven Sacred Beasts [$3.99], a strangely experimental title whose chief virtue is that it doesn't just feel like a new story plugged into the same old gameplay. Instead it's the opposite, which might seem like a good thing, but ends up causing some serious problems...

'Garou: Mark of the Wolves' Review - When Butt Fights Dong, We All Win

The latest port of an SNK Neo-Geo fighting game to iOS is one of the best yet. Garou: Mark of the Wolves [$3.99] has a reputation as being one of the last Dreamcast games to release in the US, a late-era Neo Geo game, and as a darn good fighter, the last in the main Fatal Fury series. Now it's on iOS along with other ports done by DotEmu, but this version winds up being one of the best ports yet thanks to the robust features included...

Update Mondays: 'WWE Immortals', 'The Simpsons: Tapped Out', 'Bean Dreams', 'Partia 2', And More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. The theme with many of this week's updates is the Chinese New Year. Goats for everyone! Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Pinball Arcade [$0.99] is like a digital museum of real-life pinball machines that's been kicking around on various platforms, including iOS, for a few years now. It's had a staggering number of pinball machines added to it over the years, some that are high-profile, big-name IPs and some more obscure stuff. The holy grail of these real-life pinball machines is The Addams Family Pinball which was created and release in the early '90s to coincide with the Addams Family movie. ..

One of the more highly-anticipated games around TA finally launched this week with Built By Snowman's Alto's Adventure [$2.99]. The game has been highly praised for its beautiful art, which has caused it to gain a lot of traction and even get coverage on several media outlets that don't normally cover video games. It's definitely striking enough to have a mainstream appeal, and I myself have to confess that I'm constantly being stricken by the game's beauty. However, as a long-time gamer and someone who has played more side-scrolling endless runners than I can count, I admit that I was underwhelmed gameplay-wise the first time I took Alto's Adventure for a spin. It felt like, "That's it?"..

Last month NetherRealm Studios and Phosphor Games unleashed WWE Immortals [Free] onto a bunch of unsuspecting marks. In simple terms, WWE Immortals is NetherRealm's Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free] for mobile but reskinned with superhero versions of WWE wrestlers. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, as Injustice is fantastic and the world of WWE is full of colorful characters who could fit right into a game like this. In fact I'm a big fan of Immortals, and gave it 4 stars in my review, basically stating that it was off to a great start but it has a long way to go to catch up to Injustice in terms of content and polish. ..

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we never run out of amnesiac magical princesses. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the amazing land of tomorrow. It's a bit of revisiting, a bit of reflecting, and the chance to take a deeper dive than you would usually see in our reviews. Any and all RPGs are welcome here, and I try to put together a reasonably balanced plate from week to week. In order to assist me with that, I need you to vote for a game you would like to see me play and write about. Simply drop your suggestion in the comments below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. This is your last chance to put in your choice for the March reader's choice article, as it's coming up in just two weeks. Make it count!..

A couple of weeks ago, a trailer for Sonic Team's first original smartphone game, Sonic Runners, was released by SEGA. While it was accompanied by a fairly informative interview with Takashi Iizuka, the trailer itself was more of a teaser than anything, using footage from the beloved Genesis games and throwing out catchphrases and slogans without much actual information at all. Sonic Runners is getting pretty close to its launch in Japan, so we've finally got a gameplay video that gives out more details and, most importantly, shows us what the actual game looks like...

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