Skateboarding games have always been one of my favorite genres. They’re intense, require an insane amount of skills and coordination, and are just so much fun to play. I started all the way back to the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and ended at Skate 3. From there the genre pretty much died, but OlliOlli revived the series a bit and I fell in love with the first game.
The second is no different, and that’s both good and bad. On the plus side, the game feels smoother, there are more tricks, the entire game is more responsive, and there are more modes and new levels and themes. The downside is that it’s pretty much the same game with no real evolution of the series.
Career mode is where you will spend most of your time. Here you have six different goals varying in tricks, scores, and special spots. Using the left analog stick you can push down and then up to pop the board up and flick it around to do tricks. Holding it down over a rail will allow you to grind. To properly land a trick you must press X right before landing or they will all be sloppy. This trick system is similar to Skate’s and is a great evolution of the button combo system.
Sadly, you can’t do grabs and there’s no vert skating. Half-pipe rounds would have been fun and it’s sad that the sequel doesn’t really add all that much. There are two other modes which are trick spot and just a leaderboard tracker. They’re fun but aren’t different from the career mode really.
The game looks nice with fun music, awesome 2D sprites, and a great Hollywood/Los Angeles theme and it’s just super smooth. With all that said, OlliOlli2 is a great entry for newcomers and veterans who will find enough new stuff in the career mode to consider a purchase.
I normally hate F2P or Freemium games, but GolfStar proved that you can still enjoy a game without spending hundreds of dollars on it. Sure, a lot of the good items are locked away for people who pay ridiculous amounts of money, but GolfStar offers a great enough experience that you don’t really need it. The game is very enjoyable and is the best golf game on mobile platforms right now.
The game has the usual events and sales and ads for these that pop up. You can buy stuff in the shop such as clothes that increase your stats, level up your character, buy new clubs, and temporary boost items like any other RPG. You can invite friends to golf matches for free, but career mode costs hearts, but they regenerate over time. Once you get into a match you will notice you have a 3 step meter. Press it to get it going, set your power, then your direction. The little tee in the center of your impact area is for a perfect shot. Hit here and the ball will fly straight, go in the red area and the ball will fly 95% straight, the orange will make your ball curve a bit and this can suck if you are going into the wind. Wind direction plays a big part here as well as the level of the ground and distance just like in any golf game. GolfStar keeps it fast and simple while providing simulators like physics and conditions. Sure the wind can only knock your ball a max of three yards (think of the wind as steps 1, 2, and 3 with three being the hardest).
While driving in these short courses is no big deal, it all comes down to putting in GolfStar. The physics is spot on and nothing can compare to it on mobile devices. Judging the slope and your power just right and landing an Eagle or Birdie is just so satisfying. You can play a 9 hole round in about 10 minutes which is great for pick-up-and-go gameplay. The game takes a lot of skill to master which is very surprising for a free-to-play game. Once you win the round or even finish it you get experience and G currency which is earned the fastest and can be saved up fairly quickly. The gold stars are what you will have to grind for and most items are nearly impossible to get without spending real money. Thankfully you get some pretty sweet winnings at the end of matches. You need 10 hearts to spin a wheel which will multiply your G and your XP. Sometimes you can win items and even large amounts of G. Twice I won 6,000 G and various passes and coupons which proved helpful. Most F2P games don’t throw things like this at you and I loved it.
I still wish this game had a premium price. Charge me $10 for this can and give me everything. As it is right now the game is short on content, There’s not much to buy and the courses are limited, but hopefully more content will come about. The graphics are actually spectacular for a golf game. Even on high-res phones and tablets, the graphics hold up. The game holds up so well to console golf games and I hope this game continues to grow and become the greatest golf game to grace mobile devices. The only thing holding it back is the lack of content and those damn microtransactions.
