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Battling the Backlog Week 12: Ceville, Shadow Complex, TMI and... more iPhone games?

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Previous Entry Battling the Backlog Week 12: Ceville, Shadow Complex, TMI and... more iPhone games? Aug. 24th, 2009 @ 05:34 pm Next Entry
Sheesh! Thanks to Touch Arcade I find a game one sale before I even have time to try the last one I bought on sale!  And I don't mean games like "Bad Fake MMO You Could Play on Facebook" or "Whack a object" game, I mean games like Wolfenstein RPG or Simon the Sorcerer!


Let's start with Shadow Complex.... WOW! What can I say? It the only game to make me break my vow to not replay a game (remakes or releases on other formats don't count)!

I played it FOUR TIMES! IN.... A.... ROW!

The funny thing of Shadow Complex is that if this had been a 3D FPS even if it had the same mechanics I would have probably been bored by it...

But being a Super Metroid clone up to the 2.5D look really helped the game! Notice how I saw Super Metroid clone and not a Metroidvania game? It's because it more Metroid than Vania.

The lasers have been replaced with guns, but the rest is pretty much there! The grapple beam is here as a hook shot, the ice beam is here as a foam gun, which is actually cooler than the ice beam, but I'll talk about that later, you have the hyper speed, the wall jumping, almost everything from Super Metroid is here... But it feels more like a homage than a ripoff!

Like any Metroidvania game, it's about exploring and finding items to reach new areas, but this game has a leveling system which gives you a BIG reward every ten levels. At first you get an extra health unit, then the whole map is uncovered with all it's secrets, and then you get infinite ammo for all the secondary weapons...

The only new thing is the final piece of armor which needs 12 passcode keys hidden in the game, once you find it you unlock... invincibility! But only when you are moving slowly! You also get infinite ammo for finding all the pickups  for a certain type of ammo. You can also find 12 gold bars to unlock gold weapons, which are the ONLY thing that carries over to the next game along with the level you reached... In that aspect it reminds of Dead Rising.

The foam gun is a really cool item if you know how to use it, you foam an enemy and throw a grenade at it which will stick to the foam and the most important part is that you can create paths with it! You reach areas you could only reach with upgrades you get later in the game if you know how to use the foam well...

The biggest downside are the bosses.... there mostly bipedal bots or men is suits like yours only bigger, only one was mildly creative, but there is a spot where you are always safe even on the hardest difficulty level...

Wait, did I just say hardest difficulty level? Yep! For once I actually played on the hardest difficulty level.... But only to reach level 50 and get unlimited missile ammo... In Insane mode the damage is insane and you have to be a lot more careful and you start realize that you can actually be stealthy in the game and you can make it through some areas undetected, or by using your fists on them which is won't alert the other guards unless they see you do it...

I don't know what else to say, but it's the only XBLA game since... well, Castlevania Symphony of The Night that I played until I got all the achievements, only because I wanted an excuse to play more!



Ceville... Some call it the Shrek of adventure games... only because they both take place in fairy land... and they are both comedies... Except Shrek is about a troll that belches and farts to amuse kids, Ceville is aimed at adults, specifically the adult adventure gamer...

Ceville is the ruler of Fairyanis, the land where all fairy tales live, and Ceville is... well, a tyrant! But not for long, because the minute you start the game the people revolt and kick you out! Not only that, but they put you in jail too!

In jail you meet Lilly, a nice an innocent, but not stupid girl who will help him escape, but only because he knows who will replace is worse!

The comedy of the game is... mostly pop culture references, or references to fairy tales, the pop culture references are mostly videogames ones, which the odd Asterix ones thrown in every once in a while.
But they tend to be subtle, the first one I remember is Ceville commenting on a horse saying how that for some reason he feels like reading him a boring story, Lilly says "Why? We don't need any fake teeth!". If you know your adventure games, you'll know this is a Day of the Tentacle reference, some are more obvious, but they never get carried away like Family Guy or similar shows do...

The puzzles are... logical! Which is what ALL adventure games should be like! And if you even feel stuck and look it up, you'll find out that the solution is something logical that you probably would have figured out in a few extra minutes...

Frankly, it actually felt like it's taken up Telltales approach to adventure making, and since it's my favorite way of making adventure games, it's probably why I enjoyed it so much! The game even has the subtle hint system from Telltale, which gives hints but never goes as far as telling you what to do.

The game was pretty funny and the puzzles made sense, which are the ingredients for a great adventure game in my book!



Tales of Monkey Island: Siege of Spinner Cay... Hmm, how to talk about the game without spoiling the plot or the puzzles?

Well... If you don't want spoilers, skip this paragraph?

This episode starts with ANOTHER battle at sea, but not as sea sickening as the first! And... Guybrush loses his cursed hand! How he has a hook! Cool!

And he finally meets up with Elaine and LeChuck! LeChuck is completely free of of his voodoo curse and seems to be nice and tries to help you... One of the puzzles in the game involves helping LeChuck solve a puzzle, who isn't as used to this puzzle thing as Guybrush is....

It might be only me, but I think the comedy level on this was even funnier than the last!

The hint system seemed a bit rubbish this time, he only said he wanted to plunder, which I assume means there is an item to find, but that's ALL he said!

I wonder what will Teltalle do next? What could possibly top Monkey Island?


Space Invaders: Infinity Gene.... WAS AMAZING! It's definitely the best shmup on the iPhone so far!

You control the ship by moving your finger around, but it doesn't have to be on the ship so it doesn't block your view. The Infinity Gene is an apt name since the game keeps evolving in looks and gameplay, as you unlock new levels and new weapons.

The game even gets a bit bullet hellish, but the hitbox and controls are very well adjusted so you can actually cruise through all the bullets.

The only downside is that there seems to be too many things to unlock, I probably played almost all levels three times and I think I only have half of the unlockables, but the only unlockables left is artwork and sound apparently, so I don't feels that inclined to do so.... Although I probably will!

I even tried playing a level created by a song and... I couldn't even survive till the end of the song...

I'm rather curious on how it creates the levels though....

There is a big chance that this game will be on sale eventually, but it's good enough you won't mind... probably?


Siberian Strike is a bit of a mess... It's a another shmop for the iPhone, the controls are good enough, except the charged shot which sometimes messed up my game until I figured out the charged shot wasn't even worth using...

The biggest problem here is that it seems the hitbox for this game is HUGE! And there are many MANY bullets, much more than in Space Invader Infinity Gene.. And you have limited continues, that aren't really that limited...

If you use all your continues, you just continue from the level you reached, so I don't see the point of having limited continues!

And the powerups only last a few seconds... Which is lame!



Silent Scope... Is even a bigger mess! I've never played a game of this series before, but I'm pretty sure this a  very poor iPhone port of the game... All shooters on rails should shoot where you tap on the screen, dragging the cursor around is like playing with a joystick instead of a light gun!

Although it is pretty funny to see how you regain health by being a voyeur with you sniper scope!


Jelly Car... Wow! How can a physics game have such terrible physics? Or maybe a car made of jelly is supposed to control this bad? I only played the easy levels and it was a struggle with the physics and controls... Thank God it was free! And no wonder! XP
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