Gamepad: My Favorite Mobile Games

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Yay, another post about mobile games. But hear me out (or see, or whatever): mobile games are feckin fun!! Just try to remember the last time you had to think about something while on the toilet, or stare at nothing in class, or try to avoid contact with strangers in public transport? No, really think about it. We take our phones for granted, So I decided to make a list of my favorite mobile games ever.

10. Beast Quest 

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Even though not all of us are Nintendo fans, I think we can all agree that the Legend of Zelda is a pretty sweet game series. Beast Quest is the closest thing to that, and it’s on mobile! How cool is that?!? It offers a pretty unique approach to fighting monsters and has some cool RPG mechanics built in.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

9. Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter is what you get when Bethesda puts their mind into something pretty abstract. It gives you control of your own vault, and you can even choose the number ( Vault 420 AYYYY). You’re tasked with taking care of your subjects and building additional rooms. There was a big content update about two weeks ago, so it’s worth giving a shot, even if you’re not playing it anymore.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

8. Clash of Clans

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a pretty good chance you already know about Clash of Clans, the online strategy mobile game, that’s all about upgrading stuff and conquering people, by destroying their stuff. Many people really can’t understand just how addictive Clash of Clans can get, and there’s a good reason for that.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

7. Major Mayhem

Major Mayhem is a cool shoot-em-up game from Adult Swim, the network that gave us gems like Cartoon Network itself, The Eric Andre show, Black Jesus and many more weird shows. So it’s no surprise that a mobile game made by them is a lighthearted comedy mess, poking fun at classic action movies.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

 

6. N.O.V.A. 3

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Smartphones and tablets were clearly not designed with FPS games in mind, and most of the time said games run terribly on pocket devices, however N.O.V.A. 3 is an exception to that rule. The aim assist in this game is incredibly polished, and for once it actually feels fun to play an FPS on mobile. The story is nothing special but is on the level of a AAA title in my book.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

5. Crossy Road

Crossy Road pretty much defined 11th grade for me. It’s also one of the reasons I’m bad at Spanish (that and my general lack of care for that subject). The game is so simple – it’s ridiculous, all you have to do is tap so you can cross the roads and not die from getting hit by cars or drowning. You also collect characters which is a pretty addictive feature as well.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

4. Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes

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Star Wars Galaxy of heroes is a turn based strategy RPG that’s all about collecting characters and upgrading them. Now, if I was to remove the Star Wars part from the whole thing, the game becomes pretty dull, but that’s fine because all we need is more Star Wars games in our lives. It also has the best daily login reward system I’ve ever seen and I did an article on the game a few weeks ago, that you should definetely read!

Download here (Android) (iOS)

3. Injustice Gods Among UsInjustice-Gods-Among-Us.png

Like the videogame and comic book series of the same name, Injustice is a fighting game… brought to mobile. Don’t expect anything great, mechanic wise it’s all about swiping and blocking with two fingers, but the card collection is where this game shines very bright. It also has a pretty competitive Multiplayer mode and there’s new challenges every month. About a week ago, it got a new content update, so I advise you to try it out.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

2. Sword of Xolan

8 bit is best bit, and Sword of Xolan shows just how beautiful a pixelated game can be. It’s also the ultimate pocket-friend: a 2D, 8 bit, side-scroller game that requires no internet connection to run. It’s pretty damn fun as well.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

1. Plants vs. Zombies

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The number one game on this list is technically not a mobile game (shocking I know). The original Plants vs. Zombies remains one of the most immaculately designed games I’ve ever played, and the interface of the game is just soo mobile friendly, it’s uncanny. Unlike its half-decent, half pay-to-win sequel, the original PvZ is a game you can enjoy without spending a dime.

Download here (Android) (iOS)

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Mobile Games – The Future Of Gaming Or Toilet Entertainment?

