Tag Archives: Ubisoft

Rayman 2: The Great Escape Review: Throw Your Fist, if You Can Aim Correctly.

A port of a successful game on several platforms since 1999, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is a 3d platforming game that was released to the appstore on March 1.  To advance in the game, the player must collect lums, little pieces of the world.  Once a certain amount are collected, you can advance to the next area, and once 1000 are collected and a few other tasks completed, Rayman can awaken a spirit to save the world from the robot pirates from outer space.

The gameplay mainly consists of running around as Rayman, and throwing his floating fists at enemies.  He also has other powers that are available to him, such as helicopter ears in which he can glide slowly to the ground.  Rayman has lost his powers, but over time and through the narrative more of his old powers are regained.  Each bigger level has many smaller areas, each of which are passed once enough lums are collected, and his friends freed from their cages.


Completeness: It is great to have an iDevice game that not only delivers solid gameplay, but brings along a full story as well.  Too many times have I heard gamers complain that there aren’t enough complete games on the platform; apparently Gameloft noticed that too so they decided to publish one.

Rayman: For those not familiar with this series of games, I thought I’d quickly touch on the main character.  Rayman is really fun to play as; he is athletic despite not having any limbs, and throwing his fists is very fun- you can melee attack at both short and long range.  He really is unique within the gaming world.

General Sillyness: The premise of robotic pirates from outer space is hysterical, I found myself laughing during the entertaining cutscenes.


Controls: This game is great… except for the controls.  There is a virtual joystick on the left and two buttons on the right, for jumping and throwing your fist.  Those buttons are great, but the joystick takes this title from being a great title to being an okay game with a lot of potential.  It is difficult to get the orient Rayman properly, I found myself having to attempt obstacles over and over again because I would miss because of poor controls.  Ironically, here on No DPad, I think that this game should have a virtual dpad because character motions would be much more accurate.

Camera: It wasn’t always easy to get the camera centered behind Rayman, partly because of the controls, and partly because of the slow response time of the camera.

Auto-Save: In iPod games it is customary for any game exited to auto-save immediately when the home button is pressed.  Unfortunately, the game has predetermined save points that sometimes take a while to reach.  This is not a pick up and play title.

I have had some fun with Rayman 2: The Great Escape, but my fun often was turned to frustration because of the plagued controls.  I also do not always have a ton of time to spare, so the first time I picked it up I played for about 15 minutes and quit.  When I returned, I had to do everything over again.  If you don’t mind these issues, then it is definitely worth trying because it is a wonderful game, but otherwise it may be worth waiting to see if Gameloft updates the controls.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape was developed by Ubisoft and published by Gameloft, and is available for $6.99 in the appstore.  I played version 1.0.1 on my iPod Touch 1G.

Anno – The Harbor (By Ubisoft) Released

UPDATE: It seems like the European, Aussie, etc. version has been released as Anno: The Harbor.  The North American version has yet to be released, and it will be released on March 15th as Anno: Dawn of Discovery.  So for those living in the US and Canada, Anno will be released March 15th.

Today seems to be a Ubisoft day. Coming hot on the heels of Assassin’s Creed II Multiplayer is Anno – The Harbor, at the launch price of $4.99. The Anno series has been well received on the PC, but through its transfer to the iPhone and iPod Touch it seems to be an entirely different game. Instead of an epic strategy game of all aspects, this Anno game mainly focuses on the harbor, and your goal is to manage your time wisely and earn the most amount of money possible.

With four different harbors (Occident, Orient, Corsair and Venice) that can be upgraded during the game, eight different types of traders with their ship fleet from touchy Venetians to relaxed salesmen, and two game modes (Story mode with 36 missions, and Endless mode), Anno – The Harbor is not what we may have expected, but it certainly shows promise. We’ll have a review of the game up soon.

Assassin Creed II Multiplayer Out – Free for 48 Hours

Ubisoft has just released Assassin’s Creed II Multiplayer, an online game in a top down view where you play with other people online try to assassinate them. There are three different environments, six power-ups, twenty four achievements, and it’s Wi-Fi based online play. Surprisingly, Ubisoft has released the game at a launch promotion sale of FREE, presumably to get more people online and playing. However, after the 48 hour promotion, the price is going to rise to $2.99, so I suggest you grab it as fast as you can. There isn’t much else to do other than the online multiplayer, but I think it’s definitely worth the initial price. We’ll have our impressions on the game up soon.