First off, I’m not a tennis fan. I just like playing the occasional game such as Hot Shots Tennis. I just like the competition and the strategy behind it. You need to trick the player into going where you want so you can set them up for failure (or at least I think that’s how you play tennis) I don’t know! I’m not a pro player! Secondly, Virtua Tennis 4 isn’t the best tennis game I have ever played, it’s very dull and lacks any excitement or flair. It doesn’t need to be a crazy arcade-type game, but give us more than just green, two players, and a ball.
The game is very confusing to start. The career mode is pretty lame and I didn’t like it. You move around a world map with a piece and markers. You get random move cards instead of dice. Some spots are for training, some are clothing shops, tournaments, face-offs, and various other things. Every time you get into a match whether it’s for training or not your condition decreases and this apparently affects how you perform. I honestly didn’t notice a difference, or the AI was just so bad that it didn’t affect anything. This board game idea is nice, but it’s so dull. The menus look like absolute crap and are flat and lifeless. There’s no tutorial on how to play, and each move pretty much felt the same. The only one that felt different was the lob.
During a match, I felt every player played the same. You serve with a power meter and I could never figure out where my ball was going. Some sort of reticle on the ground would have been nice. I would smack the ball for 10 minutes and nothing would happen. It was so hard to trick the AI into doing what you want and it took so long. I wound up losing match after match trying to out beat the AI otherwise I was stuck in an endless volley. The matches themselves outside of swinging are boring. There’s no commentary, the characters look horrible, the pros don’t look like their real-life counterparts, and the graphics look about 5-6 years old.
I understand this is supposed to be a tennis sim, but you can still make it fun. Even after playing 10 tournaments I still didn’t unlock any new clothes, my character was taking forever to level up, and it just felt like the same thing every freaking match. It felt like it would never end. During the career mode, the stupid reps and managers would pop up with lifeless dialog that you just don’t care about. The only real way to go is multiplayer but no one is playing online at all. I just feel that the game is a huge boring mess with terrible AI and lifeless characters. The controls respond pretty well, but I didn’t feel a difference between any of the hits. The game could have been so much more. As it stands, this is the worst tennis game I have ever played. Even major tennis fans will be disappointed in this lifeless bore-fest.
SSX brings back the series with a “reboot”. The series adds a dose of realism in the otherwise very arcade-style gameplay, and it doesn’t fit well here. I had more issues with the game than I wanted, but the game is worth a bargain bin purchase or weekend rental, just don’t expect anything as amazing as previous games.
You have to conquer nine deadly descents, and each represents a new “gameplay challenge” such as large gaps, darkness, ice, trees, rocks, etc. I didn’t think these were fun at all. They hindered the otherwise fun arcade-style gameplay. I also didn’t like the realistic NASA maps of mountains because each level felt haphazardly designed, and it was hard to get good lines going because of the random terrain layout. There are caves and tunnels, random ramps, peaks jutting out of the ground near where you need to land, and other problems. Wingsuiting into a tunnel that is completely dark is not fun or exciting to me. There’s even a problem with the lack of customization and gameplay modes.
The trick system has been tweaked, but you can go back to the classic one if you like. Using EA’s right stick flick system, the tricks can be pulled this way while tweaking them with RT. I loved being able to use LT near a ledge or grindable object and latch on. You can even use a mix of buttons and the right stick for people who prefer that. The trick system is simple enough, but using the right stick makes the tricks feel random. You can’t plan out tricks or anything like that at all. If you do well enough you go into Tricky Mode which makes you go faster and gives you more awesome tricks to tweak. Super Tricky Mode or Uber Mode makes you go super fast while letting you pull off signature Uber moves. These are really awesome, and it did feel good when I pulled off long and intricate lines that scored me millions of points in one go, but this didn’t happen very often.
Trick mode is the only mode that allows you to use tricks to win. Races require you to stay on the ground and only do tricks to earn a boost, but your score means nothing. When you beat the 3-4 events before the deadly descent all you have to do is survive. The timer is simply only for leaderboards. If you survive you get an automatic gold medal which is a bit too easy for me. On top of all this, you can buy boards, gear, and outfits. The series uses signature characters, but I wanted to be able to customize my own character. Even the outfits are disappointing because they’re just palette swaps.