Please welcome

I’ve been enjoying some Fallout Shelter ever since it came out on Android. It’s a pretty neat little game, in fact the Play Store is chalk full of them. I consider myself a gamer, because I play games on multiple platforms, but what if I only played on my phone or tablet? Would I still be a gamer, or just someone wasting his time? Continue reading

My personal favorite games for busy people

Being an adult is hard sometimes. We have to pay bills, make appointments, go to meetings, go to work, sleep, and what feels like a million other things. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to be a gamer. It can be incredibly frustrating for so many adults now to see a game like Fallout 4 is coming out, only to think, “If only I had enough time to dive into that game like I used to do with others”. Thoughts like that end in a lot of people giving up their hobby of playing video games, since they have a hard time finding extra hours in the week to allocate for playing. If this sounds like you, keep up hope! There are tons of games that can be played during any free ten to thirty minutes you have without missing out on the full experience! I’ve gathered a small list of my personal favorites to play for short periods of time (in no particular order). So let’s get started. Continue reading

The State of Konami: A look at the video game giant in dark times

 

Japanese video game developer Konami holds the keys to some of the most beloved franchises in all of video gaming. Lately, though, they have not been held in the highest regards in the hearts of many gamers. Multiple creative minds responsible for games such as Castlevania have left Konami, and recent reports hint that there may be serious problems inside Konami Digital Entertainment itself. So now a new question is lingering in the minds of many in the industry. Does Konami still care about traditional video game development? This is not an easy question to answer, and is only complicated further by Konami Corporation’s other business ventures. Konami operates a gaming and systems business (for casinos), a pachinko/pachislot company (another popular form of gambling), and a health and fitness business that includes health clubs,  exercise machines, and other health products. However, Konami didn’t start out as any of these things. Continue reading

Fifa 15: Ultimate Team for Android Review

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This year, EA decided to drop the pretense that they even make mobile FIFA games for any reason other than the Ultimate Team mode. This, of course, is the mode in which EA hopes to make truckloads of money through microtransacions. Luckily, I rarely felt I was being cheated when trying to play through without the use of real money.

Let’s start off with the biggest dissapointment of FIFA 15: Ultimate Team. Instead of just focusing more on Ultimate Team than other modes, EA has completely removed all modes except Ultimate Team, leaving no trace more traditional modes. The only time I imagine this is much of a problem, though, is for soccer fans who very much just want to play soccer as their favorite team. Personally, while being a soccer fan, I don’t follow the sport closely enough to really care about what team I play as. This actually makes the game better for me, as the entire game I get to play as my own team.

To be completely honest, Ultimate Team is the only game I’ve ever played on a mobile device that was able to make me have the same experience I have when playing many console games. The control scheme is tight, A.I. can be challenging, and I often found my emotions running high in a close game as the 90th minute came closer. FIFA 15 has a good variety of control schemes and customization for different play styles. The default control scheme has a minimalized number of buttons to perform basic functions, while the classic and diamond control schemes allow a bit more control over the game.

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The more advanced control schemes allow for more complex moves such as chip shots, finnesse shots, through passes into open space, and more. Instead of overloading the screen with buttons, functions that include shooting, passing or tackling are achieved by either pressing the on screen button for the basic move, or pressing the button then sliding in a certain direction to achieve the desired result (i.e. press shoot then slide up for a chip shot over the goal keeper). Another interesting addition is autorun which allow user controlled players to move about on their own when not recieving input from the player. At first, I thought this would be annoying and feel like an “assist” (autorun can be toggled off in the options menu), but I actually found it a great way to be able to look around and plan my attack without having to babysit the player with the ball.

Graphically, FIFA 15 runs incredibly smoothly at a high resolution, and is comparable to PS2/Xbox graphics. Player models are basic but they look very good (though they all look like they’re wearing terrible hairpieces). The UI is very simple and easy to use, though it might take a while to grow accustomed to menus in charge of club/squad customization. The audio is also very well done, from having a good menu soundtrack of international pop music, to the impressive commentary system (which is an optional download of a few hundred megabytes seperate from the base game).

My biggest fear going into Ultimate Team was that I would put my time into the game only to hit a microtransaction wall. While I can forsee situations in which this would be possible, I find it unlikely to happen to the average player. After only playing the game for about a day, I had already built a squad of mostly gold level players with a rating in the high seventies, that was able to plow over most teams in the beginner, amateur, and semi-pro difficullties. The game is very generous in awarding in game currency and packs for winning games, tournaments, and seasons. This currency can be used to buy different levels of packs that contain players, consumables, staff, kits, stadiums, and even new balls.

