All posts by Mike

About Mike

I currently write for Appadvicr, Tablets blog, and sometimes contribute to Appmodo and Nodpad. I also recently started a press release writing service for developers. You can contact me via e-mail or read up more about it on my site.

New Trailer Released for NOVA 2 Along With Release Date

The long-anticipated Nova 2 and sequel to the sci-fi original that was often compared to Halo and other great console-style FPS titles will be released on Dec. 16. A trailer has also been released by Gameloft that should ease some of that wait.

If you’re not familiar with Nova 2, it is a first person shooter sequel to NOVA, which was released nearly a year ago.  It contained some of the first online multiplayer on the iPhone, and it also proved to display some of the best graphics.  Since then, Gameloft has gone ahead and added a more in-depth online multiplayer—think Modern Combat 2—along with more people playing in one game.

The graphics have also, surprisingly, been largely improved compared to the first one.

The game should be arriving December 16th like we mentioned before, and if there’s any more information regarding the release, we’ll keep you up to date.

Real Racing 2 Coming Next Thursday, 16-Player Online Multiplayer Included

Firemint is going all out with the upcoming Real Racing 2 release in just a few-days wait. Besides the 16-player online mode, The game will feature real car licenses of 30 vehicles and not just generated models this time around. Firemint also promises a career mode with over 10 hours of gameplay along with 15 locations to race in.

In-game currency will be earned to purchase new vehicles and upgrades. Vehicle damages will also be visible after crashes and the game will feature five camera angles along with replays.

Real Racing and Real Racing HD have also recently been given an update in the form of a four-player multiplayer mode already available on iPad and in the approval process at Apple for the other iDevides that should tide over some gamers who can’t wait till Thursday. The first title has been hailed as a gamer’s racing game and one of the show-off app for the iPad when it was first released along with Firemint’s other hit, Flight Control HD. Although Firemint promises Real Racing 2 to have 16 cars smashing into each other online the game will only support an eight-person local multiplayer mode.

The price for Real Racing 2 has been announced for all App Store regions and it will be $9.99 in the U.S., £5.99 in the UK, €7.99 in continental Europe, $12.99 in Australia, and ¥900 in Japan. The title will support GameCenter and Cloudcell integration.

For more screenshots, be sure to check out their website.

Braveheart HD Review: Circular Sword Swinging, Mindless Fun

Gajin Entertainment’s Braveheart HD is a new action role playing on the App Store that offers a nice breath of fresh air. The game is very accessible not just to role playing game fans but fans of dual-analog shooters. It is not without flaws however and can get repetitive if you are used to traditional RPGs.

This is an action RPG that is mostly action and little role playing. The battle system is intriguing here because you circle with your thumb to unwind an attack motion and have to move round the game map hitting every enemy in sight. But unlike many dual-analog shooters there is a second (ranged) attack option — like using crossbows among other weapons — that is used by holding a finger on the screen and pointing to where you want to shoot with another. On top of this there are perks or actions awarded for killing enemies like health generation and there are also items to be gather on the battlefield. The interesting battle system is not without flaws however. Sometimes it’s hard to unwind the swing already in motion –which is done by circling your thumb in the opposite direction –and Richard just swings in the opposite direction instead of stopping it.

Although easy to get into, the game gets challenging fast and you will need to use the shops in the game’s city menu to buy elixirs and upgrade weapons. To gain gold and experience points you will be doing side-mission hunts in similar locations to where you progressed in story mode.

The game centers around a campaign of a renegade knight named Richard who offended the king, got imprisoned, and now has a chance to win his freedom by finding a grail guarded by a dragon. Besides the story mode, there is also a challenges mode where you try overcoming various game challenges the game throws at you like killing a set amount of enemies in a set time frame. The challenges mode adds longetivity to the title but the story mode is its bread and butter. There are elements of the story unveiled via cut scenes between each mission completed. As you progress through these stages, you gain access to new territories, with different backrounds.


Default controls: There are two control options, but the default method based purely on touch and not an on-screen analog is a great control mechanism, and I love the aiming system of the range weapons the game offers. It is fun mixing up meele ring-around-the-rosy swings with the ranged weapons.

Fun Story: I also enjoy the story and think it has character compared to most RPGs on the App Store, as you aren’t some super-righteous noble knight here.

Production values: I also like the graphics and movement animations, and the presentation in general is very high here.


Repetitive gameplay for an RPG: There isn’t much variation in the levels and it gets repetitive killing waves of enemies in every level. The game gets really challenging as well and you have to grind through the hunts after a while and this adds to the repetitive nature of the game.

Lack of control outside combat: There are no areas to explore outside the pre-arranged levels you fight in.

Hardcore RPG fans may find Braveheart’s level layout and arcade nature too simplified—as the App Store’s RPG offerings can get quite deep these days—there is still a lot of customization and depth offered here and the combat is intriguing.

Braveheart HD was developed by Gajin Entertainment, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPad.  The price is $2.99.

