IOS

Review: “Dragon Quest” for iOS

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Dragon Quest box

In 1975, Japanese businessman Yasuhiro Fukushima founded a company called Eidansha Boshu Service Center. It published tabloid magazines that advertised real estate. However, after failing to establish its own chain of stores, Fukushima refashioned the company to focus on gaming software and renamed it Enix. This was in 1982. To find talent for his company, Fukushima created a competition called the “Enix Game Hobby Program Contest.” The contest, modeled after manga competitions, was advertised in computer and manga magazines and offered a prize of one million Yen to the winner. The top winner was an editor for the manga magazine Shonen Jump, Yuji Horii, whose tennis game Love Match Tennis became Enix’s first release.

During the development of another game called The Portopia Serial Murder Case, Horii and his colleague Koichi Nakamura came across a RPG called Wizardry at a Macworld Conference & Expo. Horii became a fan of the game. After finishing Portopia, he decided that he wanted to create a similar game to Wizardry, with the goal of bringing the Western RPG to Japan. A second major inspiration was another RPG called Ultima. While Horii and Nakamura enjoyed the dungeon crawling and statistical nature of RPGs, they realized most gamers would not. He wanted a game that didn’t require being a hardcore gamer; specifically, he wanted to a make a game that the player could play without knowledge of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop RPG, which had been used for years in Japan as a template for homegrown games. He decided the NES was the ideal platform for the game, so that, unlike arcade games, players wouldn’t have to worry about spending money if they died. He simplified the mechanics so the game could be played with a simple NES controller, with a greater emphasis on storytelling and emotional involvement. Manga artist Akira Toriyama, famed for his series Dragon Ball, produced the game’s artwork and well-known television composer Koichi Sugiyama composed the music. The result was Dragon Quest, released in 1986.

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Review: “Dragon Quest VIII” for iOS

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Review: “Dragon Quest VIII” for iOS

Reviewing a Dragon Quest game from an American standpoint is an interesting prospect. The long-running RPG series is a cultural phenomenon in its native Japan. Those in the Japanese gaming industry consider it Japan’s national game, with new Dragon Quest games selling up to four million copies. The series has received live-action ballet adaptations, and its music has been performed annually in concert halls since 1987. There’s even a bar in Tokyo modeled after Liuda’s Bar from the games, where fans can go to swap stories and collect treasure maps.

Why, then, has this series never caught on in the States? Sadly, there were barriers from the start. The first game in the series had to be released under the title Dragon Warrior for copyright reasons, but Nintendo still thought it could rustle up the same excitement as it did in Japan, promoting the game heavily in its magazine Nintendo Power. Dragon Warrior garnered generally good reviews, but sold so poorly — half a million copies, only a third of the number sold in its homeland — that Nintendo had to resort to giving copies away. Nintendo then decided to let U.S. publishing duties fall to Enix, the studio that created the games. The next three games, also released under the Dragon Warrior moniker, sold less copies combined than the original. Following this, Enix opted not to release any of the Super Famicom DQ’s in the States, eventually shutting down its U.S. operations completely.

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Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

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Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

The classic RPG Tales of Phantasia has long been revered by those in the know. Released for the Super Famicom in 1995, it boasted incredible graphics, a not particularly original but still entertaining story, and an innovative real-time battle system. Sadly, the original version never made it to the U.S.. Over time it built a following. In 2003 readers of the renowned Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu crowned it as the best Namco game of all time. Finally a port for the Game Boy Advance saw an American release in 2006. The port received mixed reviews.

Now the game has found its way onto the App Store – for free, no less, and longtime fans – and many such as myself who’ve never played it – were quite excited. But as it turns out, there’s nothing free about this game.

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Tech Review – Pogo on the Go

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Tech Review – Pogo on the Go

With the sudden flux of the artistic stylus hitting the market for tablets. It’s been interesting to see how they all compare. Wacom has the most recent addition with its Intous Creative Stylus.

