Life is Strange Android port impressions

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Developer: Dontnod Entertainment, Publisher: Square Enix

Released: July 18th, 2018

Tested on: Razer Phone, Android 7.0

It’s always exciting to see a fully-fledged game release available on your mobile device’s marketplace, especially if it is a port of the game you’ve enjoyed on PC throughout the last couple of years. There’s something remarkable about being able to play a PC release in the palm of your hand, even more so if there was no downgrade in the process. Life is Strange marks one of these rare cases where the mobile port is so good, I may never go back to the PC version, as the platform is more adept to play action-heavy games on. If I want to relax and game on my phone, Life is Strange offers a compelling story-rich experience that will be engaging throughout long stretches of time. With fluid controls, excellent graphics and rewarding story content, Life is Strange arrives on Android in shining colors, and delivers the quality few mobile titles can match. And the fact that it’s one of the best episodic adventure games on the PC and consoles makes it even even more sweet.

Note: this is not a full-feature review but my impressions with the Android port of the game, which released a few months ago.

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Blizzard announces a mobile spin-off Diablo Immortal

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At BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard unveiled a little surprise for mobile gamers by announcing an online action RPG Diablo Immortal. It’s set in between Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and the third main title, and will come to both iOS and Android platforms. There’s a trailer to go along with it, and the game’s webpage offers the ability to pre-register already.

Diablo Immortal is being developed from the ground up for mobile devices, and will make the most out of touchscreen controls. We could certainly benefit from another high-profile aRPG on the platform, and the format has shown to integrate well into mobile controls. Players can expect to find a lot of the same features introduced in Diablo 3, including full multiplayer support and co-op quests. Immortal even has a lot of resemblance to the third title’s graphics.

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The game’s trailer showcases some impressive graphics and visual design, and looks almost on par with the bigger Diablo releases. Immortal looks to control smoothly, with an easy touchscreen layout and directional movement. Players will battle hundreds of demons on their adventure, and can choose to do so alone or co-operatively. With six familiar classes to choose from, Diablo fans will have an absolute blast playing this on their mobile devices.

Diablo Immortal is certainly a departure for the series, and an unexpected spin-off, but everything shown in the trailer looks promising, and I can’t wait to be able to check it out. The final release date hasn’t been announced yet, but will likely happen sometime early 2019. For now, there’s cinematic and gameplay trailers to check out:

Gameplay:

 

Cinematic:

Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion review

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Developer, Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment

Released: September 26th, 2018

Reviewed on: Razer Phone, Android 7.0

Available via: Google Play

Fall tends to be a good time for video game releases, and the mobile market is not an exception. Ubisoft have added a surprising hit to their Assassin’s Creed franchise with the recently released Rebellion title, which is unexpected after the disappointing Identity. Rebellion not only stands out as a much better title, but also does so in the least expected format possible that brings a strong game design to the table. Presented as a side scroller, Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion is a free-to-play title that you might overlook because of its visual design, but it packs in extensive depth to make for an interesting experience. I never expected to like its cartoonish graphics style, nor the way it presents the experience, but Rebellion grows on you after a few play sessions. Among the spin-offs, this is easily the best Assassin’s Creed game I’ve played, and the 2D design works surprisingly well here. Despite its free price tag, Rebellion packs in a lot of high quality features to like, and leaves little to be disappointed in, although expect to see common features found in free mobile titles.

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Gangstar: New Orleans Review

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Developer, Publisher: Gameloft

Released: March 15th, 2017

Reviewed On: Razer Phone, Android 7.1

Available via: Google Play

The lack of open world releases on mobile platforms has created a considerable gap in the genre ready to be filled by an exciting new release to break up the stale market. Gameloft’s Gangstar series has long served up competition to numerous Grand Theft Auto ports on mobile, and while it sadly isn’t a better franchise, it stood out well with its unique settings. Gangstar: New Orleans brings the franchise to the next level of quality, offering an exciting open world mayhem at a free download price. It isn’t without faults, but considerably improves on its predecessor, and New Orleans captures the essential fun of a crime city sandbox. With plenty of activities to offer, it works pretty well, although the free to play design drags the game down somewhat. It’s still a solid experience, you just wouldn’t find the same level of quality as the numerous Grand Theft Auto games. At the free price though, Gangstar: New Orleans is certainly worth a try, and packs a lot of features into its open world to offer a compelling experience.

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Ridge Racer: Slipstream Review – Powerslide Away

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Ridge Racer: Slipstream perfectly recaptures the feel of once venerable arcade racing series on the PlayStation, known for high-speed races, intense powerslides and pumping techno music. It reminds me of playing Ridge Racer on the PSP handheld many years ago, and then its follow-up Ridge Racer 2, although on a much smaller scale. The series seemingly dropped off the gaming market after the sweet but cold-received Unbounded didn’t ignite enthusiasm in the series for many long time fans . If you desperately missed the series, however, Bandai Namco dropped a free-to-play mobile spin-off Slipstream, which by now is a few years old itself. That isn’t to say this Ridge Racer isn’t worth coming back to; with only few missteps, it takes place among the best arcade racers on mobile, right up there with the recently released Asphalt 9: Legends. Whether it be an extensive career mode, feel of the game’s arcade racing or bright colorful visuals, there is a lot to like in Ridge Racer: Slipstream, even if it makes some errors along the way.

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Asphalt 9: Legends Review – Reaching new heights

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Developer, Publisher: Gameloft; Released: July 25th, 2018

Reviewed on: Razer Phone, Android

Get it on: Google Play

Asphalt 9: Legends doesn’t quite take off into the air like its predecessor, but reaches new heights thanks to outstanding gameplay and bright visual design. An experience that largely iterates on what Asphalt 8: Airborne built up, the ninth instalment improves on progression and gameplay in meaningful ways that make it one of the best racers on mobile. While it can’t quite escape the various tropes of free-to-play gaming, these are minor complaints in the face of all features available, and progress never halts to a complete stop. What you get here is a streamlined racer with expansive variety and features that send it into the rank of legends, all available at absolutely no cost.

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First Look – Command and Conquer: Rivals

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It’s hard to understand why EA can’t just kill its Command & Conquer series at this point, as any attempts to revive the classic spirit of the franchise died in the eyes of fans. The last successful entry in the franchise was Red Alert 3, which happened around a decade ago. Yet this year EA decided to bring back the name of this once venerable series, with a mobile spin-off that no one was really asking for. This is a first look at Command & Conquer: Rivals – a 1v1 strategy game now available on iOS and Android in a pre-alpha release.

Tested on: Razer Phone, Android 7.1

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