Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer

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Three excit­ing games were released for iOS devices in the last week and a bit. One was from a well-established com­puter and con­sole devel­op­ment jug­ger­naut. One was from a (now) block­buster com­pany that made their name on the iPhone and iPod Touch. And the final one from a small but respec­ted Cana­dian design house, is cur­rently tak­ing the iTunes App store by storm — becom­ing Game of the Week on launch day. And if you’re plan­ning to pick up an iPad 2 tomor­row, you might want to make these your first down­loads :smileyhappy:

Let’s take these in order, start­ing with:

A Clas­sic — Final Fantasy III
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First off, let’s get this out of the way, it’s pricey for a uni­ver­sal iOS game, sit­ting at $15.99 in the app store. But there’s huge value at that price con­sid­er­ing the play value of this ground-breaking and the price of the game on other plat­forms, it’s still a deal.

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What’s all the fuss about?
Well, the clas­sic FFIII really helped intro­duce Japan­ese style RPGs to the North Amer­ican mar­ket. Wiki­pe­dia describes it thusly:

It was influ­en­tial in the devel­op­ment of the magic sys­tem and job sys­tems of Final Fantasy XI. In 2006, read­ers of the Japan­ese gam­ing magazine Fam­itsu voted the ori­ginal Final Fantasy III the eighth-best video game of all-time. As of March 31, 2003, the game had shipped 1.4 mil­lion cop­ies in Japan.

The remake’s recep­tion has been mostly pos­it­ive with high sales and fair reviews from video game crit­ics. IGN notes that “interest in FFIII should come as no sur­prise given…the pop­ular­ity of the DS”. The game sold 500,000 units within the first week in Japan, beat­ing Square Enix’s ori­ginal pre­dic­tion that they would only sell 350,000. As of August 6, 2007, the game has sold 990,000 units in Japan and 460,000 units in North Amer­ica. As of August 8, 2008, it has sold 480,000 units in Europe. Fig­ur­ines of the char­ac­ters from the game have been created.

Yes, it’s a clas­sic you should have in your lib­rary. The iOS ver­sion is a remake of a remake:

First released in 1990, Final Fantasy III was the first title in the Final Fantasy series to become a million-seller, estab­lish­ing once and for all that Square Enix’s clas­sic RPG saga was here to stay.

The full 3D remake released in 2006 duplic­ated the original’s suc­cess, selling over a mil­lion cop­ies worldwide.

Fea­tur­ing:

  • New and improved 3D visu­als and story sequences exclus­ive to the iPhone/iPod touch
  • Smooth, intu­it­ive touch-panel con­trols spe­cific­ally tailored to Square Enix’s iPhone RPGs
  • Quicker brows­ing through the mon­ster bes­ti­ary and other game records
  • New visual designs for the Job Mas­tery Cards
  • Ret­ina Dis­play compatible

Mod­ern Clas­sic — Angry Birds Rio
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Developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the Angry Birds fran­chise has seen phe­nom­enal growth, rightly so as it’s a pretty fun type of game — launch cute birds from a sling­shot and knock things down. Odds are if you’ve got an iOS device, you’ve got a ver­sion of Angry Birds on it. It’s that popular.

So much so that there’s a movie in the works, and this game (Free or .99 for iPhone, Free or 2.99 for HD) is the logical movie tie in — Angry Birds Rio, the latest install­ment in the fran­chises, brings the birds to warmer climes:

In Angry Birds Rio, the ori­ginal Angry Birds are kid­napped and taken to the magical city of Rio de Janeiro, where they even­tu­ally escape their captors and set out to to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the upcom­ing Fox motion pic­ture, Rio. Angry Birds Rio will pair the physics-based game­play of the ori­ginal game with unique twists based on the film.

My new favour­ite — Super­broth­ers: Sword & Swor­cery EP
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No that’s not a typo, that long and unwieldy string of char­ac­ter is the name of this highly-unusual adven­ture game. Hark­en­ing back to the ultra-low-resolution dis­plays of the 8-bit days, this 4.99 game/art-project/thing evolves the adven­ture game style and yet still man­ages to engage the jaded gamer — mostly me :smileyhappy:
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[It’s] an explor­at­ory action adven­ture with an emphasis on audi­ovisual style. Tra­verse a mythic little realm, use a sword to do battle & evoke swor­cery to solve mys­tical musical mys­ter­ies. Co-operate with friends via Twit­ter, exper­i­ence a video­game world that is affected by moon phases & help a wan­der­ing war­rior monk com­plete her woe­ful errand.
You’re intro­duced to the game by a cardigan-wearing pipe-smoking nar­rator. Well, I’m assum­ing that’s a car­digan and a pipe — can’t tell much with the pixelated style. Regard­less, it’s fun, highly enga­ging, enter­tain­ing, and kinda weird. I like it so far — per­haps you might too? The video will get you into the spirit of things…

 

Audi­ence Cal­ib­ra­tion Pro­ced­ure from Super­broth­ers: Sword & Swor­cery on Vimeo.

No rest…
So, with these new game offer­ings, I’m think­ing any free time is now accoun­ted for — in a good way.

Update: Cur­rently iPad only, though an iPhone ver­sion is in the works.

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2 Responses to A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer

  1. Leask says:

    I prob­ably should have read the small print on the iTunes store list­ing for Super­broth­ers: Sword and Sor­cery EP before buy­ing it, I would have real­ized that it’s iPad-only. Ah well.

  2. Brad Grier says:

    Hmm, I’m sur­prised iTunes let you buy it.

    On the upside, there’s a iPhone ver­sion in the works and due out shortly ( http://toucharcade.com/2011/03/23/superbrothers-sword-sworcery-ep-for-ipad-review/ ). Does Apple do refunds in that case? I’d ping them to find out…