iPad Ballblazer

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Brendonian, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Brendonian

    Brendonian Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=300341666&mt=8

    This is a great remake of the classic futuristic football game I used to love on my Commodore 64. I just bought it an hour ago, and I'm really enjoying it. Definately worth it for sheer nostalgia value, but if you haven't seen the oringinal, it's well worth a go. It's very nicely polished, runs nice and smoothly and it's pretty good fun.
     
  2. Shroud

    Shroud Active Member

    Dec 20, 2008
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    I remember playing this game on my Atari 800xl, I think I will pick it up for the old memories as well.
     
  3. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Is it exactly the same as the original C64 game? I'm assuming its by the same developers since they might otherwise have a problem with using the same moniker.
     
  4. blakespot

    blakespot Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    Alexandria, VA (USA)
    I'm a little less fond of this remake, Brendonian.

    As you might know, I'm a retro nut. And Ballblazer is a pretty great game. I've played it on the Apple II and Atari 8-bits (see attached image). (See a video review of the Atari 7800 version here.) But I've got to say that this iPhone release pales in comparison to the originals IMHO.

    The original had two player or bot split-screen, but both were down-oriented on screen given that you couldn't lay a CRT on the table and play face to face. I get the inverse split screen for two player, but in droid mode it should be down-oriented for both, as it does help to keep an eye on the droid's viewpoint to see what he's up to - hard to do when it's a flipped image.

    Also the semi-transparent ball is difficult to spot at a distance. I'm not sure if the playfield is larger here or if it's smaller craft graphics or what, but it's much more difficult to find the ball / other craft in this iPhone remake.

    Points granted for the retro effort, but I hope the developer still has plans in store for this one.

    Also: Don't miss the interesting Playstation remake of Ballblazer. A title worth owning.




    blakespot
     

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  5. Brendonian

    Brendonian Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    You made a couple of good points there. I think it would be great to have the option of single player in landscape mode without the opponent's view to maximise vision for the player.

    I've emailed the developer asking him to consider improving visibility of the ball and the goal posts and given him a couple of other suggestions.

    Despite this issue, I still think this is a great effort.
     
  6. blakespot

    blakespot Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    Blogger, Reviewer
    Alexandria, VA (USA)
  7. blakespot

    blakespot Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    Nice, authentic audio on this one though. I spent some more time with it and am liking it a bit more, but the field seems huge. Is it me or ... is it far larger?


    blakespot
     
  8. Brendonian

    Brendonian Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    It does seem big, but I haven't played the original for many years so I can't really compare it.
     
  9. Rigby

    Rigby Member

    Nov 10, 2008
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    I used to love this game as a kid on the Atari 800, so I couldn't resist the iPhone version. :eek: But can someone explain the controls to me? I just don't get it. Sometimes the arrow gets really small and I can't control the pod at all anymore?!? Also, the description in the appstore says that it supports accelerometer control, but how do you enable it?
     
  10. Brendonian

    Brendonian Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    The game defaults to 2 player, which is touch control only (imagine 2 people trying to tilt the device at the same time!).

    After you first touch the middle of the screen to start, you get options across the screen, START, a timer, and HUMAN. If you press HUMAN, it switches to Droid 1. This means you're playing against a low level droid. press again to increase difficulty.

    You can press in the timer to change how long you want the match to last.

    Finally, press START to begin.

    If you've selected a Droid, it will now ask you to choose either tilt, or touch controls.

    Touch basically involves moving you finger over the entire area of your player's screen, so it does make it a bit hard to see. Push to the top of your screen to go forwards, bottom=backwards, etc.

    Tilt controls require you to hold the device near vertical, and tilt in the direction you want to go.
     
  11. Rigby

    Rigby Member

    Nov 10, 2008
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    Thanks. I now remember the thing with the Droids, which was exactly the same in the original. :) The tilt control works better for me, although it needs a calibration option. I agree with the other comments that the visibility of the ball (and the goal) could be improved, and I also remember the playing field to be smaller (or was the pod just faster?).

    Otherwise it's really nice to have this game on the iPhone. Love the original sound effects. Hopefully the author doesn't get into trouble with Lucas ...
     
  12. GaryBlue

    GaryBlue New Member

    Nov 5, 2008
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    Hey guys,

    I'm the author of the BallBlazer 'homage'; this is great feedback.

    I will be taking all of this into account for the next build so make sure you mention everything that you like or don't like about it - the intention is to build a game that properly represents the quality of the original.

    There is no particular reason for any of the design decisions so feel free to cut it apart as much as you like!

    Regarding the pitch size - does anyone like the larger size? I could switch to the authentic size or add an option to have either.

    Gary
     
  13. Brendonian

    Brendonian Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    hi Gary,

    I'm still enjoying the game, but the more I play it, the more I'm convinced the pitch should be smaller.

    The difficulty is balaced quite nicely. I'm finding Droid 5 a good challenge at the moment. What level can others beat regularly?
     
  14. Rigby

    Rigby Member

    Nov 10, 2008
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    I agree with the smaller field. One of the great things about the original was that you never had the feeling of being lost even though there were few visual clues about the player's position and direction. I think a bigger playing field makes orientation harder.

    Other changes I would propose:
    - flip the upper split screen in droid mode to upright view (just as it was in the original)
    - include a calibration option for the accelerometer control (moving backwards is a pain right now; fortunately you rarely need to do it though).
    - Color the ball and goal posts to stand out more

    - Somewhat more fancy (but I'm not sure how well it would work and how hard it is to implement): Introduce a single-screen mode in landscape orientation for droid play; could be useful considering the iPhone's small screen, but of course you would lose the possibility to take a peek what the opponent is up to. ;)

    Otherwise I think it's a pretty close recreation of the original from what I remember. It definitely has "the feel". :)
     
  15. Brendonian

    Brendonian Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    I've been thinking about the control. I like the tilt controls, but the touch option doesn't really work at the moment. The main problem is that you cover your screen with your finger, so it becomes even harder to find the ball and goals. Also the double-tap to shoot makes it hard to time your shot.

    One option for single player might be to swap the player's and droid's screens, so your finger is only blocking your view of what your opponent's doing.

    My preferred option (again, single player only), would be to ditch the opponent's view, flip the game into landscape mode, and only use say the left 3 quarters of the screen for your view. The right hand quarter would then be free for a virtual thumbstick. You could then just use a single tap on the main view to shoot. Of course, you could swap this idea left to right if preferred.

    I can't think how the control could be improved for 2 player though. That's about as good as it could get :)
     

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