Now it seems like a good time to visit the stylus that in my opinion started it all: Ten 1 Design’s Pogo Connect. While I’ve had experience with previous models Ten 1 shipped me the latest model with exchange tips, promising not only a unique way to do your artwork but a more realistic feel.

So how does the latest Pogo Connect hold up? Are the nibs the ultimate answer for the mobile artist?

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Review – Plants vs Zombie 2: iOS

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Review – Plants vs Zombie 2: iOS

The world of gaming is certainly filled with various genres, but none caught me more by surprise then Tower Defense. It was a name I heard kicked around the internet, usually connected to German music videos. That was when someone introduced me to Plants vs Zombies, a great introduction into the world of tower defense. I was immediately hooked, and played the crap out of the title.

Now with the sequel debuting on the iOS I figured it was time to give this Free-to-Play tower defense a much needed play through. How does Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s about Time hold up? How does the F2p affect the general game-play?

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Wacom adds Pressure to the iPad Stylus competition

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Wacom adds Pressure to the iPad Stylus competition

The world of digital art is ever changing; it seems once you have a handle on technology, you’d best be prepared for some frequent changes. The tablet market is shaking things up in the realm of computers, and I dreamed that one day that Wacom would throw its hat into the ring with a stylus for the iPad  – and that fantastic Wacom pressure sensitivity.

Let’s just say dreams do come true.

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Samurai Bloodshow Joins Sega iOS

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Samurai Bloodshow Joins Sega iOS

Samurai Bloodshow, a twelfth-century-Japan-themed tower defense/trading card game, joins the Sega iOS lineup today in the United States.

Inspired by the historical conflict between the Taira and Minamoto clans in medieval Japan and rendered in a distinctive style reminiscent of medieval Japanese scrollwork, Samurai Bloodshow has the player arraying forces of samurai and other warriors against a hostile onslaught upon their general. The game combines the unit placement and strategy of tower defense with card-game draw and deck mechanics. Unlike some other tower defense titles, furthermore, Samurai Bloodshow allows the player to order their units to advance or reposition them to other squares for small resource expenditures, incorporating a greater tactical element.

Samurai Bloodshow includes both a single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode. Single-player consists of one hundred levels, and successfully-completed levels reward players with new unit cards to customize their decks. Players can also trade cards with others, or purchase them through a planned in-app store. The game features 64 distinct cards, with possible plans for expansion over time.

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Sega Announces Brick People for Sega iOS

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Sega Announces Brick People for Sega iOS

This fall, Sega is bringing Brick People, based upon a hit arcade title of the same name, to Sega iOS for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.

Players are tasked with feeding the eponymous Brick People by dragging and dropping bricks into the playing field, allowing them to hop and climb their way to presumably delicious fruit. They have 150 seconds to complete as many missions as possible. Upon completing each mission, players are challenged by the “Brick Monster,” who demands players to build specific structures in exchange for more precious seconds.

Brick People‘s single-player includes three difficulty modes: Sweet (Easy), Bitter (Medium), and Spicy (Hard). It uses the iOS’ multi-touch functionality to drag and drop blocks into position or move them once placed.

Brick People features multiplayer as well as single-player. Players can compete over Wi-Fi or play a split-screen game on the same device in the iPad version, trying to complete challenges before the other player can and gaining access to randomized powerups, such as bombs to destroy the other player’s blocks.

Brick People will be available over Sega iOS for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch version 4 or higher. It is Game Center compatible, and includes achievements and leaderboards to compare scores with friends and family.

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iOS Apps: Hail to the King, Baby!

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iOS Apps: Hail to the King, Baby!

For all of you novelty app users out there who just cant get enough Duke, does 2K have an app for you.  2K announced the arrival of the Duke Nukem Forever soundboard, just in time for the game’s launch in a few weeks.  For those of you who get a kick out of soundboards and people who can’t take a joke, feel free to pick up the app today in the app store.  Read the full press release below.

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