Star Defense review

I purchased Star Defense back in July 09 and have only just managed to play it. With a barrage of games to play this was put on the back burner. After purchasing an IPAD I decided to give this a go on this device. I have been playing this on and off over the past few weeks and managed to complete the game whilst watching the world cup games :)

The objective of the game like any other strategy tower defense game is to defend your base from the incoming enemies this time being aliens. The hook of this game seems to be the planet being your level which is an ingenious piece of level design. You pinch, pan and zoom around the globes and add towers in key locations to defend your base. Enemies come in waves and in a variety of sizesthey are immune to certain types of weaponry i.e. fire, plasma. So you really need to have an assortment of cannons placed to maximise your chances of success.

A few strategy hints I could give is to make the most of your environments. You need to really use each tower/gunner in the optimal position i.e. covering the most area/radius possible. Also, it is better to upgrade your weaponry rather than adding towers. The plasma and flame cannons should be your staple and adding the slow down cannons at key locations such as opposite flame or plasma cannons can help but I wouldn’t use them more than two or three of them on each level. I completed the last level using only 20 out of 30 possible towers and the majority were upgraded to the max.

Lastability is around 8-10 hours. The fourth planet was really challenging and took the most effort. It is a very addictive game but there are gameplay balancing issues as mentioned before which hampers the experience a little bit they could learn a thing or two from Popcap. All in all I enjoyed this very much and similar to Plants vs Zombies has that ‘one more go’ appeal.

4/5

Microsoft Natal = Kinect

So have seen some of the videos on IGN.com and computerandvideogames.com for the newly named Kinect. To be honest I am not that impressed.

So have seen some of the videos on IGN.com and computerandvideogames.com for the newly named Kinect.  To be honest I am not that impressed.

The videos show nothing new so far and looks like a blatant rip off of the Wii.  The Kinect sports game seems painful and tiresome to play.  I am no couch potato but I live above someone and I don’t think the stampeding of four players is a good idea when playing the hurdles event in Kinect sport.

The only thing the Kinect seems good for is using as a virtual remote by using hand gestures a la Minority report.  This seems like an expensive investment if you are using as a virtual remote and let’s be honest judging by the games so far that’s what it’ll end up being.

Good idea on paper but execution is poor, put in the list as the most costliest failure ever.  I have said all along that Sony have taken the right strategy with the PS Move and are showing games which will appeal to all audiences.  With regards to Nintendo Wii they can rest in peace.  It’s gonna take a lot to convince me.

Intro/logo screens really necessary??

I hate intro/logo screens.  Is it really necessary in today’s gaming?

There is nothing worse than loading up something like Fifa 10 and for the first few minutes of your game having to see all the logo screens.  Multiply this by the number of times you access the game it becomes a significant number.  Surely if someone wants to know who created the game they can go to the credits section?  Or even have logos placed on the menu screen as small icons/logos maybe similar to a web page?

I am sick and tired of seeing logos technology specific i.e. softdec, unreal engine, havok engine, dolby surround sound etc etc.  The list goes on and on.  Not forgetting the logo screens for the games’ publisher and developer.  The gaming industry really need to get the UI right as this is the first impressions of a game.  I think Nintendo have this more right than others.  I think the worst offence that can be committed is to have a intro movie right at the begininng which you cannot skip but that is another story.

The way I see it booting up straight to the menu page doesn’t seem like a huge deal now as most games require a compulsory install or require a straight install.  Previously games have had logo screens in order to hide the fact that the game was loading in the background.

What do you think add your comments below?

Iphone 4 details

Iphone 4 has finally been confirmed with a UK release date of 24th June. Pricing has yet to be announced by O2, T mobile, Orange and Vodafone.

Iphone 4 has finally been confirmed with a UK release date of 24th June.  Pricing has yet to be announced by O2, T mobile,  Orange and Vodafone.

The new Iphone looks very good on paper and with the new OS firmware which includes multi-tasking plus a raft of other features we are in for a treat.