The game also features a player to player marketplace that allow players to sell and bid on any in game item (though you can’t sell items you get in packs you get for completing achievements). So if you’re lucky enough to get a player from a very popular team, you may be able to auction them off at such a high price you’ll find it hard to run out of coins any time soon.

The biggest push for microtransactions comes from what EA calls “consumables”. There are a variety of consumables, but the only two you’re likely to care about are contracts and fitness. All players have a set amount of matches they will play before their contract expires, then you will have to use a one time use contract on them to have them play any more. However, I have played over 100 games in FIFA 15 now and have never run out of consumable contracts I received in various packs, and even if I do run out I can get them for a low amount of in-game currency on the transfer marketplace. Fitness works much in the same way as contracts. The more your players play their fitness value goes down which makes them play more sluggishly and possibly more open to injuries in a season. Luckily, though, I found that there are team fitness resupplies that are fairly cheap on the marketplace, so I simply stocked up and shoudn’t need to purchase anymore for some time.

FIFA 15: Ulitimate Team is possibly the most fun I’ve ever had in a mobile game. Though the game is free and has microtransactions, You’re unlikely to feel you’re ever missing anything by playing without buying anything as everything is available using the abundant in-game currency. Don’t expect it to give you the same experience you find on current generation consoles, though it can be just as fun at it’s best times.

FINAL SCORE

FIFA15:ULTIMATE TEAM

8/10

5 Android Games for Real Gamers

So, you like games, and you want to play them on your phone, but you want to do more than sling irritated birds at sickly looking pork. You want to play a real game, one with a story and bullets and cars and voice acting and maybe even multiplayer. The problem with this is you’ve let the list of top games fool you, let it trick you into believing that you wish for something that isn’t there, but actually, it’s been there all along. The following list is composed of games available for Android OS, though they may be available for iOS as well. Please remember that not all Android phones are created equal, and many of these games require or recommend a phone with a lot of RAM and a good processor.

1. Grand Theft Auto III (10 year anniversary edition): $4.99

I wasn’t surprised when I learned that Grand Theft Auto was available for Android. However, my bottom lip hit the floor when I scrolled down and read the big “III” underneath. Grand Theft Auto III was released on the PS2 and Xbox. This means that a game that was incredibly huge for last generation consoles can now be played on a phone that only weighs a few ounces.

This isn’t some watered-down GTA, this is the real thing. Everything is here. The voice acting, guns, radio stations, cars, pedestrians, missions, everything. And honestly, what better game can there be to entertain yourself while on the move than Grand Theft Auto. If you don’t have time to dive into the missions, you certainly can spare a moment to gun down civilians as well as the paramedics who arrive on scene to treat your victims.

2. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation: $6.99

When I saw the Modern Combat series on the list of top Android games, I assumed that it simply capitalized on the name because it is very similar to the Modern Warfare trilogy as well as Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. My assumption was right, as it seems Gameloft happened to release the newest addition to the IP around the same time as Modern Warfare 3 was released. However, despite this less than classy marketing scheme, Fallen Nation really impressed me. It’s fully voice acted, includes several set pieces reminiscent of current-gen Call of Duty games, and has the best graphics I’ve witnessed on an Android game.

Along with these great graphics, Gameloft has managed to include surprisingly balanced and swift gameplay. Expect to go from manning a mounted gun on a helicopter to fighting indoors, and finally on street level in a short period of time. Enemies aren’t smart, but seem more realistic than I expected.

One thing hard to accomplish on a mobile FPS is good controls, and while you won’t feel like your holding an AK in your hands, you’ll at least be able to shoot it where you want (usually). Modern Combat 3’s controls are far from perfect, but if I wasn’t spoiled from constant use of a dual analog controller, I’d say the game controls well.

Now, if all of that wasn’t quite enough, Modern Combat 3 includes online multiplayer with up to a dozen players. So, if for some reason you feel the need to shoot people from around the world while riding the bus, by all means do it. Overall, this is a great game. Modern Combat 3 feels like a current-gen console game more than once, and it’s certainly worth the purchase for any FPS fan.

