I’m surely not the guy I was, cutting all the tips and tricks I could get from old magazines of the games I played or haven’t played, but every single tip was worthy of saving, in case some friend of a friend had that special game I could never afford to, and when the day came I’d want to beat it as soon as possible since memory cards where not available and the option to leave the console ON for a whole week just to finish the complete tournaments was a must.
Sure, I’ve never really left the videogames world, and that’s probably one of the reasons my brothers today are such nerds for complete vintage games and 8-bit music, since they pretty much lived in my time, with my games (always 5 years after it’s been out) and my culture, but nowadays with work and all the hobbies I’m interested in time slips away and I haven’t had the time I’d wish I had to just sit around and play for hours a game. Truth is, I can’t even play the same game for weeks over and over as I did before. So, this leaves me to the real point of this post.
Being the owner of an IPod Touch, I pretty much just test any game I can get my hands on. Sure, you can always say “but that’s not a console”. Indeed it’s not and I agree, but the efforts put into the conception and build of many games done for this little gadget have made quite an achievement. For example, take a look at what makes me want to play:
I often wonder where the controls are, as it’s really hard to play on a screen as fast/reliable as you can do it on an actual “joystick”, but when games learn with mistakes and can actually improve on such a simple thing as “moving” the D-Pad according to the finger new pressure point, instead of a fixed D-Pad position makes all the difference. “X2Football” is the perfect example of that. If you remove your left thumb and press somewhere else on the left side of the screen, the game will adjust and acknowledge that there’s now a new D-Pad center position, and from there on follow with the controls. Plus the game it’s really quite good, the best in it’s genre for the iPod, with multiplayer option (yeah, we even have a head-2-head tournament here, eheh) and 3 buttons instead of just 2 (and actually work). The only big fail moment in this game I should say, is the lack of AI when you’re on defensive. You can’t slide in an adversary (90% of the time it’s a fault) and the tackle button just tickles the opponent. Yeah, I’m really being picky on this one but it’s also one of the only games I’ve mention worth a continuous play.
“Rolando 2“. Shit, I just love this game. Couldn’t stop it until it was over. It makes use of the full potential of the accelerometer allied to the fact it’s got one of the best game design of it’s genre, awesome sound design and easy to play. Levels, 3D simulated views, special features, time-attack, bonus gems, online ranking… everything a fun game must have. I finished it, and I loved it!
Design+Gaming+Sound = ADDICTION-IN-A-FUCKIN-PACKAGE
Oh boy… don’t even get me started with this game. “MiniGore“. You just CAN’T play this game once. It’s so addictive! The fact that the sound effects and the illustrations are so well designed are a real eye candy, but making this the simplest of games (SHOOT’n’RUN) that it’s a really no brainer game makes it top notch. You just want to kill more and more and more…till you die! But the song just keeps on going (death is not the sign of game over, but more like “why are you still watching this screen”), and you see your ranking for 2 seconds only to press the screen and immediately start over again to try and beat that score… over and over! The sound never stops, and this really incites you to just keep playing. Ahhh, I hear the sound of the violins. Really, give it a go. Even if you don’t have an iPhuck, just buy the game inside your friends gadget with it’s saved password. He will be pissed at first but will thank you later, trust me.
I’m all grown up now, so let me play inside too!
Just a few examples when things don’t really go as expected:
“Duke Nukem 3D” – Shit, I can’t even get out of where I start. The worst controls ever. Clearly a not tested game, and only out to make a few more bucks.
“Gangstar” – Although GTA is still my only ongoing game of the moment (XBOX), this attempt from Gameloft (clearly the number 1 or 2 publisher of the best games for iPod), a GTA like game fails when it tries to put it all in a little box. Too many controls, makes it complex and hard as hell to play it. I tried… I really tried. This type of game is really hard to play on a gadget like this, so best leave it to the big boys.
“Enigmo 2” – Oh, how much I loved the first version of this game. Puzzles in a time-attack mode, with a tasty sound design that would make you want to lick the screen when the water drops fell over the blocks. But then, they blew it. The 3D version make the game hard to place the piece blocks, which is kind of a big deal since that is the objective of the game. Just making new levels, new ways of interaction and accelerometer inclusion would make it awesome. Too bad.
Oh, and this too…
I know there’s a lot to be said, and the fact I am no avid gammer these days makes me also a doubtful source of knowledge in the matter, but… this is my opinion. I play a lot with this gadget and I see it’s potential, but sometimes it’s just like that. “Less is more”. Either games stick to what they can be on the machines they’re supposed to work for, or just leave it to whoever can do the job. I know it all sums up to the money at the end of the day, but still… Along with this post I’m also writing my letter to Santa to give me an XBox or a PS3 to play for some time. Oh please oh please…