Tag Archives: Sports

Soccer Superstars 2011 Review: This is One Great Soccer Game

I feel like I’ve been playing a lot of Gamevil games recently; Air Penguin sucking up the “waiting” times, while Soccer Superstars 2011 has been sucking up the rest of my time.

And with good reason: Soccer Superstars 2011 may as well be the next, great sports game on the iPhone.  Before this, I’ve been playing Madden NFL 11—that’s right, 2011—on my iPhone, as it was the only sports game that really was enjoyable for me.  I love soccer as well, but all of the soccer games on the App Store are pretty outdated, starting with X2 Football 2010.

I do see some glaring issues with Soccer Superstars though.  So far, after 6 hours of play, it has crashed on me twice causing me to start over whatever game I was playing.  Along with that, Gamevil continues to apply the horrid, extremely small buttons in the UI along with the extremely small text.  On top of that, the controls are slightly off in that whenever I try to change direction, it takes about half a second to switch.  And when a defender is in front of you, that’s a bit too late, as the ball has already been stolen from you.

Restoring your condition after every game is a bit of a nuisance as well, on top of the whole “you look tired, I’m going to bench you” sort of thing that appears in the My League mode.

And while that looks like a large pile of bad things compared to a small pile of good things, Soccer Superstars 2011 is still, probably, one of the best soccer games to date.

Likes

Improved: I never played Soccer Superstars 2010 for a lot of reasons, starting with the controls and frustrating UI.  While Gamevil went on to fix the controls, by that time, the game had already been deleted from my phone and that was that.  While the controls here need a very slight improvement, it’s come a long way from the controls found in the first edition.  On top of that, there’s that it factor in here that wasn’t in the first one; I don’t feel compelled at all to delete this game.  In fact, this is probably my most played game on my phone as of this instance.

Content: The content here is endless, considering that in the My League mode—the mode I’ve been playing the most—you go from Year 1 to Year 2 to Year 3, etc.  There’s really no end to it, and it’s pretty realistic for a cartoony soccer game.  Each year is different, with you trying to win the championship at the end (kind of like winning the Super Bowl).  On top of that, there is the season mode, match play (some variant of online multiplayer), dramatic mode (solve missions and earn G points), and the exhibition mode.  For $4.99, you’re getting a boatload of content and lots and lots of “productive” hours.

Dislikes

Small annoyances: There are a lot of nitpicky annoyances in the league mode, especially the times when “Chance!” comes up on the screen.  You can switch from playing only when you have the ball or just watching the game unfold before you; the latter being the much better choice.  But it also comes with its problems, as there are times when those chances come up and you’re either offsides, someone else has the ball, or you are nowhere near the ball.  Other small annoyances include the offsides rule itself.  One time I was shooting the ball and it happened to hit one of my players; that player was “offsides”, and even though I was shooting and not passing the ball, it was still called as offsides.

Another annoyance is the clock.  I’m shooting the ball, it reflects off the goalkeeper, and right when I’m about to shoot the ball again, it says “Halftime”.  That has happened to me a numerous amount of times, and it does get pretty annoying.  Especially when you lose by one goal and know that it could have been a draw.

And yet another annoyance: stamina and “condition”.  I’m currently in Year 5 and I have to recover my condition every single time after a game.  And even though I recover my condition, it doesn’t really do much.  And it gets even more frustrating when your guy gets taken out 30 minutes into the game, and with no goals or attempts, your morale, popularity, reputation, etc. all go down because of it.  I really, REALLY hope Gamevil strongly considers removing this feature because 1) it’s useless and 2) it’s annoying.

UI: The text is too small, the buttons are too small, and the main menu is too confusing.  This has been a main problem with most Gamevil games, and while it’s a bit better in Soccer Superstars 2011, it still does bother at times.

Soccer Superstars is an extremely fun game.  I would go right on ahead and give it that coveted Must Have award, but there are those small, nitpicky annoyances in there that prevent me from doing so.  I’ve spent hours upon hours playing this game, and while a huge improvement over the previous edition, it still needs some work, especially on the whole stamina and condition thing.  But other than that, for $4.99, you’re getting at least 6 hours of simple, soccer fun.

Soccer Superstars was developed by Gamevil, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $4.99.


Real Racing 2 HD Review: Live your Childhood Dream

It’s in the movies, it’s in common culture; it’s everywhere: every kid wants to become some sort of driver some day.

Kids and adults, especially males, love cars.  That’s just the way the world revolves, and for me personally, driving a Lamborghini of any kind or a Ferrari would be a dream come true.

And I’m that much closer to reaching my dream, thanks to the efforts of Firemint and Real Racing 2 HD.

Packed with all of the features included in the iPhone version, I wouldn’t say it’s too huge of a difference.  One feature that was just released—HDMI output to play on your TV—is one that I haven’t tried out due to the fact that I don’t have an HDMI cord, but it’s one of the extra features included in this fullscreen iPad version.

