Wordament Wordament Wordament WORDAMENT!
Time to once again take a paddle in the duck pond of mobile gaming and burn some time with a selection of the more interesting titles to have rocked up in recent months. All the games were played on Android devices – mostly the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, which is a near perfect size and shape for mobile gaming – but you can find …
You see why when you get it; it's basically a AAA console racer full stop. Though the physics are rather better than most console games'.
The game has its issues, but it's shockingly gorgeous for something that runs on a damn phone - having gone from 64x64 pixel black and white 'worm' clones to this in thirteen years is absurd - and if you're at all careful with your driving and a little patient you don't need to pay to progress. The most annoying thing is that servicing cars takes a while without the aforementioned payment - but I always figure I probably shouldn't be playing for that long at once anyway!
I just tried it just now, and much as though the physics feel pretty good, the control methods are all....just awful. Tilt to steer - how the hell am I supposed to keep tabs on the action on the screen if it keeps moving?
Touch to steer isn't accurate enough by a wide margin. And I gave up after trying to get a decent gas/brake setup with onscreen controls.
I can appreciate the effort that's gone into it - and on my Nexus 4 it looks pretty nice too, but I don't understand how you can play with either without a controller and enjoy it.
I've come through GT1, GT2, GT3, GT4, Forza 2, Forza 3, with some RFactor and some Simbin stuff inbetween at various stages. I don't understand how this game can work on this form factor.
Am I missing the point or something?
(I'm not being deliberately obtuse, I genuinely don't get how this is meant to be playable without a controller because it looks pretty fun for a quick blast - if the controls were usable/accurate)
@Steve - the tilt steering has a learning curve definitely, but after a couple dozen laps I found it got quite natural. I use touch accel and brake, and the good view, which doesn't compensate for the rotation. Strangely after a while I stopped even noticing; now I just see the track as if the display was flat. This is on a Samsung Note 2, by the way. Maybe a smaller / bigger screen would be worse? Dunno.
As for the download, I had my phone sleep itself or the network connection break during the initial DL and it didn't restart from zero. And beyond that it's been plenty stable.
For what it's worth, I make my living with very high end driving simulators - 3D, full motion, bespoke ffb system, etc. I've built systems to train pro drivers, do demos for big automakers, etc, so I know a bit about it. And I'm *spoiled*. And I still enjoy RR3! I'm not sure if my experience makes it harder because I'm used to having phenomenal hardware, or easier because I know the tracks really well.
But it's definitely a plus for RR3 that my experience with car control transfers; the physics are by no means perfect - I particularly detest the slow-to-10-mph-if-a-wheel-drops-off-the-track behavior - but they're good enough that I can use inertia to flick the cars, preemptively correct slides when I know I'm about to break the rear loose but haven't yet, that kind of thing. That puts RR3 ahead of all but the best console racers.
None of my racing team customers are going to be asking me to get it to work so their drivers can train with it, but for a cell phone game it's stellar and even against other platforms it's solid. Not giving it a chance because you dislike EA and it glitched once is definitely entering proboscis-severing territory.
And if you get your butt kicked by a time-shifted David W., that's probably me. But don't feel too great if you defeat my doppelganger - my time trial times are only in the top 25% but I regularly thrash TSM opponents by ten seconds a lap plus. I think the AI are a little on the conservative side...
I guess it's horses for courses, I tried a few more times tonight, even with the aid of wine (which helped me with RFactor a lot in the days before I had a license and didn't get the concept of roll on oversteer..) and I just couldn't grasp it. At all.
If I come across a PS3 controller I may come back to it though, as for a portable game (with HDMI out put, natch) it looks quite nice and well sorted.
Anyway, spam alert, if you're that into your driving/sims and also fairly articulate, do have a shufty at the Evo magazine community forums - might be up your street. That goes to anyone here who likes their cars for how they drive and make you feel, rather than what badge they have on the front.
Although if you like your car for what badge it has on the front, feel free to join in too, we'd love to rip you...er, I mean, have you contribute.
(Disclosure - I've been on the Evo forum for ten years or more and go back daily for the banter - not staff or mod or owt like that, just a regular posting stiff like everyone else)
El Reg comments are my only forum vice at the moment; I went cold turkey three years ago when I realized I was spending three hours a day arguing about politics on a home theater forum and it was just pissing me off. Within three months I'd learned a new style of music production, taught myself OOP, and made a fairly complex tablet game. Haven't looked back - I jaw here but stay away from dedicated 'enthusiast' kinda forums. Some day I might see if I can manage my time better and give it another shot, as it can be fun, but that time is not yet here...
AbortRetryFail - we don't talk about Pistonheads on Evo. They are The Enemy. ;-)
David - you may have a point about time wastage.
Paul135 - I noticed it was trying to compensate for rotation - but that didn't help. Still found it to be a jarring experience. Perhaps I'm too old for these newfangled things?
Ah well, you live and learn!
I lost connection a number of times during the download thanks to some flaky wifi but didn't suffer a restart from the beginning. Someone in another comment mentioned the same thing so are you sure you are not blaming EA for something specific with your device? If you are worried about mobile data usage then the best bet might be to wait until you have a wifi connection available.
