Monthly Archives: April 2015
If variety really is the spice of life, than the number of different Marvel games we’ve seen over the past year or two is the mobile equivalent of a habanero. Yet the tastiest addition could be the most recent title in the mix. Marvel Future Fight is an action RPG that looks great, plays almost as well and tells an interesting story, plus it just happens to be releasing right before a certain movie you might have heard about. Good timing, eh?
The simplest way to describe Marvel Future Fight is as a dungeon crawler, though truthfully Spider-Man is the only one doing any crawling. In the tutorial section, you’re thrown into a battle featuring Thor, Black Panther and Black Bolt against some very familiar foes: themselves. Everything fades to white, which is like super hero comics code for the end of the world, galaxy or universe.
Fortunately, Jocasta (kind of Ultron’s daughter and bride, which is creepy, though she turned good) has a message from Nick Fury in the future concerning a threat that needs to be stopped in the present. Into action you spring, beginning with Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America. Teams of three are the name of the game here, though you eventually are able to add dozens of heroes and villains to your roster.
Missions are fairly straightforward matters of clearing out grunts who attack you in small groups on your way to a boss battle. Future Fight offers you both a touch-based control scheme and one with a virtual stick and buttons. Neither is quite as tight as you’d like once the action starts to get really furious, but at least you have options. There’s also an auto-play button, good for showing you how much more efficient the A.I. is at using your character’s skills than you are. Ultron, is that you?
Speaking of skills, each character begins with two and can unlock more as they level up. These special attacks often look spectacular, like something out of a console fighting game, and they have simple cooldowns that tell you when they can be used again. There’s also a built-in social element common in these types of games where you can summon one character from another player to help you once a level — typically against the boss. You can swap in other team member simply by tapping on their portraits, and it’s fun to get everyone involved.
In-between missions and the fairly elaborate dialogue portions, you’ll be working on improving your heroes and villains in several different ways. There’s gear to upgrade, ISO-8 (like in every Marvel mobile game) to slot in and enhance and a skill or two to improve at any given time. Some of it seems mandatory, but the ISO-8, especially, offers some customization to fit your preferred play style. The soft currency, gold, is needed for almost all of this, while hard currency and social points can help too.
One thing I enjoyed, though others are probably going to dislike, is the way you can gradually earn items (called Biometrics) to let you unlock more heroes and villains. They’re divvied out to you in the same random fashion that nearly every mobile game likes to utilize right now, but there’s something about at least knowing that you are making progress toward that Hulkbuster that feels more satisfying than waiting for it to just pop out of a lucky box.
The character models look outstanding, and they draw from a wide range of sources, including classic and modern comics and the Marvel movies. In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, there’s a tie-in with Avengers: Age of Ultron in the form of a costume pack that grants bonuses to several attributes for each character from the film, and there should be plenty of potential to add more costumes for everyone down the road.
In fact with Elite versions of the normal missions and an Arena mode that unlocks once you’ve made some progress and the promise of events, the sky seems like the limit for Marvel Future Fight.
As it turns out, there is room for another free-to-play Marvel game on the market as long as it’s enjoyable, and this one certainly is.
Mediocre’s driving strategy game Does Not Commute verifies two life truths.
First truth: we know nothing about the people we share the road with, especially not the dude in the next car who’s picking his nose while singing along to a hip-hop remix of Rocket Man.
Second, everyone drives like a moron except you. You’re the only one who really knows what they’re doing, even when you crash into three lamp posts and skitter across the finish line at your destination.
Does Not Commute combines action, driving, and strategy, then serves it all up in a shell that resembles a game of Memory. Each level challenges you to guide several drivers to any one of several street exits using plain old on-screen controls. Simple, right?
Not really. The spoor of each previous car trip lingers as you drive, which makes it necessary for you to weave in and out of the ghost-trails as you travel. If you smush your car up against another commuter’s windshield, or if you bash into any number of decorative street objects lining the curb, your vehicle slows down considerably.