Overall, SSX feels random and haphazard all around. The realistic terrain hinders perfect lines, deadly elements like darkness, trees, and rocks hinder the fast-paced arcade gameplay, and the right stick allows basically just random tricks. The customization is poor and shallow, and even the graphics are disappointing. The Xbox 360 had blurry visuals and low-resolution textures which are a huge disappointment. SSX is fun while it lasts, but the 40 or so events will go by quick and will leave you wanting to go back to earlier games in the series.
I always hate to talk about casual gamers since they almost ruin everything for hardcore gamers (Kinect and Wii) and everybody always forgets about us, hardcore guys, but Sony always knows how to balance it just right (the Move is a perfect example) to please both sides (this is kind of like politics). The Hot Shots series has always been a great game for both sides because you can completely ignore stats and have fun, but also delve into them and fine-tune your game. Tennis is no exception with a good amount of stat tracking, but also just quick and fun tennis for casual gamers.
On the court, the game is fairly simple yet surprisingly deep. You can perform three different swings: Slice, Lob, and a Stroke. Using the nub or D-pad allows you to decide where the ball goes, but it’s a nice grid-type structure so if you’re running right the ball will go right, etc. The longer you wait to hit the ball the more accurate your shot will be on that dot so timing is key. Or if you just like swinging away you can and still have a good challenge. You can outsmart the players by looking at what their play style is, and you can even trick them during serves which is always fun. Lobbing the ball will show a yellow dot and if your opponent lobs you have to run to that spot and hit X at just the right time and you could get a Smash Ace.
While the game is super fun on the court you can change attributes by selecting courts with bounce and hardness, but you can also totally ignore that and still have fun. You can collect clothes for your character, but each piece has a stat boost, but if you just want to deck out your character you can and still win. Before each match, you can choose No-ad for a quicker game, change rackets, and if you play characters long enough they will level up and play better on the court.
What’s so great about this game is if you just want to jump into a couple quick games you can without concentrating on stats and the game will almost play the same. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reward hardcore stat trackers too much since it does lean a little more toward the casual side. Despite all this, you are on a world tour to make everyone happy by using tennis. Not the best story, but it’s nice to see the cute characters talk it out in an open adventure format and you can click around and find hidden items, but it’s more of a distraction than anything really.
With another person, you can really have a lot of fun, but the best part about Tennis is the fact that it’s addictive, and you always want to keep coming back thanks to the good AI. You want to keep finding new items for your characters, you want to boost your character as much as possible and make them the ultimate tennis swatting machine. If only the game had some sort of special power abilities to make narrow wins turntables, but other than that the game is super fun.
I’m not really a traditional sports fan, but when something as outrageous as the Outlaw series passes under my radar I have no choice, but to pick it up. Outlaw Golf 2 is very mature, outrageous, and fun. What makes the series so outrageous are the characters that range from mentally insane to sexually charged (such as Summer and Autumn). The game has a lot of modes such as Tour, Exhibition, Driving Range, and well as a couple of mini-games.
The gameplay is pretty simple and plays like most other golf games, but with some twists. When driving down the green you can switch camera angles to where your ball is going to fly. You can change the power and this is also adjusted upon swinging. The game has a swing stick setup so swinging the analog stick is pretty accurate, and not too finicky. If you time the swing right you can go over 100% shot and do a power shot, but watch out because you overshoot where you want the ball to land. There are course hazards to look out for so you really need to watch out. If you start doing poorly your composure meter will drop and bring it back up and you can play one of two mini-games. These are a golf cart game to get a perfect shot or you can beat up your caddy. They are fun at first, but after a few tries, you get tired of them. One feature I like is while putting you get three tries at a guideline. Hit square once and you’ll see a line to the hole. One feature I love is the Gimme feature and this allows you to just press square during a putting replay to let you go ahead and sink the ball for an extra shot. This is only if your ball is almost in the cup, and didn’t quite make it.
