Four years after an uneven iOS debut with Ridge Racer Accelerated, Namco Bandai’s long-running drift-racing series returns to mobile in fine form. Ridge Racer Slipstream offers little that we haven’t seen in recent handheld and console offerings, but it handles well, looks great, and packs just enough features to keep you on board for the whole hog. Online, arcade, and career modes all earn credits needed to buy and upgrade cars to keep pace as the competition gears up, while series icon Reiko reprises her role as announcer.
Pac-Man is in the midst of a renaissance right now; between multiple video games built to support an upcoming cartoon launch, the character is headed in a lot of different directions at once. Pac-Man Dash! is his latest iOS incarnation, and it's an endless runner with some enjoyable gameplay mechanics — and also a few missteps in its approach to in-app purchases.
While Game Center on Mac has yet to really offer a bounty of great games, Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is the first big title to take advantage of cross-play between Mac OS X and iOS devices. Surprisingly, the transition to a keyboard-centric control setup feels less comfortable than the touchscreen interface, but Air Supremacy is still a stellar aerial combat game with excellent online multiplayer.
If it seems quiet across the internet today, that’s because thousands of us are now holding the new iPad in our hot little hands, and we’re probably too busy jumping between Retina Display-enabled apps to do much else. By all accounts, today’s launch is another success for Apple, who appears to have beefed up inventory of the new iPad as many retail outlets still have stock remaining. You know what that means: Skim through today’s recap and then get to the store and buy one! Without further ado, here’s what’s making news for this Friday, March 16, 2012.
Excited about the new iPad? With an A5X processor and amazing new Retina Display, you’d think developers would have their hands full upconverting for the higher resolution -- and there are definitely some awesome apps coming down the pike.
After months of waiting we’ve finally got access to awesome fighting-game classic Soulcalibur on iOS. However, we’ve got some major reservations about the state of the final release. However, we’ve got far fewer reservations about the other two awesome-looking games we’re spotlighting this week: JAZZ: Trump’s Journey and Smash Cops.
Over the last two weeks we've gotten wind of a bunch of high-quality console games coming to iOS. This week was fairly similar, with console-quality games stealing the show. Hardcore gamers will be giddy to know that the classic console fighting game SoulCalibur is coming to iOS. While more seasoned gamers might be more interested to know that the masters of pinball games (Farsight Studios) are bringing an anthology to iOS soon as well.
The ingenious Puzzle Quest, which hit the Mac in 2008, the iPhone in 2009, and the iPad in 2010, was essentially a role-playing game, only all the "combat" is turn-based match-three face-offs against AI-controlled opponents. Bejeweled battles, basically. The formula was addictive, satisfying total RPG newbies and more hardcore players alike. Puzzle Quest 2, a universal app for iPhone and iPad, is more of the same, but it's cranked up the "epic" dial.
The Nintendo 3DS launched this week, delivering a stereoscopic 3D handheld experience without the need for special glasses. But if the thought of dropping $250 on a new portable gaming device sends you into a conniption -- especially scant weeks after the iPad 2 release -- worry not. Many of the Nintendo 3DS launch games (or suitable substitutes) are also available for iPhone and iPad. These games lack the 3D effects and offer varying features, but you'll avoid straining your eyes as well as your wallet, as all of these games sell for much less than the average $40 3DS game.
There's officially no good reason to pay more than 99 cents for any game on the App Store today. We always thought Valentine's Day was the kind of holiday that specialized more in cheap pink teddy bears than smartphone software, but apparently we were wrong. The past couple of weeks have been positively flooded with huge iOS video game sales from major publishers, and now Sega, Capcom, and Namco are getting in on the action. Some of their very best games are included so check out the full list.