Number of Results: 3
Ravenous Games is best known for their breakout hit, League of Evil. If you don’t have it yet, chances are you either just got an iDevice, or detest platformers with a passion. If you do, then you know how extremely high Ravenous set the bar for the rest of the platforming development community, as well as themselves. Playing LoE, it was hard to believe that the same developers of Cave Run had come so far, and gained such an incredible understanding of what made a Speedrun Platformer great. But they did, and after the releases of Burger Cat and LoE 2, it was again hard to believe that it was the same development team. Granted, it was great seeing another side of the studio, but they were far from touching the same bar that LoE set. Now, Ravenous has released yet another title, Random Heroes, another action platformer, originally a Flash game, with Run’n’Gun elements.
Random Heroes is the story of a city who’s been overrun by monsters from another dimension after a couple of kids knocked over the wrong tombstone in the city’s cemetery. Now a group of unlikely heroes are the city’s only hope. The story doesn’t come back into play until after you complete the 30 stage (33 if you include boss battles) game. You’re right if you’re thinking that doesn’t seem like a whole lot of content. A lot of players have beat the game in roughly an hour. Then there are others who might not have a chance.
Seems Random Heroes is plagued by random crashes and lost iCloud save data as well. Crashing has the potential of sending you back close to 15 stages, depending on how long you spend playing, and playing on more than one device could potentially send you back just as far, if not more so, depending on how far into the game you got before trying it on another device. There are quite a few users who haven’t even gotten through the first stage because of crashing, which can be pretty upsetting. There’s also quite a bit of lag and slowdown.
If you’re lucky enough to not have to deal with those issues, chances are, you might not enjoy the game as much as you thought you would. The enemy AI is pretty bad, requiring a simple jump over and shoot from behind maneuver to outwit them. There are also multiple areas where enemies will get stuck in walls when turning around, making them very easy prey. It does get a little more complex in the later stages, but basically only because of the amount of ammo the enemies pump out, and how quick they are. You’ll also soon discover that there’s a lot of just standing and shooting, as even with a high powered weapon and character, you’ll still need between 2 and 6 slow reloading shots in order to take the enemies out.
Speaking of high powered weapons, there is a shop where you’ll be able to spend your collected coins purchasing various weapons with different reload and firing speeds as well as damage stats. You’re also able to purchase different characters, each having different health, damage, and agility stats, which is nice, and does give the game a little bit of replay value if you’re determined to unlock them all. Also adding to the replay value is GameCenter integration with 24 achievements, but with no scoring or timing system, there’s also no leaderboards, which is kind of a downer.
The level design isn‘t bad, with multiple branching paths giving players some sense of exploration, which is nice. Though this does lead to some levels becoming very easy if you’re not into exploration, and only taking about 10 seconds to complete.
Graphically, Random Heroes looks a lot like League of Evil, especially the user interface, which looks like it was ripped out of LoE. For platformer fans, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the graphics and UI in LoE are one it’s strong suits. The animations add to the gameplay’s aesthetic, and never get dull, and the controls and physics are, as you would expect coming from Ravenous, top notch, so long as you aren’t playing on an iPad, which, to be comfortable, requires that your thumbs are as long as hot dogs.
I really tried to like Random Heroes. I tried not comparing it to League of Evil, I tried to overlook the crashing, lagging and saved data losses, I tried not to get upset when loosing over 2,000 coins, and be positive when barely moving around when confronting enemies, but it’s hard to really focus on Random Heroes strengths with so many issues, problems, and the lack of content constantly staring you in the face. For $0.99, it’s worth checking out to see if it’ll run on your device(s). Coming from Ravenous, there’s no question that a lot of these issues will be dealt with in a future update, though how long that update takes, and what all it adds to the game is up in the air. Basically all I can say is this; if you want League of Evil, stick with League of Evil, if you want a Run’N’Gun platformer, INC is your best bet, and if you ever want to see Ravenous release another LoE, you might just want to get rid of those hopes.
Bringing back old-school gaming to the iOS seems to be a fairly lucrative investment. If it wasn’t, I doubt we’d see companies do it over and over again. But this also benefit’s the players, if not just as much. We’re able to buy back memories from our youth for pennies on the dollar, and if you can deal with touch screen controls, it’s almost always worth it. This week, SNK took a second chance at releasing a Metal Slug title for the iOS, and after spending some time with it, this is THE ONE to get if you’re a fan of Run-n-Gun gameplay; Metal Slug 3. Originally released for the Neo-Geo back in 2000, and on the PS2, XBOX, XBLA, Wii, PSP, and PC since, this classic title has now hit the AppStore, and fans of the game, and series, have a lot to be happy about. No more Metal Slug Touch, no more tilt controls, no more vehicle-only gameplay, no more clunky controls, no more! Finally, iOS gamers have a faithful port of Metal Slug, and one of the best titles of the series at that.