I love the game’s mature commentary and smart alack remarks to the players. The intros and small animations of the characters are either funny or sexy. The best part about the game is that the mature content didn’t get in the way of the game being good. However, the game is very hard to beat especially in tour mode. Even after trying over 10 times I still couldn’t beat the first tournament against Killer Miller. You have to get ahead in the first hole or you’re never going to win. Even if you factor in all the golf aspects like wind, elevation, etc you still have a hard time winning.
The game looks pretty good even for today. The courses look great, and the characters look great so you have something nice to look at. The only issues I saw were some slowdown due to the PS2’s limitations, but they didn’t hinder gameplay. Since the online servers are shut down (and there’s probably no one playing even if they weren’t) online play couldn’t be tested, but I’m sure it would have been really fun and competitive. There is a lot of extra content like videos, outfits, clubs, and balls so you have many hours of gameplay and there are a lot of characters to play as well. If you’re tired of your traditional golf games pick up Outlaw Golf 2 and you should have a good time.
A long time ago, in a parallel dimension to Earth, there was a magical island world known simply as Pangya. All was peaceful in Pangya until one day, an evil force summoned by the Demon King, came crashing down upon the land. This dark energy created a force field around Pangya that drained the life from the land. The world of Pangya grew weaker with every passing day. Flowers withered, trees turned barren and the earth lost its green. The people of Pangya could not come up with a solution to rid their land of an evil presence.
Until the inhabitants of the land realized that all of the life force from Pangya was being drained to the Demon King through a hole in the force field. A plan rose to plug the hole with a crystal filled with the spirit force of all living things. The power of the crystal became so great that it could not be touched by human hands. So the people in Pangya created the Air Lance, a tool in the shape of a stick to hit the Mystical Phoenix ball into the hole of the evil force field. This difficult task was eventually completed by a warrior from Earth, ridding the world of the evil force for good. In honor of this warrior, the game of Albatross 18 is being played throughout the world of Pangya. The name Albatross was chosen because it is the best shot one can hit in the game outside of a hole-in-one. Today, you have been invited to play Albatross 18. Are you ready to show your skill?
The game of Albatross 18 looks remarkably like Golf, in fact, it is Golf. When you start out in Pangya’s story mode, you set off into nicely laid out courses with colorful names such as Wiz Wiz, Blue Moon, and Silvia Cannon. Playing the game is easy, simply pick your distance, then your power, and ‘swing!’ you’re off to the first hole. Wait a minute, there is a bit more depth than that. Differently colored blocks at the left indicate a certain action. Hitting just when it is white produces the perfect shot while black or pink will make you tee, putting a point towards your par count. Despite its creative-looking setting, Pangya still carries aspects such as the wind, the level of the terrain, obstacles, bunkers, the fairways, rough, the green and yes even putting is accounted for. Different characters are available to play with and most can drive down a course anywhere between 210-260 yards. If the wind is facing toward you will probably nail about 235 if your character can drive 260. This is extremely important when shooting over a river or over a cliff since you will come short and get an out-of-bounds penalty.
The whole point of Pangya is to get your ball in the cup before the other player and do so with the least amount of shots. Each player will take turns deciding what conditions will better their shot. You need to adjust accordingly and use your quick finger to get a perfect Pangya shot. Pangya shots will bring your ball exactly where you want it and anywhere outside the white box will make your ball come short. Pangya follows the traditional Golf gameplay in most places but adds one little twist: Power Shots. Power shots come in different forms, ranging from the Power Spin that makes your ball roll back a few yards to the Tomahawk which makes your ball stop dead where it lands without rolling along with others. These sound useful but the execution is so hard to pull off you will quickly abandon the idea.