The problem with that is you have a limited amount of time to get all your allotted commuters to their destinations. If you fail to get everyone home (or wherever), you have to start the level over.
There are ways to save yourself the agony of a do-over, however. If a certain trip isn’t going well, you can rewind, though doing so deducts a second from your total countdown. You can pick up coins that extend your time limit, and you have open access to power-ups that improve your car’s grip at the expense of your speed, or vice-versa.
Finally, you can open your eyes and scope out an area before you get down to business. Every level offers hidden alleyways and shortcuts that can make a commute go much more smoothly.
It’s this mental reconnaissance that keeps the constant re-dos in Does Not Commute from getting too aggravating. If a level ends in disaster (and by the way, failure means going back to level one unless you unlock the full game and its checkpoints), it’s your responsibility to map out the streets, the shortcuts, and the time-extenders. Most importantly, you need to create and maintain a system as the roads fill up with cars. Otherwise, you’re going to wind up with a perverse orgy of twisted metal and shrieking horns.
Thankfully, Does Not Commute is hilarious, which is what really keeps you coming back. Every driver you guide down the street has a backstory, and most of them just twisted enough to be an obvious exaggeration, but you still catch yourself wondering “What If?”, because life is absurd.
There are even continuing story lines. Who the hell is Mr Lee’s doppelganger? What did he do with the real Mr Lee? It’s not the same man. He’s even got Mr Lee’s wife fooled! Are you all blind?
Even if Does Not Commute winds up being a bit too repetitive for your tastes, you certainly won’t forget the time you spend with it. That’s high praise for any game on the hyper-crowded App Store.
Sometimes cross-promotions make sense. Sometimes they feel natural. And sometimes, just sometimes, they make me feel like some strange fog has turned my brain inside out and carried me off to crazy town.
Galaga: TEKKEN 20th Anniversary Edition is a free game that’s now available on iOS and Android, and it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fighting game TEKKEN by cramming some of its characters into a 34 year old space shooter.
…because video games.
Even stranger, though, is how little the game does to be anything other than Galaga with different sprites. It might have been neat to play a new Galaga based around characters with unique moves (and the iTunes description almost sounds like they did), but this plays like little more than a fan-made palette swap — at least in the early stages we’ve played.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. I still rave about that Alien-themed Donkey Kong clone I played last year. And we’ve heard there are other Namco cameos in there too that will pop up as special attacks — something that’s definitely not the status quo for Galaga.
If you’re a fan of TEKKEN, it’s no doubt cool to see Bandai Namco recognize the anniversary of the series in unique ways. But this just feels weird.
At least there’s always TEKKEN Card Tournament.
The post Galaga: TEKKEN 20th Anniversary Edition Is a Thing, Because Why Not? appeared first on Gamezebo.
Oops! Glu did it again.
Even since the success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, industry watchers have been abuzz with questions about who the next celebrity will be to strike mobile gold. And while Glu’s competitors haven’t rested on their laurels (Animoca has inked a deal with Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan launched a game that flopped), few companies have been as quick to bring on the stars as the company that started it all.
After signing deals to make games with Katy Perry, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and the possibility of more games with Kim Kardashian-West, Glu have just announced the latest partner in their celebrity lifestyle world: Britney Spears.
While her “top of the pops” days seem to be behind her, there’s still some serious cultural cache to be found in the Spears name. New albums are released regularly, Spears recently spent time as a judge on X-Factor, she has her own line of lingerie, and performs in a successful residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Today’s announcement gives Glu exclusive rights to make a Britney Spears mobile game over the next five years, though they could extend that to eight if all parties involved are amicable to the idea.
Like the Katy Perry and Jenner games, Glu is playing their cards pretty close to the chest on this one. We don’t know exactly what the game will look like, but there’s little doubt that Glu’s investors are hoping they’ll have a hit, baby, one more time.