Metal Slug 3 happens to be the first Metal Slug that features branching paths in each stage, letting players choose different paths, each having different difficulties, enemies, guns, and amount of hostages. All of the paths lead to the same boss battle at the end of each stage, but which path you choose has a direct influence on your score, and in some cases, the challenge presented. There are 2 gameplay options, Single and Multiplayer, each having 4 different difficulties, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Very Hard, as well as your choice between Arcade and Mission Modes. Multiplayer is a co-op mode, and is only available through local Bluetooth, but it’s still a great feature if you have two devices, or a friend with an iDevice. Arcade and Mission Modes are the same, except that Mission Mode lets you select which of the 5 stages you’d like to play, with each stage being unlocked after you reach it in Arcade Mode. You’ll also have 4 different characters to choose from, two male, and two female.
The controls are surprisingly good. You’re given a joystick, and 3 buttons, and can be placed anywhere on the screen. The buttons are for jumping, shooting, and throwing grenades, and are nice, responsive, and tight. I’ve never run into a situation and blamed controls for an un-necessary death, which is pretty impressive, especially considering how hectic the gameplay gets. In the options menu, you’re also able to change the aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3, you can change the video filtering on or off, which either smoothes out the edges of everything, or gives you that great crisp pixel look, and you can also add scanlines to the game at either 50% or 100%, which adds to the old-school feeling.
Like previous Metal Slug titles, there are quite a few vehicles which you’ll come across, most of which haven’t been seen in previous titles; the Slug Driller, Slug Mariner, Elephant Slug (which is one of my favorites), Ostrich Slug, Astro Slug (my definite favorite), and plenty more. You’ll also come across characters which, when freed, will help you out, providing some extra fire-power. Like, believe it or not, an UZI wielding Monkey.
There are some issues with the game right now, but nothing that can’t be easily fixed in an update. The video settings are not saved when you exit the app, which means if you want scanlines, or the pixel look, you’ll have to change this every time you start the game up. Also, the controls do wind up covering the action sometimes. Hopefully with the video settings, a dead-zone will be able to be added, changing the video size to 80% or close to that, so that players fingers won’t cover up the action. This little issue however, is only noticeable on the iPod and iPhone. On the iPad, your fingers will pretty much never cover up any of the action.
So, is Metal Slug 3 worth checking out? Most definitely. For $6.99, being Universal, including Bluetooth co-op, GameCenter integration with a world-wide leaderboard, and 30 achievements, great controls, awesome graphics, insanely addictive and entertaining gameplay. Yes, it’s a must buy, especially for fans of the genre who have been, well, at the very least, let down, by about 95% of the AppStore’s previous Run-n-Gun offerings.
Star Marine: Infinite Ammo is an frantic shoot n’ run game in the vein of the classic arcade games Contra and Metal Slug. Glitchsoft brings back the old vibe but with some baggage of the 21st Century.
The game starts off with a short intro that explains why you are on the ship and that you must escape. To do that you must fight through hordes of alien invaders. The story is obviously not the strong suit of the game, but do you really need a good reason to kick some alien ass?
Controls are a tricky thing to master in all iOS games and as a result the games sucess really depends on how well these are implemented. You are given an eight direction D-Pad on the right side of the screen and a slider bar on the left side. The slider bar allows you to move right, left and to duck. The jump button is located next to the D-Pad which could be a problem if not for the floaty phsyics. Since the game is set on a space ship, your jumps take an abnormally long time to pull off which allows you fire at enemies below or at high up explosives with relative ease. The controls in general are decent and allow you to control Arc(your character) fairly well.
The graphics are very retro and suit the game perfectly. They definitely harken back to the old arcade cabinent days and are very well defined on the screen despite the lack of retina display integration. On the iPad the game is very blurry in 2x mode so your best bet is to wait for Universal to be added in an update. They plan on doing this if the game really takes off.
The iAP level is on a scale of how obtursive they are in relation to the game experience. Unfortuantely for this modern interperation of Contra it is crippled by its rather in-your-face iAP. In Contra you could use the Konami code to get 30 extra lives while in this game you can pay for them. Also availble for in app purchase are health packs for when your health gets low, and wings for when you fall into the abyss by accident. If you dont have these items you have to restart the whole level which makes this game quite the grind fest if you dont pony up the cash. You can also pay for these items using gems, the currency you can get from playing the game. (You can also buy packs of gems) Also dependant on these gems are weapon purchases and upgrades. So if you suck at the game you are going to go through tons of gems buying extra revives and new weapons to tackle the fast enemies/strong bosses.
Star Marine: Infinite Ammo is certainly a worthwhile investement if you loved all those classic arcade games or are just hankering for a good shooter. Though the iAP hamper the immersion factor of the game they are not ultimately necessary to complete the game. At the price of two Big Macs you dont want to miss this.