While most of the game’s mechanics sound solid and easy to understand, not every element has been worked out to the point it should have been. Customizing your game, for instance, is about as useless as playing Golf with a baseball bat. You can shop at the Pangya store using Pang, the game’s currency, which is earned by completing tournaments. You can buy equipment such as new balls, clubs, and many other items. Buying Golf balls adds points to your attributes such as accuracy, spin, and power. Strangely enough, Clubs do the same but are just more expensive. The items that can be bought can be used during and will temporarily boost the exact same attributes but can also do some more interesting stuff such as nullify the wind. All these elements could turn a standard game of golf into a true fantasy experience but end up being as exciting as watching paint dry.
The one thing that sets Pangya apart from its peers is its wonderful story and charming characters. Within each episode of the three available chapters, you can play ten characters and they each have their own unique story. Each character is beautifully drawn with personalities so vibrant that they pull you in and never let go. Uncle Bob is an angry police officer who entered the tournament just to get some fried chicken and Max is a famous tennis player who is running from fans that are trying to get his autograph. There is no voice acting, but maybe this is a good thing. Most Japanese games don’t transfer well to American voices.
Contrasting the characters and colorful setting, the quality of the graphics is sub-par with flat and polygonal textures. In fairness, they do get the job done for this otherwise fine golfing game. Pangya is sure to be a pleasant surprise even to people who don’t like, or even know how to play golf. Easy controls, wonderful characters, and a fun multiplayer mode will charm you off your socks.
I remember hearing all about Jet Grind Radio back in the day when I only dreamed of owning a Dreamcast. About 6 years later I pick up JSRF off eBay for $2 and well…you get what you pay for. I expected a lot more of this game, but really it’s just repetitive with a horrendous camera, lame story, and a few other odds and ends.
The story is almost non-existent where you have to stop the Poison Claw gang from taking over the city and you basically go through the city covering their tags with yours and racing them here and there. That’s really all there is story side and it’s a huge letdown. I found the best thing here were the visuals and audio. The game has beautiful cel-shaded graphics with a rich hip and techno drove soundtrack. When it comes to gameplay things are very simple and derivative. Each section has a certain amount of tags you have to cover and you do this by grinding around places and covering them up. You have to pick up spray cans lying around everyone to do this though. Blue ones are worth ten and yellow ones are worth one. Once you cover all the tags you have to meet the Poison Claw gang and challenge them to a race. These are really easy and only require a little trial and error. The tags are fairly easy to locate thanks to them being dotted on your map.
I found the levels to be a bit claustrophobic though since your characters can defy gravity and jump 50 feet so you’d miss your line on the building and fall all the way down. This leads to the terrible camera which you CAN’T control and never stay behind the character. You always have to make circles and use the reset camera button. This ruins a lot of the game because you’ll climb all the way to the top of a high tower and then fall all the way down and have to climb the top again because you couldn’t see that open ledge. So, this is the basic concept of how you play the game it’s just ground here, tag here, fight camera here, watch dorky Japanese characters dance around, rinse and repeat. Don’t get me wrong this game is pretty good, but the game is just too monotonous and the camera ruins everything. Sometimes the police will be after you so you knock them down and spray paint them to death, some are too strong to knock down so you “boost” into them.
You’re probably asking where is the trick system? Well, there isn’t one. The game relies on a few moves while grinding by hitting the X button and maybe a backflip here and there when you jump and that’s about it. You do hand plants in half-pipes, but when you jump tricks are automatically done, and there are maybe a handful of tricks. After maybe 2-3 hours of playing you’ll get bored and irritated with the game so much, that you’ll stop playing (like I did). I got maybe 90% through the game and just stopped playing because it was too annoying and repetitive.
The game was really great back in the day because of the amazing graphical style, but I think Sega concentrated too much on that. The game has some serious slowdown on the Xbox 360 and makes the game almost unplayable in certain areas. There really isn’t much in sound just a grinding sound, grunts, moans, whooshing, and crowd sounds when you run into them. I love the visuals Sega, but in the sequel please upgrade the gameplay.