Category Archives: $8.99

'Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas' Review - Zelda Is Better Without the Princess

To say that Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas [$8.99] is like The Legend of Zelda, particularly the seafaring The Wind Waker game, is an understatement. Developer Cornfox & Bros. is unapologetic in its attempt to emulate the successful Nintendo action-adventure series. This is Zelda through and through, but it’s not as good. Pretty damn close, though...

In 1991, a game named Street Fighter II came along and it started off a whole new genre. Okay, the one-on-one fighting game had already been around for a fair while but with its multiple punch and kick buttons, super moves and large range of characters, Capcom's flagship arcade game redefined the genre and spawned a relentless swarm of clones. Arguably the largest contributor to the "Street Fighter clone" market was SNK...

I used to love JRPGs. I played all the classics. The Final Fantasies, the Dragon Warriors, the Breath of Fires and the Phantasy Stars. I’ve also played the games that came later, the corrupted blood line of the classic JRPGs that established the clichés that now characterize the genre. The evolution of the JRPG could be likened to a graph with a line that rises steadily over time, peaks for a long while and then descends into a long slow slog into oblivion with an occasional brief spike...

Back at E3 a couple of weeks ago we got our hands-on an upcoming iOS version of Taito's classic arcade shooter RayStorm [$8.99], and today the game is now available on the App Store. Most people in the US are likely to remember RayStorm from its release on the original PlayStation back in 1997, or as a downloadable re-release on XBL and PSN in 2010. During its time, RayStorm was a pretty technically advanced shooter, using the newly popular 3D graphic capabilities of home consoles and marrying it with classic top-down scrolling shooter gameplay. Check out the official trailer...

Last September Namco released Time Crisis 2nd Strike [$6.99/HD], a game that offered a technically competent experience akin to their classic arcade light gun game series, but also one that lost most of what made it fun in the transition to the touch screen. Light gun games just aren’t as good without the, well, light gun. Time Crisis, along with most every other gallery shooter on a touch screen, isn't quite as satisfying when all you have to do is tap directly on a target to shoot it...

Soon, Secret of Mana for the iOS will be released in North America and I'd like to go ahead and put some skeptics' fears at ease: it appears to be a faithful, technically sound port of its SNES source material. Exhaling feels good, doesn't it?..

A couple weeks ago Cave's second bullet hell shooter joined Espgaluda II [$8.99 / Free] on the App Store. Dodonpachi Resurrection [$8.99 / Free] is a very different beast, as we mentioned in our review, so it's really hard to say which is the better game. Both are definitely worth trying if you're even remotely curious in the bullet hell genre, as Cave did an absolutely fantastic job porting both games to the iPhone...

For those of you who had issues installing Espgaluda II onto your 3rd Gen iPod Touches, the new update now fixes that. Along with a few other bugs being fixed:..

Any truly diehard arcade shooter fan will have heard of Cave. Founded in 1994, the Japanese gamemaker is responsible for some of the most highly acclaimed scrolling shooters to have ever appeared in an arcade. With their 1995 release of DonPachi, the company created a new, intense genre of shooter known commonly as the "manic shooter" or "bullet hell" shooter, in which the screen is almost entirely filled with enemy fire, and successfully evading said fire requires extreme control precision and skill. It's a prevalent genre in Japan that is far less-represented in the West. (Some such titles readers may be familiar with include Ikaruga (Xbox 360, Gamecube), Triggerheart Exelica (Xbox 360, PS2, Dreamcast)  and Noiz2sa [App Store].)..

Facing the possibility of bankruptcy in 1987 after a string of failed titles, SquareSoft (now Square Enix) only had the resources left for one final game. Hironobu Sakaguchi was in charge of the seemingly insurmountable task of saving the company. Aptly named, Final Fantasy needed to succeed, and with the help of artist Yoshitaka Amano and composer Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy not only was massively successful, it also spawned the series that has since become the benchmark that nearly all roleplaying games are compared to in one way or another...

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