Big Day for Touch Gamers as 5 Heavy Hitters Get Unleashed

Thursday is a big day for iOS game releases. Infinity Blade, Puzzle Quest 2, Dead Rising, Dungeon Hunter 2, and Illusia are already out in the New Zealand App Store and coming to Europe and U.S. in less than a day.

Some of the most anticipated games to ever grace the App Store are being released and Thursday is, for some reason, usually the day of the week when big titles come out. Also, as Christmas approaches developers and publishers want to push as many of their games out to maximize profits. These are just some of the big anticipated titles but there are quite a few other games also being released to keep an eye out for.

For New Zealand gamers here are the App Store links:

iDOS Emulator Showed Potential for Classic PC games on iPad

As many iDevice users and touch gamers know, a DOS emulator was released for the iDevices about a month ago and pulled by Apple the very next day. The emulator works a bit more natural and works better on the iPad than the iPhone due to it’s larger screen and two orientation viewing angles it offers. It even has a layout depicting mouse buttons and a computer keyboard that can be switched off to fullscreen with icons of touch keypads. Evidence of this can be seen by googling iDOS as mostly just iPad articles pop up with a brief mention of the iPhone version that was also released.

In terms of apps and games that this emulator supports, the results are very mixed—this is mostly because of speed issues. The emulator also requires either basic knowledge of DOS command prompts or some experimentation and instructions in order to segregate files correctly and get games running. Despite this, the DOS is the home of many great games and classics that started some of today’s most popular game series. Elder Scrolls, Warcraft, Fallout, and it’s Wasteland prequel started on DOS. Many of the greats will not run fast enough on this emulator in it’s current state but other games will. It takes some fiddling with the configuration file at times as well to get some games up and running at the max potential.

Here is a list of games that I found quite playable and enjoyable that is worth trying out on iPads:

The original Warcraft is quite good here with speed being just fast enough to enjoy. Panzer General is another good little strategy gem that plays quite well and has a slow turn-based pace that runs quite well. Darklands is an amazing open world role playing game for its time that plays very well and I highly recommended. Survivor horror Alone in the Dark does slow down but is just playable enough to keep on the list. Zeliard is a very interesting 2d platformer with RPG elements that plays well. Jazz Jackrabbit series are some other great platformers I recommend. Pirates is also worth a try as it runs just smooth enough. And, Master of Magic is an interesting strategy game and works great as well.

These are just some examples of games I have got to play quite nicely and will continue to enjoy on this emulator but there are many more not mentioned worth trying. On the iPad it’s wise to set the cpu core config to normal and cycles around 3500 worked for me most of the time as the best default setting in the dospad.cfg configuration that can be saved and replaced via iTunes. Many of these games have their own niche of configuration to run well like. An example of this is Ultimate Underworlds and Ultimate 7 requiring an opposite setting in dospad.cfg — one needs xmx=true and ems=fale and the other the opposite — although both run too slow to be truly enjoyable they show a glimmer of hope to what kinds of western RPGs could be made. The other issue is that adding and replacing files can be confusing as dragging zipped files is the only thing you can do via iTunes and not actually entire game files with subfolders.

One thing the emulator has shown me is what is possible in the iPad’s future. If games like Warcraft can be enjoyable and fun to play imagine what Blizzard could do with RTS games if they embrace the device like ported all three Warcrafts to the App Store. What’s interesting is many pc games could be done with a fake mouse icon and this has hampered some genres before. The emulator shows that a fake icon that you control via touch but not directly touching the icon itself but touching the screen near it thus not obstructing view, can work quite well. The iPad’s screen is big enough for this kind of control to work. Before fiddling around with this emulator I was only exposed to RTS games on the App Store that have direct finger control like touching units or drawing boxes around them for control. This brings a whole new idea and option that can be done for such genres like RTS games. What bugs me about the current way RTS games selection controls are is sometimes you end up selecting the wrong units or have a hard time making a box the perfect size with your fingers for the units you want to command.

Beside RTS games, the emulator shows how classical PC games like Pirates and Might of Magic could work great if embraced on the IPad by the big companies. I think the iPad can offer potential for many classical computer games to be revived and even complex or hardcore games can work. The battery life of the iPad and screen space allows this vs. the other iDevices although I believe there is room for all of them. Many of these games are known for landscapes with large view screens and different caves or dungeons to explore and find on a world map. I really like what I have seen from iDOS despite speed and configuration issues and hope Apple will find a way to embrace such emulation whether by buying the rights from Gates himself or only offering limited quantity of games like the current ZX and Commodore 64 emulators do. I have seen a recent resurgence of classical gaming on the App Store and in gaming in general with titles recently being released on the App Store like Warlords Classic that recently was released.

And either way, the iDOS Emulator has opened the gates to hopefully more classical gaming to come, along with showing the potential of PC gaming on the iPad.  It showed that the iPad and iOS in general is made for more than just casual gaming, and hopefully developers will start to catch on.  And hopefully, Apple will find it in their hearts to release emulators on the App Store.