Other than that, if you already have the iPhone/iPod touch version, you’re buying into the enlarged and absolutely gorgeous visuals.  It feels like I’m actually driving a car when in the cockpit view, and honestly, this is the most realistic racing will every get on the iPad.

Am I exaggerating?  Sure.  But this is one heck of a game that if you missed it on the smaller devices, the iPad version is the way to go.  The quality is unrivaled, the content is plenty, and for $9.99, I doubt anyone will be disappointed.

Likes

Graphics: One thing that makes the iPad the iPad is its larger screen, which brings about some crazy visuals.  The immersive environment really brings you into the game much more than any iPhone ever will, and it feels a lot more freer and open than the iPhone version.  As a stand alone iPad app — without comparing it to the iPhone app — this is the best looking iPad app to date.  Firemint always does a great job on its visuals, and Real Racing 2 HD is no exception.

Content: Looking for an iPad game to last you a good 10-15 hours?  Well here you go.  Easily even 20 hours if you’re into the whole achievement collecting business.

Controls: Fully-customizable controls topped with the fact that there are more options than I can count makes for quite a racing game.  There aren’t many games that can boast so many different options, and what I like about Firemint’s games is that they cater to my tastes and my “habits”.  There is no other company in the App Store that puts this much attention to even the smallest details, and the fully-customizable controls is a large reason why I absolutely love this game.

Dislikes

iPhone owners beware: For me personally, having already played through the entire iPhone version of the game, playing through the entire campaign didn’t have much appeal.  I still did it for reviewing purposes, but hey, it wasn’t as exhilarating as the first time.  For $9.99, you’re basically buying into the larger screen experience and the immersive environment it brings.  For one, you are definitely not buying any new features or content.

Real Racing 2 HD is unrivaled in the App Store.  There are no racing games like it, and if you’re even remotely into driving, then Real Racing 2 HD is for you.  While people who have already bought the game on the iPhone will have a hard time finding much appeal in this, people who haven’t bought the game yet should definitely check it out on the iPad.  And hey, bigger is better, right?

Real Racing 2 HD was developed by Firemint, and I played through version 1.1 on my iPad 2.  The price is $9.99.


Fast Five Receives Gameplay Trailer, Out April 28th

If you’ve been amped up about Fast Five, then you’l surely be excited for its release on the iOS on April 28th.

The trailer shows the game running on the iPad as you play Brian O’ Connor, racking up as many elite cars as possible.

The trailer details that Fast Five the Game will include local and online multiplayer for up to 10 players, one of the largest pool of players I’ve seen so far for an iOS game.

While there aren’t many details other than the part about the multiplayer, we’re definitely excited to get our hands on this one.  We’ve embedded the trailer below for your viewing pleasure, and be sure to get your game face on starting April 28th.

‘Touchgrind BMX’ Announced for Spring 2011

I’ve been wondering what those folks over at Illusion Labs have been up to, as ever since releasing Labyrinth 2, they’ve been more than quiet in recent memories.

But fear not: Illusion Labs is planning on releasing a BMX version to their classic Touchgrind, which used finger skateboards.  From the trailer, the game seems to be greatly improved with better graphics, more locations, and an entirely different control scheme (still multitouch, just different positioning).

We really don’t have anymore information other than the trailer, but hey, a video is worth a thousand pictures, right?

iStunt 2 Review: Greatly Improved Graphics, Same Enjoyable Gameplay

Thankfully, iStunt 2 is one of the easier games to review.

The hoe-down is this: iStunt 2 is fun and has better graphics than the last one.

While I can’t say that better graphics warrant for an entirely new sequel, GameCenter achievements and some more levels are definitely welcome.  The user interface has been entirely redone to look a lot less indie, and of course, it has now been taken under the wings of Miniclip.

There aren’t any nagging problems I can think of, although the difficulty could be toned down a bit.

Likes

Graphics: It feels like the more the App Store evolves, the more the artwork is never a problem.  That seems to be the case with iStunt 2, and the artwork is on par with a lot of Miniclip’s other offerings.

GameCenter: Some easier achievements would be nice (I also have this problem of logging into Sandbox GameCenter, whatever that means).  But hey, GameCenter achievements and leaderboards are always going to be embraced with open arms.

Dislikes

Difficulty: It’s not extremely difficult, but it could use some toning down.  There are some beginning levels that have to be played around three to four times just to beat, which does get annoying after a while.

This is probably one of the shortest reviews I have ever written, but then again, I did say iStunt 2 was an easy game to review.  There’s really not much to the game, and the features are pretty much the same as any other Miniclip game: $0.99, GameCenter, and Retina graphics.  And for those that downloaded iStunt, iStunt 2 is a welcome addition to the family.

iStunt 2 was developed by Miniclip.com, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 4.  The price is $0.99.