The features are:

  • 5 megapixel camera with flash
  • Imovie (App purchase seperately)
  • Slimmer form factor
  • Wider viewing angle
  • High resolution display
  • Facetime for video chats over WIFI
  • Front facing camera
  • Longer batter life
  • Glass back and front
  • Metal housing
  • A4 processor (speed hasn’t been confirmed; could be same as IPAD)
  • 720P video recording
  • 16GB or 32GB version
  • Gyroscope for full six axis movement – ideal for gaming

Looks brilliant and has upped the stakes in the mobile space.  Can’t wait to play games even smoother and crisper than before.  Bring it on!!!

Mirror's Edge review

I love this game. Despite playing the majority of the story mode without realising that you can pick up weapons (not explained in game very well I thought but I’ll forgive them) :)

I love this game.  Despite playing the majority of the story mode without realising that you can pick up weapons (not explained in game very well I thought but I’ll forgive them) :)

Dice have come up trumps with the look and feel of this game.  Also, the sound created by Solar Fields is nothing short of stunning.  Both graphics and sound really pull the whole concept of running and jumping through the environments together by adding verve and agility to the pacing.

Some people will not get this game due to it crossing several barriers such as running and jumping through first person mode and secondly, the simplistic nature in its combat.  Which neither makes it a traditional first person shooter or say a platformer.

However, saying that I liked the fact this is trying to break new ground and for the most parts the combat, running and jumping works.  There are moments of slow down in pace which doesn’t sit comfortably with the running sections.  It is more fun running across and over buildings which gets your adrenaline pumping rather than the minimalist shooting sequences which can frustrate especially given your health bar.

The story mode lasted around the 8-10 hour mark for me and then you can take on the challenge mode.  It is a worthwhile game those looking for something different and willing to take the gamble.  I loved the art direction and for the most parts the environments and characters.

4/5

Plants vs zombies review

I am the type of gamer who likes to complete a game once and never go back to it. There are a few exceptions such as the Zelda or Mario series but generally I don’t.

I am the type of gamer who likes to complete a game once and never go back to it.  There are a few exceptions such as the Zelda or Mario series but generally I don’t.  However, having played the MAC version during Christmas 2009 and thoroughly enjoying it I purchased the Iphone version.  It is the same game and I purchased this as an impulse buy on the iphone.

I have found myself playing this game again.  This is a rare statement.  The game is phenomenally addictive.  It has a simple desktop tower defence gameplay where you as plants have to protect the house from the incoming zombies.  With the PC version you can purchase extra gear from Crazy Dave to help you against the zombies.

You have selection of plants which serve different purposes as in any equivalent tower defence game.  Zombies range in size and movement.

The gameplay is perfectly balanced to the Nth degree.  You will find yourself coming back again and again.  There is something magical about this game similar to Zelda and Mario where you can’t quite put your finger on it but you know that it is perfect.  It is a long game and lasted me around the 12 hours mark.  There are extra modes in the PC/MAC versions.  I highly recommend this one.

5/5

PixelJunk shooter review

This game reminds me of Solar Jetman for some reason. Maybe it is collecting things on a 2D plane controlling a ship. Your job is to save the scientists/miners whilst navigating your spaceship through obstacles and the ever changing environment.

This game reminds me of Solar Jetman for some reason.  Maybe it is collecting things on a 2D plane controlling a ship.   Your job is to save the scientists/miners whilst navigating your spaceship through obstacles and the ever changing environment.

The controlling of the ship is basic where the fun really comes from is exploring the 2D environments and playing around with the fire, earth and water elements to complete stages is a lost mechanic of the 8 bit/16 bit era.  I ended up restarting a lot of the levels as I wanted to get a perfect score and save all the scientists.

It is pure old skool gaming with updated visuals and sound.  Speaking of the sound it has some amazing techno/ambient music in this game.  The game lasts for around 5-7 hours depending on your gaming prowess.  It has amazing sound with great gameplay mechanics.  I can’t wait for the sequel.

5/5

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood multiplayer

Details are starting to emerge on Assassin’s Creed brotherhood which will focus on multiplayer. Up to 8 players is supported with each taking on the role of an Assassin with the goal to kill each other in the stealthiest way possible.

Details are starting to emerge on Assassin’s Creed brotherhood which will focus on multiplayer.  Up to 8 players is supported with each taking on the role of an Assassin with the goal to kill each other in the stealthiest way possible.

It looks as though the same development team that created the multiplayer component of Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow will be working on this.  It sounds intriguing…. after enjoying Assassin’s Creed 2 I am looking forward to this.