Posts by tag: 1.5
I was commenting with a colleague the other day about the lack of fighting games on the Google Play store. I spent some time perusing the various titles that came up under that search parameter; Fighting Tiger – Liberal being one of them. This game isn’t a fighter per se in the sense of your Mortal Kombat or Tekken, this is more of a 3D version of Streets of Rage or your traditional brawler. That confused me a bit that it would come up under fighters, but what the heck, why not give it a whirl, I thought.
By reading the description for Pixel Quest RPG, you can tell that the developer had some high aspirations. Advertising itself as an “retro RPG game with modern sandbox gameplay experience” you could be forgiven for thinking Pixel Quest was an attempt to make an 8-bit Elder Scrolls game. If that was the intention, or even if it was to simply make an interesting RPG, Pixel Quest fails miserably.
There is a large open world, in that there is no guiding force telling you where to go and what to do, but the sandbox aspect is a paper thin facade. A lack of direction does not equal a sandbox experience. During my attempts to play through the game before a game killing bug prevented any further progression, I was never once let loose on the world, nor did I ever have more than two quests at a time. In order to advance as far as I did (which took a ton of time due to an extremely slow “grinding” system) you have to complete quests in the exact order you receive them (technically you can choose the order of the first two quests you want to complete, but they both must be completed before you can get the third quest, and that quest must be completed before the fourth quest and so on.) Simply because the game forces you to figure this out on your own instead of giving hints on what you should do next does not make the game an open sandbox experience in any significant way, it is almost completely linear. A constricted world by itself wouldn’t be a game breaker, but an overly simplistic battle system, a lack of player progression, a frustrating reward system, an overall feeling of “incompleteness” and a multitude of bugs both large and small prevent Pixel Quest from capitalizing on its big game ambitions.
In the name of disclosure, I’ll go ahead and admit zombie games have to try a little harder to impress me, no matter what the genre. This wasn’t always the case. I’m not trying to go all hipster with the zombie thing and say I was into it way before it blew up… but I was totally way into it before it blew up. My mom was cool enough to rent me a VHS copy of Dawn of the Dead after months of begging when I was a kid (read: close to when it was actually released – I’m that old), and it was over from there.
The point of this isn’t to turn GameWoof into a LiveJournal. It’s to illustrate that, while I’m happy with the explosion of the genre, the ratio of good zombie games to poor ones has not been so hot since things blew up. Think The War Z or any number of the games advertised on Facebook if you need proof.
Dead Crossing is, fortunately, not bad on a War Z kind of level. That said, it’s still really bad. The lack of polish is evident from the moment you start the game. That alone sucks a lot of fun out of a premise that, given a little more love, could have been perfect for the Android platform: a motion-controlled runner where you smash zombies with your car – and shoot the ones that escape your bumper’s wrath.
In fact, many problems that plague low-to-mid-tier mobile games hit Dead Crossing twice as hard. The UI is garbage. Straight up, no exaggeration garbage. I tried the game on a Galaxy SIII and an Acer Iconia tablet, neither of which have small screens, and still struggled to navigate the menu because of the small buttons and the even smaller hitboxes governing my touch’s accuracy. I hated going to the store for fear I’d accidentally buy a gun, get stuck in an endless menu loop, or start a game before all my guns were equipped, leaving me weakened or defenseless until my quick and inevitable death.
You know what, though? Forget the UI’s friendliness. I don’t care that it couldn’t be worse unless my phone actually electrocuted me when I pressed buttons. Why? Because it’s super sketchy as well, and that’s close to an instant kibosh for me when it comes to mobile games.