I've played this on both an iPad mini and a HTC One and I can't say I notice much difference although personally I prefer the slightly larger screen to play on. The controls can take a bit of getting used to, but once you learn that "less is more" (i.e. not flipping your device completely onto its side to go round a bend) you can get the hang of it. Sure, the "wait to service cars" can get a bit annoying but once you have built up a small collection of motors you can race other events while waiting for cars to be ready again.
Going to check out some of the rest of the list but will be looking for demo versions if they exist as I prefer to "try before I buy" :)
Not a problem over wifi. But that's almost 10% of your storage space on a new Galaxy S4! It's okay to indulge yourself in just one big game on your phone. Then when you get bored of it just uninstall. Trouble is, the graphics are so good that I like to keep it installed to show people!
This is something you can output in HD to a 42" TV and it still look brilliant.
All of those look rubbish.
Best game I have found on Windows Phone is Dodonpachi Maximum
(The Android Dodonpachi games use some really god awful launcher so are best avoided. ios has it best).
Jet Set Radio or Crazy Taxi are as good as ever and on iOS and Android. (Android you can use a controller pretty easily - iOS I would expect you will be able to soon after iOS 7 (Sega has been quite good on Android keeping up with adding newer controller support to their games).
Any F2P games or pay to win games should be avoided at all costs.
(There are enough ports of games that still stand the test of time for it to be unnecessary to even look at made for phone games.)
The Orange Pixel games being an exception (Meganoid is pretty good).
Gunman Clive is good with a controller.
I downloaded Real Racer 3 to try out - I've done a number of racing games on my PS2 in the past. Keep in mind that I'm very very bad at all video games, and always have been. I have no memory for things like course structure and controls sequences. Anyway, I was put off by the horrible license, which didn't fit on my S4's screen any which way. I eventually waded through it and started the game.
My problem was that I couldn't manage to steer and glance at the course overhead section at the same time. I did badly, spending lots of time off-track.
On my next try just now I hooked up the cord(s) that throw the phone's picture onto my TV. That made a huge difference in visibility. I went from 8th place to 1st place (most people would have been in 1st place immediately.)
Because I'm a stubborn old fart, I had both WiFi and mobile data off while playing. Not sure how much further I can go - one mode left and it was complaining about no connection.
I mostly wanted to see what kind of graphics the phone could do. Seems very similar to what the PS2 does.
During the 1920s, a typical year might find 700 banks failing, with deposits totaling $170 million. In 1930, 1350 banks failed, with deposits of $837 million; in 1931, 2,293 banks collapsed, with deposits of $1,690 million; and in 1932, 1,453 banks failed, having $706 million in deposits. This enormous increase in bank failures was enough to give any bank pause—particularly when the bankers knew in their hearts that no bank (outside of the nonexisting ideal 100 percent bank) can ever withstand a determined run.
As a reaction, one by one, states imposed "bank holidays", thus permitting the banks to stay in business while refusing to pay virtually all of the just claims of their depositors (a pattern that had become almost traditional in America since the Panic of 1819).
Nevada had begun as early as October, 1932, but only 9 out of 20 banks took advantage of the state holiday, the others remaining open. Louisiana declared a brief holiday for the hard-pressed New Orleans banks in early February, but the bank holiday movement began in earnest with the proclamation of an eight-day holiday on February 14, 1933, by Governor William Comstock of Michigan. This action precipitated the bank runs and deflation of the latter part of February. For if one state could, with impunity, destroy property right in this manner, then others could—and did—and depositors began an intense scramble to take their money out of the banks.
On the request of bankers for government to save them from the consequences of their own mistakes, state after state, beginning with Indiana, declared moratoria and bank holidays. Governor Ritchie of Maryland declared a three-day bank holiday on February 24. On February 27, the member banks of the Cleveland Clearing House Association decided arbitrarily to limit withdrawals from all their branches, and no state officials acted to stop this blatant infringement of property right. They were promptly followed by Akron and Indianapolis banks. On February 27, the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Delaware legislatures authorized the state banking officials to restrict the right of withdrawal of deposits.
By March 4, every state in the Union had declared a bank holiday. President Roosevelt closed down all the banks throughout the nation for an entire week, from March 6 to 13, with many banks remaining closed even longer.
I really like Real Racing 3 and the fact they keep adding new content (the odd new circuit and cars - some new Shelby motors just turned up recently).
What I really, really hate is the awful grind they put you through unless you make seriously big in-app purchases. Repairs, new cars, upgrades and time to complete the aforementioned are all charged through the nose and the helmet coins are in particularly short supply. At the rate I progressed, I reckoned it would be *years* before I could actually buy and race all the cars available without spending any money.
In the end, sick of the horrendous grind that was completely destroying my enjoyment of the game, I resorted to, ahem, a method of gaining a large number of R$/coins that I was surprised the programmers hadn't protected against. Once I could buy and upgrade everything, the game became a lot more fun.
I'd have happily paid a few quid for this game to avoid the in-app purchases (i.e. have the cars/repairs etc. cost less R$ and "free instant delivery" instead of paying to deliver now), but the fact you'll have to spend a few hundred quid of real money to complete this made my "workaround" more guilt-free than it really should have been.
A bit shoddy looking up the WP8 versions and not bothering with BlackBerry 10 ones. Here's is what I have come across:
Modern Combat 4
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