3. Real Racing 2: $4.99

EA is no stranger to mobile games. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was used to show the capabilities of gaming phones for quite a while, and games such as Mass Effect: Infiltrator, SimCity Deluxe, and NBA Jam show that Electronic Arts know what they’re doing when crafting a game for the mobile market (as long as you don’t count compatibility issues and customer support, but what else could you expect from EA). At some point someone at EA said, “Hey, we should make a racing game where cars actually feel like cars!”.So they got some sponsors and licensed some vehicles, spent a lot of money (not on a creative name, though) and made Real Racing.

Real Racing is a good game, but of course, as is the way with mobile games, the sequel is much better. The game features a handful of licensed cars that are all rendered beautifully, including fully rendered interiors that can be seen from the cockpit view (one of the many views available). The best part of the game is that it actually feels like I’m racing. It’s no Gran Turismo or Forza, but Real Racing 2 at least does it’s job, and is a relatively pain-free racer that can easily entertain racing fans when they’re not in front of a television.

4. FIFA 12

I hate to put EA on a list twice, but this time I had no choice. FIFA 12 is a great example of what can be done on an Android device. It has features that rival those of last-gen sports games, fluid animations, and a very natural feeling control system. Even though in most ways it is, FIFA 12 never really feels like a watered-down game. It feels like a sports game that has figured out how things should be done.

Features included in FIFA 12 include all the stats you could want, a season mode, shootout mode, decent commentary (not too repetitive surprisingly), and replay saves among others. Usually handheld versions of sports games feel like a game that came out a long time ago, but FIFA just doesn’t. When the goalie stops a shot, his hand actually hits the ball (as opposed to being in the same area of the ball as seen in the past).

Basically, if you need a sports fix while on the go, look no further. FIFA 12 is the best you’ll find.

XPLANE 9: $2.99

You might have heard of XPLANE before. It’s a flight simulator usually used on computers, at NASA, etc., and somehow, it made it’s way to phones. Who would’ve thought of taking a professional flight simulator and putting it on their phone? No idea, but whoever it was, thank you.

XPLANE 9 on Android isn’t quite the same simulator you’ll find at NASA, but you’ll be surprised at just how realistic it can be. This game features several different locations, weather types, planes (though you’ll have to pay more for the bigger jets); There is wind, and even simulated system failures.

It’d be nice to have a more realistic cockpit view, and you can’t see most of the plane’s instruments while looking at where you’re going.  Gyroscope control is a nice touch, and works pretty well.

Hope you enjoyed this top 5! If you believe something else should have been included, or if something shouldn’t have been on the list in the first place, comment below!

The Microsoft Surface Finally Surfaces

On Monday, June 19th at a press conference in Los Angeles, California, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, finally unveiled Microsoft’s first ever tablet PC. Entitled the Microsoft Surface, this is Microsoft’s leap into the tablet industry in what they claim to be greater than Apple’s iPad. Standard competitor trash-talking aside, the specs of the Surface speak for itself (full list of both model’s spec as well as a comparison with the iPad 3 can be found here).

The Surface will be launching alongside  Windows 8 (currently expected to be released fall 2012) and will also be powered by the Windows 8 OS. In an industry filled with Apple and Android powered tablets, it will be interesting to see how this newbie does. This announcement also coincides with the previous announcement during Microsoft’s E3 press conference for SmartGlass. A new, innovative way of increasing connectivity across tablets, phone, Xbox, and more, expect the Surface to take full advantage of enhancing your entertainment experience.

But ultimately as a gamer, you’re most likely wondering what does this mean for you? Well, personally as a fan of both Microsoft and mobile gaming, I see this as a perfect marriage of the two. With the processing power the Surface boasts, you’ll be able to play any normal PC game without sacrificing anything all the while being able to do it on the go. However Microsoft would be foolish not to extend their own line of software to the tablet from first party exclusives to the Xbox Live Marketplace. The Surface is Microsoft’s best effort at establishing a foothold in the mobile gaming market, while innovating at the same time.

For more information on the Microsoft Surface, stay tuned with us here and we will keep you up to date as always!