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Archive for the ‘platformer’ tag

iPhone Review: Mirror’s Edge

Posted on 19th Sep 2010 at 08:33 by Joe Martin with 1 comments

Joe Martin
I played and previewed Mirror’s Edge on the iPhone ages ago, but for some reason it was an iPad exclusive for ages after that. It’s only just been released on the iPhone recently and, interestingly, while the iPhone version is exactly the same as the iPad one, it also manages to be a better game. I’ve played Mirror’s Edge on both platforms and it’s the smaller of the two which is best.

It’s mainly because of the type of game that Mirror’s Edge is. Like Super Quick Hook it’s a fast-paced racer with exploration elements as you search for secrets and new paths through the levels. The levels are short and slick, flying by in a matter of minutes. It’s a game for filling train journeys, not for keeping your hands busy while you watch TV.

It’s an important and often glossed-over distinction, I think. The iPad is great good for laying on your lap and playing slow games that don’t require constant attention. The iPhone is useful for when you need something to fill the uncomfortable silence in a moving lift full of strangers. The iPad is for Scrabble; the iPhone for Hook Champ and Mirror’s Edge.

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iPhone Review: Super Quick Hook

Posted on 29th Jun 2010 at 11:39 by Joe Martin with 4 comments

Joe Martin
Sequel to one of my favourite iPhone platformers, Hook Champ, Super Quick Hook’s is easily one of the most addictive games on the AppStore, even though it’s mainly just an iterative advancement on it’s predecessor. Really, other than new graphics and levels, it doesn’t add all that much to the original formula – if anything, it takes things away and reduces it to the bare essentials.

Where Hook Champ was a cave-based race against time that saw you swinging through caverns in a bid to reach the exit before a giant ghost ate you, Super Quick Hook is a lot more relaxed and open. There’s nothing chasing you now, so you can leisurely take in the scenery and explore the much larger levels in search of secrets.

Control and feature-wise, Super Quick Hook is almost identical to the original Hook Champ though; just touch and hold where you want to shoot your grappling hook and start flinging yourself through the levels and grabbing as many coins as you can. Once you reach the end of a level you’re booted back to the main screen and can use your booty to buy upgrades or cosmetic tweaks before you try another level.

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Free Games I Like: Orton and the Princess

Posted on 15th Jun 2010 at 13:57 by Joe Martin with 7 comments

Joe Martin
I’m a firm believer that it’s better to do something simple very well than it is to fumble something more complicated. So, it’s no surprise that I like indie platformer Orton and the Princess – it’s uncomplicated and polished to perfection. You are the beige square. The eponymous Princess is the pink square. You have to get to the pink square. Then the next level begins.

Gameplay-wise, Orton and the Princess isn’t any different to dozens of other platform games. Avoid the spikes, dodge the traps, reach the end of the level, set a high score. It does a few things though which help to set it apart – little things, like having an incredibly energetic banjo theme tune. Ding-ding-ding,duh-dong-ding!

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First Look: Mirror's Edge iPhone

Posted on 19th Mar 2010 at 10:41 by Joe Martin with 7 comments

Joe Martin
I’m really glad that EA is continuing to develop the Mirror’s Edge series, even on the iPhone. A lot of people poo-pooed the original for being too short and for annoying combat, but it wasn’t something I had a problem with. The fighting wasn’t great, but it served the purpose of slowing the game down a bit. The game may have been short, but it was also very replayable.

I’m pretty happy then that EA’s iPhone version of the game, which I got a chance to see yesterday, is treading along the same grounds. Combat is only a minor part of the game; little more than a distraction really, and the game is short but replayable. That last fact is doubly important for a mobile game.

In other areas though, an awful lot of the game has changed. The limits of the iPhone processing power has meant a change to a side-on perspective, though Mirror’s Edge on the iPhone still manages to retain 3D visuals. Here the simple, stylised look of the series work to EA’s advantage – there’s no need for detailed textures and the like.

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Games I Own: The Prince of Persia Series

Posted on 15th Sep 2009 at 14:05 by Joe Martin with 11 comments

Joe Martin
The Prince of Persia series – by which I mean the Sands of Time trilogy and not either the older or newer games – are a run of games that I have a serious ambivalence with. Like the Monkey Island games, the Sands of Time saga includes both some of my favourite and some of my most hated games.

The Monkey Island game I hate is Escape from Monkey Island, by the way. That game is about as likable as Satan’s mother in law and just thinking about it makes me angry. Likewise, I hate one of the Prince of Persia games so much that I practice thinking about it in the early morning when I can’t be bothered to get out of bed – I hate it so much it gives me energy.

Let’s start with the good news though – The Sands of Time. The first game in the revitalised trilogy, SoT was the one which had the most input from franchise creator, Jordan Mechner – and it shows. Mechner is a truly interesting guy and is currently publishing his old journals from the time when he developed the older PoP games online, which makes for some good lunchtime reading.

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Ten Years On: Doom 3

Ten Years On: Doom 3

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MSI 970 Gaming Review

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MSI Brings its popular Gaming Brand to AM3+ and the 970 chipset

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