Saturday, January 12, 2013

Great iOS Ports

As more and more companies start to cash in on the rapidly evolving smartphone game environment, we're starting to see games from different generations be ported over to the iOS market. These are met with varying degrees of success, but some of these old games could make great additions to your mobile game library.

GRAND THEFT AUTO: CHINATOWN WARS- This one just makes sense. Since this website is dedicated to portable gaming, you should have this or at least wanted to have this on one of your portable gaming devices. There are ports of some console GTAs, such as GTA III and Vice City, but the controls are expectedly weird. However, in Chinatown Wars, the game was already designed for touch controls and a small screen, making a port just plain logical. The game is great, by the way, packed with the gripping, dark, and comical storylines that Rockstar is known for, along with hours of side objectives to find hidden throughout the sizable world of Liberty City. The drug-dealing mechanic, not found on consoles GTAs, is one of my favorite parts, along with the new method to lose your wanted level. Chinatown Wars is one of, if not the most critically-acclaimed portable games, so if you're on here you should make an attempt to own it.
SID MEIER'S PIRATES!- I can't be the only one who wishes there were more pirate games, can I? Well this revamped classic is probably the best on that limited market, in terms of playing like a pirate. Sail around the Caribbean with yer scurvy crew of landlubbers, save a barmaid from an abusive relationship, and woo the beautiful governor's daughter with your impressive dancing skills. Throw in buried treasure and a long-lasting plot for revenge and you have the life of a pirate right in your pocket. The only complaint I have is that the swipes in the sword-fighting minigame are sometimes misread, which can lead to some frustration. This only became a problem for me in the harder difficulties, but if you can overcome this and share my wish of being a friggin' pirate then look no further.
CHRONO TRIGGER- This classic RPG is considered by some to be one of the best games of all time. Certainly when you consider the size and quality of other SNES games, Chrono Trigger is head and shoulders above the rest. A long and intriguing story, detailed environments, a wide array of different items, and multiple endings made this a stand-out game at the time, and luckily it has aged very well. It may take awhile to figure out the controls in battle, but once you get the hang of it you'll pump hours into this whether it's your first time playing this or you're just looking for a hefty dose of nostalgia. It's a great way to shorten your list of must-play classic games; I know I still have pretty much every Zelda game to go.
WORLD OF GOO- Seriously, what console can't you play this game on? The wide availability of this indie puzzler means you have no excuse to not play it, because it is the ideal indie game. Gorgeous art, fun gameplay, pretty music, and cute sounds and writing are all packed into this game, along with an excellent replayability system: any surplus gooballs can be used to make the largest tower possible, and your scores are shared around the world. The touch screen also makes your iPod or iPhone one of the better platforms to play this little masterpiece, so you really don't have a choice.
FOOTBALL MANAGER HANDHELD 2012/2013- I admit that Football Manager is not for everyone. If you're looking for a game where you actually play soccer/football, I recommend the excellent FIFA 13. But if you love tinkering with some obscure English team, buying a teenage Belgian striker and have him become the top scorer while you rise through the ranks and eventually finish runners-up in the Champions League, look no further. The unbelievable depth that made the PC version famous is now available in the palm of your hands, and can become extremely addicting. Like the PC version, a new game comes out every year, but I've been playing FM2012 for so long, (a whopping 4 days and 2 hours according to a handy in-game stat) that I refuse to upgrade to the newer 2013 version so I don't have to start over my career. If you do get it, beware: you may not come back the same.
KING OF DRAGON PASS- The classic choose-your-own-adventure game with a strategic twist is now available on your mobile device! Tons of replayability is packed into this game as your different choices lead to different scenarios and endings. Manage your clan, make friends and enemies with your neighbors, fight trolls, and intimidate the infamous Duck People into giving you food. The choice is yours.
SPY FOX: DRY CEREAL- If your childhood had a lack of Humongous Entertainment games, I offer my most sincere condolences. Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish, Spy Fox, Pajama Sam, and Backyard Sports dominated my youthful gaming experience, and now some are available on your iPhone and iPad. I pick this one as it is, in my opinion, the best out of the bunch, but if you have a little one I recommend getting as many as you can. For those that are unfamiliar, you control the aptly named Spy Fox in a point-and-click adventure to get milk back from an evil goat so kids can stop eating gross dry cereal. Multiple playthroughs give you different endings and scenarios, and you can play Go Fish with an obese pig. If I haven't convinced you yet I don't know what will.


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