‘Anno: Dawn of Discovery’ Coming to iPhone

Ubisoft has sent word of Anno: Dawn of Discovery coming to iPhone, along with some tantilizing screenshots to drool over.  Anno: Dawn of Discovery was released on the PC along with the Nintendo DS in 2007, and it has sold fairly well on both devices.

The gameplay can be described as follows:

The player starts as leader of an unnamed country which must colonize and expand in the game world. While the player expands their in-game territory, other computer controlled rivals are also expanding and strengthening their countries. As the player progresses through the game, they gain access to naval vessels and troops which allow them to invade and ultimately to defeat other players. Anno 1404 features an updated interface, bigger islands and worlds to explore, a sandbox mode, and other features new to the Anno series.

Ubisoft has rebuilt the game to more adapt to the average iPhone gamer, making it more simple and built for single game sessions.  The complexity of the PC version will not be as prevalent, and while more hardcore gamers may feel left out, we’ll have to see what they exactly mean by this.

The final price for Anno: Dawn of Discovery will be $4.99, and from the sounds of it, it will be a port of the PC version and not the DS.  For more information on the title, check out the Wikipedia article.

Assassin’s Creed II Review: Slashing Forward

Assassin’s Creed II was very much delayed from the original December release, but once it was released, the iPhone gaming world went into a frenzy, as in “OMG Assassin’s Creed IS OUT!”.  Of course, the hype didn’t last for much, but people still loved the game as if it were the best thing since sliced bread.

Personally, I had a blast with Assassin’s Creed II.  While there are some flaws with the game, the overall gameplay was much better than the first.  I was satisfied with the $9.99 spent (although I did buy when it came out for $11.99), and I’m sure most of you will enjoy your time with this stealthy game.


Graphics: Graphics are very sharp and looks much better than the DS version of Assassin’s Creed II.  It’s not surprising though, as they did promise some of the best graphics on the platform.  While they aren’t the best, it certainly rivals many other graphically impressive games.  Ubisoft did a solid job of producing a solid iPhone game, and being their first, it’s quite impressive.

Controls: The side-scrolling control implementations work very well, and while there are times I become frustrated with them, the control scheme worked.  Instead of the usual arrows, the sliding arrows were much more accurate and much better for the precision required in this game.

Voiceovers: Personally, I thought the voiceovers were very professional.  They weren’t “out of this world” or “amazing”, but they were enough to make the game feel professional and well thought out.  I would have to say they’re a lot better than Gameloft’s Assassin’s Creed on the iPhone as the first one’s voiceovers sounded… pitiful.

Content: You’ll get enough content for $9.99, packed with almost 7-8 hours of gameplay.  There are also some levels that you’ll certainly play over and over to finally beat, so content should not be an issue with this game.  If you’re worried about the game being too short, worry no more.


Frustrating: I was more than once frustrated with the game, threatening to even quit and never play the game again.  There were some levels in which I would give up after 6 or 7 tries of trying to beat the level, and little descriptions or help led to bits of frustration.  Sure, console games don’t exactly include all that hint and help junk, but it still would have been nice to tone down the frustration levels.

User Interface: UI looks very bland and choppy, and it’s almost as if they used a text editor, took a screenshot, then put that into the game.  Buttons are very pixelated along with the text, and the conversations are far from “good looking”.  The user interface is very pitiful and leaves much to be desired.  I’m more than disappointed with the user interface, and there needs to be some improvements to it.

Assassin’s Creed II is an overall solid game, and while I had some problems with it, it’s definitely a good buy at $9.99.  I don’t regret purchasing the game for $11.99 at all, and most of you should be safe with buying the game at $9.99.  While the game is frustrating at times along with a poor user interface, Assassin’s Creed II should mull you over for a couple of hours.

Assassin’s Creed II was developed by Ubisoft, and I played through version 1.0.1 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $9.99.